I was lying down on the sofa in my lounge. I remember my heart beating faster and harder in my chest than I had ever thought possible. I stared up at the ceiling, expression blank, as my thoughts rolled around my head, each one heavier than the last. My mother asked me if I was OK, but I didn't have any answers for her.
It was the first time that I realised that something was different about me. My two best friends at the time had set me up on a date. I'd met the guy at a youth group I used to attend, and I guess he'd taken a shine to me. I liked him. I did. I'd never had a boyfriend before, so I'd revelled in the attention he'd given me. He was so lovely and so kind, and he was such a gentleman, that I was kind of taken aback. It was something I had never experienced before.
When I got home, well, that's when the shit really hit the fan. I realised what predicament I'd put myself in. I had never been comfortable with the idea of myself in a relationship. It's always been something that made me feel sick to my stomach. I thought, at the time, that something was really wrong with me. I should have been stoked that a guy wanted to date me. He was a sweet guy, but I was awkward and unsure of myself.
I wasn't thinking straight, so I told him I wasn't looking for a relationship, and that the date that had been arranged was a mistake. I felt like such a horrible person. That moment has eaten away at me for years. I don't know why but I felt guilty, like I should have gone out with him at least once, like I shouldn't have torn him down in the way that I did.
I didn't mean to be so cruel, but I was so confused at the time that I didn't handle it well. I wish I could have stayed friends with him, but as it is, our lives went in separate directions. I stopped going to the youth club and after that I didn't see him again.
I'm older now. Wiser. More self aware. I know that what I did was the right thing for me. I'm Asexual, and I shouldn't be ashamed of that fact, I should learn to embrace it.
I will admit that I learnt about Asexuality via Tumblr. That doesn't make my feeling or sexuality any less valid. It just means I finally managed to find a box that I could tick - a label that I finally felt comfortable with. It also means that Asexuality isn't talked about enough, and in a world where people like me still feel out of place, that needs to change.
I sometimes still have moment where I regret not dating him. I occasionally have flashes of 'What the hell is wrong with me?' I guess there will always be that tiny niggle in the back of my mind, but at least I have a community of people that I can turn to whenever things get that bad.
I feel a little less broken.