Story:The Talk: Part 3
The Talk: Part 3
Written by Shataivian
Monday, December 23rd. Queens, New York. Las Vegas vs. Queens. The score at the end of the night: Las Vegas Wildcards 115, Queens Pride 127.
Just like last year, Lisa’s last game before the Christmas break was in Queens. And just like last year, her father was there to cheer her on from the crowd. Lisa’s face was aglow. It didn’t matter how the game turned out; Lisa’s face was bright. She smiled the entire time she was playing and that didn’t stop even after the game was over. Of course, it would have been better to win, and losing Misha in the first quarter certainly made things all the more difficult, but that was okay. When the game was over, she practically ran over her father and greeted him with an even bigger smile.
“You came,” she shouted.
“Of course, I did! Wasn’t gonna miss my baby’s game when it’s right here at home,” David said back giving her a hug.
“How sweet of you.”
“Well, what do you think? Wanna stay home for Christmas? I’ve got some great things planned for us.”
“Oh, yeah,” Lisa chuckled. “Sounds super-duper!” David laughed back.
“You alright?” Lisa responded back with a thumbs up. “Where’s the big guy?”
“Yeah. Thought he’d be here for sure.”
“He’s staying with family for Christmas,” Lisa informed him.
“That’s a shame. I haven’t seen him since like March/April.”
The two continued on with idle chit chat, talking to each other, members of the team, and fans. After a brief time, Lisa went back to the locker room to change and came running back out to meet with her father. The two got into his car that was parked in the parking garage attached to the stadium. In the car Lisa dictated what was being played on the radio. She switched from station to station, eventually landing on a station playing solely Christmas music. Still aglow, she bopped and tapped her legs to the beat.
“You’re certainly cheery tonight,” David told her. “Tell me, what’s new?”
“Stuff,” Lisa said back in a playful tone. “Did I ever tell you how I got my cat, Bella?” David rose an eyebrow.
“What,” he laughed. “Where did that come from?”
“I told the story online once back in January when I got her, but I don’t think I ever told you.” David shook his head.
“No, I don’t think you told me her story. I’m assuming this is gonna go somewhere. But, go ahead. Tell me of your cat’s humble beginnings.”
“She was a stray. Sort of. Her mother was a house cat that got out one day and got lost. She went missing for weeks and weeks until a random person found her. But she wasn’t alone. She had a newly born kitten with her. So, the person who found them took them both to the nearby shelter. The shelter checked the mother for tags and chips and eventually found that she was registered to someone, so, they called them. When the owner came to pick up their cat, the shelter tried to also give them the kitten. But the owner said that they couldn’t have both the mother and the kitten. So, the kitten was left with the shelter.”
“Oh, that’s sad. She was abandoned.”
“Yup. But one day the kitten got out. She ran out the front door when a family came to visit the shelter and she was never found. I was walking around San Jose before one of our games and I happened to find her in an alley. I coincidently brought her back to that same shelter and they told me this story. What’s even more amazing is that I found her in the same place the last person found her and her mother. Poor little girl. She got separated from her mother and went back to look for her only to find nothing. Well, she did find someone she wasn’t expecting to find. Now she has someone who will love her and always be by her side no matter what. I think it’s such a cute story, don’t you?”
“Yeah, I guess that is kind of cute,” David smiled. “What made you think about it?”
“I don’t know. Just randomly crossed my mind, I guess.”
They continued their ride back to their apartment silently listening to the radio. The upbeat jolly music kept the car ride feeling calm and relaxed. Once they finally reached their neighborhood David did a couple of drive-arounds before finally stopping in front of their building.
