By Lote <email@example.com>
Submitted: January 2002
Summary: A chance encounter leads Clark into trouble when he meets… Well, why don't we let her tell you herself? ;)
My Eighteenth Birthday!! Happy birthday, Lainy! Yeah, right. Who cares. Anyway, the events of the last few days are so much more exciting than my birthday.
Three days ago, I was walking down the street casually. O.K. maybe not so casually. I was trying to be inconspicuous, you know. Give a girl a break, why don't you. After all, for the last few years, I've been stuck in a boarding school in England. Why my dad had the idea to send me there, I've no clue. Not that St. Catherine's is that bad, I've made a lot of friends in the three years I've been there. All right, let's get back to the story shall we…Lainy, you've got to get a grip on these little detours.
Right, so I was bored out of my mind that day, and decided to slip away from the palace. I know, I know, if my parents or stuffy older brothers were to find out, they'd kill me. Now, Alex, on the other hand, would slip away with me. But he wasn't here and I was bored. I decided to dress up casually and climbed out of my bedroom window. There's this ledge outside that would take me to the rooftop of the palace and into one of the attics. From there, it's easy to slip into the servants' quarters and out of the palace. Alex and I have done it so many times that I could do it in my sleep.
I was out of the palace and on the streets, looking over my shoulder. I hoped that my bodyguards didn't notice my absence and come running after me. You know, how can a girl get a date with these big apes 'packing' guns (in the American street slang…well, that I've noticed on television, anyway) following her around. Any guy who's even remotely interested would be running a mile away.
Yeah, I know, get back to the story. Gee, aren't you demanding? Lainy, you've got to stop talking to yourself. It's not healthy. What would the public say if they know that they've got an insane princess? Hmm…
You know how it is when you are anxious about something; you don't really pay much attention to other things. It was the same way with me. Subsequently, I literally bumped and fell into the arms of a handsome god. O.K., I exaggerate but not by much. He was an ultra-fox; that's the slang for incredibly, out of this world, kind of handsome, if you don't know. Furthermore, he was so courtly. After helping me to gain my balance (not that it was possible so soon after laying eyes on him), he introduced himself as Clark Kent, from Kansas. Wow! He was a long way from home.
Of course, I introduced myself. I'm not so ill-mannered. No matter what my aunt Ide had to say about it. But then again, she's of the old school, you know. Why am I writing this down anyway? I'm the only to read this thing and I know who she is…urgh, why did I ever decide to start writing in a diary? I've gone eighteen years without it. Stupid idea, Lainy. Maybe I should just forget about it.
Nah…I shouldn't. Where else can I write such things and still be considered sane? Who else would want to listen to my ramblings? Clark did, the poor guy. After the introductions, I found out that he had just arrived in Nigeria and didn't really have any idea where to go. So being the helpful girl I was, I volunteered to show him around the city. We truly had fun…he was better than Alex at being a companion. Maybe, when Alex comes home from Met. U. and if Clark's still around, I'll introduce them. They'll get along famously, I'm sure.
Well, back to the story. So we were out sightseeing when I noticed someone following us. "Damn," I muttered under my breath, cursing my ever-alert bodyguards.
"Is something wrong?" Clark asked.
I was surprised that he had heard me, after all he was busy snapping photos with his 35mm SLR camera. But I recovered fast and literally dragged him through the market place and into one of the empty stalls. Forcing him to squat beside me, I peeked over the stall's wall to see whether I had managed to lose my tail. Clark was very good, never once opened his mouth to ask what the crazy girl he had the luck of running into was doing, though I'm sure the thought did cross his mind more than once.
He was very well-trained. It is probably a breach of etiquette but maybe I'll ask him one day who trained him so well. I've a mind to hire the person to train my overprotective male relatives. Think what a perfect world it would be to have the men so well-trained. All right, I meandered again.
After waiting for a few minutes and not seeing my bodyguards appearing, I relaxed a little and heaved out a heavy sigh. I looked at my companion and saw him grinning foolishly at me.
"Running away from home?" he asked almost accurately.
