I am the son of an unwed mother. I was brought up by my father Joe and a caring aunt Alice. I do not remember my mother’s face, and my father did not keep any picture of her at home. Whenever I asked him about her, he would either avoid saying about her or would say that she was as good as dead. This was a forbidden topic at home. My father did odd jobs and worked day and night to cater to my needs, pay for the house rent, and meet other expenses. My aunt was with me for all my needs. Aunt Alice was not related to us either from Mom’s or Dad’s side. Whenever I asked her about my mom Lucy, she would say that this was the only thing she could not get back for me. This was the reason I did not like her and always thought that she must be having some ulterior motive not to marry and devote her life to us.
From the whispers and passing remarks about my mom, I could gather that she was an extremely beautiful woman and could captivate many men from an early age. She had a force or magnetism of attracting the other sex to a terrifying degree. She was restless and fond of excitement. Not getting a satisfactory answer to my query, my mind too was restless to find more and more about her. I was a good student and was able to get a scholarship to study at a prestigious college. After passing out I became an Engineer. During one of my holiday breaks, I came home. I was about to open the living room door when I heard my aunt saying to my father, “It was by my persuasion that you left that place with your son on that fateful day." Hearing this, anger took the better of me, I barged into the room and grabbed her by her neck. She was almost choking, my father with great difficulty could pull my hands away and slapped me hard. I was crying in anger and frustration and cried out something foul about my aunt and barged out of my home never to return.
From then on, I became a quiet person and preferred to spend time alone. I married my college friend Mary. My first posting was in a small town in the countryside of England as the Project Engineer on a Hydropower project. The place was very scenic and very sparsely populated. My fun and nature-loving wife loved this place but could not get any appreciation from a pessimistic person like me. She was surprised by my lack of enthusiasm in everything.
One day a friend of hers a police officer had come on some case-related work to our locality. My wife accompanied him there to meet a woman whom the police department had been searching for a long. They got down from the jeep. My wife introduced him. Over tea, I asked him about this case. He said, “It was for a long time that they were in search of a spy named Lucy who had honey-trapped many officers in sensitive posts in many European countries and extracted classified information from them. Though the police department had not been able to trace her in her youth, recently they got to know that Lucy was spending the last part of her life here in this town and she was suffering from cancer which is at the terminal stage. This name and all information about her hit me like a whirlwind. Is she, my mother? The Police officer continued; that she had a disturbed marital life. It seems the boy born to her was not from the person she married. She had become pregnant at an early age and out of desperation married one of her college mates Joe who had wooed her beauty but she had ignored him as he was much lowly placed than her ambition demanded. Joe had known all along that the baby was not his but had wholeheartedly accepted the baby boy as his own. She was not a woman to stay and care for her child. She abandoned the baby and her husband and just vanished somewhere. The woman who took care of the boy was the girl next door who had loved Joe from her girlhood days and finally remained unmarried taking care of the child and Joe’s home.
Lucy could effortlessly access the parties of the British army circle and within no time they came to know about her mesmerizing nature. She was recruited as a spy for the British spy agency. The British intelligence was impressed by her beauty, intelligence, daring, and shaky moral compass. She was smart, shameless, and sultry which she could deploy to lethal effects. She had charmed a British army top brass and came to their social gatherings and parties from where she was picked up. They officially appointed her as their spy and code-named her Betty. Betty proved her efficiency, she could extract the French and Italian naval codes and helped crack the enigma code. This helped the allies stay a few steps ahead of their enemy and finally win the war. This also helped prevent many wars and the death of many soldiers.
When a pro-communist government came to power in Spain, Betty helped to smuggle rebel nationalists to safety and helped evacuate the British embassy staff to Northern Spain. The Communist Government imprisoned a priest who was close to the previous ruler whom Betty knew intimately. She with her mesmerizing ‘Pillow talk’ could figure out where he was imprisoned and could persuade the diplomatic envoy to help secretly release him. She arranged his escape across the border. She also was able to release a Spanish aristocrat and government official she was in love with and many army men by honey trapping several men in position. Such was her ability to woo men in position and mesmerize them and get her work done. Her unabashed love for sex with beauty and brains and love for risk and adventure made her achieve the impossible.
Her next project was to seduce a Polish foreign official and obtain a smooth flow of political information. The most important information she obtained was the Enigma machine which the Germans used to code their messages and finally helped defeat the Nazis.
Another great feat by her was the stealing of Vichy papers in a mastermind plot and helping the Allied forces land in North Africa. The British and American soldiers landed here with practically no resistance and could change the whole course of the war.
Betty often said, “She had no regrets about using spying and prostitution and that wars are not won by respectable methods.” It is said that there was no man alive who could withstand the relentless onslaught of Betty and no secret that she couldn’t winkle out of them as they lay helpless in her arms. She was never ashamed of her work and she was considered an unsung hero who saved hundreds of American and British lives.
Till then my wife had known that I was an orphan. My past was hidden from her. That night my mind was in turmoil. I confined to her everything. She was a very understanding person. The next day we both went to the address where Lucy was living. We saw her leaning on a dewan and a servant was attending to her. I introduced myself and told her my name, my father’s name, and everything else. She held my hand and said, “Yes God has been kind to me that I am seeing my son before I die. I do not deserve to be called a mother, I deserted you. Can you forgive me for this?” I held her hand and kissed her and then embraced her and said, “I am proud to be born to you mother. I have no grudges against you”. Tears rolled down our cheeks. These were tears of happiness.
Next, I went to my childhood home. I had left home angrily and had never returned afterward. I reached there with lots of guilt feeling. I had thwarted the unconditional love and care of a doting father and a caring aunt who had loved me unconditionally. Will they forgive me?
The door was opened by my aunt. She took some time to recognize me. I came to know that my father was no more. I held her and cried and asked for forgiveness. She held me tightly and smiled at me the same way she had done when I was a kid. I looked up towards heaven and bowed. Surely my father would be the happiest person today up there somewhere.
(Some ideas of this story have been adapted from the British secret intelligence service(M16).
(The photos have been taken from Google and the copyright is with the owner).