Pavarotti was Kurt's friend, one of his best friends. Yes it may seem stupid or desperate, yes it may make it seem like Kurt has no one but that isn't the case. Well maybe it is stupid to be this upset over a bird that he had only had for about two months but he liked the bird. How he sang along with him while he did his skincare routine or his soft yellow feathers, or his cute, little beak. He was adorable. And the bird listened to him which was more than what Kurt could say about anyone else. Even though the bird really didn't have a choice in whether to listen to Kurt talk about his problems with Blaine or missing his friends, Kurt liked to think that the bird listened to him because he wanted to, not because he had to.
Which was why it hurt Kurt so much when the bird died.
Kurt usually woke up to the sound of Pavarotti happily chirping in his cage. He would sit up in his dorm room and would smile across the room at the bird before telling him good morning. It was nice, having something constant in the morning, something to look forward to.
So it came as a surprise to him when he didn't wake up to the bird singing. He opened his eyes and listened for the bird but he heard nothing but silence. He sat up and looked across the room to the table where he usually kept the bird's cage and didn't see the bird anywhere inside. He admittedly sat up and rushed over to the table and looked inside to see that the bird was laying on the floor of his cage.
This wasn't like the first time when Kurt thought that the bird was dying but Blaine had told him he was just molting, no this was different. He gently poked at the bird to see if it would wake up but nothing happened. Kurt's eyes welled up with tears as the fate of Pavarotti sunk in.
The bird was dead.
Kurt walked into the Warblers' room, wearing all black and watched as all eyes turned to him. He was afraid that they would all be angry with him, since their mascot was in his care when he died but thankfully they didn't blame him and let him sing "Blackbird" as a tribute to the bird.
He didn't know whether he was being too dramatic or not, what with the song and his outfit but Pavarotti was special to him. Sure the Warblers were upset too about losing their mascot but they couldn't compare to how he was feeling.
After his performance and Warblers practice he packed up his stuff for the weekend and left Dalton to go back home. He drove for three straight hours all the way back to Lima in silence. No music, he didn't call his dad or Finn to tell them that he was on his way home, nothing. He embraced the quiet car and only heard the muffled sounds of the cars passing by from outside and the sound of his sniffling as silent tears rolled down his cheeks.
He felt numb. It not only felt like he lost a friend, it also felt like he had lost something more. Or like something he had lost a long time ago came back through the bird and now that the bird was gone, that thing was gone again too. It didn't make much sense to him but he allowed it because he was mourning and sometimes when you're upset you think irrational things.
He arrived at his house and admittedly went up to his room ignoring his family's greetings. He didn't try to hide that he was upset but he didn't feel like being around all of them at the time. He just wanted to be alone in his room while laying in his bed with the lights off. He wanted to cry, which was abnormal for him but he didn't want anyone to see him in the state that he was in.
He shut the door softly to assure everyone that he wasn't mad and put his stuff down before taking off his shoes and crawling into his bed, not even bothering to take his clothes off. Up until now he had been trying to keep himself together, trying to keep his tears at a minimum as he had been driving and crying and driving don't mix together. But now that he was in the safety of his bed he let the tears take over him and his body shook as he sobbed.
It was just a bird, why was he so upset? It was just a bird that wasn't even his, a bird that he hadn't had for very long. It was just… a bird.
That's what anyone else may have thought if they knew that that was the reason he was so upset but it wasn't just a bird to him. It wasn't just a friend. It was his mom.
You may think that that sounds crazy because surely Pavarotti wasn't Kurt's mom and Kurt knew that. It was just that Pavarotti dying reminded him of when his mom died.
When Kurt was little he didn't have any friends except a pet bird that his mom had gotten him when she learned about his social life. He had named the bird Starling because he thought the bird was elegant and graceful and that the name fit. Starling was his best friend. Just like with Pavarotti, Kurt would wake up every morning to the sound of the bird singing. He would greet the bird and would let him out of his cage so he could stretch his wings as Kurt got dressed.
Starling would go everywhere with him. They would eat their meals together, watch TV together, play outside together, the only thing they didn't do together was go to school but Starling would always be there, waiting for Kurt when he got home. They were inseparable and his dad thought that it wasn't good for Kurt to spend so much time with the bird but his mom said that it was good for him because it made him happy.
When Kurt was five, his mom died of cancer. He didn't really understand it, just that his mom was gone. When he asked where his mom was his dad told him that he was up in the sky and that she could still see him. Kurt was sad that he would never see his mom again but he was glad that she could still see him and sometimes he would look up at the sky and would smile and wave.
