Chapter 1: My Locker Partner Likes Glitter Glue
Erm… Hi, I guess. My name is William Watson. You can call me Liam, or William, or whatever you want, really. Why am I even writing this? I don't know. My dad suggested I start an "online journal", which is sort of like a blog, I suppose. He told me that it helped him work out his feelings when he was younger, so I figured I'd give it a try.
Is anyone even going to read this? I doubt it. Honestly, my life isn't all that exciting. Maybe I should just shut up and start talking about my day. That's what people do in journals, right?
The air was bitterly cold as I walked up the flight of stairs that led into the school building. I pulled my scarf more tightly around my neck in hopes of staving off the chill, but it was no help whatsoever. London had never been this cold, even in the deadof winter.
Gratefully, I pushed through the front doors and found myself in a large commons-type area. Two or three students were milling around, but it was early enough in the morning that I didn't have to be the object of attention quite yet. Several staircases led off to upper parts of the enormous school building, and a maze of dingy hallways zigzagged to elsewhere.
I crossed the dark green industrial carpet, avoiding the shocked gaze of my new classmates, and entered the office. Really, it was rude to stare. Didn't they have manners here in America? Sure, my left leg was currently crippled, and yes, I was hobbling about on crutches, but honestly.
A blonde secretary sat behind the desk, fingers flying away on her keyboard. A couple of chairs had been shoved unceremoniously into a corner of the small office, and a sleek black clock hung from the wall, slightly crooked. I sighed, awkwardly moving up to the desk.
The woman looked up as I approached her, light green eyes wide. Her fingers stopped clattering over the keys.
"Hello!" she chirped, far too happy for such a dreary Monday morning. "How can I help you?"
"Um, I'm new here. My name is Liam, Liam Watson. I came to get my schedule." I shifted on my crutches a bit.
"Oh," she said. Then recognition dawned on her face. "Oh! Yes, of course, you're the student from London. I have your schedule here."
She wheeled her office chair around and scooped up a stack of papers, riffling through them. "Let's see, Watson, William S. It's a good thing you arrived at school early. It'll give you time to get your bearings straight and everything." She slid the papers across the counter to me.
"Here is your first class." The secretary pulled a map of the building out of the stack and pointed to a classroom on it. "Geometry, with Mr. Barlow. And this is your locker. Our school is waytoo small for the number of students enrolled, so I'm afraid you'll have to share with someone else. But I'm sure you'll manage that just fine."
"Yeah," I replied, slightly put off by her overly cheery tone.
"Have an awesome day! I hope you love it here!" She grinned and returned to her seat, becoming lost in her work once more. The clattering of the keyboard keys started up again, filling the otherwise silent office.
"Thanks," I muttered before turning and leaving. Outside, I stopped and consulted my schedule. Mr. Barlow's class was all the way across the school. It would take me at least fifteen minutes to get there- and the secretary had said this school was small.Yeah, right.
She was correct about one thing, however: it was good that I got here as early as I did, even if it meant losing another precious hour of sleep. I also skipped out on my morning tea, which was proving to be a big mistake. I felt like I was going to collapse any moment, deprived of my daily caffeine.
It wasn't like I wanted to move here in the first place. My dad, Dr. Watson, had received an amazing job offer at the local hospital, however, so now we were stuck in a drab and dull New Hampshire town. Already, I missed London and everything in it- the Thames River, winding lazily through the city; elderly Mrs. Hudson, my dad's friend from who knows when; my old school mates- especially them. I longed for my previous school, even if it meant I was away from my dad for months at a time. Here, at least I could live at home, seeing as this was a public school that didn't offer accommodations for the students.
My mother passed away five months ago. Dad doesn't like to talk about it. He doesn't like to talk much about anything, really, especially his past. I eventually learned to just not ask him about it, much to his appreciation, and much to my irritation. Whenever his past was brought up, his eyes would turn vacant and sad, obviously wishing for a time long ago, and I just couldn't stand seeing him like that. It was hard enough watching him go through his depression as it was right now. Dad was the only family I really had left, aside from Aunt Harry, though she wasn't exactly close to us.
The only mementos that he displayed were a small framed photograph of my mum, which sat above the fireplace, and another framed picture of a man whose name I never learned. Next to that particular picture sat an unused and dusty violin, another thing I'd never learned the story behind. Sometimes, Dad would walk past these objects and get that look in his eyes again; I had to steer him away whenever that occurred, or he'd spend hours just staring, fingers stretched out as if to touch the grimy bow of the old violin.
I snapped out of my reminiscing and back into the present, momentarily forgetting where I was. I tended to do that sometimes- bad habit, I know.
Right, I was standing in the middle of my new school's commons area. Yes, of course.
Shaking my head, I adjusted my backpack to fit more snugly around my shoulders, and began to hobble into one of the halls.
This hall was as dingy close up as I thought it was from far away. Stray papers littered the ground, pencils had been stuck up in the ceiling, and the green and gold lockers were all dented up. The tiled floor was coated in dirt and debris, and I supposed that if I so desired, I could follow any one of the muddy trails of footprints all throughout the school. I sighed again, glancing down at my map. Where had she said my bloody locker was?I looked about hopelessly.
"Hey!" someone said behind me, tapping me on the shoulder. I turned around to see a girl around my own age of thirteen (and a half, mind you). She was shorter than I was, which was saying something, as my height wasn't exactly record breaking. Her curly and slightly frizzy blonde hair reached nearly to her waist, coupled with muddy brown eyes and a sprinkle of freckles across her nose. "You look lost. My name is Hannah. You're the new kid from England, huh?"
