My name is John Watson and I am alone.
My name is John Watson and I used to solve crimes with my best friend.
My name is John Watson and I lost the best, most human human I’ve ever known.
My name is John Watson and I think I’m going insane.
Beep beep. Beep beep. Beep beep. Every morning, 6:30, in my room in Baker Street, my alarm goes off. Wake up, roll out of bed, have a shower, get dressed. Switch the kettle on and get the post. It’s all bills, taxes and insurance; only bankers and wankers send me anything nowadays. Pour myself a bowl of cereal, drink my coffee. It’s the same every day. I have a routine now.
After His fall, I got a job. It’s a steady job at a practise, talking to people about their ingrown toenails and ear infections. When I decided to become a doctor it was because I wanted to help people, save people, and I always pictured the army doctoring rather than the city doctoring, gun wounds rather than conjunctivitis. Hey, it may not be living vicariously, but it pays the bills.
I go to work, at 12:30 I eat lunch with Keith, Sophie and Jemima. They talk about some trash TV program that I don’t watch. I don’t really watch TV now. After His fall the news had his face up every night for over a week. There were newspaper articles, radio programmes, news broadcasts, the BBC and Sky both tried to get interviews with me. If it weren’t for Mrs Hudson I wouldn’t have been able to get through that first fortnight. She disconnected my TV. I didn’t have to see Him on the screen every night, watch the ideas about how He did all he did. Or how He did all he didn’t. Or how He didn’t do all he did. But though it’s reconnected, television doesn’t interest me anymore; it doesn’t fulfil any gaps in my life.
I get home at 7 o’clock every evening, apart from Tuesdays when I go to the shop; I get home later then. I make dinner, normally pasta or rice or baked potato. I read or just sit in silence until 9:30 when I go to bed. He wouldn’t approve of what I read; non-fiction and sci-fi. I fill my brain with useless facts about the sky and the environment and history and other worlds. I read no romance or biographies, nothing where relationships are important. I can’t do that anymore, I can’t think about emotional attachments. I don’t go on dates. I don’t have friends. Not even one.
I wake up, get up as usual today. It’s a Thursday in July, more than a year since He fell. Go through the usual routine, but then at breakfast I use the last of the coffee. This is irritating; I shall have to go to Tesco’s tonight, out of routine. I make a mental note and go to work.
At 6:55 after work I get to Baker Street tube station. I rarely get taxis anymore, it feels lonely and the tube is cheaper. It was something He did; he was always too good for the tube. I get to our, no, my flat when I remember that I need to buy the coffee, so I turn off at Blandford Street to go to the Tesco Express on Marylebone High Street. I know my way around the shop well and I go straight to the aisle with the coffee. By 7:15 I’m looking at the shelves trying to find the best offer, that’s when I hear someone else entering the shop, someone tall, with dark brown hair, a dark leather jacket and a black shoulder bag. My alarm bells start ringing.
Normally there would be nothing suspect about another man entering a popular central London shop but I have a feeling in my gut that something is wrong. Leather Jacket is someone I vaguely recall. He was sat across from me on the tube today, reading a week-old newspaper. I had thought that a bit odd but had concluded that he was probably doing a crossword or brain teaser. Now he's in the same place as me again.
My brain starts to think, I feel myself reach for my gun and then remember I haven’t taken it with me anywhere since He fell. I duck down and peer through the shelves, watching the man as he approaches the counter.
“Hello, I was wondering if you could help me with something.” The man pulls out his wallet and lowers his voice; I have to strain to hear. “I’m a police officer, I’m on a case and I’m trying to find someone.” He shows her something from his wallet, a badge I suspect. He then reaches into his bag.
“Have you seen this man?” He asks the university student manning the tills. He’s holding a CCTV image, I can’t make out who it’s of but the time stamp and camera angle makes this clear. The girl takes it from him and studies it.
“Yeah, I have. He lives near here, I always see him if I have a shift on a Tuesday, I think that’s when he does his shopping. But not today, I haven’t seen him today,” replies the girl. I’m momentarily confused; I don’t see anyone else here regularly when I come on a Tuesday. Then I realise, she’s talking about me. A CCTV photo of me? I wonder what this is about, but I don't want to reveal myself.
“Hmm, okay then. I went to his apartment earlier; his landlord said he may have come here. I guess not. Thank you for your help.” Leather Jacket takes the photo back and puts it in an outside pocket of his bag. The automatic doors slide open and he leaves. I relax, though it was stupid to be tense as it was only a police officer and it’s not like I’ve done anything remotely illegal since his fall.
I grab some coffee and head to the checkout counter. The girl is serving a teenage boy who has just walked in. He’s trying to buy some cigarettes though it’s obvious he can’t be more than 15. She tells him she’s not going to sell to him as he doesn’t have ID and he doesn’t look old enough. The boy is getting more and more frustrated and it looks like he’s going to start something until I cough from behind him in the queue. He grunts and grabs a packet of chewing gum, pays and leaves. It seems the checkout girl is too flustered to notice that I am the man she ID’d for the policeman earlier. I pay for my coffee and leave.