And Then She Kissed Me
Life would have been a whole lot easier if I had never met her or at least,
if I had never gotten to know her in the smallest way. If I had followed the
rules, if I had been a good little cheerleader, stayed with the "in crowd",
happily dated the latest hot jock. But I had taken a chance to be more,
mostly because of her. I don't know the first time I saw her, really saw her
in that special way, maybe I wasn't even looking at her at the time. A girl
on the squad had just put down a copy of "The Torch" complaining that last
weeks pep rally and her stunning split hadn't been mentioned properly. So I
picked it up and read what had been written. I was amazed by Chloe's humor
that day. I took school paper home with me that night and read it cover to
cover, over and over. And the next day Chloe looked different to me, no
worse or better, just different. It's not really something I could explain,
just a feeling. She was something unique in a sea of Sameness. I was a
pretty girl on the cheerleading squad, a dime a dozen, but she was unique.
I'm surprised Whitney didn't catch me staring at her laughing with Clark and
Pete from across the cafeteria. But there was times when Whitney, as sweet
as he was, was just clueless. In the end, that probably worked to my
advantage. I admired Chloe, I wanted to know Chloe, I wanted to be with
Chloe ... And I couldn't believe I'd had that last thought.
I guess I've grown use to the thought in the last couple years. We're
juniors now, different from the 15 year olds we were when I first began to
analyze those things I felt. And yet we're still the same in so many ways.
Whitney still calls me, I keep hoping he'll meet some other girl, that I'll
never have to face him with the words "I've moved on", but he wouldn't
understand who I've moved on to. He wouldn't understand it's her face I see
in my dreams at night. How could he? I don't understand it.
I try to push it off as just a high school crush, the one I can't talk about
with anyone, but it's hard to believe it's been over two years since I took
her words home with me and she's never left me. Maybe a long time ago it was
just a thought, a feeling that was different for this girl, a need to be
close to her. Especially after my mother's speech, actually hearing my
mother speak to me at all outside my dreams was amazing and Chloe gave that
to me. I've never really had a girl that was my friend, really my friend. I
just haven't found many worthy of being close to. . . and then there was
And now here we are, side-by-side on a bus to Metropolis to check out
Colleges. Somehow it worked out that Clark and Pete didn't come. Not that I
have anything against the guys, I love hanging out with them, they're both
sweet, but I was glad to have her to myself. It's funny she still seems
surprised when I gravitate toward her. I guess she always assumed it had
something to do with Clark before, but Clark isn't here. She welcomes me to
sit beside her. I think I see her glance at my other seating options, trying
to figure out why my choice was her.
"You excited?" I asked sitting down. "You get to visit your old home."
"Smallville's my home, I've gotten use to that fact. The last time I visited
Metropolis, I found out I have unfortunately been turned into a happy
Smallville country bumpkin."
"Is that what I am?"
"It doesn't matter, you they'll probably mistake for a super model," Chloe
I kind of laughed to myself. I was mostly tired of being seen as the
'beautiful girl', but the thought that Chloe saw me as beautiful somehow
made things different.
"I'd rather be seen as a country bumpkin," I mumbled.
"What?" Chloe questioned.
"Nothing," I replied. Chloe studied my face. It made me nervous to have her
looking at me that way. "What did you mean?" Chloe questioned.
"I don't know, I just feel like sometimes, no matter what I do, that's all
people see. Either the fragile little girl in the fairy princess costume or
the popular cheerleader, homecoming queen, blah blah blah. I should have
just kept the pom poms."
Chloe sighed. "A couple years ago I probably would have agreed, but now I
know better. Would that have really made you happy to stay on the squad?"
"I starting to find out I don't know what makes me happy," I replied. "I
know what makes them happy, the homecoming queen. Even Clark..." I paused,
not wanting to bring that particular name into the conversation. "I'm sorry,
I know he's your--"
"Clark's a lot of things," Chloe interrupted. "But sometimes, I don't know,
he seems like he's not really there. So many things go on in his head, but
he never really opens up. I don't even know what we are most of the time."
"I like Clark, it's hard not to like Clark, he's a total sweetheart. But I'm
kind of glad he's not here," I told her. I couldn't believe I said it out
Chloe didn't respond, what could she really say that wouldn't make the
situation more awkward? I changed the subject by pulling out a Metropolis
University flyer and talking about classes and majors. This kind of small
talk made the trip much easier.
I had somewhat planned the bus trip, been plotting to sit with Chloe. I
didn't plan the room arrangements. But by some twist of fate, we were made
roommates. And since we weren't really close with anyone else who came
along, I could see even she was happy about it. Maybe she wouldn't be if she
knew the bad bad thoughts in my mind. But were they bad, was I bad? Most
people would think it was bad, but they didn't matter, Chloe mattered. Would
Chloe think it was bad? Or would she say she had been feeling the same way?
I didn't really have much time to think about it. We were off on our first
college tour minutes after putting our bags down. I was happy Chloe stuck
pretty close to me. It was really easy not having the guys around, because
there were no distractions from each other.
