By Nicole Sullivan <email@example.com>
Submitted: June, 2005
Summary: Dear Diary, I am in love and things are going great! I really think Clark and I are on our way to a happily ever… wait… he has something he wants to tell me. Well, I'm sure whatever it is, it's just great, like love is!
Lucy asked me today if I'd written in my journal recently, and I realized I hadn't!! I was so good about writing back when my life was a complete mess and right up to when it became perfect!! But then that was it!! Considering how much writing helped me, how much this DIARY (let's just be honest, shall we?) helped me, I owe it more than just leaving it hanging. I'll bet it's wondering where I have been for the past seven weeks!
It's been seven glorious weeks!! Clark and I are now, as one might call this, an official 'item'. It's been absolutely wonderful!
We spend our days working, chasing stories together, working late together, going to either his place or mine for dinner (also together). We kiss in the elevator, we kiss in the car on stakeouts (we do work, not to worry… we keep the kissing short… well, we try to), we kiss at our apartments and at the door to my apartment when he "sees me home".
If I didn't make this clear before, Clark Kent is an amazing kisser. This should not be too shocking; the man is amazing all- around anyway. He is an amazing person; no one like HIM exists in this world, I am sure of that. He's just… good… inside. He has a good heart and spirit. He is amazing-looking, and I am pretty sure that for the first two years of our partnership and friendship, I had blinders on. I always knew he was good- looking, of course. It's undeniable. To anyone that would see him, even if they didn't KNOW him (which adds a great deal to the attraction, knowing him) they would see a handsome and sexy man, with a mild manner and a quiet appeal. That's all very obvious. I always knew I was attracted to him.
But I never saw then that he really was the sexiest man I had ever met. The most handsome. The most amazing looking. That combination would be extremely dangerous in the hands of, oh I don't know, Claude or Lex. But with Clark… It's like he doesn't even know. His unawareness of the very fact that he is drop dead gorgeous may actually be his most priceless, endearing and sexy quality.
And when he's not wearing a shirt… not that I've seen this all too many times… I mean there was that time when we first met and he answered the door in a towel. More recently, there was the one time I snuck into his apartment to make him dinner (I know, I know, love has started to affect my sense of reality) and happened to see him after a shower with just his sweatpants on. It makes me blush, just thinking about it! And the time a couple of weeks ago where we did a story at the local YMCA and had to pretend to just be normal people going swimming… I mean, if I were him, I'd be going shirtless to work, he's just so… What was I saying? Sorry… I am sort of going off on a tangent here.
This has been the most amazing seven weeks of my life. I cherish every day we have together. With him, I'm not afraid. I am not afraid of trusting him or sharing things with him or opening my heart to him. I let him in because he's Clark. He's my best friend and he's honest and good and I just know he wouldn't hurt me. It's sort of scary trusting someone this much. But the funny thing is, it is not scary at all!
Look at this email he sent me Friday afternoon at work!! I will paste it here!
TO: Lane, Lois < firstname.lastname@example.org >
FROM: Kent, Clark < email@example.com >
RECEIVED: Friday, May 10, 2:09 PM
I forgot to tell you at lunch (seeing as how when I'm around you, I can't stop looking at you and lose all train of thought) that this morning I did all the paperwork for the Miston case. I wanted to save you the trouble. Why, you ask? Because I love you. More than anything.
See how adorable that was? He has the ingenious ability to mix work-related matters with lovey-dovey-ness and get away with it!
I cannot pull this off. My emails to him are either work- related—Exhibit A:
TO: Kent, Clark < firstname.lastname@example.org >
FROM: Lane, Lois < email@example.com >
SENT: Thursday, May 9, 9:07 AM
The workday technically starts at 9 AM, Clark! Where are you? I've been here since 8:30! I know we aren't exactly in the middle of a story here, but when one comes our way and you're running around returning your library books, I am NOT sharing the byline!
(No one said they were nice emails)
Or relationship-oriented—Exhibit B:
TO: Kent, Clark < firstname.lastname@example.org >
FROM: Lane, Lois < email@example.com >
SENT: Monday, May 6, 6:01 PM
I know you are just sitting ten feet away from me, but I have to tell you. You look good! I am actually not getting much work done. You just… you look good, Kent! I'm starving. Let's have dinner together. My place or yours?
I can't combine the two types of emails the way he can. He's just talented that way. And that second email? Yeah, I wasn't really starving (I mean I was a little hungry, but my stomach hadn't started growling or anything yet). I just wanted to… well… to hang out with him. To talk to him. Okay, okay! I wanted to kiss him! Make out with him! Is that such a crime, he IS my boyfriend!
Hm, last time I wrote in this, was I this aggressive? I really do take this diary thing to the next level.
Maybe I need more friends.
I'll write more soon! Life is WONDERFUL! (Wonderful like that time I was affected by that pheromone. But this time… It's natural and real and I am actually just in LOVE!)
It's Wednesday and I am freaking out. When I last wrote, it was Sunday. Sundays are pretty good days for me. Well, I mean, it was a Sunday when Clark came back from that "vacation" almost two months ago and we got the truth out in the open and actually started our relationship. So, Sunday was a good day for me that time. And since then, my Sundays have been spent with Clark, and we always have fun, so Sundays have been pretty good lately… What am I saying? Clark is right. I really can ramble and babble about any topic under the sun! And apparently, not just when I'm talking!
So today is Wednesday. Not Sunday. Moving on.
Even though I am blissfully happy lately, Wednesdays are still, well, Wednesdays. The middle of the week. The weekend's a few days off. The workload is at its peak. And when there's not a juicy story to write, when I say the workload is at its peak, I mean there is a LOT of paperwork and even filing to do. FILING! And if you have someone else do the filing, who knows where it'll end up, and then when someone is trying to sue you for something, you won't know where to look to get your backup. So Wednesdays… I don't love them all that much. When I get bad news or something, it's usually on a Wednesday. When Clark and I had that explosive talk in the conference room? Yeah, a Wednesday. If it's not clear where I am going with this little spiel about this particular day in the calendar week, I will just illustrate my point with an excerpt from my day.
I was just sitting at my desk writing up a little story Perry put me on for the day. He needs to stick us to SOMETHING while the news is slow. He has a gut feeling that very soon a big story will break out. He says when it rains, it pours, and since news has been SO quiet for SO long, we are due for a torrential downpour really soon. So, anyway, I'm writing this thing he has me on for today. A fluff piece. I hate those. When I noticed Clark sauntering over to my desk, I welcomed the distraction.
"Hey, partner," he said sweetly, smiling.
Have I mentioned he has a killer smile?
"Make it quick, Kent, I'm on a deadline here," I said, looking back at my computer screen with a studious expression on my face.
I like to play hard to get with Clark. I used to pick little silly fights with him before we got together, which I eventually realized was my way of flirting with him. Now, I give him a hard time, which is my way of playing hard to get. Wait a second… if he's already got me, then what is it I'm doing? I guess I'm just giving the guy a hard time for the heck of it. Poor Clark. Anyway…
"Please, Lois. You are writing a story about the school system on the south side of Metropolis. I saw your little sigh of relief when I walked over here," he said, folding his arms across his chest and leaning against my desk. I love when he stands like this. It's very sexy, but it does make concentrating on work a little difficult. And it makes me want to jump out of my desk chair and fling my arms around him. When he stands around with his hands in his pockets, I also feel this way. Hm…
"Okay, you got me, I would pay attention to Ralph right about now." At his expression, I added, "but I'd much rather pay attention to you. So what's up?"
He smiled appreciatively and playfully. "Well, I wanted to talk to you about this weekend."
"Yeah," he said.
I noticed he seemed a little nervous.
"What's this weekend?" I asked. I honestly had no idea.
"Well, for one thing, it's our two month anniversary…"
There, right there! I thought, "Shoot me please, now!" I luckily received a phone call right then and he had to go back to his desk.
"He did NOT say two month anniversary, did he?" I thought frantically.
If you, Diary (since I apparently am going crazy and am talking to you like you are a person… I do need more friends), think I am freaking out or clearly have commitment issues, let me explain a little something about two month marks and my life.
When I knew Paul (college Paul that Linda (my then-so-called best friend) stole) for two months, I worked up the courage to ask him out. He said no and proceeded to do jumping jacks on my heart, while doing, um, other stuff with Linda.
When I knew Claude for two months we… well… we slept together. And then he left me. And he stole my story. Don't think that needs more elaboration.
When I dated Lex for two months exclusively… And this was pretty much two months to the DAY… he proposed. And I accepted. And that one went down in the books as a new-age Greek tragedy. Without the gouging out of the eyes, of course… although had that incident actually turned out differently…
And here's a clinker… When I was two months old, I got a cold that apparently almost killed me. But I recovered.
About a year ago (post-wedding fiasco), when I was bored at work one day (on a Wednesday, actually) I made this little connection that I have so eloquently laid out here. I call it the Two-Month Syndrome. Clearly bad things, BIG things sometimes, happen to me at the two-month mark. And Clark, bringing up the weekend on a Wednesday (usually we just play the weekends by ear) means that he most likely wants to do something special or big. Something we have to plan for.
This could only mean one thing: disaster.
I love Clark. I don't want to lose him merely because I can't get over that two-month hump. I feel like I was caught unawares and so my balance has been thrown off, but really what happened was I just forgot! Everything has been going so nicely that I just forgot that it's been almost a full two months since we kissed in the park, starting THIS. This wonderful thing we have.
Why why WHY does it have to be the WEDNESDAY before my TWO MONTH anniversary?!?!
Do I seem volatile?… Or paranoid?
I'll write more later.
So Clark noticed that when he mentioned our two-month anniversary I went, apparently, pale. Ghost-white.
"I thought you were seeing Elvis in Perry's office or something," he said.
So I did not do the great job I thought I did, between his uttering those three words and my phone ringing, of hiding my complete anguish. He has no idea. He doesn't know how much I now dread two month marks. Why should he? I haven't shared the Two Month Syndrome with him (wow, that sounds like some kind of fatal illness, actually), so how would he know?
So after I got off the phone yesterday and wrote in this, he came over to my desk again, wanting to know if anything was wrong.
"Why would anything be wrong? What could possibly be wrong?" I asked, doe-eyed. Unfortunately, the innocent act doesn't usually work with Clark.
"Lo-is. Just tell me. I mentioned the weekend and you looked like I'd just asked you if you'd be willing to donate an organ to my neighbor's cat."
Then he mentioned that thing about Elvis, which made me laugh.
"Clark, it's nothing, really. I… I…"
He looked at me expectantly, but patiently.
I took a deep breath. This was Clark. Not Paul. Not Claude. Not Lex. Why should I worry about a measly little Two Month Syndrome that probably only really exists in my head (although I DO have the evidence to back it up)?
"I'm sorry. I had just remembered I'd forgotten to do something. That's why I looked… You know…"
"You sure? I mean… you're okay?"
"Yeah. Anyway, what were you going to say?"
There, again, he looked nervous.
"Um… just that I thought, maybe we could… maybe…"
"Clark, just say it," I said, smiling. It was so adorable when he got this way. All embarrassed and whatnot.
"Maybe we could do something."
"Don't we do something every weekend?" I asked innocently. This time, because he was already nervous, he bought my innocent act. I am awful! I won't stop until I thoroughly make him squirm and turn all red!
"I mean something… special."
"Oh," I said, like I was considering this.
"It's just… I have something I want to talk to you about, Lois, and I thought maybe we could go to dinner and then to this beautiful, quiet place that I found when I first moved here. It's just outside the city. Maybe we could go there after dinner…"
I didn't answer immediately as my ears were ringing with what he'd just said…
He needed to TALK TO ME about something. I must have looked awful because the look on his face was one of total apprehension and almost fear, I'd say. I put my worries aside to placate his.
"Clark," I said taking his hand in mine. It felt so warm and soft and large and strong… Wow, it is so EASY to sidetrack! "Clark," I said, "that sounds wonderful. I can't wait."
I smiled and then he smiled.
Sometimes sacrifice is a beautiful thing. I mean, by pushing my worries aside to deal with later, I was rewarded by a look of relief from him and then a smile. When Clark smiles, the world is right. My world is, anyway. There are no problems, there are no worries. Just me and this man. Clark.
Check this out. My sister is too much.
TO: Lane, Lois < firstname.lastname@example.org >
FROM: Lane, Lucy < email@example.com >
RECEIVED: Friday, May 17, 1:10 PM
Lois, I hate you! I can't believe this! I talk to you on the phone this morning and in the course of the 10 minute conversation, Clark, your BOYFRIEND, who is HOT, brings you coffee and then goes away, and five minutes later brings you a donut. Is that all he does? Does he stop there? No. He proceeds to then pass a note like children in the second grade do that makes you stop listening to me and laugh all giddily and giggly. I ask you 'what' a thousand times until finally you tell me that he had Jimmy Olsen pass you a note that said "Just wanted to tell you that you look absolutely beautiful. And that I am so lucky. I love you."
Do you know what MY boyfriend did today? Oh, that's right, I don't have one. I was dumped last month and yesterday a guy on the subway (who has holes in his pants and I'm pretty sure doesn't own any underwear) asked me out. Well, better this way. Single life suits me sometimes. Well, it'd better. I have no choice, do I?
I just hope you're grateful for what you have, Lois. You have the most perfect man alive bumping into things, he's so blinded by love for you and only you. It's the forever kind, too, I can tell.
Call me sometime when HE'S not around, please, so I don't have to sit there talking to my sister, thinking about the sad things in my own life!
Ps- you know I'm kidding right? I am so happy for you! (Well, mostly… I do wish I wasn't still single, though.)
Oh, Lucy… I am grateful. Believe me. You see, when I'm sitting there fretting about things like imaginary syndromes of the two-month variety, I see that things could most definitely be worse. They could be much worse. I have, as Lucy says, "the most perfect man alive" falling all over himself because of me, and I am finding things to worry about where he's concerned?
I am Lois Lane. I laugh in the face of two months! AND I've gone nuts. Again. I think it's this book…
Anyway, Clark and I have organized our whole weekend. We are going to relax all day on Saturday. His parents will be in town for the day. I am not sure why they're just visiting for a day, but they are. Then Sunday, the actual anniversary, we are going to Santoni, a really nice restaurant. I am not sure what Clark is drinking that he thinks this is even remotely in our price range, but I guess he's thought this out, and he seems to have his heart set on doing certain things in certain locations on Sunday. So I'm game. Then we go to that mysterious place that is… quiet? I have no idea where/what that is.
Okay, I have to get back to work.
I wonder what he wants to talk to me about.
Oh my god! I am such an idiot! He wants to go somewhere way nicer than he/we can afford and do something "special" this weekend!! He has something he wants to talk to me about!!
Hm, let's think about this.
Lois Lane, top investigative reporter for the Daily Planet.
And I apparently need a house to fall on my head!
Clark is going to propose to me!
In two days!
I think my life just flashed before my eyes or something. I don't know, it's weird. I'm seeing stars, and I don't mean the ones in the sky or in the movies. I think Clark's noticed I don't look right.
And now he's heading over.
It's Friday night now, and I am sitting at home, relaxing. Me and Clark are spending the night apart, as he said he had a lot of things to do. I guess he has to get everything ready for… well, for Sunday. That's fine. I am actually enjoying a few glasses of wine while I write. I am writing in my novel a little and then alternating that with this. I have to say, every other sentence from that leads me to a few more paragraphs in this. It's good though. That shock from earlier today wore off and now I am just wondering one thing…
What is wrong with me? I love Clark. I love him with my whole heart and body and soul and mind and whatever else you can love someone with. I mean, when I saw what life was like without him when he left for two weeks and I thought it was truly over between us (before it even began), you know, two months ago, I realized I wanted to be with him forever. And I even told him that, that wonderful day in the park.
Why would that notion, of spending forever with him, scare me now? And then I realized. It didn't. It didn't at all. It actually made me excited. There could never be anyone in my life as in tune with my feelings and emotions and needs as Clark.
Like before, when he walked over because I looked all panicked, most likely, and pale.
He put his hand on my back and looked at me with concern. "You okay?" he asked.
I knew he was worrying about me, but I could also see nervousness in his expression. Poor thing; I am always running his emotions around in circles.
"I'm okay. Really. I just have a lot on my mind," I said truthfully. Because, come on, I really did have a lot on my mind.
"Anything I can help with or that you want to talk about or vent about?" he asked.
"No, not really. But I'm okay. Honestly. And thank god it's almost the weekend! I can't wait," I added, which made him release a little breath and smile.
"Me neither," he said, although even as he said that and smiled, he still seemed nervous. I guess when you're about to propose marriage to someone, you would be nervous. "And Lois, if I can help at all with whatever's on your mind, I'm just ten feet away, okay?"
"Okay," I said.
He walked back to his desk with his hands in his pockets and my heart just filled with this feeling that put all those worries from earlier to rest. Just quashed them and killed them. Here was a man who knew me so well and loved me so much. A man I could not live without and loved completely and irrevocably. From that moment on, I had healthy color in my face and was able to just focus on work and leave so I could have this nice, quiet night, writing in my journal… okay, diary… and working a little on my novel.
To think in two days my life might just be completely different.
It's now Sunday. Clark is picking me up in an hour, so I thought I would write a little in here. As I've said, I love Sundays! Yesterday was wonderful (in some ways I will elaborate on in a little bit), fun and… interesting. When I say interesting, I am referring to Martha Kent and something she said to me.
We had just had a wonderful lunch that Martha had made and were getting ready to go into the city to do some shopping. Well, the Kents wanted to do a little shopping. Clark and I were merely tour guides and company.
Clark said he'd go get the car and Jonathan said he'd go with him. Martha said she'd wait with me and meet them out front, to which I noticed Clark give his mother a warning-look I was all too familiar with. He shot me that same look every time we were on a story. And often when we weren't, actually. I am not sure why, though. I don't get into THAT much trouble.
Well anyway, I noticed the look and thought that was strange, but shrugged it off. Maybe he just likes to give that look out a lot or something, and to everyone, not just me. Maybe…
So Clark and Jonathan left and Martha and I were getting our coats on. Light jackets actually. It's still pretty cool, even though it's early May. And then she started talking and I think I started to understand Clark's look.
"Lois, it's been so wonderful these past two months, seeing you and Clark together. Finally! We just waited and waited for it to happen, ever since he first mentioned you when he moved to Metropolis," she said, laughing.
I laughed too. "I'm not sure why it took us so long, Martha. Actually I do know why. It was me. All me. I wish I'd caught onto that whole listening to your heart thing a little earlier," I joked.
"Oh, honey, it happened perfectly," she said.
I smiled as I slipped one hand in one sleeve of my jacket and prepared to do the same for the other. But Martha walked over to me with a look that stopped me from doing anything. She looked nervous and serious.
"Lois," she said solemnly.
"Martha, what is it?"
"Lois, tomorrow… just hear him out, okay?" she said, nervously.
I was shocked. Had Clark told his parents of his plans? Well, of course he probably did. He seemingly went to them for every little bit of advice. This seemed so foreign to me, but just because that was not how my parents and I operated did not mean that other families in the galaxy couldn't. And this family, the Kent family, definitely did.
"I… of course I will, Martha," I said, turning a little red, since we were, basically, talking about her son proposing to me. She was obviously nervous because she thought I might refuse him or something. And why not? Why wouldn't she think that? I mean, two months ago, I had broken his heart, sending him running off for two weeks to be alone, and he hadn't even told THEM where he went, which spoke volumes for the pain I had inflicted on him.
"It's just… oh, Clark told me not to say anything," she said, placing her arm gently on mine. "This is big, Lois, and please… just please promise me that you'll hear him out before you… uh, react too much," she said, having struggled a little for the right wording.
I felt so bad! I mean, the woman clearly thought that I might refuse him. Couldn't she tell how much I loved him? I tried to clear this up for her.
"Martha, in case you haven't noticed, I love Clark," I said, a sympathetic smile, that was more amused than honest, painted on my face. "I love him more than anything. You don't have to worry about anything."
She didn't seem all that relaxed after I said this, and I couldn't help but wonder just what she thought I really thought of her son. I'd just professed my love for him, what more did she want, that I love him written in blood on the wall? The whole thing seemed strange—almost cryptic—but I just figured, he's their only child and incredibly precious to them. Understandably. She just didn't want to see him hurt. Well, after tomorrow, she'd know that she had not had any need to worry at all.
