Into the Tomorrows (Bleeding Hearts Book 1)

Into the Tomorrows (Bleeding Hearts Book 1) by Whitney Barbetti Read Free Book Online

Book: Into the Tomorrows (Bleeding Hearts Book 1) by Whitney Barbetti Read Free Book Online
Authors: Whitney Barbetti
you miss me.”
    “There aren’t enough here. I’ll miss you more than this.”
    “Then you’ll have to come back and visit so I can give you more.”
    I hugged him hard, feeling his spine press into my fingers.
    The following day, after getting him settled in his new home, I’d returned to my car and left for Colorado with his cigar box on my passenger seat and popped a chocolate in my mouth.

Chapter Six
    A s usual , my mom’s words repeated in my ears. I was never silent, never far from her.
    He doesn’t love you.
    She might have been right. But I owed it to him, to us, to see for sure.
    A few months after Ellie died, Colin held me on my bed in my grandfather’s house.
    “She loved you, Trista. She’d want you to be happy.”
    I hadn’t acknowledged his words, just faced the wood-paneled wall and counted the rings in the life of the tree—fake or real—that spanned across the paneling.
    A year after Ellie died, Colin tried coaxing me to come to Colorado. But I had put it off. I wasn’t ready, to make a step that I had planned to take with Ellie.
    Two years after Ellie died, Colin moved an hour farther south, which meant we were now a five-hour drive apart. When that happened, I stopped making trips to Colorado. It was all unfairly on Colin’s shoulders to visit, but between my unreliable car and my growing emotional distance from Colin, I had resigned myself to the fact that we’d probably never be who we were.
    But now, three years after she died, I agreed. I wasn’t sure if we could really fix the things that caused us to separate from each other. But on the last night of her life, Ellie had told me Colin was good for me and I finally felt like I needed to see if she was right.
    Maybe it was a pathetic reason to hold on to him still, but Ellie was the most important person in my life, the one who knew me better than anyone else. And by holding onto Colin, I felt like I was holding onto Ellie in a way. Their personalities were so similar that I could nearly fool myself into thinking nothing had changed.
    If my mother had asked me why I didn’t dump him, I wouldn’t have told her. But one of the other reasons I stayed with him was always that Colin was safe. Safe couldn’t turn me into my mother.
    Love lasts only as long as you want it to. And I didn’t think it would last long with Colin. I’d embraced the way the love I’d had for him had softened, how it had begun slipping right from my heart, in the months after Ellie died. I was content being his girlfriend and not being passionately in love. I wasn’t ready for another person I loved desperately to leave me, emotionally as my mother had, or physically as Ellie had.
    It was as if we’d been audience members, viewing our relationship’s demise with a detached sort of interest. “I want to make you smile again,” Colin had told me the night before I’d climbed into my car. It seemed funny to me, because I wasn’t a smiley person. And funnier still, that he thought he could.
    He moved into an apartment complex that he said was halfway between the best climbing spots and Denver—so he could experience both in equal measure. I didn’t care one way or another, but he was the only person I knew in Colorado, and there was nothing—no one—waiting for me in Wyoming.
    So I parked in front of the café down the road from his apartment, wanting to meet on somewhat-neutral territory first.
    He was already waiting when I entered the café, which I took as a good omen. He didn’t see me when I walked in the door, so I waited a second longer, just watching him.
    His black hair was a little longer, taking on a wave. He wore a few weeks’ worth of facial hair and was tapping his fingers on the table. When he turned and saw me, his mouth split wide open, dimples tucking into his cheeks. And I waited for the rush of feeling that didn’t come. And felt a sick kind of pleasure when my heart kept beating steadily.
    He rose to standing and took wide steps

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