“Clara’s Coming Out Party”

(Formerly Titled “Size Matters”)

Rated PG-13





Lex rushed in the door, threw down the mail and called out, “Honey, I’m home.  Are you almost ready to go?  The limo is waiting.”


Clara ran downstairs wearing a robe.  She was trembling a little and she wasn’t smiling.  Lex kissed her and said, “I love your hair braided like that!  I can see Martha’s been at work here … don’t you like your hair this way?  I can see that you’re upset about something.  I hope you aren’t reading the tabloids again.  Come on, just tell me what’s wrong, I’ll kiss it and make it better, then you can go upstairs and get dressed.  Our guests are waiting for us.”


Clara said, “I don’t really HAVE to go tonight, do I?”


Lex said, “What?  You were actually looking forward to going to a party for a change.  And this one is in your honor.  It’s your coming out party.  People have been dying to get see more of you since they saw you in your lingerie on TV … “see more of you” came out wrong but you know what I mean.  You wanted a chance to show them that you are a dignified lady.  This is your chance.”


Clara said, “But my dress is ruined – RUINED!  I’m so mad I can’t stand it.  And it’s the only thing I have that’s not straight out of my “worst dressed list” wardrobe.  I can’t go now.  I just CAN’T!”


Lex said, “We could stop at a clothing boutique in Metropolis on the way to the party.  I’ll even bet that the Astoria has a clothing shop right on the premises.”


Clara said, “Do you know how long it took me to pick out that dress?  And if we just run into a store and get one, what chance do we have of it being on sale?!”


Lex said, “For God’s sake Clara, don’t even think about the price for once.  Just think of it as a donation to the poor salesperson trying to feed a family on their commission.  Besides, what’s the cost of the dress compared to the cost of this party?”


Clara said, “I guess your right, the food and drink for 60 people is going to really add up.  But even if I spent an entire $60.00 for a dress or got it given to me for free, there just isn’t time to find one!”


Lex said, “You’re the star of this party, they’ll just have to wait.”


Clara said, “Just tell them I’m sick.  They’ll still have fun.  I don’t want to keep 60 people waiting.”


Lex said, “You might as well know … I overshot the 60 by a few.”


Clara said, “See!  That makes it worse.  It was bad enough to think about 60 people staring at me and snickering about my clothes, but having … how many people?”


Lex said, “Only 630 of the people invited RSVPed.”


Clara said, “Oh LEX!  You won’t have to lie about me being sick.  If I go to the party and the dress isn’t perfect, some news reporter other than Chloe is bound to sneak in … maybe even a photographer … and I’ll be on the worst dressed list again and wind up in the Guinness Book!  You did remember to invite Chloe didn’t you?”


Lex said, “Of course Chloe is coming … and you won’t have to worry about the press sneaking in.”


Clara said, “That’s a relief!”


Lex said, “They don’t have to sneak in because I invited them.  This is your coming out party.  What’s the point of just showing a few people how great you are when we can show the entire world?”


Clara said, “Why didn’t you just hold this party at the UN building?  What a disaster!”


Lex said, “The UN wasn’t available … and it would be a little small.  I wanted a place where people could sleep over if they had a little too much to drink.  I reserved a lot of rooms … even the honeymoon suite.”


Clara said, “Well, the honeymoon is over, Lex.  My dress is ruined and I CAN’T go!”


Lex said, “I hate suggesting this, but that dress that you modeled for me yesterday morning wasn’t the worst thing you’ve ever worn.  That one was … was … all right.  I really would like something that would have showed you off a little better, but I guess that one would be passable.”


Clara said, “That PASSABLE dress was the one I bought specifically to wear tonight.  Why do you think I showed it to you?  And why didn’t you tell me that you didn’t like it?  I thought it was PERFECT!  It was a little daring but something a conservative mother wouldn’t be ashamed to be seen in at a small town grocery store.  I did exactly what you told me to do.  I went to an upscale store for a change.  It was the most expensive dress I’ve ever bought for myself!  And it was only twenty percent off.  If the party could have been next week, I would have been able to get it for forty percent off.”


Lex said, “Clara, I saw the tag on it.  JC Penney’s outlet store isn’t what you call “upscale.””


