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I Can't Make You Love Me

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Despite the fact that Molly’s father died when she was young, she thinks about him often. She remembers all the times that they played games, talked and even did little experiments together. But what always stands out in her mind are those days when he would take her out, just the two of them, on a picnic and he’d talk to her. Then she’d thought she simply was spending time with her father.

Now she knows he was teaching her about life. There are three of his phrases that stick in her mind, long after he was gone.

There’s a difference, Molly, he’d said over and over, between seeing and knowing, listening and hearing, and wanting and needing.

She learns the first two rather quickly.

The last eludes her, no matter what she does. It isn’t that she doesn't try, because she does. But a difference between needing and wanting? Don't the two of them go together?

It isn’t until one fateful day when a man comes into her morgue that she learns all too well that there is. 


By itself a man coming into her morgue isn’t that out of the ordinary. Lots of men come into her morgue, actually. She’s practically surrounded by them and she could certainly have her pick.

The only problem is that they’re all dead.

That Thursday the man who comes into her morgue is not. He strides in confidently with a black coat billowing around him - a coat that he wears almost like a suit of armor.

He isn’t polite to her. Actually, he is outright rude to her, without any pretense of politeness.  He orders her about, and tells her what to do as if it is his morgue and not hers.

And she lets him. Because from the first sentence out of his mouth, from the first time she sees his face, she could barely string coherent words together. She’s never seen a more brilliant, beautiful man in her life. His intelligence is so strong, so fierce that it practically burned. As she quickly learns, he could - and did - use it to scald other people.

And she is completely captivated by him.


From that day on, she does everything she can to get him to notice her, to want her. She smiles, she styles her hair, she compliments him.

But he never notices any of it. He focuses on the work and that is all.

She learns quickly that the work - no, it should be The Work, really - is everything to him. He lives for his Work - the opportunity to use his intelligence to fix problems, to solve crimes. He loves a good corpse and an interesting death even more than she does, and she’s the one who works in the morgue.

While she revels in the fact that one man isn’t disgusted by her job, it is a tad bit insulting to her pride that he finds the dead far more intriguing than her. She has to wonder if maybe he isn’t attracted to women at all. Or maybe he simply isn’t interested in any sort of romantic relationship?

She doesn’t know and when she doesn’t know something, she tends to ask her friends for assistance. In this instance, she makes the mistake of telling Meena about her attraction to Sherlock Holmes (that is his name - Sherlock. She’s never met anyone with such an enigmatic name, or one that suits the person so perfectly). Meena promptly tells her that she needed to stop waiting for him to ask her out and do it herself.

Molly decides to take Meena’s advice. After weeks of practicing in front of her mirror, she carefully does her hair and she even puts on lipstick despite the fact that she hates it. She would ask him out on a date.

Once you’re finished I was wondering if you’d like to have coffee.

Black, two sugars. I’ll be upstairs.

She has no idea how that happened. Somehow he’s misinterpreted what she’d said, but how could he, when he's so clever that he could see through everyone and everything in seconds? He must have understood and she is….well, it has to be her. She must have said it wrong or done something wrong. It's her fault. It has to be.  

She should have known better.

She should have known that someone like him could never care about her. She's an idiot to even entertain the possibility that he would.

Once she arrives home she locks herself in the bathroom, sits on the tiled floor and sobs.

It's the first time she’d cried over Sherlock Holmes.

It isn't the last.