Disclaimer: None of Glee belongs to me; I've just got a lot of imagination (and ADD).
AN: None of this is Betaed; I'm the only one who's edited it so sorry for any mistakes.
WARNING: There is one main character death but nothing graphic, also references stuff up to the end of season 2.
Kurt finds a journal in the choir room and it's not easy reading. Unfortunately it's also too late to rewrite any of it.
Beneath the Surface
A few weeks away from the end of the school year Kurt found a notebook while practicing in the choir room. It was a ratty old journal, one of those pocket notebooks with the soft but durable covers, and it was clearly well used. Small, about 3 by 5 inches, it looked like it spent a lot of time in someone's pocket. The pages were bent and some looked stained, many pages were warped by water, and it looked like it might almost be full based on where a small bookmark was sticking out near the end. He found it under the last row of chairs against the wall, it must have slipped out of its owner's pocket or bag and gone unseen in the shadows back there.
Since Nationals were over, they'd only gotten twelfth place but at least he got to see New York, Glee club wasn't going to be meeting regularly any more so he stuck it in his bag and figured he'd look at the handwriting to see if he could tell whose journal it was and if not just ask the other club members as he saw them. Later that afternoon, sitting comfortably in his bedroom, he opened the pages to find it was filled with hopelessness and a deeply depressed person. Nothing was really dated, at least not most of the entries, but the first one had a date from early last year written across the top half of the page in bold black letters.
'Today the world stopped. And then it continued on, but I can never be the same. I foolishly gave in to temptation and it will destroy our lives. How can I let him suffer with me, us? I couldn't write this in my usual journal, where innocent eyes might see.'
Kurt thought it sounded like either Quinn or Rachel might be the author; the entry was from around the time that Quinn had told Finn she was pregnant and Rachel had tempted Finn into kissing her. The handwriting wasn't Rachel's however, everyone in Glee club knew Rachel's handwriting by now, and it looked a little messy to be Quinn's, but that could be explained by extreme emotion and stress. He knew he should stop and ask the girl about it tomorrow, if he could find a way to talk to her since they didn't share any classes, but his curiosity was killing him. So he rationalized that he had to make sure the author really was Quinn and kept reading. There weren't many dates and most of the entries were disjointed, cryptic, sentences or poems so the only way he could really tell the passage of time was the different pen colors.
'She has my heart, my soul too, and she won't let me near them. Seeing her, seeing him, everything hurts now. And I'm so guilty, guilty, guilty of so much. Oh how I wish I hadn't been here to destroy them.'
'I lie, I lie to her, and her, and her, and him, and everyone else too. And then I tell her the truth, a new her, one who won't lie for me, to me. She will tell them all the truth. And he will hurt me and I will be less guilty, but still a liar.'
"She failed. But another told. I'm glad none will take my side, I don't deserve it. If only the keeper of my heart would let me near. He hates me, she hates me, I hate me too. But I still feel, and no one else seems to think I do."
"I pretend I cannot be who she wants me to be because I can see that she still hates me. She thinks the worst, she won't give me a real chance. She sneers at me, behind my back and to my face, she sneers at my family, my house, my life. She sneers and she hates and she is still the victim. I can't please someone who hates me. I can't fix what I broke when she won't let me."
'I lived too much, took too much, wanted too much. Now I'm losing everything.'
With these other entries Kurt couldn't deny that this wasn't Quinn's journal. It seemed, as implausible as the idea was, that Puck might have written this. The he and she and me were probably Finn and Quinn and Puck. That was the only scenario that seemed to fit, he'd even written about when he told Mercedes that he was the real father of Quinn's baby. Now Kurt couldn't put it down because not only did he want to be sure, giving Puck someone else's diary would be cruel towards the real diary owner, but if it was Puck's this was perhaps his only chance to find out what went on in the jock's head.
'Gone, my heart is gone. And once she gave up my heart she asked if I loved her. How could I love someone without a heart to feel with? How could I not? I will always love her for carrying around my heart for so long. I will always hate her for giving her away. But I will always hate myself more for letting it happen, for letting my heart be separated from my chest in the first place. And I will never, ever, let it happen again. I don't think I could live through losing something so special again. I want to scream, cry, break down. I did cry, do cry, I've cried myself to sleep every night since, and it's pitiful. I want to break something, I want to melt away, cease to exist, stop feeling so much. Now everyone still hates me and I don't even have my heart to endure for.'
