"He's In Love With You"
one-shot by DaniFire

"He's in love with you." Alex said quietly, looking towards the wide basketball court as we sat by the sidelines. His eyes were transfixed on the lanky frame of Eric Huang, the very person he was referring to with his statement.

"Nah… I don't think so." I replied. "It's just infatuation… It'll pass. It usually does." Hopefully, it would. We're only a bunch of fifteen years olds… Come on! What do we know about love and all that mushy stuff? Besides, I was not even a tiny bit interested with Eric. Puhlease. The guy is like my brother from a different mother.

"If you say so…" Alex replied, not pushing the subject further. He still looked worried but nonetheless, he accepted my answer.

Eric, Alex and I had been friends since we were in first grade. We were the inseparable triplets, the trio, the three musketeers, the Triumvirate, the – you get the picture, right? It was always us three together that seeing one without the other two was like sooooo unusual. Anyways, yeah, we all stuck together most of the time.

"He's in love with you." Alex declared calmly as if stating a silent fact that we've both failed to notice for a long time.

Hmm… Isn't this conversation familiar? He was still referring to the same guy – Eric - who, by then was playing basketball against a rival high school team.

"Really?" I asked, not paying enough attention.

Well, the game was a tight one so my attention was fully focused on that instead of the current topic of conversation which I find mighty redundant, repetitive and boring. Sorry, Alex. It's just that, we've been through this very same conversation before, at this very same spot we're sitting on right now. And frankly, nothing much has changed except that our last conversation of this topic was when we were only fifteen. And we're already seventeen now.

"Charlie, he's been waiting for you all these years." Alex spoke again. This time, he was determined to have my full attention. "I thought you said he's only infatuated?" There was a trace of panic on his voice and I couldn't help but wonder why.

"So? Okay, maybe I was wrong." I shrugged.

"And?" He persisted.

"And what? What am I supposed to say?" I asked incredulously. So what if Eric thinks he's in love with me? Like I said, Eric is like a brother from another mother. It would be like incest just thinking about me and him dating. Eww.

"Well, aren't you going to say anything or even do anything about it?" Alex continued.

"Uh… No?" Alex must've thought I'm crazy for not taking things seriously. "Look, Eric is a basketball superstar now. Cheerleaders go gaga over him left and right. Even if he thinks he's in love with me, those cheerleaders will eventually make him forget. Besides, from what I know of, he already has his share of cheerleaders." Pragmatically speaking, I was hoping I was right this time.

"Are you sure about that?" Alex still looked doubtful but then again, I guess I was just a little bit convincing.

"Yes, I'm sure. Now, concentrate on the game." With that, I closed out conversation.

"He's in love with you." Alex stood shivering by the doorway, looking like a half-drowned kitten amidst the autumn breeze. He was only clothed in a plain white wife-beater and denim jeans barely hanging down his waist. His raven hair was strewn in all directions and he looked like he hasn't shaved in a few days.

I sighed. "Come on in, Alex…" I said and led him up to my room to warm up. "Go wrap yourself up in a blanket while I get something warm to drink…" I instructed and turned my back on him.

Before I could even take a step away, Alex grabbed me by the hand. "I said he's in love with you, Charlie…" He repeated his earlier statement.

"Who? Eric again?" I shook his hold off my hand and crossed my arms on my chest. "I'm seriously getting tired of this conversation, Alex… Eric is not in love with me, okay?" I cut him off short and turned my back on him in another attempt to leave; attempt was the only thing I was able to do, since he practically dragged me back to where we were standing.

"What the heck?" This is getting sooooo annoying. "Alex, what's the matter with you?"

Frankly speaking, he looked nervous and fidgety, like something was wrong and he had absolutely no control over it. The last time I saw Alex Lee looking like this helpless and nervous was when he was waiting for the result of his Father's bypass operation; and that had been a life-threatening situation then. However, this time around, I can't seem to find any reason for his sudden agitation.

"It's Eric, okay?" He lifted both his hands up as if to surrender. "He keeps on saying he's in love with you and I don't know what to do anymore!"

WTF? What's with the sudden outburst? "So? You don't really need to do anything, Alex. If he's in love with me, then that's between him and me! What's getting you so worked up all of a sudden? It's not like this is something new." I shrugged. He keeps on saying that Eric is in love with me; I'm the one Eric is in love with so why the heck was he the one reacting violently all of a sudden?

"I-I… Forget it. You're the thickest twenty-year old I have ever had the privilege to meet and be friends with! I don't even know why I stick around you!" A look of pure irritation crossed his features as he walked right out the door with heavy steps and slammed my own bedroom door to my face.

What the heck was wrong with Alex? I didn't even do anything wrong!

