The In-Laws

inspired by Fandango’s One Word Challenge (FOWC) of 18 September 2020, reconcile.


Where women were concerned, Paul’s mother, Mary, just wanted her son to be happy. There were various “nice to haves”, but in general, if Paul was happy… Even as a youngster, when he was seeing a woman, it tended to be a big deal – Paul did not go much for “casual”. She had seen him marry Beth, incredibly young, but she seemed to be a stabilising influence on him, although Mary no longer saw as much of him.

When grandson Jake arrived, she was ecstatic. Wasn’t it about time?

But then came the divorce. Divorce was not really a word in Mary’s vocabulary – socially conservative,  she believed that life was life, although she had sufficient experience to know that relationships are never as smooth as we would like. In the months following the divorce, she had witnessed Paul retreat into his shell. He argued that it was a good thing, but she saw the negative effects.

Mary learned about Anna, therefore, in dribs and drabs. The biggest indicator was when she happened to see a shirt, which clearly belonged to a woman, on the floor in Paul’s bedroom. Paul would tell her in his own time, but she was pleased he was meeting people again.

Over the next couple of weeks, Mary teased information from Paul, little by little, until it became an established fact. Paul could have guessed what would come next – Mary would like to meet this new woman.

It took a few more weeks, but Paul convinced Anna to meet Mary. Apart from Jake, she would be the first “family” person anybody had met. The date was set for a Sunday lunch, one weekend when Jake was staying with Paul – all three would meet and head to Mary’s. Mary would provide the main course, Paul dessert.

On the day itself, Anna had slight butterflies, but really, she need not have worried. So long as Paul liked her, it did not matter to Mary.


I’ve written a background to these characters, in the posts below.

Author: Mister Bump UK

Formerly Stroke Survivor UK. Designed/developed IT systems for banks, but had a stroke in 2016, aged 48. Returned to developing from home, plus do some voluntary work. Married, with a grown-up, left-home daughter.

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