After walking around the campus our guide took us to eat in one of the
Metropolis U. dinning halls. I volunteered to get the beverages for Chloe
and I after we sat down. She bought some sandwiches and we met at the table.
"I fixed your coffee the way you like it," I told her as I sat down.
She took a sip, "Perfect, thanks, How'd you know how I like it?"
"After that disaster with the job at the Beanery, I decided if I was going
to run the Talon I would practice getting it right." And I pay attention to
everything you do.
Chloe smiled. "See you have talents yet to be discovered beyond pom poms."
"Oh yeah, I learned to fix a good cup of coffee. That's a world class
"Don't underestimate that skill, especially when it comes to people like
me," Chloe said. "A skill like this could gain you your own personal slave."
I smiled to myself as she took another sip. I tried not to think about all
the things that could happen if she was my personal slave.
"So you going for business classes or anything, so you can run the Talon
"I don't know. It's like I stopped wearing the necklace all the time because
I realized it was time to let go. But then I just grabbed onto the Talon.
And now... now I don't know. The Talon's in Smallville, I don't know if I
want the rest of my life to be there with it. It must be great for you, You
know what you want to do."
"I guess," Chloe said. "Except--" She stopped, as if she didn't want to
share to much more.
"Sometimes I feel like it's all I really have," Chloe said. There was some
reluctance in her voice as she spoke, as if she didn't want to say it, but
had to. "With Clark it's like there's always something he's keeping from me
and ever since Pete had that growth spurt he's shot up to Whitney status on
the football team. It's like I lost him too. You, you found out cheerleading
wasn't for you, so you tried something else. But if I fail as a journalist,
I lose everything I am."
"I know you love your work Chloe and you are an amazing reporter. I mean, if
I'm half as good anything as you are a journalist, I'd count myself quite
successful. But it's only a part of you, not all of you. There's more there
to love." Did I say love?
"Don't flatter me?" Chloe said.
I never got to finish. This guy came out of nowhere and threw his hands over
"Guess who?" the guy said.
Mike had dirty blond hair and big blue eyes. He could have been considered
cute, in a boyish way that is. He certainly didn't look like the College
sophomore Chloe would later explain that he was.
"How'd you know?" he said removing his hands.
"I always know you Mike?" Chloe said getting up and turning toward him. "I
was hoping you would be here."
She smiled that big gorgeous smile of hers and greeted him with a hug. She
didn't have to explain he was an old friend, probably from her Metropolis
days, it was obvious in the way they spoke. I only picked up bits of
conversation as they exchanged friendly chatter. All I could do was sit
there pretending the pattern I was tracing on my napkin was actually
interesting until it suddenly occurred to them I was sitting there.
"Who's this?" Mike asked.
"Lana Lang, she's a friend from school."
She called me a friend?
"Hey," he said.
"Hello," I replied.
"You have a great look, I bet the camera loves you, are you a model?"
It was exactly as Chloe had predicted on the bus, perhaps that's why she
rolled her eyes. I smiled, it was kind of sweet that he was flirting with
me, but at the same time I wanted him gone. He was Chloe's friend, so I
decided to be polite.
"He is a photographer, so it's not a line," Chloe explained. "At least not
totally. Thought I'm sure used it as a pick up line a couple times."
"Still a cut up," he said ruffling her hair , making it fly in all kind of
wild directions. This didn't make her to happy. I however, couldn't help
smiling to myself, a real smile, not a polite one. It was amazing Chloe
still managed to look adorable with her hair tossed wildly about her head.
She seemed less upset after he hugged her again. Still, she struggled to fix
her hair. I sat there for a few indecisive moments before I acted.
"Let me," I said hoping it didn't come out wrong. I stood up behind her and
ran my fingers through her wild hair. Touch, it's an amazing sensation. And
there was something intimate, maybe only in my own mind, about running my
fingers through her hair. If only I let my hand roam lower, across that
little spot on her neck that I dream about kissing. I stopped myself before
I let my thoughts go any further.
"All done," I said sitting down.
"Thanks," she replied, barely looking in my direction as she and Mike
continued talking about old times. They exchanged current numbers, just as
we were about to leave. As we left, Chloe casually told me she and Mike had
known each other a long time. She usually saw him when she came to visit
Metropolis and kept in contact with him through e-mail.
As soon as we got back to our room, Chloe called him. They talked and
laughed for a few minutes. She barely looked at me, even after she hung up.
The connection we had been building at lunch slowly seemed to be fading.
"Did you two ever date?" I asked as she got off the phone.
"Mike and I?" Chloe asked perplexed. "No, never, Mike's just a friend. Why?"
"I thought you had fallen for that model line he threw at you."
She was searching through her bags for something. I was convinced she forgot
I was in the room. I didn't know what I could do to make her see me and I
knew the only chances I would probably get lay in this room.
