Gwen couldn't help but be a bit disappointed at her comment of good friends, but she doesn't let it get her down, instead she jumps at the opportunity to get out of the house [#cd5c5c "Sure, I'm down for dinner and a movie, and you can wear whatever you want to wear. The dress is very nice on you so if you want to wear that feel free to do so, if not that's also cool,"] Gwen says as she climbs off the couch, scratching Lemon Drop behind the ear for a moment before walking down the hallway of her apartment and into her bedroom.
[#cd5c5c "Of course I can only agree if you'd be open to watching a scary movie with me, there is this one that I've wanted to see for a while that just came out and I don't have anyone to go see if with me, but I also don't want to go see it alone. Can we please go see that one?"] She asks, sifting through her closet to pick out some clothes that are more suitable for a non-date date.
A wave of relief swept over Camille as she heard Gwen's voice over the line. She had been so nervous that it was the wrong number, or that if it was right, Gwen would be annoyed, but she wasn't, and that made Camille happy.
Gwen ended up saying that she would love to do something with Camille, which made the latter choke on a "yay!" because she didn't want to exclaim it and embarrass herself more than she already was.
"U-um. Since it's still early in the evening... um... I was thinking we could do something tonight? Go to dinner, and maybe watch a movie? That could be fun, I think. I really want to do something with you because I think we could really be good friends. I haven't had one of those in a long time. Good friends, I mean."
Camille blushed despite no one being around to see it. Her stomach rumbled from hunger, and she placed a hand on it as if that would help to assuage the pangs of an empty stomach coming on.
"Would.... would that be okay? I'll wear the dress I bought today if... if you like."
The remaining hours of Gwen's shift go by entirely uneventful, filled with nothing but customers asking her to get things down from a shelf or checking them out, but the whole time Gwen can't get the soft and adorable voice out of her head.
When her shift finally ends she does some light food shopping before heading home, picking up some essentially along the way before heading back to her small apartment and her dog Lemon Drop, tossing her shoes off, she pops some popcorn into the microwave and curls up on the couch beside her dog and turns on the first thing that catches her eyes, choosing to have today be a simple and lazy day for the remaining time.
Or rather that is the plan till a few hours later she receives a phone call from an unknown number. She quickly mutes the TV and dusts her shirt off, answering the phone with a quick [#cd5c5c "Hello"] before Camilla's voice stumbles over the polite invitation to dinner. The sheer amount of how pure and adorable this woman is squeezes Gwen's heart, filling her with delight at the invitation.
[#cd5c5c "I'm truly beginning to believe that you have no idea how adorable and beautiful you are. Of course I'd love to go to dinner with you. Are you think you'd like to go tonight or are you thinking more of a Friday night dinner and a movie?"] she asks, doing her best to feel out if Camilla is interested in women without directly asking her.
Camille took the receipt and stared at the number that was on the back side. Was this really happening? Did someone - no less someone as pretty and nice as Gwen, as that was her name, it seemed - really just give her their phone number? Isn't that something that someone who wants to be your friend would do?
Gently holding the receipt so as to not rip or tear it, Camille put it in her purse as she took hold of the things she just bought. She gave Gwen a genuinely happy full-grinned smile as she waved goodbye and left the store with her mother, who had just reappeared outside with a bag from what Camille assumed to be lunch.
"Who was that?" Camille's mother asked as the young woman exited the store entrance. "One of your friends?"
Camille smiled knowingly.
Several hours later, it was getting dark, and Camille was pacing slowly back and forth, uncertain of what to do. She had waited a good amount of time, but now she really wanted to call this girl Gwen and thank her again for the help she had provided. However, full of worry and doubt once more, Camille wasn't so certain she should go through with calling.
"Maybe she's working late? Or maybe she's tired and just wants to be left alone tonight? Did she even give me her real phone number? Does she really want to talk to me like she said she did? Is that okay? I mean... uuugh."
Camille was starting to feel unnecessarily stressed out with her inner turmoil, and she was getting hungry. She didn't want to stand up for cooking, and her mother was taking a nap in her bedroom, so Camille wasn't certain what to do. All she knew was that she needed to eat something soon.
And that gave her an idea.
