Saving Moriarty

There's a line between being someone's wife and being Jim Moriarty's wife. It's been 14 years and I haven't thought about how much I missed my freedom. I gave up everything to become his. I'm Melanie Moriarty. Here's my story.

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4. Chapter 4

Chapter 4

                I usually enjoyed the rain. It calmed me and it smelled like beauty. I loved the way it made patterns and beats as it hit the pavement. I tried to imagine each drop being in a different sound. A couple of students running past me broke my concentration. It inconvenienced me, having to walk over to the upper-class building where the tenth year began. I’m not sure why I complain anymore. I did this every day. My parents didn’t like me to ride the bus so I had to ride home with my brother.

                I had my bright blue umbrella but it didn’t help much against the wind. Normally my brother had football practice on the field behind the school but since it was pouring rain, I assumed they would be in the weight room. I entered the gymnasium where only a few students lingered.

                “Melanie! What are you doing in here?” David jogged over to me. He played on my brother’s varsity team, a fellow thirteenth year and four years ahead of me.

                “I’m looking for Evan.” I replied.

                “You just missed him. He’s taking Amy Fields out for a date. Good to see you.” David continued on, meeting two other boys at the door before leaving.  

                I sighed. Really? He couldn’t have taken me home first or at least told me. Now I had to walk home in the harsh rain. I sat on the covered walkway, opening my copy of Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier. If I had to wait for the rain to wane, I’d at least spend it reading a book I love. I only got a few pages in when someone stopped in front of me. Looking up, a boy in a school uniform stared at me with his hands in pockets.

                “Juliet Marillier?” He said, an Irish accent catching my full attention. He smiled. “I enjoy her work. Is this your first time reading that?”

                “Uh, no. I’m waiting for her second book to come out.” I replied. I stared at him for a moment. I recognized him and the accent. “Jim?”

                “I’m surprised it took you so long pigtails.” He stretched his hand towards me. I took it, allowing him to pull me to my feet. I threw my arms around his neck.

                “It’s been six years! What happened to you?” I asked.

                “We moved back to Ireland, boring family drama. Now I’m back. Are you waiting for your brother?” Jim asked. I rolled my eyes at the thought of my idiot brother.

                “No, he ditched me. I was waiting for the rain to calm before I walked home.” I said. I picked up my backpack and umbrella.

                “How about we go to that coffee shop down the street, catch up, then I’ll walk you home.” Jim offered his arm to me this time. I smiled and took it. We huddled together under my umbrella.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

                Massive headache. Sitting up on the cold concrete I rubbed my forehead. That had been the first time I’d had any feelings for Jim. It hadn’t been my first encounter with him but that had been a time when I was too young to want anything to do with more than friendship. I noted that the door was open. I struggled to my feet, leaning one arm against the wall for support. The shackle had been removed. I could sort of remember what had happened. All I cared about was getting out of this place. I walked barefoot out of the room and up the stairs. I had to hold the bottom of my dress together.

                I made my way to the main road. I had a vague idea of where I was. I slowly went down the streets of London, down-casting my gaze. I hadn’t seen what I looked like but I could guess. My hair wrecked, my dress torn, and no shoes. A bruise or two wouldn’t surprise me. To the bystanders, I probably looked like a prostitute who got in over her head.

                Only a few people asked if I was alright. I addressed them with a weak smile and said that I was fine. It took over an hour to reach my destination. I knocked on the door and shivered. I hope someone is here. I’d walked all the way here and my flat would take ages to reach. I relaxed as the door opened. An older woman looked me over. She must be the landlady, Ms. Hudson.

                “Hello, is Sherlock here?” I asked, quietly.

                “Yes, he’s upstairs.” She answered, letting me inside. “But who are you?”

                “I’m no one.” I answered, smiling at her a bit. I climbed the stairs, each step aching my whole body. The flat door stood open and I could hear violin music. I waited in the doorway, entranced by the sound of the music. He set down the bow. “That was beautiful.”

