When they finally reached the bus stop at Crab Apple Cove, Molly got off, and found a map of the small town. She found her motel, and checked in. In her room, she tried to figure out how to get to Pinewood Lane. She mapped out her route.
Molly took a shower, and changed her clothing. She swept her long dark hair up in a ponytail. She put a nice pair of dress pants on, and a sweater. Molly wanted to look presentable for the first time she would met her father. She double checked her bag for her room key, the map, Benjamin Franklin Pierce's address, and phone number, and the picture of her mother in her father's arms. She put her coat on, and left the room.
As she was walking she realized that it might have been better if she had called him first, but she was afraid that he wouldn't want to see her then. Molly looked at the small seaport town, and noticed a landmark that had been written about in Benjamin's letters. It was the Lobster Shack. This is where her parents ate the night she was conceived. She smiled as she passed, and continued walking.
There were a million butterflies in her stomach when she got to the porch of 24 Pinewood Lane. It was a large house, with a big front and back yard, perfect for children to play in. Molly wished she could have grown up in a house like this one.
When she rang the doorbell she considered turning around, and going back to the motel. Something inside her wouldn't let her move. She had waited seventeen years for this moment, and wasn't going to let her fear get in the way of it. Also, before she could move an older man came to the door.
"Yes," the man said warmly.
"Is Doctor Benjamin Pierce here?" Molly asked very professionally, and very politely.
"Sure," the man said with a confused look on his face, "Will you wait a moment please?"
"Of course," Molly said. She had waited seventeen years, what was a few moments.
The man turned around, and called, "Hawkeye, Hawkeye, there is a young woman here to see you."
After another minute or two of waiting a man came out on the porch. He was tall, and the dark hair from the picture had turned gray in color. He looked like her in so many ways.
"I am Doctor Benjamin Pierce," he said as he looked a girl who looked strangely familiar, but he didn't know why. It was as if they had met once a long time ago. He also noticed that the girl's eyes were the same blue color was his own, "Everyone calls me Hawkeye, though."
"Hello," Molly said offering her hand to shake. "My name is Molly, Molly Houlihan."
"Hello Molly," Hawkeye shook her hand.
"I believe you know my mother," Molly said breaking the ice, "She served in Korea with you. Her name is Margaret Houlihan."
"Of course, I know your mother," Hawkeye said, "Would you care to come in, and tell me what brings you to my corner of the world?"
"I would like that," Molly said, still not truly believing that her own father was standing in front of her. She followed him into the house, and into a sitting room.
"I'd offer you something to eat or to drink, but I was about to go to the market, when you came," Hawkeye said apologetically.
"It's not a problem," Molly said.
"So, Molly," Hawkeye said sitting down in a chair next to the couch where Molly was sitting, "You were going to tell me what brought you to Crab Apple Cove, and where your mother is."
"My mother didn't come with me," Molly said first off the bat.
"Oh?" Hawkeye asked, "I hope she is well."
"Yes," Molly said, "Actually, this is a journey I chose to make on my own."
"To come to Crab Apple Cove?" Hawkeye asked surprised, "It really isn't a big hot spot for teenagers."
"Dr. Pierce," Molly began.
"Please, Molly, its Hawkeye," he interrupted.
"Hawkeye, sir," Molly began again, "I came to see you."
"Oh, really?" he said, "I am flattered. But why? I haven't seen your mother in almost eighteen years."
"My trip here is mostly about that trip my mother made almost eighteen years ago," Molly said, "Hawkeye sir." She took a deep breath, "Before I tell you what I am going to tell you, I want you to know, that I am perfectly fine living with my mother, and we couldn't be more happy. I want you to know that I came on this trip on my own freewill, in fact my mother had no part in it. I just came to finish my detective work."
"All right," Hawkeye said a bit confused.
"Hawkeye, sir," Molly said nervously, "I have reason to believe that you are my father."
"What?" Hawkeye said in shock at first, and then thought about it for a moment. It made sense to him. He and Margaret had made love a number of times that weekend that she had visited almost eighteen years ago. He looked at the young woman sitting in front of him. He saw his youth in her eyes. He noticed that she did have many of her features.
"Hawkeye," Molly said, "I will be eighteen at the beginning of April. That is nine months after July. My mother came to visit you in July. April is nine months after July."
"Yes," he said, "I know, but I don't understand why your mother hadn't told me about you."
"Sir," Molly said, "You haven't heard from her since that weekend. Have you?"
"Come to think of it I haven't," Hawkeye said.
"My mother was afraid to tell you," Molly said, "She loved you so much she didn't want to force you into anything that you didn't want to do. She did not want to trap you. Hawkeye sir, I think my mother is still deeply in love with you. She tells me I am so much like you, and I came, because I needed to know how I am so much like you."
Hawkeye Pierce tried to hold back his tears but he couldn't. The moment was overwhelming. His daughter was sitting in front of him, and before that day he had no idea he had. He had just learned that the only woman he had ever loved fully had given birth to his child, and she still loved him.
"I'm sorry," Molly said noticing the discomfort she had brought to him, and got up to leave, "I should go."
"No, Molly," Hawkeye said, "Please stay. There is still so much I want to know about you. How long will you be in town?"
"I plan on leaving Sunday," Molly told him.
"Do you have plans for tonight?" He asked her.
"No, sir," Molly said.
"I would like to take you to dinner," Hawkeye said.
"I would be honored to go with you sir," Molly told him.
"Molly," Hawkeye said, "I would like you to meet someone."
"All right," she said a bit unsure.
"Dad," Hawkeye called, "There is someone in here, I want you to meet." The elderly man that answered the door came into the room. "Molly," Hawkeye started, "This is my father, Doctor Daniel Pierce," Hawkeye looked at his father, "Dad, this is my daughter, Molly."
The elder Pierce looked at his son in disbelief. He felt hurt that he had not known about her. "Benjamin," Daniel said sternly, "Why haven't you told me about this beautiful young woman in the past?
"Dad," Hawkeye said, "I just found out today. Do you remember Margaret Houlihan?"
"Of course," the elder Pierce said, "She is the woman from Korea you still talk about constantly. She came her years ago, but you haven't heard from her since."
"That's Margaret," Hawkeye said, "and this is her daughter."
Daniel stood there for a moment in silence, and looked at the girl. She certainly looked like his son in his younger days. "Molly," he said, "It is very nice to meet you."
"You will come to dinner with me Molly," Hawkeye asked again.
"Yes," Molly said.
"That is wonderful," he smiled, "Do you like lobster?"
"Yes, sir," Molly replied.
"You can quit it with the 'sirs' no has called me sir in a long time," Hawkeye told his daughter, "Do you know where the Lobster Shack is?"
"Yes, I passed on the way here," Molly said.
"It is my favorite restaurant," Hawkeye told her, "I took your mother there once. I would like to take you. How is six thirty?"
"Six thirty is fine," Molly said.
"I will see you then," Hawkeye smiled, and showed Molly to the door.