Summary: Have you ever met someone so unlike any other person, that they grab your attention and force you to notice them?
She's unlike any other woman I've ever met.
All of this I had to deduce at a glance, for barely more than a minute as she interrupted my interview with Mr. White. No, interrupted may be too polite a word. More like just barged right in. She was so focused on getting what she wanted that she didn't even notice that her boss was otherwise occupied. She didn't see me sitting there. And when Mr. White made the introduction, I was visually appraised and dismissed in the span of a heartbeat.
But in that heartbeat, my life was changed.
Metropolis was just a city before that moment. A bustling, loud, dirty, busy, incredible city. And the Daily Planet was just a paper. A world renown newspaper to be sure - one of the best, in fact! - and one I had sincerely hoped to secure a job at. But that was before Lois Lane. With that first glance, my heart raced and I found myself lost in the depths of her beauty. In that moment, Metropolis and the Daily Planet were no longer options. They were necessities.
What become necessary was finding a way to get to know Lois Lane.
Her beauty - striking. If Helen of Troy could launch a thousand ships with her beauty, Lois could easily incite a third world war with her looks. Her passion - a roaring inferno that set my entire body ablaze with admiration and desire. Her heartbeat - a Siren call to this travel-weary soul.
But my experience wasn't good enough for Mr. White. I can't blame him. Most of my work is not exactly hard news. The overwhelming majority of it is fluff pieces - the only work I could get as I moved around from place to place, rendering me able to only take freelance positions, for the most part. I'm sure that same spotty employment record didn't foster any confidence in Mr. White either, even with the recommendation from Professor Carlton. How could he trust that I was any good as a writer? How could he trust that I wouldn't up and leave in a few short months, just like I have at every other publication I've worked for? Blamelessly, he declined to offer me a position at the paper.
It was a blow to my heart. The Daily Planet had been a dream job for me, but I always knew that I could work for any other well respected paper in any other city. I did not have a "Daily Planet or Bust" mindset going into the interview at all. It was losing the chance to get to know Lois that truly hurt. So I decided, as I rode the elevator back down to the lobby, that I would work myself, push myself, as hard as possible until I became a reporter that Mr. White could deem acceptable and Lois could take notice of. I would not rest until I secured employment at the paper where my heart now truly resided.
All because of her.
She's not like other women and sometimes it can drive me crazy.
It's obvious that she resents being saddled with the Planet's newest and - in her eyes - greenest, employee. It's even more obvious that she resents my very existence, as if just by being around me, she's had to lower herself in some unfathomable way. It should bother me - it does bother me - but not in the way I'd imagined it would.
Underneath the tough-as-nails veneer, I can sense that Lois is hiding away a very vulnerable, likely already wounded, heart. And it makes me sad and protective of her all at the same moment. I want to confront those who have hurt this wonderfully complex, fascinating, brilliantly beautiful woman. I want to fix all the broken pieces of her heart, to mend all the hurts she carries within the privacy of her soul. I want to right all the things that are wrong in her world.
I want to be her world.
She's already my universe.
My once bleak and lonely world is now filled with sunshine and companionship, even if Lois doesn't yet recognize or want that to be the case. My thoughts are filled with her, the very mention of her name bringing a smile to my lips, her essence surrounding me like the finest perfume that ever was. My heart yearns for her, each resounding thump of it pushing a love for her through my veins. My dreams bring me to her in ways that I can only wish for, even if I can't yet allow myself to believe that they may one day come to pass.
Simply put, Lois Lane is perfection. And more than anything, I want to be free to love her, and God willing, be loved by her in return.
She's incredible. Every day she pushes me to be a little bit better than I was the day before. Sometimes, these nudges are gentle and completely unintentional - things said or done, or even left unsaid - that make me stop and think and change the way I'm handling something. Sometimes, the nudges are forceful - corrections made to my copy, little digging, stinging comments about how naive and untried as a reporter I am. And sometimes, her prodding takes me completely off guard.
I have only Lois to thank for that.
It was her idea. She mentioned bringing a change of clothes to work, after witnessing the aftermath of one of my rescues in the form of a destroyed business suit. Not even my mother, whose own powers include getting stains out of pretty much anything, had failed to get the evidence of my sewer rescue out of my clothing, which was a shame. I really did like that particular suit. But when Lois mentioned spare clothing to change into, the seed was planted. It kept coming to mind until it finally blossomed into the idea of a costumed superhero who was not Clark Kent.
