"Al! Margaret, lets get outa here!" The children ran as fast as they could down the shore line hand in hand. They saw a path into the woods coming up. Hawkeye pointed to it. As the ran through the overgrown path, Margaret stumbled. She let out a cry in pain.
"My leg!" Hawkeye knelt down. He didn't care that Al was nearly there.
"You ASSHOLE! NOW look what you did to her!" Hawkeye, even though he was a small 12 year old boy, challenged Al. "If you EVER touch her again I WILL KILL YOU! YOU SON OF A BITCH!!!!"Hawkeye kicked him where it counts and when he hit the ground, Hawkeye punched him square in the nose with the strength of 20 men, breaking it.
"Hawkeye, my leg hurt real bad." Margaret didn't try to get up.
"Ok....hold still." Hawkeye took his coat off and grabbed 2 sticks and made a splint. He tied her leg up and carried her home.
"Hey Margaret, are you ok? Wanna drink?" Hawkeye sat on her bed next to her. She had twisted her knee when she fell.
"No...I'm ok. Hawkeye, when you kissed me.......it was.....I dunno."
"Margaret, I.....I really like you."
"I really like you too."
"Will......uh.......will you me my girl friend?" Hawkeye asked awkwardly. Believe it or not, Hawkeye was shy.
"Yeah. I think that'd be really nice." Hawkeye smiled and kissed her on the cheek.
"I'm gonna go get a soda.Are ya sure ya don't want one too?"
"I'm fine. I'm gonna get some sleep."
"Night Margaret," he said, still sitting on her bed.He wanted to kiss her again.And he did. Daniel peeked in.
"I was wondering when you two would finally kiss. Hawkeye.....we need to have a little talk." he said smiling gently. "Okay, dad," said Hawkeye as he followed Daniel downstairs.
The next day was already Thanksgiving vacation so Hawkeye and Margaret were quite happy that they didn't have to get up at six that day. Daniel finally decided to wake them up when it was eleven thirty that morning. I'll get Hawkeye up first, he's easier. Margaret will want to sleep all day and hide her head under her pillow and moan and groan and complain, Daniel thought. Daniel went into Hawk's room, opened the curtains and was greeted by Hawkeye saying, "I'm up. I'm not happy about it, but I'm up." If only getting Margaret up was that easy. That girl could sleep through anything. Daniel went into her room opened the curtains and threw the blankets off of Margaret. She was still asleep. He yelled something to Hawkeye about the temperature and that it was going to snow that day so he should dress warm. Dan was standing by her bed when he yelled, yet Margaret was still asleep. He almost let her sleep. As he was leaving the room he had an idea. Daniel walked back to Margaret's bed and started to tickle her. She sat bolt upright. "Daniel! Are you crazed?Stop it!" She laughed sleepily.
"Hi Margaret. Feeling better?" He finally stopped tickling her.
"Yeah.........but..........we have a problem."She looked humiliated.
Daniel washed the sheets for margaret.
"Margaret, its ok. Hawkeye still does once in a while when I tickle him. It was an accident."
"DAD!!!!!" Hawkeye screamed.
"Its gross. I'm sorry for messing up the sheets."
"It's not a problem. They needed to be washed today anyway. Go play."
"So, what do ya wanna do today?" asked Hawkeye. "Um.... I dunno..." Replied Margaret. It was snowing, so they couldn't go outside and they were incredibly bored. Daniel came down the stairs. "I have to go to the store for a while, will you two be alright here?" asked Daniel. "Yeah," they replied in unison. "Good. I'll be back in a few hours." With that, Daniel put on his coat and left.
Daniel still wasn't back yet and the snow flurry had turned into a full-scale blizzard. It was getting cold in the house and that's when Hawk and Margaret realized the heat didn't work, there was no wood for the fireplace, and the temperature in the house was only around ten degrees. They were already dressed in their warmest clothes and had brought all of the sheets and blankets downstairs into the living room closed the door to the room and were huddled together on the couch. By the time they had accomplished this task, the temperature had dropped to about two degrees.
"Hawkeye, I'm cold." Margaret said, shivering.
