By Rachel M. <LnCSwing@AOL.COM>
Submitted October 1998
Summary: Ever wondered about some of the experiences Lois had growing up? Lois tells all in "Ever Heard The Whole Story?"
It's nothing outrageously special, just a story from a certain person's point of view…and a few ditties and pointless we-don't-want-to-know's in between…:) Very unorganized, if you want the story summed up in one phrase. Comments are welcome, if they be sincere or silly…you decide! On a more serious note, I want to sincerely thank all you great fanfic writers out there (you know who you are! <g>). You guys are spectacular. I learn so much from you guys everyday, and I hope it will help me to become the writer I've always dreamed of being someday.
At an early stage in life I found that I had a voracious appetite for Mexican food, or anything spicy for that matter, only to find that I couldn't eat it. It would make my stomach hopelessly upset for the period of time after I ate the subject to the next morning. I could eat Taco Bell, which doesn't surprise me, because I doubt they use anything that's really Mexican. I heard a rumor that had something to do with Alpo dog food….don't go there. And there was this place in Tennessee (yes, I've been there) that was called the "All-American Mexican Restaurant." Hmmm. That sounded like there were a couple rolls of red tape involved. I could eat there, which didn't surprise me either, for obvious reasons. I also found that I had a taste for Chinese/Japanese food (I could never figure out the difference between the two). Some Lo Mien or chicken fried rice could put me right for days. But when I went through a disgusting bout with a place called "Ralph's Pagoda," I began to think otherwise. Only did an encounter with "Yung's" pull me out of my state of denial.
But above all else, my favorite food was Italian. I could eat ravioli for weeks at a time. I'm sure many of you have heard of "The Olive Garden." Those people have the *best* garlic bread. But this one place in Ft. Collins, Colorado, called "Canino's" had the best ravioli I can ever remember eating. I ate there with Clark once when we were hot on the trail of Lex Luthor for the third time. He ended up being caught under a snow plow or something like that. Injured, but not killed. Even if it *had* killed him, I doubt he would've been dead for very long. It happens when you're Lex Luthor. Die, resurrect, die, resurrect, he can't seem to make up his mind. But none of that matters now, because he's in jail and I have Clark.
When Mother started drinking, I remember eating take-out a lot. Especially Chinese/Japanese. Of the rare times that my sister actually spoke during that time, she said that she could never get tired of Chinese/Japanese. But when she woke up the next morning with appendicitis, she changed her mind before you could say "sweet 'n sour." Though I doubt it was the food that caused the infection, she didn't know that, so I didn't tell her. It was too much fun to see her run out of the house screaming bloody murder every time we got Chinese/Japanese after that.
We got a dog when I was 9 and Lucy was 6. It was an interesting cocker spaniel, and I say interesting because she was probably the dumbest animal I had ever seen in my entire 9 years. I swear she was. She was the hardest thing to crate-train. It took her almost 4 months before she finally caught on.
But probably the incident I remember the most was the time when I came into the kitchen one day, just back from watching TV, and I see my sister sitting on the floor with scissors in her hand, snipping away at one of the dog's ears, with smears of blood all over the tile floor. I must have yelled for five minutes before Mother finally ran into the room, took one look at the floor, the dog, and Lucy still sitting there with a goofy grin spread across her face, and burst out laughing. When I demanded what was so funny about the seemingly serious situation, she said that she was just relieved, because she had just called the police. When she had heard me screaming, she thought somebody was trying to rob the house, or Lucy had stabbed me with the butcher knife, or something worse than that. I had to laugh, too.
But when the police got there, they didn't think it was funny. In fact, they made Mother pay a fine for calling the police when there wasn't an emergency. I thought they were being cruelly unfair, and said so outright before Mother had a chance to silence me, but they said "The law's the law, miss," and left. I thought Mother was going to have a coronary. I was terrified because I feared she would get the wooden ladle out, but she just told me to get her an ice pack and then go to my room. She only told me to go to my room when she was drunk or really really tired. I figured it must've been a little of both.
On Christmas Eve, we arrived home at a late hour, because we had just gotten back from a Christmas party that one of Mother's friends had thrown. She gave me the key to unlock the numerous locks on the door. She had always said, "You can never have too many locks," and I believed her. As I opened the door, the alarm went off, and as I was opening the door further so I could go inside the house, it suddenly became jammed. I looked down and there was the dog and the stick that we laid between the door and the end of the doorframe (our door was a sliding door) for extra insurance against burglars. I guessed the dumb mutt had knocked the stick down from its usual spot leaning against the wall. So as the alarm continued going off, I went through another screaming fit. Mother literally went hysterical, because when the usual beep goes off for 30 seconds, it viciously turns into a wailing blare that I'm sure must've woken up the entire neighborhood. We tried forcing the door, didn't work. Tried the front door, didn't work.
