The Man In The Mirror

By: Georgia Le Carre

Disgust pooled at the pit of my stomach. “Go to sleep, Jillian.”

The mocking expression was suddenly gone and she just looked distraught. “Brett, remember when you used to come into my room while I was sleeping and just fuck me in the dark as if I wasn’t your wife, but a total stranger. No words.”

“That was eight years ago,” I said harshly. “I was a different person then.”

“I’m sorry. I was drunk. I didn’t know what I was doing? Are you so perfect that you have never made a mistake?”

“You’re wasting your time, Jillian.”

“How many times must I say I’m sorry? I’m your wife, Brett. When are you going to treat me like I am?”

This was exactly the reason I didn’t want to have this discussion while she was drunk. It was a waste of time. “You’re my wife in name only. We have an agreement that benefits our son. The day it does not will be the day we no longer have our agreement. You do your part and I’ll do mine.”

“There’s something missing in my life, Brett. I need you.” She stood at the entrance to her wing, looking at me imploringly. At that moment, I almost pitied her. She was not happy, and no one could ever make her happy. I promised Stanley I would take care of her until my dying day and I would keep that promise, but that was all I was capable of doing.

Without another word, I turned and went to the wing opposite hers. Silently, I entered my son’s room and stood looking down at him for a long time. Memories flooded into my head. Jillian announcing she was pregnant not to me, but at a dinner party in our home. She then proceeded to get so drunk she passed out before the last guest left. The next morning, I took her to Switzerland. She hated it, but there not a drop of alcohol was available for the rest of her pregnancy. Then, that moment of watching the top of Zach’s blond head appear between Jillian’s legs and feeling for the first time in my life fear, and a new sense of vulnerability. He was so small and helpless. What if I could not protect him?

The feeling never left. I felt it even now as I stood over him. Outside the wind had picked up and it howled around the turrets of the castle.

Chapter 4


Though I was still very far away the castle was already visible. Like a hulking, living monster shrouded in morning mist it rose up from the ground and towered over the sleepy town in the valley below.

I stared at it in amazement. It was like looking at Saruman’s castle. In the gentle light the gray stones looked dark, and forbidding, and nothing like the fairy tale, Sleeping Beauty, type castle I had spent almost a year in. I’d loved every minute of my time there and left with a heavy heart. Compared to this castle that one looked almost fake. I could almost have believed it, if someone had said this castle was built by Numenoreans, or magical ancient men from a vanished island.

As we got closer I could see there were two walls between the outside world and the castle. The taxi stopped in front of the solid iron gateway. The driver turned towards me, his eyebrows raised. “What do you want to do, Miss?”

“Give me a minute, please,” I said and climbed out of the black cab. The morning air was fresh and cool. I stretched my stiff limbs and walked over to a panel that looked like it could be some kind of intercom system.

I pressed the button and waited. A full minute must have passed and I looked around apologetically at the taxi driver, but he seemed to be no longer as impatient as he had been while we were still in London where he busied himself with roundly cursing and swearing at anyone who caused him to lose even a second of his time. He looked as awed by our surroundings as I was. I noticed the vertical sliding wooden grille shod with iron suspended in front of a gateway. In times of war or siege it was let down to protect the gate. Its sturdy design that was meant to repel intruders, but was actually at once brutal and strangely beautiful.

Just as I was thinking of putting my finger on the button and holding it there, a thickly accented, deep voice came through the speaker. For all I knew he could have been Count Dracula’s butler.


I looked up towards the camera. “Er … I’m the new nanny, Miss Charlotte Conrad.”

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