"No, not really," I answered. Having dragged him thus far, it was time for me to level with the guy. It wasn't fair to make him go through all that hassle without knowing the truth. I'm not going to go through the details of how I told him. Suffice to say, he surprised me yet again by believing me when I confessed to be the Princess Elana of Nigeria. Very few people ever surprise me. I pride myself at being quite perceptive. But Clark Kent of Kansas did. It was then that I decided that he was one of the people worth keeping in contact with.
Since evening was approaching, we headed back to Clark's hotel. Being the quintessential gentleman, he carried the few purchases that I made. Groan, all right. Why do I feel guilty when you're just a diary? All right! So it was a little more than a few purchases but what the heck. It was my pocket money and the stuff I bought wasn't all for me. For example, there was a beautiful brooch that I was sure my mother would love. Made of black pearls set in silver and shaped like a swan, her favourite animal, it called out to me when I saw it.
Well, it was that particular purchase that probably saved my life. OK. I'm turning in…too tired tonight to continue.
Sorry! I just couldn't stay awake any longer last night. It was a stressful day. But it's morning now and I'm refreshed. Of course, having breakfast in bed and being pampered hand and foot helps. So where were we? Oh yes. You know I could get used to writing in you more often.
Anyway, as I was saying, that brooch I bought my mother was probably the thing that saved my life. I guess good deeds do have their rewards, eh? To think that if I hadn't forgotten and left the brooch in Clark's bag, no one would've known that I was to be kidnapped and used as collateral to force my father to abdicate.
After we returned to the hotel, I took my stuff and left Clark in his room. Unfortunately, I hadn't noticed the two people who followed me. They waited for me to step out of the hotel and walked down the street before nabbing me. The street was quiet and I was alone. While I had martial arts training, two armed men were a bit too much for me as they overpowered me and dragged me into a non-descriptive … (please! What is it with these kidnappers? Why can't they find a more novel way of kidnapping someone? A non- descriptive van! Couldn't they have donned a disguise or something? Hmph!)
What they and I didn't know at the time was that Clark had found the little package that I had accidentally left behind and had rushed down after me to return it. Unfortunately, he was too late to save me then. He managed to only catch the tail end of that episode. That is, he only saw me being dragged into the van before it took off. He told me later that he immediately jumped into a cab and gave chase after the van. Sounds exciting…a real life car chase. NOT!
It was a bumpy ride and I wasn't at all comfortable. They gagged me and tied my hands and feet. Give me a break, these people have no imagination. Did they consult a standard manual like "How to Kidnap People for Dummies" or what? So I wasn't aware of my knight in shining armour just a few minutes away. Instead my mind was busy finding ways to get myself out of this predicament.
You might want to take note that at this point, I seriously regretted ditching my bodyguards. If I hadn't done that, I would never have gotten into this scrape and afterwards have to face my father's wrath. But then again, I would never have met the most unique person in the world. But at that time, all I could think of was how stupid I was to have gotten myself kidnapped.
I don't know how long it actually took before the van lurched to a stop but at the time, it felt like eternity. They hauled me out of the van. Oh, did I mention that they tried to use chloroform on me? Not that it worked the way they wanted it. My body is rather weird in that sense. All chloroform does to me is make me feel dazed like I'm floating. It doesn't knock me out and it doesn't affect my awareness. It just makes me unable to control my body, kinda like drugs.
The van had stopped in front of an old broken-down mansion. The gates were rotten and so were most of the shutters on the windows. The walls surrounding the mansion were crumbling at parts. The garden was overrun with weeds and tall grasses. Still, it was a logical place for a radical group to hide out. Who'd have thought that an abandoned mansion could be the hiding place of such a group?
Anyway, I definitely didn't see Clark's cab anywhere, but he assured me much later that he had witnessed my utterly embarrassing reaction at being hauled around so roughly. Diary, I barfed. I told you that chloroform doesn't agree with me. Why did he mention it, you wonder? After all, he's supposed to be a gentleman, right? Guilty as charged. It was me! I forced him to admit it and he blushed the whole time he was confessing. You can accuse me of being evil, but hey, someone needs to teach the guy to be less of a pushover and more worldly.
