14th February 2012
My story begins on St. Valentine's Day of the year 2012, that holiday during which all around the world, lovers, young and old, celebrate this day of love and passion with those they hold close to them. I myself have always dreaded this particular holiday for one reason and one reason only – like every other year, I had no one to share what was supposed to be a joyous day for many couples across the globe with. Normally I'm a girl of the cheerful, happy, optimistic type, almost always in a good mood, but during this time of year, that was always very different. I don't think anything ever got me so down as this bloody holiday did. The reason for that being that not once had I had one of the many things my heart truly desired: a man who I could give my heart too. All my life, I had pretty much been a sucker for anything that was romantic, movies, songs, poems, and other stuff. I guess you could say that that started from all the classic Disney movies I loved watching since I was a very small child. And since then, I had always longed for a guy I could share such a beautiful, precious thing with, but even to this day, that wish has never once come true. Not once in all the nineteen years that I have existed did I ever get the chance to experience the joys of love. Even at school, watching other pupils, mostly older than myself, sharing sweet embraces and kisses with their significant other always got me imagining it being me and another person, something that seemed kinda cool to me, and since then, I only wished that I could at least once just have a go at the whole relationship thing myself, and I've even once had my eye on a guy around my own age once, but he didn't reciprocate. You're probably wondering, did I ever have any guys wanting me for their own? Well, surprisingly, and ironically enough, I did. At least three of them, but for reasons I'd rather leave unexplained, I couldn't return their feelings. Weird, huh? But yeah, that's pretty much my love life all over. Or perhaps I should say my non-existent love life. For so long, I have never once had the chance for a love in which the feeling would be mutual, and very likely never would. Hence why St. Valentines Day always left me depressed and heartbroken, because it always reminded me of that fact. What a way to celebrate a holiday, eh?
Anyway, like I said, it was on this night that my very bizarre story begins. I was in the kitchen, nibbling on a slice of chocolate cake from the fridge, doing what I could to cheer myself up on this rather depressing holiday. But even after I had finished, cleaned my plate, dried it and put it away in its proper place, the gloomy thoughts were still going through my head. So the chemicals in the chocolate that I had always known to help lift one's moods, even slightly, didn't work. I just remained feeling as gloomy and depressed as ever. I even had to fight to hold back a flood of tears at that point, but it seemed I couldn't stop one tiny little droplet from sliding down my face. Wiping it away, I decided just to leave the kitchen and head off to my room.
As I passed through the living room, I caught out the side of my eye my dad sitting on the couch, smoking a cigarette with a cup of tea on the arm beside him, as he was watching a game of football on the TV. Another Celtic game he had told me would be on that night, so I assumed that that was what he was watching. Of course he would be, as that was the team he always supported since childhood. He got it from my poor late granda. However, my presence must've distracted him from the game as he turned to face me.
"What's wrong, sweetheart?" he asked me, obviously noticing my glum expression. I stopped in my tracks and looked at him.
"Oh, n-nothing," I replied, not really looking at him. "Nothing at all."
"Something's wrong," he told me, giving me that suspicious one-eyebrow-up look, the look he always gives me whenever he doesn't believe what I've said to him. Giving up trying to cover my sadness, I let out a deep sigh as my eyes sunk to the floor.
"What's up?" he asked me again.
"It's just..." I began, but sighed again, not managing to find the right words.
"Come here," he said, patting the space on the couch next to him as a gesture for me to sit down there. Knowing that this was a chance for me to vent my emotions out, I automatically obeyed as I went over and slumped back onto said space on the couch next him. You'd think I'd be bothered by the smell of the smoke he was producing from his cigarette, but for as long as I had known my dear old father, he had indeed been a smoker, so I was kinda used to it. Which was kinda weird, considering that every time I smelt it coming from some of the other students at school, it always bothered me a great deal.
"What's the matter?" he asked me at last, not taking his concerned gaze off me.
"It's just..." I repeated. "You know what today is, right?"
There was a short silence before my dad answered, "Tuesday...?"
I glared at him in response for his rather silly answer. "No," I said slightly irritably. "St. Valentine's Day of course!"
I sighed in slight frustration mixed with my sadness. "Well, that's another year now that I've not had a special someone to share it with."
"Och, don't worry about it," he said, shaking head with a sympathetic smile on his face. "You will, one day. You just have to patient."
