Scrapbook Memories: The Livejournal of Pamela Jenkins
Scrapbook Memories: The Livejournal of Pamela Jenkins
Part of The Smallville Diaries project at http://www.livejournal.com/community/sv_journals/
Huge thanks to Lola, Sandra, and Katze for amazing character interactions, and to Coffeejunkii for her endless supply of encouragement.
PG13 for mention of drug use, and language.
Spoilers for Season 1. Feedback can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org This journal is a work of ficton, based on the WB's Smallville series. No claims of ownership of any character is implied. Just fans working out some thoughts about the show, folks - nothing to get worked up about. :) It can be found in LJ format at http://www.livejournal.com/users/lisilka
DATE: 2004-02-28 13:24
SUBJECT: After all these years...
After worrying about him for all these years, following his life through tabloids and news reports as though we were strangers... A friend of a friend told me about his Live Journal.
I debated reading it for nearly a week. Did I have the right, at this stage, under these circumstances, to try to involve myself in his life again?
In the end, the need to make sure he was doing well overwhelmed my fears. I read everything I could, from the beginning.
At first, it was like reading the words of a stranger. The bitterness, the heartache he didn't even seem to recognize in himself... but as I continued, the undercurrent of the Alexander I knew came through.
I had grown so accustomed to the pain that I was shocked at how deeply his words affected me. The isolation, the fear... he should never have had to feel those things. He's precious, and I don't understand how his father could have convinced him otherwise.
DATE: 2004-02-28 22:53
SUBJECT: Two Prayers
I have these written in a scrapbook of my Alexander.
A Prayer to St Jerome Emiliani
Saint Jerome Emiliani, watch over all children who are abandoned or unloved. Give us the courage to show them God's love through our care. Help us to lose the chains that keep us from living the life God intended for us. Amen.
A Prayer to St Germaine
Saint Germaine, watch over those children who suffer abuse as you did. Help us to give to them the love and protection you only got from God. Give us the courage to speak out against abuse when we know of it. Help us to forgive those who abuse the way you did, without sacrificing the lives of the children who need help. Amen.
Forgive me, Alexander.
DATE: 2004-03-02 13:27
SUBJECT: Diary entry in the scrapbook
Yesterday was spent in the hospital. I was on a morphine drip for a good portion of the day, and the time I didn't spend in a soporific haze was spent with rounds of tests.
The cancer has started metastasizing. I don't know how much time I have left. It went into remission before, but I can't count on that happening again.
I don't think Alexander is ready to see me yet. Soon, though, I hope. I can't die without seeing my little boy again, even though I know he's not so little anymore.
DATE: 2004-03-03 00:28
SUBJECT: WANTED: Nanny for three year old boy...
I applied for the position on May 3rd, 1986.
A butler escorted me through the Metropolis mansion. As he led me along several halls, he explained the family would be traveling through Europe over the summer. The position would be for a four month term, with a possible indefinite extension.
I waited in a parlor for half an hour as four other applicants filtered in and out of the room. All were beautiful young things, obviously dressed to impress their potential employer.
I walked into the sitting room when my name was called. The couple sat on a sofa. I took the seat across from them, and the interview began.
Lionel was an imposing man, not so much physically as socially. He remained in firm control of the interview. His wife was lovely, poised, and only rarely interrupted to have an item clarified.
Lionel and Lillian stood to thank me for my interest in the position. I glanced around the room before shaking his hand.
Gathering my courage, I asked "May I see him?"
Lillian smiled. Lionel blinked. "See who?" he asked.
"The boy - your son," I replied, hoping my voice didn't betray my nervousness. They might have had a perfectly viable reason for not having the child present. My mind flitted through possibilities.
Lillian rested her hand on my arm. "You're hired," she said softly. She linked her arm through mine, and led me to a set of doors at the opposite end of the room. "We've been interviewing for, what -" she glanced back at her husband, "- two weeks now?" He nodded,and she continued. "You're the first to ask to be introduced to Alexander."
Double doors swung wide into a nursery. A woman sat on the floor, reading aloud, but I couldn't see the child.
"Thank you, Rachel. That will be all." The woman nodded, and began to rise as a red haired tornado dashed around her.
"Mommy!" the little boy squealed, and wrapped his arms around Lillian's legs.
"Careful, Lex," Lionel admonished quietly from the doorway.
The boy took a step back, and watched his mother as she knelt beside him. "Alexander, I'd like you to meet Pamela. She's going to keep you company on our trip."
I crouched in front of him. "Hello," I said.
"Hello," he replied without hesitation, and held his hand out. "My name is Alexander Luthor."
Smiling, I shook his hand. "It's a pleasure to meet you, Alexander."
He tightened his grip on my hand, and tugged. "C'mon. Read to me."
Lillian and I laughed. Lionel cleared his throat and said "Pamela needs to go to her home, so she can get her belongings and move in."
Alexander rolled his eyes. "David can." He pulled me again, blue eyes pleading. "Read for me."
I glanced back and noted Lionel's frown. I gently pulled the boy closer. "Did Rachel stop reading at a good part?"
He nodded frantically. "C'mon!"
"How's this... I'll finish the book, but then I'll have to leave so I can pack my things to move in."
He thought about it for a moment. "Okay, hurry!"
Alexander hugged me before I left the house. "Miss you," he said solemnly.
I ran my hand over his brilliant red hair. "Not for long, sweetheart. I'll be back tomorrow."
"And the day after?"
I nodded again with a smile.
"Okay. Goodnight." He kissed my cheek and ran back down the hall.
I lost my heart.
DATE: 2004-03-06 03:07
SUBJECT: So many little memories...
We went to the botanical gardens one day, just me, Alexander, and Lillian. We wandered around for hours, talking about colors, shapes, and sizes. Alexander must have been four or five. That night, when I tucked him in, he looked up at me, and said "Pam you're our big flower." I'm still not sure exactly what it meant, but I'm certain it was a compliment.
