“I’m gonna gain a ton of weight if you keep dating this chick.” Scott sat back in his chair and rubbed his belly, his plate of pancakes now just a shallow pool of maple syrup.
Phil kept glancing at his phone, frustrated she hadn’t texted to acknowledge him reaching out to her. He had only eaten half his food in the time it took Scott to finish his.
“She probably thinks you’re stalking her.” Scott nodded toward Phil’s phone sitting beside his plate on the table. “You’re gonna scare her away before she even sees your face.”
“How long should I wait?” Phil asked, lifting his fork for another bite of pancake.
“To call her again? She’s working.”
“No, not tonight. How long should I wait to meet her in real life?” Phil savored another bite. Christina had been right, the strawberries on top gave the hearty pancakes that little extra touch.
“How much do you know about her? Where’s she from? What do her parents do for a living? How many brothers and sisters does she have?” Scott leaned forward and raised his eyebrows. “How much does she know about you?”
“Not enough,” Phil answered reluctantly. “I mean, I know more about her than she’s told me, probably a shocking amount more. I have my sources. But she knows very little about me.”
“Let her in, Phil,” Scott said, his voice low and compassionate. “Give her a chance to understand you. Let her know what she’s getting herself into and give her a chance to take a step back if she thinks she can’t handle it. Help her know what she’ll be enduring if she agrees to be with you forever. Tell her about the night terrors and paranoia, the fear of leaving this apartment, of being around people. She deserves the truth.”
Scott pushed back his chair and stood, patting Phil on the shoulder.
“I’ll do the best I can.” Phil sighed, then looked up at Scott. “Thanks.”
“That’s what best friends are for.” Scott chuckled. “I’m not just here to be your carrier pigeon.”
“Whatever,” Phil said.
“I’m in charge of dishes tonight.” Scott reached for Phil’s plastic containers, stepped over and dropped them in the trash can.