Mess and Hope 

Life is messy.In science it’s called “entropy” which is basically the universe wanting to stay messy- its natural state.

But life itself, as a whole, is messy.

Relationships, jobs, finance, politics, religion, hopes, dreams… sometimes everything gets o mixed up and muddled and messy and scary.

Dreams. Hopes. 

Hope.

I believe that Hope is what keeps humanity strong.

Hope for the future. Hope for that big dream of yours to come true.

Hope that maybe tomorrow things will be different.

Hope that maybe one day there will be peace.

Hope that maybe this will be ok.

Hope.

Holding us together. 

And sometimes that’s just what we need isn’t it? Just to hold on to that little voice that’s whispering, “Tomorrow will be better”. 

I’ve been there. Those times when you cry yourself to sleep every night praying that things will get better tomorrow because you can’t, just CAN’T go through another day like this one, and the one before and the one before. 

Begging God, someone, anyone to take away the pain and the fear and the hurt. 

Waking up each morning, with a new hope, that maybe today will be better. Maybe today won’t hurt, maybe today won’t be a mess. Maybe today I won’t be a mess. 

And it is a mess. Everything goes wrong. You sleep in, miss the bus, spill coffee, get yelled at or blamed for something that wasn’t you, you miss the train, burn your dinner and go to bed feeling like the world is against you and nothing ever works out for you.

And you go to bed. And you cry and scream and beg that something will change, that something will work for you and that tomorrow won’t be as bad, that tomorrow things will get better.

And you wake up with a new hope, hope that maybe today will be your day. The day you finally get your big break- that promotion, that opportunity. Today will be the day that everything goes right.

But it doesn’t.

It doesn’t happen how you imagine it, how you dream it or how you hope it will be.

Because the universe is messy, life is messy.

Its only when, a few months or maybe years down the line that you look back and realise,

Things were getting better.

Today wasn’t as bad as yesterday. 

Things are working out, maybe not in the way you planned or expected but they’re working out… 
Keep dreaming. Keep believing in that dream that you have, that plan that you have for your future. Keep working at it, no matter how tough or how impossible it may seem.

When you’re sat there thinking “maybe it’s time to give up” that is when hope will whisper, the smallest, tiniest whisper, “one more try”. 

Every. Single. Time.

Never give it up. Never give up.

Let that hope carry you into your future, into that moment when everything finally all fits together. That time when everything works out for you and life is peaceful… for a while.

Because life is messy.
When the world becomes a scary, terrifying place. 

When disaster after disaster, attack after attack keeps coming at you and bad things happen everywhere all at once and your heart is breaking because “why is this happening?”…

Hope. Hope that tomorrow will be better. Hope that these people will be stopped. Hope that these kinds of things are not forever. Hope that things will be alright. Hope that things will get better.

Because hope brings people together and hope will keep people together. 

Without hope there is nothing but sadness and devastation.

Without hope there is nothing to look forward to.

Without hope we are nothing and there is nothing.

But there is always hope.

There is always something to look forward to.

There is always a reason to keep going, keep pushing forwards and keep moving onwards to the next step.

Whether it’s to show no fear, whether it’s for your family or your friends, whether it’s just sheer determination and utter pig-headedness. Hope will get us through.
And hope comes from something greater than just us.

Hope comes from love.

And love always conquers all.

God bless. 

Granny… 

My granny was a huge part of my life, and everyone’s life. A kind hearted woman , full of love and compassion. Never too busy to listen and always there for us… 

This woman taught me so much. She brought me to the Lord. Her biblical knowledge was second to none. She loved the Lord, the world around her and each and every member of her family. 

I’ll never forget summers spent at Cloney. With my cousins. Building blanket forts behind the sofa, eating McVities chocolate digestives off trays in front of the TV- usually watching Thomas the Tank engine, Tom and Jerry or some other kids show (even until I was 15 or 16!), playing in the greenhouse at the back, puddling in the water, making mud pies and a huge mess! New games like Colonel where we would lie in bed and make noise so she would come in and shout at us (as the “colonel”) and threaten to throw us in “the black hole”! 

Easter parties (originally Boxing Day parties) having a HUGE gathering of all the family, all the foods and all the craic! Easter egg hunts around the yard and putting on silly plays in the living room – I jokingly promised her that someday I would star in a proper show some day and she would get front row seats!

Granny’s mince and potatoes cannot be replicated. Chicken super noodles with turkey ham will never taste the same and the big gallon bottles of Robinson’s orange juice will always remind me of her. 