Lucy and I finally gave up and retreated to the slightly warmer temperature and quieter conditions in the car while Mother mirthlessly kicked away at the door, hoping that maybe if she screamed loud enough, the door would magically open. Lucy jumped out of the car, mumbling something about trying the windows. She managed to get a window open (imagine us having a million locks on our door, but not locking the windows…Ha!), and Mother went practically ballistic.
When the police arrived (which was about an hour later), they had their usual stoic faces on, and they were even less amused than the incident before. I vowed to kill them when I was older (naturally I didn't), but of course they went on their merry way, leaving us with yet another fine. I told Mother to take it to court because *they* were the ones that arrived an hour and a half late. But she said she didn't want to go to all the trouble and paid it. I was about to go to the courthouse myself, but Mother read my thoughts like an open book…she said that if I went to the courthouse she'd take an ax to me. I never doubted her for a minute.
"Hahaha! Lois, you never told me *these* stories! You always told me the sad stories, like when your father left, or when Lucy would lock herself up in her room and not come out, or the time when your mom drank so much she stumbled around the house mumbling incoherently and you thought she had rabies! Never this!" The laughter was extremely contagious. "Well, C…Clark, I never r-really found a g-g-ood enough reason to t….heeheehee, tell-you-about-these-stories…ha hah ha!" Clark chuckled and pulled me close. "So you finally found a good reason…lounging around on a lazy day-off with your fiance…you found that as a good reason?" "Yup. Better tell you now before there are kids running around the house screaming. I won't have the voice or the time then…."
I started reading at the age of four. And, not surprisingly, the daily newspaper was pretty much the only thing sitting around the house that was within my reach. Mother says that explains why I became a reporter, but I tell her not true, not true, because the only reason I became a reporter was to rebel against my father. He wanted me to become a doctor, so I figured a newspaper reporter would be the last career he would've wanted me to choose, so off I went.
I would've dumped it when I made amends with Daddy, but I found myself thoroughly enjoying being a reporter. Perry says I had and still have an amazing writing sense, and you know me, I love being flattered. So I stayed. And wrote. Got angry. Threatened to leave. But ended up staying, as always. And then I went through the whole cycle again.
Perry also says (I hate quoting people. Can you tell?) that the only reason he puts up with me is because I'm one heck of a reporter. That's all he says, but he means more than that. I know, because I say that the only reason I put up with him is because he pays me a whole lot of money to do so. But he was sort of a paternal figure to me when I ran away to leave home and the pressure that goes along with it behind.
I was at an awkward age. Just 18. I was skipping college and heading straight for the job ads in the classified section of that daily newspaper that I had been reading every day since the age of four: The Daily Planet. But Perry White took me under his wing and gave me a job as a cub reporter just as if I were his own daughter. And a daughter of his I am. Not technically, but you get my meaning.
And look at me now. A prize-winning reporter with three Kerths, and I did pretty darn well, if I say so myself. And nothing can tear me away from the job and people I learned to love so much. Think if I had gone the way of the life-controlling father and been a doctor. Where would I be emotionally? At the stage I surpassed 4 years ago, that's where I'd be. Alone and without a candidate in sight. But I wouldn't be happy with that like I thought I was 4 years ago. Then I was in a state of denial, like with Chinese/Japanese food. But in the world of my alternate doctor's life, the only commitment I'd see would be swarming around me, going about their busy lives. In happy couple's faces when they held their first child, in my coworkers, working diligently away at someone's ruptured gallbladder. The life of the rich and lonely must be extremely hard to bear.
But why am I going on about being lonely? I am going on about this because if Clark hadn't made himself a part of my life, I would be lonely today. Lonely and unhappy. But thanks to him I have the privilege of being an ecstatically happy soon-to-be-married young woman, and I still have plenty of my life to go. But with him, it won't seem as hard as most people find it.
When/if we grow old and gray together, we'll look at some young bugger at the DP who has the guts to slap the Editor-in-Chief and the tenacity to go after a story that involves nuclear warheads…a number of them. And then Clark'll say, "Hey, if I didn't know any better, I'd say that striking young woman was you." And then I'd say, "Yeah, right, Pops, in your dreams….she doesn't have nearly enough fire in her to last very long. She's got the ability to get into disastrous predicaments but not enough to get out of them. I bet you she'll be dead before the end of the week."
