Story:Mama's Got Blue Eyes
Mama's Got Blue Eyes
Written by Shataivian
Albany, New York
December 12th, 2019
Lisa sat in a waiting room full of people and watched as one by one each was called back. The room would start to get empty and then fill up again as time went on. Eventually, the first of the people who were called back started to leave. She spent the better part of the morning practicing in her head what she was going to say. However, no matter how much she went through the words, how emotional she thought her words sounded, how pleasant and unconfrontational she’d thought she would be, she knew it didn’t matter. She knew that nothing would come out the way it was planned. But she practiced on anyway.
After some time, people were showing up less and less often, and the waiting room started to grow sparse as noon rolled around. Once the waiting room was finally empty Lisa swallowed her breath and walked over to the front desk.
“Excuse me,” her mousey voice squeaked out. No one heard her. She cleared her throat and spoke again. “Excuse me?” Two out of the three women who were sitting there had already left. The final woman there was just on her way out the door of the front desk area when she finally caught Lisa’s voice the third time she spoke. “Excuse me!”
“Oh,” the doe spoke in shock. “I’m so sorry. I didn’t see you. How can I help you?” The doe walked over towards the desk to better address Lisa.
“Oh. Um. I’m here to see Ms. Malone.” Lisa started to twirl the scarf she had around her neck. She was back to wearing them.
“Do you have an appointment?” An appointment? Of course, she would be asked that.
“Oh. No. No. She’s, um, my mother.” Lisa kept her head low and shoulders up as though she were waiting for the doe to believe her.
“Daughter? Malone? I didn’t know she had a daughter. Are you sure?” Though the doe’s voice was sweet and affirming, Lisa felt attacked and was unsure what to say next. It must have been written all over her face, though, because the doe tilted her head, smiled, and said “let me see if I can go grab her for you, okay? Wait here.”
The doe went through the office door and stopped just behind it. Lisa could still see her through the window of the door. She was talking to someone just out of view. Lisa fidgeted even more with her scarf and found herself to be rocking impatiently. The doe looked at Lisa and pointed. Finally, the doe came back through the door. “She’ll be out in a sec.”
“Thank you,” Lisa’s voice barely got out. As the doe left, presumably for lunch, Lisa paced back and forth. This was it. For the first time in her memory, Lisa was about to meet her mother.
Lisa took a breath to prepare herself, but before she could exhale the anxiety away, the main door into the waiting room opened. A white blue-eyed mouse with a black patch of fur over her right eye entered the room. Her hair was blonde, but her eyebrows were brown like Lisa’s. This was her. This was the same woman from the photo she had in her pocket. This was the same woman who gave birth to her. This was the same woman who left her and her father. She was right there.
“Can I help you,” the blue-eyed mouse asked impatiently. Lisa had only then just realized that she was standing there, taking everything in, but had not said anything yet.
“Oh! Oh. Ms. Malone? I.” Her gaze went down to the floor, but this time she caught herself doing this. She took a breath, stood firm, and began again. “My name is Lisa Belle DuPont, and I’m your daughter.” Straight to the point. Lisa stood ready for anything. Would she be elated? Would she be angry? Was she going to fight? What was her response going to be?
“Daughter? I’m sorry. Did you say daughter? I don’t have a daughter.” Ignorance. Of course, she would play ignorant. She didn’t know who Lisa was? Well, Lisa was about to remind her. “Are you sure you have the right woman?”
“You are Sandrine Malone, but you used to be Sandrine DuPont. You were married to David DuPont, and the two of you had me.” Lisa reached into her pocket and pulled out the photo her father had given her. “This is you, right?” Sandrine took the photo from Lisa and stared down at it. After a moment, she looked back at Lisa.
“What’s the meaning of this? Where did you get this?”
“From my father. Your ex-husband. David DuPont.” Sandrine looked back at the photo and back to Lisa again. Then she did something Lisa wasn’t expecting to happen. Or, at the very least, something she hoped would not happen. Sandrine started to laugh.
“David ‘DuPont,’ huh? That’s great.” Sandrine handed the photo back to Lisa. “Look. That man was garbage, and I left him. Sorry, hunny, but I don’t have a daughter.”
“Please,” Lisa began as her body also pleaded with her. “I didn’t come here to fight. I’m not here to cause any trouble.” The blue-eyed mouse put her hand on her hip as Lisa spoke. “I know you two didn’t get along but that doesn’t mean we don’t have to. I don’t care what happened between you two. If you two want to continue hating each other, that’s fine. The reason I’m here today is because you’re my mother… I just want the chance to get to know you, for me.”
“I’m going to have to ask you to leave,” Sandrine quickly and firmly said.
“Why?! I’ve done nothing wrong to you! Please. All I am asking is for a chance. I’ve gone my whole life being told how my mom was ‘this’ and how she did ‘that.’ I don’t care what other people say. I just want a mom. My mom.”
