The Perks of Being John Watson

Dear friend, This is the most important story of all. The story of how I met, fell in love with and lost my best friend. I hope one day you might see its value too. Love always, John. Johnlock.

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2. Chapter 2:October

Dear friend,

I am writing to you because though I don't want to give her any credit my therapist-who I've only gone to see once by the way-suggested that it would be a good idea to write what I am feeling down. And I think it might be easier if I can pretend that I am actually writing to someone and that, that someone might write back. That way it gives everything more of a purpose.

So the first thing that it is important for you to know is that I'm 14. And the second thing I want you to know most of all right now is that I am both happy and sad and I'm still trying to figure out how that could be.

It is the night before I am due to start at my new school and Mum has already told me that I should practice walking in my new school shoes or that they might feel uncomfortable tomorrow and my Dad has told my sister to stop playing her music so loud but my sister is still pretending not to hear.

Anyway to keep my Mum happy I walked twice around the living room in my new school shoes and then I sat back down so that I could change back into my slippers.

But Mum said I should make sure that I had everything ready for the next day so I went to check upstairs.

I'd forgotten that I'd already checked so instead I sat down on my bed.

Which brings me to where I am now and how I am feeling, which is very nervous. I think on the whole it would have been better if I'd already started school last month when everyone else did. But I could only start this month because my Dad got a new job and we had to move house and we moved later than planned and in the meantime my leg started hurting and Mum said that I should try and rest so that it would get better.

Dad used to be in the army but he got sent home after his leg got injured. I don't really know how his leg got hurt and I decided a while ago that I wouldn't ask because he doesn't like talking about it. Anyway, the point is that one day I got up, shortly after Dad came home, and my leg was hurting too. Dad said that I was being silly and I think he thought that I was making fun of him but I wasn't. And Mum took me to the Doctor's and he said that he thought it was in my head and Mum started asking me if I was worried about Dad and I didn't know what to say. She then took me to a therapist because she thought it might help and that it might be easier to talk to someone I don't know. But I couldn't just talk to a complete stranger about things that I don't even know the answers to myself so I barely spoke at all. Then finally the therapist said that I should try and find a way to express my emotions if I don't want to do it through talking. And then after we moved Mum spoke to my new teachers about how we'd just moved and how my Dad had just come home and how we were all adjusting or something like that and I got to stay off school. My sister wanted to start as soon as she could though so she's already made some friends.

But even now my leg still isn't better. I don't think it's really in my head. I couldn't imagine that kind of pain could I? And why would I want to? Anyway about a week ago my Dad said that I should go to school soon and start doing more normal things and Mum agreed.

So now I'm starting tomorrow and I can't think of much else and I'm worried.

Love always, John.

John,

I am writing to you because being dead isn't all it's cracked up to be. Or should that be pretending to be dead. Whatever. The fact is I'm bored.

So it was good of you to give me your letters for some entertainment. The fact that you're both happy and sad though is irrelevant. Especially at that age.

School shoes! Again they're not made to be especially comfortable. And you think your sister's bad? Try living with Mycroft as I would have been doing back then when you wrote this.

You are much too content to try and keep other people happy, but then I can hardly complain because otherwise you would most definitely not put up with me.

Also there is no point in letting your emotion get the better of you. Your leg hurting, it's all in your head, but you'll know that soon enough.

And as for friends you only need one. That's what I've found anyway.

Sherlock.

Dear friend,

I do not like secondary school.

Mum says that I should not be so quick to make up my mind but I can't see any reason at the moment for it to change.

I was a little late for my first lesson because it took me ages to find the right classroom and my leg was hurting badly. And then when I did find it I had to limp inside and find a seat when everyone else was already there. A girl called Sally Donovan started doing an impression of me when the teacher's back was turned and nearly everyone laughed. Only one boy didn't.

The boy who didn't was sitting near the back of the class and I hoped that maybe we could be friends but he didn't look at me when I looked at him.

Then at break the girl who did the impression of me asked what my name was. I didn't tell her and I tried to walk away but she caught up with me. I didn't want to hurt anyone but all of a sudden everyone seemed to be around me and I lashed out and ended up hitting her friend Anderson who had laughed the hardest back in the class before.

I panicked and I should have moved away before anyone could do anything but the French teacher had seen what had happened and she sent us all to the Headmaster.

I didn't much like the Headmaster, it turned out that he was Donovan's father and he took her side before I could even say anything. But this one boy came forward and told the truth about what had happened. His name is Greg Lestrade and he must be quite well respected because the Headmaster believed him at least, even if it was a little reluctantly. I hoped I could be friends with Lestrade but I think he was just being nice.

That's the main problem I've found really. That everyone else has already got friends by now and there doesn't seem to be anyone left for me.

I didn't realise it would be so hard. But then again who would want to be my friend? Nothing ever happens to me.

I expect you'll think I'm feeling sorry for myself but I'm just being honest.

Love always, John.

John,

Who does like it? But I'm glad to see you standing your ground.

