“Hey, Krist, look at this…”
Krist slouched over to where Dave was kneeling in front of a pile of junk. The tall bassist crouched beside him, looking curiously at the envelope in his hand.
“What is it?” he asked, one hand on Dave’s shoulder to steady himself.
“I don’t know…but it’s addressed to us, and it’s been opened. I’ve never seen it before…”
“Well, look inside, then.” Krist raised an eyebrow. Dave, somehow, needed to talk through his thought processes before doing anything. Maybe that would make sense in some badly-written TV cop show, but in real life?
Besides, why did Courtney have it when it was addressed to them?
No, that was wrong. Why had Courtney had it. That was the very reason they were there, after all? Stupid bitch had got herself killed, trying to drive when she was completely wasted, and it was left to them to sort out…things. Namely, Kurt’s things, which Courtney had so jealously hoarded for five years. It was late – so late it was probably early – and they were both exhausted, but they kept working, doggedly, digging through the cupboards full of journals and paintings, dismembered dolls and Hello Kitty toys.
Paper crackled, and Krist heard Dave gasp, running his fingers over the letter that he had unfolded. Oh, God. Krist felt tears well in his eyes. Dammit, he shouldn’t be feeling like this, but…seeing Kurt’s handwriting there, his name and Dave’s so carefully marked out, above a page filled with words written by a hand that they had known so well…
Dave began to read, in a choked whisper.
I’m sorry. I want to say that before anything else, because I am. I’m sorry, sorry, so fucking sorry, and…well, if I’m so sorry, why don’t I just stop? Why don’t I just put the fucking gun down and walk away? But I can’t, won’t. If I said I don’t want to do this I’d be lying, but…I have to. I don’t want to hurt you any more. I know you’re all sick of me, my whining and bitching and fucking up all the time, so I’m gonna make sure you don’t have to put up with me any more. This will be the last mess anyone ever has to clear up after me.
We had fun together, though, didn’t we? We did what we wanted to do, and…maybe we made people happy. Maybe we made a difference. Even if we didn’t, it’s nice to pretend, right? Three stoners screwing around with their instruments, not making music so much as noise, but it WORKED.
But it wasn’t three stoners, right? It was one stoner, and two people who had to pick him up, carry him, not knowing it was just one step closer to his final destruction.
We’re all puppets, in the end, aren’t we?
Maybe we’re all a little crazy. I know I am.
I’ve hurt everyone so much, I can’t go back now. I’ve reached my point of no return, and I’ve gone so far past it I can barely remember where it was anymore.
Remember me as your lover, the one who died so you could be happy without me.
I love you, both of you.
Tell Courtney to take care of Frances. Make sure she doesn’t turn out anything like me.
Dream of me.
Somewhere, in the middle of that tirade of emotions, their fingers had laced together, and Dave squeezed Krist’s hand then, laying the letter reverentially on the floor to gently wipe away the tears that had finally spilled down his friend’s face.
He only realised then that he was crying, too.
They did not speak. They didn’t need to. They stayed like that, wrapped in each other’s embrace, for hours that felt like years, the only sounds their joint muffled sobs. It had been so long since they both cried, it felt almost like the first time.
It was a night of memories, for both of them. Screams – of pain and of pleasure, of that smile that lit up his entire face, of booze and nights spent together curled up in the back of a van, of sex and drugs and rock ‘n’ roll.
And, try as they might, neither of them could find it in them to regret a single moment of it.
Dawn came, and slowly, limbs shaking a little, they stood, and rested their foreheads together. Still, they did not speak. Each knew what the other was thinking, because he felt it too. They missed him, and would always miss him. It hurt, even more so because everything had been dug up, now, all the old memories flickering behind their eyelids.
But they had each other.
And maybe, just maybe, it had all been worth it.