Girl Loses Girl
Chloe doesn't want to hate Lana.
She doesn't want to see the shiny girl with the shiny hair and feel tarnished bitterness. She fights against her resentment and jealousy every second of every day and has managed to quash it down to a slow simmer. She's proud of herself for not giving in to the easy way. She can say with only a hint of a lie that she doesn't hate Lana.
No. Not at all.
It wasn't always like this for her. In the early days of junior high, Chloe and Lana were friends. In fact, they'd been best friends since first grade, right from the day Lana shyly offered the use of her pencil when Chloe couldn't find hers. Chloe still had that pencil, eraser chewed off and about as long as the first joint on her pinkie finger, but still the same sweet pink color, only slightly faded.
Sweet pink, just like Lana.
Chloe knew about Lana's parents. Of course she did; everyone in Smallville knew about the poor little orphan girl. But Chloe treated Lana as just her good friend Lana Lang, just a nice girl that giggled over Jonathan Taylor Thomas with her and willingly shared her banana pudding every day at lunch. Lana seemed to like having someone look at her without pity in their eyes. Chloe treated Lana as nobody special and in return, their friendship was special.
Junior high came and Chloe saw Lana go from a pretty child to a pretty girl. Lana's exotic eyes and glowing skin started to draw attention from boys, but she was seemingly oblivious to it. When Lana was invited to a boy-girl party, she refused to attend, citing a need to help her aunt with something, but Chloe knew it was because she hadn't been invited to that party and Lana wouldn't go without her.
That night, as the two girls sat on Lana's lawn and made whistles out of blades of grass, Lana cautiously offered the opinion that she thought Whitney was cute, but she was positive he would never notice her. It was the first time Chloe had heard Lana show interest in anyone else outside their little circle of two and she felt an ugly pang of something petty and unattractive, but she choked it back.
"Lana, I'll bet you ten dollars Whitney knows exactly who you are and would consider himself the luckiest guy in school if he knew you liked him." That much was true, at least. Chloe wouldn't imagine anyone not feeling lucky to have Lana's attentions on them.
Lana blushed, the bloom of rose in her cheeks making her even more beautiful, but she looked doubtful. "Do you really think so? My aunt says boys like a girl who is, y'know, experienced...I've never even kissed a guy."
Chloe rolled her eyes after hearing the familiar refrain, "My aunt says..." In her estimation, anything Nell said should automatically be ignored. How a woman that poisonous managed to bring up a girl as openly sweet and generous as Lana was beyond her.
"Geez, Lana, it's just kissing. It's no big deal."
Lana looked at her. "How do you know? You've never told me you've kissed anyone."
"I just know, okay?"
"But, when did you---"
Chloe leaned over and kissed Lana. Warm lips with a hint of strawberry lip gloss pressed against hers for a moment, tense at first but then yielding hesitantly and molding to her mouth with a soft sigh. A warm rush flooded Chloe's body and she yanked back before she was completely overwhelmed and pushed her best friend down into the damp grass.
She looked up to the stars. "Now we've both gotten our first kiss out of the way." Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Lana touch her lips and wondered if she felt the same tingle Chloe did.
In eighth grade, Lana tried out for cheerleading. Chloe asked her what she wanted to go and do that for. Cheerleaders were stupid, she'd sneered, hadn't they always agreed on that?
Lana looked at her, hurt.
"I made the squad. I guess that makes me stupid."
That's all she said, and they had continued to eat lunch together, but Lana's afternoons and evenings were filled with practices and games. Whitney worked up the nerve to ask her out and the golden couple became a regular fixture at the same kind of parties Lana had declined to attend only a year before.
By then, Chloe had started her collection of weirdness in Smallville and decided she was going to be an investigative reporter when she grew up. If all Lana wanted from life was a pair of pompoms and a dead end marriage to a former football player, so be it. Chloe had new friends - solid, dependable Pete Ross and gawky, fragile Clark Kent - and a new purpose. If lunch was all she had with Lana anymore, she could live with that.
The first day of high school, Chloe watched Lana sit down to lunch with the other cheerleaders, a bright, uncomplicated smile on her lovely face. After school, Chloe hid in a bathroom stall and cried. She cried over the loss of her friend and she cried over the humiliation of being rejected and she cried over the knowledge that now she was the one to be pitied. Poor little Chloe; had the affection of the prettiest girl in Smallville and lost it.
Chloe doesn't want to hate Lana. After all, she loves her.