~>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 summons the nurse via the buzzer clipped to the side of his bed and requests his cell phone from the bag of his personal belongings that is surprisingly not in his room. She obliges him with the piece of technology and he does what is necessary with it before resting for a minute. In a bold move, the wounded rap star utilizes most of his energy to sit up on his bed. His head is dizzy with medications as his body tries to adjust to movement for the first time in days. The same nurse returns and commends him for his efforts and informs him with the news that the IV can be removed from his wrist. She returns with a kit and carefully pulls the needle out of 50 Cent's hand while sterilizing the spot with a moist swab. He smiles at her when she places a band-aid over the punctured skin to hide it from the world. He is free from his constraints. Alone once again, the G-Unit rapper slowly walks into the bathroom to clean himself up. Each step is small and well thought out because the core of his body hurts and the exerted pressure of walking agitates the wound even more.
It is not the same person. He is not the same person. The mirror is lying to him. His face is unshaven and rough as his eyes struggle with restlessness and confusion. The smooth waves of his short hair are messy and destroyed as his eyes follow where his ebony skin stops and the artificial white one begins. 50 Cent snaps himself out of his self-induced daydream and washes his face and mouth. A nearby toothbrush and toothpaste gives him his next move and he will just have to settle for being unshaven for the time being. Another ripple of faintness overcomes him and the buff rapper props himself against the wall to stay up. His stomach is burning and itching because of the heavy bandaging as he finishes taking care of himself and walks back to his room. Splashing water on his face does help because he is already feeling stronger. His steps are a little more confident so he tries to walk over to the window to remove the blinds. Bright light invades the room and brings 50 more strength as the pores of his skin soaks it all in. He is back. Just like before.
The nurse returns to the room and personally delivers breakfast to her patient because she has to observe how his body will react to food. She sits near him and writes on a pad in front of her while 50 rips away the straw from the box juice and inserts it where it needs to go. The sweet taste of orange juice drowns his taste buds and coats his throat. Everything has to be slower and more careful because of the situation he is in. The once easiest of tasks are now drawn out processes that easily become frustrating. He does not falter though because this is the beginning of recovery; and he knows all about recovery. It will be the second time the G-Unit member has had to recover from gunshots wounds. After a small breakfast of toast, eggs, and bacon, his nurse observes him for a long while until she is sure that he is definitely on the road to recovery. 50 Cent's drive will not allow him to slow down on getting better. She smiles to him once again before giving him privacy. He sits up on the hospital bed with his legs crossed and looking out the window.
"Daddy! Daddy!" a small voice screams and he turns his head to see who he knows it is. Marquise rushes over to his father and crashes into his sore body, tears flowing down his innocent face.
"Ah!" 50 exclaims slightly when he feels his son touch him. He is still so tender so it all hurts so badly but he does not care because he is holding his son once again. "Marquise."
"Oh daddy! I was so scared and I---"
"Relax baby. Relax. I'm here," the rap star says as he holds on to the little boy's body tightly. He is crying. "Don't cry Tré. It's okay."
"We were so worried about you Curtis," his former girlfriend says as she looks at the sight in front of her. Marquise is now up on the bed holding on to his father like he never wants to let go. "Are you okay?"
"I will be. Don't give me that look---"
"You scared us to death. Him."
"I'm sorry. I didn't want that. I'm sorry buddy," he says as he looks at his son. He does not reply.
"So what happened?"
As he is about to start recalling the night, two police officers interrupt by entering the room. They nod at him and he knows what they are there for. After some effort, the wounded rapper peels his six-year-old son off of his body and kisses his cheek while telling him to go back with his mother. A police officer nods at her and she holds on to Marquise's hand while they step outside. The cop escorts them and returns shortly after and then it is down to business. 50 Cent has to tell them everything he knows about the night and about everything he remembers. The officers take out pads and begin writing down the story that is being recited to them. He pauses at times because he wants to make sure that he is recounting everything to the best of his knowledge. Another nurse comes in to check on him as the interview progresses and 50 is glad that his son is not here to hear what he has to say. He will tell him; this is neither the right time nor the place. The member of G-Unit tells the pair of detectives everything on his brain from that night and they wrap it up.
