Projecting my life onto poor innocent fictional characters :')
For my sweet darling Patricia Sage
"I thought there was a perfect course – there was this program with drama and English literature and god, Mom, it looked so good! It's not fair! It was so perfect for me!"
"Okay, Blaine, honey, come on, calm down. What's the problem then?"
"Well I talked to Miss Pillsbury about it, and the literature part looks awful! It stops at 1650 for goodness' sake! Why would they not include anything even remotely modern, I mean come on. It's ridiculous. And there's no way dad would let me apply for straight drama, and that means I just have to rethink everything, and I have to start applying in a few weeks and Miss Pillsbury said I have to look up a bunch more courses, but I need to keep my grades up too to give me the slightest chance of getting in anywhere at all and mom, I don't know what to do, and-"
"Oh, sweetheart, come on, breathe. Sit down here, I'll get you some tea. Don't worry. We'll get this sorted, alright? You'll be fine. You'll be more than fine, you'll be amazing."
Blaine huffs out a sigh as he plonks himself on the stool at the kitchen counter, finger tapping an anxious rhythm on the mottled granite. The whistle of the kettle feels like nails scraping down the insides of his skull. The staccato tap-tap-tap of his mother's stilettos on the tiled floor sounds like gunshots fired too close to his head. He squeezes his eyes shut hard enough so that when he opens them, there are swirling patterns and colours distorting the encouraging smile on his mother's face.
"Here – your favourite," she says, setting the mug down in front of him. The sickly sweet steam wafts up, clogging up his throat. He clears it once, sharply.
"Thanks, mom." He takes a sip, jerking violently as it scalds his tongue and narrowly avoids spilling it on his hand. Fuck. He feels his lower lip wobble slightly as he places the mug down harder than necessary. This is ridiculous. He's seventeen years old, for goodness sake, but he feels about four. He feels a rush of guilt as his mom avoids his eyes when he looks up at her, returning to flipping through the post lying on the counter.
"Oh, here, I forgot – this came for you earlier!" her voice is falsely bright. Blaine winces, looks up. There's a letter clutched in her outstretched hand. The envelope is green, a scrawl of biro on the front. Blaine smiles.
Upstairs in his room, door firmly shut, Blaine teases it open, almost reverently, cringing at a little tear his clumsy finger make in it. He sighs, tension leaving his shoulders as he lifts the flap, pausing to read what's written on the underside of it – Hi. I just wanted to let you know that I love you. Ok now carry on 3. Blaine bites his lip and blinks hard. Maybe the girls were right – their hormones really were rubbing off on him – because there is absolutely no excuse for him to be this emotional today. He shakes his head, chuckling to himself, before carefully slipping the paper out. He smiles at the torn edges – ripped from his songbook, as usual – unfolds the pages, and starts to read.
My darling Blaine,
New York is amazing! But I miss you so much. I mean, skype is fantastic, but I'm inordinately glad we decided to do this letter thing – I feel like I'm in Dear John or something …
Sprawled on his bed, Blaine reads the pages over three times, smiling every time a sappy lyric scrawled in the margin catches his eye. He sits up quickly, reaching down into his bottom desk drawer and pulling out an old, intricately carved wooden box. Unclipping the latch, he lifts its lid, his eyes slipping shut as he inhales the smell of old paper and ink. Lifting a sheet out, he unscrews the lid of the little inkpot nestled in the night-blue velvet and screws the nib onto the pen. He dips it once, twice, watching the excess ink drip back into the pot, before turning to the thick, creamy paper. He starts to write.
Kurt, my love,
I miss you too, but I'm glad I finally get to put my grandfather's writing set to good use! You have to write me all about everything and everyone you meet so that I have it in writing – I don't want to forget anything at all …
He signs it off with a, to his mind, classy single 'x', blowing on the ink to dry it before folding it and slipping into a heavy envelope. He checks the address three times from the post-it on the edge of his computer screen before writing it, seals the envelope, and presses a kiss to it. He smiles, ruefully. He really is a ridiculous romantic. Gathering up Kurt's letter, he scans over it one more time before folding it back along the creases and slotting it back into the envelope. Lifting the pile of paper out of the box, he slides his finger along the inside of it until he feels a slot. Slipping his nail in, he levers it up and peers inside. He grins. He'd discovered the false bottom of the box not long after his grandfather had given it to him with a wink and a smile, and proceeded to fill it with the sorts of things a child does – a few pressed flowers, the head of an old action man doll, a collection of brightly coloured marbles, a gaudy plastic ring. He tilts the box so everything rolls to one side before placing the letter flat against the bottom. He replaces the false bottom and the paper and closes the lid, brushing dust off the top of the box before returning it to his drawer. He puts his own letter by the side of his bed so that he'll remember to ask his mom for a stamp tomorrow. He grabs his phone, shooting a quick text to Kurt – I got your letter. It really brightened up my day. Mwah! – before throwing it on his bed. He doesn't expect a response anytime soon – Kurt'll be in class for the next few hours at least.
Blaine takes a deep breath and googles 'combined drama courses NYC'. He knows all this will be worth it next year, when he's spending his evenings cuddling with Kurt in their apartment, and kissing him instead of letters.
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