Ahh! If you recall, the proceeds earned from Ladies of Lit went directly to classroom literacy projects via DonorsChoose.org. I just got a bunch of letters from first and second grade students and wanted to share them with all of you. You guys made this happen! Thanks for supporting this project and for supporting childhood literacy!
This probably doesn’t come as a big surprise but I’m quitting Fiddlesticks-answers. I won’t be deleting the blog however, so you can still go through the archive whenever you want or go through the entire thing again.
Quick reminder that Fiddlesticks isn’t mine, but a canon character though, so her story doesn’t have to end here. Don’t hesitate to pick up where I left off or create your very own unique story with her!
Also, for those who are interested, you can still find me over on my art blog and my mod blog. I also have an OC blog!
Lastly I want to thank every one of you for having stuck around for so long, you’re all very awesome! See you around and keep tumbling!
I opened my eyes slowly and stretched mildly. Usually, the first thing I saw when I opened my eyes these days was Lauren’s face and that alone made my day every single morning. This time I wasn’t facing her which was unusual. I turned around and discovered the dark-haired woman lying on her stomach and sleeping peacefully. She looked incredibly young whenever she wasn’t awake. Watching her sleep had become one of my favorite pastimes. I was tempted to touch the porcelain-looking skin of her face immediately. Taking in every little detail, I got in closer and couldn’t help myself.
My finger brushed against her cheek and I flinched at how cold she was. I was used to her being rather chilly lately because of her bad circulation but this was not normal. It was like touching an ice cube almost. My heart was beating faster within a split second when I realized something else: the absence of the sound I loved listening to so much; her breathing.
Her chest wasn’t moving and I didn’t hear the subtle sound which caused my own breathing to hitch in the back of my throat.
“Lauren”, I whispered and put my hand back on her cheek. There was no reaction and I felt paralyzed. “Can you hear me? Wake up”, I added a little louder but my voice was already shaking in absolute fear. Placing my trembling fingers on her shoulder, I started to shake her a little but she didn’t move or show any response whatsoever.
“No”, I breathed and I felt tears burning in my eyes but I was too shocked too really do anything else. It took another few seconds of trying to wake the lifeless body next to me before I sat up. Shaking her more strongly didn’t amount to anything and all I felt was my heart cramping up in a way it had never before.
“Lauren!”, I wanted to scream but my voice gave out and I only managed to sob while turning her on her back and seeing how limp she was. “No…no…”, was all I managed to get out. “Don’t leave me…” I kept shaking her before I bent down and put my ear on her lips and finger on her pulse point. Nothing. No breathing, no pulse. My forehead pressed against her cheek and I couldn’t hold it in anymore but burst into tears.
“Please…Lauren”, I begged although it was hopeless now. My hand wandered to her chest and looked for a heartbeat even though I knew it wasn’t going to be there. The validation of it, not feeling the pumping organ throb beneath my fingers was sending me over the edge. Her heart, her beautiful heart was not beating and all I felt was pure agony. I wanted to scream at the top of my lungs but there was nothing coming out.
I was hesitatingly blinking my eyelids when I heard a sound that woke me up being the light sleeper that I was. It took me a while to realize where I even was or what was happening. Camila was lying next to me and I recognized the unfamiliar sound as her voice. But she was asleep. I smiled gently because the younger woman was apparently talking in her sleep and I had heard her do that before. It was mostly not something I was able to understand, though. I closed my eyes again since it was probably still very early; the sun was not up yet.
“No…”, Camila suddenly mumbled and I eyed her more intently now. She was fidgeting and I discovered that her forehead was covered in sweat. Her breathing was becoming more erratic and I realized she was probably not having the most pleasant dream. Just before I decided I should wake her, I saw something I had never seen before. There was a tear running down her cheek and I felt chocked up at the sight.
“Lauren”, she exhaled shakily and felt a sharp pain in my chest when it dawned on me she was having a nightmare that was somehow related to me. But I didn’t want her to endure any more of it and started softly nudging her shoulder while whispering her name.
Camila sat up almost violently and I was stunned at the heavy reaction. I immediately followed her by sitting up as well and saw her chest heaving like crazy. She was hyperventilating and I was scared now.
“Everything’s fine”, I said gently and slowly put my hand on her back trying not to overwhelm her. “It was just a dream.”
She turned quickly to face me and the expression in her eyes was threatening to suffocate me. The dark orbs were filled with horror and anguish before tears started falling vehemently from her eyes. I began rubbing her back and felt glued to the spot because the younger woman looked as if she was seeing a ghost. What on earth had her dream been about?
“You’re ok”, she said just above a whisper but I wasn’t sure whether she was asking me that or making a statement.
“Yeah, I’m ok”, I replied anyway and she broke out in even more tears now which pained me just as much as her. Her hand covered her mouth to muffle the sobs escaping her lips but I pulled her into my arms now that I had overcome the instant shock of the situation. She let out a series of the most heart-wrenching sobs I had ever heard. It reminded me of the night her mom had died and she had come to my mansion, just crushing into my arms like this and crying hysterically.
Only this time I wasn’t sure why she was having such a heavy reaction. I had an idea but I didn’t want to consider her dreaming something so horrible. Seeing her reaction to a dream was scaring me even more of what she would do if I didn’t…make it.
“It’s ok”, I repeated over and over again because that seemed to be the only thing I could say to sooth her. Her shaking was not dying down and I hated seeing her in so much distress. I had to acknowledge that she was bound to crack at some point. She had been so incredibly strong and collected the past weeks while I had had my fair share of struggles. Knowing how sensitive and vulnerable she was, I always wondered whether or not she was suffering just as much as I was; if not more because she didn’t talk about it.
“Let’s lie down”, I breathed and settled back into the bed but kept her in my arms. She was not calming down and I was afraid she was actually experiencing a nervous breakdown so I prepared myself to get help if she wouldn’t calm soon. I was pulling her in as close as I possibly could and felt the warm droplets falling on my neck and shirt. The constant shaking of her body was sending cold shivers down my spine while her hand clenched the fabric of my shirt.
I had completely forgotten what I wore at this point. It was obvious that I must have fallen asleep in my old school uniform before Camila had returned from trying to put Dinah to bed. I never would have thought the night would end up like this. Our playful banter about Camila’s sexual preferences seemed like another lifetime right now.
