They are having dinner at Geisha House, sushi and sake, Lauren's favorite. Lauren's glad Lo came up to visit, even is she finds her a bit vapid. (Lauren learned that word from Whitney, who subscribes to dictionary.com's Word of the Day, and Lauren thinks it describes a lot of her friends. Lauren has vowed to be the opposite of vapid, though she hasn't learned that word yet. Maybe "deep"?)
The thing about Lo is that she never lies to you. Lauren thinks that's because a) Lo isn't creative enough to think of a lie and b) she's not smart enough to keep track of what she said.
As it is, Lo spills the beans about Heidi and Spencer. If it were anyone else, if it were Jen, for example, Lauren would accuse her of making thing up for the camera, of trying to create drama. (Lauren's life seems to have increased in drama since the cameras, but it's been over three years now, and so she hardly notices, if you want to be honest about things.)
So when Lo says with all sincerity, her eyes wide, reminding Lauren of a deer in headlights (she saw one once on her way to Big Bear), "You didn't know?" Lauren knows it's true, and knows Lo didn't say it to be mean (even if it did ruin a perfectly good night out).
Lauren knows because Lo picks up the check with her daddy's black AmEx, which is reserved for emergencies only, and Lauren's grateful she can count on at least one person to be honest in her life.
Lo says, "Let's go somewhere and have fun," and Lauren's really not in the mood to deal with the hassle of getting into a club, finding a seat, ordering a drink – though, she has to admit, she's never paid for a drink and even her camera crew doesn't stop the flow of underage drinking. Yeah, Lauren can get in anywhere actually, so she puts on a smile for Lo, because Lo can't, and really, Lo is so sweet.
They go to Les Deux, and Lauren finds the drink problem solved when she asks for a bottle for table (just her and Lo, mind you, and the waiter says it's on the house. Perks of being MTV famous, she guesses). It's Veuve Clicquot – not the best, but certainly nothing to turn your nose at. Lo's guzzling like it's candy – Lauren forgets that people aren't used to Cristal when they go out. Poor Lo, she's probably been drinking that cheap stuff, like Mumm's. (Eeew.) It's amazing how different they taste, once you know. Or maybe Lauren's just always had a taste for expensive things.
Lo's getting rather tipsy, Lauren can tell. She calls Lauren "LC" and Lauren's nose crinkles at the old nickname. Lo's telling her to forget Heidi, to move forward, to embrace her future.
"Everyone thinks your life is so easy," Lo says, as if she's thought about this for a good while. "Does that make you feel alone?"
For a moment Lauren wonders if Lo's taken up reading but that's so ridiculous she almost laughs. And then she thinks for a second, about Lo's question.
"Yeah, you know, it really does. I mean, there are all these people, so many people in my life, but they all leave, or something." Lauren shrugs, as if she doesn't care. "I mean, you get used to the idea of people using you to get on tv."
"Maybe you should be friends with the Olsens. That Mary-Kate could use a friend."
Lauren laughs. "She could definitely use a stylist some days."
Lo laughs right back, just like Lauren knew she would.
"Though she did make boho-chic an actual style, and unlike the rest of the world, she didn't use Rachel Zoe."
"Who?" And Lauren loves Lo's cluelessness, her ability to go through life without knowing why Paris and Nicole split, or how Hilary got so skinny, or Lindsay's latest drug run-in. Lo leads such a nice life, a safe life, that Lauren is almost envious.
Lo's kiss is sloppy and not at all matter of fact, but not really cautious either. It's nothing like kissing Brody, nothing like Jason, but Lauren gets the feeling Lo's done this before – kissed a girl, that is.
Lauren most definitely hasn't, not even the first they all got drunk after the first episode of Laguna Beach aired, and everyone kissed everyone around the bonfire at the beach (except Lauren, Lauren didn't get drunk. She was too busy watching Kristin and Stephen).
But Lo's got her fingers in Lauren's hair and her mouth is open and inviting and so there and really, hasn't Lo always been there for her?
Hasn't Lo been the one constant, the one person who hasn't backstabbed her? (Sometimes Lauren dreads watching the new seasons, even though most of it has been reenacted, even though her life might as well be scripted.)
That's part of the reason Lauren kisses Lo back, and takes Lo's messy hands and puts them on her breasts, acts like she's done this before, acts like Lauren has an idea of what's going on. Because this isn't scripted, and it will never make the show. (If nothing else, her parents will see to that.) And see? Lauren can still live a life, still be completely spontaneous even with the cameras. Turns out her life isn't all fake. It's based on reality, right?
And Lauren realizes she's thinking too hard for a girl who interns for Teen Vogue and sold her life to MTV before she went to college. Especially since all those rumors of an Adderall addiction are false, so false – because wouldn't have had such a hard time in San Francisco then, would she? And school would be a breeze, and work would be nothing, and –
"Oh, Lauren," Lo says, and then does that airhead giggle only Lo can get away with. "I said my own name!" And Lauren thinks Lo'd make a good porn star if all else failed – Lo's got the perfect voice, and the perfect lips, lips that are sucking Lauren's earlobe and really, really turning her on.
Lauren makes a satisfied sigh, the kind she used to make after Jason kissed her, but he never kissed her where Lo's kissing her, and honestly she hasn't felt this good about herself in so long she's maybe never felt this way before, and who would have guessed Lo knew such things?
Lo will never leave her, never be like Heidi, or everyone else. In a way, Lauren's all Lo has, and Lauren's beginning to think everyone needs a friend like that. BFF's and all.
Even though the cameras don't catch it, Lauren knows she'll remember every detail, every movement. She's got a good mind for details, and this will be hers forever. Even though she's gotten used to the cameras, she's glad they aren't there to see her in the morning, when Lo falls out of bed and groans.
"Jesus, Lauren, what the hell happened?"
And Lauren realizes that Lo doesn't remember, that it meant nothing to Lo, and somehow, that makes everything make sense, everything just perfect. Because in the end, Lauren is alone, will always be alone, no matter what the script says, no matter what the producers want, even though they'll maybe fake a relationship when the show finally ends.
But when the camera turns off, Lauren will be alone, stupid LC from Laguna Beach, and she'll have a clothing line, and she'll have fashion, and Lo will call every now and then, and Lauren will always have that night, that moment she was someone else, the time she went with her gut and turned the cameras off, and cried.