Lois certainly didn't intend on it, but in that moment, she gave me freedom. Freedom to do as I wished, to help, to dash off into the thick of even the worst disasters. She gave me a way to secure my anonymity even while I became the most famous man in the world. Necessity may be the mother of invention, but in a way, Lois Lane is the mother of Superman. Without her, I don't think he would exist.
I owe her Superman's life and I can't even tell her that. Not now. Maybe not ever. She's too good of a reporter. She's too focused on the Pulitzer. Superman's true identity is a story she wouldn't even spend a heartbeat over debating. She would write it and publish it and my life - my parents' lives - would be over. We'd be targeted by every sick, twisted criminal on the planet. I can't gamble with my parents' safety like that.
And I know, without a doubt, that Superman would be hunted down and those who are close to him would be used as bait. My brief encounter with Bureau Thirty-Nine proved that fact over and over again. Both Lois and I were used to try to bait Superman into wandering into Trask's clutches, all because we are perceived as being close to the hero, if only because we'd written articles about him.
And, selfishly, I know Lois is already falling - already has fallen - for the costumed alien, when all I want is for her to notice me, Clark, the man beneath the S. I don't want her to love Superman, or worse, come to love me because I am Superman. I want her, if she ever comes to love me, to fall for the real man, not the pretend one.
So I maintain my silence and play the part of the clueless fool when it comes to Superman. I pretend good fortune when I bring in the Superman exclusives - the lucky guy who just so happens to be in the right place at the right time. I continue to camouflage myself with flimsy, rushed excuses and I hide behind a pair of glasses and an adopted act where I do what I can to appear as less than what I am.
Will Lois ever learn the truth? Sometimes, I wonder. She's the smartest woman that I know, but so far, the Spandex has her fooled. And though I hate to lie to her, the fact that she is blind to the fact that she works next to Superman all day long is reassuring because she is the litmus test for the rest of humanity. If she can't see what is staring her in the face, I have faith that the rest of the world will remain blissfully unaware as well. But still, part of me knows that someday, she may need to learn the truth. One day in the future I dream about - where Lois loves me for who I really am and I no longer have to fear worldwide exposure - I hope to be able to finally share my whole self with the woman I love.
Lois is unique that way. She is the only person on this planet that I would ever even consider having no secrets around.
She's made me a better person and a better reporter. Being partnered with her has been the best thing that could have happened to me, not only because I crave any excuse to be near her, but because I've constantly pushed myself to be a better writer. I want to impress her, any way that I can. I want her to look at Clark and see someone worthy of her valuable time and respect. I want to seem worthwhile to her.
Of course, I want to better myself for me as well. But that desire pales in comparison to making myself better for Lois. I need to be her equal. I cannot let her down. I cannot drag down her writing simply because she was stuck with me for a partner. For that matter, I can't let Mr. White down either. I need to prove to him that he did the right thing in hiring me.
I don't need to be the best. I never have. Being the best only brings unwanted attention that I've never been comfortable with. But for Lois, I can be the best, if given the opportunity, if only to ensure that she remains the best - one half of the greatest reporting team there ever was, so long as Mr. White deems it wise to keep us as partners.
She's a woman unlike any other I've ever met, though I've traveled for years and seen literally the entire world.
My best friend.
My heart and soul.
I'm not sure when it happened, or how. If I had to guess, I would say that it was while we were in Smallville, when the dynamic between us changed for the better. I don't know why. Maybe being out of her element made her see things a little differently. Maybe it was because the fun, genuine, welcoming atmosphere of the Corn Fest relaxed her. Maybe it was because she was finally exposed to, and immediately accepted into, a warm, loving family. Maybe it was because I nearly died at the hands of a madman. All I know is that over the course of the few days we were in Kansas, Lois' hardened outer shell cracked and fell away and she finally exposed the small chinks in the sturdy, nearly impenetrable walls of her heart, allowing me to enter that sacred inner sanctum as a trusted friend, even a best friend.
Somehow, though I hate to pat myself on the back or build myself up to be anything special, I truly believe that she was in desperate need of a best friend.
