By Barbara Pillsbury <Megats1776@yahoo.com>
Submitted: June 2002
Summary: Lois follows a source to finally find out a secret.
The wind ruffled her dark hair as they flew high above the city of Metropolis on a mid-October afternoon. The sky was a bright azure blue and the warmth of the sun's rays, unusual for October, felt really good on her shoulders. She looked up into the face of the man who was carrying her in his arms and smiled at him.
Superman's deep brown eyes looked adoringly at her as he held her close. He carefully flew her through the window of her living room, his cape billowing out behind him, and set her down gently. Superman then put his arms around her and pulled her closer to him. He put his hand under her chin and tilted her face up toward him. He gazed into her eyes, leaned down, and…
Bzzzz. The alarm on Lois Lane's radio went off and the sound of Jordan Knight singing "Finally Found Out" permeated Lois' dream state.
*Our love's what's supposed to be
It takes time
Grows out of trust and honesty
If you dive in, change your mind
'Cause you don't know how to swim, baby
I turn the lights and go to sleep
Dream of all that we can be
And wake up knowing we can always try…*
Lois turned over, grabbed her pillow, and hugged it to her chest, trying to recreate the dream at that very exact moment that it had been disturbed.
*I'm learning every day
I'm goin' all the way
I'm finally finding out
What love is all about
There will be no doubt
I'm finally finding out*
But the music prevented her from reentering the dream, forcing her, instead, to open her eyes. Real life crept in on her, replacing fiction with fact. She turned over onto her back and held the pillow over her face, pulling down the ends, trying to block out the ever-present music. <I'm finally finding out,> she thought. Finding out *what*? About love? About him?
Him, who? Gratefully, Claude was long gone. And the big mistake in her life, Lex, was gone, too. Why was she even thinking about them? Neither one was any good. They both lied to her and both had cheated. But then all men did.
Well, Superman didn't. He was the man of her dreams but he was unreal, unreachable, a fantasy, a fairy tale—and she was no longer a child. She had to grow up.
This was a strange self-talk she was engaging in. She had grown up early in her life, having to help raise her sister Lucy when their father had gone off and her mother was often confined to her bed, drunk. She had traded in her childish toys for adult responsibility and had long ago given up on Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, Leprechauns, and Good Fairies.
Yet, here she was dreaming of a man who flew. He *was* a dream—an impossible dream. Although he was really there, he was high above them all and asking him to love her would force him to be less. It would force him to be human with human frailties.
And she had had enough of men with frailties. There couldn't be a man who could combine…
Well, Clark didn't lie and he didn't cheat. The Kansas farmboy was different. He was someone she could really trust. He was her best friend, her partner, and both his feet were on the ground. And even though, when faced with the moment of saying "I do" to Lex, she had pictured Clark, their friendship, their partnership—their relationship couldn't be jeopardized by altering it. Clark had agreed with her about their status right after Lex's death. They were just friends, nothing more.
But this morning her thoughts wandered and a smile played on her lips. She thought about Clark and how it might feel to be in *his* arms and how it would be to kiss *him*. <Now where was that coming from?> she thought as she threw the pillow across the room.
She had to get up. She had to stop wallowing and get on with today. But it was going to be difficult, as today was Lois' birthday. She knew that her co-workers at the Planet would bombard her when she arrived. There would be the cards, maybe some gifts.
Something special would be on her desk from Clark. *That* she knew, *that* she could depend on. Lois' mind drifted back to Clark. In the year that she had been working with him, she had come to respect and trust him and delight in his support, his kindness, and his strength when she needed him. She had definitely found out what a true friendship was about. But love she had not found. And today yet another year had ticked by.
Lois made her way to the kitchen. She pulled out the 'Superman' mug that she had gotten as a birthday present in the mail from her sister, and turned on the coffee maker. While the coffee was heating, she hurried back to the bathroom where she took a quick shower and, in a terry cloth robe, came out to the kitchen as the coffee maker's timer was sounding. Just as she lifted the mug to her lips, a knock came at the door.
