Chapter 13

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Spending the night with Camila was not foreign to me anymore. Waking up with her was.

For a moment I thought I was still dreaming when I saw the beautiful young woman draped in the white sheets looking at me. She looked so perfect it made my heart ache in a very odd way. Her light hair was a little messy but still silkily spread on the pillows and her slightly tanned skin was a wonderful contrast to the white sheets. Her face was softly lit by the sunlight which made her eyes sparkle in a lighter brown than usual. Everything about her seemed to mesmerize me and my heart was beating in at a dangerous rate. I was head over heels in love with her; in a way I had never been in love with anyone else. To be honest, I never really loved anyone else.

She seemed to pick up on my green eyes full of adoration, taking in every little detail of her because her cheeks blushed a little bit. I wanted to stroke the flushed part of her skin but I was strangely scared to touch her; like she was a mirage that would vanish if I got too close. Maybe it was merely the leftovers of my insecurity concerning the younger ones usual ways of running away. A part of me was still terrified of doing some wrong and making her leave me again.

Instead I felt her hand reach out and gently roll me on to my side as well so we were facing each other. I was still in a state of shock and absolute admiration when her voice appeared again after that little silence.

“Is it ok that I’m here?”, she asked and sounded just as insecure as I felt.

“Of course, I’m just surprised”, I admitted truthfully and swallowed the lump in my throat.

She flashed a sad smile but focused her eyes on mine still. I never felt more vulnerable and exposed than when I was sharing intimate moments like these with her. She stroked my arm tenderly, circling my warm but paler skin with caution. I was so overwhelmed by my own feelings I couldn’t reciprocate her affection. Her brown eyes showed some uncertainty which sparked my anxiety this would end just like the other times.

“I know my track record with this is not exactly something I’m proud of”, Camila spoke lowly. “And I’m not sure how to say what I have to say next.”

There it was. The moment I had feared since waking up. My breathing quickened as soon as her eyes averted mine for the first time. How many times would my heart endure another stab? I wasn’t sure but I prepared myself for another letdown.

“I’m a mess”, she started saying. “I’m still not sure why you even want to put up with me. Everything that’s going on with my family and I just broke off my engagement…I’m just not ready to make any kind of commitment right now. But…I can’t deny that there’s something between us that I would like to explore at some point. I’m probably not making a lot sense; what I’m trying to ask you is…if we could take things slow?”

Her eyes were the ones that exuded insecurity now. I felt elated after hearing she was even considering making us a real thing. In my head I had already prepared myself for a different speech, with her saying this was a mistake. The mere possibility of being with the person I loved so deeply was enough to make heart burst.

“If this is taking it slow”, I said and pointed to us being in bed together, “then I’m all for taking it slow.”

She slapped my arm playfully but I saw her laughing lightly while her cheeks flushed again.

“Lauren, I’m being serious”, she pouted.

“So am I”, I smirked and couldn’t help but feel so overjoyed in this moment.

She bit her lower lip and seemed more at ease now as well. There was still a certain expectant expression in her eyes and I took a deep breath before I took her hand off my arm and interlaced our fingers instead.

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