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and again, lauren is baby. but not just here also 100% in real life

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"Nope."

Michelle rolls her eyes, prodding her again, "Come on, get up."

"Not doing it. I'm sick," Lauren groans, cringing at the light. "Leave me alone. Please tell mom I'm not going to school today. And get a ride with her."

After another eye roll, Michelle turns sympathetic. "Okay. But you owe me."

"Of course," Lauren rolls over in her bed, kissing the top of Cleo's head. And then she sees Camila standing in the doorway, and that's embarrassing, because she's ridiculously hungover. And she hadn't even intended to get drunk. Damn you, Dinah Jane. "Oh. Hello. Good morning. Well, it isn't for me."

"Clearly," Camila says, but she's smiling, and Lauren can recall most of last night. Especially when she'd embarrassingly asked to be best friends or something of that calibre. "Need some water?"

The cup on her bedside is empty, and she nods. "Please."

Camila grabs it and follows Michelle out of her bedroom. Lauren sits up, feeling ridiculously queasy. She doesn't feel like she's going to be sick, but everything is very blurry and she feels a little nauseated, so there's no way she's going to school like this.

But on the bright side, she can stay home and email Cuba all day. So that's pretty great. She checks her phone to see if Cuba had sent anything last night, and to her absolute delight, she had.

——

From: <keepmovingforward@gmail.com>

To: <loveitifwemadeit@gmail.com>

Nov 1, 2018, 1:08AM

dearly beloved green,

i don't know why i started this email like i'm shakespeare or some shit but i really missed you tonight. regardless, i had a good halloween. certainly won't be one i'll forget, anyway.

i want to meet you. i was thinking about it last night, thinking about how much i want to hold your hand, watch movies with you, snuggle up with you. but then i don't want to lose this. it's like, i want you to be my real, honest to god girlfriend, but at the same time, i want things to stay as they are. where i have a non-judgemental safe space to talk about anything.

and i guess part of it is that i don't want to disappoint you. i know you're just going to say i could never, but i'm not exactly what you'd call cool. and i really feel like you are. or at least you are to me.

love, cuba

p.s. softball???

——

From: <loveitifwemadeit@gmail.com>

To: <keepmovingforward@gmail.com>

Nov 1, 2018, 7:32AM

Cuba,

I very much enjoyeth your neweth Shakespeare-esque writing style. Let us hope that this is a romance and not a tragedy. If it interests you at all, my favourite Shakespeare play is A Midsummer Night's Dream.

I'm glad you had a good Halloween. I did too, actually. Even though I wasn't entirely too bothered about it.

I want to meet you too. And I cannot wait until we can have the cutest little casual dates where we snuggle and binge TV shows and watch stupid rom coms and make fun of them. But I understand what you mean, and we both know that now's not the time. But I can't wait to be your girlfriend. And I would never, ever judge you for anything.

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