Writer’s note: I wrote this tonight over a couple of hours. Basically, it is a letter from Lois Lane to Clark Kent. She’s saying goodbye to him on the occasion of DC Comics launching the New 52, and so wiping out her past as his girlfriend on Earth Prime. But really it’s about a person realizing that their hopes for a relationship aren’t going to work out. There’s no particular reason for me writing this, other than I’m a bit bored of writing comic scripts all the time and wanted to write some prose. Anyway – enjoy:
A letter from Lois Lane
There’s a star at my window. I see it every night stuck out there, all on its lonesome. It’s all the light pollution, you see. This city of ours shines so damn bright that it blots out heaven. So this star must be really something to make it through. A star so strong and so special that it makes Metropolis sit up and take notice.
For all its brilliance though, it’s such a friendly-looking star. It twinkles just so, kinda like it’s winking. It seems so close to me, so approachable, that I fancy if only I could reach up far enough I could get to know it. I could become its friend. So there’s been more times than I care to remember that I’ve woken on my tippy-toes, straining to touch a celestial body a thousand miles away or more.
You can see where I’m going with this, right?
What was I even thinking? There was never a real chance that we were gonna make it, but still we tried. Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s the man you love, impossibly. How can you love someone you can’t understand? Someone you can’t relate to? Oh sure – there are crossroads in our lives’ journey; places where our experiences meet. But at the very end of it all there is something waiting for me that you may never experience – death. And if you do, the lives you will have led will be many and long, whereas mine will have been singular and short.
It happened, Clark. You are from there, I am from here, and never the twain shall meet.
What a great thing it is to imagine you love a star. “Is this happening to me?” you ask yourself as you soar, headfirst into the romantic stratosphere where the air is thin and gravity is weak and where the Earth with all its boundaries and its don’t-do-that-it’s-stupid is so very, very far away. It makes you dizzy with the ridiculousness of it all. And then you stop, momentarily, and you place your hand against your chest and feel your heart beat – ba-dum-dum-dum. And then you think you know – you think it’s happening to you: You’re in love and you laugh your head off because you’re the biggest idiot in the universe. But for the first time in your life you don’t care. No one can see up there, trying to make love to a star.
But then something strange happened – you imagined you loved me back. You noticed me up there, dying a happy death, and caught me. Right there, in that instant of shared madness, you became a tiny bit mortal too – just another damn idiot making a fool of himself with an idiot friend to keep him company. Oh, the dates we’d go on, the love we’d make; the house we’d buy, the names we’d choose for our boy and girl. Because in space, no one can hear you make a million plans that will never come off because you’re a reporter and your boyfriend is a superhero from outer space.
You were never mine to have. You belong to the world, not to me.
Now it has been decreed that you must be with another. Her name is Diana, which was the name of the Avon lady who used to sell my mom a pink lipstick that made her teeth look yellow. But I digress. This Diana doesn’t sell cosmetics. She is a Wonder Woman. How can I compete with that? I can’t and I won’t even begin to because I don’t need to. I’m Wondrous in my own ways, I just don’t wear spandex when I do my thing. But I like her. She’ll make you happy, I think. And that’s as much as I ever hoped to do for you.
But I will never forget the very first moment I saw you. I was scrunched up in a ball under my desk, waiting for death to come. Everything went still and quiet; the oxygen was sucked out of my chest, suddenly and without pain. I shut my eyes to it. The end was here. But I was wrong because the air rushed back into my lungs. I gasped, I opened my eyes and I ran to the window just in time to see you – or at least the impression of you – zooming past the glass. You were just a streak of red and blue, like someone had taken a couple of pens and scratched ‘You are saved’ across the city. I didn’t see your face, I wasn’t even sure you were a ‘someone’, but I knew there and then that you were my answer to everything.
I take it all back Clark. This is real. I do love you, somehow. But I guess it doesn’t matter anymore.
I can still see that star. I sure hope it can still see me.