Clara said, “You should have been more specific if you wanted me to go to O’Neil’s!  But none of that matters anyway.  It’s too late.  It’s ruined … and it was the last one they had.”


Lex asked, “What happened to it?”


Clara said, “After I modeled it for you, Joel spat up on it.  I was going to wash it then all hell broke loose.  Super Woman was needed everywhere at once.  And I knew I couldn’t do laundry today because I promised the Chinese Ambassador that I would dredge out a few rivers in China to make the flooding stop over there.  And don’t you dare make a crack about me leaving it at a Chinese laundry over there … but now that I say that … I probably should have … but I couldn’t.  I don’t have any Chinese currency.”


Lex said, “So you didn’t have a Yen to ….”


Clara said, “Stop that … and Yen is Japanese currency”


Lex said, “You mean you can dredge their rivers for nothing, but they would charge you to wash a dress for you?”


Clara said, “I’d be too embarrassed to ask them to.”


Lex said, “Well, it’s probably better that you didn’t have them do it … two hours later and you would have wanted to have it washed again.”


Clara said, “I TOLD you to STOP IT!  This is serious.”


Lex said, “Don’t think that I didn’t see the corner of your mouth turn up just a little bit.”


Clara said, “NO it didn’t.”


Lex couldn’t help but smile at her.  He asked, “Can’t you just put a scarf over it the stain or accessorize or something?”


Clara said, “That’s NOT the problem.  I didn’t take the dress to a laundry in China, I splurged and took it to the Laundro-Bar in town for their one day cleaning service.”


Lex said, “Laudro-Bar?”


Clara said, “It’s where you can sit and drink while you wait for your clothes to wash.  I heard they were fast.”


Lex said, “And cheap?”


Clara said, “That too.  I picked it up an hour ago and it’s ruined!”


Lex said, “It can’t be that bad”


Clara said, “Yes it is.  I’ll show you!  But YOU call them right now!  I’m too angry to talk to them.  If you don’t call them now, they’ll say that I was the one that did it.  This night was supposed to be special.  They deserve to be told off.  … And I want the dress replaced … AND I want my four dollars and thirty two cents cleaning charge refunded!”


Lex said, “How will any of this help us get to the party?”


Clara said, “It won’t, but I already told you that I’m NOT going.  You have got to call them or I’ll get so worked up I’ll have another fit.  I AM still pregnant you know.  I am SO tired of just politely smiling every time that someone claiming to be a professional screws up something I paid them to do.  I want satisfaction!  To think that I kept that place from burning to the ground last fall!  Here’s their number.  Call them now!  I’ll go upstairs and try to squeeze into it just to show you how badly they shrunk it.  START DIALING!”


Clara went upstairs.  Lex shouted up to her, “If I have to settle this for you, you’d better be content with how I resolve it … or I’ll let you handle it yourself next time.”  Lex pulled out his cell phone and dialed the number.  When the store clerk answered, he said, “Let me talk to the manager please.    I don’t care if he is swapping out a keg.  I want to talk to him.  Tell him it’s Lex Luthor.  Yes, THE Lex Luthor.  Yes, the bald one … I’m the only Lex Luthor that I’m aware of.  OK.  Hurry please.    Hello?  Are you the manager?  Yes.  Yes.  My wife dropped off a dress to be washed yesterday.  Yes.  It was a rush job.  Yes you got it done in time.  But you didn’t follow the wash instructions or something.  The dress shrunk … she said it shrunk quite a bit.  She says she can barely get into it.  No, no, she couldn’t possibly have put on that much weight overnight.  No, she isn’t prone to water weight gain.  I don’t care if the fabric will stretch … Yes, I know some fabrics tend to shrink … no, we don’t have time to soak it, stretch it and dry it.  We have to leave soon.  I know you didn’t have a lot of time to be careful, but this IS your line of work and you DO offer over night is a service as a regular part of your business, don’t you?  I understand what you’re saying, what YOU don’t understand is … listen to me … listen to me … I just want to say … LISTEN ….”


Clara marched halfway down the stairs and put her fists on her hips.  She glared angrily at Lex and whispered, “See what they did?!”  Lex was looking her over carefully and seemed a bit dazed.  Clara said, “Lex.  LEX!  That man is trying to talk to you on the phone.  Go ahead!  Tell him that we won’t let him get away with it!”


