David Karofsky is a dreamer.

Oh, you might not know it by looking at him. His appearance screams "jock", "bully", "athlete", "puckhead". Yes, and that's the image he works so hard to maintain.

But underneath all his muscle, his letterman's jacket, his fists ready to pummel, there's a sensitive, often frightened boy whose self-esteem is so low that he reverts to pushing others down to bring himself up.

He knows that about himself, and he hates it. Just like he hates himself.

Because, also underneath the veneer of a muscle-headed jock, David Karofsky is gay. And that's the part of himself he hates the most.

Karofsky will assert that he's as red-blooded as any other guy in school, that of course his love for girls is the same as the other jocks that form his group. But at night, it's not girls that he dreams of.

Karofsky can only control his thoughts so much. Inevitably, he is visited each night by the boy who haunts him, Kurt Hummel. His favorite punching bag. The boy whom he never fails to shove against the lockers or throw Slushies at. Unfortunately, along with all the abuse comes the intimate knowledge of just how soft Hummel's skin is, how unexpectedly muscular he is, how perfectly lean and willowy he is. And Karofsky doesn't need more fuel for his dreams, but he certainly gets it every time his eyes meet those of the boy that, in his dreams, he simply calls "Kurt".

David Karofsky's dreams are always vivid, realistic, and very pleasing to the subconscious he tries so very hard to suppress. He dreams of life in a town where being gay isn't an offense punishable by daily abuse in school, even possibly lynching outside of school. He dreams of life as enjoyable, instead of the constant power struggle within and without himself.

During the night, David brings to life a world where he is free to be whoever he wants, and his sexuality isn't a source of fear and anguish. He dreams of walking through the halls of a school remarkably like McKinley High, but instead of shoving people into lockers, he greets them with smiles and good-natured remarks, which they return. He dreams that he's not the only gay jock, that it's okay to be gay, and he is accepted. He dreams that his family loves and accepts him, just as his friends do, gay or not. He dreams that his father, far from threatening to disown him (which is one of his greatest waking fears), tells him that he knew that his son was gay, and that it's okay.

Most of all, he dreams of a world where Kurt Hummel doesn't despise him.

Since his kiss with Kurt, the feelings of soft, warm lips, silky-smooth hair, a certain spicy-sweet scent that he couldn't name, and a feeling of rightness have haunted him, waking and sleeping. Waking, he does his best to push the thoughts to the back of his mind. Sleeping, they come to the forefront. Dave dreams of walking hand-in-hand with the boy that he's been in love with for over a year. He dreams of being able to look in Kurt's eyes, seeing himself reflected without the undertone of hate and fear that he sees in real life. He dreams of Kurt taking his fashion choices into his own soft hands, and teasing Dave about his typical button-up shirt and jeans combo. He dreams of walking Kurt to class, and getting a peck on the cheek from the shorter boy, who has to pull him down a bit to reach him. And he doesn't mind a bit.

His dreams are so full of happiness and acceptance that he often wakes up with tear tracks down his cheeks. He wishes that they weren't just dreams, but a reality in which he could live.

But then he remembers. Remembers that he lives in Lima, Ohio. Remembers that he's only known as a bullying jock. Remembers that he can never tell his friends or his family that he's gay, because he doesn't want to lose the only people who make him feel loved. Remembers that Kurt Hummel despises him. Remembers that he hates himself and the fact that he is... he is... (Go on, say it. You're gay.) Remembers that he is trapped.

Yes, David Karofsky's a dreamer. But dreams are not what he lives every day. David Karofsky is living in a nightmare from which he can't escape, because the nightmare's name is reality.