Someone Close To You

I am standing here in the middle of the street, watching Clark Kent shatter in front of me, and all I can do is smile.

A minute ago, we were standing on the street corner, talking about Clark's favorite subject, Lana Lang, and waiting with another person for the stoplight to change. The woman beside Clark was wearing headphones and I could hear the music clearly, which was something that annoyed me.

The light eventually changed, and we began to cross the street. The high squeal of brakes and the sharp blare of a horn was all the warning we had. Clark latched onto the back of my collar and yanked. We jumped backwards more than a yard, out of the path of the oncoming produce truck.

For a brief instant, I saw relief reflected on Clark's face, followed closely by pride -- the type of pride one has when overcoming seemingly impossible odds. The sickening thud of a body being hit by the truck ended the moment, and now Clark is breaking to pieces before my eyes as he brushes the woman's hair from her bloodied face, her headphones in a tangled mess around her neck.

And I'm smiling.

I'm smiling because Clark had mistaken the prophetic warning that the blind woman had given him; the warning he'd been worrying about all week. "Someone close to you is going to die," she had predicted ominously. Clark had thought that meant someone close emotionally, and not just in physical proximity. And now the woman who was walking beside us is dead, and I'm smiling like a fool because I knew what Clark had assumed.

It's shallow of me to be focused on the fact that Clark considers Lex Luthor, town pariah, as someone he's emotionally close to, but who cares? I didn't know the dead woman and, yes, it's a tragedy, but I won't be losing sleep over her demise. Clark's actions prove that he likes me, he really likes me -- which sounds overly Sally Fields, but it doesn't make it less true.

I should go over to Clark and allow him to cry on my shoulder as I comfort him with inane platitudes like: it wasn't his fault; he couldn't have prevented the accident; and prophecies were tricky to understand. Then, I'd take him home, explain to Ma and Pa Kent what happened, and tell them I'd try to persuade the Sheriff that my testimony would be enough so as not to distress Clark further. I might even go as far as to pick up the tab for the deceased woman's funeral. Yes, that's what I'll do.

As soon as I stop smiling.


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