Going Home

[December 2002]

Fandom: Birds of Prey (TV)
Title: Going Home
Character(s): Dinah
Summary: A bit of invented background for Dinah and a story of first love. Dinah’s POV.
Notes: This story takes place pre-series.
Disclaimer: The Birds of Prey TV series belongs to the WB and some other people that aren’t me.

For a long time it seemed like I was waiting to go home. Even when the Redmonds were still nice people who tried to tell me I was sent to them by God because they couldn’t have children. Much later they became convinced I was evil, because they told me ‘no one but God can know the future’, ‘no one but God can know a man’s heart’. But even when they were nice, before all that happened, I would stand outside the school just knowing a car would ride up, my mother would be in it, and she’d take me home for real. As time passed, my mother’s car just became a car, a car to my real life. It would stop and open, I would climb in and it would take me away.

When the Redmonds turned against me it was easier to forget I had a mother who loved me and tucked me in every night with a kiss. If I remembered that, I might hate her for leaving me with these people and saying this is your new mommy and daddy. The visions, the permanent change in my life came a month after my mother left. I had the first dream that revealed itself to be a premonition. I didn’t tell the Redmonds about this until I saw it come true, a young boy hit by a car in the street, his death. I told the Redmonds I knew before it happened and they didn’t believe me. Then I had a dream about the carnival, that a teenage girl would get drunk and climb the Ferris wheel after dark. She would fall and she would die. Again no one believed me. In the darkness the night it was set to happen, the dream wouldn’t leave me alone. So I snuck out of my room and called the cops hoping my parents would never know I was seeing things again. But the cops traced the call and wanted to know how I had so much information. I reluctantly admitted I dreamed it. The girl didn’t die because I warned them, but the Redmonds were convinced I was making things happen. They never asked why a little girl would do these things to two people I didn’t know. I kept a lot to myself after that. The next time I felt I had to call the cops I used a pay phone. Two years later I touched a man and saw him beating his wife. It was the first time I reacted to touch, much more intense than dreams of the future, which were like watching TV. This was different, a visit inside people a peak into the things they kept hidden from the world. The vision didn’t just scare me, it made me sick. I cried, right in the middle of some church social event. My parents asked me what my problem was and when I told them I was rewarded with a smack across the cheek. The man was a well-respected man of the church so my foster parents didn’t take to kindly to my accusations, but Hallie knew what her father did to her mother.

Hallie was my first friend, my only friend in those days. She dared to talk to me in class one day and then we two begin to spend evenings together away from the horrors of home. She was the first person I confessed to about my own abuse because I knew she knew what it was like to have the safe haven that should be home turned into the last place you wanted to be. I told her about my premonitions, especially the one about the mysterious girls in New Gotham. By then I knew the difference between a regular dream and a vision, or at least I thought I knew. And nothing so far away had ever felt so close. It was like I knew the two women, though I had never seen them before. My heart tore for them even though my foster parents said I didn’t see anything. Hallie and I planned to run away to New Gotham together one day and solve the mystery of my dream. Until then we found our own safe haven near home, an abandoned fort some boys had probably outgrown and they left it sitting there so we made it our own.

I remember Hallie loved chocolate, any kind – chocolate ice cream, chocolate bars, chocolate cake. So sometimes I’d steal bags of Chocolate chips from the cabinets for us to share at our secret place. I knew if I was caught the punishment would be severe, but I would have done anything to make Hallie happy. Sometimes we’d just lay in the grass looking at the sky, looking at each other, sharing our nightmares as we lived out a dream. Even when it got cold, we’d bundle up and make our way down to the fort to meet. That was home to us. When a sudden Blizzard separated us for weeks one winter I didn’t know how I would survive it.

By middle school things changed suddenly. Our only life had been each other, but Hallie craved more, craved to be one of the “in crowd”, craved acceptance. I didn’t care about that at all because I knew I didn’t fit anyway. Most kids looked at me like a leper, avoided me like I had some disease they might catch, I knew I couldn’t win them over. But Hallie made plans for both of us to make our way in to the Middle School cliques, plans that included attempting to change our image with trips to the mall for experiments in make-up and day wear. These got us no closer to the in crowd, but I knew that it wouldn’t. Still I loved that we were sharing something, even plans that would fail. The planning seem to make Hallie happy. I’d watch her dress up and model for me. Hallie got hips before me, got breast before me, got everything before me. The only thing I seemed to have on her by age 13 was height. I watched her body slowly become womanly and fill out clothes in ways they hadn’t before and something new was developing inside me, a need for her that wasn’t just about friendship, something different.