One day Kurt got the idea that if his mom was up in the sky then he could write her a letter and if he gave it to Starling then he could deliver the letter to his mom. So he wrote the letter, telling his mom that he missed her and that he was doing okay before taking Starling out of his cage and tying the letter around her foot. He then opened his bedroom window and let Starling fly out. He watched her as she flew out beyond the trees and disappeared. He was going to miss her while she was gone but he thought that she would come back. She didn't.
Starling was gone for a week when his dad asked him where she was. Kurt had explained what he had done and thought that his dad would be proud of him for having such a good idea. But his dad just gave a sad sigh and rubbed his head before explaining that Starling wasn't coming back. Kurt didn't understand anything his father was telling him and became angry with him for not having faith that his bird would return to him. He started crying and ran up to his room, slamming the door shut before laying on his bed and crying himself to sleep. He couldn't believe that his dad would even think that his bird wouldn't come back to him. They were best friends and Starling would miss Kurt and then would return home.
Soon after Kurt's argument with his dad, he realized that his dad was right. It had been a month and Starling still hadn't returned. And Kurt thought to himself that of course the bird wouldn't come back to him, best friends or not because it was a bird and birds weren't meant to be confined in cages as pets. Yes, maybe some birds were pets but it wasn't meant to be that way. So he was upset because now not only was his mom gone but now his friend was gone and all who had left was his dad, who he loved but who also didn't understand him like the other two did.
And that's why he was so upset about Pavarotti because he reminded him of not only his mom but of Starling, two things that he loved that he had lost in the past. All the memories of him and his mom and of him and Starling were unlocked, pushed to the front of his mind and he couldn't put them back in place as much as he wanted to.
Someone knocked on his door and he told them to come in. It was Finn asking him if he was okay. He said he was fine, even though he wasn't.
Finn asked if it was anything to do with Blaine and Kurt was relieved to be able to truthfully say no because all his problems had been about Blaine lately.
Then his brother asked if someone was bullying him and offered to beat them up but Kurt said no.
Finn asked him what he was so upset about and Kurt told him it was nothing for him to worry about.
Finn asked him if he could come out from underneath his blanket so that he could see his face and Kurt wiped at his tears in a last minute attempt to hide that he had been crying. He didn't do a very effective job but he was done crying for the moment. He lifted the blanket of his face and saw Finn grinning at him with two mugs in his hands.
Finn told him that he had made them warm milk since Kurt made it for him whenever he was upset and warned Kurt that it may not be as good as his but Kurt accepted the cup and thanked him anyway.
Kurt invited Finn to sit down on his bed with him and told him to tell him how the New Directions were doing and Finn told him that they were trying to write original songs for Regionals, knowing that Kurt was loyal to the glee club and that he wouldn't go and tell the Warblers their plans.
And Kurt was just happy to have a distraction from thinking about his day. He was happy to hear about the friends he now had and how they were happy.
Kurt laid his head on his brother's shoulder and Finn wrapped his arm around Kurt's waist and hugged him, not pressuring him into talking about what was upsetting him but being there for support. It was nice for both of them.
Kurt spent his weekend hanging out with Finn and Puck, watching them as they played video games while he read his Vogue magazines. He tried his best to keep his mind off of his birds and his mom and sometimes he would drift into thoughts about them but he would quickly come back to reality and would push the thoughts away.
When his dad and Carol had asked if he was okay when he went down for breakfast he had told them he was fine and that he had just been tired the previous night. It was a complete lie because he was fine for the moment being and he had been tired the night before, it just wasn't the complete truth. But they didn't pressure him into saying anymore because they knew how hard the work at Dalton was and wanted him to be able to relax for the weekend.
He went back to Dalton on Monday. It was an okay day, it would've been a bad day if it wasn't for Blaine wanting to sing a duet with him at Regionals. And then starting to design a casket for Pavarotti when Blaine had come in and started talking to him about their song and then had kissed him. The kiss was good. It made him happy that Blaine now felt the same way that Kurt felt about him.
They had lost Regionals to the New Directions. Kurt was happy for them but it felt like he had been losing a lot lately. The next day he had gone with Blaine to bury Pavarotti and to say some words. Blaine asked him if it reminded him of his mom's funeral and even though Kurt didn't remember much of that day he said yes. Because it reminded him of his mom, of Starling, of the past.
But he couldn't dwell back there. This was the present, the new Kurt with a new, loving family, and new, loving, human friends and now he had a new, handsome, loving boyfriend. And all that was left was the future. But he would never forget about them, his mom and his birds.