Chapter 20

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        I drive to the hospital directly since I am out this evening. I enter mom's room and sit beside her. Her eyes are open and her gaze flickers to me as I take her hand. 

"Hey, mumma bear. How are you this morning? I miss you, mom. But thanks. Thanks for at least opening your eyes because that has given me high hopes. And I know you'll be fine soon. So I don't have any reason to be talking sad things with you. And I'm sorry mumma. I'll have to leave early today. I have a math test tomorrow and you know how amazing I am at mathematics. So I gotta go home and prepare. You know mom, Noah our neighbor's kid, he is soo cute. You'll love him the moment you see him. He is so small and chubby and he keeps smiling always. And when he talks, he becomes even more adorable. And also Della might come to meet you. She is an incredible woman mom. Helps me a lot and she will be like your long lost sister when you meet her. And Mr.West..." I keep speaking and talking about random things while mom just lays still there. It's 5.30 when I leave for home.

         I don't change. I just wash my face, eat some chicken rice from last night and I'm all set to leave. I dread this trip with Xavier and I don't know where he might take me. What if he turns out the typical bad boy and has connections with the mafia? Yeah brain shut up, please. I get a text at precise 5.58 pm to be down by his car and I leave the house. Soon enough I spot him, already sitting in the driver seat of his gray Chevrolet. I get into the passenger seat without a word and he plunges in the key.

"Where are we going, Xavier?" I ask as we take a turn on an unfamiliar road.

"You'll know when we reach Sam." Is the only reply I get.

        He keeps driving and driving until we stop near a wooden fence in a deserted area. We both get out and I look around confused. Though it's isolated, the place isn't creepy and moreover I kind of trust Xavier. He leads the way and I follow blindly, Itstaking in all the scenery around. There are two tall trees and a lot of thick bushes after which I see a clearing. I gasp when I realize where I aIt'sthe same place from the painting I saw at Xavier's house. Its outrageously beautiful in real life and I am rendered speechless. Why would he bring me here? I look at Xavier and see him smiling at my reaction.

"Like the place?" He asks after a while and I nod.

"Yes. Yes I love it. But why are we here?" I say still looking around. I don't see any work that he might have here.

In answer Xavier moves towards a tree and retrieves a black bag from behind. He puts it near the two wooden platforms and I just look at him questioningly. One by one he pulls out notebooks, pens, pencils and a math textbook! Any of this doesn't make sense to me. He calls me to him and I take a seat beside him.

"Lets do maths Sammy?" He asks teasingly and I finally realize. He got me here to help me with maths!

"But Xavier... I ..don't understand all this. I mean why here and..?" I leave my question incomplete because I don't myself know what I'm trying to ask.

"Well...Xavier West isn't really the egotistical jerk you think he is." He says with a shrug. I can't help but laugh as I recall my words from the first day I met him.

"But why this place? You could have helped me in the school or at my place." 

"Yes I could have. But this place is like a heaven to me and I thought you would be more in a mood to study your least favourite subject if we were outside our caged rooms." He answers truthfully and I am impressed. He really thought about me.

"And how did you discover this place?" I shoot next.

"My grandmother. She lived here before we shifted and when I was young, mom often got us to her place. I love discovering and stuff so I stumbled across this place one morning and ever since then its been my favourite."

"You did all this for me? I thought I was the one returning the favour." I say and he shakes his head.

"You are wasting your time Sammy. You have a math test tomorrow remember?" He says and starts opening the books and lays them on one of the platforms. I keep staring at him and along with the hundredth time realization that he is gorgeous, I also accept that he is not actually a bad guy to be with. Though he annoys me, he has only helped me since the day he has entered my life. I smile to myself as he starts explaining.

            Three hours and he's got the important stuff covered. He is genious with the subject and I feel jealous. He has almost explained everything that would take me hours to figure out and I feel quite relieved for tomorrow. As we stand up, he puts the books back in.

"You removed the bag from behind the tree. When did you get it here?" I ask as we walk back to the car.

"After school today. I come here a lot. This place is known to a very few people so I was sure nothing would happen to the bag. Plus there's a math book in here so..." I nod chuckling and take a look back. Even though its dark, the place still looks beautiful with the only yellow lamp illuminating the area. As I get in to the car, I turn to Xavier.

"Thanks a lot Xavier. I don't know why you did this but this meant a lot. With all the hospital runs, I would have almost failed tomorrow but you...you just did something I never expected." I say genuinely.

"You are always welcome Samantha. I know I am cocky at times but you are different. From most of the girls that I have been with. And maybe the reason I did this was so that we can become... friends?" He says, his face serious and I realize he means it.

"Okay. Friends." I affirm and he smiles at me. The drive ends soon and I reach my home.

"Don't worry though. You will have to repay this favour too." He smirks as I leave.

"Yeah how? By you helping me for the next math test?" I tease smiling.

"Uh... No, a real favor this time." He warns as I walk away laughing.

       Dad barely asks any questions after I tell him I was out with Xavier and he helped me with maths. He is already impressed by his behaviour and all. I decide to freshen up later as dad heats up our dinner. He will stay the night at the hospital so he is in kind of a hurry. We both have peaceful dinner. Silent but not awkward.

"Bye Sam. Sleep well and lock the doors. Okay?" He says as he leaves with a kiss on my forehead.

I walk up to my room and realize its kinda hot. So I decide on wearing a blue tank top and my minion shorts. I change quickly and sit at my desk. Though Xavier taught me almost everything, I still need to practice. Seeing the blank paper, I do something which is always done by Xavier. I scramble up a note on a page and open my curtains.

'Thanks once again for today. Will you help me again if I have any issues?
-Your new friend Samantha.'

I throw it across my window and the note lands in Xavier room. I see his feet before his face as he bends to pick that note up. He smirks as always when he reads and writes something again. The next minute the same piece of paper lands into my room and I check it.

'Of course, I will friend. You really do suck at math.'

Haha. Of course, he would write something like this.

'Sure friend. I was just trying my hand at something I've learned from you. Also, thanks for the compliment.'

I don't wait for the note this time and resume studying.

         Two hours into practicing and I feel a lot more confident. Again my heart fills with gratitude for the person I thought could only annoy me. I get a text from Bella as I close my books and retire to bed.

'Hey. Math eating your head? You good?'

I laugh at how much dumb I really must be at math for my best friend to worry like this. But instead of telling the Xavier incident to Bella in school tomorrow, I better call them both right now. It would save the people from a free drama show. I call Bella and she picks up on the second ring.

"Hey, Sammy. Are you okay?" She says a bit panicked and I know only Bella Fox can panic if her best friend calls her late in the night in response to her own text message.

I keep things short and tell her to put the phone on speaker. I tell her about my evening and just as expected, she is gushing and 'oohing' on the phone. Yep. The phone call was the best option. I hang up soon and sleep for a while. It been a good day.

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