This is completely stupid and useless, but I’m doing it anyway. Hello, how are you? Still dead, that’s how you are. Always and forever and permanently dead.
How am I? Still alive. Harry bullied me into seeing a psychiatrist by promising to go into rehab. She’s out now, and still sober. It’s been six months. Bizarrely, Mycroft has been paying the rent on the flat—I got that out of Mrs. Hudson, when I finally started keeping track of time again and realized I hadn’t paid her. He came here once, but hasn’t been back, probably because I broke his nose.
I’m writing a stupid, useless letter because the therapist says I need “closure.” She says that excessive grief—apparently my grief at losing my flatmate is excessive—is often due to a sense that things have been left unfinished or unsaid. Telling you everything I’m thinking and feeling about your death is supposed to help. She claims it’s worked for other people.
I’m not ‘other people,’ though. I’m more of a freak than you ever were, I think. Just better at hiding it. Nobody—not even my bloody therapist—knows how much I loved Afghanistan. Being there, with the heat and the horror and the urgency, made me ridiculously happy. I was needed. My life had a purpose. Yes, I know it’s sick, to be happy amid all that blood and gore and violence and death. I keep it to myself.
When I got shot and had to leave the Army, I was so lost. Living in a crappy bedsit. Life was pointless. I couldn’t afford to stay in London, but I knew the quiet would drive me mad if I left. I was already a little mad, I think. Thought about topping myself, but Harry was trying to stay sober at that point, and I knew she’d go back to the bottle if I did.
You saved me, you know. Following you around on your cases, chasing down alleys, even having a bloody bomb strapped to my chest—I needed that. Yes, I’m odd that way. Ironic isn’t it? Everyone thought I was the normal one--even you. But working with you, living with you, even looking at corpses with you, well, that was as close to happy as I’d been since Afghanistan. And I looked up to you. You were brilliant and you were like no one I’d ever met. By then my default mode was pretending to be normal, showing only what was expected of me, so I bitched about your rudeness and how demanding you were. Truth was, I liked it. The one thing I really shared with you was a hatred of boredom.
Truth was... well, you’ll never read this, what with being dead and all, so I might as well say it. I’m supposed to burn this letter once I’m done with it, all part of the treatment, of getting “closure.” So the whole truth is, I was attracted to you as well. You’d made it quite clear, that first night at Angelo’s, that I hadn’t a chance, so I kept it to myself, insisted to everyone that I wasn’t gay, we weren’t a couple, despite the fact that we were obviously close. Or were we? Hard to tell, with you. I felt close to you, in any case. I thought you needed me, and I needed that, as much as the adrenaline and the danger. You saw through me from the first, and I needed that too, that you weren’t bothered my freakishness.
Did you know I thought you were beautiful? Did you know how much I loved your cheekbones, your curls, your lips? I used to watch your hands as you played the violin. Did you know how much I wanted to touch you? Of course you did. You knew everything. I’m sure you knew the exact moment I fell in love with you, right in the middle of our second argument about why not eating for three days was bad for you.
Thank you for never bringing it up. But you knew that I understood nothing would happen; we’d established that early on, so it was irrelevant. And you didn’t waste time on irrelevant details.
Now you’re gone, and I’m the man I was after Afghanistan. My ‘excessive grief’ isn’t only that I’ve lost you. I’ve lost me, Sherlock. I’ve lost the John Watson whose life had some kind of purpose, a focal point. I’ve taken to walking at night, in some of the dodgier parts of town. A week ago someone tried to steal my wallet, and I came close to killing him. Then I wondered why I’d fought so hard.
So yesterday I signed on with Médecins Sans Frontières. I’m headed to Africa in a week; there’s always a war going on in Africa. Everyone thinks this is me “moving on with my life.”
I will always miss you. I love you. But of course, you’d know that, if you weren’t dead, you bloody selfish bastard.
Yours, not that it matters now,