I can't remember what Alexander did, but it was clear Lionel was furious. Alexander turned to me after his father stalked out of the room, and said "Pam... Tell Dad I've sent myself to my room." The heartache in his eyes and voice...
Hugs, kisses, and nose kisses before I was allowed to leave the house without him. He was so affectionate when he was young.
"Pam, I have to learn to read!"
"You will, sweetheart. That's what school is for." "No, Pam, I have to know how to read before I go to school!" So serious, and so anxious. So utterly convinced that if he didn't know how to read, they wouldn't let him start school, that we sat down with flash cards, and made a pile of words that he could read so he could relax and not worry about it anymore.
"Pam, will my hair ever grow back?"
Holding his gasping little body through asthma attacks, trying to keep him calm so he didn't fight the medication.
Finding him curled up on the foot of my bed in the morning after a thunderstorm.
Rocking him and singing The Mockingbird Song to him, over and over till he fell asleep.
Dear god, I've missed so much.
DATE: 2004-03-08 14:14
SUBJECT: I used to keep a diary...
I used to keep a diary (not quite a log book, but almost) of things Alexander and I did. Sometimes, when he was away at school, Lillian and I would read through it, curled side by side on a divan, wrapped in blankets. We'd laugh, occasionally cry, and sometimes we'd talk about what he would be like once he was grown.
Lionel never looked at it, or at least not with us. I don't know if he wasn't interested, or if he just didn't want to be reminded of how much he had missed. I want to think it was the latter.
When Alexander was four, he nearly drove me to distraction asking what time it was.
One day, after the sixth time he had asked in an hour, I said "Are you asking because you're busy today? Do you have a lot planned?"
He nodded, and started counting items off on his fingers. "We have to read, and I want to paint you a picture, and write my name, and Dad said I need a bath because I look unruly."
I tried not to laugh.
"Pam, what does unruly mean?"
And that led to his next phase that nearly drove me mad - asking for definitions. Of course, he had to learn the meanings somehow, since no one spoke to him as though he was a child, but there were days I wished he would ask someone else.
"Pam, would you like some of my cookie?"
"No, thank you, Alexander."
Shrug. "Suit yourself." He walked out of the room, then turned around and came right back in again. "Pam, what does 'suit yourself' mean?"
"Pam, what brings Michael here today?"
"His car," I replied, deadpan.
Alexander looked at me, serious and slightly annoyed. "That is not what I meant," he informed me in a clipped tone. I burst out laughing, despite myself.
"Will you miss me, Pam?" he asked as we stood outside waiting for the limo. Three suitcases sat neatly beside him.
"Of course I will." I crouched down beside him.
"What if I don't make any friends?"
I smiled gently. "You will."
Hr frowned. "Are you sure?"
I put my hands on his shoulders, and turned him to face me. "Alexander, all across the country, little boys just like you are waiting with their nannies, asking the same questions. You're all going away to school for the first time, and you're all worried about it." I smoothed my hand over his hair. "You'll all be a little afraid at first, but then you'll get to know each other, and get to know your teachers, and soon you'll be so caught up in learning new things that you won't even remember standing here today worrying about it all." He smiled a little.
"And if you ever get lonely, there's a piece of paper in your bible with my private phone number on it. You can use it to talk to your mom or me, and your dad won't have to know," I whispered. He grinned, and leaned in for a hug. "Thanks Pam."
I wish he could still call when he needed to talk.
DATE: 2004-03-08 22:01
SUBJECT: A difficult decision
I've decided not to tell him about the cancer. He will accept me back into his life, or not, but in either instance, I don't want a repeat of what happened with his mother. I want him to live and be happy, not weep silent tears by my bedside after he thinks I've fallen asleep.
I don't want to reappear just to drag him through that hell again. I love him too much for that.
DATE: 2004-03-09 10:20
SUBJECT: October, 1992
I remember the day clearly, after worrying it in my mind for so long.
Lillian had asked, or insisted, that Lionel take Alexander with him on a small business trip, a short jaunt that should have only taken two hours, at most. Alexander balked at the idea, but was told firmly by both parents that a trip to the country would do him good. Boys needed fresh air, and heavens knew there was precious little of that in Metropolis.
When he looked at me for support, I shook my head slightly.
Dear god, I regretted that later.
Lillian had already left for her doctor's appointment when Lionel called.
"Pamela, put Lillian on the phone," he had barked, as usual. I could hear shouting and crying in the background, and when "code blue" came across a loudspeaker, there was no doubt left in my mind that something had gone terribly wrong.
As I explained that she wasn't here, he yelled at someone in the background, telling them that Alexander had asthma, and no, goddamnit, he didn't know where the inhaler was.
"Where is she? Doesn't she know what's happening here?" he snapped.
Abandoning my search for Lillian's doctor's phone number, I jogged to the nearest television, and changed the channel to CNN, hoping I wouldn't see coverage of Smallville, Kansas.
I muted the television as I watched a reporter walk down a devastated Main Street. I had to turn my back on it to concentrate on what Lionel was saying.
"Tell her.. we'll be back in Metropolis as soon as another chopper arrives. I'm having him moved to the children's hospital. These hicks are not -"
He fell silent. I heard voices in the background, someone telling him to step back into the hallway.
Lionel's next words spurred me to action again.
"Jesus, Pam," he whispered. "He stopped breathing."
I found the phone number as I listened to Lionel pray on the other end of the phone. I could picture him standing there, head lowered against the glass separating him from his son... and in that moment, I was as likely to abandon Lionel to his pain as I was to abandon Alexander.
I ran to another line as Lionel softly chanted "Please, dear god, don't take my son from me," and dialed the number. Holding the portable away from my mouth so I wouldn't interrupt him, I gave the receptionist a hasty message, then returned my attention to Lionel.
"He's going to be fine, Lionel," I said softly. "Alexander is strong. He won't go without a fight."
