The Cadet

If I could pick one thing I’d want you to know, it would be of my incredible strength. I carry the weight of my world and am unburdened by it. The pressure is no stranger to me. It swells inside, tumultuous and raw, seeping slowly from my pores. Keeping it together is how I get my kicks.

It comes from the feeling of being lost. I kept it all in, having nowhere to turn, and it solidified inside me. It became my purpose, and so I raised my head a little higher. Shoulders squared, I’ll keep moving forward.

I show no weakness – soldiers never do. We march onward with our backs straight and our throats closed. You’ll bear no witness to my tears. And my scars; I wear them proudly. They make me who I am.

But if I could tell you one thing, it would be of my steel backbone. I’d try to convey that I’m near impossible to break. My fortitude is unshakable. Ready your bows and find your marks; I’ll be here, primed and ready. I couldn’t possibly yield. To give in would mean my demise, and I love life too much for that.

I am not immobile. I can be moved. My lips curve a smile as the sun touches my skin. I still tingle when the waves rush past my ankles and my feet slip deeper into the sand. Your smile makes me weak at the knees and to see you cry brings me to tears.

I can be strong for both of us. I’ll lend a hand to anyone who needs my courage. I am a mercenary and my sword is for hire. Worry not about me, kind soul, I can lick my own wounds and piece myself back together.

Because if there’s one thing you should know, it would be that I can handle anything. A world of hardship is never too much for me. I rise above it all and blaze a trail for the next victory. There are no purples hearts, badges or honors. I wouldn’t want them anyway.

All I desire is a connection. I yearn for a root to anchor me and be called my home. Even a lone warrior needs a place to rest her head. And yet, by reaching out for your hand, I leave myself vulnerable to the most devious of plans. Cradled carefully inside, under a tight lock and key, is the hope that one day I can lay down my arms.

And that maybe I can fall down into yours.

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