Chapter 17

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I decide on a simple pair of denim jeans and a floral top for the dinner at the West house. Dad returned ten minutes ago and so I have to get dressed. I tie my hair up in a pony with my bangs draped on the side. Keeping it simple, I go down the stairs and watch television till dad is ready. Dad returns from his room in the following 10 minutes and we both leave. We ring the bell at the West house and Mr. West is the one that answers.

"Oh hello Mr. Collin. Please come in." He says ushering me and dad inside.

"Hello Mr.West. Thanks for having us here." Dad says in courteous tone.

"Not a problem. How are you?"

"I'm great and what about you?"

"I'm good too. And Samantha, how's school going?" Mr. West then asks me with a smile and we all settle down on the sofa.

"It's going great Mr. West, though some subjects give me goosebumps," I say honestly and my dad and Mr. West both laugh a little. Della comes in with a tray of water and sits beside Mr. West.

"I'm so glad you both came. How is Mrs.Collins now?" Della asks.

"Andrea is quite better, no progress though but nothing bad too. So we are keeping our fingers crossed." Dad answers

"Of course. I hope she revives soon." Della replies sincerely.

"Sammy!" I hear Noah squeal happily as he comes towards us. I smile and stand up, taking him in my arms.

"Hey Noah. What's up buddy?" I ask ruffling his hair. He loops his legs around my waist giggling.

"I just hid bubba's t-shirt whit he was going to weal because he toot my candy today." He says mischief twinkling in his eyes. I laugh at his innocence.

"And where did you hide it?" I ask and his brows furrow. He leans in closer to my ear and whispers too loudly.

"Under his bed." He says seriously and almost everyone stifles a laugh. I nod in mock seriousness to him and he beams.

"It's oul sheeclet okay Sammy. Don't tell anyone." He says in a serious, hushed tone.

"Sure, Noah. Top secret." I say making a zipping up my lips gesture.

"But what if your bubba decides to wear another one?" I ask and his eyes go wide in realization.

"Oh no. I should have hidden all his t-shirts." He says sadly, slamming his palm on his forehead and I laugh on the inside. He is too cute.

"Don't worry. Now that you know, you can hide them all next time." I say and his eyes light up again. I realize that Noah is a very lively boy and finds happiness even in the simplest of things.

Dad and Mr.Collins immerse in a deep conversation since they just learned that their companies often collaborate with each other. Della and I too are busy talking. She is instructing me about some simple dishes that I could make while Noah is playing. Della is really concerned about what kind of food I and dad eat and I really appreciate it. I nod and try to remember as much as I can though I can always ask Della again. A thumping of steps is heard as Xavier descends from the staircase. He shoots me a smirk and I roll my eyes slightly.

"Good evening everyone. How do you do Mr.Collins?" He says extending his hand to my father and he takes it immediately, shaking hands with him.

"I'm doing great. How are you doing kid?" Dad answers.

"I'm fine too. Hello, Samantha. What's up?" He says now looking at me and I fake a smile in politeness.

"Hey Xavier," I say dryly. He is wearing a dark red t-shirt with gray track pants and even then he looks devilishly good-looking. He sits on the sofa opposite me and starts small talk with dad.

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