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Leading Man

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Kurt woke up and looked around. It was dark, but there was enough faint light from the window that he could see just a little. He blinked his blurry eyes a few more times and realized that he was in a hotel room lying in a bed – he reached out and found no one else in the bed with him. His mind was foggy, but he lay still thinking. The last thing he could remember was – what was it – he was toasting his marriage with Mercedes. He rolled over and slipped the covers back and headed toward the bathroom.

When he came back out, he shielded his eyes from the bright light in the room. He found Mercedes sitting in the other bed in the room.

“Mercedes? What’s going on?” Kurt made his way back to the bed. “Can we talk about it in the dark? My head is pounding.”

“Sure. Take these first.” She handed him a bottle of water and some pain relievers. After he took them, she turned the lamp off that was on the nightstand between their beds and got back in the other bed. “Drinking so much tends to give people nasty hangovers.”

“I’ll keep that in mind,” he deadpanned. “The last thing I remember is you and I were toasting my marriage to Blaine. Why am in a hotel room with you and not with him?”

“Well, mainly because I wanted a chance to talk to you sober before you had a chance to do anything permanent like actually marry Blaine.”

“We already got married.”

“Not legally. Your dad may be authorized by the state of Indiana to perform weddings, but you and Blaine didn’t have a marriage license. So, all the two of you did was repeat words in a ceremony. Without the marriage license, you’re not officially married. The two of you will have to head to a courthouse Monday - tomorrow morning and get a marriage license and then get officially married again, either by someone at the courthouse or someone else officially eligible to perform the ceremony.”

“Oh, right. I mean I knew that. God, my head is killing me. I hope those pills do something soon. So, you still didn’t tell me what you want to talk to me about.”

“First off, why did you break up with Blaine after you moved to New York?”

“I got really busy with my new life and I ignored him and he needed me and I wasn’t there for him.”

“What does that mean? That’s not a reason for you to break up with him. It’s not even a decent reason for him to break up with you. What happened?”

“He cheated on me.”

“And by ‘cheated’, you mean something more than kissing someone else and stopping?”

“I mean he had sex with someone else.”

“And that was your fault?”

“He said it was.”

“Kurt, you are not a stupid person. Why would you believe a statement like that?”

“Why wouldn’t I? Everyone’s always told me that I’m the lucky one. That he’s too good for me. That he could have anyone he wanted.”

“Think clearly, Kurt. Have there been other guys to show interest in you?”

“Adam.”

“Tell me about Adam.”

“He was too perfect.”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean - he complimented me, he never complained about anything, he never said I should do something differently, he was always gentle…”

“I’m not liking how that makes Blaine sound.”

“What do you mean?”

“Why would you say those things made Adam too perfect? Doesn’t Blaine compliment you?”

“Not really. Well, I mean if I do something he suggested, then he will. Or if he wants…”

“Um hmm. The complaining?”

“He complains about a lot of things. I’m too flirty. I wear provocative clothing. I try to get the focus of everything on me. The list is long.”

“Okay. I’m assuming the doing things differently issue goes along with the complaining.”

“Yeah.”

“And the being gentle? I’m afraid to know the answer to that one, but let me hear it.”

“I don’t know. I mean after I got hurt in the alley, he sang to me at the hospital, but afterwards, a few days later in class he really came at me in stage combat.”

“I don’t like that, but that wasn’t really what I was asking.”

“Oh. Well, Adam always… I don’t feel comfortable answering this question. Adam and I never had sex, if that’s what you’re thinking.”

“Alright, but if you don’t feel comfortable answering it, doesn’t that say a lot in and of itself? I understand that private things are private and I won’t ask again, but I’m going to give you a couple of minutes to compare and contrast those private things in your own mind. I’ll be right back.” She got up and went to the bathroom and came back.

“Were there other guys that were interested?”

“Interested, as in asked me out?”

“Or that you caught looking at you like they thought you were hot or whatever.”

“Oh, well, Blaine always said that I was leading the guys in stage combat on, that I did things to attract attention to myself and gave the guys the impression that I was open to them pursuing me.”

“Did you?”

“No, not intentionally. Blaine is… He’s…”

“Jealous?”

“Yeah, but he also gets really upset. He confronted Elliott once and Elliott told me about it. He seemed concerned for my safety, but I told him that Blaine wasn’t abusive or anything.”

“I’m not so sure about that, Kurt.”

“What do you mean?”

