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I Thought It Was You

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Maybe it’s unwise to write this down, but I don’t want that weird thing that happens with memories to happen to this. I want to own up to what it was and hold tight to what it means, because I have trouble with that. I admit it. I hide from myself more than I hide from anyone else, although I do that, too. This, I don’t want to ever lose sight of, no matter how many body parts are in the fridge.


The sales counter was closed, the last visitors trickling out past it. I told the guard by the entrance that I’d left my phone in the gents and he let me through without asking to see my ticket stub. I'd achieved that look, I suppose, of someone who’d lost something important.

“Five minutes,” he warned. “We'll be locking up soon.”

I thanked him and rushed forwards. I didn’t know whether Greg had made it there yet or I would have claimed to have been with the police. It would have been true enough. Since I'd gone with the phone story, it was fortunate he didn’t call me as I was talking to the guard. That must have used up the last of my luck.

In the blue shadows, the sounds of the lobby faded away. My footsteps echoed. We’d come here on a date once, Mary and I. She’d suggested it, seemed to know its twists and turns well. My feet remembered. I’d just passed the dark corner where we’d had a quick snog when I heard the gun shot. I went ice cold and ran.


The tears wouldn’t stop. The warmth of Sherlock’s hand on my neck seemed to make it worse.

“It is what it is,” he murmured.

“I thought it was you,” I choked out.

His hand stopped stroking my arm. I think he stopped breathing. He does that when he’s really listening.

“I couldn’t feel my legs as I ran. They’d gone numb.” It was hard to say so many words what with the waterworks that wouldn’t quit, but I pressed on. “And then I saw Mary on the floor... the blood. Man down - training kicks in." I needed another breath. "I knelt to check the wound, to assess...”

Something trickled past my ear.

“My wife was dying in front of me and I couldn’t focus because I was so relieved it wasn't you.”

Against the top of my head, I felt the uneven breath he finally took.

I squeezed my eyes shut. “I hated myself for that and I hated you for making me feel that way.”

“Yes.” The pressure of his fingertips lessened against my neck.

I shook my head. “I have to stop telling you things with my fists...” I raised a hand to his side and felt him flinch. Cracked rib. I let my hand fall. “…oh god...and my feet.” My shoulders shook.

“I am so sorry, John.”

“I wouldn’t have survived if it had been you again,” I managed to finish.

His hand stroked down my arm. “I never knew.”

I opened my eyes. My tears were falling on his shoes. “Well, now you do.”

His arm circled round my back, nudging me closer. With my cheek against his chest, I could feel how fast his heart was beating.

"Yes," he said. "Now I know. Yes."