“It’s Nothing Really”

Rated PG-13

1/1/2006  12:15am



Clara Kent entered the kitchen and said, “Hello, Mom!”  She gave Martha a big kiss on her neck.  Then she turned to Jon and said, “Hello, Dad!” She hugged him and gave him a big kiss on the cheek.


Jon said, “You’re certainly in a good mood today.  Good day at school?”


Clara said, “Not really.  Same old, same old.  I’m still Smallville High’s number one misfit.  I never imagined school would be boring!  They don’t have any teachers who are nearly as good as Mom was when she was home schooling me.  … So, school is still a pain, … but what I did after school was very stimulating!  Stimulating indeed!”


Martha asked, “Did you finally find some kind of extracurricular activity … something social?”


Clara smiled and said, “Yes!”


Martha said, “Thank God!  At Last!”


Clara said, “Oh Mom, you are so predictable!”


Jon said, “I’ve noticed recently that you’ve been dressing much nicer when you come home from school – much more feminine.  So my guess would be that you joined the cheerleading squad and the other girls are giving you fashion advice.”


Clara said, “Me?  A cheerleader?  No way!  Don’t you remember?  I gave up on that idea and became a volunteer at the hospital.”


Martha said, “Hospital work isn’t exactly the kind of social activity I was hoping you would get involved with.  Don’t get me wrong.  Committing to a little community service is wonderful, Dear.  But you overdo it.  You expend all that energy and come home so drained and discouraged that you can’t do more.  I wish you would cut back on that.  I’m disappointed.  I thought you were talking about something new – something involving spending time with people your own age … maybe some of the opposite sex.”


Clara said, “I know what you meant … and I wasn’t talking about my hospital work.  This is something new and something I do just for the fun of it … but I am learning so much at the same time.  AND as to spending time with people my own age and of the opposite sex, … you are half right.”


Jon said, “No more 20 questions.  What group did you join?”


Clara said, “It’s not really a group.  There are just the two of us.  We get together and talk about anything and everything … everything except, of course, about where I come from and what I can do that humans can’t.  I have never met anyone I could talk with so freely and on almost any subject.”


Martha said, “Oh!  It’s that Chloe Sullivan girl you told me about!”


Clara said, “No.  I’d love to be her friend, but she has an inquiring mind.  Her curiosity about weirdness is without limits … and, face it, I’m about as weird as they come.  I’m scared she’d be on to my secret in no time.  … Oh, and it’s not that cutie-pie Pete Ross either.”


Martha said, “Of course it isn’t Pete.  You already told us that the person isn’t of the opposite sex.”


Clara said, “No.  I don’t believe I did.”


Jon said, “Of course it’s a girl.  If it was a boy, you would have known to bring him home before having private get-togethers with him.  Remember, we discussed this before we sent you to public school this year?”


Clara said, “The person isn’t a boy.”


Martha said, “Of course she isn’t.”


Clara said, “HE’s a man – an adult -- someone who is more on my maturity level.  I don’t have much to talk about with boys.”


Jon said, “A man?!  Exactly how old is he?  AND why didn’t you bring him home?”


Clara said, “I didn’t bring him home because you were a little rough on him the last time you saw him … and I promised to meet with him a few times, so I did.  And now that I know how much fun it is spending with him, I don’t want you spoiling it by intimidating him and scaring him off.  He doesn’t know you like I do and he might think that you are serious with your protective Papa Bear act.”


Jon said, “Act?!  Don’t you imagine for one minute that I am not serious when it comes to any man getting anywhere near you.  So, I know this joker?  Who is he?”


Clara said, “Lex Luthor.”


Jon shouted, “LUTHOR!  You’re dating a Luthor!  He’s an adult!”


Clara said, “DAD!  Why are you over reacting like this?  I told you I was meeting an adult.  Meeting … NOT dating!  What’s wrong with me talking to an adult!  I don’t have anything to learn from people my own age.”


