"Dad, we're gonna go into town for a while," said Hawkeye. "What for?" asked Daniel. "Just to do something. We're incredibly bored. Oh, I almost forgot, Mickey goes to bed in--" Hawkeye started to say. "Two hours," Daniel said. "Okay, well, we'll be back." Hawkeye had said they were going into town, but they skipped that. They wanted to go someplace different, small town life had become too routine for them. Like two teenagers, they'd decide to go have a little excitement. In a way, it was like running away from home, however, they'd be back. The only thing was they didn't know when. Hawkeye hated to leave Mickey for any amount of time, but needed to forget about being a father for a while. He just wanted to get away from life's responsibilities. He wished nothing more than to be a teenager again, not very many responsibilities, a laid back attitude towards life, he wanted to take things as they came, not have to worry about the future. Margaret was just bored. She knew there was life out there. Never had she stayed in one place for such a long time. A change of scenery was what she needed. Life in Maine was too easy, but at the same time it was too hard. What she wouldn't give to see some excitement, do something really different. Finally, the long silence that had been in the air was broken. "Exactly where are we going?" asked Margaret. "We'll know when we get there," came the response. "Oh," she sighed. She turned her head and stared out the window at the street lights. The scenery was going by so fast; it was exactly what she needed to see. Not that there was much to look at outside of the car, but what there was became interesting. Everything looked different at night, illuminated only by street lights. The night sky had few stars visible because of the patchy clouds. The moon was not visible. "Hawkeye, do you know where we are?" she asked. "Nope. All I know for certain is we're not in Maine anymore," Hawkeye answered. "Where do you want to go?" asked Margaret. "I'm not sure. Where do you want to go?" he replied. "Pennsylvania. I was never there, don't know a thing about it, and don't know anyone there. It's perfect," she said, smiling. They'd only been on the road around three hours, so Daniel hadn't a clue that they weren't in town - or even in the same state for that matter. He didn't expect them home for at least another two hours. Would he be surprised when they didn't return home that night! Margaret continued to stare out the window, thinking of plots she could use to write a story like she often did in her free time. In her mind, the lights (which had become blurred from the speed they were driving at) became stars. The dirt piles along side the road were planets. She changed her mind, unable to think of anything more. Soon, a light snow began to fall. She loved science fiction so the snow became laser beams. The gray car in front of them was a starship, trying to dodge the lasers that were being fired by aliens. "Margaret?" Hawkeye asked. "Wha-? Oh. I guess I was lost in space. Er...bad joke," she said. "Huh?" asked Hawkeye. "Nothing. I was just daydreaming," she sighed. "Oh. Hey, didja know that we're in New York already?" he asked. "Really? I didn't think we had been gone that long. Wow," she said. Then, she looked at her watch. One in the morning!
"What have you been up to since the war ended? What you told me when we first saw each other again was vague."
"Well, not much. When I got home, my sister begged me to move in with her and I told her I had other plans. She was terribly upset. Ana asked me what my plans were and I said that I'd hopefully run into a doctor I knew in Korea and we'd fall in love. She said that life wasn't a fairy tale and I should have known from experience that men were no good. I said he; meaning you; was different. We had a horrible fight. We never did make up. Ana moved out of California to God knows where. She said that she didn't want to live there, it reminded her too much of me. Well, then I moved to Maine and we met up again. Now, here we are, running away together. I'm still not sure this what a great idea, but I sure love to get away from the small town life. Tell me about yourself since Korea."
"I stayed at home with my dad and then, I met Julia. Not long after Mickey was born, we decided to get a divorce and then you showed up. The divorce was final and now, here we are. You and me. Me and you. However you put it, 'we' are here."
"You don't sound happy about that?"
"I don't? Could it be because I left my father and my son at home to go to God knows where to do God knows what until God knows when and see God knows who. Why wouldn't I be happy about that? It's all you fault."
"MY FAULT?!? Where did you come up with that?!"
"It was all your idea."
"You didn't have to go along with it."
"Well, maybe. But it was still your idea."
"We can turn around."
"No. As long as we're here, we'll keep going."
After about five minutes, Hawkeye broke the silence. "Sorry." "So am I," said Margaret. Hawkeye yawned. Margaret yawned. "Maybe we should stop somewhere," he suggested. "Yeah...we could tell your dad about it too," said Margaret. "No way. We'll tell him we were out and got a flat or ran out of gas and that we'll be home tomorrow," he protested. "The old 'we're outta gas' trick, eh?" she mused. "Okay. We'll tell him we're in New York staying at a, well, where ever we end up staying. Heh, probably a motel. He'd have a genuine, full-blown, God-awful, heifer of a fit," Hawkeye said. "Well, either way, it doesn't sound good. 'Dad, we ran outta gas.' Or, 'Dad, we got a flat.' And, there's the infamous 'Dad, we got lost and had to spend the night in a motel.' You're dad'll love it, Hawkeye," she sighed. "Yeah...it sounds like we were doing something. Heh, knowing us, it'll be the truth, too," he commented. "Well, shall we turn around and find some place to stay preferably with more than one room available?" she questioned. "Well, I dunno about the second part, but the first part sounds okay to me," he replied. "Yeah...I guess if we're gonna be killed tomorrow we might as well die for a good cause," she said, grinning evilly. "Keep your comments to yourself. I'm running the show here. I'm the older one and I'm the man here," he teased. "Hey! If you weren't driving, you'd pay for that," she said. "I'm sure I'll pay later..." he said, grinning. "Oh, shut up," came the reply.
