By Glenda M. Hernandez (GMHernan@aol.com)
Summary: The personal account of a young woman who, after seeing Superman interviewed on TV, falls head over heels in love with the superhero. She travels to Metropolis and lands a job as a gopher for the Daily Planet. Funny story!
(Author's notes: Have you ever wondered what would happen if a woman, other than Lois, fell in-love with Sman just the way Lois did at the beginning? I did. This story deals with such a woman and how she perceives the L&C characters and specially how she deals with her mad crush on Sman. Moreover, I wanted to see how Lois would react to a mini version of herself. The story is intended to be amusing, almost comical so don't fret, she won't be a threat to our lovers. I'll welcome any comments you may have.)
Hi, my name is Tracy Dexter. I know what you're thinking, who cares? Well, I know you will care about the story I am about to tell you. It all started back home in Bridge City, that's about five hours away from Metropolis by train. You see, I was home baby-sitting my little brother, bored out of my mind when I decided to watch some daytime TV. I've never been much of a couch potato except for the occasional PBS special. I know what you're saying - nerd. Okay, I'm a nerd and proud of it but that's beside the point. Anyway, I was channel surfing when suddenly I came upon this nice looking guy in a suit interviewing some man wearing blue tights, red briefs, a red cape and a red "S" emblazoned on his chest. Weirdo, I thought, some Evel Knievel wanna be. I was intrigued, come to find out that his name was Superman and that he lived in Metropolis and that he had superpowers. Cool, I thought, a flesh and bone superhero and then I saw his smile, heard his voice and looked into his eyes (thanks for the close- up, guys!). What can I say? I have heard of love at first sight, usually in some romance novel but I never ever experienced it. Okay, once I told Billy Richardson I did but it was a lie, I just wanted his letterman jacket. But this time it was for real. Superman totally captivated me, it was like finding that soulmate everybody talks about. I actually felt my heart swell by the mere sight of him. It was so weird. They say that there are moments in your life when everything changes, and as I sat on my parents' sofa with my little brother slobbering all over me, I knew that my life could never ever be the same. Moreover, I knew that I had to do something about it.
Before I go on to the next leg of my tale I think you should know a bit about me. I'm a 21-year old college grad with a BA in English, I can't do anything with. I'm recently unemployed but if I may say so myself, I'm not too bad to look at. Being humble has never been my forte.
Back to my tale, the day Superman came into my life via my TV was the most memorable day of my entire existence. To this day I still celebrate it. I knew right there and then that I had to meet this god, I had to somehow become part of his life. One question kept popping into my mind though, I wondered if he was already attached. Yet, I took comfort in the fact that it was never mentioned during his interview. Heck, even if he did, I knew that when he met me, any other woman would not matter. The problem was, How to get to him? I'm not proud of what I did next but you gotta understand, when destiny awaits at the end of the road, you'll do anything to get there ... so I took my dad's Amex. He never used it and anyway it was just laying around in his wallet dejected and rejected. I had to adopt it and use it. It bought me a one way ticket on the "Silver Bullet" straight to Metropolis.
I won't bore you with the details of my trip except for the most peculiar thing, a song kept rambling around in my head, something about "I've gone to look for America ... " Weird.
Skip ahead and you'll find me standing in the middle of Metropolis' Edison train station with my ticket in one hand and a large backpack hanging over my right shoulder. I was dressed to the nines. Somehow I got the feeling that I was going to meet him right there and then. You can't blame me for wanting to look extra nice. A long time passed and there was no sign of him. I was beginning to feel like Little Orphan Annie except for the fact that my hair is not red and curly but straight and black and I have well-defined blue eyes. Still, I felt like an orphan and for the first time, I started to feel a bit scared.
I don't usually like to criticize other city dwellers but I must say that the people in Metropolis looked strange and to my surprise did strange things also. Let me explain something to you, if anyone wants to mug me, I say take the loot but do not touch me. Material things don't mean much to me, take it all but do not touch me, not everybody understands this rule. Especially that guy, he took my backpack, stuck a knife on my side and attempted to kidnap me. He never counted on my Bridge City savvy which requires any native from Bridge City to automatically and without thinking yell at the top of her lungs for help. I guess the noise that came out of me was so startling and loud that the guy kind of lost it. More importantly though, it accomplished the ultimate, my future arrived in a blaze of red and blue to save me. It was him, right in front of me in all his splendor. I fainted.