                Sherlock turned to me. He simply stared at me for a moment. “Did Moriarty do that to you?”

                “No.” I flinched at the memory. While it was true that Jim didn’t physically do it, he’d arranged for Sebastian to. Sherlock didn’t believe me but he didn’t comment either.

                “I’ll ring John. He can have a look at you.” Sherlock said.

                “You don’t have to do that.” I answered quietly. Sherlock stopped dialing on his phone. He rolled his eyes at me.

                “Then why are you here?”

                “I…I don’t know. I don’t have anywhere else.”

                “You’re here for my help. So that means you’ll be examined by Dr. Watson. You can shower while you wait. The bath is just through there.”  Sherlock answered for me. He pointed down the hallway as he put the phone to his ear. Then he turned his back to me, clearly done with the conversation.

                I shut the bathroom door and turned to look at myself in the mirror. I barely recognized myself. I was only a glimpse of that girl that used to read fantasy novels and dreamed of being someone some day. I own you. I shut my eyes and took a deep breath. The voice quieted.

                Striping out of my ruined dress, I turned on the shower. The warm water relaxed my tense muscles. I cleared my mind, focusing on the feeling of the water hitting my skin and rolling off my body. If I listened carefully, I could imagine it as rain. I paid attention closely to only a few drops as they made a series of notes and melodies.

                I abruptly rejoined reality at the sound of shouting. John had arrived and not alone. I figured Mary would come. She knew about this. She had been there once. I shut off the water and grabbed a towel. I internally cringed. I had no clothes. I’d have to go out there in a towel. I opened the curtain to step out. On the sink sat a neat pile of clothes and my old ones were gone. I smiled, putting on the sweat pants and baggy t-shirt. I returned to the main room.

                “Ms. Hudson’s niece left them here.” Sherlock commented.

                “It’s perfect, very comfortable. Um…you really didn’t have to come Dr. Watson.” I brushed a strand of wet hair out of my face. Mary sat on the couch, refusing to look at me.

                “Nonsense. Let’s have a look at you. And call me John.” He motioned back the way I had come.

                “In here is fine.” Sherlock complained.

                “Patient confidentiality. Why don’t you make some tea or order take away or something?” John shot back. He put his hand on my back and guided me down to a bedroom I assumed to be Sherlock’s. John took his time, examining me well. He couldn’t find much wrong with me. A few cigarette burns and a bruise on my collar bone.

                “What happened here? Is that an injection mark?” John asked. He lifted the bottom of my shirt a little higher to get a better look. “Do you know what it was?”

                “Ketamine. It should be out of my system by now.” I replied. John cleaned the mark and put a bandage over it. We returned to the living room, John immediately reporting to Sherlock as I went to sit on the couch with Mary. John asked what I’d like to eat.

                “I’m fine. I—”

                “You have to eat.” John argued.

                “Really, it’s not a big deal.” I began again.

                “If Jim had told you to, there’d be no argument.” Mary said under her breath. John ordered something for me anyways and returned to his hushed conversation with Sherlock.

                “You don’t know anything about us.” I whispered back, clutching onto my mug tightly.

                “I know you allow him to do whatever he likes. If you’re so unhappy with him, then divorce him.” She said a little too loudly.

                “I can’t.” I snapped. I clasped a hand over my mouth. That wasn’t what I’d meant to say. Anything else would have been appropriate. John stepped toward me.

                “There’s loads of divorce lawyers if he won’t sign a paper. We can help you—” John said. I shook my head. They didn’t get it. There wasn’t a lawyer or judge in the world that would take a case for our divorce.

                “Tell us why you married him in the first place. You obviously love him and that’s reason enough for you to not divorce but it’s more than that.” Sherlock spoke. He sunk into his black chair, keeping his eyes on me. I gave a curt nod. I had no reason to hide it. Jim didn’t care if people knew why we’d married. If anything it gave them a reason to fear and respect him. John and Mary quieted as well, interested in story. I shakily sat down my mug on the table before folding my hands in my lap. It started with my brother, as did most of my memories back then…

               

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