The brown-eyed woman had many layers to her and I understood most of them after having spent so many years with her. But there was always that little mystery left with her. She had a tendency to hide her own worries and struggles to spare other people’s feelings and I was the same a lot of the time. Only I exploded once in a while with mostly anger and lashed out, like a few weeks ago when I had yelled at her for no good reason.
Camila was different. She always suffered in silence. There were no huge blow-outs with her and she was extremely good at not letting other people in if she didn’t want to. I had a sensor for whenever I felt her slipping back into that place of sadness and sorrow but there was only so much I could do.
Getting Dinah to come out to New York had been my idea of providing Camila with someone she could talk to if she wasn’t willing to talk to me about her fears. I only wanted her to talk to someone before something like this would happen. But now she was definitely showing how upset she actually was. I was holding on tight, kissing her forehead and tried everything in my power to sooth the inconsolable woman in my arms.
I felt her hand slipping beneath my polo shirt and was very surprised to say the least. The shaky hand wandered up to my chest and I felt a lump in my throat as soon as I realized what she was doing. She rested her hand above my heart and felt it beating; almost as if she wanted to make sure it was in fact doing it. The gesture made me tear up as well although I was trying to stay strong for her. She had done the same for me these past weeks and I never minded taking care of her.
The upside of her hand on my chest was that she finally seemed to calm down. Her sobbing was milder and she wasn’t trembling as much as before. Time lost all its meaning and I had no idea how much time had passed until Camila wasn’t breaking down anymore. I shifted very slowly and adjusted myself further down so my head my resting on the pillow next to her. We were still holding on to one another but I wanted to see her.
What I saw was heartbreaking but I had to keep it together. Camila’s eyes always carried a little sadness when she was thoughtful or in fact sad but this was on another level. The brown eyes were puffy and swollen while her entire face was damp from the tears that were still rolling down her skin. I freed one arm around her and brought my hand to her face. My thumb was wiping the salty droplets making tracks on her cheeks and nose. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath before locking them with mine.
“Please…don’t ever leave me”, she whispered but her voice was cracking all over the place. I was pretty sure by now that she must have dreamt what I assumed. Hearing her say something so vulnerable with that expression in her eyes was hard to take. I kept stroking her face very gently and wasn’t sure how to respond.
“I love you so much”, I gave back in the same volume because I couldn’t really guarantee her the outcome, could I? I was recovering very well but I was scared of making false promises.
“Then tell me that you won’t leave me”, the younger one demanded more pressing.
“I’d never leave as long as I have a choice”, I said truthfully and felt more tears beneath my fingertips. This was killing me! “Please Camila, you don’t have to cry”, I breathed and rested my forehead against hers while closing my eyes. “I’m here. And I’ll always be with you, ok? We’ll get through this, don’t worry about me. You are the reason I’m still here and I won’t give up, I promise.”
I leaned in sealed her trembling lips with mine because I was desperate to make her feel better. The simple touch of our lips might provide some solace and I put as much love and affection into the kiss as I possibly could. Camila inhaled deeply through her nose and seemed to calm down a little more. My arm was draped around her waist and I pulled her towards me so that our bodies touched while my other hand was continuously wiping the last tears off her face. It took a few kisses on my end before she was reciprocating really.
Her arms wrapped around my neck and she turned on her back, dragging me with her so I was on top of her. I did what she asked and settled between her legs without disconnecting our lips for a while. Camila’s grip was still desperate and I opened my eyes breaking the kiss gently. I ran my hand through her silky hair that was spread on the white pillows and brushed every little strand of it out of her face. The tears had some of them sticking to her cheeks or forehead but I took my time and removed them. Next, I pressed my lips to the salty-tasting skin and left soft kisses all around the perfectly sculpted facial features. Her breathing was almost even now and her fingers were not clasping me for dear life anymore. Relief was washing over me but I kept focusing on the tender affection.
She cupped my face and brought my lips to hers again. This time she was kissing back with more fervor and I enjoyed her slender fingers caressing my cheeks lightly in the process. Her lips parted after a few more gentle kissed and signaled her eagerness for more. I complied with her wish and let my tongue slip in between her full lips. She sighed and I decided to pick out a new spot for my mouth to explore. Dipping down, I tilted my head slightly to get better access to her neck before enveloping the soft skin with my lips. Her hands dropped further down and stroked my arms and back. I gently sucked on her pulse point and heard her breathing becoming more uneven again. But I didn’t mind this time.
This was not how I imagined we’d end up becoming more intimate but I was seriously longing for her. I wanted to feel that incomparable sensation of our bodies against one another. So, I sat up and grabbed the hem of her top. She understood and I saw a little smile on her lips. That alone was worth it. Camila sat up for a second and I pulled off the fabric, revealing her beautiful upper body since she wasn’t wearing a bra.
I pushed her softly back down and started by leaving kisses on her entire collarbone. My lips trailed down the middle of her body until I reached her belly button. Skillfully using my tongue in between more kisses, I left no inch of her toned stomach untouched. The prominent abdominal muscles were so damn sexy. I could worship them for hours and the fact that she was so sensitive there was a plus. Her hand kept grabbing the sheets whenever I found a particularly good spot to suck on.
She was usually not this passive but I liked having her all to myself like this and being able to really appreciate how much I was in fact attracted to her. My next stops on the “exploratory trip of Camila” were the perfectly sized and shaped breasts. I stole a few kisses off her lips and only circled the delicate bud with the tip of my index finger. Very slowly I added more pressure and used my entire hand to knead the designated area. Camila moaned for the first time and I couldn’t wait any longer.
I enclosed the erect nipple with my lips and applied pressure on the skin around. My tongue was flickering on the sensitive spot and Camila arched her back in response. I bit down gently to make her squirm before easing up. It was very obvious she wouldn’t be able to take much after being deprived from physical intimacy like this. And I didn’t want to tease or torture her. I was just as eager to make her feel good and therefore took of her pants and panties in one swift move.
My eyes looked up and I wanted to settle my lips even further down but Camila stopped me.
“No”, she whispered and sat up. She started undressing me, one piece of clothing at a time and I helped her in the process until I was not wearing anything anymore. I had been self-conscious about taking off my bra in particular but she was not making any of it a big deal which eased the little tension I had felt. The younger woman grabbed the blanket next and settled back down while I followed. She put the blanket over us and I assumed she was doing it because of me and my tendency to be cold lately.
