LOST LOVE

As Terence is my original character, and as I intend to make a novel about him (one that's entirely unrelated to Narnia, I assure you), I don't want to reveal too much about him. If I say too much, my book won't be nearly as thrilling when it comes out; besides, I don't want anyone stealing my ideas. However, I decided I could at least give you some idea of what my character's past is like.

For those of you who are a little judgmental of my character, just let me say that there's far more to Terence than you know.

This snippet here will help you get to know him better, and offer some explanation for his overall behavior in previous stories.


Characters (excluding Terence) © C.S. Lewis and Disney/Walden Media

Song © Mariah Carey

Story © unicorn-skydancer08

All rights reserved.


When it was announced at Castle Cair Paravel that Queen Lucy was to be wed to Tumnus the faun, within the following year, everyone at the Cair was positively delighted and thrilled for them. King Peter, otherwise known as the High King, who was Lucy's elder brother, held a superb feast that very night in the banquet hall, in the couple's honor.

The banquet hall was crowded in no time—in fact, they ended up having to use the ballroom as well, so as to provide room for all of the guests.

Every wall was garlanded with opulent banners of green and blue, and silver and gold. The tables overflowed with an abundance of luxurious foods. Some of the dishes were done up so well, and appealed so to the eye as well as the nose, that it seemed almost a sin to eat them. There was a great deal of talk and laughter, and the wine was consumed cask after cask. Tumnus, naturally, remained close to Lucy's side, as did she with him. They never seemed to stop smiling at one another, though they never said much, while their hands seemed to become an almost permanent attachment. People kept coming to them, congratulating them, offering their best wishes, and giving out a few bits of advice concerning a married life here and there. The women embraced Lucy warmly, laughing and crying by turns, while the men cuffed Tumnus good-naturedly upon the back and shoulder and roughhoused with the faun a little bit.

However, there was one person in the massive throng who didn't take part in the cheering, and the congratulating, and the celebrating.

Terence, who was Tumnus's best friend, as well as a good friend to Lucy, who was a young unicorn in the shape of a white-haired young man, kept mostly to himself throughout the festivities. At one point, Tumnus's eye came to rest upon his mate, standing inconspicuously in a corner, his hands folded demurely behind his back, his sea-blue eyes surveying the crowd.

Terence's gaze entangled with Tumnus's, and while Tumnus could not make out anger, sadness, or anxiety in the youth's lean, well-formed face, he could find no traces of joy, elation, or pleasure, either. Terence's lips remained firmly sealed, neither smiling nor truly frowning. His whole visage remained entirely calm, unruffled…almost indifferent, like he didn't care.

This wiped the radiant smile from Tumnus's face almost immediately.

What was Terence's problem tonight? Was he feeling okay? Was he unwell?

Tumnus knew his friend wasn't the type to get overexcited, to jump up and down like mad when aroused. Yet, somehow, he expected Terence to be in a far heartier mood than this.

He thought Terence ought to be enjoying himself more, this night of all nights. No one, with the exception of Lucy, and of the Great Lion Aslan, knew and understood Tumnus better than Terence did. Had they been blood brothers, the two could never have been closer. Terence loved Tumnus, or at least Tumnus thought he did. He knew he, himself, loved Terence—regardless of the youth's occasional quirks, and oddities. If everyone else was happy for him and Lucy, Tumnus thought, why couldn't Terence be just as happy, if not happier?

Besides, Terence was the one who hooked Tumnus up with Lucy in the first place. He was the one who forever insisted that Tumnus go after Lucy, and not let her get away.

Had it not been for Terence, Tumnus likely would never have found the courage to tell Lucy how he truly felt about her, to ask her outright for her hand.

Somehow, the mask of dispassion Terence wore on his face disturbed Tumnus more than anger would, even more than downright sadness would. Terence never spoke a word to his mate, only tilted his head ever so slightly in Tumnus's direction, as a sign of recognition, of mere acknowledgment of the faun's presence. Then, at length, still remaining totally silent, the young man turned and headed slowly out of the room, before the feast had even ended. Tumnus watched him go, the man's steps as steady and flowing as they had ever been back when he was a white, four-hoofed beast with a horn. Clearly, there was some matter going on. Tumnus could feel it. The others scattered about the room might not have been aware, but the faun and the unicorn had known each other for far too long, and their hearts were too close-knit, for one to not know when there was something bothering the other.


Terence, rather than heading straight for his own chambers when he left, stepped out into the cool night itself, onto the dark grounds of the castle, where he would be entirely alone. He just couldn't stay there in Cair Paravel, couldn't bear to watch Tumnus and Lucy anymore—watch the two lucky lovers in cold, reserved silence, while an unseen torrent of memories and emotions raged relentlessly within him. The youth moved slowly through the darkness with his usual breathtaking grace, his nimble, agile feet making no noise on the ground.

His hair and beard shimmered white in the moonlight, mimicking the orb's glow.

As he walked, his calm façade he had worked so hard to maintain all night began to crumble, and he could feel a hot wetness pooling within his eyes. The only sound the young man ever made was a faint sniffle. He brushed futilely at his brimming eyes with the sleeve of his black tunic, annoyed with himself for getting all emotionally sappy like this.

What was the matter with him? This was supposed to be a night of great excitement, not one of self-pity and gloom.

Terence knew he should be happy for Tumnus and Lucy; and while a part of him was indeed happy for them, another part of him was afraid. Now that Tumnus and Lucy had each other, how much need would they have of Terence? What use would he be to them, from this time on? Terence shook his head to dislodge the thought. Don't be stupid, he scolded himself.

He knew Tumnus and Lucy better than that. He should know better, anyway.

Just because they were getting married, that didn't mean they would no longer be his friends, that they would suddenly be throwing him out into the cold.

