Well, it wasn't the first move after all, right? Because you had brought special gifts, and so forth.
Not everyone you approach can reply directly to being told that you "really like" them, and that's unfortunate. I think as you grow older, you may find people are more comfortable being straightforward in their responses, depending on the relationship.
I recently went camping at a new location. The Camp Host came on to me. I had never met him. My response was a complete non sequitur, as if he had not hit on me.
However, I once had a dear friend tell me straight out and kindly that he was not interested in a romantic relationship. And the friendship is a strong as ever, I might add.
The older we get, the less time we have.
Your friend may have to learn that, but also, you were not completely straightforward either.
"I really like you" doesn't absolutely mean that you want a to pursue the possibility of a romantic relationship.
"I really like you. Could we perhaps talk about considering a romantic relationship at some point? Because I think I am attracted to you and would like to explore that, if you are at all interested and available."
Yep, that's difficult and often you will get rejections, but if the timing is right to say that, then you might just get a completely honest answer, and often the person may need to think about it and your hoped-for answer might be delayed. Sometimes, they are already interested in someone else, and you just have to wait until that plays out and wait your turn. Sometimes it's not in the cards at all. And that's okay, too.
Anyway, it's all a journey and best wishes.