"I know," I replied. "But it's so hard to be when I'm now almost in my twenties and not once have I had the chance to experience true love, like many others have. I just feels as though I'm missing out on something great, you know?"
"Just give it time, pet," said Dad, patting my shoulder gently. "It will happen when it happens."
"And what if it doesn't?"
"It will. Believe me."
"What makes you so sure?" I asked again, turning to face him.
Taking another puff on his cigarette, Dad answered with a smile, "Because you're a very attractive girl, and you're bound to meet an equally attractive man one day. You'll see. Just stop worrying yourself about it. And besides," he continued. "The way I see it, this holiday is just a waste of time anyway. You don't really need to celebrate it, regardless on whether you're single or not. In fact, it's probably better not to, as it puts people under a lot of pressure to be in a romantic relationship and it makes them very unhappy about not being in one. Now, I don't think that that's very fair to do that to people."
I appreciated the fact that Dad was trying to cheer me up. He was right though, this holiday was pretty much just a waste of time, and it does make people very unhappy about being single. I was pretty much living proof at that moment. But what difference would it make on whether this stupid holiday existed or not? I still wouldn't have found the right man yet, and would probably never find him. The chances were that I would be doomed to remain alone and loveless my whole life. However, not wanting to reveal my pessimism, I managed a little smile as I reached over to hug him.
"Thanks, Dad," I said, my voice almost a whisper.
"You're welcome, sweetheart," he replied with a chuckle, returning my hug with one of his own rather tight ones. "I love you very much, you know that?"
"Yeah, I do," I said, pulling away. "And I love you."
Dad chuckled again before touching my cheek. "See, even without a boyfriend, you've still got your family, who all love you very much."
"Mm-hm," I said, nodding. It was true, I did have my family who all loved me with all their hearts, and plenty of friends too, friends who I knew in person and friends who I spoke to online as well, and they all made me very happy indeed. But in the end, underneath all that, I was still missing that special someone who would bring me love and joy of a different kind, and that was what I really wanted. Would that really have been so much to ask?
"Well, I'm off," I said at last, standing up.
"Okay, darling," said Dad.
I went into my room, got my hot water bottle and took it back through to the kitchen. It being the middle of February in Scotland, it tended to be a rather cold night, despite the heating being on, and a hot water bottle always helped me heat up on cold nights such as this. Putting the kettle on, I emptied the now cool contents of the water bottle down the sink. As I waited for the kettle to boil, I began to think of other ways to try and take my mind off this little misfortune of mine.
Perhaps I should watch a movie tonight, I thought. Yes. Yes, that's exactly what I'll do!
Hearing the kettle finally clicking off, I went over and poured the hot water into the bottle, held it to my stomach to let some of the excess steam out and screwed the seal into it before taking it back through to my room.
"Goodnight, Dad," I said as I passed him.
"Goodnight, baby," he replied as I closed the door into my room behind me, leaving him alone with his football game on the TV once more. Going up to the shelves, I began to scan my favourite DVDs there to pick out a film to watch before going to sleep.
"Let's see, what do we have here?" I asked myself aloud, thoughtfully. "Titanic? Moulin Rouge!? The Phantom of the Opera? Nah. I really love all those films, but I don't think a romantic film is such a good idea just now... An American Werewolf in London? The Mummy? Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit? The Nightmare Before Christmas? The Lion King? Well, they're not really romantic films, but the main character in those still fall in love, so no! Though I suppose I could watch a Disney movie. That would very likely make me feel better. Trouble is, there aren't many Disney movies that aren't romantic, are there? But wait a minute!"
