February, I've missed you.
The world around me is cold and bright, blurred by the rain, and it all has an irreplaceable clarity. The trees are stark and bare.
However, this being my first February living with John, I realise now that not everybody feels the same way. To John, February is warm and cuddly. February is huge knitted jumpers and cocoa. February is...
"Did you leave anything for the poor man at the counter, or did you buy the entire newsagent?" I remark as I pass by the kitchen table.
John rolls his eyes and squints down at the card he's holding. He's turned the table into a craft station; it's littered with at least a hundred heart-shaped cards. He's already given fifty to various friends of his; I had to stop him when he started writing one to Moriarty.
"How can you hate something like Valentine's Day?" he calls while I hang up my coat.
I laugh. "Easy. It's the worst day of the year. People get so sentimental."
"Nothing wrong with that!" he replies. "Oh, bother. The ink just went everywhere."
Walking back into the sitting room, I see him standing by the table with bright red ink patches blossoming on his jumper, and I cackle. He looks like a murder victim.
"How about this one?" I begin, throwing him a tea towel. "Valentine's Day is a stab to the heart, I hope that the two of us shan't ever part."
"Shut up, Sherlock," he replies, and the towel hits him in the face.
"What should I put on Anderson's?" John calls.
I fake a long yawn. It's 12:08am and officially Valentine's Day. I would try to sleep but he refuses to turn off the radio. The station is currently blasting Love Is All Around, and I'm trying extremely hard to resist shooting it in the speakers.
"Put 'You're sleeping with Donovan. You big slut, good for you!'" I reply, and he chucks a felt pen at my head.
I lean over him and read the card aloud. "'You're a real sweetheart!'?" I shout. "No he's not!"
"It's called poetic license, Sherlock," John retorts, folding it delicately and putting it in an envelope. "Go to sleep already."
"Turn the bloody radio off!" I moan.
"CHEER UP SLEEEEPY JEEEAAA – "
"...Sherlock, what happened to the radio?"
"John, it's four in the morning."
"...It's the Monkees!...You are so not getting a card."
"I'm going to sleep now."
Needless to say, I'm still wide awake when the sun crawls up over the horizon. John went to bed hours ago, still mumbling people he should really make cards for, but sleep's never been a particularly reliable friend of mine. I lie in bed, gripping my pillow, and as soon as I hear the alarm go off I jump up and get dressed.
Glancing out the window, I see the silver rain and black branches I know and love, but something tells me that today isn't going to be cold and stark. Today is going to be warm and fuzzy, and I'll just have to deal with it.
John's stumbling around the kitchen, still in his pyjamas, and when I call out "Sleep well?" he doesn't meet my eyes. He just misses the cereal bowl and ends up with cornflakes all over his feet.
He's hiding something, I infer. He doesn't want to give anything away, and it must be quite important if he's this distracted. Jesus, what did he do after I went to bed; kill somebody?
I almost ask him, but he goes and gets ready and soon it's time to head down to Scotland Yard to work on the Tyler case. Hopefully it'll be a calm day, with scientific observation and lots of logic and reasoning. My favourite.
Then I see the massive carrier bag he's hauling out the door, filled to the brim with envelopes and heart-shaped cards, and I realise that the sentimentality is far from over.