Blaine checked his bowtie in the mirror one final time, giving himself a small, satisfied smile. He picked up his bag and headed for the door.
'Bye mum, bye dad,' he called out over his shoulder.
'Bye honey,' his mother answered, coming around the corner to wave goodbye. 'Remember, you're father and I are going to the Smythe's tonight, so you'll have to make your own dinner.'
She looked at him thoughtfully for a second, before continuing. 'Maybe you could go over to friend's house? Or even have some people over here. You know we wouldn't mind.' She smiled expectantly at him and Blaine felt his heart sink.
'Yeh…Yeh, maybe mum.' He gave a small smile, before turning around and walking out the house.
He let himself drop back against the closed door with a thud and felt the tell-tale prickle behind his eyes. He screwed them tightly shut, his hands balling into fists at his side.
'Stop it, stop it, stop it,' he whispered to himself under his breath, but it didn't do any good. It never did.
He used to watch TV and be so excited about growing up and going to high school. He was going to have so many friends and do so many exciting things with them. But somehow it hadn't happened like that. The older he got, the less friends he seemed to have, until one day he realised he was that one kid at school that everyone avoided like the plague for fear of being a 'loser by association'.
He saw the groups of friends at school, chatting and laughing, making plans to go to the mall or hang out at each other's houses and wanted to be a part of it so much that it hurt.
He looked down at his clothes; his chequered shirt and neat bowtie. He knew he didn't dress like the other kids at school, that maybe if he changed what he wore, was a bit more like everyone else, he might not be so immediately, obviously identifiable as a nerd, but he didn't want to. He liked what he wore, he looked smart. He shouldn't have to change himself for them to like him. Should he?
With a sigh, he pushed away from the door and started walking towards school. 'Oh well,' he thought to himself. 'I guess I'll just get an early start on my Biology project.'
'Kurt, would you put that damn phone down for one second,' Burt huffed.
'Hmm? Yeh, sure,' Kurt replied, still tapping away on his phone.
Kurt jumped at the shout, fingers slipping on the keypad.
'Oh great. Thanks dad,' he sneered, 'I just sent a half-finished text. Did you have to shout?' Burt gave him an incredulous look, before throwing his hands in the air and turning away.
'I just don't know why you need to have that thing permanently attached to your hand,' he said over his shoulder. ' We used to actually speak to each other at breakfast.'
'I can't help it if people want to talk to me. What would you have me do, ignore them?'
'Sounds like a good start.' Burt replied, nodding his head.
'Well I'm sorry dad, but as head cheerleader I have a reputation to uphold. I don't know what your problem is anyway. I'm popular, you should be proud.'
Burt shook his head and muttered under his breath, 'There are better things to be proud of than being popular, kiddo.'
'Sorry, what was that?' Kurt asked, already back to his phone.
'Nothing. Go to school, you're going to be late.'
'Oh crap,' Kurt shouted as he glanced at the clock. He ran into the hall, grabbed his sports bag and bounded through the door. 'Bye dad.'
'Don't forget your boo…' The door slammed shut and Burt dropped the history text book to the table. He pulled out a crumpled piece of paper that was tucked in between the pages.
What factors led to the American Civil War?
The American civil war started because of was cuased by…
Burt sighed to himself. He really didn't know what to do about Kurt these days. He used to be such a hard-working, polite, conscientious little boy. Sure, he wasn't the most popular kid, but he got good grades and was happy enough.
Ok, well maybe he had seemed a little less happy for a while, but then he turned up one day in a sheerleading uniform and that was that; from then on it was a constant stream of texts and phone calls, training and competitions, sleepovers and shopping trips.
Burt was glad his son had friends, of course he was, but sometimes he just missed the little boy who would sit and chat with him about his day and watch him in the garage with a wide-eyed look on his face, as if his old man was a superhero. Was that such a crime?