So, YES! I've appointed myself to be his tutor in that aspect. Otherwise he'd never survive the cruel world, not to mention the piranhas that clothe themselves as women.
Back to the story. I vomited out my lunch and dinner onto my captors. Oh what sweet revenge. For a minute, they were too stunned to react. Of course, I tried to take advantage of the fact by kicking free of one of my captors. But the stupid chloroform didn't allow me much control, plus the fact I was trussed up like a turkey, and so I didn't manage to do anything except anger my kidnappers.
To make the long story short, I wound up thrown into a small room on the second floor of the mansion while they waited for their leader to give further instructions. Meanwhile, (mind you that this is what Clark told me afterwards) Clark got out of the cab and sneaked inside the building. I've no idea why he did that instead of turning around in the cab to report the matter to the police. But I'm glad he didn't.
Before long, the effects of the chloroform wore off. It was at this time that Clark appeared, seemingly out of nowhere. If he had used the door, I think I would've known since I was facing it. But he didn't. At the time I didn't really wonder much. You have to forgive me since after being kidnapped, a friendly face is so welcome that you don't really ask questions like 'where did you come from'?. He soon freed me from the stupid ropes that were burning my wrists and ankles. I don't really know what made me obey him when he requested that I close my eyes but by the time I opened them, I was outside the mansion. I was free, thanks to my hero. At the time, I didn't really question how he did this, but now that I'm writing this, I'm getting more curious. Does he have a secret power to vanish and appear at will or something?
Well, I'm not going to bore you and myself with the details, just that I took Clark back to the palace, reported the incident to my father (who, by the way, wasn't all that angry) and left Clark to be quizzed. Oh, don't worry, he wasn't treated too badly. I have to report that using his information, they successfully arrested the group, all except the leader who seemed to have disappeared into the woodwork.
I had thought that all the excitement was over by then. But I was wrong. Anyway, before I go too far ahead of the story…hmm, this is like story telling…Clark got himself invited to my birthday party. My parents and brothers were impressed by him, I'm proud to say. He, the modest soul, tried to object but we overruled him completely. My mother went ahead to get him settled into the palace. She told him in no uncertain terms that he was to be a guest of ours for the rest of his vacation here. My mother's devious. She knew that if he was around, I wouldn't be sneaking out of the palace. It worked too.
So there we (Clark and I) were, on the morning of my eighteenth birthday, waiting for Alex at the airport. My father was taking no chances and sent heavily armed guards with us. People stared at our entourage and the airport workers scrambled to accommodate us. Clark must have felt very uncomfortable since he wasn't used to all this attention. Poor fellow. Alex's flight came in and as soon as I saw him coming towards me, I rushed forward, out of the protective circle of my guards and into his arms. Melodramatic? Well, perhaps. But I hadn't seen him in ages and he was my favourite brother.
I think I'm a jinx because just then a shot rang in the air and I felt myself and Alex being pushed to the ground. Pandemonium arose; some of the guards came to surround us while others gave chase after the shooter. I later realised that it was Clark who had pushed us down and saved me and perhaps Alex from being killed. The bullet's trajectory would've hit me right in the back of my head if Clark hadn't acted as quickly as he did. It was as if he flew towards us, as one guard described it. Perhaps he did. Ah, could that be how he got into the room I was in and how he got us out? Hmm…the ability to fly…of course I might just be fanciful. This bears further investigation.
Anyway, they managed to catch the guy who turned out to be a hired killer. He revealed that he was hired by the leader of the rebel group. Right at this moment, my father is consulting with the security forces to find this faceless leader. I hope they manage to catch him.
To continue the story, Alex, Clark and I were ushered back to the palace in all haste. The party still went on as scheduled, but all three of us were too shaken to really enjoy the party. One good thing that happened out of this was Clark's and Alex's instant bonding. Last night, Alex made plans with Clark to go fishing today. I wonder if I could go too?
So, dear diary, this is the end of the story at the moment. I'm sure I'll be writing more. But for now, I hear Alex's and Clark's voices outside the door. One thing I've gained in the last few days is the friendship of a very dear man. Only one thing is wrong with him; he can't dance. No problem there, I'll teach him. After all, I did appoint myself as his tutor.