I wasn't sure he had heard me, but he replied. His voice cracked as he said "I can't lose him, Pam. I can't lose them both."
"You won't," I reassured him, although with each second that passed without Alexander breathing, I lost hope. "You've raised a stronger son than you realise. He's going to breathe."
I offered to stay on the line with him, and he didn't hang up, so I took it as acceptance. I listened closely to the background noise of the hospital, trying to catch a hint of what was happening in Alexander's room. Lionel's breathing hitched. I dropped to a nearby chair, dreading the worst. Flashes of men in white coats pulling a sheet up over Alexander's beautiful red hair tormented me as I swallowed a sob.
"He's breathing," Lionel whispered.
Lionel and I exhaled in tandem. In that moment, I wanted his arms around me, my cheek pressed against his chest, the smell of his cologne. I wanted comfort, and to comfort him in return, and I understood a bit why Lillian loved him.
There were no thanks given, and neither of us ever spoke of it.
The rest of the day was a blur. Lionel and Alexander returned to Metropolis. Lillian hugged me as she sobbed out her frustration that there was nothing she could do for her precious boy, for her guilt, for his beautiful hair.
Once the doctors would allow me into his room, I sat silently at his bedside, watching him. I'd seen him like this before - hooked up to monitors, breathing apparatus in place - but he looked so much more fragile, so much younger than I could ever remember.
He opened his eyes at 3:27am. Lillian had been moved into a bed next door after worrying herself until the doctors sedated her for the sake of her heart. Lionel had fallen asleep in a chair next to his son just half an hour before.
Alexander opened his eyes, and looked at me silently for a moment. He turned his head, saw his father, and looked back at me.
"Pam?" he whispered. "Am I in trouble?"
I smiled just to hear him speak, and shook my head. "No, sweetheart. You're not in trouble."
He glanced at his father again. "I didn't mean to. I didn't, Pam, I swear."
"Shhh.. it's alright, Alexander," I whispered as I stroked his cheek with the backs of my fingers. "You're not in trouble. There was an accident while you and your father were in Smallville, and he's been very worried about you."
He glanced at his father again. "Can I have a drink of water?"
I nodded, and held the glass while he sipped from a straw.
"How long has he been here?" he asked as soon as he was finished.
"Since the accident happened," I told him. I wasn't sure if Lionel wanted him to know just how frightened his father had been, but I felt he should know at least a part of it.
Alexander nodded slowly. "I'm cold," he whispered after a minute or two had passed.
I pulled up a blanket from the foot of the bed. Alexander shifted a bit against his pillow to get comfortable, and then froze.
"Pam?" he whispered.
"Why did they shave my head?"
I smiled sadly as I pulled the blanket up to his shoulders. "I think that's enough for now, Alexander. You need to sleep to get better, and we don't want to wake your father."
I leaned in to kiss his forehead, just as I had every night for the past six years.
"Pam?" he whispered again.
"Is this the last question, sweetheart?"
He nodded solemnly. "All right, what is it?" I whispered.
"Has dad really been here the whole time?"
I nodded. "Every minute."
He looked at me for a moment, as though he was trying to see if I was lying or not. In the end, he was satisfied. He curled onto his side, facing Lionel, and fell asleep.
I took the extra blanket from the foot of the bed, and covered Lionel, then slipped into Lillian's room to sleep.
DATE: 2004-03-10 00:21
SUBJECT: To Alexander, too many years too late.
There are so many things to say, and so little time to say them in. Let me begin by saying thank you for reading this. I know it isn't easy for you, whether you've forgiven me or not. Things like this are never easy, for anyone, and you shouldn't feel ashamed or upset about any emotional reaction you might be having. Sorrow, anger, frustration, it's all normal, even relief that a chapter of your life has finally ended.
It's all right, sweetheart. Don't be afraid to experience it.
I know you might not look through the whole scrapbook. You might not read everything written inside, but I hope that you will. Some entries are written specifically for you, while others were a way for me to relive the past, or help deal with the present. Regardless of the entry, I would have removed it if I didn't feel comfortable with the possibility of you eventually reading it.
I want to tell you that I love you. I always have, and I never stopped. I left out of what I believed were your best interests. I swore to your mother that I wouldn't leave you, and it broke my heart to know that I had failed you both.
After you went away to school, your parents agreed to keep me on for holidays, weekends, vacations, etc, in case they were away on business or travelling, or if your mother was too ill to tend to you herself. Privately, Lillian and I had become close confidants, and she despised the notion of hiring another nurse to care for her when I was available. Nurses were too impersonal and too interested in your father, she said, but she never doubted my dedication.
After your mother passed away, Lionel decided you were old enough to take care of yourself. There was no need to keep me for the secondary purpose of a companion to your mother.
I protested, of course. I had sworn to your mother that I would take care of you; she said I was a second mother to you, and I was honored that she held me in that regard.
Your father was not so fond of me, for many reasons, I think, some true, some of his own imaginings. I think he resented that with two mother figures, you didn't seem to need him. I have my own opinions of what he could have done to change that without taking such drastic or dramatic measures.
After the funeral, Lionel informed me that I was to pack my things immediately. If anything of mine remained in the house, or if I contacted you again, he would disown you.
At least in part, I believe he acted out of pain. I'm certainly not excusing his behaviour, but please try to understand how difficult a time this was for him. No other woman would have been as perfect a match for Lionel, and I think he knew it.
In the end, it was my decision to make. I decided not to risk that your father might be bluffing. I left, and I've regretted it every day since.
Please forgive my cowardice.
DATE: 2004-03-11 09:10
SUBJECT: Late night phone calls
Alexander used to call me late at night. Not every night, not even every week, but if he was proud of something, or if he had learned something he thought was just too interesting to keep to himself, or if he had a bad day, or a bad dream, my private line would ring.
He'd whisper to me, wary of the school's staff overhearing, and hush me if I spoke too loud, forgetting in his childhood nervousness that no one at Excelsior could hear my end of the conversation.
