~>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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50 Cent not responding to their hands being linked together kills the little boy. Ever since he was born, his father has always been there to hold his hand and now he is unable to. His mother returns and sits with him until he is all cried out. Half their day is spent in the hospital room and they see doctors and nurses come in and out to do their jobs, giving her updates on her former boyfriend's condition whenever necessary. When she is sure that the six-year-old can take no more of the torment, she offers to take him home. Marquise does not want to leave his father's side but he also knows that he cannot stay there the whole day because his mother will not allow him to. She can tell her son is in agonizing pain and she hates not being able to protect him from it. A short while after noon, the little boy kisses his father's cheek sweetly and tries his best to hug his body before he and his mother leave the hospital. She is carrying him and his head is resting on her shoulder as he keeps crying because it all hurts too badly. His father is going to be okay. He just has to be.
When Dr. Dré, Eminem, Young Buck, and Olivia enter the hospital room in the late afternoon, they are all stunned beyond words to truly see the bad shape their friend and colleague is in. The first lady of G-Unit cannot help but to start crying because of it all. She still loves him. She always will. The producer looks at him with a silent but visibly upset look on his face. The person who did this has to pay. There is no other way. The white rapper rubs 50's forehead and holds onto his unresponsive hand while saying a prayer for his best friend. He is not keen on praying but some situations are too big for even the most famous to control or understand. When Buck takes notice of what he is doing, they all join hands together and pray for their friend's safe return to this life. It is an emotionally gripping scene and even Dré tears up and excuses himself. Despite everything he did to her in their short past together, he does not deserve this. No one does. Her mind then runs on Marquise and if he knows about his father yet. It will break his heart. They all stay close.
Lloyd Banks almost freezes completely when the news passes through his body. When Slim Shady calls him and tells him of what happened, he does not know how to speak. The white rapper also asks him where he was when they were all there together earlier and he informs one of his bosses that he is in New Jersey because he has an appearance to make at a club later on tonight. As soon as the younger rapper gets off the phone with Eminem, he calls his publicist to cancel his appearance and to get him a plane ticket to New York within the hour. He has to be there for his best friend. Like clockwork, the short flight between the two cities takes place and before he knows it, he is back in the Big Apple with his driver speeding to that hospital. As many thoughts as humanly possible are racing through the G-Unit member's head as the car weaves in and out of traffic to get him to where he needs to be. Where he wants to be. Banks walks from the parking garage into the hospital and looks for an information desk because it is lost. It is past ten when he arrives at a nurse's post.
"Hi. Which room is Curtis Jackson in?" he impatiently asks the only nurse at the station. She is busily filing out forms both by hand and on the computer.
She looks up at him before saying, "I'm sorry---"
"I'm sorry Chris. Visiting hours ended an hour ago."
"What? No. Please. You have to let me see him," the slender rapper starts to plead with the woman.
"I'm sorry sir. I can't. You will have to come back tomorrow---"
"Please. He's my best friend and I need to know that he's okay. I need to see him. Please." Banks is desperate.
She looks over her shoulder and then back at him for a moment, thinking. "He's in the last room on the right down the hall there. Be brief."
The door creeks slightly as he opens it and enters the dark room. He flicks the light on before closing the door behind and taking a very deep breath before walking further into the room to the inevitable. His motionless body lays there with those bandages squeezing against his ebony skin and the covers of the bed draping over the rest of his lower body. His arms lay dormant to the side with an IV stuck into his wrist and his chest regularly rising and falling with each aided breath. This cannot be true. Lloyd Banks freezes in his step when he sees this and his eyes immediately start to water and give out on him. It takes him a long while before he is able to work up the courage to walk over and sit on the chair that is strategically planted so close to the older rapper's unconscious body. The G-Unit member takes the site of his boss in fully and tries to comprehend it. The words he wants to say, the things he wants to ask, are lodged in his throat and he cannot do anything but stare at his best friend. Banks begins to wipe the tears away from his now red eyes.