Lying in the camp bed or beside her on the big bed, saying our prayers as we all held hands right before we went to sleep. She called us “her two wee turtle doves” and she was “our big turtle dove”. She always asked us, “do you trust Jesus as your saviour? Really?” And we would reply “yes of course we do” because we did. We do. 

Granny loved the queen. Her style and her mannerisms. Even when the dementia set in she still loved looking at magazines and following HRHs travels. 

We often joked that she would one day meet “Liz and Phil”. Maybe for her 90th! She insisted that they wouldn’t like to come, it wouldn’t be grand enough for them! Ha! 

I joked that I would marry Prince Harry and she would be invited to the Royal wedding – she made me promise! I would get a helicopter across to collect her in the morning, attend the service and reception and she would be back in time for supper! 

All these happy memories and so many more- like the time we all lay together and giggled about some silly dance we had done. And yet now that she is gone I can’t stop thinking about her. 

How I’ll never hold her hand again, I’ll never cuddle her again, never hear her voice or see her smile. 

But one thing I know for certain. She is happy and she is at peace. 

She often talked about it. She told us not to be sad because she would not be sad. At her funeral we should wear bright happy colours. Because it’s not a sad day, it’s a happy day because we were celebrating her life on Earth and celebrating her return home to heaven. Where she would be so happy and so free… easier said than done. 

I made many promises, both jokingly and seriously, and although I do not know what tomorrow holds, I know one thing is certain, I will see granny again, in heaven but until then I will work hard and live my life to make her proud. 

Sherlock and Enola Part II

If you haven’t already seen it, here is Part I, have a look at it first so that this one makes sense..

Sherlock and Enola Part I

Please read, share and comment any thoughts or ideas (constructive criticism) and enjoy!

 

16 Years earlier, a burnt out side street deep in the Middle East…

She had never felt this alone before. She had been left to look after herself plenty of times at home. She had spent many a day at her parents’ home by herself, she had never had any friends at school so spent the majority of her days alone and had never felt loneliness like this.

She knew her way around London and much of the English countryside with no need of a map. She knew the states of America and their location on a map, she could draw and label an entire map of Europe from the age of 3 but she had never felt so lost.

Data. She needed Data.

She glanced around. Not much to see. The street was empty, apart from some large skips and fallen plaster and ash. She dusted herself off and walked onwards, keeping an eye out for any sign of movement, while also committing every turn and ally to memory.

She stopped suddenly. She had heard something. A movement, from the left. In her peripheral vision she saw something, a shadow moving behind a large bin. She ducked around a corner and watched as the shadow stumbling towards her. It was breathing heavily, staggering clumsily. Her instincts screamed at her telling her it was Sherlock, it had to be, but she needed to be sure…

As she watched, she noticed that the man, she was sure it was a man now, was holding something close to his chest, protecting it. A small box. He held on to it for dear life, as though it was the most precious thing in the world to him. He stumbled once more before collapsing to the ground in a heap with a soft moan of pain.

She wanted to run. What if it was a bomb? But her morbid curiosity kept her rooted to the spot. She waited. She waited as long as she could bear it before approaching the man, the body. She gently prodded the man with her foot before jumping backwards again, but he didn’t move. She breathed out slowly and quietly. She moved forwards again and grabbed the package from the man’s arms and ran.

Once she found a busier street she slowed down.

“The best and safest place to hide is in plain sight” her brothers’ voice rang in her head. She swallowed the lump that rose in her throat. He was gone, but he would be back. He had to come back.

Sherlock was running. He ran back to the side street. The street he had lost Enola. She was gone.

Enola made her way back to the small hotel they were staying in.

He ran back to the hotel. Surely she would be back there. Surely she would have gone straight there. She was a smart girl.

So why was he so scared?

Because he was being chased by a gang of crazy drug dealers.

She’s got to be ok. Surely she’ll be ok…

As she walked through the streets she held the package. Clinging to it, wondering what was inside, wondering whether to open it.

Soon, her curiosity, once again, took over and she stopped. She glanced around as she leaned against a wall, and slit open the edge of the package.

It was a small wooden box with a small key hold. Like a jewellery box. She opened it and out fell a small domino with the numbers 6 and 3 on it. Was it significant? She wondered. What did this mean?

Sherlock would know, she thought. He always knew.

Sherlock entered the small room he and his sister were sharing. It was stripped bare. Their luggage was gone and there was no sign of Enola. He sensed something else was wrong before he saw it. The shadow outside the window.

Enola started making her way back towards the hotel. Surely Sherlock would return there when he could. It would be safer and smarter to wait for him there.

