Chapter 21

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Lauren’s POV

I was having a rough morning. I hadn’t really slept all night because my mind was too busy replaying the day before. Every little detail was stored somewhere in my brain and analyzed precisely. My fight with Camila was by far the ugliest so far. I felt responsible for that but my anger had been justified…right? I sighed deeply and shook my head because all of my thinking did nothing to actually further my situation or find a solution.

I was still in the same headspace as last night. Remembering the text message and Shannon’s question was eating me alive. The last thing I wanted was to hurt someone else because I knew what that felt like; the feeling of not being good enough. A part of me did feel guilty when it came to Shannon because I wasn’t able to reciprocate her feelings in the way she deserved; at least not now. I hadn’t answered her question after Camila had sent that text. After that, the young woman had left without another word and I was not sure where we stood now. Knowing she felt a lot more than I did, she had wanted honesty from me and no answer seemed to be an answer as well. I couldn’t deny that there was still something lingering inside me that felt something for the brown-eyed woman I had hurt so badly yesterday.

Taking a sip from my coffee, I realized it was cold because I had drifted off once again.

“Great”, I mumbled because now I needed to make a new cup.

That’s when I heard the door open. I watched Normani coming in and smiled lightly. She had keys to my apartment and I was used to her just coming in like this. The best thing was she mostly brought something with her. In this case my eyes instantly focused on the coffee cups she was holding.

“You are a gift from God”, I said as she put the brown cups down on the kitchen counter.

“I know”, she said and grinned. “Where’s Shannon? I brought her that weird Chai Latte she likes.”

 Just now I realized she had in fact brought three cups with her. My heart dropped a little as I took my own black coffee.

“She…um…left last night”, I explained vaguely and saw Normani’s puzzled face. This was unusual because the young woman had been spending every weekend at my place.

“Why? What happened?”, she asked carefully.

“Camila happened”, I blurted out and sighed loudly. “And your stupid speech about me not being over her. What was that all about? When did you become the captain of the camren ship?”

Normani laughed wholeheartedly and I couldn’t help but laugh a little as well. It did wonders to my mood because I had been brooding for hours.

“I like that”, she complimented my little joke but turned serious again. “You’re my best friend. And Camila is one of my closest friends as well. You have been through hell together and I understand she hurt you but…I feel like you’re both overlooking one very important fact.”

“What is that?”, I asked quietly and listened to Normani. Her opinion was one of the rare one’s I really respected and took to heart. She knew me better than most people and her fiercely loyal personality had been such a big support system in the past couple of years. We were both opinionated and argued sometimes but we still found common ground in the end. So I was a little anxious but also interested in what she had to say about my new dilemma.

“You love each other”, she clarified and I just looked at her deep in thought. “No matter how much you’re both hurting, somehow you always come back to one another. You have no idea how rare it is what you two have. Someone you truly have a connection with and love with all of your heart? You both took it for granted. Camila is definitely guiltier in that department lately but maybe that’s why she had to make that mistake. I’m not saying you should forgive her or be with her but…you should really think about what you’re giving up on and not just remember the bad parts.”

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