Now determined a bit more, Camille quickly punched in the numbers on the back of the clothing store receipt on her smartphone's virtual keyboard and she shakingly lifted the phone to her ear.
It was ringing.
It wasn't too late just yet, only just now a darkening evening.
Surely this would be a success? Maybe?
More ringing, and then...
The telltale clicking sound the phone made caused Camille to jolt out of her nervous reverie and nearly drop her phone, but she managed to keep hold of it.
"H-hello. Is this G-Gwen from the clothing store? If-if it is.. I'm Camille. Y-you gave me your number earlier today after h-helping me with my purchase. I w-wanted to call you again and see if you would like to gotodinnerwithme! Blah!"
Camille started feeling rather embarrassed for squeezing her words together incoherently, but took a few deep breaths. She kept thinking in the back of her mind that by now, Gwen, if it was Gwen, would make fun of her, but she really wanted to try and be friends.
"I-I mean... go to dinner with me! As a thank you! For today I mean. I-I-I-I-I... uh..."
Gwen doesn't have to wait at the counter for long before the girl returns with her items in hand. After giving her name Gwen simply waves her off. [#FF00FF "Don't even think about it. I'm happy to help Camilla. My name is Gwen by the way."] She says, ringing up the clothes and typing in some of her employee information before swiping her card. She flips the receipt over and jots down her name and phone number
[#FF00FF "And Just in case you ever need to hear just how amazing and beautiful you are, feel free to give me a call. I'm always open for a good pep talk."] She says, slipping the receipt into the bag and handing it over to her. She couldn't lie and say that she was giving her number over for purely innocent reasons, because she's not.
The adorable and completely unknowing way Camilla holds herself is far too much for Gwen, if there is anything that gets her going its that. A strong desire to be with someone so clearly pure emotionally as well as the need to protect rings deeply within Gwen.
She gives Camilla a bright and warm smile, and hopes that she'll call her.
Camille blushed as the girl rubbed her belly. She had blurted out the question, but didn't expect the girl to comply so readily. It was a pleasant surprise, however, and she had to stifle a giggle as the girl's hands tickled across her belly. Hearing that she would be a great mother made Camille blush even deeper, and she could scarcely believe that possibility, but it made her happy all the same to hear these words.
"I always wanted to be a mother growing up. Better understanding what it was my own mother did for me, I want to do that for another person or more than one. I have yet to find out the gender, or if there's more than one because I've been so scared, but, despite my misgivings, I really want to see this through."
An uncharacteristic sense of determination was hinted in Camille's voice as she spoke, and she felt a little embarrassed about it, but she was smiling as her - hopefully - new friend stood up.
"Thanks for being so kind. It's refreshing and really appreciated. I feel better already, though I know it's going to get tougher down the road."
Her surprised etched on her face at the girl's offer to buy her the dress, and Camille blushed, shaking her head furiously despite the girl's statement that no would be unaccepted.
"B-b-but! We just only met!" Despite her protests, the girl ran off, and Camille had no choice to be change out of the dress and into her own clothes again.
She did so, and stepped out of the stall for the last time. She didn't have anything else in mind that she wanted at the moment, so she headed towards the registers as quickly as she could. Camille caught sight of the girl from before, and hurried over, careful not to hurt herself. She gave a little smile as she stood before the girl and put the outfit she had tried on on the counter.
Looking down bashfully, Camille spoke up. "I-I'm Camille. Thank you again for your help."
A small smile played upon her lips as her face turned red.
Gwen is a bit surprised that the girl is opening up to her as much as she is, let alone the fact that she offers to let her feel her belly, but Gwen doesn't say no. She gives her a bright smile and kneels in front of the girl, rubbing her belly with both hands, [#FF00FF "it's so amazing to think that there is a living person growing inside of you. If the father was stupid enough to run away than it his loss, because you and this baby are going to make a beautiful family."] She says looking up at the girl.
After a few moments, Gwen gets up and gives a small sigh [#FF00FF "with how clearly worried you are about being a good mother right now, it's clear you will be. Whether you have your mother's help or are on your own, you just have to have a little bit of faith in yourself."] She says giving her a kind smile. Something gives her the impulse to help her out herself.