When I came to, I was nestled in his strong arms and he was looking down at me with those beautiful brown eyes. He smelled *so* good, like a nice hot fudge sundae. He smiled at me and asked me how I was feeling. I couldn't answer him, it was like English became my second language, my first language being total bewildered silence (look it up, some monks still use it). He looked so concerned and kindly offered to take me to the hospital to be checked out. I couldn't take my eyes off of him, well, I did for a second to find the mugger hanging from a lamppost. I smiled, my love had a sense of humor also. He asked me once again if I wanted to go to the hospital, I knew that if I said no, I would've lost a great opportunity. There was only one choice.
Do you remember when you were a kid and you had those flying dreams or when you would run very fast and imagine that you were flying? Those childhood dreams paled in comparison to the real thing. *Wow*, the trip to the hospital was the most fascinating, incredible, out of this world, never to be equaled trip in my life. I never feared, not even once, because I knew that he would take care of me. Though we didn't have enough time to talk, I knew that I had made a definite impression. Not too shabby for my first day in Metropolis. So he left me with some doctor who examined me but who quickly discharged me when he found out my insurance had expired. I don't trust doctors, especially shrinks, but anyway I didn't want to stay there, *I* had a date with destiny.
I know you want to know what I did that first night, where I stayed, etc. Don't worry I am very resourceful and anyway I still had dad's Amex. That reminds me, I did call my dad, I'm not proud of this but I lied to him. I told him I had traveled to Metropolis for a job interview. He was happy, sometimes lies are necessary. The only problem, I had to get myself an interview. But first things first, I had to learn everything I could about Superman. First stop-Metropolis' Public Library.
I'm the first one to admit that doing research is a pain in the you know where but sometimes it can be quite informative. About Superman, I found out he arrived three years ago and that he saved reporter Lois Lane from being blown to bits in a space shuttle, that he is from another planet (Figures. My friends used to tell me that if I wanted a nice guy I had to look beyond the confines of Bridge city-I guess I did.). Anyway, the main thing I found out was that Lois Lane and her partner Clark Kent were the authorities on Superman. Guess where I went next? I often heard the saying "kill two birds with one stone," I never could picture it until then. First, I got an interview (I know you wonder how? Hint: Never leave home without your resume and it helps to have either an engaging smile or a pitiful look. This time I used both.). Second, by getting a job as a clerk (glorified title for gopher) I got close to Lois and Clark. Life has the potential to be perfect.
I must tell you about my co-workers. I never met people like these. They were funny, caring, interesting, earnest, physically attractive and on a superficial level, not a hair out of place. *Just like folks On TV. * I have to start with Mr. White. He just reminded me of my neighbor Mr. Grant, the same built, same grandpa like smile, same "hair," and even the same fascination with Elvis Presley. Spooky, they could've been twins, okay maybe not. I tried to be at my best with Mr. White, after all, he was the boss. I even tried to endear myself to him by asking trivia questions about The King. For example, What was Elvis' favorite sandwich? Answer; peanut butter, banana, and bacon sandwich. He knew that, amazing! I guess he liked me since he personally took me around to meet the rest of the "gang." Next I met Jimmy Olsen, I must admit, If I would've met him prior to knowing Superman, I could've grabbed a burger with him. Yes, he *was* cute but my heart was already spoken for. I did sense that he liked me a bit. He kept asking me if I liked flannel and whether I liked to surf the net. I just smiled. Mr. White kind of saved me by sending him to take pictures of something or other. Next I met the "dream team," Lane and Kent.
