There are some things that cannot be changed, no matter how hard you fight, or how hard you try, there is nothing to be done. One can either accept that and move on or run away from the pain or it. Two people, close together, related by blood and bound by memories created that are unique to them, might react differently. In fact, these two did.
Peter, High King of Narnia, and schoolboy in England fought when he first left Narnia until the day he returned. He knew in his heart he was destined for something more than the life of a lowly school boy who was shoved around. When at last he reached his beloved land, he learned what he needed to: that he could be the king remembered in legend as well as the school boy who deflected the tense situations and bowed out of unnecessary fights. He had fought enough battles with a sword; there was no need to wage one with his fists.
Susan, High Queen of Narnia, and school girl in England withdrew and ran from the pain when they first returned. While she remained hopeful that they would one day return, her practicality forced her to realize that she may not ever see it again. It was with renewed wonder and awe that she once again visited the splendor of Narnia, finally letting herself remember all of the memories she had stored away. Her lesson was that she must never lose hope, there is always the chance her hopes will be fulfilled. Whether or not she learned it was unsure for some time.
Upon returning to England for the second time, Peter and Susan knew they would never return to the beloved land they called their own, the beautiful country they had ruled in their own right. Peter glowed, knowing that he was meant for something in this world as well, that Aslan would be with him, and he could be the gracious lord without the crown and recognition. Susan was happy to have been there, she sparkled with the sweet new memories, but the knowledge she would never return soon turned them sour.
Simply put, she changed. She was not the gentle Queen Susan that had gracefully ruled over Narnia, endearing herself to its people. Now she had become a disappointed girl whose hopes and dreams had grown away from the possible. With a silent, at first, rage, she locked away everything that hurt. Her memories were pushed to the back of her mind until they were only an aching echo, her journal was shoved far beneath the bed to hide the words of joy upon her arrival home the first time and a little from the second, and she avoided any conversation regarding the lovely world. In less than a year, she had packed everything into shadows she refused to shed light upon.
Relationships with her siblings were strained and suffering. No one on the outside could understand why they were not close as once they were. She could not explain easily that her grievance was simply the imaginary game they had played as children her siblings insisted on believing to be real. Any person would tell her simply to ignore it and to even play along, it couldn't hurt anything. Except it could hurt her. It could cut deeper than any childhood game should be able to and it would leave her breathless and hiding in the bathroom to escape their looks.
The last thing Susan had had the misfortune of overhearing was that her cousin Eustace and his cousin Jill had visited Narnia together. They had saved a prince Rilian, Caspian's son apparently. She felt a pang of sadness, standing outside the door where they could not see her, when she heard Caspian had died, mourning the imaginary friend. Then she had rejoiced with the knowledge he was young again in Aslan's country, along with her three siblings listening to the story.
It was with a grateful attitude the young woman left for a two week trip to a friend's country estate, knowing her siblings and their young cousin and his friend were planning on having supper with Professor Kirke and his friend Polly Plummer to talk about Narnia. She knew that somehow they would drag her into it if she were around, they always did. She had figured that by now, goodness Peter was nineteen!, they would all be past this. Apparently not.
She knew her parents were planning to visit her father's parents just outside of London the weekend before she was to return, she would be just a day behind them returning home. She could have ridden on the same train, they had even invited her, but she truthfully did not want to spend more time with her parents. She was eighteen and perfectly capable of traveling by herself a day later.
Susan was sitting on the lawn talking and soaking up sun when it happened.
"There's a telephone call for Miss Pevensie." A maid in a carefully pressed uniform informed the four young ladies seated in the lawn. Susan smiled at the maid, excused herself, and went to answer the telephone, curious as to how it could be.
"Yes, is this Miss Susan Pevensie?"
"Yes, this is she."
"Daughter of Mr. Gregory and Mrs. Helen Pevensie."
"Yes, may I ask who is speaking?" She frowned as she held the phone to her ear, unsure of who this strange man was.
"My name is Mr. Tyler Harding, Miss Pevensie, I am with Scotland Yard."
"What's wrong?" Susan began to panic, afraid one of her brothers was hurt or in trouble.
"I'm sorry to be the bearer of this news Miss Pevensie, but there was a railway accident just yesterday evening. I regret to inform you that your family was involved."
"No, Mum and Dad."
"Yes, well, your three sibling as well. Miss Pevensie, I'm so very sorry, they did not survive."
"No, miss, none survived. The accident was fatal."
"Miss Pevensie." Susan fainted, handing the telephone off to a waiting maid who yelled for the butler. She spoke to the man on the phone, discovering that the poor young woman's entire family had been killed in the railway accident and said that yes, she would be cared for.
"Henri, take her to her room. Poor thing." Miss Jamison went outdoors to inform her mistress the hostess of the most distressing events.
The funeral was bleak and gray, Susan stood with her aunt and uncle, parents to her young cousin Eustace, who had been killed as well. She couldn't believe it. Eustace had been traveling with his friend Jill and the Professor Kirke and Miss Polly Plummer from one direction, her parents had been coming from another direction, and her three siblings had been at the railway station. The two trains had collided, killing so many passengers.
Cold tears stained her cheeks, leaving frozen trails in the biting wind that whipped her skirt about her knees with vicious strength. A preacher spoke about the tragic early death of young Eustace, laid next to Lucy. Next was Edmund, then Peter next to their parents. Six mounds of fresh earth that buried her heart in agony. For a moment, just as she heard what had happened, she had hoped.
Aslan must have pulled them out, they're safe in Narnia, all of them. I'll never see them again, but they're alright.
The sight of six polished boxes erased that hope as she saw her family laid out before her. Her parents: her dear mother and wonderful father. Mum was a pleasant, worrying sort, always concerned but supportive and loving. Dad was good natured and boisterous willing to share a smile at any time. She had loved them with everything that was in her.