“Give me a sec.” She pulled her phone out and pulled up a website. “Read through that list.”

Kurt took the phone from her. It took him a few minutes to read through the whole thing. He handed it back. “Don’t those things apply to a lot of people’s relationships?”

“Not really, Kurt. Not healthy relationships.”

“Oh.”

They sat in silence for a while. Mercedes looked up another website. She handed her phone back to him. He took it and read through the article. He held onto the phone.

“You were there. You helped with the proposal. Why now, after all this time?”

“I’m sorry, Kurt. I’ve done a lot of thinking. I tried to figure out where I dropped the ball. Things went wrong with us after your dad’s coma. I should have listened to you. I shouldn’t have pushed what I believed on you. I was a bully. You just about lost your whole world and I was upset because you were challenging what I believed.”

“You and everyone else. It wasn’t just you. I learned that what I believed was less important than everyone else.”

“I am sorry about that, Kurt. I really am. A month later, I let myself believe that Blaine was good for you. I chalked up all my reservations about him to my own jealousy. I backed off and gave you space. You changed so much when you were at Dalton. You came back different. I thought it was just you growing up and us drifting apart. It was a lot of things. I’m not going to put the blame on you.”

“At Dalton, I learned to blend in. What the bullies had failed at, the conformity required there succeeded in.”

“I got caught up with Shane, and the whole West Side Story fiasco. I tried to distance myself from the whole situation, but you got shafted just as much as I did and you didn’t have a group to turn to. I didn’t realize until after Sectionals that you let Tina convinced you to give Mike all of those lines in ‘ABC’. By then it was too late to do anything about it. I got caught up with the Sam and Shane thing.”

“Yeah.”

“I haven’t a good friend to you in a long time. You never did anything to deserve that. I am sorry. After graduation, I left for LA. I got caught up in my relationship with Sam again when I came to New York, but I should have realized then. You and Blaine can’t live together. He came to live with me and Sam.”

“We’ve never been able to live together. You’re right. We fought all the time. He has to be right about everything. He has a huge issue with any of his ideas being challenged. He pushed to get into second year classes, and then spent too much time hanging out with Sam, and whatever else he was doing, to do well. I chose my song idea for the Dance Hall dedication based on him singing with me. And even after I did that, he didn’t follow the plan. He lied to me about June Dolloway and spent a ton of time with her. He was doing poorly at mid-terms and then washed out of NYADA after our end-of-semester critiques. I was doing well and he wasn’t. He bit of more than he could chew. After everyone left at the end of May, he just couldn’t pull it together. It became unbearable with just the two of us in the loft by ourselves. I called off the wedding because all we were doing was fighting. He went back to Lima in early June.”

“Why did you want him back? You’ve broken it off with him twice and you went back to him. Kurt, he was just sleeping with Karofsky this past week. They lived together longer than just the two of you ever managed to pull off.”

“After reading that stuff, I don’t even know. I guess it’s because he’s what I know. It’s familiar. I feel lost without him around.”

“You had a gorgeous British man who really seemed to care for you and you went back to a high school boy. You said Adam was too perfect. He didn’t manipulate you or control you. That didn’t feel right to you. Kurt, honey, I think you need help. More help than I can offer.”

“Maybe. I went to therapy. The therapist said I had issues with intimacy. That I kept myself too closed off and didn’t let people close. She made me feel like everything that went wrong with Blaine was my fault. I still love him.”

“You may love him, I’m not arguing that point. But just because one therapist tells you something, doesn’t make it true. I’ve been around the two of you. That therapist hasn’t. He spent more time with Sam than he did with you. If someone had followed him around the city, I’m pretty sure that the person would have thought he was dating Sam and not you. My guess is that you went to therapy with the goal of trying to figure out how to get him back or make things work with him rather than trying to learn from your mistakes and move on.”

Kurt didn’t respond.

“Look, it’s only October. Maybe you could go back to New York and go back to the project that you had originally worked so hard on all summer. I know you put a ton of effort into writing that musical. And I know how much you loved working with Maggie and the others. You gave up your Dance Hall dedication solo spot to share the limelight with him and he stole that from you just like he took Tony. Kurt, I brought you here to give you time to think. I spent time talking to Sam last night and with what he told me and what you’ve just said, there’s a lot more to think about than I even realized. I’m going to stay here with you for at least another day. We’ll order room service, we’ll talk, you can think, and then you can make a decision.”

“A decision about what?”

“Whether you’re going to be the leading man in your own life story.”