A nurse informs Marquise and his mother that they will have to wait a while longer while everything is taken care of in terms of the injured rapper so they head to the waiting room. She buys her son a snack from a vending machine on their way there and gets herself cup of coffee. 50 tries to recall what the figure in front of him looked like for the sketch artist sitting on the side of him and asking numerous questions but it was too dark; most of them he does not know the answer to. After, his doctor comes and introduces himself before examining him. He shines a light in each of the G-Unit founder's eyes for the response, checks his heartbeat and pulse for irregularities, and finally runs his fingers over the bandages to see if everything is alright. The men shake hands and he leaves the room as the same nurse as before enters. When she says that everything is okay for now, 50 Cent asks her to go and get his former girlfriend and his son so he can see them again. He raises the bed and lies back on it because he feels energy leaving his weakening body.
"Are you okay daddy?" Marquise asks when he returns to the room.
"Yep. Just had to take care of that and have the doctor see me."
"What did he say?" the small boy asks as he sits on the chair right next to his father's bed.
"That I'm good. I still gotta take it easy but I should be back to normal in no time."
"Really?" His eyes light up. "That's great!"
"Marquise honey, we have to go," she says. She has numerous errands to take care of.
"I don't wanna go mommy. I wanna stay here."
"I don't think you can sweetheart."
50 Cent thinks. "Let him stay here with me for the day."
"What? Are you sure? I mean, are you able to watch him and can he stay here?" his mother questions. Deep down though, it is what she wants because she knows how hard the past few days have been on her son. Their son.
"I'll convince the nurse to let him stay. Please. I need him to stay."
"Please mommy," the cute six-year-old chimes in.
"Are you sure Curtis?"
"Alright. You be a good boy and listen to your father Marquise."
"I will mom."
"I'll come and get you later."
The innocent child gets up and hugs his mother tightly as she gets ready to leave. She then gives her former boyfriend a kiss on his cheek and whispers a few words encouragement to him before leaving them alone. He feels the hole in his stomach as it hurts and irritates him to no end. The morphine is gone now so it is by pure willpower and adrenaline that he is able to cope with all the pain. Having his son there with him makes it that much better though. As far as 50 Cent is concerned, it is the only treatment he needs. They talk a little before Marquise announces that he has the use the bathroom and disappears. The rapper's body will not let him forget how it felt talking to his mother again. Hearing her voice inside his head and almost being able to touch her. A solitary tear slips down his face and he is quick to wipe it away, remembering the last time he cried was six years ago when his son was born. It was overwhelming then and it is overwhelming now. The little boy returns from the bathroom and looks at him before sitting on the chair and holding his hand.
"Come here son," he says as he grabs the boy's tiny body and lifts it up from the chair. He lies back on the bed and rests Marquise's body on top of his. He slightly squirms from the pain.
"Dad are you okay? You're hurt. I'm gonna get off---"
"No. Stay right there. I want you close to my heart baby."
"Okay," he agrees. He relaxes his body as it presses into the bandages and rests his head on his father's chest.
"Yea." A tear follows his face and crashes into the skin underneath him.
"What's wrong Tré?"
"I was so scared I would never see you again daddy." The tears are more abundant. "I was scared that you were gonna---"
"Shh. It's okay. Relax baby boy. I'm here. I'm never gonna leave you," 50 tries to comfort his obviously hurting son.
"You can't. You're my best friend. I love you so much---"
"It's okay. Let it all out."
"When mommy told me what happened to you, I couldn't move. I couldn't think or say anything. All I wanted was for you to be okay. I prayed to God so he would make you better."
The buff superstar sighs and takes a deep breath. He sees the body on top of his elevate his and then go down low again. "I'm so sorry about all this Marquise. I never wanted to put you through---"
"It wasn't your fault daddy."
"I know. But I can't take it when you're crying. I go crazy."
He sniffles softly. "I love you daddy. I'm so happy that you're okay."
