With the written consent from Krist that Kurt would receive help away from the facility, Kurt was released three days after being admitted. Bringing him home was emotional for Dave, who still felt guilty but pleased for his return at the same time. Krist was going to stay – he and Dave were going to keep a close eye on him and eventually discuss what he wanted in the way of treatment.
For now, they just wanted to get him home. It was a grey, cloudy afternoon and the wind was picking up. Reversing in the drive, Krist caught a glimpse of Kurt in his rear-view mirror. He looked so upset and tired.
“Dave, would you get Kurt’s things from the trunk? I’ll take him inside,” Krist said, softly, once he’d stopped.
Dave did as Krist asked, without question and Krist opened the door for Kurt, letting him out and then following him up to the apartment block. Krist hadn’t told either Dave or Kurt about what he had done. He was ashamed of himself, frightened by his lack of control.
That night, after leaving Don’s house, Krist had wrapped the gun in plastic carrier bags and driven all the way back to Hoquiam and thrown it in the Hoquiam River. Wishkah River was too close to where Don lived and Krist did not want to risk throwing it into Chehalis River or into Grays Harbour.
Of course, all the rivers led back to Greys Harbour and further, but Hoquiam River was renown for the mud and high tides, which gave good chance for the gun to never be recovered. He then left Greys Harbour County and drove the 44-mile stretch back to Olympia.
It had been a strange feeling driving through all the empty streets that he and Kurt used to frequent so often. But the memories for Kurt were too painful for him to ever really return for long.
Even passing through caused him much discomfort mentally, that they avoided returning as much as possible. Dave had asked on a few occasions, if they would ever go back but Krist had quickly responded with a rather resounding ‘no’ and Dave never mentioned it again.
Once inside, Krist settled Kurt in his room – the place was almost spotless. Kurt looked around, seeming subdued and distant.
He was pale and gaunt and had obviously not eaten – or refused to eat – for all the time he’d been in the Chemical Dependency Centre.
Dave soon followed; carrying Kurt’s bags and he placed them down on the floor, beside Kurt’s bed. “Do you want anything to eat or drink?” Dave asked, softly.
Kurt shook his head but did not respond further. He climbed into bed as Krist pulled back the sheets and comforter and once he was settled, Krist tucked him back in.
“I’m going to let you rest for a while, but then you really need to try and eat,” Krist mentioned, softly.
Kurt didn’t reply and was already closing his eyes – exhausted and mentally drained, not only from his drug-use, overdose and medical treatment, but also from the journey home.
Dave released the blinds, the room falling into a dim blanket of light in the late afternoon. He left shortly after, leaving Krist to finish tending to Kurt.
Moments after, Krist left, closing the door carefully behind him. He thinly smiled to Dave and joined him on the sofa. They remained silent for a while before Dave turned to him and sighed a little.
“How are we going to help him?” He asked, his voice tired and drained.
Krist didn’t answer for a few moments. He ran his hand through his already mussed hair and sighed loudly.
“To be perfectly honest, Dave, I have no idea. I really don’t know what we’re going to do… but - he needs to be here, with us. He won’t get better in those places. I’ve tried it all before. He refused everything and made it worse. He can get better like this, it is possible - we just need to figure it all out.”
Dave was silent again, lost somewhere in his own mind. Krist moved a little closer to him and smiled kindly.
He cared for Dave as much as he cared for Kurt – more so because of their age-gap, four years did not sound much, but when Dave, now the young twenty-two year old, had left all his friends and family behind in Virginia the year before and had flown all the way to Seattle to join them, Krist promised himself to look out for him.
It was a big ask for anyone to do, but Dave had lost confidence. Dave was unsure and perhaps too trusting and a little naïve. Krist was able to differentiate between all these issues and tried to provide as much support to Dave as he could.
Of course it went without saying that Kurt would look out for him too – Dave felt a sense of protection and security with his friends, they were brother-figures and he was the youngest, but it wasn’t the same as siblinghood.
He didn’t have to fight for his older brothers’ attentions or try desperately to join in and be accepted by them – that was already there, it was all a given. He was just having fun with them, doing what made him happy – doing what he’d wanted to do for as long as he could ever remember.
“You need to talk about this, Dave.” Krist said, gently. “You can’t just keep it all in.” Krist sat patiently, waiting for Dave’s response. The younger man nodded and glanced at him slightly.
