When Rachel was young, her daddies took her to the state fair every summer. The air was warm and breezy and the night tasted like fried food and ice cream.
Her favorite ride was the ferris wheel. Her dads took her to the top and held her as she stood on her tippy-toes, watching the lights and the crowds below her. With her fingers she imagined they were ants, slipping through her fingers like grains of sand. Again and again she rode to the top, counting every star in the sky until her eyelids drooped and she slumped against the rails.
She counted at least one hundred stars.
Her dads told her, "None of them shine as bright as you, Berry-bear."
She thinks about this as she rides to the top of the ferris wheel, many years later, her dads sitting comfortably at home as they wait for her to return. Berry-bear. It's funny. She hasn't been called that in ages.
Rupaul. Freak. Loser. Man-hands.
But she rides to the top as she always does, watching the people shrink below her, counting the stars in the sky. Up here, she can imagine she's Rachel Berry and they're all below her.
She wanted it all too much. She wanted everyone to want her and they only wanted her gone.
She'd thought about this before she did it. In her room, tucked neatly on top of her pillow, snuggled in between two stuffed animals, is her note. She tells her dads that she's sorry. She'd paused over the letter and wondered if she should say anything to Finn.
In the end, that's all she wrote.
One hundred gold stars began to glow brighter. One hundred gold stars watched her fall and break.
She makes headlines, incidentally. She always knew she'd be famous one day.