In the lunchroom Lana was telling the other cheerleaders, "I think Whitney will ask me tonight."
Betty said, "So will you finally say ‘yes’ and let him?"
Lana said, "Of course not! I didn't mean he'd ask me that. He asks me that all the time. I think he'll propose! I've been hinting about other guys that want me and he's getting agitated. And I've seen him window shopping at a jewelry store. He asked if we could go for a ride tonight after school on
Betty said, "How romantic! So ... after he proposes … THEN you're going to let him?"
Lana said, "Of course not! Why would a guy buy a cappuccino machine when he gets a latte for free?"
Betty said, "Maybe if he likes a lot of latte."
Lana said, "He can wait. And once he sees me tonight, he WILL wait. The only thing that could make me look any better would be to have Clara Kent sitting by me. She would make anybody look great by comparison!"
Vera Simpson said, "Shhhh! She might overhear."
Lana said, "She's half the lunchroom away. But it wouldn't matter if she was right next to us. Clara is off in some other world all the time. Plus she knows how ugly she is! Why else would she wear clothes like that to hide her figure? And the only reason she keeps her hair in her face all the time is that she is too cheap to buy acne cream or a brown paper bag! I'll bet that in some states, a woman can get arrested for looking that hideous."
Clara put a napkin to her mouth and spit out of the part of the spoon that she bit off when she overheard Lana's comments. Clara had to be pushed pretty far to get angry, but she was past the breaking point now. The loss of her friendship with Lana had always made Clara feel sad and lonely, but Lana's constant nastiness towards her for no apparent reason hurt Clara so badly that she wanted to get even. She started fantasizing about what she could do that would make Lana feel as bad as Lana had just made Clara feel.
Clara rushed home after school and streaked up to her mother's bedroom closet. She was having a hard time deciding how daring she wanted to be. She had never had a boyfriend before and was unsure how to best dress to hook one. She liked Whitney's Dad a lot. So she thought that, deep inside, Whitney might have the same character. He was handsome and Clara had wondered what it would feel like to kiss him. She wondered how it would feel to kiss ANYONE like real life lovers kiss. At that point in Clara's life, her curiosity had not resulted in an experimental first kiss with anyone. She had practiced kissing her hands and arms so she would be prepared for her first real kiss. Now she was looking for a dress that would work like Cupid's arrow and smite Whitney Fordman as he passed by her in Lana’s surrey on
She picked out a white summer dress that her Mother often wore out in the flower garden as she sat and pulled weeds. Clara always saw her Mother as the queen flower surrounded by the blooms of her flower children. The dress was loose on Martha but would be somewhat snug at the waist and chest on Clara. The skirt length wouldn't be nearly as long on her … probably reaching to just below her knees. The fabric was so thin as to be nearly transparent in certain light. She could often see her mother's white slip below it even without using her special vision powers. Clara looked through her mother's underwear drawer and found a red bra and a black one. She smiled as she thought about it, then picked out some white briefs and a lacy white bra. She undressed and put on the underpants, but the bra wouldn't clasp. For a moment, Clara had no idea what to do. None of her bras would look good if they showed through the fabric of the dress. Then she smiled and threw the bra aside. She put the dress over her head and started to wiggle into it.
Clara felt a pair of hands smoothing the dress down her body. She heard Jonathan say, "Let me help you with that, Honey ... are you putting it on or taking it off?"
Clara let out an “Eek” and spun around as her head popped out of the neck opening. Jon jumped back startled. Jon said, "Clara! What are you doing in your Mother's dress?"
Clara said, "I'm … I'm … I'm playing dress-up."
Jon said, "Aren't you a little old for that?"
Clara said, "I wanted to be more feminine tonight -- to see if I could even look like a girl. Some girls said some bad things about me today at school, and I thought this might make me feel better."
Jon said, "Well, you certainly don't look like a girl dressed like that!"
Clara gave Jon a sad look and said, "Oh, no. I was afraid of that. It's just no use."
Jon said, "You look like a woman."
Clara brightened up and said, "Really?!"
Jon said, "Yes, really. And believe me, I don't think it's a good thing. You're only 15 years old Clara. You should be enjoying the age you are now. You won't get a second chance to be 15 again. You might not think so now, but someday you may regret having grown up too quickly. That dress you're wearing puts 10 years on you. You may as well have a target painted on you for every skirt chaser in a 100 mile radius. I never thought of you as jail bait before, but now I think I'd better go clean my Father's rifle."
Clara said, "OH! Thank you, Daddy!" She gave Jon a kiss on the cheek and headed downstairs.
Jon asked, "Where you going like that?"
Clara replied, "It's a beautiful day. I think I'll take a walk on River Road."
As Clara left, Jon thought to himself, "I think I'll take it drive down that road myself in a little while."
