I was listening to "Somebody Like You" by Adele on a constant loop. I came up with this. The title is taken from the song, just an FYI. And, I suggest that you find the recording somewhere, loop it, and read on.
Disclaimer: I don't own Glee, or the song inspiration / title / closing lyrics for this.
You're sitting in a café across the street. The sun is setting, casting a dark shadow on half of your face, but I know it's you. I'd always know that it was you. You've been letting your hair grow out a bit, and styled it with much less product since I stole all of it one night back when we were still at Dalton. I'm sure if I think really hard, I'll be able to remember where I put it in my parents' house back in Lima. But, that's the thing, I don't let myself remember. It hurts too much.
I haven't been able to move from my car since I parked it across the street from where you're seated. I parallel parked. You stayed with me for hours until I could successfully parallel park in the congested streets of the city. I haven't been able to muster up the courage to walk across the street and into the café, where you're waiting for me. I know that he's sitting in the shadows of the booth you've chosen.
In your letter, your normally block print handwriting was turned into almost illegible chicken scratch. Your pen was obviously dying, as marked by the more indented ending of the letter, "I'd like you to meet him one day." I could read it like Braille. The words can still tickle my fingertips when I think about it. Your pen was dead by the time you forcefully shoved the pen tip into the paper marking a date, time, and location for us to all catch up.
I'm not sure how we ended up like this. After that night that you left, we had no contact. It wasn't until Wes and David decided to throw a Warbler reunion after the opening of my first Broadway show. I should have avoided it like the plague because it still made my heart ache to just think about you. It hurt so much that I took to sleeping on the lumpy couch because our room still smelled too much like you. Like home. It wasn't fair.
I walked into that room, which was quick to burst into applause. Wes and David flanked my sides, saying something about not appreciating my talent when I was back at Dalton. I couldn't be bothered to listen to their praise of my show because you were standing just ten feet away, talking animatedly to Jeff, Nick, and Trent about something. Your hazel eyes finally locked with my blue ones. I got a shocking flashback to our before our Regionals performance. "Has anyone literally died onstage?" I was now wondering if anyone could literally die in a situation like this.
Only this time, you weren't there to comfort me. You approached me with such a warm smile as I choked back my rising tears. You had only left two months before. I wasn't over it yet. But, you seemed to be moving on just fine. You gave me a loose hug, as I was overwhelmed by your cologne, which was still soaked into your side of the bed. I drank it in, as a round of champagne was passed around. You were the first to propose a toast.
"Before beginning this toast, I'd like to congratulate Kurt on making it on Broadway," You paused, allowing the room to cheer as I flushed, "In our lifetimes, we are gifted with a limited number of real landmark moments. They start small, but grow in power and significance. Kurt getting his big break on Broadway is only the start to his life on stage. And, in celebrating his happiness, we might just make this a landmark moment of our own. Here's to Kurt, a life of bliss, free of tears, bottoms up and lots of luck."
I don't think I could forget those words, even if I wanted to. When I burst into tears, everyone thought it had something to do with our history. But, honestly, it was because your words moved me, Blaine.
Now, here I am, hoping that my own words can move you once again. Your letter directed me to this café. I've only had your letter for a couple of days, but the edges are tattered and the creases are fraying. I've taken to memorizing the letter, much like I've memorized your toast and the door slam when you left our apartment for the last time. In fact, sometimes the slam of the door is all I can hear in our otherwise silent apartment. I make sure that I never ever slam the front door because it would just bring back too many memories of how easily you could leave and never look back. Not that I didn't give you a good reason to go.
You told me in your letter that you met him at an art show. You were looking at the same piece. He tilted his head in a way that reminded you of me. That was all it took for you to dive into a conversation with him about the artwork in the gallery. It led to drinks, which led to a date the next night. You never told me exactly when this happened, but I just know that it took place sometime before the Warbler reunion. You were so overcome with love, but this time, it wasn't for me.
I've taken the letter out of pocket, holding it in my shaking hands, but I don't need to look at it to know which part comes next. "He's asked me to marry him," your sloppy blue ink says, "And, I've said yes."
I tried to be happy for you, only to be taunted by the break in my heart that was torn back open. I still remember the way my lower lip dangerously quivered as I fought off the thought that you didn't want to marry me. We talked about it, but we never actually got the opportunity to. I think that was the worst blow. I couldn't even be in our apartment at this point. I sold it to a NYU student, and moved in with Rachel. She holds me together when the memories hit me like a ton of bricks.
Do you remember the day we set out for New York City? You acted on your homosexuality, and your parents cut you off; they thought it was just a rebellious stage. Anyway, I was quick to adopt you into my home in Lima, back over the summer after we graduated from college. We took every scrap of money we had, pooled it together, and packed my old Navigator with our belongings. Do you remember how my dad and Carole wished us well? As we drove off, you told me this was only the beginning of our lives together, but a nagging thought told me that it was already the end. Every beginning had an end just over the horizon.
