Sunday, November 25, 2012

What If - 25 Years Later - 3


| Later |

A few more minutes of one-sided small talk took place when the hospital door opened. Aj walked in first, followed by Jiselle with her 1 year old daughter, Genevieve followed, then Lucky with a 2 month old. A moment later, Gigi passed out. Why? The shock of Maddox Ames in. her mothers hospital room. While AJ dealt with her, Lucky saw him sitting there, then looked at the clothes he was wearing. Same damn outfit, just different colors. "Awkward ..." Jiselle eyed him, then kissed Janine on the cheek.

Maddox smiled at them and raised his brows at Gigi. He then looked to Janine, "i thought you only had 2 children?"

'2 more.' She wrote, then continued, 'Elle, Lucky, AJ, and Gigi.' Janine showed it to Maddox, then erased and wrote, 'bio dad to twins.' She showed it to the kids.

"wait, they're mine?" Maddox looked at her and then the twins.

"We finally meet," Lucky switched his baby to the other arm, kissed Janine, then held the kid close to her so she could kiss the baby as well.

"Well I be damn ..." He stood, "you look just like me." Then he looked to Janine, "when you never contacted me to come visit Memphis, I just thought you got an abortion."

'Was busy being depressed,' she wrote.

"Mom told all of us about you." Jiselle took a seat. "Our dad is a superstar. And our mother has cancer," she sighed.

"I see, Well I'm very happy to meet you guys. Sorry I wasn’t around. That's very shitty of me," he turned to Janine, "so two lungs, huh?"

"Could i please ..." Gigi finally regained herself, "have a picture and a kiss?"

"NO!" The twins and AJ said in unison.

Maddox laughed, "how about a hug and a picture?"

"oh my God ok!" She rushed over with her phone and handed it to AJ, then posed. After the picture was taken, she kissed her mom and sat on the bed, "i'm totally facebooking this!"

"So again, 2 lungs? Is that all you need to live, sweetheart?"

"Dad is getting them for her," Gigi told him.

"What brings you by?" Lucky asked.

"I was visiting my ex wife down the hall, and saw your moms name on the door ..." He looked to Janine, "I can get them to you in two days," he spoke of the lungs.

"Black Market?" AJ asked.

"No, not black market. From Italy."

"Dad is getting them," Gigi repeated

"We already ..." Jiselle started.

Janine held up get board, 'flight time?'

"10 for us." Lucky answered, "Gigi leaves at 7."

"I can stay another day or week," she smiled.

"Don't you dare miss it," Janine warned in a small voice, then looked to Maddox, "It's fine," Janine told him. "Tests. Needs to be compatible." She reached out for Lucky's baby and smiled as he was put in Janine's lap. "This is Lucas ..." Then she nodded to Jiselle's 1 year old, "that's Carmen."

"Ok, wow, I'm a grandpa. Can I hold him?"

Janine glanced at Lucky who gave her a nod, then she looked at Maddox and nodded.

| Later |

Maddox stayed and visited with the family. When it was time for them to get ready to leave, Genevieve started her notorious crying again and AJ had to drag her away. Finally some peace and quiet ... With the exception of Maddox still there but then again, she figured he just felt some sort of guilt for SOMETHING and hung out until visiting hours were over. 'Kept you from your day.' Janine wrote on the white board.

"Nah, i stayed because I wanted to. They are damn good kids."

'And pretty too.' She smiled.

"Yea ..." He sighed, "I'm gonna come back and see you before I go on my European tour. Is that okay?"

She nodded, 'I'll be here. Thx.'

Maddox hugged her gently and them left to head back home.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

What If - 25 Years Later - 2


| 2 Weeks Later |

Only 2 weeks from that day, Janine’s condition deteriorated rapidly. Even though the cancer had not spread to other organs, it was eating away at her lungs, leaving her struggling for every breath. Addison was called, who in turn called Jiselle and AJ. While the other kids went to the hospital to see Janine, AJ went to his fathers house and knocked on the door. The maid opened it and AJ strolled in. At 19 years old, AJ was an Oxford student double majoring in History and Archaeology, enjoying his vacation at home in New York. In slacks, canvas shoes, white t-shirt, and a button-down left open, he gave a nod to the maid and put a hand in his pocket to jingle his car keys while he went to his fathers office. AJ opened the office door, seeing his father with his new wife, “father … Nameless,” he greeted them while the wife was on his lap.

“AJ … My name is …”

“Nameless …” He told her but gave her a charming smile, then wiped it away to look at Antonio, “my mother is dying and it’s your fault.”

Antonio leaned back, “she isn’t dying. She has 2 more weeks in …”

“My mother is dying.” He paused and swallowed, “she needs a double lung transplant in the next 2 months or she’s gone.”

Antonio stared at his son, then shooe’d his wife away. Once she left, he stood, “how did this happen?”