Fourteen was actually the year things changed forever. We were too big for the fort and since we had outgrown our childhood home she no longer wanted to go there. For a few months, even though we knew we were too big, we would squeeze in and just curl up beside each other for the comfort of it. I missed it, but she was beyond it. One her fourteenth birthday she wanted a big party and all she cared about was being one of them. Her party turned into a sleepover idea, a chance to invite all the girls over and bond. A last chance to win over the “popular” set before we were lost in the social structure of high school. But it flopped, big time, no one came. Hallie and I sat there for hours in our nightgowns waiting and no one showed up. Around one a.m. her hope broke, she knew no one was coming. Hallie was angry, she cried, I held her and then I kissed her. First time in my life I ever kissed anyone. It didn’t shock me that I did it, because I knew I loved her. But she was shocked. She looked at me so strange. I thought for sure I had ruined everything, but then she took me to her bed and kissed me back. I’ll never forget how she tasted of her favorite snack, chocolate… delicious and sensual. For a long time we just lay there, enjoying the simple sensation of the touch of each others lips. I was lost, wanting to do something more and not knowing where to begin. Hallie led my hands, led me until I had enough confidence in the power of my caress, in the effect of my touch to take over. I found a sort of completeness in the feel of her, the taste of her, a completeness I had never known before. But then she stopped it. She pushed me off the bed and told me to go to sleep. I attempted to climb back into her bed and sleep with her, but she shook her head and banished me to the floor. I had slept beside her a thousand times, so I knew something had changed forever that night that couldn’t be reversed.

Now I think she was scared. Scared for a lot of reasons all of a sudden. But then I was just hurt and more alone than I had ever been in my life. I went home the next day. Hallie seemed to want space, so I gave it to her because I always gave Hallie what she wanted. Winter had begun to thaw and I returned to our fort. Sometimes I’d just sit inside for hours, alone, trying to figure out what I did wrong, blaming myself for it. Hallie had given warmth to the cold world that I lived in and I couldn’t deal with losing her so I told myself it was temporary. I still had hope things weren’t beyond repair.

But things got worse. Not for Hallie, for me. Her father and mother divorced that year. When the truth came out everyone felt so sorry for Hallie and her mother, but they all forgot I told them about this years ago. Hallie disappeared that summer for a vacation away with her mother. She didn’t even tell me she was leaving. Apparently this local girl named Angie and her family were on vacation in the same place. Angie was her ticket into the inner circle. When she returned that next year I was invisible to her. It tore my heart out, but she seemed happier to be in the in-crowd. She didn’t need me anymore and I retreated more and more into my dreams and myself. I attempted to escape a few times, but never made it very far. Usually I could touch a person I was trying to hitch a ride with and retreat if they were a danger to me. That’s how I learned how many dirty old men were in the world. Usually, after being gone a day or two I’d be forced back home. Often only if I missed a couple of days of school, there would be a runaway report. It was always the school that wondered, I don’t think my parents ever reported me gone after the first time. They figured no one wanted me and there burden would return eventually. Until then, they got a brief vacation from it. I still went to our place alone sometimes until on the eve of my 15 birthday, I discovered a trio of kids (two boys and a girl) had claimed the place and I left it to these new friend hoping the bond they had would last, unlike myself and Hallie.

The walls began to close in on me at home until I felt I would fall apart. I knew I had to get out. I got up in the middle of the night, grabbed some money from my foster fathers briefcase and then some more from my foster mother’s pocketbook. I had every intention of sending it back as soon as I could, I didn’t want to be owe them for anything. So I counted what I took down to the penny and made a mental note of it.

To avoid being forced back, I bought a bus ticket that night and left the place of my nightmares for the place in my dreams. My defenses were down, I was so happy to see New Gotham emerge before me I didn’t question the boy who seemed to nice. I was so pleased with myself for escaping, I didn’t question the odd location I was drawn into and seconds later I regretted it. And just when I thought the world was crumbling around me again, I heard the voice of an angel say “The Lady isn’t interested”.

And my defender, my warrior angel in black, the woman in my dreams came to me. And it was she who led me home.


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