Hello dear readers! :)
I was inspired to write this fic after watching the Man of Steel movie which I would give 5 stars for! And yeah I realise I'm posting this just days after it's release...but inspiration just struck. Anyway, I have not much knowledge about the comics so everything written here is simply based on how I interpreted certain emotions between Clark and his father. Also, this is my first attempt at writing a fic in the form of a letter, so please be nice~ comments and constructive criticism is greatly appreciated so please do leave one after reading? :D
It all seemed like a living nightmare to Clark. So many people were still in shock from the disaster that struck without warning just days before. A tombstone, freshly carved, was placed in the cemetery. Clark and his mother stood before it quietly, taking in the two words that only served as a reminder to their terrible loss: Jonathan Kent.
The rain fell from the dark clouds that had gathered above, a testament to the grim mood that had fallen upon Kansas. It was just as well. Clark heard a strangled sob escape the lips of his mother. Putting a comforting arm around her, he felt a pinprick of tears pooling in his eyes, and he fiercely blinked them away. I must be strong for Ma…she's grieving too.
"He was a good man, Clark…"his mother began. "He must be in Heaven…looking down upon us as we speak. "Clark nodded his head; it was getting harder to control the anguish that brewed in his heart. I could have saved him…he berated himself. Why didn't I do it? Why did I listen to him?
It was almost as if his mother could read his thoughts. Reaching out with her other hand, Martha gripped her son's hand in hers. "Don't blame yourself Clark…it isn't your fault."
"I could have saved him, Ma…" Clark began, forcing his voice to stop trembling. "I couldhave saved him…" A sob caught in his throat. "I didn't even get to say goodbye…"
"Listen to me, Clark...I know you're hurting." She smiled through her tear-stained eyes. "But I want you to know that it was your father's choice…it isn't your fault." There they remained for a long moment, with the rain falling around them.
"Clark…" she started gently, just as thunder rumbled in the distance. "Let's go home, okay? The rain's getting heavier." Clark could only nod, as they both made their way into the house.
Back in the house, Martha took a deep breath and turned to Clark once more. "Clark..your father told me to pass you this letter, in case…" Her voice trailed off and she bit her lip. "He instructed me to give you this letter in the event…this happened." Walking over to the cabinets, she pulled open a drawer and withdrew a white envelope. "Here…"
Clark took the letter from her hands shakily. "What's it about?"
"He told me to let you open it privately. I respect his decision, and have not yet opened it. For now…I shall leave you to read the letter alone," she smiled softly, patting him on the shoulder before exiting the room. "Take care, Clark. And please…don't blame yourself."
"Thank you, Ma," Clark smiled, willing the tears not to fall. He waited for his mother to leave the hall before gazing down at the envelope in his hands. I…I can't open it, he decided. It would only remind me that he really is gone…Standing up, he made his way to the cabinets but hesitated. Ma said Pa wanted me to read this…I should fulfill his wish. It's what he wanted. Clutching the envelope close to his chest, Clark clambered up the stairs to his room and shut the door. Settling down on his bed, he flipped the envelope over.
Clark Kent, it read in his father's familiar handwriting. A painful longing crept into his heart. Slowly, carefully, he pried the envelop open to reveal a neatly folded piece of paper. Reaching in, he cautiously extracted and unfolded it. Taking a deep breath, he began to read.
By the time you read this, it most probably means that I'm no longer with you anymore. I guess I realised that with the wonderful abilities you were gifted with, yet cursed to keep a secret, things might end this way one day.
Clark paused. In his mind's eye, he could almost see his father hesitate, pen poised above the crisp paper yellowed with age.
If you feel miserable because you could have done something for me, I can only say that it was not your fault but mine. I was the one who made that decision for you. It was my choice and mine alone. I want you to stop blaming yourself. It was not your fault. It never was.
Clark felt a film of tears brim in his eyes but carried on reading.
You're a good boy Clark. I still recall with fond clarity amidst the muddled and hazy thoughts of this old man's mind, the fateful night Martha and I found you in the cornfields. It almost seemed surreal when we cautiously made our way to the smoking rocket, not daring to even think what we would find inside, not daring to even comprehend what secrets it held within …only to find you. Your tiny, fragile form snuggled inside the tight compartment, sleeping. When Martha first held you in her arms, you had opened your tiny eyes just the slightest to gaze first at her, then at me…and I was struck by the sheer deep tinge of blue that glistened like fire within your pupils.
Martha and I knew right then and there, that you were special – a gift from the Gods. Why else would a baby be sent here, of all places, to us? We knew that surely NASA would have seen the crash with their satellites, and intuition told us that you could not be found by them. We then made the life-changing decision to care for you. I had Martha bundle you into the house as I transferred the rocket into the barn for those scientists to claim when they came around.
Strangely enough, no one came knocking. There were no reports of a falling meteor, no reports of any unidentified object falling from the skies. If not for you...you, who would always greet us with a heart-melting smile, I would have thought Martha and I had simply imagined the whole thing. It was almost as if you were a special gift for us alone. And special you truly were.
In the years when you were just a toddler, we soon realised that you were…unique. No toddler your age was able to walk steadily, let alone run and jump. No toddler your age could speak so fluently…and in two different languages at that. Initially, we thought that you were a child genius…but one fateful incident changed everything altogether.