With all the courage building in his body, he reaches out his hand and rests it in the palm of the superstar rapper's. There is no response back and he wishes more than anything that there was because then that would tell him that everything will be okay. Banks leaves his hand there while he uses the other to softly stroke the man's face. His index finger runs along every slick curve and turn of 50's beautiful face until it reaches his bottom lip and stops on the it middle of it. It feels so good pressed against his finger like this but he pulls away because he cannot handle any more of it. He looks so helpless and lifeless and surreal. Lloyd Banks retracts his hand from his best friend's face and manages to get lost in the rhythm of his chest moving up and down. His free hand then rests against his bandaged abdomen and he sees his hand rise and fall effortlessly. The slim rapper delicately traces his hand up and down the binding, wishing that he would open his eyes and say what exactly happened. Who did this to him. There is still no response in his hand.
The G-Unit rapper sighs softly and hangs his head. "I'm so sorry Curtis." The room hears the words but the vitally wounded 50 Cent does not. "I'm sorry for everything. Please come back to us. To me."
He wants to do it. His body urges him to do it because it is something he wants and needs. He fights it off though because it is not right but it will never be truly defeated. Another craving comes to pass and he gives in completely to it. Lloyd Banks moves his head closer to the unconscious rapper until they are only mere inches apart from one another. He second guesses himself at first but his brain pushes him into overdrive and he sensitively goes in and presses his lips against 50 Cent's. It is something he never got to experience when they were intimate that one time and definitely not anytime after that. It is something he wants. Something he still wants. Their lips are touching innocently until Banks flicks out his tongue and uses the very tip to glide across his best friend's lips. He cannot believe he is doing this or that it would even begin to feel the way it is making him feel. His body screams out in agony when their lips finally part ways because it wants more. The G-Unit rap star regains himself and kisses 50 on his cheek and forehead.
"Please watch over him God," Lloyd Banks says softly. It is the only thing he can think of to do with the circumstances that finds him. "Please."
The buff rapper is in awful shape and he looks so fragile and helpless lying on that hospital bed. Banks does not want to leave and reluctantly does so because he is already taking advantage of a bad situation by seeing him after visiting hours. He is sure to thank the nurse once again for allowing him to break the rules and leaves the hospital defeated. His mind is drowning within his own thoughts as the sudden reality that he could never get to officially apologize to 50 Cent bombards him. All the things he wanted to say from the beginning start hounding him as he gets into the car and is chauffeured away to check in to his hotel. A quick shower and dinner gives the G-Unit member a small boost of energy as he sits in the darkness of his new bedroom and wonders about it all. This is not happening in reality right now. His heart splits in two when his mind runs on Marquise. How can he expect the six-year-old boy to cope with the situation when he can barely do so himself? When it all becomes too much, Lloyd Banks retrieves his phone and opens it.
It rings twice before an answer becomes known. "Chris. What's happenin' baby boy?" Ludacris' charming voice asks him.
"Hey. What's up with you?" a somber reply follows.
"Just getting done in the studio for the night and heading home right about now. You aight?"
"Huh?" his mind is too preoccupied to pay much attention to the conversation but he needs to hear his man's voice now.
"What's goin' on? You upset---"
"Curtis' in the hospital. He was shot in the stomach."
"What? You serious?" the southern rapper asks, completely dumbfounded by the revelation.
"Where are you?"
"In New York. I came to see him."
"Is he gonna be okay? What happened---"
"I dunno," Lloyd Banks interrupts him. "That's all I know. He's unconscious and they said he lost a lot of blood and his body is bandaged up and---"
"Calm down. Take a breath babe. Relax."
"I can't! I dunno if he's gonna be okay or how or why it happened. Everything's so fucked up."
"I can't believe what you tellin' me. This shit is crazy."
"I'm scared for him Chris. He looked so bad when I saw him. I want him to be okay. More than anything."
"Baby you gotta chill aight?"
"Stop saying that shit to me! My fuckin' best friend is on some hospital bed dying right now---" the G-Unit rapper yells but does not mean to. It is all so frustrating and exhausting.
