Hey Soul Singer

Chapter 4

If they were expecting applause and congratulatory celebrations after their (sort of) win at Sectionals, the New Directions were sadly mistaken. Mr Schue proudly opened the big double doors leading into the gym after Figgins had announced their success to the whole school, and the group walked in with Rachel in front holding their trophy. The only sound in the room was Miss Pillsbury’s tentative clapping and their shoes squeaking on the polished wooden floor. The entire student body was staring at them with looks of contempt on their faces. Some of the Football jocks however were smirking at them as if they knew something big was about to go down.

The New Directions stood on the stage behind a small side table where Rachel placed the trophy and by this point Emma had stopped attempting to rally support for the group and was watching them all sympathetically, so the room was silent. Suddenly there was a loud creaking noise and the glee club members had just enough time to look up before a huge vat from the kitchen was up-ended above their heads and enough crushed ice and red food colouring to last the school a month was raining down from the rafters.

Kurt was the most used to getting slushied daily, therefore recovered fastest and managed to see Karofsky glaring at him from the sides of the stage whilst holding the rope used to tip over the slushy vat. The whole room was in uproar so no one noticed Karofsky slink out of the gym and into the connecting locker room, apart from Kurt. Mr Schue and Miss Pillsbury escorted all of the glee club members into the choir room and Emma went to get them some towels from Coach Beiste.

“I am so sorry guys, I had no idea that the students would actually behave like this! Did anyone see who it was controlling the actual vat?” Mr Schue looked at them all with pity.

“No, we didn’t because we were all too busy trying to stop our eyes from burning Mr Schue!” Rachel said, outraged. “I can’t believe they would even let us have one day celebrating our victory. Not one day! If we were the Football team we would have had an entire week celebrating our success!”

Kurt didn’t speak up because he knew that if word got out that he was the one to tell on Karofsky, there was no way his life would be worth living. Instead he just sat there, in his chair slowly getting colder and colder while his glee mates just kept getting louder and louder. Kurt began to see red, due to either anger, hypothermia or most likely a combination of the two. Suddenly he snapped. An accumulation of the past few weeks without performing and now this was enough to send Kurt over the edge, and his outburst was enough to send the rest of the room into an eerie silence.

“I have had it with this school! Sure no one sees that we are being bullied regularly for being in glee club, but at least you are all left pretty much alone apart from that! I have to put up with dumpster tosses and locker pushes more than once every single day because of who I am. You don’t know what that is like for me so stop making such a fuss over a simple slushy!” Rachel took this as her chance and knew what she had to say before she could stop and think about the consequences.

“Kurt, not everything is about you! You need to stop thinking about yourself for just a second and start thinking about the team.” Kurt looked at her with a gaze that could burn a hole in solid metal.

“I have done nothing but think about the team for the past two weeks! Maybe if you can’t at least try to see things from my perspective for once, I shouldn’t let myself get hurt by staying around you all the time.”

“Fine! If you truly feel that way you should just leave and not come back.” Rachel replied with an equally hard glare. The rest of the New Directions and Mr Schue looked at Rachel with horrified expressions. Kurt, leave glee club? It was unthinkable, and yet here Rachel was actually trying to make it happen.

“Now Rachel, I don’t think that –” Mr Schue tried to interrupt and resolve the situation, but Kurt was too emotional to think rationally and just left the room, leaving in his wake a row of gobsmacked teenagers. He brushed past Miss Pillsbury at the door and didn’t take the towel she held out for him, choosing instead to run down the hallway to find a secluded area for a moment alone.

Once Kurt had managed to calm himself down in a faraway alcove, he stalked back to his locker to pick up one of the many changes of clothes he always has in there for after receiving his slushy of the day. Just as he had stopped outside the familiar metal container, Kurt felt a hand on the small of his back seconds before he was pushed into the row of lockers with full force. His head whipped around and saw Karofsky stare at him before rounding the corner, no doubt into his precious locker-room sanctuary. Kurt did not know what came over him but dropped his Marc Jacobs satchel and ran after the bully.

He slammed the door to the changing rooms open and sure enough Karofsky was in there. Alone.

“What the hell is wrong with you Karofsky?” Kurt yelled at the intimidating footballer.

“What’s wrong with me is you, fairy boy. I don’t want you and your gayness anywhere near me,” the bully replied with a sneer.

“What, are you afraid that I am going to turn you gay too? Well I’m sorry to disappoint you, but that’s not how it works!” Kurt had no idea where this newfound courage had come from but he hoped that it wouldn’t fail him now.

“Don’t test me Hummel. I don’t want to be like you.” Karofsky leaned in towards Kurt menacingly and brandished one of his fists in his face. Kurt, however did not back down. Not this time.

“What are you going to do? Beat me up some more? Well I hate to be the one to tell you this but it hasn’t been working so far has it? You can’t just punch the gay out of me and sadly I can’t do anything to change your stupidity!”

Throughout this exchange, as Kurt got braver, Karofsky’s expression became more and more strained and if he was preventing himself from reacting to Kurt’s words. However, he couldn’t hide his true colours any longer and leant in towards Kurt, grabbed his head and pulled him into a rough kiss. Kurt quickly pulled back after he recovered from the shock, and managed to move out of the larger boy’s grasp as he leant in to kiss Kurt for a second time. After a few seconds, Karofsky seemed to realise what he had done and his face changed from one of shock to one of complete hatred.