There I was, face to face with the people who knew more about the man I loved than anybody in the planet. My heart felt like it was going to burst with joy and anticipation. Sometimes things look better in our minds than in real life. Don't get me wrong, Mr. Kent was a sweetheart, so helpful and so, so, I don't know, sweet. On the other hand, Ms. Lane, at first appeared distant, aloof, almost cold. *I said at first.* As it happened, when I was making rounds with Mr. White, Ms. Lane was extremely busy working on a story that may or may not have had something to do with frogs. I'm not sure and I didn't want to know. Understandably so, she didn't have time to be courteous but that was okay, I had enough time to win her over. In the meantime, Mr. White put Mr. Kent in charge of my introduction to the Daily Planet. Did I mention he was sweet? He bought me lunch from the vending machine, cheese sandwich, *yum* (I can be sarcastic). He spoke to me as if he knew me, he really made me feel very comfortable. Did I mention he was caring? Yes, he was, he made sure that I finished my lunch. I couldn't break his heart so I ate the processed cheese sandwich and smiled (cheese from France would've been better).
I though we had a good rapport so I dared ask him about my future bridegroom. At first he appeared surprised, dare I say shocked. I couldn't figure out what surprised him, was it the fact that I asked about Superman or that I referred to him as my future bridegroom? I asked him why did he look surprised. He told me that no one has ever referred to Superman in those terms. I asked him why? He said because he was Superman. I said so? He said so . . . I knew he was stumped. I told him how I had fallen for Superman and that he was the reason for my being in Metropolis. He was surprised again. I asked what was so surprising? He told me that although Superman had inspired some admiration, nobody has ever seen him as a romantic figure. I asked why? Once again he said because he is Superman. I said so? He shook his head and smiled. Suddenly, he excused himself telling me that he had to feed his dog or something but to go talk to Ms. Lane until he came back.
Okay, this was hard. I've always been capable of charming men. It's a talent, I mean, I'm a talented flirt, it comes naturally, but when it comes to women - let's just say that it takes more than an engaging smile to win them over. I didn't know how I was going to win Ms. Lane over. She seemed so intense, so driven, so earnest. In a way I truly admired that.
I walked slowly toward her desk, her back was turned to me. I admit that I hesitated a bit, suddenly, she turned around in her chair and bolted toward Mr. White's office. I thought that perhaps it was a bad time. From where I was standing, I saw her talking to Mr. White. She looked agitated, flinging her arms up and down. I was scared. She exited Mr. White's office and walked quickly to her desk. The only thing was that I was standing right in the middle. We did a little dance, moving from side to side, until I just stood still letting her by. She didn't say a word. I knew that I had to get over my fear so I sat by her desk and she slowly raised her head. Sometimes, the first thing that comes to your mind should be edited before publication. I asked her about almost being blown up in that space shuttle. I don't think that brought back fond memories.
The road to knowing Ms. Lane was initially bumpy. I made mistakes, she behaved coldly, the usual female bonding deal. One thing made all the pieces fall into place though. When I uttered the name of Superman, all of her defenses came crashing down. In a way, that was good but at the same time, it didn't feel that good. I had the strangest feeling that Ms. Lane was my adversary in the field of love. I've *always* been honest so I asked her if she and Superman ... *No*, she said, they were just friends. I know she saw the relief on my face because she asked me why I asked that question. I told her the whole story. I don't know if she was amused, surprised, shocked, or just didn't care. I couldn't read anything on her face. All she said was "I see." See what? I asked. She told me she understood what I was feeling and that at one point she felt the same way about Superman. You did? I said and she said, yes. I asked her how come she gave up on him (believe me, I was glad she did). She told me because he was Superman. I said so? Ms. Lane told me she would be glad to explain everything to me but that she had to go back to work, I said later then and stood to go roaming around. Sometimes life is cruel, weird things happen, stupid mistakes can destroy your life or in the least make you feel really bad.
