~>The story written below is purely fictional. Not a fraction of truth is riddled between these words nor does the author imply that there should be. Most of the events in the pages to follow are created in the author's mind and thus should not be taken as fact in any way. He takes no responsibility for any illegal activity such as underage reading because it is done without his knowledge or sanction. The story's solitary intention is that of entertainment and nothing beyond.
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The flight to Los Angeles is long but predictable as the overworked rapper tries to catch up on as much sleep as he can throughout it. He checks into his hotel in the early afternoon as the day is already shot. The conference with Interscope is tomorrow morning and the flight across the country takes the first half of the day with it so it leaves 50 Cent with very little options for the rest of his day. Deciding to make the rest of the day for him, he does not plan any work-related meetings or activities but instead goes to the gym by himself. His two trusted bodyguards are still in New York because he does not plan to stay out the west coast for more than a couple of days. The buff rapper really has no business, aside from G-Unit business, out this way at this time. A gym workout is just what he needs to clear his head and relax his muscles; he even spends some time in the sauna to keep his body the flawless specimen it is. 50 returns to the hotel and showers once again before slipping on a pair of pajama pants that hug his hips serenely and eats dinner.
It is still early yet and he decides to call his son because he wants and needs to hear his small voice. He sits on the comfortable sofa and sends the number into the cosmos. "Hello?" an innocent voice asks.
"Hey Twenty-Five Cent. What's goin' on?"
"Hi daddy!" he six-year-old voice excitedly says. "Nothing. Just watching some TV. You?"
"Relaxing here. Did you do your homework?"
"Good boy. How are you baby?"
"I'm good. Mommy bought me some new school uniforms today."
"Did she?" the rapper questions. He is listening intently to everything his son has to say. The little boy deserves at least that much.
"Yep. A whole bunch."
"That's good. I miss you Tré. A whole lot."
"I miss you too daddy. When am I gonna see you?"
"I'm only gonna be out here for another day or two and then I'm coming back to New York. I promise I'm gonna come and see you okay?"
"Yay! Maybe you can take me away for the weekend like last time."
"I dunno yet lil' man. I gotta see how things are working out first," he says in a firm but reasonable tone. He has to see his son no matter what.
"Okay. I don't want you getting in trouble---"
"You let me worry about that. How's your mom?"
"She's good. She's making dinner."
"Dinner? So late?"
"She had to work late today," Marquise informs his father. His voice seems to be more calm and collected than before.
"So who watched you after school today?"
"The next door neighbor. Her son and me are in the same class. We're friends."
"That's great buddy. You know it's good to have friends right?"
"Yes. We're good friends. He likes my ID band."
50 Cent is playing with the strings of his pajama pants as he listens to his son talk. "He does?"
"Yea. He asked me if he could try it on."
"Did you let him?"
"Yes. He's my friend."
"Okay but you gotta be careful and not lose it okay?" the father in him emerges and speaks up for the second time during their conversation.
"Lil' smarty pants! We're gonna wrestle when I see you."
"Bring it on. I'm not scared of you," he sweetly giggles.
"Well see about that. Remember the last time---"
"I let you have that one. I didn't want you getting all upset because you lost."
"Oh that's it Marquise Jackson. I'm gonna kick your little butt!" the G-Unit founder continues to play the game he finds himself in. He loves messing around with his son.
"Okay okay daddy! Please. I'm sorry! I didn't mean it!"
"Are you sure?"
"Okay. I'll think about it."
"Daddy!" the little boy pouts.
"Okay fine. You got me wrapped shorty," he honestly admits. It is something he finds comfort in when the world becomes too excruciatingly cold for him.
"I really miss you daddy. A lot. I can't wait to hang out with you."
"I think I'm looking forward to it more than you baby boy."
"I hope we can do the weekend thing again."
"Me too. I'm gonna try real hard okay Tré?"
"Okay. I have to go daddy. I have to eat and take a shower and get ready for bed."
"You still haven't showered stinky boy?"
"Hey! I was going but then you called," the six-year-old defends himself to his loving father.
"Sure you were---"
"Okay lil' man. Tell your mom I said hi and I'll call you later okay?"
"Okay dad. I love you."
