I was showering Wednesday evening when my wife walked into the bathroom, slapped down the toilet lid, and took a seat with the determination of an interrogator. “We have to talk,” she said in a voice that would’ve made a nun shiver.
“Everything okay?” I asked.
“That all depends on what you have to say.”
Her father had just called. A woman who hadn’t given her name had called him because she was trying to track me down. “She thinks you may be her father,” my wife explained. “So you’re going to call her.”
Drying off provided an opportunity for what I’ll delicately call a highlights film of my premarital past. One way or another I would’ve known if a co-star had become a mother within the limits of Surprise Daughter time. There was no way I had an unknown child.
And in any case, why did someone looking for me call my father-in-law? How could they have drawn a connection between me and him? And why not just get in touch with me? It’s not as if it’s tough to find my e-mail address, given how much I blog, use social media and write bylined stories for online media. Many of those postings include my e-mail address.
No, I thought, this is fishy. This has to be some sort of scam.
So I called the woman, who seemed abashed, but not that much. She explained that she was trying to find her father, and all she knew about him was his name. She’d made a list of every Peter Romeo she could find, and was working down the roster, calling each one.
Then she gave me her mother’s name and asked if it meant anything to me. She added where her mother was from.
I didn’t recognize the name, and the location was someplace I’d visited perhaps half a dozen times, but never in search of romance.
I assured her that I wasn’t her father. I gave her some info on other Peter Romeo’s with whom I’d been confused over the years, and wished her well.
“I’m 27 years old. I think it’s about time I met my father,” she said, then apologized for bothering me, and hung up.
I hope she finds him.