But I was not cold at all right now. My fully naked body pressed against hers and I sighed at the contact because she was so incredibly warm. Our lips connected in a tender kiss while I adjusted on top of her and straddled one of her legs. Her hands were roaming all over my body underneath the blanket and I couldn’t deny that I was very aroused myself. I started moving up and down her thigh, creating friction on my core and lightly thrusting my own thigh against Camila’s center. She gasped at the first push and scratched my shoulder blade.
“Lauren”, she breathed and I loved that husky and breathless tone in her voice. I let my lips migrate to her neck once more and placed a bunch of very wet kisses on the fazed skin. My hips were continuously moving and speeding up without me really noticing it. We found our own rhythm where Camila was thrusting back and every inch of our uncovered bodies was connected.
I hadn’t felt her so close to me in a very long time. Just now I realized how overwhelming it was. Every fiber of my being seemed to be alive. My skin felt on fire whenever there was more friction between our bodies. The only sound filling the room was our heavy breathing and panting. It was not going to take long for either of us but I didn’t care. I wanted to enjoy it for however long it would take.
Just a few minutes of that intense intimacy was enough and I felt Camila writhing on the sheets. Her wonderful voice moaned in delight while her body experienced the ultimate high. I had been close as well but tried holding off until she was also there. Feeling her so close to me while climaxing at the same time was otherworldly. Every little stir was sensible and that feeling alone would have been enough to send me over the edge.
I collapsed on top of her and couldn’t support my own weight for the moment. Camila didn’t seem to mind, though and wrapped her arms tightly around me. Her fingertips drew patterns of my back while we were both coming down from our high. I lifted my head finally and searched for the perfect brown eyes. They met my gaze instantly and the younger ones’ lips formed a genuine smile. I sighed in relief and planted a kiss on her lips before settling slightly next to her so she wouldn’t have to carry my weight. We kept exchanging tender touches. Camila only used her fingertips to trace my spine and arms while I felt her eyes lingering on me. I wanted to sustain the eye contact but I was too exhausted after a while and fell asleep.
I woke up and realized it was almost noon. I had an appointment at the hospital for a bigger checkup since I had reached the halfway point. Dr. Phelps wanted to do a more thorough evaluation of my recovery process this far. It took me a few seconds until I noticed Camila wasn’t in bed with me. She was probably already up since it was rather late. I slept a lot longer than her these days and after that eventful day my body needed the rest.
The first thing I did was shower though. That always helped with the fatigue and I was definitely still battling the achy feeling in my bones after having my dose yesterday and being up all day. I didn’t even want to recall what happened during the night. The simple memory of Camila’s breakdown was making my heart race in anxiety. Hopefully, she was feeling a little better today.
After taking a shower, I got ready for my appointment at the hospital and walked out into the kitchen. Camila was reading the paper bent over the counter but looked up as soon as I came in.
“Morning”, she said and almost looked nervous.
“Good morning”, I gave back and walked up to her. Putting my arms around her waist, I stood closely behind her and placed a soft kiss on her shoulder. I wanted her to feel the same support she had given me all along. She sighed in delight of my affection and I placed a second kiss on her neck.
“How are you feeling?”, I asked softly.
“Embarrassed”, she whispered and I frowned instantly. I turned her around in my arms so I could face her.
“Why are you embarrassed?”
“Because of what happened this morning”, she confessed and didn’t meet my eyes. Instead she sighed in frustration now and ran one of her hands through her hair. “You probably think I’m a total basket case.”
“Hey, don’t talk like that about fiancée”, I replied with a smile and saw her brown eyes meeting mine now. She looked really tired and still rattled but that was to be expected.
“Don’t be all cute when I’m trying to tell you that you’re marrying a mental case”, she half-smiled now and I grinned in return. I leaned in and surprised her apparently with a soft kiss on her lips.
“You do not have to be embarrassed whatsoever. I’ve had my fair share of breakdowns in front of you and like I said once, I don’t even know what these past few weeks must have been like for you”, I spoke gently and felt her arms wrapping around my neck. “I had this feeling you might need someone to talk to and that was the main reason I invited Dinah. You don’t have to go through all of this by yourself. And if you can’t talk to me about it, that’s ok. I just want you to talk to someone. Whether that’s Dinah, Normani or even someone professional if you want. Just please, don’t suffer in silence.”
The expression in Camila’s had changed while I spoke. I could distinguish some surprise but mostly tenderness with a hint of relief. I knew about her struggles with depression after her mom had passed and if I was being honest, she had always had a tendency of having depressive moods ever since I had known her. There was no shame in talking to someone if she felt like she needed to before relapsing into the same dark place she had been in not too long ago.
“I guess I’m not the only one who knows the other one better than they think”, she said in a quiet voice. “It’s not that bad but that dream…it was so vivid and took me by complete surprise. I don’t want you to worry about me, though.”
“You’ve been taking care of me for weeks now. The least I can do is give you some sex to make you feel better”, I teased and she finally laughed which relieved me even more. “I like taking care of you, actually. It reminds me of old times and makes me feel worthy of being with you.”
“I said you should stop being so cute”, she repeated and sealed my lips with hers in a more passionate kiss.
I was supposed to be fine. My life was a dream, wasn’t it? I was part of the opening act for one of my greatest idols and we were playing our new set in Miami tonight. Being home always made me feel better. Or at least it used to.
Lately, I found myself feeling more and more unhappy again and the worst part was, that I wasn’t sure why. It was that nagging feeling of very simply being sad. Usually, I was able to snap out of it whenever I was back in Miami but tonight was different for some reason. I wasn’t the only one who was back home.
Lauren had been excited for days now to finally reunite with her family and friends. We were getting along great. Better than I ever would have expected after a very tumultuous year. But being around her was a double-edged sword. The more we hung out, the more fun we had and the more I realized how amazing she was, the harder it became to ignore the fact that it wasn’t enough. What I wanted from her would never become reality. And while I had done a very good job in the past weeks to enjoy our friendship, the last couple of days were wearing me down because I felt my non-platonic feelings resurfacing stronger with every moment we shared.
I didn’t want her or anyone else to notice and felt myself becoming more distant again. Most of the time, I was with Dinah who was also going through some stuff with Siope. She never asked what bothered me but she knew I was dealing with something as well. I appreciated her not urging me to talk about it but rather being there until I was ready.
My hopes were to finally go back to my old self after tonight. I needed some new energy and meeting my family and friends should make me feel better. But first we had a job to do. I was standing in the Meet&Greet area where the fans were able to take pictures with us and I always tried being energetic so not a single fan felt disappointed. Waiting for the next fan to come in, I saw a big group of people waiting. I recognized Alexa in the very front and waved lightly but she was focusing on her friend on the other side.
