By Anne Spear <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Submitted: March 2007
Summary: Regrets. We all have them. But are they enough to push a woman to divorce a man as esteemed and connected as Lex Luthor?
Author's note: Many, many thanks to my GE, Erin for her very quick work with this mess…hope you enjoy and please send lots of feedback!!!
"I understand. Of course…things come up and you have to deal with them…I do understand, it's just…no, I realize no one else can do you're job, it's just that you're never home anymore. I know…I'm sorry."
I hang up the phone and wonder where my life has gone. When Lex asked me to marry him, I was so flattered. I mean, he's the third richest man in the world and he said he loved me. Out of all the women he could be with, he chose me. I knew I didn't love him…admired him, respected him, yes…but that's not love. I had been hurt so many times that I didn't think that I could love anymore. There's a finite number of times that a heart can break before it's no longer repairable. Unfortunately, you can't run out and get a new one when you reach that point. You either bury yourself in work and other pursuits, or you find someone you like and hope that deeper feelings develop later. I tried both and neither one seemed to work for me.
I think back on my life right before I met Lex. I had a brilliant career, a comfortable home, and some friends at work, but sometimes, late at night watching my show, I wondered if I was missing something. Now, I can't help but wonder if I would have been happier if I'd stayed that way.
I originally met him at his annual Orchard Ball. He asked me to dance and I thought he was the most charming man in the world. He seemed so perfect. After the ball, he wooed me with flowers, dinners in Europe, jewelry…all things that I never asked for but were impressive nonetheless. I still wonder what it was that made him pursue me so steadfastly. I have a feeling it was my attitude. He must have sensed how determined I was to remain alone. I was not looking for a relationship and that made me a challenge to him and Lex Luthor never backs away from a challenge. Now that we're married, the challenge is gone.
If only I'd listened to my instincts. There were so many times that I wanted to just walk away, but each time Lex would show up with another gift or tickets to the opera. He slowly wore down my defenses until I seemed to lose my free will. Even the day of the wedding…I stood in front of the mirror, testing out my new name and it just didn't seem to fit. I should have stopped it right then and there. I almost did, at the altar, but then I turned and saw all of Lex's friends…no, that's not the right word. Lex doesn't have friends; he has acquaintances and flunkies. He uses people and once their resources have been exhausted, he discards them. That's what he's done to me. Once the challenge was gone, he no longer wanted me. Oh, he still calls to let me know that he won't be home, but I wonder if all those emergencies at work are really just another challenge. Perhaps my replacement for when he tosses me away.
I should leave now, before I get in any deeper, but where would I go? Lex took everything I had and destroyed it, one way or another. It's just one more way that he broke down my defenses. By leaving me with nothing but him, I have no choice. No more free will. If only…
Maybe if we'd had children I wouldn't feel so completely alone. At least then, I would have someone who needs me; some purpose for my life other than being Lex's token wife. But, even as I consider the possibility, I know it could never work. Any child of ours would either resent Lex for abandoning us…as I already do…or would grow up to be just like him. Do I really want the responsibility of bringing another Lex into this world?
I've tried talking to him, but he always twists my words to make me sound paranoid and irrational. I was so independent, self-reliant, and now, I feel like I can't even go shopping without asking his permission. What happened to me?! How could I have let things get this bad?!
In a flash of inspiration, I know what I have to do. I resolutely toss a few outfits into a bag and start for the door. I stop and look at the desk. Should I leave a note? He probably would. Something short and impersonal on a post-it stuck to the computer screen. Will he miss me? Or has he really already started on the next challenge? Will he even acknowledge that I ever existed?
I drop the bag and go to the desk to pull out a pad. "From the desk of Lex Luthor" is engraved across the top of every page. It seems appropriate somehow. I'm moving from Lex's possession to a new life of my own. I find a pen and write quickly.
"Lex, I can't live like this anymore. Please don't look for me. You'll be contacted by my attorney."
I don't bother to sign it. It's not like he'll wonder who it's from. I retrieve my bag and take one more look around. For two years, I've been Mrs. Lex Luthor and that's all. Now, I'm taking my life back. Arianna Carlin will find her own place in this world again!