Lex didn’t stop looking at Clara.  He lifted his phone back up to his ear and said, “Hello.  Huh? Oh. Yes.  Yes, I’m still here.  That dress must have shrunk 2 dress sizes, maybe more.  I don’t know dress sizes, it’s not like I wear them.  What was I saying?  Oh, yes.  You shrunk that dress way down.  It fits her totally different than it did when she bought it a couple days ago.  It’s extremely tight on her.  All I want to say to you is … is … thank you.  THANK YOU VERY, VERY MUCH!”


Clara screamed, “LEX!  No, no, no, no, NO, N O !”


Lex said, “Ohhhhh, YES!”


Clara said, “You were SUPPOSED to yell at them!”


Lex said, “I told you that I would handle it my way.  And from my point of view … and WHAT an incredible view it is … they did me and the rest of the people that are going to see you in that dress tonight a BIG favor!”


Clara said, “Ohhhh NO!  No, no, no, no, NO, N O !”  She turned to head back up the stairs, but Lex caught her hand in an iron grip and dragged her back towards the door.  He shouted, “Martha, we’re leaving now!  You did a great job with Clara’s hair.  See you later!”


Clara was trying to pull free of Lex’s grip as he dragged her towards the limo, so he turned, scooped her up and threw her over his shoulder.  She was kicking and struggling and pounding on his back to get loose but he was more determined to get her in the limo than she was willing to cause the property damage necessary if she fought without holding back.  She pleaded, “Lex, Put me down!  STOP IT!  I don’t want to go out like this.  I wasn’t ready to go.  I just put on the dress to show you why I couldn’t wear it!  I didn’t even put on any underwear.  I don’t even know if the dress would have fit if I put on underwear!  OK.  OK, Lex.  You WIN!  We can stop at a dress shop on the way … we can even pay … FULL PRICE!  Careful Lex, I feel a draft!”


Lex put her in the limo and said to the driver, “Run into the house and ask the red haired lady to get some black stiletto heeled shoes for my wife.”


Clara shouted, “And some underwear!”


Lex said, “Just the shoes.  Thanks.”


Clara started to protest, but he covered her mouth with his hand and started whispering into her ear.  He told her how sexy she was and how great she looked and who was going to be staying in the honeymoon suite hat night.  He told her that he was going to show her how much he loved her tonight.  Then he let her mouth go and covered it with his own until they were on their way to the Metropolis Waldorf Astoria Hotel.










Lex spent the first portion of the evening standing in the shadows smiling like the Cheshire Cat.  This reminded him of a time years ago … only then, Clara hadn’t been his and he had been worried about losing her to someone else.  He knew by the way that she couldn’t take her eyes off him for more than an instant that he had nothing to fear … as far as other men were concerned.  He also knew he might have a fight on his hands when he got home with her if she didn’t like the surprises that he had planned for her.  There was a constant stream of men coming to shake Lex’s hand to tell him how lucky he was that Clara married him.  Lex was relieved that the women were treating him like a lost cause.  He hadn’t expected much attention to be directed his way.  It was Clara’s night to be in the spotlight.  This group was carefully selected.  Most of them owed Clara a debt they could never repay … and some of them were friends who decided to put away their uniforms for an evening to honor a special friend.


Clara, on the other hand, spent most of the time smiling politely at the fawning guests and photographers … and checking the fit of her dress.  It may have been her coming out party, but she was determined that nothing was going to accidentally … come out.



[Note, this was where the story was supposed to end, but I don’t know when to stop, so on we go ….]



Lex went to the front of the room and climbed the stairs to the stage.  He told the band to stop playing then went to the microphone and asked everyone to be quiet.  Clara started to get nervous about what Lex might do.  He loved playing to an audience and tended to get carried away and embarrass Clara in the process.  Since this was supposed to be “her night” she knew that whatever Lex had planned, it had to concern her.  The crowd settled down and Lex began to speak:



“Ladies and gentlemen – my dear friends, I have asked you all here to celebrate a death.  Two weeks ago, a secret died.  It deserved to die.  That death allowed you to see my wife Clara a little clearer – especially if you have a high definition TV.  Over the years, the secret she kept allowed many people perceive my Clara in a way that was far from accurate.  BUT what really matters to me is that, whether she intended it or not, your perception of her had an impact on her self-esteem.  As her husband, I feel it is my solemn duty to bolster her ego to at least one-tenth of where it should be.  To that end and with the encouragement of some of my friends here tonight, I may be able to do that by revealing yet another of Clara’s precious secrets so that you can get to know her even better. 


