Chapter 2

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The first thing I did when I got back to my dorm was take a long time to think. Sure, my thread had been strained before but I always wanted to wait before it snapped. Many people will be surprised that I can talk about it so logically. I'm a very logical person, dealing with feelings is not my forte. Which actually explains a lot.

The point is, is that I have made complete peace with it. Well mostly, I'm still terrified right now. Which would actually explain the beating heart too.

At this point I would typically write notes to help me calm down and center my thoughts. Usually I couldn't get past the first one, but this time I wrote all fourteen easily.

I spread them around me in the shape of a flower. I put on my favorite white dress, and redid my makeup. I had cried away some of my mascara. I was surprised, I didn't remember crying.

The rope in my closet set up nicely with one of the pipes in my ceiling. I tied it around my neck, with a knot I had taken time to memorize, and felt it scratch me a little. I was about to tighten to the cord when I did a last minute emotions evaluation.

I was ready, not nervous or sad. I wasn't happy to die, but I realized that I had to do this, there was no reason not to anymore. My fist tightened, ready to pull, around the rope. Then, in an action that saved my life, my foot grazed a note. The simple action forced me to look down and see who it was.

Finn Hudson

He was my first love, before Rachel. He loved me, respected me, cared about me. Despite everything I had said or done, the feeling was really mutual. I really alway had been carrying his baby. He was dead now, and how was I honoring his memory if I didn't at least protect his girl.

I had no idea where she was, or what she was doing, or who she was with. Probably on Broadway, I had cut off contact after Fanny Brice. But Broadway was a hard place, and someone needed to be there for her.

I had told them to leave the letter at his grave. Why couldn't I do it myself? Why could I never be there? Finn Hudson was dead, and I never went to his funeral, or his glee club memorial, or anything! What was my excuse again? Finals? Didn't we establish that grades didn't matter? I couldn't die without visiting his grave at least once, and making sure Rachel was okay. I loosened the rope. You only live once, might as well start now. I thought grudgingly.

The rope was burned, along with thirteen of the notes. The fourteenth, Finn's, I added to.

I promise I will protect her, I won't die until she's safe. I promise. We both know that I'm trustworthy by now.

It was rushed, and not in my neatest script, but it was sufficient enough for him. He always preferred the simple things, though he was not simple himself.

I grabbed a plane ticket to Lima, Ohio, ready to face my past for the first time in four years. College would be here when I got back, this was more important. This, I thought, had always been more important.

----

It was raining when I arrived. Typical Ohio. Though, I had to admit, it quite set the mood for what I planned on doing.

The grave yard was small, quaint with several drowned flowers on each grave, and for one Rebecca Goldstein, several stacked rocks.

I pulled out my umbrella and walked through the grave yard, slipping every now and then on the slick mud.

Finally I found a sickeningly new marble stone, with three stacked stones (I presumed from Rachel, maybe puck?) and several flowers, none looking extremely new.

Finn Hudson, it said in clean script. I put the umbrella over the grave, it was more important that it didn't get corroded, than that I didn't get wet. I placed my envelope over the grave gently.

"I was always awful to you." I whispered. "I'm going to make it up to you, because I'll be able to treat her right, you'll be able to know that I can treat her right." I began to cry. "Oh god, Finn, I've changed since high school, I'm not that bitchy girl anymore, please know that I can treat her right. I will treat her right, oh god please trust me. Please. I knew I screwed up, I do that, but I love her. At the very least I'll make sure she's with someone who can take care of her. Finn, you can trust me." The sobs came and my entire body shook. I felt the pain came from more than just my heart. It came from everywhere I ever pressed a knife to. It came from every single burn scar. It came from every belt scar that my father inflicted on me. The tears stopped suddenly, but my dry sobs echoed through the rain around the small, dirty graveyard, in the middle of nowhere. "I've done a pretty shitty job of loving her, I will change Finn, I promise. I'm so, so, sorry." I adjusted the envelope, left my umbrella, I sprung up from my uncomfortable squatting position and headed back to the airport, pretending that never happened. I'm good at that. Disgustingly good. But I swear as I left I felt a big hand ghost through mine, and grasp it, if only for an instant.

I didn't notice, unfortunately, a station wagon pulling in with one buttery Mr. Shuester. Like he did every Wednesday to replace the flowers he bought last week. He had brought his son along this week, to regale with tales of the quarterback.

As his son ran around the boyish young man took the old flowers put them in a plastic bag, to be dried by Emma, and said a few words. Usually 'I miss you', or 'you were like a son to me'. He wiped a few stray tears and turned around to leave not even noticing the umbrella or the envelope.

His son did. His son, without knowing any better took the envelope. He hid it and dropped it in the car under some seats do be discovered, much later, by his father.

Much, much farther away, I stepped on to a plane, with a ticket that cost me the rest of my money.

I was not about to let my mom donate money to The Quinn Charitable Trust Foundation yet. Without noticing it I felt a snapped string slowly pull itself back together, with a new goal to achieve in sight. The plane took off and I pulled on my seatbelt.

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