Chapter 7

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I felt like my entire world had just changed in an instant. Camila’s word echoed endlessly in my mind and I almost dropped the red cup in my hand when she confessed her feelings. How could I be so ecstatic and terrified all at once? I wasn’t sure what to feel because there were too many emotions battling inside me.

She was in love with me, I repeated in my head. No, she had been in love with me – she wasn’t anymore. That conclusion did not sit well with me and I hated myself for feeling like that. Maybe I just wanted what I couldn’t have? Ever since she had come back into my life there had been this overwhelming feeling that warmed my heart whenever I just thought about her. But maybe it was just jealousy that someone else had taken over and become the person in her life that made her this happy.

I wasn’t supposed to feel like this and I knew it. That became painfully obvious when the blonde woman had appeared by my side. I was still in shock and couldn’t look at either of them. Camila was happy…with someone else. I needed to remind myself of that fact constantly since last week.

“No, we were just talking”, the soft voice answered her girlfriend’s, snapping me out of the trance I had emerged myself in once again.

“I should…um…get another drink”, I stuttered although my cup was still perfectly full. My instinct told me to run away as far away as possible. Since that wasn’t an option without looking like a freaking lunatic, I decided to go back in and almost knocked Normani down on my way to the bathroom. She looked at me and seemed to catch on to something. Her hand grabbed mine as she guided my outside the backdoor. I just followed her because I didn’t know what else to do at this point. It felt all so surreal to me.

“Are you alright? You look like you’ve just seen a ghost”, the stylish woman said full of concern. “Maybe the fresh air will help because you look like you’re about to vomit.”

My cheeks almost flushed because I had no idea I was that obviously affected by Camila’s words.

“Lauren? Helloooo? Anyone in there?” Normani asked and tried focusing my eyes.

“I… she just said…”, I mumbled and tried articulating my thoughts but nothing made sense. “Do you think I’m oblivious?”, I asked instead and saw her smirk. That was a yes, I thought.

“You’re usually a very sharp woman, Lauren. But there are some parts of your life where you should be more perceptive”’, she answered as diplomatically as possible.

“Like what parts?”

“You tell me. There’s apparently something on your mind. Whatever it is, you can trust me.”

I took in a deep breath and considered talking to my friend and former band mate. She had been my friend for years and the only one who had reached out to me. I trusted her more than I trusted the people who were a more active part in my life. But she was also close with Camila which made it quite the predicament. So I kept quiet.

“Is this about Camila?”, she asked carefully, making me look at her for the first time. “Did she finally tell you?”

My heart stopped again. She knew?! How the hell did Normani know but I didn’t? Had Camila told her? Now I was even more confused than before. Still not able to speak properly, the other woman seemed to know exactly what was going on.

“Listen, I know this is not my place to say anything but did you really not notice that Camila had feelings for you?”

Her voice was careful and gentle and it was clear she knew me well enough to be delicate about the subject; otherwise I’d shut down. I didn’t know how to answer her question. It was the same question Camila had asked me. Did I really not know or had I been too scared to admit it? In my head there was a definitive answer: I didn’t know. Otherwise I wouldn’t feel this ambushed. Another part of body, my heart, told me there had always been a little inkling of knowing. That was the worst part.

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