My Clara … REMEMBER that!  She IS mine!  I only share her a little and with great reluctance.   My Clara is an amazing woman who has hidden from the world too long.  Two weeks ago, a local news station showed film footage that proved that this country’s worst dressed woman for several years … is also this country’s BEST undressed woman.”  The crowd laughed and applauded and more than a few wolf whistles were heard.  Lex continued, “In case you don’t know who I’m talking about, it’s the woman who is trying unsuccessfully to hide in the corner over there – you can’t miss her, she’s glowing redder than Rudolph’s nose right now … and I’m very happy that she’s the one that guides my sleigh every night … but chances are, not tonight.  She puts a high premium on not being embarrassed.  But since I’ve started on that road, I might as well get it all out of my system now and suffer the consequences all at once.”


“For years, people have thought that I kept my treasure buried in a Swiss Bank account.  Since that news broadcast and subsequent showings of the film in question … Oh, on a side note.  If any of you hold stock in the company that produces the “Girls Gone Wild Videos,” sell now before you loose your shirts.  The “Geek Gone Wild” video starring my wife has caused the sales of those other videos to plummet.  Let’s see.  Where was I?  Oh yes.  People now know that I have something … someone more precious than money.  She hasn’t been hidden in some Swiss account; she was hidden in plain sight by her own choice.  Fortunately for me, she let her disguise slip a bit while saving my life and I got a glimpse of the person that she is … and that was more than enough to make acquiring her affections the number one goal in my life.”


“Clara felt that she needed her disguise because she wants to be considered a serious scientist … and beautiful women are often stereotyped as dumb.  If it were a fact that the more beautiful a person is, the lower their intellect has to be, then Clara would have to be THE dumbest person that ever existed.  Not to brag, but I’d be a moron as well.  I’m not am I?  Don’t hate me ‘cause I’m beautiful.  In Clara’s case anyway, we know that a brilliant mind can reside in a breathtakingly beautiful body.  If curing cancer isn’t enough proof of her intellect, what is?  And if you’d like more proof of her physical beauty than the video that is circulating everywhere these days … then meet me in the lobby later … and ... I’ll tell you that you’ve seen as much as you are going to.”


“Clara should be able to be her beautiful self now without fear of being stereotyped.  Clara likes people to trust her because that gives her a better opportunity to help them.  What she hasn’t realized yet, is that there is no real need for her to be taken seriously.  She’s about as rich as they come.  She doesn’t require anyone to fund her research.  She has total freedom in that regard.  If a health issue requires some new legislation to be enacted and Congress refuses to listen to her, she can just buy all the Congressmen.  If the President doesn’t listen to her … well, I won’t let her buy him – I have my hands full explaining things to my children.”


People are quick to judge in this world, and that was one of many reasons I decided to have this party tonight.  Not that I need a reason.  I am the happiest man on the planet so every day is a party to me … as long as I have Clara.  I just wanted to make sure that people didn’t jump from one misinterpretation of my marriage to another that is equally disrespectful to what Clara and I have.  For years, people have asked me why I married Clara.  Everyone loves her.  Half of you here were invited to be with us tonight because Clara has saved you from a terrible death.  Of course, ALL of you may have been saved.  Who is to say how many of you would have eventually succumbed to a disease that Clara’s medications have wiped out?  No doubt you will all live longer and healthier lives because of her research.  Still people would say terrible things like, “Everyone loved Mother Theresa too, but it doesn’t mean that they wanted to wake up next to her in the morning.”  How would they know?  Maybe I like having Clara dress in black and slap me with a ruler.  Go ahead.  Write that one down for the tabloids.  Give that bald headed kid that looks like me a day off.  Anyway, people have continually asked me, “Why did you pick Clara when you could have any woman in the world?”  Suddenly, no one asks that question.  Instead I get a knowing wink and a big thumb’s up from everyone that sees me.  Almost everybody saw the film footage of Clara in her pajamas – they couldn’t avoid seeing it if they wanted to.  Many men tried to avoid it again and again and again and again … but somehow were unable to … even blink.  NOW, everyone understands EXACTLY why I married Clara … and again, everyone is wrong.  As beautiful as my wife is, if all she had going for her was her good looks … and her excellent taste in husbands, … I probably would have ended up with someone else … maybe even someone who looks like Mother Theresa did.  The saying goes, “If looks could kill ….”  In my case, many of the beauties I dated before Clara saved me, had matrimony AND homicide in mind – in that order and in rapid succession.  Marrying a woman for her looks doesn’t do you much good if all it means is that you’ll be leaving a good looking widow.  Oops.  I can see that I’ve made another slip.  I can see some of you men out there imagining Clara as a widow.  You all know how good she looks in black.  I’ll give anyone who wants the job five hundred dollars to start my car for me tonight.  No takers?  I didn’t think there would be.  Believe it or not folks, I didn’t marry Clara for her exquisite good looks .  That was just one of many perks that came with the marriage certificate.  With Clara, it only FELT like I had died and gone to heaven the night I married her.”


