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Only A Name

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“It’s only a name,” Burt Hummel always told his son, for as long as he could remember; the makings of a future speech that would eventually be heard by billions.

“It’s not homeowners insurance. It’s not a credit card statement. It’s not DNA coding for different traits. It’s not a feeling. It’s undefinable and ethnocentric. It’s bordering on mystical in an overall scientific world, and we put way too much stock into it.”

Bedtime stories of dinosaurs and talking anthropomorphic creatures was all but foreign in the Hummel house. Nothing else mattered. Only the cause.

Kurt had no siblings. He had no mother. The closest thing he had was a glimpse of his father’s wrist, a faded name that Kurt only once saw but couldn’t read since he was too young to comprehend the written word.

The outside world always conflicted with what his father said but Kurt always listened. Burt Hummel was always right. He always did right by his son.

“It’s just a little name that defines people and consumes people,” he’d continue to say, often tracing Kurt’s then bare left wrist. “It gives you expectation and tells you who you need to be, but nobody can do that but you.”

The older Kurt got, the more his wrist began to periodically burn with the beginnings of the formations of dark etchings, much like an ordinary tattoo. The sensations got more intense the closer Kurt got to puberty, the lines more defined until he was about 12 when the words finally completed, black and stark against his pale skin.

It wasn’t long after that Burt Hummel bought his son a cuff to match his own, securing it to his wrist for the rest of his adolescent life, telling him to forget the name.

But no matter what Kurt believed in, or how much in it he did; no matter how much time had passed since he’d gotten that short moment alone to admire the cursive writing of the name, tracing his fingernail across the smarting letters.. Kurt could never, ever forget.

Blaine Anderson.