By Alicia U. <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Submitted: July 2004
Summary: A simple child's rhyme holds special significance for two lonely people in Metropolis.
"Star light, star bright," the tall, dark-haired young man muttered an old axiom he'd learned as a child.
He looked up into the sky and fixed his eyes on a bright, glistening orb alone in the sea of darkness. "First star I see tonight."
He took a deep, shuddering breath. It had never worked before, as many times as he had tried. Maybe this was his lucky night. He had to keep trying, believing this would be his night.
In so many of the countries he had visited, stars were a symbol of hope. They were thought to hold the great power to fulfill one's most longed-for dreams.
"I wish I may. I wish I might." He took a deep breath and gazed at the star, silently pleading for it to hear his small desire. "Have this wish I wish tonight."
His gaze never faltered from the one tiny, twinkling speck in the sky. It was almost like the star winked at him, like it almost knew what he was feeling.
"I wish …" he said softly, allowing his voice to trail off.
He knew exactly what he wanted. It was the same thing he wished for every night; the same thing that filled his every dream.
"I wish for a life, a home, the woman of my dreams." He wanted somewhere, someone who wanted him, too.
He had gone through life never quite fitting in, never truly belonging anywhere.
He loved his parents. They were the most important people in his life. Yes, he did belong at home with them, but he longed for something else — something his own. He wanted his own life: a job, a girl, a family, a life.
Sure, he had always loved Smallville, and it had always been a wonderful place to live. He'd had friends, a girlfriend, but it wasn't enough. He'd always felt the urge to run wherever the wind would take him. He was searching for acceptance, for a place he would be needed.
He had always known that Lana was not the woman he was destined to be with. Dating her was almost like stringing her along. If she knew the truth about him, she would never accept him. She had always wanted him so she could be popular. The cheerleader dating the football player; it could never last. But he needed something deeper.
With each passing year, he found himself growing apart from his childhood friends. They had all grown up, fallen in love, gotten married, and were now starting families of their own. Clark was an outsider. He was unwanted. There was no place for him.
When he had left for college, he had known he could never come back. He could never truly call Smallville home again.
So he had searched the United States, and then the world for the answer to all of his burning questions. He had searched for acceptance, for happiness, for security, for love.
He needed someone who could accept him for everything he was, and everything he would be.
He had seen wonderful places and had met his share of women, but he had never found what he was looking for.
He was different. Everywhere he went, everyone he met, he had to be careful. Guarded.
No one could ever know. Not only for his own safety, but for his parents. He could never let anything happen to them. He could never let anyone know.
As the years went by, he saw his friends finding love and getting married. In twenty-eight years, he hadn't found anyone who he could trust, or even wanted to trust, with his secret. He hadn't found anywhere to call home.
Now he was at the cusp of another long journey. This time to the big city. Metropolis. Somewhere he had never seen before.
Could this be his last stop? Would this be his chance to put down roots? Could this be his chance to find love?
He stared out his childhood window, watching the sky fill up with stars.
"Will you make my wishes come true?"
Looking up at his special star, he wondered if his destiny could be closer than he'd ever imagined.
Metropolis. The Daily Planet.
Would this be the end of his quest? Would he finally be able to put down roots? Could the world's biggest city really hold the key to his happiness? The key to his heart?
In a tiny apartment in the big city, a pretty, young woman stared out into the sky.
"Star light. Star bright," she said, her voice full of conviction.
Sure, it seemed like something Disney movies were made of, but ever since she was a child and her parents split up, she had taken to the habit of wishing on a star just in case someone or something was really out there listening. She didn't want to pass up the chance to make her dreams come true.
"First star I see tonight," she said to the tiny, twinkling orb alone in the sky.
She took a deep, shuddering breath. If ever she needed her wish to come true…
"I wish I may, I wish I might. Have this wish I wish tonight."
She brushed the tears from her eyes. Yes, she knew exactly what she wanted.
"I wish for a place I belong," she said softly.
She took another shuddering, deep breath. As much as she tried to put on her resilient faŘade, she knew inside that she was going to crumble. She tried too hard to hide her emotions, every so often they exploded inside her.
She'd never really cared about a relationship. Not after watching her parents.
Who was she kidding? As much as she had always tried to hide it, she always had been a closet romantic. She needed to believe that dreams were possible. She had to know that there really was a chance for a happy ending for everyone.
But now she knew that love was an illusion. She had never been in love. Not with him.
He had seduced her. Told her he loved her.
Then he had stolen something she had worked so hard for.
What a dope. Love. She didn't need it.
But she didn't want to believe it. There had to be someone out there for her. She had to believe that her wishes would come true. As hard as she tried, she could never give up hope. Not entirely.
She hugged her pillow and pulled her blanket to her chest, and she stared out the window over the sky, now filled with stars. Even if they were distant street lights rather than stars, she hoped someone or something would answer her plea.
They both looked out to what might have been the same bright star and wished for the sense of belonging that so many other people had.
Little did they know that someone else was out there was wishing for the exact same thing, at the exact same moment.
They would provide the love and sense of belonging the other had been waiting for all their lives.
They wished on one far off star, alone but soon together.
Maybe their wishes would soon come true. Their stars and their dreams would merge together as one.