Trailing after Harriet, I looked at my new surroundings. Nothing like the States at all.
Harriet abruptly stopped and I nearly crashed into her. She sighed. “Joanna, do pay attention for once!”
I nodded solemnly. “Y-yes, Harriet.”
My older sister was in her early twenties, unlike me, in my late teens. I was eighteen, and she was twenty three and she was a proper young lady. She had a husband from the age nineteen and I was going to be in the same situation soon. Harriet was a very nice person, don’t get me wrong. But sometimes she was quite bossy to me, since I was her sister who...well, let’s just say that I wasn’t too eager to become a ‘proper young lady’.
The whole idea of men having the rights? Stupid. But I wasn’t allowed to have a say against anything. Well, actually, I did get to at one particular point in my life when I met a certain person. This person became my best friend and colleague. I shall start the story by the day I met this particular person.
Harriet cleared her throat as we neared to the door to the tiny inn. She looked back at me. “You are to speak to no one about this, Joanna. No one. Not even Lillian”
I nodded. “Yes, Harriet. I understand.” Lillian was my best friend, back in the United States.
She opened the door slowly and I entered behind her. Harriet went to the manager. “Excuse me, sir?” she asked.
He looked at her. “Yes, Ma’am...?” He obviously wasn’t too sober. “May ah help ya?”
“I’m looking for the key to room 419,” my sister said.
A young man around my age popped up from behind the desk. “I think I shall have this somewhere around here...” He turned around and looked among the row of keys. Finally he said “419, am I correct?”
“Yes, that is the one, sir,” Harriet agreed.
He took the key from the slot and said “There you go, Miss. You do know that, eh, one of the floors of this inn is off-limits?”
“Why?” I asked absentmindedly.
Harriet, after giving me a glare, said “I was not aware of this.”
The man nodded. “Yes, it’s off-limits on the fourth floor. Unless you’re lookin’ for trouble, you ought not go up there.” He looked at me. “I hope you ain’t one of that, Miss?”
I smiled. “Uh, I’m not that sure...-“
“I’d sure hope not,” Harriet said. “My little sister is quite absentminded when it comes to many things.”
I wasn’t going to stand for that downgrading comment, so I said “Yes, sister, but sometimes you agree with my absentmindedness. Besides, it’s not like I’m doing any harm to the world!”
Harriet, frowning at me, said “Joanna, you do harm the world constantly by trying to erupt the process!”
“Well, it’s not my fault I wish to not be subjected to be ridiculed and ordered around just because I’m a female!” I snapped at her.
Harriet glared at me once more and then looked at the manager. “Thank you, sir,”
The man who’d given us the key smiled at me. “G’day, Miss...?”
“Watson,” I sighed. “Joanna Watson.”
“Pleasure, Miss Watson,” he tipped his hat. “Name’s Alexander Gentry.”
“Wonderful to meet you, Mr.-“
“Come, Joanna,” Harriet rolled her eyes. “We must go! It was nice to meet you, Mr. Gentry.”
“N-nice to meet you t-“
Harriet took my hand and led me to the stairs. I pulled me hand back and fired a comment at her “I’m perfectly capable of walking, Harriet!”
After frowning at me more (I hate her sometimes...) she went up the stairs, letting me trail behind.
Another man my age passed right behind us, pushing me.
“Excuse me,” I cried.
He didn’t pay attention.
“Sherlock!” Another man called back.
“Good day, Lestrade!” The man named Sherlock walked out of the inn in a flash.
The man, Lestrade, looked at Harriet and me. “S-sorry, you two. Don’t mind Sherlock, he’s ah...Well, I...Yeah.”
Harriet said “He’s very impolite.”
“You and he’d get along just fine then,” I told her with a sarcastic smile. I went ahead of her on the stairs and then I turned to Lestrade. “Nice to meet you, sir.”
He laughed. “Nice to meet you as well, Miss.”
“Joanna!” Harriet barked at me.
“Harriet, do you want to see this or not?” I ordered. I pointed up the stairs. “Pick up the pace.”
Harriet glared at me. “We have hours until-“
“Harriet!” I moaned. “Sam needs us.”
Harriet sighed. “I suppose you are right.” She looked at Lestrade. “It was very nice to meet you...?”
I pointed at his badge. “G. Lestrade. What does D.I. stand for?”
“Detective Inspector G. Lestrade,” Harriet smiled. “Well, we must be off. Come along, Joanna.”
The two of us walked up to the room that Sam had told us. I found our older brother in a panicky state, upon the fact he was about to become a father.
Sam spotted Harriet and me and sighed of relief. “Oh, God, you two are alright!”
“Samuel, they’re fine!” Our mother, Margret Watson, sighed. “Now don’t lose your head over this!”
I saw Sam’s wife, Angelina, on the bed and in labor.
There was a knock to the door. “Scuze me!” The same man from before entered the room.
“What are you doing here?” We all ordered.
He looked out the window of the inn room. “DETECTIVE INSPECTOR, I TOLD YOU!” He scurried out of the room.
I frowned. “I shall be right back-“
“Joanna, don’t!” Sam said. “You won’t, will you?”
I smirked at him. “Do you even know me, dear brother?” I strutted out of the room and said “I’ll just be a moment.”
I walked in the direction where the man had gone and I found him downstairs talking to the man Lestrade. “Excuse me,” I said. I went over to them. He ignored me.