He would always ask about his mother and father, and sometimes we'd say a prayer together over the phone.
He was so innocent back then.
DATE: 2004-03-11 09:14
When Alexander was ten, I bought a car.
It wasn't top of the line by Luthor standards. But the top rolled back, and that was part of the reason I fell in love with it.
Lionel was out of town when I brought it home. The Luthor's mechanic insisted on looking it over before any member of the family was allowed to sit in it. I left him to his inspection, and went to share the news with Lillian and our Alexander.
Lillian laughed with glee as I spun a tale of arduous searching and condescending salesmen who proudly showed me the wonders of a mirror on the visor where I could check my lipstick.
Alexander grinned at that. "He didn't take a very close look at you, did he, Pam?" he asked as he fetched a glass of water for his mother.
"Alexander!" his mother scolded.
He gave her an innocent look as he handed her the glass. "What?" He lowered his head a little and smiled at me. "Anyone who looks at Pam can see she's perfect without makeup."
I shook my head as we laughed. Ten, and already he was practicing how to flirt. Part of me was a bit sad to see him growing up so soon, but this play-acting was certainly preferable to the quiet, withdrawn boy he had become since the accident.
Lillian felt weak that day, but insisted that Alexander help me take the car on her maiden voyage. After the mechanic gave his approval, we entered the garage.
Alexander stopped so suddenly that I nearly ran into him.
I grinned. "Good to know they taught you colors at Excelsior," I teased gently.
He rolled his eyes, then approached the car. "You bought a purple convertible."
"Yes, I did."
He looked at me over the hood. "You're weird, Pam."
I laughed, and replied "But you love me anyway."
I could have sworn that he blushed.
We got in the car, and drove to the gate. "So, where do you want to go?" I asked.
He grinned at me. "Who cares where we go? It's a purple convertible. That's the only reason we need to drive."
I couldn't fault his logic.
DATE: 2004-03-11 09:28
SUBJECT: Late night phone calls, part 2
After Lionel announced that Lillian was pregnant again, Alexander's calls became more frequent. Sometimes he'd ask how his mother was doing. Sometimes he just wanted someone to listen as he wondered what having a younger sibling would be like.
Red hair like Lillian, or brown like Lionel? Would the baby have blue eyes too, or some other color? One night, we listed all of the genes we thought his parents had and whether they were dominant or recessive.
Sometimes, I think he just called to make sure we didn't forget about him.
As though Lillian or I could forget our brilliant, beautiful Alexander.
DATE: 2004-03-11 09:34
SUBJECT: Late night phone calls, part 3
After Julian died, Alexander became more regular in his calls. Usually he just wanted to check on his mother, who had taken a downward turn after the baby's birth, but occassionally he'd actually want to talk.
"I'm doing a report on Alexander the Great."
"Everyone has to."
I heard him shuffling papers. "How's it coming along?"
"Fine." There was a long pause before he continued. "Pam, do you know who Hephaestian was?"
"Yes." Thank heaven for the history classes at Met U.
Another pause. "What do you think of him?"
"What do I think of Hephaestian himself, or the stories about him and Alexander?"
"Yeah to the first, or yes to the second?"
I sat on the edge of my bed. "Well," I said, inhaling deeply. "From what I remember, they had a very romantic and sad story."
I heard him shift on the other end of the phone. "What do you mean?"
"Alexander and Hephaestian used to lay flowers at the graves of lovers they admired."
"That's morbid, not romantic."
I chuckled. "Times were different then. Tombs were places to remember and celebrate life. They didn't hide death behind gates and fences the way we do."
"Maybe." He was quiet for a moment. "Pam, do you think they were.. y'know..."
"I'm afraid I don't, Alexander."
"Were they.. more than friends?"
I nodded, even though he couldn't see me. "That seems to be the case. It was common in that time for boys to be lovers. What set Alexander and Hephaestion apart is that their relationship didn't end when they grew into adults."
"But they got married."
"They did. Political marriages were also common, and from what I remember, they married sisters, so any children they had would be cousins." I sighed. He was so young. "Sometimes, when you're in a different kind of relationship, or if you hold a lot of power, you have to do things you don't necessarily want to do."
I could almost hear the wheels spinning in his mind. How many parallels was he drawing to his own life, and the lives around him?
"Do you think they were.. okay?"
"They loved each other. That's as good as life gets."
"Even though they were both guys?"
"Alexander," I sighed. "You know how everyone says that you should fall in love with a person's heart, not how they look on the outside? Wouldn't it be a bit hypocritical to say that gender should make a difference?"
There was a pause before he spoke. "Yeah. I guess." He sounded relieved, even though he didn't say much.
"I love you, Pam."
I smiled. "I love you too, Alexander. Good night."
DATE: 2004-03-31 00:21
SUBJECT: When the walls came down
One night, around 11:30, the principal from Excelsior called. He refused to speak to me even though I was listed in Alexander's file as an emergency contact.
Lillian was in a private clinic that week, and Lionel had joined her. I gave the administrator Lionel's private number, and that was the last I heard of the situation.
A week later, Lionel brought Alexander home. They were accompanied by a man I didn't recognize. I met them at the door. Lionel thrust Alexander toward me with a terse "Take care of him," and then left the three of us standing in the foyer.
Alexander stood where his father had placed him, and refused to look up at me, even when I put my arm around him. The gentleman with him introduced himself, and explained he was Alexander's psychiatrist.
I ushered them both inside. As I took the doctor's coat and called for the butler, Alexander excused himself sullenly and said he was going to his room.
I showed the doctor to a suite he could use during his stay, and discovered he would be with us for a week, perhaps longer, dependant on Alexander's progress. He would not elaborate on why Alexander needed him at all, but told me to arrange for him to meet with "the child" first thing every morning, in the middle of the afternoon, and before "the boy" was sent to bed at night.