Then we left the apartment to meet the Kent boys and go shopping. The rest of the day went by quickly. It was nice spending the day with the Kents. It was like a lesson for me in how normal families operate. No cutting putdowns or "constructive criticism" or condescending remarks or arguments. Just small talk and sharing opinions on items that someone was considering purchasing and joking and laughing. You know, Brady Bunch stuff.
Clark dropped his parents off at his apartment and said he'd drive me to my apartment (did I mention we were in the Kents' rental car all day?) and sit with me for a little while.
We kind of just drove in a comfortable silence. I looked out the passenger-side window watching the stars in the sky, and the lights from the cars behind us, seen though the side mirror. Clark reached his hand over the center armrest and took my hand, holding it on my lap wordlessly. Still, we didn't talk. We exchanged one sweet smile and sat, enjoying the peace and quiet of the calm night.
When we arrived at my place, he came inside, which I thought was strange since his parents were in town and for such a short visit. But he didn't seem to want to go.
As soon as the door was shut to my apartment, he pulled me into a hug. The hug seemed… desperate. Yes, I think that is the only way to describe it. When he first pulled me in, it was gentle (as always) and sweet… but then he didn't let go. He just held me in his strong arms, seeming so vulnerable and scared even. Resting my head on his chest, I let him rock me and hold me for as long as he needed to. Not that I minded. I love hugging Clark. It's a wonderful feeling. A feeling of belonging and loving. He's sexy and strong, but when we hug, he's Clark, my Clark and he needs me and loves me, the way I love and need him. It's an amazing feeling of connection.
He eventually pulled back enough to look into my eyes, a small smile on his face.
"I love you, Lois Lane. Do you know that?" he asked.
"Of course I know that," I told him, an amused smile playing across my lips. "Do you know that I love you?"
"Yes," he said, his gaze boring into mine.
I felt so bad. I could see some demons unknown to me tearing him up.
In an attempt to make him relax and be sure of the strength of my feelings (and just because I really wanted to), I reached up and kissed him. There was a lot of love in the kiss that I was rewarded with in return. And a lot of desperation. I could feel his heart pounding beneath my hand which rested on his chest. I'd never seen Clark like this. He was so scared. He wanted tonight to last forever, it seemed, because he was afraid of what would happen tomorrow.
Sometimes, more than words, kissing communicates volumes of our feelings for each other, me and Clark. I deepened the kiss, hoping to relax him. I walked him over to the couch, all the while keeping the kiss going. Once we were sitting, I pulled at him, so he'd lay on top of me, while we kissed. When we make out, this is usually the position we end up in. One of us on top of the other. I like it better when I can look up at him, my hair not obstructing the view by falling in the way. Nothing much happens besides some intense kissing and roaming hands when we make out. Clothing never gets removed or anything. He is Clark Kent, after all, ever the gentleman. And that's fine. With him, I always wanted to take it slow, so nothing could ruin it. Ruin us.
But on this particular night, something in his kiss seemed so anxious, desperate and even sad. I met his desperation with a passion all my own, and soon enough, we were getting a little further than we ever had before. The warm sensation I felt when I noticed his hand was roaming over my bare stomach sent shockwaves through me. My shirt had been pulled up a little, and his hand was on my stomach. That was it, my stomach! Not anywhere else! But it felt amazing, feeling him touching my skin. I reached my hand under his shirt and was rewarded with the feeling of warm skin underneath my hand. Hard stomach muscles and soft skin.
His hands started roaming everywhere from the waistband of my jeans to the straps of my bra, brushing over my breasts a little, in his explorations. I was, meanwhile, running my hands up and down his chest, starting to move his sweater and t-shirt together up, to take them off and be rewarded with a view of that amazing chest I was always thinking about. I didn't get that far, however, because his head shot up. I guess his conscience kicked him in the butt or something, because he pulled my shirt down nicely, before attending to his own.
"I'm sorry, Lois," he said, reddening.
"Clark, it's okay," I said, also blushing.
He looked out the window, a conflicted look on his face. "I should go before this… before…"
Again, he looked sad, nervous, relieved and frustrated all at once. The range of emotions he can pull off, I swear, he should have considered acting.
"No, it's fine," I said, smiling shyly. "I'll see you tomorrow."
He kissed me quickly and was out the door before I could even tell him one more sweet "I love you" to put his worries to rest.
Although I don't think all the I love yous in the world could calm him down. But what a way to deal with nerves! A little making out. I like that medicine. Should we have more problems that lead to that solution! One can only hope!
Oh! Clark is here. Wish me luck! And wish him luck too! Poor thing's so nervous!
To think, next time I write in this I may be engaged to be married to the man I love!
Hi Diary, what's up?
I know you're wondering what happened to "dear". Well let me just tell you. I am not in a very "Dear diary" mood at the moment!
My life is definitely different! Thank god I'm writing in this again, or I'd actually just sit with smoke coming out of my head going mad to the point of permanent institutionalization.
CLARK… did not propose. Oh no. That thing he had to talk to me about?
He's S… S…
Clark Kent is S… So dead!
Oh my god, I can't even write this. I am too in shock and MAD and upset.
How could an evening that started so beautifully and with such promise end like this? End with us, well, ending.
Because that is what happened. We ended. It's… over.
I can't even write. I start crying every time I play it over again in my head. I can't take it. I'm going to bed.
And writing is supposed to be therapeutic!
Well, work today was fun. Let me just tell you now that it's not easy having a partner at work that you absolutely hate and despise who is also your ex-boyfriend of one day. Not easy at all. Some might say it's damn near impossible!
I walked into the Planet, my clothes all mismatched and the buttons done unevenly. I noticed this later, of course. Turns out when I have this much on my mind, I don't think all that clearly. I mean green and orange are just not the best colors to wear together. Especially not with white shoes.
I walked to my desk fully aware that I was thinking the last possible thing you'd think I'd be thinking at this moment.
I could have been thinking, "I lost my boyfriend, the love of my life, the man I was SUPPOSED to marry."
I could have been thinking, "Said man is a liar and the lowest form of life imaginable."
I could have been thinking, "Oh my GOD, Clark Kent, my partner, my best friend, mild mannered reporter and, oh yeah, my boyfriend (and by that I mean EX-boyfriend) is SUPERMAN!"
No… you know what I was actually thinking?
"I knew it, I knew it! My Two Month Syndrome is behind me, my BUTT!"
I somehow managed to get to my desk and sit down. I noticed that HE was not in the office yet. Is it just me, or is it unfair that he gets paid to do a job he is barely around to do? He's late all the time, and sometimes he runs out in the middle of the workday for an hour or so! Now I know why, of course. I don't think it's fair, personally. He should not share a byline with me when I am one hundred percent this job. I am one hundred percent JUST Lois Lane, reporter for the Daily Planet. And I've been sharing my byline and time with someone who is just fifty percent. And… and… that's not fair!
Of course LIFE is not fair. Is it fair to be proposed to twice in your life, first by a ruthless criminal and murderer and second by your best friend who HAPPENS to also be leading a double life that he sort of neglected to mention in the past two years? No, that is not fair at all! It's not exactly FAIR to befriend two people and then find out that one of them was actually just an extension of the other!!!
SO… anyway… Clark strolled in around ten PAST nine. I saw him come off the elevator; I was walking back from the restroom where I'd gone to throw water on my face. I noticed him before he noticed me, and I made sure to look away, keeping my back to him completely, the whole time. I was trying to make a statement. I guess it didn't work though, because he came over to my desk anyway.
"Lois? Lois, can we talk?" he asked.
Yeah, Clark, let's talk. Where should we start? Gee, sorry I never mentioned I was Superman, it just never came up!
I just kept my back to him, now at my desk, pretending I hadn't heard him.
Now he sounded more desperate. And even a little pathetic. It was almost enough to make me feel bad.
After he got the hint that I was not about to acknowledge that he existed, he walked to his own desk. The news confirmed for me that he was late this morning because of an accident on the highway.
Since we weren't really on a story together anyway, we had no reason to talk to each other during the day. So we didn't. I just got to work on my latest fluff piece, dedicating myself to that article, not looking up once. You'd think I'd been working on some Pulitzer-worthy story.
So that story got me through the day, up until the conference that Perry called at the end of the day. I seated myself away from Clark, still not making eye contact with him at all. He's lucky I didn't look at him too! The look I would give him would have surely burnt a hole into his head, like the way he can do that when he looks at things. Only with me, it would have had nothing to do with unearthly powers. Just pure Lois Lane anger.
The conference was the same as always… Perry complaining about there being no real news lately, telling us to be especially aware, so if ANY story broke out, we'd be the first paper to cover it. At one point, I instinctively looked at Clark (I'd seen him move out of the corner of my eye), and saw him looking out the conference room door, a serious look on his face. He was hearing a call for help, no doubt. I rolled my eyes, thinking of all the times he'd done this and I just assumed he had severe A.D.D. or something.
Whatever the call was, it must have been sort of important, because he seemed to forget to mutter an excuse before leaving. When he opened the door to the conference room and Perry asked where he thought he was going, he looked like he'd forgotten where he was.
Don't ask me why I did it. I mean, I hate him, right?! But before I could remember this, I was off and running.
"Perry, we have a story that might be big. We're still looking into it. Clark, did you schedule that meeting with our source for NOW? During the conference? You knew we had this! You are so irresponsible," I said disgustedly. The disgusted attitude was the only real part of that whole show.
"Yeah, I'm sorry," he said, first looking at me, his eyes a mixture of conflicted, unreadable emotions, and then turning to Perry.
Perry waved a hand and Clark was off.
Man, I can't even hate him right. Well, I am going to bed!
I can't sleep. I suppose you're wondering what exactly happened yesterday. Well it's obvious what happened. But there are details…
And since it's one in the morning and I don't appear to be heading off to Dreamland any time soon, I guess I can relive it. I don't want to. But Lucy did say, back when she first gave me this diary, you know, the last time I had some relationship- ending day with Clark, that writing might help clear my head. And it did then. So, here goes…
Yesterday, Sunday, 1 PM…
Clark picked me up at my apartment and, boy, was I happy to see him. I mean all I ever do when I'm not with him is think about him and wait to see him again. Well, that is what I used to do. Now… I dread seeing him. Well, for the past one day anyway. Oh, I'm sidetracking, I know it. I am going to try to go through my feelings from beginning to end, not going off on how hurt I am now during the parts of the evening where I was still in the dark about this little secret of his. I'll try to just paint a clear picture here of how I felt every step of the way yesterday.
Funny, it's not hard to remember the joy and happiness from earlier in the evening anyway. You'd think that given where the night ended up, I'd have blocked out the good part or something and just really only remembered, where last night was concerned, the bad part. But it's not true.
I remember so clearly that when I opened the door, he looked so handsome. He looked like a teenager on prom night, all nervous and dressed up. He wasn't wearing a tux or anything, like on prom night. He was wearing a charcoal suit with a darker shade of gray button-up shirt and a burgundy tie. It brought out his eyes, his skin tone, his hair, his body, all his amazing features… this suit. I'd never seen it before. But he looked amazing, standing in my doorway, his hands in his pockets, a shy smile on his face.
The shy smile became a look of shock as he looked me up and down, taking me in.
"Lois, you look… you look…"
"… you do too," I said, since he seemed to be at a loss for words at that moment, like me.
"…amazing. Beautiful," he said, his voice deeper than normal.
I smiled as he cleared his throat and gave me his beautiful, thousand-kilowatt smile. "Thank you, Clark," I said, smiling and blushing, putting a strand of hair nervously behind my ear. I was glad I had decided to wear my periwinkle dress. I hadn't worn it since I'd bought it a month ago, and it was not a color I normally wore. But when I was with Lucy and bought it, she had promised me that it only did good things for my figure, my complexion and my eyes. She picked out some makeup that I should wear with the dress to tie it all together, and I decided to take that chance last night, for my date with Clark. The dress had spaghetti straps, was form-fitting, low cut (not TOO low, not to worry!), and fell below my knees, fanning out at the end in a 1920s style. It was a different look for me, but I was glad I tried it, as he couldn't even seem to compose himself completely at the sight of me. Yes, I was very glad I'd taken Lucy's advice and gone with that dress.
He took a step toward me and kissed me lightly and gently. It was a quick kiss, but long enough to give me feelings in my stomach. We've been kissing fairly regularly for two months now, but for some reason, every single kiss manages to give me a new wonder of feelings and excitement. It's amazing actually. Or rather, it was amazing. Before last night…
Right, not there yet. Going in order.
So he picked me up.
We complimented each other.
He kissed me and I had some feelings as a result.
Okay, moving on.
The drive to Santoni was quiet and peaceful. We just held hands listening to the radio, enjoying each other's company.
I've lived in Metropolis for HOW long and I've never actually been inside Santoni. It was the nicest restaurant by far in Metropolis, though. So I'd heard from numerous sources and newspaper reviewers. And the most expensive because of that fact.
Even when I'd dated and been engaged to Lex, we'd never gone to Santoni.
I had no idea what to expect, no idea how Clark had managed to get a reservation, and no idea how he was hoping to pay for any of it. But he seemed so excited and so intent on making the night special, so I sat in the car, wondering what it would be like and looking forward to it.
When we walked in, I was floored by the sight before me. There were candles lit in various places throughout the beautifully medieval-styled restaurant, serving as the only light in the place. There were so many candles that it was easy to see, but wonderfully romantic too, given the sweet, dim light.
But the beautiful candlelight was not what floored me.
There was no one in there.
There was one table in the center of the restaurant.
And that was it.
There were no more tables. That I could see, anyway.
I had no idea what Clark did to pull this off… To RENT out the entire place for the night. But I didn't care. No one had ever done anything like this for me in my entire life, and it brought tears to my eyes.
"Clark, I've never seen anything so… so…" I broke off, shaking my head as a tear slipped down my cheek. He kissed my cheek sweetly, smiling reassuringly. "…so romantic," I finally said. "…so beautiful."
"I was just thinking the same thing," he said. But he wasn't looking at the ambience. He was looking at me, intensely… and I remember… I could actually feel his love. In that moment.
Who knew the night would turn out the way it did, with all my good feelings suddenly turning bad and angry and negative and furious and… Oh! It is SO easy to sidetrack right now! Especially for me!
Okay, okay… So we're at Santoni. He and I are seated and I notice beautiful Italian music playing in the background.
The conversation moved fluidly. Talking to Clark was always like that, which actually made those first few weeks of our relationship so nice, instead of painful as it often is with new couples. We already knew each other so well and had so many things we could talk about.
Over dinner, we discussed a current story, other work-related things, Lucy, his parents, his European adventures (I never tire of hearing those stories) and my novel. I told him what I'd added to it on Friday night. He got really excited about where I was going with the novel.
"Funny, every time you tell me about it, it gets better and better. I mean, it hasn't come to a standstill or to a big wall or anything, and I don't think it will. You're in the thick of it now. It'll only get better and even easier to write and before you know it, you'll be done," he said, and then sipped his red wine, his eyes smiling as he looked at me.
"I know. I'm amazed. Usually it's two sentences and then a big, dramatic 'now what!', months of writer's block and then toying with the idea of quitting. Shelving it for good. But now… I don't know, I feel like I got through all the hard parts and now I just need to get the characters to solve the mystery, forgive each other for the lying they did 'to protect each other' and get them home, safe and sound. Once the bad guys are caught, of course."
"Of course," he said, seeming amused. After a moment, he looked down at his food and asked, not looking up, "So, you're going to have Jen forgive Scott then? For… for lying?"
Now of course, I understand what this was all about. Oh, Clark, you're so deep.
But I had no idea at the time, of course.
"Of course she'll forgive him. She loves him. And he was protecting her. In a way, he was protecting himself too. It's… complicated. Well, you know."
At that he looked up, looking like was afraid or something… or exposed in some way.
"What's wrong?" I asked.
"No, nothing," he said, quickly. "Nothing… I just hope… I just hope that you…"
"…THAT YOU ARE JUST LIKE JEN, LOIS, AND YOU CAN FORGIVE ME FOR LYING," was probably what he was thinking. Well, Jen's an idiot. Now I know that, of course. But I wasn't thinking that then. "…are enjoying dinner," he eventually said.
It was so out of the blue, I only now understand what it was he was most likely really thinking.
But being still blind as I was, I took his hand in mine, assured him I was loving every moment of the dinner and then finished it.
The drive to the quiet place on the outskirts of Metropolis was relaxing. We continued some light conversation. Well, mostly it was me talking. Clark seemed really nervous.
Now I know why, of course.
When we got there, I had no idea we were there. I mean, it was an empty field! There wasn't a town around for what seemed like miles. The road that had gotten us there seemed pretty unused. I (again, at the time) was not sure how he had found this place.
But he opened the passenger side door, took my hand, helped me out and walked me…
…into this wondrous field, which seemed to leave the rest of the world behind, somewhere else. It really was beautiful. As he guided me, I glanced upwards, to be rewarded with a sky view you never get in Metropolis. Stars, immaculately bright and shining, and so many of them! More than you could ever see in the city.
I looked at Clark when I realized we'd stopped walking and he was smiling at me.
"Pretty, isn't it?" he asked.
"Clark, it's gorgeous! How did you ever find THIS place?"
He kind of laughed, quietly, to himself. "When I first came to Metropolis, I stumbled across this place. I come here sometimes, just to think and be alone. Whenever I feel like the world is against me and I don't belong, I just… I come here."
"When do you feel like the world is against you?" I asked, genuinely wanting to know. Sure, some of the people we wrote stories about didn't like us much afterwards, but the world, so to say, was never against us. If I didn't feel that way (and I had more enemies than him; I was sure of that—at the time, that is), then he surely shouldn't feel that way.
"Come on," he said, instead of answering my question, and he started guiding me again, further into this spectacular place.
I looked up at the vast beyond while we walked, again, until we stopped, again. This time, when I looked down, I noticed something different right away.
There was a blanket all laid out on the ground. A bottle of wine, two glasses and candles on the blanket.
"Clark, you couldn't have made this night more perfect if you tried," I said, tears forming in my eyes again. I wasn't sure what was wrong with me, that he could bring me to tears like this twice in one night.
I thought that comment would make him smile or relax or something, but the look I saw on his face was translating to "I wouldn't say that JUST yet…" I of course, assumed that was because the best was yet to come.
We sat down on the blanket and he poured us a glass of wine. I noticed his hand was shaking. I felt bad that he was so nervous, I remember. I took the glass and said, "To us, Clark," very seriously and sensually, since I felt, at this point, like I was under some kind of spell. He repeated the toast, and then we clinked our glasses together lightly and took a sip.
Oh, wow… I… This is where things get…
This is the part I do not like to think about. The part that prevented me from falling asleep last night. The part that woke me up in the middle of the night tonight… The part that haunts me and aches my heart. The very heart I had given to him two months ago and thought I would give to him forever two nights ago.
I guess I should just go ahead and pretend I'm back there, right? Get down on paper the most accurate description of this… this part. This awful, keeps-me-up-at-night, must-just-be-a- nightmare, kill-me-now-please horrifying part. That is just too real for me to ever forget.
We, uh… we drank a little of our glasses of wine, looking into each other's eyes.
Oh, god, my hand is shaking.
Okay, just breathe.
"Lois, there is something that I want to tell you," he said, looking really, really nervous.
I put my glass down and walked (on my knees) over to him. I took his hands in mine and kissed him.
"Clark, it's okay. Relax," I urged him.
He didn't relax. He kept his eyes closed for a few breaths. Then he looked at me and laughed a little.
"You know, I'm not scared to share this with you, what I'm about to tell you, I mean. I'm just scared of losing you," he said in a voice so quiet, it almost seemed possible that he hadn't said anything at all and that I had just imagined it. Dreamed it.
"Clark, you'll never—"
"—Lois, don't say that. You… you think you feel one way right now. I hope so badly that you'll feel this way in five minutes. I'm just worried…worried you won't," he said.
"Well, why don't you just say it, then? You know, quickly. Get it over with, like ripping off a band-aid," I said matter-of- factly, a silly grin on my face. I just really wanted to calm him down.
But it didn't seem like anything could do that.
He didn't even humor me with a smile or a small laugh or anything. He just sat there, looking all serious and really REALLY nervous. It was enough to make me really REALLY nervous, which was not good, since we had just eaten a three course meal less than an hour ago.
"Before I tell you, can I kiss you?" he asked, looking like he was about to just burst into tears.
"Clark, of course you can kiss me. You don't ever have to ask," I said.
I remember thinking it was so strange he was this nervous about proposing to me. I thought I had spent the past two months making my love for him VERY clear.
