Story:My Name Is Eliza
My Name Is Eliza
Written by Shataivian
It didn’t take very long for Lisa to learn where to find Timothy duPont, but it took her several weeks to muster any courage to try to meet with him. But eventually, she found herself in the lobby of Coders of Wilmington, one of the companies he cofounded. He ran many companies in different states, but Lisa knew he usually stayed in Delaware. It was the best place to start.
Inside the building was bright. The floor-to-ceiling windows helped with that. They sat upright but were framed on a stylized tilt. The building seemed to be renting out office space, a lot of which appeared to be in a new-age workflow style with open conference areas, coffee bars, and glass walls separating the rooms.
On the wall by the elevators was a directory that listed Timothy’s office. Lisa took a breath and road up to the top floor. There weren’t many doors on this floor. It seemed the whole floor belonged to Timothy. In front of a set of large double doors sat a secretary’s desk. Lisa made her way to the desk with her hands behind her back and smiled at the gazelle working the desk.
“Hi,” she cheerfully said. “My name is… is…” Which name should she go with? It would probably be best not to stir the pot too early. Besides, “Lisa DuPont” has already made a name for herself. “My name is Lisa DuPont. I play for the Baltimore Spirits.”
“Oh!” the gazelle said. She wore large round glasses, and her eyes were beady. “I see!”
“Yeah! So… I would love to speak with Mr. duPont. I… have a charity idea I’d like to propose to him.”
“Oh, wonderful.” The gazelle’s voice was raspy and upbeat. She reached for a pad and clicked open a pen. “Let’s hear it!”
“Oh…! Um. I’m… supposed to discuss with him… in person,” Lisa smiled.
“Oh! My apologies!” The gazelle placed her pad down and went to her computer. “Hmm. I’m not seeing your name. Did you have an appointment with Mr. duPont?”
“Oh… No… see… I…” Lisa stammered. As Lisa tried to find the next thing to say, the elevator doors opened behind her, and a loud voice boomed.
“Yeah! Yeah! Tell them it’s alright with me!” He had a huge smile on his face and kept laughing as he spoke on his phone. He walked right passed Lisa and stopped in front of the large double doors. “Yeah! Alright! I’ll talk to you later!” He placed his phone in his back pocket and smiled at the gazelle. “Hey, Michelle. Who’s this?” He turned to face Lisa.
Lisa’s nose went white. This was him. This was Timothy duPont. He was inches from her. Her body froze and her eyes locked on to his. But she said nothing. Both him and the gazelle waited awkwardly for a response from her. But when Lisa didn’t answer, the gazelle spoke up.
“This is Lisa DuPont... She plays for the Baltimore Spirits. She says she has a charity proposal for you.”
“Oh yeah? Let’s hear it!”
Lisa remained frozen, stammering every few moments.
“Hello?” he questioned. “Oh. I see. Listen. You have nothing to worry about. I know I’m a big name, but you are, too. You don’t have to be nervous around me.” He squeezed Lisa’s shoulder and gave her a firm, comforting shake. Lisa tried to smile back. “See? There ya go!” Taking a breath, Lisa swiped the hair in her face to the side and gave him a better smile. He, in turned, cocked his head to one side. “Wow. For a second there, you looked like my first wife!” he laughed. “That’s a good thing. She was very beautiful.”
Glancing down at his watch and then up at the ceiling, the mouse offered to talk with Lisa in his office if it were to make her feel more comfortable. The gazelle spoke up. “But sir. You have a meeting to attend in fifteen minutes.”
“Ah, that’s enough time to at least hear what Ms. DuPont has to say. She is a DuPont after all. We might as well be family!”
The mouse then ushered the completely stiff Lisa into his large office. It might as well have been the presidential suite of a ritzy hotel, minus the bed. There were large couches, and a library behind what seemed to be a mahogany desk. “Water?” he offered her. Lisa politely declined. She walked around his room, taking everything in and stopped when she turned to face the mouse. “So, what was your idea?”
Lisa closed her eyes and took slow breaths. This was it. “Actually,” she started. “I… I…” She started to close herself off, hunching her shoulders inward and pressing her chin against her chest. She sighed. “You might want to sit down.”
“Okay,” he laughed, cautiously. He took a seat at his desk, and Lisa sat in the large armchair across from him. Her fingers were interlaced, and her chin rested on top of them.
“I came here… to talk about some information I found… I need to apologize in advance… I’m… going to be opening up some old wounds…” The cheery look on the man’s face completely vanished as he mirrored Lisa’s posture.
“Is that so? Well, I don’t have time to be swindled. I have a meeting to get ready for. You may leave…” He stopped when Lisa began to sob. He watched her for a moment, saying nothing more. Eventually when Lisa looked up at him, he sighed. “Well… I can at least hear you out.”
“You’re right, though. I could be completely wasting your time if I’m wrong. But… I need this. Do you know Eliza Mae…?” Timothy sat back in his seat. He didn’t answer. He didn’t have to. Of course, he would know the name of the daughter he lost. “I’m not sure… but… but… I think… I think I’m her.” Lisa couldn’t look Timothy in the eyes as she spoke, but she could hear him take a sharp breath. “I want to be clear. I don’t care about the famous duPont family fortune, or the name and prestige. I’m just looking to finally get some answers.” Her words were warbly and her body sunk further into her seat as she spoke.
