Thursday, June 23, 2005

Chapter 42: Manipulations

As Lex continued, his softly voiced concerns broke through the litany of newscasts, just as they had often broken through his mother’s litanies of guilt and doubt.

Clark’s shuddering slowed as he began to listen—uncurling slightly as he did. Finally, as the litanies returned to a distracting undercurrent, Clark lifted his head to mirror Lex’s pose by propping his chin on his knees. He had recognized all of these concerns from the first moment he had been completely conscious, but was deeply touched that these were still Lex’s concerns even after he knew about the bank. Clark had hoped to put off the admission until after he got Lex out the window and on to the fire escape, but now couldn’t bear to intentionally deceive him.

“I know… Lex, you have to leave me here.” Clark answered simply.

Lex had come to the same conclusion on his own, but was troubled by the resigned tone Clark used to second his decision.

Suddenly, a flash of intuition washed over Lex as he realized why he had the impression earlier that Clark was trying to manipulate him. Clark had obviously realized before Lex that he couldn’t get out and undoubtedly understood that he couldn’t protect himself either.

Irrationally, another flare of anger at Clark’s all-to-accepting sense of self-sacrifice swept through Lex, as he blazed at Clark, “Damn it, Clark, you knew. You knew and you were just going to make sure I got out. What then? Were you just going to wait until they came for you? And, killed you? You know that’s what they’re planning to do, don’t you? You’re just a loose- end to them.”

Lex’s voice broke with frustration, sadness, and anger as he spoke. He couldn’t understand how Clark could value everyone else’s lives so much, then turn around and throw his own life away so easily… without even a fight.

“Have you even tried to figure something else out? Like some place you can hide until I get back with the police? Or, some trap you could set up to stall them? Why won’t you try to fight for yourself as hard as you have for the rest of us?” Lex seethed, surprising himself and Clark with his emotional outburst.

Embarrassed by the unusual loss of restraint, particularly when he knew Clark was already so emotionally fragile, Lex tucked his chin down dropping his forehead to his knees as he unintentionally mimicked Clark’s defensive pose.

2 Comments:

Anonymous DrkCherry said...

What an extraordinary story. I can't wait to find out what comes next.

11:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm on tenterhooks. Please, please write more soon. I can't wait to see how you get them out of this mess or how they're going to square Clark's participation with the police.

10:36 PM  

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