He saw the shadow move. But he was too slow. His reactions weren’t immediate and his mind was not able to keep up with the situation as it unfolded, he couldn’t even process what he saw in the room, everything was moving so slowly, his mind clouded. Three men grabbed him and wrapped their arms around his arms and legs, binding them together before dragging him out the door and down the stairs.

All he could think was, “What the hell have they done to Enola?”

She crept up the stairs and into her room. Se flicked on the light and had to stifle a gasp. Everything was gone. Their bags, their clothes, everything. The room was stripped bare.

Sherlock was gone.

He was gagged and bound, he saw the man who had jumped from the window, tall and stocky with unnaturally blond hair. He walked forwards, speaking to the man holding Sherlock in place,

“Let the boss know we got him, I’ll leave a calling card,” he glanced down at Sherock, not realising that he had understood every word of his thick German accent, he smiled as he brought his face right next to his, “I’ll send someone to get your sister very soon…”

Sherlock tried not to show his fear but it was evident that he had failed when the blond German stood up and laughed loudly before clicking his fingers. The man behind him dragged Sherlock to his feet and began to drag him out of the room, but as he was hauled away, he saw the Blond German take a domino out of his pocket, it had the numbers 6 and 3 on it. He tossed it on the bed and slammed the door.

She stared at the empty room. Shocked, let down- devastated. How could he do this to her? No, surely he didn’t do this out of choice. Clues, there must be something to give an indication of where he had gone.

She closed the door behind her and began to search the room. It didn’t take long at all, she looked on the bed and immediately found a domino, like the one she had found in the package, 6 and 3. She pulled out the one she had found earlier- identical. This was not a coincidence, she didn’t believe in them, this was a clue.

Data, she needed data…

 

 

I hope you liked this, a shorter piece than before, but more to come! As I said, please leave a comment and share this, I appreciate all feedback, and stay tuned for the next instalment

An open letter about unemployment 

An open letter to the world, from an unemployed 21 year old..
Unemployment sucks, let’s open with the facts shall we? The current unemployment rate in the U.K is 3.5% and yes I’m fully aware that it’s not just me, there are hundreds of newly graduated kids looking for jobs, lacking experience and growing steadily more frustrated as time goes on. 

Don’t get me wrong, free time is excellent, I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been because I have so much time to go to the gym and train, I’m getting creative by writing the story I’ve always wanted to…  

But honestly it’s the pits. 

I’m so fed up of rejection, of applying and getting no response, of people asking me what I’m doing with my life now that I’ve graduated (thanks for asking, it’s so nice that you care, I just feel like a bit lazy and useless when I have to say “unemployed”) 

YES I am trying, NO I haven’t given up, YES I am aware that I just need ANYTHING to get experience, NO I don’t want to live like this forever, YES I am aware that I have to keep going and “something will turn up”! 

But please, stop assuming that I am loving my life as it is now, coasting along, living at home and having endless leisure time! 

I’m poor! 

I’m lonely! 

I’m bored! 

Again, gym and all my sports are amazing fun but I need something to keep me occupied! 

Also.. No, I don’t have a “plan”, I could tell you my dream careers but honestly you would probably laugh in my face and tell me to catch myself on. I have high expectations for my career and my future and, YES MAYBE I’ll fall flat on my face, but I would rather try and fail than never know… 

Also, while I’m ranting, as a “disabled”* person, I face, yet more discrimination. Because many employers see (pardon the pun) “visual impairment” and immediately jump to the conclusion that I am fully blind- not the case! 

*i have used inverted commas here because I feel that in many ways disability is subjective. I admit that, yes, my eyesight prevents me from doing some things like driving and operating heavy Machines like cranes and jack hammers, but honestly, feel free to throw me out onto a rugby pitch, put me in a boat and send me up the river, put me in a fight and if I get hit in the face I’ll accept that it’s because I didn’t block it, not because I didn’t see it. 

I feel that my disability is seen as worse than it is. And I feel that because of it I am fiercely independent. 

YES I can see that/ NO I can’t see that but I’ll manage somehow. NO I don’t want a lift, I’ll walk and get the bus. YES I am fine thank you. NO I don’t need a guide dog (although I love dogs and think it would be kind of cool) 

Anyway! Point is, I’m trying, we all are, and we are not “loving life” and we do not intend to stay like this forever. We don’t want to. We want to get work, live our lives and DO THINGS. 

So next time you ask someone how they’re doing and they reply “I’m unemployed and looking for work” please, for the love of everything that is kind and free in the world, don’t be patronising! Cheer us up, encourage us to keep going, tell us we’re doing ok, and, please, don’t assume we’re just skiving! 

