Selena stares at the picture; she just stares. Life had never been fair, she had learned that early, but this was downright cruel. To have one’s child taken from them was a cruel and horrible punishment. And though she knew it wasn’t her fault, Selena blamed herself.
She had left you with Bruce not long after you were born. A series of nights had led to your conception. She had been young then, only twenty, and she had not been ready to be a mother. Her lifestyle didn’t allow for it. You couldn’t be a cat burglar with an infant at home.
She had placed you in a stunned Bruce’s arms, and thought that would be it. She’d had no intention of seeing you again, or going back. Your presence was left as a mystery to the public.
And then one night, she had snuck back in. Through the window and into your nursery. You had been awake, staring up at s kitten mobile. Bruce had been snoring in the chair near your bed. She had picked you up and cuddled you. You had been her kitten.
Over the next eighteen years she had come in and out of your life a various times. She had always made sure to bring something with her. She had snuck into your birthday parties as a member of the help, to watch you blow out candles. She had followed behind on your first date.
She had been there for big moments, and Bruce Wayne, man that he was, never said a word. He had allowed her the access you needed. He had allowed her to be a mother from afar. But she wasn’t a mother anymore, because her daughter was dead.
She doesn’t turn around; her fingers just clutch the picture tighter. “Selena.”
A light green hand lands on her shoulder, and Selena can’t help it, she lashes out. Her fist flies, and she hisses. Harley catches it. Slowly she lowers her fist but Harley doesn’t let go. That’s what does it, the tears start to roll, followed by sobs, and gasps for air. Harley holds her as she sobs, as she fights, and screams, and lets the emotions run through.
It takes upwards of an hour before she simply collapses. They sit in silence for several hours, when the first vine comes through. Ivy follows a second later. She joins the silence as she sits on the window sill.
“She didn’t do anything wrong.” Selena’s voice is rough from crying. “She was a good girl, an amazing student. She didn’t steal or do anything bad. She got citizen of the month, and perfect attendance. It’s not right. She had a life ahead of her.”
“This world is screwed up Selena. We know that better than anyone.”
Selena nods, “Still, it should have been me. She was good, I’m bad.”
Ivy stares out at the window, “The world is rarely that black and white. Remember the night she was born?”
Selena lets out a laugh, “I remember being scared out of my mind.”
Harley laughs, “We were all scared. You were screaming, and had fluids coming out of you. But that first cry …” Harley smiles at the memory.
Ivy smiles, “We vowed to keep her safe.” There’s another moment of silence before she asks, “Have you talked to Bruce?”
Selena shakes her head, “Not since he told me. I doubt he’ll ever want to speak to me again, I clocked him pretty bad.”
“You were upset. You’d just lost your daughter.”
“So had he.”
“Yeah, but he got to say goodbye.”
Selena nods her head, “He raised her, was there for her. He deserved a goodbye. I didn’t even give her a way to contact me. She only saw me when I wanted her to.”
Harley places her hand over Selena’s, “You need to say goodbye.”
“I’m too late Harley.”
She shakes her head, “No, you’re not.”
It doesn’t take much to break into Wayne Manor. Selena had been doing it for years after all. Harley and Ivy follow behind her, right to the headstone. Selena stares at it for a moment, before her eyes flicker to her friends. They both give slight smiles before backing slowly away.
Alone, she faces her daughter. “I’m fashionably late … like always. This time I missed the party. I’m sorry I wasn’t there. I’m sorry that I couldn’t hold you, or reassure you. You must have been so scared. My little kitten. You deserved a better mother than me. Better than a woman who snuck in your window to read you a bedtime story, or talk about boys. Someone who could have celebrated your birthdays with you, or at the very least attended your funeral. I’m so, so sorry.”
“Selena.” Bruce’s voice is soft, as his arm wraps around her. And for the first time in years, she allows him to hold her. She curls into his chest, and allows herself to fall apart, and like always Bruce supports her.
When she can’t cry any more, he hands her a tissue, and piece of paper. Hesitantly, she takes it, and begins to read,
We’ve had an unconventional relationship my entire life, it seems only right that we should have an unconventional goodbye. I want you to know that you were enough. That I love you, and I know you loved me. You did what you could to give me my best shot and I’m so grateful.
Thank you for being my mama.
Selena clutches the letter to her chest, and turns to Bruce. He opens his arms and she walks into his embrace. Silently they feel the ground begin to tremble and watch as a tree slowly comes to life behind the head stone.
Selena smiles at Ivy, “Thank you.”
The woman nods, “It seemed appropriate. A lasting memorial.”