He Didn't Have to Be

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic
Just a little short story I wrote a while back for a contest. Recently found it in my documents and decided to post

Submitted: January 26, 2017

A A A | A A A

Submitted: January 26, 2017



It had been a long year. In all reality Kit hadn’t expected Arystar to keep him around for so long. None of the others had held onto him for more then a month or two before. He wasn’t really sure what it was about Arystar that made him different from the rest. Perhaps it was his kind nature or ability to be understanding. However Kit chalked it up to the man having the patience of a saint. No matter what Kit did or how far he pushed the limits of the redhead’s temper the man never lashed out at him, never berated him, never sent him away. He remembered the first time he met Arystar like it was only yesterday-

"Kit, this is Arystar Connelly. He's going to be your guardian from now on." Susan said to the blonde boy in front of her. Kit was listening with little interest before turning back to his book.
"How many times have I heard that?" he wondered out loud, disregarding the others in the room.
"I'm sorry Mr. Connelly, could you give us a moment." Susan said to the long haired redhead next to her.
"Of course," Arystar told her before walking out of the room. Once the door was closed Susan turned to Kit and heaved a sigh.
"Look Kit, I know you've been through a lot of homes since you came when you were six. This time however is going to be different I promise, he's considering adopting you!" Susan tried to reason with the boy.
"Yeah sure," Kit said still uninterested. "Why can't I just stay here till I'm eighteen? It's only a few years away."
"Because Kit, we have other children coming in all the time. This is only supposed to be a temporary home, honey." Susan said with a sigh.
"Everywhere is only a temporary home for me so what does it matter? I'm tired of moving all my stuff back and forth and I know by the time I come back you will have given my room away, again." the blonde said, getting annoyed.
"Kit, you don't have a choice in this. I'm sorry," she said before walking out of the room where Mr. Connelly was waiting.
"Mr. Connelly, if you would follow me to my office we can get the paper work done." Susan said. Arystar nodded and they turned to leave but Kit stepped out of his room to give Susan one last piece of his mind.
"Yes, Kit?" she asked warily.
"I just thought I'd let you know that you can't keep treating children like stay animals- just because you keep finding them homes doesn't mean that everything is going to be okay," he said with an eerie calm before going back into his room and shutting the door softly. Susan sighed before they began walking to her office once more.

Kit knew he hadn’t been the nicest most accepting person about it all but he couldn’t help it. At the time it felt like everyone was against him. Thinking back on it now it brought a smile to his face. About a week after he began living with Arystar there was already trouble on the horizon. The blonde was angry and resentful, yet he wasn’t sure why. It took Arystar giving him a good talking to before he understood.

“Kit you have to tell me what’s going on in that head of yours,” the red head insisted as he tried to looked the teen in the eyes. Kit was avoiding looking at him, afraid that if he looked then he would surely break down. “Come on Kit, I want to help you.”
“No you don’t!” the blonde finally cried. “Everyone says that, yet when my problems are too much for them they send me away!”
“Listen to me Kit I won’t send you away,” Arystar tried to assure but Kit just shook his head, refusing to believe a word of it.
“You’re just saying that to calm me down,” Kit accused.
“If you think that I’ll send you away then doesn’t it make more sense to behave so I’ll keep you rather than act up so I won’t?” the redhead asked, trying a different approach.
“Don’t you get it,” Kit sobbed. “I’m acting up because if you hate me, if you don’t act kind… it’ll hurt far less then it would if I had liked you. I‘m just so scared.”
“What are you afraid of Kit?” Arystar pressed, understanding what the teen was trying to say.
“I…I’m scared that you’ll realize how much of a bother I am. When you do you’ll send me away, like all the others,” the blonde confessed. Arystar looked stricken, not able to understand how Kit could think so little of him.

That night they had stayed up way into early morning talking out all their fears and what they wanted from each other. Arystar had held Kit the entire time, allowing the teen to cry the tears that had been bottled up far too long. After that things seemed to change for the better. Kit wasn’t trying to push Arystar into sending him away anymore which in turn left them more time to get to know each other.
A smile came to Kit’s face as he remembered the time when they had gone to a theme park close by. Arystar had also taken him out to a movie a number of times as well as dinner. However the time that stood out most in the teen’s mind was when they had been playing football in the backyard with a few of Kit’s friends.

