If I Can't Love Her

Adam sat on the top step for a good ten minutes. Completely numb and unmoving. He sighed and pushed himself up. He slowly got ready for bed, oblivious to anything but his own motions. Lucas and Cole, who had happened to over hear Annabelle's confession, made sure to stay out of their brother's way. Although they could not understand why he hadn't chased her right off the bat, they were under the assumption that he felt the same, but maybe they had been wrong.

Adam walked over to his bed and pulled back the sheets. He looked to his bedside table and saw a picture of him and Annabelle. He smiled softly, laid down and shut off his light.


Around midnight, sleep still had not come for Adam. He knew exactly why. He crawled out of bed and quietly made his way out of his room, down the steps, and out the front door. He was very thankful that his hybrid SUV purred quietly to life. He drove the short distance to her house. He entered the building with his spare set of keys and took the steps, two at a time. Before it registered what he was doing, he banged on her door.

"Belle, its Adam, I need to talk to you!" He called to the closed door. The door flew open to reveal Annabelle in her pajamas.

"Adam?" She asked. "What are you doing here at twelve fifteen? In your pajamas. Without a shirt..." She trailed off as her eyes looked over his toned chest briefly.

"Oh. I had to see you. Guess I forgot to get changed." He blushed. "Wait. I didn't think this through at all! Did I wake you?"

"No. I couldn't sleep." She sighed. "Come on in." He walked in and sat on her couch,

"Let me go grab you a shirt." She said and walked into her room and grabbed an old shit of his and tossed it at his head. He slipped it on and smiled weakly at her. She was standing across the room from him, leading on the doorway to her room.

"Adam, it's late, what are you doing here?"

"Do you want me to leave?" Adam asked sadly.

"No, I just want to know why you're here." She replied. Their normal banter did not exist; she had trouble looking at him.

"You should probably sit. I have a lot to talk about." He sighed and she walked over to the couch. She sat on the opposite end as he did.

"What is there to talk about?" She inquired.

"Before I talk, I need you to promise not to interrupt me until I am done. Can you do that? I need to tell you everything."

"I pinky promise." She smiled and held out her pinky. He scooted closer and linked his with hers.

"Let me start by saying that Belle, you've always been my best friend. And I don't know what I would do without you. If I can't have you as my best friend, than life will be dull. We'll always be best friends above all else." He paused and she nodded. She looked at her lap frowning, never at him.

"Hm, where should I start? Your senior prom sounds about right. You were so excited because I had had fun at my senior prom the year before. You got that really beautiful dress you were eyeing and you had a date, which for some reason you assumed you wouldn't get. You were always beautiful Belle; you just never seemed to notice. And when you told me all the good news, some new emotion sparked up in me and I didn't understand what it was. When he backed out on you at the last minute I learned something important about myself regarding you. The emotion I had felt was jealousy because when he backed out, I felt relieved. Relieved and really happy. My best friend hurt and I was happy, gosh I was selfish. Because I could step in, make you feel better and take you to your prom, which I had desired to do the entire time. I realized that night I had feelings for you." Anna's head shot up but Adam had looked down at his own lap.

"I didn't do too much about it after prom. I assumed you didn't feel the same way. I was away at school. I thought the distance would make a difference, but it didn't. And every time I came back you were always so happy to see me and all the progress I made faded. I went through two years like that, trying to avoid it. I got really busy at school so I came home a lot less. It was so hard saying goodbye to you each time. Especially since I realized I more than liked you, I'd been in love with you since we slow danced." He exhaled.

"I then got the idea that dating another girl would get me over you. I looked for a little while and then I found Gaby. I couldn't stop myself from talking about her in front of you. I was awful, I wanted to hurt you. I assumed I had not. You seemed so unfazed by it all. But you called a lot less while I dated her. It hurt a lot. I didn't understand."

"The next break sucked. Gaby dumped me, which wasn't a big deal, she was rather annoying. But you were so distant that break. SO when I said bye to you, I tried to make you notice me. Maybe if you thought I was upset you'd stop avoiding me. You gradually started calling more; it seemed it was directly related to me decreasing my Gaby talk."

"That next break, our friendship was back on track. We were closer than ever. Consequently, my feelings for you were much stronger as well. When we said goodbye, I gave you this long speech about how we were best friends and nothing more." He groaned at the memory. He looked up and looked her in the eyes. "Belle, you got to understand. I wasn't trying to convince anyone but myself."

Anna's eyes widened in fear. She suddenly recognized the pattern of his stories and how he explained them.

"You hear-" Anna started.

"Belle, please let me finish." He pleaded. She nodded.

"If you ask my family, they'll tell you I was a miserable kid after that. It started out okay. But then you started dating all these guys and that's all you ever talked about. I was jealous and miserable to be around. I was at school and couldn't do anything about it. I was jealous but didn't want to give anything away when it seemed your feelings toward me were purely platonic."

"This last time at college was pretty decent as far as you and I went. You stopped your mass dating or at least you stopped talking about it. And we were acting more or less how we always had. Which I found actually a tad depressing that we hadn't made any progress. I promised myself that after I would try, even just a little bit, to move us forward. That's why I had to see you before my family. I had to feel things out. And god, it felt so right being with you. I had a plan. I would test the waters. Hugging you more, holding your hand, and kissing you at random moments. When you told me about Gaston, I was about to let it all fall down the drain. It seemed like our timing always sucked. But when he was so un-gentlemanly to you when he picked you up, I knew I just had to top him. So that's why today, well yesterday I guess, I was very touchy feely, I didn't think you would even notice. But when you dumped him, I was torn between comforting you and being extremely ecstatic. SO when you told me not to talk to you until you called, I was crushed, as a best friend and a crush."

"So then my mom made me listen to your whole informative spiel. And right until you full out said my name, I thought you were in love with Lucas and I couldn't understand why my mother had made me listen. I suppose she knew all along." He sighed. "That I love you and you love me and that we're so cliché. But I wouldn't have it any other way. Because…" He paused "I LOVE ANNABELLE OPHELIA CONNORS!" He paused again and looked at her expectantly. "Belle?" He questioned nervously.

"You told me not to speak until you were finished. Are you?"

"Well no. I didn't want to do it like this. That is why I didn't chase you right away. I wanted to set up this whole romantic setting and ask you out in a really adorable way. But I just couldn't sleep knowing that we both felt the same way and you didn't even know it. I had to tell you I love you."

"Finished?" She asked with a smirk.

He licked his lips as he placed his index finger under her chin and drawled her towards him. "One more thing." He whispered into her lips before lowering his lips to hers. She responded eagerly, realizing quickly that no boy had every kissed her so gently, so passionately, and so thoroughly all at once.

"I love you Adam." She breathed out in between kisses. He scooted even closer to her and smiled crookedly. He kissed her quickly.

"Oh my Belle," He murmured as he tucked a lose strand of hand behind her ear. "I love you."

"'cause you're what I look for
I've got a hopeless crush
maybe that don't mean much to you
but, I'm hoping this can keep going"