He cupped my cheek with his hand, sweetly, the way he's done a thousand times. He looked at me intensely and lowered his face to mine, slowly, seeming to want to make the whole moment just last. When his lips touched mine, I felt fireworks. Butterflies. Everything I always felt when I kissed him. Only it was magnified because he was so nervous. I mean, he was kissing me like he would never be able to kiss me again… And the kiss, as a result was just… heart-breaking and sweet. Passionate and gentle. I knew the kiss so well, but he was kissing me like we'd never kissed before and he wanted to learn what it was like to kiss Lois Lane. What my lips felt like and were shaped like. Wanted to remember always how I smelled and tasted and felt. It made me feel like we were kissing for the first time, too. I was nervous and giddy and things were just exploding inside me as I was overcome with love for him.
And then the kiss was over. He seemed to not want to end it, but to realize he couldn't hold off telling me what he had to tell me forever. He looked down at the grass when he first pulled away. The man look wretched. Tormented.
And then, for just a moment, brave.
He looked up at me when I sensed this bravery. Inside, I was thrilled. He was finally brave enough to just do it, knowing I would tell him yes. Perfect!
Oh, Lois (Lois from Two Days Ago)… Not perfect.
"Lois. There's something you need to know. Something I… want… to tell you. In a way, I've always wanted to tell you. Part of me didn't at first, because I wanted you to love me for me," he said, and I furrowed my eyebrows confusedly.
"What!?" I asked, lightly. "And why are you rambling like me?"
"Lois, you, essentially, chose me over… over Superman."
I nodded. "Not essentially, Clark. I did choose you over Superman. I told you that. I told you all that two months ago. I told you I wanted you and I always did."
"I know," he said, taking a deep breath. Apparently he wasn't opening the issue up for discussion but really just stating a point. "I want you to know how much that means to me… how much it REALLY means to me," he said.
"I know, Clark," I said softly.
"No, Lois. You don't know… everything," he said.
I cocked my head to the side and creased my brow, wondering what was going on.
It was then that I started to realize this didn't seem to be a marriage proposal about to happen.
My instinctive disappointment was immediately replaced with fear. I had no idea what he was about to say.
But now… I was nervous, too.
"Lois. For two years, I have not been completely honest with you. With that being said, you need to know that you know me better than anyone. I've always been honest about who I am, inside, I mean, and my feelings. You and I, what we have, you have to know, it's real."
"I know what we have is real, Clark… Tell me what this is all about," I said. I felt like I could feel our world closing in on us, but I didn't know why. "What are you trying to tell me?"
He looked down and wrapped his arms around his knees, which were in front of him.
"Superman came to Earth when he was a baby, Lois. In 1966, to be exact. His real name is Kal El," he started, keeping his face down and pulling off his glasses.
I watched his glasses a moment later, dangling from a hand that was still wrapped around his knees, realizing I had never seen Clark without them on.
He looked up at the stars in the sky as he continued. "His ship landed in Kansas… Smallville, Kansas."
"You knew him all along? Before, before I met him?" I asked, which made him close his eyes breaking his trance on those stars, and then look at me. I know I was stupid to not have put the pieces together at this point. I know that now. I guess it's just something so unexpected that you don't realize…okay, I know I know, I'm sidetracking.
He looked at me.
Seeing him without his glasses, when he looked down and made eye- contact with me made my mouth fall open and the pieces… so many pieces that I didn't even know were there, started coming together and making a picture that had always been a little blurry, even if I never knew of it's existence, suddenly so much clearer…
"Jonathan and Martha Kent couldn't have children. They saw a meteor fall from the sky in Shuster's field and they went to inspect it. There, they found a baby… and they raised… me… as their own."
I remember pulling my hand from his like I'd been resting it on a stove burner and just realized it was burning me.
"No…" I started, still staring at his face, disbelieving of what he was clearly trying to tell me.
He didn't say anything. He just looked at me, a solemn, unreadable expression on his face.
I couldn't say it. I remember remembering Martha's voice in my head telling me to just hear him out. I remembered promising her I would, more or less. That thought was followed with the thought "Why am I thinking about Martha Kent right now?!"
And then I realized I really couldn't say it. I couldn't actually say that simple question, which was really more of a statement, "You're Superman?"… So I struggled until I could at least say the inverse:
"You're not… Clark Kent…" I said, grasping at straws, trying to make sense out of what he was telling me. But I felt as if I were in a tiny, airtight box, instead of the great, wide open, with fresh air all around me.
"I am, Lois. I'm Clark Kent. I'll always be Clark Kent. I am a reporter for the Daily Planet. My partner, my best friend, and I hope after this, my girlfriend, is Lois Lane. Clark Kent, Lois. That's me. No matter where I was born or what my birth name was, I was raised by my parents, the Kents, in Smallville, with their values instilled in and taught to me and their love given to me. I'm who I am and the man you know because of that, Lois. Don't say I'm not Clark Kent, Lois, because Clark Kent is who I am. Superman… is just what I can do."
My mouth fell open and I just stared at him, Martha's begging reverberating in my ears. Even if I didn't want to hear him out, where could I go? I was in the middle of a big, huge field!
Nice going, Clark. I'm sure that wasn't part of your "plan" or anything.
And also, words were not forming. And I felt too numb to even walk or run away from him. I just sat there, dumbfounded, with no choice but to keep my promise to Martha.
"Lois, I told you once that I would tell you why I went from place to place when I was traveling around the world. You thought I was running away from something and I promised you I would tell you why someday. Today, Lois. I'm telling you today. I would do something to help, and someone would catch a glimpse. Not enough to know it was ME, Clark Kent, doing these, these unearthly things. But I had to leave, just to be safe. I stopped running when I came to Metropolis. I met you. I saw a dream: working at the Daily Planet. I wanted to make it work so badly, and when you told me to bring a change of clothes to work—"
"—you did save that crazy man in the manhole. Or that not-all- that-crazy-now-that-I-think-about-it man—"
"—Yes. I saved him. And when you said that, something clicked. I needed a disguise that I could wear and openly do these things. Openly help people. AND lead a normal life. My parents helped me create Superman."
"Your MOTHER made it for you?" I said incredulously, and a little angrily.
He took a deep breath, probably sensing that I wasn't about to wrap my arms around his neck and say, "I love you, of course, even though you lied to me for two years!"
"Yeah. On the one hand, it was wonderful to be able to stop hiding. To be able to help openly and not hide the powers from the world out of fear. But in exchange for being finally able to stop hiding the powers, I had to hide something new… something probably even bigger. I knew in hiding that one, big secret, I was protecting myself and my family, and even you and all my friends. I knew I had to. But lying to you, Lois. From the moment I realized that I loved you I knew it would be hard to lie to you. I just wanted so badly to be normal. But when I realized you loved… my creation… things got more complicated than I ever expected them to."
I finally found my voice.
"Well, Clark, don't you know, I'm just a really superficial person," I said.
"Yeah. Clearly. I fell for the powers, and not the man," I said angrily. "Clearly I am a horrible and superficial person."
"No, you're not, Lois. I—"
"Poor, poor Clark. Pushed aside by evil, mean Lois, because she was so dazzled by your god in tights."
He looked down, taking a deep breath. He knew… I was mad. And he wasn't about to get a word in edgewise.
"That day… Clark… when the billboard fell and… and YOU saved me! You… and I told you I wanted to be… you said… you said we'd be more than friends and then stormed out of my life moments later at the Planet! I put myself through hell for TWO WEEKS!"
"I don't know why I said that, Lois. I guess… I was hurt. It's not the first time I've been hurt and said something to you in that moment that I didn't mean," he said. "I'd like to think I'm a bigger person than that. But where your concerned Lois, my heart feels things and does things that it's never—"
I had no clue was he was talking about, but I didn't care.
"You played with my heart like it was some kind of yo-yo or toy. You humiliated me. I humiliated myself. I have been living a lie, Clark. I thought tonight that you were—"
I stopped and shook my head.
"What?" he asked, looking… still unreadable, but a little… hopeful maybe?
"—forget it, Clark. Forget everything. The last two months—"
"—have been the best two months of my life. Lois, I have never felt this way. Ever. I'm in love with you. I love you so much—"
"—so much that you felt the need to lie to me for the entire time I've known you, even after we crossed over the line from friendship to, to more?"
He looked down again, looking like he was about to cry.
"I trusted you, Clark. You were the man that knew me so well, who I knew SO well, who I trusted beyond a shadow of a doubt. If someone had asked me if you would ever lie to me, I would have said 'no' without even really thinking about it. So deep was my trust for you embedded in me. You had no right to get angry at me that day two months and two weeks ago, Clark. No right at all."
"I know," he said, not looking up. His voice was shaking. "Lois, I'm—"
"No… Clark. Speaking of that DAY; that day that kept me awake every single night for the two weeks that followed. I want to say something to you that you said to me THAT day. I only hope it haunts you the way it haunted me, these two words I have to say…"
With a shaky breath he looked up, at me, meeting my gaze. I ignored the tears that sat on the corners of his eyes, not daring to fall.
"I'm through," I said.
He released a long breath, shaking his head, looking like he was about to crumble. He looked down again.
I couldn't be sure, because of the dark, but I thought I saw a tear roll down his cheek, as he stared downward. I turned my gaze away from him at that moment though. This was MY turn to be mad. I had every right. I was not giving him anything.
I stood up and looked down at him, realizing he was still staring down, looking like a lost puppy.
"I thought you were invulnerable," I said in a voice that even I didn't recognize, it was so devoid of sympathy and emotion. Anger and resentment were all that remained.
I noticed him tense slightly at my words.
After a few more moments, he put his glasses back on. His brilliant disguise. And then he stood up.
"I want to go home," I said. "And I don't mean the long drive back. I want to be home and be away from you more quickly than that. And I'm pretty sure you can arrange that."
In a blur of wind and colors and stars behind, Clark no longer stood before me.
In his place stood another man. A man I loved so long ago. A man who didn't really exist. A man I swore I hated now.
Even while I hated that man, I watched in mesmerized awe as the one man had changed into the other.
And that man, that man that now stood before me, took me home, saying nothing more to me for the night.
And once he was gone from my sight, I wrote a little in this and went to bed calmly.
Okay, that's a lie. I don't know why I'm lying. I mean, for god's sake, this is just a diary. I went to bed and cried. I cried my eyes out. For the pain I felt all over and… well, for my loss. I cried a lot… I cried myself to sleep.
Despite my best efforts, the pain and the tears are just not abating.
Well, now it's after four in the morning on Monday night. I still have HOW many days left of work with him this week? Maybe I should look into taking my vacation days and going, I don't know, somewhere. Like he did.
Well, there you have it. That's the story of my life. Losing sleep because of Clark. Being haunted by Clark. Clark… He's a non-stop cause of bad feelings for me.
Ugh, I'm going to sleep.
Well, I will try anyway…
The last two days have not been too much different for me than Monday was. Clark and I don't talk. He hasn't stopped trying in the mornings. Maybe I need to find a way to make it clearer to him. The words "I'm through" and my ongoing silent treatment do not seem to be doing the trick.
Lucy has been bombarding me with emails. She's like a cat… she can sense when things go wrong or something.
Check it out:
TO: Lane, Lois <firstname.lastname@example.org>
FROM: Lane, Lucy <email@example.com>
RECEIVED: Tuesday, May 21, 11:02 AM
Last night, you did not seem like yourself on the phone. At all. Maybe it was just me. But I talked to you last week and you were all giggling like a schoolgirl, all "I'm in love, I'm in love, and I'm annoyingly happy about it!" Then today you sounded like you were recovering from having been run over by a train, which in your line of work could actually be the case.
So what is it? What's going on?
Are you really just recovering from a grueling case that put you in danger and maybe beat on you a little, literally?
Or are we talking trouble in paradise kind of problems?
Write back or call me! I have no life, so I might as well try to help you with yours.
She told me to respond and so I did.
TO: Lane, Lucy <firstname.lastname@example.org>
FROM: Lane, Lois <email@example.com>
SENT: Tuesday, May 21. 11:10 AM
Don't call, don't write. I don't want to talk. Just please leave me alone.
I know, I know, but I was not exactly in the cheeriest of moods. Usually I'm very nice to my sister. This just…
It wasn't one of those times.
And then I get THIS back:
TO: Lane, Lois <firstname.lastname@example.org>
FROM: Lane, Lucy <email@example.com>
RECEIVED: Tuesday, May 21, 11:21 AM
What are you doing tomorrow? Let's have lunch! I actually have a date tonight (yay for me!), but if you want me to cancel, I will, so we can talk or whatever. Let me know!
TO: Lane, Lucy <firstname.lastname@example.org>
FROM: Lane, Lois <email@example.com>
SENT: Tuesday, May 21. 11:25 AM
Did you get my last email?
TO: Lane, Lois <firstname.lastname@example.org>
FROM: Lane, Lucy <email@example.com>
RECEIVED: Tuesday, May 21, 11:28 AM
We'll do lunch then! I'll pick you up at work! See you then!
I do NOT want to talk to anyone right now, especially not Lucy. What could I even tell her?
"Oh, sis, it's so hard, it's just my boyfriend? Well, he's from another planet. As a matter of fact, he's Superman. He's been leading a double life for the entire two years I've known him and I thought he was going to propose last night, but really, he wanted to drop my world out from under my feet by telling me about his, you know, being from, well, not Earth."
I don't think so.
Oh, god, Perry and Clark are heading over here right now. Kill me now, please!
It's definitely not yet noon… on WEDNESDAY!
Just for clarification purposes, I am referring to the Wednesday AFTER my (would-be) two month anniversary.
Yeah… Good times.
Well, Perry told us that he doesn't care what is going on with us. That when we got together we swore it wouldn't affect our work. That we are supposed to be above all else, partners.
Oh, Perry, if you only knew.
I tried not to look at Clark the whole time Perry was talking, but the one time I did catch his eyes, I noticed he was looking at me… like he was studying me. Seemingly to make sure I was okay.
I wanted to yell, "Don't play nice with me, Kent! I know your story, you liar!"
But instead I said, "Sure, Perry. Uh, we'll get right on it," like some defeated girl who was most definitely not the tempestuous, fighting Lois (Mad Dog) Lane.
"Well good, because I did not hire you two as reporters because you're just so darn sweet and cute. That might be why you started dating. But it's not why I hired you," Perry said, smiling in his little joking way, like this was all some teenage argument and just plain silly.
"Got it, Chief," I said, going pale. Well, feeling like I was going pale. "But there aren't any stories right now. Soon as there's a big one, I'll, I mean WE'LL be on it."
"Okay. Glad to hear it," he said, walking away.
As soon as he was gone, Clark bent down.
"Lois, I was just thinking—"
I turned and looked at him. "There's not exactly a big story on my desk, Clark, is there?"
In lieu of an answer, he just blinked a few times, looking all defeated and sad.
"When there is one, we'll talk, okay? Excuse me," I said, seeing Lucy get off the elevator.
I couldn't believe she actually came to lunch after I made myself so crystal clear. She can be so stubborn when she is on a mission, I swear!
But since going to lunch with her DID make avoiding Clark for the moment a little easier, I was only too happy to walk her right back into the elevator and go.
So that is where I just came from: lunch with Lucy.
She got me to spill the story… well, not the WHOLE story, obviously. That one I'll probably take to my grave, assuming I don't, I don't know, talk in my sleep some time, having some person who doesn't know overhear and figure it out.
We went to a charming little deli that she promised would cheer me up, just based on the cuteness of the place.
Well, the place was cute, I'll give her that. But it did not cheer me up. I couldn't be cheered up. You know why? You know what the only thing worse than hitting rock bottom is? Flying the highest you've ever been in your whole life only moments before.
If Clark and I were in a failing relationship and then it was over, that would be hard. But it would be easier to deal with. My life was PERFECT, right up until that moment, that MOMENT that he told me everything. And then my world was rocked, knocking me, so quickly. Down, down, down…
To happen that fast is far worse than a gradual fall to the bottom.
Nothing could cheer me up, even a little. It's like my body was in shock or something, from the quickness with which my life and feelings changed.
But Lucy tried anyway.
"Lois, do you remember when you were eleven and I was nine? You started telling me that you would help me get through life because you had all the answers? I was upset about a bad grade at school and someone that made fun of me because of it. You said you'd help me get the better grade and rise above what that kid said. When I asked what YOU could do, you said you were my big sister and could do anything!"
I did remember this conversation. I couldn't believe Lucy remembered it though. How embarrassing! I had seen an older sibling on a television show say something like that, and it was comforting to the little kid, so I had tried to use the same logic with my sister. But it had ended up coming out all high and mighty, like I thought I was on some kind of commercial selling the product 'Lois Lane: Big Sister'.
"I remember," I told her, a shy smile on my face.
"Did you know that I believed you? I believed everything you said. I thought you had ALL the answers to everything in life. I thought you were the girl who would never need help from anyone. No one could hurt you and nothing could faze you. You were Lois Lane. Strong and smart and vibrant and quick-witted and happy. Lois Lane! I wanted to be just like you," she said, touching my arm.
I wasn't exactly sure where she was going with this, but I went with her. It was better than talking about Clark.
"You wanted to be just like me? Lucy, you never studied a day in your life, especially after that conversation. You stuck your nose up at me every time I said anything to you about how important studying was. You told me I dressed too boring and you always made sure when my hair was long, yours was short, and when my hair was short, yours was long," I said.
"I didn't want you to KNOW I believed you!" she said.
Honestly? She's too much!
"Well good job, Lucy; I had no idea," I said, smiling.
"Lois, you have looked out for me my whole life. I know if YOU ever had a problem, you'd never really willingly come to me about it. I always have to hunt you down, listen intently to your tone to decide if you're really okay or not, and when you're not, I have to invite myself over or to lunch so I can just TRY to be a good sister."
"Lucy, you ARE a good sister. I always know that you care. If I don't reach out to you, well that's just—"
"—but you SHOULD reach out to me," she interrupted me, an urgency and sadness in her tone. "Lois, please. I leaned on you a lot when we were growing up. Hell, you practically raised me more than Mom and Dad. But Lois, you're not really my big sister anymore. You're two years older than me. It shouldn't be 'big sister' / 'little sister' anymore. It should be Lois and Lucy… close sisters. Sisters who are all grown up and are friends and can tell each other anything. I don't want to always think that I'm ten steps behind you and you don't need me or ANYBODY."
I just stared at the flowers at the center of our table for a moment, taking this in.
"What if I told you," she said coyly, which made me look up, "that I have all the answers. Oh, yeah. I'm Lucy, Super Little Sis."
"I thought you were done with being 'little sister'," I said.
"Well no, I just thought of this. I'm Little Sis. I have ALL the answers! I will help you and you can overcome this! Don't ask how or why! I'm Little Sis! I can do anything!" she said triumphantly, which made me laugh.
The way she said it, it practically pulled me back in time; back into our old room, sitting on her bed. My eleven-year-old voice now coming through the mouth of my little sister.
When my laughter subsided, Lucy's own smile fell away too, and she looked at me seriously.
"I can be Super Little Sis, like your Super Big Sis all those years ago, Lois. BUT… I would like to just have the chance to be your sister. Your grown up sister, who is no longer so much younger, and is more like a friend now actually," she said, her gaze boring into mine.
"Okay, you win," I said, after a heartfelt moment. "It's…over…between Clark and me," I said, practically choking on the words. As much as I had been writing that it's over and had even told him "I'm through," I had not voiced the fact out loud to anyone. It felt impossible to say, with that lump that was in my throat, blocking the way for those words to come through. It was even harder for me to say that than to say that other truth I was having trouble saying and writing. You know that he's… him.
"Over? What? How? Why? When?" she asked, her eyes looking genuinely sad for me and very VERY confused.
"He lied to me about something pretty big. Something huge. I thought I knew him. I thought he was this decent, honest, sweet, caring man who loved me so much he would never… NEVER… hurt me. But in the end, he hurt me more than anyone else ever has before. More than Daddy. More than Claude, if you remember him—"
"—sure. I met him a few times and you later gave me the cliff's notes version of the whole affair," she said, looking around frantically, not really at me. She looked like she was trying to grasp straws with what I just told her, but was not able to. "What could he have lied about? I…you… Lois, he really was the most perfect man alive. I won't believe he cheated on you," she started.
"—no, he didn't do that," I was quick to assure her.
"—because I wouldn't believe that anyway. He looks at you… every time… like he is just seeing you for the first time, and he thinks you are just beautiful, wonderful… special. I've never seen anyone look at someone that way, before meeting Clark. He's gone over you, Lois, just gone!"
