Bravery

April 19, 2013 in lau0601, what should be by lau0601

She laughed it off when people called her brave. If Yuri was able to jump off planes and eat raw squid and kill bugs with her bare hands, then she was pretty brave, right? 

And honestly, yes, sometimes she did see herself as brave. Sometimes there was this – this – this brief flash of abandon, a momentary freedom, and she’d just do it. Stand up in class and do a random dance? Sure. Volunteer for a judo demonstration? Why not?

But Yuri didn’t really see herself as brave. It was the wrong definition, that one that everyone else saw. They thought brave meant taking risks and ignoring authority or whatever else. To them, it was Yuri being a daredevil – wow, wasn’t she so cool, so brave?

To Yuri, it was something else. She didn’t see herself as brave because she didn’t dare do a lot of things, things that, to her, took more bravery than did the stupid pranks she pulled.

She hated watching the news, because of the deaths and wars and pain, confusion, heartache. If she had to, she’d watch coldly, analyze objectively. She wouldn’t let herself see it properly, because she wasn’t brave enough.

It was so hard to care. And so hard to not care.

It was so hard to pretend she wasn’t affected by people dying around the world, people starving and being beaten and killed. It was so hard to keep all the world outside and not let it in. It was hella scary, because deep down, Yuri knew she cared. She knew she cared too much. And if she ever admitted that to herself – well, then, what was there to stop it all from rushing into her life and stopping her heart?

It was easier to pretend she was brave, easier to do outrageously stupid things to cover up her cowardice. Easier for people, too, to say that, oh, Yuri is brave, she’s strong, she’s fearless.

Because if she ever let anything in, then she’d be done.

So, Tiffany, please. Don’t make me do this. I don’t want to care, I don’t want to care anymore. I don’t care about the world, I don’t care about anything, I don’t care about you.  I don’t care.

“Why must you always do such stupid things? Don’t you know how much that worries me?” A pause, and oh yes, Yuri knew what Tiffany was going to say next. “Don’t you care, at all?”

I don’t care because I care, too much. Don’t make me brave these waters; don’t make me brave this roller coaster.

I’m…I’m not brave.

But I care.