Funny how the calm and usually collected Alex Lee suddenly turn into a complete jerk and asshole for something as little as the thought of Eric being in love with me. I mean, come on, thinking about it, if Eric had been really in love with me since we were fifteen, he should have at least attempted to confess to me even once. But no… He never did. And it's not like Eric's been treating me differently after all these years. I don't see any reason why Alex would even think that Eric is in love with me.

"He's in love with you."

As soon as I closed my locker, I was met with Eric's good-natured grin. "Not you, too…" I muttered with a downcast expression and walked off towards the library to get some stuff for my additional reading requirements. Honestly, all these 'he's in love with you' lines are getting me antsy.

"So, has he confessed yet?" Eric asked behind me.

"Who are we talking about here?" I asked, trying to sound nonchalant at all. If Alex and Eric weren't my closest friends, I would probably think that they're trying to play tricks on me, or at least, feed me with a load of bull. And I may have retaliated against them if that's the case.

"Seriously, Charlie, you still don't know? After all these years?" He sounded surprised.

"Know what exactly, Eric?" Having two guys telling you 'he's in love with you' is not funny anymore. Seriously.

"Alex is in love with you!" He declared with a look of disbelief on his face.

"Funny. He keeps on saying the same thing about you." Hn. Typical jerks. They were really playing tricks on me.

Eric kept on laughing behind my back. "I was messing with him Charlie! You should see the look on his face every time I told him I was in love with you! It was hilarious! It was like he swallowed a giant jackfruit or something." Eric laughed and laughed, and laughed some more. "Come on, Charl, you can't honestly believe I'm in love with you, can you? I mean, that would be like incest or something…" He kept rambling on as we walked through the busy corridors.

"Exactly. If it's incest with you, what more with Alex? Duh." I deadpanned.

Alex? In love with me? Don't even think about it. That is like… one of the most impossible things to happen in this whole wide world. I mean, he's smart, athletic, kind and to be honest, he's very appealing… He's never had a girlfriend in his entire twenty years of existence because I figured, he was the choosy type.

"Charlie, you and I – well, we are an entirely different case than you and Alex." Eric countered. "You guys have this sort of… hmmm… connection ever since what? Grade school? Frankly, I would be more surprised if you two didn't get together!"

"He is not in love with me, Eric. Period. End of conversation. Shut up." I'm just sick and tired of this conversation anymore. I don't even have a love-life to speak of so why the ruckus about who's in love with me?

"If he's not in love with you, how do you explain the fact that he's still single after all these years?" Eric asked.

"I don't know… He's picky." I shrugged.

"No! He's waiting for you! God… Charlie, how thick can you get?"

Then, it dawned on me. "You're the thickest twenty-year old I have ever had the privilege to meet and be friends with! I don't even know why I stick around you!" Those were Alex's exact words the last time we talked. Funny, now that I think about it… Little by little, well, not to sound conceited and all but, I think… He's in love with me.

"He checks up on you more than your parents ever do. He knows your class schedule, your habits, your preferences, you favorites, your allergies, and as creepy as this may sound, he even has a first-aid kit for when you get injured. Plus, he knows which brand of pad and tampons you prefer when you have your period." Eric enumerated. "And of course, I know this because I've watched Alex since we were in grade school. Argue against that, Charlie Matsumoto! I challenge you!"

For the first time in my entire life, Eric's words got me tongue-tied and dumbfounded.

"I'm – I'm in love with you." Alex stood by my bedroom door, looking a lot cleaner than the last time he has been here. He was wearing a casual gray shirt paired with denim jeans and simple black Chucks. His hair, although unruly, looked rather nice and he looked like he just stepped out of the showers. His face was expectant as he stood by the door waiting for some sort of reaction from me.

"Charlie, I'm sorry if I had been such a huge ass the last I've been here. I was just… upset and confused. I'm sorry." He continued. "And… I know I haven't been very clear to you but I've been wanting to tell you that I have been in love with you for as long as I can remember…"

I raised one eyebrow as I crossed both my arms across my chest. "He's not in love with me?" I asked with a mocking tone.

"He?" For a moment, he looked rather confused. "If you mean Eric, well, I'm not really sure if he's in love with you… I came here on my accord… I just want you to know how I feel…" His tone was humble and apologetic.

"Okay…" I said and resumed working on my study table.

"Okay? That's it? That's all you can say? Charlie, I just confessed!"

I lifted by head up and looked at him with a smile on my lips. "Well, congratulations! At least this conversation didn't start with a 'he's in love with you' line." I teased.

"You are… unbelievable." A look of disbelief etched on his face.

"I know. I've been told I'm extremely thick, too…" I shrugged with a smile. "So, I'm trying really hard not to make things awkward around here… How about you come over tomorrow night for dinner? I'll cook." I suggested and received a pleasant smile from him in return.


Author's Note:

I'd rather that we end it at that. =)