An explanation

My parents asked me about Cassia during dinner tonight. They noticed us talking after service earlier and wanted to know when the ceremony was going to be. I understand that they didn’t mean any harm by the comment. I don’t really have any friends, and suddenly I’m talking to someone. They’re traditionalists, they see a boy take interest in a girl, and their minds go to certain places. Being aware of why they asked didn’t make the question any less awkward for me.

I didn’t bother to correct them. I didn’t feel like getting into yet another argument with my father in less than a week and force my mother to intervene to keep dinner civil. I just smiled and nodded as my dad just made comments about how he always knew I was just a late bloomer. My mom said Cassia seemed like a nice girl. Again, a smile and a nod. I’ll try and talk to them about things properly later this week. It just wasn’t the right time.

It’s just so hard to try and explain asexuality to my parents. I’ve tried to multiple times, and they just tell me I’ll find the right girl some day and I’ll want to settle down and have kids. Sometimes, it’s worse. At least twice during our fights over the past year or so, dad has called me or implied that I was gay and gone off about how sinful that makes me. That’s the hand I’ve been dealt: parents who don’t understand that some people just aren’t interested in other people. They’re so attached to tradition that they overlook part of their own son to make him conform to what they know. So I’m left here pretending to be what I am not to make them happy. Paine would be disgusted with me.

I tried to fit in once before. I had a friend a year ago: Rose. Looking back, friend is not the right word at all. She was a beautiful girl, and she’d talk to me about things and I would listen. She’d ask for me to help her with homework, and I would. She’d have a need, and I’d fulfill it because that’s just what I do. To do good is my religion, after all. It even was back before I fully converted to Deism. I realize now that Rose used me, though. At the time, I thought that was just how things worked.

My parents talked me into asking her out. I listened. I figured maybe they were right, and I’d get “interested” after a few dates. Rose agreed to a date and then a relationship. I enjoyed spending time with her, but things always felt off. She kept trying to get physical, and I never reciprocated. I didn’t notice at the time, but the lack of attention bothered her.

One night, while we were on my boat, the tension in Rose snapped. She took off her shirt, straddled me, and tried to kiss me. I asked her politely to stop. I just wasn’t interested. Rose went off.  She started calling me a homo as she put on her clothes and demanded to be taken back to shore. We made our way back in silence. About halfway back, Rose tried again, but I ignored her. Once more, she insulted me. I took the boat into the dock and watched her as she hopped out and walked away. I haven’t spoken to her since.

For the next several weeks at school, I heard the whispered jeers from other classmates. Rose had told the rest of the class a cleaner version of what happened between us, and many immediately jumped on the chance to insult a peer. My parents caught wind, and pulled me from that particular private Christian school and sent me to the high school I’m at now.

It’s not that much better there. Still, it’s only a few weeks until summer and I never have to speak to any of my classmates for months. Then just two years, and I’m free of them for good.

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