Mom says we’re moving to Gotham City and I might be able to see Batman some day!!!
Dad found work easily since there is always new construction all over Gotham. The city is huge and filled with skyscrapers and dark buildings and you’d almost expect to see blimps in the sky sometimes. Mom is still looking for work and says there isn’t much call for psychiatrists in Gotham so she might need to intern somewhere?
School is OK and everyone talks about Batman a lot and how there’s a whole Bat Family who keep Gotham safe? Someone even says there is a bat dog, but I’m sure they’re pulling my leg.
GTG, mom is making spaghetti for supper.
Mom is trying to get a job at Arkham, which is a place where criminals go for rehabilitation, which is a word that is even more complicated than it is long. Dad says all the criminals should be killed, but Mom says they aren’t evil, mostly just really confused like some arts students she knew in university only they went ‘far sideways from sanity’, which is what she said, quoting someone from Gotham University. Mom and Dad don’t agree on that at all, but they don’t talk about it much in front of me since they don’t want me to have nightmares.
As if. I’m in middle school, and even Dad admits school is a lot worse than Arkham ever is. I know two kids who had family members die to the Joker. Someone said it’s a badge of honour, but I’m not sure it is?
School was closed today because some super villain fought Batman and Robin in it. Now everyone is wondering if Robin goes to our school. I don’t want to meet Robin, though: for me it’s Batman all the way even if I haven’t seen him yet. Everyone has stories about him the way other cities have stories about Superman, or my aunt tells stories about Jesus.
Everyone agrees Batman would kick Jesus’ butt.
Mom got a job! She’s interning at Arkham, and Dad is furious because the crazies are there and Mom asked where else a psychiatrist should be and asked Dad why he thought she married him and he didn’t find it funny at all. Sometimes I think mom isn’t good at her job?
They’re fighting a lot about it in their bedroom. Dad is scared some nut will get out and hurt Mom in the process. I don’t understand how they get out, since the prison has guards and most of the prisoners are human? But I guess Batman is human too? James says Batman is a vampire, but everyone knows Batman wouldn’t sparkle.
Mom has been acting weird. Not mom-weird, but weird-weird. She tells me she got assigned to help the Joker, but I’m not about to tell Dad. Dad would flip his lid, as Mom calls it. I think he’d shout and not stop. Mom says she if she can help the Joker, then she can help anyone and she’ll get tenure at the university and a book deal and Dad will be able to accept better jobs and I’ll get into a proper school.
I don’t tell anyone at school about Mom. I don’t think they’d believe me.
Mom didn’t come home from work last night. The police came and talked to Dad, and the Commissioner was with them. I asked him about Batman and he said Batman was looking into it. Meaning Mom.
I hid in my room after that. Dad came in later. He said the Joker took Mom somewhere. He said we’ll be OK and mom will be back, because Quinn’s are strong like quills are. It’s a Mom joke, but it helps.
I still haven’t met Batman. :(
I saw mom on the TV.
She’s wearing makeup. She’s with the Joker. She’s calling herself Harley Quinn.
I don’t think the neighbours know about Mom. I think the Commissioner made sure no one knows? Maybe cleaning up after the villains and Batman is his power. I don’t know.
Dad and I don’t talk about Batman much these days.
We don’t talk much at all.
Dad. Work. Clayface.
Dad got someone out, and died trying to get someone else out.
Aunt Jo came, to fix things. We don’t have money. Aunt Jo doesn’t, Dad didn’t. We were barely scraping us by, though I never knew that. He hid it from me. Like Superheroes hiding their identities.
I can’t stay here. But I don’t want to. Everything hurts too much to be real.
Mom never showed at the funeral. Not as her or as Harley Quinn.
I wish I could hate her. It would be easier if I could hate mom, but she looks so happy when I see her on the TV.
(I don’t think I ever want to be that happy.)
Batman wasn’t at the funeral, even though Dad was. Bruce Wayne was, and paid some money for some scholarship. I didn’t pay attention. I can’t think about schools. Schools don’t teach what matters.
The orphanage is large. I’m told the Wayne Foundation pays for it, like they pay for other things. The nuns say that Wayne employs at least 10% of the city indirectly, but I don’t know why they tell us that. He’s not important. Everyone knows Batman is important.
They say each Robin was an orphan here, that Batman saved Robin from the streets. We all work out in secret, using clips off of YouTube. Hoping Batman finds us. Hoping we get to be the next Robin.
Hoping we can help save Him.
(Just like Dad tried to save me.)