A year had passed since Sherlock's death, and John Watson was in the slow progress of recovering. He knew that he would never fully recover—the very idea was laughable—but he had settled into a steady pattern in his life, becoming used to the monotonous days filled with tantalizing memories of the 'glory days' with his best friend, Sherlock Holmes.
One day, John returned home from work and found that he had received a letter. Thinking little of it, John grabbed the envelope and trudged up the steps to his flat. Hanging up his coat, John carelessly threw the letter onto the table as he boiled water for his tea. When he finally had the fresh hot cup in his hand, John retrieved the envelope, scanning the front quickly. He frowned slightly. The address was not one that he recognized.
The envelope was quickly sliced open, and John could see two folded pieces of paper inside. Pulling out the first, he unfolded its creases and began to read.
Dear Dr. John Watson,
I teach a Year 4 class at Parkview Primary School, and today I gave my students an assignment to write a letter to their heroes. Most students chose fictional characters or family members, but one little girl, Anna Clover, proclaimed spiritedly that her heroes were Sherlock Holmes and John Watson.
Though I explained that the purpose of the exercise was simply to write the letter and not to send it, Anna insisted that hers be mailed. I tried to explain very gently that Mr. Holmes would be unable to receive her letter due to his passing, but Anna was adamant that you at least should have it.
I have no doubt that you receive copious amounts of mail from devoted fans, and I understand if you are uninterested in replying to Anna; however, I implore you to consider it. She deeply admires both you and the late Mr. Holmes, and I believe it would mean a great deal to her to hear back from you. If you need to contact me for any reason, you can reach me at .uk.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Ms. Mary Morstan
John didn't realize that his hands were trembling until his eyes had finished absorbing every last word. Gently, he set the now utterly unimportant tea cup down on the table.
Copious amounts of mail... John smiled in affectionate amusement. What a sweet, kind, misguided notion. Didn't this woman know that practically everyone believed Sherlock was a fake? In fact, John had been under the impression that everyone felt this way, and though he hated to admit it (he could hear Sherlock clearly in his mind: Why should you care what they think about me?), it hurt John. It struck him to his very core in a way that made his insides ache and his heart cry out at the injustice.
But this letter... Perhaps John was becoming too emotional over it. After all, Anna Clover was only a child, so what did it matter that she believed in Sherlock?
But it did. It mattered immensely. Just the knowledge that another person in the world believed in him the way that John did... The feeling was indescribable.
John began to laugh happily as tears of relief sprang to his eyes. A weight that he had never consciously acknowledged was lifted from the pit of his stomach, leaving John a much lighter man, light enough to float away. A warmth he hadn't experienced for many months flooded through him, and John pulled out the second paper with a big smile.
MR. SHERLOCK HOLMES AND MR. JOHN WATSON
Your my heroes! Mr. Holmes is my hero becuase he is so smart, and Mr. Watson is my hero becuase he is very nice and helpful. Two years ago you saved my dad from money problems. He still talks about you and I have heard all about your fun adventures! All of Britain is graitful towards you, and I'm very happy that you helped my dad. My family and I respeckt you a lot. Thank you for everything you've done.
On the other side of the card was a very colorful picture of a "My Heroes" badge drawn in crayon, with little yellow smiles drawn randomly around it. The tears lingered in John's eyes as he read over the girl's message for a second time. Her spelling errors made him chuckle fondly, and her innocent kindness and admiration was touching. In that instant, John realized he wanted to repay Anna Clover for the feelings she had awakened in him.
Without a second thought, John immediately rushed into the living room with the letter, plopping in his armchair and pulling his computer onto his lap. Bringing up his email, John quickly entered the teacher's email address and then typed the following:
Anna's card has left me speechless. I am honored that she considers Sherlock and I to be heroes. I would love to respond to Anna, but if you'll allow me to, I would love to do even more than that. Would you permit me to visit your classroom and meet Miss Clover? Perhaps I could talk to the students briefly about Sherlock. Sherlock and I dealt with many interesting cases, some of which I believe would be fun for your students to hear about. If this is an intrusion on your class, I understand. Simply tell me so and I will just write Anna a letter. But if the idea appeals to you, please suggest a time that I could come in. Thank you!
An hour later, a chime indicated that John had received a new email.
I think that is a wonderful idea! Thank you for the kind offer. I know that Anna will be ecstatic, and the other students will surely enjoy your stories. Friday, 1:00?
John grinned cheerfully, relieved that she had not rejected his request.
I'll be there. You can count on it.