Chapter 2: Secrets Unveiled

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It was a Tuesday night at Ari's house. The Five Guys were having an in-depth conversation, sitting on Ari's bed and occasionally reaching for the snacks they had bought on the way home.
"Oh my God, let's play truth or dare!" Benji shouted excitedly, slightly launching some Flaming Hot Cheetos into the air as he did. His wild personality often erupted in short bursts once he'd been quiet for too long.
"That would actually be a good idea if Miki wasn't playing." Laughed Kostya, giving Mikolas a glance before he answered with:
"What's that supposed to mean?! I make it fun!"
"Fun? Whenever we play with you we end up running down the street naked and almost getting ARRESTED!"

The group erupted in tears of laughter, Mikolas almost blushing in pride.
"I swear to god if I end up stuck on a roof again you guys owe me." Nikita said. Nikita Alekseev always seemed like the mom of the group, with the help of Ari, always keeping them safe; even if he was the most anxious, injury-prone member of the group.
"Alright," Miki began, "Niki, truth or dare."
"Truth. Gotta stay on the safe side."
"When was the last time you cried?"
"Honestly, last week. Mamma Mia is a sad movie okay?!"

As 30 minutes of the game progressed, the group's situation was looking really strange, especially if out of context. Kostya was stripped down to his boxers, Benji was hyper on Gatorade, Ari had a full face of, very sloppy might I add, makeup on, Niki was covered in soapy water as a result of having sponges launched at him and Mikolas was- well- his usual crazy self. They decided to take a break for 10 minutes.
"I'll go get drinks." Ari said, standing up and scratching at his cakey foundation he'd stolen from his mom. "What do you guys want?" He trudged downstairs, oblivious of the events about to change a friendship forever.

Mikolas pounced on Ari's bed, giggling as he caught Kostya right off guard. He pushed him back playfully, Benji and Niki joining in on the fun. Mikolas was being pushed backwards off the bed as he tried to pull the three other guys off with him. Suddenly, the weight on the edge of the mattress became too much, flipping it upwards, off the bed and on top off Mikolas. The boys landed in a heap on the floor, histericaly lauging at each other. They stayed on the floor for another second or two before getting back up to put the mattress back; that is before they saw it.

Reflecting in the light of Ari's bedside lamp, a glittery blue notebook sat under where the matress had been before. It was easy to see that all four boys were dangerously curious to know what lay in its contents. Without a word spoken to each other, Miki picked up the book and flipped to the page last written on. The guys all began to sit around him as he read silently. Then he shut it. Hard. The boys, seeing Miki's distress, went to grab for the book before he snatched it away violently.
"Whoa what's wrong man?" Benji asked, concerned for his sudden change in mood.
"It's nothing." He muttered, tucking the book back under the mattress, " just notes for school. " Ari walked in cheerfully, clutching a tray with fun juices in tall glasses, completed with lime and cocktail umbrellas. "What's happening guys?" He said excitedly, before frowning at four confused faces staring at a pale-faced Miki.

Ari knew that something was up the next day. Kostya, Niki and Benji seemed fine but Mikolas just wasn't himself. He wasn't cracking jokes as much, he wasn't laughing, he wasn't smiling. Something was on his mind. Ari decided to catch up with him after class at the end of the day, meeting him at his locker.
"Hey Miki!" He cheered, desperately trying to brighten his day as best he could.
" Hey... " He responded, cracking a smile that was forced and unconvincing.
"What's up with you recently. Ever since you were at my house until now you just... haven't been yourself. "
"Look it doesn't matter I just-"
"No Miki!" Ari suddenly yelled, startling him slightly . "Do you think can just let the happiest, funniest person I know become this quiet guy that doesn't want to talk to me anymore?! You're my best friend Miki! Please!" Mikolas was shocked at his sudden ambition but proceeded to let it out.
" Yesterday, " he began, "I found this... notebook under your mattress..." Ari's blood ran cold. This couldn't be happening .
"And I read the last page you wrote in..." Ari could feel the tears picking his eyes as his face flushed a bright red. His secret was unveiled .
"You have a crush on me, don't you?"

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