“I left you, and your father years ago. It tore me apart what your birth had done to us. I had to make a stand and take care of myself. I searched and I found something better and I’m not about to let you two back into my life and change all that.”
“What did I do,” Lisa’s voice shook as she shouted. “Is it him? Did he hurt you? You can hate him! Hell, sometimes I hate him. I get it! But I’ve never done anything to harm you. How could I? Why can’t I just have a chance?” Sandrine’s face softened for just a moment. Her words were getting to her. But just as quickly, Sandrine started to shake her head as though she was shaming someone.
“I’m sorry, but I said no.” Sandrine stood with her arms crossed. “I was done with both of you the day you were born.”
“I just want my mom. Please.” Lisa was practically on her knees begging her. Why wasn’t this working?
“Kiddo,” Sandrine chuckled. “Your mom died the day you were born.” Lisa just shook her head in response. “Now, if you don’t mind, I’d like to get lunch before my shift starts back up again.” She started to make her way past her for the front exit.
“No! Please? I…” Lisa stopped. They weren’t alone in the waiting room anymore. Sandrine caught Lisa’s face as she stopped and turned around to see what Lisa was looking at. Standing in front of the door between the waiting room and the back area stood a tall, skinny mouse with brown fur and dark hair. His eyes were a crystalline blue, and his fur had patches of gray and black. Sandrine sighed as she looked at him. Their eyes seemed to be having a private conversation before it would seem Sandrine lost whatever fight they were having. Sandrine huffed and stormed passed Lisa through the front exit. Lisa wanted to stop her, but her body would not move. Her shoulders did, however, as they involuntarily jumped with her breath and tears.
“I’m so sorry about that,” the tall mouse said. “Did I hear you say she was your mother?”
“I’m sorry,” Lisa said back. “I didn’t mean to cause you any trouble.”
“Oh, not at all! Wait. No! I can’t believe this. You’re Lisa DuPont from the FBA!” Lisa lightly chuckled. As she stood up straight to meet this mouse face to face the tears in her eyes helped them to shimmer as the afternoon sun hit them. They sparkled, taking the tall mouse by surprise. “Wow, you have really beautiful green eyes.” Lisa chuckled again, wiping her eyes at the same time.
“Are… are you hitting on me?”
“Oh, no-no. I just was taken aback by the color is all. Not too often do I see green eyes,” he clarified.
“Ah. Well, I’ll get out of your hair.”
“Actually. I was hoping you would have lunch with me.”
“You ARE hitting on me.”
“No. I just overheard what you two were talking about and thought I could help.”
“No offense, but this isn’t any of your business.”
“Well, I beg to differ. See, Sandrine is MY mother.” Lisa’s eyes lit up. “So, yeah. If what you are saying is true, that would make you and I brother and sister.” The mouse stood waiting for a response, but Lisa didn’t even move. “’sure you don’t want to have lunch with me?”
Lisa sat down in front of a large L-shaped wooden desk in a large office. The walls were painted an easy-on-the-eyes red color, and the windows behind the desk were practically floor to ceiling, looking out on to a beautiful snowy arboretum. The mouse took his seat behind the desk and clasped his hands together.
“So. You claim Sandrine is your mother,” he began.
“She IS my mother.”
“How do you know for sure?” Lisa then took the photo she had back out and handed it to him. “Well. Look at that. I’ve seen this picture before. So, that’s your father?” Lisa nodded in response. “And there’s Mom. Wow. It would seem like you’re telling the truth.”
“So… That would make you and I…” Lisa started to say.
“Half brother and sister. That. Is. Wild. I’ve never had a sister.” Lisa laughed as though it was supposed to come out as crying. The mouse reached over and grabbed a box of tissues and offered one to her.
“I’ve never not been an only child,” she said back, taking a tissue and blowing her nose.
“Wow. It’s a shame Sandrine isn’t actually your mother, though.”
“My mother doesn’t have any daughters.”
“Look,” Lisa said firmly. “I know that’s what she might say, but she’s absolutely my mother.” The mouse shook his head in response.
“No. I’m sorry. She’s not.”
“How would you know,” Lisa defensively asked.
“Because I was there.” Lisa sat back, confused. “Lisa Belle DuPont. You’ve been making the headlines quite a bit lately. It would be hard not to recognize you. If I’m not mistaken, you got your degree in biochemistry. You’re in school now, too, right?”
“Yeah? I’m… I’m getting my doctorate in neurological sciences. Wait, but did you say you were there?”
“Oh wow,” he continued without answering her. “So, you really know your stuff! Genetics was hard for me in undergrad. Took me way too long to get a handle on it. Bet you that stuff comes easy to you, don’t it?” This was odd, right? What was he up to?
