CHAPTER FOURTEEN – FLASHBACK: NO-EL AND KURTSIE

Eight year olds Kurt Hummel and Noah Puckerman walked together most days after school. They would alternate between houses to hang out before the other had to go home. Kurt's mom used to pick him up from Noah's, but she was in the hospital most of the time. All Kurt said to Noah was that she was sick. Noah secretly sent prayers to Kurt's mom every night, because he knew Kurt would be sad if he knew. Burt had since taken over as his little man's chauffeur. Sometimes, Noah's dad would pick him up from Kurt's, but lately his father had been focused on finding a new job. Layoffs in Lima were always brutal. Kurt sometimes brought Noah a piece of candy at school to cheer him up. Since Noah's father wouldn't be able to pick him up today, the boys headed towards Noah's house.

Kurt noticed a boy and a girl walking together, holding hands. He thought that it was very strange.

"No-el, can I tell you a secret?

"Sure."

"I don't think I like girls."

"Why not?"

"I don't know. Does that make me a bad person?"

"No way. You wouldn't be my best friend of three years if you were a bad person."

"But, I've never seen two boys hold hands before. Just a boy and a girl hold hands. I don't get it."

Noah looked at Kurt and saw that the taller boy was sad, like he was about to cry. Noah's hand took Kurt's and laced the fingers together. Kurt nearly jumped.

"What are you doing?"

"I'm holding your hand."

Kurt blushed. Noah enjoyed making Kurt happy. Seeing Kurt smile was the best thing in the world to Noah. He felt victorious when he saw a small grin try to escape from Kurt.

"Are you still having trouble pronouncing your ah's, Kurtsie?"

"No."

"Then why do you say No-el, instead of No-ah?"

"Because! It always feels like Christmas when I'm with you."

Noah looked down at his feet while he walked. A few seconds later, he felt his arm being yanked away from him and he fell to the ground.

"Watch where you're going," Kurt yelled. "You almost ran into the tree!"

"I didn't even see it. Thank you for saving my life, Kurtsie. You're my hero!" Noah stood up and mock bowed to Kurt.

"I hardly call that saving your life."

"But I'm always getting hurt. Hey, I know! Just in case, if that happens again, we should make a pact that we'll always keep each other safe."

"You mean it, No-el?"

"Yeah."

Kurt thought about it for a few seconds.

"Deal. How do we seal the pact?"

"I guess we can just hold hands until we get back to my house." Noah offered his hand out to Kurt, which the other boy grabbed. Their hands stuck like glue for the rest of the walk. Neither boy wanted it to end. Eight years later, they knew why.

THE END