"Chris. Baby. You gotta get a hold of yourself. There isn't much you can do now."
"Where you at?"
"In Orlando. I really wanna be there for you but I can't---"
Banks is lying in the darkness with his eyes glued to the ceiling and the phone to his ear. "I really want you here. I'm goin' crazy baby. I dunno what to do."
"I'm sorry. I know this is rough for you."
"Imagine Marquise. I can't even begin to think about what the kid is feeling right now---"
"Does he know?"
"He should, considering that it's on every news station around the world."
The Atlanta rap star sighs and looks down at his shoes as he sits on the bed and begins to take them off. "Poor kid. I can't imagine it."
"He has to be okay. There isn't any other way."
"Just stay strong baby. Keep thinkin' good thoughts."
"I'm scared I won't ever get to say shit that I should've. Shit I couldn't when I had the chance because of my ego," the young rapper begins to unravel his feelings to his boyfriend.
"What you talkin' about? You two didn't have anything to say to each other."
"He was tryin' to be my friend and I was actin' like a spoiled bastard. He needs to know how sorry I am about that."
"You ain't got nothing to be sorry about. Things between you two wasn't exactly perfect before this happened."
"I know but---"
"No Chris. You and he weren't talking before this shit happened. Just because he got shot doesn't mean you should act as if nothing happened and start talking to him again," Ludacris says before quickly taking his shirt off and getting ready for bed. He is tired and wants to hold his boy now.
"How can you say something like that to me?"
"You don't want me to be friends with him ever again?"
"No. I didn't say that---"
"Sounds like that to me," he snaps back.
"I just don't want you to feel forced into fixing things with him because of what happened. It might not be the best time---"
"And when would be the best time Chris? He could die---" his voice practically cracks over the phone.
The DJ turned rapper replays the last few lines of their conversation in his head and realizes how selfish and insensitive he is being. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to say it like that or upset you more."
"Me being friends with him still bothers you?"
"I know it shouldn't but it does."
"I love you babe. Not him. I just have to make things right with him. If it's now or later, I have to do it."
"Yea," the older man reassures. "I was just bein' stupid. My b."
"I love you Chris. I know you're gonna do the right thing. You gotta be strong okay?"
"Yea. I love you baby. I'm gonna go get some sleep."
"You go do that. I love you too. I'll call you tomorrow to see what's happenin'."
A sinful guilt washes over Lloyd Banks as soon as the phone clicks away from his ear because he does not tell the southern rapper of the kiss he willingly planted on 50 Cent's unaware lips earlier. It bothers him but his mind is only focused on his best friend and the situation they are all in. He rests his head on a pillow but sleep will not easily take him this night. He wants it to though; he wants to escape the pain of it all for the rest of the night. The restless rapper's eyes follow an uncertain and unclear path on the ceiling as he keeps telling himself over and over that everything is going to be okay. Hearing Ludacris' voice gives him that sense of relief he so desperately needs and he will have to settle for that instead of having him there to sleep with him. When his eyes wander out the window and to the many lit buildings that surround him, there is no way he can fall asleep on his own and his head is now throbbing. Banks gets out of bed and walks to the medicine cabinet of the bathroom to find a bottle of Tylenol. He pops four into his mouth and drinks water.
Seven o'clock looms on the eastern horizon as the young rapper prematurely awakes by the constant ringing and vibrating of his cell phone. After unsuccessfully feeling around for it, he sits up on the bed and finds it tucked away under a pileup of the blanket. It is Dré. The producer informs him that the whole G-Unit family will be giving an official press conference to the media within the next two hours and he expects everyone to be there. Lloyd Banks checks the time and yawns before waking up and getting ready to attend the event. It appears as if ever news station in New York is present for the conference when he arrives. He finds the group he belongs to in the back; the mood is somber and melancholic as they get prepared to announce to the world the shooting of 50 Cent. It is a media spectacle as Dr. Dré reports into the microphone of the podium with Young Buck, Banks, Eminem, and Olivia standing behind him in support. The group answers as many questions as they possibly can before ending it. It is an exhausting two hours.