Martha said, “You have PLENTY to learn from people your own age.  That’s why you’re in school.  You need to learn how to fit in with a variety people and talk to them and feel comfortable with them.”


Clara said, “A variety?  Smallville isn’t exactly a melting pot.  For the most part is more homogenized  … and whiter than the milk we produce!”


Jon said, “Back on topic!  I don’t want you learning the things that an adult male will want to teach you.  For that matter, and I seem to need to repeat myself about this, I don’t even want you alone with boys your own age unless they come to our home and sit down with me first.”


Clara said, “That’s just not fair.  Do I interview your friends before I let you talk to them?”


Jon said, “You have no idea what many young men and adult men want with women.”


Clara said, “Of course I do!  They like women who dress in a trendy way and hug them and kiss them!  I’m not blind!”


Jon said, “Well I’m glad you know all of that!  But you also need to know this: any adult male who wants to talk to you will have questionable motives, BUT if a Luthor talks to you, he wants something from you – more than you could possibly imagine!”


Clara said, “WOAH!  Lex is NOT his Father!  He is grateful to me for saving his life.  That is IT!  … Or at least, that WAS it.  I hope that I am interesting enough to keep someone interested in me … if I want them to be.”


Jon said, “Why would you want that?”


Clara said, “I didn’t think I would, but he surprised me.  He is smart, witty and interested in a lot of the things I am.  We have opposite views on some things … which is helping me with my debating skills AND helping me to cope with being around human beings.  That’s what Mom wants.  Right, Mom?  You want me to be more social.”


Martha asked, “Aren’t there boys your own age that you can talk to?”


Clara said, “Yuck!  They all watch TV and movies and want to talk about things from pop culture.  It’s like they have never cracked a book or something.  I have nothing in common with them.  AND I don’t know how I could stand to spend time socializing with boys now that I’ve known a real man like Lex.”  Krypto wandered into the kitchen.  Clara extended her hand so that her fingers could rake through his soft fur as he rubbed against her leg as he passed her.


Jon said, “What exactly have you been doing with him?”


Clara said, “Talking … mostly.  You know, I thought he was kind of different looking at first – not the pretty boy I met my first day on Earth.  But the more I talked to him, the more attractive he got.  He just sparkles.  He is really something.”


Jon said, “Has he touched you?”


Clara said, “Not as much as he could have.”


Jon said, “What do you mean by that?”


Clara said, “He has held me a couple times … but mainly I limit us to friendly kisses.”


Jon asked, “How friendly?”


Clara said, “I may as well be honest with you about it.  After I pulled him out of the river, he kissed me without me expecting him to.  I was surprised and was going to pull back … but I gave in and wasn’t careful and it happened and it felt really good.  I let him kiss me longer than 10 seconds … maybe even longer than 15 seconds.  That’s how I lost my virginity.  A friend of his tried it with me since then but I kept it under ten seconds so it doesn’t count.”  Krypto had been looking at Clara as she talked.  Now he shook his head in disapproval.  Clara said, “Keep your thoughts to yourself Krypto!  I thought that you were my friend!  Nobody asked your opinion about how I spent my free time or who I spend it with!”


Martha said, “Don’t you dare take that kind of attitude with Krypto.  He IS your friend and, like us, knows what’s best for you.  I’m sure he’s not thinking anything worse than what your Dad and I are thinking right now!  You DANG well better be thankful that you can’t read OUR thoughts!”


Clara said, “I’m sorry Mom!  REALLY I am!  I know better and … I know it doesn’t matter what other people think is right, but NO ONE waits until marriage anymore to let someone kiss them like that.  NOBODY!  I bet even you and Mom didn’t wait!”


Jon said, “Of course we did!  That’s a terrible thing to say about us.  We kept the kissing to less than seven seconds until our wedding ceremony!”