“You know basic things like dominant and recessive traits, right?”
“So, something like blue eyes would be dominant or recessive,” he stopped, waiting for her to answer.
“Blue eyes are a recessive trait.” Her answer was sure and precise but had a tinge of confusion in it due to the path this conversation was now taking.
“Right! So, let’s say someone with blue eyes mates with someone else with blue eyes, then,” he stopped again.
“Then they both have recessive traits and can only pass on recessive traits.”
“Which means all their kids would have blue eyes."
“Right!” The mouse leaned forward. “And YOU have beautiful green eyes.” Lisa stared back at him, first confused, then terrified. She snatched back the photo from him and examined it. “Like I said, She’s not your mother.” Lisa’s green eyes darted back and forth between David and Sandrine in the photo. But no matter how many times she checked; both of their eyes would be a brilliant icy blue color.
“No. No-no-no-no-no. This can’t be.” Finally, she slumped back in her seat, letting the photo fall to the ground.
“I’m so sorry,” he said. “But I’m 99% sure your mother has green eyes. 1% sure she’s got brown eyes if my statistical genetics knowledge serves me right.” Lisa leaned forward and rubbed her entire face with both hands. “I can’t imagine what you’re going through right now.” When she stopped rubbing her face, she held her head in her hands and looked down at the desk.
“So, I guess you and I aren’t brother and sister after all,” she said softly as a slight joke to try and lighten the mood if only a tiny bit.
“Well,” the mouse started to say. “I never said that.” Lisa looked up at him, waiting for him to explain. “I just said we don’t share a mom.” She slowly sat up in her seat.
“What are you saying?” Lisa’s words were slow, soft, and pointed. He sighed back at her.
“You’re not my sister on my mother’s side… You’re my sister on my father’s side.”
“Bullshit,” she blurted out. “You may know whether or not your mother had any daughters, but I know for a fact that my father only had one child. Me!” The mouse shook his head in response.
“I have that same exact photo back at home. It’s the only photo I have of both of my parents. That man in the photo is my father.”
“So, what, you mean to tell me that not only am I not Sandrine’s daughter, but my father had a second child?! And I’m supposed to believe that?!”
“It’s the truth,” he promised. Lisa hung her head in frustration until she noticed something on his desk and her face changed completely. Eerily, she started to laugh. The mouse looked at her with confusion as she sat straight in her seat and continued to laugh.
“You know, you almost got me,” she said through her laughter, wiping the tears from her eyes.
“I did,” he asked in genuine confusion.
“My dad DID warn me about this. Did Sandrine put you up to this?”
“It was a very convincing story, I gotta tell you. But you let one thing slip. In fact, it’s all over the building.”
“Please,” he said leaning forward. “Do tell.” Lisa nodded and smirked.
“Sandrine. Her maiden name is Vaux, right?” The mouse started to stammer as though he didn’t want to give that information away. “Don’t worry. You don’t have to confirm it. I know it’s true. And she’s now remarried and has the name Malone. But she was married to my father whose name is DuPont.” Lisa then picked up the nametag that had been sitting directly in front of her on his desk and held it up to him. “So, where the hell does Nadeau come from, Doctor?!” He looked down at the nametag and then back to Lisa.
“It’s… my father’s name,” he answered.
“No! You said this man. This man right here,” she said picking up the photo and pointing to her father, “was your father!”
“His name is DuPont.”
“No, it’s not.”
“Yes! It is!” The mouse grabbed Lisa’s hands to try and calm her down.
“Look. You never once told me his full name, right,” he asked. “So, there should be no reason why I would know it unless he mattered to me, right? Well, his name is David Avellino Nadeau. I’m not sure where ‘DuPont’ came from or if or when it was changed, but I promise you that was his name. In fact, I was named after his father, Emmett. Have you never spoken to your grandparents? Don’t you know their last name? It should also be Nadeau.” Lisa sat shocked.
“My… My grandfather died when I was young and my grandmother remarried, changing her last name.”
“What about your government documents? Birth certificate? Dad’s full name would be on that.”
“I…” Lisa started to slow down and think. “It went missing…”
“Have you ever tried to order a new one? All you would really need is your mother’s maiden name. If Sandrine was really your mother, Vaux should work, right? You ever try ordering one?”
“It… always kicks back… I could never… get it to work…” Lisa’s voice started to go mousy.
“Look,” he sighed. “Sandrine and David had one child together, and it was me. And like I said before, I was there. I remember when Dad brought you home. I was four at the time, but I vividly remember all the fighting. The gist of the story is that he lied to her, went behind her back, and had an affair. Mom wanted to forgive him and work things out, but he wasn’t willing to work with her or leave you with your mother’s family. So, Mom took me and left saying that you were the reason why…”
“… why they got a divorce?” Lisa started to shake her head. “No. No. She… She changed her mind about wanting kids during the pregnancy. She didn’t want kids at first. She was scared.”