[#FF00FF "Just to prove it to you, I'm gonna buy you that dress. As a good luck gift. I refuse to take no as an answer." She says directing her back into the dressing room. "So take it off, and if there is anything else in there that you want, bring that along too, my treat. I'm going up to the front so I can ring you up."] She says closing the door behind the girl and heading up to the front, waiting at the register for the red haired girl to come to the front.
Camille blushed as she realized that the girl was staring at her, but when she looked up again, Camille couldn't help but smile because it seemed like this girl was admiring her, rather than judging or ridiculing her.
She nervously pushed a lock of hair behind her ear with a hand and felt embarrassed when she spun at the girl's request. It felt a little strange spinning like she did, but this girl had nothing but praise for her, so she felt better.
Camille exclaimed in surprise as the girl helped her turn around to face the mirror once more. Now that she was able to get a better look at herself without tears in her eyes, Camille really thought she looked quite nice, though she was certain it was only the dress that made her so. She subconsciously ran her hands up and down her body, to truly get a feel for the dress. It was a good fabric, and it did fit her quite well. Realizing what she was doing, she blushed and stopped, clasping her hands together over her stomach in embarrassment.
Then she nodded at the girl's question.
"I-if it wasn't already obvious, yes I am." She blushed with a little smile at her little sarcastic joke. She was feeling better now.
"The father ran away, though.... And it's left me in a rather sad place, to be honest."
Camille blushed as she felt the girl's hands brush against her body to adjust the dress. It sort of tickled, but it was a nice sensation - much different than the usually forceful grabs people made to try and hurt her for no reason. She always ended up saved by someone she didn't know in the end, but she never stuck around long enough to thank them.
This girl was different, though. Camille could already tell.
She placed her hands on her belly, and gently rubbed it with a sad look on her face.
"I have to wonder if I'll be able to manage by myself. I have my mother here with me, but she's often busy herself. I don't think I could bring myself to ask her to help me raise a baby again after she went through raising me and my sister."
Then she asked without thinking," Would you like to feel?" and blushed instantly, realizing what she said.
At the sound of the door being opened, Gwen finally looks back up. Her breath catches as she stands there staring at a girl who couldn't be much older than herself. Her short red hair framing her delicate pixie like face. The kind look in her eyes, and the nearvous way she holds herself.
Gwen allows her eyes to skim down her body, barely being able to contain the pounding in her chest she gets any time she sees someone truly cute. Her eyes linger a bit on her belly, noting that the girl appears to be pregnant, but that only adds to how adorable she is. Gwen begins to smile very brightly, gesturing for the girl to do a spin.
[#FF00FF "You look absolutely lovely. The dress fits you perfectly. It's loose enough that there should be plenty of room to grow but tight enough that it definitely accents your features. Plus the cute little sweater jacket makes it so that you can wear it year round if you'd like. Definitely one for the win collum."] She says walking over to the girl and turning her so she's facing the big mirror once again. She adjusts the dress just slightly to make it so it falls a little bit better, but other than that she simply gives the girls arms a soft squeeze.
[#FF00FF "I don't want to asume, but are you pregnant?"] She asks, her voice very light and tender.
Camille couldn't help but smile a little at the girl's kind way of speaking. It was kind of silly that someone she didn't know was cheering her up, but it was nice as well. Maybe they wouldn't be so quick to be rude and judgemental. That was something Camille really longed for these days.
As if spurred on by the girl's voice, Camille got to changing into the dress she had picked out. She found that she struggled a bit getting the dress to pass over certain areas - namely her enlarged breasts and her swollen belly - but other than that, it was a nice fit, and was surprisingly fitting despite the comfortable loose feel.
Changed, Camille put on the cotton jacket, and then looked at herself in the tall, slender mirror. Standing so that she could see her side profile, Camille blushed as she thought about how much her body had already changed in three and a half months. It was both scary, and fascinating at the same time, and she wondered what things would be like come six months and nine months.
Would she be ready? Would she be able to handle the responsibilities of motherhood? She wasn't certain. The thought frightened her, but she wanted to think that she was capable.
Self-inspection finished, Camille grabbed her own clothes into her arms, and slowly opened the door, stepping out of the dressing stall. She looked up to see who had been speaking to her before.
It was a girl (obviously), and it looked like she worked at the store. She was quite pretty, Camille thought to herself, blushing a bit more at the thought, and she looked down at the ground, hands together and fidgeting.
