Just Friends

A Friend Is...

He looked at her through lowered lashes

Her words had somehow managed to penetrate

His impenetrable barrier of self-protection

Standing he announced that he really should be going now

As he had originally intended to do all along, of course

She was not to worry herself

The friendship would remain unaffected

By all this, no, really, he was fine

And please don’t concern yourself

Everything is still the same…

And yet it was not

A previously calm atmosphere

Had become uneasily charged in just moments

Defensive retorts were instinctively adopted

Brave attempts at salvaging a wounded ego

Maintenance of an unruffled exterior

Of paramount importance

Even though rejection and disappointment

Were becoming increasingly more uncomfortable to disguise

Complex emotions teetering dangerously

On the verge of expression

And he couldn’t risk letting her have that satisfaction

No!

Retreat was the only immediate solace to hand

He thanked her for the lovely meal

Aware that his departure was an obvious movement

And had made for the door

Before she even had time to rise from her seat

And so, it had happened again

That fragile male ego, in reaction