"Oh, thank God. I can sleep now," said Margaret as she collapsed onto the bed. Heh, that's what you think, thought Hawkeye. "I can tell what your thinking isn't pretty," said Margaret as he started to grin. "Well, anyways, I'm going to shower," he said. "Whatever," she replied. Ick, I hate this. I have to sleep in these clothes and then wear them again tomorrow, thought Margaret. She continued to just lie on the bed and stare at the ceiling. Soon, she was asleep. When Hawkeye came out he just stared at Margaret. "Of course she had to fall asleep in the middle of the bed," he sighed quietly. He could sleep on the floor or on the couch that was too short to lie down on. Or, he could attempt to sleep on the bed. No way would he sleep on the hard floor. Or get a stiff neck from sleeping on the couch. Why am I doing this? I'm just wasting time, he thought. It was odd that he didn't jump right into bed with her like he'd normally do. Something inside his head was giving him a warning. What did it mean, though? A little voice was telling him he'd be better off on the couch. He ignored it and sat on the edge of the bed. Hmm...how do I get under the covers without disturbing her? he wondered. On the other hand, she could sleep through anything. Still, he didn't want to risk it so he laid down on the bed and was asleep in minutes.
Hawkeye rolled over - and almost fell off of the bed. "Mmph," he muttered, unable to come up with anything intelligent to say at that hour. What time was it anyway? He checked the clock. Only six in the morning? Well, I'm going back to sleep, he thought. Despite the early hour, he couldn't go back to sleep. He kept tossing and turning until he finally ended up waking Margaret. "Mmph," she muttered into the pillow. "Ooh, drat! Sorry," he said. "Morning? Already. Nah, can't be," she said sleepily. "I had the same thoughts," he sighed. "Maybe we should get up anyway," he suggested. "No way. Uh-uh. Nothin'' doin'. I'm staying here and sleeping," she said and to punctuate her statement, she yawned. "You've convinced me. Anyway, the sun isn't up yet and neither are the birds. Only the bird brains are," he said.
"At the risk of sounding like a whiny little kid, are we there yet?" asked Margaret. "About ten more minutes," he said. "Thank God. But then, when we get there, your dad will kill us. Wait, change that to he'll kill you," she said devilishly. "Why only me?" he asked. "I will be at home...and all of the doors will be locked, so you can't barge in for once," she said. "Hrmph. So, you're gonna leave me to die?" he asked. "Yup," she said smiling at him. "Hey! You are so mean!" he exclaimed. "I'm kidding...would I let him hurt you? You've been like a...a...a...I dunno. Forget I said anything," she said. "Well, you've been like my little sister...we're always teasing each other so much," he said, starting to grin. "Oh, shut up," she said. In all of two minutes, they were back at his house. He parked the car. They got out and went up the walk to his porch. He threw open the door and they ran at top speed upstairs hoping to avoid Daniel. Well, they didn't. They almost knocked him over as he came out of his room. "Uh...dad...hi," stammered Hawkeye. He took Hawkeye by the sleeve of the shirt and said, "I need to talk to you...bring your friend too." The moment of truth. Hawkeye walked down the steps right behind his dad. Margaret followed. "Where were you two last night?" Daniel asked once they were seated in the living room. He was standing by the door way and Hawkeye and Margaret were sitting in the couch. "Do you want one of two lies that make it sound like we were up to no good?" asked Hawkeye. "Or do you want the truth that makes it sound like we were up to no good?" asked Margaret. "Tell me all of the things and then I'll decide," ordered Daniel. "We ran outta gas," suggested Hawkeye. "We ran away, changed our minds, and ended up staying in a motel for the night," said Margaret. "We got a flat tire," they said in unison. "The second one, I highly doubt. The third one I don't think happened. So, it has to be the first one," said Daniel. "No. It's the second one," muttered Margaret. "WHAT?!?" he exploded. "Nothing happened...I swear it. We're not smiling," said Hawkeye. What he didn't notice was Margaret had her hand over her mouth trying to hide the smile. "Oh?" asked Daniel incredulously. "Look at me," he said, "look me in the eye and tell me without flinching that's what happened." Margaret tilted her head down, as though she had something to hide. "That goes for you as well, Miss Houlihan," Daniel said. As if it hadn't been obvious enough to begin with, she thought. "Nothing happened," Hawkeye said, staring at his father. Daniel glanced at Margaret. She could tell he was staring at her without looking up. "I don't have to answer to you," she said, even though she may have been pressing her luck. "You don't?" Daniel asked, sternly. "No. You're not my father. I don't even have to be here," she scoffed. "Don't you?" asked Daniel, bitterly. "No, I don't," she answered, still not looking at him. "Just answer my question: what happened?" "NOTHING," she answered. Then, she shoved past Daniel and left. "Thanks, dad," Hawkeye said sarcastically. With that, he too shoved past his dad and went over to Margaret's house. Once there he knocked and entered. "Margaret?" he called. "Yeah?" she answered.