To say that I was not amused was an understatement. I told him rather rudely that "the boy" had a name, and to use it.
I immediately went to Alexander's room.
He was sitting on the edge of the bed, silent and staring at the floor. He did not look up when I put my arm around him and sat down beside him.
"Alexander? Is there anything you'd like to tell me?"
He shook his head mutely.
"Are you all right?"
He nodded, despite the fact that I could see quite plainly that something was wrong, or had been wrong very recently. He seemed lifeless, certainly not the aware, intelligent youth I was accustomed to.
I stood up, and held my hand out to him. He looked at my hand for a moment, then followed my arm with his gaze until his eyes met mine. He seemed empty, and his expression held no emotion whatsoever.
"Let's go for a drive." I made a beckoning motion with my hand.
He looked at my hand again, and slowly placed his hand in mine. We walked, fingers twined, down to the garage. He didn't speak until we reached the sixth set of lights.
"Pam?" he asked softly.
I glanced over at him while we waited for the light to change. "Yes, sweetheart?"
"Do you love me?"
I smiled. "Of course I do. You know that."
"No matter what?" he asked again, in a soft, still voice that seemed very out of place in the car where he had introduced me to industrial music.
I reached over, ignoring the horns of the vehicles behind us. I ran my hand over his head, and let it rest on the back of his neck. "No matter what," I whispered fiercely.
A single tear rolled down his cheek. "You're sure?"
I wiped it away with my thumb. "I will always love you, Alexander. No matter what."
"Thanks," he whispered, and turned to look out the passenger window.
We drove for the next hour in silence.
That night, at 2 am, my bedroom door creaked open. Quiet footsteps approached my bed, and Alexander curled up next to me as he had in the years before he started school. As I pulled a blanket over him, he whispered "Please don't tell Dr. Hughesman about this."
I tucked him in, and kissed his cheek. "Never," I whispered back.
He graced me with a quick smile, and fell asleep.
DATE: 2004-04-10 23:29
SUBJECT: Lillian's confessions, part 1
When Lillian came home, I helped her from the car, and we immediately went to her room. She was distraught, but insisted on speaking to me before sending for Alexander.
This is how I learned what happened the night the Excelsior administrator called.
We sat in her parlor, side by side on a divan. Her grip on my hand in no way showed the presence of the disease that was slowly killing her.
In a voice that occasionally faltered, she told me of how Lionel had been holding her in a rocking chair to try to ease her pain when the telephone rang. She described how pale he became as the phone conversation continued, how his arm around her had tensed. He had given her a quick summary of events, and then left for the school.
Alexander had wanted a roommate that year, and if his father had allowed it, these events may have been avoided.
A boy had seen Alexander leave their dormatory, and with a young boy's curiosity, followed our precious Alexander to the bell tower in the center of the campus.
As Alexander wound his way to the top of the tower, the boy ran for the headmaster. Upon their return, they found Alexander at the top of the tower, clutching a rolled up blanket and singing softly to it. He ignored their attempts at communication.
The boy stayed at the top of the tower with Alexander while the administrator called Lionel.
At this point, Lillian began to cry, and it was plain to see which parent Alexander had learned his quiet dignity from. She wept soundlessly, and graciously accepted the handkerchief I pressed into her free hand.
Lionel had called her from the hospital, where he had taken Alexander. They had booked him into the psychiatric ward.
When Lionel arrived at the school, Alexander was standing in the open area around the bell, blanket still tucked against his chest as he soothed what he believed to be his recently deceased infant brother, Julian. The other youth had fearlessly gone up into the supports of the bell with him, refusing to abandon his schoolmate in his time of need.
Lionel had carefully lured Alexander away from the open space, and carried the desperately panicking child back downstairs. The boy followed, and ran up to Lionel as he was trying to maneuver himself and his son into the waiting car.
The moment the boy gave Alexander back the blanket (which had apparently fallen out of his arms when Lionel snatched him away from the ledge) he quieted, curled against his father's chest, and closed his eyes.
The doctors said it was delusions brought on by Julian's death, coupled with his rapid return to Excelsior. Lionel called the first doctor an idiot, and flew in another, who told him the same thing.
The doctor advised a week in the hospital for observation and treatment, and Lionel insisted on staying with his child. After some apparently heated words, the doctor agreed that both Luthors would benefit from the time together, and that separation would only add to the difficulties Alexander was having.
Lillian confided that while the doctors refused to allow Lionel to attend Alexander's therapy sessions, he had submitted to his own. He was at a loss, she said, as to how this could be happening to the son he had raised to be strong, the willful boy he loved despite their frequent clashes. He blamed himself, she whispered, although he would never admit it.
I told her of Alexander's return to the house, the psychiatrist, and the days that followed our conversation in the car. She thanked me, kissed my cheek, and asked to have him brought to her rooms.
We held Alexander between us in her bed, coaxing him to talk, refusing to acknowledge his attempts to shy away from topics or physical contact. Dr. Hughesman's request to see "the boy" was ignored, and his second request was answered by Lillian closing the door in his face.
The three of us stayed together in her suite for the rest of the day. The cook brought up dinner herself, and stayed long enough to see that the child we all adored was, in fact, eating again.
That night, we returned to Lillian's bed. There was more than enough room for the three of us. I sang Alexander to sleep, and whispered with Lillian until the sky began to lighten.
DATE: 2004-04-14 01:59
SUBJECT: The end.
I spent over a week in the hospital recently. All tests reached the same conclusion:
I am dying. Rapidly.
I have perhaps a month. Two, possibly, with intensive hospital care.
I will not die without seeing Alexander again.
DATE: 2004-04-17 00:19
SUBJECT: His father's son
He calls himself his father's son. He never mentions Lillian. Pity.
I need to see if he truly is Lionel's son, his protege.
On the anniversary of her death, I'll spend the day at her grave. I doubt I'll see Lionel there, but I pray that Alexander will still respect his mother enough to go and pay tribute to her.