On the page after the last sentence a small slightly pixilated picture of a red-faced infant was taped, it looked like it might be a picture of Beth taken with Puck's cell phone. The pages this entry filled were stained and wrinkled by water droplets, Kurt felt very small as he admitted to himself that the entry was stained by tears. He'd been one of those people who sneered at Puck and felt that Quinn shouldn't let him near his daughter, because he'd assumed that Puck would be a terrible father. Reading Puck's deepest thoughts about Beth, and Quinn, Kurt could admit that he'd been wrong; Puck probably would have been a great dad, he'd cared so much about Beth before she was even born.
'When there is pain so great you are tempted to grab a knife and carve your heart from your chest to ease it. When the fog closes in around your mind and sucks away all your energy. When all you can do is lay in bed and pray for the strength to live through another day. When you are empty and cannot feel, happiness, excitement, love, anything other than sadness, no matter how hard you try. Why not just give up? Some days I am so tempted.'
Interspersed among a few more depressing entries there were the sketches. Doodles that betrayed more talent than Kurt would have guessed. The artist clearly spent a lot of time drawing because even the quick sketches looked realistic and were recognizable. One heartrending image took up a whole page; it was a portrait of a little girl with Quinn's eyes and mouth but darker hair and some of Puck's facial structure. Clearly this was Beth in a few years, Beth as Puck thought she might grow to be. After the portrait a few pages were filled with sketches of the little girl, swinging, playing, jumping rope, blowing out birthday candles, and smiling and bowing on a stage. The next entry with words started with thick block letters stating the date of when Puck had attempted to rob that convenience store.
'That date was the day any hopes I had died. I've been to jail and back, I couldn't take a journal with. Everyone hates me more now. And all I did was save my sister. She would have been taken away, gone forever, if our mother was arrested for drunk driving again. So we told them I was driving. I drove through a store window, on purpose because I wasn't drunk. Now everything is pain. Pain, so much pain I'm out early, pain from fists then pain from words. It's all pain, and I've always had her fists, their words, now I just can't fight back. There's nowhere to go now, free again does not mean freedom. Trapped, I'm never leaving now.'
Freedom is rushing,
feeling, jumping, gliding,
soaring, falling, free,
'It's sad. Sad, how easily everyone believes my lies. Lies about how big and bad I am when really I'm pathetic. Pathetic, how the bruises aren't healed yet and I'm picking up trash everyday after school and failing Geometry. Geometry isn't hard, I just don't have time for homework between community service and taking care of my sister. My sister who's almost ten, who I'm sleeping with the landlady for, to keep our apartment when I miss the rent. Rent that I pay by whoreing myself out, the only work I could get while it was illegal for people to hire a kid my age, now that I'm older all that's changed is more people want to do it with me, almost all the bored adults in this blind town. This town that I'll never escape now, I hope she does.'
Puck hadn't been trying to rob that store; he hadn't even been the one who crashed his mom's car. He'd given up his own life, his future, his chances of getting into a good college or getting a good job, to keep his sister from getting taken away and sent into foster care. And he'd suffered for it. Someone in juvie had hurt him, hurt him badly enough that that courts, or whoever, felt they had to release him for his own safety. But when he got back instead of supporting their teammate, and some of them called themselves his friend, everyone in Glee had looked down on him. They'd all made snide comments and jokes and then mostly ignored him. No one had thought to ask him about anything, even Artie, who Puck had tried to reach out to, hadn't dug any deeper than he had to.
'Even while i try to fly,
i've always, always wished to die.
Never can i reach so high,
to escape the dream, the need to die.
Beyond forever i could try,
running when i yearn to die.
But though i don't want to say goodbye,
i cannot help but want to die.'
A simple drawing of three tombstones followed this morbid poem. They sat in a line across the bottom of the page. The first read 'No One Knows,' the second said 'No One Cares,' and the final tomb had 'I Am No One' on it. The misery, the depression, laid out in this journal was frightening. Even when he was at his most terrified and lonely feeling Kurt had had a safe place to go back to, his home with his protective dad ready to champion his cause, but there was no hope in this book. There was so much less anger than he would have thought Puck would have, the other boy hadn't really mentioned being mad at anyone for any reason he just blamed himself and stated everything as fact. When he wrote that people hated him it wasn't something he was angry about it was a fact, everything was covered in a fog of, of despair.