“Many of you know that I started seeing Clara when she was fifteen.  Believe it or not, she looked the same when she did at age 15 as she does now at 29.  AND … believe it or not, I waited years for her to grow up before we did anything more than kissing.  I’m not just saying that because her Dad is an excellent shot.  I married into a farming family so let me put it into Dairy terms:  I didn’t get any milk for free UNTIL I bought the cow.  I can’t believe I said that while I’m sober.  Maybe I’m not sober.  Alcohol doesn’t intoxicate me anymore but Clara does.  Those years waiting for her were long and hard – you can’t imagine how hard.  Well, maybe you men can if you turn and take a good look at her now.  Wow!  Look at that glow.  Stand back fellows, believe me, she can put off some heat.  Back to my story:  If you think that my interest in Clara when she was only 15 was inappropriate, this may surprise you.  I DON’T CARE!  Our relationship was the purest, most beautiful thing in my life.”


“Let me add fuel to your fire if you need something to gossip about later.  Give that bald headed boy a second day off!  I didn’t meet Clara when she was 15. I met her when she was six and a half years old.  She was a skinny little thing who didn’t speak a word of English -- not that that stopped her from bossing me around.  I was very sick and ready to die, but she insisted that I stay … that I continue to live in a world that … until that day, had frightened me.  On that day, I chose to live because I knew that one very special person wanted me to … I decided to live … for her – for my little angel.  I also chose not to be frightened anymore.”     


 “I knew Clara for one hour and then didn’t see her until the second time until a little less than nine years later … when she saved my life a second time.  She dragged me out of a river when she was 15 years old.  Of course, by then she was better equipped than Mae West and was in no danger of sinking.  I, on the other hand, would have drowned without her.  But, and this is God’s honest truth, if I never had met Clara or fallen under her un-corrupting influence, the world would have been a lot better place if I HAD drowned.  Without her, I would have become Lionel Luthor Junior … or perhaps, something much worse.  I owe everything … EVERYTHING that I am or will be to that woman.  So if you think for one second that you have any idea of why I love her … why I live for her, think again!  One secret died two weeks ago.  Another will die tonight.  But even when you know a bit more about who my wife really is, you will not even know the half of it.  You will never know the entire truth … it’s not possible.  There are no words to describe what we have.  The most prophetic words I ever spoke were at the end of my first real conversation with Clara.  I told her that our friendship would be the stuff of legends.  And, at least in my mind, it is.  Our love has pulled us back from the grip of death on more than one occasion … and I have no doubt, that when death finally does come … even that will be unable to keep us apart … for very long.”


“So, starting tomorrow, I expect the shoe to be on the other foot.  I expect people to delve into the real mystery.  If you see Clara Josephine Kent Luthor on the street, stop her and ask her why she chose to pull Alexander Joseph Luthor off the path to hell and into her life.  Ask my Angel why she came down from the heavens and chose me.  I certainly haven’t got a clue … but I thank God every day that she did.”