I swear I didn't see the cup of coffee on the edge of her desk by her papers. I swear I couldn't control my hand as it swiped the cup making it tilt and spill its content all over Ms. Lane's work, dress and computer. It *was* a freak accident. I didn't blame her for her reaction (though I never heard those words come out of a human being before), I guess I would have reacted the same way. Thank God for Mr. Kent, out of nowhere he came in and helped us with the mess I created. I was mortified and shaking all over. He calmed me down and calmed Ms. Lane down. Then the most amazing thing happened. Ms. Lane looked at me and smiled and said "Don't worry kid, it happens." *What? * I ruined her work, her dress, her computer and she tells me, "don't worry." I started crying. The two of them rushed to comfort me and in between the tears, I saw it. Yes, they were partners but they were more than partners, if you know what I mean. They made a cute couple. Ms. Lane walked me to the ladies' room to wash my face. She was so sweet and caring. No wonder she was with Mr. Kent. The perfect couple I thought, and I told her so. Her eyes got misty and she smiled shyly. Sometimes initial impressions are just that, sometimes you have to look deeper into a person's soul. Ms. Lane had a beautiful soul. Did I mention she had a medium size rock on her finger? If I were Mr. Kent, I would spring for a bigger one, after all she's his fiancee.
My first day at the Planet ended quietly. Lois and Clark(as they now let me call them) invited me for a slice but I had to decline telling them I was tired. I couldn't tell them I had plans for the night. Jimmy offered to walk me home, he was shocked when I told him that I lived in a hotel. He told me that I could stay at his place, no obligation. I thought, *yeah right* but I sweetly decline telling him I was expecting a phone call from my dad (lame excuse but effective). Still, I let him walk me to my hotel, c'mon, I * can* be sweet.
I let Jimmy see me to my door, I could tell he wanted to come in and look at the "view" but I had previous plans. I kept thinking that Jimmy had come into my life at the wrong time. I bid him goodbye and sent him on his way. I walked to my window and stared at the city of Metropolis at my feet. I kept thinking that Superman was out there somewhere and that I had to see him again. Have you ever done a really stupid thing for all the right reasons? I invented the concept. Did you know that Metropolis had a park and that in that park there was a lake and that nobody was allowed to swim in that lake because: 1)it was way deep; 2) it was too cold; and 3) it was government property? I didn't know, I'm from Bridge City!
So, I went for a swim and when I was in too deep I called for help-repeatedly. Finally, he arrived, too bad the cops arrived with him. I can't say he wasn't happy to see me, I guess he was just a bit angry. He was cool though, he got me out of the mess with the cops and all but later he let me have it. He kept talking about danger, what if he didn't reach me on time, not to do things on purpose, "the bat signal is not a beeper" (*oops* wrong story), and on and on ... I really thought he was never going to shut up but he did. He did when I told him I loved him. His eyes widened and his mouth was hanging open. I told him to sit and he did. It was my turn to speak. I knew I had to start from the beginning, no, not with the beginning of my infatuation but the beginning of my life. I told him that I came from a dysfunctional family, that my mother abandoned us a year ago, that I was the oldest and that I had to give up a lot to help my father along. I told him that this time I wanted, *needed* to do something for my self, so I left my brother with my 19-year-old sister Eileen and came to Metropolis to meet my destiny. I did tell him a lot of things, actually I shared more than necessary but he listened. I told him about my past relationships, that I've often been taken for a ride. How I never thought I'd meet the perfect man and that now that I found him, my life made sense. He was so patient. I can say he understood, it was like he heard it all before. He was the most incredible man. After I finished my soliloquy, he flew me back to my hotel. At one point I thought he was going to kiss me. He did, on my forehead. My *father* kisses me like that. Still, I took what I could get. That night I dreamt about flying, it was the best dream ever.
The next day, I walked into the Daily Planet' s office, eager to work and happy to be there. The first person I saw was Lois. She looked very happy and she was very friendly. I liked her. She asked how I was doing and I said okay and yet I sense it was a loaded question. Lois told me she knew about my late night swim. I was embarrassed. She told me not to be embarrassed and that she understood what I was feeling. I asked her how come? Just as she was about to tell me, Mr. White called her to his office. Just then Clark stepped out of the elevator, I was very happy to see him. When he saw me, he gave me a big smile. I knew then he also knew about my lake diving expedition. I guess Superman could not keep a secret. Clark asked me how I was doing, I said fine but a bit embarrassed. He put his arms around me and said there was nothing to be embarrassed about and to just be careful the next time. I said okay. Then I decided to be daring.