As soon as they were able to join us, a pack of Lauren’s friends ran towards the green-eyed girl and almost pushed her out of the designated area with the ambush. There were screams and all around happiness around me but I couldn’t ignore the slight pain in my chest watching the scenario. It just reminded me of how different Lauren and I actually were. I had maybe three friends coming while half of Lauren’s class was apparently here. It was stupid but I felt like Lauren would never even associate herself with me if it wasn’t for the group. She already had everything she needed. I was just a commodity while we were on the road.
Miami used to be our home; our turf. Tonight, it felt like it was all about Lauren. I knew she wasn’t doing it on purpose and I’d never fault her for it, but she was outshining me in every aspect. Who wouldn’t want a pile of people screaming and hugging you because they were so excited to see you? I had to acknowledge the fact that my entire group of friends was a fraction of hers. Usually, that didn’t bother me that much because I preferred having a few genuine friends instead of a bunch of fake ones. Not that I thought Lauren’s friend were fake at all but it angered me tonight for some reason. I was probably just looking for excuses to be mad at my bandmate. The real reason I was upset with her, or myself to be honest, was a completely different one.
And then there was Luis. I had never seen nor met him but I saw him standing at the sidelines, seemingly unsure what to do. There was no animosity on my end but I wasn’t particularly eager to meet him. Instead, I saw Lauren’s friends approaching the rest of us now. The first person to address me was Vero; of course. I still felt a little on edge whenever we saw each other. She was hugging me and telling me I looked hot; twice. I thanked her awkwardly before greeting everyone else. Lauren’s boyfriend joined us for the picture but I made sure to hold on to Ally to distract myself.
Thank God it was over quickly but Vero insisted on taking a selfie which I did. I was just incredibly relieved to get this over with.
Later that night, I was hanging out with my friends and Sofi while Lauren and her friends were in the tour bus. My phone died and I needed a charger so I had no choice but go into the bus. I wanted to make it fast and I heard Lauren’s roaring laughter as soon as I came in.
“Sorry, I just need to get something”, I said hastily and pushed past Lauren, Luis, Alexa, Erica and Lauren’s siblings. Grabbing the needed device, I wanted to flee the scene but Alexa addressed me before I could get off.
“Camila!”, she said and I turned around to force a smile. “Why don’t you hang out with us? There’s enough room for everyone.”
“I have my own friends to hang out with.”
Wow, that sounded harsh. I was surprised at my own words and saw all of them looking at me a little astonished.
“I’m sorry that came out wrong”, I added quickly. “I haven’t seen them in a while and Lauren hasn’t seen you guys either.”
“Um, we haven’t officially met and I feel kind of rude not introducing myself”, I heard a dark male voice suddenly speaking. Luis, who had been sitting next to Lauren, got up and flashed a smile that was worthy of a toothpaste commercial. God, why did he have to be so polite? It would have been so much easier if he was an asshole. I consciously never really thought about him because I rather lived in denial of his existence but he was bursting my bubble now.
“That’s ok. I mean, I obviously know who you are and you know who I am”, I stammered but he was already standing in front of me so I lifted my arms because I expected him to hug me so we’d get our official introduction done. Instead, I saw an extended hand and awkwardly pulled back.
“Oh”, I mumbled and heard him laugh quietly.
“Sorry”, the tall boy said with a grin and went for a hug then after all. Jesus, this wasn’t weird at all. “It’s nice to finally meet you.”
“Yeah, same”, I lied but hoped to sound convincing.
“I don’t want to keep you from your friends, though”, he added and I nodded gently. I waved at everyone and told them to have fun before leaving the bus. Going down the steps, I saw Sofi approaching the bus.
“Can I go say Hi to Lauren”, my little sister asked and I gulped.
“Um, she’s hanging out with her friends right now”, I said carefully because I didn’t want to go back in at all.
“I’m her friend, too!”, Sofi protested.
“Yes, you are”, I agreed and knelt down. “But you are my best friend and I want to spend time with you as well. Am I not good enough for you anymore?”, I pouted playfully.
“No but Lauren is cooler than you”, she teased me with a big grin on her face.
“You have no idea how true that is”, I mumbled but snapped out of my self-pity and grabbed the little girl’s hand. She didn’t protest anymore and we walked back to our family and my friends. It was a rather enjoyable night after all. Maybe I didn’t have a big group of friends but they knew me before this and I didn’t want to be a downer again or ruin the day for them. I had fun and forgot about my troubles with my beautiful bandmate who was probably making out with her boyfriend right now.
It had gotten very late and my parents approached me after I had said goodbye to my friends. They told me they were leaving as well and but I noticed that Sofi wasn’t with them. When I asked them, they said she wanted to see Lauren and my mom had dropped her off at the bus. Now they wanted me to get her. I reluctantly did what they said and reentered our home on four wheels while being on tour. It merely took seconds before I felt my heart imploding with what I wanted to ignore so badly.
I was standing in the living room area where Lauren had been with her friends before, but they were all gone it seemed. Only the green-eyed girl was lying on the couch and I saw my sister lying on top of her. The little one’s body was comfortably resting on Lauren’s chest with her arms around the older girls’ neck. My heart was beating so fast I thought I was going experiencing cardiac arrest soon. I didn’t need this right now. The last thing I needed was a reminder of how adorable Lauren was around my sister. She was stroking Sofi’s hair lightly while holding her phone in the other hand reading.
It took me a few seconds to walk up to her and she noticed me with a soft smile.
“Hey”, she whispered obviously trying not wake my sleeping sibling in her arms.
“Hi. I need to get her to my parents”, I explained and reached out.
“I can do it”, Lauren offered instantly.
“No, you don’t have to-“
“I know”, she smiled. “I want to, though. I missed this little cutie and I want savor every second.”
Shut up! I wanted to yell at her because she was killing me with the way she handled Sofi. She got up very carefully and placed her hands perfectly so the little one was still pressed up against her chest and sleeping peacefully. I realized she was standing awfully close to me but I had been so focused on Sofi.
Lifting my gaze, I met a pair of green eyes that were piercing through me it seemed. My heart missed a beat. I was so damn conflicted when it came to Lauren. Right now, I wanted to kiss her and tell her that she was the most precious and special person I had ever encountered. Just an hour ago, I wanted to punch her for making me feel something I absolutely should not feel. It was so hard to balance it all and not let her know how I truly felt.