I pray he'll speak to me, after all these years.
DATE: 2004-04-17 02:10
SUBJECT: Lillian's confessions, part two
I don't know if the affection and loyalty I had toward Lillian is expressed sufficiently through my words here. I am no writer, but I am trying to share with you, Alexander, the events that seemed to be turning points, matters of importance, in the life we three shared.
It took only a few short weeks for your mother to draw me into her confidence. She was isolated, in a sense, due to your father's wealth and power, and her disease. The high society events that the other wives attended were often out of her reach due to her medical condition. Occasionally Lionel would attend these events alone, occasionally he would shun them in favor of an evening with Lillian, and occasionally he would have another woman escort him.
It was during one of the latter events that I found Lillian in tears. You were perhaps five, and fast asleep in your room.
Lillian drew me to her side, and over several glasses of wine, she confessed that your father had dalliances with these escorts. She said that she knew men of his stature were rarely devout, and for the most part, they did not concern her. Lionel was a private man, and made certain the women he selected could be counted upon for their discretion.
With one exception.
The nurse who had been dismissed from the household shortly after my arrival had been plaguing your father with tales of a child, born of their involvement. At first, the calls had been dismissed, but as their frequency and the nurse's distress escalated, her claim was taken seriously.
On this night, she had called again, to say that the child had died.
Lillian wept as though the child were her own.
DATE: 2004-04-17 02:42
SUBJECT: A child to call my own
During my last hospital stay, a nurse asked why I had never had never married or had children of my own.
I told her that there was a boy, as dear to me as a child of my own body could be, and how I had helped raise him with a beautiful, strong woman for ten years.
She smiled, and said she looked forward to meeting him.
I hope she does.
DATE: 2004-04-18 03:56
I've returned to Metropolis, after nine years of absence.
It amazes me how the city can change, but still remain the same.
I went to the botanical garden, the same one Alexander, Lillian, and I walked through when he was small. I could almost hear his voice, feel his tiny hand in mine.
Tonight, as I lay waiting to fall asleep, I wondered how much he had changed. Will he accept me back into his life? Does he still love purple? Has his father made him hard, or does he still wear his heart on his sleeve? Does he still clench his jaw when he's upset but trying to hide it?
Damn Lionel for making me leave.
DATE: 2004-04-21 12:04
I did something impulsive yesterday.
I went to Smallville. I sought out Alexander's angel.
He was kind, open, and beautiful. He spoke of the quiet of the country, being able to see the stars at night.
I can see why Alexander loves him. He needs someone like this in his life, someone peaceful, accepting of Alexander's differences and difficulties.
I've spoken of caution in their relationship before, advised Alexander to be careful of entrusting his heart to someone so young and inexperienced, but I have revised that opinion, I think.
I believe Alexander needs Clark. He needs someone to give him an innocent view of life, a new beginning, a chance to take things slowly. He needs the change of pace Smallville offers.
I pray for both of them now.
Alexander hasn't told Clark about me. There was no sign of recognition in his eyes when I introduced myself. I suppose I can't blame him. His father has had years to spin my departure into something that suits his agenda.
I only wish... but if wishes were horses, beggars would ride.
And I would never have left my sweet Alexander.
DATE: 2004-04-27 13:11
SUBJECT: Lillian Luthor, Loving Wife and Mother, 1954 - 1996
Today is the anniversary of Lillian's death.
I went to her grave in hopes of seeing Alexander pay his respects to his mother. I was relieved that he has not forgotten her, and that he brought her flowers.
Summoning my courage, I gave him a minute before approaching. When he stood to face me...
He's breathtaking. Tall, with his mother's complexion, her poise, her grace... Whatever his father may have done to mold Alexander into his own image has done nothing to erase his resemblance to her. No artificial tan, no attempts to hide or disguise who he is, no ornaments like jewelry to dampen his beauty, but there is a scar on his upper lip that I don't remember.
When he spoke, he was cold, angry, defensive. I can't say that I blame him. I deserve his anger, for leaving as I did.
He left before I could explain. I find now though that I need him to know I didn't leave him voluntarily, that I didn't want to abandon him, that I never intended to break my vow to Lillian.
I'll seek him out again, and hope that I can fend off the Luthor temperament long enough for him to listen.
DATE: 2004-04-29 01:03
SUBJECT: Little white envelope
In a fit of desperation after my last meeting with the doctor, I went to Alexander's home to try to speak to him. I wanted to ask, beg if necessary, for his forgiveness for hurting him so many years ago.
He turned me away.
I suppose I have no one to blame but myself.
Alexander used to come home every other weekend. He said he stayed at the school to study, prepare, finish up school work that had fallen behind during the week.
I was unpacking his weekend bag when I found the envelope.
It was a small thing, the size used for invitations or thank you cards. It was white, the upper edge folded down but not sealed.
Inside were four little white pills.
I had known every one of Alexander's medications by name and strength on sight from age three till he had recovered from the meteor shower, and these pills were not among them.
I sat on the edge of the bed, stunned. Was this why he didn't want to come home every weekend? What were they? Where had he gotten them? How long had he been taking them?
I was still sitting there, hands trembling, when he entered the room. He gave me a small smile, and asked "Pam, what are you doing?"
I looked up at him slowly. I thought about the changes the years had inflicted on him, that had taken him from the beautiful, open three year old to the slightly distant teen who stood before me with a lie waiting in his eyes.
I held up the envelope.
He hesitated for a second, then asked "What is it?"
I stood, and walked over to him. We were nearly the same height now, and he met my gaze with a determined one of his own. "You tell me," I answered quietly.
He glanced away, and took half a step back as though to turn from me. I reached out, and gripped his shoulder. "Alexander, what are these?"
"Nothing." He tried to shrug off my question. I let him go, but followed him to the window.
"This is not a prescription."