“It fucked me up, Krist. Seeing Kurt like that really fucked me up. I know… you’ve seen it before, but I, I don’t ever want to see that shit again.” He admitted. “It scared the fuck out of me.”
Krist nodded and drew in a short sigh. He draped his arm around Dave’s shoulders and pursed his lips together. “I know how horrible it is. But I’m sorry, Dave. The chances of Kurt not doing this again are pretty slight. This… is just how Kurt can be. Its just Kurt, Dave.”
Dave nodded, reclusively. He already knew this. He just didn’t want to face the fact. Eventually, he would allow himself to come to terms with it and take note of Krist’s answer. He was right. It was just Kurt.
Unknowingly or seemingly, Krist and Dave had fallen asleep on the sofa. It was hardly surprising - with all that had been going on. Krist had planned to take it in turns with Dave, so that someone would always be awake for Kurt.
Dave jolted a little as he woke. He checked the time almost straight away, figuring they had only really been sleeping for forty minutes or so.
He blinked a few times and swallowed, his mouth was dry and his throat hurt. He carefully stood, so as not to wake Krist and went to the kitchen to get some water.
He gulped it down quickly, but stopped before he placed the glass down on the side. He heard a dull thud come from Kurt’s room. Concerned over his friend, he decided to wake Krist first, still unable to really face wanting to go into Kurt’s room alone.
“What’s the matter?” Krist mumbled, waking groggily, frowning slightly. Dave leaned over him; his eyes were speckled with worry and concern.
“There was a noise, coming from Kurt’s room,” he said, softly.
Krist nodded and stood, still half asleep and tired. He absentmindedly stood in the same spot for a few minutes – his black t-shirt looked rumpled and scruffy and his red jeans were twisted.
“Krist!” Dave said loudly, jolting him to move and wake himself up more. He stepped forwards a little and then turned and walked towards Kurt’s door.
They heard another thud and both men stopped in their tracks, pausing to look at each other, both their hearts pounding.
Krist carefully held the doorknob and turned it slowly. “Kurt?” He called softly, opening the door slightly.
Kurt’s blind was half hanging from the window, the curtains on either side billowed in the wind that had grown increasingly strong within the last few hours. Kurt’s window was wide open.
Opening the door wider, Krist saw paper and items scattered around the room, Kurt’s bed was unmade, his sheets and comforter all tangled together at the end of his bed. Krist knew for a fact, however, that Kurt hardly moved when he slept.
“Is it withdrawal?” Dave asked, backing up behind Krist, seeing the state the room was in.
“I would usually say so – but Kurt isn’t here…” Krist realised. Dave stepped forwards. “He got out the window?” He questioned, panic rushing through him, as they both stood in the middle of the room.
Krist went to the window – Kurt’s apartment was on the second floor and he couldn’t recall anyway for Kurt to get down. Even if he did want to score, he wouldn’t have gone through the window, no matter how desperate his measures were.
“Krist!” Dave suddenly shouted, Krist turned; Dave was on the floor, on his hands and knees. Krist joined him, and there was a small pool of blood, starting to dry into the carpet. More blood spots were dotted around the room; some were even on the sheets, along the side of the bed.
“What the hell?” Krist shouted. “He must’ve gone out the window! He’s not fucking here, Dave… what the fuck is this?”
Dave was already leaving the room, heading towards the front door. “Those blood spots were pretty fresh – he couldn’t have left that long ago,” he said, starting on the stairwell that led to the ground floor.
Krist followed hastily after and they went outside, around the side of the building, to where Kurt's bedroom window was, and began looking for any signs of Kurt.
Inside, however, Kurt was still in his room, his body was throbbing and he was shaking and crying. Inside his cupboard, he had been silenced – a hand was clasped firmly over his mouth, so much so it hurt his jaw.
He tried to muffle some kind of sound, but that only earned him more pain as the hand tightened around his mouth and chin.
He tried to move, but rough ropes on his wrists and ankles bound him tightly. Another arm was clasped tightly around his chest, holding him, stilling him. He was silenced, and he was still. “Once they leave, Kurt… once they leave, you’ll just have to do what Daddy says.”