She was not making this easier. That lump in my throat that was there before, when I was trying to get the words out so we could be her Partridge Family version of sisters? Yeah, it was a million times worse now.
"Yeah, well," I started, trying to swallow that lump, "for someone who is so gone over me, he had a funny way of showing it. He LIED to me, Lucy. I never lied to him. Never. I always assumed he was honest with me too. I just…trusted him to be honest. Never, never questioned it. I should have though. After Daddy, Paul, Claude, Lex… I've had a hard time trusting men, Lucy; it shouldn't come as much of a surprise."
"I know, Lois," she said, touching my arm sweetly again.
"Lucy… I just thought he was different. But his lie was the biggest and most hurtful. And I loved him more than I had ever loved anyone ever before. It makes the hurt a million times worse," I said, releasing a shaky breath.
"Oh, Lois. Can I ask. What did he—"
But I cut her off with a shake of the head. "What does it matter, really? It's not something I can tell you anyway. And this has nothing to do with us, Lucy, you and me. I just—"
"—enough said," she said reassuringly. "He lied and you caught him. You figured it out and caught him in the lie," she said, shaking her head as if disbelieving that a breakup could have happened with us. With Lois and Clark.
"Well, no, not exactly. I had no clue. He dropped the bomb on me. The other night," I said, closing my eyes, as I had immediately flown back into that night from hell, which started off so wonderfully. "He made this big to-do about our two month anniversary. He wanted to do something special and we went to dinner and then to this quiet, desolate place where he shattered my heart."
"So he had lied about something… and then he told you all about it? He couldn't keep it in anymore?" she asked, wide-eyed.
"Yeah. Either way he lied," I said to her, like her IQ had just dropped loads of points right before my eyes.
"No, but Lois, he wanted you to know. He didn't want the lie there anymore, weighing on him and on your relationship. He wanted a relationship based on truth," she said.
This angered me. Why was she taking his side?
"He wanted a relationship based on truth? That's funny, because for two years, our entire relationship has been based on a huge lie!" I said.
"But not anymore. He wanted to start fresh, because you are in love. He probably wants to spend the rest of his life with you and doesn't want—"
"—Lucy, whose side are you ON? You are the one who said we'd be like friends and you are taking the side of a man who lied to me about something MASSIVE. I can't tell you what it is, but you could at least trust me and give ME the benefit of the doubt!" I said, standing up.
"No, Lois! I do. I think that for Clark to have lied at all is horrible. I mean, lying is just bad. Especially when you're partners and best friends. And especially when you're dating! He should have been honest with you about, I don't know, whatever, since the moment he met you!" she said, practically begging me to let her in my friendship corner again.
But even this wasn't helping. Now I was angry. The more she said, the angrier I got. Even what she said now, genuine as she seemed, angered me, because she was saying he should have been honest from the moment he met me and I knew he couldn't have been. Despite the fact that I feel so stupid and horrible now, finding out, I do realize he couldn't have told me when he first met me. I guess, she was making me, in some small way, understand why he lied… at first, anyway. She had no clue, of course, that that is what she was doing. But she was. And it was making me really mad. I didn't want to understand him. I wanted to be mad at him for his betrayal; for his lack of trust; for LYING. I REALLY hate lying!
After I assured her that I was not mad at her (I was lying of course— well, this kind of lying, the kind that gets your sister to just leave you be when you're all depressed and want to be alone, is okay), she walked with me back to the Planet. I talked to her about her date last night, a nice change of subject.
"Lois, I'm going out again this weekend with him. We're just going to a bar where some of his friends will be. You should come! It might be fun! Maybe he has a nice friend who will make getting over Clark a little better. Or at least more fun!" she said excitedly.
I was all set to say 'no', but just then, Clark headed out of the Planet. I knew he'd be able to hear us, what with his special… hearing… abilities. I guess I regressed back to the sixth grade, where you tried to make you ex-boyfriend feel like a real fooey for hurting you.
"Lucy, that sounds like fun. It'll be like old times; you and me, double-dating. Call me tonight and we'll make a definite plan for Friday," I said, which caused a very confused look to pass over my sister's features.
I guess she understood when she saw Clark a moment later. She gave him a sort of smile that said, "I am only smiling out of elementary good breeding, and nothing more; you hurt my sister and I do not forgive all that easily."
I was looking at Clark for some kind of a reaction to this news, that I was going on a date. I guess I wanted to see if he finally got the hint that it was over with us. The look I saw though… I wish I hadn't seen. As soon as I looked at him, he looked at the ground, as if he were ashamed of himself (and really, he should be, right!?) and didn't want to bother me.
Then his head shot up, and he looked past me, his eyebrows creased in a look of solemn concern. A call for help. He always did that; he must have always heard a call for help. Usually at this point he started muttering some stupid excuse, but since I had initiated a silent treatment, he didn't need to bother. He turned the opposite direction from us and kind of ran, until he turned the corner and was out of my sight.
"Wow. He took off fast. He has some nerve. He didn't even really look at you. He should be on his knees every time he sees you begging you to forgive him for being a typical guy!" she said, looking in the direction he just disappeared from.
All I could think was, "Well, I'll give him that much. He is NOT your typical guy."
And then I went back to work.
Speaking of which, I should get BACK to work; you know, do things. I don't think at the end of the day, Perry wants to read my diary. You know?
It's Friday night… late night. Midnight. No after… I guess it's… 2:11 AM, the clock in the kitchen says. Lucy and I went to that club tonight. It was more or less a bore. There was one guy there who was interesting enough, and by that I mean he was capable of saying more than two sentences without trying to make a move or something. His name was Dan something-or-other. He's a detective.
I'll admit, part of the reason I kept the conversation going for an hour, like I did, was because I thought it might be nice to have more friends on the inside. Cops. People who can pull a few strings; tell you things. Basically, it was my way of working, or networking, I guess, during my time away from work. Perry would be so proud. I saw getting to know this Dan as an opportunity somewhere down the line for my stories.
So that was that.
He was okay-looking, too.
I am not quite sure he's six feet tall. Almost anyway, though. And as for his body… it seemed okay. He's a cop, after all.
Not as nice as…
Well I'm not thinking about him. I won't lie, there were times tonight when I found myself thinking about him. I briefly wondered what he was doing, but shook that thought away, remembering that I don't care. I briefly realized, while this Dan was talking, that Clark was by far better company than him, Lucy, and anyone for that matter, but I quickly reminded myself that he was a liar as well. That put that thought to rest.
And I briefly missed him. As much as I tried to shake that one away with some excuse, it just wouldn't go away. My stupid pestering heart; it's like it craves men who are just big liars. Okay, okay, I never craved Lex. I never even really CRAVED Claude or Paul. Clark though… and HIS was the biggest lie! But my heart definitely did have a feeling that I could only describe as longing and craving and sadness… and missing. And if I'm honest with myself, it wasn't a brief feeling or thought. It was weighing on me, in the back of my mind, the entire night.
So anyway, it's late and I'm going to bed. I cannot for the life of me remember how my night with Dan ended. I remember saying goodbye and him telling me he'd see me at some point. But I don't think I gave him my phone number. Actually, I know I didn't. He wanted it and I said no. I guess no matter how I feel, it IS too soon for me to be really thinking about other men.
It's Sunday night. Sunday.
It's been one week since that day. One week of seeing him everyday and working beside him, but not walking casually over to his desk, a schoolgirl grin on my face or trying to sneak a kiss in any chance I got… the second the elevator doors closed, or the second Bobby Bigmouth left the car.
It's been one week without him, even though he's been within my reach the whole time.
All day yesterday and today I thought about what he told me. All week I had made a conscious effort not to REALLY think about it.
Sure, the thoughts "Clark lied to me for two years!" and "Clark is Superman!" would come into my head and I would get mad. I'd see him run off to save the day and know that is what he was doing and I would get mad and focus on something else. But yesterday and today, I didn't see him at all; I didn't see anyone. I've been alone at my apartment with nothing but my thoughts. So I allowed myself to really think about what he told me.
Clark is Superman.
It was Clark who I demanded and hoped to see after I'd turned HIM down in the park so long ago.
Two months ago, I had kissed Clark and then told HIM the next day, as Superman, that I wanted to be more than friends with him. With Superman (this can get confusing). The look on his (Superman's) face made a lot more sense now.
All those times I had compared him to Superman or held Superman
up on his perpetual pedestal. He could do no wrong. Clark always seemed so annoyed that I made Superman into some Greek god. He hated when everyone objectified Superman. I thought his feelings were a mix of annoyance because Superman was a good friend of his and jealousy. In reality, he probably felt extremely uncomfortable and ill at ease hearing himself talked about that way. Clark's not someone who you'd call a sex symbol. I mean, I know he's sexy. But the comments that people would make about Superman (me included)… About his tights and his body… People were saying these shameless things in his presence. Thinking back now, the look that was always on HIS face at those times made more sense now. I always just thought he was annoyed and disapproving. But his look was a mixture of guilt, since no one knew they were essentially saying these things in Superman's presence, and plain old discomfort.
I guess I can understand that. I mean, if I heard people talking that way about ME, I would be very angry. Actually, I think I'D blow my cover. He, at least, always maintained his calm and an air of indifference.
But mostly what I have been thinking about this weekend, in my time alone with my thoughts is that…
I embarrassed myself! Yesterday and today, I was able to think of so many ways in which I completely embarrassed myself! It makes me madder than… well, than the truth (almost anyway). I made a list.
I mean check this out:
WAYS IN WHICH I, LOIS LANE, HAVE EMBARASSED MYSELF IN THE PAST TWO YEARS BECAUSE OF THIS… SUPER… SECRET:
1. I threw myself at Superman and practically ignored Clark back when I first met them both/him. I looked like a silly, SHALLOW, school girl.
2. I asked Clark if Superman's suit actually came off. I get red thinking about that question NOW.
3. The time when the Planet was held hostage, I muttered the phrase: "Relax, Clark, you're not Superman," or something like that. Hi, how are you, I'm Lois Lane, award-winning investigative reporter. Right.
4. I would bid for Superman at auctions and roll my eyes at Clark when I could catch him looking at me in that way.
5. I never ever saw them together. I knew they were "best friends." But did I question this? No. Because, hi, I'm Lois Lane, award-winning investigative reporter. RIGHT? (Maybe I should turn all the awards in). Hmm…
6. Clark gets amnesia. Where's Superman? Clark gets his memory back. THERE'S Superman. Saving the world. And RIGHT when Clark got his memory back so he could know what it was Superman was saving us all from. WHAT A FRIGGIN' AMAZING COINCIDENCE!
7. They look a whole lot alike (duh!) and I never even THOUGHT about that. Except once, when I was drugged on love! It took a crazy love spray to make me see the truth, and after, when I was back to myself (for clarification that is back to my award- winning investigative reporter self), I found an excuse to explain why I was so delusional to think that in the first place. Ground, please, I'm begging you; just open up and swallow me whole!
8. Clark would get a far-off look and run away like a frightened kitten and seconds later Superman would save the day. Then HE'D fly away and Clark would return. No ice cream. No cheese. No whatever-his-excuse-was. And I never questioned it. Never questioned his frequent disappearances or anything.
Basically… I HAVE LOOKED LIKE A COMPLETE IDIOT FOR TWO YEARS. I HAVE THROWN MYSELF AT A CARDBOARD CUTOUT OF A MAN I HELD AT BAY, EVEN AS A FRIEND. I WAS SHALLOW AND SILLY… AND STUPID! It's the stupidity that embarrasses me the most. The clues were there. They were always there.
And I… ahem, investigative reporter who has gathered up her awards and fully intends to return them to the award people who gave them to her… NEVER NOTICED.
Okay, so when I wrote the list, I was a little angry. Mostly with myself, though. That was a real change from the rest of the week.
I am so mad that I didn't figure this out.
I told Clark once that it was our job to look under the surface and expose the naked truth about people. I valued my ability to read people and find out exactly what they were about. I assume everyone is hiding SOMETHING. I am usually right! I can tell you the whole truth about my parents and my sister, about every friend I have and about Perry, Jimmy and all my ex-boyfriends, like Claude or Lex…
But Clark. Under the surface, there was a truth so unlikely and amazing, and I never even bothered to look. I just trusted that with HIM, as opposed to everyone else I have ever met, what you saw was what you got. And I loved what I saw. I eventually fell in love with it and FINALLY admitted it to myself and to him.
I did not do what I do. What I'm good at. And in the end, HE had to tell me. He had to come down to my level of blindness and stupidity, and tell me, the way you'd tell a child just becoming an adolescent that there's no Santa Clause. No Santa. Just your parents. Only most kids figure this out on their own. For me, I had to be told. No Superman. Just Clark. When I learned the truth about Santa, my life didn't change all that much. But this… I just know; my life will never be the same.
Ugh, there's a knock at the door. Who'd visit at this time on a Sunday?
Well, it was Clark.
I was definitely surprised to see him. I mean, I have made everything so clear. All week, I kept my back to him and have said barely two words to him and only that was when I absolutely had to. Why can he not take the hint?
"What do you want, Clark?" I asked.
Instead of answering, he took a step inside and placed his hands on my cheeks and pulled me into a kiss.
I guess he figured he tried talking to me all week and it wasn't getting him anywhere, so he should try another tactic.
And, okay, I'll admit. I melted a little (a lot) when our lips crushed together. It's been a week of not doing this, though. A girl cannot be helped when she's kissing the man she loves… or used to love last week and was confused about now. My heart just sort of naturally did a little flip flop and then I was gone.
Plus, after my time with myself this weekend, I was able to admit that I missed hanging out with him and kissing and hugging him.
So instead of doing what I should have done, which was push him off of me, I sort of let him kiss me for a little bit.
Just a few minutes…
I could feel his hunger and sadness and desperation, and my own sadness and even my anger sort of morphed into a passion as I kissed him back. Our tongues did a dance they knew so well with each other, and our bodies were pressed up against each other, doing their own dance; feeling their own things. Mine was definitely reacting to the kiss. Not that I wanted it to. I just couldn't help it!
Oh god… I'm so embarrassed that THIS is how I dealt with my complete anger at him.
He somehow closed the door, but kept the kiss going, and I definitely chastised myself when I realized I was moaning his name.
The next thing I knew, we were lowering each other (I'm not sure who, if anyone, was leading this move) to the floor, pulling at each other's clothes in complete desperation.
I don't know why I let it get that far! Like I said, I would have thought that the second he kissed me, I'd have pushed him off of me like he was a stranger on the subway trying to cop a feel.
But I couldn't. He has more power over my body and mind… and okay, my heart… than anyone I've ever met before, and when our lips touched, I lost all self-control and rationale. As we kissed, I started to remember how much I loved being with him. How much I loved walking home with him after work (how much I missed that this week), how much I loved cuddling with him on the couch and bantering with him at work, and how much I really loved kissing him and feeling that closeness that was embedded in our passion and love for each other.
As I slipped my hand under his button-up shirt, I was not rewarded with the feel of his skin. My passion-filled mind a haze, I started trying to figure out what the material was that I was feeling.
Then it dawned on me.
It was the suit.
All the hurt and embarrassment and anger came back in a flash. The LIST came to mind, and THEN I pushed him off of me like he was a stranger on the subway trying to cop a feel.
"I'm sorry," he said, looking away as I straightened out my own clothes.
He looked back at me, his breathing fast. "I'm sorry, Lois. I don't know where that came from. I wasn't planning on… I just wanted to see you and try to talk to you, but when I saw you…" he trailed off.
"You felt the need to blindside me with a kiss when we are not even together anymore and I have made it perfectly clear that I want nothing to do with you?" I finished for him.
"Lois, you felt it too. I know you did. Tell me you didn't feel something," he said, knowing that I did feel something.
It would have been very hard to pretend I didn't, given the way I'd reacted.
"Yes, Clark, I felt something. I felt something that reminded me of what we used to have and what things were like before. But that is all a lie," I said, standing up again. He stood up as well and looked at me intensely. "And it doesn't change the way I feel now. The way I've been feeling all week. Which is hurt, angry, embarrassed—"
"—embarrassed? Why?" he asked.
"Gee, Clark, I don't know. Maybe because you and I were partners, best friends and were DATING and I was a good friend of Superman's and there were clues EVERYWHERE and I never put them together!"
"No one put the clues together. Don't feel like you missed this thing that everyone else caught onto and you're stupid or something. The whole world believes this, this—"
"Yeah," he said, sounding like he would have preferred to find better wording, but wanted to move on. "Everyone believes it, Lois. Why should YOU be embarrassed ?"
"Not everyone was your partner, Clark. Not everyone was your girlfriend!"
"I know. But Lois, by the time we started dating, you never would have started thinking twice about anything I had told you about myself. It didn't seem likely that you'd start thinking about it and figure it out on your own."
"Exactly. I wouldn't have thought twice about anything I knew about you, Clark, or anything you had told me. But therein lies our problem! How do I know, if we started dating again, that I would THEN know everything about you? I don't think I'll react too well when I find out down the line that you've got another family on Krypton!"
"Lois, I'm the only survivor of Krypton."
"I'm just making a point, Clark. This… it's not going to work! You didn't trust me and now, I don't trust you. You can't have any kind of a relationship without trust. Not friendship and most certainly not love," I finished, taking a deep breath. "Please, get out."
"I do trust you," he said, looking at me so intensely now I was forced to maintain eye contact. It was impossible to look away. "I've always trusted you, Lois. I trust you with my life… I trusted YOU to know about this thing, Kryptonite, that could hurt me and know you'd always keep my safety and well-being in mind professionally and personally. I trusted you with my heart, Lois," he said, his voice quivering a little. "I've never let anyone see what I'm REALLY about; what Clark Kent is really like. Even before you knew my secret, Lois, I always let you see ME. I didn't hide myself from you. And I always knew I wanted to trust you with my secret. I trust you with it now. I know, even though you're mad at me, you wouldn't tell anyone about me. I just know that, Lois. I trust it. I never thought I would tell this secret to ANYONE… until I met you."
"Then why didn't you tell me, Clark? Was it amusing to watch me humiliate myself for the love of a man that didn't even exist? Were you laughing inside when I brushed you aside for YOU?"
"No, Lois. I'd never laugh at you. Don't you know that? I didn't tell you… because it was never a good time. I know that sounds weak. It is weak. But when I first created Superman, I was still trying to create a life for myself. A normal, ordinary life. I wanted to get to know you and work with you, knowing that you'd treat me like any other normal person at work. I wanted to know that our relationship both professionally and personally was based on something that was real. Who I am inside, Lois, that's real. Superman is what people want to see. Not ordinary or normal. A full-time hero with no faults, no emotions, no LIFE. There for everyone. No actual goals, himself… except to be there when he's needed. People, including you, treat him like a hero. Not a real person. What I show the world, Lois, when I'm him, is NOT who I am. Wanting to help and actually helping, which people do see COMES from something in here," he said, touching his chest, "that only a few people see. I'm talking in circles, I know. I just don't know how to get this across," he said, putting his hand through his hair. "No one knows Superman, Lois. A lot of people think they do. But no one does. Well almost no one. My parents know him. YOU know him. That's about it," he finished, looking like he hoped I finally understood.
On some level, I guess I did understand, but that didn't take away from the anger and embarrassment I was still feeling.
"Superman," I said, sort of wistfully. "I still can't believe this. I can't wrap my mind around it. Clark, I thought of Superman as a friend. Maybe I'm like the rest of society, just like ALL those people who don't see the real man. But I liked Superman as he was— someone who gave people hope. Someone who stood for TRUTH… and justice. Someone so good-hearted, he GAVE UP living a normal life so he could save everyone he could. A lone figure and hero of millions. Sort of a martyr. I definitely thought *I* knew him and that he was my friend! In a way Clark, I feel like a friend died. I mean, to me, he's gone. It's the same thing," I finished, quietly, feeling tears prickling my eyes.
"I know, Lois. I'm so sorry. I never meant for it to get as complicated as this. When I realized you had feelings for him, everything became so difficult. There was never a good time to tell you, it seemed. Especially since you didn't appear to have feelings for me. But when you chose me—" he trailed off.
"When I chose you, when you WON, you finally decided I was worthy of knowing the truth. Although you do realize my decision was not even based on the truth," I said, hands on hips at this point.
"It was, though. Lois, you chose me. Just an ordinary guy and a friend over what you thought was the most romantic thing in the world—an unattainable superhero. If I had told you the truth, but you were still thinking you loved him and not me, then where would either of us be? What would you have done then?"