Cheers lads all the best, 

-judith 

Sherlock and Enola 

So I’ve been working on a story idea for the past few years. I’ve written and re-written scenes, created and destroyed characters and ideas… This is a small snippet that I have decided to share so that I can get some honest feedback. 

I decided to share it now because, any BBC Sherlock fans will have now been introduced to the mysterious “third Holmes” a sister. 

As I said, I’ve been working on this for a few years. The main storyline focusing on the Holmes sister, Enola. I don’t intend to compete in any way with Moffat and Gatiss, they’re much better at this whole writing thing than I am! But I just wanted to share my own idea, because I’m proud of it and because I had this idea before the show… 

So without further ado, I would like to introduce, the third Holmes, Enola.. 
She ran forwards, towards the men. She was not a tall girl by any means, but she was more powerful
than she looked. Se careered straight into the first man, knocking him to the ground with a well-executed rugby tackle. She quickly knocked his temple against the cement and sprang up to face her
second rival. He had his arms outstretched just about to enclose around her neck, she gave him a brutal side kick in the ribs. As he stumbled she kicked his temple, leaving both men in a heap,
unconscious in an alleyway in the centre of London.  

She walked away slowly, limping slightly, but trying not to show it. As she reached the end of the
alley way she clicked her fingers and immediately, two ragged figures jumped out from beneath a
pile of rubbish and began to tie the hands of the two beaten men. She turned slightly towards the
figures and said, in a voice just above a whisper, “Mycroft, what have you been doing without me to
clean up you messes?” 

***

Sherlock was bored. It was a Tuesday, and oh God how he hated Tuesdays. If there was anything he
hated more than Tuesdays he couldn’t think of it right now. He turned away from the window and
continued composing a tune on his violin. Mrs Hudson had been here moments ago, he thought, but
as he looked at the clock he realised than several hours had passed since he had last looked up for
the landlady. Oh well, he thought, shrugging, she was never much help anyway, always nattering on
about some politician or some TV personality. It really wasn’t very useful.  

John entered downstairs. Sherlock knew it was John because he didn’t knock or ring, but used his
key. He took several short strides across the hallway- “new shoes” Sherlock noted- And then shouted
hello to Mrs Hudson. He had never quite mastered the art of subtlety…  

“News for you Sherlock, from you brother”

Sherlock rolled his eyes and began to play a tune on his violin, “Really John you should close the door
quicker as you enter, strays get in and you know how Mrs Hudson hates swine… Oh, talking of
which, hello Mycroft” 

Mycroft smiles from the doorway but says nothing.

“Sherlock, it seems interesting… and important”

“Oh please” he spat, dropping his arms to his sides, “if it were that important he would have come in
person straight away instead of calling you”

“Well he did call you first but you didn’t answer”

“Exactly, why would I answer a phone call from him?”

“Why indeed” Mycroft crooned from the doorway, “I knew that you wouldn’t take this quite as
seriously as John and I also knew that, owing to recent events…” he trailed off and studied the sword
stabbed into the wall above the mantelpiece beside a garish bear-claw, “I thought I would ask John
to tell you… However, having spoken to John I realised that he had not understood the matter nearly
as well as I had hoped,” 

John looked briefly taken aback, offended even, but then shrugged and sat down on the sofa and
picked up a biscuit from the plate Mrs Hudson had left several hours ago. He was well used to the
brothers talking down to him and chose to pay no attention to the slander

She walked towards him, anger burning in her eyes. John was concerned, yes, she was a fairly small,
innocent looking woman- wait, woman? Girl? She looked in her late teens but something about the
way she carried herself led him to believe that she was older than she looked. Either way, she looked
harmless but the malice in her eyes was very concerning to him as she walked closer to Sherlock.  
“Enola, please” Mycroft said softly from the door, “He is, of course, family”

“Family my ar-“

“Sorry what? Who is?” John interrupted

“She is,” Mycroft nodded toward the girl-woman

“Yes, and SHE has a name, thank you” she said, turning back to Sherlock, “But of course, my dear
brother, hasn’t told anyone about me at all has he? As far as anyone is concerned I never existed, or,
as the rest of my family are aware I DIED!” she ended in a shout that made John flinch, “Dead! Is that
what I am? What would that make me now? A ghost?” 

“Can someone please explain to me what the hell is going on?” John shouted, interrupting the steely
glare of the girl and jolting Sherlock out of a trance- like state as he stared at his, his sister?

