small town girls




Daisy Chain Reaction
by Homerun Superhero

It started with a chain of daisies. Nothing too significant to the outside perspective. But to me, there is nothing in the world more symbolic.

Our bio-class was out on a half-day field trip, checking out the wonderful world of Smallville nature.

I was walking solo, dodging puddles on the ground that were left as reminders of the freak rainstorm, that had occurred sometime during the night before. I wasn't concentrating on what the teacher was talking about -- just on trying not to get my new shoes completely destroyed by mud.

And then someone was nudging me in the ribs.

"- cold and wet."

Lana Lang, flashing me that 10,000-Watt smile of hers.

I blinked at her.

"I'm sorry, what?"

"I said if you are imagining you are somewhere hot and dry, I resent you for leaving me in the cold and wet."

I laughed, glancing downwards as I did.

"Well, you're very welcome to join me in my imagination next time... and I really wish I'd phrased that differently."

As a blush crept up my neck, I noticed Lana was twirling a daisy chain between her fingers. I guessed she'd been making it since the field trip had commenced. I didn't think they grew in that part of town. Smallville surprises yet again.

"I get what you're saying," she chuckled, "looks like our respective work-partners have abandoned both of us in favour of slimy multi- legged creatures of the dark."

I looked ahead to where Clark and Pete were holding up glass jars and pointing at the `Slimy, multi-legged' inhabitants.

"Boys will be boys," I shrugged, grimacing. "I was glad for the peace. Having Pete chew my ear off about the wacky world of Insectopia for another hour didn't appeal to me for some reason."

"Heard loud and clear." Lana grinned.

There was a stretched moment of silence, then. Lana and I continued walking together, side-by-side, occasionally bumping shoulders.

I was mentally questioning why there was this weird tension between us because by this time, we had become pretty good friends. Having all the crazy meteor-rock induced antics going on in the background of our everyday existences sort of bonded Clark, Pete, Lana and I as a close-knit quartet.

It was kinda like TV.

But, also like TV, things never stay sweet and simple for long. It's only a matter of time before the complications come and twists turn.

"Funny how things turn out, don't you think?" Lana asked, breaking the silence.

I looked at her, at her eyes, and noticed how intently they were focused on mine. That's something that's always amazed me about Lana; her eyes, her gaze. How she can look at you with those dark orbs and no matter how crowded the place is, she can make you feel like the two of you are the only people in the world. God, she really is beautiful - there is no way I could ever doubt it.

"Funny?" I frowned.

"Yeah -- I mean, 2 years ago who would've guessed we'd all be the best of friends.

"Or creepy crime fighting crusaders."

"Yeah," Lana chortled, nudging me softly in the ribs again. "I couldn't have predicted all the weirdness and late night group meetings in the Torch office."

She looked at me again, a delicate smile playing on her gloss-coated lips. We slowed to a stop somehow and she reached forward, touching my hand lightly. Her fingertips were warm against my cool skin. I watched her eyes again -- they were searching mine, deliberately looking for something. She seemed... questioning and nervous simultaneously. I could feel my heart thundering in my chest; my gut was twisting in what I can only describe now as anticipation. Back then, when it was happening, I didn't understand why I was feeling that way. But I knew things were changing, there and then, taking an interesting turn.

Simply because of a look.

"Um, Chloe, there's something I --"

"Hey Lana!" Clark's voice shattered through the atmosphere and it felt like I was crashing to Earth. "Come check out this butterfly."

Ah, butterflies. Lana's weakness.

Lana smiled wryly and rolled her eyes. She looked apologetic.

"Partner guy beckons." She uttered. "I'll catch you later." She made a footstep in the direction of Clark, promptly stepping in a puddle of mud.

She suddenly skidded.

My reflexes kicked in and I reached out, catching Lana under her arms and letting her fall back against me.

I just caught my own footing as I steadied Lana.

My arms were wrapped about her ribcage, my nose buried in her soft, dark hair. I can vividly remember the warmth in contrast to the chill air, and the faint scent of coconut coming off her in waves.

And the reluctance to move. I totally remember the reluctance to move.

"Looks like you caught me first." Lana uttered huskily, still leaning into my... my what? Embrace. Looking back now, I guess that's what it was.

A couple of co-students laughed as they passed us, giving Lana and I motivation to separate. I helped Lana find her feet, and she turned to face me. I laughed to hide my discomfort, to no avail.

"That could've been front-page fodder for the Torch, you know. If it had been anyone but you..." I joked, winking at Lana.

"Thank the powers for small mercies." She responded dramatically.

"Lana! Hey, I'm holding the butterfly!" Clark shouted.

"Big freakin' deal!" yelled some random classmate.

Lana caught my eye and placed the daisy-chain in my hand.

There was that gaze again.

And then she walked away, hopping over the mud puddles (the girl catches on fast) on her short journey to where Clark and Pete stood.

Clark, I thought. It's always Clark. My best friend; my first major crush; my first heartbreak; my rival for Lana's attention. And maybe even my competitor for Lana's affection. How clichˇ.

I looked down at the daisy-chain that hung lazily over my fingertips. Lana Lang gave me flowers.


I wanted to slap myself for reading so much into what was basically an innocent "Here, hold this" scenario.

I glanced over to where Lana accompanied Clark and Pete, both guys gushing over the little white butterfly that Clark was, at that moment, attempting to coax into Lana's own palm.

The scene both touched me and sickened me.

Then her gaze locked with my own, and her lips curled up sweetly.

But I couldn't look at her.

All of a sudden, it ached to look at her, standing there with Clark's hand brushing intimately against hers, touches so light that there was hardly any contact between them at all.

At the time, I thought it was simply because Lana Lang had yet again ditched my company in favour of Mr Wonderful himself, Clark Kent; the guy who always ends up being some kind of hero, therefore making it incessantly difficult to resent him without feeling guilty.

Getting my act together, I picked up my feet and set about catching up with my other classmates, not giving Lana Lang another glance as I brushed passed her. I carefully placed the daisy-chain in my pocket.

I don't think Lana will ever tell me what was playing on her mind, just like I won't ever tell her what has played -- and still plays -- on mine.

But there was no mistaking what I saw in her eyes that day. I don't think so anyway. I mean, you can't confuse attraction.

Maybe I'm just reacting to the touch of her hand or the chain of daisies.

That's it. A Daisy Chain Reaction.

Then why does it feel like so much more?