I stand back from the door and admire my work. My lips curl up in a huge smile when I see the silver latch and lock attached to my bedroom door. There are still wood shavings on my old carpet and I'm sporting two Bandaids, but I did it. I was at the store the minute it opened and had everything I needed except for the drill. Luck enough Rick's dad believed I needed it for a school project. He offered to help me, but I convinced him I knew what I was doing and if I had any trouble I'd call Rick at work and he could stop by. He obviously couldn't tell that I would never have called him.
I sit down on my floor and begin to gather up the remaining screws I'd bought just in case and the pencil I'd used to mark everything just like Wes showed me in the video. I pull my phone out of my pocket and pull up the video to watch it again. The first few times I had trouble paying attention to the instructions because I was too busy watching Wes and being interested in the way his mouth moved and the deep timber of his voice. He's an excellent teacher—a really hot, completely swoon worthy—excellent teacher.
His dark hair is cut short, and his face is cleanly shaved with not even a hint of scruff. My hair is piled up on the top of my head and my face is make-up free because I wasn't able to fall asleep until I knew he was home safe. It might also have been because I would have stayed awake talking to him all night if he hadn't told me he was going to bed himself.
Most of the video is footage of the hardware store and then just his hands as he filmed the process of installing the lock. But every once in a while his handsome face would fill the screen and my heart would race and ignite a fire in my belly. I watched his strong hands move as the instructed me in his deep voice and couldn't help but think that those hands had never hit a woman. They were clearly powerful and the thick corded forearms showed me that he used them often, which only made me angry all over again for the way Rick used his against me.
I tuck the drill back into the case and close the latches. My mom never comes in my room, but I'm sure if she did she wouldn't care that I put something up to keep perverts out. I wondered as I was installing it if she would think I had something to hide. I wondered if she would care and be concerned like other mothers were when their daughters were making such a big statement about keeping people out of her space. I stopped myself from traveling down that train of thought when I knew the answer would only break my heart. No one taught my mother how to parent and she'd never took the time to learn herself.
I stand up and turn around so that the door is behind me and hold my phone up so that the latch and my face are both visible. I hate selfies, but I owe Wes for what he did and I hope my little video makes him as happy as his made me.
"Hey Wes! Look what I did!" I duck out of the screen for a brief second so that my handiwork can be seen more clearly. "Your video was perfect. I only hurt myself twice," I hold my hand up so he can see the covered battle wounds. I wiggle my fingers to let him know they're ok. "It took me an hour but I am not safe in my room." I hit the icon at the top of my screen that flips the camera so my room can be seen. I pan around the room quickly so he can see it and then hit the icon again so I can answer my truth and give him his. "I thought about the truth you gave me. It would break my heart to think of my mom hurt and worried when I disappear for a little while," I find myself looking away from the camera, the truth being hard to share without feeling shame. My eyes move back to the screen and I imagine him watching, "But it will hurt me more if she isn't. And that's why I'm not going to look back for a long time." I shrug my shoulder and sigh. With a smile I ask him his truth, "How are you going to find your future wife?" I pretend to look at my watch and make a small tsk tsk sound, "If you want to get in a good fifty years you better get on that. I'll take a truth." I blow him a kiss and stop recording.
I pull up the email thread and type All by myself in the subject line. I'm proud of what I've done and I hope he is too. Sending him a video of myself is risky, showing him my space makes me vulnerable, but knowing he's going to respond makes me happy.
*****Does Wes make anyone else happy??? Please remember to vote, share and comment!*******
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When it's Over #Wattys2016Teen Fiction
Imagine sitting down to write an email to an old woman in charge of an advice column when you need the answer to a very important question. What if just one typo sent your email to an 18 year-old Marine instead? Wes Lee began to receive misdirected...