Clara looked down so she didn’t have to see the anger and disappointment in her Father’s eyes.  She quietly said, “I’m sorry.  I shouldn’t have said that.  I didn’t plan to let Lex kiss me like that.  It just happened.  But I didn’t make him stop and have let him kiss me like that a few times since then, so I accept total responsibility for it.”


Jon said, “So, how many times has he “met” with you?


Clara said, “About 12 times … not including the day I pulled him out of the river.  We didn’t talk that day.  We just … you know.”


Jon said, “You mean he took your virginity before even saying a word to you?”


Clara said, “It sounds worse than it was.  It was kind of romantic.”


Jon said, “It was lust -- nothing more than lust.  The man must be some kind of pervert.  I will try my best to forgive you for what you’ve done, but I don’t want you to meet with him like that again.”


Clara said, “Okay, okay.  I’ll bring him home with me so you can talk to him.”


Jon said, “Don’t bother.  I have nothing to say to that man.  If I saw him, I would probably have to hurt him.  So I don’t want to see him … and I don’t want YOU seeing him either … not EVER!”


Clara said, “It’s nothing, REALLY!  We’re just friends!”


Jon said, “If it’s nothing, you won’t mind giving him up.”


Clara said, “What I meant was that what we’ve been doing together is nothing worth you worrying about.  No one like Lex Luthor is going to want to spend a lot of time with me.  I have to enjoy it while it lasts.  It’s not like we’re going to get married someday.    But Lex is not a ‘nothing.’  A friend is not a ‘nothing.’  No person is a ‘nothing.’  And he’s the only person that I’ve ever been able to talk to!”


Jon said, “You have me and your Mother to talk to.”


Clara said, “It’s not the same thing!  Are you trying to keep me isolated like my first parents did?”

Jon said, “When it comes to adult males, you’d better believe it!  When it comes to a Luthor, I’ll yank you out of public school in an instant and watch you 24/7 to keep you away from him.  I’ll even use kryptonite and lock you up if I have to!”  Jon looked across the room and said, “Krypto, you’ll help guard her too, won’t you?  You’ll keep her from leaving the farm.”  Krypto nodded his head.


Clara said, “Mommy, you aren’t going to let them do that to me, are you?”


Martha said, “Sorry, Honey.  I have to agree with your Father and Krypto.  You are too young and naïve to go up against a Luthor.  He’s already gotten you to give him everything that a man wants from a woman.  He’ll be tired of you soon enough and go off to kiss other women.  The sooner this ends the better.  The more involved you get with him, the harder it will be on you when he finally tosses you aside.  It might have been different if you hadn’t given him what he wanted so easily.”


Clara said, “I know he’ll get tired of me soon, but I don’t want to give up a minute of our time together.  It is so much fun talking to him.  I want as much of that as I can get.”


Martha said, “Are you being honest with yourself.  Is it the talking that you like so much?”


Clara said, “Mom!  I know I’ve been bad, but I want to be honest with you about what is going on.  That’s why I’m telling you all of this.  As soon as I realized how much these conversations with Lex meant to me, I wanted to tell you about it.  You and Dad are the only people that I can be totally honest with.  That is important to me.  But so is Lex.  I didn’t want to hide what I was doing.  I knew that you wouldn’t be happy that I let him kiss me.  I know I’m not supposed to do that.  But I told you anyway.  I thought that you would finally be happy that I have a REAL friend!”


Martha said, “That’s awfully rude for you to say in front of Krypto!”


Clara said, “Krypto?  He ….  What are you talking about?  Krypto has been dead since before Krypton exploded!”


Jon said, “This is for your own good.  You’ll understand when you’re older.  Sheriff Ethan wasn’t nearly as smooth of an operator as Lex is … and look how he manipulated you.”


Clara said, “OH, NO!  Daddy!  You weren’t supposed to ….  Mom!  Did you tell Daddy about that?!”


Martha said, “Of course I told him.  I also told him all about how you have dressed differently a few time recently – the way a woman dresses to get the wrong kind of attention.  I even told him about the times you borrowed some of my sexier underwear before you left the house to meet someone.”