That day, I was out chopping firewood. Martha was preparing soup, but the phone rang and she had left the pot bubbling on the stove when she ran to answer it. Both of us occupied at the moment, no one saw you enter the kitchen. None of us even knew what you did, until we heard the deafening crash. Martha and I had immediately abandoned our tasks at hand to rush to the kitchen, fearing the worst…finding you sprawled, stunned, on the floor, the boiling pot of soup splattered all over your body. Martha was hysterical, screaming that I should phone an ambulance, when you slowly stood up to look at us. "It's okay, Ma. I'm fine. I'm sorry about your soup…"
It was then we got a good look at you. Save for your slightly pinkish skin, you were completely unharmed. And it was then we knew, that you were more special than we first thought you to be.
Clark paused, remembering that incident. It happened when he was just 3 years old…the tip of the iceberg of the wide range of abilities that he now possessed. He carried on reading.
Since then, as the years passed by, we found out that you possessed more unique abilities. You were able to bend steel with your bare hands, lift the tractor for me when it required repair works underneath it. We were amazed, and also…I was somewhat frightened. It scared me, to think of how others would treat you if they ever found out the true you. It brought me back to the time when I was a young boy myself.
Clark stopped short, surprised. His father had never talked about his childhood before. Why now? The next line answered his questioned.
I know I never spoke of this to you, Clark. It wasn't a pleasant memory and I would rather not relive it again. But maybe it is time you find out why I was so protective of you…so afraid others would find out that you were different. Special.
When I was just a young boy…I never was quite like the other children. I preferred to relax in the fields and play alone surrounded by nature, while the others would rather play with one another in the school playground. They thought me…strange. Called me names too, that hurt and stung. This worsened until I was a teenager. While most of my peers had lofty dreams of moving to the city to start a new life, I was adamant on staying here in Kansas to rear a farm of my own. I shall spare you the details of what they did then, when they found out about my intention. But suffice to say that it hurt on all counts—Emotionally, physically, mentally.
You might think that over the years here in Kansas, especially with what they said and did…I might have regretted making the decision to stay behind when they were all leading luxurious lifestyles in their newfound homes in modern cities. But I never did, and I never will. Your surprise arrival was further confirmation of that fact.
Again, Clark felt tears prickle his eyes. 'I never knew Pa had such a terrible childhood…no wonder he never spoke of this to me…' A single teardrop fell onto the thin paper in his hands, smudging the ink slightly.
So you see, Clark…when I first realised that you too, were special, I swore never to let you go through the same experience that I did If humans were capable of treating one of their kind so harshly, just what would they do to you? It was a situation I did not dare consider. This was why I decided to teach you, from young, that you had to keep this part of yourself a secret.
I thought that it would be enough to keep you out of trouble…but when you first started school, the teachers complained that you appeared very distressed during lessons and would occasionally dash out of the classroom without a word. I remember you crying to me one night, sobbing that you could not take this anymore...that you no longer could stand the hurtful names they called you. That you could hear each and every word they said, even though they thought you couldn't. My heart just sank then. Despite my best efforts, it appeared that even it was not enough to spare you from this emotional trauma. I'm sorry for that, Clark.
Clark felt a lump form in his throat.
But you're a good boy Clark. Despite it all, deep down, you have the most beautiful heart I have ever seen. If anyone was in danger, you would not hesitate to use your special abilities to save them…even if it means having to face such snide comments. This was especially apparent from the time you saved everyone in the school bus from certain death when you could have easily simply saved yourself. You even jumped back into the river so selflessly to save that bully who so enjoyed teasing you. But…it saddened us, to realise that despite all the good you did, people still feared you. And though you did not explicitly speak of it, I know that their behaviour hurt you very deeply.
I know that if I tell you to ignore all these cries for help and try live like a normal person...it would be incredibly difficult for you to do. You feel a need to use your powers to help others, and that is a commendable decision I am extremely proud of you for making. But I was not sure how and when you could reveal yourself to the world, without having to worry that people might reject you.
The world is not such a beautiful place, Clark. I guess you know that too. And as far as I was concerned…the world isn't ready yet, to accept you for who you are. I knew that once you openly displayed your powers for the world to see…your life, as well as ours, would change forever. And God knows if it is for better or for worse.
I know you blame yourself for what happened. But I just want to say that I was acting on the defensive…and I certainly do not want to be the reason why you had to use your powers to save me. I did not want to be the one to change your life forever…because I want you to carve your own destiny, Clark. I believe that the day would come when you would have a chance to reveal yourself…and I believe in my heart that when that time comes, you would make the choice. And I believe that when that day arrives, the world would be ready. When that time will be, is for fate to decide…but that time is not now.
Clark felt the lump that caught in his throat grow bigger.
Just remember, Clark…although I may no longer be physically with you, I will always be with you in spirit. Whatever you do, whatever your choice…I know you will do the right thing. And I know that you will make me proud. When you need me…look to the sun and stars, and draw strength from the knowledge that I am there, watching you…supporting you. Always. I may not be your real father, but I will always be the father figure for you.
Loving you always,
With that, Clark was no longer able to control his emotions. Collapsing onto his bed as a wave of misery overcame him, tears streamed uncontrollably down his face as he hugged the letter close to his heart and cried.