By Wendy Richards <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Submitted: March 2004
Summary: Dan writes a letter to his deceased partner, Jenna, in an attempt to let her go.
Dedicated to the memory of our FoLC friend Yael Kfir, murdered by a terrorist on 9 September 2003, at the age of 21.
Sorry I haven't been to see you in a while. I hate to think that you've been lonely without me. Thing is, I've been in Metropolis the last few weeks. They sent me there, all hush-hush, because we heard that Intergang had got their hands on this new drug. They had, and I got to the bottom of that — a beauty of a pill called Resurrection. You take it, and within minutes it looks like you're dead. Only you're not — around twenty-four hours later you wake up and you're just fine. Nice way to break someone out of jail, huh?
Anyway, the Agency wanted me to stick around for a while after that — there was this Project Nirvana, a drug a company called Omnicorp wanted approval for, and they were willing to bribe their way to getting what they wanted. You'd have loved it, Jenna — I went undercover as an FDA agent. They were totally suckered. It was a great bust.
So once I've given my depositions, I'll be heading back to DC, but I wanted to let you know where I've been in case you were worried.
Actually… that's not the only reason I'm writing, Jenna. See, while I was in Metropolis I met somebody.
Yeah. A woman.
Lois Lane. That's her name. She's a reporter — works for the Daily Planet. Won lots of awards, too. You probably haven't heard of her, though — she's only been at the paper since around '89.
Yeah. The same year you died.
Lois is beautiful. That was the first thing I noticed about her. But not the only thing. You know me — good looks are nice, but I like a bit more to my women. And Lois has that all right. She's pretty smart. Well, with three Kerth awards to her name, I guess she'd have to be. She's brought down a lot of criminals, too — do you remember Preston Carpenter? He bought the Metropolis Star a couple of years back, and Lois figured out that he was creating accidents — actually putting people's lives at risk — to get headlines for his paper. And then there was this Russian spy guy who got hold of some nuclear weapons — pretty dangerous stuff. And Lois got to him as well. Actually, the only serious bad guy she didn't get the drop on was Lex Luthor. But you can't win 'em all.
Anyway, I figured pretty quickly that Lois was one smart lady. And that was almost my undoing. You know me — when I'm on a job I like to keep my cards pretty close to my chest about what I'm up to. And I always figured I was good at coming up with cover stories. But it didn't fool Lois. I didn't tell her anything about the Omnicorp investigation, but she worked it out all by herself. If I hadn't been pissed with her for checking me out behind my back, I'd have wanted to kiss her for being so clever.
Yeah. Actually… um… well, I did kiss her a couple of times. Well, you see, I was dating her.
It was complicated. She'd been seeing this guy Kent — he's her partner at the Planet and they seem to go back a long way. They were pretty close friends, but the way I saw it, Kent was doing a darned good job of blowing it. The two of them had been out on a date — yeah, just one date, Lois told me — before I met her. But he hadn't asked her out again. Another friend of his, a local assistant DA, got killed in an explosion. And… oh heck, I have to tell you this up front cause you'll only figure it out if I don't — the guy who planted the bomb was Sean McCarthy. Yeah. Same guy. Well, I got him this time. He's in jail. And he's staying there a long time.
Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah. Kent. Well, it was kind of obvious that Lois was feeling frustrated. It looked to her as if Kent was carrying a torch for his friend Mayson, and she was out in the cold. So I asked her out. And she said yes.
Sounds simple, huh? But it wasn't. It never is.
See, Kent saw me as competition. We had a few frank exchanges of view. Hey, I can handle that and, like I told him, you snooze, you lose. And he'd slept like Rip van Winkle, from what Lois said. But still, he was fighting for Lois, and some of the time she'd let him win. She stood me up a couple of times for him — but then, I muscled in on him and her a couple of times too. Like they say, all's fair…
And, heck, I know how to treat a woman. Keep her smiling. Keep her laughing, even. Remember all those crazy presents I used to bring you? And you'd smile politely and wonder what the heck they were supposed to be? But it was fun, wasn't it? Figuring out what it was and why I even remotely imagined you'd like it? And in the end you kept them all — you thought I didn't know, but after you were killed I went to your apartment. I saw them all in that closet in your bedroom. I was touched, Jenna. I just wish McCarthy hadn't got to you before we had the time and the courage to tell each other how we felt.