"I don't think you are seeing the big picture, Clark. You LIED to me. You say you care about me, yet—"
"Lois, I care about you more than you'll ever know. I would lay down my life for you—"
"You know, you said that to me once before. Two months ago," I said.
"It was true then and it's true now—"
"—except that nothing can hurt you. It's a noble thing to say… if it was true. But bullets bounce off of you. I mean, how many bullets have you ever been hit with? And you're still here! You could be attacked by an army with guns and bombs and knives and you would still come out intact with not a scratch on you. You're super strong and you can't be hurt; you might as well say things like that and save whoever you can. What else would you do with those powers?" I said, walking toward the window, looking out.
When he said nothing, I looked back over my shoulder to see him looking at me, his mouth open, a stricken look in his eyes.
"Before you knew *I* was Superman, he was this amazing hero in your eyes. Always would be. Now that you know it's me, you're practically saying he's… I'M… a coward. Not brave, not heroic. Just an alien with freakish powers he might as well use to do what he can do… You don't really think I'm any kind of hero at all, do you?"
I didn't say anything. I should have, because I don't think that at all. What I had said to him was just out of anger and hurt. But I didn't say anything just then. I was feeling too many conflicted emotions.
After a minute, he walked out the door, not saying another word.
As I get ready to start yet another week of work with HIM, I am just sitting here, writing, alone… And I can't get it out of my head.
What, you ask?
His speech about trust and about me KNOWING him so well?
I guess I'm referring to the reason my lips are still tingling, my heart is still racing, my stomach is jumping, and my cheeks are still hot.
So I decided to check my email before heading to work. And all I have to say is:
My mother is crazy. I honestly believe this.
TO: Lane, Lois <firstname.lastname@example.org>
FROM: Lane, Mom Ih8samlane@freemail.com
RECEIVED: Sunday, May 26, 4:17 PM
I'VE JUST GOTTEN E-MAIL! LUCY SET IT UP FOR ME. NOW WE CAN TALK MORE. I AM SO EXCITED! A LOT OF MY FRIENDS HAVE E-MAIL TOO. I WILL ASK THEM FOR THEIR E-MAIL #S AND WRITE THEM! LUCY IS RIGHT HERE. SHE SAYS HI. Oh, she told me not to write in capital letters because it would look like I am yelling. I'm not. Yelling, that is. Or writing in capital letters anymore, for that matter. Do capital letters really equal yelling? I thought exclamation points would do that. Hi Lois! HI LOIS. See? Anyway. So Lucy tells me that you broke up with the Clark Kent that you work with. Last month we had lunch and you two looked positively nauseating, which of course led me to call my wedding planner and put her on red alert. I know you don't talk to me about these things and that we don't talk very often, but I am concerned. He is very nice and would definitely give you good- looking children. Plus, he seems to genuinely love you, which let me tell you, doesn't happen everyday. Your father, before we got married, once told me that he would look at me and think I was DEFINITELY a suitable wife and would DEFINITELY do. He, back then, always said "definitely" when he wanted to really make a point. I thought this was romantic. But I was young and stupid (obviously). Not that I regret it. I mean I have my Lois and my Lucy because of my marriage. I wish, though, that I could have gotten you two without wasting so many years with HIM. But that's not the point, I guess. Oh, Lucy's making me a frozen margarita! How nice! But what I'm trying to say is Clark's more romantic than that. He'd never tell you you were suitable and would do. He seems like the mushy kind who'd actually say something like "I live to love you, my darling," or something. Am I right?
PS- I heard from your Aunt Sissy, who I still talk to, of course, that your father and his cyborg broke up. HA! Maybe she "crashed" in the middle of… well never mind. BYE!
It's only 7:01 AM on Monday. I have a feeling it's going to be a loooong week.
OH MY GOD, OH MY GOD, OH MY GOD!
Things have just gone from bad to worse in SO many ways!
It's Monday night now, and my mind is reeling and my thoughts and feelings are all a complete mess. I just want to jump to the awful second half of my day— but I should go in order, right? I know, I know, every time I write in this, when my life is in shambles (again!), I remind myself about a hundred times to just write everything in order, so I can clear my head. But the reminders really do help!
When I came in this morning, Clark was already here. Okay, I guess whenever he can make up for his disappearances or Superman- related tardiness, he does. I guess it is fair (as I've re-read what I wrote about this LAST Monday) that he shares a byline with me and gets paid to do this job, because his life is twice as hectic as everyone else's and he always does his share of work and never misses a deadline. Plus, he usually brings back a Superman exclusive for us upon his return.
But anyway, I'm sidetracking.
So he was at work already when I got here.
When I got to my desk, I thought it was odd that he hadn't tried his daily apology/plea to "talk" yet. He usually corners me within our first five shared minutes in the news room.
I thought maybe he hadn't noticed me.
It didn't bother me. I swear it didn't. I didn't WANT him to talk to me, right? I was feeling overwhelming happiness that he had finally gotten the hint! At least I think that's what that feeling in the pit of my stomach was. (Can overwhelming happiness make you feel nauseous? Hmm…)
Anyway, I just sat at my desk and got right to work. Until about 12, when someone walked over to my desk and said:
"Miss Lane? This gentleman is here to see you, but he didn't have an appointment. He said he knew you."
I finished writing something and looked up.
"Dan!" I said, shocked. How had that Dan-guy from Friday night found me? I had no idea.
"Lois, I said I'd see you again sometime. I just decided to make sometime sooner, rather than later," Dan said, smiling.
The security guard that had escorted him to my desk walked away.
"Dan… How did you find me?" I asked, when he was gone.
"You mentioned you worked for the Daily Planet. I scoured Friday's paper in search of a 'Lois' that worked here and decided you were, in fact, THE Lois Lane. I don't know how I didn't put that together on Friday at the bar. But when I read some of your work, I could HEAR your voice in the words. I just knew," he finished, shrugging.
"Oh," I said, blushing. Not because he'd gone though all that to find me, but more because he'd mentioned that we were out together Friday kind of loudly. It definitely sounded like a date. Nothing happened, but that is definitely what it sounded like. And he said it loud enough for anyone who might be listening to hear.
Especially someone with super-hearing.
This shouldn't have bothered me. I mean, it's not like we are really still together anymore.
But I turned red all the same and found myself hoping he wasn't listening.
A quick look in his direction made me think he might have been listening. He wasn't typing, but was just kind of idly looking down at his desk.
"Anyway, I'm here to take you to lunch," he said, smiling.
He has a sort of nice smile, I guess. Not a thousand kilowatt, adorable boyish grin. Uh, but who has that? No one I know. Oh, I keep forgetting, this is just a diary. Clark does. Clark has a grin like that. But I'm mad at Clark, so moving on…
"You know, actually, I have a lunch appointment today," I said apologetically.
"No you don't," Jimmy said, walking over.
I looked at him like I wanted to kill him.
"I just put something in your calendar for you and saw that it's pretty open all day," Jimmy said, completely ignorantly.
Luckily he's like an annoying little brother, so I wouldn't actually ever kill him. I would just want to. Like at that moment.
"Well, there you have it. You're free," Dan said. "I know a great place," he said, and before I knew it, I had grabbed my purse and allowed him to lead me out of the newsroom. Before the elevator doors closed, I saw Clark sit back in his chair, still looking downward. And I won't even lie about it— I felt bad. Really bad. For him. For perhaps the first time all week.
Lunch was enlightening at least, if not completely annoying. Dan and I, I quickly realized, didn't have all that much in common. His job remains to be my only interest. And the only thing he enlightened me on, work-wise, was that he was beginning to close in on some concrete evidence to link the current mayor with some sketchy going ons from last month. He said he MIGHT allow me to see his notes and clue me in when the big bust happens, so I could get the exclusive.
"But there'll be lots of people wanting that story, though. You'll have to be very persuasive to make me give it to YOU," he said coyly.
Can you believe the nerve of some people? He's definitely the type to call a woman suitable and tell them they'd definitely do as a wife.
But instead of rolling my eyes, I smiled flirtatiously. It was a story, after all. And news was slow. It had been slow for awhile. I remember, in that moment, wishing that news would just pick up already.
This was when things got really REALLY bad.
He leaned in to kiss me when I was looking at the table uncomfortably, like it was the most fascinating thing on earth. I nearly screamed when I realized his lips were on mine. I remember thinking it was absolutely awful! I pushed him away immediately…
"What was that!?" I asked.
"I'm sorry. I've just wanted to do that since I met you Friday," he said, not looking sorry at all.
"Well, you only met me FRIDAY," I pointed out, even though he had already pointed this out a second before. "It's a little fast for me, okay?"
"Okay. I'll try to control myself from now on," he said, winking at me.
I looked around, paranoid that Clark was standing in the doorway to the restaurant or at another table. He wasn't anywhere that I could see. But I still felt very paranoid and continued glancing around, even as Dan changed the subject and started babbling about everything under the sun. None of which was remotely fascinating enough to even hold my attention.
Something did grab my attention though. On the little television at the corner of the bar at the restaurant, I heard that special report news music and stood up and walked over.
"We interrupt this program to bring you an LNN Special Report. Two fires have simultaneously started in downtown Metropolis. One at a daycare center and the other at a nursing home. Superman put the fire at the daycare center out and everyone seems to be fine. One child is missing, and the police are looking into this now. Some residents and administration at The Sunny View Home for the Elderly have been rushed to the hospital, their injuries ranging from third degree burns to smoke inhalation. Superman arrived on the scene as soon as he left the daycare center, but not quickly enough to bring everyone to safety as he would have undoubtedly wanted. One patient has been declared dead at this time…"
I felt like something inside of me just froze. My heart was in my throat, and I suddenly felt like I was going to be sick. Whatever else the newscaster said, I missed, as a loud silence rung in my head; I just stared at the television, my mouth gaping open. I could not believe what happened. That people had been killed. Sidled along those horrible feelings for those poor people, was a realization that this was the first time I was hearing about Clark doing something massive since I learned his secret; and I think I was understanding a part of his life that was bigger than what he could do. And that was what he couldn't do. And I suspected he blamed himself for those things, even though he had no control over them. And suddenly I wanted to cry. For those people… and for my best friend.
I ordered Dan to drive me back to the Planet, where I jumped in my car and drove to the scene of the fires. The daycare center and nursing home were about a block away from one another.
When I got to the site, it was awful. There was thick, acrid smoke in the air, and the area directly around the buildings was restricted. I could see, through the smoke, by the daycare center, a glimmer of red and blue and I ran toward it, holding my press badge up to the officers. They still didn't want to let me in, but I was very forceful.
"Superman," I said, when I was close to him.
He looked over at me, and I sucked in my breath. His face, his expression, his eyes… they looked…
He crossed his arms, and I could have sworn his hands were shaking. He walked over to me, but didn't say a word.
I trailed off, his eyes scaring me. They looked hard and angry.
"I can't give a statement. I won't," he said, his eyes unblinking, looking at me, but not really seeing me.
"I don't want a statement," I said, appalled he would even think that.
"You shouldn't be here. The smoke," he said, looking briefly at the destruction around him as if removed from the situation. I knew, however, from the hardness of his features and the look in his eyes, that he was definitely not removed.
"Well, I'm staying," I said.
He sighed and walked a few steps away and came back with an oxygen mask for me to wear.
I knew I probably looked foolish, but the smoke WAS starting to get to me.
I pulled the mask aside to ask, "What happened?" I put the mask back on.
He shrugged, sadly. "I don't really know," he said.
I looked in his eyes. Closely. Intensely.
And then I saw it.
The blame. He was angry— at himself. He was feeling responsible. I had suspected he might, but to see it tore at my heart.
I walked a few steps so I was right in front of him. I looked around and made sure no one was near us, and I pulled the mask aside again.
"Clark, nothing that happened here today is your fault, you know that, right?" I asked.
He looked down.
"You helped so many people today. You can't help everyone—"
He looked up at me and smiled a hard smile, which made me feel cold inside.
"Don't worry about me, Lois," he said. "I'm invulnerable, remember?"
And then he walked away.
If there's one thing I hate, it's to have my own words used against me. But he was hurting, and I was finally ready to let go of my own hurt and anger. And pride. Ready to realize what was more important.
And, the truth is, ever since that day that he told me the truth, I've regretted a few of the things I said to him— namely that one thing, about him being invulnerable. I had basically told him that he had no right to FEEL. Anything. I've also, since that day, implied he was like some robot. That because he couldn't be physically hurt, he was not a hero. And I was starting to suspect this was his worst fear. To be treated like that, I mean.
And to be treated like that by someone you love—
I shivered as I realized how much I've been hurting him. And I ached when I thought about how much he was hurting right now and how I couldn't even really be there for him.
He didn't come back to the office for the rest of the day. He was still helping out downtown, from what I could tell. Reports on the news were indicating that he was not talking to anyone about what happened. And why would he? What he must have seen… the horrors… he couldn't talk about it.
I covered for him with Perry, telling him that Clark was out at the scene of the fires, trying to find out what he could and talk to Superman.
We were able to find out that that missing child was found. He was fine. A little smoke inhalation, but he was fine. He had run out of the building and hid when the commotion started and no one had known where he was. Thank god he was not INSIDE. That's all I have to say.
The whole newsroom was rattled by what had happened, and people began to gossip about theories. Terrorist attack… war threat… someone trying to send out a message, but what? No one knew. All anyone knew was the two huge fires started at EXACTLY the same time, down the street from one another. No one was thinking this some coincidence.
Definitely not me.
After I had written up the front page story about the fires, Perry told me to go home. And really, there was nothing else I could do at work for the day. But for some reason, going home did not seem appealing in the least bit.
That's where I am now—home. Writing about this awful day. Reliving it.
And let's see what has happened:
1. Clark finally stopped trying to get me to talk to him and I was not, as you might imagine, thrilled about it at all.
2. Dan took me to lunch, which was flaunted in front of Clark and the whole newsroom.
3. Dan KISSED me.
4. Said kiss forced me to realize something that I will reveal for the first time, even to myself, right here, in this list: there is only one man I want to kiss. Ever. And it's NOT Dan What's-his-name.
5. Two fires broke out at the same time and Superman/Clark couldn't save everyone and some people were hurt and some died, he feels responsible, and no one has any idea who did it.
6. Clark and I are still broken. Broken up, broken apart, suffering from broken hearts. Just… broken.
I'm feeling suddenly claustrophobic at home.
I think I'll go for a walk.
This has been a very confusing week, as you know. One thing is certain right now, though: when my heart is confused, my feet seem to take over, which was how I found myself on Clark's doorstep twenty minutes ago.
I had just been walking, wanting to get away from my apartment. On my walk, I realized how much I missed Clark. How much I wanted to be there for him. Now. Tomorrow. Forever. He's ALWAYS been there for me. He's always been a shoulder to lean on (or cry on), a friend to walk with and talk with and joke with and banter with and work with and share with, someone to watch a movie with, or share stories with (or novels… I haven't worked on my novel in about a week… he must be my muse or something, because I never seem to be able to work on it when things with us are bad)… I just, I miss him!
Today… I felt for him. I wanted to be there for him.
And the fires! They were just the topping on the cake— all day, I've been feeling something… I guess after our confrontation at my apartment last night, I let go of part of that anger because I had let it out.
It didn't change the magnitude of what he told me last week.
His secret… it is major.
And I don't trust easily. I know that. Everyone knows that. Knowing CLARK lied to me… I can't just suck that up and move on, like nothing happened.
Right now, I want to be his friend, though. I'm willing to push aside my anger and hurt to be his friend. Plus… I miss his friendship.
I have this feeling deep down that I can't really interpret right now; I can't figure out WHAT it means. It could be the answer to whether or not I can trust him again and we can be together again. I don't know…
But for now, I have to be his friend. If he were beyond mad at me, and then realized that something happened and I really needed a friend, he would definitely push the anger aside to be there for me. I just know it.
Look at what happened after my almost-wedding to Lex! Clark and I were not even on speaking terms! I was mad at him; he was mad at me; we were so angry with each other. But when I turned around, he was there. Open arms. My best friend.
I looked up when I realized I was at Clark's apartment. I couldn't believe I had walked there. My thoughts had been in so many places, I wasn't even thinking about where I was walking.
But there I was.
At his door.
A door I knew I could just walk right through and he wouldn't care; a door for the past two months I really did walk through, without knocking. But tonight, I knocked.
After about ten minutes, I gave up. I have no idea if he was home and wanted to be left alone or if he was somewhere else.
But I walked back home with a sad, defeated feeling nonetheless.
You know, I used to pride myself as being a self-sufficient woman who knew what she wanted at all times and went after it with a clear mind. Now:
1. My mind is a train wreck.
2. I can't write MY novel whenever I fight with the man I love.
3. I have no idea what I want, and so therefore have no clue how to really go after it.
…Oh my god…
4. And I think my new best friend is my diary!
Maybe it's my whole family. They're ALL nuts! Check out this email I got from my cousin Cindy:
TO: Lane, Lois <email@example.com>
FROM: Swift, Cindy <cindyBFF@freemail.com>
RECEIVED: Tuesday, May 28, 8:21 AM
HI Lois! It's Cindy! Your cousin! Your mom told me that Lucy told her how to get email, and then she told me, and now I have it too! I don't know why anyone didn't tell me this before! We could have talked A LOT more! Your mom told me about you and your boyfriend calling it quits. How sad! I was hoping to be your maid of honor!! Hint hint, nudge nudge, wink wink! Hope everything's going swimmingly! Now that we're both single, maybe we can hit some singles bars together!
Ta ta for now!
As if that weren't enough, it seems Linda King had decided to get in touch with me now, as well.
TO: Lane, Lois <firstname.lastname@example.org>
FROM: King, Linda <email@example.com>
RECEIVED: Monday, May 28, 11:59 PM
Why hello, Lois. I hope you're doing well! It's been so long since I last saw you! I am actually planning a trip to Metropolis this coming weekend! We'll just HAVE to get together! I swear, the trip has NOTHING to do with me finding out from a little bird that Clark Kent is single again! Oh, Lois, you never could keep a man longer than two months. Maybe when we get together, I'll give you some advice on how to better accomplish that.
I hate my life. Linda's going to be in town in four days! The only thing that would REALLY top this horrible week off would be a large family reunion!
TO: Swift, Cindy <cindyBFF@freemail.com>
FROM: Lane, Lois <firstname.lastname@example.org>
SENT: Tuesday, May 28, 8:45 AM
This email address is for work-related matters only and the intended recipient could not receive it. This email is from The Daily Planet's IT Team. Please refrain from emailing the intended recipient again, unless it is work-related.
NOTE: Your email address will be placed on red-alert.
Daily Planet Internet Technology Department
I know, I know. It's not the nicest thing to do. But you don't know this girl! She is very annoying!
TO: King, Linda <email@example.com>
FROM: Lane, Lois <firstname.lastname@example.org>
SENT: Tuesday, May 28, 8:47 AM
This email address is for work-related matters only and the intended recipient could not receive it. This email is from The Daily Planet's IT Team. Please refrain from emailing the intended recipient again, unless it is work-related.
NOTE: Your email address will be placed on red-alert.
Internet Technology Department
TO: Lane, Lois <email@example.com>
FROM: King, Linda <firstname.lastname@example.org>
RECEIVED: Tuesday, May 28, 10:00 AM
Very clever, Lois. See you this weekend!
TO: Lane, Lois <email@example.com>
FROM: Swift, Cindy <CindyBFF@freemail.com>
RECEIVED: Tuesday, May 28, 10:02 AM
Dear the Daily Planet Internet Technology Department (IT Team),
I am so sorry for writing a non-work-related email to my cousin, Lois. I just haven't talked to her in awhile and her mom said it would be a good way to talk to her more. I am not familiar with the rules of email writing yet. I just got email yesterday.
Again, I apologize.
Does this mean I am on red alert and can't send emails to anyone? Even my cousin Lucy who does not work at the Daily Planet?
Please write back,
Okay, well I needed a good laugh.
I have a theory. About who started the fires, I mean. It's Friday now. As in one week and five days since I told Clark we're through.
Anyway, I have spent the last few days trying to crack this whole thing open. There have been strange things happening since the fire.
Tuesday, the day after the fire, the Metropolis Star's front page headline read: "SUPERMAN OR GOD?" and the article went on to talk about how Superman knew about both fires, but attended first to the daycare center, a decision which "killed" three people and left others very seriously injured. It told the stories of the people who had died. A young woman who worked on the staff at the nursing home among them. The article opened up with the line from a family member of one of the victims, "I just kept wondering why Superman didn't save her; he was right there!" It went on to say that Superman picks and chooses who to save. The article theorized that he "balances life on some Kryptonian hierarchy".
