Chapter Eight: Cannonball Part 1

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When the weekend finally came, Camila was everything but relieved. While other teens her age rejoiced at the weekend, the end of all their tests and piles of homework and start of free time, Camila dreaded it. As the weekend that Camila had arrived to was the weekend of another beauty pageant. Most times, Camila was ready to put on a brave face, a fake smile, and puff out her chest in confidence. But, this time was completely different. She wasn't ready to face this pageant, not this time. Camila knew, though, that there was no backing out of this event. Sinuhe was mighty excited for this pageant, even though Camila had already won the Sweet Pea beauty pageant, as it was a national pageant instead of state. This meant that there was a lot more competition that Sinuhe was positive her daughter was going to beat out.

Camila wasn't so sure, though.

For some reason, Camila felt entirely off. Ever since she had started talking to Lauren, who was a lot more of a talker than Camila had first known, the brown-eyed girl had found everything completely wrong. From the beauty pageants to her dating Pauly to even some of her friend choices. She felt like there was always something wrong and just off. Camila figured it was guilt for lying to Lauren about everything. She did feel bad for that, but there wasn't more she could do. But, then again, Camila didn't really feel guilty for it. She would've felt more guilty for telling the truth.

Camila was slowly starting to wonder if hanging out with Lauren was beginning to open her eyes. Camila knew her life wasn't as perfect as even Lauren had first seen it as. She knew that every time she went to bed with tears in her eyes and woke up with a sinking gut, knowing she'd have to fake a smile. But, Camila just accepted it as her fate. That was how things were and nothing was going to change that.

But, now, she was beginning to find it all so ridiculous. It was not Camila's fate to bow down to Pauly's every need, or to always succumb to Sinuhe's beauty pageant requests. She shouldn't have to fake a smile. She shouldn't have to feel uncomfortable without a boy to hold on to and perfect grades and a-list friends.

That didn't change anything, though. While Camila had a different mindset to her life, that didn't mean that she was completely changing her ways. She was starting to make a list of people she should kick out of her life, which was going rather well, it was the actual act of kicking them out that made Camila cringe. Camila was still going to do what she could to keep Pauly around, and she couldn't disappoint her mother. Not when Sinuhe had done everything for Camila. Not when Sinuhe's only pride and joy came from Camila doing those pageants.

Camila would do anything to make her mother smile, even if it meant faking one of her own.

A soft sigh left Camila's nose as she scrolled mindlessly through her feed on FaceBook, her manicured thumbnail clacking against the screen of her iPhone. It was mostly recipes to weird desserts, posts about pot from her stupid boyfriend, and good luck messages directed towards her. Camila was about to close out of the app, but a sudden beeping noise stopped her. She smiled when she saw she had a new message from Lauren. Instantly, she was clicking on the notification, which redirected her to the FaceBook messenger app.

'Hey, Camz :P How are you?'

Camila bit her lip gently, tapping her thumbs against the keyboard. She looked at the lie she had typed out, which read that she was perfectly fine, then erased it all. She figured that Lauren had to find out at some point she didn't like pageants all that much.

'I have a beauty pageant today. I'm not ready.'

Camila sighed again, unsure what she should do after that. Before she could really make a decision, Lauren was sending another message.

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