“In the years between meeting Clara as a child and meeting her as a woman, there was seldom a time when I was without female companionship.  With no disrespect intended to those ladies … well, maybe with SOME disrespect to some of them ….  Through all those relationships, I felt alone and isolated … and as unloved as a person could possibly feel.  That ended on the day that me and my favorite Porsche got baptized in the river and pulled out by my Angel.  Let me clarify that.  I got pulled out, the Porsche didn’t make it.  I loved that car, but it was a small thing to lose for what I gained that day.”


“If you didn’t get the point I was trying to make, maybe it got lost in all the words.  Put mare simply … I LOVE YOU ANGEL!  There’s no one else for me and there never could be.” 


“I’m not the best one for picking out songs for an occasion, but there is one that fits the feeling I had that day, when I looked up and realized that my lonely days had come to an end.  The song is “It Might Be You” written by Alan Bergman, Marliyn Bergman and Dave Grusin.  I love the song and the way someone in particular sings it.  I only have one problem with it.  There was no “MIGHT” about it.  My gut told me it WAS her … not that it MIGHT be her.  The other thing that bothers me about the song it is the theme song from a movie about an actor who dresses up like a woman to get a part in a movie.  What self-respecting man would do that?  Sorry if I’m spoiling the mood.  Anyway, that’s the song I chose for this evening and I would like to sing it for you.  Wow!  I would have expected a few of you who know me well to have dashed for the door.  I have about as much musical talent … as I have hair.  I said that I would LIKE to sing the song, but I am inadequate to the task, so I would like to ask a friend – my very best friend and partner, to come up here and sing it for us.  I know she will need some convincing because she usually limits her performances to the shower, the barn and the nursery.  Up until now, she’s managed to keep her singing talent as big of a secret as her natural good looks.  I have a few friends out there in the audience tonight that might be able to convince her to join me on the stage.  Clara, would you PLEASE come up and sing “It Might Be You” for our good friends who have come to honor you tonight?”  The crowd began to applaud.








Clara turned to leave and bumped into Bruce Wayne.  She whispered to him, “It’s a conspiracy!”


Bruce answered her, “Damn straight it is.  By the way, I rather enjoy the dress you’re wearing tonight … what little there is of it.”


Clara whispered, “Just between you and me … you couldn’t stop me if I decide to go … and that’s probably what I’m going to decide.”


Bruce said, “I didn’t think girl scouts like you ran away from a challenge.  But if you do run, I know I can’t stop you … but maybe your neighbor Jon could.”


Clara said, “My Dad isn’t here!”


Bruce said, “Super-senses yet so un-observant.  We need to resume your lessons.  Your father IS here, but I wasn’t talking about him.  I believe you have a vacation home on the FOURTH rock from the sun … and a Mr. Jon Jonz is your closest neighbor.  He’s standing twenty feet to your left.”


Clara said, “I could still …. “


Bruce continued, “And if he couldn’t stop you, maybe the man with the distinctive green ring could.  And Diana and her Mother are here too.  I think they are here to help keep your kids from getting into any kind of mischief.  Maybe one or both of them could lasso you and compel you to get up on that stage.”


Clara said, “Oh my God!  OH MY GOD!”


Bruce said, “Oh, I’m sure He’s nearby as well.  He hasn’t left your side yet.  Come on, you’ve faced down death a hundred times.  What’s the big deal about singing a song in front of your friends?  We all want to hear you sing … although I wouldn’t mind attending one of those shower performances Lex mentioned, Girl Scout.  Your choice.  If I were you, I’d get up on stage now.  Your audience is getting impatient … and you know how easily mob violence can break out … and what I’ll do if it does.”








The crowd was chanting “Clara, Clara, Clara” led by the head conspirator on stage.  Clara slowly made her way forward.  Lex put out his hand to help Clara up the stage steps, but she didn’t accept it.  She just gave him a nasty look.  He brought over a stool for her to sit on.  She began to sit down and noticed the photographers raise their cameras.  She realized that she might not have enough skirt to risk sitting down at all … let alone on an elevated platform.  She pushed the stool aside.  Lex came up and grabbed the stool and the microphone and started to head for the side of the stage.  She asked, “Where are you going with the microphone?”