"Look, the next house is only a half a mile away. We're pretty bundled up. I'll write a note for dad. I want you to get some food in my bookbag." Margaret did what she was told.
The two ventured out in the storm. After 30 minutes or so, the house was in sight, but the two were nearly frozen and barely made it to the porch
"Michael! Its Hawkeye and the little girl!"
"Lets get them in now!" They brought the two children in and warmed them up. "Benjamin Pierce, that was a damn fool thing to do! You know you two could have gotten lost and froze?"
"There's no heat and my dad's been gone 4 hours now.In another hour, it would have been 20 below in the house and we would have died anyway."
"Lordy, you did only have this chance.Did you write a not to your dad?"
"Good. He'd worry if you hadn't."
"Yeah, but we're worried about him. He hasn't gotten home. What if he got stuck out in the storm?"
"The boy has a point."
"When it stops snowing, I'll go out and look."
"Thank you so much," Hawkeye and Margaret said in unison.
"Well, we don't want anything to happen to him either."
"Am I bad luck when it comes to parents?" Margaret asked Hawk. Hawkeye smiled warmly
"Dad'll be fine Margaret. I promise."
Hours went by and the storm ended,but it was too late to go out looking for Daniel then. Hawkeye and Margaret slept curled up on the couch next to each other.
The door opened suddenly as Daniel walked in.
"Benny? Maggie?! Oh god I was so worried!" he said hugging the two of them. "I got home not long after you left and....and...." Daniel was nearly sobbing.
"Dad, we're ok."
"Jesus, Hawkeye never do that to me again."
"Dad, we would have frozen to death if we hadn't left," pointed out Hawkeye.
"You could've frozen trying to walk here," said Daniel.
"We had to risk it."
"You should've stayed at home longer."
"WE WOULD HAVE DIED!"
"STOP FIGHTING!! JUST STOP IT!!" Margaret yelled. She had only heard yelling like that once before. That was when she was fighting with Al. She didn't want to think of what happened after their fight. Daniel and Hawkeye hadn't heard her yell like that before. "Margaret? What's wrong?" Hawkeye asked moving closer to her and putting his arm around her shoulders. He forgot about his argument with his dad for a minute. "Leave me alone!" Margaret turned away and ran all the way back to Hawkeye's house. Hawkeye had run out into the freezing cold after her. "Margaret! Margaret?!? MARGARET, WHERE ARE YOU?" Hawkeye didn't know she had run back to their house and was sitting on the porch. He got closer to the house. He saw her sitting there. He ran up to her. "What is the matter with you, girl?!?" Hawkeye grabbed her firmly by the shoulders. "LEAVE ME ALONE!" "Not until you tell me what's wrong," he said. "Nothing," she answered. "Are you sure?" "Yes. Now leave me alone." Hawkeye sat down next to her. "And leave you out here to freeze? No way," he stated. "Yeah, I guess it was stupid...neither of us have a jacket on and it's gotta be at least ten below zero," she responded. He moved closer to her and put his arm around her shoulder. He noticed she was shivering. He had two sweatshirts on so he took one off and put it over Margaret's shoulders. "Hawkeye,I'm okay," she said. "I'd feel better if you kept that old sweatshirt," he said. "Hawk, take it back. I'll be okay." Hawkeye took it back and then grabbed her arm and pulled her over to the porch swing. They sat in it almost on top of each other. That's when they saw Daniel coming up the path that led to their house. They ran off the porch to greet him. He tossed the keys to Hawkeye, who then ran to the house and unlocked the door. He ran back off the porch and gave the keys to his dad. Then he picked Margaret up and carried her into the house, despite her protesting. He didn't set her down until they got upstairs to her room. "Tell me the truth, Margaret. Why did you run off like that?" he asked her. "Oh, Hawkeye...it's not important," she protested. "If it affects you, it's important to your boyfriend." Oops. Did he say that he was her boyfriend?
"Boyfriend?" Margaret tried not to blush.
"I meant friend."
"You said boyfriend."
"Either way.....whats wrong?" He was becoming distraught.
"I just don't like fighting." Hawkeye pulled her close and hugged her tightly.
