Chapter 26

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As soon as Camila sent that picture, I knew it would cause mayhem on social media. It was her twitter account but I knew my own would explode as well. So I decided to turn off my phone when she handed me the device again. I just wanted to relax and not deal with whatever would be thrown my way after that confession. Surely, there were the hardcore fans that had been “shipping” us for years and they would probably go crazy. They used to be the hardest to deal with back then but now they were the least of my worries. The more general public was going to be shocked, I thought. But hopefully it wouldn’t be as big of a deal nowadays.

“Are you nervous?”, Camila asked softly and put her arms around my neck.

“A little, if I’m completely honest”, I admitted and locked my arms behind her back.

“I kind of feel bad because you’re going to be one who has to deal with all of this and I get to live a normal life”, the younger one said.

“Don’t worry, it’ll be fine. I thought about this so many times and I think it was the right decision to finally come clean with everything. If I keep hiding us, it feels like I am inadvertently saying that it is wrong somehow. And it’s not; it couldn’t be any more right”, I replied and saw Camila smiling warmly. The tenderness in her eyes made my heart beat faster instantly, when she looked at me like that.

“What?”, I asked a little unsure.

“You really have no idea how perfect you are”, her voice spoke fondly and made me almost blush.

“I am pretty awesome”, I tried laughing it off because her compliments were harder to accept than others for some reason. They meant so much more to me and I couldn’t handle the way she made me feel at times.

“I’m serious”, she pressed and brushed one of the lose hair strands out of my face. “They haven’t invented words to express how much I love you.”

I swallowed the little lump in my throat and didn’t know how to make a snarky comment when she said something so genuinely heartwarming. Instead I leaned forward and placed a soft kiss on her forehead before pulling her into a hug. She took a deep breath and relaxed as I held her and stroked her back gently. The interview had been pretty emotional on both of us and seeing her so stirred, just proved once more that my doubts had been for nothing.

There was a knock on my bedroom door and I assumed it would be someone from the crew but I saw Normani and Chelsea coming in.

“Jesus Christ, Lauren. Who knew you were such a sappy romantic”, Normani teased me because of my interview and I gave her a playful glare.

“You were the one crying, so don’t even go there”, I said and felt Camila clinging onto my side. It reminded me of our X Factor days for some reason, when I had an arm around her and she rested her head on my shoulder.

“I wasn’t crying…just tearing up a little.”

“Yeah, right”, I scoffed and we grinned at each other for a second. Normani had always been rather serious and reserved. When most of us in the group had been very emotional, she had been the calm anchor. Seeing her cry was very rare but it meant a lot to me that she was so happy for Camila and I. Our friendship had definitely evolved over the years. Being that we were both pretty guarded, it took some time to get to know each other on a deeper level but we weren’t that different in a lot of ways. That’s why our friendship had sustainability. Her loyalty and trustworthiness were the most important traits, allowing me to forget about my trust issues with most people.

“Well, I was bawling”, Chelsea interrupted my train of thought and laughed slightly. “I’ll probably pull an all-nighter after your tweet, though. The media is going to go berserk over this.”

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