10 mo

He acts like he likes me, but said he likes someone else?

Sorry, this is my first time writing here, but here’s my situation:

So, I like my friend (let’s call him Aaron), and up until now I was pretty certain he shared the same feelings. Do note that while he is flirtatious, he never flirts physically with anyone — he has only done so with me (he would gently tap me a lot — only me, out of a group of 9 people)

He is always asking when our group of friends is going to hang out next, and I’m the only girl in that group— he also isn’t very close with any of them at all, I’m the closest to him.
Whenever I mention another guy (let’s call this imaginary guy John), Aaron will make an offhanded remark about how I probably like John, or how John probably likes me. Aaron does this with pretty much any guy I mention, and he usually seems upset when he does. If John makes me laugh, Aaron doesn’t look happy either.

My other friend found out that Aaron does actually have a crush on someone — after asking this friend of mine, I found out that it’s not me. Wanting to hear it from his own mouth, I asked Aaron directly — Aaron refused to name this crush of his, despite me being close to him. For weeks, in fact, Aaron wouldn’t tell me.

Recently, I asked him who he liked (for the umpteenth time), and he said verbatim, “What if it’s you?”
Me: “I highly doubt it’s me.”
Aaron: “What if you’re wrong?”
Me: “I don’t think I am.”
Aaron: “I’m literally confessing my feelings to you and you’re ruining it.”

This guy is a bit of a jokester, so I naturally thought it was a joke at first, but what surprised me is that he persisted, and he wasn’t smiling. Does this suggest that Aaron likes me? If it does, then why did Aaron let my friend think that he likes someone else?
If Aaron does like me, how do I let him know that I wasn’t rejecting him?
(I think Aaron took it as a rejection, because a day or two after this conversation took place, he told me who he has a crush on).
He acts like he likes me, but said he likes someone else?
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