I am writing a few perspectives leading up to Christmas. This one is on Bruce. Look for the next one in the coming days.
First Christmas Perspectives: Bruce Wayne
"I HATE CHRISTMAS!" A young boy screamed. It was all he could do under the circumstances. "I hate it! I hate it! I hate it!"
"Oh Master Bruce, whatever is the matter?"
The living room was strewn with gifts, but none of them were open. The eight-year-old boy was lying across the couch, tears streaming down his face.
"I hate it! I hate it!," the boy continued to say, shaking his head and crying.
"Master Bruce, you must pull yourself together, and tell me what this is all about?"
"I asked him to bring them back, but he didn't! He didn't. He didn't!"
"Bring who back?" Alfred suspected, but he wanted his charge to say it. Only then could he console the boy, help him to understand that there were things that even Santa Clause could not fix.
'My parents," Bruce whispered.
'Ah," Alfred nodded. "Come here my boy and let me help you to understand. Santa Clause may be magical in many ways, but he cannot undo what he has not witnessed himself. And it has been nearly a year since they were taken . . . from both of us."
"Are you sad too Alfred?" Eight-year-old Bruce Wayne asked.
"Yes, Master Bruce, I am sad," Alfred responded. "But I am not going to allow that sadness to interfere in enjoying the Christmas holiday. Your parents loved Christmas and they tried to instill that in you."
"I . . . I know but . . . " another tear slipped down Bruce's face and Alfred wiped it away. "It's just so hard to face it without them."
"Come now, I know someone who is facing Christmas alone, and he would like to come in and say hello. In fact, I think we should invite him to dinner."
"Why that young police officer that helped you when you needed a friend. Officer James Gordon. I understand he has only been on the police force for barely a year as well. And I think he needs a friend."
"I guess we can invite him," Bruce responded.
"Good. I shall give the young officer a call, and we shall have him come over this evening."
"No, not this evening," Bruce said. "Today, right now."
"He might be with his family," Alfred stated.
"He told me that he didn't have any family. He decided to become a police officer when his parents were killed when someone tried to rob their home back in Chicago."
"Did he tell you that?"
"Yeah, maybe . . . maybe some day, when I get older . . . I want to do something to find my parents' killer. Maybe . . . maybe I could become a police officer like Officer Gordon."
"That would be admirable, Master Bruce," Alfred said. "And I am certain your parents would be very proud. Shall we see what Santa Clause has brought you?"
"Not right now, in fact. I think I would rather wait for Officer Gordon and he and I can take my presents down to the orphanage."
"The orphanage? Why Master Bruce, these are for you?"
"I know, but . . . I really don't want them. And if we save them, I'll be too old for them later. I think we should give them to someone who really will enjoy them."
"So much like your father," Alfred said. "Very well, Master Bruce. Why don't we gather them up and place them in the hall."
Alfred gathered the presents and was about to pick up a specifically rough looking one when Bruce stopped him.
"Not that one," Bruce said. "That one's for you."
"For me, young sir?"
Alfred picked up another one of the presents and handed it to Bruce. "Well, if you are giving me a gift, then I should give you one too. This one is from me. The rest we shall give to the children at the orphanage."
"Thanks Alfred. And I'm sorry about what I said earlier."
"Oh, don't worry about it Master Bruce. We all go through those moments. I cannot promise that you will not feel the same next year, but things will get easier over time."
"Will it Alfred?"
Alfred looked into the boy's eyes and saw something there that hadn't been there before, a shadow that seemed to shroud the boy's soul in darkness where light could not penetrate. Though he knew Bruce's heart was primarily good, what happened to the boy caused him to change. He heard the boy that night, vowing to find the man responsible and to war on all criminals. Perhaps having Officer Gordon around might help to keep the boy's perspective away from that darkness. And perhaps, one day a ray of light will retouch that soul. For now, if he promised that things would get better, the boy might not totally believe him, but without giving him some hope, Alfred feared what might happen if he didn't.
"Perhaps, Master Bruce, perhaps. Christmas is a time of hope. Allowing hope keeps some of that darkness from swallowing us whole. My hope is that you shall grow into the fine man that you are meant to be. And that your parents would be proud of you, no matter what it is you decide to do. Whether it is to become a doctor like you wanted to do when your father was alive, or a police officer, or something else entirely."
"Thanks Alfred," Bruce said. "You better call Officer Gordon. I'm sure he's feeling lonely as Christmas too."
"Right away, Sir."
Alfred turned away, pleased to know that at least for a short time, he was able to keep some of the darkness at bay. 'Perhaps your son isn't lost to the darkness quite yet, Master Thomas. He misses you so. I shall do my best to help him in the years to come. That is my vow, and Merry Christmas."