I didn’t know when my old (and odd, for sure) Commanding Officer, Colonel Flagg, was coming to see me, so I prepared myself everyday for him. He was a man of many surprises (so he thinks) and has popped up in places in different outfits and strange disguises and under new names which made me automatically know that it was him. I was not fooled usually and knew Colonel Flagg in an instant. This was why Henry put me up on a “Flagg Watch”, seeing as how he doesn’t like him as much as anybody else does (and is scared and/or annoyed with him, I can tell), save for Frank, who commented upon his saving the American way of life from the Communists.
Hawkeye sometimes stayed with me when I spied about on the compound, joining me on walks in the fields when he wasn’t tired or sleeping in (we’ve mostly went in the afternoons, but I still like the mornings, when the dew dripped tears down its stocky arms). Throughout the early days of April, when I thought that I could not bear to carry a child anymore (abortion was still open to me and I knew where to go, but I had no made a move yet, for odd some reason), there was Hawkeye, always sitting with me, watching me, talking to me…just like we used to.
“The nurses seem to hate you more and more by the day,” he commented once as we sat together on a blanket near the landmines. “Nurse Kellye and Major Baby seem to be the only ones talking to you.”
“Margaret just asks me if I’m ok every other day, too.” I was quiet for a minute, letting my pants become wet as I let my knee brush against some grass: a comfort to me many times over. “Kellye has been trying to talk me out of the abortion. She’s been the only voice. But, I’m sure Margaret could care less. With her still yelling at me about my ‘bumbling’ behavior still, even when I’m not allowed in the O.R., she could tell me in so many ways she cares.”
“No, she does care, in her own way, but she doesn’t like showing it. She likes herself to be the antagonist out of all of us.” Hawkeye rolled over and up from his sitting position and cupped my chin into his hand, looking into my eyes as I squirmed in his grip. “And I care too, Jeanie. You know my opinion on this. At this point, if you didn’t want the baby, after about four months, you’d be up and gone and your career – and position here – would be saved. You’d still be here and be working with us more often.”
“Hawkeye, I don’t –”
“Don’t say it, Jeanie! Don’t say that you don’t care about your career because you do. And you also care about your baby in a way. Otherwise, it’ll be gone by now.”
I was stunned into silence. Hawkeye had never reproached me about anything before. He and I argued hotly about this abortion topic for about a month, but he’s never made a point like that before.
And how had he known so much about me? Hawkeye had known me for about seven months. That was September of 1950 until the day of our talk, on April 11, 1951. Still, that was a long time (not quite a year yet) and yet, so much has already happened between us. He and I spent our first night talking to me and then kissing right afterward. I was on Cloud Nine shortly afterward and enjoying being within his attention. However, in a short amount of time, we’ve had to face up to adversary and disaster. Finally, we have a baby within this sphere, at the prime of our relationship, and I couldn’t tell if it was going to be continuation or the end of our relationship.
Is this the end of our relationship? Is the honeymoon period over, as they say it usually is?
I hoped not. I loved Hawkeye too much to let him go, just yet. And, well, if he wanted to release me sometime, because he did not love me anymore…well, I’ll cry and have a broken heart, but I’ll live. I’ve lived without Falk, who I had considered to be the same, and he’s been dead and gone for over a year. I can live without Hawkeye for sure.
Empty of all thoughts, I then looked into Hawkeye’s eyes and stopped squirming in his grip. Smiling at him as he let go of my chin gently, I went for a kiss as my reply. He returned it, with more passion than I ever had, and soon, he had me in his arms, rolling me on top of him so that he could see me.
“Hawkeye, this isn’t right,” I said with new realization of what I was carrying within me: a great responsibility, which surprised me. “Are you sure I’ll be ok this way?”
In-between our many new kisses afterward, Hawkeye laughed. “I thought a little adventure would not hurt you…”
I went for another kiss to shut him up and succeeded, laughing with him as our lips kept meeting over and over again.
“Ah, the wonders of motherhood have never stopped me from being youthful and sometimes stupid,” I replied, feeling changed for some reason, going from surprised to worried.
Was motherhood really changing me all of a sudden? God, Hawkeye’s right. Something in me wants the baby, no matter what I say about things. I’m very selfish and stupid, but I love.
Hawkeye suddenly stopped playing with me, suddenly realizing how heavy I was on top of him. “Damn, Jeanie, what am I going to do with you three months from now?” he then asked me.
“How am I supposed to know?” I shrugged my shoulders. “Hawkeye, all I know is that…you’re right. And sometimes, I hate really it when you are.” I kissed him again on the mouth.
The Chief Surgeon of the 4077th only smiled in reply, putting his hands back around me, holding me gently. But I could tell that he wasn’t too happy with me on top anymore. I guess that would wait until I’ve been popped and we’re back to normal again…
If there is such thing as “back to normal” in this life, then I think I could rejoice. Alas, I don’t think so. Things will never be the same after this pregnancy and I knew it.
“Here, why don’t we switch positions?” I rolled off of Hawkeye, aware of how uncomfortable he was being on the bottom, and laid on the ground on my back, pulling his head to my stomach.
I think Hawkeye liked it. He stayed there, cuddling against my enlarging breasts (oh, it was kind of gross to me, but Hawkeye seemed to have liked it more, using them as pillows more often than his own in the Swamp) and feeling everywhere he could, exploring every new shape on my body without me caring at all.
“I could say how cheesy this moment is, but I’m enjoying it too much,” he said very quietly.
I cuddled against Hawkeye, sensing a romantic moment about to interrupted soon. “I like this, too. And you’re right: how cheesy this moment feels. Yet, it feels…kind of right.”
Suddenly, our moment was spoiled, as it always is (and I knew it too!). Radar, running out of breath obviously, came into our view, the tall grass of the hill obscuring him until he was in view, right in front of us. He was short enough to be hidden, so I would not have known he was there, in front of us, had he not stepped in front of the afternoon sun and made himself known, like a dark cloud obscuring the sun.
“Oh, sorry, Sirs!” he yelled, saluting and seeing the tangled mess on the ground.
“Radar, what is it?” Hawkeye sounded pretty annoyed, knowing, too, that our alone time was over too soon…again. “This had better be good or I’ll be shrinking you down to a size ‘peanut’ instead of leaving you at ‘walnut’.”
“Hawkeye, Sir, there’s a man down there pretending to be a man in uniform and he’s scary and then there’s –”
I sighed audibly, interrupting Radar. “It’s only Colonel Flagg, Radar. There’s nothing to be frightened about…this time. Just let him into Colonel Blake’s office and wait for me there with the Colonel. He’s bound to reveal who he is soon enough and call me in, so I better get ready for his arrival.”
Radar, in return, looked relieved at the answer, but was worried about the person being Colonel Flagg (he is kind of creepy, if people think about it). “Thank you so much, Sir. Gee, whiz, that was Colonel Flagg? I never knew!”
“He’s called ‘The Wind’ for a reason,” I replied, pushing Hawkeye off and moaning about our precious, romantic moment being spoiled…but I can live with it (I usually did). “Come on, everybody. Let’s head back to the compound.”