Finding Home

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Chapter Twenty

I woke up to one of our phones going off on the bed and I couldn’t help but groan as I grabbed to answer it. We had barely got any sleep due to staying out till midnight distributing food, water, and blankets to everyone and we were exhausted.

I picked my head up as little as possible to glance at the screen and it was an unknown number on Matty’s phone.

“It’s yours.” I tossed it onto him as I moved back into his embrace with his arm wrapped around my neck.

“Who is it?” he moaned in annoyance, “Who the hell could be calling at five in the morning?”

I shrugged as I tried to fall back asleep.

“Hello?” Matty answered the phone.

“Good morning, sir.” Matty moved his arm from underneath my head and shot up straight.

“Yes, I’m checking my emails now and I’ll get up to date.” he sounded so professional, how sexy.

“I’ll call you when I get something.” he hung up the phone.

“What’s going on?” I fluffed my pillow and rolled over to my side.

“They have a case in Fort Lauderdale and need me to do some stuff for them.” he rubbed his eyes with one hand while the other hand rested on my hip.

“Your first case!” I quietly screeched, “Congratulations!”

“Yeah, it’s five in the morning and we barely got any sleep.” he chuckled.

“It’s a good life, isn’t it?” I propped myself up on my hands beside him with my head rested on his shoulder.

He started scrolling and tapping on his phone, “Mhm, the best.”

“Does this mean you aren’t going to be able to help out today? We were planning on drawing up the blueprints today and I wanted your input.” I stuck my bottom lip out.

“Luckily, they gave me everything I need to have my own wireless internet wherever my laptop goes so I can help a bit when I’m not working.” he looked away from his phone and our eyes met, “But, when I am working I’ll have to step away — you know, confidentiality.”

“Of course, as long as you put a bit of input in.”

“Did they say how long it was going to take until we start the clean up?”

“They said it could take a day or two, depends how motivated we are. It’s still pretty muddy out there, we want to get it as clean as we can before we start anything.”

“I can’t believe I’m in South Africa helping my famous fiancé rebuild an entire village.”

“Well, not entirely.” I gloated from my happiness, “But yeah, kind of.”

“You’re so perfect, I really was blessed with you.” he said softly while smiling at me.

“I can’t wait to marry you.” I kissed his bare shoulder slowly.

“And I, you.” he kissed my forehead before going back to reading his phone.

I started massaging his shoulders as I positioned myself behind him, “I wish we didn’t have to wait. I wish we could just elope.”

“Yeah? Why don’t we?” he cracked his neck while he continued reading and I massaged him.

“We couldn’t do that to our families, you know we have to have Kelia there at least.” I sighed.

If Kelia was here I’d say screw it and go to the courthouse then hold a small personal wedding ceremony when we get home, but she isn’t. And I know it’s her dream to watch us get married.

“Say the words and I’m there.” he looked back at me with a smirk on his face and he raised an eyebrow, “I have a good five minutes.”

“Yeah?” I said lightly before he started to lean over causing me to lower myself to the bed with our faces only an inch or two apart.

“As much as I’d love to call you my wife, I love the idea of seeing our family and friends together all at once to celebrate us.” he moved close to my ear, “And the idea of you in a wedding dress? Solo el pensamiento me da ganas de inclinarte.”

“Right now I really wish I took Spanish instead of French.” I sighed as his voice turned me on by the tone.

“Don’t worry about it, you’ll see soon.” he kissed my lips and our tongues started playing tug-of-war with each other.

“I guess I’m okay with your boss calling at five in the morning,” I pulled my panties around my hips, “At least I can get a head start on the day.”

“That’s the spirit.” Matty chuckled in front of me as he watched me get dressed with a smirk on his face.

“Take a picture, it’ll last longer.” I winked at him.

I turned around to go through my shirt drawer to decide which is best to wear for the day, I wouldn’t want to choose the wrong one. I checked the weather app and it was only supposed to be on the mid seventies with rain so I’m safe to wear a tank top with a pair of leggings and a jacket.

I started hearing camera noises going off, and my mind wandered to a place where I thought a fan or pap had snuck in the tent. But I was wrong, Matty was standing behind me taking pictures of me with his cell phone.

“Matteo Santiago! What are you doing?” I ran towards him while I was only in my bralette and he didn’t stop taking pictures for a second nor did he flinch at my attack.

“This is a good one!” he laughed as he held the phone high so I couldn’t reach it.

I tried jumping but he put on the front camera and started taking selfies with him in the pictures this time while posing with funny faces.

“Matty! Come on!” I laughed with him as I continued jumping.

“You said it, not me.” he locked his phone and stuffed it in his pocket.

“You better not do anything stupid with those pictures.”

“What? Like make a photo album of them? No way.” he said sarcastically.

“Hilarious. Don’t you have work to be doing?” I playfully rolled my eyes at him as I grabbed my shirt from the ground.

“No, not yet.” he shrugged his shoulders and his phone began ringing.


“Hello, sir. Sorry, I didn’t see the unknown number and I didn’t know who it was.”

“Yes sir, I’ll get right to it.” Matty hung up with a blank look on his face.