"Missing, gone, lost, because we didn't help. Couldn't help? Our, my, fault we've lost a friend now. I've been asked to find another. Should I search the school for someone who hates me less than the rest? Don't ask me. Don't ask me to. Why would he ask me, me who everyone hates, to find someone new? Of course I'll find someone. What can I do but help? Anything, anything but leaving my sister alone. I would give anything, even though none of them like me. But that's okay because I don't like me either."
Looking up Kurt realized he'd been reading the journal for over an hour. He'd only made it up to his transfer, at least that's what he thought Puck had been talking about, and yet he'd been sucked in. With the drawings, poems, and hidden meanings he'd been drawn into trying to figure out as much as he could about the person who held so much pain in them. Of course with the jail entry he knew for certain that it was Noah Puckerman's journal, it had to be. But was it possible that the boy who had such a passion for life had been suffering so much this whole time? A boy who played his guitar with that big grin, who was the first to jump-up and hug Mr. Schue when they'd heard he wasn't leaving, who pulled out 'Only the Good Die Young' and sang it so enthusiastically for the club, who arranged for a Barbara-vention for his fellow Glee clubber, who'd joked around with Lauren just a few weeks ago. How had they not noticed anything?
'She who I found to save us would destroy me. She thinks I deserve it, and I'm sure I do, after years of breaking hearts she wants to break mine. Because she would have power for once. Too bad my heart is still missing, I'm broken inside where none can see, and I can't feel what she wants me to anymore. I can let her win though, she needs a win and I'm sure it will still hurt me. For I have less than ever.'
'She who gave away my heart before will hate me evermore. Alcohol causes truths to drip from every tongue. She who wishes to crush my heart will hate me too. While everyone hates me outside inside is still just as bad. If only Fight Club was real, no one likes getting bruises in their own house. Not home, I have no home. At least they only hate me, she only hits me, and everyone else is safe.'
Hearing everything from Puck's perspective Kurt couldn't help but hate everyone a little. Lauren for toying with him and purposefully trying to break his heart, Quinn for not giving him a chance to be a father, his mother for being an abusive drunk, and he even hated himself, and the rest of the club, a little for not knowing one of their own was drowning. The rest of the year was painful to read but Kurt forced himself to read each entry and look at every drawing. Some of the most painful sketches were of the rest of the Glee club members.
He had drawn Quinn looking proud and haughty, smiling softly, and even devastated with a tear track trailing down her cheek. Rachel and Finn were together in most of their sketches, staring lovingly at one another, although there was one drawing of Finn in football pads with his helmet off with that happy celebratory look he had when they won that big game as well as an image of Rachel singing her heart out on stage. Sam and Mercedes were in a few sketches together sharing looks and holding hands, which was a shock since Kurt hadn't known they were dating, if they were. Tina and Mike were together and Puck had drawn Artie with Brittany in his lap smiling at each other. But, on the next page, he put Santana and Brittany together, linking pinkies and sharing a secretive smile. Lauren was laughing at something, or someone, in her portrait. Kurt was there too, smiling down at his phone like he always did when Blaine sent him a text. All of his portrayals of the other members of New Directions caught at least one happy, loved, moment for each of them. The closest Puck got to a self-portrait was a detailed image of what was clearly his guitar, if his guitar had all the strings snapped and the neck hanging on to the body by a splinter.
Another bold date, this time it was the day they'd preformed at Nationals, just a few days ago. Bold dates, or any date in this little book, seemed to signify days when something really bad happened to Puck so Kurt was confused and a little afraid to read the rest of the entry. There were only two entries left though, this dated one in black pen and then one more in blue before the last few pages were left blank, so he continued to read.
'Dead. Dead, dead, dead. My little sister is dead. Gone, forever, because I wasn't here, because I left her in Lima with our mother, because that woman was driving around drunk again. Again, I should have been there to save her, again. Where was I? Singing. Thinking about myself, I knew I couldn't trust that woman to keep her safe. And now she's gone, gone, gone, DEAD. My little sister, beautiful Sarah, the only one who ever loved me, the only one I loved left, is dead, forever. I wasn't even told until we got back, I was gone and they didn't call me. I'm sorry.'