“The doctor says it’s just one of those things. Some people are that unlucky. I believe all of the stress you’ve put her through came back to bite her. No, that isn’t a scientific theory but seeing first-hand how things have been around her since birth, I have no doubt that’s what happened.”

“What do you think I should do? What can I do? Since you have all the answers …”

“You have unlimited resources. You find a way. Because if my mother dies … You won’t make it to her funeral.”

Antonio immediately laughed, “threatening your own father?”

“No. I’m threatening the man who treated his wife like a second class citizen. The same man who treated the children he adopted like step children. The same man who treated his biological children as if they were leeches.” Holding his arm up, he pointed a finger at Antonio, “you did this to her. You fix it, or my brother and I are going to rain hell down on you.”

“I could have you thrown in jail for the threat alone.”

“But you wont,” he turned to leave, “because I’m right.”

| 1 Month Later |

With Morphine in her drip, Janine teetered on Euphoria and plain old sleep. Her worsening condition was visibly getting the best of her. Due to the chemo and radiation, she’d lost massive amounts of weight as well as her hair. Janine was down to 80 pounds, bald, weak, but her eyes hadn’t lost their sparkle. With the window open, she watched the clouds for a bit, then looked to the mirror opposite her bed and re-positioned the scarf on her head that Lucky brought her from Chinatown. She hadn’t been able to speak in a week as it took too much energy that she didn’t have. So, she’d been reduced to writing or using hand signals. Feeling as good as she could feel, but not wanting any company, she turned her head away from the door as someone walked in.

Standing at the entrance, quiet with curiosity playing across his face was Maddox Ames. He had just finished seeing his ex-wife Sasha who had a fall and was getting surgery on her ankle and knee. He was dressed in a pair of slacks with a sweater and blazer. "Janine..." He said quietly.

She'd just closed her eyes when she heard her name but didn't respond right away. She wasn't in the mood to be visited by anyone, especially another doctor that Antonio had begun to smother her with. Eyes still closed, she held up a hand as if to they'll them to go away.

"I'm sorry to bother you, but," he paused, "I was walking by from visitingsomeone and saw your name on the door. Janine Hines ... I dated a girl in high school by that same name and I was hoping ..." He crossed his arms, I was hoping to catch up with an old friend.

Janine opened her eyes, then looked in his direction. She smirked, then gave him a thumbs up as she tried to sit herself up. Then she waved and picked up her dry erase board and marker from under her pillow.

He walked closer pulling a chair that was near him up to the bed. "Long time no see, huh?" He smiled, "what happened sweetheart?" He motioned to the machines she was hooked up to. Maddox was much more mature than he was ages ago. Even though he'd grown famous singing talents he'd become more humble with age as well as more handsome.

With the board, she wrote, 'lung cancer. Dying. 2 months.' Janine held it up to show him, then took a tissue and erased it, 'my daughter is a fan.'

Maddox's heart broke, "what?" He placed a hand on hers, "what is it you need?" He pauses, "that's sweet, I can sign anything or meet her."

Smiling, 'be here in 30.' She erased it, 'need lung trans x2.'

"Damn ... And the goddamn doctors are sitting with their thumbs up their assess? Ridiculous." He shook his head and then looked to her and kissed her temple, "you still look  beautiful ..." Sitting back, he knew that had to make her feel better, "how old is your daughter?

She grinned, using too much energy to stop from laughing. 'Don't want pity. I'm fine.' And under that, she wrote, '16.'

"Well you can't die girl..." He smiled, "she's Antonio's right? You two still together?"

Janine nodded, then held up her left hand and tapped her empty ring finger. Right after, she held up the other hand and counted off 5.

"5 kids? That's amazing. Can't believe you have that many kids with Antonio."

Smiling again, she wrote, '2 w/ Antonio. Divorced 5 yrs.'

"Ohhh my fault ... Two kids. Nice. I got married but never had kids. I'm divorced now."

She frowned and wrote. 'Sorry. Why divorce? Miss me?' Smiling, 'joking.'

"She cheated on me with my best friend." He sighed, "said I put my career before her, didn't want kids and its bull shit. I would love to have a big family right now. For a man at 42 with everything, I have nothing."

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

What If - 25 Years Later


| New York Memorial Hospital |

A doctor walked into Janine Hines’ hospital room with X-Ray scans in his hands. Behind him came Antonio, Antonio Jr., Addison and Jiselle. Inside the hospital room with Janine was Genevieve, the youngest Bovin child. “Think positive thoughts, mom,” Gigi told her mother, then stood up from the bed and walked to the doctor, standing with the rest of her family.

“This area and this area,” the doctor pointed to the x-rays of Janine’s lungs. “Cancerous tissues. The trouble breathing she’s been having is because there is air escaping. The cancer is eating through.”

