REFLECTION

After a few uneventful tugs, I'm able to free the dusty, old cardboard box from the tiny corner it was wedged into. I recoil when the horrible smell of dust, aged cardboard, and rotten fruit hit me. I really wish my uncle hadn't buried this box next to a cart of rotting bananas. Holding it as far away from me as I can, I set it on the ground and peel off the tape that binds the top. Inside is a collection of old cassette tapes. I groan. How am I going to find that blessed speech in the middle of all of this chaos? I create a clear spot on the floor next to it and begin my search.

Why am I doing this again? Lana Lang and I have never even really spoken that much since I came to Smallville. Forget about being friends. In fact, I've wanted to hate her ever since I met her. I know. That sounds very unfair, but cheerleaders and I have never gotten along.

The problem is she's not your typical cheerleader. Usually, when you have a cheerleader with perfect brown hair, innocent "I'm so cute" hazel eyes, and a bright smile, they're actually incredibly stuck up and rude. Lana isn't like that. As far as I know, Lana has never been like that. She's nice to everyone, and it's incredibly sincere. She'll even say hello to you in the hallway if you share a class. She may be absolutely beautiful, but you can't even hate her for it.

But, that's not the real reason I would ever hate her. Oh, sure, I'd love to have perfectly straight hair that falls where you want it. Instead, I have chin-length blonde hair that won't curl under. It kind of goes where it wants to. No, I'm actually happy with who I am. Lana is Lana, and I'm Chloe. I'm fine with that. The one little thing I really resent her for is something that she doesn't even know she has, and that's Clark Kent's heart.

I pause in the middle of my search and smile. What I wouldn't give to have the goofy smile he gives Lana directed at me. Clark isn't really like any of the other guys I know. Fifteen-year-old guys are supposed to be stupid and into moronic things like video games, skateboarding, and offensive movies. Clark's not like that. He's smart and sweet and always seems to be there when you need a helping hand.

He has these blue eyes that could almost see into your soul. It's almost as if he could see through you. His smile is incredible with dimples that just add to it. His lips are full, which is always a plus on a guy, and his black hair never looks like it's been brushed. He always smells of Dove soap and Gain laundry detergent. I know; it's sad that I know these things. If he ever wears cologne, I'll probably pass out.

Yeah, if only Lana really knew what she had. Clark's adoration is the only thing in Lana's life I would love to have. She can have everything else; I just want him.

I stop musing and continue my search. Finally, after going through three piles of musty cassette tapes, I find the one I've been looking for. Grinning, I tuck it into my pocket and shove the other tapes back into the box. I kick it into a corner because I don't want to wrestle it back onto that shelf and head towards the open door.

I still don't understand why I'm doing this. No, I take that back; I do. I saw the sincerity in Lana's eyes when she told me about her mother and wanting to read her graduation speech. Well, I've done her one better. I have it on tape. As much as I want to, I can't think of her as my rival. Actually, she doesn't even have Clark. I'm just hoping that one day Clark Kent will turn around and notice me. Until that day I'll be good old reliable Chloe and be there for both Lana and Clark.