Mycroft and Oliver had met in college. Actually, that’s a lie. They met when Mycroft was in 5th grade on the playground. At ten years, Mycroft didn’t have many friends. Ever since the hamster incident other kids’ parents didn’t want their children playing with “that weird Holmes boy.”
Mycroft remembers it well. It was a Tuesday morning and he was sitting alone under the bridge on the playground reading Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein which was his favorite book. He could relate to the creature. Being cast aside by society. He, like the creature, wanted friends, but both were feared by their peers. Just as he was finishing his book was snatched out of his hands.
“Hey! Give it back!” yelled Mycroft.
“Whoa! Guys! He speaks! The freak speaks! Killed anything today?” jeered Tom.
Tom had been Mycroft’s best friend before the hamster incident. They would spend hours at a time running around the Holmes’ garden pretending to be explorers and pirates. Mycroft was always the pirate while Tom was the brave explorer. After the hamster incident occurred Tom’s parents didn’t allow him to play with Mycroft anymore. When they came back to school after summer break Tom pretended to not know him. Mycroft was crushed. Since then, Tom had taken every opportunity to tease Mycroft and make his life miserable.
“Give me my book back Tom!”
“You’ll have to catch me!” said Tom, sneering at Mycroft as he turned and began to run away with his book. Tom had always been the faster of the two and easily outran Mycroft. Mycroft gave up and walked back to his spot under the bridge.
“Hey Tom! Give that back. It’s not yours.” Said another voice.
Mycroft peered out from his spot under the bridge. Another boy had caught Tom and was wrestling the book out of his grip.
“Fine! Whatever. Take it.” Snapped Tom.
The other boy began walking towards Mycroft’s spot and Mycroft crawled back and tried to disappear.
“Hey there. I have your book. You want it?” asked the other boy as he handed Mycroft the book.
Mycroft reached out tentatively and took it. Then he did something he hadn’t anticipated.
“Wanna come in here? There’s room for two.”
The other boy grinned and crawled under and sat across from Mycroft. Mycroft stuck out his right hand awkwardly and said, “I’m Mycroft. Thank you for returning my book.”
“I’m Oliver. Tom’s a meanie. Don’t let him bother you.” He said as he shook Mycroft’s hand.
Mycroft smiled shyly at the other boy. No one had stuck up for him before. Mycroft ran his eyes over the other boy. He was medium build with short sandy blond hair. He had a line of freckles running across his nose. Mycroft was so lost in his observations that he jumped when Oliver spoke again.
“Wanna be my friend?”
“What?” no one wanted to be Mycroft’s friend. He was puzzled. “Why?”
“Because I’m new and you seem nice.”
A huge grin broke out across Mycroft’s face. “Okay. Friends.”
Mycroft didn’t stop grinning until he got home.
Oliver and Mycroft became fast friends, but when it was time to go to middle school Mycroft was sent off to a fancy private school while Oliver remained in the public school system.
Seven years past and Mycroft was now a freshman at University. It was a Friday night and he was running late to his politics and international studies class. As he turned a corner he ran smack into another student and knocked accidentally knocked the books out of the other student’s hands.
“Sorry! I didn’t mean to. Here, let me help you.” Stammered Mycroft as he bent down to help the other boy pick up his books.
“Thanks.” Said the other boy. When he stood up, Mycroft got a chance to look at him in his entirety. He carried himself with confidence. He had broad shoulders and a light dusting of freckles across his face. He had short sandy brown hair that was cropped so that his ears seemed to stick out a bit. The boy smiled at him. Mycroft recognized that smile ,but couldn’t quite recall where he’d seen it.
“What class are you off to?” asked the boy.
“You seem to be in a big rush.”
“Oh, uh. Politics and international studies.”
“Really? Me too. Let’s walk together.”
Mycroft grimaced. He wasn’t used to people being so friendly towards him like this. He then tried to smile nicely and replied, “Sure. We gotta hurry.”
The two boys walked off towards their class together.
They got to class 10 minutes late and snuck in and took seats in the back of the room. When the other boy pulled out a notebook with his name scribbled across the front.
Mycroft blinked his eyes to make sure he was reading the right thing. He then remembered where he’d seen that smile before.
“I’m Oliver. Tom’s a meanie. Don’t let him bother you.”
“Mycroft?” said a voice next to him.
Oliver turned to Mycroft, “Took you long enough. How are you? I haven’t seen you in years!”
Mycroft just gaped at him.
“Hey man, relax. Try not to look so sick. Let’s go get something to eat after this.”
Mycroft just nodded.
After class Mycroft and Oliver walked to the local bar. Over a couple of drinks the two men caught up. Oliver had been the top footballer at his high school. Mycroft had been the top in his class. Mycroft told Oliver how boring the people at private school were. Oliver told Mycroft that after being friends with Mycroft, no one was as interesting. Sure, Oliver had his circle of friends, but he never felt what he had felt with Mycroft with them.
Mycroft and Oliver quickly became close friends again and by the middle of their second year their friendship had become something more.