Chapter Thirteen: Stand Down

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For awhile, Lauren did her best to avoid Camila. She didn't like the thought of ignoring Camila, because that wasn't really what she was trying to do. If Camila was on FaceBook, Lauren would quickly log off. If Lauren saw Camila down the hallway or in a classroom, the green-eyed girl would wait a while before going inside, making sure the coast was clear. She just didn't want to be caught up in whatever...whatever Camila was pulling, Lauren had decided. 

From what Lauren knew, she was a taken woman, and so was Camila. Lauren had Ally, and Camila had Pauly, and there was no way that Lauren was going to come between Pauly and 'his' woman. And, Lauren supposed, there was no way that Camila was going to be come between Ally and 'her' woman. 

Walking out to the parking lot, Lauren situated some hair behind her ear, just wanting to get out of the high school as soon as possible. Her college class wasn't to start for awhile longer, but Lauren couldn't even concentrate in her art class long enough to put anything down on the paper. They were practicing pen and ink, and all Lauren could think about was the way Camila's lips formed around the word 'love'. Before she even knew what she was doing, Lauren had drawn a rather good picture of some familiar, pursed lips. Lauren could only wish that they were Ally's before they had kissed. 

Lauren was halfway down the parking lot when she heard someone calling her name. She turned, eyes widening a bit when she met a pair of brown eyes that she hadn't wanted to see. Lauren turned her gaze back to the ground, hoping that Camila didn't really notice that she had noticed her. She walked towards her car, touching the car handle when she felt a hand on her arm. 

Lauren looked over her shoulder, meeting Camila's eyes once again. They were red and bloodshot, like the shorter girl had been crying. She frowned a little, then faced Camila completely. 

"Camz," Lauren breathed, scanning Camila's tired and makeup-less face. "Wh-what's wrong?" 

Camila shook her head, then looked down at the ground. "I'm not...sure, really, Laur. Can we talk?" she asked, nervously rubbing the back of her neck. 

She looked so dead and desperate and broken, Lauren couldn't do anything else but say, 'yes'. They both got into the car, where they sat in silence for awhile before Lauren actually started the engine. The radio turned on, playing some old country song, filling the quiet awkwardness. With a sigh, Lauren pulled out of the parking lot, assuming that Camila wanted to go to the Grove. 

On arrival, Lauren took the keys out of the car, then hopped out, shaking her head a little. "I'm not understanding what's going on. Why we have to go out here and all that," she said, sighing again, only in aggravation. 

Camila didn't say anything, she just wordlessly got out of the car and went towards the bench. The one they had met up at the first time they were at the Grove. 

Lauren frowned, then followed behind, not really sure how to respond to Camila's silence. "Camila, seriously. What's going on? You're seriously worrying me," Lauren said. It was then that Lauren noticed Camila wasn't wearing her necklace, the one with the charm on it. "Oh, shit, did you lose your necklace?" 

Suddenly, Camila was breaking down in tears, squeezing her eyes shut. She covered her face with her hands, sobbing into them so brokenly, Lauren wasn't sure what to do. 

"Camila, love, I can help you find your necklace. It's not a big deal," Lauren started. She stopped, though, when Camila lifted her head. 

"I threw it away," Camila replied bluntly, staring up at Lauren. "For all of this time, I thought...I thought my father had died or was kidnapped. I thought, maybe, he was just missing somewhere at sea. I don't know. Stupid childlike shit. But, no. I found my dad's Facebook page, because I found out his real name. The profile picture matches a picture I found of my parents, in my mom's drawer." 

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