City Lounge: New York (Book One, Chapter Ten: Carmen and Hector)

Chapter Ten: Carmen and Hector:

-Queens, New York-

Carmen sat in her room, listening to different tracks for the club tonight. The boss wanted some hip-hop sounds as of late. Fine by her. Carmen began looking through her tape collection at home.

“What kind of hip-hop are you looking for?” she asked her boss at work.

“How do you mean?” he asked.

“Well, are you looking for something more modern or old school?”

The man in the jersey thought about this for a minute. “I am a fan of the old school stuff myself.”

“I’ll see what I can do.”

Back at home, Carmen looked through each of her mix tapes. She had so many that they started to pile up around her room.

“Why do you keep these things around?” her mother asked. “Even I don’t use cassettes anymore.”

“Nothing beats the sound and feel of them,” Carmen said.

She had just about finished selecting the samples that she wanted when there was a knock on her bedroom door.

“Who is it?” the DJ asked.

“Yo, Carmen!” a man’s voice shouted. Carmen sighed and rolled her eyes.

“What do you want, Hector?” she asked.

“Why you sound like that?”

“What do you want?”

“Just let me in.”

“Why?”

“Just let me in!”

Carmen rolled her eyes again and walked over to her door. He wouldn’t give up otherwise. A Hispanic male stood in the hallway, grinning at her.

“Yo!” he said.

“What do you want?” Carmen asked for the third time.

“Aw, cuz! Don’t be like that,” he said. “I just came by to check on you.”

“Why? You live next door.”

“You say that like it’s a bad thing. Why is that?”

Carmen turned and walked into her room. Hector followed her inside. He spotted all of her tapes on the floor.

“Busy night?” he asked.

“Yes,” Carmen replied as she started cleaning up.

“What are you going for this time?”

“Old school hip-hop.”

Hector gave her a strange look. “You serious?”

“Yeah.”

“This is the same boss, right?”

“Don’t act all surprised, Hector. He likes to try out new things too.” Carmen stuffed the tapes that she wanted for tonight in her bag.

“How are you going to play those tapes in the club?” her cousin asked.

“I’m not,” she said.

“Huh?”

“I’m just going to play some sample to Jimmy and see what he thinks.”

“What about your own beats?”

“What about them?”

Hector sat down on her bed. “Are you still working on them?”

“Of course I am.”

“How are they coming along?”

“Good.”

“Can I hear them when you’re finished?”

Carmen whipped around with her eyes narrowed. “If you are asking for money, I am not giving you any.”

Hector quickly put up his hands. “No, no! It’s not like that!”

“Are you trying to hide from Marusel again?”

“No!”

His cousin raised her eyebrow. “Then why are you here?”

“I’m here to check on you.”

Carmen slid her bag onto her shoulder. “Well, I’m fine thank you very much.” She walked past him. The DJ glanced over her shoulder.

“Oh and don’t be still here when I get home,” she said. “See yourself out before then.” Hector tilted his head as Carmen disappeared into the hall.

“Okay then…” he muttered when she was gone.

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