Kurt picked the package addressed to him up off of the front porch and eyed it curiously as he brought it up to his room. He was glad he was home alone; because he had an overwhelming feeling that this box held all the answers he had been searching for. He took some scissors from his desk draw and slid them over the tape covering the cardboard lid. There were a few items inside including a letter. Kurt left the letter for last. He picked up the wedding topper that was stolen from him, his fingers traced over the woman, whose veil had been snapped off in apparent anger. He placed it gingerly beside the box on his bed and picked up something else, a picture; the glee picture from one of the yearbooks in the library. He remembered flipping through these defiled pictures with his fellow members, this one had no graffiti, and Kurt's eyes welled up with tears. He had cared; he had cared all the way back when yearbooks came out in sophomore year. Kurt held the picture close to his heart, and then set it down next to the wedding topper. Next was a CD. Kurt wasn't scared to play the tape, he knew the thing he would dread the most would be written in that letter, not read to him on a CD. He placed the disk into his stereo, hit play, and sat down hard on his down comforter. There was static at the beginning, but then Kurt heard the first few bars of a familiar song.
You disappear with all your good intentions And all I am is all I could not mention Like who will bring me flowers when it's over And who will give me comfort when it's cold
Don't ever say goodbye
I'm only human
I'm only human
I'm only human
And Kurt was crying, crying harder than he'd ever cried before, because that song had confirmed every suspicion he'd ever had about that boy, and every assumption was blown out of the water. Kurt's face was covered with his regret and with the shame of fleeing from what could have been so beautiful, but more than that, the song gave him strength. It gave him the strength to read that letter; to read all of it.
I'm only human
I'm only human
I'm only human
Those lines reverberated in Kurt's mind as him numbly reached for the piece of paper that was obviously labored over, for there were lines crossed out and smudges of ink covering the paper.
I never meant to hurt you. Which I guess sounds really clichéd but it's true. If anything I wanted to protect you, but Kurt, I wasn't built like you. You're so brave, and I'm scared. I'm scared of my parents, of my friends, of rejection, oh god rejection. That plays a big part in this letter, Kurt, but I'll get to that later.
Well, I guess you'll be wondering why I'm writing you this letter, well Kurt, I was afraid to admit this before, and I kind of am now, but I guess I'll just say it. I am- was in love with you. You did things to me, Kurt, things I didn't understand, well, not until I kissed you, which I know you didn't appreciate, but that kiss got me through a lot of stuff, like you moving to that fancy school. I would just think of you and my sick fantasy where, you know, you loved me… loved me back.
I am a bad person. I'm inconsiderate and I've hurt a lot of people, mostly you Kurt. Remember when you were in elementary school and everyone around you had a crush on the opposite sex? And I bet you felt just like me. Wrong. Because who you liked was a boy, a boy who played on the monkey bars with you, or dared you to eat worms. That's when I liked my first boy, Kurt. Did you like someone back then? I bet you did. Well, anyway, I was scared of what I was feeling, much like I was with you. So I pushed him, I teased him; I thought if he thought I hated him, he'd never think I liked him. And it worked. He moved, Kurt. I made a boy move because I was scared of liking him, and I was happy. I never felt wrong again. I embraced heterosexuality, well, until you came along, Kurt.
You were beautiful, you are beautiful. And I have to say I am going to miss you. Oh, I shouldn't say that, not yet, not until you know everything. Do you know how much I loved hearing your name? Your name comforted me, even when it came harshly, like when the boys would say "Oh, we slushied Hummel real good today," I join and laugh, but I didn't feel right, you know, Kurt? I never liked calling you Hummel. It sounds wrong. I like Kurt. I liked you.
Now, I guess I'll explain the things I'm going to send you. The glee picture was the earliest, so we'll start with it. It's from one of the school library's yearbooks. I tore it out before any of my friends—or whatever, could touch them. I thought you'd like that. A picture of your actual friends. See, I can be selfless. Well, not anymore. I was capable. Oh, there I go with past tense again.
The wedding topper, I guess, was about love. It was a reminder of how much you cared about your parents, and Finn, and how much they cared about you. Well, I cared about you, too. So I took it, selfishly, I might add, but I did and I coveted it. I broke it, though. I was carrying it in my book bag and one day it cracked as I threw my bag on the ground. I was so angry. Because a piece of my memory of you was tarnished, and now that you were gone, I thought I'd never get it back.
And the song. I'm assuming you played it, if not, maybe you should. I know I'm not as good as any of your friends, but I didn't know how to tell you how I felt. About how I was angry with no excuses. I am only human, huh? I hope you liked it. A little piece of me you'll have forever, that is, unless you don't want to. Which I completely understand.