“Go ahead, and head upstairs,” David instructed. “Might take some time before I find a parking spot.” Lisa nodded, took the house keys, and got out of the car. This place seemed to feel exactly the way it did when she came here as a small child for the very first time. It had that same unfamiliar smell to it, that somehow made her realize that that smell didn’t just “disappear” as she got older, she just got used to it and associated it to “home” rather than to “a foreign place” the way it used to be. The odd, short, round sidewalk lights helped aid in this place’s unique feeling. None of them were the same color. You could tell they were all supposed to be that street-light-yellow-orange color, but some were more yellow than others, other were darker orange. There were even some that were an odd bluish-green color for some reason. What an odd place. Not home. Not anymore. Just a memory and feelings.
When Lisa finally reached her front door on the 28th floor, Lisa entered and found a surprise waiting for her. Inside, there was a Christmas tree and lights and garlands everywhere, all of it from her childhood. The tree even had some of the old ornaments she made back in kindergarten. He kept it all this time? For a moment Lisa felt a warmth in her heart. He loved her. Her dad was really trying for her. What a great dad. So what, he kept secrets from her. So what, he lied about her mother. So what, he never told her about her brother. So what, there were probably more secrets being kept from her, that he played her for a fool, that he wasn’t intimidated by her and felt it okay to pull the wool over her eyes, that she still doesn’t know about her own family, that he keeps doing things like this, that she keeps trusting him only to be given reasons not to, that she can’t trust a word he says now. So what?
David came through the door about 15 minutes after she did. How lucky. It didn’t take an hour this time to find a spot.
“Hey, baby,” David called to Lisa. “What do you think?”
“It’s amazing,” Lisa softly said. “I can’t believe you kept all this stuff.”
“Of course, I did. I wasn’t gonna throw this stuff away. You crazy?” David laughed. But Lisa said nothing. She just grabbed two chairs from the kitchen and dragged them into the living room. She set them one in front of another, then took a seat in one of them. David gave a confused smile as she did this. “What’s this,” he asked. Lisa clasped her hands together and looked off into the distance. Her face and posture were neutral. “Hunny?”
“Who’s Emmett?” Her voice was soft and unaccusatory. David took a breath.
“Oh man. Well. Emmitt was my dad, your grandfather. I wish you were old enough to remember him. He loved you so much. But he died when you were-“
“No, not grandpa,” Lisa interrupted. “I’m talking about his grandson.” The only thing that moved was her eyes as they now focused on her father. David’s nose started to grow a bright pink color as the blood rushed to his face. Lisa could see a tendon in his neck move as he started to grind his teeth.
“Tell me you didn’t,” he whispered.
“So, you do know who I’m talking about.”
“Tell me you didn’t,” he shouted. Lisa said nothing. “You made a promise! How could you?! I told you not to go to her!” Lisa stayed quite and observed as her father went off. “What did she tell you, huh? What lie to she feed you?” Lisa continued to watch him. “I told you she would try to feed you some lie that would end up hurting us! I told you this! She wants to pit us against each other! She’s a manipulator!” Lisa readjusted in her seat. “In fact, I bet you I know exactly what she said to you-that conniving little- She threatened it before she left. She tell you he’s your brother or something? That’s it, right?” Lisa didn’t respond. “You want to know the truth, the truth she sure as hell wouldn’t tell you? Emmett is you! That’s right. We had two names picked out for you. ‘Lisa’ if you were a girl, and ‘Emmett’ if you were a boy. Bet you she didn’t tell you that, did she!”
“Actually,” Lisa finally spoke. “Sandrine didn’t tell me anything. The only things she said to me were that she wasn’t my mother, she left the day I was born, and she wasn’t going to let us back into her life. That’s all.”
“’That’s all,’ huh? Really? I know her better than you do, and I know you’re not telling me everything. If that’s all she said, then where did you get the name ‘Emmett’ from?”
“From Emmett.” You could almost see David’s soul stumble inside him. “It’s kinda amazing. If there was ever anyone who looked like both their mother and their father, it’s him. He looks exactly like you and Sandrine. Did you know he’s a dentist? He’s real nice. We’ve actually been talking for a while and I didn’t even know it. He did, though. He’s always known about me.” David was shaking on the inside. “Take a seat.”