After the hectic press conference, the small group all rides over to the hospital to see him. It is quiet in the limo because no one knows what to say or even how to begin to deal with the situation of 50 Cent not being there with them. The few words spoken are small as eyes roam all over the spacious limo and even outside for some temporary relief. There is a frenzy of paparazzi and reporters as they exit the car and attempt to make their way into the hospital. Young Buck holds on to Olivia's hand tightly as he tries to navigate them through the mob. Dré and Eminem follow closely behind with Lloyd Banks and the security guards allow them access into the medical building but no one else. Camera flashes still flare as they are ushered away to the destination. The youngest rapper looks on as the first lady of G-Unit sweetly places a kiss on 50's cheek, the same cheek he kissed last night. A twinge of jealously rears its head but it subdued before causing any more damage. A nurse comes and informs them of his condition while they are all together.
After it becomes too much for her, Olivia starts weeping and leaves a short while after because she cannot take much more of seeing her former boyfriend so weak and susceptible. It is not long before Eminem gets called away, a call he has been ignoring ever since the press conference earlier in the morning. Dr. Dré and Young Buck leave together because they are working on a side project together. After saying goodbye to their fellow rapper, the pair leaves him alone with 50. It is last night all over again and he feels himself begin to buckle in the knees. Lloyd Banks sits in the same chair as before, it has not been moved, and looks over his battered and inert body. Looking back, he checks to see if anyone is there before reaching out his index finger to caress the older rapper's face. His finger unknowingly travels until it ends up gently pressed against 50 Cent's lips again. The same lips Banks kissed last night. The same lips he will never forget now. The finger stays perfectly still for a while until he hears a door behind him creek open. It retracts like lightening.
A warm nurse smiles at him when their eyes contact and moves around to the other side of the buff rapper's body to replace his IV pouch. The needle sticking into his best friend's arm makes Lloyd Banks nervous. "So there's no change at all?"
"No sir. His pulse is still very weak and his body is trying to recover all the blood he lost," she offers kindly.
"When will he wake up?" the G-Unit member is almost anxious.
"That is up to him and his body. We have already done all we can for him. When his body recovers enough, he should be okay."
"He's gonna be okay isn't he?"
She kindly looks at him when she finishes doing what she is doing and says, "There is a greater chance of recovery than anything else."
The room belongs to him and the older rapper once again when she leaves. He is scared all over again and although he had hoped talking to the nurse would comfort him in some small way, it does nothing for him. Banks wants the nightmare to be over. Putting off work for as long as possible, Lloyd Banks eventually stops fighting with himself and agrees to get his business day started. Even though it is clear that he is making the wrong decision, the G-Unit superstar accepts it for what it is and runs his hand along 50's face and bandaged chest before leaving the depressing hospital room. Hours go by before the lonely room sees new life in the form of Marquise Jackson and his mother. The six-year-old is still in his school uniform as he slowly walks into the room and sees his father still laying there. His eyes immediately begin to water but he tries to remain strong and sits on the chair close to him. His mother looks on when she sees him give the rap artist a kiss on his cheek. They spend a while longer before leaving. He holds her hand tightly in his own as they leave.
Another day passes by with not a single sign of promise or hope. Marquise cries his eyes out as his mother tries her best to comfort their grieving son. There is nothing she can do to help him and she hates being powerless to protect her little boy. Their little boy. When the six-year-old goes to use the bathroom, she sits on the chair next to her past boyfriend and rests her hand on his forehead and the over the left side of his chest; his heart. A tear streams down her face as she closes her eyes and says a prayer for him. He has to be okay. She rests her hands in his and kisses his cheek as their son comes back into the room. His eyes are so red from all the crying he has done over the past few days as she holds him tightly in her arms. Nothing is said. Everyone from G-Unit visits again and stays until the nurses inform them that visiting hours are over. It is not the same without him. It has been two days since it happened and still nothing. It is as if his body is not fighting to bring him back. The thought of it scares them all to no end. It cannot be over for 50 Cent.
