Although my wife, Camelia, didn't know her father in the end he had not one, but three! When I joined her family, I woke up with one father-in-law in the person of the adoptive father, with another in the person of the uncle, and after a while the right father also appeared!
When I fell in love with Camelia, I didn't think for a moment about her family tree, that is, about her mother, her father, brothers, brothers-in-law and so on. I courted her in the most serious way and, after two years of constant love, I said "yes" with all confidence to marital status. I didn't bother to mess with the rest of the family, even though we had met each other, and even though there had been no love between me and them at first sight, at least we didn't dislike each other.
The first to look at me more cautiously was my mother-in-law, but it is not unnatural for mothers-in-law to look at their son-in-law with more critical eyes. But the poor woman had other reasons. He was probably thinking about her tumultuous youth.
Camelia told me the whole story, as it was. When she was in her early twenties, my mother-in-law fell in love with a handsome but playful boy.
"Betty," he had promised, "I want to be with each other all my life! I love you and I can't imagine living without you!"
Like any girl who hears such words, (as she actually calls my mother-in-law) gave in both mentally and physically, completely abandoning herself to the young man.
He loved her, she loved him, they loved each other and, look, conjugating vertically but more horizontally the verb to love, Betty found herself bearing in her womb the fruit of common love. Of course, she hurried to announce her great joy to Traian. Her enthusiasm did not match his anger:
"It's not possible!"
"Yes, Traian, you don't even know how happy I am!"
"I don't think that's a cause for joy, but more for worry!" he concluded.
"Why? she wondered. We're getting married, aren't we?"
"I'm not ready for such a step. I just finished my studies, there's no point, and you're just at the beginning of college!"
"We'll try! We're going to make an effort. See, let's try, it's going to be okay." she encouraged him.
"I don't want to trample on all my dreams for a child!" he frowned. I thought you understood me and I can trust you, but I was wrong!
"Traian. Do you hear what you're saying?"
"Yes. Get rid of the child if you want our connection to have another chance!"
Such a step, at the time, could be quite risky. Elisabeta was exposed not only to the dangers of curettage, but also to the probability of serving a few years in prison if caught. He kept coding until it was too late to do anything.
And, as a misfortune never comes alone, Traian managed to fulfil his dream, fleeing the country. Elizabeth received a letter from him only about two years later. The man had written several, but the authorities at the time were quite vigilant and the letter had not found its target. He told her he was in Dubai and asked her what she had done, how she had handled the difficult situation in which he had left her.
Betty never answered. In desperation she had married another man, willing to take her in her womb. The man had suffered severe disappointments and believed that by marrying a girl in her situation, she would always be grateful to him and that would keep him from disappointments. For safety, when Camelia was born, he recognized her as his daughter.
It was a gesture of great humanity and even though it was not possible to talk about love, Camelia respected him as a real father, and his mother never gave him reasons to be dissatisfied with her. Only a few years ago, probably fed up with the quiet life he was leading, my father-in-law (in documents) left the marital home, moving to a new one, with a young mistress, a former secretary at his company.
"I'm pretty old and I have to feel alive! he told me, as among men, on the occasion of a visit I had made to him before I married Camelia. I have followed the rules too much so far, I want to see how it is on the other side of the barricade! This does not mean that my feelings for Camelia are not the ones I had before, from a father to his daughter. You will be my son-in-law and I hope we will be friends. I assure you how much I will give all the support you need, provided you respect my child, love her and don't act like me!"
I had no intention of cheating on her daughter. I was so in love with her that I would do anything to see her as happy as possible and as often as possible with me. As a father-in-law, he always seemed more than reasonable to me. after all, he had divorced Camelia's mother, not the rest of the family!
My mother-in-law's brother seemed less reasonable to me, Camelia's uncle, a policeman of his kind, who along the way who during her childhood had also assumed the role of father, especially in terms of pampering the child. He knew the truth about her birth, and it had always seemed to him that Elizabeth's husband did not love the girl as much as a true father would. That's why he had always intervened, protecting her too much.
He and his wife had no children, so they had transferred all their affection to Camelia. He looked at me a little grumpily, like his sister, though for completely different reasons. If my mother-in-law watched carefully so that her daughter would not suffer what she had suffered, "daddy" (this was the nickname my wife caressed my uncle with) treated me coldly, proving the jealousy of a father who took care of raising his only daughter, who is finally forced to accept the impatient young man she fell in love with, just so she doesn't get upset. "Daddy" wanted to talk to me in private.
"I care about Camelia like the eyes in my head and if you upset her, you will have big problems with me!"
He wasn't content to get my attention. He was really threatening me. It was obvious he was a cop.
"Do I understand that I will receive police treatment?" I replied ironically, irritated by his attitude.
"No, but I'll show you the hell!"
"Don't you grant me the presumption of innocence, too?" It's like the law says.
"Here I make the law!" You're good with her, I'm good with you. You are not, you are burned! I warn you, to know that this family is not a village without dogs! My sister raised her with superhuman efforts, and my wife and I did the same! It's like our child, she will have everything we have left and we don't want them to make fun of our work!
So, look at me with two fathers-in-law: one reasonable, the other hostile. I got used to the idea pretty quickly and, in time, it seemed to me that they accepted me too.
The problems began when a cloud from Dubai appeared in the clear sky of our lives. Camelia's father had returned to Romania for the first time since fleeing the country! We woke up with him at the door. I don't know when he became interested in the fate of his ex-girlfriend. I don't know how he found out about Camelia, where he found out our address.
I opened it. He told me with a pronounced foreign accent.
"Hello! Can I come in? I'm Camelia's real father."
I was so amazed by the appearance of the third father-in-law that I barely swallowed a few words, inviting him to enter. Camelia was almost ready to have a shock. She did not know the man who had come to our door. There was a big scandal.
"I know I was wrong then. Maybe I was wrong even now that I didn't announce before. I’m sorry! I'll let you calm down and we'll talk in the next few days."
Even after he left, Camelia did not fully recover. She was three months pregnant and I was afraid that his visit might hurt her too much and that scared me so I took a stand immediately. "Honey, if I catch this one around, I'll break his legs!" I decided, after recovering from my amazement.
She was silent, unable to say anything.
This was only the beginning of the scandal. See what it was like when my mother-in-law found out and, as if more, my mother-in-law's brother! He went to the hotel where Trajan had shot and took him hard:
"Listen to me carefully, if you came here to sow discord between us I will expel you! Stay at your hotel or go see the beauties of the homeland, but leave our family alone! When this little girl needed you, where were you?"
"He still needs it!"Trajan cut him off.
The quarrels did not go away suddenly. It took Trajan to insist. I heard that the first time she saw him again, my mother-in-law fainted like a young lady in the dandelion field. The man did not give up, he insisted. At 52, he was young and free. He had been married in Dubai, but had divorced. No descendants had emerged from his marriage. He had returned here eager to renew the thread of the story he had cut himself twenty-five years ago.
After the first episode, he left again for a short time in the Dubai, then returned. He had decided not to leave things unfinished.
"I'm alone there. Why be alone when I have family here?"
In the end, the story ended with a happy ending. Trajan and Betty resumed their broken relationship before the birth of my wife. after all, they were both young and free. That's how I danced at my in-laws' wedding.