We started off well in New York, didn't we? I thought that maybe we were going to make it in the world. We'd be those aging couples, who still looked at each other as if we were just two high school sweethearts. We had our tiny, cramped apartment. Income came far and few between, but we had each other. Remember how we used to sing Money Can't Buy Me Love when things got hard? We grew up so fast, pushing each other apart in the process.
You've just checked your watch, before looking out the broad window to the street. The sun had set enough that you're features are darkened, but your silhouette is still evident in the café. I watch him comfortingly place his hand on yours, the wedding band glistening in the light for a second. If I had blinked, I would have missed the entire glimmer of it. I bet that your rings are beautiful. I would love to see them close up, and if my body wasn't frozen in place, I would be able to assess them in the dim lighting of the café.
You get up from the booth, as my eyes catch the green sweater you're wearing. I'd know that sweater anywhere. We passed it in a shop just days before you finally left me. I pointed out how the color would compliment your eyes beautifully. You blushed at the compliment, saying that we weren't shopping for you. It was true, we were shopping for a Rachel Berry housewarming present, but one selfish sweater wouldn't kill you. If I knew that would be the last time I'd be able to make you blush, I would have insisted on buying the emerald sweater for my own sake.
He leads you out of the café to a small bench outside of the door. You're seated directly across from my driver side window. I wonder if you can see my silhouette in my car. If you can, you've done nothing about it. It seems like you're genuinely happy with him. I've been doing my best to accept that you've fully moved on, even though I'm stuck in the past, wishing that I could take it all back.
We spent a good chunk of our lives together, and I somehow started taking you for granted. It wasn't until you were gone that I realized how much I needed you. I'm sorry that I always thought you'd forgive me. I forgot your birthday because I had an audition for a main role in a Broadway show. I missed numerous dates because I was a background singer for a show. You always took me in saying that it was okay. You trusted me with everything you had.
I've told you before, but it wouldn't hurt to tell you again. He didn't mean anything to me. It was an audition, the director came onto me, I figured a friendly drink or two with him would help me get the part. I never thought that he'd take us back to our place. I never thought that you'd walk in on us in our bed. You deserved better than that. I guess, in turn, you deserved better than me. I just came to say that.
Correction. I'm not here to tell you that. You've heard it enough times. I know that apologizing over and over again isn't going to get us over this; it isn't going to take the memory of your broken expression from my mind. I know that you'll never fully forgive me, even though you said that you have. You end your letters with "Your friend, Blaine", which I venomously hate after years of seeing "My heart belongs to you always, Blaine". I don't think I will ever get over the transition. And, I don't mean to sound prissy, but I can't just be friends with you. This is an all or nothing situation.
I got in my car after final rehearsal to wish you well with your future. I came to shake his hand. I came to thank him for giving you the happiness that you always deserved. I came to tell you that I'm happy for you.
But, you've been sitting on the bench for ten agonizing minutes, which added on to the fifty you've spent in the café, means that I'm an hour late. I've never been late for anything. In fact, I'm usually ten minutes early, which didn't change for today's meeting. You take one last glance at your watch, while he offers a sad apologetic look. You press your lips to his temple. I know now that I don't want to meet him because he'll just remind me of everything I did wrong to you.
You know, I don't even know his name, the man who put you back together after I tore you apart. I don't want to know his name. It would only fuel the heartbreak that this situation is causing. He loves you, as if you didn't know. You start talking with this sullen expression, which I know is caused by talking about our past situation. I wonder how much he knows. I wonder if he promised to never be like me, ever. I wonder if he hates me for being such a horrible person. Sometimes I hate myself for what I did to us.
He listens patiently, nodding occasionally, twining your fingers together. You offer a small smile, which causes his lips to curve upwards. It's though the fact that you're happy is enough to make him happy. We had that once, but I lost that with you. I forgot that that's how healthy relationships are supposed to work. I started caring about my break into Broadway, instead of deeming our relationship more important.
You glance at your watch one last time; it's been an hour and fifteen minutes since I was supposed to meet you here. The sun has now fully set below the buildings, just casting a dull shimmer of sunlight over the streets. You two stand up, fingers still entangled, before walking off. I ought to be jealous that his hand is in yours. I ought to chase you two down the street, and challenge that our history means more than a ring ever will.
But, I wouldn't put you in the situation. This is no longer about me, or us for that matter. It was about me when we first came out to the city, or even four days ago when I got the letter. But, after seeing the way he can make you smile so effortlessly, I understand that this will never be about me again.
So, I'm writing you this letter right outside of the café that I never walked into, while you walk down the street with him. I've been keeping one eye on you two, until you turned down a different street. It wasn't fair showing up here, even with an invitation. Your happiness, even with him, triumphs every emotion that I have for you. It will always be like that.
You won't be hearing from me again. I won't allow myself to degrade what you've made for yourself. But, I will always love you, Blaine. I always have and I always will.
Congratulations. He's a very lucky man.
My heart belongs to you always,
Never mind, I'll find someone like you,
I wish nothing but the best for you,
Don't forget me, I beg,
I remember you said,
"Sometimes it lasts in love,
But sometimes it hurts instead."
If you could just take a moment from your day to tell me your thoughts on this, I would be eternally grateful.