That's not to say, of course, that she took the first person who came along and who treated her nicely and latched on to them. No, Lois is truly a rare woman. She is the discerning type who I can imagine fully scrutinizes any potential friends before deciding to give them a chance. And so I feel honored to be counted among the precious few who seem to be part of her inner circle of acquaintances.
And to think that I nearly lost her. Not only lost her, but I came close to losing her to a criminal, a sociopath, and man I would liken to the devil himself. It makes me shudder with fear and revulsion to think that Lois Lane - beautiful, brilliant, wonderfully complex, bursting with life, full of passion Lois Lane - very nearly became Lois Luthor. It still makes me sick to remember those awful, torturous weeks when Luthor's influence all but snuffed the life out of Lois' spirit, when he mentally abused her and manipulated her, cutting her off from everyone who cared about her. Even when I lay dying in that accursed Kryptonite cage, the radioactive rock rendering me powerless and putting my body aflame with pain, my true agony was within my own heart, knowing there was nothing I could do to stop Lois from making the biggest mistake of her life.
And then, a miracle.
She said "no."
Something made Lois hesitate up at the altar. Something inside told her to answer "no" when the bishop asked her if she took Luthor to be her husband. What that something was, she has never said, nor have I asked. Her reasons are her own and I don't need to know in order to be grateful for the fact that she no longer wears the billionaire's blood diamond on her finger. I don't care why she said no, only that she did, only that she is no longer under the crime lord's influence.
I may be the strongest man in the world, maybe the universe, but lately it has been Lois who has been teaching me the true meaning of the word strength. That's not to say that she hasn't broken down in tears over everything that's happened. More than once, she's shown up on my doorstep with tears in her eyes and the remnants of a nightmare still clinging to her like invisible strands of silk. But the fact that she is allowing me to be a part of these moments - the fact that she is actively seeking me out during them, expecting me to make it magically better for her - is a testament to the strength she carries inside. For Lois, showing her emotion so blatantly is not something she is comfortable with. And so I am honored that she has included me in her grieving process.
It's interesting, actually. Her grief, so far as she has talked about it, isn't over losing Luthor. It's been over her own blindness to what he was doing to her, what he was doing to her relationships with all of her friends. I think maybe she never truly loved him. No, more than think. I'm certain that she was never in love with the billionaire. Which, in turn, makes it all the more mystifying why she would ever have accepted his proposal in the first place. She even propositioned me as Superman, looking for, I think - now that I am armed with the knowledge of hindsight - a reason to say no to his ring in the first place.
I know Lois was feeling lonely and Luthor's lavish attention made her feel wanted and special. Who wouldn't revel in the affection of someone so rich and famous? And I know she felt unworthy, in a way, as though she'd never be able to find a decent man to settle down with. Settling. That's what she did, even though I find it hard to fathom how anyone, especially Lois, could so easily dismiss all the wonderful, intriguing facets of her personality and settle for the wrong man, just because...of what? That she might never find anyone else willing to give her a second look? Could her self esteem have really been that low?
Even if it was, that makes her ability to walk away from a loveless marriage of convenience all the more admirable. It makes her even stronger in my eyes, not weaker. It makes her a truly rare woman, because there are few who I've met that have ever seemed the type to seize control of their life in so bold a manner as to break off their wedding plans at such a critical point.
It makes me love her even more.
But I can wait, I can be patient. The timing right now isn't ideal. In fact, it's flat out wrong. Not enough time has passed. She hasn't fully healed from her trauma. And I've only just recently pretended to brush off my confession of love to her as the ravings of a man desperate to keep her from making a mistake that would haunt her for the rest of her life. Another little white lie meant to protect Lois' heart even while it send sharp barbs of pain into mine.
So I will wait. And when the opportunity is ripe, I vow that I will not miss my chance again.
She's not like the rest. No other woman can compare.
She is mine.
Or, at least, she's agreed to go out with me. And so we have, after a few false starts and invitations to a date left hanging in the air between us like a silent, watchful, ever-present ghost.
Even now, with a few dates already behind us, the knowledge that she has chosen me, Clark, to date seems surreal. The fact that she seems to have given up on the Superman fantasy feels almost unbelievable. My girlfriend. The words feel like a dream, as if I were to say them aloud too loudly, the magic spell will be broken and I'll find myself yanked awake back into my formally lonely existence. So I tread lightly, ever-mindful, ever worried about making a misstep and ruining all of the hard work and patience I poured into this endeavor.