An abyssal vortex swirls darkness and light into every pocket and crevasse of eternity. It is a strong whirlwind that cannot be fought or resisted because of its pure power. Though light is present, it is out-shadowed by the dark effects of the present time. Nothing seems to be here. It is a warped black hole which manages to steal light from an unknown source. It starts moving forward, a walking pace. He is walking. It does not make any sense but a sudden path develops right under his very feet and he knows it is meant to be followed. It is a path deeper, farther, and longer into the depths of the shadows of obscurity. A flash of light streaks the sky off to the side before it immediately disappears. A scar on his knee hurts. The trail continues until another bright ribbon of radiance ignites and seers a cut on his arm before vanishing completely. A glowing light strand ahead seems to signify the end of the pathway and as soon as he is the vicinity of it, a sharp and severe pain shoots through his chest. He stops but the odd glow that overwhelms him.
The intense agony stops when he looks up and sees someone standing only inches away from him. Something constricts and fails. "Mom?" his voice echoes throughout thoughtlessness. This is not happening to him.
"Curtis my precious baby. It's me," the spirit calls back to him. It even sounds like her.
"Mom?" he asks in disbelief once again. "Are you really here?"
"No. But neither are you."
"What? I'm having a dream?"
"I don't understand," the rapper desperately says. "Is it really you?"
"How are you here? How am I here?"
"This is my spirit. It has always been inside you my son. That's where we are," the entity attempts to shed some light on the situation.
"I'm inside me? Why?"
"Your life is hanging by a thread sweetheart. That is why we are both here together."
50 Cent clutches his chest because another indescribable pain surges through him. He then realizes that it is true. Everything. "Mom it's really you. I miss you so much mommy," he starts to break and revert back to when he was a kid. When he lost his mother. He notices that everything around them has stopped.
"I know baby. I have missed you so much too. You are so precious."
"Why's this happening? What's going on?"
"Your life is in danger."
"You were shot and your body is unconscious and laying in a hospital bed right now."
"I don't remember any of this---"
She looks at her son. "Your body is too busy trying to keep you alive."
"Am I dead?" he asks confused. It is not making any sense to him.
"No. Not yet. That is why I am here my baby."
"It is not your time son. That is why I have been sent. It is not your time to die now."
"No. Not like this. I came here to tell you to fight Curtis. Fight harder than you have ever fought in your life because everything hangs in the balance."
50 looks into the soul that is his mother for a long while, both not saying anything. "I don't know how to fight. I feel so weak and tired and lost."
"That's why I'm here my little boy. To help you find your way back to where you need to be. Where you belong."
"I don't think I can."
"Think of Marquise. Can you let him down? Can you leave him like this?"
He looks at her at the sound of his son's name. "You know about him?"
"I know everything about you baby. You are my son."
"That innocent little boy needs both his parents. You have to fight for that. You promised him that you would always be there for him."
"I did. I have to."
"Yes. Climb back up the string and to your old life."
"I have to," the G-Unit member says as he looks down. There are so many things he wants to ask. Things he has to know.
She takes the initiative and answers a question in his head for him. "Yes Curtis. You are a wonderful father to him."
"How did you---"
"You never could keep anything from me Curtis Jackson III."
"No one has called me that since---"
"I know honey. I never wanted it to happen that way. I never wanted to leave you alone."
"It was so hard for me after you died mom. I couldn't stop crying---" The emotions are there and all too real.
"That is why I am here with you now my little boy. To break the cycle. Marquise cannot go through the same thing you went through."
"You're right. I won't let it happen."
"You have to fight for your life back."
A realization suddenly shocks over him. "Mom I have to explain---"
"No. There is no need."
"Are you ashamed of me?"
"I could never be ashamed of you sweetheart. You are my son and I will always love you," the essence of his slain mother comforts him.
"I can't want it. It's not right."
