A/N: hey guys! I've finally got another story up, and this one is actually complete. So I hope you guys enjoy it!
Disclaimer: I don't own anything. ::sob:: Nor do I own the quote in the summary by Emily Dickinson.
As a cool autumn breeze swept through the park, the tickle of grass blades woke a young, ebony-haired man. Blinking several times before surveying his surroundings, he slowly sat upright. 'I must have fallen asleep' he thought to himself, running a hand through his disheveled hair.
Brushing of his jeans as he stood, he raised his eyes to the dusky sky. Large, ominous, dark clouds were rolling in. Knowing full well what they would bring, he hastily sought out the park exit... -on the opposite side of the field. He realized that making it to the exit before he was soaked was extremely unlikely. As a drop of water fell onto his nose, he promptly sought out shelter. Scolding himself for walking to the park in April, he noticed a lone bench conveniently located under a large oak tree. He instantly began sprinting toward salvation. A voice halted his promenade, however.
"But I don't wanna go home yet! I like the rain!" objected a small girl.
"Sweetie," her mother replied, "you'll catch a cold if you stay out here."
"And," her father began, "if you catch a cold, then you can't go to Grandma's house this weekend."
Horrified at the though of not being able to see said grandmother, the little girl replied "Ah! Mommy, Daddy come on! We have to hurry and get to the car!" Her father glanced at his wife and smiled, before sprinting toward the park exit.
Unintended eavesdropper stopped short. He watched longingly at the family, as memories of his adolescence flooded his mind. Regret and sorrow shortly followed, and he knew he had missed his calling. Ridding the disheartening thoughts from his mind, he took a deep breath and moved on. Upon reaching his destination, he noticed a young woman already seated on the bench, knees drawn up to her chin, apparently taking refuge from the rain. Cautiously, he approached her. "Is it ok if I sit here?" he asked, gesturing to the empty space beside her.
She looked up, and she studied him for a few seconds before replying, "Sure."
"Thanks." he said, before taking a seat.
He silently sat down; he looked at her. The young woman made no other gestures to signify she had even noticed his presence, and he wondered what she could possibly be thinking about that would capture her interest so. Attempting to lighten the dull mood, "So, I guess you're trying to stay out of the rain too, huh?"
Stranger spared him the tiniest of glances before responding. "Yes. I suppose that's it."
He dismissed her uncertainty as lack of concentration. "So...uh, I'm Richard." he introduced himself and offered her a smile.
To his surprise, she smiled back. "I'm Adrielle."
"Nice to meet you Adrielle."
She nodded. "Likewise."
Another heavy silence filled the air. Richard cleared his throat and made another attempt at a conversation. "So, have you always lived in Gotham? I don't think I've ever seen you before."
"Well, I would be surprised if you had." she replied. "Gotham is a big city."
He let out a light chuckle. "It is." he agreed, slightly embarrassed at his ridiculous statement.
"I suspect it has been about five years now." she seemed slightly surprised at this discovery.
He seemed to be sharing similar astonishment. "Really? Me too."
"Oh?" she arched an eyebrow.
"Well, actually I lived here for several years when I was younger. I suppose I would call this my hometown," he explained. "I moved to Jump City when I was a teen, and I lived there up until five years ago."
"Why did you move back? Jump city not have enough thrill for you?" she inquired, the corner of her mouth raised in a teasing smirk.
He chuckled. "No, I don't think it was the thrill that was the problem." He looked out at the rain. "I think," he began, "the real reason I left was because there was nothing worth staying for."
Head tilted to one side, she gave him a questioning glance. "Why do you say that?"
He shifted uncomfortably, and began to wring his hands. "Well," he began, "I don't really like talking about it."
Adrielle just smiled. "That's alright. I'm the same way about certain subjects. Ironically though, I had a similar problem."
"Did you?" Richard raised an eyebrow, questioningly.
Taking a breath, she replied. "Well, in a sense, I did. A long time ago, I had to make a choice between staying where I was and starting a new life for myself. I chose the latter." She averted her eyes to her hands, then focusing somewhere in the rain. "I know now, that I chose wrong."
