A Locked Heart

Based upon the television series BBC Sherlock, this fiction is in Watson's perspective, and takes a look at his life a full year after the Reichenbach Fall.

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1. Anniversary

 

My eyes flew open, I bolted straight up in bed, and through the rush of adrenaline I barely comprehended that it was his name on my lips. I sat there in bed for a moment, staring across at the bare wall as I caught my breath… Yet another horror had plagued my sleeping mind for the millionth night in a row; and it was impossible to fall back into slumber. For every time I closed my eyes I would be presented with a chill-inducing image of his languid face, eyes glazed over and blood slowly streaming down its side. There was no way I could go through that nightmare again. It was better to simply stay awake.

But, staying awake, my mind wouldn’t be at ease. Each passing moment brought back another recollection of that lost soul, things that made him a man worth remembering. His occasional laugh, the breath-taking intelligence in his eyes, the way he would stare right at me as if I would somehow read his mind if he kept at it. The days when I could swear life wouldn’t be better with anyone else as my flatmate. His last words to me, his… his confessions that I chose never to believe... It all floated around my head, reminiscences and regrets, until I could feel the pain of loss in the depths of my chest.

You know, it’s funny; I never thought a broken-heart could be so realistically used to describe how I felt but right then and there, as I held back tears, I swear I could feel my heart ache. And it wasn’t the first time—in fact I’d gone through that same exact scene every 4 in the morn’ since he left me. It was like a disease that you just couldn’t cure; a disease that ate at your very soul and the only way out was to die… I didn’t want to die, though, not yet. So I lived with the pain.

Ah, but eventually, I did have to force myself to get on with my daily routine—an hour spent brooding was enough, more than enough in fact. Any longer and I’d have become suicidal in my sorrow. So, I stood up and grabbed my walking stick, hobbled my way over to the bathroom. I always started the day with a cold shower, fifty percent because I didn’t have to wait for the water to cool and fifty percent because it did well to wake me up. From there, I would usually get dressed and start a pot of coffee up; as I waited for the brew, read some articles on the internet. Today, upon reaching my laptop I did not have the chance to go on my daily trek across the internet. A glance at the date was a painstakingly sharp reminder of something I wished not to recall.

Today would mark a full year since Holmes’ death. It would be expected that, after so many months in mourning, the pain would be no different on the anniversary… That was anything but the current case. My heart sank, morphing into a block of solid lead. I could barely move to get my coffee, and frankly I had lost any appetite I had prior. His death was simply a burden on my chest that I couldn’t relieve. No amount of grievance, of tears shed could make me feel better. No, I would be sorrowed for Lord knows how long.

Eventually, I made the voyage out of my chair and into the kitchen, limping along, sipping half-heartedly at the rich, dark liquid. It reminded me of the time Sherlock attempted to make me tea. And the way he would nonchalantly sip at a cup given to him… How painful; even the smallest things about him were unforgettable. I couldn’t bring myself to finish my coffee, the bitter flavor doing me no good.

With a heavy sigh I set my old mug down by the sink, putting weight on my walking stick as I trudged back through the living room. Near the door hung my worn black jacket; I pulled it down and slid my arms through their respective openings. Zipped up and ready to go, I started the wearisome task of making it past the stairs, out the foyer, and onto the streets of London. I didn’t limp so much before I met Sherlock, but since his death my leg was nearly worthless as a limb. Just made things all the more difficult for myself, I supposed… If it weren’t a subconscious problem I would’ve stopped ages ago.

As I hobbled down the streets, a few familiar people passed a smile or message of condolence. It would seem that they hadn’t forgotten Holmes’ old blogger as of yet, nor had they forgotten his fall. I wondered if the newspaper would have him in the obituaries or perhaps have an article just for him. It was doubtful, but I still tried my luck, finding the newspaper stand at the corner. I gave my couple cents and grabbed a newspaper, pleasantly surprised to see that it was not just Sherlock, but my blog. Apparently the media wanted to get an interview from me for tomorrow’s edition. How thoughtful of them; bother a grieving man on his worst day…

I set the grayed paper back down, continuing on my journey through London. I would’ve called a cab, but some strange notion in the back of my head told me to just walk to the cemetery. Maybe when it was too difficult for me to keep walking, I’d give into the ease of modern transport. Lord knew I’d get to that point fast…

. . .

