An old woman sat alone in her mansion, sitting at her kitchen table with the remains of her dinner in front of her. Her ex-husband and their daughter were having Christmas dinner elsewhere with their friends and his new wife. That her daughter recently had a son earlier that year made her regretful that things were not better between them.
She had thought that she would have found happiness and security by now. She looked back at her life and realized that she had let so many chances at happiness slip through her fingers. She got up from the table and climbed the stairs to her room.
There was an old thick book on her desk. Earlier that week, she had gone to a bookstore that sold rarities and first editions and had recognized it as the book she had a long time ago. It was the book of power and magic. It was in a glass case and when she asked how much it would cost, the man had quoted her a price of several thousands of dollars. She paid him and took it home. She knew that she was not the witch her ancestor was but figured she had nothing to lose.
She made the potion as directed and drank it down while wishing, I wish that my parents hadn't died in the meteor shower and that I could start over again.
Perhaps, she thought. She ran down the stairs to see her parents sitting at the breakfast table. They were older than how she remembered them but they were still the parents she had longed for. "Mom, Dad?"
"Yes, honey?" said Laura Lang.
Tears streamed down her face.
"What's wrong?" said Lewis Lang.
"I'm just so happy that you're both here."
The two of them looked surprised and amused. "Well, you better change out of these pajamas. You'll be late for school," said Lewis.
She ran back up the stairs and threw open her closet. That gave her pause . . . Her wardrobe consisted of mostly pink dresses, skirts and jackets with a few tops that were white or green. I really don't care for pink anymore, she thought while taking out a green shirt and a pair of jeans. I'll do something about this later. Things are going to be different.
When she walked through the school grounds, she felt a deep pang of nostalgia as she saw everybody there. Clark, Chloe and Pete were walking together like the Three Musketeers. Then she saw Whitney walking with a few of his football buddies.
"Whitney?" she said.
Whitney seemed confused. "Uh, hi."
"Who is she, Whitney?" said Ralph.
Another friend said, "Oh, she's one of the new cheerleaders."
"You . . . don't know who I am?" said Lana, trying to keep the smile on her face. Something's wrong, she thought.
"You just joined the squad, right?" said Whitney.
"Hey, Whitney, I told you that being a quarterback would make you a chick magnet," said Ralph.
"I was . . . just wishing you good luck. Go Crows," she said before walking off. I was going to tell Whitney that I wanted to break up with him but . . . this isn't how I envisioned it. I guess I should be happy I was spared a lot of drama but . . . he was never my boyfriend? He never loved me? I'm just another girl to him? Why?
Feeling uneasy, she vaguely remembered something about a wall of . . . Oh, I remember, the Wall of Weird, Chloe had a picture of me up there. She made her way to the room where it was supposed to be and saw articles of odd happenings plastered all over the wall. She felt that something was missing . . . It took her a minute to realize that the Time magazine cover of her crying was not there. It was replaced by a Time magazine cover of the entire town on fire. She put her hand on her chest and realized that she wasn't wearing the necklace with the little piece of kryptonite. I'm not . . . I was never known as the fairy princess who lost her parents in the meteor shower. I'm not famous or thought of as . . .
It was strange . . . She should be thrilled but she felt as if she had been robbed of something precious. That's nonsense. I would have traded that stupid picture for my parents any time, she scoffed to herself. However, a dark voice whispered, But what about everything that came with that picture?
No, she thought, I'm going to be happier because I have my parents and I don't have to deal with people treating me like I'm something I'm not! Everything's going to be different.
She walked in and saw Clark and Lex sitting at a table, talking. Realizing that she hadn't said anything to Clark since she had woken up in Smallville, she went up to the table and said while wearing her most winning smile, "Hi, Clark."
"Uh, hi, Lana," he said, sparing her barely a glance before turning back to Lex.
"Oh, who's that?" said Lex.
"Just someone I know from school," said Clark before he started joking about the costumes in the Warrior Angel comic books.
Just someone I know from school? She thought as she continued her way to the counter and ordered a latte. Maybe he didn't want to talk about me to him but . . . As she walked towards the exit of the Beanery, she glanced at them and saw that neither of them were paying any attention to her.
