He sees this as an opportunity to practice what he has been learning. He frets for a full day about how to phrase the message.
"Could you?" or "Would you?".
"I need you to" or not?
In the end, he decides not to text him, but to speak to him after dinner instead. The idea is that it will allow for a fuller discussion of the situation, each other's motivations, and solutions to the problem.
They are alone at the table. One of them is looking for topics to talk about, while the other, himself, is staring intently at his cough syrup. His nerves are building with gathered pace. He feels like he has been transported 30 years back in time, and he is summoning courage to ask for the latest "Shaker" mechanical pencil.
The time is right now. Still he hesitates to start the topic.
His father gets up to go, so he blurts out the question. His father replies, "OK, I know", and retires to his room to sleep.