[I]First of all, I want to thank all of you who reviewed my piece, Dear Mum. I did not expect it to do as well as it did. This is from Jill's perspective. Enjoy[/I]
The solider stood in dress uniform in the middle of the snow laden cemetary, a bouquet of white roses clenched tightly in his hand. His broad shoulders hunched against the whistling wind. He was alone for the moment, his mother and father having taken to the warmth of their car, and for his mother to dry her red rimmed eyes. His father mantained the Pole men's 'stiff upper lip' as it were, leaving the young man with only a shoulder pat of consolation.
"Jill, I miss you."
The words felt wooden as they fled from frozen lips, evaporating into the crips midafternoon sky. He crouched down beside the grave, gently rubbing the flakes of snow that had settled upon the marble headstone.
[I]Jillian Marie Pole
May 25th 1933- October 8th 1949
Caring sister, devoted daughter
You will be forever missed[/I]
"Do you like that? I picked it out myself. I figured you'd want something simple. I hope you don't mind...."
His throat clenched and his apple wedged in his throat. He wasn't going to cry! Pole men did not cry! His eyes begin moist, and he titled his head down towards the glittering white snow. In an effort to ward off the rising tides of sadness and anger, he shuffled foreward loosely, placing the bouquet down on the grave.
"I remembered you really liked the color white, baby sister. I'm so sorry I wasn't here for most of your childhood.... I'm sorry for a lot of things. Letting mum and dad make you go to that bloody awful school. Taking so long to respond to your letters."
As if on cue, he reached into his pocket, removing a weather beaten envelope with his sister's handwriting scribbled hastily on the top. With red and numb fingers, he managed to break the seal of the note, gently tucking the envelope into his breast pocket. The letter had been salvaged from Jill's purse, that had been found beside her body. He shuddered, thinking of her laying limp in the wreck of the trian, eyes staring upwards into nothingness.
Like the war, he easily shelved those memories into the deepest compartment of his mind. Taking great care, he unfolded the letter, and slowly began to read its contents.
First off, I want to say how much I've missed you since you decided to help in the rebuilding after the war. I think you're one of the bravest men I know, and I'm so honored and blessed to be your younger sister. Your wife will be an extremely lucky woman to marry you, and your children for having such proud and strong father.
Before you left, we had a proper row about that imaginary land called Narnia, but in truth- and I speak nothing but the truth to you my dear brother, but to resolve this fact- it is all real! Remember when I came back from Experiment House and I went to that school dance with Eustace Scrubb? That dress I had on was from Narnia! Do you think mum or dad could have afforeded it?
Nevertheless, I shall speak presently what I learned there. There's a great Lion who rules Narnia- his name is Aslan- he knows me Josh. Knows me more intimately than a lover, more personal than even you. He gave me a drink once, and I did not quite believe it then. It was only after I had thought upon his words and prayed about them I came to realize the truth of who he was.
Aslan is Jesus. I know that is a name used with such unsavory usage in our home, but that is who he is. I can only pray this letter finds you in good health and proper spirits. Since my discoveries, you may find me a changed woman once I get back. You see, I'm writing this from the train I'm on. I'm working on a way to get back into Narnia once again- I do so hope it works! Aslan's name be praised it does- for I, amongst others who hold his tender name dear have felt the disturbences.
I normally I do not prattle on like such a chatty goose, but I just feel this is of the utmost importance that I do so. When I return, we shall talk and talk, and nothing but until we have nothing more to say to each other, then we'll talk about all that, I'm sure of it.
Please Josh, find Aslan, seek his name in our world before its too late- I have already found him in both worlds. Tell mum, dad, Uncle Frederick, everyone. I love you. Remember that. I'll see you soon.
your loving sister,
The tears came one at a time, slipping past his perfectly built walls, splashing down his rough cheeks once, then twice, until his shoulders shook and he took great gulps of air, the cool wind freezing the lukewarm water escpaing from his eyes to his face.
The letter in his hand was not penned by a sixteen year old girl, but a mature young woman who had sprung up in his absence. Forged through fire and purity. Somewhere, deep down he had always known that Jill was right, but the war had burned the faith from his bones, leaving raw wounds and charred nerves.
"Jill....... how does thank you, even begin to makeup for it? How?"
He suddenly knew. He knelt once more, kissing her grave before heading back to the car, where his father was honking impatiently. He climbed into the plush interior, and settled back against the seat.
"Mum, dad. Jill wrote me a letter before she died. She has some wonderful news. For you, for me, for our family. Everyone."
He reached forward, tucking it in the front seat, as the car lurched forward down the snowy gravelly path towards the entrance. As the car rounded the corner onto the street, he heard the roar of a lion in the distance, and somehow he knew that his sister was smiling too.