In the restaurant and bar business you meet a lot of strange people. I'm not being disparaging when I say that. I don't mean it as an insult to the person I'm writing about, just that there are so many different life styles and events that many of us never would think of normaly.Of course names are changed. This all took place many years ago!
Vera was Twenty Two years old when I hired her as a waitress. she was very good at it, and a hard worker, even though everyone thought she acted too aloof, as if better than the rest of us. There were three waitresses and one male waiter, on weeknights, and two bartenders. More on the weekends.
During the slow periods when all got to know each other, Vera would always find something to do. After about six weeks of that the others asked her to sit down with them and get acquainted. At first she was hesitant. When Rick the headwaiter finally got her to relax and open up with the rest of them, what they learned shocked them, and they now understood why she was so aloof at first.
Rick and I were talking about it early one day before the others arrived. He would come in and talk with me about business etc and different things we had planned. He said " Well Tess, Vera finally opened up. Her story is really off the wall." I shrugged,"How do you mean?" He asked "Did she tell you anything about her family."
I said,"Not really, just that she had a sister two brothers and her parents who all lived in Texas where she came from."
"Well, be prepared for a shocker, one of her brothers is also her father."
"Say that again" I was taken aback , and stopped what I had been doing.
We were at the bar checking supplies and we both stopped, Rick came closer and said
" One of the brothers bedded the mother and Vera was born. At first they tried to say her husband was the father, like with all the others, but her brother got angry with his parents and told everyone what happened and that he was Vera's father. "
"Sorry Rick , You'll have to explain that. If the father is still alive and living with them how could the brother know that for sure, even if he did go to bed with the mother?"
Rick said "That's easy, at the time the father was away at sea. He's a merchant seaman, and goes on long trips. Sometimes he even gets off the ship in a foreign country and stays awhile. Vera said , they are sure he has another family someplace."
I could hardly believe what I was hearing "My god Rick this is getting weird. Are you sure the mother didn't have a boyfriend? It would be better for Vera, if that were so! "
"No. it was the brother , Vera's mom admitted to it. Her brother was only 15 when it first started. Vera's mom didn't think she could have anymore children,
after her daughter Linda was born. She's Vera's older sister, by a couple of years. The doctors told the mother she couldn't have anymore because they did a tube tie or something.Vera being conceived, was a complete shock, but wait you haven't heard it all."
I looked at Rick in awe, and said "What more can there be that would top this?" I'm almost afraid to hear it!"
Rick took a cup of coffee, and poured me one from the pot we have at the bar. After a few gulps he continued " It seems that the father went into a rage at first, when he heard the news,but didn't hurt anyone. However, his other daughter had been the youngest in the family until Vera was born. At that time when the father came home from sea he decided to not ship out again for awhile and on his daughter Linda's 14th birthday he made her pregnant. He said it was pay back to his wife and son for what they had done to him."
That made me choke on my coffee,and as I spluttered I told Rick " Okay that's enough, you are putting me on, damn it, and I was buying it up until this point."
No no. really Tess honest to god, I'm telling you the truth!"
I looked at him and said "Look me in the eyes, are you serious?"
" I'm totally serious, Tess." I believed him, and he continued to tell the rest of the story.
"To recap so you can get a clear picture, the way things stand now, Vera's family still live together, except the brother/father of Vera, he too moved, no one knows where, but the father made him go. Vera left to come to New York and get lost, so no one would know her. The other brother who I haven't mentioned is kind of slow, though not retarded, and he too is still home."
"The mother and her husband stayed together. They came to an agreement of some kind, which Vera thinks had to do with his being allowed to keep his other family in a foreign country. Vera's sister Linda had a baby boy . They hid her pregnancy, making her go to an aunts in another town until the baby was born. He now lives with the family passed off as the mother and fathers son."
"Whoa wait a minute, I'm dizzy trying to keep up here. How did the mother pass off the lie of having a baby boy."?
Rick answered."Oh yeah, they stay mostly to themselves, but she stayed home a lot saying her pregnancy made her sick and she had to stay off her feet. Then she too, went to the aunt's until Linda had the baby. So she managed to pull it off. The family doesn't have many friends, and their relatives mostly live in other towns ."
I was trying to digest it all, and began to feel really bad for Vera."Please, finish this unbeliveable tale Rick, I have to get going soon."
"Right, almost finished. So mother father, Linda and her boy, and the other brother still live together. Vera is here, and Rick no one knows. The way Vera tells it, she doesn't know how the family got away with it , but she isn't about to tell anyone, because she's so ashamed of it all.Though she misses her brother who is also her father, and feels really mixed about that whole situation "
"She knows her sister hasn't said anything, because she has met a guy and is getting married. She never wanted the boy , and always acted like it was her brother. Which Vera said was her way of handling it, sort of living in denial. No one knows how the poor boy would feel learning his father was also his grandfather.
The other brother never mentions it and won't talk because he is treated like a retarded person by everyone, and his mother keeps him home to help her with things. That is a kind of spooky relationship also Vera said.
So that's the crazy mixed up story, and no one knows how it will all turn out, but poor Vera, has a lot to deal with. We all promised to keep it to ourselves. I told her I would tell you, and she is a bit worried about how you'll react! We told her not to worry,you were a great boss!" I snickered at that!
Rick and I finished up and left. I had a lot to think about, but I was also busy, and had to get my work done. Later that evening, I saw Vera at work, and told her not to worry about things, we would never repeat her story. I also told her to let me know if she needed anything, that I thought it would help if sometimes we would discuss her feelings about her father/brother. She was very relieved and thanked me.
Vera left my employ to get married to a guy she met in the restaurant,and move to Canada. He seemed very nice. I had helped her over the months to come to terms with her situation. I don't know what Vera told her husband, if anything, about her family.
At that time, I was very sad when I received a letter from him that Vera died from a pregnancy that caused massive infection. I had planned to visit them soon, and was quite shocked to hear about her death.
I have no idea, what happened to the rest of her strange family. I only know it was the weirdest family story I had ever heard. I'm sure there are others like it, but this is the only one I know of first hand. I no longer have the restaurant,but I sure have a lot of memories.