"And?" He refused to look at me, stared out the window as though ignoring me would somehow drive me away.
"Alexander, this is unacceptable." I scowled. "What are they?"
He answered with silence.
I was livid. He had never behaved like this, not to this extreme, not with me. "Alexander, I demand an explanation!"
He shook his head.
Enough was enough. My precious boy was not going to travel down this road if I could do something to stop it. I put my hand on his shoulder, and tried to pull him around to face me. "Alexander-"
He spun, knocking my hand away, and snarled "Fuck Pam, you're not my mother!"
We stared at each other for a moment. His words hung between us until I couldn't stand it any longer.
I paused by his dresser long enough to drop the envelope onto it, and then went to my suite.
An hour and a half later, there was a timid knock on my door. I considered not answering, but in the end, I called out for him to come in.
He closed the door behind him, but remained near it, as though he wasn't sure of his welcome. I remained in my seat, and didn't ask him to sit down.
"Pam." He said my name without looking at me.
I watched him. "Alexander."
He shifted from one foot to the other, obviously self-conscious and uncomfortable. "I.. " He couldn't seem to decide what to say next, and started over. "Pam, about what I said..."
I waited for him to continue, but he stopped again. "Yes?"
"I'm not..." He pulled his hands out of his pockets, and folded them across his chest. His mouth opened, then closed, and he shook his head.
"I didn't mean it," he whispered, and finally looked up at me. Tears glittered at the corner of his eyes. "I'm sorry. I just... it's hard."
He bit his lower lip, crossed the room, and dropped to his knees in front of me. His arms wrapped around my waist, and he shook with pent up emotion.
I folded my arms around his shoulders.
"I don't want her to die, Pam," he whispered, voice muffled against my sweater.
I stroked a comforting hand over his head, just as I had when he was a child. "I know."
He stayed the night, even though he was far too old to be sharing a bed with his nanny. My suite had always been a sanctuary for him, and I was unwilling to take that away from him when he needed it most.
We lay side by side in the dark, whispering our fears and despair into the pillows, just as I had done with his mother on countless occasions.
It struck me how much he had grown, how much older he seemed than his thirteen years. He spoke to me as though I were a peer, or rather, as though he were mine.
"Pam.. I didn't mean to hurt you."
I sighed. "But you did. You chose something you knew was a weakness, and you used it." I refrained from adding "Your father would be proud."
"I didn't mean it."
"You say that, Alexander.. but saying it doesn't erase it from my heart." I squeezed his hand. "Apologies make it possible to forgive things like this, but they don't take the pain away."
He curled up to my side. "I'm sorry," he whispered. "I don't know what else to say." He pressed his cheek against my shoulder. "I'll never do it again, Pam. I promise."
I turned and kissed his forehead. "Go to sleep."
"I can't. Not until you forgive me."
I closed my eyes.
"I forgive you," I whispered.
He was quiet for a moment, then whispered "Can we go see her tomorrow?"
I nodded. "Of course."
"Good night, Alexander."
"Good night, Pam."
I'm sorry, Alexander.
I don't know what else to say.
Please, forgive me, so I can sleep peacefully.
DATE: 2004-04-30 00:02
After speaking unsuccessfully with Alexander on Wednesday, I decided to take the advice of my physician. He had been rather perturbed at my refusal of twenty-four hour care, and was now relieved that I had "come to my senses" and would "stop running all over God's green acre."
In silence, I watched the hospital staff prepare a room for me. Once they finished, and I had secured my luggage under the bed, I curled up on my side and wept.
He wanted me to believe that he had become Lex Luthor, his father's son, cold and full of bitterness. But I couldn't. Through the facade he tried to present to me, I could see Alexander seeping through in the way he clenched his jaw, found something to hold in his hands, looked away from me to muster his defenses.
My Alexander was there, and he was in pain.
Lex wouldn't let me comfort him. He didn't want it, despite all the telltale signs that he wanted nothing more than to be held. He kept me at arm's length, and then told me to leave.
A man in Alexander's employ escorted me to the gate. Pity hung like a tangible presence between us.
Thursday night, Alexander came to my hospital room. He stepped in quietly, and if not for my difficulty sleeping, I might not have known of his visit until after the fact.
He took my hand when I reached out for him. We spoke of Lilly, of time wasted, of the man he had become. He had shed his Luthor exterior and was our Alexander once more, strong, but unafraid, aware and validating his emotions.
It was a relief to see him like this. Alexander had the strength to weather any storm; he would bend, but not break. Lex was fragile inside his shell. He would consume his sorrow and turn it into recklessness, anger, and resentment.
Lex was his father's son.
Alexander was Lillian's.
DATE: 2004-05-01 20:49
SUBJECT: Sweet surprises
Friday morning, Alexander returned, as he said he would. I was pleasantly surprised. I had feared that he would reconsider our reunion overnight.
He came bearing four gifts: first, his company, second, french vanilla cappuccino (my favorite, which I was surprised he remembered after all these years), and third, an invitation to spend my remaining days with him in his home.
The third gift, I admit, I was reluctant to accept. I had already invaded his privacy, taken liberties in an effort to reach him. I didn't want to disrupt his life again, entering and then leaving, and I was dismayed at the idea of growing close to him again and then dying. I was satisfied knowing he was cared for, loved.
In the end, I couldn't refuse him. He was earnest in his desire to reconnect with me, and after being denied for nearly a decade, the temptation was too great.
We spoke of hopes for our time together. Once resentful, he was now eager for me to meet his Hephaestion.
His fourth gift was by far the most touching, the thing I had dared only to dream of for the past nine years.
He forgave me.
DATE: 2004-05-02 21:16
SUBJECT: Pain, and its expression
Alexander and I shared dinner earlier tonight.
While his companionship was ambrosia, it was too much. We spoke of the past, our time apart, and between the emotional pain and the physical, I ended our conversation in tears.
He led me back to the room he had set up for me, and helped me into bed. As I had for him as a child, he read to me until I fell asleep.
