Jared sometimes wondered when did it all started.
He thought of that, for example, when they were sitting next to each other on the bench in front of the school, and Evan just mentioned something related to his work in the park, or about some nature documentary that he recently watched and in his eyes for a moment had this strange shine to them, and Jared tryed really hard not to smile.
Or when they were writing an exam and his one glance was enough, and Evan was already sliding his card toward him, allowing Jared to copy all the answers.
Or when they were just talking and Evan suddenly did something extremely adorable, like standing on the tips of his feet every time he got really hyped up, or tapping his fingers on his thighs and biting his lips (which was extremely distracting, by the way).
But no matter how many times he asked himself this question, the answer was always different.
Sometimes he thought about last year, when he updated his Facebook profile picture after a long time, and Evan reacted to it as "love it" and for some reason he suddenly felt hot and stared at that virtual heart for a few minutes, grinning at the phone like an idiot.
And at other times he remembered middle school, when Evan was the only one who remembered his birthday, and although the only thing he could buy with his pocket money was a cheap key chain "Jared" on it, this gift stayed in his bedside table for forever. Buried between all the postcards that Evan sent him from his holidays and photos from the summer camps they went to together.
Or he went back to one of his most vivid childhood memories. When in third grade, Evan invited him for a sleepover. At first it was awkward, as always, and Jared even considered just going home. But then, suddenly, Heidi told them that it was time to go to bed, and Jared discovered that in the dark Evan was becoming someone completely different. Maybe it was due to the fact that they couldn't see each other faces, or maybe just because it was late, but suddenly they had so much to talk about, and Jared didn't
wanted to go home anymore. And in this complete darkness, Evan confessed:
''I've never kissed anyone yet.''
The fact that almost a ten-year-old who has not yet had this type of experience was quite normal. But back then, it was a big deal. The opportunity to say that you already had your fist kiss, on the scale of 'being cool' was right next to with having these shiny Pokemon cards, and that was, um, very high.
"Me neither" he replied.
And for a while it was quiet again. So Jared mumbled:
''If you want to, we could ...''
He wouldn't call it a kiss. It was barely a touch of lips, like a warm breeze. But Evan put his hands on his knees for that millisecond, and suddenly he felt incredibly hot. He thanked God that Evan could not see his face because he was sure that even his ears were red.
He thought about that last one very often.
He never finally got to the bottom of why he loved Evan so fucking much.
The most likely version was a mix of everything. All memories, all of his nerve tics, the small, weird things about him, past and present, because that was all Evan.
Evan Hansen, who could never, ever know about any of these things. He can't know that Jared notices how carefully he irons his tops and how nice he looks in everything that is not polo shirt. Or that whenever he runs fingers through his hair, Jared can't stop looking at him. Or that when he gets a good grade, he looks as if he was trying very hard to hold back a smile, but it didn't work out, and Jared had never seen anything this charming.
So, just in case, Jared never forgets to remind him that he has no taste in fashion and dresses horribly. Or tells him to stop fidgeting because he looks weird. And that one good grade does not mean that he will go to college.
There were many reasons why Evan couldn't find out.
But the main one was that he would rather die than be rejected by someone like Evan. "You are a great guy, but-" would be the last nail in his coffin. He might as well start digging up his own grave.
And the chance that Evan would reject him was extremely high, if not beyond the scale, for one simple reason:
Because his wonderful and amazing Evan Hansen was dating Murphy fucking Connor and he was absolutely, madly in love with him. And it was so obvious that Jared wanted to vomit. Or die. Or both.
He saw how Evan was looking at Connor. That warm, dreamy look, as if he was seeing at the most beautiful thing in the world, and not at the grumpy boy sitting on the opposite side of the room and his stupid jacket that smelled like weed.
How Evan began to pay more and more attention to how he dresses, how much time he was spending on doing his hair in the morning and looking at his reflection in his phone several times right after coming to school.
How Evan goes out of his way to motivate Connor , because "He's smart but lazy!", staying after school to study together for exams and refusing to leave until Murphy remembers all the words in Spanish.
But the worst part was that he also saw Connor.
How he caught Evan's gaze in the classroom and gave him a shy smile, then stared at his own shoes putting a strand of hair behind his ear like a stupid teenage girl.
How he mentions that Evan looks "dazzling as always" as soon as he arrives at school. And how he always found a moment to kiss his cheek in the morning and didn't care that Evan's locker was on a completely opposite side of the building and he will be late for classes.
And how since Evan helped him gather his motivation to learn, his grades went up in an alarmingly short amount of time and how he seems incredibly grateful for it.
After all, Jared saw how stupidly happy Evan was.
And really, he wouldn't think of it as anything bad.
But still, sometimes he thought about everything they went through together. And how much he would like to be the one, that brought so much light into Evan's life.