"I'm sorry Margaret." Margaret looked at him and they kissed once before Hawkeye blushed and scampered out of her room. That's when she realized how much she cared about him. She cared a lot. I wonder if he feels the same, she thought.
Margaret wished she could disappear. First, Hawkeye held her hand when they were walking in the hall and now he was carrying her books. "Hawkeye....c'mon....everyone's staring at us," she whispered. "It's not THAT bad," he replied, "It's not like Kevin has seen us....yet." Kevin was the school bully and he'd been picking on Margaret since her first day at Crabapple Cove Middle School. If he saw them, it's likely he'd never let them live it down. At recess, the first person they ran into was Kevin. Oh, joy Margaret thought sarcastically. "Oh, how's your little girlfriend?" he said to Hawkeye in an annoying voice. "I have a name, pal," Margaret snapped. "Oh, I forget what it is...I'll call you dork for now." "Uh, I wouldn't do that," warned Hawkeye. "Why? Is the little dork gonna beat me up?" taunted Kevin. "I just might." "Oh, c'mon! You're just a girl. You couldn't hurt a fly." "You wish," interrupted Hawkeye. "Ok, give it your best shot," Kevin retorted. "Margaret, don't do it..." warned Hawkeye. "Yeah, Margaret. Don't do it," taunted Kevin. That did it. She punched him so hard, well, let's just say that's the last time he bothered them...or anyone else, for that matter. No one saw what happened, and Kevin didn't dare tell anyone, so Margaret and Hawkeye weren't in any trouble.
"I'll write every day. I swear," Margaret cried. "I'll write back. Promise," Hawkeye said through tears. "Why do you have to go?" asked Daniel. "I'm sorry. I could be more useful in Tokyo. I have to go. I'll be late and miss my plane. I'm going to miss you. I'll see you in about a year," she was still crying. "Please...Margaret Jean....please...don't go..." Hawkeye begged. "I have to," she said, now crying harder than before. "I'll think about you. All the time. We're like brother and sister, we're so close. How'll I ever make it through the day knowing when something goes wrong, my 'sister' won't be there to talk it over with me?" Hawkeye asked. "Hawkeye, you're tough. You'll be able to survive. I'll see you as soon as possible." With that, he kissed her good-bye, knowing that it would seem like a century before they saw each other again. Daniel sighed. His little Hawkeye was grown up, now. Margaret, too. Maybe she was more adult than Hawkeye. After all, she was moving half a world away. I hope she'll be ok, he thought. "I have to go. I'll miss you," she turned to go, but ran back and hugged Hawkeye and then Daniel. "I love you two. I'll see you really soon. I'll write every day. Oh, don't worry, Hawkeye, I won't date anyone while I'm gone," she tried to lighten the mood. It didn't work. "You just get going. And don't forget, we'll be waiting for you. We'll never lose faith. Good-bye, Margaret," Hawkeye said. "Yeah. See ya." With that, she was gone.
"Oh, God!" Hawkeye yelled. Mixed in with his other mail (including the letter from Margaret which was at least ten pages long) was a notice that he would ship out for Korea in two days. After he showed it to Daniel, Daniel said, "First Margaret goes to Japan and now you're getting shipped to Korea! How can I lose both of my kids in a matter of months?" "Dad, it says here I ship out at six o'clock July fifteenth, that's in a few hours!" "Ah, Jesus!" A few hours later, after saying a tearful good-bye, Hawkeye got on the plane. He thought about how Margaret would worry about him when she didn't get a letter from him next week. When she found out where he was, she'd be afraid he'd get killed. He hoped she'd learn he'd be okay.
This is where I'm living from now on? Hawkeye thought. Unreal! he thought. This place looks cozy...Jeeze! I never told Hawkeye I was going to be here...in Korea...the war. He'll worry so bad! That's when she saw him. "HAWKEYE!!!" she yelled. "Huh? MARGARET!!!!!!!" he exclaimed. They ran toward each other. He wrapped his arms around her, tightly because he'd been afraid he'd never be able to do that again. After all, there was a war on and he may have gotten killed before they had a chance to see each other again. He kissed her softly. "Wanna see if we can share the same quarters?" he asked softly. "Yes. Like at home," she sighed.