“Mr. Hummel, it’s so nice to meet you,” the too-blonde and too-Botoxed-for-under-forty mom says to Kurt. “Bentley is going to be a wonderful addition to your classroom. His au pair says he’s already reading at a third grade level!”
Kurt nods and smiles, used to the fibs the elite of New York keep giving to the board of Mount Hudson Academy. He expects that as soon as Bentley is alone he will steal the toy trucks from everyone and not pay attention. “Thank you, Mrs. Hightower. I hope this is going to be a great year for everyone involved.”
Bentley’s mother grins tightly and walks away. Kurt breathes a sigh of relief. The first day of school is a trying time for his patience. Maybe he should have taken his dad’s advice of returning in Ohio where money doesn’t rule everything. But New York was always his dream, whether the means of how he reached success were the same as they were when he was younger.
Next is a little girl who is tightly attached to her father’s leg. Kurt crouches down to her level. “Hi there, sweetheart, I’m Mr. Hummel. What’s your name?”
She buries her head in Daddy’s leg, so he speaks up. “This is Lydia. Sorry, she usually doesn’t get like this.”
“Oh, it’s fine, I see this all the time.” Kurt stands back up and is taken aback. He’d know that face anywhere. “Blaine, hi.”
“Hi, Kurt. Long time no see, huh?”
He nods. “How did--did you know I would be her teacher?”
“We kind of figured when we got the masterlist.”
“Yeah, Tina and I.”
Kurt remembers seeing the name on the roster list. Lydia Cohen-Anderson. He never thought, though, that it would belong to the two people he cut off years ago. “I see. You two are…” he doesn’t want to ask it.
“It’s complicated,” Blaine sighs. “Way too complicated for the first day of school.”
“So maybe around teacher conferences?” Kurt teases. Blaine doesn’t take the joke well. “I’m sorry,” Kurt adds. “It’s just--it’s been what, twelve years?”
“Thirteen since we broke up.”
Kurt thinks of his life since then. He remembers how everything was supposed to go when he made it to New York and how quickly it all fell apart; his relationship with Blaine, his Broadway career, Vogue. Teaching was never in the cards, but here he is.
“Daddy?” Lydia finally speaks up. “Can we go home now?”
Blaine shakes his head, rubbing a hand on top of her obviously inherited from him curls. “Sweetheart, we can’t. You have to stay here and learn, okay?”
“So I can be smart like you and Mama?”
“And like Mr. Hummel. He’s very smart and he can teach you everything.”
Lydia turns to stare at Kurt. “You are?” she asks.
“I absolutely am,” Kurt replies. “Now, how about we say goodbye to Daddy and we can get started on learning everything?”
She squeezes Blaine’s legs tightly. “Bye, Daddy!” she says.
Blaine chuckles. “Bye, Lydia. Be a good girl, okay?” He pries her off and smiles at Kurt. “Take care of her.”
“I’ll do my best,” Kurt says. “Tell Tina I said hi, if she’ll accept that.”
“She will. She’s not the same girl she was at eighteen.” Blaine smiles at them and walks out of the classroom. Kurt watches Lydia tentatively look around the room before she scampers to the bookcase, then he moves on to the next student and parent.