<Who could that be at 8:15 in the morning?> she wondered.
She opened two of the locks, but keeping the chain on, she peered out the door. "Oh my god!" she said out loud and opened the door. There, standing in the doorway, was an Elvis impersonator dressed all in white, with sideburns, spangles, and a cape.
"Happy Birthday, Lois," Elvis sung out.
"Thank you," Lois replied, taking the balloons and the wrapped package he presented to her.
"Oh, there's more," he replied and sang:
*Baby, let me be your lovin' Teddy Bear
Put a chain around my neck and lead me anywhere
Oh let me be…
Your teddy bear*
"Oh, not that," Lois said, grabbing her purse and pushing a ten dollar bill into his hand as she practically slammed the door in his face.
Lois tied the bright colored balloons onto a chair by the table and began opening the card attached to the package. 'Have a sweet birthday,' the card said, and it was signed 'Perry.' Inside the package were a teddy bear with a gaudy bow around its neck and a large canister of Belgium chocolate.
Lois laughed. Perry was a wonderful boss; a little cornballish, especially when it came to Elvis, but she wouldn't have wanted to work for anyone else. She looked at the clock. She was going to be late. She hurried into her bedroom and dashed into her clothes. She rushed putting on her make-up and doing her hair. She took a look at the results in the mirror. <It will have to do,> she thought and ran toward the door.
The familiar ding sounded as the elevator opened on one of the busiest floors of the Daily Planet. Lois looked around quickly, hoping there wouldn't be another surprise, and seeing that the coast was clear, made a rapid beeline for her desk.
On her desk as anticipated were several envelopes which, by their size and shape, could only be birthday cards. A large vase of yellow roses and three packages adorned her desk as well.
She looked up and saw Clark and Jimmy hovering by her desk. She smiled at them.
"Happy Birthday," they both said together.
"Go ahead, Lois", Jimmy insisted. "Open them. This one first," he said, and thrust one into her hands.
She opened the largest package. Inside was a framed copy of the Daily Planet's front page dated the day she was born. The humorous card attached showing a mad dog blowing out candles was from Jimmy Olsen.
She leaned over and gave him a kiss on his cheek. He smiled at her sheepishly. "Thanks, Jimmy," she said. "This is perfect."
Lois opened the card attached to the flowers. It read 'To the greatest partner and friend anyone could have' and it was signed Clark.
Lois was about to thank him when Clark interjected. "There's more, Lois," he said, and picked up the smallest package on her desk and handed it to her.
Lois beamed at him and unwrapped the package. Inside was a small velvet jewelry box. Lois looked at Clark quizzically. She opened the box and there, nestled on a bed of pink silk, was a silver chain with a charm of the Planet's logo. Lois held up the charm and turned it over. Engraved on the back of the logo were the words "Lane & Kent."
Lois jumped into Clark's arms and hugged him. "This is beautiful," she said softly. The thought of kissing him came to mind, but she pulled back before she could act on it.
"There's one more package," Clark said. "It must be from Perry."
"Oh, no," Lois said, rolling her eyes. "His present came to my apartment this morning. I'll explain later," she said in response to Clark's questioning look.
"Well, open it," Jimmy said. "Let's see who it's from."
Lois opened the card attached to the present. The typed message was short and sweet:
*Happy birthday, Lois. Superman walks among us. If you want to find out his secret identity, follow the clue inside. Don't tell anyone else. Please trust me. It was signed 'a true friend.' *
"It's from a college sorority sister," Lois lied to Clark and Jimmy. "She always sends me gag gifts. It's probably something alive that will jump out at me, so I better open it later.
Perry came out of his office. "What's all the standing around? Get back to work," he barked out.
"Thanks for the interesting present, chief," Lois hugged him. "And thank you, Jimmy and Clark," she said to both of them and smiled.
"How about lunch later?" Clark asked.
"Yes, sure," Lois answered, obviously already engrossed in something else.
Clark walked back to his desk. He looked over his shoulder at Lois, who had not moved from where she was standing.
