The world had proved to be too small a place for him. So had the universe. He didn’t think he could stand coming back to Earth. Watching Lois grow old while he remained young and vital had been painful for both of them – but their love made it necessary for them to stay together until the very end. They took their pleasure when and where they could find it. When Lois died, so did Clark Kent and Superman. Only Kal-El remained and he chose to lose himself in the universe. But he could never escape who he was. He carried his prison with him.
He took the route his ship had followed when he had first come to earth as an infant. He allowed himself to burn in the fire of re-entry and fall to the ground as his ship had landed over 2 centuries before. Instead of landing on his feet he tumbled to the ground and allowed himself to roll to a stop on the fields where he first walked the Earth. In his mind’s eye, he imagined Jon and Martha greeting him. He slowly walked the countryside heading towards the place where the Kent Farm had been. He purposely didn’t use his keen senses to know in advance what he would find. He needed time to prepare for whatever mini mall or corporate headquarters or desolate ruin he might find in the place that had been his home. As he approached, he felt that his old mind had finally gone. His home was exactly as he had remembered it. It had been left un-touched by time. The sign at the gate still read “Kent Farm.” It was the same sign Hiram Kent had carved by hand long before Kal had set eyes on the place. Perhaps some historian had discovered who Clark Kent was and had preserved the place as a historical monument. He walked to the door as if in a trance. He swore he could smell Martha’s cooking inside. His mouth watered at the smell and his eyes teared at how the universe had conspired to leave him so all alone.
Then he felt a pair of strong hands on his shoulders. He attempted to spin and confront whoever had gripped him, but he found he could not move against the force that held him. The hands began to rub and massage his shoulders and neck with enough force to bend steel as if it were putty. He involuntarily relaxed. His nostrils flared as he caught her scent. Ryanna said, “So tense, Clark! Why should you be so tense? This is your home.” The hands dropped to around his waste as he felt himself being hugged from behind. He was at last free to turn around and see a face that had be unchanged by time. His surprise betrayed him. Ryanna asked, “What, Clark? Did you expect me to be an old crone – or dead?”
Kal answered, “I expected you to be long gone – exploring the universe – having wild adventures.”
Ryanna said, “How little you knew me, Clark. This place was always the world to me. It was the Kingdom Jor-El promised me centuries ago. Here I was safe and loved. This is my home. The universe is fascinating, but I can find out all about it from my … OUR little home. What did you find in your travels, Clark?”
Kal answered, “Everything … Nothing.”
Ryanna asked, “Have you had many adventures?”
Kal answered, “I would have to cut down all the trees on Earth to make enough paper to write them all down.”
Ryanna said, “Ooooo! Don’t do that. I love trees. Each one has its own story. Why don’t you just come inside and tell me everything?”
Kal answered, “That would take a hundred years.”
Ryanna smiled and said, “I have the time. Tell me, is there anything you haven’t done? Any adventure you haven’t experienced?”
Kal answered, “No, I’ve done it all. I don’t know whereto go next or what to do.”
Ryanna said, “Then don’t go – STAY. Tell me of your children, Clark. How are they?”
Kal answered, “I never could have children.”
Ryanna answered, “We both know that that isn’t true. And I guess you weren’t being honest with yourself about having every adventure there was. You haven’t experienced the greatest adventure of them all – parenthood.”
Kal said, “That’s true.”
Ryanna said, “I know, Clark that I’m just your kid sister to you and will always be. But I was literally made for you. I’ve waited patiently for you and, by now, our age difference is insignificant. I love you Clark and always have. And there will never be anyone else for me. If you choose to leave again, I’ll understand. But know this: I will be here waiting for you. I will fight every force in the universe to keep this place for you. But if you stay, I will be patient – not pushy. I will learn to be the person you need me to be so that you can be happy being with me.” Kal felt Clark stirring within him. He just smiled and said nothing. He took Ryanna’s hand and kissed it, and then he laced their fingers together. Ryanna said, “LOOK! We fit! Did I mention that I know ALL of Mom’s recipes … and that supper is ready?” Clark smiled even bigger and they walked hand in had towards the door. Ryanna said, “Oh, and dinner dress is clothing optional.”
Clark straightened up a bit and said, “Hey, I thought you weren’t going to be pushy!”
Ryanna said, “But I’ve had to wait sooooo long!” She let herself giggle for the first time in over a century as they crossed the threshold of their home.