Dear John Watson,
I- I owe you an apology. I want to tell you that I'm sorry. Obviously, I doubt I'm going to have the opportunity to do this for a while - there's a reason you don't know where I am now, after all, a reason you believe me to be as dead as everyone says - but still, John... I'm sorry. I am so sorry, John Watson. And I want you to know that.
Naturally, of course, you never will - not for a while yet, at least. Maybe a couple of months, or at least that's what Mycroft predicted, and, much as it pains me to admit it, Mycroft has an annoying tendency to be right. (In the unlikely event that someone other than me reads this letter, I am now instructing you to destroy it before my brother reads the above.)
Talking of annoying tendencies, I wish you would tell Anderson to stop weeping like that every time my name is mentioned. Quite frankly, it's annoying, and makes him seem more ridiculous than ever: something I never believed to be possible.
Not that you ever will pass on this message to Anderson. To do that, you'd have to receive this letter and read its contents, which you won't, because I am not going to send it, simply because, on reading it you would believe one of two options: That this letter is from me and I am, in fact, alive, or that this letter is from someone impersonating me, which, the latter being the more plausible option, is the one you are bound to believe, so it would be pointless sending you this in any case.
Already, I expect you've received at least seven of these letters, all from impostors, all in terrible imitations of my handwriting and bearing my name in a badly forged signature at the bottom. I know for sure that three are from that young woman living two doors down - the one with the hair - she's been eager to change your bachelor status for months now. I trust I don't even have to mention that she's also incredibly, startlingly dull. Dull, dull, dull. Bland, boring.
Most likely case, you wouldn't even read this note anyway. You'd assume it was yet another fraud, probably heap it up with your pile of unwanted 'sorry for your loss' cards. I don't understand why someone would send a card like that, when they are far, far from sorry. To pretend they're grieving? Sgt Donovan's partying as I write.
However, there is still a slight chance that you'd pick the letter up, read it, and for some reason, believe it. Believe that I am alive. That, John Watson, is the worst thing that could possibly happen. In your shock you tell Mrs. Hudson, who, despite her many attributes, gossips frequently. She tells Lestrade, he tells his officers, the newspapers are informed, and then the whole world knows that, contrary to popular belief, I am very much alive. 'Fake It or Break It'. 'Fraud Genius Lies Again'. 'Lazarus Is No'. The press would have a field day. Not just a day. Weeks. Months!
I am alive. Far more than most of London, leading their mundane, everyday, little lives. To them, the most exciting thing that ever happened was that time old Mrs. Barnaby's kitten got stuck in a tree.
Excitement. Such a delicious word, brimming with potential. So many people prefer to pretend - live in a made up world of placid boredom instead of opening their eyes to the beauty beneath London's dull facade. Not you, John. You love the thrill of a crime as much as I do. Find it hard to survive without it.
Before I jumped - an angel tumbling down from Heaven - off the roof of Bart's, I lied to you. I want to set those lies straight, John, at least in my own mind. My phone call wasn't my 'note'. This is. This is my own, private 'note', apologising to you, and explaining why I can't let you know I'm alive.
I will miss you, John Watson.
At least for now, this is my goodbye.