"Me too son. I love you more than anything. More than being Fifty Cent. More than the money. More than the fame. You're the only thing I've ever done right Tré."
"You can't leave me. I can't let you go."
"I want you to know something."
"If I ever leave you, it's not because I wanted to okay? It wasn't my choice to go and I fought with all my strength to stay but I just couldn't. Do you understand me?"
"No," the six-year-old admits honestly. He does not know what his father is trying to tell him.
"It's okay. You will someday."
"Please don't scare me like that again. I can't lose you." His voice cracks and he starts crying as the rapper securely wraps his hands around his trembling body.
"You won't lose me. Never. I won't let that happen."
"Am I hurting you?" Marquise asks again. He does not want to hinder the amount of time it takes his father to get out of the hospital in any way.
"Nope. You're right where I want you to be Twenty-five Cent."
"Okay. What did the cops say?"
"They just asked me to tell them what happened so they can file a report."
"Did they catch the bad guy?"
"Did you know who it was?"
"No," the G-Unit founder says.
"What happened that night?" He wants to tell the little boy everything but not right now.
"I'm gonna tell you but not now okay?"
"It's not the right time or place."
"Okay. You don't have to if you don't want too. It's okay."
"I will. We're best friends right Tré?"
"And best friends tell each other everything right?"
"Right," he cutely agrees.
The pair continues to talk as time escapes them both. 50 Cent cannot explain the feeling of having his son so close to him, something he was scared that he would never get the chance to appreciate ever again after everything that has happened to him within the past few days. When the room becomes quiet for a while, he calls out to his son but there is no answer. Marquise is fast asleep on his father's upper torso. The G-Unit rapper kisses his little boy's forehead over and over, just to prove that he and their surroundings are real. It would kill him if he realizes that this is another crazy dream he has managed to get himself caught up in. When the child unknowingly brushes his hand against the body underneath his, 50 realizes it is no dream and that he is really in this perfect moment with his son. His eyes too are starting to close as he feels tiredness sweep over his already weak body. He rests both hands on his son's lower back, to make sure he does not slip and fall anywhere, and shuts his eyes for the rest he needs. A nurse checks in on the couple.
50 Cent is the first to open his eyes a few hours later because his body is tired of rest. His lifestyle is more than active so all the forced downtime is something his body is not used to. His son's body on his feels so damn good though. It feels like they are linked together and it is honestly the main thing that is keeping him alive. To have another day to give Marquise everything he did not have when he was a child. The little boy tosses slightly when his father easily picks him up and rests him on the bed. He uses the bathroom and returns to sit on the chair that is so close to his bed. 50 simply sits there and watches his innocent child sleep on the hospital bed that is meant for him. It takes all his pain away and he cannot focus on anything else even if he tried to. The Sun is dipping below the world as its final rays attempt to shine in the room. It is getting late and the G-Unit member does not want to spend another night here. He does not think he can. The only thing left is for him to recover. And he does not wish to do that here. His mind is overrun with ideas.
The buff rapper is so focused on his son sleeping in front of him that he does not notice when his mother walks into the room. "Hey," she makes her presence known. "What are you doing?"
"Watching him sleep."
"Why? Is he okay?" Marquise's mom steps closer to her former boyfriend.
"Yea. He's fine. I just realized how much I like doing it. How much I've missed so far---"
"It has been a lot but he does understand Curtis. He is such a special little boy."
"I guess I never knew how special."
"You'll have plenty of chances together. You believe that don't you?"
"Yea. More than anything now." 50 looks up at her when she rests her soft hand on his bare shoulder.
"Daddy?" the six-year-old mumbles as he rouses in his sleep.
"Yea Tré. I'm right here."
Marquise sits up on the hospital bed and rubs his eyes sweetly before opening them to see both his parents together. "Hi mommy."
"Hi sweetheart. Did you have a good nap?"
"Yea. I was sleeping on top of daddy."
"You were?" she asks as she eyes the man next to her.
"Don't worry. I'm good."
"You have to be careful."
"He's well worth it."
"We have to go son. It's getting late and your father needs his rest," his mother informs him.
