I have no idea why I wrote this, poorly as it is. Perhaps I'm simply mad.

Italics are thoughts. And italics in "parentheses" are quotes.

A fist slams into a wooden dummy, nearly breaking the strong wood. Thoughts running through his head.

I'm strong! My weakness is that I can care about others.

Some only see my eagerness to fight, to excel. They don't know why, though.

He kicks the dummy's head off, not caring where it went.

I continue to grow. I will not stop until I have satisfied myself…nothing else will do.

Perfection? No, I have no need to be perfect.

Better? Yes, that is what I wish for. What I fight for.

The boys sits cross-legged in the long blades of grass and closes his eyes.

I have more talents than just fighting.

I know poetry that most of the highest ninjas couldn't match.

Such a odd thing, poetry. Words that can make or break others.

I sometimes fear it's a weapon that I shouldn't use, I can hurt others in ways that I don't mean to.

I am a warrior like only a small few understand, they are like me too, and we stand united by our hopes.

I saw her for the first time, like an angel from the Heavens. I think I also knew that she was beyond my reach.

…I think that that's the hardest part of being a 'real' man. Letting go.

It was a desire to protect, to make her smile, nothing could be more important. Her happiness.

I know now that she is meant to heal another soul, one that needed it more. Traitor that he is.

I remember when she thanked me for helping her against the Otonin sound ninja. I felt so alive.

I remember the words I said to her. A promise I will keep, even though her heart belongs to another:

"The fighting lotus of Konoha Village will grow and flower again!"

I remember the smile you gave me, so soft and beautiful. Beaten as I was. When I make a promise, its set in stone.

"Before we meet again, I will have become a stronger man."

I swore it. To the Heavens I swore it. And no matter how torn down I am. I will never give up. Ever.

The boy opened his eyes. With a fierce yell he turned the headless dummy to splinters. He opened his mouth and shouted to the Heavens. Loud and clear:

"I am Rock Lee, and I will become a better man. So I swear!"

I am strong

I shall live on

I will fight

I am relentless