Hi guys! It's been… crazy for me.
I really wish I could write more. I'm so, so sorry for not being able to update more often. I can't promise that the next update will be soon; I'm not sure about anything anymore. The only thing I know for certain is that each morning, the sun will rise.
And that's enough to keep me going.
I slow my steps as I approach Warbler Hall. (Yes, it has a plaque. It's gold and mounted and everything.)
Some of the giddiness of yesterday has worn off; the novelty that was Dalton had put me a bit out of sorts. I wince slightly, remembering the rushed conversation (read: my word barf) in the Warblers Practice Room. It hadn't been much of a conversation, but I feel slightly better about my situation now that I've cobbled together enough words to express myself.
I stop at the portrait of Henry Dalton (1873-1938), reaching into the pocket of my uniform slacks to pull out my iPhone. I had downloaded the backup to the Lady Gaga song I was going to sing, even though it wasn't the best suited for my voice. Rachel said that the song worked for me, though, and that I would even score a few points for choosing a song by a Top 40 artist.
I take a few deep breaths to prepare myself. Rachel knows what works well with me, I just have to trust her. I square my shoulders, lifting my head, and round the corner.
…to find a closed set of doors. Great. I prepared myself, to be met with another obstacle. As if auditioning wasn't hard enough.
I reach out to open the door, which opens before I touch it. A slightly stocky boy is holding the door, his hair styled in an upward coif. My hand falls back to my side, and I clutch my iPhone like a lifeline.
"Thank you, Warbler Trent. Auditionee Kurt Hummel, please enter." Wes's stiff, yet slightly familiar voice greets me. He speaks in staccato, like an offbeat song without the tune. Strange.
I can feel the nerves starting to grip at me, so I put on a determined face and walk in. Three guys are sitting at what I assume is the head table; Wes is in the center, a black guy is on his right, a brunette on his left. I hear the doors shut behind me, but I ignore the noise in favor of sweeping my eyes across the room. Boys are standing and sitting neatly, not even close to slouching. Blaine is sitting on a couch facing the doors, flanked by Nick and Jeff (who lean against the back of the couch freely).
"Kurt Hummel, you will stand here for your audition." The black male points at a spot near a window, besides a table. I stare at the space, with the light softly filtering in. It doesn't have much room.
Crap. The one thing that we forgot when planning my audition song- I might not be able to move freely and express myself. Suddenly, the magic of Brown Eyes leaves. It's a song that I strut around to, not one that I can stay still to. Without movement, the song is almost nothing. That, along with it not being perfectly suited for my voice-
I inhale silently, slipping my iPhone back into my pocket. Sorry, Rachel. If I was standing at audition, at least I would sing a song that one would stand to.
I feel confidence begin to flush through me. It's not much, but I use that to propel myself to the spot. I turn to face the group of silent Warblers. I fix my eyes to a large, empty armchair.
"For my audition, I'll be singing Don't Cry For Me Argentina." I inhale again, taking a beat to breathe.
It won't be easy,
You'll think it's strange
When I try to explain how I feel
I turn slightly, shifting to my gaze to the window. From my spot in front of the Warbler Leader Table Thing, I can see a small bunch of trees. One stands out, slightly apart from the other trees.
I let the song wash over me. To my days at McKinley, before the bullying got really bad, before Karofsky, before Rick. Back when I first joined Glee, and it was just showtunes and fun. Rachel and I sang this for fun on a free day, dancing a slow waltz to the melancholy tune. (Rachel had led, insisting that I was doing the steps wrong. I was fine with that, since I knew the follow part better from dancing with my mom when I was young.) We had ended the dance facing the audience, both smiling ever so slightly, me with my hand on my heart. I smile at the memory, feeling tears come to my eyes. I blink them away hastily, continuing the song.
I had to let it happen, I had to change
Couldn't stay all my life down at heel
Looking out of the window, staying out of the sun
I turn my shoulder ever so slightly towards the sea of stony –faced boys. I glance at Blaine. He's smiling slightly, but his head twists to the sides.
It hits me, then: what I'm doing. I walked into the Warblers practice room, ready to sing a song that almost guaranteed me a spot in the Warblers. I ruled against it in favor of a song that suited me better. A song that most likely would lead to me not being in the Warblers. I feel my eyes widen slightly, and my voice wavers. I continue, though, red-faced but determined to finish.
Have I said too much?
There's nothing more I can think of to say to you
But all you have to do is look at me to know
That every word is true
I take the higher note for the end, letting it ring out for a few seconds before ending.
I watch Wes and the two guys beside him exchange glances. Nobody in the room makes a sound.
"Thank you, Kurt Hummel. You may leave. We will alert you of our decision."
My heart plummets. I chose the wrong song.
"Whoa, whoa, WHOA!" Jeff hops to his feet, Nick following suit. "We still haven't watched the, ahem, 'substantial video evidence.'"
I remain frozen in place, watching several Warblers glance around at each other.
"You have videos, Warblers Nick and Jeff?" the black guy asks, before being silenced by a glare from Wes.