And yet, I'm not perfect.
I see the veiled hurt in her eyes when I have to disappear without an explanation, moments when my other duties call to me and there isn't a moment to waste. And I've left myself open to repeated assaults on my relationship with Lois as a result, notably in the form of one stubborn FDA agent who couldn't take a hint that he was an unwelcome presence in my life. For a while there, I truly feared that I had lost Lois to the other man - one who was always there for her when I could not be.
By some grace of God, Lois chose to keep me in her life, and showed Scardino the door.
I'm hyper-aware of how lucky I am. And how undeserving.
My secret. She still doesn't know. And I'm still afraid to tell her. Afraid, but willing now to at least entertain the thought of how best to break the news to her. God, the changes this woman inspires in me! The fear and the bravery too.
My secret. I know it has to come to light sometime. I know it should be sooner, rather than later. I'm tired, so bone-weary, of carrying this burden alone. I know, I know, my parents share in my secret alter ego as well, but it's not the same. I want someone who can fully share my life with me - all of that life. I've known for a long time now, that that someone is Lois.
Only she is rare enough, unique enough, to be trusted with the terrible responsibility of knowing who it is who actually flies around the world in a red cape.
So I will swallow down my fears and tell her, somehow, though my words may falter at times and my hands might shake in trepidation. I will unmask the hero and leave him vulnerable and on his knees, begging for the mercy only she can give and that he may not even be deserving of, since he lied to her for so long. I will embrace the courage that she has stirred up within my heart and take the greatest risk I have ever taken.
Hopefully, she will be understanding, though I know in my heart that she will be angry and hurt over my deception. But I have faith that Lois is strong inside where it counts most, and that she will see why I had to do things the way I did. She's not like any other woman in the way that she is able to see into the heart of the matter, quickly and clearly.
I hope and pray that the same holds true when I unburden myself before her. Whenever that may be.
She's not like any other woman, and I thank my lucky stars for that simple, complex fact.
She accepts me.
Not just Clark. Not just Superman. But the complicated mix of the two that I am -almost as if I'm two separate souls stuck in the same body.
She doesn't just accept that I moonlight in tights, that Superman and I can never be parted like Peter Pan and his once rogue shadow. She knows that he and I are intertwined for better or worse for the rest of my life. And wonder of wonders, she encourages me to continue. She helps me carry the load when the weight of the world on my shoulders is too much to bear and I need to borrow her strength. She gives freely of the strength she possesses, always instinctively knowing just what to say or not say, knowing when a quiet hug, a simple kiss, a reassuring squeeze of my shoulder is needed as a salve to my defeated spirit.
It happens less frequently now, now that I've had ample time to adjust to being Superman and finding ways to deal with the horrors I see on a daily basis. But it still happens - those moments when I simply cannot mentally shed the image of such extreme amounts of gore, pain, suffering, or death. Moments when I cannot cease the self-blame I have for getting to a disaster a moment too late. Moments when I wonder why I even bother to pull on the blue suit in the morning, when it seems like all my efforts are in vain.
And Lois, as always, is there for me, a steadfast, sturdy rock to lean on. A source of light brighter, more potent, more healing than the sun. Even before she knew it, she was there for me, even when she was busy fawning over Superman and utterly ignoring Clark. Now that she knows, however, she's there for me in a deeper way that evades description and can only be felt. She's more conscious of me now, that's for sure, more receptive to my moods even when I try to shove my emotions aside and ignore the pain within my soul.
She's an incredible, one-of-a-kind woman.
Even when she was so hurt and so angry over the lies I'd told to protect Superman's identity, she was there for me, ready to put her anger aside, on hold, until I could return from making a rescue. No one else in the world could have done that for me. No one else in the world would have displayed such faith and trust in me, knowing that I wasn't using the opportunity to run away from my problems, knowing I would always come back to her.
