I do not own MASH
I am simply paying homage to it
(on the box)
Every eye in the room was on the box; that slick, dark, rectangular box in the center of the room. The air felt tight, as if it had been trying to choke the comfort of life out of every living soul that it touched. They managed to ignore it, some with tears sliding down their faces, and others with their hands on the shoulders of their friends. Somehow, they had all been reached. Potter had remarked quietly at how amazing it was that they had all been reached. Even Klinger, his wife, and their children had made it.
Trapper sat, shoulder to shoulder, with BJ Hunnicut. Hawkeye and Charles stood silently behind them, gravely silent. The Bostonian's eyes were shimmering, wet, in the sickly glow of the dimmed lights. He placed a hand on BJ's shoulder, and even went as far as to keep it there when BJ sobbed quietly into his hands. Erin hugged him around the shoulders, the teenager whispering words of comfort to her father. Peg had a hand clasped around her mouth, slow tears making tracks down her face. Hawkeye scrubbed a hand through his hair, stood, and made his way to the old Potters.
Frank, however, stood in his way, flanked by Father Mulcahy. The priest was amongst those who were openly crying, not just holding their tears back to let loose at a later time. He had regained some of his hearing, so he was able to softly return greetings and words of hope and sadness. Frank looked distressed, as if he was afraid that he had somehow caused a part in the death. His small features were twisted in some sort of grief, and it could be seen that he felt as bad as everyone else.
Sherman held his hat against his chest, and Mildred had a soft, wrinkled hand on her husband's forearm. "He was a good man, Sherm?"
"I'm sure you wish he was still here."
The old colonel's eyes were also glazed with tears, and when he met gazes with Charles, both men seemed to have the same icy blue color, the same despair, and the same shimmer in their irises. The colonel nodded solemnly at the former Major, and then looked away. He glanced next at Radar, who was holding his mother's hand, looking in every way like a small, lost child. Hawkeye blinked back a tear and rested a hand on Radar's hair. He brushed a few strands out of the younger man's eyes and gently patted him on the head before moving on.
Pierce then moved on to Margaret, who was standing close to the box with Klinger and his wife. The nurse, like so many others, had tears running down her normally anger-flushed cheeks. She was also touching Trapper's shoulder, who was staring into the box once more with a mixture of regret, pain, and disbelief. Margaret sighed shakily, and Klinger looked over at her with a pang of sympathy.
The small Korean woman with the kind eyes (whom not many knew) was the only one in the room whose eyes were not glistening, however. She was silent, but inside her heart she was not weighted down and choked like everyone else. She held her husband's hand, supportive, nonetheless.
"I'll miss you." someone whispered. Perhaps no one could exactly discern who had said it because so many were whispering it over and over again in their minds. Hawkeye, after kissing Margaret on the cheek, enclosed Trapper's hands in his own. In a way, Trapper had filled a spot that BJ had never been able to. Hawk had missed him. The raven-haired surgeon then patted Klinger on the arm and slowly embraced Francis, grinning. He nodded to the room with deep understanding and smiled slightly at Frank's saddened features. He tweaked the man's nose. He gave a salute to Sidney, who had just made an appearance from the darkest corner of the room. Sidney looked down into the box, his eyes unreadable to anyone who cared to see what he was feeling. Hawkeye lingered near him for a moment before continuing on to the Potters.
He had taken a seat by, held the hand of, and cried with every living soul in the now gently humming room. Father Mulcahy finally stepped forward towards the box, and Hawkeye knelt down in front of his two latest bunkmates. "Sorry, Beej." he whispered. He threw his arms around the broad-shouldered man, sniffing back tears. BJ took comfort in that. He then turned to Charles, who had sunk into a chair a few minutes earlier and now had his arms crossed around his chest. "See ya, Winchester." He smiled and patted his friend's knee. Charles smiled distantly at some lost memory in which he had laughed good-naturedly at a quiet jab by his bunkmate.
Henry Blake leaned against the box, beige fishing hat pushed towards the back of his head, showing some of his dark, ruffled hair. He crossed his arms carefully over his faded blue 'Illinois' sweater. He had an arm around the elder Pierce, the one who had been trapped in Maine while his son was trapped in Korea. Both men smiled gently at Hawk as he drifted past them. "Hey, Pierce." muttered Henry, chuckling. Hawkeye gave a loud laugh, clapping his hands together.
"Hey! Buddy, how have you been?"
Maybe this wasn't so bad. After all...
Hawkeye was with every person whom he had ever been close to. Even the ones who had passed on before he. Hawkeye was everywhere…
especially in the slick, dark box in the middle of the room.
I know, I know. There are quite a few stories in which someone dies, and they are all really depressing. This one, though, is different. It shows that a person's memory will always live on in the hearts and minds of others.