Lois read the note again. Then she picked up her purse and put the package inside and rushed for the elevator. She had to go somewhere, somewhere private. This was probably a joke, but a feeling deep within her—maybe it was her reporter's instinct—believed the note.
Lois unlocked her apartment door. She took out the package and threw her purse down on the couch. She sat down and, although she had sped through the traffic to get here as fast as she could, she now—with trepidation—slowly, very slowly, opened the package. Lois let out a gasp. A red and gold "S" met her gaze. Of course, anyone could copy the symbol; but as she held it in her hand, it somehow seemed real, seemed a part of him.
Below the emblem was a note. Again it was typed and again it was signed 'a true friend.' Lois gingerly read the note.
*Lois, you have supported Superman's efforts to make Metropolis and the world a better place to live. You have been there for him and obviously care a great deal about him. I believe it is time for you to find out more about Superman. I know that what you will learn, you will keep to yourself because you understand that his secret is crucial to his being able to carry out the reason he is here among us.
I'm not going to just tell you the secret, because you probably won't believe me. I, instead, will give you clues that will lead you toward discovering the truth for yourself.
You probably think this is a joke, a birthday prank. Believe me, it's not.
I'll prove it to you. Before you made the decision to marry Lex, you asked to see Superman. You asked him if there was a future for the two of you. You told him that you were completely in love with him and would love him even if he were an ordinary man.
Lois, he is an ordinary man in so many ways, and he *is* in love with you. He needs you to love the man beneath the suit.
I will point you toward that man if you want to follow. If you do, figure out the clue below.*
Lois read the note three times. It had to be true. But who would Superman have shared that conversation with? That conversation was private and Superman was so decent and caring. He wouldn't have shared it with anyone. The note must be from him—from Superman himself. Superman loved her and he wanted her to know more about him. Her heart began racing. He loved her and was going to share this with her. But why this cryptic format? Why couldn't he just fly over to her place and tell her?
Maybe he had tried to tell her before but she hadn't really listened. Maybe this was a way to get her rapt attention. Well, it worked. She was ready.
She took a deep breath and looked at the clue. It was a group of numbers and letters.
Lois studied what was before her. She wished she could get Clark to help her. This was the kind of stuff that he was so good at. She looked at the clue again. The V2, maybe that meant Volume 2. So it must be some kind of citation. It could be a journal or a book.
The library! She had to get to the library. Lois practically flew out of her apartment. She hopped into the Jeep and headed out to the Metropolis City Library.
Lois had to search for a parking space but eventually found one when a van pulled out just across the street from the library. She hurried into the building, not taking time to put money into the meter, and walked toward the main desk.
"Can I help you?" asked a young, attractive woman with auburn hair. She was wearing a T-shirt with the words 'Librarians do it in stacks' silk-screened on it. This was not the vision Lois had when she thought of a librarian. But the young woman, whose ID tag said her name was Jerena, was smiling and looked helpful.
She saw Lois looking at her nametag. "Everybody asks about my name. I'm named after my father, Jerry," she explained. "Can I help you?"
"I hope so," Lois answered. "Can you tell me what this is?" she asked as she copied the encryption on a small piece of paper she found in a holder and presented it to the young librarian expectantly.
Jerena looked at it quickly. "Yes," she replied with confidence. "The first part is a Dewey Decimal Citation. We don't use that system at this library. We use the Library of Congress designations but I'm familiar with the DDS," she said, looking across the counter at Lois.
"Great!" Lois exclaimed.
"Let's see," Jerena went on. The 800s are literature—820s are…" She paused trying to remember. "Ah, yes—English Literature. With the 'Sh' designation, my guess is that it's Shakespeare. The 'mu' would refer to one of the plays. English Lit is not my area of expertise, so let me check," she explained, then punched a few keys on the computer.
"I'm right," she said, grinning. "The play cited is 'Much Ado About Nothing.' This next part I'm not sure about," Jerena said, pointing to the V2/12/118.
"Does V2 mean Volume 2?" Lois asked.