And the thing is, I truly believe that she had no idea what the gesture meant to me when she gave me permission to leave and be Superman. Maybe, for selfish reasons, she let me go to have time to cool off, to process the knowledge that she possessed and the fact that I hadn't denied it and only confirmed it instead. Maybe she didn't want to be around me at the moment. Regardless of the reason or reasons, she didn't even pause to think about the situation when she told me to go. The trust, the understanding, the faith she placed in me was immediate and unquestioned. And in that moment, I knew. Having Lois know who I am and what it is that I do is the best thing that could have happened. And in time, I hope she comes to see it that way too.
She's a woman who stands out from all the rest for so, so many reasons.
She no longer holds my lies against me. She no longer seems to care that I withheld the information about Superman from her for so long. She no longer even seems to separate Superman from Clark. The way she speaks about me, about him, I know she's blended the two men together without completely mixing them. Clark may be Superman, but Superman is not Clark. Superman is just an extension of Clark, a shadow he throws to the public, a puppet whose strings Clark controls.
Lois sees all of that. She did from the first moment the two men she had befriended merged into one right before her very eyes. Maybe she didn't always feel like she did, sometimes asking me to change back into my Clark clothes because it was easier to talk to me that way. But the way she treated me in both of my personas, the way she spoke to me, the way she only spoke of Superman as a separate entity if she had too, often when we were in public, told me in a million little ways that she had accepted the fact that he and I are inseparable, two halves of the same whole person.
And what's more, she has found it within her to still love me. She's embraced the idea of marriage. She proudly wears the ring I selected for her. She gives her love to me freely, expecting nothing in return, but secure in the knowledge that she receives everything from me. My heart, my soul, my life, my future, all belong to her and her alone. Without her, I would have nothing.
Instead, I have everything I've ever wanted. A job that I love. Friends who are more like family to me. A way to do good in this world and use the powers I've been blessed with to help people. A woman who loves me as wholly, as fiercely, as I love her. The only thing missing is a family of my own, if that is indeed possible for me.
She's incredible. The more comfortable we've gotten around each other, the more we've learned about one another, the more she amazes me with the person that she is. She's the exact opposite from when I met her. Or, rather, some of the incorrect assumptions I might have once made back then.
Kind instead of cruel, but not willing to let people walk all over her. Generous rather than stingy, but unwilling to be taken advantage of. Strong for the vulnerability she carries within her heart. Fiery, not hot-headed, though she may not exactly have an unlimited supply of patience, especially when she knows that some piece of the puzzle is just out of reach, but so close she can almost taste it. That goes double for when she knows lives could be at stake. Passionate, not headstrong, with a zest of life and a desire to right the wrongs of the world that is so intense, it rivals my own. Yes, she is can be demanding, but only that people be the best that they can, that they better the world they live in, rather than drag it further down into chaos.
A rare gem.
That's what she is to me. One shining example of perfection amid an imperfect world. With her, I am complete, whole, home in a way I didn't know was possible, but always yearned for. She's vanquished the loneliness and despair I once had as I wandered the Earth in search of the place where I belonged. With her, any place I go is home, be it Metropolis or an igloo in the frozen Arctic or a mud and stick hut on a deserted island.
She's brought peace to my soul. Being separated from her for any length of time wounds my heart. So I eagerly count down the days until we say our vows and exchange our rings, our two lives and hearts becoming one before the eyes of our loved ones and God.
She's not just a woman.
She is my wife to be.
She's a rare woman and my heart aches for her.
I can't be sure I'll ever see her again. I can't guarantee her that I won't die on some far-flung rock in a distant galaxy. I can't promise her that if I do die, that my body will even make it back home to Earth for her to say her final goodbyes to and commit to a plot of land with a granite tombstone marking the short span of my life.
I can only promise to do what I can to help a suffering race of people. I can only swear to relentlessly look for a way out of this sham of a marriage I now find myself in. I can only vow to return if there is any way for me to do so.
I know she believes me.
I know she has hope in her heart, even if only a sliver, that I will come back to her, healthy and alive and free to become her husband.
She's an exceptional woman.
How many others would be able to stand by the man that they love and watch as he left her with shaky assurances that he'll return? How many others would encourage the man they love to put so many strangers and their happiness and prosperity above her own happiness? How many women could watch as their fiancé was forced to accept a prearranged marriage with a stranger he didn't love?
