Didn’t feel slow at all.
Only bit that jumped out at me was the initial explanation about Bert early on – it felt quite tell-y and a bit out of place where it was. I was caught up in the conversation and Bethany’s dilemma, and it pulled me out of the dialogue.
I wonder if that info would be better moved to when Bethany mentions him later on instead? It would explain why she’s offered this person as an alternative companion so although it’s still ‘telling’, it’s logical to tell there?