"It can't be," Jerena explained. "The 'mu' means one particular play, so there aren't any volumes to it. Oh!" she exclaimed, obviously pleased with herself. "It probably means Act 5, Scene 2. Then the 12 could be the twelfth line and the 118 could be the 118th word. This is probably farfetched, because I don't understand why someone would cite one word from a play, but you could try it," she suggested.
"It's sort of a scavenger-treasure hunt kind of a thing," Lois responded.
"Then that makes more sense that somebody would want you find just one word. I'll have to check where that book is, as we list it differently," she said as she went on line again.
Lois didn't have to wait long for Jerena's response. This young woman really knew her stuff.
"It's not been checked out," she said after reading the screen. "So it will be on the shelves. It should be on the fourth floor and here is the citation for it," she said giving Lois the designation. "Good luck," Jerena said. "Hope you win the game."
Lois made directly for the elevator. She punched the fourth floor and waited anxiously while the elevator doors closed and the music came on. Frank Sinatra was singing:
*If they asked me, I could write a book
about the way you walk and whisper and look.
I could write a preface on how we met
so the world would never forget.
And the simple secret of the plot
is just to tell them that I love you a lot.
Then the world discovers as my book ends
how to make two lovers of friends.*
Lois thought about Superman. Was this just a game, a prank, a joke? No, she was sure that the note was from him. He said he loved her. She had loved Superman from the moment he took her in his arms and flew her up in the sky. But he wanted her to love the ordinary man beneath the suit, not the superhero. But did she know that ordinary man?
As the words of the song sunk in, her mind drifted to Clark. She saw his smile and the way he looked at her. She remembered what he had said in Centennial Park about being in love with her, but he had taken it back. He loved her as a friend. And she, she…she wasn't sure. All she knew was that she had to find out. She had to…
The doors opened and stopped Lois' reverie. She looked at the numbers painted above the stacks and made her way quickly down the rows until she found the right row, stack, and the book cited.
Impatiently, she pulled the book from the shelves and leafed quickly to Act V, Scene 2. It was a scene with Benedick and Margaret.
Benedick was asking Margaret to fetch Beatrice. Lois counted down to the 12th line. It began with Benedick singing a song and then lamenting over his inability to write poetry. She counted carefully 40, 60, 80, 100, 118. Benedick was stating that he wasn't born under a rhyming planet. The 118th word was planet.
Lois closed the book and returned it to the shelf. This was just part of a clue, then. It probably was a portion of a message that was going to inform her about the planet that Superman came from. But she knew that information. How was that going to let her know about his secret identity?
She took the elevator down to the first floor, stopping at the desk to thank Jerena one more time and letting her know that she had obtained her answer. Then she ran across the street to her car, dodging a taxi whose driver yelled out something intelligible.
"Damn," Lois said as she grabbed the parking ticket off her windshield and got into her car. <Planet,> she thought, throwing the ticket into the glove compartment where it landed with all the others. Of course the clue had to be referring to Krypton. What other planet…unless it was the Daily Planet.
Maybe she was supposed to go back to her desk where the next clue would be waiting for her.
Lois drove back to the Planet and pushed the button three or four times before the elevator responded. When she arrived on the newsroom floor, she looked over to see if her partner was there. He wasn't. <Good,> she thought. He'll be wondering what I am doing and Lois wasn't ready to tell him. Besides, the note had explicitly told her not to tell anybody.
She moved quickly to her desk and sat down. She took a moment to look at the beautiful flowers from Clark and opened the velvet box. Lois smiled as she lifted the delicate chain. She gazed at it for a few moments, then returned the necklace to its nest of pink silk, closed the box, and put it aside as she began to open the cards that were still there from this morning. There were birthday cards from her mother, father, other journalists she knew and a few prominent citizens. Nothing was there from 'a true friend.' She frowned, wondering what to do next.
Perry came out of his office. "Is everything all right?" he asked.
"Yeah, Perry. Just fine," she said sarcastically. "Where's Clark?"