I think you'd have liked Lois. She's funny, too, as well as being beautiful and smart. And she's passionately committed to her job, and to the cause of justice. Hates seeing the bad guys win. Just like you. I think you'd have been friends. Maybe.
Anyway, it wasn't to be with Lois. I guess I underestimated the way she felt about Kent. Or maybe she was just using me all along to make him jealous. I don't know. Though I think we did have some good times together. I'm pretty sure that she enjoyed being with me. Okay, we both know that I can be egotistical, but I mean that. She liked my company. Whatever else, we became friends.
Friends. Yeah, you and I know what that's like. It's great if you really are friends and if that's all you want it to be. But that was never how it was for us, and it's not how it was for Lois and Kent. Clark. I really have to start calling him Clark. Especially if Lois invites me to the wedding. Yeah, there'll be a wedding. Not yet — I mean, I don't think she even knows if he loves her yet. They've got a lot of honest talking to do before they get even close to discussing weddings.
I told her that, too. When she told me that she didn't want to go out with me any more. That she'd finally decided what it was she really wanted. That she'd only been making excuses to stop herself making that decision. I was just in the right place at the right time — I made it possible for her to put off for later what she needed to do now. Or long before now.
It's so easy to put things off, isn't it, Jenna? We think we have our whole lives ahead of us. So it doesn't matter if we don't have the courage to say what we really feel right now, right this minute. It doesn't matter, because there'll always be another time. Tomorrow. Next week. Next month. Next year.
There'll always be another time.
But sometimes there just isn't any time left. Sometimes time runs out and we don't even know it before it's too late.
Time can run out in one solitary second. One last tick and then the explosion, and it's all over.
And then the regrets start. Why didn't I talk to her? Why didn't I tell her how I really feel? Why didn't I just seize the day and make it happen?
I told Lois that. Though I think she'd already figured it out for herself. And she sent me away then — I think she's with Kent now. I wished her luck. And I hope that she gets what she wants. I hope they're happy together.
I thought Lois might be The One, Jenna. I thought maybe if I tried hard enough I could fall in love with her. There were plenty of reasons to, after all. She was so much my type. She had everything I want in a woman.
Except one thing. She isn't you, Jenna.
I can hear you telling me that it's been nearly six years. That I should have moved on long ago. That I need to find someone else. And you're right. Every morning I wake up and realise that I'm still here and I have to live another day without you, I tell myself that I have to let you go and move on.
I want to move on, Jenna. But how can I when I still carry you with me in my heart everywhere I go?
How can I when every time I see an explosion or read about a bomb going off I think of you? I see the warehouse explode, Jenna. I see you with your hand on the door. I'm wishing I could go back in time to scream at you to get out, to run, to do anything you can to get out of there. To beg you not to open the door.
And inside my head, every time, I'm pleading with you again not to die. To come back to me.
I'm sobbing my heart out, telling you that I love you.
I did that, Jenna, as I watched you lie there dead. And I wished that I could have died with you.
I would have. Do you know that? You know I was right behind you when you cracked open that warehouse door. The bomb went off — remember? And you got thrown backwards in the blast. You never had a chance.
I got away alive. I shouldn't have. I wish I hadn't. Why did I have to survive while you died?
Oh, I was hurt. A few burns. A broken arm where I fell awkwardly. But none of that mattered. Not when you were dead.
I crawled over to where you'd fallen, hoping… just hoping that there was something I could do for you. I tried mouth- to-mouth, but you were already dead. I collapsed on the ground beside you, Jenna, and all I could say, over and over, was that I love you.
But it was too late.
Why did we waste those years, Jenna?
Why did we never tell each other how we felt?
It wasn't as if I didn't know. I fell for you the very first day we met. You were sassy and funny and very, very determined. I practically had to promise to work every holiday that year to get you as my partner. Yet I never told you how I felt. I teased you and flirted but never asked you out.
I thought that we had all the time in the world. I thought we could just enjoy the flirting game for as long as it took. I mean, I was pretty sure that you wanted me too, so I wasn't worried about losing you to another guy.
Instead I lost you to a bomb.
I never even kissed you. I never held you in my arms until that day when you lay dead on the ground beside me. I never told you that I love you.
And that's why I haven't moved on, Jenna. Because all I can think about is that I wasted my chance with you. I had the most special woman in the world in my life, and I did nothing about it.
Getting to know Lois was nice. It was fun. And I did — I do — find her attractive. But I was never in any danger of falling in love with her. Being with her showed me that I'm just not ready to move on yet.
It's been six years, Jenna. More than time for me to come to terms with losing you and to learn to move on. And that's why I'm writing to you now.
I need to say goodbye.
Goodbye to the most wonderful, special woman I ever knew. Goodbye to someone I will always remember. Someone beautiful, funny, smart, ambitious, never afraid of a challenge, who was determined, who had a passionate belief in right and wrong. Someone who loved her country and fought against those who threatened it. A woman who was loyal and dedicated. The best friend I have ever had and could ever have wished for.
While we were busy living, time was busy ticking away. I forgot what Benjamin Franklin once said: "Does thou love life? Then do not squander time; for that's the stuff life is made of."
We squandered the time we had together, and we are poorer for its loss — just as my life is emptier without you.
But it's time to say goodbye and learn to get on with my life without you.
Goodbye, Jenna. I love you and I will always miss you.
I decided to write a story from Dan's point of view because when Yael took part in a roleplaying game on the fic list a few years ago, she took the character of Dan Scardino. Her portrayal was acute, funny and — as the game advanced — very poignant as Dan had to deal with the death of Alt- Lois, whom he'd been dating. This was her final post in the role (thanks to Hazel for digging it out):
The truth is, nothing is fine. I walk around the streets of this idiotic city and can think of nothing. Not even about her. Everything seems useless, everybody is indifferent. Where can I go? I can't get myself to visit her apartment but I don't want to leave just yet. Who knows, maybe she'll show up. I keep telling myself it's impossible, but until a week ago I also considered cloning people as impossible. I went to the hospital, and they told me only family is allowed. They wouldn't even let me see her body. And why? It doesn't make sense. Nothing makes sense these days. Not the Cafes we won't visit, not the movies we won't watch.
Everybody talked about how much she was like you. I've got news for you she was *nothing* like you. She was naive, and caring, and funny, and sensitive and I could go on like this forever, but it doesn't help now! It doesn't matter anymore. She looked like you. That was all your resemblance. Apparently, it was enough to get her killed.
Why do people we love have to die, Lois? Why can't we all live forever and be happy? Is it too much to ask for? Whom should I ask?
I think I'll get a plane out of here tomorrow. And then again, maybe I'll just get out of my mind.
And this was her farewell post to the fanfic list in October 2000:
From: Yael Kfir [SMTP:zaglembia@M…]
Sent: Sunday, October 15, 2000 11:47 AM
Subject: [LOISCLA-GENERAL-L] OT: Not-goodbye
On this coming Monday — October 16, 2000 — I will recruit the Israeli Defense Forces for a compulsory service of two and a half years.
I wanted to thank you all for the last two years. I know I lurked here most of the time, yet I felt a real part of this community. I was so proud to be 'an acquaintance' of so many talented people.
I admire all the writers for their talent to write and courage to publish; I apologize for all the times I didn't send feedback, no matter what was the reason. I was cleaning my hard-drive today (and my room. And the closet, and the bookcase — I am in a cleaning mood!) and found the sketches to the fanfic I started to write once. I had a noble thought about writing all night and posting it as a good-bye message, but it was even more difficult than what I thought, so I'll just have to stay in the list until I finish it (or at least put it in an organized draft format…)
I am not removing myself from the list — I will try to see how I manage in the weekends. Yet this is 'an end of an era' for me and the beginning of a new one, and I wanted to share it with you.
Yael (going to sleep now, as only an hour ago she succeeded in shooing all her friends from her house)
15 Oct. 2000
This is my small tribute to a lovely, funny FoLC whose life was tragically cut off when it was only just beginning, and whom we will miss very much. For more information about Yael, see here:
Thanks to Kaethel for beta-reading very speedily and at no notice at all.
It is my wish that this story not be considered eligible for the Kerth Awards.
WMR 16 March 2004