It was positively nauseating.
My heart fell when I saw Clark's expression drop as he read the article, which was on his desk Tuesday morning. I didn't realize that Jimmy had put it there, wanting everyone to "see the trash being sold on the stands."
That issue sold twice as much as our issue, which had the headline "TWIN INFERNOS LIGHT UP METROPOLIS: ARSON SUSPECTED". Apparently, people prefer to read garbage as opposed to real news.
If that wasn't bad enough, some Planet employees started speculating about whether or not Superman does think some lives are more important than others. They were wondering if he made choices about who to save. Surely, they reasoned, he must— and the amount of people and families that were devastated by his decisions was just an afterthought.
My suggestion that they all pack up and go work at the Star was met with snide comments about how I needn't worry; Superman would always choose me, even over a bus of little schoolchildren.
The whole conversation was completely asinine to me and it didn't even seem worth it to reason with these people, so I walked away.
But this has been the way most conversations in Metropolis have been going this week. People are completely buying into this propaganda. It probably just helps them to feel better about themselves— and to feel like they are better than him.
I suggested to Perry that we write an editorial to argue it, but he said they were not slandering Superman. What they were printing was not even considered tabloid trash. I was appalled to hear this, of course, but understood a minute later when Perry explained that all they did was print facts and give a different angle about what the facts meant than we did.
And people have always loved to have a scapegoat. For the first time since his arrival, it looked like Superman was fulfilling that role. Blame was being put on him and everyone was starting to believe it was true.
I've never seen someone walk around like they had the weight of the world on their shoulders more than him this week.
And why not? He does whatever he can and all people can seem to do is hold against him what he can't do.
And while the Daily Planet still prints stories that glorify him and emphasize how much he helped at those fires and the death rate had he not helped at all, people just prefer to read the other paper. The other headline. The horrible, horrible lies.
On Wednesday, something suspicious happened. At least I think it was suspicious. I don't think this, like the fires, is just a coincidence.
Two cars "lost control of their brakes at the same time" on different sides of the city, and were heading (surprise!) for a cliff. It happened so quickly, that Superman was able to catch one car and save its inhabitants, while the other car plummeted, killing an old man.
The Metropolis Star (surprise!) had an edition out an hour later; they just happened to have reporters at both sites.
The story in their afternoon edition stated that Superman once again played God, and then told the sob story about this old man going to see his granddaughter's recital. There were quotes from the teary nine-year-old (of course!) and a photo that was taken of Superman from who knows when, showing him shrugging his shoulders nonchalantly. The photo was supposed to imply, I suppose, that Superman watched the car fall off the cliff and shrugged his shoulders in an "Oh, well" manner.
I'm about ready to scream!
BUT… not until I prove that my theory is correct.
The theory? That The Metropolis Star is behind these "coincidences."
Once, about two years ago, when Preston Carpenter was the head of their paper, similar things happened, in which the Star was able to scoop us repeatedly, selling many more papers than us as a result. It turned out then that they were staging those "accidents" so they could scoop us and get a few juicy headlines. But Carpenter went to jail and that was that.
And this feels different, somehow. Like there's more to it.
Okay, I can barely write for all the noise that is outside right now. I have to see…
Yeah, it was from an Anti-Superman rally.
It looked like half the city gathered outside the Daily Planet to shout out horrible things, such as "Go home, Superman!"
They were holding up signs with his picture on them and a red line stricken through it.
I couldn't believe it.
It was a Superman hate-rally.
That wasn't the worst sight I saw outside, though. When I looked around the crowd, I noticed something on its outskirts that made my heart feel like it had shattered.
He was standing there, listening to all those people talking about… HIM. Telling him to go home.
I don't think I'll ever forget the look I saw on his face.
I walked over and put a hand on his arm.
"Clark? Clark, don't listen to this. These people do not know what they're talking about," I said.
He looked at me and smiled half-heartedly. "They do. They know what they're talking about. Even YOU know what they're talking about," he said, resignedly.
"Well now I don't know what YOU'RE talking about," I said.
"Lois, you don't want me around anymore. You don't think of me as any kind of hero—just a liar with stupid powers I might as well use. Now apparently the world feels the same way. If I didn't get the hint before…" he trailed off, staring at the angry crowd.
My mouth fell open a little. What was he saying?
"As it was, Lois, without you, my will to stay in Metropolis— watch you date and have a normal life while I sit idly by thinking of something, ANYTHING, I could have done differently— was already starting to vanish. Now that everyone wants me to leave and thinks I am some kind of anti-hero, why should I stay? No one wants me around."
"Where would you go? Superman AND Clark can't just pick up and go somewhere else," I said, making sure no one could hear us.
My gaze bore into his.
"Clark would go back to Smallville. Live with his parents. No one would know what ever became of him. He'll have them and eventually be alone. And that will be his life. I thought at one point, Lois, that that would be my life. I'm not too proud for it now. And Superman… he'll go to the opposite side of the world, or something, and see if they want his help there," he
Something inside of me starting physically hurting, and suddenly my throat felt like it was closing up, making it hard to breathe.
I couldn't think.
I didn't know what to say.
So I said something totally random.
"You talk about yourself in the third person," I said.
"My mom complains about me doing that," he said, looking beyond me at the protestors—people who once worshipped him who had suddenly just gone cold to him.
"Clark, you can't just walk away," I said, my eyes filling up with tears.
"Think of it, then, as me being more or less asked to leave. Kicked out. Refused," he finished, looking down at me.
I swallowed hard and found that I didn't want to look at him and see that pain in his eyes, but not able to look away.
"Clark, I don't want you to leave," I said, my voice shaking.
"You want me to stick around so you can ignore me and I can love you from ten feet away? For how long? Are you going to angrily request that I attend your next wedding as well?"
"Clark, stop," I said, getting angry.
"Lois, you don't trust me."
"Because you lied—"
"—which I can't undo. And I can't make you trust me. You said we can't have any kind of a relationship without trust."
"I just need time to figure out what's in my heart, and how I can learn to trust you again. If I can learn… but Clark, you're still my friend. And I want to be here for—"
I looked up at him.
"It's not enough for ME," he said.
And then he walked away.
Disappeared into the crowd.
And then all I could hear was the roar of "Go home, Superman!" and "You're not welcome anymore!" echoing in the night.
Which was when I started crying.
Sitting at my desk now, I just WISH I could figure out what is going on in my heart, so I can stop hurting and stop Clark from hurting too. But Clark is right; I can't trust him yet. And could we just be friends?
All I know for sure is that I do not want him to leave.
And I need a plan.
SO… I'm going to do something I really hate to do.
Call Linda King and arrange our dinner plans for this evening.
Is it possible to ALREADY have a headache from her voice?
Came home from dinner and checked my email. Let me ask you if you want to be me… even for a second.
TO: Lane, Lois <firstname.lastname@example.org>
FROM: Lane, Mom <email@example.com>
RECEIVED: Friday, May 31, 7:02 PM
LOIS YOU HAVE NOT WRITTEN ME BACK. AND CINDY SAID SHE RECEIVED A THREATENING E-MAIL FROM YOUR TECHNOLOGY PEOPLE. I WOULD HAVE THAT CHECKED OUT. WHAT IF I HAD AN emergency (sorry, I didn't mean to "yell") and I forgot your phone number and address and had to send you an urgent e-mail? How would I do that if your technology people are reading this. If technology people are reading this: listen, I think it is some kind of violation of first amendment rights to withhold mail from someone. The post office doesn't open envelopes. You shouldn't open my daughter's e-mail. If this is in the hands of the technology department, you must also work at the Daily Planet. If so, I have to ask you, because my daughter would never tell me this: why did she and Clark break up?
That's my mom. If she had an EMERGENCY and forgot my phone number and address… what a mom, by the way, forgetting those things… she would NEED to use this technology that she only learned about, what, YESTERDAY?
And screening emails is now a violation of first amendment rights? Oh, she is too much. I think I enjoyed THAT more than Cindy's email to the "IT Department." It's sort of fun playing with the minds of those in my family who are not very familiar with the Internet!
I have to call Lucy, as she has sent me this email:
TO: Lane, Lois <firstname.lastname@example.org>
FROM: Lane, Lucy <email@example.com>
RECEIVED: Friday, May 31, 9:10 PM
You're my new idol! That was classic, what you did with Cindy! And mom fell for it too! I wish I'd thought of it myself. I actually responded to Cindy. And now we're getting together for a single girls' night on the town. Gag me! She wanted me to extend an invitation to you and I am doing it here, since you don't answer your phone. I figure if you wrote her that email, though, you probably will say no. I'll just assume as much.
I'm actually writing because I'm worried about you, sis. Last time I saw you, I could practically see your heart breaking just by looking in your eyes. And when I saw Clark outside the Planet after lunch… well, I tried to be all tough sister about it, but I felt awful seeing him too!
You're both so heartbroken, I am losing sleep! If ever two people deserved to be happy, it's you two!
Please call me. I'm honestly worried. I need to know that you're okay.
PS- What is up with those things in downtown Metropolis? The world, like, HATES Superman! Are they forgetting how many times he's saved our planet? Honestly, it's like yellow journalism and sensationalism all over again. I learned about this in a class last semester. People will believe ANYTHING.
PPS- CALL ME!!!!
I just got off the phone with Lucy. I assured her I was not about to drink poison or anything and was going to be okay. I told her that Clark and I are at least speaking (I decided not to mention that the last words he spoke to me indicated that he was planning on leaving forever, what with me and the world hating him and all) and she was elated.
She is assuming it'll just take some time and we'll be good as new.
It's not THAT easy, but she's my little sister. And it's just sort of a habit to make her feel better. So I said that I agreed, and that was that. She was very happy.
Her email had intrigued me, so I quickly steered the conversation toward this yellow journalism thing she had mentioned.
That, combined with my enlightening dinner with Linda (cannot believe I just said that either) has at least given me a plan. And that is all I really wanted.
I actually have a lot to do, so I will write more later, once I have figured out what I'm doing.
I need to organize my thoughts. Usually when I work on a story, I take notes. Lots and lots of notes. That is how I draw those brilliant conclusions that millions of people read. I write EVERYTHING down and then stare at it, until the answer jumps out at me. Since this story is a little more personal to me and I'm actively writing in this diary again (I finally admitted it's a diary without joking around about it or anything! I AM making progress!), I thought I'd write everything in here, since I'll eventually write it in here anyway. Between Linda and Lucy, the answer is here. I just have to organize and figure everything out…
Okay, we'll start with Linda King (just to get her out of the way!):
So, at dinner, Linda told me the reason for her trip to Metropolis right now had to do with the skyrocketing success (of late) of the Metropolis Star. But not after first annoying me about Clark.
"Are you sad? Do you think about him day and night?" she asked, as if she cared or something. But with that look in her eyes that said she was just trying to REALLY get under my skin.
"He's never far from my thoughts," I lied. Because he IS my thoughts. Every thought is devoted to that man. But I couldn't ADMIT that. It made me seem like such a, I don't know… girl. But Linda smiled, like she knew some secret. She can be so righteous!
"So, Linda… since I didn't come to dinner to discuss Clark with you…" I said, giving her an encouraging look.
"Right. The recent booming sales of the Metropolis Star… This whole thing is a lot like what happened last year with my ex- boss, wouldn't you agree?" Linda asked, throwing a strand of red, now mid-back length hair over her shoulder and smiling at me deviously.
You know, seeing her wasn't like I thought it would be. It most certainly wasn't like it was last year. I'll be the first to admit, she looked good. The teasing in her tone, even, was no longer really mischievous, but rather good-natured (as good- natured as she can be, anyway). She seemed happier about her life or something, and in turn less interested in knocking me down a few notches. She still poked fun at me any chance she got, but I think it was to see how I'd react, like she thought it was a fun game or something.
"Ah, yes. The jailbird, Preston Carpenter," I said, sipping wine.
"That name gives me chills," she said. "And not in a good way."
"I'll bet," I said.
A look on her face made me suddenly feel a little bad for her. I mean, Paul in college and Preston Carpenter. Two men in authority positions that made her into nothing but a pretty face and a sex object. Don't get me wrong, she was not Little Miss Innocent in either situation. But while Paul had been a senior hottie, Preston Carpenter was a dirty old man and her boss. Her real boss in the real world. Not college. How many other men, I wondered, had put Linda in that position? It made me feel bad because we'd been friends once, and seeing her tonight, I could actually remember why. I could remember her good qualities. How she could challenge anything, just to have a battle of wits. How she'd tease and you'd see a happy glimmer in her eyes. Freshman year, she was the only girl I'd met who had goals and aspirations and a brain in her head that told me she could accomplish them. We'd been friends. And just now, I felt bad that that road in life she'd paved for herself had hit a few bumps she couldn't have wanted or foreseen.
"Anyway," she said, after a long moment, breaking me from those thoughts, "I came here to find out what I could. You see, that old man who drove off the cliff? He was my grand-uncle."
My mouth fell open. "Your grand-uncle? There has to be a connection! I mean, Carpenter must have wanted revenge on you for putting him away. And he was always obsessed with the Star being the number one paper in Metropolis," I said in a hurry. Then, remembering myself, I cleared my throat. "And I'm very sorry for your loss," I amended. There, I felt a little better.
She waved her hand. "I barely knew him. But he was my only remaining relative."
"That's it? You have no other family?" I asked. I realize now, of course, that I was probably not making the said loss of her only remaining relative less painful.
"No. No family, but lots of friends," she said, and I guess I made a face at that because she laughed. "Okay, I wasn't always the best friend and made moves to get all the attention when I was younger, but believe it or not, I have a lot of friends now. Actually, because of you."
"Because of me?"
"Yeah. When I ruined our friendship, I had no more friends. It was pretty lonely. And when Paul and I broke up, I realized it was a good situation to have friends in, but I didn't have any. So I started treating people better, would you believe it, and made quite a lot of friends in the following years, and have been as good to them as they've been to me, and now… they're my family. I've learned, you don't have to be related to people by blood to call them family. So don't feel sorry for me because I lost a grand-uncle I barely knew. I don't think of myself as an orphan. Anymore, anyway."
Her words immediately made me think of Clark. He wasn't blood related to the Kents. I knew that, of course, but I hadn't actually consciously thought about it until Linda gave that whole spiel about blood and family and stuff. I never saw a closer family in my life than the Kents. They would all do anything for each other and told each other everything. I know Clark loves them so much and would protect them with everything in him, which was probably a main reason he hid his secret so well. To protect them. And everyone else he knew. But I didn't want to think about Clark just then, so I got back on track, steering the conversation back to Linda's theories about Carpenter.
"So the man who drove off that cliff was related to you? You, the woman who put the editor-in-chief of the Metropolis Star behind bars over a year ago," I claimed, just to get it all straight and be sure we were on the same page.
"There's more," she said.
"More than that? Spill it," I said, feeling like a Freshman in college, again, actually. That first semester, when Linda and I had become friends, we'd sit for hours talking about potential stories about the football team and student-teacher sex scandals and whatnot in the café in the quad. We were both so excited to be out of silly high school and in serious college where we could be serious journalists (I know, I know, but we were young!).
"Well, that nursing home that burned down? He was a resident there. He happened to be out the day of the fire, though."
My mouth fell open. "Well, someone certainly wanted to finish that job. Poor man probably thought he got out lucky, not being there when the place burned down. But that doesn't explain why someone would also burn down the daycare center. And why they'd send another car off a cliff at the same time as his."
"This is why I'm here," she said. That got me. I mean, she hasn't been actively reporting since she moved to Hollywood to make that movie and now she rides in all high and mighty. We have the biggest case of the year, possibly, right here, and I'm on it! I am an investigative reporter and have won numerous awards for being one (even though I know, when discussing these awards the other day I was ready to return them all, but that was for a personal reason. Professionally I deserved them! A whole committee of people thought so, anyway.).
"Oh, well, if YOU'RE here," I said, with much attitude.
"Relax, Lois. I meant I'm here to tell you what I think, since I used to be on the inside at that paper."
"Oh." I pouted, knowing I looked pretty foolish.
"Okay, the new editor-in-chief is this guy—"
"Henry David, I know," I said.
"Henry and I were good friends. He didn't like Preston much and used to say in emails to me, after I stopped working there, that Preston was so stupid. That he sort of had the right idea about selling papers but went about it all wrong. He said something about forming the public's opinion, not just having reporters at certain scenes as they unfolded. He said if he were Preston Carpenter, he wouldn't have been so stupid and would have sold much more papers."
I nodded. This was good. This definitely seemed like someone crazy enough to take Preston Carpenter's scandal up a few notches in heat. And two fires ARE pretty hot. Just one thing… "But if you're his friend, why would HE target your only remaining relative?"
"He came to California shortly after I quit and asked me out. I said no."
"You always have attracted the winners," I said, dryly.
"I told him," she continued, like she hadn't heard me, "that I was trying to get a new life for myself together, and I wasn't ready for that kind of commitment. In reality, between you and me, he was about as high as my shoulders and balding, and well, I like a guy more like… Clark. The gentle, sweet and gorgeous type. Unfortunately, he seems to be the only one of the kind on this planet, and he's spoken for," she said. She smirked at me, knowing she made me blush, and continued. "Anyway, Henry took the rejection pretty badly, saying I'd be sorry when he was rich and famous, making the Metropolis Star the number one paper in the whole world. Then I would wish I had married him or something crazy like that. I thought he was nuts. I wished him luck, though, reminding him that after the Carpenter scandal, numbers were way down and the paper was in danger of being shut down."
"Great. Gasoline on the fire," I said.
"I'll tell you one thing, though," she said, leaning forward. I leaned forward too, like she was about to reveal the secrets of
the universe to me. "Henry is brilliant. His writing is amazing. He can spin any story and make you believe it. And he always loved a real challenge, something that made him work especially hard. He mixes logic with emotion and can really make you doubt opinions you thought you had. He is from a family of politicians," she added, rolling her eyes. "He's incredibly smart. But one thing he couldn't do if he wanted to is orchestrate a crime. Not like Preston. When it comes to those kind of logistics, he's a complete amateur."
She sat back and looked at me with her eyebrows raised.
I took this in. I started thinking out loud.
"So maybe he went to him for help. But he hated him. And why would Preston Carpenter help this man? Unless there was something in it for him…and this all still doesn't explain about the daycare center and the other car…"
"Do you know how to get the truth out of a man, Lois?" she asked cunningly.
"I'll ask. How, Linda?"
"Take them right to the edge. And then, they'll tell you. Which is why I'm going to see an old friend tomorrow. My old boss," she said, standing up and putting a $20 on the table.
I sat back and thought about everything we'd discussed.
I looked up at her.
"Don't let him get away."
"Huh?" I asked. Don't let Carpenter get away? Henry? I had no idea what she was talking about.
"Clark," she said.
"Whatever happened… it's not worth it. Not this time," she added after a moment.
She looked at me intently and sort of knowingly and then walked out of the restaurant.
Clark… yeah, so this is not the time to think about what Linda said regarding Clark, and to ponder my relationship (or lack thereof) with him. God knows I've been doing that enough lately anyway. I need to think about the other things Linda mentioned. But while I let these notes sit and the ink dry, I'll get going on what Lucy said.
Lucy took this whole class and was really interested in this yellow journalism thing (it really made her want to be a reporter, until I became one and she decided reporting must be for boring people… real nice sister, huh?). Anyway, here are the basics, as compiled from my sister and the internet:
The most basic description: Yellow journalism is a type of journalism in which sensationalism triumphs over factual reporting.
The more detailed:
In the 1890s, there were these intense newspaper wars between Joseph Pulitzer, of the New York World, and William Randolph Hearst, of the Journal. Newspapers began to compete more and more with one another to increase circulation and obtain more advertising revenue. The result: Yellow Journalism ("YJ" from now on). YJ was basically sensational and scandalous news coverage, which used more drawings and less writing.
It was common for a newspaper to report the editor's interpretation of the news rather than objective journalism. (Hmmm…) And if the information reported was inaccurate or biased, the American public had little means for verification. With this sort of influence, the newspapers had a lot of political power. The reporting included the use of colorful adjectives, exaggeration, a careless lack of fact-checking for the sake of a quick breaking news story, or even deliberate falsification of entire incidents.
Probably the most famous anecdotal example of YJ is often repeated as having come from Hearst, who sent an illustrator to Cuba to report on the Spanish-American War ("the first press- driven war"). The story goes that the guy wired home, saying that all seemed peaceful and that he wished to return. Hearst is reputed to have replied, in a telegram, "You furnish the pictures, and I'll furnish the war."