"Okay," the little guy groans.
Marquise cannot le this father go from his tight grip. 50 does not want him to either but it has to happen. After an extra long goodbye to the only family he has, the six-year-old and his mother walk out of the hospital room, leaving him alone once again. After a while, a nurse enters and takes his vitals as well as his preference for dinner. When the ebony rapper informs her that he is not hungry, she lectures him on the importance of eating to keep his strength up as well as to nourish his body. He caves in at her advances and orders himself food and she disappears with a slight smile hanging on her face. The G-Unit founder does feel more strength surging through his damaged body after he eats and wonders when he will be able to get out of this place and back to his life. Now that he is away from it, he wishes that he never complained about it before because of how much he misses it. It is too huge a part of him to deny or throw away. It is late and his body feels restless. 50 Cent is lying on the bed flipping through channels on TV when his door opens.
"A nigga woke up and can't call nobody and shit," Eminem's slick voice echoes through the room as he enters. He has a blue bandana on which matches his jeans, which are as far from his waist as possible.
"You loud white nigga. I'm dyin' here---"
"Don't talk shit like that," Dr. Dré says as he too enters the room. It feels more than good to see them here.
"It's true. These weak ass rappers prayin' that I never come back to the game."
"We we know that ain't gonna happen," the producer says with great certainty.
"They caught the lil' scared bitch who did this yet?"
"Naw. Not that I know of."
Dré sits on the chair while the white rapper stands close to the both of them. "They will. Don't worry."
"I ain't worried. This is New York. People get shot everyday."
"But it's not everyday that someone like you gets shot."
"You think this gonna hurt my career?" 50 Cent asks as he looks at him.
"I'm not sure. It shouldn't but you know everything that's out there."
Slim Shady moves and sits on the side of his best friend's bed. "Dré's right. This shit can go either way but I doubt you got anything to worry `bout."
"This the last thing I need right now. You niggas always bringin' bad news."
"Ay, we could leave yo ass here alone kid."
Dr. Dré phone goes off and he fetches it and looks at the number. It is an important meeting he cannot miss. "Aight boys I gotta bounce."
"You just got here," the buff rapper says.
"I got some stuff to take care of. Feel better boy." Their fists smash together and he and Eminem hug before he leaves. He moves from the bed to the now unoccupied chair.
"Yea. Just tired of being up in here."
"When can they release you?"
"Probably tomorrow. It better be."
"You scared us nigga."
"You? Think how I felt," the G-Unit founder confesses to another of his best friends.
"Damn. And you don't know who did it? What'd the police say?"
"What can they say? I didn't give them much to go on. I'm not really counting on them to find him. It was a freak accident."
"They gotta catch him. He can't get away with this shit."
"How's Marquise? He aight?" he asks.
"He's doing better now. He spent the day with me today."
"Word? That's good. Poor kid."
"He's gonna be aight."
Eminem looks at his best friend. "You in any pain?"
"I was shot white boy. What you think?"
"Look nigga, I'm just tryin' to be a good friend to yo punk ass. You better stop tryin' me. That's why yo ass got shot ten times now---"
"You cold kid. I see how it is," he smiles.
"You ain't slick."
"Can never be like you," 50 feeds into the other man's ego.
The room becomes quiet and he notices Eminem looking at him. "I still don't understand a part."
"What you talkin' `bout?"
"Don't think I'm crazy or some shit," the ebony rapper warns.
"It's been too late for that but go ahead."
"I saw my mom."
"I dunno where I was or how it happened but we talked."
"On the real?" Slim asks, confused and intrigued at the same time.
"No lie. I can't explain it. We talked---"
"I believe it."
"Why you say that?"
"I think she knew that it wasn't your time to die. So someone had to tell you and what better person than her?"
"Damn Slim. When'd you get so whimsical and shit?"
He smiles to himself. "Always been this way. You just never noticed."
"I dunno. She pushed me back here though."
"Have no doubts about it."
"She wanted me to come back to keep yo crazy ass in check."
"I'm leaving fuck nigga. You ain't cool. And I actually prayed for your ass," the white rap superstar admits in the heat of the moment.
