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

“I’ll help,” he offers and picks up the broken chair from the floor. We work in silence to get the room back to its normal state. Hardin grabs the suitcase and walks toward the closet with it, nearly tripping over a decorative pillow from the bed.

I don’t know if I should speak first and I’m not sure what to say; I know he’s still angry, but I keep catching his eyes on me, so he must not be too angry.

He steps out from the closet holding a small bag and a medium-sized box. “What’s this?”

Oh no. “Nothing.” I hurry to my feet in an attempt to take the items from him.

“Are these for me?” he asks with a curious expression.

 

chapter one hundred and sixteen

HARDIN

No,” she lies and stands up on her toes to try to reach for the box in my left hand. I lift it higher.

“The tag right here says my name,” I point out, and she looks down.

Why is she so embarrassed?

“I just . . . well, I got you a few things before, but now they seem so silly; you don’t have to open them.”

“I want to,” I tell her and sit down on the edge of the bed. I really shouldn’t have broken that hideous chair.

She sighs and keeps her position on the other side of the room as I pull at the taped edges of wrapping paper. I’m slightly irritated by the amount of tape she used for this one box, but I’ll admit I’m a little . . .

. . . excited.

Not excited, exactly, but happy. I can’t remember the last time I received a birthday gift from anyone, even my mum. I made it a point at a young age to despise birthdays, and I was such an asshole over whatever ridiculous gift my mum would buy me that she just stopped buying them before I was sixteen.

My father would send some shitty card with a check inside every year, but I’d get a kick out of burning the damn thing. I even took a piss on the one that arrived on my seventeenth birthday. When I finally get the box open, there are multiple things inside.

First is a tattered copy of Pride and Prejudice, which, when I take it in my hands, prompts Tessa to walk over and grab it from me.

“This is stupid . . . just ignore this one,” she says, but obviously that’s the last thing I’m going to do.

“Why? Give it back to me,” I demand, holding my hand out.

When I stand to my feet, she seems to remember that she obviously isn’t going to win this battle, so she places the book back in my hands. As I skim through the pages, I notice bright yellow markings throughout the entire thing.

“You know how you told me about highlighting Tolstoy?” she asks, her cheeks as red as they’ve ever been.

“Yeah?”

“Well . . . I sort of did that, too,” she admits, and her eyes meet mine.