Struck By Love

The Most Important Story

A few months later

I'm so excited! It's here, the Day with capital D! The day my literary magazine is being sold! I honestly can't believe it, just about two months ago, it was all just a dream. An idea how to get into Northwestern and I had to work so hard to make this all happen. Yes, I blackmailed a few people... but it was all for the greater good, wasn't it? It was all worth it.

Because look at me now. I'm in the journalism classroom, looking at all the printed copies of my magazine on the table. Malerie is here with me too, and we're just about to go outside, and sell it. Sell everything.

I've been waiting for this day for so long.

Malerie and I had made a huge green wallpaper with LITERARY MAGAZINE written on it and I'm going to make sure no one makes SHITERARY MAGAZINE from it as someone did with the submission box. We'll also have to bring a table out in front of the school... and two chairs.

I seriously can't wait for the big moment! I know I've already been accepted to Northwestern, but that doesn't make me any less excited and... and nervous. Nervous? Yeah, I guess that's what I feel right now.

Twenty minutes later and Malerie and I are already sitting outside, with the Literary Magazines on the table next to us. So far? No success. People have been going around for more than ten minutes and all we got was just a few dirty looks.

I guess I was right. Everybody hates me. Even Blaine isn't here. Where is he?

"What's this?" Some jackass comes to our table and almost spits on me.

"It's a magazine." Malerie answers, but he's already leaving, laughing. It's sickening to see how people treat us. All we want to do is sell a few copies and let them see how much work we've put into this.

"Dick." Another guy calls me as he empties a chips packet onto the table and throws the empty packet right into my face.

The higher your cloud, the further your rain falls.

"It's full of literary stuff!" Malerie tries. "Three dollars."

But when it rains, it pours.

After two hours, Malerie and I just give up and return to the journalism classroom. Everything seems to be easier when I'm there. If only Blaine was here too.

Honestly, just a few people bought the magazine. And I was very surprised to see that it were the Glee kids. Finn and Rude Rachel bought two copies, probably because they felt sorry for me, or I don't know. Maybe they want to be friends and help me. Mercedes (or what was her name) also bought a copy and so did Mr. Schuester. The wheelchair kid – Artie – bought one too and he smiled at us, saying that he can't wait to see what I've written there.

And the only student who wasn't from Glee club and bought the magazine was some guy, and he just ripped it to shreds right in front of my face.

The Glee club has been quite good by the way. I didn't think I'd say this, but I enjoy going there after school and just relax in the chair, next to Blaine and sing. I still prefer writing, but singing isn't that bad either.

"What are we gonna do with all of these?" Malerie asks and snaps me back into reality. We're putting the boxes full of Literary Magazine copies on the desks in the classroom. And she's right. We haven't sold more than six copies, what are we gonna do with the rest?

And then I get the idea. "I'll donate them to my grandma's home. I'll call them and they should send someone here after school to come and pick them up and pass them out." I can't even smile. "At least they'll be read... or chewed."

Suddenly Malerie turns to me. "I'm so sorry things didn't work out the way that you wanted them to." She says.

"Me, too." I tell her and smile sadly as I put another five or six copies into the box on the desk. "But at least I got into Northwestern." I say then. "Blaine filled out an application to a music college near Northwestern and we're waiting for his acceptance letter so we can move out together." I smile to myself.

Malerie nods and smiles as she puts her bag over her shoulder and grabs her camcorder. I look at her... and finally ask something I've never asked before.

"Malerie?" I say and she looks at me. "Why do you film everything?" I ask. "I mean, I'm sure you don't want to remember... everything." I say as I sit on the desk behind me.

"What isn't worth remembering?" Malerie answers with a question. "With good memories come bad memories. And I've got a lot of both." She looks at her camcorder. "At least this way I can fast forward through all the bad stuff. A counselor once told me that it doesn't matter if you're stuck in the past or if you try to forget the past. What matters is what you do in the present. That's why I just try to soak it up as much as possible."

I smile and nod. I've never heard Malerie say something so... not dumb. Clever even. Thoughtful. "I think you just found something to write about." I say to her and she smiles at me.

The bell suddenly rings. "I gotta go." Malerie says. "If I'm late for the bus, the driver said he'd make me ride in the trunk. It is not fun." She says as she goes to the door. I hop down off the table.

Then she stops. "Carson," she says and I turn around to look at her. "Are we... friends?" She asks hesitantly. She just keeps looking at me as if she wasn't sure what to think.

"I think we're best friends, Malerie." I say and it's honest. As honest as I can be. I really see a great friend in Malerie. The best friend I'd possibly ever had.

She kisses her fingers and nods. "Cool." She says. I think she's never had a best friend, just like I've never had one. It's a surprise for both of us.

