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After We Collided (After, #2) by Anna Todd Read Online (FREE)

 

chapter one hundred and three

TESSA

Do you have plans for the rest of the night?” Hardin asks as he pulls into his father’s driveway.

“No, just studying and going to sleep. Wild night.” I smile at him.

“I miss sleep.” He frowns, running his index finger along the ridges on the steering wheel.

“You haven’t been sleeping?” Of course he hasn’t. “Are you . . . have you been . . .” I begin.

“Yeah, every single night,” he tells me, and my heart aches.

“I’m sorry.” I hate this. I hate those nightmares for haunting him. I hate that I’m the only elixir, the only thing to make them stay away.

“It’s fine. I’m fine,” he says, but the dark circles under his eyes beg to differ.

Inviting him up would be a terribly stupid idea. I’m supposed to be thinking about what to do with my life from this point forward, not spending the night with Hardin. It’s so awkward that he’s dropping me off at his father’s house; this is exactly why I need to get my own place.

“You could come up? Just to get some sleep. It’s still early,” I offer, and his head snaps up.

“You’d be okay with that?” he asks, and I nod before I let my thoughts invade.

“Sure . . . only to sleep, though,” I remind him with a smile, and he nods.

“I know, Tess.”

“I didn’t mean it like that . . .” I try to explain.

“I got it,” he huffs.

Okay . . .

There is a distance between us that’s both uncomfortable and necessary at the same time. I want to just reach over and push the lone strand of hair that’s fallen onto his forehead, but that would be too much. I need this distance, just like I need Hardin. It’s very confusing, and I know inviting him up won’t be helpful to clearing up that confusion, but I just really want him to be able to sleep.

I give him a small smile, and he stares at me for a second before shaking his head. “You know, I better not. I’ve got some work to do and—” he begins.

“It’s fine. Really,” I interrupt and open the car door to escape my embarrassment.

I shouldn’t have done that. I’m supposed to be distancing myself and here I am being rejected . . . again.

When I reach the door I remember I forgot my dress and heels in Hardin’s car, but he’s already backing out of the driveway by the time I turn around.

AS I WIPE THE MAKEUP from my face that night and get ready for bed, my mind replays our date over and over. Hardin was so . . . nice. Hardin was nice. He was dressed up and he didn’t get into a fight, he didn’t even curse anyone out. This is major progress. I begin to giggle like an idiot as I remember him falling on the ice; he was so irritated, but it was so funny to watch him fall. He’s so tall and lanky and his legs kept wobbling in the skates. It was definitely one of the funniest things that I’ve ever seen.