Submitted: August 2019
Summary: In honor of Eddie Jones’ passing July 8th, 2019. Clark struggles to come to terms with the reality of his father’s death.
Story Size: 885 words (5Kb as text)
<<“You can’t risk anyone finding out about you. If they knew you came from another planet...”
“But I can’t hide forever. There has to be a way I can be Clark Kent and still use what I’ve been given to do some good.”>>
Clark stared down at his hands that were clenching his knees with a grip he was sure to break something if not for his invulnerability. He’d been sitting here for what felt like hours, waiting for something to tell him what to do. Though he was sure any sign to direct him had left the moment his father had passed.
<<“That’s my boy.”>>
The idea seemed so surreal as Clark stared at the bed where his father’s body lay motionless and lifeless, covered by a clean white sheet.
Take all the time you need.
There’s no rush.
So sorry for your loss.
The words felt so empty as they weighed on Clark. He wasn’t sure how to even react. He felt his mind race from thought to thought as if it were trapped in a maze of despair and grief. He couldn’t escape it. No matter where he looked or what he did, all he could feel was the heavy weight on his chest as the boulder-sized lump in his throat grew greater and greater. He should probably be crying, screaming, and yet his mind wouldn’t let him.
<<“If there’s one thing we know about you, son, it’s that anything’s possible.”>>
He was in shock.
He knew it wouldn’t be long before the tidal wave of grief hit him and he would be overpowered and finally succumb to it all.
He was supposed to be saying goodbye.
Somehow sitting in this tiny room with his father’s body was supposed to help him say goodbye. How, he wasn’t sure. His dad was gone. It wasn’t like he could respond or give him the last bit of fatherly advice.
His dad was gone.
He shot up from his seat, pacing around the room as he stared at the white sheet that covered his father’s body.
This felt wrong.
There were plans that had been made.
Tomorrows that had yet to happen with his father in them. How was this possible? He let out an agonizing wail as he fell to the floor, catching himself at the last second so as not to cause any damage that couldn’t be explained.
In every moment, from childhood to adulthood, his dad had carried the burden of worrying about Clark’s abilities being discovered. As a child, he held the secret close and never told anyone. As an adult, he became more comfortable and tested his limits, but his father’s warnings remained in the back of his mind. It wasn’t until years later after meeting Lois Lane that he considered the possibility of sharing this secret with anyone.
It wasn’t until years later when he and Lois had been blessed with children of their own that he truly understood the agonizing fear and worry that his father carried. The what-ifs were endless. Even more so with a child that held special, super-powered gifts and abilities.
Though he donned the cape and ‘S’, it was because of those around him that he could. His supportive parents that encouraged him to always do the right thing and never once made him doubt his self-worth. His incredibly supportive wife that stood by his side through everything. There were so many times he could have missed out on everything if it weren’t for his father pushing him to do the right thing.
<<“I can’t do this. I’m sorry, Martha. I know we said we wouldn’t stick out noses in, but this is wrong, you can’t give up your whole life like this.”>>
<<“Well, looks like there’s only one thing you can do. Go on the offensive. Reveal who you are. Then he’ll have no power over you.”>>
The words cut like a knife as Clark Kent came to the realization his world around him had been shattered forever. He heard the words the doctor was saying but compared to his inner voice that continued to protest in agony at the thought of losing someone that meant so much, the doctor’s voice was nothing more than a soft whisper.
A gentle hand reached over, taking his palm in hers just as she always had. He looked over to his wife, Lois Lane, whose tear-stained cheeks were equally damp from the tears she had shed over the lasts few hours.
“We were supposed to…” Clark heard his voice crack from the strain of the grief.
Lois silently wrapped him up in her arms, understanding his protests as she always did. He felt the slight sense of reassurance with her by his side, facing the world around him for the first time without the man that had taught him everything. He could do it. He knew he could. He had been raised by Jonathan Kent, a man that had taught him to face his troubles head on and never back down. He wasn’t about to back down now.