The door closes after her and I'm alone. I sigh and sit to the table, taking one copy with me. I open it and smile at what I have accomplished. I successfully published a literary magazine, filled with the thoughts, concerns, hopes and imaginations of my jaded high school peers. For the first time in my life, I should be happy. But there's one thing that's missing. I sigh. My boyfriend.

Suddenly the door opens and said boyfriend runs to me and almost falls over the table. I turn around to face him and sigh again.

"Where have you been?" I ask him and fold my arms on my chest.

"I'm sorry," he says and closes his eyes. "I wanted to come after you stopped selling, but my mom wanted me to buy something and... well, I'm here now."

I slowly unfold my arms and stand up. "Why did you want to come after we were selling?" I ask him. "You... you didn't want to buy anything, did you?" I say, my smile fading. Wait, I wasn't even smiling.

He nods. "I... I just couldn't buy it when I knew about the blackmailing. I'd buy it if I didn't know or if you didn't need the blackmail so many people, but I just... I couldn't." He says.

I sigh loudly and close my eyes. Of course he wouldn't want to buy it. He didn't agree with the whole Clovergate operation right from the beginning, why should he be happy about it now?

"I never..." he continues and I look up curiously. "I never told you why I didn't agree with it." He said slowly and quietly.

"What are you talking about?" I ask. "I thought you didn't agree because you thought it wasn't right, and well, I think it's not right too, but I was desperate back then."

"That's the first reason, yes." He says and I go closer to him. I take his hand.

"What's the second reason?" I ask him gently and place my other hand on his shoulder. This had to be serious, he was never this silent.

"I..." He starts. "I was... blackmailed once." He whispers and my eyes widen. "At my old school. That was the reason I left and went to Clover."

"Oh God, Blaine," I whisper and then I wrap my arms around him. And I hold him, I just hold him. It doesn't matter what did he have to do, or who blackmailed him, how and when, I don't care, all I care about is that I'm here with him and he's here with me now and that I hold him in my arms and that I will never, ever let anything like that happen to him again. And okay, maybe I care, but only because I want to make them pay for whatever they did to my sweet boy. "It's okay," I say as he nods against my shoulder. "We'll go to my grandma and get the books there ourselves and we're both going to be alright, okay?" I say and pull away slightly so I can look into his eyes.

He smiles and nods again. "I'd like that, yeah." He whispers and I smile. I really smile. Then I lean closer and kiss him. Gentle at first, but then it's more and more passionate. Our fingers touch and I put my other arm around his shoulders. He returns the hug and it feels amazing. It's like solace for both of us.

"Now come on, it's gonna start raining soon." I smile and then we start putting the boxes full of Literary Magazines into my car. The wind starts blowing a bit and I look up at the sky. There are a few black clouds. I hope it won't start raining until we get at least to the Clover Assisted Living Home.

When we get into my grandma's home with all the printed copies, we go to the reception table. The receptionist takes all my magazines gratefully and thanks me for being so nice. I almost tell her I'm doing this just because I sold almost nothing, but I stop myself and just smile back.

Then we go to my grandma's room, hand in hand, smiling. I open the door and find grandma in the bed. She's sleeping. I smile and come closer to her. I sit down and Blaine sits right next to me.

It's a scarf blanket.

I remember grandma saying this to me while she was knitting something. I was telling her about everything good and bad at school, and then noticed the thing she was knitting in her hands. I asked her what it was, and that was her answer. A scarf blanket.

I smile at the memory and take Blaine's hand.

I clear my throat and open the Literary Magazine. At first I want to read to my grandma something I wrote there, but then I get a much better idea.

He used to be such a happy boy. I remember my grandma saying to me. He used to write me stories.

I remember the first story he ever wrote me.

Once upon a time, there was a boy.

Then it became, once upon a time there was a boy who wanted to fly. And it just got better and better over time. Now I never did find out whether the boy got to fly.

And then it suddenly comes to me.

I have one more story to add. The most important one.

I take a deep breath and squeeze Blaine's hand. "To grandma," I start and carefully take her hand. "Once upon a time, there was a boy who flew."

And she smiles.

About ten minutes later, my mom comes into the room. She smiles when she sees me with Blaine and sleeping grandma, all holding hands.

Blaine and I stand up and go to my mom. "She's sleeping," I say and smile at my grandma. My mom nods. "I can take you home if you want. Blaine's sleeping at our house tonight and I'm driving us home anyway." I tell her.

"Yeah, okay," she answers. "That's fine by me." She smiles and then we all leave grandma's room. When we get into the car, it's not raining yet, but we see a lightning. It was pretty close to our school.

After another few minutes, it starts raining. And it rains and rains, all the way home.

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