Dave Karofsky kills himself on a warm afternoon in July, right on the porch in the backyard, in front of family and friends who neither acted like family, or acted like friends. It's an easy thing. He wasn't really planning on it — because no one plans on these things, not exactly — but he does it. And that's that. He blows his fucking brains out because no one cares to listen as he's thrown back and forth between mom and dad, making soft patters and thuds against the walls.
Like a fucking ping pong ball.
Dave envies Hummel.
How easy it must be, he thinks, to have what he has. It's not perfect. He's got friends who give a shit and he walks down the hall like no one can break him, not anyone, and it becomes Dave's goal to break him.
Dave isn't gay. Fuck, he refuses to be gay.
"The fags want marriage," dad says that morning. "Disgusting."
Dave nods and repeats the words again and again and again until he believes it. Disgusting. Disgusting.
Dave doesn't know how he got into debate class; he probably took it 'cause it seemed like it doesn't take much effort, like he could easily pass with a B or something if he just sat there and pretended to care.
"Gay marriage" is written on the board in red letters.
Hummel raises his hand. "If I may?"
A sour taste fills Dave's mouth until all he can taste is lemons. When life gives you lemons, you're supposed to make lemonade.
"Fag." Dave mouths it in Hummel's direction until the other boy lowers his hand, mumbles something like a "nevermind," and averts his eyes.
Dave can feel himself starting to break Hummel, and something in him breaks, too.
"Come on, Karofsky." Azimo's voice breaks into Dave's reverie, and he blinks up, noticing the rest of the team staring at him. "Quit being such a fag."
A breath of air is kicked from his lungs. "What'd you call me?"
There's no answer, just an uncomfortable shrug, maybe a cough or two. Dave thinks he's gonna hurl.
"Nevermind." Nevermind, nevermind. Fag, fag, fag. "I'm heading home. See you."
The next morning, Dave doesn't eat breakfast, and dad doesn't even notice.
On weekends Dave is sent to his mom's.
She clucks her tongue at him, pats his head and watches him eat, and she airily says, "You look just like your father."
Don't say that. Dave winces underneath his skin.
She turns. "Hmm?"
The words stick on his tongue, to the roof of his mouth. Mom, I'm gay, mom, I think I'm gay, mom, what if I'm gay?
He coughs. "Nothing." Fag, fag, fag. Nevermind. "Nevermind."
Days pass by slowly. Hummel looks a bit more broken, a bit more worn down. Dave should feel like he's won, but he only feels like he's lost something, and he's broken too, somewhere, deep down.
Back and forth, back and forth. Like a ping pong ball.
He doesn't even listen.
She's washing dishes at the sink when she turns to him and at last, at last, "Dave, are you gay?"
And finally he breaks.
Hummel pushes him too far.
There's a moment where Dave realizes this is the end of everything he's been hiding from and holding onto.
At night he hides underneath the covers. He doesn't even sleep, he just lays there and breathes.
Hummel comes back and he's walking down the hall like he owns the place again. Dave watches him from afar, a little piece of lint on Kurt's sweater. He doesn't even matter.
No one listens. Yet still, yet still. He doesn't know if he wants them to.
There's a moment where the other boy flinches, like he's afraid of Dave. Bitterly, he realizes he's gotten what he wanted all along.
It's just like that; he begs for forgiveness and acceptance from someone he's always wanted to be, admired like a stupid fool who only knows how to break things.
"You're asking me to forgive you."
A harsh breath, maybe a crack or two on the inside. "Yes… Kurt."
"I can't… do that." There's a moment where he hesitates, as if, maybe, maybe —
But Dave gets it, like a petulant child who's just been told a very firm no. And he doesn't cry, but he doesn't smile either, and he nods like a little bobblehead on the dashboard of a car.
Of course, of course.
It's selfish, probably. He's so fucking selfish he can't even understand it —
He wants everyone to remember him. He wants everyone to feel like shit because they didn't listen to him. They didn't even care.
So the day he kills himself, his mother screams and his father stares, like he always has, right through him.
He's selfish. Always has been, never really took it into account until the day he puts a gun to his head and let's go.
Dad, what if I'm gay?
Dad, are you even listening to me?