Strife

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Strife
By Armand Rome (12-02)
Looking back, there wasn’t really much to be proud of. To be
completely honest, 
I don’t know why you chose to act like there was.
You. Of all people.
The one with the “cut the crap” attitude. And this admirable ability to see through the camouflage of the self-righteous.
My confidence.
Even when I thought I had fooled you, finally. You.
Of all people.
You’re the one who was leading me on the whole time. 
And you watched as I slowly descended further and further into my own self-pity and defiance.
You said nothing.
You watched, as I continued to pretend to be someone I’m not. Someone worthy of praise, of reward, of recognition, of acceptance.
You followed suit.
You watched as my own facade, my own charade, began to crumble and fade.
Tearing away at my very being, as I pushed away all that I had “accomplished,” all who I had “won,” all that I had “become.”
Ultimately, giving way to the strife I had been asking for for so long.
And it broke me. It broke us.
But still,
You         did        nothing.
And when I had lost hope, when there was nothing to be optimistic about, you finally spoke.
“You’ve had it all along.”