chapter five

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Lauren yawns as she walks along the sidewalk, rubbing her eyes with the back of her hand. She absolutely hates her Tuesday schedule; she starts at nine, and has non-stop classes until one. She's ready to go home, make herself a sandwich and take a nice long nap. Maybe later, she'll call Camila and see what she's up to. She'd gotten a notification last night that Camila had uploaded a bonus video, and she still hasn't watched it. She wonders if it'll be like the song she'd written, the song that had to be about her.

She mumbles an apology as she bumps into someone, and she's surprised when they say her name. Looking up tiredly, she meets Normani's gaze and puts on a smile. "Hi. Sorry, I'm not really functioning right now, I've been up since seven."

"Seven? That sucks," Normani comments, and Lauren just yawns in response. "Mila mentioned she was going to call you later, so if I were you, I'd get a decent nap in beforehand."

Lauren laughs. "Yeah, she can be kind of excitable, but if I tell her I'm tired, she'll be fine with cuddling me."

"Can I just ask..." Normani trails off with a sigh, "what are your... intentions with her? Dinah seems to think you... you have a crush on her, and..."

"It's that obvious, huh?" Lauren barks out a laugh. "I'm surprised she hasn't noticed."

Normani frowns. "You really like her?"

"I think I've loved her since I was eight. When my grandmother died and Camila used the money she'd been saving to buy herself a stuffed animal to buy me Nala." Lauren bites down on her bottom lip, remembering the way she'd felt when Camila had given her Nala, telling her it was to make her smile. It was like nothing else she'd ever felt before, a huge wash of emotion that her eight year old mind couldn't comprehend. "Nobody else had ever done anything like that. But she could never like me back, not after everything."

Normani looks a little sceptical, but nods, and adjusts the purse on her arm. "Anyway, I've got to go, I've got a meeting, but... it was nice to hear that. And something tells me you've got a shot."

At the elusive wording, Lauren frowns, wondering if Camila had said anything to Normani about her, but before she can ask, Normani is halfway down the street, being stopped by a fan for a picture. She shrugs it off, and continues to walk down the sidewalk towards her apartment, still a little tired and braindead after her four back to back lectures. She's almost back to the safety of her apartment building when someone stops her; this time, it's someone she doesn't know.

"Aren't you Camila Cabello's new girlfriend?"

The words take her off guard, and she crinkles her nose in confusion. "No?"

"Well, obviously you know her, since she follows you, and so do Dinah and Ally. And I just saw you talking to Normani." The girl says, eyeing her with something that looks a lot like disapproval. "And Dinah posted a picture saying she approves."

Lauren should've known that little joke might've been taken out of context. She unlocks the front door to her apartment building and shrugs. "We're childhood friends. That's all."

The girl scoffs. "Did Camila tell you to say that because she knows her fans are still latching onto Camriana?"

"Look, I honestly don't know what you want from me," Lauren says, pushing open the door to the building, "if it's gossip, there's nothing to tell you."

She leaves it at that, and disappears into her apartment building, kicking the door shut behind her so it locks automatically, and walking over to the elevators, a little floored by the interaction. She texts Camila to let her know that some girl had just asked her if they were together, and apologises for the joke on Dinah's Instagram post. She vows to be a little more careful from now on; half because she now knows Camila's fans watch her like hawks and half because she doesn't want Camila to know she likes her.

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