Lol, that picture has done the rounds. Right...
From personal experience it’s sometimes bad to get close to a girl as a friend if you’re trying to get with her as a partner. I mean for you it might seem like the right thing to do, to 'ease your way into her life' as a friend then something more but I have found this confuses girls.
If she says she's scared she means she doesn’t imagine you being together for years which would then once you broke up jeopardise your friendship, something she might not want to lose.
Her friends will play a BIG part in her decision; don’t let people tell you otherwise. It’s alright peoples saying, "oh well they aren’t involved" but really they are, girls are very close compared to guys, mostly, and they consult each other on the simplest of decisions. This is not a simple decision for her, evidently, so she will almost certainly consult her girlfriends about it. So it’s going to have to be 'Mr "Nice" Fernandez' to all parties from now on. At least for a while.
Now sorry to say but it might also be she wants her options open, she might feel exactly the same, but about someone else, I know from personal experience here, that this is the worst position to be in.
i.e. You like 'MR A' and have done for years but he shows no interest or little that makes you feel invited into a relationship with him, then 'MR B' turns up and is fantastic for you and your very, very close and a relationship is certain, then 'MR A' realises they do like you and they might lose you if they aren’t careful so they decide to be a bit more friendly so you think hmm, I better not get with 'MR B' in case 'MR A' decided to take that step.
That may sound confusing but it makes sense I promise you. You btw are 'MR B'.
The only solution I see is to play it calmly and try to show her you are the one, the person for her that will give her all she needs.
It is a very confusing situation and one that you will look back on afterwards and no matter which way it goes you will always resent something about it.
Girls are confusing but I do my best.
Keep us up to date on the progress mate