As I exclaimed that last sentence, my eyes had fallen on one particular DVD. Taking it off the shelf, a huge smile finally crossed my sad face as I looked at the handsome yet smug expression of Basil of Baker Street as he held his magnifying glass in one hand and the other in the pocket of his brown tweed Inverness coat. Behind him was the face of Big Ben amongst a background of a lovely shade of blue, which looked as though it had been painted on. This was the 1999 cover of The Great Mouse Detective, Disney's 26th animated classic! Basil of Baker Street was the hero of this film. I had always loved this film, ever since I was a little girl, because it was one of the many Disney films I used to love watching all the time back in my pre-school days. For years, I just treated it just another Disney film that I owned since then, but about a year and a half ago, after watching it again with my family, I developed a particular interest in this one, and over time afterwards, it began to make a home for itself in a big part of my heart. Since then, I had been treating it as more than just a mere Disney film. The reason for that being was that there was something very unique about this one. By that, I mean, like most other Disney films, there are no princesses, no pixies, no magic, nothing like that. Don't get me wrong, I did love all those classic films that contained that kind of stuff, and I always would. But I guess you could say upon that particular viewing I saw that there was something more grown up about it in comparison to most of the other Disney films, despite the fact that it was a film about talking mice, even though the main characters were based on Sherlock Holmes, Dr. John H. Watson and Professor James Moriarty from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's most famous classic novels. Maybe that was why I suddenly found myself so drawn to this one, especially after so many years of merely considering as just another Disney classic. And it was through entering the fandom that I learned so many interesting things about it, met so many good friends online who shared a mutual love for this film also, and I also developed an interest in classic character of Sherlock Holmes too, since that was who Basil was based on.
Still looking at the smug expression on Basil's face, I shrugged as I said with a smile, "Oh well, I guess you'll just have to be my Valentine this year," before taking it over to the DVD player on top of my chest of drawers.
Now, you're probably wondering why I said that to a picture of a cartoon mouse. Yes, after suddenly finding myself immensely interested in this film, I found myself falling in love with the main character Basil over time. Indeed, after having upon just entering the fandom, I learned that quite a lot of female fans also had a crush on him and I myself found it rather strange at first, considering that they were all human of course and that he was a mouse. However, as time went by, as I watched the movie more and paid more attention to Basil's good looks, his sense of humour, that rather nice, deep voice of his with the posh British accent, his gentlemanly charm, I began to understand why they would feel that way about him and found myself becoming rather attracted to him myself. At first, I was annoyed at myself for doing so, for after another fictional character I had had a monster crush on for six years, who I moved on from a few years ago, I had promised myself never to fall for another fictional character. However, that promise was broken when I entered the Great Mouse Detective fandom. But after a while, from talking with the online friends I had met through said fandom, I realised that so long as it just remained as a bit of harmless fun and I didn't let it affect my life too much, it would be okay.
Anyway, as I making my way to my DVD player to set it up, something out of the corner of my eye suddenly caught my attention. Looking out of my bedroom window, I noticed that of all the millions of tiny stars dotted all over the pitch black sky above, there was one that was at least three times larger than the rest of and five times brighter, shining like a radiant diamond. Without knowing what possessed me to do so, I closed my eyes and concentrated.
I wish to find love, I found myself thinking. I wish to find someone who I love, someone who will love me back. Someone who will be kind, understanding and protective of me. Someone who will be there for me whenever I need them, someone who will make me happy, even through my darkest of times.
Opening my eyes, I chuckled to myself as I began to mentally kick myself for such a childish act.
"Can't believe I just did that!" I said quietly, having learned as I grew up that it would take more than just looking at a random star that just happened to be brighter than the rest and making a wish on it to make it come true. Well, at least that's what I thought at the time anyway. Choosing to think no more of it, I put the DVD into the machine and settled down into bed. Skipping past all the sneak peaks for other Disney movies, I waited until the menu screen came up. When I was met with the moving image of Basil holding his magnifying glass in one hand with an adorable, excited look on his face with Big Ben in the background, the cheerful theme tune playing in the background, I immediately pressed the Play button on my remote, hoping that watching this would take my mind off my loneliness, despite my aforementioned crush on the cartoon mouse I had just seen on the screen.
However, just as the familiar "London, 1897" caption appeared on the screen, I found myself feeling slightly tired. At first I thought nothing of it and chose to just concentrate on the film. Though try as I may, even during the rather disturbing scene of Fidget breaking into the toy shop and kidnapping Hiram Flaversham, with his eight-year-old daughter Olivia watching, a look of horror on her sweet face, I found that my eyelids got heavier and heavier and I just could not seem to keep them open. I fought to stay awake however and kept all my attention on the film playing in front of me, until it came to the scene in which Dr. David Q. Dawson takes the poor, lost, frightened child to 221B Baker Street, in hopes that the famous mouse detective who lived there would help her find her missing father. Then at last, I lost the battle to stay awake, but managed to do so long enough to hear said detective chirp, "Basil of Baker Street, my good fellow!", introducing himself after removing his bizarre disguise. I smiled at the sound of his voice before at last, my consciousness just left me.