That was the end of the black ink entry, there was a sketch of a pretty young girl around ten laughing up at someone, Puck maybe, and Kurt could tell this was Sarah. Kurt could see this page was just as tearstained as the entry from when Beth was born and taken away. Actually it was even more stained and Kurt's eyes were getting blurry; Puck's little sister had died while they were in New York, their mother had caused the accident, and Puck had only just found this all out the day before yesterday when they got back into town. Tomorrow Kurt was going to give the boy a hug, he didn't care that he was his ex-tormentor, Puck needed as much comfort and support as possible right now. With one last swipe to his eyes he focused on the last entry to the journal.
'I'm sorry, I'm so sorry to whoever finds this, whoever reads this. I know it's probably Rachel or Kurt because those two practice a lot by themselves in the choir room. Maybe it's Mr. Schue, or a janitor, whoever you are I'd be really grateful if you could give this to the Glee club. See I don't really care who reads this anymore, but the only people who might want to know why are the Glee club. Sure none of them really care about me and I understand, nobody really cares about someone like me, but maybe some of them will want to know why they've got to search for another person to join Glee, again. They deserve to know, if only because I'm cutting them down by a member, but I need to be free. I can't live with losing someone so important again. Sarah and my music were the only things keeping me going but I can't sing anymore, not when I was singing while she died. So I've left this in the choir room where someone will find it so they'll know why, and I'm skipping last period so no matter what I'll be free before anyone thinks to catch me. I can't deal with writing a real explanation or goodbye letter so I'm just leaving you with everything, everything since last year. Do whatever you want. I made my arrangements when I was making Sarah's. You're welcome to come to my funeral, I guess. Noah Puckerman.'
Now Kurt was crying and grabbing his phone as he ran up the stairs. Calling for his dad to take him to the Lima Police Station because he knew it was already too late. To Puck freedom, being free, meant his death, he'd written it quite plainly half a year ago just after he got out of juvie. He'd had hours to do it; Kurt hadn't found his journal until after last period and he hadn't even opened it until after dinner. Puck was dead by now and even if he hadn't chosen a high enough place to leap from and was in the hospital the police would still have a record of an attempted suicide.
The next day when Noah Puckerman's suicide was announced, and grief counseling offered, the Glee club members all gravitated to the choir room after school. Everyone was looking confused, shocked; Rachel was silent for once, Finn looked devastated at the loss of his childhood best friend, Brittany was sobbing into a shell-shocked Santana's shoulder, and even Quinn was looking upset. Standing and walking to the front of the room Kurt explained that he'd been to the police station and the morgue last night. Noah had jumped off the old apartment building he lived in during the last period yesterday and he'd been holding a note that simply said 'Freedom' and he'd left them a message. Then he told them about finding the journal, he read it to them, and shared the drawings as well. By the time they were done no one, not Mr. Schue, Quinn, Santana or even Sam, who hadn't known Puck too well, had dry eyes. None of them knew how much was hidden beneath the surface, until it was too late.
Suicide is never the answer. Talk to someone, please.
AN: So I knew a guy, big dumb seeming lacrosse player, who didn't seem like he was good at anything but sports. His grades were barely passable to stay on the teams he was on. He was in a ceramics class with me and he sucked. One day I found a notebook, I opened it to see whose it was (his name was inside) and it was filled with the most amazing sketches. Even the simple pen drawings were lifelike and he had sketches of kids in the class, imaginary beasts, all kinds of things. When I gave it back and asked about them he said he just liked to doodle.
There was a girl in my middle school that had a journal filled with poems, songs, and entries about her terrible home life. She swallowed some pills and was saved but ended up in a coma for a few weeks (I think it was shock or medically induced). One of her friends was getting her homework and found the journal in her locker with a note saying something like 'this is why I needed to die' and soon the whole grade had read the stuff in it and when she came back everyone was super supportive. (Of course then she was sent into foster care so she moved away.)
I combined them for Puck because he's had it pretty sucky with the whole losing all his friends and Beth, going to juvie and being jumped, and then getting repeatedly rejected by the girl he likes. Not to mention that time his mom told him he was no better than a Nazi (serious Jewish parenting fail). But all the poems here are by me so if they fail, suck it; I'm not a depressed teenaged boy (or any of the three).
Read and Review because I've got all my stories already, I don't need to post them, but if someone likes one or asks for more then I'll post more for them.
This one is finished, despite being oddly similar to another story of mine about Puck with an alcoholic mother, it is a one shot with no planned sequels. (My AN is too long but I can't seem to lose it, sorry.)