Laurel finds the singer’s rented house without a problem. To her relief, her friend is there, safe and sound, next to her favorite singer and the familiar magician.
Brook immediately rushes over to hug her.
- Brook! You’re ok. You knew I wouldn’t let you leave without seeing you off properly.
Laurel: She has no idea. Mom and Dad were super careful around her. And she hasn’t called the police yet, so you’re still good.
Brook: Good, that should make it easier. The bus is almost here.
Laurel: Here, the bag is for you. Your documents, clothes and money are here. And Mom and Dad told me to give you their best wishes. They would’ve come to see you off too, but you know, it would’ve been suspicious.
Brook: I understand. Tell them thank you from me, will you? I’m going to miss all of you.
Laurel: I know. We’ll miss you too. So, stay safe. I want to visit you in the city some day, and you need to be alive and well for that.
Lawrence: Oh, she will be. Trust me on that.
Mireille: And me as well. We got this.
The girls hug each other farewell one last time, before the departing people board the newly arrived bus to take them to Starlight Shores.
In which Laurel Lance makes a work trip to Gotham City and ends up becoming the foster mom of Artemis Crock.
“You went to Gotham to work a case and came back with a kid?” Thea asks, gaping at Laurel.
The blonde girl standing next to Laurel adjusts the duffel bag strap on her shoulder and straightens up, chest puffing out. “I’m not a kid, I’m sixteen.” She bites out with a surly expression.
Laurel wraps an arm around the teenager’s shoulders. “This is Artemis. She’s gonna be with staying with us now.” She grins, “I’m sure you two will find some common ground - rebellious youth, superior archery skills, and you’re both fond of me. This is gonna work.”
Laurel hurriedly grabs her bag by the door, turning around, checking to make sure she’d grabbed everything. Convinced she had everything she needed, she moves to flick her hair caught underneath her scarf, rushing to get out the door, not wanting to be late for the new semester.
Winter break had left her angry, and lonely, spending more days than not laying on her couch, staring off into space. Letting the emptiness engulf her, the sadness of her situation wash over her. The knowledge that her dad was responsible for taking Wes away from her heavily weighing on her mind, consuming all her thoughts, the ones she allowed to escape from their barrier into consciousness.
She often woke from nightmares screaming, calling out Wes’ name over and over again. Tears of betrayal leaking from her eyes, and that’s when she’d gather her keys, and trudge her way to Michaela’s.
Bleary eyed, drowning in Wes’ old plaid shirt, she’d show up outside their door, seeking refuge, just one peaceful night of sleep that never came. Huddled on their sofa, the television played its images, casting their glow upon her eyes but never really sinking in, rather ghosting across her irises, their voices serving as static noise, blocking her own mind’s voices that never seemed to shut up.
Last night had been particularly bad, the words “I’m pregnant” spoken to a head of stone played out over and over in her mind. The idea of being a law student and a mother a recent decision, one that had only been shared with Wes a few weeks ago, and his reaction having been denied from her, as she stared blankly at his named etched back at her.
As she got ready this morning, it felt like it was the first day of class several years ago. When she’d stood up, trying to deflect the attention away from the sweet guy who was made to admit he had been wait listed to the entire class. The same nerves buried in that shy girl, now returning in the form of morning sickness.
“Okay,” she sighs, her free hand coming to the smallest of bumps not even noticeable underneath her sweater. “Let’s do this,” she says, her only confidante these days the tiny baby growing inside her.
Opening the door, she moves to lock the door, running straight into her father.
Her face immediately reflecting shock, and then quickly settling into an annoyed anger, that she tried to rein in, not wanting to let him in on what she knew. Quickly removing her hand from her stomach, adjusting the bag on her shoulder.
“I gotta go, I’m late,” she announces, bypassing him and heading down the hall.
“Mija,” he calls, and her eyes close, her long lashes fluttering across her skin. Hoping that he doesn’t make this into a thing, her will-power to not strangle him right there using up all her strength. “You keep avoiding me and I’m going to have to find out why,” he threatens. And she grits her teeth, knowing the last time he tapped her phone, the records revealed something more curious, more phone calls than normal to a certain person named Wes.
Her head tilts back, her shorter hair not even touching where it used to lay, as she eyes her dad.
“Papá,” she reasons, trying her best to even her tone, act as if nothing more than the stress of being late getting to her. “I gotta go. Later, I promise,” knowing full well that he wouldn’t leave until he got what he wanted from her.
He concedes, letting her go, and by the time she finds herself in the lecture room, she’s close near tears, settling into her seat.
She can feel the eyes of the other circling back to her all class, Annalise purposely avoiding calling her, tint of red on her cheeks, glistening tears preparing their free fall down her cheeks.
When class ends, she can barely recall what had been said, an awful start to tough semester, one only made more difficult by the impending life she was bringing into the world.
She stands with defeat, the day already determined to knock her down.
“My dad’s here,” she declares, as they approach her seat.
“What? Like your Dad dad,” Asher asks, as if she had several.
“Great,” Connor sarcastically announces, as Michaela eyes her, exhaustion refusing to be hidden even underneath the makeup she’d applied this morning.