The sun was already starting to set behind the trees of their backyard. Music was blaring from the speakers on the back porch. The rain was pouring down and they were all more then a little covered with mud. Kit was freezing but he refused to admit defeat to Arystar who was on the opposite team. They were only behind by one down and Kit was certain they could get it back.
They were playing by backyard rules which was pretty much no rules, just score. The blonde had used some of the mud to put under his eyes as war paint after telling Arystar he would not lose to him.
“Alright guys!” Kit called to his team. “We’re going with play 52az!”
“Wait play what?” his friend Carson asked in confusion. “We don’t have a play 52az!”
“I know!” Kit called back just as cheerful as before. “We’re just gonna make it up as we go,” he declared. Carson shook his head at his best friend’s tactics but laughed along with everyone else.
“Just hike the ball!” Arystar shouted out over the music and pounding rain.
“Ok, blue 52 hut, hut, hike!” Carson shouted before Kit passed the ball between his legs to him. Carson caught the ball as Arystar’s team came at them only to be blocked by their team. Carson saw Kit take off down the make shift field and threw the ball to him, his spiral being messed up by the howling wind as it went. Despite the bad weather Kit easily caught the ball before taking off running to their designated goal.
Kit could feel nothing of the icy wind around him or hear the shouts of his team mates. All he knew was the loud hum of adrenaline pumping through his veins as he got closer to victory. However that feeling was short lived when he felt himself being tackled to the ground.
“NOOOOO!” he cried as he face planted into the mud, arms outstretched in front of him.
“You did it Kit!” Carson cried, bringing the whining boy’s attention to him.
“Huh?” he asked in confusion as he looked around. A smile broke over his face as he realized his arms and the ball were just over the goal line. “OH YEAH!” he cheered, “This is some mad skillz right here.”
“Pfft you got lucky,” Arystar huffed but it was obvious that he was just playing.

Kit had come down with a bad cold after that. Even thought he brought it onto himself Arystar had taken care of him, bringing him warm soup, checking his temperature and giving him cold medicine for the entire week he had been ill. However it wasn’t the obvious gestures that had touched Kit’s heart. 
When he woke from his nightmares the redhead would be there in a moment to comfort him. Sometimes when he was in and out of consciousness he could feel Arystar petting his sweat dampened hair out of his eyes. Kit had never remembered having been comforted like that before. Never in his life had he been so well taken care of, so cared for in general. It was then when Kit finally realized that he could trust the redhead. Any barrier that was still between them had been broken down, paving the way for a new understanding of each other.
The blonde teen sat on the windowsill of the large bay window in his bedroom, looking out at the stars and remembering more of his time with Arystar. They had started off rocky in the beginning, Kit testing his limits and Arystar trying to prove he was different from the rest.
“Kit?” a soft voice floated in from the door way. The blonde turned his head to look at Arystar. “What you doing up this early for kiddo?”
“Couldn’t sleep,” Kit answered truthfully as he turned his head to look at his alarm clock that read 7:25 AM in big neon green, he had been up since around three unable to get any sleep with his restless mind. He had too many thoughts running threw his head. He wondered if Arystar realized yet that he had been living with the red haired man for a year that very day. “Do you know what today is?”
“I do,” Arystar told him with a soft smile that seemed to go with the rest of the older man’s demeanor. “I have a surprise for you to honor the occasion.”
“A surprise?” Kit asked, his interest peaked. He wasn’t expecting anything from Arystar to celebrate at all.
“Yup,” he nodded easily before walking into the room and handing Kit a manila envelope that the teen hadn’t even noticed the older man was holding onto. “Just finished it this morning,” he added proudly.
“What’s this?” the blonde wondered while looking over the plain envelope. The redhead merely gestured for him to open it and find out. 
Attentively with shaking hands, Kit flipped the envelope over and pressed the small metal flaps over so that he could open it. Peering inside he realized it was a stack of papers. Confused, Kit took them out to look them over. The teen’s eye went wide as he read “Legal Adoption Form” at the top of the page.
“Is… is this for real?” he nearly yelled as he looked up at Arystar trying to see if it was a joke or not.
“Of course it’s real,” the redhead stated, mildly offended by the blonde’s lack of trust in him. “I want you to be my son, if you’ll have me as your father, that is.”
“I… I don’t know what to say…” the teen said looking down at the papers once more, Arystar had already signed them even.
“Say yes and I’ll turn them in to make it official,” Arystar instructed with a nervous laugh.
“Yes! Of course it’s a yes,” the teen exclaimed before throwing himself at his soon to be father, capturing him in a hug. “Thank you… dad.” 
“Your welcome, son.” Arystar was surprised, he hadn’t expected Kit to call him dad so easily, but then again they had spent a year together already and what a very long, pleasant year it had already been.

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