chapter twelve

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Camila realises she looks slightly crazy, walking along the street carrying a tripod and ring light, but she was not going to pay for an Uber when Lauren's place is a perfectly reasonable walk from her own house. She's regretting her decision now, but her mother had practically drilled it into her to avoid unnecessary spending. She's not too far away from Lauren's when she sighs, flopping down on a nearby bench, and calls the older girl for help.

Lauren picks up on the first ring, as always. "Hi, Camz. Are you on your way?"

"Yeah, but I'm going to need your help." Camila replies, but she's uncertain if Lauren will come to her aid when she tells her what she's carrying. "I've got a little... um, extra baggage than usual."

Lauren laughs, "What, are you planning on moving in or something? Because, I mean, I was going to give you a key, but it was supposed to be a surprise."

The words make Camila forget her current predicament. "Wait, really? Lo! That's so cute, I'm totally giving you a key to my place as well."

"Are you going to tell me what you're carrying?" Lauren laughs at her. "Or is that some kind of surprise?"

"Well, um, it's some... lighting equipment," Camila hedges, "and, well, my tripod."

Lauren is quiet for a moment, and Camila is more than a little nervous for her response. "And why are you casually taking them for a walk?"

"Well, because... I know I didn't ask in advance, but you've been in videos before, and I thought you'd be okay with it," Camila rambles, "I usually film a... disastrous Christmas baking video around this time, and I wanted to know if... well, I wanted you to be in it. But it's okay if you don't want to, I can take all this stuff back home."

Again, Lauren is silent for a few moments. "Uh, okay, sure."

"You don't sound sure," Camila mumbles, "can we talk about this in person? Either way, I'm going to need help carrying this stuff."

"Be there in... however long," Lauren says, and after a pause where Camila can hear her putting her shoes on, she adds, "where exactly are you?"

Camila looks around, trying to find something as a descriptor, but instead, just sends Lauren her location. "I sent you my location, so I won't move."

"Okay, see you in..." Lauren trails off, and Camila hears tapping as she clearly puts it in her maps app, "oh, five minutes. Bye."

"Later," Camila says, and she's the one who hangs up. She's a little disheartened that Lauren doesn't want to be in her video, and for a moment, she wonders if Lauren really does think it's stupid after all.

She wouldn't have watched all of your videos if she thought it was stupid, Camila tries to assure herself, she supports you, it's got to be something else.

So, naturally, Camila freaks herself out enough that when Lauren gets there, the first thing she says is, "Why don't you want to be in my video?"

Lauren blinks in surprise, like she hadn't expected the words. "Um, hi? And it's not that I don't want to, I'm just... you know what? No, I'm being dumb, it's fine."

Camila frowns at the sudden change of heart. "Are you sure?"

"Yeah, I'm sure," and Lauren smiles that perfect smile again, reassuring Camila completely, "anyway, which of these is heavier?"

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