“...that if that precise angle of the-“
“Yes, Sherlock, but the odds are impossible and highly unlikely-“
“Oh, just as unlikely as your solving this little problem?”
Lestrade made a face. “Sherlock, I won’t accuse a man who seems perfectly innocent-“
“BUT HE ISN’T!” Sherlock screamed.
I said “Excuse me!?”
Lestrade and Sherlock looked at me. Sherlock said “What do you want?”
I said “My sister-in-law is about to have a baby and you walked into the room for what reason, may I ask-“
“YOU WHAT!?” Lestrade barked.
Sherlock shrugged. “I was just-“
“Driving my brother insane,” I hissed.
He looked at me. “I’m solving a murder, here, kid. So if you don’t mind, I-“
“Kid?” I said. “I’m eighteen! How old are you?”
“Uhm, seventeen...?” He said awkwardly.
“I’m not the kid here!” I snapped. I crossed my arms. “You should try to be more mature s-“
“Me being more mature?” He ordered. “You just-“
“Sherlock,” Lestrade said. “You don’t know anything about the girl! She’s just-“
“Oh, Lestrade, I know everything!”
I smirked. “Considering that thought...no, no you don’t.”
Sherlock stared at me. “You wanna bet that I can’t piece together your life story, Miss?”
“Yes,” I smiled. “I would be very surprised if you could come up with it, by the way.”
Sherlock cleared his throat. “You are, like your sister and mother, brought up in...Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts? No, no...Pennsylvania, is it?”
I tilted my head. “How-“
“Sherlock,” Lestrade warned.
“Oh, be quiet, Lestrade,” Sherlock ordered. He looked back at me. “And I happen to know, Miss, that your name is Joanna Watson and your sister has never gotten along with you. At least, when she moved out and got married, you didn’t have anyone to talk to and you two grew apart.”
I blinked at him. “Uh...”
He smiled wide. “I love seeing people’s faces!” He looked at Lestrade. “Doesn’t it just make you laugh!?”
I cleared my throat. “That doesn’t prove a thing.”
“Oh no, please don’t get him started!” Lestrade whispered.
Sherlock looked at Lestrade. “Quiet, Lestrade,” He looked back at me and smiled brightly. “Your quite close to your older brother who got married a few years ago and left the house. You like your new sister, but you’re not too thrilled that your brother is gone from-“
“Sherlock,” Lestrade repeated.
“Lestrade!” Sherlock barked. “Please!?”
“No, no,” I shook my head. “I sort of want to hear this.”
Sherlock tilted his head. “You do?”
“Well, yes...How the bloody...How the heck did you know that, though?”
Sherlcok shrugged. “You wouldn’t understand.”
“Why, because I’m a girl?” Anger boiled in me again.
Sherlock smirked. “No, I really don’t care about gender. I’m just smarter than you.”
“Oh, that makes perfect sense,” I rolled my eyes.
“Well, no offense,” he laughed.
“None taken,” I said. “I don’t doubt that you’re smarter than I, though, since I’ve barely an education and you just...well, you just told me my whole life story. But how did you know that I’m from Pennsylvania? How’d you know I was from America, to that matter?”
Sherlock said “Nobody understands and, uh, you’re not high on the list of people that might, kid-“
“I’m not a kid.” I growled. “I’m eighteen years old and my name is Joanna Watson. You’re not addressing me as ‘kid’, you’ll address me as Miss Watson or as ‘Miss’. That clear, Mr. Showoff?” I ordered.
Sherlock smiled. “Sure, Watson.”
“You forgot the ‘Miss’.”
“Does it matter?”
“Sort of, yes, it makes it highly improper to be called by-“
“Yes, but do you ever care about what’s proper?”
I stopped. I started giggling. “Okay, you got me there.” I nodded. “You’re not that bad.”
“Holmes,” Lestrade said, smiling. “Can we move on with this case?”
Sherlock nodded. “Right.-“
I jumped. I turned to see my sister. “Yes, Harriet?”
Harriet walked over to me. “Sam is freaking out and you’re talking to this rude man!?”
“He’s not that rude,” I admitted. “Just...oddly smart.”
Sherlock said “Normally, people don’t say that.”
“What do they say?”
“They say go-“
“SIR!” Harriet screamed.
I laughed. “Harriet, let’s go back up already.”
“Yes, yes, let’s do that,” Harriet said, giving Sherlock a cold glare.
I looked at Lestrade. “It was a pleasure meeting you, Detective Inspector.” I looked at Sherlock. “Nice to meet you, Sir.”
Sherlock shrugged. “I’m not a sir, by the way, as you’ve pointed out that you’re older than I...” He looked at Lestrade and gestured to the door. “Coming?”
“Yes, yes,” Detective Inspector Lestrade nodded. “Sherlock, let us go and look over the, uh...the...the, uh, the uhm-“
“Evidence?” Sherlock rolled his eyes.
Detective Inspector nodded. “Yes, yes...Good day, Miss Watson. Good day Miss-“
“Rogers,” my sister said.
He nodded. “Yes, good day...Sherlock-“
“Hurry up,” Sherlock pointed at the door. The two of them left the room.
I bit my lip. Sherlock Holmes...? I didn’t know why, but I had an odd feeling that was not the last time I’d be seeing Mr. Holmes.