Chapter 13 - Awakenings
It was a crisp November evening. She was driving through Beacon Hill. She looked over at him...she loved his smile and twinkling blue eyes. They stopped at the light and he reached out and held her hand. "Do you remember where the café is?" he asked. "Just around the corner," she said...the light turned green and she put her foot on the gas... "Margaret watch out!!"
"Hawkeye!" Margaret cried out.
Rose, who was sleeping in the chair by the bed, was beside her daughter in an instant.
"Mom? I had the most horrible dream. I was in the car with Hawkeye..." she looked around the room, taking in her surroundings. Slowly she became aware of the pain she was in, particularly around the lower abdomen. She felt the bandages with her hand.
"I-I'm in a hospital..."
"You're at Boston Mercy," said Rose, stroking Margaret's hair.
"It wasn't a dream...was it?"
"No, darling, it wasn't a dream."
Seeing that her daughter was awake and alert, Rose sent the nurse to find Charles and Daniel. She didn't want to have to fill in the details for Margaret alone.
"Mom, what day is it?"
"It's Sunday afternoon. You've been here since Friday night. We've all been so worried about you, darling."
"Margaret, it's good to see you with your eyes open," said Charles entering the room.
Daniel took hold of Margaret's right hand and kissed it.
"Dad, you look terrible. Have you been here since Friday night?" He nodded.
Margaret looked at the three people standing around her bed. Questions were going through her mind that she was afraid to allow through her lips.
"How do you feel, Margaret," asked Charles.
"I hurt all over...Charles...Hawkeye...he's not...I mean...is he...?"
"No, my dear, he's not dead. He's alive but in a coma," said Charles. "He suffered a skull fracture in the accident. You must know that there's a possibility that he could have sustained some brain damage but we won't know that until he regains consciousness."
If he regains consciousness, he thought but didn't say.
Margaret asked, "Can I see him?"
"Perhaps tomorrow morning, if you feel up to sitting, we can wheel you up to his room. I want you to just rest tonight," Charles was dreading the next inevitable question.
"My stomach hurts...the bandages...Charles...the baby?"
Rose hid her face in Daniel's shoulder. Daniel squeezed Margaret's hand.
Margaret looked from Rose and Daniel to Charles. She knew she didn't want to hear the answer.
Charles shook his head. "It...your baby never had a chance. Your pelvis was crushed and your uterus punctured. I had to do a hysterectomy. I'm terribly sorry, Margaret."
Margaret stared at him with a mixture of disbelief and shock. In one horrifying moment she had lost her baby, the ability to conceive another baby and she'd possibly lost her husband. If her husband did survive he might not be the Hawkeye that she knew. It was too much to sort through.
Rose put her arms around her, but Margaret pulled away.
"Mother, please leave me alone."
"Knock knock! Can I come in?"
Margaret was laying on her side gazing out the window. She turned at the sound of the familiar voice.
"BJ? What are you doing here? When did you get here?"
Margaret sat up with great effort and held out her hand to him.
"Charles called me Saturday morning. I caught the first flight out and got in late last night. When I got here to the hospital you were asleep so I figured I could wait until this morning to see you. I spent the night in the waiting room with Daniel in ICU."
"H-have you seen him?" she asked, her lip quivering. BJ put his arms around her and rocked her as if she were a small child.
"I saw him for a little while last night. He looks like he's been through a battle." BJ's heart broke as he thought about his friend. "He's still unconscious, Margaret," he said anticipating her question. "No change."
"BJ, I'm scared. Charles said that there's a possibility he could be brain damaged."
"Margaret, there's also a possibility he won't be."
Daniel appeared in the doorway pushing a wheelchair. He still looked tired but he looked like he'd gotten a little sleep and had taken the time to shave.
"Margaret, are you feeling up to seeing Hawkeye? Your doctor has given his okay."
She sighed, "I guess I'm as ready as I'll ever be. BJ, will you go up with us?"
BJ squeezed her hand and nodded.
BJ and Daniel helped Margaret out of bed and into the chair. This was the most she'd moved since Friday and she was very sore.
"I must look awful," she said, smoothing her hair.
"You never looked more beautiful," said BJ.
"Hunnicutt," she said, "You're a terrible liar. And I love you for it."
Trapper checked Hawkeye's vital signs. It was Monday morning and still there was no change. He took a seat in the corner of the room. He had a little time before he had to be on duty in the ER.
BJ and Daniel pushing Margaret entered the room. Trapper didn't recognize the tall man with the bushy moustache. He rose and extended his hand.
"Dr. John McIntyre here and you are...?"
"BJ Hunnicutt. I was Hawkeye's bunkmate in Korea."
"No kidding..." began Trapper.
He was interrupted by an older nurse who poked her head in the door and said, "No more than two visitors at a time in ICU, please."
"It's okay, Nurse Graham, I've authorized these folks."
Nurse Graham frowned at them and left the room.
"Old Crone," muttered Trapper.
"McIntyre? You wouldn't by any chance be Trapper John McIntyre would you?"
"Guilty as charged," smiled Trapper.
"You've been guilty of more than that," said Margaret.
"Why Miss Mahgaret," Trapper said in a phony Southern accent, "It's good to see y'all up and about this mahning." Then he added in a more solemn tone, "Seriously, Margaret."
"How is he?" asked Margaret glancing sidelong at the man in the bed.
"So you're the guy that replaced me. We'll have to swap Hawkeye stories one of these da..."
"Hey, can't a guy get any sleep around here..." came a barely audible voice from the bed.
The four people by the bed exchanged glances ranging from surprise to inexorable joy.
Hawkeye could sense the light in the room but was hesitant to open his eyes, "I m-must have had way too m-much to drink last night. I-I've got the emperor of all h-hangovers," the words came with great effort.
Hawkeye raised his hand to his head, feeling the bandages. It was then he opened his eyes. It took a moment for him to focus on the four people beside his bed.
"Ben! Thank God," said Daniel, not bothering to wipe the tears from his eyes. BJ and Trapper hugged each other, letting out a war whoop, which caused Nurse Graham to come running.
"Please, doctor...there are other patients," she said with a scowl.
Margaret took Hawkeye's hand but couldn't speak yet.
Hawkeye squeezed her hand, "Have I ever told you that you're beautiful when you're crying?"