“Until she got to babysit a friend’s newborn, right? Yeah, that’s true. She thought she’d never have kids until then. I was born that next year.” Lisa was vigorously shaking her head. “It’s true. Take a look. Where do you think I got this yellow neck from?” He pulled down his scrub top and showed her the tuft of yellow fur on his chest where normally a grayer fur would grow on other mice. Lisa said nothing. “Listen, what would I have to gain from lying to you? I’m a dentist. I don’t need help financially.” Lisa was no longer focusing on what Emmett was saying. Her eyes glazed over. “Hey.” Emmett stood up, came around the desk, and forced Lisa up onto her feet. He stood just a bit taller than her. At the very least, he certainly had David’s height. “I know this wasn’t what you were hoping for but…” He grabbed her hands. “But I’m glad you came today. I’ve always known about you, but I was told how awful my father was and how I should leave him out of my life. When you started talking about your mother on Tweeter, it took me a while to realize you meant Sandrine. And when you and I spoke online I didn’t want to say anything because, A: you probably wouldn’t believe me, and B: I didn’t know if you wanted to get to know me. I didn’t know if you were like Dad, or what.” Lisa took her hands back and started to walk away from him. She stopped to look at the paintings of orchids on his wall. One of the paintings was of a daffodil. This made her scoffed while dawning an unamused smile on her face. “I-I know you came here looking for your mom, and I’m sorry you still haven’t found her,” he said trying to grab Lisa’s attention again. “But, at the very least, you found a brother who’s… Who’s been dying to meet you.” Emmett’s eyes started to well up.
“I… I need to… I need to go,” Lisa squeaked out, her back still towards him.
“Oh… Yeah… That’s right. You’re playing against Albany today, aren’t you?” He chuckled. “Well, sorry, but I’m loyal to the Alphas.”
“I’m. I’m sorry,” Lisa said softly.
“For what? In fact, I should be the one saying sorry. I already knew this, but this is all new to you.”
“I’m so sorry, Doctor,” she repeated.
“Come on. I know I’m your older brother, but you don’t have to be THAT formal with me,” he joked to try and cheer her up. “Please. Just call me Emmett.” Lisa forced a smile. “I’ve got a lot of making up to do.” He reached over his desk and wrote on a small business card. “But if you ever need anything, anything at all, call me.” He took Lisa by the shoulder, turning her around and handed her the card with his personal number written on the back. “I’m here for you. Whatever you need. So, please, let me be the big brother you’ve never had the chance to have… The big brother I never got to be for you.” Lisa involuntarily nodded, looking down at the card. She didn’t know what else to do. Here was this stranger who claimed to be her big brother. This man who completely turned everything she believed on its head. She’s even spoken to him before. He knew who she was the whole time they spoke. But yet, when she finally did look back up at him, that feeling of being a stranger seemed to automatically melt away. Her eyes filled with tears, but this time there was a slight optimistic smile on her face. And from that feeling she spontaneously jumped up and wrapped her arms around him, nestling her face into his neck. Why? Why was she doing this? She couldn’t possibly believe him… right?
“Thank you,” she whispered. “For telling me the truth.”
“Hey. I’m your big brother. I’m gonna be there for you.” He hugged her back and the two stayed embraced together, swaying side to side. She’s never known this man, but there was an instant trust with him. This wasn’t a stranger anymore. This was her brother. Her older brother. Her Big Brother.
When they finally pulled out of their embrace, Lisa stood embarrassed with her eyes down at the ground. She laughed at the awkward situation. “I… actually do really need to go.”
“Yeah. I’m glad you’re my sister and all, but can you please lose today?” Lisa burst out in laughter. It was something to finally laugh at, and she let it all go. And with that comment, she swatted at Emmett the way she would with someone she was comfortable with.
“Not a chance,” she giggled.
“Stay in touch?” Lisa nodded back. “Take it easy on Dad, okay,” he whispered to her.
“Oh. That ain’t happening.” Her voice was smooth and snarky.
“I’d definitely talk to him about all this, though. Maybe he can point you in the direction of your actual mother.” Hesitant at first, Lisa started to leave, stopped, then turned back for one last hug. Finally, she headed towards the door.
“You know,” she called back from over her shoulder. “From the looks of it, when it comes to which parent we could have possibly ended up living with, you ended up with the better deal.” She then made her way out his office and towards the exit. Emmett slowly left his room next, stopping just outside the door. To the left of his door was Sandrine, leaning against the wall. He looked over at her, but Sandrine said nothing to him.
“I want to meet him,” Emmett informed her. Sandrine scoffed as she stood up straight and started to walk away.
“Your next patient is ready for you, Dr. Nadeau,” Sandrine called back in a formal tone.
Emmett sighed. “Right.”