Saturday, May 14, 2011 | By: Brianna


Thank you, Google and J.K. Rowling!

Q: Would you consider yourself brave?

A: No. Absolutely not. I am no Gryffindor.

Q: Why not?

A: Because I'm a Hufflepuff, that's why.

Q: You're deflecting. Why don't you consider yourself brave?

A: Because there are so many things that scare me. Just last night, as I was laying in bed with my glasses off, I could see the shadows playing tag on my ceiling, and that fuzzy motion reflected in my mirror, making me think that there was something moving in my room. Other than the shadows. So I very nearly slept with my Christmas lights on, the ones that border my entire room, illuminating it in a warm and inviting glow...the ones that you could practically read under. It really would have been akin to turning my overhead light on and sleeping like that.

The other day Melbourne wanted to give blood for the first time, so she asked me if I would go with her for moral support. Though her exact words were, "I'm giving blood, will you hold my hand?" So I did. I sat in the waiting area listening to a mutual friend talk about how giving blood really wasn't all that bad and you just have to make sure you don't do anything strenuous afterwards because you could pass out, and I'm just sitting there innocently trying to read The Girl Who Played with Fire, and one of the ladies taking blood told me it was good, so I was extra interested (and I just wrote a run-on sentence without sense, and that's okay!). Once it was time for Melbourne to get all her stuff checked out to confirm that she could indeed donate blood, I got to read my book in peace. Of course, the beginning of The Girl Who Played with Fire was a little creepy, so I was on edge. Melbourne took her place on the big stretcher-like chair, and I took a seat right next to her. She prompted me to tell her a story so I told her about that time in first grade when I wanted to bring home a story I wrote to show my dad, but because it was in my in-class journal, I wasn't allowed. And about that other time when I spelled "Thanksgiving" "T-H-Q" during a Spelling Bee. I'm babbling on while she's the one being brave and getting a needle stuck in her arm so she can feed the vampires. So in comparison, I'm not brave in the least. But then she fainted. I never really thought that when they describe in books that the "color drained from her face" that there was any real life basis to that, but that day I witnessed it. Melbourne went ashen, and her lips were white, I kid you not. And what did I do? Well, Melbourne had just said that she was feeling dizzy and couldn't see straight, so I relayed that message to the blood-taker lady. In my normal voice. No urgency, because I was hoping that everything was fine. But when Melbourne went backwards from Oz to Kansas, I was completely paralyzed, still holding her hand. So I was terrified. Everything was fine, the blood-taker lady helped Melbourne regain consciousness, and it turns out that they didn't have enough blood to use, but she would be fine. And through this entire rescue procedure, I'm sitting on that rickety old chair, probably just as white as Melbourne was and just as shaky.

The Oxford English Dictionary tells me that "brave" is defined as "Of persons and their attributes: Courageous, daring, intrepid, stout-hearted (as a good quality)." With that situation, there were a number of things that I could have done that would have been a good deal more "stout-hearted" or "daring." For instance: I could have stood up and pointed at the blood-taker lady and shouted, "She's feeling dizzy and needs your help NOW!" But maybe that would have caused a scene. Or I could have leapt (don't you tell me that word is spelled wrong, Chrome, it's a word and I spelled it right!) into action and yanked the needle out of Melbourne's arm and whisked her off to the snack area.

Or I could have done nothing at all. Or I could have run away, making Brave Sir Robin of Monty Python and the Holy Grail proud. And that wouldn't even have had the semblance of bravery.

I'm not brave because I avoid things that frighten me instead of facing them. I'm not brave because I fear too much, or losing too much. I'm not brave because I don't fight, I run. (And that's why I'm a Hufflepuff. The end!)

"A true knight is fuller of bravery in the midst, than in the beginning of danger."
- Sir Philip Sidney


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