Chapter 41

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Warning: some really explicit language in this one ;)

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„Thank you, Lauren. That was great. I think we have everything we need. Can you send in…Camila? She’s next.”

I nodded at the director’s words and left the green screen that had been prepared for us. We were filming commercials for our Clean&Clear deal and I was surprisingly fast done with mine. The series of questions were partly directed at the product but not all of them. Some questions had a more sincere tone to it and I had used that little platform to showcase how I really felt at times. Speaking up about my own insecurities was cathartic.

Usually, I felt very self-conscious whenever I had to speak directly into the camera and talk about things that weren’t necessarily about music. On stage, when I was singing, I felt confident. But whenever I had to talk so freely, I was scared of not saying the right thing or revealing too much. This time I had felt comfortable being so natural without much makeup or big styling. The commercial was just about me and what I had to say.

It was a rather small set which made it more intimate. Dinah had been up first and I was second. Reaching the dressing room, Ally and Normani were still in the makeup and hair chair while Camila stared off into the distance.

“Camz, you’re up”, I said softly because she seemed to be in another world. She looked up but barely showed any reaction except for getting up. Without another word she walked past me and into the hallway to get to set.

We were doing incredibly well lately so I was surprised that she was being so distant today. It was pretty early. Maybe she was tired. My eyes focused on Dinah next and I lifted an eyebrow questioningly but the youngest of the group simply shrugged. It was my way of asking what was going on with Camila and her way of answering. Apparently she didn’t even know. I contemplated for a few seconds before I left the dressing room again and made my way back to set.

Camila was standing in front of the camera already and I approached the little booth of monitors. Our manager and some other staff members were gathered around to watch the footage being taped a few steps away from us. Seeing the younger girl on screen made me smile instantly. She looked really cute in that pastel pink sweater. The light color accentuated her dark hair even more and she looked absolutely beautiful with barely any makeup on.

My smile slowly faded when I took a closer look and saw her fidgeting nervously while the lighting was being adjusted. She was chewing on her lower lip and not even looking up into the camera. It was blatantly obvious how nervous she was and I wished there was something I could have done to ease her tension. As soon as the chocolate eyes looked into the lens to test the lighting, my heart sank. The brown orbs were filled with sadness and I felt a sharp pain invading my own chest at the simple sight of it.

The director told her to start and the woman at his side started asking her the same questions I had been asked before. Watching her in that instant was extremely confusing. On one hand I was in awe of how genuine and authentic she always was. Her answers came from the heart and every syllable that left her lips was just right. Camila always had a way with words and although I prided myself on having a rather extensive vocabulary, I envied the younger one’s ability to find the fitting words for every question. She talked about being confident when she was on stage and how music helped escape into another world which sounded similar to my own answer. My heart started beating faster for a second.

That was one part of it. The pride I felt when she displayed her eloquence and unadulterated manner of speaking. But there was another more subtle side to this.

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