"Yeah, that's me. My name's Liam Watson." Balancing on a single crutch, I managed to stick my hand out to shake hers. Her palms were warm.
"Nice to meet you," she said with another smile. "Where are you headed?"
"Um, I'm off to Geometry with Mr. Barlow. But I'm actually trying to find my locker first."
She took my schedule from my hands, smoothed it out from where it had been rumpled, and studied it. "Locker 1895... Hmm... It's down there," she made a gesture that pointed down a hall that adjoined with this one. Suddenly, her face brightened a considerable amount. "But I already know who your locker partner will be. Want to meet her?"
"Maybe later," I muttered warily, glancing down the long hall that led to my locker.
"Oh, come on. She's great, even if she's a little strange. Don't tell her I said that, though."
"I won't mention it," I said hastily. "But really, I need to be getting to my locker. I don't want to be late for my first class, and, well... These aren't helping." I waved my crutch a little bit in the air with a weak stab at humor, and she finally seemed to understand my predicament.
"Oh, yeah, sorry. Well, if you don't meet her by tomorrow morning, I'll introduce you two. No excuses!" Her voice suddenly turned a bit demanding, but the playful light in her eyes told me that she was only joking.
"Alright, of course." I couldn't help but slightly smile back. Hannah's bubbly personality was infectious. "I better get going then."
"See you later, Liam!" She turned around and left me standing there, feeling slightly stupid. I had always been bad at talking to girls, and it seemed as if that would never change, whether I was in London or in America.
I spent the better part of the next ten or so minutes searching for my locker, while the hallway slowly filled up as kids arrived for the day. When I finally arrived at the dented, slightly rusty metal container, I felt an overwhelming sense of relief. I could put my stuff down at last.
I let my backpack drop to the floor unceremoniously, seeing as there wasn't much I actually cared about in there anyways. I fiddled about with the combination lock for bit, but at last, it swung open. My jaw dropped as I looked inside.
The first thing I noticed was the bizarre collection of broken snowman-print pencils in a holder attached to the door. Likewise, the holder was coated in music-note shaped stickers. Then I saw the various jam jars lining the top shelf. One was clearly filled with water (or some other see through liquid of that sort). Another looked like it contained maple syrup. All of the jars, no matter what liquid they were full of, had coins sitting at the bottom.
An obviously well-cared for navy scarf hung from one of the hooks, accompanied by a leather messenger bag and a black, knee length dress coat. The bottom of the locker held a stack of seemingly random books on the strangest subjects, ranging from fiction to non-fiction. One title was Botany in the Modern World, while another was called The Musical Styling of Ludwig Van Beethoven, and a third, A Study in Pink. I saw that one book had had its pages completely ripped out and was now just a cover, though the title had been scribbled out with permanent marker. A cracked pair of safety glasses had been attached to the wall with a piece of clear tape. Perhaps the weirdest thing of all was the picture of Elvis Presley that had been stuck to the inside of the door. His eyes had been covered over with gold glitter glue, which had dried as it was dripping down his cheeks.
"Bloody Hell..." I whispered to myself as I took in the locker's contents. What kind of person was I locker-ing with? Is 'locker-ing' even a word? Wait, off topic again. Sorry.
The shrill bell rang from overhead, making me jump, which knocked my crutches over. I landed on my bad foot, and pain shot through my cast, coursing into my body. I spent a good thirty seconds jumping around, face scrunched up and otherwise looking like an idiot, before I managed to pick my crutches up from the ground. I was attracting a lot of unwanted attention by now, so I basically ripped my notebook out and shoved my bag in the locker, slamming it shut.
I huffed and set off for geometry, thoroughly embarrassed.
The rest of the day passed by slowly. It was as if the clock had purposefully slowed down just to bother me. My classes were nothing to talk about. My teachers were overenthusiastic about my move from London, particularly my geography teacher. All day they berated me with question after question about every aspect of my life. Do you drink tea with every meal? Do Englanders really have bad teeth? Do you swim in the Thames River?
My classmates could honestly care less about me. They stared at me as I passed by in the halls or when I was introduced in front of each class, but other than that, I was ignored. I spent the lunch hour in the library, because I hadn't made any other friends yet, aside from Hannah. I didn't feel comfortable enough to sit with her and eat, though she insisted on sitting next to me in every class we had together.
She was... well, she was cheerful, to say the least.
When the final bell rang at last, there was a great rush to exit the classroom. Apparently I wasn't the only one eager to leave the school. I waited for the crowd to die down a bit before I made my own way out into the hallway.
The halls were packed to the brim, and I could finally see why this school was too small for the number of students enrolled. Thankfully, my locker was very near this last class of the day. I approached it just in time to see my locker partner slam it shut and depart.
"Wait!" I called out after her. This was my chance to see the face behind all of the strange items in our locker. Either the person hadn't heard or she chose to ignore me, but she kept walking as if I hadn't been there at all. How rude.
I shrugged it off and loaded my backpack with all the papers and textbooks I had accumulated throughout the day. I heaved it over my shoulders and set off, relieved that I had gotten this first day over with.
Author's Note:Alright, this is just the first chapter. I will try to post the next one as soon as possible! This is my first Sherlock story, and I'm really excited to see how it does.
Thanks for reading. Please leave a review, because I'm eager to know what you all thought.