Why should he think he was losing them?

Still…after spending nearly his whole life in solitude, after roaming the lands for well over a century without a friend in the world, it was hard for Terence to not be a little insecure, to not question at times whether anyone really cared…whether anyone in this empty, heartless world would really bother to stick with him.

Yes, he knew Tumnus and Lucy cared about him, and would always stand by him, but an inner part of him couldn't help wondering just how long it would last.

But what got to Terence most of all, what troubled him more than anything else, was that seeing Tumnus and Lucy together painfully reminded him of a beautiful girl he himself once knew, once loved. Seeing his friends together brought to mind what he'd had at one time, what he was now forced to live without.

Once again, Terence wiped his eyes, trying to keep back the tears that threatened to overflow and spill, but it was about as easy as trying to hold the ocean back with a broom.

"Were that I were made of wood, or stone," the white-haired youth murmured aloud, "or at least, that I had been born a cow, or a crawling slug. Slugs can't feel anything. At any rate, they know nothing about love, and the bitterness of its loss." He continued to walk, scoffing to himself at one point, "Love!" There were times, such as now, when love seemed nothing more than a cruel joke, invented by some sadist. It seemed love existed in nothing more than fairy tales, where everyone lived in a world of complete bliss, entitled to a "happily ever after" state. Sometimes Terence had to laugh about the absurdity of it all, while other times he secretly wished his life ran more like a fairy tale, without its constant problems and pains.

Terence had been through a lot of struggles, in his long yet brief lifetime. If everyone were to know everything that came about him, every hardship he'd ever endured, they would never look at him the same way again. Even Tumnus couldn't begin to comprehend the half of Terence's past. There had been countless occasions when Terence literally ached to tell the faun everything, to help lighten the burden that weighed down so heavily on his chest, if nothing else. After all, it was a very difficult task to keep secrets, notoriously big secrets.

Yet how would he explain it? How would he be able to tell Tumnus in a way Tumnus would truly understand, and how would the faun accept it?

Terence didn't like to lie, didn't like to keep his best mate in ignorance. Yet, some truths were too painful to reveal, too heavy a burden to lay on anyone else, least of all his mate.

Some things were simply best left unsaid.

Furthermore, this night was a very special night for the faun, and for Lucy, and Terence was not going to allow anything to spoil it for them—least of all himself.

Terence soon reached the flight of white marble steps, the steps that led all the way down to the moon-washed beach where the Eastern Sea rolled in. There, the young man stopped and took a seat, on one of the bottommost steps. It was there that he sought refuge, in the shadows provided by the balustrades flanked on either side. With his elbows raised onto his knees, his head cradled in his hands, Terence thought back to a night he'd once lived, before he came to Narnia to stay…a night that had been just like this one, a night also of rejoicing and revelry. It hadn't been so long ago, and yet so much had transpired since that time that it seemed more like an eternity.

Even with his eyes closed, Terence could see her face, as clearly as if he saw her only yesterday. He could see her in all her beauty and charm…her regal perfection, her childlike innocence. Even now, he still remembered the flowerlike fragrance of her hair, the lively sparkle of her eyes, the warm satiny feel of her skin, and the sweetness of her kiss.

Just the mere thought of that made Terence's lips literally tingle, and he found his own skin starving for hers.

How he willed her into existence. What he wouldn't give to have her beside him, this very moment, just so he could hold her in his arms again, so he could stroke her hair and kiss her face…and have her kiss him back. He wanted to taste her tears, wanted to croon soft, idle words into her ear, wanted to feel her hands running over his face and brushing through his hair. He remembered how she would play with his goatee, and how he would attempt to straighten the unruly curls of her thick, bushy hair, however unachievable that task would have been.

How long ago it seemed. It seemed to have all taken place in another dimension, another lifetime.

How Terence missed her, more than words could adequately describe. At length, the young man lifted his mournful face from his hands toward the moon, his heart galloping through the starlit heavens to her…wherever she was now. He wondered what she was doing tonight, if she was thinking about him, if she still remembered him.

He wondered if she missed him, as much as he missed her.

Maybe she still loved him, as he loved her, or maybe she'd long since forgotten all about him.

But even if she had forgotten him, that he even existed, Terence knew he would never forget her. She was a living part of him, bound irrevocably to his heart.

Every time he looked at himself in the mirror, he would always know, would remember what he had once been, and what he had once shared with her. Every time he looked at Tumnus and Lucy—or any loving couple, for that matter—he would hark back to what was once his, what could have been his.

Terence knew he should get back into the castle. The hour was late, and the night was cold. Tumnus and Lucy were probably wondering what had happened to him.

Even if not overly anxious about his welfare, they likely questioned amongst themselves where the young man could have strayed.

But for now, Terence remained in lonely silence, this time allowing the tears to fall freely. They slid steadily down his face, like the rain, hot and soothing at first, then chilled by the night wind. Presently, he closed his eyes, blocking out the rest of the world, and he allowed his face to sink deep into his palms again while he quietly wept.

Presently, Tumnus emerged onto the steps himself, the white light of the moon splashing his face and body, the wind lifting his tawny curls from his forehead and rippling his rich green scarf across his shoulders. When the faun saw Terence sitting there below him, his suspicions regarding the youth were confirmed. Terence never looked up or turned around, but Tumnus could hear him sobbing, even from this spot. Tumnus's curiosity and concern for his friend got the better of him, and he didn't hesitate to make his way down the stairs. His hooves clicked loudly against the stone, and Terence, being a unicorn at heart, had more sensitive ears and a sharper instinct than most men. He was on his feet before Tumnus had even reached him. Very slowly, he turned himself around so as to face the faun properly, his eyes and cheeks thoroughly wet and glistening like crystal. