Prologue – Cry

("Cry" by Kelly Clarkson)

Author's Note: I have reposted this entire story in its revised form. All extraneous author notes have been removed, however, you will find an afterward at the end of the epilogue. Thanks for reading!

A. Gates

Disclaimer: I do not own Glee, their characters, setting, or plot. All of those belong to Ryan Murphy, FOX, and their affiliates.

I never let anyone see me cry. But every day I do. In the morning, I hear my alarm clock go off and when I finally wake up enough to realize I'm awake, I want to cry. And when I'm in the shower thinking of the day ahead of me, I want to cry. And when I'm at school, in that dumb uniform, I want to cry. I hold it back all day. And when I finally get back to my dorm, it all comes to the surface. I feel so stupid when it happens. But what else am I supposed to do? It's like there's this constant dread hanging over me all day long. I need a release. Don't get all judgmental on me! If you had my life, you'd understand.

I start every morning the same way. After cursing out my alarm clock, I go into the bathroom and stop dead in front of the mirror. "Today will be the day you say it out loud," I tell myself. I study my face in the mirror. Looking back at me, I see my 15 year old reflection looking dazed and confused. I see my pale skin. My emerald eyes stare back at me, knowing what I've wanted to say every morning of my life. I push my light blonde hair down as best as I can, trying to tame it. But it's no use, especially in the morning. My hair sticks out in all sorts of directions. I guess it's one of those downfalls to having longer hair. Well I mean, for a guy that is. I smile as I examine my teeth. Finally, I stand up straight, look directly into my eyes, and try to say out loud the one truth I can't bear. It's a truth I've known for some time. But for some reason or another, I find myself fighting it. Look, I've always tried my best to stick with girls, making out with them, feeling them up. But there's nothing there. Nothing worth being excited or passionate about. I guess you could say I'm one hell of an actor. And when I stare at myself in the mirror and all I want to do is say those three words, the three words that I know will set me free, I can't do it. "I. Am." No. Not today. I can't say it today. Maybe tomorrow.

I guess batting for my own team isn't the worst thing in the world that could happen to me. Getting kicked out of Dalton could be worse. Maybe. Dyslexia is one bitch of an unsatisfactory situation. Have you ever looked at a page of words and read a line, and then realized that none of it made sense? So you have to go back and reread it and then reread it again? Or how about in math class when you mix up numbers by mistake and get the wrong answer? Those things only happen once in a while, right? Wrong. Try every day. All day. Reading billboards, signs, letters, Facebook, all of it like one big jumbled up mess. The only thing that ever made sense to me, the only thing I can read without a sliver of problem, is music. So you can imagine how frustrating it is to have your parents push you to go to a private school where academic excellence isn't expected, it's enforced. Eight hours of trying my hardest to get everything in the right order has passed me along with a string of B's and C's. Not exactly the academic excellence that Dalton boasts.

When I get back to the dorms, the guys on my floor just don't stop. I walk in the door and all they do is rag on me. All day, all night, all the time. It never ends. It was about a month ago that I started barricading myself in my bedroom. I would rush past the common room and into my bedroom before anyone could say anything to me. And when I got there, I would lock the door, turn on my music, and just listen. Listen all sorts of music. The simple harmonies, the catchy melodies, the beautifully calm acoustic songs, all of it breezing through my room. When I listen to music, I feel like a strainer. The music sifts through my entire body, reaching parts of me that have never been experienced. It was a feeling like no other in the world. I was sure nothing could ever give me that feeling again.

That was until I met Blaine. I had gotten my first slushie at Dalton and as I felt the deep red liquid run over my head, down my neck, and under my shirt, he came out of nowhere. With his hazel eyes that cut right through me and a face that made my stomach jump. His face was so solid, with a rough jaw line, but soft features. It blew my mind that the two could exist in the same space. When he took my hand, it sent jolts of electricity through my body. And as he took me into the closest bathroom to help me get cleaned up, I didn't thank him. I didn't smile back when he shot me one of those heart melting smiles. I didn't even run away from him. What did I do?

I cried.