"There was a hold-up at Metropolis First National," Perry explained, "and Clark's covering it. Jimmy's with him to get some pictures. It's a hostage situation. You might want to join them," he said, looking at her with interest.
"No, Perry," she said slowly. "I'm waiting for a…a source on another story."
"Okay," the chief said. "Keep on it. And, Lois," he said, "Clark asked me to tell you that lunch was off as he probably won't be back in time."
"That's fine, Chief," Lois said gratefully, having forgotten about lunch anyway. She put her head between her hands, trying to get herself focused.
"Ms. Lane," said Karl, the mail boy, coming up to her desk. "More cards for you. And happy birthday."
"Thanks, Karl," Lois responded, taking the cards. She quickly went through each of them, and in the second to the last one, she saw the now-familiar typed signature of 'a true friend.'
The card said:
*Happy birthday once again, Lois. Hope you are having a very special day. Just bear with me, it won't be much longer. Here's your second clue.
Apr 18, 1790 Section 1, page 1, column 2
Feb 7, 1959 Section 1, page 3, column 3
Jun 8, 1967 Section 1, page 6, column 1*
This one was going to be easier as they were obviously newspaper citations from the Daily Planet. So she was right. That was what the first clue meant.
The Daily Planet's computer only went back to 1991 so she had to go down to the archives in the basement of the building.
Lois, with the card in her hand, stood in front of the elevators once again. As the doors opened, Clark and Jimmy were getting out.
"You should have been there!" Jimmy exclaimed to Lois. "Superman came in to save the day. Clark went to talk to the FBI agents that were on the roof of the building across the street. So I was the one who got a quote from the man of steel himself," he smiled. "Looks like I scooped the team of Lane and Kent."
"That's great, Jimmy," Lois said, her mind elsewhere.
"Hey, Chief," Jimmy yelled as he crossed toward Perry's office.
"What's going on?" Clark asked Lois, not following Jimmy.
"Oh, nothing, Clark," she responded, holding the card behind her back. "I'm just working on an idea that will probably not pan out. I'll let you know if it becomes something," she said as she traded places with him in the elevator.
She pushed the key marked 'B' and rode the elevator down the several stories to the basement. When the doors opened, she looked around for Joanne, the research clerk.
Joanne, an average-sized woman with a gray page boy hairdo, was a very capable woman of about sixty-four years of age. She had been with the Planet for over forty years and knew everything there was to know about its history, its stories, and its people.
Joanne came around the corner of one of the filing cabinets and smiled when she saw Lois. Although sixty-four, she was wearing jeans and a short-sleeved pale pink top. She had probably forgone the professional looking skirts and blouses due to the dusty environment in which she worked. "Hi, Lois," she said. "How is the team of Lane and Kent? Any news on the relationship front? Are you guys an item yet?" She winked.
"Can you find me these?" she asked Joanne, ignoring her questions and ripping off the bottom of the card and handing it to her.
Joanne looked at the list. "Well, the last two will be easy, but the first one is going way back and will take some digging. Let's do the easy stuff first. Nineteen fifty-nine and nineteen sixty-seven are on microfilm over this way," she said, indicating for Lois to follow her.
The research clerk opened a file drawer and took out a roll that was labeled Jan-Jun 1967. Then she moved down the row of cabinets and took out another roll that was dated Jan- Jun 1959. She headed over to the Microfilm reader and, sitting down in front of the machine, slipped the first roll neatly onto a reel. Joanne pushed a button and the machine lit up. She turned a knob, and dates and stories began flying by on the large screen.
Obviously Joanne could read these celluloids quite rapidly as she stopped right on June 8, 1967. She signaled to Lois to pull up a chair next to her.
Lois sat down as Joanne wound the film until it moved a couple of slots so that the correct page and column were displayed. There, lit up on the screen in front of them was:
'Dorothy Parker—writer, critic, wit—dies.'
The column went on to talk about her writing and her various contributions to the city.
<What could Dorothy Parker have to do with all of this?>
Lois wondered. "I'm not sure what this means," she said to Joanne. "Maybe the next one will help me understand all of this."