“Brother mine, would you care to…? No? Perhaps then-“Mycroft was cut off by a demonic stare as
the girl turned and hurled herself into a chair. “I see. Well, John, this is our… estranged sister,” he
gestured towards the girl, who shrugged and raised a hand lazily in greeting, “her name is Enola…
she is 22 if you’re wondering although clearly she looks much younger. The Australian climate I
would expect…” he smiled knowingly 

John stared at Mycroft for a few seconds, his mouth slightly opened, as he tended to do when he
was processing a lot of information. Before switching his gaze to the 22 year old who was now rifling
through her pockets for her smart phone. “I don’t understand. How was she “dead”?” 

Mycroft stiffened slightly “it is a complex matter…”

“But your parents. They never mentioned a daughter. They-“

“-thought I was dead” the girl, Enola, interrupted. “They thought I died in a Middle Eastern bombing
at the age of 6” she glared at Sherlock, “and why did they think that? WHY? BECAUSE MY BIG
BROTHER ABANDONNED ME IN THE MIDST OF A REBEL CAMP BECAUSE HE THOUGHT HE’D LOST ME
AND WANTED TO SAVE HIS OWN NECK! HE DIDN’T EVEN LOOK FOR ME AND JUST ASSUMED I WAS
DEAD!” she roared at the still figure of Sherlock Holmes, “AND WHAT HAVE YOU GOT TO SAY FOR
YOURSELF YOU… YOU… YOU-“her rampage was cut short as Mycroft grabbed the girl by the
shoulders 

“I think… our family has had quite enough death thank you” as he heaved her back into her chair,
she gave him a reproachful look before folding her arms and glaring at Sherlock 

“However, Sherlock, she has a point… what have you got to say for yourself?” Mycroft paused for a
moment. Sherlock remained silent, “We all thought she had died, Sherlock. I didn’t believe her when
she contacted me…”he trailed off, continuing to look at his brother

“I trusted you” Enola whispered, “You were my big brother, taking me on an adventure across the
world and I trusted you to look after me… and I waited. I waited Sherlock, I thought you would come
looking, I thought you would come back but you didn’t ”she sounded close to tears as she said these
words, “YOU BLOODY DIDN’T AND I WILL NEVER FORGIVE YOU” she roared once again rearing up to
hit him but was once again resrained by Mycroft.

John was under the impression that the girl could have fought off Mycroft’s grip with one hand had
she wanted to, but perhaps she didn’t want to hurt her brother quite as much as she wanted him to
believe.

Mycroft kept his hand on Enola’s arm in a comforting brotherly way. Something John had never seen
before from Mycroft, a sign of affection. John was slightly caught off guard by this show of affection
from Mycroft and he stared for a little bit too long at the girls shoulder. Mycroft cleared his throat,
“Sherlock” it was not a question, but a demand for answers, spoken with the force of a politician but
the gentleness of a brother, “Please. Help us to understand. For Enola’s sake.” He said quietly before
speaking louder, almost in a shout, but worse than a shout, the voice a mother uses on her child
when she has gone beyond anger and on to disappointment, “Sherlock tell us what the hell
happened!” 

Sherlock sat still for a moment, looking down. Contemplating, perhaps. Or maybe planning a lie. This
is what Mycroft seemed to think as he eyed his brother with contempt, “the truth, Sherlock”.

Sherlock glanced up at his brother before shifting his gaze slowly to his sister. His hands, which had
originally been placed fingers together in front of his face, now slowly fell so rest on the arms of the
chair. He sighed softly, never moving his gaze away from Enola. He continued to look at the girl as
she lifted her gaze to meet his. They studied each other for a few moments in utter silence, drinking
in each other’s features, wordlessly speaking to one another about their years apart. A tender
moment shared between two siblings, broken only by the ticking of the clock and the traffic going by
outside.  

Mycroft cleared his throat, “if you don’t mind, brother mine, I have got some urgent business to
attend to, so… hurry up” 

Sherlock’s gaze snapped up to give him a reproachful look before looking once again at Enola. His gaze had become one of interest and acceptance. An open, almost eager look as she stared at
Sherlock and waited to hear his side of the story. 

Sherlock took a deep breath, threw himself to his feet and began to pace as he spoke…

***

16 years earlier…

It was dark, there were people shouting and screaming everywhere. Sherlock was running and Enola
was by his side, running with him. He glanced down at her and she looked up at him, they shared a
smile. He had known she would enjoy this, the danger, the thrill of the chase. And Enola was
enjoying it. Spending time with her big brother, her best friend, her hero. Sherlock ran harder,
pulling his sister along with him.  

