LOVE AND HATE

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CHAPTER 14: NATTY AND BELLE

AAVIANA's POV

Today was surprisingly hectic. From the argument with Ashley to that suspicious guy Sean, it was nothing less than some scripted movie.
I knew I had to handle that girl today. Though her ignorant ass did not get what I said, but she had significantly calmed down. The rest of the effort was made by Nathan at lunch, though I thought that he was a bit too harsh. But as long as she kept her distance from me and my friends, I was fine. The way she acted at the lunch table was irritating me. She was ruining my time with my friends. I even had to stop Via from launching insults at her, because Ashley had committed the grave mistake of disturbing Via's eating time. She can get really dangerous if you try anything while she is having her food.
The dance class was good. We learnt some classic moves today and I had fun interacting with Nathan. He is really more than 'Mr. Vam-Bam, thank you mam', when you get to know him. Though he teased me a bit with my middle name but it's okay, because I got to see his playful side.
Then there was that eerie guy, Sean. I don't know why but I did not like him. I know that I should not judge him so fast but he just strikes me as not good. He did nothing wrong or talk anything out of the way, but I still I don't get a good feeling about him.
It was six o'clock and I was currently making dinner while waiting for Dad to come home. Just as I turned the flame off, the bell and I opened the door to greet a smiling Roland Hunter. Dad was not necessarily the most laughing person, but he had his times. His pleasant smile caused an involuntary smile to grace my lips.
"Welcome home Dad. You seem happy today. Did you have a good day?" I asked him as he he stepped through the door.
"Yes I did. How was school sweetheart? You're coping well with everything?" He asked as he pulled off his shoes and tie.
"School was good. Today we learnt some basic steps of tango in dance club." I replied as I handed him a glass of water.
He nodded his head and accepted the glass.
"Dinner is ready. I'll have it served by the time you are freshened up." I told him.
"Alright sweetheart." He said as he proceeded to his room.
I don't know why but I find Dad's mood a bit weird. I mean not in a bad way, but still he is happier than usual which is good. If he's happy, I'm happy.
We were halway through dinner chatting about various things when Dad's phone beeped. Excusing himself, Dad opened what I believed to be the messaging app. Whoever had sent him the text was really someone really funny, because Dad's face lit up with a smile. He quickly dropped his fork and started typing away on his phone with enthusiasm, that was a rare emotion expressed by him. It is good that he is happy, but I still want to know the reason, because it is somewhat mysterious. Maybe it is just a colleague.
I think thatI am looking too much into the matter. So I just shrug it away and continue with my food.
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School never seemed more normal than this. It was a new day and it was really new, in the sense that no one had disturbed or attempted to cause any harm to us. It was lunchtime and and we were once again joined by Nathan and Cole.
Conversation flowed freely around our table. Ashley and her goons had stayed away from our table except from some occasional glares.
We were all laughing at Cole's corny jokes and Via's sassy replies.
"What do you call an alligator detective?" Cole asked, continuing his campaign of corny-ness.
"Only a hippo like you would make alligators detectives." Via countered.
"There. You are wrong. Coz' this ain't anything like a hippo girl." Cole says as he stands up to give us all a show of his muscular middle by raising his shirt up. I just get a peek because the next moment, my sight is blocked by Nathan's hands.
"Cole! Get over with the show." He barks at Cole.
I assume that Cole has settled down because my sight has returned. I look at Nathan with a raised eyebrow and pursed lips.
"What were you doing right now?" I ask him.
"Protecting your innocent eyes, ofcourse." He shrugs.
"Why?"
"Because images like these can infect your pure soul and I don't want that." He smiles.
"You're not my dad and my pure soul is mine to protect."
"Okay Angel. I was just helping you." He says in a small voice.
"Hmm." I nod my head.
"Okay. So does anyone know the answer?" Cole asks. I had completely forgotten about his corny-ness campaign.
When no one answers, Cole's lips pull up into a full grin and he says, "It's called an investi-gator."
Then he begins laughing like a madman while all of us gawk at his stupidity.
Seriously! Investi-gator? Though it does make a bit of sense. Hahaha!
The rest of the lunchtime goes on and soon we are heading back to our classes.
As I round the corner to go to my Mathematics class, Nathan stops me.
"Hey. I wanted to ask you something."
I nod my head, wondering what he is going to ask.
"Okay so.....about that poem, can you come to my house today? I mean we have yet to start writing it so I figured that we could do it today."
When I don't answer, he speaks again.
"Don't worry. My mom and sister will be home and I can come to pick you up if you want."
After contemplating for a moment, I nod my head. I don't have any pending homework and Dad had said that he was going out for dinner with his colleagues. So I guess it's okay.
Seeing me agree, Nathan's face lights up.
"Okay. So what time should I pick you up?" He asks with the smile still illuminating his face.
"Actually, I'll just haiI a cab. I have to pick up some groceries." I lie to him because I am not prepared to be alone with him in a car. He has not yet reached that level of trust in my mind.
His smile wavers for a second but he is quick to pull it back.
"Okay. So you can come at 5.30? Is that fine for you?" He asks.
"Yes. That's fine. I'll be there." I say and then we part ways as I go to my class and he goes to his.
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NATHAN's POV