Joanne pulled out the 1967 roll and put it in its box. She then put the 1959 roll into the machine and quickly wound to just the right spot. The screen once again showed a column reporting the death of a famous person. This time it was Buddy Holly.
"Dorothy Parker and Buddy Holly," Lois said. "I don't get it."
"Maybe you need all three to get the pattern," Joanne told her.
She led Lois back into a vault at the rear of the basement. "It's here we keep all of the really ancient copies," she said. "This airtight vault keeps them safer. We've put each of the papers into a specially designed plastic sleeve that helps them from deteriorating as well," Joanne explained. "But we have lost some of them. Hopefully, what you want is here."
"I'm keeping my fingers crossed," Lois said, doing just that.
"This must be someone really important," Joanne said as she reflected on the reference and searched the shelves for the appropriately labeled section. "If it follows the pattern, the story must be about someone who died, and, if it's on the front page, it must be someone who is very prominent."
Lois watched Joanne check the shelves and when she came up empty, Lois looked dejected.
"Wait a minute," Joanne said. "I think I may be able to figure it out," she said, smiling at Lois. "Come with me."
Lois followed Joanne as she made her way back to the front of the basement room to where her computer was located. "I really don't know how I did this job before computers," she said. "It sure makes my job easier."
Joanne got on line and got into a search engine and typed something. "That didn't work," she said, thinking. Then she tried something else. "That did it," she exclaimed, looking at the screen. "It definitely was an important person. It was Benjamin Franklin."
Lois made her way back up to her desk. She reflected on the three names: Dorothy Parker, Buddy Holly, and Benjamin Franklin. Having all three didn't seem to help at all. What *did* they have in common?
Lois looked up from her desk and across at her partner, who was typing at his computer. Whenever she was stymied— which she hated being—Clark was the one she sought help from. But she couldn't now. She wasn't supposed to let anyone know.
But maybe she could get his help without letting on what this was about. After all, she didn't know how these three individuals could lead her to the secret identity of Superman. Clark probably wouldn't know why she was asking. But she had to give him some reason.
No. She shouldn't tell him. By undertaking this journey of clues, she had basically promised Superman that she wouldn't share the information with anyone else. But Clark wasn't just *anyone* else. He was her partner. He was her best friend. He was almost a part of her. They were so much alike in many ways. They thought alike; Clark finished her sentences and she, his. And yet, they were opposites as well. They complemented each other and provided the yin and yang to many situations. If she was going to solve this riddle, Clark was the one she needed now.
"Clark," Lois said, approaching his desk tentatively. "I need some help."
Clark leaned back in his chair, his hands behind his head. "So, the greatest reporter in Metropolis, the winner of three Kerth awards needs my help," he said, chuckling.
"Yeah," she said. "But I promise I won't let it become a habit. Remember that package I got this morning?" she asked hesitantly.
"Uh-huh," Clark responded.
"Well, it was a game…a…a…logic game," she explained. "My Sorority Sister…uh, Jerena…" Lois said quickly as soon as the name came to her. "…sent me a note saying that since I was getting older, my mind was probably the first thing that would go and so she gave me a series of logic questions to answer," Lois said babbling on. "I'm supposed to e-mail back the answers and if I get them all correct, I get taken out for a lunch the next time Jerena is in town. I answered all but one." She looked at Clark, waiting for him to protest. "I know I shouldn't get help, but it's just a game."
"Well, Lois," Clark said, smiling at her now-familiar babbling state. "It's not ethical to cheat; but, sure, I'll help. I like these kinds of games."
"I thought you would." Lois sighed. "Okay, here's the question. Ready?"
"Shoot," said Clark.
"What do the following three people have in common?" she asked. "Dorothy Parker, Buddy Holly, and Benjamin Franklin."
Clark wrote down the three names on his legal pad and looked at them. He thought a while as Lois fidgeted and paced behind him. And then he looked up at her and smiled. "Glasses," he said.
"What?" Lois asked as she stopped pacing, put her hands on his shoulders, and looked at the pad where he had scribbled some notes.