“No. No, this is some kind of ploy to-“
“Shut up and sit down!” David froze. What was that? Lisa’s been angry with him before, but this was different. He obeyed and took a seat in the chair in front of her. “So, you have a son, huh? And that son is yours and Sandrine’s ONLY child? Sandrine isn’t MY mother?” David looked away. “And ‘DuPont.’ Not your real name, either, right? Your real name is David Nadeau?” All David could do was close his eyes and shake his head. “The lies just keep coming and coming, don’t they? Alright, who is she?”
“Lisa, this is-“
“No. We’re not gonna start explaining ourselves. I want to know who my real mother is.” David stayed quiet. “Who. Is. She?” Silence. “Give me a name, something! Who is she?!
“Bellamy,” he finally whispered. “Her name’s Bellamy.”
“Bella-Are you freaking serious?” Lisa threw her head back. “So, let me get this straight. I’m named after Melissa, the woman you wish Mom was, and Bellamy, the woman you cheated on Mom with?! Oh, wait! I’m sorry. My mistake. Sandrine isn’t my fucking mother!”
“Do NOT take that tone with me,” David finally shouted.
“Shut your goddamn mouth! You are in no position, whatsoEVER, to tell me what to do. After everything! Where is she?”
“Answer my goddamn questions!”
“She’s gone!” The room went quiet for a moment. “She’s gone,” he whispered.
“’Gone?’ What do you mean ‘gone?’”
“There… There were complications during the delivery. She started hemorrhaging and… She passed before she even had a chance to hold you.” David hung his head as he spoke, but Lisa gave a breathy, silent chuckle.
“That wasn’t a metaphor? ‘Your mother died the day you were born.’ You meant that literally? She’s actually dead?” Lisa laughed again. “You had an affair and that affair killed her?” David stood to his feet and back-handed Lisa in the face. It happened so quick that neither of them could really believe it. In the shock of it all there was a slight pause before David began to talk.
“You have NO idea what we’ve been through. What I’VE been through!” Lisa slowly turned her head back to face David. “I sacrificed EVERYTHING for you!” Lisa continued to stare him down. “The moment we found out she was pregnant; we did whatever we could to keep you alive! Do you know how many times her pregnancy was almost terminated? How many people had a paw in attempting to end your life before it even began?! I saved you! She gave her life for you! I loved her. And, yeah, I was an ass to Sandrine. You’re right. I cheated on her with Bellamy, but I was going to take responsibility for all of it. Sandrine wanted you gone. Bellamy’s husband wanted you gone-“
“’Husband?’ She was married, too? Cool.”
“He wanted you dead! When he found out you weren’t his child, he… He hunted us down. He was mad!”
“I’d be mad, too, if my wife went behind my back and fucked a married man! I would’ve hunted you down, too!”
“He would have killed us! That’s why I changed our name! That’s why we moved to the city!” Lisa just shook her head. “I wasn’t going to lose you…”
“You could have just as easily put me up for adoption. Get me out of your life. Go back to your wife. Why bother with all the risk?”
“I wasn’t going to lose my daughter! I fought for you!”
“Like you fought for your son? Like you fought for Emmett? What happened to him? He was your child, too.”
“He had Sandrine! If I had it my way, we would have all be together, but Sandrine wanted you gone in order for us to stay together. I couldn’t do that, so we went our separate ways. It was the hardest decision of my life, but I knew that this way both of you would at least be with one of your parents.”
“Thanks for that. Really worked wonders for me.” David snarled at Lisa.
“You ungrateful little-“
“Let me ask you something,” Lisa continued. “Did she have any other children? My mother? My real mother? Do I have any other siblings I don’t know about?” David didn’t answer. “Come on, don’t get all quiet now.”
“She… had two sons.”
“Awesome,” Lisa snickered. “So, like, in the matter of two weeks I went from being an only child to being the youngest of four! I don’t have any other siblings, do I? With all the girls you were screwing in my bedroom, I wouldn’t be surprised.”
