Addictions

I've been shipped off to live with Sherlock Holmes, a friend of my Uncle John's. I'm Claudia Watson, I have a boyfriend, Alex, who is much older than me and happens to friends with Sebastian Moran. Sherlock is a loon but at least we have some of the same habits. Things can't get any worse for me.

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1. Chapter 1

Chapter 1

                I sat in the back of the cab, watching the city of London pass me by. I twisted my hands in my lap. It had been a rough night last night and all I wanted was for things to be normal like they were a few years ago. The lady sitting beside me had a file on her lap, my file.

                “Don’t be nervous.” The social worker spoke. What did she know? She was old and wasn’t being shipped off to her uncle’s flat. So my mother had a drinking problem and was working her way through a divorce. Isn’t that the time that we should all be together as a family?

                The cap pulled to the curb outside of 221B Baker Street. I climbed out of the cab, dragging my suitcase behind me. I turned and looked at my reflection in the cab window as the social worker told the cab driver to wait for her. I tried to fix my brown messy hair and smoothed down my peach colored dress. I looked like a five year old again.

                “Quickly, Ms. Watson. I don’t have all night.” She said, knocking on the door. I wheeled my suitcase behind me. It took only a moment for the door to open and this older lady beckoned us inside.

                “John! She’s here!” Mrs. Hudson called out after giving me a quick hug. She led us up the stairs into a small flat. My suitcase was heavy and I had a hard time pulling it up behind me.

                “She? New girlfriend?” A man’s voice asked. He must’ve been Sherlock Holmes, the one in John’s blog. I’d heard girls at school talking about him. They liked to watch the news. We didn’t have the money to pay for cable because it was all wasted on alcohol.

                “No, Sherlock. My niece. I told you days ago that she was coming.” John replied, entering from the kitchen.

                “I just need you to sign this and she’s all yours. You understand that as her legal guardian, you are responsible for her well-being. She can’t be in any more trouble and must attend school in autumn.” The social worker explained while John quickly gave his signature.

                “Yes, of course.” He smiled. She nodded before turning to me. She gave me the usual look. The one that said this was my last chance before I became part of the system. With that, she left.

                “If she’s your niece, why is she here?” Sherlock asked, plucking his violin.

                “Ignore him. It’s good to see you Claudia.” John enveloped me in a hug. “You look well. I like the dress.”

                “No you don’t” Sherlock piped in. I suppressed the urge to burst out laughing with the look that John gave Sherlock. They were best friends. That much was obvious to me.

                “Shut up, Sherlock. It’s nice.” John continued. I watched Sherlock and roll his eyes and mouth NOPE.

                “It’s alright. I don’t like it either. The social worker made me wear it.” I replied. Mrs. Hudson returned with a tray of tea.

                “She didn’t seem very friendly did she?” Mrs. Hudson said.

                “I don’t think I even caught her name.” John agreed. That would be because she doesn’t like being a social worker. She does it for the money which isn’t even that good. Sherlock mumbled that it wasn’t given. He paced the room. The doorbell buzzed and Mrs. Hudson scurried back out.

                “Wonder who that could be.” John commented, pouring me a cup of tea.

                “Probably the social worker wanting to lecture me some more.” I mumbled. Sherlock stopped pacing. Both he and John stared at me. What had I done now?

                “That’s twice, since you’ve been here, you’ve called her the social worker. Why?” John asked. I took a sip of my tea.

                “Obvious. It’s dissociative.  Claudia clearly doesn’t like the lady though she’s known her for a while.  You’re taking temporary guardian-ship of her because of your sister’s drinking problem. Staying with Clara is out of the question. The divorce is messy—”

                “Divorce? They were working things out.” John argued. My mother didn’t talk to John about all our family issues. I’d never said anything because I didn’t like the pity other people gave me. I dealt with the problems on my own.

                “No, John. Look at Claudia. Sleep deprived, her eyes are a little puffy from crying. They’ve been arguing, her and Harry. Harry and Clara. So much so, Claudia’s boyfriend called the social worker.” Sherlock glanced over at me again. He was spot on, just John described. I averted my eyes to the floor. I hated all the attention.