Okay, down to business. Kurt, as I think you've guessed, I'm planning on k—le—takin—I'm going to kill myself, Kurt. And you'll be reading this after I've done it, so don't put this letter down until you finish. Kurt, I'm going to tell you why, and please don't feel guilty, because this is mostly due to my fear.
Fear, guilt, shame, misunderstanding. All contributing factors. Fear of myself, the life I was living. I've lived 17 years. 17 long years and nothing to show for it, a letterman jacket and a slushie coupon book. That's it. I spent more time thinking about you then I ever did about work. I hated everyone at that school. They forced me into things I didn't want to do, the teachers glazed over our torments, it was a hellhole. I understood why you left, oh wait, that was me. You know what, Kurt? I think you were that last string that kept me tethered to life. I hated my parents, I hated school, I hated my soulless existence, but you made me feel, Kurt, and I loved you for it. After you left, I didn't know how to cope, I thought I would die without you near me. Then I thought, as long as you were alive, keeping that emotions suspended in me, where you were didn't matter, but I had to see you.
Remember those phone calls you used to get? Someone would call then hang up? That was me. I stole your number, but I didn't want to scare you. So I went to find you. And you were with that guy, that guy who helped you confront me what seems ages ago. You were tangled into him, you were with someone else. That's when it happened, something inside me broke. Specifically that string, the one tethering me to this life was broken, and in a way, Kurt, you freed me. All I ever did was cause pain, and this way I'll never do it again.
I'm gone, Kurt, and I love you, loved you. Forget about me, Kurt. You and that guy could be great without having that blemish in your peripheral vision. I'm one of your problems gone forever. Before I go, Kurt, here's my locker combination, 17-30-13, one more thing, and you can let me go forever.
Kurt sat stunned unable to move or utter a sound, he felt the finality of the last word, forever. He had that suspicion of what the letter would be about the moment he picked the wedding topper out of the box, but the fact that it was true hit him harder that he expected. He checked his watched and found it was only four, football practice would be in session and Kurt could check the locker. He decided he was going to suck up his tears for later, after this last act for Kar—Dave, had been completed.
Kurt picked up his keys from the bowl in the entranceway and rushed out to his car in the driveway.
He rushed out into the field where he saw Finn, Mike, Puck, Sam, Artie, and a bunch of jocks that tormented him relentlessly were running around. Kurt trotted up to Bieste and whispered hurriedly in her ear.
"Coach, Karofsky may kill himself, or he maybe already did I just need—he—I need to see his locker," Bieste looked into Kurt's eyes who were welling with tears again.
"Killed himself," She repeated, "are you sure?" Kurt nodded quickly, a few stray tears running down his cheeks; at this point a Finn and Puck were sauntering over. Kurt turned towards them and shook his head, gaining him some confused looks. He turned back to Bieste and asked for his locker again.
"I have to stay out here, son, but he's number 23, here are the keys to the locker room," He nodded at her again, thanked her graciously, and nearly ran to the back entrance of the lockers.
He approached number 23 and rotated the lock. He opened it as slowly as possible, and at first glance the locker seemed empty, until the boy looked down. A small leather bound book was sitting there.
Kurt curiously opened it to the first page.
David Karofsky, 145 West Cottingham Crt.
Kurt kept flipping, each page had a date, he read the first page to himself, and suddenly realized Dave had left him his diary, his thoughts, something Kurt had always wondered about. Kurt tucked the warm book into his knapsack, but plucked it back out after a second.
Kurt had his address.
He ran back out onto the field, threw Beiste her keys and promised to bring her news. He shooed away his old glee-mates and hurried into his car.
West Cottingham Court was fairly close to McKinley, so Kurt was out of the car and ringing the doorbell in a matter of minutes. A stony face greeted him with a look that answered Kurt's unasked question.
"You?" Mr. Karofsky uttered.
Kurt nodded sadly and looked into the man's slate-grey eyes.
"It's true, then. He's—He's gone?" Kurt bit his tongue. And the huge man was gone, he closed the door on Kurt and left his question lingering, answered ages ago by a letter. Kurt closed his eyes and imaged David crossing this threshold and hating every second of it, he had an unsupportive dad, and Kurt didn't even know about his mom. What had he gone through? Was Kurt's ridicule really that bad compared to this? And that's when Kurt succumbed. He let the air piercing sobs rack his body as he remembered this boy who took his life because everything had been take from him. The regret Kurt felt at that very moment was never matched by any emotion for the rest of his life. Kurt didn't know how long he stood there, but it was after dark before he pulled in front of his house, and ran to his room. He put David's CD on repeat and crawled into bed.
I'm only human
I'm only human
I'm only human
But you are so much more. Were, he corrected himself. It would only be in the past tense that David Karofsky would be referred to from now on. Kurt hugged the leather bound journal to his chest, and drifted off to a nightmare streaked slumber, the beginning of many. Kurt had lost a part of himself, a part he was never going to get back.