As she walked home sipping her latte, she found herself wondering who she should choose to be with, knowing what she knew now. Being in love with Clark was horrible but that's because I didn't know and he didn't tell me because of my dead parents. I know his secret now and his parents are alive so he no longer has any reason to be afraid of telling me. I can win this time. Then she thought about how he behaved in the Beanery.
Her thoughts turned to Pete, the man she had married. She had considered trying again with Pete but . . . It would be unfair to the both of us, she thought. Pete seems happy enough with his new wife and I need more than he could ever give me. He loved me but what I loved his goodness, his honest and his stability but I didn't love the man.
As she got closer to home, she saw in the distance a man get into a car that was parked in her driveway. As the man drove in the opposite direction, Lana walked into the house and heard that the shower was on. "Mom?" she said as she knocked on the bathroom door.
The water went off abruptly. "Lana? What are you doing back home so early? I thought you had cheerleading practice."
"I'm thinking of quitting."
"Oh, honey, don't."
"I thought you didn't really like cheerleading either."
"Lets talk about this a bit later."
"Why are you taking a shower?"
There was a pause before her mother said, "I spilt some juice on myself. You know, cleanliness is next to godliness."
"I'm sure it is," said Lana, wrinkling her nose in disgust.
She got up near the top of the stairs, only to glimpse Clark and Lex sitting on the couch, talking to each other. Damn it, she thought as she took a few steps down but decided to eavesdrop on their conversation.
"Lex, I'm thinking of asking someone to the dance."
"Who's the lucky lady?"
"Actually . . . It's Chloe. Pete told me that she likes me and there's nobody else that I'm interested in so . . ."
Chloe? Lana swallowed at the thought then got extremely angry. You're not interested in anybody else?
"What about that girl who came into the Beanery yesterday? She seemed interested."
Clark chuckled. "That's so very like her."
"I'm afraid that I don't get the joke."
"It's actually a bit embarrassing. I . . . had a crush on her since I was five. When we hit junior high, she and her boyfriend . . ."
"Isn't that a bit young?"
"No, not really. She and her boyfriend broke up and she asked me if I wanted to go to the movies. I was so happy to get to hold her hand and take her out. It turned out that she just did it to get him jealous and get him to make nice because she went back to him the following week. Big dummy that I was, I still liked her. She did that to me a couple times. Her relationship was heading south so she needed a shoulder to cry on. The last straw was when I made friends with Chloe. She had just moved in from Metropolis and I don't know, she was fun and interesting to be around. Pete and I started hanging out with her. Lana found out and gave me an ultimatum: give up Chloe or she'd dump me."
Lex groaned sympathetically.
"That was pretty much the last straw. She had been friendly with a lot of guys at school but I didn't give her an ultimatum about them. When I complained about her flirting, I was always accused of being jealous and needy and a bully. So when she demanded that of me, I told her no. She was angry and told me that she would never go out with me ever again. Funny thing is that I've found that I'm a lot happier just hanging out with Pete and Chloe . . . and now you."
"I feel quite honored."
"Do you always have to talk like that?"
She went down the stairs as quietly as possible though she was knocked off balance by what she had heard.
When she walked back into her house, her father was watching a football game while drinking a can of beer. "Lana?"
"Where's Mom?" She wanted to talk to her mother about this.
"She said something about talking to our lawyer," he yelled from his recliner.
"Henry Small, of course."
"Henry . . ." A sharp and bitter taste started to fill her mouth.
"She's always having problems with this and that," he said.
"Oh, my God, you're so dumb," she yelled before running up the stairs.
"Young lady, that's no way to talk to your father, did you hear me?"
She had gotten what she had wanted but now she was no longer special. She was just another girl, just something who had happened to have gone to the same school as Clark Kent. It was one thing to be the one left behind but it was completely another thing never to have been part of the journey in the first place. She tore apart her room looking for a book that had no reason to be there. I must find the book. I must reverse the spell . . . I must . . .
In a mansion, there was an antique book open on a desk and a corpse on the floor with an empty glass in her hand.
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