"Word? A heathen like yo ass prayed for another heathen like my ass?"
"Fuck you! I ain't no heathen." They laugh together.
"Whatever gets you through life."
"Damn it's good to have you back smartass."
"Who else would you fight with if I was gone?"
50 Cent smiles, mostly to himself because he has so many wonderful people surrounding him in his life. Hearing Eminem say that he prayed for him takes him by surprise but makes his insides glow with happiness and appreciation. The two close friends continue to catch up on lost time and it feels as if nothing happened. It is the way the buff rapper needs to feel. His life is craving the feeling of normalcy and the more he forgets, the more he can satisfy his life. A nurse comes to check her patient out and informs Slim Shady that visiting hours are almost over. 50's stomach drops because he does not want to be alone. First Marquise and his mom leave him and then Dr. Dré and now him. It is late though so he understands. The white rapper informs him that Olivia is in Miami for some promotional events and Young Buck is overseas for the release of his album. He does not know where Lloyd Banks is or what he is doing. It hurts. He wants it all to be over already. The twosome bid each other goodbye by touching their balled up fists together.
The night proves to be rough because he is tossing and turning. The bandages are stifling him and the wound feels like it is being reopened. The pain is intense. When the superstar rapper is finally able to catch elusive sleep, his mind creates a world that he knows well. He is having a dream. A nightmare. The shadowy figure is there. The darkness of it all is there. The silver illumination is there. A gunshot is heard throughout the land and a searing pain begins to take effect. Beads of sweat form on 50 Cent's forehead and slither down to his cheek and neck before ending their lives against the fabric of the bed. His eyes shoot open in the darkness and he attempts to sit up and try to relax. It is not like him. He rubs his stomach through the bandages and then wipes his brow to get rid of all the water. The G-Unit rapper is finding it harder to sleep here. He rests his head on his hands and tries to think about his next move. Where he can go from here. 50 is frustrated and angry and on the verge of insanity. He can feel it. His body does not sleep.
A small blue jay busily makes a nest outside his window as his body is succumbing to rest finally. It is better late than never. The G-Unit founder's thoughts kept him up to past four in the morning before he could not physically keep his eyes open anymore. The rest is much needed and wanted. Unbeknownst to him, a pair of doctors and nurses enters his room to examine him. They get on with the examination without waking the muscular man and although he hears a silent mumble from here to there, it is not enough to wake him up. A nurse takes notes on a clipboard while the doctors determine how far along his healing is. They debate it for a while before everyone disappears and gives 50 his room back. It is around ten in the morning when he eyes flutter open and he sees a new day upon him. A tray of breakfast is already waiting for him so he goes and cleans himself up for it. He then wonders what the voices he heard earlier were talking about. He pushes the tray away and turns on the TV so he can relax himself. The place feels like his own prison.
The door slowly opens and someone walks in. Their eyes meet instantly and even though the television is on, a silence befalls the room. "Hey. I came as soon as I could get away---"
"Chris. Hi---" He can think of nothing else to say.
"Are you okay? How you feeling?"
"It still hurts but I'm good." 50 Cent cannot believe who he is talking to right now. Everything from their past resurfaces and manages to confuse him even more.
"Thank God you okay," the young rapper says as he sits next to the other man. "What'd the doctors say?"
"I just need to recover." Their eyes never stop staring.
"I was so worried. Scared---"
"What do you mean why? You were hurt. You could've died. Of course I'm gonna worry."
"So it took me getting shot and almost dying for you to talk to me again?" he almost snaps. He instantly regrets the rude comment his anger makes for him.
Lloyd Banks looks at him, not knowing how to respond to the remark. The hurt is there in his eyes. "I knew I shouldn't have come."
"No. I'm sorry. I didn't mean that. I swear."
"You know I'm gonna care if something like this happens to you. That's some fucked up shit to say."
"I know. Can I take it back?"
"You already said it. Look, I didn't come here to fight with you. I really just wanted to see if you were okay. I'm gonna go then."
The G-Unit founder floats a million thoughts through his brain. "No."