And then Pops would strike up again and say, "Not if I can help it." And he'd go fly off, taking the gray hair and wrinkles along with him. And me, if *I* could help it. Anyway, before I take this any further than it has to go, I'll move on.
I remember the few visits to the dentist I had. My sister had absolutely no problem with going to have her teeth examined, but the looks of all those shiny instruments were too much for me. I could just imagine the feel of those things inside my mouth, prodding and hacking away. Even though I know now that's not what they do, I still get skittish when I go to have a cavity drilled.
On one of the occasions my mother managed to drag me into the examining room and get me into that *horrendous* chair, I clamped my mouth shut and would not open it, unless I had the urge to scream.
The dentist and I regarded each other coolly. This guy wasn't going to be as easy to break as all the others. His pick started moving towards my mouth as if it were drawn by some magnetic force, but I gave him a look that said, "Hey, pal, if you come any closer with that thing, I'll make sure *your* teeth are rearranged." I accompanied the look with a warning growl that was similar to that of a cat's. My eyes ignited and his turned to cold blocks of ice. If looks could kill…
I thought surely this was crunch time, he *was* going to break. But he shook off whatever doubts he may have had and asked his assistant to pinch my nose so I would open my mouth, but would she please tie my arms and legs down first? Certainly she would. I told them it was child abuse, but the dentist simply replied he was just doing his job. He was getting paid for this, after all. The little darling wouldn't want to deprive Uncle Johnson from his money, now would she? The overweight assistant chimed in with an, "Of course not." So I took drastic measures and looked to my last option. I spit in his face. I thought he was going to hit me for a second there. But all I saw was a flicker of fire, and then it disappeared.
I congratulate him now for being so patient with me. If I were him, I would've hauled my read end through the facility and thrown me out the door. But he didn't. He promised me a sucker if I let him look at my teeth. So I did, noting that dentists don't usually give suckers to patients after checkups, granted that their dentists, if you get my meaning. Even though being only 5 or 6, I sincerely believed I was getting the raw end of the deal.
I've always had a phobia towards needles. I absolutely hate them. I've always thought that the cause of that would be because I was a preemie, and you know those doctors, they stick tons of needles in premature babies. I still have the thin wrists and arms of a preemie, but I always hated them, because when I was an adolescent, I had extra gut. So I figured if I were to have extra gut, I should have bigger arms, but that never happened. But, thank God, I got rid of that gut by the time I was a sophomore in high school.
I also hate taking medicine. Liquid medicine is the most disgusting stuff I've ever tasted. The chewable tablets are okay, but they only make those for kids, and if ones for adults ever come along, they'll probably be the wrong kind I need. And the pills one swallows make me gag. There were even these tiny round things that my mom used to give me along with ice cream (I had terrible allergies as a kid), but those were even worse. I remember I threw up all over Mother once when she forced those pills down my throat. I don't know why, but I would guess I was making a mountain out of a molehill, therefore making one tiny pill seem like a 10-inch diameter rock.
But it was my hatred of needles that started my babbling. There was a time in my life where I took the most exciting trip I've ever been on to South Africa (It was for Daddy's job). But with the malaria and hepatitis and all other sorts of diseases, I had to start taking medicine about two weeks before we left and have a series of shots. To ease the pain, I would talk. Constantly. The nurse probably wanted to slap me while I babbled away in her face.
I had to have a blood test or something like that the summer after sixth grade, I believe, and the nurse told me to talk about something I did over the summer to take my mind off the pain. That was probably one of the few times in my life I was speechless. She asked me a bunch of questions, but my answers were usually one-word, because as I watched all that blood from my body fill into that gigantic container, I was mesmerized. I could've sworn I lost a quarter of my total amount of blood.
Anyway, after a few years of innocent childhood, I realized life wasn't as easy as Mom and Dad made it look like. They started fighting more and more, usually over little things, like if Daddy forgot to wash the dishes when Mother *told* him she was going to bed early and to please wash the dishes. Daddy usually agreed.
When I was little, Daddy was a pawn in Mother's chess game. He was at her beck at call, pleasing her to the very last minute of the day. Unless he forgot something, like washing dishes, for example. He couldn't help it, but Mother seemed to think he could read her mind. I had the same problem…forgetting things. It was sickening the way Daddy totally sucked up to Mother.
