“Bullshit,” I thought to myself, while I get up and out off my bed. “Cassie!!” Shit. That was my publicist, cousin and friend, probably wanting me to get a move on. “Cassie!!” she said again. I hear her footsteps climb up the spiral staircase. I run around my room, throwing summer dresses, wedges, 1960’s shoulder bags, a floaty summer hat and ray bans. I never leave without them. “Cass, come on. You better be ready, before the 6AM video shoot begins.” I pick up a random dress, a random pair of wedges, a random shoulder bag, the summer hat and the ray bans. “Cassandra Lopez,” she says, rolling her ‘r’ like I always do, just to annoy her. Now, that is so stupid. I mean… That I can only do that. I hear the door flinging wide open. “Taadah! Hey, Margaritte. What’s up, honey bee?” Pfft… Finally, got changed in time. “Wow… I can’t believe you do this to me. Have you been practicing?” she interrogates. “Nope,” I shake my head. “I’m always, like, this super-uber fast.” “Dayum, girl. Puh-lease, what’s your secret?” I walk over to her. “Are you… You know.” “Ew… I’m not, I’m just, like, an expert at changing so fast, like a rocket ship.” Margaritte laughs, following behind me when I walked out off my bedroom. “What’s so funny, Marge,” I complaint. “Well, it’s just you never say like in every single sentence, before,” she says, raising her hands and air quoting the word, ‘like’ as she says it. “Fuck.” “Hey, language.” “Sorry, Margaritte.” “Thank you.”
I got into my car with Margaritte in the passenger seat. “Ready?” I ask, turning on the radio. “Yes,” she says, after buckling herself down. I pressed on the gas, Britney Spears’ Baby One More Time was playing and I drove like hell. All the way to the video shoot. “Wait…” I look at Margaritte. “Damn, just say it… Just say it, Marge.” She looks at me and said, “We need to pick up. Jaime’s brother from the airport.” Ergh! Really? Now, she wants me to turn around and drive to the airport. Fine, only if he’s cute. “Is he cute?” I say. I can’t help myself, but to say it. “Well, he’s a lot worse.” Judge. Mental. Bitch. “How?” “Well, just judge him for yourself.” “Margaritte?” “Huh?!” “I don’t judge people, like you.” I can’t believe, I just said that. Damn. She’s going to hate me, now.
Fuck. Sorry, but fuck. Who is Jaime’s brother? She never mentioned, this brother of hers. “Which one is he?” I lean towards Margaritte, whispering. “I don’t know, just hold up the sign.” She handed the sign over to me. It reads: “Bruno Hernandez.” But who is Bruno Hernandez and why is he here? I hold up the sign, thinking what type of boy, this Bruno is. I look into the distance, I see a boy with an Afro. Trust me, he looks a lot like Sideshow Bob from the Simpsons. “Is that him?” “I think so.” He comes towards us, I look at my shoulder bag. I feel my heart pounding like a bass guitar. “My hair is messed up, Marge.” “No, it’s not… You just look like a nineteen sixties, playboy with that hair do.” Damn, she’s so right about that. “And besides, Cassie. You don’t need man to tell you what to fucking do with your life, plus your just eighteen.” “True, true.” He waves at use, trying to get our attention. I decide to wave back. He comes even closer towards us. “So, do you know… Who this Bruno, might be?” I ask Margaritte, who was on her cell phone. “I think so.” She looks at her cell phone. “Oh, yeah. Jaime just sent me a picture of her brother and boy, he’s cute.” She looks at me. “He’s about your age and he has an Afro.” She looks into the distance and points him out. “There. That one. He’s already here.” She waves her hands, grabbing people’s attention and shouting, “Bruno.” “He’s there about two minutes, in front of you.” She place her right hand on her right hip and looks at me. “Really?” “Yeah…” “Show off.” “Dumb ass.” She looks at him and says, “Hey, you must be Bruno.” “Yes, I am.” “Bruno, this is Cassandra Lopez. She’s a model, actress, writer and dancer.” “Nice to meet you,” he says. I smile at him. “So, is my sister here?” “WHAT?” Margaritte pretends to not hear anyone, like always. “Is my sister, Jaime here?” “Oh… Sorry, no. She’s not here.” He’s so CUTE. “Cassandra, right?” MEEP! “Are you working with anyone famous? Beyonce? Missy Elliott?” “Hmm… Mmm…” “Who?” Why did I have to sound out a yes? “Um… Bueno, he’s this rapper from Young Money.” He’s this rapper from Young Money, what ‘em I fucking saying.
Tell me. What you think of another love triangle?