"I love you Tré. You'll always be the best thing I ever did in my life. Have a good day in school tomorrow okay buddy?"
"I will daddy. Bye."
"Bye sport," 50 Cent says as he clicks his phone off. Marquise's voice always manages to do wonders to him.
The charismatic rapper continues to play with the string of his pants for a little while until he yawns and gets ready for bed by brushing and flossing his teeth. It is around eleven when he gets into bed, making it the earliest time he has been to bed since he was a kid growing up in Queens. 50 Cent rubs his hand over his elevated chest and muscular torso as he tries to relax himself and go to bed. It feels unnatural to him going to bed this early in the night but he is not willing to go out to a club because it is not in his mood. A quiet evening alone for once is something he has come to cherish ever since hitting it big as a rap star. Every moment of every day he is surrounded by bodyguards, G-Unit, industry people, and even stylists and makeup people. There is hardly space for him to breathe because he is now a brand and not just a person anymore. The only time 50 manages to feel like Curtis Jackson is when he is truly by himself, like tonight, or when he is with his precious son. Another yawn leaves his body and he soon finds himself drifting away.
The significance of morning filters into the once dark room to find the muscular man sleeping with pillows astray and the large blanket barely covering his exceptional frame. His face is innocent and peaceful as he slumbers away in a far off world. The Sun's light finally manages to get the best of the G-Unit member and he stirs awake for the first time. Hearing his son's voice before going to bed always manages to do him a world of good when it comes to sleep. 50 Cent relaxes in his bed for a few minutes before getting up and getting himself prepared for the meeting ahead. Both physically and emotionally. Olivia will be there. Their relationship is complicated and sorrowful. Lloyd Banks will be there. Their relationship is burned far beyond any repair because of the older rapper's inability to control his anger. It will be harder than hard for him to sit through the conference knowing that so many things in his life are not right. And that it is mainly because of him. 50 leaves for the Interscope offices after a stable breakfast to try and confront himself within it all.
Traffic through Los Angeles is as horrendous as ever but it does buy him some much needed time to gather all of his thoughts and put them away so the business aspect of his personality can emerge from the hindrance. He is torn inside because he hurt two people. Two people he is supposed to care about and be supportive of. How could this have happened? Why did he allow it to? 50 mindfully puts it all away in the unexplored regions of his psyche and begins to concentrate on the task at hand. All the lesions, burns, and lacerations of his past are spontaneously healed and he is whole once again. The ride finally ends and he sighs before getting out and heading into the tall skyscraper. The elevator ride up allows him one final time to secure himself before the inevitable. 50 Cent sees through the windows present on either side of the door that the conference room is full. He is the last one needed to complete the team. The buff rapper walks down the hall to the water fountain to grab a drink of water to clear his throat before entering the assembly room.
"What kept you Mr. Jackson?" Dr. Dré asks as he gets up and greets his friends. All eyes are instantly on him and he feels awkward almost instantly. It will not affect his performance though.
"My b. You know how busy I am. What's happenin' everyone?" he collectively asks the group. Most nod their head to say hello.
"Let's get this started then shall we?" one of the executives says as he gets up and 50 is taking a seat.
"What's this all about? My boy Dré didn't let me in on anything," Eminem speaks for the first time.
Their eyes are on him. He feels it but he does not dare look because of what he knows he will find there. This is business. "I'd like to know that myself," the buff rapper acknowledges.
"Let's talk about your record first," one says as he motions to Young Buck.
"I've been meaning to get the stats on it. What's good?" Buck asks.
"Have you done all the promo events set up by your publicist?"
"Most of them yea."
"The sales figures are great but not what we expected."
"Is it that bad?" the white rapper asks his bosses.
"Not necessarily. But for the amount of money we put into making it and promotions, it hasn't measured all the way yet."
"How much units we sold so far?" 50 Cent asks as he gets a pen and starts writing on the stack of papers each have in front of them.
"I'd say about fifty thousand shy of a million."
"It's still a new album," Lloyd Banks is the one to speak. "The units are still moving aren't they?" He also is now writing on his papers. Olivia cannot keep her eyes off her former boyfriend. The man she loves.
"They're moving but not as fast as we want them to," another executive points out. "You know how cutthroat it is out there."
"I know," Buck agrees.