Zara and I weren't even friends yet when I agreed to go to New Krypton with her. And Lois...I know she was jealous Zara, even though Zara would never have chosen me for herself if she'd be given the chance to pick her own spouse. It's abundantly clear that her heart resides with Ching, her steadfast and stoic bodyguard, a match I already instinctively know is far better than Zara and I could ever be. It's a match I'm willing to fight for - to see two people who share that sacred bond of love wind up with each other.
I think, when the whole situation first arose, I expected more of a fight from Lois. I think part of me half expected her to go marching off to the Kryptonian mothership and threaten them all with Kryptonite if they didn't leave me alone. But she didn't. Though I know her emotions railed within her, she accepted the situation with more grace than I probably would have if I'd been in her shoes.
She didn't want me to go. I don't blame her for that. I didn't want to leave her either. But she didn't want me to stay just for her own sake while hundreds of innocent lives were in danger. And she knew that I would never have been able to forgive myself if I selfishly stayed on Earth while my biological peers were massacred under the rule of a psychopath. She also, in her own way, I think, had thought it better for Zara to be married to me than to the apparent sociopath that Lord Nor is supposed to be. She knew, though I would never be able to love Zara as a husband should love a wife, that at least I would be kind and gentle to the stranger I'd been bonded to. In her own way, she placed the security and happiness of another above her own, even though it killed her inside to do so. And I know Zara understands the depth of the sacrifice Lois made - understands and deeply appreciates it even as she longs to be wedded to Ching.
Now I find myself stuck on a space craft, speeding away from Earth at a mind-numbing pace, every second putting more miles between my body and my heart. I may physically go to New Krypton. I may spend months, years, even the entire duration of the rest of my life on that alien world, but my heart, my soul, my mind will forever reside on Earth, with Lois, no matter what paths our lives may take. I know I should rest now, conserve my strength, now that I'm heading to a place without a yellow sun to power my abilities. And these strange customs that I find myself constantly tripping over have me mentally and physically exhausted. My despair at losing Lois has me emotionally drained. But I can't sleep, I can't sit still. I am drawn to the windows, my eyes glued to the dwindling speck of light that is my true home.
And I know.
Lois is thinking of me. Almost as if I can hear the whisper of her voice in my mind, I know she's thinking of me and sending me her love. It's not just a fanciful wish on my part. I feel the certainty of it in every atom of my body. In fact, I wouldn't even be surprised if we do have a connection that runs deeper than pure instinct - if we, like my Kryptonian peers, shared a kind of telepathic link. Absurd? Maybe. But there have been times when I've almost felt as if Lois somehow reached out to me, creating a link between our minds, letting me know that she was in danger or pulling me back from the brink of death when I was in a Kryptonite-induced coma last Christmas.
It would make sense to me, if my wild speculation turned out to be true. Only Lois can touch the deepest parts of my mind and soul. If a bunch of strangers can connect to me in such a fantastical way, why wouldn't Lois? I already know that she isn't like anyone else I've ever met - man or woman. Why wouldn't she be set apart from all the rest in this manner as well?
Without her, I find myself missing myself, in a way. I'm not the same without her. I'm trying my best to adhere to customs I don't know and which make little to no sense to me. I'm trying, for the first time in my life, to win over people so that they will listen to me. Even in the early days, when Lois didn't want me as her partner, and I tried to at least befriend her, it seemed natural. I didn't have to try all that hard. Circumstances and our very natures drew us closer together all the time. But now, I am faced with trying to win over a host of people that I could very easily resent for the part they played in taking me away from Lois, though it was always my choice to go with them or to stay on Earth. As for them...at best, these people distrust me. At worst, some of them seem to flat out hate me, all for various reasons. I'm not truly one of them, they feel. I was raised on Earth my entire life, so how can I possibly be an effective leader for New Krypton? I was raised by human beings, so how I can possibly relate to the people who share my DNA? I am weak for the emotions I tend to wear on my sleeve. I am not worthy of my titles, my claim to the nobility, even Zara. I'm tainted from living in a world so primitive, compared to the apparent splendor of the now extinct Krypton. The list goes on as I gather it from voices spoken both to my face as I endure meeting after meeting, and from hushed whispers no one thinks I can hear without my super abilities.