She was smiling faintly but kept her emerald orbs on me which caused so much inner turmoil I didn’t want or need. There were merely inches between us with her holding my sister still and I had never been so tempted to just close the gap and go in. The memory of her experienced lips on mine was flooding my brain and I longed for the same sensation I had felt that night in her hotel room. I felt myself moving closer without even realizing it but Lauren simultaneously broke our staring contest by looking down and thankfully didn’t see my idiotic move.
Oh my God, that was close! Too close. I had to stop right now before I did something stupid again; I almost just did. Taking a few steps back, Lauren and I got off the bus now and she handed Sofi over to my parents. We all said our goodbyes again and I started walking back with Lauren in silence. Halfway across the parking lot, I felt dizzy very abruptly and grabbed Lauren’s arm to hold myself up. My head was spinning and everything went black for a split second like I was about to pass out.
“Camz? What’s wrong?”, Lauren instantly asked and put her hand on my side to support me.
“I don’t know”, I breathed and still felt lightheaded. “I’m dizzy.”
“It’s ok, I got you”, the older one said and moved in closer to drape my arm around her shoulder. “Let’s just take it one step at a time when you’re ready, ok? Or do you want me to get someone?”
“No, I’m fine. I just need a second, I think”, I replied with a deep breath.
“Are you sure?”, the concerned voice reappeared.
“Yeah, I just haven’t eaten that much today and I barely drank.”
“You’re probably dehydrated and exhausted”, Lauren agreed. I wanted to start walking but my legs still felt like jello. Not that I was foreign to tripping all over the place but I didn’t want to fall on my face in front of Lauren. She always caught me in my clumsiest moments as it was.
“Come on, I’ll give you a piggyback ride”, she suddenly said and I looked at her in complete disbelief.
“You’re kidding, right?”, I asked skeptically.
“No, you obviously have a hard time walking and it’s not that far back to the bus”, she answered and my heart was racing once again at the thought of it.
“I don’t think that’s a good idea”, I mumbled.
“What?”, Lauren chuckled. “You don’t think I could take you? I’m sorry to tell you but you are a lightweight. You probably weigh as much as Sofi.”
“No, I don’t”, I protested with a pout and saw her kinking an eyebrow while smirking.
“Only one way to find out”, she gave back and moved in front of me while bending down a little. She was serious!
“Come on, Camz”, Lauren added in a more scolding tone now and I swallowed heavily. “For God’s sake”, she breathed and grabbed both of my hands, pulling me close while folding them around her neck. It was a reflex at this point, when she got up and I lifted my legs to her waist so she could hold them.
“There we go”, she laughed mildly and now I really felt like passing out. I could smell her shampoo while she just started walking as if I was in fact not even on her back right now. I had to admit that she was stronger than I thought. I didn’t want to. I really didn’t. But I smiled a freaking idiot while she carried me back to the bus and even inside it, taking the steps with me still clinging on to her.
The other girls looked surprised when we came in.
“Can someone get Camz some orange juice? She’s having some circulatory problems”, Lauren explained and Ally immediately ran to the fridge.
“I’m ok, don’t make a big deal out of it”, I said because I felt a little embarrassed with everyone staring at me.
“You almost fainted in the parking lot”, the green-eyed argued and finally put me down on the same couch where I had seen her with Sofi not too long ago. It felt good to sit down but I wouldn’t have minded staying where I was before.
“Oh my God, are you ok?”, Ally asked as soon as Lauren told them about my dizziness but handed me a glass of orange juice.
“Yeah, I’m just tired”, I wanted to sooth them with a smile and took a big gulp of the fruity beverage next. It definitely did wonders and I downed the glass within a few seconds. Lauren handed me a bottle of water next and didn’t even say anything but I did what she wanted and took some more sips from it. I couldn’t deny that I liked the older girl being so assertive sometimes. She wasn’t having any of my excuses and made sure I was taken care of.
“You should really eat more, Camila”, Lauren said quietly and the tone of her voice had changed. She sounded very concerned now and the fact that she called me ‘Camila’ instead of ‘Camz’ emphasized how serious she was. “I-I didn’t mean to bring this up but…it’s just us”, she pointed out that only the other three girls were there with us. “You’ve lost a lot of weight lately and I can’t help but wonder sometimes if you’re ok. I wasn’t worried before because I thought you were just stressed like all of us but you can’t take it to an extreme where you almost pass out.”
My pulse was going through the roof while Lauren spoke on something that had been discussed by other people before but not within the group. I had read about it online that some fans were concerned about my weight loss but hearing my best friend say it with that amount of care in her voice chocked me up.
“I’m not doing anything unhealthy, I promise”, I answered because all the girls looked at me now. “Today was just especially hectic and with my family and friends being here, I kind of forgot about everything else including eating and drinking enough. But I’m fine, really. I’m just growing up and your body changes sometimes.”
“We believe you, Mila. But if you were going through something, anything, you can always talk to us. You know that, right?”, Ally said softly. “You always give such good advice to everyone and you’re there for us but it’s the same the other way around.”
“I know”, I replied and couldn’t shake the feeling that my distant behavior the past couple of days hadn’t gone unnoticed. They seemed to be satisfied with my answer. Dinah and Normani said they were going to fix me up some pasta with bananas even though it was really late and I smiled at them gratefully. Ally made me some sort of tea that should make me feel better. That only left Lauren, who was still standing over me and eyeing me more skeptically than the other girls shouting over each other in the kitchen area.
“Lauren, I’m fine”, I repeated for the millionth time but she sighed and sat down next to me.
“I feel like there’s something you’re not telling me”, she admitted and I grew more nervous just hearing that while the emerald eyes stared me down. “You obviously don’t have to but I just…worry about you sometimes.”
“I’m a big girl. You don’t have to take care of me”, I tried appeasing her concern.
“Maybe”, she half-smiled. “But sometimes…”, she took a little breather. “…sometimes I just like to think you still need me.”
My heart was definitely close to cardiac arrest now but that heartfelt confession was tearing me apart on the inside. She wanted me to need her? If only she knew how much I really did. I needed her more than I wanted; more than I would have liked to admit; more than I would ever be able to tell her.
I took a deep breath and broke our eye contact because I was genuinely scared of doing something idiotic again. Lauren sighed once more and I hated knowing she could feel hurt by me not validating that I did need her. I just couldn’t say it. If I said it, I didn’t know what I would tell her next. It was so easy to lose myself whenever I was around her and I couldn’t take the chance of possibly destroying everything.
