THE FORGOTTEN PEVENSIE.
DISCLAIMER: The Chronicles of Narnia and the characters and events in them belong to C. S. Lewis, not to me.
I was always the forgotten Pevensie.
Lucy discovered the secret entrance to Narnia in the wardrobe, visited Narnia before the rest of us, and met Mr. Tumnus. Edmund turned traitor to work for the White Witch, then had a change of heart, came back to us, and even broke her magic wand at the Battle of Beruna. Peter slew Maugrim, led Aslan's army against the White Witch's forces, and became the High King.
And what did I do? I went to Narnia with them, I received a bow and arrows and horn from Father Christmas, I saw Aslan die on the Stone Table and come back to life, and I was crowned Queen Susan the Gentle at Cair Paravel. But none of those things got remembered by people in the way that the things my brothers and sister did. Everybody talked about what Lucy and Edmund and Peter did in Narnia, and almost nobody talked about what I did.
But when we came back to England, the Professor said that we might return to Narnia again someday. And I hoped that this time it would be different. This time, I'd do something that people would remember, something that would stand alongside what my brothers and sister did. This time, I'd have my grand moment in Narnian history as more than just one of the four Kings and Queens of old.
But it didn't happen. My horn called us back to Narnia, but it was Caspian who used it, not me. And again, I was the forgotten one. Lucy saw Aslan before the rest of us, and finally persuaded us that we had to go to him. Peter fought Miraz in single combat. But while I did a few things - finding the chess piece at Cair Paravel, or beating Trumpkin at archery - nobody remembered them either. And to crown it all, Aslan told me at the end that this was my last visit to Narnia. I wouldn't be coming back, ever. Which meant that now I'd never do something to compare with what the others did. I'd always be the overlooked one.
I thought at first that at least I'd be the only one of the four who went to America, and that would be something. But when I came back home with my mum and dad, the others barely asked me what it was like. Lucy and Edmund were too busy telling Peter and me about their third visit to Narnia, which had happened while they were away. And to make matters worse, Cousin Eustace had gone to Narnia with them, and had his own big adventure there, getting turned into a dragon and then being changed back by Aslan. Just try impressing people with your visit to New York after they've sailed to the edge of the world. And when we found out later that Eustace had visited Narnia a second time, with one of his friends at school, and the two of them had rescued Caspian's son from another witch, that was the last straw.
Yes, people in Narnia remembered me, but as just one of the Kings and Queens from the Golden Age, not for anything that I'd done on my own. If it wasn't for me, the others would have headed out into the snow without wearing coats and froze to death before they even met Mr. Beaver, or would have gone to Aslan's How without remembering to pack food for the journey. But nobody ever pays attention to the sensible person who reminds everyone about these practical things. Lucy gets all the fuss over her - and when I think of all the times that I wanted her to help me with the cooking or gathering firewood rather than gazing at Aslan's golden mane in wonder. She doesn't get remembered as just one of the four Kings and Queens at Cair Paravel.
So at last, I decided that there was only one way left for people to remember me. I turned my back on Narnia altogether. I stopped coming to the others' chats about old times, and whenever they invited me to come, I claimed that Narnia was just a children's game that they should have outgrown long ago. That way, I'd finally be remembered for something.
Yes, I was remembered as the one who turned her back on Narnia, gave it and Aslan up for "nylons and lipstick and invitations", silly, trivial things like that. But at least I finally stood apart from the others. People talked about me at last, wondering why I did it and whether I'd ever find my way back. I was no longer the forgotten Pevensie.
There's no such thing as bad publicity.