Chapter 1

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"Thank you so much for coming out, Miami! It’s always special coming back home and performing for you guys. You’ve been amazing. Thank you and enjoy the rest of your night!”

The roaring applause from the audience slowly subsided as I made my way from the stage to my dressing room. I was exhausted and just drained in general when I basically collapsed in my chair und tried to calm down. Even after all this time I felt anxious on stage and that anxiety takes some time to die down. Being a well-known Pop star is not something you complain about though. I chose this. I wanted this. Never in a million years would I have thought it would amount to this but I made it.

After being in a very successful girl group for five years I was the only one who continuously worked hard and made a name for myself. Of course it came with a price that I was more than willing to pay since the group split up almost six years ago. But lately I found myself growing more and more unhappy with what my life had become. I never fully admitted that to myself but it was in moments like these where I felt sixteen again. Like, I had made no real progression within myself other than being more famous and wealthier. Wanting to stop my thoughts from going into an even darker place I started looking for my cigarettes when I heard someone knock.

“Lauren, you have a visitor”, Dave, my tour manager, said mysteriously.

I couldn’t even protest before I saw the stunningly beautiful woman coming up from behind him.

“Camila…”, I exhaled with a mixture of disbelief and shock.

It felt like someone had just hit me over the head with a baseball bat. I hadn’t seen my former band mate and best friend in years and now she was slowly approaching me with a warm smile. My mind was still not working properly but I felt my green eyes giving her the once over. Was she even taller now? She looked thinner but curvier at the same time and her brown hair was lighter than her natural tone.  To be honest, she looked like a freaking super model and for the first time I felt like we had switched roles. She oozed confidence and I felt like an insecure idiot.

“Hi”, she said softly, giving me a quick hug before taking two steps back and giving me time to regroup. She seemed to pick up on my shock.

“Hey”, I replied not really knowing what to say because I felt myself just stare at her. Even her face had become more beautiful. The babyishly features had been replaced by more mature ones.

“That was an incredible set. You were amazing out there”, she complimented me to avoid an awkward silence.

“Thank you. I…-I didn’t know you were…I mean, I would’ve gotten you tickets.” I found myself feeling more of an idiot with every stammer I uttered but Camila just continued giving me the warmest smile, which was soothing and agitating all at once.

“Oh no, I didn’t want to bother you. Besides, it was sort of spontaneous decision”, she explained.

There was another knock on the door when Dave let someone else in. “She said she’s with Camila”, he mumbled and I watched yet another super model walk in. Blond, blue eyes, tall and perfect.

“I hope I’m not interrupting”, the blonde woman said in a smooth voice and approached both of us. “I got our purses and just wanted to say that I’m going to wait in the car.”

I watched both of them and tried regaining myself control because I felt so out of it. Now I wasn’t sure whether it was the exhaustion, Camila or the blonde woman who caused me more discomfort. But then I heard the more familiar voice speak again.

“Lauren, this is Hanna. My girlfriend.”

I felt my eyes widen and my jaw dropping like I was a damn cartoon character. If this was a cartoon my head would’ve probably exploded next. Surely there is no right or wrong reaction when you hear something like that but mine was definitely not what I intended. Still, I couldn’t  process because I saw the extended hand of the blond woman and shook it automatically without saying anything. I wasn’t sure what they thought of me now but I wanted to punch myself for making an ass out of myself. Hanna also complimented me on the show before she left, probably realizing that I was being on another planet.

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