I thought the last pain was worse.
Scratched out before I could even begin, my childhood ambitions shredded, shrunk, to a second-place finish in a race I couldn’t even start.

But at least there was hope, there. I could still build something. I could still win second if I worked hard. The race was going to start again and if I won, I could have the second-place crown.
So I endured. I worked late into the night, sleeping at my desk, missing dinner with my family, giving up a new companion because he would be a distraction in the coming months.

Until you casually mention that, actually, the second race was an amusing fiction.
You burnt me. You expect me now to crumple. It is what people who Stood in my place have done.

My ancestors fell, once.
But I am made of sterner stuff than that. I was taught by those who stood firm.
You burnt me? Well.
I shall be as a Phoenix, rising from my ashes. I will grow out of this and what I create will change the world.

You will never stop me.

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