‘I don’t know how to overcome my fears,’ Colin said. ‘I really like her. I mean, really really like her. But I lack the nerve to ask her out.’
Mark took off his glasses and rubbed his eyes.
‘Firstly,’ Mark said, ‘why overcome your fears? Your fears are there for a reason. They serve an evolutionary purpose. Ignore them at your peril.’
Colin took another swig of his beer. ‘But Dave said to me – what’s the worst that can happen? Dave said – this isn’t a dress rehearsal. There are no guarantees that tomorrow will ever come.’
Mark sighed and raked his fingers through his fringe. ‘You do know that Dave’s basically an alcoholic,’ Mark explained. ‘His wife kicked him out last year, remember? He doesn’t understand life in any way. Or people. Trust me – Dave lives his entire life in yesterday, never mind today or tomorrow. Dave still wishes he was nineteen. And as for the worst that can happen? Let’s look at that one. You’ll get yourself all worked up, ask her out and she’ll brush you off. And you’ll lose a good friend in the process. So you’ll experience yet another rejection which will only serve to confirm that failure is the template for all your social interactions in life. It will cast a shadow over the rest of your days.’
‘Thanks Mark,’ Colin said. ‘You’re a real pal.’
‘Just giving it to you straight,’ Mark said, punching him on the arm to soften the blow.