Ooh, a direct quote from the internet: "journalism of the 1890s used melodrama, romance, and hyperbole to sell millions of newspapers—"
Also, YJ relied on sensationalist headlines to sell newspapers.
And that's basically the gist of it. (Lucy said to rent Newsies if I am still confused). But I get it. There's more to it than I've written here; I am not being completely detailed, but this is not a report for school. It's a diary entry, and a pretty boring one at that, considering I have not once gone off about the matters of my heart (is that a good thing? Maybe I am over this whole Clark-thing!..)
I smile when I picture him, even still. His smile. His laugh. His warm body. His welcome arms. His nature and his eyes. His chest, his heart… he's so…
So that covers it. I guess I'm not. Over it, I mean. But it was nice to focus on work for an entire evening.
And now I am going to bed.
It's 3 am and I just have a thought I want to get down:
What would a man who wanted to mold the public's opinion with a sensational story, who loved a good challenge, write about?
I know one thing… I'd feel pretty brilliant if I could make people believe that the hero of millions was our enemy.
Just a thought…
Will get back to that in the morning.
It's 3:07 am now. One more thought. It's kind of random.
You know what I miss? Doughnuts. I haven't had a doughnut (donut?) in over two weeks. I know I could get myself a doughnut in the morning, but it's not the same as when… when one is brought TO me. Besides, the taste of them reminds me of… of better days. I miss…
Okay, and NOW to bed!
So, it's Sunday now and Linda called me. Let's just say I hung up with her and immediately called Perry to set up a press conference for tomorrow morning. And while I'm at it, let me just say one more thing: Superman is about to be saved.
I'm happier than I should be considering I'm still mad at him. I mean… aren't I? I don't even know anymore. It's very frustrating. One second I hate him and want him out of my life and want to turn my back on him forever. The next second, the world feels the same way and I've never been one to agree with the world, so there you've got me.
I guess in the end, he is still my best friend. And someone I really care about. So… I will save him. After all, he's acting like such a sad victim, I know he's not about to save himself. He needs me. Plus, this whole thing is beyond wrong on so many levels, and I am nothing if not Mad Dog Lane down deep and cannot just sit idly by and let this happen. Henry David, meet the wrath of Lois Lane. Tomorrow, that is. That man will not know what hit him.
I rented Newsies and am watching that right now, as I write. Purely for research purposes. Okay, okay—the decision to rent it was also partly brought about by boredom. I'll admit it… my days (and especially my weekends) have been pretty boring for the last two weeks. I guess I never realized how much of my free time was spent with him…
I have to say, I have the utmost respect for anyone who looked at that ugly Yellow Journalism thing and thought "This would make a great musical!"
Lucy and Jimmy are on their way over. I needed some help with a little addition to my press conference. Something that will knock the pedestal right out from under him. Henry, I mean. Not Jimmy.
I haven't seen Clark this weekend. I was worried yesterday that he might try to leave like he said he was going to. I checked the news and saw that he had prevented a plane from crashing (the man who used to tell me that in his spare time, he relaxed and read books and took the occasional walk in the park) and then was helping the pilots discover what had gone wrong. I used that time to head over to his apartment and make sure, I don't know, that it was still there or something.
I walked in and stood on the landing (I didn't break in, calm down, I had a key). I took in the familiar room before me. The couch we had sat on a million times, talking, laughing, working, watching movies, making out (more recently, that is). The kitchen where he had cooked me so many wonderful meals, which always smelled of… something good… it smelled like… home. It's strange… the house that I grew up in never smelled of good home- cooking, and was never bubbling over with Partridge Family-like love. How would I know what 'home' smelled like? But that is what Clark's kitchen always smelled like to me… which was why I always loved visiting him. Even before we started dating. His place was always like a fuzzy blanket in the cold, a happy place… a safe place.
The phone rang, while I was standing there, and I remember jumping, like someone had come up behind me with a gun. I almost turned and ran out of the apartment, knowing he could come in any second… but I just stood there, listening to the phone ring three times, knowing it would lead to his answering machine message and I could hear his voice. And okay, I kind of wanted to hear what kind of message he'd get. I'm nosy, I know. I'm a reporter! Anyway, it was Martha. Ask yourself how bad you'd feel if you were me listening to this:
"Hi honey. Just calling to say… give it time. She'll come around. Lois is smart, honey. She was hurt and you have to understand that. She is smart though, and she loves you; I know she does. And I know how much you love her. Just hang on. Love always wins in the end. And you are NOT coming back home to Smallville. You are staying in Metropolis or your father and I will not speak to you. And I'm also calling to remind you to eat. I can tell from TV that you're not eating. You should, though. Your body is used to it, and enough days could lead to… well I don't know. But eat. I love you. Call me."
When the message beeped, signaling its end, I inhaled deeply. I couldn't smell anything. There was no aroma coming from the kitchen, to indicate a meal had been cooked there recently. I wondered just how long Clark had been going without eating. And when I thought back to the news program, I thought he did look different. I hadn't been sure what the difference was, but now I could tell. He was a little thinner. Paler. He looked exhausted. All in all—he looked like he wasn't taking care of himself right.
I left his apartment, knowing that he was not about to leave… yet. His stuff was still all scattered around. My heart suddenly felt heavy with concern for my best friend and… I don't know… something else… so I went back home to bury myself in my work.
But I am not hiding from my feelings! I swear! I am merely trying to save his butt so I can then focus on my heart and figure out what's making that thing tick… or beat, rather.
"Open the gates and seize the day!" This movie has pretty good music! I fully intend to seize the day and end this new-age YJ- thing, just like those newsboys in the movie. Yeah! Positive thinking…
Ooh, Lucy and Jimmy are here to help me execute Mission: Possible. You see, I named it this because Clark seems to think this whole thing is impossible, whilst I keep an optimistic air about me. Hmm… usually it's the other way around. NOT THE POINT. Gotta go.
Will write more later!
Mission: Possible is all a-go! And not a moment too soon—Linda just called and told me the headline for tomorrow's edition of The Metropolis Star is 'SUPERMAN SAYS: YOU LIVE, YOU DIE. Brilliant, huh? It's about that plane Clark prevented from crashing yesterday (which he made a statement on TV saying went down because of 'faulty wiring'). When it crashed, another plane went down in another part of the world. Those people didn't live. I am shocked beyond words that no one has caught onto all these amazing 'coincidences' that have been happening lately (only in the Star, no less), regarding Superman's rescue efforts.
But oh well, that all ends tomorrow!
I am too excited to write!
They came. So many of them came. My hands are shaking so much, I'm not sure how I'm writing legibly. And I am not sure how I managed to run a press conference either! But I did. I can't remember a thing I said, but Jimmy taped it. And someone from the Planet had a transcript ready practically a half hour later, so I will paste here what was said… and write who, in the end, was arrested (probably not hard to guess that one, huh?)
Okay, I'll set the scene.
Centennial Park, Monday, 10 AM. A beautiful day. Green grass, blue sky. Lots of people…
I decided to hold this conference in a public place, as it was not just open to the press. It couldn't even, for that matter, really be called a press conference. I had something to say… and I wanted the public to hear it for themselves.
So I was standing on this platform, searching through the crowd for a particular person's face… someone I hadn't seen at work in the morning and was frantically wondering about the location of. Clark. I was looking for Clark. But there were too many people. You see, I had Lucy and Jimmy act as my hollering newsboys, so to say, like in Newsies. When they came over last night, we had made flyers with the information about the conference, which was titled "GOD OR SUPERMAN: COME FIND OUT". Lucy and Jimmy managed to get those flyers put up all over Metropolis (with the help of a few of Jimmy's friends) and handed out to as many people as possible and as a result… well, there were definitely way too many faces for me to be able to possibly spot my partner in the crowd.
So locating Clark seemed to be a lost cause just then, and Perry was impatiently pointing at his watch (he had no idea what kind of mission I was on), as I was running a few minutes behind. So I decided to get started.
"Ladies and gentlemen," I started—and that was as far as I got before Henry David butted in
"Miss Lane, the public is not usually included at press conferences."
"Well, Mr. David, I have my reasons," I said in a chilly tone, trying to suppress my nerves.
He looked around him, back at the public, and took a deep breath, his nostrils flaring. I could tell he was very annoyed.
"Ladies and gentlemen," I started again, shooting Henry David a quick, pointed look that said I knew what I was doing and he SHOULD be afraid, before looking at the confused faces of the public again. "There are a few things I want to discuss here today. The first thing is Superman. Now, before you all start booing him and telling him to leave again, I just want to say a few words." I looked around. I'd gone over this speech in my head all night last night. And now—I had confidence. "Tsunami. Space Station Prometheus. Pheromone. Lex Luthor. Intergang. Bureau 39. Cyborgs. Clones. Preston Carpenter. Invisible Man. The Toasters. Metro Gang. Car crashes. Fires. Plane crashes. Wars… Superman. Could you please raise your hand if your life has ever been spared by one of Superman's efforts?"
I looked around, pleased to see many hands shoot, if hesitatingly at first, into the air.
"Okay. I can see how many people have been saved in individual efforts. Now I am going to add one more word to that list I just gave. Then, please, another show of hands." I waited two seconds (for dramatic effect). "Asteroid."
At that, the hands of everyone (minus Henry David) at the conference rose into the air. I let out a breath I didn't even realize I'd been holding.
"Everyone here. And let's just picture the hands raised of everyone that is not here, too, also raised. Because over a year ago, Superman saved the world. The whole world. The population of the world last year, by the way, was five billion, 533 million, 677 thousand and sixty-four. He risked his life when he saved us that time. He never even thought about it. He did it because he came here to help, as he stated when he first arrived. He came to do whatever he could do. Without hesitation or doubt, he comes in and saves the day, sparing the lives of so many people as a result. He does it every single day. He wants to do it. He just wants so badly… to help. And we've all been affected by him. Whether he's saved our lives or the life of one of our friends or family members or just given us hope in a desperate situation, he has affected us with the things he can do."
I looked around, seeing people begin to nod their heads slowly, taking it in.
"How can we hold against him the things he can't do? You see, Superman never claimed to be God. He never claimed to be able to save everyone all the time and in every situation. As a matter of fact, I know for a fact that it tears him up when he can't get there in time—when someone dies. Even if he was saving someone else at the time, he hates to see a situation where he could've helped if he had been there. Cops and firemen, in addition to other professionals in other fields, face that same kind of torment. They harbor those same kinds of demons," I said, looking to the right where I had asked the Metropolis PD and Fire Department to stand. They were all nodding their heads, solemn expressions on their faces. Henderson looked bored, like he knew all this and had something better he could be doing, but whatever. He stayed.
"Everyone has been telling him to leave lately. Telling him he's not welcome anymore. And I am pretty sure that he is now considering doing it. Leaving." At that, I could hear shocked murmurs in the crowd. Perfect. "Now, in one sense, if he left, at the first sign of a crisis or danger, we would want him back. And that's okay… that's not selfish—it's the human condition. We want to continue living, right? Superman has saved us so many times that we believe he can save us in a crisis. We want him to. More importantly, though… if he left, what would we believe in? Because even in the times where he can't save someone, he at least gives them hope. He gives us all hope. He is good and kind and wants justice to persevere. He's honest… and what he does is completely selfless. He's never wanted anything from us in return for what he does. I just think we've all lost track of some of these important things lately. The Metropolis Star has given everyone here food for thought, which has led to this way of thinking. This leads me to the other thing I wanted to discuss today."
I looked around, wanting to make sure everyone was still with me. They all looked immensely interested now (except for Henry David— he looked about ready to explode). I spotted Linda off to the side of the crowd. She winked when I looked her way. A good sign—this meant she had the evidence she said she would have. This gave me the ammunition to continue strongly.
"Somebody is 'playing God', so to say. Somebody IS abusing their power. And it's not Superman. How strange is it that that retirement home and daycare center downtown went up in flames simultaneously? How strange is it that two cars went off cliffs on opposite sides of town at the exact same time, both due to cut wires on the brakes? How strange is it that yesterday two planes went down, also due to faulty wiring? We all know that Superman cannot be in two places at once. Why is this an issue now? There have, for sure, been times in the past where someone died when Superman was saving someone else. It happens. It's always been there, as the worst part of his job and just a cold, hard, realistic fact. The Star is the only paper covering these current stories, intending to make a monster out of him because of it—now. It uses photographs that show him shrugging nonchalantly, as if he sat back and whistled "Home On the Range" while a car fell off a cliff before his eyes. It uses testimonials from people who are grieving for the loss of loved ones, who were wondering where Superman was. In a moment of grief, you want something to put your anger on, someone to blame. For a moment, some grief-stricken people were angry at Superman, because he was busy saving someone else and they suffered."
I looked around. And now, the closing: "I'll bet you've all heard the famous quote from William Randolph Hearst, 'You furnish the pictures and I'll furnish the war.'" I saw many people nodding their heads. "This was from a period in the 1890s called Yellow Journalism, which was basically sensational and scandalous news coverage. It used more pictures and less facts. It sold papers by turning life into a cheap melodrama. It relied on sensationalist headlines to sell newspapers. It INTERPRETED the news in a way that would basically increase the paper's revenue. And basically, in the end, it lied to the general public. I could be wrong, but what Henry David is doing with his paper right now, sounds a whole lot like Yellow Journalism."
Linda came up on stage at this point and told the people who she was and said she had a little something to share with them:
"Henry David is an idiot," the tape started.
"That's Preston Carpenter, the former editor-in-chief of the Metropolis Star," she explained to the people.
"He had a good idea," the voice of Preston Carpenter continued, "to stage some events, and instead of just reporting them, going that extra step to help coerce the public to think Superman is the enemy. But he has no idea how to cover his freaking tracks." (Note—the tape did not say freaking… but I want to keep this diary PG). "Those fires have arson written all over them, and he had his men at that scene as that thing started. He had two employees at the car shop where those cars were tampered with. He came to me for help and I helped him figure out how to stage incidents, so to say, but he's not an executioner. Not at all. One of his men was at the Metropolis Airport before that plane took off, and snuck off and then decided not to fly on that flight. He sold more papers with his way of doing things, but I'll be shocked if he makes it another week before becoming my cellmate," he said with a gruff laugh.
"Me too," Linda's voice said.
And then she stopped the tape.
I saw Henry David getting ready to book it, but Henderson—good old Henderson—was right there, handcuffs ready, backup with him. Henry looked at me and Linda like he wanted to kill us. But then Henderson turned his face away from us and led him to his car and out of my sight forever.
I looked at Linda. "All right!" I said, super impressed by that tape. I know, since I was holding the conference, that I was supposed to act like I knew about the tape and what was on it and not act all excited like that, but I couldn't help it. I didn't think the tape would have that much on it! Wow! I have to find out just exactly what she did to get him to open up like that! Hm… maybe I don't want to know.
I looked back at the people, content that they'd heard enough. Enough to know what the Metropolis Star was all about and enough to know what Superman, more importantly, was all about.
It was as I was getting ready to walk off the platform that I noticed a woman standing near me, on it. She looked scared out of her mind.
"Can I help you?" I asked.
"I…" She walked over to the microphone. "I, um, I held one of those signs," she said, all ashamedly. I felt bad for her. But proud too, because she was really really shaking, but was addressing everyone, all the same. "I held one of those awful signs, with a line through his picture. I… I want to apologize to him. To Superman. Where is he?" she asked timidly, turning to me for the answer.
"I'm not—" I started.
"I'm right here."
Clark… as Superman… walked onto the platform. I hadn't been that close to him since that anti-Superman rally outside the Planet. This… this was a much better atmosphere to be seeing him in, because the moment he got on that platform, the whole crowd starting applauding. The look on his face was… it made everything even more worth it. He smiled genuinely.
"Thank you," he said.
"Superman, I am so sorry," that woman said again. "My name is Debra Green and I held one of those silly signs. I didn't think about any of those things that Miss Lane said, I just believed the other stuff… I feel so stupid," she said, looking ready to cry. But looking a little starstruck too. She kept looking Clark up and down. It was starting to make me, well, want to escort her offstage. And turn her around.
"You are stupid," someone from the crowd said. "So am I."
"Me too!" voices began to chime.
The 'me toos' were mixed with lots of 'I'm sorrys'.
"I do not think anyone here is in any way stupid," Clark said. "I just don't think ANYONE, even those in the newspaper industry, realize how powerful the media is. People tend to believe what they read, especially when they read it in a respectable newspaper. The Metropolis Star has always been a respectable paper in this city—"
I muttered something under my breath at that, which made Clark look at me in that warning way that he used to always look at me. It was like old times. I smiled coyly. "—until recently," I amended.
"Please stay," Debra Green said. Although she looked like she wanted to say 'Please stay and I'll buy you dinner'.
Clark smiled. It was then that I realized how much I missed his smile. In the past, it's always made everything right with my life. Just then, I realized how much was still wrong with my life (even if I had succeeded in saving him, so to say). How much I needed that smile to make things right again.
"I would love to stay and help in any ways that I can, if I'm welcome to," he said.
The crowd erupted with applause and cheering and my heart felt like it was soaring. He was going to stay! I was so elated, I could barely think!
After Clark—or Superman, rather—answered some questions from members of the press regarding the faulty wiring on the planes that went down the day before, he walked over to me. I was standing way away from everyone, where no one would overhear us, should he come and talk to me (which, okay, I had hoped he would).
As he approached, I got a familiar (and okay, excited) feeling of butterflies in my stomach. I could feel my heart rate speed up. I was nervous. Actually nervous to talk to my best friend.
"Lois," he said, when he was close to me. "Thank you. You really saved me this time," he said.
"Well, I think I might have owed you one," I said, which made him (and then me) laugh.
"I… I couldn't have done that myself. Everything you said, I mean, I think somewhere I knew it… but I was too close to it. I was ready to give up without a fight. You fought for me and you won. I'll never forget that," he finished.
"Sometimes even the hero of millions needs saving. I think you, too, need to have hope in a crisis that someone might come in and rescue you when you need it."
He smiled, sort of sadly.
"So you're staying, then?" I asked, casually. Well, I tried to make it seem casual anyway.
"What about… what about you?" I asked, feeling something sinking in me.
He shrugged, doing a miserable job at shielding the pain in his eyes. "I can't," he said.
"You'd leave just because we're not together?"
"Yeah. I never claimed to be some independent person who doesn't need anyone. That was you. I need you. I don't want to sit by knowing I can't have you. Not after… not after I know what it's like. To be able to love you openly and see that you love me too. I know what that's like, Lois. And if we can't have that back, I can't be here. Not now anyway. Maybe someday. But not this day. And not tomorrow either."
"But if you can just give me time…" I started, lamely.
"If you don't know now, Lois, you won't know any time soon."
"But I'm just all confused. I just need to get a clear head. I can't pick up what we had again unless I have a clear head, or else it won't work!"
"You'll always know how to find me," he said.
"You told me once that you have run away from things your whole life. How is this any different?" I asked, putting my hands on my hips and pouting, putting on my best 'huh, Mister?' face.
"In the past I've run away out of fear. Now… my heart is broken," he said, his voice quivering. He looked down, attempting (it seemed) to get his emotions in check.
"This is so unfair. I didn't do anything, and I feel like I'm being punished for it. Ever since your moment of truth, I have felt bad for you! This whole thing with the press, seeing you sulking around at work. I've felt tortured and punished, but I was the one who was lied to. It just seems really unfair," I said, tears falling now.
He shook his head. "I know."
"Superman!" someone called from the park. With one last look at me, he walked away.
Wiping my eyes, I walked over to where Linda was standing and she filled me in on her little dance of seduction that turned Carpenter on and brought him to the edge, as she puts it (he always did have a strong thing for her, but my GOD… she can really go far to get the truth out!) and got him to talk about everything. She said Carpenter only helped because he felt like he was working again and not in jail. We were joking about the look on Carpenter's face when he discovers his sentence is about to be added to and he's going to be receiving a new roomie when this guy ran over to us.
"Linda!" he said.
"Kevin, what are you doing here? Aren't you filming?"
He smiled at her. "I pushed production back a week. I was worried about you," he said.
"A week? That's going to cost millions," she said, her eyebrows sky-high.
"I don't care. I found out from Lynne Sears that you came here, to butt heads again with Preston Carpenter. Last time, you know the time we're making a movie about—he tried to, and practically did, kill you," he said, all out of breath. He was a handsome enough man, brownish-red hair and green eyes. Not really in shape. But not out of it either. Taller than Linda… and clearly in love.