"Although the figures aren't what we initially estimated, we still have faith in the project. Of course. It is a great record."
"We did work hard to produce it," Dré surmises. "Do you think we put it out too soon after Banks'?"
"That could be a possibility," the superstar rapper says.
"But remember, we were tryin' to ride off his wave," Slim Shady interjects. "Plus, the market is soft now with everyone stealing music from every different direction."
For a small second, their eyes connect. Lloyd Banks looks at him but suavely looks away to one of his bosses. "Buck's record is still hot in the clubs. It just needs more time to catch like Banks'. His has been out way longer."
"But it has sold more than three times this record. Bottom line, we wanted the numbers to be higher."
"Why? Is that gonna be a problem with anything?" Young Buck asks as he looks around the table.
"It's a major factor in the upcoming tour that was scheduled."
"Major factor? How?" the talented producer asks. He himself is not sure about the reason for the meeting they are in right now.
"We needed that money to fund the tour."
"You were depending on our album sales to produce this tour?" the youngest rapper of the bunch asks. "That's crazy."
"Not all of it. There was a lot of money put out to promote both albums so we were depending on some of the revenues generated by the sales to finalize the tour," another of Interscope executives explains the conundrum to the team.
"So what are you saying here?" 50 asks abruptly. "There's not gonna be a tour?"
"There can't be. Not until the album picks up again."
"What about Chris' album? Why not use the money from there and just put it back once the tour starts rolling. I really don't think cancelling the tour is a good idea," Dré explains.
"I agree," Eminem supports. "The tour will bring in too much money for us to just blow it off."
"That's not the plan. We're just going to postpone it for a couple of months."
"Both albums are hot right now," Buck says. "It's best to take advantage of that."
"The funds are lacking right now to do that. Almost all of the money made from Lloyd Banks' has been split to pay everyone who was involved in it. The rest is for Interscope yes but it isn't enough to close out the cost of the tour right now."
"So there's no tour then?" Lloyd Banks asks in an unknowing manner.
"Are you sure this is the only option?" Dr. Dré asks as a final resort.
"We've looked at the books a few times. It can't be done," the executive says definitively.
"This is some messed up stuff," Buck says. He is frustrated and slightly disappointed that their management team decided to go about putting a tour together this way.
"That's not to say it won't be done. It just can't happen right now. If worst comes to worst, we're shooting for a tour at the end of the year at least."
"Don't you think that's too late?" the white rapper asks.
"Everything's tied. It's the best we can come up with."
"Well I guess that's it then. There's nothing any of us can do until then," the producer says, disappointment heavy in his voice.
The group finishes up the meeting and most people disperse back into their lives and projects. 50 Cent cannot believe it. There will be no tour for the summer for Young Buck and Lloyd Banks. It is the perfect opportunity but now it is gone and there is nothing they can do about it. He is still gathering up some papers from the conference when he feels it again; the eyes are on him as he looks up and sees Olivia staring back at him from across the room. She too is gathering her things and getting ready to leave and when their eyes meet for a moment, he quickly pulls away. The hint is easily given to her and she accepts it before walking out of the room; he is the only one left now. The buff rapper quickly uses the bathroom outside the assembly room and refreshes himself with another drink of water before walking to the elevator in hopes to leave the building as soon a possible. Eminem is already gone as well as Dr. Dré. 50 winks at the receptionist before exiting the tall building but stops dead in his tracks once the Sun's rays hit his body.
The older rapper clears his throat briefly before walking up to him. "Can we talk?" he asks Lloyd Banks.
"What about?" The man seems uninterested and does not even look the way of his once best friend.
"I gotta explained what happened that day---"
"No need. I got it loud and clear yo---"
"No. I didn't mean to do that Chris. I really didn't---" 50 Cent begins to say but it cut off again.
"Not the impression I got. I'm straight."
"You not even gonna look at me so I can explain it?"
The young rap star remains stubborn and continues looking out for his ride that he wishes were here right at this moment. "I'm good."
"Chris you're so damn hardheaded. Listen to me man," he almost yells. He is frustrated and angry at a situation that is his own fault.
"Later kid. I'm out."
