The day before Phil went home, we had a going away party. My parents went to the store with Joe and Lexa and Jade disappeared somewhere with her boyfriend.
As I was setting up the backyard, Phil ran outside in a panic.
"What's wrong?" I asked, jumping down from the ladder. "Are you okay?"
"He found it." He was freaking out. "He found it."
"Found what? Who?" I led him to a chair and made him sit down. "Phil. What happened? Who found what?"
"What did Dan find?"
"The ring." I paused. "I hid it in one of my drawers before I left."
"Were you going to propose?" I asked. He nodded.
"I had everything figured out." He said. "I was going to ask him when I got home. I was going to make him dinner and surprise him and everything. I had a whole speech written telling him how much he means to me and all these things planned out but now he has the ring and he knows I was going to ask him and I don't know what to do."
"What did you do when he told you he found it?"
"I panicked and hung up." He admitted. "I didn't know what else to do."
"You're hopeless." I told him, pulling him into the house.
"What are we doing?"
"You're going to call him back and ask him right now."
"But Kat..." He stopped walking.
"No buts." I let go of his arm. "He already knows about the ring. I know you had a perfect plan, but sometimes things don't work out that way." He sighed, but stopped arguing.
We returned to his laptop and I took it upon myself to call Dan back.
"What the hell was that about?" He questioned as soon as he answered.
"He panicked." I told him. "Try not to be mad. Just hear him out." I got up to give them the room but Phil grabbed my arm and made me stay. Probably for emotional support.
"I was going to wait until I got home." Phil admitted. "I didn't think you'd be going through my drawers while I was gone."
"It was kind of stupid of me to do it." Dan offered, picking up the ring box.
"Well, since you already have the ring." He coughed and his face turned red. "Will you marry me?"
"I will." He nodded.
"I'll do it right when I get home. It'll be perfect I promise." Phil said. They both had tears in their eyes.
"Alright." He agreed.
"I'll see you soon, Bear." Phil said. "I love you."
"I love you too, Lion." The screen went blank as Dan hung up before he started bawling.
"Congratulations Phil." I said.
"Thank you for talking me into it." He replied, hugging me.
"Just curious but," I began gently. "Are you going to tell anyone else about you two?"
"I think I'm going to wait." He told me. "Your dad invited me back for Christmas and said I could bring a friend and I'm going to bring Dan. I'll tell everyone then."
"Are you sure you'll be able to hide your engagement?" I asked. "I mean you're about to spend most of the day with everyone."
"I can handle keeping it a secret. Besides, I haven't really asked him yet."
"Yes you did. I just saw it."
"Well I want to ask him right. I want to cook a nice dinner and decorate the lounge with candles and tell him how much I love him and all that he means to me. I want to be able to get down on one knee and ask him properly."
"I get it." I assured him. "If you don't want to say anything yet, you don't have to."
"At least you don't have to worry about him saying no." I said. "Now come on, people will be here any minute."
During the party, Phil was pulled into a conversation with my dad and uncle. The uncle who I forgot was going to be there.
"So you do that YouTube shit right?" My Uncle Rick asked. "What's that all about?"
"Rick!" My aunt scolded.
"It's alright." Phil assured. "Basically, I make videos about my life, doing strange challenges and just connecting with the Internet community through relatable content."
"How do you even get an audience?" My dad asked.
"It's not easy." Phil admitted. "You have to source yourself. You have to put yourself out there and get other people to notice you. Eventually it leads to more opportunities. And that's great. For example, my friend Dan and I are radio talk show hosts for BBC. And we were in the UK release of Big Hero 6. And we have a book coming out. You also make so many friends through the community. Like, Dan was just a fan of my videos before he began his own channel. You inspire people doing it. You save people. People tell me all the time that I've changed their lives."
"So Dan was a fan before you became friends?" My mom asked.
"Yeah. He'd tweet me all the time and comment on every video. One day I noticed his tweets and MySpace posts and we started talking." Phil lit up as he told the story. "Now we're roommates and have a joint gaming channel."
"Which is fantastic by the way." Rayleigh commented.
"I'm sure Phil's got the ladies falling all over him." Uncle Rick took a swig of beer and Phil shot me a worried glance. "How many of them you fooling around with?"
"None actually." Phil admitted. "I'm actually in a committed relationship."
"She must be smoking."
"Richard!" My mom snapped. "You're making him uncomfortable. You don't have to answer Phil." Phil squirmed under the interrogation of Uncle Rick. I could tell he wanted to say something but I shook my head. Bad idea to come out in front of him.
Uncle Rick was a certified homophobe.
"Why don't you come help me get dessert." I suggested. Phil nodded and followed me into the house.
"Should I tell them?" He asked. "Rick's giving me the third degree about girls and I don't like lying."
"Phil, trust me." I said, taking the bowl of fruit salad out of the fridge. "The last thing you want to do is tell Uncle Rick you're engaged to a man. He's kind of judgmental to put it lightly. With any other member of the family it would be fine, just not him."
"Okay." He nodded. "So what do I tell him?"
"You don't have to tell him anything." I assured. "Everyone thinks he's an ass anyway."
"Alright." He helped me get the rest of the desert stuff and we went back outside. Phil ignoring Uncle Rick for the rest of the evening.