When Victoria was two, her mother died.
It was an important event, involving a very formal funeral and lots of flowers. Sympathetic comments from many people who felt very sorry for her. Victoria felt sorry for herself too.
She didn’t know why though.
She sniffed a lot because that’s what people did when they cried but she hadn’t been crying and didn’t feel like crying. Crying was reserved for when her favorite dollie’s head broke off. Especially if it was Victoria herself who broke it.
Her mother’s death was nowhere near as upsetting. She’d never really known the woman as anything more than someone who came to visit during the holidays and hung on Father’s arm and looked pretty, after all. Her nanny said that she would someday be just as pretty as her mother. Victoria nodded sagely because she knew she would.
When Victoria was five, visiting her grandparents in the countryside, she realized that it was all her mother’s fault that she wasn’t like everyone else on the inside. She made sure the outside was perfect though. If her mother hadn’t had the bad taste to just die on her, she would’ve learned how to be perfect on the inside, too.
When Victoria was eight, in her third year at a private boarding school, she realized why Daddy was important. He wasn’t just Father now, he was Daddy. Because the other girls talked about theirs and how they’d get presents and letters and Victoria wanted them too.
When Victoria was thirteen, she figured out how to get Daddy’s attention. She was supposed to replace her mother. Look pretty and hang on Daddy’s arm.
Daddy didn’t seem to realize this, however. So she worked hard to be good at the things he was good at, the family business.
On the outside she was still perfect. She partied at night clubs, especially when away from England and farther from her Father’s eye, and made friends, staying sober enough to realize that it might come in useful for business someday.
When Victoria was seventeen, she met Lex Luthor. He was attractive; mainly because the first time she saw him, he’d been licking his way down another boy’s chest and surprisingly, Victoria had only wanted to watch, not join in. Lex sober was somewhat different. Still the rich boy, still the almost-successful attempts at polish but he was just a boy. He didn’t understand Victoria any more than he understood himself.
Victoria remembered him later on when her father made her vice president of their company. He might be the key to winning daddy.
When Victoria was twenty-two, she realized that sleeping with both Lex and Lionel Luthor did nothing but make her look like a whore. She’d even made the mistake of saying “It was just business” when trying to convey to Lex that he’d actually managed to hurt her.
Later, Victoria sat in her room and cradled the hurt close to her, because it was the first time she’d felt anything like it and understood.
Daddy was nothing. Daddy had never been able to hurt her. It didn’t matter that Daddy didn’t care about Victoria, because she had never really cared about him.
When Victoria was twenty-seven, she became CEO of Hardwick Inc. and didn’t shed a tear at her father’s funeral. She didn’t even sniff a lot. There was no need to pretend to cry when no one could see her; instead she smiled inside the tinted interior of her limousine and wrote out a Thank-You card.
You were right about Daddy. I feel better now.
You should try your own advice.