All it serves is to remind me of Lois. Maybe she didn't trust Clark right away, and knowing how she'd been taken advantage of by other partners, other men, I can't say that I blame her for her initial reticence. But Superman was someone she never questioned. She never looked at him with anything other than trust in her eyes. Maybe a little surprise and confusion when I first introduced the caped hero to her, but she never feared him, never questioned his motives, never once believed that he could not save the day. In fact, so many times, especially in the early days when I was learning how to deal with the demand on Superman's time and with not being able to save everyone, Lois was there to inspire me, to fuel me, to keep me going when I was so defeated that I was ready to kill the avatar I'd spawned. In those days, she believed in me even when I did not.
No other woman could have done what she did, in giving me hope and a reason to carry on with the work I'd started. If Superman has made any impact on the world, if he's inspired even one person to live a better life and to help make the world a better, safer place, it's because of Lois. Her words of encouragement, even when she had no idea that Superman could hear her, touched my heart and gave me the strength I lacked to keep fighting for a better planet. What good Superman has done can only be attributed to the woman who has always stood beside him, the well he's drawn from to keep his spirits up, and the source of light that chases away the darkness when a rescue goes wrong.
And, true to Lois' unique nature, she would rebuff any responsibility for Superman's good deeds. Because that's just the woman she is. She shines in her own accomplishments, but she pushes me to shine in mine all on my own.
She's unlike any other woman.
She is my wife.
It's been a battle of epic proportions to get to this moment. As if the universe itself has tried its hardest to keep us apart. As if God himself wanted to see just how willing we were to fight for our future together. But we've prevailed, overcome every obstacle, and have come out stronger and closer than we ever were. Maybe that was the point, that we've undergone a trial by fire in order to more solidly connect with one another, to better appreciate just what it is that we have together.
Saying the words, making my vows, signing the paperwork. None of that is what makes this forever for me. Lois does. Knowing that it's her that I love, it makes it easy to know in my heart that there is no force in heaven or hell that will ever change the way I feel about her.
With everything we've been through to get to this moment, where we've been joined as husband and wife, I'm reminded, again, of how incredible and rare of a woman she is. I can't imagine any other woman enduring what we did. I can't fathom any other woman fighting as hard for me as Lois did. No matter what we faced - and we faced unimaginable things - she never gave up on me, on us. Even when her memories were gone, there were moments when I could see her fighting to come back, to remember, to reclaim the life she'd lost. To find me, if I may be so bold as to presume.
She's a fighter. I've always known that, on some level. But the recent events we've lived through have shown me just how far the depth of her fight goes. As always, I am reminded of her inner strength and it amazes me. In many ways, I think, she is stronger than I am. She has to be, to be married to a man who moonlights in tights and often has to rush off to a rescue with barely a second's notice, not knowing if I will be home in minutes, hours, or, occasionally, days, if the disaster is big enough. It takes a very special woman to put the rest of the world above herself, even though I try so hard to make sure that I maintain a healthy balance between my work as Clark, my duties as Superman, and my time at home as a loving husband and hopefully one day father.
But Lois does it. She quietly accepts that she must share me with the world. She encourages me to be Superman, to continue to fight for justice and peace, especially when it becomes difficult for me to find the resolve to do so. She refuses to let me give up during the times when the weight of the cape on my shoulders and the S on my chest is too great to bear. She is my greatest cheerleader, my biggest fan, my personal coach, my reason for being, the one person who truly understands my heart. She is the one who has chased away the shadows of loneliness in my life and given me the hope - no, the certainty - that I can have a normal life, that I am worthy of the lofty goals I had set for myself - a good job where I can help people, the ability to use my powers as Superman, and, of course, of a fierce love that is reciprocated. And one day, if God permits this humble, flawed alien to combine his genes with those of a perfect, amazing Earth woman, I pray to raise a family with Lois.
She'll be a great mother. I already know this, even if she herself has her doubts. For all the bluster and bravado that Lois Lane shows the world, Lois Kent has a gentle spirit, a loving soul, the patience of a saint, and kindness that goes beyond description. In my mind's eye, I already see her rocking our newborn to sleep, tucking our toddler into bed, driving our teenager to the mall, be it a child who shares our unique combination of genes or a child we adopt.
Whichever it is, I look forward to the journey because I know, with this unparalleled woman by my side, we can face anything that might come our way.