Driving out of the car park was a step forward. Bruno was sitting on the passenger’s seat, smiling. I didn’t notice his smile in the mirror when Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean was playing. “I love this song,” he says. “It’s practically hard to sing, but I never knew that when I tried it.” “You sing,” I say. He nods. Damn, he’s so cute. He’s Afro is so sexy. “What ‘em I thinking?” I mouth. “What?” he says, looking at me. Shit. “Forget it,” I say. “So, are you signed to a label?” “I’m hoping to be signed.” “Oh… Your hoping. That’s actually a good thing for anyone that wants to be, where I am. Just keep on hoping and you’ll never ever lose. Kay?” He smirks. I open up the storage bin, beside me and took out a tape. I wave it. He grabs it off me. Damn, he has a soft hand. “Bueno, Six in the Mornin’,” he reads the label, puts it in and plays it. “This is my jam, turn it up,” Margaritte says from the back seat. I turn up the volume by two. “Bruno, you know what?” “What?” he asks, playing dumb. “Bueno is looking for a singer to sing the hook in, Six in the Mornin’. This is just the rough cut of the song. He needs someone new, so it’s going to be an unexpected mixtape.” “What about Ph-” “Are you up for it?” I interrupt Margaritte, asking Bruno to record the hook for Bueno. “YES! That would be so cool.” “Well, come on then. We promise to drop you off after.” He smiles. His smile, his smile makes the sun a lot dimmer. “By the way, how old are you?” I have to ask. “I’m seventeen. I know, I’m not supposed to ask a woman, but how old are you?” “Guess, boy.” He looks at me about three times, before he says, “Sixteen?” “Close?” “Thirty?” “Bitch. She’s not thirty,” Margaritte says. “Twenty-one?” “I wish, boy.” “I give up. How old are you?” “You can’t ask that to a girl, boy. But I’ll tell you, anyways. I’m a eighteen.” “Really?” He says, shocked. “You really look like a twenty-one year old.” I smile at him.
I ran into the studios with Margaritte and Bruno, behind me. And it’s like Phil won’t expect a thing that his voice is getting replaced or anything. It’s that simple for me to do that. “Bueno,” I scream. He turn around, I hanged on his shoulder when I reached him. “Girl, whatcha doing here so early?” “Bueno, I think you’ll need to listen to-” “God, no,” Bruno whispers, grabbing my right arm. “You need to listen to this kid sing. All he did was sing throughout the car ride here.” I’m sorry, but I have to lie. “Sure, I’ll listen to this kid sing.” He turns to Bruno and asks him, “What’s your name, kid?” “Bruno.” He puts his hands on chest and says, “I’m Bueno,” then wraps his left arm around my shoulders and moves it onto my hip. I can tell that Bruno was looking at his hand on my hip. “Come on. Let’s here ya sing,” Bueno smiles. “Sure.” Bruno sounds so upset about something. “Go on,” I push him.
He sings: “You’ll Never Make Me Stay
So Take Your Weight Off Of Me
I Know Your Every Move
So Won’t You Just Let Me Be
I’ve Been Here Times Before
But I Was Too Blind To See
That You Seduce Every Man
This Time You Won’t Seduce Me”
Bueno takes his hand off my hip and claps. “Wow. Your good.” “Thank you,” he says, looking at me. I look at Bueno smiling. Bueno glances at me. “Margaritte take Bruno into the studio,” I say. “Sure,” she says. “Come on, Michael. Let’s go.” She walks into the studio and Bruno follows her in. Damn. Damn. Damn. “Really, babe? You bring a singer with you and Marge, just to see me.” “Well, yeah.” “That’s a new one.” “Yeah… I guess so.” He takes my hands and pins me onto the wall. “Your beautiful, baby.” “Thanks.” He places his left hand on my left leg and kisses me on my neck.
I grab Bueno’s hand and we walk into the studio. I see Bruno in the booth. Damn. He’s good, real good. “I want a girl to touch ‘til six in the mornin’” Bruno sings. I can hear Bueno’s rap, during the recording process. I sit down on the sofa, next to Margaritte. After hours had pasted. I nudge Margaritte’s arm. She looks at me. “Can I talk to you in private, Marge?” I ask her. “Sure,” she says. I got up and walked out of the studio. Margaritte follows, closing the door behind her. I turn around, saying, “I can’t do this. I really can’t.” “You can’t do, what?” “I’m in love with him, Marge. I’m in love with Bruno.” “Shocking.” I nod my head in agreement. “Listen, Cassie. Just don’t tell Bueno.” “Cross my heart and hope to die,” I say, crossing my fingers. “Do you remember the last girl that did that to Bueno?” “Well… no.” “Well… Bueno said she had to go, didn’t he?” I swallowed. “He told us, she had to go and we kept on asking him, why did she had to go. He said that she dead and that he killed her, himself.” “That’s not true.” “Cassie, you know for fact that it is.” I paced around and I dropped on the floor, I started to cry. “Cassie?” “Ok, fine,” I finally say. “I’ll take it easy, then I’ll tell him.” “Good luck with that. Cassie.” “Thanks.”