Her eyes shifted back and forth, awaiting the girl's response.
[#FF00FF “My name is Gwen, and totally, get that dress on and let’s see how good it looks on you.”] Gwen smiles a bit, stepping away from the dressing room door and leaning against a nearby wall, waiting patiently. She can’t help wonder what this person looks like. Here she is doing her best to be supportive to someone she has never met before. Just part of the job she guesses.
She does her best to keep her hands busy as she waits for this person to come out of the dressing room by organizing the clothes that need to go back, which sadly doesn’t take too long. She begins to fidget with her own clothes, picking at a few stray strings along the hem of her clothes till the unknown girl comes out of the dressing room.
"What? Wh-who's there?"
Through shaken sobs, Camille inquired as to who spoke to her. She didn't recognize the voice, so she was hesitant to accept this person at their word. On top of that, most people she encountered these days had some sort of nasty words or gestures to give her - one cause for her rather unstable condition.
Camille tried to get a look at the girl through the crack between the door and the stall wall, but it was hard to see anything through the tiny space.
"L-let me get this dress I wanted to try on before I say anything else. I don't have a lot of good interactions with p-people these days, you see. You understand my hesitance, I hope."
Doubt spread throughout her mind, but a glimmer of hope that someone would finally.... finally treat her nicely sparked in the back of her mind, and she was loathe to necessarily let it go.
It has been a rather uneventful day for Gwen so far, the typical customer complaint here and there, working on keeping the store nice and clean, but other than that it could so far go in the easy to forget column for Gwen. Not that that’s too big of a surprise, with most of her friends away on some amazing summer vacation trip and Gwen stuck spending her summers working to be able to keep her rent paid, Gwen has little choice but to stick around her [i favorite] store and deal with the loads of people complaining and throwing the stock all over the place. Sure being a manager has its benefits, a high discount on the clothes and accessories that are sold at the store, and while they have some simple things for sale here, they typically have more trendy items that young adults like herself couldn’t help but adore.
She shakes her head a bit at the thought of blowing her check on more of the newer stock items and does her best on trying to focus on simply returning the stock from the dressing rooms to the proper wracks. That is until she hears the cracking voice of a woman from within the dressing room [#FFC0CB "I'm sorry, I'm such a wreck. I need to be stronger, I know... but..."] and suddenly that’s all she can think of. She tries to keep to herself but the sound of quiet sobs practically breaks her heart and she has to stop and knock on the door.
[#FF00FF “Hey, I know you don’t know me, but it’s okay if you are a wreck, sometimes things need to get worse before they get better, and I’m sure they aren’t really that bad. There has to be something good in your life right now right? Something you can hold onto, to look forward to? Why don’t we open the door and I’m sure we can find something you can look forward to.”] She says lightly knocking on the door before leaning against the door frame, knowing that she should be finishing her go backs right now, but not caring, because whatever is wrong with this unknown girl is definitely more important than her doing the work her employees she be finishing up.
"Camille? Are you alright, dear?"
Camille's mother's light, concerned voice reverberated within her mind as she hid herself within one of the dressing stalls at the clothing shop the mother and daughter had gone to together that day.
Camille could do naught but remain silent as the tears fell.
"Camille, dear. I'm going to go mind us something to eat. We have been here a while, so I am sure you are hungry. I know I am. I will be right back.... okay?"
Camille could hear her mother's footsteps patter along the ground as she left. The young woman felt her spine begin to ache from her bad forward-leaning posture despite the inability to lean all that far forward. The rounding, protruding ball in her lap was her belly, after all. In the weeks since she learned she was pregnant, Camille's body had changed a great deal - most obviously in her midsection.
Her mother had taken her shopping for clothes that day, as she would need loose fitting maternity clothing in the coming months. She had entered the dressing room to try on a particularly pretty red dress that was built loosely with a decorative design. Paired with the dress was a light pink cotton jacket.
She hadn't put the clothing on yet, as she had broken down in tears suddenly, and thus she was in her sorry state. It was difficult, to be certain, to fight back these fits when they happened.
Absently, Camille placed both her hands below her belly, as if cradling the child within.
"I'm sorry, I'm such a wreck. I need to be stronger, I know... but..."
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