"Glasses," he said again. "Franklin invented the bifocals, Buddy Holly wore those thick glasses with black frames and Dorothy Parker had that famous quote. You know the one: Men seldom make passes at girls who wear glasses." He chuckled. "Good game," he said, grinning up at her.
Lois knew he would get it. She knew he would be able to help her. Clark was always there for her and she loved that about him. She looked at his wonderful face and his smile—his smile that always warmed her.
"You're fantastic," she said as she leaned down and kissed him gently on the lips. She pulled back and looked at him again. He was still smiling at her but there was something different in his eyes.
She turned to walk away. She had to figure out the puzzle, but suddenly she couldn't concentrate as a strange feeling started welling up inside her after kissing him. She realized that all the ways she loved Clark for who he was, for his kindness, for his generosity, for his support of who she was, was combining into one strong feeling. She was falling in love with Clark!
Lois walked back to her desk slowly, still reeling from the realization. This *had* been a journey of discovery. But what she had discovered, what she had finally found out, was not the answer to the clues, but her feelings for Clark.
She had yet to discover Superman's secret identity. But it didn't seem to matter as much. Should she go on? Should she even try to see the connection between 'planet' and 'glasses'? Or should she go back and tell Clark about her feelings and kiss him once again?
But her reporter instinct kept churning. She had to find out. Now what do those two things…<Oh my god!> she thought. <It can't be!> She turned on her heels and looked across the room at her partner, who was still looking at her, waiting. Waiting for what?
He was waiting for her to get it. It must be. It all fit! They looked alike; she had always thought so but dismissed it. She couldn't *ever* remember them being together at the same time, and there were those ridiculous excuses whenever he had to disappear. Cheese of the Month Club, how ridiculous was that? It was true. It was true!
A floral deliveryman was making his way toward Lois' desk. "Ms. Lane?" he asked. "Ms. Lane?" he asked again when he received no response.
"Y-y-yes," Lois answered, really not noticing as she was still staring at her best friend—a friend who had kept an incredible secret from her. She was beginning to get angry when the man stuck a clipboard under her nose in order to get a signature.
Lois sunk down at her desk, signed for the long, thin package, then opened it. Inside there was a sealed envelope attached to a single red rose. Inside the envelope was another typed note and, glancing quickly at the bottom of the note, she saw it was from 'hopefully more than a true friend.' She looked once more at Clark and then read the note.
*By now you should have figured it out.
But just in case you haven't, the next
clue is 'The Louisiana Purchase.'
You know, Lewis and ______. *
*Yeah, it's me, Lois. I've wanted to tell
you for a long time but couldn't get up the
nerve because I knew you'd be angry. There
were reasons for the secret. I needed to
protect those who were close to me. I
needed to be able to live an ordinary life. *
*But I also knew that if our relationship
was ever going to go to the next level,
*you* had to know. I was hoping that if you
had to use a lot of energy tracking the
information down, it would diffuse your
anger and we can now discuss it. *
*Please, please, Lois…you mean everything to me.
Forgive me for not telling you sooner. *
*Happy birthday. Will you have dinner with me?*
Lois looked up as she realized that Clark was now standing by her chair. He leaned over and picked up the velvet box that Lois had left there. He opened it up and, taking his gift, moved behind her to clasp it around her neck. He then sat down on the corner of her desk and, cupping his hand against her face, leaned down and kissed her a little more passionately than she had kissed him.
Lois found out what it would be like to kiss Clark. She found out what falling in love felt like. She found out a secret—a secret she could forgive and help share. She smiled at him, took the rose, and ran it along the side of his face, then let him kiss her once again. This had turned out to be a very special birthday. She had 'Finally Found Out.'
The Song "Finally Found Out" by Jordan Knight was actually released in 1999, so please excuse the dramatic license but it fit so well.
"I Could Write A Book" by Rodgers & Hart is from the musical "Pal Joey," 1940
I want to thank Erin, Sheila, Ann, Kathy, Yael, Raquel, Pam, and Wendy for their help, comments, and suggestions.