I am so excited to see her in my home today. I didn't think that she would agree but she did and I am so happy for that. The poem is just an excuse. I want to spend time with her. Also, I heard that Sean had planned to ask her to coffee today, now she won't be able to go with him. So, it is like killing two birds with a single stone.
The day had been going so well and I couldn't wait to have an even better evening.
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It was 5.27 and I was standing at the entrance of my house to welcome Angel in for the last ten minutes.
Though she had messaged me asking for my address, I was anxious about her arrival. What if she cancels at the last minute?
My lips pulled up into a smile when I saw a cab stopping by the gates and Angel stepped out of it.
She was wearing a white cold shoulder top and a pair of blue skin tight jeans. Her brown hair; that matched her brown ballet flats, was pulled into a ponytail at the top of her head.
I climbed down the few stairs and approached her at the gates just as she entered, carrying her small backpack.
"Hey. You're on time." I say to her.
"Yes. Being late is one of my pet peeves." She answers as she looks around the front gardens, surrounding the driveway.
"Well, that's good. Come on in." I usher her towards the door.
Just as we enter the door, mom comes into the foyer.
"Who's there?" She asks as she wipes her hands on her apron.
Raising her head, she is surprised at seeing Angel. After eyeing her for a moment, her eyes turn to me and I introduce them.
"Mom, this is Aaviana, my friend. She is here to complete an assignment. Aaviana, this is my mother."
"It's a pleasure to meet you ma'am." Angel extends her hand towards mom.
"Oh no sweety. Come here!" Mom pulls Aaviana into a hug. She is like that. A total softy and emotional person. My mother trusts people very easily and does everything to help them.
She releases Angel from her hearty hug and smiles at her.
"It's a pleasure to meet you too and please call me Claire."
"Claire." Aaviana nods with a smile on her face that widens at my mother's next words.
"Oh God, I am so happy to see you. You know Natty never brings any of his guy friends; leave alone a girl, home." Mom smiles at Angel and I cringe at her nickname for me.
My mother is very good at baking and giving nicknames.
"Mom. Let's not unveil all the secrets right now. We have work to do." I pull Angel towards the stairs cringing again, when mom uses my nickname.
"I'll be sending snacks to your room, Natty!"
Once we reach my room, I gesture Angel to take a seat while I go to pull the blinds up from the windows.
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AAVIANA's POV


