It was 7:30 when Kurt finally pulled himself out of bed, the music playing from the room across the hall finally too loud to ignore. Lately he had been going into the office a few hours later than usual-a result of his recent bout with insomnia. He walked down the hall and into the kitchen and looked for anything that could pass for food. Finding some pancake mix and fresh fruit, he decided to surprise his daughter with an actual homemade breakfast this morning. He let the time pass as he listened to the music, so happy that Effie had good taste. Singing along with the Broadway playlist, he didn't realize that he had begun dancing until he heard his daughter: "Save it for the clubs, Dad". He spun around, quickly noticing that the music had stopped. "Sass!" He exclaimed. She had been pushing her limits lately. "Well, when you've been raised by the Sass Queen himself it's hard to resist," she quipped with a smug smirk. God, Kurt thought, this girl has too much wit for her own good. "Tone," he warned. "I made pancakes, how much time do you…" he started to say when he looked at the clock. "Shit! Effie, it's already 8:15, school started fifteen minutes ago!"
"Dad, relax, it's just Dr. Asshole's class, it's not important." She was completely relaxed, starting to grab a pancake off the griddle.
Instead, Kurt handed her an apple and began to push her out their apartment door: "Effie! You seriously have to be more respectful. You cannot just talk about your teachers like that!"
Effie scoffed and rolled her eyes but left the apartment.
"God, that girl is going to be the death of me," Kurt said to himself softly.
"Can anyone tell me what role the ledgers play in the novel?"
They were currently discussing there new AP English book: "Go Down, Moses" by William Faulkner, Effie zoning in and out of what her professor was saying. She registered someone raising there hand and giving an incredibly vague answer before she drifted into a state of semi-consciousness once again, only awoken by the incessant call of her annoying teacher saying her name and getting progressively louder.
"Effie. Effie this is completely inappropriate."
She slowly raised her head up to look her teacher in the eyes and give him the best bitch glare she could muster, something she learned from her father very early on.
"Maybe if your class wasn't so boring, I wouldn't have been so distracted." She heard a small chorus of snickers joined by some gasps at her outright disrespect.
"This is the third time this week that you've been completely rude in this classroom. I've let it slide because I like to think of myself as a patient person, but this is the last straw. I will be contacting your parents for a meeting and until then you will leave this classroom and you will not come back until you have a written letter of apology to all of us. This is a classroom and you're tone is not be acceptable here."
Effie stood up with as much dignity as she could muster and quickly made an exit out of the room. She knew that her father would not be happy with her. She left school and made her way to the nearest Starbucks to calm herself down. I've really stepped in it this time.
Later that day while working on the next sketch for the winter line, Kurt got a phone call.
"Mr. Hummel?" A gruff sounding voice on the other end of the line asked.
"Yes, this is he. Who is this calling?" He answered with the best fake enthusiasm he could muster. Quite frankly, he was annoyed that his artistic process was disrupted.
"This is Dr. Wilmington from your daughter's school."
Shit, Kurt thought. He had hoped this phone call would not happen.
"Yes, is something wrong?" He answered as evenly as he could.
"Yes actually," the man began, "One of Evelyn's teachers has requested a conference with you. He has said that she has been acting out severely in his class, and he would like to get to the bottom of it."
"Oh god, I'm so sorry," Kurt mused, "Is there a time when this teacher would be able to meet? I'm pretty busy this next month because Fashion Week is coming up." Kurt bit his bottom lip, desperately hoping that this could all be forgotten. He hated parent-teacher conferences.
"Mr. Hummel, I, of course, understand that you may be busy, but I hope you're willing to sacrifice for your daughter." Wow, that was a cheap shot.
"Yes, yes, of course," Kurt said, "How is Friday at 3:30, right after school?"
"That should work. Thank you for your time." Before Kurt could answer the man had hung up.
Effie was gonna get one hell of a lecture tonight.
Effie had suspected that her father had received a phone call from the dean's office that day, so she decided to lay as low as possible, hoping it would all blow over soon enough. She unlocked the door and slipped off her shoes and then assuming no one was home, fished around in the kitchen to find a snack and started to mount the stairs to her bedroom. She only got to the fourth step before she heard her father from the living room: "Evelyn Elizabeth Hummel-Parker, you better not be trying to run away from this conversation."
Oh great, Effie thought, she would get yelled at sooner than expected.
She slowly made her way back downstairs and faced her father in the living room. She shifted nervously while he sat there with an unreadable expression, making her very anxious. Kurt was the first one to speak: "Ok, I'm going to give you another chance to explain why I got a call today from the headmaster about your inappropriate behavior."
Suddenly feeling cornered and defensive, Effie blurted, "No, Dad, it's not my fault! My teacher was being an asshole and I was fed up with it and decided to say something. You know, you always told me to stand up for what I believe in, to not let anyone intimidate me."
"Effie, that is a completely different thing! This is not something you can use as an excuse for your rudeness! This man is your teacher and therefore your superior—you need to give him that respect. God, you would've thought that after five years at that school you would know when to shut up."
Effie closed in on herself and just gave her best bitch glare—her defense mechanism when she didn't have anything witty to say. After Kurt took a few deep breaths to calm himself, he continued: "So, I am going to go to meet with your teacher tomorrow. You are going to do whatever you must to make it up to your teacher and continue to be respectful in class. If, and only if you do that, I may reduce your grounding from three weeks to two."
"Three weeks?" Effie asked incredulously before she stomped up the stairs and slammed her bedroom door.
After the door was safely closed, Kurt let out a sigh and let his posture sag, again wondering if he had done the right thing—something he contemplated whenever he had to punish Effie. "Disciplinarian" was not one of the roles he fulfilled often until last year and he had nowhere near perfected it since then.
Blaine waited patiently in the classroom, grading papers to pass the time waiting for Effie's parents. They were now running ten minutes late, which wasn't really a surprise to him—most of the parents of the children at this school were workaholics, spending not nearly as much time with their children as their nannies or housekeepers. He sighed; thinking about what Effie's home life must be like for her to act out consistently in class. Maybe it's a cry for attention…or maybe an outlet for expression that she was denied at home. Before his thoughts could drift too far, though, he was jolted out of his haze by a whispered question: "Blaine Anderson?"
Kurt was not having a good day. He was running behind, as per usual, and it was already 3:00 and it at least a twenty minute walk to Effie's school. He still needed to finish sending his newest sketches to various magazine editors before he could even think about leaving. By the time that was done, it was 3:10 and he was rushing to collect his things when his day-old coffee in his "New Yorker" travel mug spilled off the desk, effectively ruining his new Armani white dress shirt. He, of course, could not show up at Effie's school looking like a hobo, so he decided to stop at home to change his shirt. Long story short, he was twenty minutes late when he ran in the building finally finding the classroom. The door was open, and just as Kurt was about to rush in, he surveyed the scene. At first glance, the man behind the desk looked to be in his late-thirties, seeming very scholarly in his glasses and coat and tie. His hair was curly and only slightly gelled down, and wait. He's seen that mop of hair before. Suddenly, everything from seventeen years ago is brought to the forefront of his mind and he is only able to mutter a single name, "Blaine Anderson?"