It wasn't until halfway through our eighth year of marriage that I discovered it. The only journal which he intended on keeping private. I had read most of the recent ones. On many occasions I found them the most interesting because I could easily recall the events which were taking place in our lives when each case was being investigated. But this time I had wanted a change. I looked into the case with his old journals and discovered, hidden inconspicuously among the other books, a much older looking book.
It only took me a few pages to realize that the entire book was filled with the romantic encounters he has seen throughout his life. From his first innocent courtship, to his first kiss, and eventually to his far less innocent affairs with other women (some of which I can only assume were outlaws of some sort, obviously introduced to him by Holmes)
When he walked into the room, I made no effort in hiding the book from him. I sat at the edge of our bed, looking at him sadly, the easily recognizable journal resting on my lap, hands folded delicately over it.
"How much did you read?" he asked calmly.
"Just the first and last pages" I answered.
"Holmes told me it was unwise to keep a journal of my intimate relations, now I understand why" He answered, with a soft smile on his lips. He was trying to be gentle.
"I suppose you do." I answered somewhat coldly. I wasn't angry, but I didn't want him to know that. I wanted him to remain careful of what he said, so that he didn't say anything which could upset me. I wasn't sure how I felt about this; I didn't want him to make it any worse.
He sat down next to me and put his arm around me. "I'm sorry" he whispered into my ear, then placed a kiss on my cheek. What he was sorry for? I don't know. For knowing other women before he met me?
"It doesn't matter" I decided. "I wasn't under the impression that I was your first and only love" He smiled. I understood. He knew I understood. I wasn't the type of wife who got upset over little things like this.
After a long comfortable silence, I announced that I needed to make dinner. He stood up and took my hand, helping me rise. I left the book on the bed. He gave me a peck on the lips and I began leaving the room. But just as I reached the doorway I began thinking about the book. I was the last person he wrote about, but was who was the person before me? Who were the women he cared about the most before he met me? What if he still knew them? I turned around quickly. He looked up, and before he knew what I was doing I snatched the book off and ran to the other room, locking the door.
"What are you doing?" I heard him ask from the other side of the wall.
"Reading" was my stubborn but honest reply.
"I thought you said you didn't care" he questioned, he sounded amused with my actions but I thought I heard fear in his voice also.
"I will care less once I read it." I couldn't have the mystery haunting me forever.
I thumbed through the pages, beginning in the back of the book, back tracking through the notable parts of our relationship until I found the first entry about me. I wanted to know who it was he loved before me, how much he loved her, how long he waited after seeing her to start seeing me, and most of all, if he still knew her. I turned the page which would hold the final entry about someone other than me.
"Mary?" John questioned worriedly. I ignored him. To my dismay the top of the page was indeed labeled with the name of someone I knew. But it wasn't a woman. In large capital letters the first line simply said HOLMES.
"Mary?" he asked more calmly. he said it knowingly in fact. He figured I had discovered his secret and was prepared to talk to me about it. But I didn't want to talk about it.
I stared at the name.
I looked at the previous page; it was labeled the same way, as were many of the others. I frantically began flipping through the pages. I counted. There were more pages marked HOLMES than MARY. I held back tears.
"Mary." I could hear him trying to unlock the door.
"Yes?" I asked quietly.
"Let me in." He requested, speaking even more softly than I had.
"No." I replied determined.
"Are you near the door?" he asked.
"No…" I answered confused, as the door flew open after making brief contact with the bottom of his shoe.
I looked up at him, tears flowing down my face. He looked concerned. I didn't care though. It was one thing to keep a book of all of the people you've loved but another to keep those people in your life. My husband spent more time with Holmes, wrote more things about him in his damn journal, and he loved him more than me too. I wasn't angry, I just wished I would stop feeling like second best.
"You love him" I said sadly.
"I did love him. ...Once." He answered. Sitting down next to me, he pulled me into an embrace.
"But you still see him, how could you..?" I began to question but he cut me off.
"He told me he'd never love me. He said he'd be with me, but never love me." he stared forward. After a pause he answered distantly. "So I moved on."
"But…" I was about to say 'Of course he said he'd never love you, that's who he is. Of course he'd never admit it, but that doesn't mean he didn't love you. He loves you' But I didn't.
I did not need to inform my husband that the love of his life was still obtainable to him. I didn't need him to know that, knowing Holmes, he was still in love with him, and still denying it to everyone including himself.
Sherlock Holmes had never told my husband he loved him, but I had. And I'd let Holmes regret that for the rest of his life.
"I'm sorry." I whispered. And he pretended it was alright.
That just popped into my head, so it may suck..sorry