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Can’t Find Myself Tonight

Rage washed through him, unchecked and magnified by everything that was already floating around in his mind and threatening to crush him. He wasn’t exactly sure what force guided him, but he marched straight back to the room she’d been staying in, the white-walled room that was even a little smaller than his bedroom with the cowboy wallpaper. It was getting cold outside, but was still a pretty day out. He wished there were snow on the ground or something, just to increase the ‘fuck you’ in what he was about to do. He pushed the window up to open it and pushed out the loose screen. Puck had broken it on purpose, leaving Finn’s mom none-the-wiser, so they could sneak out and spy on a girls’ slumber party two summers ago.

He rested his hands on the windowsill and let his head hang, dangling off his tense shoulders and pulling the frustration out just a little bit as he took two deep breaths. He really had no idea how she’d organized everything in the room, but her dad had only given her a half hour to pack and he knew there was no way she’d brought all her clothes and all her other stuff with her. She had been muttering about what items were the most necessary the entire time she was shoving different items in the bag. The bag…the bag…. he looked around and didn’t see the black bag, marked with red and white letters displaying the Cheerios logo.

So he started grabbing what he did see—mostly clothes—in his bare hands and tossing it out the window. Books, compact discs, makeup, more clothes… he chucked all of it out into the yard. Maybe if she was entirely out of the house and out his life he would be able to get some peace or at the very least, get some sleep.

He finished by stripping the blankets off the bed and tossing them out to coat the messy pile before he slammed the window shut and twisted the lock on the bottom.

Finn went back into his room and lay down on the bed, twisted on his side like he had been when he first dropped there this afternoon. It was oddly comforting, having her stuff out of the house. He wanted to feel bad for leaving it out in the cold, for leaving her out in the cold, but he couldn’t manage it. If he tried to muster up even a little bit of sympathy, the hurt and frustration and anger welled up instead. And it made him start crying all over again.

He wasn’t a bad person, right? He had thought about taking the garden hose to the entire pile, thinking if she stayed away long enough it would freeze all together. He hadn’t done it, so that meant he wasn’t a bad guy, didn’t it? He hadn’t done the worst thing he could think of.

He still wanted to. He was afraid that he might kill Puck the next time he saw him. He sighed. Yeah, going to prison probably wouldn’t be the best way to handle this without killing his mom. He tried to close his eyes and remember what he felt like this morning before all of this.

This morning, just twelve hours ago, he’d been arriving at school. Quinn had been right beside him, talking about how great sectionals were going to be and about her doctor’s appointment next week and about something she and his mom were making for dinner on Sunday. He hadn’t really been paying attention to the constant stream of words coming out of her mouth, but all of it was happy chatting. No indication that anything was going to happen.

He’d had the feeling the worst was maybe finally behind them. It had crossed his mind that winning sectionals might give glee club some credibility and would get those who thought they were better to leave them alone for a while. That’s all he needed; to be left alone for a while. They still had a little while until the baby was born and with the possibility that things would actually be okay, he finally had enough energy to plan ahead. As long as things didn’t get worse, he would be fine. He could save money and keep working and he would figure something out. He’d received a couple of invitations for summer football camps after recruiters watched him play, and even though his team hadn’t won the games they had attended, they were all promising him rewards for doing well at the camps.

In short, this morning he had felt like he was on his way. Not that he had arrived somewhere better, somewhere less stressful, than he already lived. But that someday those doors would open for him. He could leave Lima. He could go to college. He could provide for his accidental family and keep them with him as he struggled to be a success. He was toying with the idea of taking singing lessons so he could maybe try for additional scholarships in music or maybe drama. Rachel liked to think she had him talked into trying out for the spring musical. This morning, there were possibilities.

This afternoon and tonight, there was only wreckage. He was a total wreck and he knew it. This morning, he contemplated being on stage. This afternoon, he contemplated being under a car. On purpose. That was messed up. He was totally messed up. He was messed up because they had messed him up. Even if he didn’t know much, he knew it wasn’t all his fault. Still, he wished maybe he hadn’t been so quick to believe or excuse.

His mom always told him that one of the things she loved the most about him was that he trusted people. After that Darren guy had left her, she had carefully explained to Finn that you couldn’t always trust people because people would hurt you. He had to admit the lesson had a whole different meaning to him now than it probably had even this morning. How would he ever trust anyone again? Who could he trust? How should he decide who, when, and how to trust? What did it even mean to trust someone?

Can’t find myself tonight is a one-shot by JannP set in the past - which means, before Finn and Rachel got together after Sectionals. It’s a rarity in itself. The story is of one particular day in Finn’s life: the day he learned that Quinn’s baby is not his. Written from his perspective, it tells us of all the emotions he went through that awful day that had his world crashing down around. The story is is, for a lack of a better word, one thing: Epic.

It’s not truly a Finchel story as such, but she certainly gets mentioned, and thinking of her makes him break out in the only smile that day, so - let’s just leave it at that.