Richard tried to catch her gaze. "What do you mean?"
She seemed to be lost within a cloud of her own thoughts, and continued her story as if reinforcing it for her own sake. "I had someone who cared for me, and I could have spent my life with him. But," she stopped short, before continuing, "I was afraid. I didn't know how to handle such a situation, and I thought maybe, if I tried to forget about it I would be ok. That maybe the feelings would go away. But it never did."
She looked him in the eyes. "I regret the choice I made, and I want him to know that I'm sorry." At this point, it seemed she was holding back tears. "I know at this point it's too late. Even if I could let him know how sorry I was, there would be nothing we could do now. We've both changed, and it would to difficult to do back and try to revive something that's been dead for five years."
He gave a bittersweet laugh. "Back when I lived in Jump City I met this girl. She was smart, funny, beautiful, loving… I had asked her to come stay with me. She never really had a real home, except for the home the two of us and several other friends had shared. I knew she didn't have any place to go or relatives to visit or see, so I wanted her to come with me. I thought maybe, one day I might be able to tell her how I felt. I wanted her to know how much I loved her. Love her." He began to twiddle his thumbs as a diversion. "The situation was complicated, so I understand her reasoning." A frustrated look replaced his sorrow one. "I know we could have worked it out, though. I just wish she would have given me a chance."
Adrielle, who had been listening intently the entire time, offered him a warm smile. "I'll bet, right this very moment, she's thinking about how foolish she had been."
Richard returned the grin. "I don't know about that, but it's nice to think."
"We all make mistakes," said Adrielle. "I believe we should all learn from our mistakes. Sometimes a chance only comes once, and either we choose right or wrong. It's a fifty-fifty chance. If you happen to choose wrong, it's best not to linger on your mistakes. Move on, and make best of what you have. Use your newfound knowledge to help you and don't keep holding on to a past you know you can't change." She explained. "If you're lucky enough to get a second chance, just make sure you don't screw it up."
"Thank you." Richard said, smiling with content and an odd sense of relief.
A rustle of grass and the snapping of twigs cause both to turn their heads in said direction.
Richard immediately began walking toward the voice. Eventually an old man clad in suit, umbrella over his head, came into view. "Alfred? What are you doing here?"
Said butler answered, "Master Bruce rang your home to invite you to dinner this evening, but you never answered. After several tries at your cell, he sent me to search for you. He would have come himself, but work prevented him from doing such."
"Oh." He ran a hand through his now thoroughly soaked hair, realizing he had forgot to recharge his cell phone. "Well, can you tell him I'll head over in a bit?"
"Certainly." With that, Alfred turned and headed back towards the entrance where his car was stationed in front.
Walking back to the bench, Richard was surprised to discover that there was no one sitting in the spot where Adrielle had previously been seated.
"Adrielle?" Turning his head back and forth frantically, he look around, searching for her. Sighing, he was discouraged to find she had disappeared. "What did I do wrong?"
"I'm sorry I had to leave so suddenly, but I think it's best that I hadn't stayed longer."
Richard swiftly turned his head side to side but found no source of the voice he had heard, which had definitely been Adrielle's.
"We probably won't see each other again, but it was wonderful to see you once more."
Instantaneously, he realized that this voice was coming from -- his mind! And there had been only one person who was able to communicate telepathically with him…
"Raven…" he murmured, unbelievingly.
"I know I can't change the past, but I want you to know that I realize what a horrible mistake I made so many years ago. I'm sorry Robin. So very sorry."
"Raven!! Raven, please! Come back, I need to talk to you!" Robin cried frantically, hoping that perhaps she would come back.
"I'm glad I came to the park today. I had a wonderful time talking to you again. I'll miss you. Until next time, Robin."
And then he felt his connection silence. He sighed.
But then, he remembered the advice she had given him.
He wouldn't screw up his second chance.
A/N: eh? Was it horrible?? Was it pretty decent? It took me forever to finally complete this so I'm sorry if it doesn't feel as smooth or flowing as I would have liked. R&R please!!