suspected she had a secret. Her frequent absences were a
worry, her explanations unconvincing. Last night I learned
the truth. My partner, who I thought was a nurse, is in
fact a secret agent. Or, as she would have it, an international
woman of mystery.
regular job in the A&E department of the Victoria Infirmary
has been no more than a cover for her clandestine exploits
in the world of counter intelligence. The government agency
for which she works is so secret that not even the members
of that agency know that they exist.
was matched only by my envy. We have all mused about having
a secret identity, about leading a double life, where friends,
colleagues, family are unaware that the person they think
they know is actually a skilled cat burglar and computer
life, the one you wish you’d chosen when you were
young and saw that job vacancy in the civil service. The
one you could have had if you hadn’t fallen in love
or got a mortgage. The one that suggests glamour and danger
and dead drops in an underground car park. The one that
could have made you an enigma.
enigmas don’t have to bother going the messages. Enigmas
don’t get junk mail. Your average enigma is rarely
seen hunting for their keys or getting chased by a dog.
name my girlfriend. To do so would endanger not only her,
but many other international women of mystery scattered
around the globe. The work they do on behalf of Her Majesty’s
Government is clandestine and perilous, their only reward
a fantastic collection of outfits, hats and sunglasses.
claims to know nothing about the death of bin Laden, but
then, she would say that.