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i threw another brain cell lauren's way

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She spends about ninety percent of her math class thinking about Cuba. And Camila. It's okay for her to have a feeling that it might be Camila, right? Some of the things Camila says are just so Cuba that it makes Lauren feel slightly hopeful. She knows she shouldn't.

She wants to remain neutral, because if Cuba is someone else, she will love her regardless. But Camila is one of the prettiest people she's ever seen, and she doesn't know how she'd never noticed it before. Camila had been sitting at the same lunch table as her since Lauren's sophomore year, and she can't comprehend that she'd barely noticed the girl until now.

She guesses it's because Camila has always been quiet, only ever talking to Dinah. And there was that one time... the day Tiffany had made a comment about a girl having a crush on her. And Lauren had realised that it was Camila, only a few days ago. Honestly, when Lauren was so far in the closet she hadn't even clocked that she wasn't straight, she was lowkey homophobic. Not in the way where people go around shouting about gay people being sinners, but more... quietly freaked out about the idea of girls kissing other girls. She'd never been bothered by gay men, and it was always Sapphic women that she was genuinely kind of terrified by.

So, when Tiffany had made that comment back then, she'd awkwardly laughed it off, not wanting any of that to be associated with her. And she didn't realise it'd been Camila. She's fully aware that some offhanded comment doesn't make Camila gay, but she's almost certain that she actually is. Which means she could be Cuba.

And it means that Lauren had laughed at her and made her insecure two years ago, so that's great.

In the end, she doubts Camila remembers, and if Lauren tried to apologise for it, she'd probably think she's a little crazy. But they're meeting for lunch, so Lauren can buy her that ice cream she'd promised, and Lauren's at least going to try to talk to her about it. Not about her being Cuba, though. While she does think Camila could be, Lauren's still not out to her mom. She needs to deal with that first.

When the bell finally rings, she's relieved. But also nervous, because lunch with Camila. She hates that she's so jittery around Camila, even if she's outwardly good at playing it cool. Maybe it's because Camila is so pretty, and pretty girls make Lauren nervous by default. Or it's because she could be Cuba. Or maybe a combination of both.

She's humming happily to herself, on her way to the parking lot, when it happens.

"Hey, Lauren."

Again? Lauren thinks to herself when Brad Simpson catches up to her after class. "Um, hi."

"So, I'm just going to cut right to the chase and say it," he starts, and she cringes internally, because this is the kind of thing that's uncomfortable to her. "Do you want to go out some time?"

"Uh, no. Sorry," She answers, and when he looks a little angry, she adds, "I'm kind of... seeing someone." Because it's not entirely a lie. Even though Cuba isn't her girlfriend yet, she's still hers.

"What?" He frowns at her like she'd just spoken another language. "Uh, why were you acting like you were into me the other week at lunch, then? You were all over me until your friend showed up and interrupted us."

On what planet were my one word responses and awkward grimaces me being 'all over you'? Lauren wants to question, because she's certain she's sent enough negative signals to this guy. She danced with him at one party, and he's barely left her alone since.

"I really wasn't." Lauren states, because she fucking hates guys like these, the ones that equate politeness with attraction. "Now if you don't mind, I'm meeting my friend."

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