Enola was loving this trip, her parents hadn’t wanted her to go, but she has snuck off with Sherlock
in the middle of the night and got a boat out to sea before smuggling themselves into a lorry with some refugees. She stumbled over something, a rock? A body? Everything was going so fast she
couldn’t tell anymore, it hurt though, whatever she had kicked, but she took a breath as she thought
about the pain in her leg, the pain in her lungs, pain would only slow her down, she didn’t need it.
Sherlock had taught her to hide the things she didn’t need, pain, sadness, fear, things that would
slow her down, to hide them in a special part of her brain, in a box, behind a door so that they
wouldn’t bother her or cloud her judgement. As she ran she also committed each turn to memory so
that she wouldn’t get lost if anything would happen, but Sherlock had promised that nothing bad
would happen as long as she stuck by him, and she believed him with all of her heart. 

Suddenly and completely out of nowhere the screaming and shouting intensified. Fire exploded into
the sky in front of them as they ran. Buildings were on fire and bits of plaster were raining down on
top of them as they sprinted towards a gap in the fire. Running as hard as they could, Enola began to
fall behind but Sherlock kept a firm, almost painful grip on her hand as he kept running.

There was a shout from behind them as they ran. Suddenly, the whole world was on fire. Plaster was
tumbling down from every direction. The earth gave a jolt and they were sent sprawling across the
ground as the ground gave an almighty roar and everything in Sherlock’s world went dark.

***

Enola woke with a start. The world was pitch black and everything was quiet. She was lying on her
face. She looked up and saw a dark silhouette stumbling around in the dark, Sherlock? Before she
could open her mouth a hand was pressed over hers. She gasped and turned her head, Sherlock was
there, a finger to his lips telling her to keep her mouth shut. She nodded slowly and he removed his
hand and looked at the shadowy figure as it stumbled closer through the dust and smoke.

Suddenly he was on his feet, running towards the figure, he turned back and shouted “wait for me,
I’ll be back, I promise” before colliding with the figure and pushing it backwards out of sight around
the corner. Enola sat where she was, for a few moments listening to the sounds of the scuffling
going on around the corner before she heard a hard punch being thrown, a groan and then silence.
She got up slowly and moved quickly and quietly over to the corner, pressing herself against the wall
as she peered round. There was a body, the body of a man. It wasn’t Sherlock, he had blond hair and
an arrogant face. His nose was broken and he was unconscious. Enola looked up, Sherlock was
nowhere to be seen. She sprinted towards the next corner and turned it, she looked down the
alleyway and saw the unmistakeable silhouette of her brother running away. 

“Sherlock wait for me!” she shouted, but he kept running. Enola struggled to keep up with him, even
though the fire was gone, her lungs still burned from the smoke. She reached the next corner and
looked around it, gasping for breath. Sherlock was gone. And he would never return.

***

He had put her in danger and it was all his fault. She was his sister and she was in danger because
they were after him. Every second she spent with him, her life was at risk. He hadn’t thought they
would follow him out this far, he thought they would be safe.

The JKcrew had been after him in England too, he had known that. That was the reason he had
fled. He thought that maybe if he went abroad, they would give up their search. He had busted several of their drug houses as well as an illegal weapons ring. He thought they were just another
London street gang but he was wrong, this went much deeper than the streets of London. 

He looked around and saw that Enola had given up her chase. He had to leave her behind, he would
try and send someone to fetch her and bring her home, but he had work to do. He shut his feelings

in a box, behind a door in his head. His feelings for his sister, the love and worry he had for her, not
knowing that this door would not be opened for another 16years.

***

Present Day…

Sherlock had no emotions. He wasn’t capable of crying, tears, to him, were a sign of weakness,
crying a sign of brokenness and an inability to control oneself.  

And yet, John Watson pondered, his eyes were glistening as he shared his tale. He barely looked at

any of them as he spoke rapidly, as though hoping to save himself from these feelings by telling the
story as quickly as possible. He kept pacing and looking either at the floor or the window. None of
the trio left sitting down could take their eyes off him as he spoke.  

John snuck a glance at Enola and saw that her eyes too, were glassy as she watched her brother tell his tale.

Sherlock had just reached the point where the two of them were separated, explaining that it was

his fault- that he had put his sister in danger, that he had to get away so that she could stay safe,

“It’s my fault,” he whispered, “ITS MY FAULT!” he shouted this time, pulling at his hair as he spun

from the window to look at his sister. There was no mistaking the tears in his eyes now as he glared
at Enola, as though it was her fault for making him feel these things. His hands were shaking as he

moved them down to his sides, taking a deep, shuddering breath before composing himself and
sitting down once again in silence. 

