Margaret rushed around her bedroom trying to prepare herself for the evening.
"Donald did you call Melissa to see if she could baby-sit?" She shouted down the stairs. She didn't hear a reply. "Donald!" She screamed
"Yeah yeah," he muttered. "I called her; she'll be here in a few minutes."
Momentarily pacified she quickly applied some mascara to her eyelashes with her right hand as she brushed her teeth with her left. She ran to the bathroom and rinsed her mouth, applied some cherry red lipstick and ran out into the hall. She only made it to the top of the stairs before she rushed back to her room and slipped her black dress over her head. She sat down and pulled on a pair of low, black heels and rushed back into the hallway.
"You aren't even dressed!" She screamed at her husband as she saw him sitting on the couch reading a newspaper. "Get upstairs now!" He glared at her and jogged up the stairs.
"Mommy!" Margaret turned around and saw her nine year old daughter, Bridget, standing behind her with red stains running down the front of her dress. Margaret sighed, were they ever going to get out of the house on time?
"What did you do?" She asked, unsure if she even wanted to know.
Bridget sniffled. "I told Daddy I was thirsty and he told me to get something myself. The pitcher was up really high and I spilled it." She sniffled again and Margaret looked into Bridget's bright blue eyes, now filling with tears. Margaret smiled and she bent down and kissed her cheek.
"It's okay, just run upstairs and put on you pajamas. I'll get you something to drink." The child nodded and ran upstairs to her bedroom, sniffling the entire way. Margaret shook her head; sometimes that child could be so emotional!
Margaret walked into the kitchen and begun to mop up the punch off of the floor. She groaned as she heard a knock at the door.
"I'll get it." She muttered to herself. She walked into the living room and opened the door.
"Hi Melissa, come on in."
"Hi Mrs. Penobscott." The young girl looked around the room. "Where's Bridget?"
Margaret rolled her eyes. "She's changing." She walked towards the kitchen to finish cleaning up the mess. "Make yourself at home!" She called out over her shoulder.
Ten minutes later Donald came downstairs. Margaret eyed him carefully.
"You look better." She said, somewhat sarcastically.
"Thank you my lady." He said, bowing mockingly.
Margaret turned to Melissa who was seated on the couch with Bridget. "Okay Melissa, I'm writing the phone number where we can be reached on this piece of paper by the phone."
"Alright, everything will be fine though." She replied.
Margaret nodded. "Yeah, just in case." She bent down over the counter to scribble down the number of the restaurant when she noticed an opened letter addressed to her. She slipped it into her coat pocket and walked over to her daughter.
"Be a good girl for Melissa okay?" The little girl nodded enthusiastically and then threw her arms around her mother's neck.
"Bye mommy, I love you!" Margaret kissed her forehead gently.
"I love you too."
Donald and Margaret sat in silence for almost the entire ride. Once they were about five minutes from the restaurant Margaret pulled the letter out of her pocket. She pulled the piece of paper out of the envelope and began to read.
This summer, during the week of July 4th, we are having a reunion. It's…
Margaret didn't bother to read anymore. She simply crumpled the sheet of paper and tossed it on the floorboard.
"We should go." Donald's voice made her jerk. She avoided his statement.
"So you did read it! Why were you reading my mail?"
Donald rolled his eyes. "Oh give me a break Margaret. I'm your husband. Now what is your excuse for not going this time?"
"I don't have to explain myself to you." She replied coldly.
"Oh don't be such a pain in the ass!" He yelled. Margaret only stared out the window at the rain. She hated the spring here in Washington. It rained constantly, it was so gloomy.
"We're going." He said it so firmly that Margaret didn't dare say another word. He scared her sometimes. He would get so intense. She unfolded the letter and began to read it again.
"Hawkeye would never have treated me like this." Margaret felt like kicking herself for thinking that. Captain Pierce was no longer a part of her life. She had to stop comparing him to Donald; she would only make herself unhappy.
As she scanned the letter panic set in. This year the reunion was going to be in Maine. She had been hoping that maybe Hawkeye wouldn't be able to make it, or at least she could avoid him. Margaret saw those hopes shatter in a million pieces. She wasn't sure if she could face him. Not after everything that had happened. She couldn't face any of them really. She tried to reason with herself.
No one knows. There is no reason to be so worried, no one knows.
She knew she could tell herself that all she wanted but it wasn't helping.
Donald pulled up in front of the restaurant and handed the keys to a parking attendant. As they walked inside Donald looked down at her worried expression.
"Oh knock it off Margaret you'll have a good time. Your daughter will love it."
Margaret cringed at those words. The child was so emotional and she adored her Daddy. His cold attitude towards her always hurt Bridget and Margaret.
"Our daughter." She corrected him. Donald only rolled his eyes as they walked inside the resturant.
"Mommy!" Bridget jumped up from the couch and ran into her mother's arms.
"Hi sweetheart." Margaret said as she hugged her tightly.
"Bridget Felice!" Her father's stern tone caused the little girl to shrink back. "What are you still doing up at his hour?" Bridget looked frantically at her mother.
"I told her she could stay up until we came home." Margaret quickly intruded. "Really Donald there's no need to shout."
"I'll shout when I damn well please, and no woman will tell me otherwise!" He stormed upstairs and Margaret bit her lip to keep herself from yelling back at him. Embarrassed, she turned to Melissa and paid her as she nervously ran out of the house. Margaret closed the door and walked over to the couch where her daughter was sitting.
"Melissa said her daddy took her out to dinner on her birthday." Bridget said flatly.
"Oh, where did they go?" Margaret asked without much interest.
"Santino's. Melissa said she got to buy a new dress and everything."
Margaret only nodded.
"I met her Daddy, he's nice."
"Mmm, I'll bet he his." Margaret wasn't really paying any attention to her daughter's words. She only kept the conversation going to keep herself from crying. She couldn't stand it when Donald got like this.
"He's different from my daddy."
"I dunno, he seemed kinda funny and he made a lot of jokes. He touched me in a funny place too, right on my face!"
"Where on your face?" Margaret asked. Bridget had her attention now. What was the child getting at?
"Right here." Bridget put her small hand against her jawbone. Margaret laughed and cupped her hand around her daughter's chin.
"Like this?" She asked with amusement. Bridget nodded and made a funny face.
"You do that all the time but I didn't know daddies did that too."
Margaret quickly turned her head as tears welled up in her eyes. Her daughter didn't know what it was like to receive affection from a father. Margaret's mind traveled to another place, years ago. She saw a little girl sitting on a park bench, crying because her daddy had forgotten about her. He went to the bar and left her alone at the park. Margaret thought about all the times when she wished her father had been there for her. She didn't want Bridget to grow up without a father…no, without a daddy. She pulled her little girl close to her and buried her face in her silky black hair. The twosome quickly fell asleep.