50 Cent stands on the sidewalk numb as he watches his fellow G-Unit member hop into a car and speed off into oblivion. He does not even looks back to acknowledge his presence on the side of the road. It is like he was never there; they never had the conversation. He sees his ride coming and gets in immediately and tells the driver to take him to the nearest gym. He cannot let Lloyd Banks get to him and ruin his day. He will not. It is too hard not to though and he is failing miserably. There was no eye contact in their last conversation on the sidewalk. If it can even be called that. 50 feels like he was talking to a stranger that somehow knows every detail about him but that he does not know anything about. There is nothing between them anymore. There is no denying it. The gym stretches and pounds his muscles into submission and he emerges from it feeling a little better than he did before. Today will be the ebony rapper's last day in Los Angeles. The redeye tonight will take him back to his native New York and his son. The boy he tries so much to be like.
After following up with his son to officially plan their day to hang out, the superstar rapper cannot wait for the weekend; it is two days away. The short trip to Los Angeles is over and he calls New York home once again. His publicist informs him of two important parties over the following days and recommends that he make appearances at them. 50 Cent does not feel like the club scene, he only wants to see Marquise while he can, but it is an opportunity to get himself more publicity and he must take it. The day back in the world-renowned city is spent going to the gym and completing an extremely long photo shoot and interview for an upcoming magazine. When the G-Unit founder reaches and checks in to his hotel, he is more than tired but dinner and another shower gives him the boost of energy he needs to get him through the party. A towel is seductively wrapped around his waist and there is a slight tent in front of it even though he is nowhere near being aroused. 50 unhooks the towel swiftly and starts drying any excess water from his glistening ebony skin.
A caramel brown polo shirt, black baggy jeans, and black Lugz boots embellish his muscular frame and he rubs lotion on his skin to keep it smooth and soft. It smells good as he rubs it on his forearms and face to get the maximum effect. 50 receives a call signifying that the driver is awaiting his arrival downstairs as he begins to tie a black du-rag over his short hair. A black cap with the letters NY in white finishes out the ensemble and he splashes a strong cologne under his neck and wrists before gathering his phone and wallet and leaving the lonely room. While in the car, his publicist informs him that the party is to support the freewill in rap lyrics and their constitutional rights, mainly being the first amendment. The hip-hop game will never be censored. 50 Cent is busily typing away on his cell phone as he is listening to his publicist explain that she will only be with him for a short time before she has to leave. The ride finally comes to an end and she steps out to introduce her client to the world. Flashes of light crack reality's façade as he becomes blind instantly.
There are many other rap artists, musicians, and producers in support of the cause of no censorship in their music. They all mingle and react to each other positively. Many who have had differences in the past have managed to put all that aside and come together for the bigger issue. The ebony rap superstar is slightly sad to see that Lloyd Banks is not in attendance and suddenly feels a little lonely. Not even halfway into the party, his publicist tracks him down and informs him of her leave for the night. She warns him to be a good boy before working herself through the crowds of people and ultimately disappearing. 50 Cent networks with everyone there from Sean `Diddy' Combs to Jay-Z to producer Jermaine Dupri to try and put a stop to the talks of suppression in their music. He grabs a cocktail at the bar and then another one after he is through with the first. The main reason for the party is to raise awareness among the hip-hop community and to fight back but without the use of violence. 50 takes his third drink in his hand and is starting to feel slightly buzzed.
The club is starting to wind down in the early hours of the morning with most of the celebrities already leaving. 50 Cent is talking to LL Cool J; they want to work with each other, until he leaves because of an early morning interview tomorrow. He feels weird, like someone is watching him. He chalks it up to the alcohol in his system and sits in a booth to regroup his thoughts before he heads home. The paparazzi are still outside; he can see the lightening storm caused by their brightly flashing bulbs. It is something he does not want to deal with again. The buff rapper's eyes are still recovering from their last assault and he decides to exit through the back alley when he leaves. People are still dancing and enjoying the music and when a beautiful female fan approaches and asks him for a dance, he does not refuse her. The feeling is still there though, at the back of his mind. Instincts are screaming under his skin and he feels as if his heart is starting to work overtime. It all does not make sense. What is happening to him? Why are his feelings so negative?
