I sat on the edge of my seat on bus number 14. It was my first day at my new school, and I was exceptionally nervous. I had heard many rumors that English schools were much different from American.
I used to live in a tiny town in Michigan. We spoke slang and were very carefree with our clothing. But then my parents had decided to move to London. I was forced to give up my torn jeans for pressed dress pants. Not like I minded. I had never really fit in at my old school, and looking around the bus, I could tell that here there was no exception.
I realized that I was, once again, the odd one. Yet it turned out that no one thought I was the oddest.
"...And he hates sports, can you believe it? Spends all his time in the classroom, no roughing around. His speech is perfect... isn't he odd?" one of the taller boys said. Everyone laughed in agreement. I didn't understand what was wrong with anything that they said, but I laughed along as well, just for the fun of it. I really did wish to fit in.
The bus screeched to a halt in front of an immense school. It loomed at me, and I knew that this would not be one of my better days. I was the last to step off the bus, and walked with my head down toward the front doors. I very suddenly slammed into a large, bulky object. I raised my head to see that it was the boy who spoke on the bus. He glared at me.
"Why did you slam into me, huh?" he asked angrily.
"Well-I-um-um," I stammered. He spat at me.
"Answer me, moron!" he yelled, hitting me across the face. I fell to the ground, my books scattering around me. The boy loomed over me, and I was sure he would kick me. I braced myself for the blow, but it never came.
"I believe that you have no right to hurt that young lady. Leave her alone," said a high, biting voice. The boy turned around and sneered.
"Oh, are you going to stop me, Sherlock?" he said mockingly. The boy who had interfered with my beating, who was supposedly Sherlock, walked toward my abuser. Sherlock was extraordinarily tall and thin.
"Why, yes, I believe I will," he said, contempt showing through his voice. The boy laughed.
"Hey, listen everyone; Sherlock is going to fight me!" the boy shouted. Everybody cracked up at this remark, and formed a circle around the boy and Sherlock. I sat on the ground in fear as I watched the boy flex his muscles, while Sherlock just stood there. He was doomed.
Suddenly the boy lunged at Sherlock. Sherlock merely sidestepped, and the boy slammed into a short, squat boy. Sherlock shook his head and laughed, a funny high pitched sound.
"I that the best you can do, Jeffery?" he asked, chuckling. Jeffery leaped at Sherlock, and as far as I could tell, caught him unawares. Sherlock fell to the ground, his head slamming into the pavement with a sickening crunch. Jeffery began beating Sherlock up, hitting him in the mouth mostly, but sometimes in the stomach. Sherlock just lay there, his eyes glazed over. Finally, after five minutes, Jeffery stood up, quite satisfied with his work. Everybody else followed him as he went inside, leaving Sherlock laying on the ground. I began to crawl over to his side, when he sat up straight and began wiping the blood off of his mouth. He stood up and then offered his hand. He helped me up, than began to pick up my books.
"I'm terribly sorry about Jeffery. You really must watch out for the louse. Or, as you Americans put it, jerk," he said, his speech slurred from the blood that came from his mouth.
I was surprised he knew I was from America, but disregarded it, and knelt to help him, and to get a closer look at him.
He had blue eyes, I noticed right away. They were very dark, almost royal blue, and were quite lovely. He was thin and tall, as I had already noted, but he was also very pale, save for the spots where the blood remained. He had long fingers, and his face was oddly expressionless.
"Are you all right, sir? You are bleeding very badly. Why did you not fight back? And how did you know I was from America?" I asked. He handed me my books and rose from the ground.
"One question at a time, please. I'm fine, thank you. Jeffery has done worse. I didn't fight back because my height would give me an unfair advantage, and I just wanted him to leave you alone. As for the third question, I have a gift for observation and deduction," he replied.
"Slow down. You let him beat you up because you 'just wanted him to leave me alone'? That is so nice, but rather stupid, if you don't mind me saying. Why should you let yourself get hurt?" I persisted. He sighed and began walking back towards the building.
"You may think it stupid, but it isn't. You probably think I'm an oddball already. And just trust me when I say that what I do works, and I don't need to change just because it causes me slight discomfort," he responded icily. I frowned.
"I don't think you're an oddball. Quite the contrary, actually. So... ok, I'll stop yelling at you for that. But what do you mean by 'he's done worse'?" I asked. He opened the door for me and I stepped in.
"Criminal record," he answered calmly. I nodded slowly.
"Ok, fine. What do you mean by 'I have a gift for observation and deduction'?" I inquired. He sighed.
"Exactly as I said. I have a gift for observation and deduction. I could tell you were American because of your shoes. The heel is a style not found in England, nor anywhere in the Europe area. Your skin is darker than a native European, indicating you have lived somewhere relatively sunny and warm. And finally, your accent is that with a nasally 'a' sound, indicating that you come from Michigan, most likely a small town," he said matter-of-factly as we walked down the halls. My mouth fell agape as he walked into what I presumed to be a nurses office. He sat down on the little cot as the nurse came to him and smiled.
"Been fighting again, eh Sherlock? This is what, your fiftieth time here in the past year?" the stiff nurse said. Sherlock smiled.
"Forty-ninth, Madam Piety," he said. He turned to me.
"What classes do you have, Miss Watson?" he asked. I rattled them off, then realized what he said.
"How do you know my name?" I questioned. He winced as the nurse applied anesthetic and peroxide to his mouth.
"Observation and deduction, again. What is your name, anyway?" he asked. I looked at him.
"Jenny. Jenny Watson," I replied.