Clara said, “MOM!  I trusted you!  And Daddy … Sheriff Ethan … that … that … that was different!  I was a little girl when that happened!”


Jon said, “You still are a little girl … MY little girl … and I WON’T have Lex Luthor putting his filthy mouth on yours!  Promise me that you will never talk to him again.  Promise me that if you ever see him walking your way, you’ll run away in the opposite direction.”


Clara said, “Daddy!  Don’t ask me to promise that!  I can’t!  Talking to him is the best thing in my life right now.  I feel whole when I’m with him.  I feel like I’m pretty and like that’s not a bad thing.  I feel like I have a future and a reason to be here.  Please, Daddy.  PLEASE!”


Jon said, “Look at you.  Look at the influence he’s already had on you!  First he takes your virginity so that no other man will ever want you.  Then he convinces you to lie to us – destroying our trust and our bond.  Promise me that you’ll stop seeing him … or I’ll take my Father’s shotgun and see to it that no one this side of Hell ever talks to him again.”


Clara said, “NO!  No Daddy!  You can’t mean that!  Should I have kept my meetings with Lex a secret from you?  Should I have pretended that I wasn’t seeing him?  Should I pretend that I don’t love him more than I love myself.”


Jon asked, “What did you just say?”


Clara said, “I’m sorry.  I said that wrong.  It’s nothing really.  We’re just friends!”


Jon said, “I’ve never had to paddle you before, but you aren’t too old for me to start.  Promise me that you won’t see him again!”


Clara shouted, “NO!!!”  Jon went into the living room and came back with his Father’s shotgun.  He began loading shells into it.  Again, Clara shouted, “NO!!!”  She turned to her Martha and said, “Mama, make him stop!  Make him stop!  Mama, help me!  Mama, help me PLEASE! “


Martha said, “Clara, what’s wrong?!  Do you need me?”


Clara shouted, “YES, yes, yes, yes yes!”


Martha said, “I’ll get on a robe and be out there as soon as I can!”


Clara opened her eyes.  It was dark.  She was in bed in her loft.  She said, “Mom?”


Martha’s voice answered back from the intercom, “Yes, Honey.  I’m hurrying!”


Clara said, “Bad dream … just a bad dream.  Sorry.  Go back to sleep.”


Martha’s voice said, “If you want, I can come over.  We can talk about it.  You know we can talk about anything.”


Clara said, “I know.  It was just something stupid.  Forget about it and go back to sleep.”


Martha asked, “Chicken men again?”


Clara said, “Ummm.  Yeah.  That’s it.  Stupid childhood fears.”


Martha said, “I could sleep out there with you if you want me to … keep you company.”


Clara said, “No Mom.  That’s okay.  Sleeping with me could be dangerous.  I’m better now that I’m awake.  Thanks.  Mom ….”


Martha asked, “Yes?”


Clara said, “I love you.  I love you too, Dad … if you’re listening.”


Martha said, “Nothing would wake up your Father tonight, but I can speak for him when I say that we love you too, Honey.  Have some sweet dreams.  You deserve them.  Good night.”


Clara said, “Good night.”


Clara sat up all night wondering if her parents would really forbid her to see Lex if she told them about the things they had done together – the talking and prolonged kissing.  She never kept any secrets from them – except for painful memories from before she came to Earth … and things that would worry them unnecessarily -- like how she was treated at school and how scared she was most of the time.  She told herself that the meetings with Lex were nothing to bother her parents with.  She laughed nervously about the part of the dream where she said she loved Lex more that she loved herself.  She loved most people more than she loved herself so what she had said in the dream didn’t mean anything … not really.  She suddenly noticed Krypto Two looking up at her and casually pushed him off the bed.  She told herself that she could stop seeing Lex Luthor anytime.  He was only a friend … someone interesting … someone with a wonderful smile … someone funny and sophisticated … and attractive ….