The large face of his Vacheron Constantin watch displays the time of a few minutes past two when he ends his dance with the fan. She aggressively kisses him, something he does not expect at all but kisses her back shortly before pulling away and leaving her. He rubs his lips smoothly and comes to find out that she bit him on his lower one. It is a small bite so there is no blood involved. Women; men are not meant to understand them. The G-Unit rapper feels his lip slightly swell as he makes his way to the bar and grabs a bottle of water because his throat is dry. No more alcohol tonight. All the water of the bottle goes down his throat and offers instantaneous relief as he swirls around on the bar stool to see who else is left. No one of great importance so he decides to leave. The driver of the limo is only five minutes away and the paparazzi are still out in full force so 50 puts his plan into effect. Inconspicuously, he slips through a door that he knows leads to the back of the club and ends up in a small and narrow hallway with a door at the other end.
He informs his driver to park in front of the dark alley and wait there for him as he clicks his phone close and rests it back in his pocket. He is tired; his brain and mind want rest now. A rush of warm air greets 50's skin as he pushes the door ajar at first. His head emerges from the doorframe to see if any paparazzi caught on to his game and decided to ambush him in the dark alley and when he sees nothing but rustling garbage bags, he steps out into the morning night and closes the door behind him. They sting now and are not leaving him alone. The talented rapper starts to walk down the long alley that is only partially lit by the stars and Moon. His body is confusing him and he does not know why. The path is straight and clear to the main road but he still does not see the car he is waiting for. Within less than a second, a shadowy, cloaked figure surfaces in front of him and he stops for a brief second. His eyes roam from the dark outline to the end of the alleyway, where the car is supposed to be. A glistening silvery object appears to be suspended from midair.
Clouds are everywhere. There are blue ones, purple ones, and black ones. They cannot be touched or smelled or tasted. Only seen. The black clouds start to multiply and rapidly take over the bunch that is left. Trying to float away, the last blue cloud is devoured and then the reaction occurs. Specs of red stain against the black clouds, as if it is raining red paint, but it is not what is happening. The red is actually emerging from the center of the masses of black clouds. Time is lost and the cycle grows and flourishes against the darkness. The red is spreading like wildfire to conquer its mortal enemy. Lines are formed and continue to reach immensely beyond the core. The lines go on forever and soon start to exhibit signs of life. There is a pulse; a very weak and indistinguishable one. They are veins. The central core runs veins against the dark backdrop and slowly starts stealing the life away from the pitch black haze. Black is now at its last breath of life as red becomes the new dominant color within itself. A strong, pungent red. A bloody red. It becomes ten times.
Club goers and paparazzi alike scream at the loud intrusion on their eardrums. A loud bullet shot, and it is right next to the club. The bouncers look around wildly for an explanation while some of the patrons flee for their lives. The figure is gone and the alley is as dark as ever as no life stirs along it. A shooting star high up above offers no one hope because it goes unnoticed by all. The manager steps outside his club and starts talking to his two bouncers to see what is going on but no one knows anything. More people become increasingly agitated and start leaving the club as well. A few reporters attempt to interview the owner but it goes nowhere fast. As people look around to see what the commotion is all about, a red liquid trickles out of the darkness and into the light of the New York sidewalk. It goes unnoticed. Most of the club clientele are gone, both from inside and outside, as the manager walks down to the sidewalk and over to where the red river is flowing. He looks down to see his shoe on the liquid before looking a little deeper into the alleyway.
"Rocco I need an ambulance now!" he yells out to the nearby bodyguard as he sees a body facedown on the alley; it is mostly hindered by the darkness.
The screeches of an ambulance sirens' wail through the streets of New York as it is in a desperate race with time itself. A life is hanging in the balance. 50 Cent's life. A paramedic team arrives within the first twenty minutes of the call and start doing their job as onlookers watch with horror plastered on their faces. The paparazzi jump into a frenzy of taking pictures until the police barricade the block off and disperses everyone. Bystanders continue to look behind bright yellow caution tapes and some even take out their cell phones and take pictures of the crime scene and the body going into the ambulance. 50's body. Shockwaves are sent through the club as the manager gets rid of everyone because he knows he will have to talk to the police. The party is silenced. Once everything is prepared, the ambulance speeds off through the streets as everyone continues to watch it even after it has disappeared. Most are mortified and confused as to what has happened. Some do not even know it was the superstar rapper that was shot tonight. Only questions loom.