“You had better not tell anyone about this Hummel. You tell anyone and you are dead. Understand?” After seeing Kurt nod shakily, Karofsky fled from the locker room, leaving Kurt to slide down the wall and huddle into the corner trying to disappear completely.

As Kurt walked up the path to his front door, he didn’t notice his Dad’s car parked in the driveway because he couldn’t see clearly through the tears in his eyes. He slammed the door behind him which alerted Burt to his son’s presence before running down to his and Finn’s shared room. For some reason, his soulmate had picked now to start singing a mournful acoustic version of Katy Perry’s Teenage Dream, which just lead to Kurt feeling even more depressed because he could no longer imagine that his soulmate would want anything to do with him after what happened in that locker room.

Burt walked past the door to the basement and heard gentle sobs coming from the other side. He hurriedly swung open the door and rushed down the stairs, to Kurt’s horror.

“Dad, slow down, your heart… Wait what are you even doing here?” Kurt managed to say, broken up by sniffles as he tried to hide his sorrow.

“It doesn’t matter why I’m here, the only thing that matters is the fact that you came storming into this house and then ran down here crying your eyes out. What’s going on kid?” Burt wrapped an arm around Kurt’s shoulders and Kurt buried his face in his father’s chest for support while he cried.

After a little while, Kurt backed away from his father and took his hand before retelling the events of the day starting with the mass slushy and ending with Karofsky’s threat, but he left out the locker push and kiss. Burt could tell that there was something that Kurt was not telling him, but decided not to press the matter for now.

“How long has this been going on Kurt, and is it just the slushies or is there more to it than that?” Burt knew his son had not been himself lately but he needed to know the details so he could decide on what to do to help him.

“It’s been going on for most of the year Dad, I’m sorry for not telling you but I had to make sure your heart was okay, and I didn’t want to stress you out.” Kurt looked incredibly guilty, and Burt could not feel anger towards him because the kid was only doing what he thought was right. “Also, it’s not always just a slushy. Sometimes they throw me into the dumpsters out the back by the kitchens and ruin my clothes, or they shove me into lockers when they walk by me.” It was hard for Burt not to get mad at this information, but he managed to at least appear calm for Kurt’s benefit.

“Well I’m just glad you told me kid, so now we can get through this. Together.”

The next day, Kurt was feeling a little happier because he managed to tell his father what he had been going through without causing a heart attack. Even with the rejection by the glee club still fresh in his mind, this was a huge weight off Kurt’s shoulders and he was just glad that everything was out in the open. Well, almost everything. Kurt was walking down one of the many, drab and colourless corridors with a small smile on his face, which did not go unnoticed by the other students in the vicinity. Kurt opened up his locker and began to grab all of the books that he needed for the day ahead.

This time, as Kurt was slammed into the locker, his head caught the open door and a long cut on his forehead began to bleed. When Kurt turned around, he saw Karofsky’s face and quickly turned back to look at himself in the small mirror he had mounted to the inside of the locker door. He watched the red droplets snake down his face, towards his eye for a moment before grabbing some wadded up tissue and heading to the nurse’s office.

After some antiseptic gel was applied, Kurt was told he was going to be picked up by his dad in case he had a concussion. The look on Burt’s face when he arrived said it all. He already knew what the cause of Kurt’s injury was and there was no way that the boy was going to get away with not telling him every second of what happened. Burt managed not to ask questions until they were back at the house, sat on the sofa and with some gauze bandaged onto Kurt’s head.

“I hope you know that these bandages will ruin my hair! I’m not letting anyone see me until it is gone and I can get to my products.” Kurt was trying to lighten the mood a little, but the stony look on Burt’s face said that he was not getting off this lightly.

“All right Kurt. You tell me everything, and I mean everything right now, or so help me I will confiscate your next edition of that Vogue thing you like so much.”

“Alright first of all, Vogue is not a thing! It a magazine full of inspiration and fabulousness.” Kurt let out a long sigh. “So I was just getting my books from my locker when Karofsky, who I was telling you about yesterday, shoved me and my head must have got caught on the door or something sharp. That’s it really, but I want to tell you something else as well. Yesterday, after I tried standing up to Karofsky in the locker room, he may have, sort of, kissed me.”

“HE DID WHAT?” Burt couldn’t bear to think of what Kurt must be feeling and so did the only thing he knew how to do. Protect his son. “That’s it. You are not going back to school for the rest of this week, instead we are going to look around a private school with a no bullying policy that is strictly enforced in Westerville. I’ll phone them up later and arrange a tour and talk with the Principal.”

“Oh dad, no. I can’t just go to a new school. I won’t have any of my friends there. There might not even be a glee club that I could join!” Kurt looked horrified, but the idea of a no bullying policy did sound extremely interesting.

“Well you might not have a glee club here is they don’t let you back in after that stunt Rachel pulled yesterday.” Kurt hadn’t thought of this. “Besides I already know that there is a glee club, because I was talking about Dalton Academy whose glee club you tied with in your last competition. You don’t have to decide to go there if you don’t want to but a least go with me and check the place out?”

Kurt was distraught. He had to choose between a life of pain and daily torture but also his friends and familiarity, and the possibility of protection due to this no bullying policy and, from what he heard from his dad, an awesome new glee club. But could he really be happy in a new setting, two hours from home and surrounded by people he did not know?

“Fine, I will go and visit this Academy with you, if you promise never to threaten my Vogue magazines again.”

“Deal” said Burt with a huge smile on his face as he wrapped his son in his arms once again.

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