"Yes, David, and if you give us a minute we'll show you." Nick smiles, walking around the couch and wheeling out a small table with a laptop on it. Jeff busies himself with taping up a large sheet of white paper on the wall.
"Lights, Trent?" The guy that opened the door reaches a hand onto the wall beside him, and the lights dim. A projector (bearing the name of Mrs. Williams, written neatly on the side) beams an image of me onto the paper.
Oh hell no.
I watch as a red-and-white clad me struts across a gym floor, towards Mercedes, who is clad in a similar outfit.
I swear to whatever holy being (or lack thereof) that Nick and Jeff worship that they will pay.
Come on girl
I've been waiting for somebody
to pick up my stroll
I am severely tempted to sink into the floor; I watch as many eyebrows rise upwards, Blaine's the highest of them all. Nick and Jeff grin at each other, delighted. I don't look towards the head table, since I'm afraid of what Wes might look like. And his posse. Since they seem like a posse. I mean, Wes has spoken the most, the David guy once, and the other kid not at all. Like Mean Girls, but less pink.
Around the tick tock part of the song, the video switches to me singing Defying Gravity.
They taped that?
I hit the high F perfectly (I resist singing along; Flying high, defying gravity!), and someone whistles. Several heads turn, but no one apologizes, looks sheepish, or anything. As a unit, they all return their attention to the screen.
I'm torn between wishing to disappear and preening with pride; I can feel several eyes on me, though, so I choose to keep a poker face.
The song ends, and the video splices to a large stage, dimly lit. Faint strains of a song float through the speakers, before it suddenly changes dynamics. I start, realizing what the video is.
Oh, double hell no.
A pack of girls scurries gracefully from either side of the stage, springing into backflips and mid-air splits. Their red-and-white skirts swishing, they form a pyramid that seems to split in two, starting with a back-handspringing Brittany at the top. I remember how we had practiced together after school, starting on the bleachers when they were folded in; Santana had been there, ready to catch Britt if she fell. The routine was surprisingly fast-paced for the song medley.
I brace myself, just as a red-and-white clad me springs onstage, singing in French with a twirl and a high-kick, joining the front line of dancers. I cringe internally, realizing that a pack of 20-some teenage boys are scrutinizing my performance. Or looking at the girls.
Impatiently, I wait for the video to end. For a split second, the screen turns black and the words Made by Sue Sylvester and Becky Jackson captures the screen. Afterwards, no one says a thing. Eventually, Wes clears his throat and says in a monotone, "Pending Warbler Kurt, you may leave."
I stand carefully, allowing my eyes to sweep around the room. Nick and Jeff are grinning at each other and me; Blaine smiles slightly. Others look faintly impressed. I flicker my eyes towards the head table; David is smiling slightly, Wes sits stone-faced, and I can't read the other boy. As I walk towards the door, I catch sight of Sebastian. He's smiling- a genuine smile- as if he enjoyed the show, then smirks when he sees me. I feel panic slowly creeping up inside me as the smirk burns itself into my mind.
I'm at Dalton. No one will harm me. I just had a great audition, mostly thanks to Nick and Jeff. And Sue and Becky, apparently.
I calmly push through the doors, hearing them swing close to the murmurs starting to rise up. I make it to the corner before breaking into a run. I had been fine until Sebastian looked at me like that, in an expression that was a little too close to Rick's, a little too reminiscent of Karofsky.
Eventually I'm wandering the halls, gazing at the well-kept antique furniture. A displacement of space catches my eye as I pass a plant. Cautiously, I peer around the edge of the pot to find a small, dark opening. I'm curious, I admit. Against my better judgment, I duck into the nook.
I'm met with a short corridor that ends in a small, cushiony window seat. The window is tall, reaching the ceiling, and faces the forest. I sit, swinging my legs up so that I'm sitting with the window on my right. The seat is perfectly wide enough to fit me, probably too small for most other boys. My knees are bent, feet flat on the cushion. I can imagine myself holding a notebook or novel, gazing out at the snow-blanketed ground- or, if I last at Dalton till spring, the green woody expanse.
I whip my head around to the source of the voice. "Blaine." I acknowledge him, not moving from my window perch.
His face twists into a small smile. "That was an… interesting audition."
I cringe. "A bit unconventional for the Warblers?"
"How about a lot unconventional?" I balk at the bluntness.
"It was very me."
"Yeah." Blaine smiles again. "They kicked me out so the council could make the final decision, but I would say you have a pretty good chance of getting in because of the video." I nod, a tiny bit relieved. "A word of advice, though? Don't be so… showy next time." he speaks almost cautiously, choosing words carefully, as if I'd explode if he said something wrong.
The tone he uses is what irks me the most, like he's changed from 'friends' voice to 'peer advisor'.
"What do you mean? "I ask cautiously, a hint of my annoyance coming through dangerously. I think I know what he means.
"Kurt... The Warblers are one unit. We all work together, making sure we don't outshine each other. We try not to do songs like... show tunes, or ballads, because those usually focus on one person. We want to highlight everyone's talent. That's why we have solo auditions. So, please, tone it down? I would hate for you to get removed from the group."