I finally figured out she must have been looking for a different shirt
because she took off the one she was wearing without a glance at me. As I
sat there I visualized walking up to her, putting my hands on her bare back,
kissing her spine and my hands moving around her waist to her pert little...
"Lana," Chloe said as if she was repeating herself.
"Huh?" I said coming back into reality.
"Does this look okay?"
I knew she was only asking because I was there. I hope I hadn't been staring
"It's fine," I replied. I would have said 'fine' to anything, I wasn't
really paying attention.
"It's not that I'm trying to impress Mike," she said talking more to herself
than me, trying to convince herself that's not what it was about, because I
could tell she was trying to impress Mike. "He tries to pretend he's so
sophisticated," Chloe said. "And behind the camera he's a genius. But
otherwise he's so immature. Always playing games, cracking jokes. You see
what he did to my hair?"
"I thought it was kind of cute." Did I say that out loud?
She let it go and went to get dressed. After she got dressed she looked at
me for a few seconds as if sudden realizing I hadn't moved since we'd gotten
back. "Lana, you want to....you know....come hang with Mike. I sure he'd
I didn't care what he'd like. "That's okay," I said pulling out a book from
my bag. I could tell by the way she was asking it was a pity invite and if
she didn't want me there, I didn't want to be there.
"Okay," Chloe said grabbing her jacket.
I laid down and began to read my book, aware of her leaving. Chloe wasn't
someone you looked at and saw clearly, but to know her was to love her. And
to love her, to love her ... I wondered how Clark could have let her slip
through his fingers for so long. Clark was sweet, but much like Whitney he
was sometimes so stupid.
I don't know when she came back, I heard her, but I didn't see her. She
crashed on her bed, mumbling. The only thing I heard was "guys" and
"idiots". I glanced at my alarm clock, it was almost 2 in the morning. Chloe
looked upset, but I didn't want to disturb her and I probably wasn't the
type of girl she wanted to see in times like this...then again...
"Chloe," I said sliding out of bed, my book dropping on the floor. She tried
to turn her back to me. Why was I acting in direct opposition to logic?
"Are you okay?" I asked.
"Lana Lang is asking me if I'm okay. No, I'm not okay. I'm sick of it. I try
so hard to pretend I don't want it, that I don't want someone to look at me
and see what they see when they see you. But I do, doesn't everybody want to
be someone's fantasy?"
You're my Fantasy. "Is this about Mike?"
"No it's not about Mike, at least not just this Mike, it's about all of
them. I'd just like to be seen as beautiful once. Not fun, not good
personality, not friend. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a fan of --"
"I think you're beautiful," I blurted out. I couldn't believe I said that
out loud, I didn't mean to. And when she looked at me, looked at me like I
had just said the most insane thing in the world, I wanted to run. I guess I
said it because I wanted her to talk to me and not to the room. Ever since
we ran into Mike, she hadn't spoken to me -- she spoke to that person she
always did, that person that was around. I was just someone she tolerated.
"What did you say?" she finally asked.
"I think you're beautiful," I said. 'Shut up Lana Lang' my logical mind
said, but the words had made themselves known, so I kept talking. "I've
thought it or a long time. I tried to fight it, but I've always had a little
bit of a crush on you." She was staring at me as if I turned into a Martian
or something before her eyes. She was staring at me like she didn't know me.
"Wow," she said sitting down. I think a witty reply was beyond her.
"I'm sorry, I just made this situation really awkward." I turned back toward
We didn't speak for the rest of the night.
We had a weird second day as we checked out another College. We were near
her cousin's apartment, so as soon as our tour was done Chloe fled. She was
back in the room before it was too late. I pretended to be sleep as she
walked around getting ready for bed. It took everything in me not to even
look at her. The fear of embarrassment is powerful.
"Lana," she finally said.
I sat up, turned and looked at her. No use in pretending I'm sleep, she
knows I'm not.
"Are you ... you know ... gay?"
I shrugged. "I like you, that's all I know .... Listen Chloe I don't want..
"I never thought about it," Chloe said. "I just never thought about it. I
mean you're you and I'm...I'm me. I mean even if ... you and me. I just
never thought about it and then today..."
"It was all I could think about?"
Was that a good thing or a bad thing? I didn't want to ask. I was scared
then. I couldn't move, I couldn't speak. I didn't know what she meant. This
wasn't the usual Chloe. She was falling over her words. I was falling over
my words. Screw words, words were getting us nowhere, it was time for
action. At this point what did it matter? It was like I was possessed as I
got up and walked over to her. And then I just kissed her, full on the lips.
She was shocked at first, I was shocked at first, but I couldn't pull away
and she didn't pull away, she embraced me. We kissed gently at first,
testing. Then harder, deeper, and I melted into the kiss in a way I never
have before releasing 3 years of pent up teenage desire. Then without
warning she pulled away.
"I'm sorry" I said.
Chloe didn't say anything. Suddenly flushed with embarrassment again I
started to walk away.
"Don't be sorry," she replied grabbing my arm. And then she kissed me.