“Hmm, what was that about?” I knew that was his boss asking him if he had looked over his emails, I could tell by his face.

“Fine, you win.” he sulked before opening his laptop that was beside the bed and he started typing on it.

“Shouldn’t you get dressed?” I won, I had to be proud of myself.

“I will in a second, I just have to help them with something.”

“What’s the case about? Or are you not allowed to tell me?”

“Uh yeah,” he started reading from the laptop screen, “Seven girls have gone missing over the course of the last three months and they just found something in the park,” he paused.

“What? What’d they find?” I have a bad feeling.

“Uh,” he hesitated.

“Just tell me, Matty. I think I can handle it.” I giggled at his stubbornness.

“Uh, a female torso without a head or arms.”

I turned around in shock to what he said.

“Oh, gosh.” I wasn’t expecting that.

“There was a blood test match with one of the missing victims.”

“So what are you going to do?”

“I’m going to find out everything about this girl.”

“Well good luck with that, come find me outside when you get the chance.” I finished putting my hair in a fishtail braid.

He didn’t answer and he continued typing and reading. I walked over to him and kissed him on the cheek as I grabbed my phone from the bed and grabbed his football hoodie with SANTIAGO on the back from the chair, “Love you babe.”

“Love you.” he moved to the table and set the laptop down before sitting down, “Eh, eh, eh, do I get a kiss?”

“I already gave you one.” I giggled at his goofiness.

I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with him.

As I walked up to him he cupped my cheeks with both of his hands and pressed his lips to mine slowly, “I love you.”

“I love you, too.” I lightly pecked him on the lips before wrapping his hoodie around my waist with his last name showing perfectly on my butt, “Come find me when you can.” I separated from him and made my way over to the closed curtain and exited.

“Gotcha!” I heard him scream.

I walked down to the beach to take in the view. The sun is just getting ready to rise and the sky is a beautiful pinkish purple. I had to take in the view. As I walked down the muddy trail towards the beach I decided it would be a good idea to call Kelia. It’s about nine at night and she hasn’t called either of us yet.

I clicked on her contact ID and clicked the FaceTime button so I could see how she is doing. I really miss waking up to her sleeping face every morning.

“Hi mommy!” she answered the call and her face showed up on the screen.

“Hi princess! How are you?” my heart.

“Good! We just finished eating a snack and now we are about go to sleep. Why is it so dark outside?”

“It’s almost six in the morning here. Look at this.” I stopped at the shoreline and I clicked on the camera button to show her the sun rising above the water.

“It’s so pink, mom.”

“Isn’t it pretty?”

“Yeah, I miss you mommy.”

“Awh, I miss you, too, baby. How are things going? Are grandma and grandpa okay? Are they treating you nicely?” my heart fluttered. I miss her so much. I took my time with her before leaving for granted.

“Yeah, they’ve been teaching me how to ride Killah and they said by the time she is bigger I’ll be able to ride her perfectly! And they even said I might be able to start doing competitions soon, too.”

“That’s great, is that something you think you’re interested in?”

I still can’t believe my daughter named her horse Killah. I would’ve thought maybe she’d choose a princess name, or something cute and cuddly.

Not Killah — slang for killer.

“I don’t know, maybe. We aren’t there yet.” she shrugged her shoulders in the camera.

“How are titi Hailey and titi Zendaya doing? Have you seen them?”

“Yeah, they took me to the beach and we all played in the water.”

“Did you wear sunblock?”

“Mom,” she began to get an attitude in her face.


“I don’t need sunscreen, grandma said so.”

“Well I said you use sunscreen until told otherwise, got it?” who does my mom think she is?

“But, grandma said I have beautiful skin that will tan.”

“Do you even know what tanning is?”

“Well, she told me — but I can’t remember.”

“Right, until you can remember then you wear sunscreen.” I giggled.

“Fine. What’s daddy doing?” she rolled her eyes at me.

Having a six year old mini me is so hard, at times where I want to praise her for being like me but in the worst times, when I’m trying to be her mother it’s so difficult not to laugh at her sometimes.

“He’s working, he will give you a call when he gets the chance. What are you guys doing tomorrow?”


“Chores?” my daughter is voluntarily doing chores at six years old?

“Well yeah, we can’t eat until the furry ones eat. That’s just wrong.” she held her hands up the sides of her head.

“Okay, okay.” it was taking my all not to bust out into laughter right now.

“Well I should get going, I have a bunch to learn tomorrow and I’m going to need the sleep.”

“Okay, baby. Call me when you wake up if we don’t talk until then.”

“Okay mom, tell daddy lo amo tanto. I love you, mommy.”

“I see you’re catching up on your Spanish.”

“Yeah, papa is teaching me.”

“Well keep learning, I’m proud of you. I’ll talk to you later, baby.”

“Okay mom, love you bye.”

“Love you, too.” I kissed the tips of my fingers and blew it into the camera before hung up.

I opened Matty’s text thread to send him a quick text message before I move to the work tent.

Just got off the phone w Kelia, she told me to tell you lo amo tanto.

I’ll give her a call in a few.