Removed from the group? I wouldn't be able to face the New Directions if I was kicked out of the Warblers. "Okay."
"Thanks." Blaine looks at the window above me. "I see you've found one of Dalton's hidden niches."
"Yeah, I was wandering around and stumped on it." I give a little one-shouldered shrug.
Blaine grins. "That's how you'll find most of these little spaces. No one talks about them or maps them out. You have to stumble upon them on your own. I actually found a space with a piano, once. Haven't been there in a while..." he trails off, as if remembering something.
I would love to find the piano. I haven't had the opportunity to play for so long, not since I started climbing trees. I used to stay after, waiting for the halls to desert. When I was a freshman, I would huddle in the room and wait for the jocks to trample past before playing and singing. Then, when I was a sophomore, Glee started and I no longer had to play. I miss it a bit though. Guess I'll have to start searching the school.
Somewhere, a bell rings six times. Blaine and I both look up.
"Dinner bell," Blaine shrugs. "You coming?"
I think for a second, before shaking my head no. I'm not that hungry, anyways.
"Seeya around, then."
I turn back to watch the last light filtering out of the sky, bathing the corridor in gray, then black. My eyes adjust, and I slowly make my way back to the hallway. It's dark, and suddenly I feel lost; lost and scared.
I start humming as I wander around in the pitch darkness. Soon, I'm singing.
Won't you light my candle?
Oh, won't you light my candle?
I turn a corner, straining my eyes for any light.
I shriek mid-note, a dozen scenarios flashing through my mind.
"Whoa! Kurt, it's just me. Nick." A flashlight flickers on, turning to shine on the holder.
Jeff swipes the flashlight. "And me!"
"Oh… hi guys." I will my erratic heartbeat to slow, silently reassuring myself that it was only my friends.
Would that be the right word?
"So, what are you doing out this late?" Nick grabs the flashlight back, sweeping its beam across the hallway. It looks eerie, the antiques casting long shadows.
"I, uh, got lost and couldn't find my way out?" I smile sheepishly. "What about you?"
"Blainers got nervous when you didn't find your way back to the dorms. So we formed a search party."
"Well, not a search party, per se. Really, just four people. It's a big school. Me and Nick went off to the main building, and Blaine and Sebastian are searching the art and science buildings. Speaking of which…" Jeff reaches into his pocket, and throws his phone at Nick. Nick catches it easily, flipping it open and firing off a text.
"Sebastian?" I feel the blood draining out of my face.
"Yeah." Jeff looks at me carefully, before taking his phone back from Nick.
"I'm glad that you guys found me." The way I say it could either mean I'm grateful- which I am- or that I'm happy that Blaine and Sebastian hadn't found me.
We walk for a bit in silence, before Nick asks, "Kurt? Are you okay with Sebastian?"
"No. Yes. No." I shrug, before realizing that they can't see me. "He… came onto me on my first day. Rather harshly."
"If it was sexual harassment then you should tell-"
"No. If I tell someone, then there will be a big mess of getting him in trouble, and my dad has enough to worry about."
"Kurt. This is about you, not your dad."
"I know…" I trail off. "I know I should, but I've only been here for a few days. I don't need to cause a ruckus for something that never went farther than words."
We walk silently for a time more.
"What did he say?" Jeff asks.
"He… assumed that Blaine and I were sleeping together, and then proceeded to shamelessly ask if I would like to switch partners." I blush heavily, thankful for the darkness.
Nick swears. "And he was searching for you! The nerve-"
"Nick, it's okay. I promise, if he does anything else I'll take him straight to the Headmaster."
Speaking of which, I suddenly remember Headmaster Dalton's tip to use a flashlight for late-night wanderings, and start giggling.
"Nothing, just remembering something that Headmaster Dalton said."
"He said the flashlight thing to you, too?"
We reach a door, which Jeff pushes open. It's cold outside, and dark. I pull my academy blazer tighter around myself, wishing for my coat.
Blaine runs towards me, hugging me tightly. "Oh thank goodness," he murmurs.
"Blaine," I say breathlessly, "Relax. It wasn't so bad that you had to send a search party. Although it was greatly appreciated." I smile and Nick and Jeff.
"I got worried!" Blaine says. "It's almost eight, too!"
I see Sebastian approaching us out of the corner of my eye. "Come on, let's go where it's warm," I say.
Before I can protest, Blaine takes his coat off and wraps it around my shoulders. "C'mon, if we hurry, the kitchen'll have some food left." We start walking, Nick and Jeff falling into step on my left.
I turn to glance around at Sebastian, who walks silently behind us.
For the first time, I don't feel scared of him. I don't feel like he's a Rick, or a Karofsky. Instead, I feel like I've finally gained control over something, for once.
I turn back around and smile.
I have a vague idea of what's happening next. Until then, thank you.
Also- yes, Sue and Becky did make the video of Kurt's performances. Because Sue knows everything. Everything.
Also, Scott is willing to give free ninja lessons to whoever can stop Blaine from playing Katy Perry on an endless loop. Says that all the Teenage Dream is messing with his chi.