Then they dropped the bomb. More like nuke. It was a calm affair. Well, at least it started that way. My parents told me to get Lucy and then come into the living room. I pretty much knew instantly what was going on, by the looks of their faces. Daddy was skulking deeper and deeper into his La-Z-Boy, and Mother had an anxious look on her face. I also noticed she was trying to get as far away from Daddy as the dimensions of the room would allow. She gestured for Lucy and me to sit on the couch with her. She broke it to us gently, all the while Daddy not saying a word, with his behind slithering out of his chair, the rest of his body threatening to do the same. At his pace, he would soon be sitting on the floor. I really didn't hear what Mother was saying while I concentrated on Daddy doing his snake impression. Only when Lucy yelled 'I hate you!" and ran out of the room did I come out of my reverie. Mother looked pleadingly at me.
"You understand, don't you, Lois?" She then noticed Daddy. "Sam!" I turned around and noticed Daddy had crawled nearly halfway to the door. He was trying to escape. "You're supposed to be helping me!" I saw a sheepish look cross Daddy's face.
"Sorry, Ellen." And that was pretty much the climax of that episode. I've forgotten most of the heartbreaking details because, well, they were too heartbreaking. I wanted to forget them as soon as possible. So I did. And I've never looked back since.
Ahhhhh, school. The torture that took up the brunt of my teenage life. It followed the same pattern every year, no matter what stage I was in, elementary, junior high, senior high, or college. First day of school: Blah, blah, blah. The most boring day of the year, but also the most exhausting one. Second day of school: More talk. A little of this and that, subjects we're going to cover over the year, rules of the room, modular, IMC, whatever. I would sit there, half asleep, listening to the teacher blab away, and feel sorry for myself, since I had been dumb enough to stay up until midnight the night before, the way I had done it all summer long.
And after that it's a blur, especially if you're getting up there in the grade numerals, everything moves fast when you're at that age. Though, if I do say so myself, the boys were fighting over me wherever I went ever since I got out of the sixth grade. Most of them were jocks. You know the type: vulgar, rude, self-involved, etc. I hated it. Most girls liked that kind of guy, "someone who could make them feel special." Yeah, right. For guys like that, girls were arm decorations.
Not that all guys were like that. During my junior high years most of my good friends were guys. Some girls were jealous of the way I could hang around boys like that without being nervous. (I should've told them if they stopped acting like air-headed bimbos and actually started appearing like they had *some* intelligence, they could do it too.)
But what really hurt my feelings the most was when one of my guy friends decided that being friends with a girl was not so cool after all, and they converted to the ways of a jock. But most of them were mature enough to understand that being friends with a girl was fun. But for those of you who think I was turning into a guy at that time, I'm not finished yet. I had girlfriends too, enough to insure my unchanging gender. Girls are good company too (I should know, I am one). Those times were fun. High school and college is a story for another day.
"Lessee, now, what else is there?" The hunky cashier turned and looked at me. Now I, being too busy staring at *him,* was not paying any attention whatsoever. "Miss?"
"Do you have anything else you need to check-out?"
"All right…your total comes to $26.97." I forked my precious allowance over. As he counted it out, I thought back to previous events of the day…
"I know what you're thinking…Brad and I aren't doing what you're thinking we're doing!"
"Then why I am I thinking what I'm thinking when you're telling me not to think it because thinking is highly overrated!"
"…I didn't say thinking was highly overrated. I said thinking was highly overrated with you!"
"That's it! You are grounded, young lady. And you're not to see that vulture again! Do you understand me?"
"No buts! Go to your room and…and…contemplate epistemology!"
Lucy stalked off to her room and slammed the door. Lucy was like that a lot. Especially when Mother and Daddy were going through the process of splitting up. I turned and looked at Mother. She was a mess. Disheveled with a patience string about to break, Mother looked like she was about to explode. But instead she just burst into tears and lay down on the couch. Now, I knew I just couldn't leave, but I needed a chocolate fix. And fast, because I was about to explode, too.
"Mom? Can I go to the store down the street?" She didn't answer. "Mom?"
"Just, go, Lois," she said in a whisper. I got the feeling that if she had said it any louder, she really would've exploded. I ran out the door.