“Now, you listen to me! You can be mad all you want, but that doesn’t change all the things that were sacrificed for you.” David continued on, but Lisa froze in place. Her eyes darted back and forth as she scanned a random thought that had just entered her mind.
“Why ‘DuPont?’ Why was that the name you chose?”
“Lisa!” But when Lisa didn’t respond, David sighed. “Bellamy’s husband wouldn’t think to search his own last name to try and find us…”
“HIS name is DuPont? The man you said who was hunting you down? The man you said who wanted me dead? I’m named after that guy?”
“No! Of course, not! I would never! It’s not HIS name. It’s Bellamy’s… He was the one who changed his name when he and Bellamy got married. They wanted to keep the DuPont name front and center.”
“What is with this goddamn name?! Wait… Oh my God. SHE’s a DuPont, isn’t she? Like the real deal, part of the famous family?”
“Lisa…” Nothing was said for awhile after that. They sat quietly taking everything in. First this, then that. If she was going to have another bomb drop on her, she was going to lose it. Why was she just learning all this stuff now? So much of this would have been easier to take had she just known from the beginning. David’s posture softened. “I wanted you to have that name to help one day reunite you with that side of the family. They’re your family no matter what. But they won’t want you if you’re just some…”
“Some bastard child,” Lisa finished.
“I wanted to show them that you were just as much a DuPont as they were.”
“Why not tell me this from day one? What reason do I have to believe you even now?”
“The whole thing is very complicated,” David defended. He leaned forward and gently held her hands between his. “Hunny, I love you, but the DuPonts won’t understand that. They won’t see what an amazing girl you’ve become if you weren’t brought into the family in the official way. I want to make them see. Make them love you as much as I do or try to come close. There’s a reason for all of this. Everything. I just…”
“You know,” Lisa said as she pulled her hands out of his grasp. “You called Sandrine a manipulator. Maybe she is, maybe she isn’t. But I know for a fact, she ain’t got shit on you.” She pushed herself up out of her seat. “I’m gonna let you know that I’m gonna go after them, my real family.”
“Lisa, no! You can’t just-“
“I’m not asking your permission.” She started to head for the front door. David stumbled out of his chair to chase and stop her. He grabbed her shirt and violently spun her around to face him.
“You can’t go after them now. You just can’t. Not now. I will not let you,” he said through his teeth. What happened to the soft and loving David?
“Yeah,” Lisa asked calmly. She was being nearly lifted off the ground by him. “What’s gonna stop me?” David thought for a moment then grunted.
“I will, if I have to.” Lisa smirked. She then grabbed his wrist and used the palm of her other hand to press against his thumb, forcing him to lose his grip with her.
“No, you won’t. You can’t manipulate me anymore.” She stepped backwards and grabbed the doorknob.
“I worked my ass off for you! I’m not gonna have you ruin everything, you ungrateful little brat! I lost my wife! I lost my son! I lost everything because of YOU!” David bit his lip after saying that.
“Really,” Lisa whispered. “So, it’s all my fault? You lost everything because you fucked some girl and got her pregnant? It’s my fault? It’s nice to see the real you, again.” David couldn’t take back what he said, but he was too angry to try and back down now.
“If you go after them… I will make your life a living hell,” David threatened.
“Ha. Spoken like a loving father.” She opened the door and walked through. “You do anything, anything at all to try and stop me, I don’t care who you are, I. will. Take. You. Down.” She then left the apartment and slammed the door behind her. David could not move. He was seething. His shoulder rose and fell with each breath and his claws nearly punctured holes in his palms. Finally, he let out a shout and thrashed about the apartment. His movements seemed to have purpose, though, as though he was looking for something.
“FUCK,” he screamed. “FUCK, FUCK, FUCK!” He found his phone under some papers and picked it up. “God FUCKING dammit! The FUCK am I paying you for, Damario!”