“So,” she asks patiently, “how are you today?”
How am I? Is she a bloody idiot?
Of course she is. Everyone is.
Not now Sherlock. Not now please.
I look up at her. Early thirties. Dark brown hair going down to the middle of her back, it’s perfectly cut. She goes to a hair dresser. A really good one at that. Fair skin. Nails cut even, manicured to perfection. No makeup- she hardly ever wears it. She doesn’t need it. Natural beauty.
She observes me. Growing impatient with me, I can tell. Her eyes flick over me watching for my next move. Waiting for my answer. What am I supposed to say? Yeah, I’m fine. Everything is fine, except I saw my best friend fall to his death, felt his cold, lifeless body under my hands. But yeah, I’m fine. She opens her mouth to ask again but I cut her short.
“I’m fine.” Force a smile,tell her I'm fine, lie- it's just a continuous circle. How did I end up here?
I check the clock. Jesus, I’ve only been here for ten minutes? Feels like ages.
But it always does, doesn’t it.
Yes. You’re right. Constantly right.
I notice her scribble something down onto the paper in front of her. She knows I’m lying. Who cares anymore.
A few minutes of silence and I take to studying her. She’s probably never lifted a finger at home. Her hands are too smooth, too delicate. Oh. A wedding ring. How did I not see that before. Her husband- or wife- probably does most of the work around the house. Maybe a maid comes out to help every now and then. Who knows. You would laugh at me for "deducing" my therapist. Wouldn’t you? You'd hardly call it deducing.
There’s no point it in, John. She’s ordinary.
I know. I know that Sherlock.
She directs her attention back to me. “Good. That’s good John. Do you feel as if you are making progress?” She knows I’m lying. She knows it. This is just routine questioning.
You’re fine, everything is fine. Deep breaths. In and out. It’s not that hard. It’s just breathing. Christ- my hands are shaking now. Shaking spells have become common after you died. Reminding myself to breath becomes a chore. Breathing. Why does it matter? You were right. Breathing is boring. Calm down, think clearly. Deep breaths. My foot has started tapping in time with my breathing. Slow. It’s all so slow. Damn it Sherlock, why’d you have to leave me like this.
She’s staring at me again. I just want to scream at her. Leave me alone, I can’t do this anymore. All the questions, all the memories… I look up and give her a smile. “Yes, I feel like I’m making progress.”
No you don’t. It’s obvious.
A small sigh escapes her lips. She knows I’m lying. Everybody knows it. They all keep quiet, though. They figure it just pains me more to talk about it. I’m just a time bomb and no one wants to set me off.
Another scribble on the paper. Another pointless note. She knows my condition; I’m practically an open book. Sherlock you could read me in an instant. I know you could. My emotions are written all over my face.
You can’t live without me. That's what it is, isn't it? How dull, John.
I’m trying Sherlock, I really am. I’m not like you. Nothing like you at all. People are vital, people are necessary.
Who am I kidding. You’re the only one who mattered. Ever since we met, you were the only one who mattered. Ever since we met I was instantly drawn in by you- mysterious, cool, collected, intelligent.
I was so alone. So very alone and now you’re gone.
Fuck you, Sherlock.
Oh, I see. I’ve always told you sentiment was on the losing side.
I remember when you told me this. You were laughing at me, mocking me. I can see it now. You hovering over one of your dozens of phones or your laptop laughing at me, because I’m an idiot. Were you laughing at me? Did I say something to make you laugh Sherlock? Because you hardly ever laughed. But I remember this so clearly, it had to be real. Or is that just a fantasy? I can’t seem to tell the difference anymore. It all just sort of blends together in a swirl of memories and fantasies. They become one until I can’t tell the difference anymore.
Breathe. In and out. Breathe. She’s staring at me again. I’ve been in a daze for too long this time. I check the clock. Twenty more minutes to go. Why can’t I just leave?
“John, I asked you a question. Have you been listening to me at all?” She sounds tired. Tired of me. Hell, everyone has grown tired of me.
Nothing is the same, Sherlock. Ever since you've gone nothing is the same.
“Of course I was, Nancy. Of course I was.”
Deep breaths. In and out. Breathe. It’s going to be okay.
I see her head slightly shake. She knows I haven’t been listening. It’s only too obvious, isn’t it Sherlock?
Spot on John!
I don’t need your sarcasm right now. Please just shut up. I feel as if I’m going to be sick to my stomach. Great. Maybe I can just leave this bloody place. I get up slowly and look at her.
“I need to use the loo. Excuse me.”
She nods. As I’m leaving I hear her pen working on the paper. That damn pen, always scratching on her paper and taking notes. I look to her as I open the door. She already on her feet dialing a number on her mobile. Oh. I’m done for today. I’m not coming back and she knows. How does she know everything Sherlock? Why do I make myself so easy to read.
She doesn’t know everything. She’s your therapist. That’s all.
Yes, I see that. You’re right, she doesn’t know everything. She isn’t you. No one could ever be you.
Making my way to the door, my mind starts to wonder. Memories come up making me cringe. Sitting there watching crap telly with you, the first time you’ve ever watched crap telly. That was a laugh, wasn’t it? We sat close so each other. A little too close. But that was normal for us, right? I can’t remember what was on. That didn’t matter. I wasn’t really watching it, but you were. To me it was just background noise, a comfort noise. Sort of how little kids have comfort blankets. We always had the telly on. Always. Your hand was awful close to mine, Sherlock. You moved it closer until it was resting on top of mine. Your skin was so cool against my hot hand. I remember that. That was real. Or was it? I can’t tell the difference anymore between memory and fantasy. It’s all a big blur.
Do you think that was real John? Your voice is mocking in my head.
Fuck, Sherlock, I don’t know anymore. I don’t know what to think anymore. It hurts to think. I don't know how much longer I can live like this.
A slight drizzle is falling now, making my hair damp. How long have I been walking? Thirty minutes already? Looking around, I pay attention to my surroundings for the first time. Oh no. Why am I here. Jesus, I don’t need to be here. 221B. My-our old flat. Mrs.Hudson still lives here, I reckon. Wouldn’t it be nice to see her again. No, couldn't do that. Too many awkward questions and her motherly nature. I can't deal with that right now.
My breathing starts to get ragged and I have to lean on a wall, clasping at my side. Breathe. In and out. My breathing is slow. It’s all so slow.
Damn it Sherlock.