| Days Later |
"Good news ..." Antonio began has he walked into her hospital room. He was about to keep going but noticed the breathing tube coming out of her mouth and eyes shut. It's how they make you look 'comfortable' before you die. He lingered around the doorway for a while watching her, then noticed the TV was on NBC. She must have been waiting to see Genevieve run in the Olympics. He went and turned the TV up a little more, then went to her bedside and covered her arms. Janine always complained about white people and how they're always hot when Black people are freezing to death. With that thought, he smirked, then took a seat in the chair next to her bed just to sit and watch TV as if she were awake and watching with him.
Antonio sat the entire day and was readying himself to spend the night. Why? Guilt. Once the Olympics went off for the night, he was forced to wonder if his son was right. Was he the reason his best friend was dying? The negligence, affairs, name-calling, and appalling behavior that he'd stressed her with, not to mention that children she'd reared almost alone, was something he would need to pay for one day and this was it. Regret. Regret at it's finest. As Antonio was about to lean back in his chair to attempt sleep, the doctor walked in, "tests came back clean ... We can schedule the transplant for tomorrow."
Relief washed over Antonio but not enough. The organs have to take. He only nodded, "my thanks to you. You will be compensated adequately."
The doctor smiled. The money Antonio was giving him to essentially wake the dead, was enough to retire him. "Goodnight Mr. Bovin."
He nodded, "Doctor," then closed his eyes.
| 10 Days Later |
Antonio came through for the first time in years. He delivered a compatible set of lungs that Janine was immediately transplanted with once necessary tests were run. After the initial surgery, she was placed in a coma with breathing tube and monitored in ICU for a few days before they found that her body was accepting. Out of her coma and breathing on her own, she was about to sneak out of her bed to go to the window, but got back in when she heard the door. Turning to the door, she smiled, "you're back."
Maddox walked into her room with an envelope, "hi..." he smirked.
"You have amazing timing ... Or you're nosey." Janine sat herself up.
Nodding, "actually yes." She waited until he walked in further, "I have 2 huge scars on my back."
"In pain?" He looked down at her and hugged her.
"I feel dead but slowly coming back around. It's essentially what happened after the coma so I shouldn't be surprised." She rubbed his back.
"Gotcha, yea i had to make sure i checked on you before my tour." He sat in a chair and placed an envelope he was holding on her lap.
She looked at the envelope and started to open it. "Please tell me they're front row tickets for my baby."
"Not yet, this is for you and the twins. I know they don't need me, but I need them. I would love to be a part of their lives."
"What is this? A letter?"
"Its investment money for them and an all expenses paid trip for you and 2 of your girlfriends to Spain ..."
"Thank you. I'll give it to them." She looked at the stuff, put it back in the envelope and on the stand next to get bed, "how long is the tour for?"
"Well this portion is for two months then I break for a week them off to south America."
Nodding, "traveling sounds fun. I may do a bit after my recovery ... See if I can bribe any of my kids into going with me."
He smiled, "I told Sasha I found you here."
"You're ex wife?" She took a deep breath, "the lifestyle of a superstar didn't work for her?"
"Nope. She hated it and cheated because I wasn’t home."
"I can't say i would go that route but i doubt i could handle that either. My husband never being home ... Been through that already ... I know how bad it is."
"yes, but she was foul and i always offered to fly her to where i was."
"Well i'm sorry ... For the divorce and abortion." She grinned, "I've seen a little you running around and it's funny."
"Oh yea? How so? Tell me about it.
"Big mouths on both of them. Lucky wasn’t concerned with looking good but Elle was. Lucky did, however, like to flaunt everything he had. Lucky was given his first pack of condoms as a gift, from me, when he was 13. He was embarrassed. I wanted him to be safe. Jiselle, at an early age, was a smart ass but the sweetest thing in the world. Whenever one of them got in trouble, they both went down trying to cover for the other ... They are fiercely protective of each other, even as adults." She paused, "and when they were babies ... God ..." Laughing, she pointed to a black photo album, "you can take that. Has pictures in it from babies up until college graduation."
"I would love that..."
"It's yours. You can take it when you get ready to go. So tell me what the world looks like right now," shaking her head, "I've been here for months and can't wait to get out. Wait, is your father still evil?"
"He’s still an asshole. He'll never change ... What have the twins said about me?"
"Absolutely nothing. Like you never showed up," she sighed, "to me at least. They've talked with AJ, though. They like that they look like you but don't know if getting to know you, at their age, is important."
"Man, if love to fly them out to Europe to hang out a little bit."
"I'll talk to them after we get back from London."
"you're going too London? For what? Just curious."
"Yes. In 2 days. Just in time to see Gigi run. 400 meters. They haven't even started the heats for the races yet so I'm in luck."
"Nice..." He paused, "I'm so proud of you. You did good."
She smiled, "thank you. I appreciate it. I should thank you also. Lucky is a hedge fund manager. I know he got that from you. Antonio's graduation present to him was hooking him up with his own business. He had a probationary period to see how he would handle it but things have been going well. It's grown quite a bit the last 2 years. Jiselle gets her talent from you. I was a dancer and the baby can't dance so," she laughed, "she plays piano for the New York Philharmonic and teaches classical piano at NYU. She definitely didn't get that from me," she smiled again.
"That's damn good to know, i have my own club chain as well, you know?"
She nodded, "I've been to the one in LA. During my affair-turned-boyfriend." Nodding again, "we went and it was really nice."
"you have a boyfriend now? Where's he been?"
"He's my ex now. Has been for the past year. We dated the last 2 years of my marriage and 3 after."
"Oh wow cheating on the ball and chain? Not like you Janine."
"True. I lasted longer than I expected considering all I dealt with during my marriage. It was ... Terrible. Really terrible," she paused, "Antonio was ... " Janine stopped again, searching for the correct choice of word, "horrible to me. But I tried to fix it. I tried when he wouldn't or didn't want to."
"How ironic..." He sighed, "Sorry that happened, and for everything I put you through. You're fantastic and i look forward to a friendship with you and the twins." He kissed her forehead and them looked at his watch. "I have to be going," he said a little sad.
"Stay safe. And it was good to see you."
"i will take care you..." He winked at her, waved and smiled as he walked out.