Chapter 12

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"Clear!"

"Pump it up, Doc!"

"One, two, three!" The soft buzz of the defibrillator echoed through the room, a chorus of shouts following the rapid compression.

"No, clear! Up again!"

"Again?" a murmur of doubt left the lips of the surgeon currently holding the charged pads.

"Again, I said again!"

"One, two, three... Clear!"

"One more try." A silence followed his words, and sighs and sad head shakes filled the room.

"There's no use in it. She's gone. Complete flat line."

The room stilled for a moment, the previous rush of buzz and panic ebbing away. One doctor pulled his face mask away, sharing a look with the other, across the table. He shook his head with a sad sigh, "She's gone. Call it."

"Camila Cabello, time of death, eleven fifty three."

















... Lauren sat up with a gasp, her head was pounding and she wiped the thin layer of sweat from her forehead. That dream had been reoccurring for the last three nights that Camila had been in this place. It was ridiculous, as if her brain was trying to force her to endure a simulation of how everything would've been had Camila not survived. At least this time she didn't have to see Ally sobbing into Normani's shoulder, or Dinah trying to force her way into the operating room, or Sinu and Alejandro breakdown in the waiting room, or Sofi's entire demeanour crashing when the news met her ears... Or even herself - quiet and stony faced, but inside dead, along with Camila.

"Just a dream," she murmured softly, glancing down at Camila's form, asleep and blissfully unaware beside her. "Just a stupid little dream."

•••

"Are you sure you'll be okay, mija? I can take a few more days off work if you need me to..."

"Mom, I'll be fine," Camila rolled her eyes, crossing her one good arm across her chest and earning a light thwack on the thigh from Lauren for her attitude. "I mean... Thank you, but I'm okay now. Or, I'll be okay. I have Lauren and the girls, they can take care of me."

It had been almost three entire days since Camila's accident, Sinu's flight was scheduled for the next morning, and despite knowing her mother had her best intentions at heart, she couldn't wait for the overbearing woman to leave. It was suffocating to have her hovering in her face all day, firing constant questions at her about how she felt. She felt okay at 2:02 so she was going to feel okay at 2:03 and 2:04 as well!

"I know they can, but... You're right, I worry to much. Ay dios, mija, of course you'll be okay," she exhaled sharply, sharing a glance with Lauren who wore a sympathetic smile. "Just... Make sure she doesn't forget her the painkillers and... She doesn't get her cast wet or get an infection... And no strenuous activity! Meaning no shows for a while... Are you sure you don't want to come back to Miami with me?"

"With all due respect Sinu," Lauren cut in, a small chuckle escaping her lips, "Your daughter is my best friend and I treasure her greatly. I've been watching out for her for five years now - I promise you that she's safe in my hands from now on. I make sure that she doesn't have more than two bananas a day and that she's never awake after eleven when we have to be up the next morning. I make sure that she's not on her phone too much and that she doesn't strain her eyes when trying to read in the dark. I make sure that she eats her vegetables as well as her fries and I make sure that she drinks enough water a day. I make sure that her hair and makeup is done and her outfit is planned and usually... Usually I make sure she stays safe. I couldn't do anything this time, but I assure you Sinu, she's safe now."

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