                “Boyfriend?”

                “Her phone has buzzed twice. She’s anxious to answer it but doesn’t want to be rude.” Sherlock replied.

                “god, Claudia. I am so sorry.”

                “It’s alright.” I scratched my arm. I needed to be alone.

                “Hello!” A woman’s voice called from the stairs. Seconds later, a blonde woman walked in grinning.

                “Mary! Claudia, this is Mary, my wife.” John introduced. Before I could move, she had me in a hug. She started to ramble about how much John had told her about me.

                “I’ll take your bag upstairs shall I?” John disappeared out of the room. Sherlock turned around to Mary and I then moved to the door.

                “Upstairs? She’s not staying with you?” Sherlock called after John.

“No, Sherlock. We don’t have an extra room and you need someone to help you pay the rent.” John answered.

                “I’ll stay out of your way.” I said. He looked over at me again, this time directly at me, as if trying to deduce me. After a second his posture straightened.

                “It’s late. I’m sure Claudia is tired. She’ll be fine here, John.” Sherlock ushered Mary to the door and started to close the door.

                “Tomorrow then? Lunch? I’ll call you—” John said.

                “Fine, Fine. I’ll make sure she’s there. Goodbye.” Sherlock shut the door. My phone buzzed again. “Aren’t you going to get that?”

                “Maybe later.” I replied.

                “Must be urgent.”

                “It must be. If you’ll excuse me.” I tried to duck past him but he grabbed my arm. “Mr. Holmes.”

                “Sherlock. Have a seat.” He motioned to the red chair. I retreated over it. There was no way I would be getting out of this. He had to be six inches taller than I was.  He sat in the black chair in front of me, steepling his hands under his chin. Again, my phone buzzed.

                “Four texts.”

                “And? Alex is worried.” I replied.

                “Worried? That would require a phone call. Unless the texts are coded, this leaves only one explanation.” Sherlock said.

                “Which is?” I knew he knew. He was hyper-observant. It didn’t’ take more than one good look at me to know.

                “He’s not only your boyfriend. He’s also your drug dealer.” Sherlock stated. “It’s a quite simple deduction. You keep scratching your arm and you want to be left alone. But you need to answer your phone so your supply is low. Tonight is most likely your last bag. Am I wrong?’

                “No.”

                “Give it to me.” Sherlock said.

                “What?”

                “ Give. It. To. Me.” He held out his hand. He seemed serious. I went to my purse and dug through it to a hidden pocket where I pulled out the last packet of powder. I handed it to him.

                “And the phone.” I handed it over as well. Sherlock stood. He opened the packet and tasted it before moving over to the trashcan and dumping it out. My mouth dropped open.

                “Why did you do that? I need that.” My voice shook. It had been too long since I’d had my last fix. I had to be clean yesterday so I could pass a drug test. Since then I hadn’t had ample enough time alone. Now I didn’t have any more.

                “It could kill you. Bad quality.” Sherlock took out a box masquerading as a book. Inside were a lot of small packets of white powder. He tossed me one.

                “Why?” I asked, looking over the small packet. It wasn’t as much as I was used to but anything was better than nothing.

                “Because I know the urges of an addict. I could forbid it but you’d simply go elsewhere. This is the best quality and if you’ll be living here, I only want you to do it here. Never alone.”

                “You didn’t tell John.”

                “John wouldn’t understand. I can help you quit. I’ve recently given up smoking. It won’t be pleasant but if social services find out, you’ll be arrested.” Sherlock continued.

                “What makes you think I want to quit?” I asked.

                “You see what addiction does to your mother and you don’t want to end up like her. John never has to know if you follow my rules.”

                 I wondered why he wanted to help me. I was just a teenager and he’d only just met me. I took the packet and retreated to my bedroom. I watered down the powder drugs and heated it up. I stuck the syringe in my vein, allowing that euphoric feeling to flow over me. I didn’t feel like unpacking anymore. I collapsed onto the bed and tried to fall asleep.

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