“I think the others girls can take it from here”, she said and I detected a gently smile on her lips. “I’m going to bed. Feel better, Camz”, she squeezed my hand shortly and got up.
“Lauren, wait”, I said before she was gone. She turned around and looked at me confused. “Thank you…for taking care of me tonight.”
“Anytime”, she smiled genuinely now and I couldn’t help myself but do the same. She left right after and disappeared in the bunk area but I fell back on the couch. I didn’t want her to care but I was upset when she didn’t. She shouldn’t take care of me but here I was letting her carry me and thanking her in the end despite my best efforts of not letting her know how much I liked it. That girl would be the death of me, I thought to myself before the other girls rejoined me and distracted me from drowning in my thoughts again.
Camila’s lips were gently sucking on mine when I heard someone else entering the kitchen. I disconnected our mouths and watched Dinah scuffing towards us.
“God, do you guys ever stop making out”, she said in a raspy voice and looked very much hung-over. “I should probably not remember this because I was seriously wasted but I cannot look at you right now, Lauren. You in that school girl outfit was just…y’all are freaky.”
I couldn’t hold back a laugh and heard my fiancée doing the same while we separated from our embrace.
“I didn’t even get to enjoy it because you interrupted us”, Camila scolded playfully.
“Yeah, right. Like you two didn’t do the nasty when you got back”, Dinah scoffed.
“Not exactly”, Camila mumbled but started making some coffee for Dinah. She probably would have offered me some as well but I had to go empty for all the tests awaiting me.
“Oh”, Dinah said confused. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to ruin your night.”
“I’m just teasing you. You don’t have to apologize, you were so wasted”, Camila instantly replied.
“Um, I have an important doctor’s appointment today. Maybe you and Camila can hang out and cure your hangover”, I addressed the youngest.
“I’m coming with you”, my fiancée chimed in indignantly.
“You don’t have to. I can call Normani or Alexa. It’s a routine thing but it will probably take some time”, I explained and wanted her to enjoy her time with Dinah.
“No way you’re going without me”, Camila insisted and she sounded almost angry now. I was a little taken aback by her persistence to come with me to the hospital but I didn’t want to fight her on it either.
“Why don’t we all go”, Dinah suggested as Camila poured her some coffee. “I think I need some fresh air and I want to hang out with both of you.”
“Are you sure you want to spend your day in a hospital?”, I asked skeptically.
“It’s not going to be that bad. As long as you two don’t make out the entire time”, she shot us a look and I grinned in response.
“I can’t make any promises”, Camila smirked but it was apparently settled that my two former band members were going to join me for the appointment. They both had a little breakfast before we decided it was to time to head out. Dinah was surprisingly quick in recovering from her hangover . She had never been much of a whiner. The Polynesian always looked at the bright side of things. Not to mention the youngest always had this endless amount of energy. Something I envied so much right now.
I felt particularly weak today but I assumed it was because of the round of meds I had gotten yesterday and the fact that I had been up all day. It put some extra stress on my system but I tried my best to hide my depletion.
We were all putting on our jackets because it was freezing outside. New York was definitely not Miami or Orange County and the three of us were used to warmer climates. Well, I was somewhat used to New York being cold but the winters were always tough. I put on my combat boots and saw Camila standing right in front of me as I unbent. She was holding my scarf and draped it around my neck with a little smile on her lips. I let her do it and saw her smiling even wider when she took my beanie next and placed it perfectly on my head. She bit her lip and I also enjoyed the adorable gesture. I leaned forward and stole a little kiss off her lips.
“Ok, you’re cute I have to admit”, Dinah smirked and I had completely forgotten that she was even with us because I was so busy focusing on the gorgeous woman in front of me. Camila just smiled at her friend and took my hand before leaving the apartment.
Half an hour later, we were all sitting in a small waiting room area to see Dr. Phelps. Dinah was being surprisingly comfortable and chatted away while Camila seemed more tense. Knowing how much this all affected her now, I made sure to hold her hand in mine the entire time and keep her distracted. I didn’t want her to worry so much while she would be waiting. There were some test lined up for me and I was in fact grateful that Dinah had decided to come with us in hindsight. She would be able to keep the nervous woman company.
“I’m so sorry, I don’t mean to bother you”, an unfamiliar voice said and I looked up to see a woman in her forties eyeing me apologetically. “You are Lauren Jauregui, right?”
“Yes”, I said because I was used to people recognizing me even when I wasn’t always up for it.
“I know this is very rude considering where we are but is there any chance you would sign something for my ten year-old daughter? She’s such a big fan of yours?”, the woman continued and I saw she was being genuine and wouldn’t have asked if it wasn’t important to her.
“Sure, no problem”, I responded with a smile.
“Thank you so much”, she said relieved. “I’m just going to get something from her real quick to sign.”
“She’s here?”, I asked confused.
“Why don’t you bring her over? I don’t mind taking a picture if she wants”, I offered because I absolutely loved making my fans happy, especially the younger ones since their joy was so precious to witness.
“I’m sure she’d love to but…she’s not really feeling too well today and I don’t think I can get her down here”, the blonde mother said when a light bulb went off in my head.
“She’s a patient”, I concluded and saw her nodding. After what happened with Adam, I wasn’t sure if I was ready to risk getting my heart broken again by getting close to another patient; let alone a child. I could tell the mother to get something for me to sign but that was not an option if I was being honest. I exchanged looks with Camila and she already seemed to know what I wanted to do. She smiled softly and I squeezed her hand before getting up.
“Well, then I’ll go see her if she can’t come down”, I said and saw the older woman’s eyes lighting up.
“You have no idea how much this will mean to her”, she gave back and I detected sensed that she was touched. I took a deep breath and saw Camila and Dinah getting up as well. Apparently they wanted to come as well and started following the oldest woman. She explained that her daughter, Maddie, was suffering from leukemia and her condition had worsened drastically lately. She was in need of a donor for a bone marrow transplant but they didn’t have a match in their family. I was definitely doing my best to remain calm but I was a little nervous to meet the young patient.
When we reached her room, the first thing I noticed were all the pictures and decorations all over the walls. She had been here for a while it seemed.
“Hey Maddie, look I ran into”, the blonde woman said as I entered the patient’s room and saw the little girl looking up with big eyes. She was even paler than I was, if that was possible. Her blue eyes were vivid but I instantly noticed that she was suffering from hair loss; a side effect of the chemotherapy I hadn’t had to endure thankfully. But everyone was different and I got lucky.