But the deepest wound was the sight of her brothers and sister. Magnificent Peter, who looked so serene and regal. Even in death he was a king who would care for his people and could not be forgotten. Just Edmund who had always had a fair nature, wise for his young age and very respected by both his peers and his elders. Her heart split when she saw Lucy. Valiant, beautiful, innocent Lucy. A permanent laugh was etched on her delicate lips, only fifteen, she had been ripped away too soon. They all had. Aslan could not exist, no more than God did.
With that thought, Susan turned and left. The people in the crowd watched but let her go. "Poor girl, her whole family at once, no wonder she wants some time to herself."
She would have plenty of that. Susan felt a fresh wave of grief as she thought of it. She remembered yelling at Lucy, telling her get out of her room and leave her alone. What she wouldn't give now to have her sister walk in unannounced and flop on her bed to regale her with tales of her days at school. Or Edmund, whose advice she had shunned and disregarded because he was too young. If only she had listened, had allowed herself to remember and hold dear those memories. Peter, her darling Peter, her protector and comforter. He had been the sure strength she had known she would never lose. They were everything to her, now she had nothing.
"Where are you? Don't you care what I am feeling? Do you hear me?" Susan shouted to the sky. "God! Answer me!" Only the wind howled back.
Hailing a cab, she went back to the house. Opening the front door, she was assailed with their scent. Tears streaming down her face, she left her coat on the hallway floor and walked up the stairs. First was Edmund's room. He favored green and brown, he had always loved the forest, not that there was much forest to be had in Finchley. His bed was unmade but his room was neat and orderly. His walls were decorated with pictures of lions and swords, causing Susan's breath to catch in her throat again. Turning, she shut the door behind her.
Next was her room, but she moved on the Peter's. His was messy and disorganized. Only his desk showed any semblance of order where his textbooks and papers were stacked. Susan walked in and collapsed on her knees by his night stand. A picture of the four siblings in costumes sat there. It was after they first returned from the professor's house. They had begged their parents to let them get costumes to play in. In a fit of joy because dad was home, Mum had let them each get two. They all chose medieval clothes, one fancy and one they used for battles. Here they were in their finery with paper crowns on their heads. After a few minutes she stood and left, taking the picture with her and sealing the room behind her.
Lucy's room was not messy, but not neat. Clothes hung over the back of her chair and shoes were haphazardly sticking out from under the bed. Susan went to the closet, running her hands over the clothes there. In the back were two hangers covered in plastic. Curious, she pulled them out. They were her two costumes. Taking the plastic off, she noticed a paper tag on each spelling out 'Queen Susan' in Lucy's bold handwriting.
Hot tears streaming down her cheeks, Susan curled up on the bed and wept. The dresses were crushed beneath her and the picture was held cradled against her chest. She cried until she had only dry eyes and the sun had begun to rise again. She had half a mind to curse the sun. How could it promise such a beautiful day when they were gone?
Susan. Her head whipped around, but no one was there.
Susan. A deep male voice resonated, leaving no doubt to its presence. But its source…? Clutching the picture to her heart, she ran down the hall. Every room was empty, but the voice followed her. It was familiar and warming and strange at the same time. Tears streaming down her face, she left the house at a run: leaving the door open and not caring what she looked like.
Her steps guided themselves and she wasn't sure where she was headed until a familiar set of doors materialized in front of her. The church. Just behind it were her family, inside were the hallowed halls she had visited every Sunday since she was a child. Bethlehem Christian Church. Unsure of why she had come here, she entered. It was empty, so she quietly made her way to the front. Kneeling at the altar, she stared at the picture in her hands.
"What?" She cried in exasperation.
"What do you want? Who are you?" She sobbed.
"Miss Pevensie? Are you alright?" Reverend Fairchild entered from the back and gave her a concerned look.
"I'm cracking Reverend." She said. Bitterly and matter of factly.
"Yes. I'm hearing voices and trying to-" She cut off as something caught her eye from the left. Swiftly looking up she saw only the image of Christ on the cross. "To…"
"Oh, nothing. Just old memories and…" She stopped again. She knew that voice, the deep purring quality and comforting resonance was so familiar she couldn't believe she had placed it. But that was impossible! As she thought it, she looked at the picture and straight into Lucy's smiling eyes.
"The last time I didn't believe Lucy I ended up looking pretty stupid." The words, spoken so many years ago by Edward haunted her now. Lucy had always been right about this sort of thing, if you believed the fairy tales they made up… Susan struggled with herself. Reaching for the maturity she was sure came with putting all of that behind her trying to remember the innocence that always amazed them. She remembered a scene, only a few months before, when Lucy came into her room.
"He'll find you, you know Susan."
"Aslan." Susan rolled her eyes and went back to her book.
"Stop running from him, won't you? He wants you so badly."
"How would you know? Even if he was real, he would hardly be in this country."
"He told us, remember? 'I am there too. You have to find me there.' He's here Su, we found Him. Can't you?"
Susan stared at the cross before her and she knew, in the worn features, there was the strength of a Lion. Tears ran down her face afresh, but they were regretful, not painful.
"Oh Aslan, I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry. Forgive me. I love you. God forgive me!" Susan cried harder, clutching the picture to her chest. As Reverend Fairchild watched, she held a hand to her cheek, as if someone had just kissed it, then began to laugh. He was bewildered, but he smiled because he knew she was no longer confused or lost.
a/n: What thinkest thou? This was my first attempt at Chronicles of Narnia, I wrote it a long time ago and just found it and decided to put it up. It's a bit of a deviation from my usual work but I liked writing it. There is a strong Christian theme,but then, C.S. Lewis' books had one as well. Please review!