I asked him how come Superman did not have a girlfriend. He hesitated but then gave me lame reasons like he's always busy, doesn't have time to have a relationship, always in danger, that he was like a very busy doctor ... I said uh? He concluded by telling me that the reason Superman did not have a girl was because he was Superman. I started to feel that examining Superman's "profession" was the key to the answers I was seeking. I had to see my superhero again.
I * swear* I didn't mean to fall off the edge of the Daily Planet's building. I was just feeding the pigeons when suddenly I slipped and well, you can imagine the rest. To my *utter* surprise, Superman saved me yet again. This was becoming a habit. Just in case you're wondering, yes, he was furious. He looked so cute when mad. This time though my charming smile and sweet puppy eyes failed to do the trick. I guess I went too far. He told me to *never* put myself in danger again that if I wanted to talk to him to just call him. I said *cool* but then he added that I couldn't call him too often because others may need him, I said *boo*, but I understood. Just as he was ready to leave, Lois came running out of the building toward us.
Lois looked very concerned. I didn't mean to cause a stir. Superman told her to take care of me and with that he flew away. I loved to watch him fly. As to Lois, she was angry, no doubt. I tried to make her understand why I did it but all she said was, "We have to have a talk young lady." Mom?? I thought. Lois took me to her favorite Chinese restaurant for lunch. She told me Hunan cuisine was the best. To me, an eggroll is an eggroll no matter how you roll it. Anyway, she brought up the topic of Superman (my favorite topic), I apologized for my indiscretions and suicidal tendencies and I told her I was doing it all for love. That's where she stopped me. She told me how she also had loved Superman at one time but that she learned the hard way that Superman was beyond her. I asked her why? She said because he is *Superman*. Can you believe, I finally got it?
Superman is not only the guy I saw being interviewed, he is the guy who can save thousands of lives, the guy who can bag a mugger, save a girl from certain death at the hands of gravity, save people from drowning, from exploding volcanoes, hurricane, malfunctioning airplanes, drive by shootings and exploding nuclear bombs. In general, *he is Superman* and he belongs to the world and not just to one person. *Epiphany. * Lois smiled when she saw that I understood but her smile had a tinge of sadness, I didn't mention it. I asked her whether I should totally give up the idea of Superman. She said that he stands for a lot and that I should continue to care for him just as long as I remembered who he was and what his purpose on Earth was. I said okay. Moreover, she told me that sometimes in life we go looking for the extraordinary when what we are looking for has been in front of us all the time. I said, yes, grasshopper, and then I noticed that she was gazing at the door where a young man wearing a flannel shirt had just entered. She winked at me, I said *Hello, Dolly*.
I left Metropolis a week later. Yes, I stayed the week. I wanted to spend some time with my new friends. Did I tell you I went out with Jimmy? I did. All that I can print is that he is a good kisser and he is *very* cute. I also learned a couple of things from Mr. White about journalism. He told me I had potential and that I reminded him of his best reporter, figure that out. I know journalism school will be next on my list. I'm going to miss them very much, specially Lois and Clark. It's inspiring to watch them together, they are so in tuned with one another. They made me believe in true romance and that someday I'll find my own prince charming and it won't matter if he cannot fly. Maybe all I really wanted was a flannel wearing hacker who turned out to be a super guy. Did I mention there's no place like home? ( I just had to say that).
So what did I learn from this adventure? Never max out your dad's Amex, the Bridge City yell is an effective mugger repellent, men with superpowers have a lot of responsibilities so don't try to occupy their time with suicide attempts, that the King is *still alive* at least in Mr. White's mind, that people are more than what they seem and finally that true love comes in different shapes, colors and fabrics and all one has to do is stand still enough to notice it.
I know you're wondering if I totally gave up my infatuation on Superman. The answer, no, *gosh* even Lois carries a picture of him in her wallet ... *Hey*, I wonder if Clark knows??