"You cannot deny what you want Curtis. And I know it is what you want. I feel it."
"No. I can't. I can't."
"You love him honey. I know you do."
"I---" 50 Cent tries to explain himself but he cannot. His mother is right, as she always was in life.
"It's okay. Don't turn your back on it or him because it's not accepted as normal. He makes your insides light up."
"I guess I needed to hear that."
"You'll never know how proud I am of you. You overcame everything to grow up to be an independent, compassionate, and handsome man. I couldn't have hoped for any better for you baby." The soul attempts to touch her son's face but it does not work. Words are the only form of communication between their entities.
"I really need to hear that Mom."
"I know you did." A tremor shakes eternity to its foundations. "You have to fight Curtis. Fight hard and remain strong."
"But I wanna talk to you some---"
"I'm sorry son. This is it."
"Mom!" 50 screams out as the light is slowly leaving his body. The blackness continues to rumble around him. "Mom wait!"
"I love you Curtis. Keep me in your heart my son. I love you."
It is worst than the first time losing her as he looks around in the complete darkness now to see nothing. He starts running the opposite way to try and buy himself some time to figure out what it is he needs to do to be reunited with his body. The massive earthquake continues to roar as the rapper feels the ground below his feet crack into two pieces. He does not know what to do and there is no one around to help him. His mother is gone and their conversation is a distant memory as 50 tries to fight his way further and further into a mystifying oblivion. He is going to fail his body. His son. His love. An attempt to yell out in despondency proves futile because he has no voice. There is no sound around him. The essence of his body continues to run along the giant crack on the floor, which is now drifting beyond apart. There is nothing but a black abyss below. 50 Cent stares at his fate within the abyssal shadows until something shines far away and catches his sudden attention. The spirit quickly maneuvers through obscurity to find the gash in the vortex.
"Fight son!" a heartening voice bellows over the trembling blackness.
An extreme surge rushes through every living thing in his body and his eyes flicker open for the first time in days. They squint heavily to adjust to the fluorescent lighting of the room and he is able to fully breathe on his own now. His body is weak though as he looks around his surroundings, trying to piece together the past few days of his life. It is a blur but gradually seeping back into his brain; he did talk to his mother. He did admit to her and himself that he loves Lloyd Banks. Although the morphine helps, his stomach feels violated in so many ways and all the medication is making him lightheaded. He feels the tube in his nose and sees the IV penetrating his wrist when it hits him; everything. The night it all happened and how he was left lying there in the dark alleyway to die. 50 Cent takes a deep breath and moves his hand to rest it on his abdomen. The bandages there are very real and thick as he rubs it and feels pain when it agitates against the sensitive skin of his stomach. He finally realizes that it is now ten times that his body has been mutilated by the likes of a firearm.
"Thank God. You're awake," a nurse says when she walks in and notices that his eyes are open. "How do you feel?" She begins to check the equipment around him.
"What time is it? What day is it?" the returning voice is raspy and out of tune.
"Today is Saturday and it is nearly six in the morning."
"I don't think I need this anymore," 50 says as his finger feels the tube surrounding his face.
"Are you sure?"
"I think so. I'm breathing on my own."
She walks to the end of the bed and gathers his chart before sitting down on the nearby chair to examine him. She takes notes on the papers while looking at all the machinery that kept the superstar rapper alive when he could not sustain himself alone. He raises his hand and she takes his now extremely stronger pulse before recording it with a smile on her face. When the checkup is complete, the nurse agrees and takes him off the respirator. When she gently begins to press into his stomach, 50 Cent complains of the pain because the wound is still so raw and tender. He is alive. He fought back from the thin silver strand his life was barely attached to for a second chance at life. A second change he knows his mother is responsible for. The nurse leaves him as he sees the Sun beginning to rise through the light curtains of his room. The G-Unit founder realizes how much he takes the birth of a new day for granted. He is alive to see another one and for that he is more than grateful. When his mind recovers enough, the first though entering it is that of his son Marquise.