||[Dec. 1st, 2010|10:50 am]
The latest challenge at thegameison_sh was minor character fic, so here is a little something I wrote about Anthea.
Word count: about 500
She calls him sir because she doesn’t remember his name, but she does remember his authority. When he texts, she remembers his name, but by the time she has reached him it’s gone. It doesn’t matter; he doesn’t need a name, and neither does she, although when prompted she will give one. Always the first female name that comes to mind. Maybe one of them is right; she would have to check her files. She knows that she will forget to look, because it isn’t important. Everything that matters is written on the Blackberry. People who don’t know her think she is rude, the way she has the phone permanently in front of her. But with its notes and to do lists and address book it is how she remembers, moment to moment, who she is speaking to, where she is going. Associative prosopagnosia; partial retrograde amnesia; mild anterograde amnesia. She remembers these terms. Semantic memory, the ability to store and recall factual information, that was not damaged in –
She would have to refer to her notes to recall the accident. She has done so in the past, looking at photographs of tangled wreckage and her own bloody body, which she recognises only because there when she sees her name on the file she remembers it, and knows this is about her. Prosopagnosia: the ability to recognise faces. She lost that, too. Even her own. Sometimes she has been shocked by her own reflection. These days she has learned to apply makeup without looking in the mirror. Her procedural memory is not impaired. Her lipstick is always perfect. He tells her so, and she trusts him. It’s his voice. She may not remember his face, but she can remember his voice. It is so very calm. It was when they first met – the first time, at least, that she remembers them meeting, but so much of before is lost – and he sat by her bedside, voice very gentle, and he had offered her a job.
She might seem a surprising choice as a personal assistant; normally PAs are expected to remember faces, to not sometimes altogether lose the thread of conversations, to remember without recourse to a diary where they are and why. But then, most PAs don’t work for a department with a false name and fake offices, manufactured right down to the files in the drawers and the departmental newsletter. For that sort of department, a personal assistant who perfectly remembers how to manage a diary, write minutes and field phone calls is useful; for that sort of department, a personal assistant who will forget anything that needs to be forgotten is invaluable. “You have both … skillsets,” he had said, mildly, that first day, a thick file on his lap full of information about her she had forgotten. It was a shock, to hear her disabilities spoken of as advantages. It was why she had said yes, why she had carefully written down the address and underneath it, after the word job to jog her memory, she had added you trust him.
She is pretty sure she had written it, anyway. Knowing him as she does now, it’s perfectly plausible he had added that himself. Just to make sure she would come. But for some reason that sort of duplicity is comforting. It makes her feel wanted. Every good personal assistant wants to be invaluable to her boss, after all.