Clara was walking down the River Road, boldly swinging her hips, laughing to herself and licking her lips in anticipation. Every time a car approached, she darted into the woods like a scared rabbit. After a while, she heard hoof beats in the distance. She quickly unbuttoned a couple more of the top buttons in the dress, then reached down and unbuttoned several of the lower buttons as well. She adjusted the dress then sang, "Cupid, drawback your bow!" She inhaled, straighten her posture and pushed out her chest. She began to walk with catlike grace towards the sound of the approaching surrey. She smiled brightly and could hardly contain what she was feeling. When she saw the surrey round the corner in the distance, she swallowed hard and ducked into the woods. With sad and frightened eyes, she watched Lana and Whitney pass by. She said to her self, "Idiot! What the heck were you thinking! Fantasies are one thing, but I'm practically naked out here."
Clara stayed in the woods longer than necessary to make sure that Lana and Whitney were far away, then she came out of the woods and began to wander down River Road. In her mind's eye, she could see Lana and Whitney sitting dangerously close to one another, fingers entwined, lips pressed against each other. She considered how she was the last of her kind. She wondered if she was destined to spend her life alone and lonely. She didn't notice the logging truck coming up the road or how the driver was paying far more attention to staring at her than to how he was driving. He continued to watch he in his side mirror as she stopped at a bridge, leaned over the rail and looked down at the river far below. Lost in her thoughts, she paid little attention to the sound of the truck swerving and dropping part of its load ... and didn't notice the small sports car that was out of control and rushing towards her.
With only moments to spare, Clara turned and saw the silver vehicle. For someone with her speed, she had plenty of time to move out of the way, but she hesitated. She looked into the car and saw the man inside. Her eyes opened wide. A strange pain pulsed in her heart. She said, "It's YOU!"
As the car reached her, Clara bent down and grabbed the bumper to lift the car so it would be spared an impact with the guardrail. She sprung backward so that the car would not be damaged by colliding with her. Totally calm and without a trace of fear, she plummeted backwards towards the river as if she were a hood ornament on the car. As she fell, her eyes never stop studying the man inside the vehicle.
Clara felt the impact as the cold water surrounded her. She considered briefly whether to pull the entire car out of the river or just its occupant -- Lex Luther. She decided that the first would be too hard to explain … plus deep inside, she felt the desire to touch Lex again as she had many years before. Before she knew it, she was sitting on the river shore, with his head in her lap. A quick examination, told her that he was in perfect health, just unconscious. She should have known that already because she had expanded her protective aura around the car to keep it and its occupant from being damaged in any way.
She stared down at him and studied his face. She thought about how beautiful a man he had become. His eyes fluttered open, and she smiled like a child at Christmas -- a child who had gotten something she never dreamed she could have.
He blinked his eyes as he looked at her face, then jumped as if startled. For an instant, Clara thought she must've frightened him, but then he smiled at her in a way that melted her heart and set it racing. Lex's head tilted and she wondered what he was looking at. She could feel his pulse racing. She looked down and realized that her mother's dress was soaked through and clinging to her. To her horror, she immediately blushed all over, and the dress began to look bright pink as her skin show through it. Then she checked Lex's body and was embarrassed when she noticed his physical reaction to what he was seeing.
She forced herself to look back at his face, just in time to feel one of his hands slide behind her neck. His face move closer to her, then she felt his soft lips pressing against her lips. She felt her breath intermingling with his. She heard her heartbeat pounding in her ears. Her mind flashed back to an instant in the spaceship when the air was being sucked out of her and she couldn't breathe. She felt panicked and exhilarated at the same time. Her toes were curling and she felt strange, scary and exciting things going on up and down inside her body. Her nostrils flared as his scent aroused her in a way she had never experienced. She felt energy surging through her and him until she felt him go limp in her arms.
The next several minutes were a blur to Clara. It was like her ability to understand Earth languages had been sucked out of her. She remembered her Father talking to her and wrapping a blanket around her. She remembered him saying angry words, but not directed at her. She remembered looking back at Lex, as her Father took her away. She remembered her Mother and Father tucking her into her bed in the barn loft. She was still in her Mother's white dress.
Jon said, "Do you think it's some new form of meteor rock? Do you think she'll be okay?"
Martha said, "She'll probably snap out of it after good nights sleep."
Jon said, "I wonder if that Lex Luther slipped her something. She hasn't stopped smiling since I found them together at the river."
Martha said, "Maybe she's just recovering from healing some injury he might have had. I certainly don't think there's any drug that could have that effect on her. I think she's just excited about saving a life. AND I like seeing her smiling like that! She still my little angel."
Jon said, "Well, she certainly ISN’T little anymore! And if she goes out of the house looking that much like an angel again, she's bound to bring the devil out in somebody. This has got me dreading the day when that devil, whoever he may be, comes knocking at my door wanting MY daughter."