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El Triunfador

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It's been two weeks since Alvaro and Mia went public about their relationship.

It didn't stir the pot as bad as Alvaro expected. Lupe shone a fake smile and didn't condemn at all! Juanma dismissed the tension between him and Mia and went along with Lupe just as expected. It was like he wasn't even bothered by it. Dope!

Things were flowing smoothly. Well, almost all things were. Alvaro still felt unsure of himself, which was weird because he thought he had all he needed. Alvaro reminded himself of the times when he'd say to Mia "you complete me" and "you make me feel like the luckiest man in the world". Why didn't he feel like that now?

He needed to think. So he went to the first place that popped into his head. The infamous storage closet.

He found the closet and stepped inside slowly. He was being not sus at all. Alvaro collapsed on the floor and stared up at the ceiling.

What was I even questioning? Who even am I? What am I doing?

He totally forgot who he was for a moment there. He forgot how talented and privileged he was. To be the captain of the basketball team, to have the principal as his mother, to have the most beautiful girlfriend ever. I guess he didn't feel talented or privileged, because Alvaro was lost.

Maybe it was melodramatic. But Alvaro just couldn't ignore the awful feeling he got when he felt... empty. He felt empty when they went on dates. When they talked, hugged, kissed. It was so different back then. What happened?

"What the stink are you doing, Alvaro?" A deep and hunky voice called out and crashed his train of thought into a brick wall. Alvaro leaped up on his feet and felt his cheeks go red when he saw Juanma there.

"I was for sure you were dead just there." Juanma said as he ambled around him. His eyes lingered on Alvaro and Alvaro crossed his arms uncomfortably. "What do you want, Juanma? I was just relaxing."

"Relaxing? Man I saw your eyes tearing up. What's up with you? Not that I care. I don't like you. We just have a game in twenty minutes and we can be caught off guard." Juanma twittered on until he plopped down on the floor with his legs criss-cross-applesauce.

Alvaro stared at him in disbelief and eventually rolled his eyes and sat facing him.

"So?" Juanma asked. He sounded impatient, but Alvaro didn't know what he was waiting for. "I dunno. What do you care anyway?"

I'm bored as HECC," Juanma popped a squat right next to him, "plus, it doesn't help to be consumed in your feelings during a game. Been there, done that, am I right?"

Alvaro shrugged with a lopsided smirk. He couldn't argue with that, for he had seen the many examples on his favorite teen drama series. "Guess you're right."

"Yeah, I am."

It was quieter than usual in the storage closet. Usually after school there would be other extra curricular activities and clubs going on. Go! and the science club were always the loudest. However, tonight was different. It was darker out. The game got postponed for later in the night and no one was really there except them and the other team. Alvaro was creeped out by the thought.

Juanma's eyes stayed on Alvaro as he and his eyebrows stressed.

"Since when have you became so edgy, Alvaro?" Juanma was confused. He recognized the look on Alvaro's face. Alvaro shot a glance to him and scoffed. He put his head in his hands and sighed. "I don't know."

"Yes, you do." Juanma's head tilted.

"What are we even talking about? What are you doing here, bro? You hate me."

"Ehh..." Juanma made a hand motion symbolizing balance. Alvaro cracked a smile because it was funny. His lips pursed.

"I... it's about Mia." Juanma wasn't surprised. "It's always about her!"

"No, no- it's not necessarily about her. It's just- I don't..." Alvaro's mouth quivered as he looked for words while Juanma's face was working out what he was trying to say. "I don't really feel for her anymore." He fidgeted with his thumbs.

"What?"

"Whenever I say 'I love you' to her, whenever she kisses me and tells me I look cute today and whenever she looks into my eyes like I hung the moon? It feels like nothing."

Alvaro started to not like the silence anymore as it fell between them. Juanma's mouth was open, and unfortunately his breath smelled like mint. "Wow." Juanma muttered.

He didn't blame him. After an entire year of on and off and will they won't they and the entire love triangle saga, it counted up to mean nothing to the winner. Alvaro kinda hated himself for it, as shown in the look in his eyes he gave Juanma. How can someone have jealousy, sympathy, self pity AND sadness in their expression all at once?

"Why?" Juanma said. He couldn't help himself. He needed to know why. He wasn't going to get an answer that easily though.

"I don't know!" Alvaro yelled. Their breaths hitched at the sudden drastic change of volume, and Alvaro started to feel warm tears run down his cheeks. Juanma actually felt bad for Alvaro and put his arm around his shoulders as he sobbed quietly. It was kinda awkward on his end, softly patting his shoulder, but Alvaro appreciated it (and even blushed, shhh!) nonetheless.

In order to lighten up the mood, Juanma has to joke around a bit. "Hah, it's kinda like you only got with her so you could beat me." Alvaro chuckled a little and said, "Yeah."

They made eye contact and Juanma smiled. He got up from the floor and walked through the door. With only five minutes before the game started, Alvaro stared at nothing, contemplating the tingly sensation that Juanma left on his side. Normally he would contemplate whether he should get up or not, but that question was a no-brainer now.