Kurt was distraught, he couldn’t breathe properly, and hot tears fell down his cheeks and onto his father’s hand clamping his mouth so tightly. He was sobbing from under his father’s hand and he was shaking and he couldn’t see, and he felt hot and panicky and terrified. Even more so when his father momentarily removed his arm from around his chest, and pulled out a shotgun.
He held it to his son’s head. “I had a visitor, Kurt,” he whispered, still unsure if Krist and Dave had left or were just in the other room. “Said something about you wanting to blow your own brains out…” He stopped talking, they both heard it, but Kurt couldn’t get control of his breathing. He sobbed uncontrollably into Don’s hand. “Shut up!” He hissed. “Shut the fuck up, Kurt!”
He tried to respond, he tried to talk, to do anything, but he was petrified of the situation that had suddenly surrounded him. A door slammed and then there was silence. Kurt was still shaking and sobbing, his breathing was fast, rapid and shallow, his chest felt tight, his heart was pounding and he started seeing dots in front of his eyes.
“Not another phantom panic attack…” Don said, in annoyance. He sighed loudly and carefully opened the cupboard door. To ensure Kurt wouldn’t try to move or escape, Don turned and kicked him hard in the face.
Kurt cried out, gasping both for breath and in pain, as his father’s boot made contact with his nose. He fell back, feeling the warm trickle of blood drain from his nostril and into his mouth – his lip was bleeding, too and he could taste the rich iron on his tongue.
Don returned moments later, reaching in and grabbing Kurt by his hair. He dragged him out, and Kurt screamed in agony. Don continued dragging him out of his room and into the living room.
Kurt wreathed around and kicked out, and tried to break free of his father’s grasp, but he was weak from the days previously and he was in a state of shock and fear.
He suddenly had a surge of strength and kicked himself up, his whole lower body raised from the ground and he twisted himself around, almost freeing himself from Don’s grasp.
Don quickly retracted his son’s movements by kicking him sharply in the head and Kurt screamed again. Kurt twisted again, this time, he managed to lash out and he freed his feet from the rope that bound them, his wrists were still tied, but he kicked back at Don, who dropped the shotgun. His anger raged through him so quickly that Kurt had little time to react before his father was hulling him up and wrapping his hands around his neck.
“You’re a fucking bastard! I’m going to fucking kill you! I’m going to fucking kill you – you’re a fucking waste of space, a fucking fag – I’m ashamed that you’re my son!”
Kurt struggled for breath, but he stopped long enough to look at his father. “Ashamed of you too,” he slurred, coughing and spitting blood as he spoke.
Kurt felt himself being rammed against the wall, his whole body racked with pain as he was pounded again and again against the wall. Suddenly, the pounding stopped, he was moving, away from the wall, away from the corner – he was being dragged, pulled, but his feet were still in the air.
And then he landed, crashing down, his whole body colliding and crushing as he made contact with the glass tank his turtles lived in.
The whole tank shattered, the water swept over the broken glass and base-table, the turtles bobbed along as the water drained onto the floor and Kurt’s body smashed right through the middle of it.
The front door opened, Krist ran inside, lunging at Don, knocking him down straight away, he pinned him and he began pounding him with his fists, furiously. Pummelling his fists into Don’s face, he didn’t stop – he didn’t have any control of his rage.
Krist was vaguely aware of Dave shouting, but his ears were buzzing, his adrenalin was flowing through him and he didn’t care if he killed Don right there on the floor.
Dave stood over Kurt, numbed, shocked, terrified. Kurt was below him, shaking, fitting, his eyes were rolling back into his head, blood trailed from the corner of his mouth and he coughed and spluttered a few times – only blood came from his mouth.
Kurt’s entire body was convulsing severely, he was murmuring at the same time but his fit was increasing. His face suddenly flushed bright red and then drained completely to white just as quickly. His clothes were seeping with blood from the injuries he had sustained both from Don and the glass tank.
“Krist! Please! Krist, he’s going to die!” Dave screamed, his hands furiously running through his hair, his own body shaking in fear. “Krist!” He screamed again, tears forming and running down his cheeks.
He turned, he saw Krist – everything was happening in slow motion, Dave couldn’t comprehend it in time. Don moved, as Krist turned his back, and suddenly all the noise, all the uproar, and motion was cut short, as a single gunshot broke the air.