“Hi”, I addressed the girl sitting in her bed and looking at me like she was seeing a ghost. She was wearing a face mask so I wasn’t sure if she was smiling but it looked like it. “Your mom told me you’re a really big fan and I said I have to meet you then.” I walked up to her and sat down on the edge of the bed while the girl seemed to be in shock. I took her hand and kept smiling widely to calm her down.
“You’re my favorite singer”, she finally spoke up and I felt my heart cramping when I heard the young voice. She sounded so innocent and I couldn’t shake the feeling that this was so unfair.
“How is that possible because you are my favorite fan?”, I said full of genuine endearment and played with the little fingers in my hand.
“You are very pretty. I love your hair”, the ten year-old continued and I forgot that we weren’t alone but solely focused on her. It was heartbreaking to hear what she said but I stayed positive because that was what she needed from me; not pity but encouragement.
“No, you are way prettier”, I insisted and used my free hand to gently stroke the side of her head. “It doesn’t matter what kind of hair you have, or don’t have. Those things come and go. You have very pretty eyes, though. But it’s about what’s on the inside that matters. What kind of a person you are. That’s what make you not only pretty but beautiful and you really are beautiful.”
I saw the little one’s eyes glistening in tears and took off my beanie to put it on her. She laughed full of joy when I adjusted the black fabric a little clumsily and planted a little kiss on her forehead. I didn’t have much time because my appointment was due and I had left the waiting area without telling anyone.
“Do you want to take picture?”, I asked and she nodded frantically now. For the first time, I acknowledged the other women in the room with me and they all looked close to tears. The blonde woman used her phone and I adjusted next to the little girl and put my arms tightly around her slim body. I held her close and we took several pictures while doing some silly poses.
“Can Camila and Dinah also be in one picture?”, Maddie suddenly asked and I was surprised she knew about them because she was so young. I wouldn’t have expected her to know about Fifth Harmony but obviously she did. The other two women joined us on the bed for some more pictures before I handed the blonde woman my own phone and asked her to record a video. All of them had no idea what I wanted to do but I needed to make this meaningful somehow. I wanted to help in whatever way I could. As soon as I heard the little sound that meant the camera was recording, I started talking freely but genuinely.
“Hey everyone”, I waved gently at the camera. “I know I’ve been kind of MIA lately but I need your help with something. We just met this wonderful young lady and she, like so many others, is in desperate need for a bone marrow transplant. It is incredibly easy to get registered; all you need to do is a simple cheek swab for the initial registration. In return you get to possibly help someone out in a very big way. So please, get informed, get registered and improve or save someone’s life by something so easy. I love you all and I will talk to you soon. Thank you”, I finished the completely spontaneous message with a big smile.
Everyone was silent now but I got up and took my phone to post the video on Instagram instantly. There was no reason why I shouldn’t and I was always big on doing whatever you could to help others.
“Listen Maddie, I have to go now but I’ll give your mom my number and you can call or text me whenever you want, ok? I want to know how you’re doing, alright?”, I focused on the youngest now and walked up to her once more to stroke her temple softly.
“Ok”, she said enthusiastically.
“Promise that you’ll stay strong, ok? I want to see you at my next concert dancing like crazy.”
“Promise”, the child nodded and I gulped slightly before giving her a last hug and saying goodbye to her mother as well. We exchanged numbers and she thanked me about twelve times but I kept telling her it was nothing she was had to thank me for. Dinah, Camila and I waved at them one last time before walking out into the hallway.
I exhaled very deeply and felt both younger women placing a hand on each of my shoulders to console me.
“I’m fine”, I said quietly but needed a minute to refocus.
“That was beautiful what you did in there”, Dinah commented.
“I wished there was more I could do, you know?”, I confessed and felt Camila placing a hand on my cheek, pulling me in to face her before her lips connected with mine full of tenderness and affection.
“You’re doing more than most people”, she whispered lovingly and released me. Maybe so, but that was actually a very sad thought. As jaded as I was sometimes, there was this idealistic dreamer inside of me that wished and hoped people would come to their senses and realize we were all one. We should do everything we could to be compassionate and give in whatever way that was possible to each individually. In moments like these, I was always torn between my almost naïve heart and my rational brain that knew how harsh and cruel the world could be. That struggle within me would probably never disappear but I needed to regain my composure and focus on my own recovery for the moment.
My appointment with Dr. Phelps went very well. I had to a variation of tests which took quite some time but we discussed everything right after. And to everyone’s relief, I was doing very well. I was slightly surprised to hear that because I felt so weak most of the time. My doctor reassured me that this was normal and I shouldn’t push myself too much because that could be counterproductive. That was easily said but I would go literally insane if I didn’t have the ability to at least take a walk outside. She encouraged the idea of mild physical activity but not being outside because of the weather. The risk of getting sick was extremely high because of the flue going around and it was admittedly freezing outside.
Other than that, everything seemed fine and I was happy to leave the hospital after several hours. Dinah, Camila and I went back to the apartment and ordered some pizza because I was starving after having had an empty stomach all day. I had almost forgotten what it was like to have an appetite and I took that as a good sign. Still, I felt really exhausted from all the stress.
I was lying on the couch with Camila sitting next to me while Dinah was getting something for us to drink. Camila was picking out a movie to watch for us. At first, we had been rather quiet after leaving the hospital but Dinah wasn’t one to stay calm for long and it was an absolute blessing to have her around during those times where Camila and I tended to drown in our own thoughts. The youngest snapped us out of it with a few jokes and I felt a lot better by now.
My phone went off and I pulled out the device to see that it was my dad calling. I was a little surprised because I hadn’t talked to him in a while and it was usually my mom calling for both of them.
“Hey dad”, I put him on speaker and felt some guilt immediately approaching me because none of my family members knew about my illness still.
“Hey, haven’t heard from you in a while. How are you?”, the male voice filled the room while Camila was still looking at the TV.
“I’m good-“, I wanted to say more but my father interrupted.
“Are you really?”
I gulped and saw Camila looking at me now. His voice sounded extremely concerned and I felt my heart beating faster with every passing second. Did he know?
“Um…yeah”, I said not very assuredly and heard Dinah coming into the living room with drinks and snacks.
“Then why do I get your siblings calling me and telling me that they’ve seen a video of you and that they are extremely worried”, he explained his questioning of my well-being and I felt even worse knowing that Taylor and Chris were so scared that they called my parents to see if I was ok. We were all separated physically but we stayed close as a family. My parents had been living in Cuba for a while now and my siblings were studying abroad. I had been all over the world before but this phone call proved how close-knit we still were.
