BJ had decided to drive off to work that morning. I made him his lunch, and kissed him “goodbye” as he left. I had a bad feeling, but chose to ignore it. That’s when everything went wrong.
He didn’t come home when he normally did. I though that there was just really bad traffic, so I waited.
I waited over an hour for BJ to come home. Just then, I got a knock on my door.
“Excuse me, sir, but are you doctor Benjamin Pierce?”
“Yes. Why?” I was starting to get scared.
“Your buddy, BJ Hunnicutt, was in a car accident and is currently in the hospital. You may want to come with us.”
I put my boots on, and let the officer drive me there. Naturally, I hate the system, but this is my best friend. I’d be lost without him.
We arrived at the hospital, I told the nurse my name, and she let me know where he was, and how bad of a shape he was in.
“It’s me, Beej.” I forced myself to blink back the tears. I felt so bad having to see what state he was in.
“Hawkeye, I’m alive.”
I felt a tear fall, and he wiped my tears away. He kissed me quick. I knew he wouldn’t be around for much longer.
“I know, BJ.” I held onto his hand, and pulled up a chair.
“Are you okay, Hawk?”
“Yeah, I’m okay.” I had to lie.
“Okay. The nurses say that I’ll be okay.”
I heard that lie before. Over in Korea, we told our nurses to give our patients false hope in order to make them more comfortable. I couldn’t stand to see my best friend in this state.
A nurse called out to me from in the hall.
“A word, please?”
I followed the nurse out of the room.
“We just got his x-rays back, and it’s not looking too good. You’re his only emergency contact, and you’re listed in the paperwork as a trusted source, so I’ll let you have a look.”
I saw everything that was wrong. I knew he wasn’t going to pull through. She tried to make it seem less harsh that it was, but I knew the truth.
I stayed by BJ’s side all night, just hoping that he’d make it through the night. Unfortunately, at five minutes passed midnight, his heart monitor started beeping like crazy. The nurses came in, but it was too late. They left me alone with what was left of BJ, and I cried my eyes out.
“Oh BJ, I’m going to miss you. I-I never told you how much you truly meant to me, and I really should’ve. Maybe you wouldn’t be gone. What am I supposed to do without you? I-I can’t live knowing that you’re not here anymore.” I cried harder now. I kissed the top of his head and walked out of the hospital room, and headed back home. I decided to walk, and just let everything sink in.
I arrived home, closed the door, and slipped onto the floor. I held my knees to my chest, and cried. I couldn’t stop crying. I lost my best friend. The only man that I could truly love and trust. He’s gone now. What’s worse is the fact that I’m alone again. The house will be quieter, and I won’t be able to make meals for two.
I called everyone that was important to us, and told them what happened. I decided to ask father Mulcahy if he would like to do BJ’s service. He agreed.
A few weeks had gone by, and it was now time for BJ’s funeral. I was the first to arrive, and had some time alone with his casket.
“Beej? It’s me, Hawkeye. I know you probably can’t hear me, but I miss you. I miss you so much. The house has been so quiet since you’ve been gone, and I can’t live with the silence anymore. Oh god, I miss you. I’m going to miss you so much.”
I cried again, but when I heard a door open, I wiped away my tears.
“Hawkeye, it’s just me.”
Of course, father Mulcahy would be the one to see me like this.
“I’m sorry, my son.”
“I-it’s okay, father.”
“You’ve been crying. Want to talk about it?”
“I miss him. I waited for an hour for him to come home, I stayed with him at the hospital. I-I was the one in the room with him when he died…oh god…”
Father Mulcahy pulled me into a hug, and just let me cry. I didn’t want to let go.
“I’m so sorry, Hawkeye.”
“I-I know, father. Thank you.”
“Of course, my son.”
I decided to have a seat as I waited for the rest of the guests to arrive.
Everyone arrived five minutes apart from each other. I said my “hello’s” to everyone, and received many condolences. When it came time to the service, no one’s eyes were dry.
I helped Klinger, Radar, Colonel Potter, Charles, and Sidney carry BJ’s casket.
Everyone but Sidney and Mulcahy left.
I was given time to say my final “goodbye” to BJ alone, but Sidney and Mulcahy did want to talk to me afterwards.
“Hey Beej, I forgot to bring flowers, but I did bring you some of your favorite candies.” I set them on his grave, and traced his name with my finger. I hugged his tombstone, and cried.
“I’ll never be able to hug or kiss you again. I-I can’t come home to you laughing about whatever you were watching, or hear you hum whenever something tastes good, or hear you appreciate everything that the world gave you. I-I have to go back to being alone. And that’s the worst feeling in the world.” I cried harder again, and pulled away slowly.
“I was never able to tell you how much I truly loved and appreciated you. You made the world a lot brighter, and happier. I can’t go back to seeing how unforgiving this place is after you showed me all the good things.” I started sobbing harder. I couldn’t stop myself.
I left his grave, but before I could truly leave, I looked up at the skies and said, “Tommy? Henry? Please do me this one favor and watch over BJ for me, please. Take good care of him, too, now. He would’ve done the same for me.”
After I felt as though I said everything that I needed to, I met up with father Mulcahy and Sidney.
“Hawkeye, I just wanted to tell you how sorry I am for your loss. If you ever need someone to talk to, I’m here for you.”
I thanked father Mulcahy as he hugged me and walked away.
Sidney sat me down, and decided to talk to me about survivor’s guilt, and other things. I listened intensely.
Sidney gave me a handful of tissues, and told me to “let everything out.” I did as I was instructed to.
“Hawkeye, I can’t help but get a sense that you loved BJ more than ‘just friends’.”
“You’d be correct. We couldn’t tell anyone over in Korea, so we kept it hidden. I miss him, Sidney.”
“I know, Hawkeye. He misses you too.”
We scheduled a couple of therapy sessions for the week, and parted ways. I walked home, and it started to rain.
As I walked inside my house, it didn’t feel like a home anymore.
I decided to just go to bed and deal with everything later.
I had a dream that BJ was in a field of flowers, waiting for me to join him. They were all different shades of pinks and yellows, and he looked so happy.
Hours passed, and I awoke to an empty bed. I noticed BJ’s clothes still in the closet, and I closed his side of the closet. I couldn’t bear to look at them.
I made myself something to eat, and went back to my room. I didn’t want to be around BJ’s things.
This was going to take some getting used to, and I know that I’m just going to hate it.
After I finished eating, I decided to go back to sleep again. There wasn’t any reason to really be awake anymore. I didn’t want to bother my dad, so I just decided that this was the best option. I lost count as to how many times I fell in and out of sleep. Every time I closed my eyes, I could hear his laugh. It was always so warm and inviting. I have to get used to this. It’s always hard to start again, but I have to do for BJ. It’s what he would’ve wanted.