My first childhood memory is of my mother. Her name was Annie. She is bathing me, sitting next to the bath to make sure I don’t drown.
She was beautiful, my mother. One of those women people see on the street and turn around to keep watching. Not in a lustful way, it’s more like they’ve seen an angel.
She was always kind to me, and her greatest sorrow was that I never had any siblings. She always wanted to have many children, but she couldn’t have more.
Well, she’s dead now, so i suppose it doesn’t matter.
I met Mycroft when I was sixteen. I was called Georgina then. Not really a fitting name for me, all things told. [drawn out] Georgina. Created from George, in the same way woman was created from man, using his ribs. You can see why I changed it, can’t you?
Mycroft was, is, strange. At first I thought he wanted to sleep with me. People tend to want to do that. But not he. To be honest, I don’t think he wants to sleep with anyone. The only person bright enough for him is Sherlock, and, well... [thoughtful]Actually... [dismissive]No, never mind.
I told Mycroft my name was Maryanne. Don’t know why, really, because it’s not a name I’ve thought about having, or anything. It just popped into my head when I met him. Things tend to do that, pop into my head, not just around Mycroft. I told him I had grown up in Spain, and that my parents were dead. I’m sure now that he didn’t believe a word, but he must have found my lies interesting, because he came back to talk to me again. Still thought he wanted to sleep with me.
I changed my story every time we met. I think I had grown up in every country possible by the time he offered me a job. I was seventeen.
The job entailed going to University and lying, two things I had planned to do anyway, only now I was getting paid to do it. That was really nice. My first paycheck went towards clothes, smart skirts, jackets, and some really great shoes. The places I needed to go to lie were the kinds of places one had to be sharply dressed.
By twenty I had changed my name for real. To Sophie. Nice bland name for a nice bland person. One of the most common names in the UK. Something no one would remember. Which was exactly the reason I chose it. I needed to blend in. Working for Mycroft requires a great deal of blending. Also, the ability to learn languages quickly, and a working knowledge of how to make weapons out of ordinary household equipment.
I do sometimes feel like I’m a stand in for his brother.
There’s no job description for what I do. PA is perhaps the closest, but it’s still very far from it. Mycroft doesn’t need me to pick up his dry cleaning or remember his meetings. He remembers them himself, nothing slips from his brain. Perhaps I am his stand in, his double in a way. When he’s not around I am him.
I was Gertrude for a while. That was fun!
It was just after my father had died. I can’t really say I mourned him. We met once a year, if that, and he tried to get me to trash talk mum. I’ve never lived with him. I think mum just chose him because she wanted a kid and she knew he would never stay with her. She’s bright, my mum.
Gertrude is, well, let’s call her a woman who enjoys life to the fullest. The three months I was her I had more sex than I ever will in the rest of my life combined. Work doesn’t really give me time to do that, unless it’s needed.
I never have to have sex with anyone, but sometimes it makes things easier. Smooths the way, so to speak. I know Mycroft does it too, even if it’s not needed most of the time. The leaders of the world tend to be men, and men tend, in my experience, to be straight.
Mycroft suffers more than I do from sleeping with people. I think, if he had his way, he wouldn’t even have to know that sex exists. He can do it, of course, he just dislikes it. Very much.
But Gertrude never slept with anyone she didn’t want to sleep with. Gorgeous young men and women all lined up, wanting her to pick them. And she usually did. More than one person at the time was never a problem.
Sometimes I miss her. Still, whatever path you choose you always have to sacrifice something, and sex is something I can live mostly without if the payoff is ruling the world.
My mother sometimes asks me why I won’t settle down like my sister. Have some children of my own, a nice husband, house, car, dog. I can never answer, because I don’t have a good answer.
She wants more grandkids while she’s still young enough to enjoy them, she says. I always snort. She’s not very old, but she’ll probably live forever, evil doesn’t die easily, as they say. She’s always been a mean person, but she’s getting worse as time goes.
I try not to visit her anymore, but I can’t refuse to take her calls, because she’ll only take it out on my siblings.
Sometimes I’m Eileen. She’s an assasin.
Working for, with Mycroft, sometimes means you have to kill someone. It’s no big thing. I never kill anyone who doesn’t deserve it. Mycroft never kills anyone. He claims not to have the stomach for it, but I think he has too much stomach for it. If he started he might not be able to stop. Me, on the other hand, while I don’t find killing distasteful or anything, I don’t enjoy it either. It’s a part of the job, and for those occasions I have Eileen.
Eileen is ruthless. She once stabbed a man to death with a pencil, because he looked at her funny. And was a traitor to queen and country.
She has a criminal record, Eileen. Even spent time in jail for manslaughter. I didn’t spend that time in jail, but it looks good on the CV. Not that I’m changing jobs, ever. This is the kind of job you do until you die.
I’m an only child. Mycroft says I should be happy, but I wonder sometimes what it would be like to have someone else like me. Someone who would share dad’s focus, instead of having it all on me. He always used to know where I was, always needed to know where I was. I was very controlled as a child, since mum left me. Us. Dad never got over that, and perhaps having siblings would have helped with that.
Mycroft says sometimes that Sherlock is the worst thing that ever happened to him. He’s lying, of course.
When the time is right I’ll have to find someone to be my apprentice. That is perhaps the best description of my position. I’ll have to find someone to one day take over and do what I do, because I’ll be doing what Mycroft does now. He hopes that Sherlock will have children, so it can be one of them, but I think someone outside of that family would be better. Still, there is time to think.
When I find an apprentice Mycroft can retire. And like his predecessor, he can live happily in retirement as long as he keeps his mind. If he starts losing it there really is only one solution, and I know he already has the necessary means in his home. He would rather die with dignity than have me shoot him, like he had to shoot the man who did his job before him. Why he prefers cyanide before a nice, clean gun shot I don’t know, but then, he is peculiar. Personally, I already have the gun that I will eventually use to kill myself. Sounds morbid, perhaps, but to me, it’s practicalities. And a bit of sentimentality, this gun was the first one I ever shot. Fitting it should be my last, too.
My mother is old. She wasn’t very young when she had me; waiting for the perfect man I suppose. She no longer remembers me, so I’ve stopped visiting her. Not completely, but I don’t go every second day like I used to in the beginning.
In a way she died the day she looked at me and couldn’t even remember ever having a daughter.
Anthea is the every day girl. The one that comes out when there’s no need for anything special. She silent, effective, and really likes her cell phone. Some might think her cold, but that is just not true. She’s just very focused on her job.
Mycroft calls her ‘the ice queen’, to which I remind him that at least ice can be melted. He is made of stone, as far as most people know, and that is much more difficult to make an impression on. Or in, as the case may be. It takes long time and determination, and so far only his family and I have managed.
My parents are alive and well. They live in a small cottage near the coast with a big garden. Mum loves her roses.
They have a dog called Spot, and a couple of hens. I go there every Christmas.