"Please Chris. Stay. I really want you to."
He sits back down and there is a long silence. A nurse enters and finally breaks it. "Oh I'm sorry. Am I interrupting something?"
"No. This is my friend Chris," the buff rapper motions to the man sitting on the chair next to his bed. The nurse smiles warmly at him.
"Okay Mr. Jackson, I have some good news and some bad news for you. Which would you like to hear first?"
"Bad," he responds immediately and decisively.
"I have to re-bandage you right away."
"Is it gonna be the same way? Like this?"
"I'm afraid so," she informs him as Banks continues to watch the both of them.
"What's the good news?" It is the younger rapper who asks.
"The doctors came in to see you this morning. They think you are ready to be discharged."
A smile instantly adorns his face. "Really?"
"Yes. Of course you will have to take it easy for about a week or two until everything heals up."
"That's what I'm talkin' about."
"Will you have someone to take care of you?" she presses on.
"Do I need someone?"
"If only to look after you and make sure everything is okay. It could be a family member or friend. It does not have to be a medical professional."
"I could look after him," Lloyd Banks speaks up. Both look at him.
"It sounds like a plan to me. Is that okay with you Mr. Jackson?"
50 keeps looking at him and says, "Sounds like a plan to me too." What is going on here? Why did he just volunteer to do this? "And call me Curtis."
"Okay. Let's get you prepped to be bandaged again," the nurse says as she excuses herself and steps out of the room.
"I'll just wait outside until you're done," the G-Unit rapper says as he gets up.
"No. Stay Chris."
Their eyes intimately touch once again before he agrees. "Okay."
The nurse returns a short while later with a cart full of supplies to take care of her patient. She immediately gets to work sterilizing her hands as well as his skin before putting on a pair of gloves and getting to work. A sharp pair of scissors is retrieved from the tray and 50 Cent sits up straight as she inserts them on the side of his body and begins to cut away at the old white bandages. The procedure is slow because she has to be careful not to cut his skin or herself in the process. When the confines finally peel away, all three notice that his skin is slightly discolored because of the bandages. It is lighter than normal but when she asks the G-Unit rapper to lay back on the bed; their eyes go to something else completely. Lloyd Banks stares at the bullet wound above his best friend's navel. It is healing but there is still a long way to go. The skin sinks in and it is red from both dried and running blood. 50 looks at it and knows that it will leave a scar on his stomach. Banks cannot believe it. It looks so painful and raw. He can only imagine the pain it costs.
He watches closely as the nurse gently dabs a large cotton ball on the injury in an attempt to clean it. 50 winces a few times at the intrusion because of the sensitivity to that spot but remains strong. All that strength flies out the window though when she drowns another huge ball of cotton in a liquid and begins patting the wound. He almost jumps out of his body when it touches his raw skin because it burns and itches and irritates all in one. The ebony rapper squirms and writhes under her touch as she cleans his wound with pure alcohol. His eyes are closed tightly and his insides are screaming for mercy as the punishment to keep him clean and safe continues. Banks looks on as he sees the painful flesh turn pink from the assault and continues to stare as the nurse does her job. She reaches over to the cart for a small tube and extricates a clear gel from it before slowly and cautiously rubbing it into the weak and softened tissue. 50 Cent feels a cooling sensation and sits up to be bandaged once again. His body resumes suffocating.
"There. That wasn't so bad now was it Curtis?" she cheerfully smiles. "Everything looks okay. I'll go draw up the release paperwork now."
"Thank you," both men say together unknowingly.
"You're very welcome."
"What are you gonna do?" the younger rapper asks as he sits once again.
"Why'd you offer to look after me?"
"I dunno. I wanted too."
"I dunno. You my friend." He leaves it at that.
"I'm gonna go home," 50 Cent says after an awkward silence.
"To that house you bought in Connecticut?"
"Yea. Gotta start living there sometime. It might as well be now."
"Sounds like a plan."
The buff rap star eyes him and asks, "You really mean it? You gonna look after me?"
"Yea. I need a break anyway. Been working too hard."