I often think back to my final year of high school, or to be specific the day of my last annual school concert.

I had planned to confess to the girl of my dreams on that day. I had told myself resolutely that I would do so, and remarkably I believed for a time that I would.

But naturally, no such thing occurred.

Words of confession never slipped from my lips.

I was simply too afraid.

I was afraid of being accepted.

Before you take me for a man of hubris, let me assure you that I also feared rejection, and thought that that would be the most likely scenario.

But the minuscule chance of being accepted by her haunted me more.

I feared that the awkward and unsociable boy that was I was ill-suited to the role of boyfriend. I thought that I did not possess the required traits and skills to be a decent partner. I was scared that I would be unable to humour her. I was terrified that my nature would doom the relationship and bring it to ruin. I was certain that I  would make a fool of myself and incur the mockery of her and her friends.

Perhaps I was overthinking things. Maybe my lack of self-worth and confidence was affecting my judgement.  It was possible that these thoughts were as silly and unlikely as a child’s fantasy. And surely all I had to do was put in effort and commitment.

I didn’t know, and would never know. I was too terrified and certain of my failure and failings. I succumbed to my cowardice and never spoke to her on what was meant to be a fateful day, or indeed any other day at all.