I saw my hero cry today.

Tears that glowed, a crumbled look: She looked so different, and yet the same.

I felt a burn when I saw it; I was astounded, and so dumb; I felt a burning, searing cold.

I saw my hero cry today.

And I saw and stared, stared and stared, then looked away. I looked back and back, and thought of what made her cry—the enemy, the blood, the tears, the sweat like bullets—against a cheering, blinding crowd.

She had given so much, passively pained, and she is so very strong, always was—this hurt her more than it hurt me. She saw me cry, and now I saw her cry. There was something, something so terribly wrong with this—seeing this.

She hurt me, she taught me; she scared me, she scares me. A hero to me. So wrong, so wrong, with seeing her cry; there is something so wrong, with seeing her cry. I stared at this newness, because this was wrong.

She is human, human as me.

I knew that. I saw that.

But she was crying, when I know her to be passive—knew her, know her—and this, this sears into my mind—

I saw my hero cry today.

Chest—constricted; eyes—aflame.

And it will never, ever, leave.