Most people would consider spending $27 bucks on chocolate is nuts (nuts, get it? yuk-yuk-yuk). But I needed to stock up on it in case I needed some later. I would just have to tell myself not to eat it all at once. I put all the chocolate bars in my desk drawer except for one. I scarfed it down and hoped it would somehow calm my raging temper. I was sick of Mother fighting with us all the time. And I was sick of Lucy being such a 2-year-old. Why didn't she just stay and talk it over with Mother like I, as it seemed, the only mature person in the house, would do? I just didn't get it. But I guess that was the way life went. I learned to accept things they way they hit me. That doesn't mean I accepted them *completely.* If there was any way I could change things, I would. But you can't fix all of them…
"Lois!" Perry called to me from across the newsroom.
"Yeah, Chief?" I walked over to him and this other guy who was staring at me like he already owned me.
"I want you to meet Claude Fergoh. He's an exchange student from France. He's going to be working here for a while and I thought you two ought to know each other."
"Lois Lane." I extended a hand for him to shake, but instead he brought it to his lips and kissed it.
"Bonjour, Ms. Lane. Pleasure's all mine, I'm sure."
"Uhh…right." I was already caught up in his French charms. I checked myself and excused myself. "Sorry, but my computer's calling me." Claude laughed. He somehow thought that was funny.
"So now the computers talk, do they?"
"Oh, no, I was just using an expression."
"Oh. So that's why I didn't hear anything." I turned around before he could say anything else.
By then Perry had realized I had a knack for writing. Once he saw my first article on the Annual Metropolis Dog Show he moved me up to the semi-exciting assignments. And once I had conquered that and proved my credibility, he moved me up to car, plane, bus, and space shuttle crashes. He wasn't planning on moving me up anymore after that, but I sneaked around under his nose and started taking things into my own hands.
I had started investigative reporting without Perry even noticing. When I showed him my first story he was not too happy with me. He thought that it was too dangerous for a *woman* to go around sneaking into people's offices and homes. I told him I would have none of that, I could take care of myself. Once we had had a few heated debates, he caved in and let me do my own thing. I think he would've regretted it if he hadn't.
Claude and I developed a relationship over the years. Perry made us partners, much to my disagreement. The relationship was purely that until right before he had to leave. We started dating about a week before he left. On the night before his last we were working on our last story together and we started making out pretty heavy. One thing led to another and the next morning I woke up and he and our story was gone. I picked up the newspaper on the way to work and was shocked at what I found in it. Our completed story was in the paper all right…but it was only under one name…Claude's. I was furious. I wanted to kick his butt so bad, but he was gone already, with one more story under his belt to make him even more famous in France.
It was completely unfair. I told Perry, and he understood, but he couldn't do anything about it except distribute a new morning edition, and he didn't want to do that unless it was a really bad mistake. He said he would put something about it in the next edition, but if he did, I don't think anyone hardly noticed. —
Clark held me for a moment before asking the question that I felt had been bugging him the whole time. "So what were your feelings when you first met me?"
I really needed to talk to Perry. I needed to talk to him about my story. I had a new lead I couldn't wait to try out! I burst into his office and started talking without even noticing the young man whose huge frame was occupying a quarter of the room. "Lois!" I stopped mid-sentence.
"What is it, Perry?" He gestured to the young man standing beside me in front of Perry's desk.
"I want you to meet Clark Kent. He'll be working here from here on out and I thought you ought to meet each other."
'I've heard that one before,' I thought. 'What a dweeb. So he's a wet- behind-the-ears rookie who needs a haircut and contacts.' —
"You really thought that!?" Clark asked in fake shock.
"Why, c'mere…" Clark growled and grabbed me.
"Clark! What are you doing?"
"I'm tickling you." He tried his hardest but didn't even get a giggle out of me.
"I'm not ticklish, Clark."
"Of course you are, Lois. Everyone's ticklish somewhere."
"That's not true!" After a while, Clark gave up and changed the subject.
"So that's the story of your life, huh?"
"Yup. What about yours? I'll need to hear your someday."
"You're right," he replied. "Someday. But I'll have to warn you, it might take a *really* long time."
"And why is that?"
"Because it'll take me a while to get past the part where I tell my feelings when I first met *you.*"
"You lunkhead. Quit trying to flatter me. You spacemen never give up, do you?"
"Not when there are earth women like you around, Lois."
"I said stop it!"
"Fine, fine. I give in! Never mind about trying to flatter you, how about winning an argument with you?"
"That's something you'll never be able to accomplish, big guy."
So what did you think? E-mail me a LnCSwing@AOL.COM for comments or questions. Play nice, now… -Rachel :)