Chapter 9

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Camilas POV

I felt like I was fifteen again. Seeing Lauren perform never seized to amaze me. The way the older one was able to just lose herself in the music and lyrics was unlike anything I’ve ever seen. I couldn’t help but be in awe of her. Although I had seen her in concert not too long ago, this seemed different; intimate and personal. I knew every song of hers but the one she chose to perform in the small coffee shop was even new to my ears.

The biggest difference between watching her perform now and watching her perform when I had just met her on the X Factor was the incredible sadness that Lauren exuded ever since meeting her again. She wasn’t the confident and almost loud mouthed teenager I first fell in love with. The young woman belting those high notes was tragically yet beautifully vulnerable when she sang now. Her usually inaccessible exterior disappeared with every note. You could feel the emotion in every syllable that escaped her mouth and a part of me was scared out of my mind that I was in the midst of falling in love with her all over again.

Listening to the lyrics, I gave in to the temptation of wondering who she had written these moving words for. They not only touched me but also her because her voice grew unsteady towards the end. She hadn’t looked at me, or anyone else for that matter, while she sang but as soon as her eyes opened I met her gaze. I wasn’t sure what was going on in that brilliant mind of hers but she immediately got up and wanted to leave the stage.

I saw her reach for something but couldn’t react quickly enough to realize what was going on. Her eyes rolled back in her head before her entire body collapsed on stage. My own eyes opened wide and I ran up to her as fast as I could, knocking over some chairs in the process.

“Lauren!”, I gasped and knelt beside her when the barista joined me on the floor to help out.

“Can you hear me?”, I asked in shaky voice and put her head in my lap to support her. She hit her head pretty hard and I was starting to panic whether or not she had sustained a head injury. There was no blood but she still could’ve gotten a concussion.

“Can someone please call an ambulance?”, I managed to speak again but saw Lauren move her eyelids.

“No..”, she breathed and very slowly opened her eyes. Relief washed over me but she was still in a haze. “No ambulance…I’m fine”, the older one continued and I couldn’t believe she was still being stubborn about getting help. Luckily she was somewhat lucid again and managed to focus her eyes on mine.

“I’m fine”, she repeated because my eyes probably reflected my apprehension.

“You’ve said that so many times by now those words have actually lost its meaning”, I said softly because she was far from being fine. But I also didn’t want to pressure her.

“I’ll be fine in a few minutes. That’s not the first time this happened”, Lauren revealed and made me frown instantly.

“And that’s supposed to sooth me, how?”

A small smile grazed her lips and I couldn’t help myself but tuck one of her loose hair strands behind her ear. Her smile widened and I felt even more relieved now. I still wanted to call an ambulance but she was being stubborn, as always. So we waited for a few minutes until she recuperated enough to get up. There was no point in staying any longer because Lauren needed to rest.

This time she didn’t talk back and we ended up driving back to her oversized mansion in complete silence. I was hoping she would just fall asleep but instead found her to be in deep thought, looking out the window. It was not an uncomfortable silence. I just didn’t see any good in chatting when she was clearly out of it. Reaching her house I walked her to the front door because I was still extremely concerned and worried.

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