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.