“Hey, everybody! Let’s play Hide-and-Seek!”
I smiled up at my Prussian friend standing on a nearby tabletop. The crazy albino had just recommended that we all play Hide-and-Seek at one of his famous parties (or, rather, infamous parties). He and his two best friends, Antonio and Francis, claimed to be “it”, and they turned around and began to count.
“C’mon, _____,” said my best friend Alfred. He took my hand and led me upstairs and down a hallway, stopping when we came to an almost empty room. We went inside the room, closing the door behind us, and spotted a large footlocker that was big enough to just barely fit me and Alfred.
“Ladies first,” he said with a smirk.
I raised an eyebrow at him. “Uh, no,” I responded, pushing him toward the footlocker.
He sighed, opening the lid and stepping inside. When he slid into a comfortable position, he smiled at me and said, “C’mon in. The air is fine.”
I sneered and crawled in. “More like the pudge is fine.” I grabbed a sample of his stomach pudge with my thumb and index finger.
Alfred’s face went red, and he flinched. “Dude, don’t do that!”
I giggled, readjusting my position on top of him. “Oh, come on, Alfie. I’m just messin’ with you.” I gently lowered the lid back onto the footlocker, careful not to set the lock.
Alfred chuckled softly. “Y’know,” he started, his voice and tone just as soft as the chuckle he made, “I barely see you smile anymore. Why is that?”
“Eh?” I blinked at him, then pursed my lips and looked away. “N-No reason.”
“Aw, c’mon, _____.” He lifted my chin with his finger. “We’re best friends. You can tell me anything.”
Can I? I thought, a knot forming in my stomach. For the past several months, I had developed something for him. I wasn’t sure what it was at first, but now I knew that it was something along the lines of––don’t laugh––love. I know it sounds ridiculous, but. . .what can I say? He was my best friend in the whole wide world, and I had fallen in love with him. This whole time I had supposedly been “depressed”, I had been sorting out my feelings. Now I was sure. I loved him.
“Alfie?” I said quietly.
“Yeah?” he asked, his unusually soft tone laced with worry.
I breathed deeply, then sighed and dropped my head in the crook of his neck. “Alfie. . .Would you get mad if I told you that I love you?”
Alfred paused, then lifted his hand and stroked my hair. “‘Course not. I love you, too, _____.”
“No.” I lifted my head and looked him in the eye. “I mean love you.”
After a short moment, Alfred did something I didn’t expect––he smiled a very uncharacteristically warm smile, then he laughed softly. “I know what you meant.” He pressed his lips gently to mine for a moment, then pulled away.
I just lay there, staring at him in shock. “W-Wow. . .”
He laughed again. “I love you, _____,” he said, kissing me again.
Suddenly, the air was filled with wolf-whistles and cat-calls. Then a familiar voice shouted, “You go, _____! Get some!”
“¡Usted abraza su hombre, muchacha!” said another voice.
“Now do that again,” said yet another, “but this time with more passion! Moan a little!”
My face turned a bright red as I realized what was going on. I scrambled to get off Alfred and tried to push the lid up, but it wouldn’t budge. My eyes widened. “Wait a minute. Are you guys on the footlocker?!”
“Kesesesese~! Yep~! Now come on and kiss your man!”
I scowled, then looked back down at Alfred with an obvious blush on my face.
Alfred smirked. “Lemme try.” He placed his hands on the lid and pushed hard, a grunt passing his lips. With just that one push he was able to knock the Bad Touch Trio off and open the footlocker. My jaw dropped slightly, and I froze in pure shock. He sat up, gently pushing me up with him. His hands on my shoulders, he smiled at me and asked, “You alright?”
I blinked at him, then nodded. “Y-Yeah.”
We both climbed out of the footlocker, and Alfred looked back at the Bad Touch Trio, who were still hopelessly sprawled across the floor. “Not cool, dudes!”
Gilbert smirked as he pushed himself off the floor. “Aw, c’mon! At least you two hit it off!” He smirked when he noticed the slight blushes on my and Alfred’s faces. “Und as a bonus, you won the game! Now you two are ‘it’!”
Alfred and I looked at each other, then laughed. “Fine, fine,” I said. “We’ll play again. But we’re not going in any more footlockers.”
Gilbert cackled. “No promises~!”