“This is good,” Annalise says, nodding, a plan already formulating in her mind.
“How is this good? She’s gonna give it away the moment he talks to her, I mean, look at her?” Connor throws his hands up at her. Laurel’s brow knits together, a frown appearing on her face, and a snide remark resting on her tongue, but is interrupted.
“She can suss him out, get a clue as to what’s going on, what our timeframe is,” Annalise explains, her hand coming out to grab Laurel’s arm. “You can do this,” she says with a confidence that Laurel wished she had, all her gumption having long since been spent on the rage she felt immediately after it happened.
“What if he finds out…about…you know,” Michaela says with a head tilt towards Laurel’s abdomen.
“He likely already knows if he’s been tracking her like we suspect,” Annalise says, circling the group before landing on her again.
Laurel’s thumbnail has found its way to her mouth, the nail having long since been sacrificed in place of her nerves, but the habit remains.
“I umm, I have somewhere to umm, go, before I meet him,” she claims, gathering her stuff.
“Laurel,” Michaela calls after her.
“She’s gonna blow this,” can be heard as she walks up the steps to exit.
Her feet are moving towards the cemetery before her mind has time to catch up, the events of this morning replaying over in her mind, the thought of her dad having knowledge of her baby, the threat that could be posed from just that, causing her to wring her hands together.
Her black boots shovel the earth as she makes her way up the hill. The curls from the memorial having been cut, shedding the life from before, not quite embracing the new, but needing a change, one that she could control, the rest of her world spinning off its axis.
Before long she’s made it to the familiar stone, the one that’s heard more from her heart than any of the others.
She flops down, legs crossed, hands working themselves into a nervous fit in her lap, pulling out her phone to check the clock, right on time.
“My dad’s here,” she says, her brow rising, with a defiant jerk of her head. “He thinks he can just show up, unannounced, like he always does, like nothing happened. Like he wasn’t the reason I have to come here to talk to you…”
The wind rustles her hair, and she curls further into her sweater.
“Annalise thinks it’s good. But…whatever, that’s not what you want to hear is it?” She ask with a dimpled grin.
Reaching into her bag, she pulls out the latest sonogram picture, her baby actually resembling a baby this time around, and she places the photo up against the stone.
“Baby’s healthy, already determined to make me fat,” she admits with a pat to her stomach and a laugh.
Her face quickly falling.
“I wish you were here with us,” she whispers, hoping the wind catches onto her words and carries them to their recipient.
She sits there in silence, before quietly moving forward, appearing to adjust the sonogram, making sure it’s secure, while reaching around for what she was looking for.
Checking the time again, she stands, sleeves of her sweater pulled down, hiding her hands.
“Bye Wes,” she bids farewell, slowly moving the note into view underneath her sleeve.
The laughter over his words escaping her down the hill, the first time she’d really laughed in weeks, exactly what she needed before facing her father.
“You know me, I’m good at waiting for good things to come. I love you…both. (I’m gonna be a Daddy!)”
A sequel to the Ex-Girlfriend Club, sort of, aka I got bored and wanted to write Sara being Sara. Shado, Sara, Laurel, and Helena are the Birds of Prey (Laurel is Manhunter), and Felicity’s not entirely sure how she feels about being associated to all of Oliver’s exes. Just kidding, that’s a lie. She totally wants to be part of the club in everything but name. 956 words, Sara & Felicity, Sara & Helena, gen.
“I’m just saying, last time I visited, Helena kind of stole my car and I ended up helping thwart a bank robbery-slash-kidnapping by Laurel’s crazy ex-boyfriend,” Felicity said as they mounted the steps to the Clock Tower. “And she scratched it.”
“Laurel did?” Sara asked. The sentence had been a little hard to follow, or maybe it was the fact that she’d just pulled an all-nighter patrolling the Glades and she really wanted to hit the mattress face-first and stay that way until the world made a little more sense.
Felicity looked over at her friend and seemed to make an executive decision. Though Sara wanted to protest, the IT nerd shoved her shoulder under Sara’s arm and took some of the Black Canary’s weight herself. “You really are out of it. Helena scratched the car. I mean, I got it fixed, but…it’s the principle of the thing.”
Sara’s jaw cracked when she yawned. “You know she acts crazy around you because she thinks it’s funny,” she said, giving in and resting the side of her head against Felicity’s shoulder. “Remind me never to stay up for forty-eight hours straight again, okay?”
Donations often arrive at the Iowa Women’s Archives in cardboard boxes, plastic tubs, or mailing envelopes. Yesterday we received a donation in the trunk pictured above.
The name painted on the front of the trunk refers to its owner–Myrtle Jane Hinkhouse–who spent decades in China as a medical missionary. Hinkhouse’s story might be familiar to you if you saw this earlier post about the artifacts she brought back from China.
The two final images show Hinkhouse’s hand-written list of the items she would keep in the trunk, and how she planned to arrange them.
Myrtle Jane Hinkhouse papers, Iowa Women’s Archives, The University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City.
(These papers are being processed, and a finding aid will be available soon.)