“I-I’m sorry… But Eliza Mae died the day she was born.” Timothy’s voice was shaky, though it seemed he was trying to keep control over the situation.
“I grew up my whole life believing I was Lisa DuPont. I only recently learned that I had a birth certificate with the name Eliza Mae on it… I did some searching… and found you and a woman named Bellamy…”
“I understand, but many people can share a name. Eliza Mae is a famous name because of the charities I run. I’d have no doubt you’d come across that particular Eliza Mae before anything else.” Timothy sighed and swiveled in his seat as he thought. “Where did you grow up? Who raised you?”
Lisa lifted her head. It was the first time she was able to show an emotion other than nervous. “Does the name David Nadeau mean anything to you?” Her voice went cold, and Timothy adjusted in his seat, matching Lisa’s intensity. “Up until recently… I believed that man was my father. I secretly took a DNA test with his son and found out I wasn’t related to him at all.”
“Sir,” a voice called over the intercom after a beep. “You have less than five minutes until your meeting.”
Timothy did not respond right away. He stared at Lisa, cracking his jaw as he thought. Finally, he held down a button. “Michelle. Will you connect me to Cohn in the lab?”
“Please. It’s an emergency.”
“Right away, sir.” After a few seconds the intercom began to ring. Once he heard a voice on the other side, Timothy picked up the phone.
“Matty! Hey. Can you do me a favor? Run up here with a couple of DNA testing kits. Yeah, now.” The whole time he spoke his gaze was fixed on Lisa with a worried brow. “Thanks, bud.” Once he hung up his face did not change. “Did I mention how much you look like my first wife?
The two sat in silence as they waited for the test to arrive. At this point Timothy was going to be late for his meeting. But the test was brought up quickly. A leopard entered his office and instructed both Timothy and Lisa on what to do with the kit. He didn’t ask them any questions, and the two didn’t say what it was for. After a couple of seconds of swabbing, the Leopard took the kits and packed them away.
“How soon can you get me the results?” Timothy asked him.
“Hmm. It will take me a bit, but I can expedite it and get it done by the end of the day.”
“Thanks, Matty! You’re a pal! Well,” he turned to Lisa. “I, uh… I have to go to a meeting. And I’m pretty booked for the rest of the day…” Lisa just nodded. “And I can’t have you stay here… Maybe you can grab a late lunch or something?”
“I’ll be alright,” she whispered. “I’ll find something to do.”
Lisa was then ushered back out of the office and Timothy left with Matty in the elevator to attend his meeting. The hall outside his office matched the lobby with its tall, stylized windows. There was a single couch in front of the window. Lisa softly sat on the couch, staring off in front of her.
“Um,” the gazelle started. “Mr. duPont will be out for a few hours.”
“Um. You sure you don’t want to go find something to do until he returns?”
Lisa just shook her head. Where else could she go? She just convinced this man to take a DNA test. What happens if there’s no connection? What if there is?! She was on track for an answer; answers she always wanted but always felt were out of reach. She knew one day she’d get something, but this might just be that day.
After several hours of sitting quietly, Michelle’s phone rang. “This is the office of Mr. Timothy duPont, how may I help you?” she answered. “Yes sir. She is sir. Yes sir.” After hanging up she stood to her hooves to get Lisa’s attention. “Mr. duPont would like you to wait in his office.” Lisa nodded and followed after her. She instructed Lisa to take a seat in the same armchair. There, she waited patiently for something to happen. This was it. No matter what the answer was, she’d be able to cross this off her list.
After a few minutes of waiting Lisa could hear several male voices outside the door. She couldn’t quite make out what was being said, but each of the voices sounded just as boisterous as Timothy’s. And then suddenly it went quiet. It was an odd silence considering what she had just heard. She took a breath. Slowly the door opened. The first two faces she saw were ones she had not seen before. They were both mice, looking to be about Lisa’s age. Timothy walked in next with a hand behind his head and his gaze off to the side. The two younger men looked at each other and then to Lisa.
And in a rush, they embraced her.
At first, Lisa felt claustrophobic and confused, but as it dawned on her, tears poured from her widened eyes. She could hear them sniffling. Her arms slowly but instinctually rose up as best they could to lightly embrace them back.
“Yeah… These are my boys,” Timothy said softly. “Andy and Danny… They’re…”
The taller one pulled out of the embraced forcing the other one off as well. He then held Lisa’s face with both hands, his eyes darting back and forth between hers. “Eli…” he whispered.
“She really does look just like mom,” the shorter mouse said.
“Yeah,” Timothy whispered. “So… The results came back, and…” Lisa and the two other mice looked over at Timothy. The brothers then slowly guided Lisa over to him. When Timothy noticed what was happening, he locked eyes with hers. A smile grew on his face. “You really do look just like your mother.” Lisa gasped. This was it. This was the confirmation she had been looking for. All these years. All this time. She leapt into Timothy’s arms without thinking and sobbed in his shoulders. “My girl,” Timothy whimpered into her hair. “My little girl.” The other two joined in and embraced Lisa. It had finally come. More than just answers. More than tying up loose ends. The thing she had been searching for her whole life was a family who loved her. At that point Lisa had died, and Eliza was resurrected.
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