Without Me: Hard Call

Driving down the highway, all by his lonesome,
Silver steed shootin’ straight like a laser beam, no explosion,
Admiring the ever-changing scenery, mountains, fields and trees,
Tempted to pull over and capture it, this shit’s Instagram-worthy,
Got Without Me soaring from the radio,
Not the Eminem song but the one by Mac Demarco,
The serenity washes over, got him thinkin’ ‘bout her,
How life’s been treatin’ her, been two years since he’d seen her,
Funny how life works, ain’t no guarantees,
Can’t take nothing for granted, regret’s one vindictive seed,
People included, even the tightest bonds aren’t immune,
Best friends become strangers, ‘together forever’ seems like empty platitudes,
Some folks gotta learn the hard way, been an interesting few years,
How’d it come to this? They were thick as thieves.

‘Twas at a crossing on the way to the train station, complete strangers that got to talking,
Two lone wolves headed down the same way, it was a welcome change, alleviated the work-induced headaches,
Parted ways through different trains, that was the end of that,
Fate thought otherwise, built up something ‘fore knocking it down flat,
Reunited not long after, they might as well had been stalking,
Same way, same place, didn’t see this Groundhog Day thing coming,
Decided to hang for a while, long days can work up an appetite,
Shared a meal, nothing special, just two friends grabbin’ a bite,
Must’ve looked like something more, had onlookers clutching at straws,
Opposite genders can hang platonically, sorry for the spoiler, y’all,
Called it a night after an hour and a half, walked to the station once more,
And just like that, a new friendship was born.

That’s the way it went, nothing more nothing less,
Don’t get y’all’s hopes up, they ain’t anything but friends,
So it seemed before things started to feel differently,
Might as well had heard that little jingle from Love Actually
So much for keeping it platonic, this couldn’t be happening,
It’s the end of the friendship if it ain’t reciprocated,
Sure looked that way, she wasn’t having none,
Good luck scaling that wall, must’ve been funded by Trump,
And so it went, two years riding that fucking carousel,
Round and round it goes, got him feeling sorry for himself,
Donned the mask daily, hiding his true feelings daily,
She ain’t playin’, in the Friendzone he will stay,
That cold and brutal, barren place,
Fake-smiling and feigning neutrality, ‘twas an incel’s nightmare come to life,
Cursing fate for its cruelty, didn’t ask for all this pain and strife.

Two years spent playing a role to which he was resigned,
Beginning each day thinking of her with a sigh,
Eyeing a promotion that will never happen, it’s lonely when feelings remain unrequited,
Life ain’t easy in the Zone but there was a welcome reprieve,
Work and life got them separated, allowing a recharge however brief,
Chopped it up, still, whenever possible,
Difficult proposition with the different time zones,
He finally got over her, that was a relief,
The burden’s lifted, it was the sweetest kind of freedom.

But it couldn’t last, wasn’t long before they were reunited,
Picked up where they left off, forbidden feelings rekindled,
Once again on that sick cycle carousel, Jason Wade sang about this shit,
Crushing on her once more, she remains painfully indifferent,
Sick of living a lie, of feeling torn up inside,
Gotta come clean, though it could blow the friendship to smithereens,
Couldn’t see her in person so planned the next best thing,
Gonna do it by phone, soldiering on reluctantly,
Called her that night, D-day began with chatter and laughter,
‘Twas like old times, past two years had been like no other,
Time to get serious now, will the union come undone?
Got kinda emotional, no lie, now it’s out in the open,
Told her the truth, no bullshit, just like peeling off a band-aid,
She remained composed, thankfully handled it with grace,
She didn’t reciprocate, but promised that they’d stay friends,
It was too good to be true, it was the beginning of the end.

Continued to talk periodically, hangouts ended effective immediately,
Takes two to keep the ship afloat but one half’s bailin’ on the lifeboat,
Maybe she’d moved on, had she found someone else?
‘Fine by me,’ says he, wished her nothing but happiness,
Can’t keep what ain’t truly yours, might as well let her go,
Hurts like fuck but time heals open sores,
Slowly drifting apart now, sailing off to different straits,
No parting words or tearful goodbyes, maybe this was fate.

Back on the freeway, headlights on as the sun starts fading,
Two years now since they’d drifted, five since the first meeting,
Will they cross paths again? Maybe if pigs start flying,
You’d played your roles well but that chapter’s done and dusted,
Smile at the memories, look back with fondness and nostalgia,
But don’t flog a dead horse forever, living backwards can’t be good for ya,
Drive on, young man, the future’s still bright,
You’re still breathing, still living, still driving, you’re still very much alive.

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