We were always competing for the better grade

The better essay, and the teacher’s praise

We never got along, you and I,

If you fell behind, I never gave my hand

And you returned this courtesy to me.

But why now, do your tears pierce my soul?

You were the strong one, never afraid to stick out your neck

What did they do that hurt enough to make you cry?

What injustice that needs righting?

Tell me what to do and I’ll make it so

I was always scared you’d steal my mask of perfection

Take it and make it your own

But you never seemed to need a mask

All your feelings were your own

And you had to make them known

You’ve never cried before, that was the shock

I guess that to us, you were a never-breaking rock

But something happened to you today

That found the weak spot in your mental shield

And showed the world your hidden face

You were always so sure of yourself,

You wore your confidence around your shoulders

Like your favorite blanket or cloak

You hid the pain of their words, even from yourself

Or perhaps just stored them away, but today the dam broke

You need not worry about what will happen to those

Who hurt you so badly

There are other who have loyalties to you

Just as strong as my own

We will make them pay for the price of your tears

Even though we competed, ran the endless race against each other

Your tears still stung in my eyes and heart

Why? I ask myself a thousand times over

And then I know the answer: We are the same, you and I

But you made your voice known to the world, and I kept mine hidden

You spoke the truth for us all

That we all must be unique, or else we must die

None of us listened

None of us saw your hopes and dreams, anger or tears

We only heard your differences, a crime for which you had to pay

And catching rain in your mouth

In a warm summer shower

Gave you a happy moment

While the rest of us trudged

Through the dark and dreariness

The sword that pierced you today

Must have hit awfully deep

And in the weakest part of the shield

Because of a lesson you must have

Learned very early on:

“If you want to be different

Not following the crowd,

There’s a price to be paid;

If you chose your own path

You must walk it alone

“Through field and bog,

Rain and shine

No matter how dull

No matter how fine

You chose to walk the path aloneâ€