Don’t bother, they are getting ready for bed because she has to be up early to feed Killah.

I can’t believe she named her horse “Killah”😂

You & me both. 😂 I’ll see you in a bit?

Ofc, love you so much.

Love you most. 🥰

I made my way back toward camp and found myself in the work tent alone. I wasn’t very good at drawing, but I was good at imagining things in my head.

I looked over the paperwork, the Dogon tribe had a population of sixty three people and we have enough supplies to build a good fifty to sixty houses.

They are used to sleeping in huts that are made out of the mud and clay themselves, but I want to make sure they have something that’s reliable when it rains at night.

I knew nobody was going to be up for at least two more hours so I took the liberty of grabbing a clipboard with blank paper and a pen to go to the beach to think. I thought maybe the sounds of the waves and birds in the air would help me think of a way to make this all possible.

I sat down in the sand and buried my feet into the moist sand while watching the waves crash then slowly retreat back to the big water. I stated drawing up different layouts of how I would think it would look best and how we could fit all of the houses together.

Paper after paper crumpled up and put beside me because none of them looked right. No matter how I positioned it, the water could still wash them away again.

That’s the main problem, the water can wash them away.

I set my clipboard down and I started walking through the very shallow water and watched as it washed over my feet then disappeared. I need inspiration, something needs to trigger an idea. I know what it is, I just can’t put my tongue on it.

I stopped walking and stared off into the open ocean, and that’s when it hit me.

I knew it, I knew the idea would come to me. I knew I would be able to do it.

Whoever says a woman can’t do something great for this world, can suck it.

I grabbed the paper balls I had beside my hoodie and I ran back to the work tent as fast I could without dropping anything.

As soon as I got into the tent I threw everything on the table and grabbed three pieces of paper. I marked an entire paper as the ocean to represent the entire ocean, the second piece of paper marked with sand but with a sidewalk of some sort leading towards the ocean, and the third one I had taken the best one I drew earlier at the beach of the houses and I taped them together marking it more accordingly with more details.

If we move their village back a mile or so, we could easily put barriers up in the middle to stop the water from washing them out again.

“Yes!” I threw my hands up in the air for the win.

I know this is going to work.

I continued drawing on the papers and adding more to it, and as I continued it all came together.

“Could you be any louder?” Matty startled me from my work with his popped into the closed curtains.

“Huh?” I held my chest to calm my breathing, “I got it, Matty. I freaking got it.”

“What’d you get?” he walked into the tent with two plates full of food.

“You brought food?” I smiled gracefully at him. With everything I’ve been doing I hadn’t even realized I didn’t have breakfast this morning and I’d been working on an empty stomach.

“You didn’t eat this morning.” he scolded me.

“I’m sorry, babe, but I,” he set the plate on the table beside my work and I ripped the fork from his hand to scoop what looked to be scrambled eggs into my mouth quickly, “Am a freaking Goddess.”

“You’re acting like you had an epiphany.”

“Look.” I shoved more food in my mouth.

“What’s this? It looks like you’ve just been drawing with Kelia.” he teased while looking into it.

“I’m an actress, not an artist. Here’s the ocean, right?” I pointed to the paper.

“Right.” he nodded with a funny smirk on his face.

“This is the beach,” I pointed to the labeled part where it said beach, “This is where they are now.” I pointed to the part where I had small huts drawn.

“Right, I get that. But what are you planning on doing? Are we just rebuilding everything where it was after we clean everything out?”

“Just wait, I’m getting there. You see where this line is? What if we put a water barrier there? Like a five foot cement wall around the village.”

“That makes sense, but five foot isn’t tall when it comes to water. I mean, look at you. You’re only five three and you can barely stand above water in a five foot pool.”

“You’re so funny.” I squinted my eyes at him trying to hold back my smile.

“That’s one of the reasons why you’re marrying me.” he winked at me.

I rolled my eyes at him, “But that’s what I’m getting at. We have the supplies here, a bit a ways from where they are now. What if we move them more into land?”

“What about their water supply?” he started glancing at the papers more closely now.

See? Now I’m getting to business.

“Wells, we can dig wells for them around the huts and we can create a sidewalk for them to get to the beach easily instead of walking through the mud.”

He stayed silent as he continued going over the work, “We will probably need the extra supplies.”

“Don’t worry about that, I’m getting ahold of someone right now for that.” I started typing to Justin, Hailey, Zendaya, and Luka in a group chat we had.

We have a situation and need your guys’ help. You in?

What’s up?

Anything. Idc what it is, I got u.


We need more supplies, I have this spectacular idea and we only need a few more supplies for it. Please tell me you guys can help me out?🥺

Yea, tell me what you need.

We need more cement.

Like a lot of it.

Say the word and we got u. Right guys?

Of course. 😏

“Okay, I took care of it.” I geeked over how this is turning out in my head.

“Are you going to present it to the others and see what they think?”

“Of course, this is the perfect idea. They won’t have a choice but to love it.” I shoved my mouth full of food again.

“I believe you, I just can’t wait to see how it turns out.”

“Me too, I know it’s going to work. I just know it is.”

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