(Post The LastBattle)
Susan could not look away from the twisted remains of the train. Even after the bodies were removed she just couldn't take her eyes off of the thing that had taken her family from her.
The whole family was getting together for Eustace and Jill's engagement party.
The whole family including Professor Kirke and Miss. Plummer; the whole family not including Eustace's parents Harold and Alberta…they didn't approve of Jill in the slightest.
Susan was going to meet up with them at the family's summer cottage in Bath after the last of her college exams.
How could this have happened? Susan just couldn't except accept that the last memories of her siblings were of hurtful words and arguments. She had accused them of living in fairy tales.
Susan if asked couldn't really tell you why all the Narnia talk made her so angry. And why her heart felt like it was breaking every time it was mentioned
"Susan?" A voice said. The voice sounded as if it were out of breath.
Susan turned, her eyes burning with yet unshed tears.
A young woman stood twisting her hands together. She looked vaguely familiar; maybe she and Susan had gone to school together.
"Yes." Susan's voice felt like sandpaper on the ear.
"My name's Nancy. Nancy Tyler. We met once…after the air raids you and your bothers and sister were coming home from the country?"
"I…remember we met on a train." Susan paused.
"Do you remember then?"
"I…not much," Susan admitted.
Nancy smiled weakly." I came as soon as I heard about the accident."
"Why? We knew you less then a day." Susan asked her face a sculpture in sorrow.
"You were my friends. No matter how long I knew you," Nancy said softly. Mustering up her courage Nancy swiftly enfolded Susan in a hug. Ignoring the younger woman's protests. Sometimes a person might want to be left alone but what they needed was to be grabbed and held on to.
Susan stood stone still in Nancy's arms. The cold that had felt like…always winter and never Christmas (where did that come from?) that had encompassed Susan's heart since the accident began to shake apart at the warmth from this almost stranger.
Memories of Nancy crept forward grew clearer in Susan's mind. Nancy was bossy and argument and sarcastic and wonderfully kind. She was a mum. Her son's name was Jamie.
Susan melted. She cried for her parents who would never hold her again. For her brothers; Peter, who'd been her pillar of strength (my captain, my king! cried her heart), Edmund, who was her lodestone—a man whose moral compass always seemed to point seemed to be set in the right direction. And Lucy. Her dear and darling, and oh so valiant little sister, despite the great gulf that had grown between them, Lucy, her best friend.
She cried for the Professor and Miss Plummer. And wondered for the millionth time why those too had never gotten married, they were so clearly in love.
She cried for her cousin Eustace and his Jill and the life together they never got to start.
Susan even cried for Aunt Alberta and Uncle Harold and missed reconciliations. No parent deserved this.
Nancy walked the crying young woman over to a bench and the two sat with Susan's head resting on Nancy's shoulder.
Nancy had lived a strange life. The oddness that touched her life during the Blitz never did go away. She never could close her eyes to what was really there. So when the dreams came, dreams of crashing metal, dead loved ones and a voice commanding Nancy to 'Seek out the lost Queen,' she paid attention. And so here she was.
"Oh, Nancy what am I going to do? They're gone!" whimpered Susan.
"Have hope." Nancy smiled against Susan's hair. "Someone very wise once told me that hope is sometimes all we have." She pulled away from Susan and looked into her eyes, "You need to remember who you are and where you're from."
"Susan Pevensie. Finchley."
Nancy had to smile at that flat and utterly dry retort. Good. Some of that old wit and fire coming back .
"I'm going to tell you a story. So pay attention," replied Nancy just as tartly.
Susan's mouth tilted up at one corner.
"Once there were four children whose names were Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy. This story is about something that happened to them when they were sent away from London during the war because of the air-raids…"