Disclaimer: I tried to avoid doing as much research for this fic as I have done for previous stories. So, while many of the locations mentioned in this story are in fact real, not all of the details may be entirely accurate. Also, I have never been to New York City. Ever.
Also, I don't own Glee!
Say You Will
Chapter 1, Part I
Wednesday, January 1, 2014
Kurt Hummel drunk in the wee hours of the morning as he carefully sipped his steaming hot caffè macchiato. He observed—from the warm confines of the café slash coffee shop across the street from his dorms—the men and women who darted down the pavement outside. All the individuals outside were lively with activity. Hailing taxis, struggling to carry both their briefcases and cups of coffee, slipping their freezing hands into warm mittens in mid step—as if it slipped their minds how cold New York could be in the dead of winter. It seemed, however, that the coffee shop was just as vivacious. Due to the sheer number of occupants in the room—and not to mention the steam that rose up from the coffee and espresso machines—the temperature in the room was close to stifling and Kurt had to shed his charcoal colored pea coat the moment he found a table. The cashiers took the orders of the rushed customers as the baristas filled them behind the tall machines. People weaved in and out of the long line in order to get to the counter situated in the corner that held the half and half and varieties of sugar and sweeteners.
As much as he loved Manhattan, it was definitely a lot for him to get used to considering he lived in such a small, lackluster city like Lima his entire life. Kurt sighed contentedly despite his current predicament. It was almost a year and six months since he moved to New York City for college. He had every reason in the world to be happy—and he was! It was only the matter of his financial woes that were creating an undue amount of stress for him. Kurt turned his attention back to his laptop and the numerous windows that were displayed on the screen. The first was his bank account website containing a measly four hundred and twenty dollars, the second was the Fashion Institute of Technology's financial page displaying his scholarship information, as well as his tuition and residential fee that he needed to pay by next week, and the last window contained listings of apartment buildings for rent within five miles from his school. Kurt took another contemplative sip of his rapidly cooling drink. He needed to figure something out, and fast. There wasn't any way he could go from working half time to full time; not with the new semester coming up. He had to focus on his school work, lest his grades drop and he lose his scholarship. The only way he would be able to work full-time was if he became a part-time student, which was out of the question as well. Only full-time students received financial aid and if he wasn't so proud he wouldn't have any problem asking his dad and Carole if they could help him out. This was his dream and he wanted to be able to rely on his own self to achieve it. He made it this far, hadn't he?
Kurt wearily rubbed his temples. That was where finding an apartment came in. Room and board were ridiculously expensive at his school, especially for him considering his certain living situation. He was living in a single dorm, which were usually more expensive than those that housed more than two people. Despite his sexual orientation, the college did not allow opposite sex to room together. If that weren't the case, he would probably be rooming with his close friend, Anna, who he met during his freshman year. And rather than confront the fact that rooming with a straight male (and Kurt was surprised that that particular breed existed at his school) may result in an incident not too unlike the one between he and Finn during his sophomore year of high school, he would rather avoid that possibility altogether.
Kurt leant back in his chair and extended his feet languidly out before him as his eyes drifted downcast towards the small dialog clock on the bottom right corner of his laptop screen. It was nine thirty-eight. He made an appointment with his guidance counselor a week prior in order to let the school know of his living situation. While the fact stood that he had less than an hour before he told the counselor that he no longer wished to live in his school's costly dormitory any more, he didn't know what he would say in the off chance they asked him where his new place of residence would be. Surely he could find an inexpensive apartment for rent within the next week; although, so far, the reviews that Kurt found online for the cheaper apartments in the area weren't to enticing. Kurt wasn't too keen on living somewhere with rude doormen, uncaring staff and rat infestations.
Kurt fiddled with handle of his cup before deciding that he better get a move on if he wanted to get to the office early to sign in. He raised the cup to his lips and downed the cold contents with a grimace. After he placed the cup back down upon the wooden surface of the table and pressing the button on his laptop in order for it to go into sleep mode, he couldn't help but feel as though there were a pair of eyes on him. He shut his laptop with a snap and looked up, glancing around at the people shuffling past his table and then towards the small platform on the opposite end of the room, which served as a stage for musicians to perform in the evening when it was less crowded. Kurt convinced himself that the caffeine in his drink clearly had an effect on his senses and that all the people in the coffee shop were far too busy, caught up in their own lives, to be paying any attention to him.
He turned around in his chair in order to reach his shoulder bag and coat that dangled from the back… And that was when he saw him.
Kurt's living situation is loosely based on testimonies from four LGBT students who came to speak to my Social Work class last semester. While many schools may not operate this way, I was saddened by the fact that one or two of the students chose to, or else had no choice but to have a dorm to themselves a result of their sexual orientation.