From the time that I entered the premises of the house, it felt like I had entered a new world.
The front garden that surrounded the driveway, was the greenest of greens with neatly trimmed bushes surrounding the circular driveway. The mansion stood imposing among the tall green trees; a classic Italian Palazzo style structure, with arches over doors and windows. The classic cream and dark brown color combination made it seem prim and proper with the pristine white marble flooring complementing it's shine. If the outside was beautiful, the inside was extremely majestic.
As I climbed the few steps and entered through the classic double doors, I was enamoured. The modern dark wood furniture along with the Italian style Venetian terrazzo porcelain tiles gave the the impression of being in modernized Italy. There was a seating area in the foyer that was built around an electric fireplace. There were stairs leading upto the second floor of the three storey structure which were carpeted.
Suddenly, a woman emerged from the doorway beside the dining area on the other side of the room. Her dark brown hair was pulled back, two tendrils holding the mass in place. She was wearing a caped dress with a white flower print apron tied around her waist. When she raised her head, I was faced by a pair of warm dark brown eyes complimented by a straight slender nose and pink heart-shaped lips. She was beautiful with her whole frame emanating elegance and warmth.
Soon I was introduced to her by Nathan and I was not at all surprised to know that she was his mother. I extended my hand in a greeting but I was surprised when she pulled me into a hug. Her embrace was warm and comforting.
Pulling away from the hug she smiled at me, a smile that put away any anxiousness that I had.
"It's a pleasure to meet you too. Please call me Claire." Her beautiful voice chimed.
"Claire." I nodded.
"Oh God, I am so happy to see you. You know Natty never brings any of his guy friends; leave alone a girl, home." She grins wide and my lips also stretch into a smile hearing Nathan's nickname and seeing her smile.
I turn to find Nathan's eyes widen but he quickly composes himself and pulls Claite away from me.
"Mom. Let's not unveil all the secrets right now. We have work to do." He then takes my hand and pulls me in the direction of the stairs, probably leading me to his room.
We have just reached the middle step when I hear Claire call after us.
"I'll be sending some snacks to your room, Natty." She yells.
I laugh at the mention of the funny nickname while Nathan cringes.
He leads me to a room painted in a combination of grey, white and prussian blue. Gesturing for me to sit on the comfy king-sized bed with a prussian blue fleece blanket and white bedding, Nathan goes to pull up the blinds from the large floor to ceiling windows that look over the lush backyard of the house.
His room is large with a two doors which I assume lead to an ensuite bathroom and a walk-in closet. A separate seating area occupies the other side of the room, with a large bookshelf beside it. There were a few family photos hanging on the wall behind the seating area and a television was mounted on the wall in front of the bed, with a gaming console placed beneath.
Nathan blew a breath and finally came to sit down with me.
"Your home is really very beautiful Natty." I said while smiling and Nathan cringed at the mention of his nickname. He glared at me when he saw me laughing.
"Don't get started with me, Charmie." He taunted but it only caused me to laugh.
"No. But truly, your home is beautiful." I complimented to which he nodded his head.
"And your mother also seems really nice." At the mention of his mother, his eyes brightened.
"She is." He smiled.
"Now, would you like to start?" He asked to which I nodded.
I started taking out my notebook and stationary from my bag when a small voice sounded.
"Bear."
I looked at the door to see a little girl; no more than seven years old, standing there.
With her brown eyes and cute pouty lips, I could tell that she was Nathan's little sister. She looked like an adorable little Angel in her white dress and furry sandals.
Nathan stood straight from his leaning position at his study desk and took her in his arms as the little Angel came barreling towards him.
"Hey Dumpling. You're back from Gracie's house, did you have fun?" Nathan asks her as he caresses her hair.
"Yes. I did. Why didn't you come to pick me up?" She asked with a cute pout on her lips.
"I had to do homework with my friend babygirl. See. There she is." He tells her as he moves towards me.
I stand up and the little girl's eyes widen slightly when she sees my face.
"You look like Belle from Beauty and the Beast. So pretty." She says.
Her remark makes me smile.
"Well, my original name is Aaviana, but you can call me Belle. What is your name?"
"My name is Charlotte. You are Bear's friend?" She says pointing to Nathan who really does look like a Bear compared to her.
"Yes, I am his friend but I want to be your friend too. Will you be my friend, Charlotte?" I ask her extending my hand towards her.
She looks at Nathan, who nods and turning to me Charlotte gives me a big toothy smile.
She shakes hand with me.
"I will be your friend becuase you are pretty and because Bear said yes." She says with her smile in place.
She motions for Nathan to put her down and then she motions for me to bend down. When I bend down to her level, she whispers in my ear.
"Don't tell Bear, but I would've been your friend even if he had said no." She kisses my cheek, then smiles at me then at Nathan and then takes off out of the room; leaving me smiling.
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Hey lovelies! Sorry for the late update. I haven't been keeping well the past few days.
I hope you like this chapter. Tell me your thoughts in the comments.
Until next time lovelies!
Stay safe and stay happy. 💕😘



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