"Where are ya?"
"In the living room."
"Which is where?"
"Forget it," she said and came out of the living room. "I'm sorry about my dad...he's just...I dunno...Dad," he said. "I see...well, wanna sit down?" she asked. "Doesn't matter," he said, shrugging. She took his hand and led him into the living room. "Wow...looks nice," he commented. "Thanks..." she replied. They sat down on the large pale blue couch. They were almost in each other's lap. "Ooh, I'm so tired. I guess we didn't get enough sleep last night," she said. "I guess not," agreed Hawkeye. She rested her head on his shoulder. Soon, she was asleep. Carefully, he picked her up and carried her to her room. He laid her down on the bed and she mumbled something. Hawkeye sat on the edge of the bed. He consider laying down, but realized he'd soon fall asleep if he did. Heh, that'd give Dad somethin' to think about, he thought. A little mystery to figure out never hurt anyone. Would I be doing it to spite him or because I want to? he wondered. He realized it was because he wanted to spite his dad. I would've regretted that, thought Hawkeye. "Good night," he whispered and kissed her. Silently, he left.
"Daddy?" Mickey asked. "Yeah?" Hawkeye responded. "Where's mommy?"
"I don't know where Julia..er..Mommy is."
"No. Where's mommy?"
"I just - oh. She's at her house Mickey."
"Because she wanted to go home."
"She got mad at grandpa for something very silly."
"Oh. Daddy? Where did you go last night?"
"We went to a place that is far away from here."
"Because we felt like it."
"Mommy went too?"
"No, Julia didn't go."
"Yes, Margaret came with me."
"I love you, Daddy. Grandpa and Mommy too."
Hawkeye realized he wouldn't be able to convince Mickey that Margaret wasn't his mom. Maybe it was better that way though. Maybe it wasn't. What if he and Margaret broke up? How would Mickey react? Jeeze, I have to talk to Margaret about this, thought Hawkeye. "Dad, I'll be back," he called. He didn't care if his dad heard him. They weren't on speaking terms after the earlier incident. Hawkeye walked out of the house and to the back door of Margaret's house. He picked up a medium-sized stone that was by the porch so he could get the spare key she kept there for him to use. He let himself in the back door and walked through the kitchen to the hall and up the stairs to her bedroom. "Hey, hon, you awake?" he called softly. No answer. He quietly pushed open the bedroom door. She was still asleep. Hawkeye walked over to the edge of the bed and sat. "Margaret, I need to talk to you," he whispered. No response. "Maggie, I have to talk to you," he said in a normal tone of voice. "Hawk?" she muttered as she turned over to face him. "Hey...I need to talk to you," he said. "Only if you can help disentangle me from these blankets," she responded. "Okay...whatever you say," he grinned. Carefully, he slipped his hand under the sheets on the side of the bed. His hand was cold from being outside even for a short period of time. He loved to annoy her so he put his ice cold hand on her stomach where her shirt had been pulled up a bit from her tossing and turning while she slept. "Hey! That's cold!" she exclaimed. "I know," he said, grinning evilly. "Hawkeye!" she exclaimed. "What?" he asked. She tried to move his hand, but he was rather stubborn. "Get off," she said, not really meaning it. "Never," he answered. She rolled over to get away from him. It didn't work. She forgot who she was dealing with. He just inched across the bed and this time put his hand on her back. His hand was still cold because her room was fairly chilly. "Argh! Hawkeye! Stop it!" she yelped when his cold hand touched her. He moved it. Not how she had in mind though. Little did they know that Daniel was standing in Hawkeye's room watching this whole...scene. Nothing happened, eh? thought Daniel. He'll be surprised when I tell him what I saw happening. "Stop, please," she said. It turned out to be a lost cause though. Well, he stopped that, but started something new. He kissed her. She kissed him back. It was a reflex; she couldn't help it.
"What was going on in your bedroom. Margaret?" questioned Daniel. "Well, nothing that concerns you," she snapped. She didn't like Daniel as much as she had when that first met. He took a step closer to her. "Your affair with my son doesn't concern me?" he asked bitterly. "What? You're kidding me. Nothing is going on," she said, lying through her teeth. "Okay, whatever you say. Son, that girl's nothin' but trouble, you stay away from her, ya hear?" said Daniel. "I hear," replied Hawkeye. Well, that doesn't mean I'll listen, thought Hawkeye. He loved his dad very much and knew he was just trying to keep Hawkeye out of trouble. It couldn't keep him from caring about Margaret, though. Daniel's words kept ringing in Margaret's ears: "Son, that girl's nothin' but trouble, you stay away from her, ya hear?" She wanted to cry, but wouldn't gave Daniel Pierce the satisfaction. Mickey chose this moment to come down the stairs.