Her name was Harley Quinn. Peter Quinn, her father, had always wanted to buy a motorcycle, but would have never had the balls to ride one. So, he named his one and only baby girl after the best brand of bikes in existence. She had a good childhood. She attended regular public schools, experiencing the same pre-adolescent torture as every other juvenile of Gotham. Both of her parents encouraged her to participate in gymnastics; at one point, she was on track for being an Olympic hopeful. But, there were some days, days she'd block out, when her life wasn't so normal. Days when she'd come home to find her mother bruised and softly whimpering in a dark corner of the house. But the summer between middle school and high school, her whole life changed for the worse.
When she was 14, Harley's mother died of breast cancer. The years after were hard, but she was able to survive by using art and drama as emotional outlets. Unfortunately, the initial shock had been enough for her to give up on being a gymnast. Without having her mother at the meets and to pick her up from practice, she lost the drive to compete. But art and drama were there still. She'd always needed to express herself; ever since the first time Peter had raped and beaten her mother in front of her. That was when Harley stopped calling her father 'dad' and instead referred to him as simply 'Peter'. After Mrs. Quinn's passing, Peter turned to his daughter for pleasure. He wouldn't beat her like he had his wife-the school administrators would notice bruising on Harley more easily than on her stay-at-home mother. But he would threaten her, until she'd submis. Then Peter Quinn would have his way with his daughter. Harley never told anyone-who would understand?
The years passed by, and her artwork and acting only improved with each torture session that her father mercilessly provided. After high school, she was accepted to the Gotham University of Fine Arts. Freshmen year, she met Redgie, another theatre major. It was because of him that Harley turned away from acting and discovered the wonderful world of costume and set design. They started dating at the beginning of sophomore year. Peter didn't approve, of course, but no matter. Harley was out of her father's house-forever. Come summer break, she and Redgie were going to start renting an apartment together. That thought was enough to make her pick up gymnastics again. She'd been out of practice for too long to ever compete again, but she could enjoy the sport anyways. And, of course, building the muscle helped her improve her self esteem.
It was later November, and Harley had been chosen to be the head costume designer for the coming spring's big show, Macbeth. She had all of winter break to work on contracting out most of the costumes, but for Lady Macbeth she wanted to start from scratch. So, she and Redgie headed to the fabric store and he helped her pick out satins, chiffons and lace. Harley had never made an entire gown by herself; made alterations, stitched parts of different costumes together, but never been responsible for making one from raw fabric. But she was up to the challenge, and had plenty of time to work on it.
While everyone else was Christmas shopping and ice skating, Harley locked herself away in her dorm room over winter break. She was actually used to not being a part of all the holiday cheer, given her Jewish background. But she'd lost her faith in God many years before when he'd failed to save her. Sometimes she missed the candelabra with its blue and white candles, but she knew it was just nostalgia.
Harley poured her heart and soul into designing and making the dress, so that, by the time she was finished, she wanted nothing more than to be Lady Macbeth. But, alas, the role for the leading lady had already been chosen-Alison Bates. She was a perfect, thin, blonde beauty with pages of acting experience. Originally, Harley's first choice had been costume design. But now, the thought of someone else wearing her masterpiece was terrifying. To make matters worse, Peter was coming to visit for the opening night of the show. Her father had never bothered to make an appearance to any of her plays before, even when was Gwendolyn in The Importance of Being Earnest during senior year of high school. Why would he come now, when she was finally so close to breaking free of him forever? He knew; somehow he knew. She knew that Redgie wouldn't have told anyone, and of course she hadn't, but somehow her father knew she planned on moving out and away for good. He was going to try and stop her, but she couldn't let that happen.
It was still three weeks before opening night. But that didn't decrease her stress. Rehearsals were held for hours every night, and she had to be there in case someone had a costume issue. The whole thing was ridiculous, since they'd done fittings months before and the first dress rehearsal wasn't until next week, but still, she had to be there. But it wasn't all bad-Redgie was there too, working lights and props. They'd text each other, criticizing this or that actor's skill at portraying their character.
Except for tonight. Redgie wasn't replying to her messages. She assumed his phone was dead or maybe he was busy explaining something to one of the assistant techs. But at the end of rehearsal, she saw him flirting with Alison. The lead. Theatre promiscuity was normal, but she'd specifically explained to her boyfriend when they'd started dating that she'd not tolerate any of that kind of behavior from him. He'd agreed that was fair, and ever since everything had been fine. But she could see the both of them, up on the stage, laughing, smiling. She sat in the dark of the house, wondering if they knew she was there. Suddenly, Alison leaned in closer to Redgie and ran her fingers across his chest. In response, he grabbed her hand and brought it to his lips, kissed it, and then the unbelievable happened. Harley felt tears well up and rage build in her stomach as she watched her boyfriend kiss Alison, the girl who would wear Harley's masterpiece gown. She couldn't watch this any more-they'd moved to a chair on the set, Alison straddling Redgie's lap. But, they'd notice if she got up and left. The seating of the house was pitch black, but the aisles were well lit. Harley closed her eyes and jammed her index fingers into her ears to block out the heartbreaking scene on stage. Suddenly, she knew how Othello must have felt in his suspicion of Desdemona. Except in this case, the betrayal was reality. Twenty minutes later, Harley heard the backstage exit open and then swing shut. She opened her eyes to find the theatre empty. She couldn't stop the tears that fell. She softly screamed her anger, beating the chair in front of her with her fists.
"Well, that was an interesting final act, wasn't it? I don't think there was sex scene in Macbeth, but you college kids do know innovation"
Harley hushed herself. Who else had been in the theatre? As if Redgie's infidelity wasn't bad enough, someone else had seen it and her emotional breakdown.
A man walked out on the stage. His hair was filthy and yellow, like he hadn't showered in days. But he was dressed very stylishly. He wore a royal purple three-piece over a forest green vest that looked like it was made of silk.