Later, I woke from a nightmare, and in a continuation of the strange reversal of our former relationship, I crept into his room to watch him sleep.
Everything came back to me, with him sprawled with a child's careless grace on top of the blankets.
Sitting by his hospital bed, sitting with Lillian, holding him while he wept after Julian's death, soothing Lillian after the meteor shower... years of anguish and sorrow left me crying at his bedside.
DATE: 2004-05-08 21:37
SUBJECT: Lillian's funeral
Remembering your mother's funeral has always been a difficult thing for me. I remember it with perfect clarity; it's the event itself that presents the problem.
I remember when you came home. Thirteen, or close to it, emotionally, mentally, and physically exhausted. Your eyes were not the eyes of a child, but of a much older man. You had spent so much time and energy trying to find someone who could save her... only to realize what she had come to accept years before. She was going to die, and nothing could prevent it.
You were in my room that night. You sat silently in a chair by the window, staring out of it, unmoving and to anyone else's eyes, unmoved. But I could see the pain, could feel it the moment I entered the room.
Nearly an hour had passed before you acknowledged my presence. You said nothing, but held your hand out to me. We sank to the floor together, and I held you while you cried.
Later that night, you sneaked back into my room, and slept curled up at the foot of the bed, as you had so many times as a child.
The day of the funeral, you hugged me tight before getting into the limo with your father. I was not allowed to accompany you; I was staff, and we had our place, and were not to step outside it. At the church, I sat with the staff, as instructed. I wanted to be beside you, holding your hand, and it broke my heart when you turned to look back at me while the priest spoke. Your eyes pleaded with me to join you, but it was forbidden.
At the grave, I watched you as you fought not to cry in public. Your father clenched your hand in his, but I couldn't see his face to know if he needed to feel you close, or if it was for the press who hovered just outside those who came to mourn. Again, the staff were not allowed to stand with the family.
I wanted to hold you. I'm sorry I didn't defy your father and do so.
You were exhausted that afternoon, and had fallen asleep in your room. I left your side to return to my suite. Passing your mother's sick room, I heard a noise, and stopped. The door was unlatched, and so I pushed it open a bit, curious as to who would dare enter that sacred space. I knew the staff had emptied the room shortly after Lillian's demise.
Lionel sat under the window, sobbing, a vase of wilted flowers broken on the floor beside him. He had pulled his knees up and wrapped his arms around them, and his head was lowered. I tried to leave without being seen, to give him privacy in his grief, but he heard me, and looked up.
His eyes were filled with misery. He reminded me so much of you in that moment, curled in on himself and defenseless, that I crossed the room and knelt beside him. We said nothing, but I smoothed his hair while he wept on my shoulder.
That night, after you had gone to bed, your father called me into his office. With you away at school, and your mother no longer needing my care, he had decided to dismiss me. I argued with him, Alexander, implored him to at least keep me as a retainer for holidays and weekends when you were at the mansion, but he refused. He had decided that you were old enough to take care of yourself. Part of him may have wanted to be certain that you would turn to him for comfort rather than to me... I don't know. Perhaps it was retaliation for daring to comfort him.
I was to have my belongings packed and out of the house before morning. He informed me that you had been given a mild sedative to help you sleep, and I would be uninterrupted. I was to leave no note, and I was not to contact you under any circumstances. You were not my child, he informed me, and I had no right to think that I had any priviledge where you were concerned. If I defied him in this, he would disown you, and ensure that I would not work as an au pair again.
In the weeks that followed, my lawyers informed me that I had no grounds to attempt to gain custody of you. I had no legal right to contact you, and Lionel certainly had justification to hire and fire staff as he chose, and to forbid contact with his underage child afterward, if he so chose. He could file a restraining order, they told me, if I decided to press the issue.
Even if he disowned you, I had no grounds upon which to try to become your guardian. Any attempt, my lawyer reasoned, would be seen as an effort to gain access to Lionel's finances, or, if your father decided to ruin me, to make it seem that there was an inappropriate relationship between us. My lawyer assured me he knew there wasn't, but your father was known to play "dirty pool", as he called it.
DATE: 2004-05-10 22:07
SUBJECT: Fee takes dictation
Although I didn't feel well enough to type today, Feegan was kind enough to agree to take dictation. I've told him he has an administrative future if security proves too dangerous later in life.
I wanted to tell you how very much these last two weeks have meant to me. When I came back to Metropolis, it was with hope mixed with trepidation; would you accept my apologies and forgive me, or had your father poisoned you against me?
Never did I dare to dream that you would not only accept my apologies, but invite me back into your life, especially not under these circumstances, so unbearably similar to your mother's.
For that alone, I commend your bravery, and your compassion.
In our short time together again, you have shown me the man you've grown into. Your understanding, your willingness to listen, to be loved again despite how we parted, has been a balm to a soul troubled for nearly a decade.
I no longer fear death, though I fear heaven will have a difficult time raising to the standard you have set.
Thank you, for introducing me to Clark. He's a wonderful boy, and his heart is dedicated to you. Every time we have spoken of your relationship, he has stood fast in the determination that the two of you are bound together by destiny, and that the two of you can overcome any obstacle.
Thank you as well for introducing me to Feegan. Between the three of you, I feel as though I have the houseful of boys I dreamed of raising as a girl. You've provided me with the family my own life was lacking.
I hope that in the days and weeks to come, you continue to allow them to be your family. Let them care for you as you've all cared for me. They will rally behind you and hold tight around you, if you allow it. They would fill the gaps in your life, if you'll let them.
I pray for you nightly, as I have since you were a child. I'll continue to pray for your happiness in whatever afterlife I find.
Live, secure in the knowledge that your mother and I will be patiently waiting to welcome you back into our arms. There's no rush. She and I have quite a bit to catch up on before we see you again, so take your time.
I love you.
Never forget that, never doubt it.