Stenberg is a name that brings forth mixed emotions from a wide range of people. The people of London see them as protection, the DWMA sees an ally, the paparazzi view them as an endless source of income. Other families in the same business despise them because they conduct their matters swiftly and efficiently, never coming out of situations with their hands dirty. No one seems to see them the same way I do. I see them as caricatures of people. The masks they wear in public removed behind closed doors reveal people much more sinister and cunning than any person should be. Good looking, charismatic, silver tongued and quick witted like the devil himself would be. Sharp in mind and manner to a fearsome degree. Unforgiving.
And I am the youngest child, heir to the Stenberg name.
My father, the current man in charge, is a stoic and steady person. Unaffected by my mother's failing health, my brother's antics, or really anything other than my failings as a daughter. My mother is too weak from her illness to step to my defense, though judging from the broken look in her eyes, I doubt she would even if she could speak. After all, perfection is to be sought at all times, and I am far from the perfect daughter.
My brother, Sylver, is arguably worse off than myself. A half sibling, someone who -by my father's standards- started out as imperfect. Never would he admit that it was his own failings that brought Syl into this world, but to his credit, he doesn't seem to blame Syl much either. In fact, my brother gets by fairly easily in this family. He's not the one to take over the family name, so he doesn't spend his days being scrutinized in every way. No one measures his accomplishments and compares them to anyone else, nor do they force a plan for his future on him. Not that he doesn't act like it anyway. Perfect school marks, perfect hair and clothes, perfect everything as long as someone's watching.
Sometimes I think to myself that he should take over the family, not me. Can something as small as being half related really keep him from becoming head of the family? He often tells me I should be happy with the position. My future is secured for me. But really I'd like to jump down from whatever pedestal I've been placed on.
Today at tea I was instructed on introducing myself to my new classmates and teachers. The private school I'll be attending for my 7th grade year is a place to network, my father explained as he passed the biscuits in my direction without bothering to look at me. Furthermore, the 'friends' I make will somehow determine which families mine becomes affiliated with. He sips his tea before finally glancing at my tiny figure slumped back in my chair. His gaze could be compared to the sun, and I am an ant beneath a magnifying glass. "Don't c**k it up," he told me, tone heavy with the disappointment he must feel knowing that I inevitably will.