“You… You mean you didn’t just leave?” Enola queried quietly, timidly, in a shaking voice from her

chair. Her eyes were wide as she looked at Sherlock unblinking in the light of the dreary afternoon.

Sherlock snapped his attention up towards her and simply stared at her, again, unblinking and
perfectly still.  

It was as though they were communicating without words or movement. Can they mind read? Ae

they telepathic? He asked himself as he watched the interior monologue going on between the
siblings. 

The silence was broken by a stifled sniff from Mycroft as he looked at his sister and brother.

Everyone turned to look at him as he hastily wiped his nose and looked up.

“You were saying, Sherlock, that you had intended to send someone to pick up Enola… Did that

happen?” He looked now to Enola who looked back and nodded before pausing, with a look of

contemplation on her face. She turned slowly to face Sherlock once again,

“Yes… I mean… I think so…” she said slowly, “I mean, someone found me…” She continued to look at
her brother, who continued to look back in a static silence.

“Tell us what happened to you, Enola, tell us who collected you” Mycroft urged, and Enola obeyed. 
16 Years earlier, a burnt out side street deep in the Middle East…

She had never felt this alone before. She had been left to loom after herself plenty of times at home.
She had spent many a day at her parents’ home by herself, she had never had any friends at school
so spent the majority of her days alone and had never felt loneliness like this.
She knew her way around London and much of the English countryside with no need of a map. She
knew the states of America and their location on a map, she could draw and label an entire map of
Europe from the age of 3 but she had never felt so lost.

Data. She needed Data. 

My Eyesight

I was born with 1 third normal vision (I could say “OCA Type 1B with associated Nystagmus” but that would mean nothing to you, and even google can struggle with it) so I think its fair to say that after 21 years I’ve got used to it. The first time I was really aware that I was “different” was at primary school when I couldn’t see the blackboard/whiteboard and my P1 teacher actually yelled at me and sent me to the back of the classroom where she proceeded to read what was on the board so I could write it down (through my tears!). That was really the only negative experience I had a primary school. Everyone accepted me for who I was, and the teachers were more than helpful doing their best to ensure that I could keep up with all the notes. The kids were cool about it too- I was one of them, I just had binoculars which were fun to play with! I couldn’t do the 11+ test like everyone else and had to do different tests to see whether I was clever enough for grammar school (I passed- yay!). But other than that never really felt “different”.
Secondary school was a little bit different. We had to change classrooms for each lesson so myself (and my twin sister) got a classroom assistant. We only knew each other because everyone else from primary school went to different schools. We got a classroom assistant who followed us around to make sure we didn’t’ walk into anything… Yeah, blind but not THAT blind. It’s fair to say that my sister and I were TERRIBLE to her! (SORRY!) We got to the end of a corridor or the top of a flight of stair and split off into different directions and walking around to a pre-arranged location. It took the teachers a while to get the balance right between, letting us do our own thing and giving us ALL THE HANDOUTS. It was quite irritating to have to balance books and A3 pages on the desk… The kids at secondary school were less accepting of our eyesight than at primary school. We were stared at. A lot. I guess it didn’t help that we were twins… We got bullied a bit, which sucked. I was a very shy kid and didn’t like to make a fuss about things… Eventually I made some great friends who accepted my weirdness (not just my eyesight) and helped me out a lot! By lower sixth I had decided that I was pretty happy with who I was and if other people weren’t or thought I was weird, then that was their problem. I was more confident than before and with the teachers I was able to tell them “No I do not need enlarged papers. This is fine I can deal with it” or actually something similar to “Don’t do anything unless I ask”. Those final two years of school were the best because I was more open about everything. People asked me questions about my eyesight (which is SO MUCH BETTER than just staring at me!) and they seemed to understand it better!
Duke of Ed was quite fun. I have a good sense of direction- hey, I have to! I can’t rely on road signs like everyone else. I have to describe the area like “Is that the place past the big yellow house with the white front door with the six fields of sheep beside the stable?”! Even though I had to look at the map quite close and finding bearings on the compass was pretty much to the nearest 5 degrees or so, I usually just went in roughly the right direction keeping an eye out for trees and hills that should hopefully be in the right places!
… and then I left and went to university. I was already pretty happy with who I was BUT I had to go through the whole explanation of “yeah I can’t see things so well so I have to use binoculars” and “no glasses don’t help” and “no I can’t get laser eye surgery because that won’t help either”. I had to say those sentences so often I was tempted to get it on a t-shirt… Student support were good and tried to help explain to lecturers but eventually it came down to me (and my twin, she’s still there) to approach every lecturer and say “hey we can’t see can we please get a print out or can you email us the tuff in advance” and MOST lecturers were great and by our second year field trip everyone pretty much understood, and those who didn’t came and asked us questions “can you see that?” (“no”). I was able to join rugby and rowing. I got hit in the face at rugby. A lot. But I loved (and love) it still! (I’m not even sure I ever told them about my eyesight). Final year was great, apart from one time when twin and I got lost in Barcelona because we couldn’t see the street numbers and everyone around us spoke Spanish… I honestly loved uni, it was one of the greatest experiences of my life and I’ve made some great friends there!
Graduated uni, with a few struggles but who doesn’t have tough times? And started looking for work. I feel obliged to put on my CV and job applications. I haven’t got very far in most job applications… Some companies have stated that I would not be suitable for the job because I have a visual impairment (even though I am qualified!?) which is annoying to say the least, but some (very few though) are more open to the idea, allowing me to attend an interview… yet they never ask about my eyesight. Personally I think they should enquire more about it rather than just accept it and move on, but maybe that’s just me.
That’s pretty much it so far…

