Chapter 2

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"This is by far the strangest thing I've ever done," Camila mumbled and looked down at her Hawaiian pizza.

"What? Eating pizza? Dude, what the hell," Lauren joked.

Camila shook her head. "You know what I mean."

"Well, I sure hope it is. New York City isn't exactly the safest place to go somewhere with a total stranger. It could be a serial killer, you never know."

"Are you saying that you are one?" Camila raised an eyebrow at the green-eyed girl and Lauren snorted.

"I would be a lousy killer, if I told you that before I murder you, wouldn't I?"

Camila shrugged and picked at a piece of pineapple. It was weird to talk to someone that was her age. But it wasn't as awkward as she had feared. It wasn't awkward at all. Lauren didn't seem to care that she was more reserved than her.

"So, you study music?" Lauren asked. She actually sounded interested. That was another thing that she wasn't used to.

"Yup."

"That's pretty cool. I always wanted to be a singer when I grew up," Lauren said, a faraway look in her eyes.

Camila tilted her head, intrigued. "What happened?"

Lauren shrugged. "Do you remember the show X Factor? The US version?"

"Um... that was a few years ago, right?"

She didn't really need to ask. She knew exactly when the three seasons had aired. When she was fifteen all she wanted was to audition for Simon Cowell. She was ready to conquer her stage fright to do just that. But her parents wanted her to solely concentrate on her school work. The less distractions she had, the better. There was no time for hobbies or childish dreams of becoming a famous singer. If she had any spare time left, she had obviously not studied enough.

"Exactly. I, uh... I actually auditioned for the second season..."

Camila's head snapped up and Lauren blushed. "You did?"

"Yeah... I didn't make it to the live shows, though. I was eliminated in the final round of boot camp."

"That sucks."

Lauren shook her head. "Nah, it just wasn't suppose to happen, I guess."

"And you never tried to pursue a singing career after that?"

"Eh, no. I obviously wasn't talented enough to be a singer, so I quit trying. At that time I was visiting a really great private school in my hometown on an academic scholarship. It kind of worked out, if you know what I mean. Had I been successful, who knows what would have happened to my education?"

Camila nodded slowly. "You don't regret it? Not at all?"

"No... I mean, sometimes I miss it, but whatever. Not all of our dreams come true. And besides, I met my best friends through X Factor." Lauren chuckled and played with her spinach pizza. "That's worth more than a stupid recording contract. You're going to meet them too. I think, maybe tomorrow."

Camila furrowed her brow. "What makes you think that I want to meet your friends?"

"Well, you are my friend now and it would be stupid, if you wouldn't meet my other friends too," Lauren replied and shrugged, as if that was the most obvious thing in the world.

"But..."

"Ah, ah, ah... no buts." Lauren smirked at her. "You're gonna meet them tomorrow and that's final. Or do you have anything else to do? If not, we could maybe all go watch a movie or something..."

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