Thursday, June 23, 2005

Chapter 41: Recognition

“Oh, my god. Are you sure? Are you sure those were the names he said?”

“Emily and Jacob, Ben, Savannah, Sarah and Cheryl, George… Yes, I’m certain, that’s exactly how he said them. He was so up set, but I don’t know why. There aren’t any families in Smallville with those names. Well there’s a Ben and a George, but none of the others. It just doesn’t make sense.” Lana stared at Chloe mystified as she answered.

“Oh yes, it does- I don’t know how but… Where’s the paper?”

“What?”

Chloe stared at Lana as though she were a dense child and explained, “The newspaper. Someone always brings in a copy of the ledger or the planet. Where is it?”

“Oh, I don’t know. I hadn’t noticed.”

Chloe bolted from her seat and ran from table to table checking all of the chairs for a newspaper.

“You manage a coffee shop and haven’t noticed that people like to read the newspaper with their coffee?” Not that she was intending to get snarky, but sometimes Chloe simply couldn’t believe how oblivious Lana could be. Not for the first, she wondered why Lex had let Lana stay in business and how much he was losing to do so.

“No,” Lana responded somewhat miffed. “I just meant that I hadn’t noticed where it was set today.”

Mmhmm. Chloe was not certain that she bought it, but it didn’t seem like the time for such speculations. By the time she’d reached the twelfth table, she was almost ready to give up. Then, it dawned on her. Right outside the front door, Lex had requested two newspaper vending boxes. Grabbing up her purse. Chloe dashed outside and returned quickly with a copy of the planet.

Before she had even reached the table, Chloe was surprising Lana by pulling open the paper and letting the unwanted sections drop away behind her as she walked, and slapping the remaining section down on the table with a loud smack.

“There. There Emily and Jacob. There’s Ben. George. Cheryl and Sarah. And, there’s Savannah. Their names are all there.”

Lana stared at the page with angst and silent tears pouring from her eyes, before shaking her head and rejecting Chloe’s speculation, “No, it can’t be. We know he was here when that happened. He’s not involved. He can’t be.”

But Chloe remembered Kal, and she remembered Lex’s strong reaction to hearing about Clark’s summer activities. “I bet Lex thinks he is.” Chloe speculated.

“No, Lex is Clark’s best friend. He knows Clark isn’t capable of that.”

“Does he?... He didn’t even seem to know about Metropolis. And you remember how he looked when he found out? He knows something. I’m sure of it.”

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