Some random points before the end:
– I don’t always feel comfortable telling people about my eyesight because I feel like, a lot of the time, it makes them think of me differently. Usually I get to know the person first and let them find out OR wait a while and then tell them about it… Sometimes I’ve started straight off with “Hi I’m Judith, I can’t see very well, let me explain…”
– Leading on from that- when I tell people about my eyesight I much prefer it when I can use an example, so, if I’m standing near a sign I would point at t and make them stand where they feel comfortable reading it and then show where I can read it from (or use a piece of paper with writing on it)
– It’s awkward at times, trying to read signs in cafes or the number on the bus- I hate asking people for help, I’m very independent!
– Because I can’t drive it frustrates me a lot, like, I don’t have the same freedom as everyone else (and I know that not everyone drives a car but at least they have the chance?!) Seriously if I had a car I would never be at home… Or if I didn’t have to walk a few miles to get a bus I would probably not be at home much either!

F.A.Q: If science improves and there is a way to fix your eyes, would you get surgery that would correct your vision?
Honestly, no. It’s been 21 years and I’ve learned how to adapt to the world around me. It would be really strange to suddenly see everything up close and in huge detail. Although maybe it would be interesting to see “how the other half lives” so that I can see what most other people can see, maybe it would help me to explain my eyesight to you! But no, I can’t imagine my life with full vision. I know that sometimes I’ll go off on one and rant about how unfair it is, but I also love making blind jokes and sarcastic comments when someone says “Oh look over there isn’t that so cool?!” like “um yeah I’m sure it’s great”! But honestly I love my life the way it is- I’ve adapted and I’m determined…Please, someone hire me?

Hope 

Hope. That small voice that says “keep going” and “one more try”. That small fire blazing inside us that keeps us going. That gives us something to live for. But what happens if that fire goes out? 
Well firstly, where is your hope found? 

In that dream job? In all that money you’ve been saving? Your family or friends? 

Or something else…? 
If your hope is based on something meaningless it’ll hurt when you lose that. Your hope will flicker and you’ll fall down a deep, dark hole. 
I’ve been there and it sucks. 
It felt like everything had been stripped from me. My friends. My securities. Everything I knew had changed and suddenly I knew nothing and no one. Everything was going wrong and suddenly I felt so alone and cut off from everything. 

But there was something there. Something that wouldn’t let my fire die. Faith. 

I don’t intend to turn this all churchy and preachy. All I’m saying is that my hope is in God. And when I felt so lost and broken and beaten down, I turned to him. When it felt like I had no hope I turned to THE hope. 

It wasn’t some big miraculous turn around with blazing lights and hallelujahs. It was simply being refreshed every day. Being given the strength to get through one day at a time, one minute at a time. Baby steps. 

My hope was still burning and I had strength to go on. 

I didn’t realise it at the time but my hope had firm foundations in something (someONE) who could help me and who DID help me. 
When I first went to university it was like jumping out of a plane before a sky dive. Suddenly there was nothing beneath my feet, I was alone and I was free and I was terrified. My “parachute” failed and I panicked and felt lost and alone. Everything seemed to be going wrong.

Until I remembered my back up. My lifeline. 

My hope.  
So if you feel down, talk to someone (I’m not saying pray to god but talk to someone). Chances are, people are worried about you. People, surprisingly enough, care about you (yes, even YOU!). 

When you feel down and alone, when nothing is going right and everything is falling to pieces. When you feel hopeless, remember, 
“… There is you know, surprisingly, always hope” 
We just have to find it, grab it, and never let it go…