Both doctors and nurses scramble to get the lifeless body out of the ambulance and into the hospital where they can help him. The caramel colored shirt is ripped down the middle and stained with blood, as are the jeans and hat. The hat was picked up at the scene; it was only a few inches away from his head and a nurse collects it and removes the rapper's du-rag and places them in a bag for safe keeping. As he is being wheeled more into the hospital, more clothes are stripped off him. The shoes and socks come off, the stained pants crumble down, and the bloody shirt is torn away from his lifeless body. A pair of white Calvin Klein boxers is the only dignity his body has left. His abs are bleeding. A severe bullet hole is only inches above his navel and the blood is gushing out traumatically despite the nurses' attempt to stop the red spring from flowing. Numerous sterilized white cloths are stained with his vital blood. Another nurse prepares an IV bag and hangs it on a hook against the bed as she injects the cold fluid into a vein on the front of his limp wrist.
"Stat report nurse?" a doctor quickly asks as they almost reach their destination of the operating room.
"A grazed spleen. Punctured stomach. Internal bleeding---"
"Still lodged inside him doctor."
"Get scrubbed up and prep him for surgery," the doctor orders to the group around him. "He's Fifty Cent. My son loves him," he says to no one in particular as the doors to the operating room open and they all enter and get ready to try and save this man's life.
It is a grueling six hours of surgery and the doctors and nurses work as a cohesive unit to attempt to bring a man back from death. Much blood is lost from the point of impact to the present so the vitals are monitored very closely to make sure everything goes as smoothly as it can in the given type of situation. He is placed on an automatic respirator because his pulse is weakening and his body is becoming unresponsive. The morphine runs through the veins of his body and attempts to numb the pain but the body is lifeless. It is barely clinging to precious life as the team of heroes gets to work to save another life. Removing the frozen bullet is the first and foremost action they take. In a true miracle, the bullet does pierce deep into the body but does not graze the spinal cord at all. One doctor carefully uses a pair of forceps while a nurse is holding a light for him to dig into the bloody body below him to find what he is looking for. After careful manipulation of muscles and avoidance of major arteries and organs, a gold and silver bullet is extricated.
Another nurse carefully stores the bullet away to give to the police as evidence and they continue to deal with the internal bleeding, which will hopefully make his pulse stronger. That is what is needed most; a stronger and lifelike pulse rate. A nurse utilizes her skills to suture up his broken stomach; the twine will disintegrate once the wound is completely healed. Upon inspection of the spleen, the doctor concludes that it will heal quicker on its own because the bullet barely gave it a surface wound. For the first time since arriving in the hospital, everything starts looking up. Another nurse smiles gratefully as there is a slight increase in the rate of his pulse but it is still not beating nearly as fast as it should be. He will have to stay on the respirator, for safety, though the signs do look promising. The doctor mends enough broken tissue to help the body on its way before the final two nurses' start closing the wound as the morphine runs. With precise and expert movements, the bullet wound is sutured fully with the same twine used inside his body.
The body is thoroughly cleaned from head to toe before heavy bandages are tightly wrapped around his abdomen. They start right below his pecs and end just below his navel. They pass by a nurse's station and one cocks her head out as she sees who is lying on the bed unconscious. After she regains her composure, she works on finding a room for him and informs the two other nurses of a recently opened room. It is being cleaned at the moment so they would have to wait for a couple of minutes. The pair of nurses takes a small coffee break while the new one looks after their patient. She walks up along him and gently runs her finger against the abrupt contours of his face while silently saying a prayer for him. Two male nurses move the muscular body from the mobile bed to the more comfortable bed of the solitary suite. A breathing cord is hooked into his nose to aide his body in taking breaths until it is strong enough to do so itself. A new IV of nutrients is hooked up and it pierces his skin. It is clear that he will be in the fight of his young life tonight.
