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

“I’m not, that’s not what I’m doing. I don’t know what to think. He’s in jail . . . well, in a holding cell on campus, and you’re in the hospital. This is just too much for me. I know I shouldn’t be complaining but I’m so sick of this drama all the time. Every time I feel like I can breathe, something else happens. It’s drowning me.”

“He’s drowning you,” Zed corrects me.

It’s not only Hardin that’s drowning me. It’s everything: it’s this college, my so-called friends who betrayed me, Hardin, Landon leaving me, my mother, Zed . . .

“I did this to myself, though.”

Zed says, not without a little annoyance, “Stop blaming yourself for his mistakes. He does this shit because he doesn’t care about anyone but himself. If he cared about you, he’d have stayed away from me like he promised. He wouldn’t have stood you up on your birthday . . . I could go on for ages.”

“Did you text me from his phone?”

“What?” He presses his palm to the bed to shift his body closer to mine. “Fuck.” He hisses from the pain.

“Do you need something? I can call a nurse?” I offer, momentarily distracted.

“No, I’m getting ready to leave here. They should be finishing up my discharge papers. Now, what were you saying about me texting you?” he asks.

“Hardin seems to think you’re the one who texted me on his birthday pretending to be him so I thought he was coming but he didn’t know he was supposed to.”

“He’s lying. I would never do that. Why would I?”

“I don’t know, he thinks you’re trying to make me hate him or something.”

Zed’s gaze is too intense, I have to look away. “He’s doing a pretty good job of that on his own, isn’t he?”

“No, he’s not,” I counter. No matter how angry I am with him and how confused Zed’s words are making me, I want to defend Hardin.

“He’s only saying that so you’ll think I’m some sort of villain when I’m not. I’ve always been there for you when he wasn’t. He can’t even keep a simple promise to you. He came in there and attacked me—and a professor! He kept on saying he was going to kill me, and I really believed him. If Professor Sutton hadn’t come in, he would have. He already knows he can take me, he’s done it multiple times.” Zed shivers and stands to his feet. He grabs his green T-shirt from the chair and lifts his arms to pull it on. “Shit.” He drops it to the floor.

I hurry to my feet to help him and grab the shirt from the ground.

“Lift as much as you can,” I say and he brings his arms straight forward in front of him to aid me in dressing him.

“Thank you.” He tries to smile again.

“What hurts the most?” I ask, assessing his swollen face again.

“Rejection,” he timidly answers.

Ouch. I look down at my hands and begin to pick at my fingers.