“I was just sending out a message to my fans”, I tried deflecting the issue and looked to Dinah who was shoving her face with snacks as if she was already watching a movie.
“Yeah, I saw that. I watched the video because Taylor was so freaked out that I wanted to see it for myself and I understand why she was”, my dad sounded anxious. “Lauren, you looked very different. You were so pale and skinny. Please tell me that you’re not doing something unhealthy to become stick thin for the business or something.”
“No, I’m not. I promise”, I answered right away.
“Then what is it? And why were you in the hospital in the first place?”
I found myself at crossroads because it was one thing to avoid the subject but another to blatantly lie to my family. My eyes wandered to Camila who was eyeing me intently before I took a deep breath.
“I was in the hospital because…about two months ago I was diagnosed with breast cancer”, I dropped the bombshell but continued quickly. “But I’ve had surgery and it was very successful. I’m having chemotherapy and I only have six weeks left, so I’m doing very well. I didn’t want you guys to worry.”
“Dad?”, I asked carefully.
“You have cancer and didn’t tell us?”, his voice carried so much hurt that I felt a lot worse than I thought I would after telling them. “You’ve been lying to us for two months!”
“I wasn’t lying but…withholding information”, I argued.
“Don’t be a smart-ass now, hija”, he was definitely mad now. “Do you realize that your mom is crying right now next to me.”
“I’m doing fine, I swear. Everything is going perfectly with my recovery and I’ll be back to normal”, I tried appeasing them because I didn’t want to upset them that much.
“How do we know you’re telling the truth right now? How do we know you’re not lying in a hospital bed dying”, my dad’s voice sounded dangerously close to cracking and I felt my own heart almost breaking at the sound of that.
“I’m sorry, I honestly didn’t mean to hurt you”, I admitted truthfully. “But I’m telling the truth, right now.”
“I can’t believe you wouldn’t tell us something like that”, he mumbled.
“Basta, Lauren. No aguanto más!”, he told me he couldn’t handle any more and I knew he was upset when he started speaking Spanish. “We’re coming to New York, whether you like it or not.”
“You don’t have to do that. What do I need to do to prove that I’m fine?”, I used my last efforts to keep them from coming and worrying so much.
“Lauren, listen”, his voice softened. “I’m not mad, ok? I am crushed because you are guys are the apple of my eye and the idea that you are sick is killing me. Maybe you are fine but I’m not. I’ve never been so scared in my life and I have to see you to make sure I’m not losing my child.”
How on earth could I fight my dad on this when he was so brutally and heart-rendingly honest? I sighed quietly because I couldn’t deny his wish any longer, even if that meant more stress on me. I never wanted to bother them but if they insisted on coming, I was actually glad to see them. Of course I missed them and now that I knew they were coming, I was glad that the secret was out.
“Ok”, I said simply.
“We’ll all come this weekend and just stay for a few days”, my dad explained a lot more at ease now.
“Alright, I’m…looking forward to seeing you, I hope you know that. And I’m sorry for upsetting you all so much. I really am”, I said ruefully.
“I know. We all do. We were just…worried. I’m also sorry for snapping at you. I love you so much, mí corazón and I can’t wait to see you.”
“I love you too. See you soon then. Bye.”
“Bye” he hung up and I sighed deeply to recover from that phone call. My heart was beating out of my chest still before I looked at the two other women with me.
“You’re relieved, aren’t you?”, Camila asked softly and caught my attention.
“Yeah”, I admitted and saw her smiling gently.
“I’m proud of you for telling the truth and not lying”, she said and ran one hand through my hair tenderly. I closed my eyes because that little gesture was so enjoyable when it hit me.
“There might be an upside to this”, I sat up now and grinned. “Let’s get married this weekend”, I blurted out and saw the younger ones’ eyes widen slightly.
“Are you serious?”, she smiled but looked unsure if I was being sincere.
“Yeah, why not? My family is going to be here, Dinah is here. We can call Ally and your family so they will come out as well. This way they won’t be mad at us for eloping. We’ll just go to city hall and have a little dinner or celebration later on. I don’t need a real ceremony as long as all the people we love are there and we can finally make it official. What do you say?”, I ambushed her a little with my fast-talking voice now but I was so excited at the idea of us finally getting married.
“I say Yes”, Camila agreed to my idea and I saw her tearing up.
“Oh no, what’s wrong?”, I said instantly because I couldn’t handle her crying any more because of me.
“Nothing, it’s just…I’ve waited so long for this and I can’t believe it’s actually going to happen now”, her low voice sounded so touched and my heart fluttered at her words.
“We’re getting this weekend, Camila”, I repeated with the biggest smile on my face.
“We’re getting married”, she confirmed before sealing our plans with a kiss.
A/N: I know it’s been a relatively long time since I’ve updated but this might be the longest chapter I’ve written so far. Or second longest, for sure if that’s any consolation. I hope you like it. Your feedback is the most amazing part of this, so don’t be shy to tell me what you thought :)
There might a bunch of mistakes in this one, though. I’m just too tired to proofread right now and I wanted to update today. Have a good night/day everyone and thank you for sticking with me for so long :)
Sorry if this chapter is a little boring. There’s a lot of dialogue and just getting to know each other better and stuff. —
Saturday night couldn’t come fast enough. Vic and I had planned to go away this weekend, so for the whole week I was getting impatient and couldn’t wait for tonight. I would get a whole night alone with Vic, just me and him. We finally wouldn’t have to worry about people walking in on us kissing, although I’d like a lot more than kissing to happen, but Vic made it quite clear that nothing was going to happen this weekend. Did that mean I was going to respect his wishes? Hell no. Poor Vic, always trying to be a responsible adult but in the end he’ll give into me. Who knows when we’d get time to be alone again? I was going to get the most out of it.
HELLOOOO EVERYONE…part 1 of TINF chapter 16 was uploaded the other day! I put off making a post until I had time to make a new cover, which I just uploaded today. :D Due to time restraints I typed the dialogue instead of handwriting it (really surreal to me since I’ve been handwriting 4e) UHHH I might edit that later…anyway, thank you everyone for continuously reading TINF!!! IT MEANS A LOT TO ME ILU… :’D
I hope you like the beginning of this chapter with awkward party scenes and maybe a “new” character you might be interested in… (???????) ;D