It is six o' clock in the morning and the Sun is now beginning to light the new day that will be full of hope and promise to many. The city busily goes about their day when she receives a phone call. His former girlfriend and the mother to his only child. She groggily answers and when the nurse informs her of the situation with the fallen rapper, she immediately sits up on her bed in the darkness and starts crying. She holds almost everything back because the nurse is still on the line and manages to get the address to the hospital. Marquise will be devastated. After a quick shower attempts to calm her down, she walks out of her room and into her son's. The light is barely slithering into his room as he innocently slumbers and she cannot help but start crying again. It is Thursday morning and there is no way the six-year-old can go to school today. He is needed somewhere else for someone else; his father. She stays there and sobs to herself before finally gathering up the courage to break her only son's heart. She gently sits on the bed next to him.
"Marquise honey," she sweetly says as she shakes his small body. The tears will not go away. "You have to wake up sweetheart."
The child is unresponsive at first but starts rousing shortly after. He lowly groans. "Oh mommy. Is it time for school already?" he sleepily asks.
"No baby. You have to get up. I have to tell you something."
He stirs for a few moments more before getting up and rubbing his eyes open and looking at the clock next to his bed. "It's only six mom. You wake me up at seven. Mom," he finally notices. "Are you crying mommy?"
"What's wrong mommy?" his little voice starts to shake.
"Your dad's in the hospital Marquise."
"Why? What happened to him? Is he okay?"
"Go brush your teeth and get ready."
The little boy does not know what to think as he marches out of his room and to the bathroom to brush his teeth. His own reflection staring back at him in the mirror gets to him and he starts crying. What is wrong with his father? What is going on? He slowly finishes brushing his teeth and washing his face before returning to his room. His mother's stare on him is more than intense as she walks over to him and helps him out of his pajamas. Not a single word is said between the two as she helps her son get dressed in something that is not his school uniform. It is hard for her and she feels the tears behind her eyes again but she must remain strong for Marquise. No doubt the six-year-old is more than confused and shocked about what is going on in his life right now. After she helps him tie his shoes and fixes him a quick breakfast of cereal, they are off to the hospital. Again, there is a silence hanging high in the air on the ride to the hospital. The little boy holds on to his mother's hand tightly when they walk into the melancholic room. His father's room.
Silent tears run down his innocent face when he sees his father's unconscious and seriously bandaged body lying on the bed. He grabs on to his mother's leg and starts crying at the sight in front of him. It cannot be happening. He is in a dream; a nightmare more. The lifeless body of his strong and loving father is lying there without anything to say or do. No one is calling him Twenty-five Cent and ruffling his hair and tickling him into unimaginable fits of laughter. It is all too much to see him this way. She holds on to her son's body tightly as he cries and sobs and grieves for his best friend. Her hand runs up and down his back as her pants are soaking wet from the tears. Marquise is overcome by it all; he cannot deal with the thought of his dad leaving him alone. Every insecurity of his young life surfaces within that moment and his tiny heart breaks all over again. His mother finds a nearby chair and picks her son up to place him on it. She leaves and returns shortly from the bathroom with tissues for them both. He tries to sap away the tears.
"I'm going to give you a minute alone okay sweetheart?" his mother informs him as he looks up into her eyes. His soul is broken and she cannot take it. "I'm going to talk to the nurse okay?"
He sniffles and uses the tissue to wipe his running nose. "Okay." He is already weak.
"Okay." She runs her hand gently over the side of his head and face before kissing his cheek and stepping outside. It is all too much.
Aside from his sniffles and hard breathing, the room is silent. Everything around his is perfectly still and the room is still slightly dark so he walks over to the curtains and draws them as far back as they can go. Sunlight creeps into the room and touches everything in its path, the unconscious body being one of them. The new light struggles to bring life into the room but it is not an achievement that can be accomplished. Marquise draws the chair as close to the bed as possible before sitting on it and staring at the rapper's face. The clear tube that goes into his nose and wraps around both of his ears. He is not waking up. His eyes are not opening. The six-year-old gets up and rests hicas head on the white bandages, pressing into his father's hard and wounded stomach. His eyes are still on the man's face as he feels the body against his head gently cascade up and down. Both his hands reside in 50 Cent's large hand resting to the side of his body as a continuous stream of water flows from his eyes and crashes onto the bandages. They cannot be separated.
"Father," Marquise says as he tries to stop sobbing on the bandages. "Please be okay. Please be okay. Please be okay." His voice is fragile and almost incomprehensible.