The Good in Small Things

K. Ryan, 2005

The first of two parts.
It is often the case that when many other people say something about another person, and they say this thing over and over again, that it will come true.

This was never the case with Susan Pevensie. No matter what anyone said, she was always gentle.

She was gentle, accepting, when the weight of wrought metal was lifted from her without warning. She accepted the change from queen-outward to queen-inward, while Peter magnificently tried to carry on alone and Lucy valiantly strove to recapture what was lost. She held out nervous, gentle arms for Edmund; a quieter, more subtle Edmund, who had swallowed down the dizzying, never-quite-explained transition from Cair Paravel to Charing Cross as bitter gall, simple justice for the wrongs he had done. Absolute.

No matter how divine the forgiveness, Susan knew her brother would never quite be free of cold, dark shadow. It clung to him, icing-sugar fine, and Susan wondered at it.

She was gentle as they grew up. She cared and spoke and sometimes she may have nagged a little, but she understood that sometimes it was her place to step into, to speak about, things her family were too proud to go near; things that were small and yet complex, bright and yet wholly insignificant to three humans who had once ruled as Queen and Kings, and felt that in time they would again. To Peter, Edmund and Lucy, nothing was too small to love, and yet some things would always escape their notice.

Susan knew the importance of small things. Clean clothes and a certain tomorrow. She was touched by the heroism in a stuttering boy's compliment. She was gentle as she turned her burning face away from his kisses—more gentle as she tilted her head to accept them. To be a queen she needed no bow and no crowns.

Susan was gentle when Peter towered over her, as frightened and frightening as he was, so horrified. She was gentle whilst he demanded, while he implored.

With stain on her lips, she made gentleness beautiful, radiant as the southern sun.

She was gentle as she told him, 'no,' and slipped out the door on her own, her head held high.