“Oh please, it’s just asthma,” Janine, 41 years old, divorced, and lying in bed with a mask on her face, took the mask off and dropped it to the ground on side of the bed.

“Not my mommy!” Gigi burst into tears right then, immediately being cradled by her father who was now trying to figure out how to deal with his upcoming business trips while his childrens’ mother was in the hospital with cancer.

“I don’t even smoke!” Janine continued.

“Is this early detection or should we be worried?” Jiselle asked with tears in her eyes.

“We won’t know until we get the Biopsy done to be sure.” The doctor started, “if its stage 2, or early 3, we can do a combination of chemotherapy and radiation therapy over the course of 4 weeks. If after the first week things are not progressing as they should, we’ll also do surgery to help it along.”

They hung out with the doctor a few more minutes to talk about what he’d just presented, then paperwork was brought in for Janine to sign, then Addison, who was named power of attorney in case the worst happened and decisions needed to be made without her immediate consent. Jiselle and Genevieve left the room to deal with their rolling emotions while the men stood around Janine’s bed, Lucky and AJ looking at the papers together, “DNR …” AJ held onto that one, “we’re not signing this one.”

“Yes … You are.” Janine took a breath and got ready to plead with him.

“Mother,” AJ sat on her bed, “you’re only 41.”

“Cancer doesn’t care if youre 41 or 4. If it wants you out of here, you have no choice. If I have to be hooked up to a machine in order to live, I don’t want to be here. It’s ridiculous.”

“What about us?” Lucky’s face began to turn red. “I won’t sign it.”

“You don’t have to. I can …”

“Janine, lets think about this.” Antonio finally stepped in. If Janine died, he would have to deal with Gigi himself. Not that he wouldn’t want to as Gigi looks a little like him, but a 16 year old girl with a single father is not the way to live life, especially with a new wife. “Your children need you.”

“You just don’t want to deal with them yourself,” Janine rolled her eyes, “they’re grown, Antonio.”

“Gigi can stay with me or Elle,” Lucky said through a clenched jaw, “but it wont come to that. You can leave, Antonio,” putting the paperwork in AJ’s hands, he put his hands in his own pockets and walked to the window. “My mom is sick, I don’t need your bullshit in here right now.”

“I always wondered where your mouth came from. It wasn’t your mother.”

AJ remained quiet. Caught in the middle as usual. He loved his father but not the way he treated his siblings or him, for that matter. After a small stretch of silence, he took a pen and walked the DNR over to Lucky. Lucky took the pen and signed, giving Janine the peace of mind she wanted but not disobeying her at the same time. He declined the DNR and stuck it with the rest of the paperwork to turn in. He and AJ gave each other a nod and left the room to deal with the doctor. Antonio hovered around Janine’s bed and she rolled her eyes again, “you can go now. No need to look concerned. Your girlfriend will be worried that you were gone from her sight for 2 whole hours.”

He ignored her comment, “the doctor said roughly a month,” he picked up the mask she’d thrown down earlier and put it on the bed next to her, “do as the doctors ask. Please,” he paused, “Genevieve will leave for the London Olympics in a month and a half and I have business to tend to so … I’m going to get her a car.”

“WHAT? I do NOT want her having a car right now!”

“She is 16. Responsible. She has a license, her grades are perfect and she needs to get to and from the track and gym for workouts.”

“You could take her!”

“I’m busy.”

“Jiselle will take her. Addison will take her. AJ will take her … Antonio please. That girl sings ‘Call Me Maybe’ like it’s the only song ever written. She’s too bubbly for driving.”

“I’ll get her something safe.” Still ignoring his ex-wife, he kissed Janine on the forehead and left the room.
A few seconds later, Janine heard Jiselle and Gigi in the midst of an argument with Antonio, leaving Gigi crying … As usual. They came in the room and Gigi sighed, “I can’t drive with you in the hospital. I’M TOO WORRIED! What if I hit a dog?”

“I’ll take you.” Jiselle kissed her sister. Jiselle was an athletic-built 5 foot 10 while Gigi was 5 feet tall, also athletic-built but a little thicker than her big sister. Her dark brown hair that was generally wild, curly and unruly, was done only days earlier with a Brazilian Blow Out in preparation for the Olympics. Now it was flowing down her back to her waist. Her dark olive skin tone was accentuated with big light brown eyes, a beaming smile, Antonio’s thin nose, and heart shaped mouth. Gigi was sight for sore eyes, a sight her brothers, and sometimes Jiselle, paid for dearly, getting in many fights if one guy said something to her that they didn’t like. But as sensitive as she was, it was warranted. Jiselle put an arm around her sister and then smiled at her mother, “everything’s gonna be fine. You’ll be out in time to come to London with us.”

Janine nodded, “I know.” She sighed, “please save her from herself,” laughing a bit as she referred to Gigi.

“I’ll do my best.”