Chapter 6

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Camila may have left my house after the party but she never really left my head. It was almost scary how obsessive I could be when it came to my former best friend. I spent every day trying to find some way to make it to her birthday party. Her birthday was approaching fast and I was supposed to be in LA that day doing all sorts of press. Scheduling was crazy but I put my foot down this time and demanded some time so I could be in Miami for at least a few hours.

My staff thought I was crazy. And maybe I was; spending five hours on a plane to see her for maybe two hours before flying back another five hours sounded a little extreme but I didn’t care. It took a lot of effort and fighting but I did it. I even booked a private plane so there wouldn’t be any delay because I did not have a lot of time to waste.

My hands were shaking slightly when I was sitting in the cab, making my way to Camila’s parents house where I knew the party would be. I had asked Normani subtly so she wouldn’t suspect anything because this was a surprise to everyone. Knowing that I’d see all of my former band mates in a few minutes was absolutely nerve-racking. In my head I had prepared this entire speech but I knew that I wouldn’t be able to pull it off as soon as I would see them. What if they still hated me? Maybe I should’ve told Camila that I was coming so she could’ve prepared the other girls? I felt the lump in my throat growing bigger with every second.

The car stopped and I paid the driver with a generous tip before getting out. I nervously patted my straightened hair, which was even longer when it wasn’t wavy or curly. Hopefully I looked somewhat alright and not too jetlagged. I hadn’t slept in almost 48 hours now because I had to work over time if I wanted to make this happen. Now that I was here, I took a very deep breath and adjusted my admittedly short dress. I had no idea what to wear because I didn’t know what kind of a party it was. Last time we saw each other I had been pretty casual so I decided to pull out all the stops this time. Wearing my favorite black leather dress, black high heels, some golden accessories and my signature red lipstick made me feel more confident. And I needed all the confidence I could get tonight.

Not only was I seeing my old band members again but also Camila’s family who I used to have a good connection with until things fell apart. And of course then there was Hanna. Although I didn’t admit it to myself I wanted to look my very best because I felt insecure about the tall, blonde woman with the PhD.

I hadn’t even noticed that I had been standing in front the house for almost ten minutes now, just staring into the distance like an idiot. So I took another deep breath and slowly walked towards the front door. I closed my eyes for a second and heard the music coming from inside. My hand finally rang the doorbell and it seemed like hours before I saw the door being swung open swiftly.

“Lauren!”, Camila exclaimed and the genuine surprise and happiness in her voice made my trip worthwhile already.

Her entire face lit up and I couldn’t help but smile as well when she suddenly hugged me longer and tighter than last week. This time I was able to reciprocate by putting my arms around her. Her reaction eased my tension.

“Happy Birthday”, I said when she let go of me and gave that smile of hers that made my heart leap in my chest. She shook her head slightly, as if she couldn’t believe that I was actually here.

“Thank you”, she replied and playfully slapped my arm next. “You really got me! I had no idea you were going to come.”

“Well it wasn’t a sure thing until I literally boarded the plane”, I explained and saw her eyes widen.

“You took a flight to come here?”

“A five hour flight should be enough to get invited in, right?”, I said a little nervously because I was still standing outside but could hear a lot of people chatting inside.

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