Lex said, “If you sing the way I know you can, you won’t need it.  No crutches for you tonight.  Tomorrow, I’ll sign you to our record label.  Happy 7th anniversary, Angel.”  Lex turned back to the crowd and spoke into the microphone saying, “By the way folks, today is our 7th wedding anniversary which also marks our 14th year as a couple.  AND, I’m happy to announce that Clara and I are pregnant again … with TWIN baby girls!”  The crowd cheered and applauded as Lex walked to the far side of the stage, sat on the stool and cued the band to play.


The music started and Clara stood center stage with her head down.  Her lips moved a little but no words came out.  Her eyes were brimming with tears.  The band stopped playing.  Then Martha and Jon came up to the front of the crowd with the six children.  The audience applauded again.  Martha blew Clara a kiss.  Clara said quietly, “It’s all one big conspiracy.”  Clara looked into the faces of her children and tried to imagine being in the nursery with them.  She was careful not to look up at the crowd.  The music started again.


Clara began to hum quietly with the music.  The crowd got quieter to try to hear her and the band played a little softer so she could be heard.  She began to sing.



“Time, I've been passing time
Watching trains go by.
All of my life, ….”


Clara swallowed hard and began to sing a little louder.  She lifted her head and stared into her Mother’s eyes for comfort as she continued.

”Lying on the sand watching seabirds fly.
Wishing there would be
Someone waiting home for me.
Something's telling me it might be you
It's telling me it might be you...
All of my life...

Looking back as lovers go walking past...
All of my life,
Wondering how they met and what makes it last.
If I found the place,
Would I recognize the face?
Something's telling me it might be you.
Yes, it's telling me it might be you.”


The audience was totally silent – intently listening to the purity of Clara’s voice.  The people in the band stopped playing so that they could concentrate on listening to her.  Clara finally looked up and continued singing in a strong clear voice as the tears rolled down her cheeks.

”So many quiet walks to take
So many dreams to wake
And we've so much love to make.
I think we're gonna need some time
Maybe all we need is time...
And it's telling me it might be you
All of my life...

I've been saving love songs and lullabies
And there's so much more
No one's ever heard before...
Something's telling me it might be you
Yes, it's telling me it must be you
And I'm feeling it'll just be you
All of my life...

It's you...
It's you...
I've been waiting for all of my life...

Baby it's you...
Yes, Lex, It's you...
I've been waiting for all of my life...

Baby it's you...
Yes, Lex, It's you...
I've been waiting for all of my life....”


The audience immediately yelled for more.  Without think about what she was Clara sang the song a second time … in her native tongue.  The people stood transfixed by the beauty of the words. Many people held hand and felt their nerves endings tingle.  Many cried along with Clara.  A single tear rolled down Bruce Wayne’s cheek.  Startled, he turned and left – quietly but abruptly.  Chloe Sullivan sensed something familiar about the words.  She quietly said to herself, “’Angel Songs’ … Clara Kent was the person that sung ‘Angel Songs!’


When Clara finished singing, she hung her head and wept quietly.  For a few seconds there was no other sound in the room.  Then the crowd suddenly started cheering and applauding wildly.  They were so loud that Clara’s 3 youngest children began to cry.  Photographers positioned themselves below Clara to get pictures of her face.  Chloe made her way to the stage, reached over and tapped Clara on the shoe.  Clara carefully knelt down.  Chloe said, “You’re fantastic!  You are doing great up there!  Hey, there’s something I just realized.  You were my favorite singer long before we even met.  You’re the one!  You’re the one that was recorded singing those songs in Saint Christian’s Church in Smallville!”


Clara sniffled and said, “Not intentionally … and it was Saint Christopher’s Church.”


Chloe said, “I loved that album!  Do you care if I tell let people know?”


Clara said, “You can tell people if you want to … if you’ll promise me something.”


Chloe asked, “What?”


Clara said, “Make sure none of the photographers from the “Daily Planet” got any embarrassing photos of me!  Keep them out of the paper!”


Chloe said, “Your body isn’t anything to be embarrassed about.”


Clara said, “Please, Chloe.  I’ll do you another favor sometime.”


Chloe said, “You can do one for me now.”


Clara said, “What?”


Chloe said, “Sing that song you sang at your wedding.  You know.  The one that Olivia Newton John made famous.”


Clara asked, “You mean “Magic?””


Chloe said, “Yes!”


