You have no idea how long you’ve stared at this particular string of messages, but what you do know is that you’ve spent way too long on doing so. Contemplating on an answer shouldn’t take you forever, especially considering how quick you were to address the earlier ones, but this–somehow this requires a more delicate brand of attention.
You have to choose your words carefully, maybe, figure out the best way to put it. There’s no way a simple shrug will suffice for something like this, no matter how much it felt right to just wave it away. Besides, shrugging off your best bro’s feelings (whether it’s true or not) is just about the rudest thing you could do to him.
But the more you think about it, the more you don’t want everyone’s assumptions to be true. You don’t know if you can handle hurting your best friend yet again, because god knows you’ve already done enough of that to last you a lifetime. It’s a road you’ll never willingly put yourself through.
Being a kid is hard enough as it is.
(But here’s a small secret: turning down Dave because you don’t love him that way will always be just a little bit harder.)
You’ll leave the asks unanswered for now. Maybe you’ll figure out what to say in reply later on.