1 *HELIOPHILIA SPOILERS*Why me first?? lol its gonna have to be in sections cause its not gonna fit in one ask. Ima number them lmao. Heres the thing, I'm a mixture of a cold realist/hopeless romantic. I can really appreciate it because its beautifully realistic. Irl happy endings are unlikely to occur. Its an unconventional happy ending in its own way, because the characters both have an exclusive mutual understanding of their time, love, and paths. A painful understanding of the final resolve.
“2 *HELIOPHILIA SPOILER* Also, I like that in her first sight of her she was coming out a bookshop, carrying a book.. when in the beginning Camila taught her how to read. I love when things are full-circle omg. And for me its symbolic of different chapters in life (oops pun lol) as in, the then and now. I enjoy that it shows clarity in that they’ve found ways to move on, C with child and L with partner, to make the “now” worth while.
3 *HELIOPHILIA SPOILER 😩* Part of my reflection is this, love and the ability to hold onto it is a fleeting thing, but memories and moments are not. This fic made me so reflective afterwards lol, I felt quite sad, empty and even nostalgic. I love stories that can make me feel the pain they’re trying to convey, and almost feel it physically. But I love it. Enough of my emo ass, now you go please, cause I’d much rather see what you have to say lol”
Okay first of all, I know I should have re-read the epilogue so I’ll know what I’m talking about. But I don’t want to lol. That shit made me cry, and I rarely cry. I only cried reading that fic and YMMS.
Anyway, I’m all for that kind of ending, in fact I’m used to it because it’s quite a usual trope in literature, (although it’s rare in Camren fics, and I would prefer endgame here coz I read Camren fics to escape, not to cry my ass out lol).
And you may have noticed (in my fics and how I answer asks) that I too am a bit cynical when it comes to love and happiness (fleeting, unstable).
BUT, here’s my tiny issue with regards to the ending (otherwise, it would have been a beautiful epilogue for me)…
Camila spent ten years (idk, a lot of years) pining over Lauren. Lost in her own memories and nostalgia, so much that her marriage crumbled, her husband felt that Camila really wasn’t 100% there… The nostalgia and memories of an old flame prevented Camila from FULLY moving on and living her life, her heart not being able to fully open to another person other than Lauren. In fact, her only joy was her kid. Other than that, she spent years feeling incomplete.
Sure, she was able to function properly. She lived her life as expected of her. But like I said, there has always been a Lauren-shadow looming over her, reminding her of her happiest romantic moments, and paralyzing her with her questions of what-ifs.
So fast forward to that bookstore scene. She sees Lauren with a book and with a guy which she was looking at the same intensity and love as Lauren did to Camila before. So it means Lauren has fully moved on. She’s happy. Because one could not look at another person the same way as your great love if one hasn’t fully moved on. And the fact that she has a book, is a symbol of Lauren carrying all the good parts of her relationship with Camila (her teaching her to read) which has turned her into a better person.
So Lauren is happy, she reads, she loves her boyfriend the same way (maybe even more) she loved Camila. It’s a perfect ending for her.
But Camila, other than her kid who’s her pride and joy, hasn’t fully moved on. Because if she did, she wouldn’t have spent her conscious moments scanning for that green eyes in the crowd, out of habit, reliving her memories, and wondering how her life would have been if she found Lauren in those ten years (I’m still not sure how many years it was really lol).
And then the moment when their eyes briefly meet. This scene hurts me the most. Their eyes meet, they recognize each other, they smile, and went on their separate ways.
I mean, for real!??? It wasn’t just a fling. It was literally a life and death love story. Camila taught her how to read which Lauren has carried on her life, and Lauren also saved Camila in more ways than one. The leAst they could do is have coffee and catch up. They don’t even have to get back together or rekindle their romance. Just one quick hi hello let’s have coffee. I mean, I have shown more excitement over a simple school acquaintance than that 😫
And after that, Camila moves on as well, basically accepting that Lauren is now happy and has moved on. So it’s like something in her has lifted and she feels lighter and shit.
So basically, all ends well. They’ve become two happy adults who used to love each other in another period of their lives. Life goes on. Love comes and go, it’s reality. And it’s the memories that shapes us as individuals. I get it.
But it felt a little like a cop out ending (not overly nitpicking the author’s ending, this is more like how I felt. Because I do get the sentiment behind the epilogue, and as I’ve said, I have no problems with those kinds of endings) – the reason I said that it feels like a cop out, is because Camila spent her ten years not FULLY MOVED ON. And just like that, one eye contact, one smile, everything’s okay? Okay so maybe I get that it’s what she needed – CLOSURE. But the realistic thing or reaction for me was for them (or at least one of them) having a tiny desire to AT LEAST want to say hi. Maybe an hour of catching up, or that usual vague promise of keeping in touch (I mean is the government still keeping them apart?)
It felt like Camila was half-living those years wondering about Lauren, and sure, she finally got her closure once she saw Lauren, but it just felt too sad for me (sad for Camila).
That kind of connection and memories deserved more than a brief eye contact and a smile. It’s not like they have amicably separated or fell out of love before. No, they were torn apart. That is a situation that’s different than agreeing to go their separate ways. That’s what made it harder for Camila to move on, because Lauren was yanked away from her. It wasn’t voluntary..
I had an ex and I saw him at the mall maybe 8 years after, and it was like a half second eye contact and half a smile, and that’s it. Our tables were next to each other. It’s like nothing happened on my part, tho I’ve seen him trying to get my attention several times. My point is, I get that the epilogue feels realistic as well, because in reality, love is one of the most unstable feelings in this world. One moment you’re willing to die for that person, willing to sacrifice everything to be with that person, but then next thing you know you don’t feel anything anymore. That person simply becomes a shadow of your past.
So yeah I get it. But like I said, Camila and Lauren has bigger impact to their growth, I wanted a little more. I felt that Camila deserved more. Fuck, I deserved more after wading through the lack of indentation. 😭😫 (lol I’m just kidding, that story is one of my favorites.)