“Oh, if Mr. White could only see me now.” Lois was flying five hundred feet in the air, escorted by her long time companion Superman. “When I was a cub reporter, I was assigned a young photographer. His name was Jimmy Olsen. When we were sent out on assignment, he stuck so close to me that it was like having a tail. He was fearless; many a time I grabbed him by the belt as he leaned so far out a window or over a ledge, that I was sure he was going over. Working for the Daily Planet was the best career that a girl could have.” She looked over at Superman, “Then you came along. Well, not you, but Clark. Oh, Clark Kent, meeting you changed my life. Metropolis was never the same.” She looked out over the vista in front of her. “You were so shy, yet quietly self assured. I was brash, but with Clark at my side, I became bolder.” Her view was breath taking. “Let’s land. I want to walk with you a while longer.”
Both Superman and Lois Lane glided softly to the ground. Lois held Superman’s hand. “We could have done so much together. Crime ran rampant in Metropolis after you arrived. It seemed like every ringleader, hustler, grifter, and madman, that heard of you, showed up to ply their genius against your strength. Some wanted money, some wanted power and yet others just wanted to win. Like winning was everything.” She paused a moment and kicked at the dirt.
“It was good that you were there to help us during all those natural disasters. You deflected the meteors that came crashing down on us. You diverted floods that came plunging towards us. Sometimes I wondered if it was not your goodness that the universe was attacking. Other cities around the country were not experiencing an onslaught of disaster. You always showed kindness first. You rescued kittens from trees. You were always polite in a world of people yelling at each other. When you were Clark, you were innocent and unpretentious. Superman you are stronger than all of us, and have brushed up against evil enough to know the depths of its depravity.”
Superman’s face had a pensive look and he started to speak. Lois jumped in before he could start.
“Don’t get me wrong. I am just saying, if every nemesis hadn’t shown up to consume your time, we may have had a chance to make real change in social injustices. It would have been nice if the Daily Planet could have run stories written by me and Clark, with photos by Jimmy Olsen regarding changes made to laws that were equitable to both the rich and the poor. Laws that, so often, give the license to steal to those that want nothing more than to steal.”
Superman looked at her. She was obviously deep in thought.
Tears appeared in her eyes. “When you gave up your powers to be with me it was the most tender moment I ever experienced. Here you are the ‘Man of Steel’ willing to be an ordinary man in the name of love. You were willing to give up all the good you were able to do with your strength to live with me.” She wiped away the tears on her cheeks. “I wonder what is in store for me. I sure hope my destination is not a fortress of solitude.”
Superman, turned and hugged Lois. “You have broken through your earthly confinements and you can now travel through time and space. It is a promise given to all those enveloped in the Western impression of consciousness. You traveled rough roads, and suffered many abuses. You overcame the trappings of beauty. Jor-El brought me in contact with all known knowledge in the twenty-six universes; yet every day I spent with you I learned from you. You funneled your outrage for the injustices in the world into your work. Every morning people rushed for their copy of The Daily Planet and looked for your editorials. You say my time was consumed fighting corruption, lesser crime, and natural disaster. But what would you have me do? Provide adequate housing for all humans on the planet? Open a university that outlined the absurdity of discrimination by the tint of the human skin? Perhaps my strength could have been better used to turn the Sahara desert into farmland capable of smashing Malthus’s predictions of world food shortages related to population? Would that make me a slave? Or a king? Would you be the queen?” He became quiet; using his powerful vision, he spotted something far up ahead, but said nothing.
“You know me. I was happiest with a smoking cigarette in my hand, hailing a cab, Jimmy on my heels, heading for a story. Knowing you were there, knowing I could dive deeper because you would be there if I went too far. That was a plus.” She touched his arm. “I am going to miss you.”
They had walked further along. She now saw the ‘something’ up the road that Superman had seen several minutes ago. “What is that? Can you make it out?”
“It’s a man standing next to an old fashioned carriage. He appears to be talking to a horse. They just shared an apple.” Superman smiled seeing the quizzical look on Lois’s face.
“What on earth?” She instinctively reached for her steno pad to take notes for her interview of this man. It was not there.
Griffin was standing next to Nuelle when the couple arrived. The carriage gleamed in the afternoon light. Nuelle was groomed and beautiful. “Greetings,” he said when the couple were close enough. He smiled. Griffin looked at the outfit the man was wearing and thought there was no accounting for taste.
“Hello.” Lois responded. “Who are you?” She finally got a good look at Nuelle and went to her. “Oh, aren’t you a beauty.” She took in the man, Nuelle and the carriage. She looked at Superman.
“I am Griffin Chaffey. We have been sent for you. We are prepared to take you where you want to go.”
“Is this a joke? Did Mr. White hire you?”
“I assure you that this is not a joke. If you know where you want to go we will deliver you. If you need time to decide where you would like to go, then there is a castle where you can wait.” Griffin went and looked at the name in the book and showed it to her. There was an asterisk that said there may be an escort and not to be alarmed.
“That’s me. So, what now. I say goodbye and am driven off by a horse drawn carriage?”
“Once you step into the carriage we will begin the first steps of your new journey.”
Lois squeezed Superman’s hand. This was one moment where she did not feel confident or self assured. She was not quite ready to say goodbye. She looked in Superman’s eyes.
He saw a spark there in her eyes. He had seen it before, she had an idea.
She turned to Griffin. “You are here to give me a ride, correct?”
“Your name is in the book. You can be taken where you wish.”
Her smile was radiant. Griffin had seen this type of smile now and again. Usually when his fare fully realizes that they have earned their ticket.
Lois walked over to Griffin and hugged him. “I’ve got my ride.” She turned and took Superman’s hand again. “Let’s fly.”
I claim no copyright privileges to Superman, Lois Lane, The Daily Planet, Jor-El or Metropolis. I believe this to be in the public domain. Perhaps DC Comics hold such rights.
Bette Midler - "Wind Beneath My Wings"
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