Uh, Donovan! She's not even worth mentioning in your letters. Please don't waste anymore time mentioning her.

I didn't laugh, that's true. But then I probably wasn't paying attention to the likes of her. I'm sorry I didn't look up though.

And now Anderson. He's not worth writing about either. I'm glad you hit him though, even if it was by accident.

Yes, it was lucky for children everywhere that Donovan didn't follow her father into the teaching profession. But most unlucky for us and Lestrade of course.

I'm glad he had the decency at least to come to your rescue. If I had seen what happened I would have done the same but probably got expelled at the same time.

Please try and observe more. Not everyone is with a group of friends.

Oh really? Nothing ever happens to you does it? I bet that'll change soon.

And yes, I do think you're feeling sorry for yourself.

Sherlock.

Dear friend,

My Mum keeps asking if I've made any friends. I try and change the subject whenever she does this but I think she knows. I think my sister might be at fault for that. She's three years older than me and old enough to spy on me for Mum.

So instead of worrying so much about this I tried to focus on my classes instead. But none of them are making me feel especially better about myself. I seem to be an average student in everything. Dad said there is nothing wrong with this but Mum said that I should try harder.

My sister though couldn't care less about me being average as long as I stay away from her in school. She told me that I should "Get a life," but I told her that I already had one and she rolled her eyes and simply went upstairs to listen to some more music.

She's not the only one who can watch me without really seeing me though and I've noticed that she's been spending a lot of time with this one boy recently.

I don't know much about him but my sister thinks he's "cool" and is happy when she comes home from being with him.

I hope she stays happy even though I don't always like her.

Love always, John.

John,

Your mother wants you to be normal so badly because she thinks that is the only way you'll ever be happy. As I know now that will not happen but I don't think you'll find being abnormal any less fun, considering the circumstances.

I don't always like Mycroft either, but yes I can see where you're coming from. Kind of. Well, no, actually I can't. Not at all.

I would advise you though, if this letter wasn't so late, to tell your sister that she should opt for a better choice in boyfriends. Or even girlfriends. Or whatever.

Sherlock.

Dear friend,

There is a lot more to tell you this time.

The other day I went to the school's first football match of the year. I like football even though I'm not very good at it. I'm better at rugby if I'm honest. Anyway I saw the boy who didn't laugh at me in class standing a little away from everyone else at the edge of the field with an older boy. I noticed that he didn't look particularly interested in the game so I thought that maybe he would want to talk to me today.

When I went up to him though he just looked at me and nodded, so I said, "Hi, I'm John."

"I know," was how he replied, which made me feel a bit uncomfortable, but then he continued, "Your father was in the army but got sent home after he injured his leg. Your own leg started hurting and he thought you were being stupid, but your mother took it more seriously, which is partly why you only started school recently. Though actually I think your Doctor was right about it, it is your mind making you think it hurts, nothing else."

I didn't know what to say to all that so I just asked, "How did you hear?"

But his blue eyes just gleamed and he said, "I didn't. I just observed."

And I thought this boy was both a little strange and brilliant all at the same time.

I noticed that the older boy was looking at us now with an odd kind of twisted smile on his face. I was just about to ask for his name when he supplied, "I'm Mycroft Holmes and this is my brother Sherlock."

Sherlock gave him a funny look but Mycroft simply raised his eyebrows at him, before he began to twirl the umbrella in his right hand as he looked out onto the pitch. I noticed that he was looking hard at one boy in particular and it took me a moment to realise that it was Lestrade who was his focus.

But then Sherlock started talking again and I realised that not only was he brilliant but that he was extremely clever.

He seemed to know everything about everyone just by looking at them. For example he knew that one boy was in the football team only to impress this girl, whose brother was the Captain and he knew that some people were there watching because of "problems at home," or because they had nothing better to do. I thought he might include me in the last category and for a moment I felt uncomfortable, but then he just carried on talking.

He said that that his brother had made him come because his brother was Head Boy and meant to come to things like this to support the school even though he didn't like sports, and that he had told Sherlock to practice his observation, and that one day maybe he would become Head Boy too. Sherlock said that he liked to observe but had no intention of ever becoming Head Boy and Mycroft shot him a particularly dark look but Sherlock just turned to him and smiled.

I think I like Sherlock very much. I hope he will be my friend now. I think I would like that more than anything.

Love always, John.

John,

We meet at last. Well sort of. I've found over the years that sport is generally pointless. Unless it's running to a crime scene or defending yourself against an attacker, in which case boxing, fencing and martial arts can be useful.

Ah, I see you thought I was being anti-social. I was merely evaluating you.

You will be aware of this by the time you read this response but it was typical of Mycroft to interrupt us and do the introductions as he did that day. And now I think about it he was doing a similar thing to your mother. Only he wasn't wanting me to be more 'normal' as your mother was wanting you to be. He was being curious as to why I was doing something normal by chatting to you. As well as being his usual nosy self of course.

That was clever of you to notice my brother looking at Lestrade.

You flatter me.

Glad to be of service.

Sherlock.

 

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