"Lois, this is Kevin Thompson. Kevin, this is Lois Lane," Linda said, realizing that I was still standing there.
"THE Kevin Thompson?" (He's like this huge film producer… after Steven Spielberg and Ron Howard, it's Kevin Thompson!)
"THE Lois Lane?"
"Nice to meet you."
We spoke all that together, looking like a couple of idiots, I have to say.
"I still can't believe that you risked millions of dollars to come here and see me," Linda said, really looking shocked and almost at a loss for words. Almost. This IS Linda King, remember.
"You always said you wanted someone who would make the ultimate gesture for you," he said.
"In case you never noticed, I've been really… REALLY… in love with you. Ever since I met you. When you left last week, I realized how serious it was. When Lynne told me where you were, I was beside myself with worry. I wasn't trying to make a gesture because you told me once you wanted the ultimate gesture. But if that's what this is—"
"I think that is what this is…" she said, looking surprised… and really pleased. "Um… well, let's go grab a bite to eat or something…" she said, all dreamy-eyed.
"Okay," he said. He, too, looked like a seventh grader at a school dance.
"Lois… the ultimate gesture," she said, winking. Then they started to walk away.
"Linda!" I called. She turned around.
"Um, you have my email and now I have yours too… let's, uh… maybe keep in touch. Better this time," I added.
She smiled. Beamed, really. "I'll email you when I get back," she said.
And the two walked off happily.
A quick scan of the park revealed what I feared… Clark was gone.
Now I am home, and my mind is reeling.
He is about to leave. I don't want him to. But my head is too much of a mess for me to pretend I want to jump back into a relationship. I mean, he lied to me about something HUGE. I trusted him more than anyone. How could I get back into a relationship with him with a clear head? With an actually completely clear head… and heart for that matter.
I wish so badly that this was a story, and not my life. If it were a story, I'd do what I do. Even if everything seemed impossible, I'd have my evidence, my story notes, my instincts and they'd all combine until the answer came to me. As a result, I always have a clear head when I am working and writing a story. If I could just stare at notes or SOMETHING, where the answers were hidden inside. Oh my god…
I am so stupid. So, so stupid. But now… my head is clear. I just hope I'm not too late. It's Monday night, around 11:30 PM. And I just HOPE I am not too late.
Will write more later.
I can't believe Lucy. Look at this:
TO: Lane, Lois <firstname.lastname@example.org>
FROM: Lane, Lucy <email@example.com>
RECEIVED: Tuesday, June 2, 9:01 AM
Guess what? I have a date on Friday night and you'll never believe with who! Jimmy! Can you believe that? We just really bonded that night we went all around Metropolis handing out flyers. And we talked for so long (he, too, wants to see the team of Lane and Kent back together… the way they're meant to be, just FYI). It was amazing. I've known him on an acquaintance- level through you for how long? And we just never knew how great we could actually get along if we'd just hung out (thanks for that, sis!).
Anyway, just thought you'd find that amusing.
Ahh… romance is in the air! So… can you smell it too?
Well, at least some things never change:
TO: Lane, Lois <firstname.lastname@example.org>
FROM: Lane, Mom <email@example.com>
RECEIVED: Tuesday, June 2, 9:21 AM
Okay, I don't care if this is Lois or the IT department. You call me, young lady. I have been worried. You don't write back, don't call. I have no idea why you broke up with Clark Kent and as your mother I feel it is my duty to talk you into overlooking that reason. He's nice and he loves you and he'll clearly make an attractive older man as well! I am sick to death, Lois, of you not talking to me. I am coming over next Saturday and you and I are spending the day together. Whether you like it or not! I'll be there at noon. Be ready.
Well, I guess I am spending the day with my mom. Yay me. I guess I had this coming, since I ignored her emails before.
I was hoping to spend Saturday with Clark. We still have so much to talk about. But we'll be together all this week and for the other parts of next weekend. And after that as well.
Do you know why that is??????
Because finally… well… Clark and I are…
Well, I'll rewind to last night. Last night aka the The Best Night of My Life!!!!!!
I realized, last time I wrote in this, that the answers I've been waiting for were right there all the time. What was in my heart WAS on paper. Like notes. Like when I write a story. And just like when I write a story, I looked at those notes… and it all just came to me. So I did what I had to do.
I drove for an hour and stood in the middle of a beautiful field and screamed my head off. I felt foolish. But I knew that I couldn't just go to his apartment and tell him what I had learned. I had to do something bigger than that. And I had to surprise him. I had to make a grand gesture, basically. The ultimate gesture, you might say.
So there was I was screaming "Superman!" and "Aah!" and other things and feeling really, really stupid.
But it worked.
In seconds he was there.
"Lois! Lois… what… are you okay?"
"I want to talk to Clark," I said, catching my breath.
"You are," he said, all confused.
"No… I want to see Clark," I corrected.
With a look of complete confusion on his face, he granted my wish and spun back into himself. He was still in his work clothes, sort of. He had his suit pants on and a collar, button-up shirt. No tie. A few buttons undone. For the record: he never looked sexier. Looking that way and in the moonlight…
Sidetracking! So, anyway…
Once he was… Clark… he suddenly realized where we were. He looked around. We were in the exact spot where we came on our two month anniversary. The exact spot where he opened his heart completely to me, as promised. The exact spot where our beginning was—like once before—actually an end.
But not this time. And never again, either.
"Clark, you took me here two weeks ago and told me your biggest secret. Something you've never told anyone before. I don't think I told you how much it meant to me," I said.
"You broke up with me," he said, his eyebrows raised. He didn't look annoyed or angry, saying that… just curious about where I was going… or interested anyway.
"Yeah, like I said, I didn't tell you how much it meant to me…" It was a joke, but neither of us laughed. "Clark… I didn't know how much it meant to me… but now…"
He looked at me, an unreadable expression on his face. He just stood there, not moving, not daring to change his stance even a little. He was still and… focused on me intently. And I'm pretty sure I saw some hope flicker across his solemn expression. Somewhere in his eyes. His brown, beautiful eyes that I have recently realized and admitted I miss… I REALLY miss… looking into.
I took a deep breath.
"I've been so confused lately, Clark. Conflicted. My heart felt like it was being pulled in about eight different directions. When you told me your secret weeks ago, I tried to convince myself I hated you. But how did that go? You needed someone to cover for you at work; I did it without thinking about it. Dan What's-His-Name kissed me—"' I started, seeing a pained (and angry?) look fall across his features before I barreled on quickly. "And I hated it and thought of you… I knew I only ever wanted to kiss you, the man I 'hated'. You were in trouble and hurting, and I couldn't turn my back on you—not even for a second. I needed to help you with everything I have. But riding alongside the fact that I tried to hate you and failed miserably were these feelings of sadness that you hadn't told me the most important thing about you and betrayal because you… you are my life. You are my partner, my best friend, you were my boyfriend… someone I could see myself with forever. You knew everything about me. And I've been lied to in the past. Walked all over. Used. You know I have a hard time trusting easily. So, there you have it. The state of my mind and heart from the last few weeks, Clark. And 'confusing' doesn't even begin to describe it. I am sorry that I couldn't figure out what to do and what I wanted. I mean, like I said, it kept changing and my emotions and thoughts were at war constantly and it was always escalating with each passing day."
I looked at him. I wanted to make sure he was still there, still with me… not reeling from my revelation that Dan What's-His-Name kissed me. Although I think I made it perfectly clear that it wasn't my fault and was nothing! Anyway. Not the point. Okay, moving on.
He was still looking at me with an ever-unreadable expression on his face. He looked frozen—hanging on my every word.
I sighed. "I just wished that I had access to my heart from a reporter's-eye-view. I wished I could analyze it like I do our stories. Dissect it logically, from a removed place. I thought, if I could just see what's in there causing me—and you—so much grief and confusion and sort it out, we'd be okay again. It's the only way I know how to do things. Well, it's the only way I know how to do things with a clear head."
"You can't deal with the matters of your heart like you would deal with a story, Lois," he said. It was the first thing he'd said in awhile, so it shocked me. It felt really nice to hear his voice. Even though he didn't know WHAT he was talking about. "Sometimes your heart isn't always crystal clear. Sometimes when you listen to your heart, you don't always do the most logical things."
"Like when I asked you to watch that movie with me on my bed? Or when I kissed you? Or when I told you… as Superman… the day after that kiss how I wanted to make sure nothing could ever happen with you before I allowed anything more to happen between YOU and I? Or like how when you told me your secret, I cut you out of my life, saying we were through?"
He looked at me, wide-eyed. He obviously had no idea HOW much thought I had given to us… all of us… lately.
"Believe me, Clark. I know what it's like to listen to your heart and do something that makes no sense or that isn't outlined with logic. I've run on pure emotion in the past and acted without thinking. Sometimes it led to good things. Other times it messed me all up. Messed us all up. And what you told me was by far the biggest thing that has ever come our way… and it threw me more than anything in the past has, putting so many—too many— confusing thoughts and emotions in me to act on. So… it kind of felt nice when I was able to look at it all with a clear head awhile ago, so I could see what was clearly in here," I said, touching my hand to my heart as a gentle smile played across my lips.
"Well now I don't know what you're talking about," he said, looking mildly amused to see me once again off and running. Babbling. Rambling. Like I used to do with him every day. Before.
"I know what is in my heart, Clark. I guess I always did. But I SAW it. In writing. I saw that I am miserable whenever we're apart. I saw that all the good things and feelings in my life are somehow bound to you. I saw that I have never and will never feel the way I feel when we're together. When we're talking or laughing or hugging or kissing…" I trailed off blushing.
He looked confused, but I decided to just keep going. Get it all out.
"I've been waiting my whole life for someone to show me what love really is. I thought at one point that I'd missed the lesson and would just never know. And that was okay. For me, that was okay. And then I met you. I wasn't expecting it to be you who would show me what love really is. But you did. You did things for me. You always put me first. You put your heart on the line and let it be crushed a thousand times and never went away. You always let things move at a pace I was ready for, both as a friend and a partner… and as a boyfriend. When you were gone for those two weeks in what seems like a world ago from now, I really learned about love. I knew what it was because suddenly there was this aching void where it had been. Where you had been. And when you came back and we started dating, I felt it everywhere. I was able to give myself to you in a way I've never given myself to anyone. Without fear and without reservation, because I knew it was worse to be without you. More than that… because I TRUSTED you. I thought, 'this man, this is love.' You showed me, Clark. When you told me you were Superman two weeks ago… I thought 'lying and betraying… that is NOT love.' I felt so upset that I had given myself to you under, I don't know, false pretenses or something. I was looking through my diary tonight— "' I said, before I could stop myself (I was just sort of on a roll, I wasn't screening my thoughts!)
"Diary?" he asked, looking amused, a familiar twinkle in his eyes, that he used to always have when teasing me.
"Uh… yeah. When you left that time, I was beyond calming down, so Lucy got me a… journal… and I've been recording my feelings pretty regularly since then," I explained, blushing.
"I saw a conversation we had a long time ago, when I was getting over the flu. You mentioned it two weeks ago, on that night, but I didn't let myself hear it and take it in. But to read through it again…" I looked up at him. "You and I weren't even dating then, and you told me, you looked me in the eyes and promised me that someday you would tell me why you used to run away when you traveled. You promised me, like you always knew you'd do it, no matter what happened with us. Like you always knew you'd tell me your secret," I said, tears in my eyes.
He looked at me and didn't say anything. But the look on his face said it all.
"You took the ultimate risk for me. Letting me in on this. This thing that no one knows. You entrusted me with the most precious thing… yourself. All of you. You showed me yourself completely, which for you is actually a huge risk and something that, I can see now, re-reading everything, scared the hell out of you. I guess what I'm trying to say is… THAT is love. You have always shown me what love is, and when you didn't tell me about yourself, I do believe you always meant to, and I realize what that was like for you… and what that meant. How much it… "" I stopped and looked up at him. I could see tears in his eyes, too. I shook my head, my emotions too much for me to take just at that moment. It was too much for me to continue.
Here we were in this great, amazing field, the stars and moon lighting our eyes, highlighting our hair, making our skin glow… you could hear the crickets nearby, everywhere… it was so calm… I felt like I could hear his heart beating. His emotions looked ready to break the surface.
"I'm sorry, Clark," I said, practically whispering.
"The answers were always there. In those pages, it is so clear what you feel for me. And it's so clear what I feel for you. I wasn't even really confused… just rocked. My world was completely rocked, and I couldn't just pick up where I left off before without knowing what it meant. And now I know. I actually trust you more than I ever did before, which is amazing to me, since I always trusted you completely—because now I know how much trust you've put in me… how much trust you always put in me. I know that when I'm sick, you'll always be the one sitting for hours, making sure I'm being taken care of. I know when I'm bored that you will come and tell me stories. I know when I'm scared, you'll be there to protect me and make me feel safe. I know when the world seems dark, there is always this one person in my life that is always forever-good. Forever Clark. And you give me hope. You always have." I was crying now. Not even attempting to hold the tears back.
I looked down just then, though… attempting to get a hold of my emotions because… there was something else I had to say.
"I'm sorry for something else too…"
I looked at him. "I've said a few things to you and I really need to clear the air. I said to you, a little while ago, that I didn't believe you'd ever lay down your life for me. That it was just something you said because nothing could hurt you. I want you to know that I know that's not true. I know you mean those words. I've always known you meant those words. And I do know there is something that can hurt you, too. There's that green rock that has hurt you in the past. And there's me. I can hurt you…in another way. And I have. I made you think that I don't think you're a hero at all—that you have powers so you might as well use them. I can only imagine how I hurt you when I said that. Clark… you make sacrifices everyday to be a hero. For two years, you've faced my wrath when you've disappeared without a good reason in the middle of a discussion or a conference or a workday… you risked being a real normal guy. You work a full- time job and manage to be so close to your family and have good friends, while saving the lives of so many people whenever you hear that there's trouble. You're more of a hero in my eyes now that I know the truth, than when I just thought of Superman as a full-time hero. And I mean that."
He shook his head, looking full of emotions… looking speechless.
"I told you that you had no right to be angry at me that day the billboard fell. Clark, you are a man and you have feelings. If I ever made it seem like you should hide your feelings and lock them away, never feeling or showing them, I am so sorry. I can see now how much I hurt you when I gave myself to you, my partner, my friend, my boy-next-door ordinary man and then ran to the superhero and ran everything by him, making sure I didn't stand a chance with him before I committed to anything with you. Even though that whole thing was brought on by a LOT of confusion on my part. I can see how it would've made you feel and you have every right to your feelings. I know that you are not invulnerable. Not really. Not in so many ways that matter. One thing that seeing my feelings on paper really showed me is what a good friend you are and always have been. How in tune you are with… with me," I stopped. I took a step closer to him. "I love you, Clark. I never stopped loving you. I won't lie, there were moments where I tried to not love you… but it never worked. Not for a second. Please, please, please tell me I'm not too late," I said, looking up at him as another tear escaped my eye.
He smiled. "Lois, all you had to say was 'I've thought it over and I want to be with you again.' You didn't need to go through all that. You must've known that all I have wanted since we've been apart is just to be back together."
I smiled, realizing my vision was blurred from the tears in my eyes. "Well, I had to get it all out in the open. You know writing and TALKING are very therapeutic. Better than keeping it all in and being angry at the whole world, which was the way I used to operate," I babbled, which made him smile.
"Clark, I have evidence to prove that when you and I are apart, it doesn't work. It's bad. We are both very unhappy. So I think…from now on… we should… we should just be together. Forever. I have evidence to prove that when we're together, angels sing and harps play and the whole world rejoices in harmony. Well, okay, maybe not PROOF of those things. But that is pretty much what it feels like when you and I are together and… and NOT apart. So what do you say?"
I looked up at him, just as he lowered his face slowly to mine, his hand moving to cup my cheek in that way that I had so missed in the past two weeks. When his lips closed over mine, I let out a quivering sigh, aware that tears were falling down my cheeks. It's just… I was kissing Clark again! Not because he'd burst into my apartment and kissed me while I was still confused, but because we were together again and I hadn't lost him because of my own stupid, stubborn pride or whatever. He was there with me, and I was FINALLY adjusting that scene in the field so it had a much happier ending… or beginning, rather. He immediately started to gently, sweetly, kiss the tears on my cheeks, and my eyes, before I found his lips again. I wrapped my arms around his neck and pressed my body close to him, feeling his arms tighten, then, around my waist, intensifying that closeness. That urgency.
A soft summer breeze made my moist cheeks cool, and my hair blow, and I felt like I could hear the grass in the field rolling. The breeze swept through my soul as Clark's love once again became one with my own.
Clark… my Clark…
I had him back.
Eventually (unfortunately), we ended the kiss and pulled back, looking into each other's eyes.
"I love you so much," he said at last (took him long enough to ensure me that he still did—even though I kind of had a STRONG inkling he did).
I smiled. "I love you, too," I said.
We hugged like we were doing a slow dance in that empty, giant field. My head on his chest, I could feel his heart beating. It felt simply wonderful.
"Clark," I said, after a moment.
He looked down at me.
"Look… I could sort of tell that you haven't been taking care of yourself lately. Not eating much. Probably barely sleeping…" I started.
"Is it that obvious? My mom said the same thing!" he said, looking confused.
I figured I could tell him how I listened to his message after first pretty much breaking into his apartment another time.
"I don't really need food or sleep. Not like humans," he explained.
"Yeah, but if you start taking in a lot less food and sleeping a lot less when you're used to it, even your body would react," I pointed out. "I know you were depressed when we were apart. I was too. But I tried to sleep. And I continued to have regular meals, even if I didn't eat everything on the plate. How would you have felt if you found out I had altogether pretty much stopped eating?"
"I'd worry," he admitted. "Okay, point taken. In the future, no matter what, I will remember to take care of myself," he said.
"Good," I said, patting his chest.
He cupped my cheek and looked into my eyes. I was pretty sure he was about to lay another beautiful, mind-numbing kiss on me. But no.
"So… you kissed that guy?" he asked, in a teasing tone.
"HE kissed ME," I corrected. "It lasted all of two seconds and I ordered him to take me back to the Planet and I haven't seen him since."
"Ah," he said, smiling. He looked deeply in my eyes again, making me think he was about to lean in for an amazing kiss again. BUT… again, no. "So… any chance I could see this diary?"
"In your dreams, Kent," I said, my arms still wrapped around his waist.
"Lois Lane's Diary… I'll bet a lot of people would pay good money to read YOUR thoughts," he said.
"Well let them offer, it's not happening," I said.
"What?" I asked, furrowing my eyebrows together in confusion.
"I'll bet you babble even in writing," he said.
"I do not!" I said, pretend-offended. Hey, he won't read this—he never has to know!
He looked at me like he knew better.
I realized then that my life really did feel perfect. Just then. I knew this man completely. He knew me completely. We loved each other completely. We had the rest of our lives ahead of us to prove that. I felt happier than I'd ever felt in my whole life.
As I was realizing this, he FINALLY pulled me into another mind- blowing, beautiful kiss.
We spent the rest of the night sitting on that field, talking. I asked him a lot of questions that I still wanted answers to about his double-life and growing up. And, okay, between the talking there was a lot of kissing. But we were making up for lost time!
We eventually went to my jeep and he drove us home, holding my hand the entire time.
Now I am back at work. I just finished writing up the story about the press conference and Henry David with my PARTNER!! Perry is beyond excited that A) the news is back to normal, being that there is a juicy story for the front page and that B) Clark and I are on it… together.
I am done with looking for trouble around every corner. Done with assuming something will happen to ruin my happiness. Two Month Syndromes, being one of them. I, for now, will only assume that even when things are the absolute best (as they undoubtedly will constantly be from now on), that the best is still yet to come!
Clark just looked over here and saw that I was writing in a leather bound book! Damn thing, it just screams DIARY! He knows.
He winked and smiled all coyly! Oh, he thinks he is so smart!
I never should have told him about this book… but it just sort of slipped out. The stupid thing became my best friend when my best friend wasn't there. It's a major part of my life now! It could not be helped.
Oh, what do I care. I am in LOVE!
Oh… an email from Clark!
TO: Lane, Lois <firstname.lastname@example.org>
FROM: Kent, Clark <email@example.com>
RECEIVED: Tuesday, June 2, 11:37 AM
I love you.
TO: Kent, Clark <firstname.lastname@example.org>
FROM: Lane, Lois <email@example.com>
SENT: Tuesday, June 3, 11:38 AM
I love you, too.
I think it's safe to say that we are well on our way to living happily ever after!