After a good hour of walking, passing by memory-filled alleys and homes, I finally found my legs to be much too sore to continue. I had to stop, hail a cab. I walked over to the side of the road, thank goodness I’d taken the main street this far, and waved my hands at every passing cab. It took a few minutes but I finally got myself a ride, and I thankfully hopped in, walking stick at hand. I told him to take me to the cemetery, and then simply looked out the window, too sorrowed and tired to bother say anymore. 

 

The drive from there was surprisingly short; five minutes and I was as close to Sherlock’s grave as I’d dared to be in the past few months... I paid the fare and set foot on graveyard territory, starting to feel anxious; I could feel my hand start to quiver, and my leg began to throb with pain. My throat felt like it had swollen up, and breathing became difficult. The signs were clear. Turn back! Don’t do this to yourself! My body was screaming at me to listen. And yet I found myself limping deeper into the graveyard. I couldn't waste the flowers, after all.

It was a painstaking few feet but I finally was able to make it to his grave, where I was surprised to see that others had already paid their respects. Several bouquets, a few letters… My stomach twisted, as I realized mine weren’t quite as splendorous. It took awhile for me to remember that Sherlock had a wealthy brother. No wonder. Cautiously, I set mine down just at the base of his headstone. Standing upright once more, I sighed, staring at his name. Was I supposed to say something? Would it even matter? I doubted he would hear me, from… wherever he ended up.

“I guess I’ll feel better if I just, get it off my chest…” I finally mused aloud, looking down and swallowing air. “Happy anniversary, Sherlock—but this isn’t happy at all. What am I saying? No, let me start over… Well… It’s been a tough year since you left me. Life is so bleak without my sociopath best friend. I always thought that I’d be settled in with you, we’d solve cases together without care as to the danger. We were going to be mates… I could see it then, but, you’re gone Sherlock. You’re dead.” I sighed, hoping to myself that no one was listening to my brainless rambling. “I hope that your mind is at ease now. ‘Used to complain about how actively you thought, never had a moment of peace, did you? I guess that you have that privilege now.” A soft chuckle. I decided to just sit down, beside his grave in the grass, resting my head on the cool stone of it. “Mrs. Hudson misses you, y’know. She says that I’m so boring on my own. That you took the life of me with you when you, you left. I agree with her. You should give it back sometime, alright?” I could hear my voice start to crack, but I couldn’t stop now. “I miss you, Sherlock. I miss your rude remarks, the way you’d look at me. How you were so clueless about socialization. You were so charming and, I can’t believe I never gave you credit for it. Heh, I… I guess that people were right to call us a couple. I’m sorry I denied it.” Tears were streaming down my tired skin at that point; I didn’t make an effort to wipe them away. “You were so smart, Sherlock. You saw things that no one else could, and the way you solved problems. It’s like the world was just full of puzzles for you to solve. I’ve tried my hardest to see things the way you used to but… nothing seems interesting. Nothing seems to connect anymore.” I took a deep, shaky breath. I didn’t know what I was saying, nor did I care. I just had to say it. Get it out. Let go of him. “I need you. I need you in my life, Sherlock. You, you performed practical miracles when you were alive! Luck was on our side. What happened? Why did you have to leave me? You weren’t the kind of man to give up, commit suicide. Someone set you up, I know it. Maybe, maybe you’re… you…” My throat had closed on itself at that point, and all I could do was squeeze my eyes shut.

For hours I sat, crying and rambling, tearing up. Sometimes sobbing. Time went by, the sun went down, and without realizing it I had spent the night sleeping by his grave.

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