A month after Joe left town, Louise found herself coming down with the unmistakable signs of pregnancy. Since she had been sleeping with both Joe and her husband at the time, she didn't know who the father of the child was. So, she decided not to create any doubt concerning her baby's paternity. Dexter, however, was delighted and hoped for a son.
Louise hated the pregnancy. Not only was her one way out of Smallville gone to whatever place he had come from, she was now further chained to Dexter. Being pregnant also meant that it would be harder for her to continue seeing other men on the side like she had been doing for the past couple years. She fussed over the possible permanent change in her once slim figure, ignoring Dexter's comments about how much she `glowed.'
Once the baby was born, Dexter's friends slapped him on the back and he handed out cigars. A few people coolly noted that the baby took very much after the mother, not the father but their comments were ignored at that time. The baby was a healthy boy with dark hair and green eyes.
While Louise regained much of her figure, she mourned what motherhood meant. She felt trapped in the boring routine of being mother and wife, only enlivened by affairs with men who promised her excitement and passion only to leave or go back to his wife. After a while, she found that glass or two of red wine would soften her misery. However, the glass or two eventually became three, then four, occasionally more.
Often, she would lie on the couch while she could hear her husband say, "Mommy's got a headache, Elliot," or "I'll make dinner tonight, don't worry." She was so lost in her own self-pity that she didn't stop to notice that her husband stopped wanting to sleep with her anymore.
One day after he held up another man's shirt he found on the floor and asked her what that was all about, she hissed, "I wouldn't need to do that if you were man enough to satisfy me."
"I'm taking my son and leaving you," said Dexter, looking at the woman who had lost most of her charms over the years.
"He's not yours, Dexter. He's the child of the only man who really made me feel something real."
"I know that I'm not the one who slept with you and made him but I'm still the father of that child. I'm the only father he's known and I'm leaving with him. I know you blame me for stopping you from becoming who knows what. Well, here's your opportunity to do full time what you do as a hobby!"
"You can't leave me just like that. That's abandonment."
"I've got you on adultery, Louise. All I have to do is show the judge all those love letters those men have been writing you."
Louise gasped. She thought she had hidden them where he'd never look. He was serious about leaving her. "Where are you going?"
"Metropolis. I got a promotion and I was about to tell you all about it, hoping that it would make you smile for once but then I find this man's shirt in my bedroom. You couldn't take it outside? You had to bring it in my house!"
Metropolis, she thought. It's almost like . . . New York or Hollywood. But . . . he's not going to be taking me. "Dexter . . ."
"I'm going to be selling the house after I get settled there. I suggest you pack up and go back to your daddy's house."
"I can't go back there. He'll ask questions and . . ."
"I don't give a damn," said Dexter as he walked out, picked up his son who was taking a nap in his crib and left the house.
2. Hollywood Walk of Shame
Louise McCallum was like any other hopeful girl from a cowpoke town in the city of Los Angeles. She got off the bus, looking somewhat unkempt from spending days as it rolled away from Kansas. All she had with her was a suitcase full of clothes and a few hundred dollars she had taken from her husband's bank account.
She looked around, startled by just how large and in many ways, cold and indifferent the city was around her. It was not like the small town where she could simply ask for help and they would help her out because they knew who she was.
She found a small little hotel room to stay in around the grungier part of town and found work at a department store at the perfume counter. Often, she'd look at the price of the perfume she was hawking and realize that it was stuff she could never afford . . . until she became famous, of course.
Fame was slow to come, however. Whenever she went to audition, she noticed that the room was filled with girls just like her. Some of them even had experience or had gone to school to learn how to act. Every single time, some other girl would be picked over her.
As she lay in bed, the thought of going home would occasionally occur to her. No, I can't go home, she thought. Everyone will laugh at me if I come home with my tail between my legs. They'll say, `Poor Louise, she couldn't make it in Hollywood.' No, I'm not going to have Dexter look at me with pity. Every night she felt the urge to go home, she'd write a postcard the next morning to Dexter, urging him to divorce her and saying how absolutely wonderful things were going and how Los Angeles was nothing like pitiful Smallville.
One day, she finally got a part.
"You serious?" said Dexter. Even with the postcards, he always thought it was all just talk. "She really got a part?"
"Well . . . you have to see it to believe it."
Dexter drove to Metropolis, bought a ticket at a movie theater and went to see it. The title sounded . . . lame but he had to see with his own eyes his wife on the silver screen.
As the movie ran, he sank into his seat.
"Help me, help me!" she screamed.
She left me to do this? Dexter thought as he watched her portray a damsel-in-distress who was being menaced by an evil Octopus man while a flying prince from another planet was trying to rescue her.
The next day, he wrote her a letter asking her to please come home.
3. Same Game, Different Board
Jor-El was finishing up his experiment when he got his fifth call of the day. He sighed because he knew who it was. It made him regret how impulsive he was when he was younger and much more foolish.
"Joe," said Louise. "When are you coming home?"
"Within the hour."
"You've been late all week."
"I told you that I had an experiment that needed me to do some overtime. It's very important."
"Anyway, I just received an invitation for the both of us to General Zod's birthday celebration in the mail. From what I heard, everybody who's important is going."
"We're not going."
"Why not?" pouted Louise.
"Because General Zod and I disagree on almost everything. I'll have you know that he has a very dim view about the people on your planet."
"Everybody seems to know who he is and want to know him better. Why couldn't you have been a General like him?"
"I have no desire to be one. I've talked to you about this before, Louise. Go and have dinner without me."
Louis clicked off in a huff.
"I can't believe that she actually said that she wished that you were more like Zod."
"Well, there are a lot of things she says that I find unbelievable."
Lara looked at the clock. "It's late. You should go home. You need to sleep."
"You can't run away from the situation."
"You go home first. I'll be closing up in a few minutes."
"If you say so," sighed Lara as she cleaned up her work station.
Jor-El looked after Lara as she walked away and out of the building. I wish I had waited for someone like you, he thought.
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