Clara said, “I can’t Chloe.  I’m a nervous wreck.”


Chloe said, “Oops, I think that “Daily Planet” photographer just got a shot up your skirt.  I hope you put on clean underwear this morning.  But don’t worry about it.  I’m sure the photo will look good on the front page.”


Clara said, “Okay, OKAY!  Just make sure you don’t let them print any pictures I wouldn’t want anyone to see!”


Chloe smiled a dazzling smile and said, “Sure thing. What are friends for?”


Clara stood back up and said, “My friend Chloe Sullivan ….  You know Chloe from her Galaxy Broadcast News reports and talk show and her award winning column in the “Daily Planet” ….”


Chloe shouted out, “NOW IN SYNDICATION!”


The crowd laughed.  Clara said, “… now in Syndication.  She asked me to sing the theme song of my relationship with Lex.  No, it’s not “Stormy Weather” … but that might fit after the surprises he pulled on me tonight.  Since she blackmailed me nicely, I will honor this one request and sing “Magic” by John Farrar.  The only other request I will honor after that is for ‘the sounds of silence’ … and I’m not referring to the song by that title.”


Hal Jordan shouted, “Are you sure about that Mrs. Luthor.  A lot of us out here know secrets about you that can keep you singing all night!”


The crowd laughed.  Clara said, “Well Mr. Jordan, I know your bosses quite well.  They would get a little blue if they hear anything about you blackmailing me, if you know what I mean.  They would be sure to ground you.  I’ve heard some people say that you could be replaced by the Gardner.”  The people that knew what she was talking about made an “Oooooo” sound.  Clara turned to Lex and said, “Help me through this Lex!”


Lex told the band to start playing “Magic.”


Clara faced Lex and sang out, “Come take my hand ….”


Lex walked over to her and took her hand.  She stared into his eyes and continued singing:


“You should know me.

I've always been in your mind.

You know that I'll be kind.

I'll be guiding you.


Building your dream

Has to start now --

There's no other road to take.

You won't make a mistake.

I'll be guiding you.


You have to believe we are magic.

Nothin' can stand in our way.

You have to believe we are magic.

Don't let your aim ever stray.

And if all your hopes survive

Your destiny will arrive.

I'll bring all your dreams alive

For you.


From where I stand

You are home free.

The planets align so rare.

There's promise in the air

And I'm guiding you.


Through every turn, I'll be near you.

I'll come anytime you call.

I'll catch you when you fall.

I'll be guiding you.


You have to believe we are magic.

Nothin' can stand in our way.

You have to believe we are magic.

Don't let your aim ever stray.

And if all your hopes survive

Your destiny will arrive.

I'll bring all your dreams alive

For you.”



Clara buried her head on Lex’s shoulder.  The crowd cheered and the photographers kept snapping pictures.  Clara sniffled and softly said, “Lex, take me home now.  I don’t want to be here.”


Lex said, “We’re not going home tonight, Angel.  But I will take you upstairs soon.  We're staying in the Honeymoon Suite.  Remember?  Did you notice? You’re a big hit!  Of course, you've always been at the top of all my charts."  Lex nodded to the band and they began to play “It Might Be You” again.  Lex started to sway as he held Clara in his arms.  Before long, Clara somehow forgot about the crowd and danced with her husband.  The crowd realized that this wasn’t some video image that they would be able to replay later.  They intently watched every move Lex and Clara made.


Diana took Joel from Martha and Jon and Martha began to dance.  Some other couples danced as well, but most people just watched the couple on the stage.  After a long time, Lex and Clara stopped dancing and kissed each other center stage as if they were all alone in the world.  Clara’s legs quivered.  Lex leaned down and, still kissing her, lifted Clara and cradled her in his arms.  When they stopped kissing, Clara rested her head against Lex and he around looked for one of his men.  He motioned with his head and the man came over. Lex said, “Have the limo brought around.  Then come back and make sure that my guests all have a good time.  Make sure that anyone who has had too much to drink either gets the choice of a room for the night on me or a ride home.  It will be on your head if anyone who shouldn’t be operating a motor vehicle drives away from here.  Got it?”  Lex looked down at Martha and Jon.  Jon gave Lex a smile and a thumb’s up sign.  Lex smiled back then exited stage left with his bride.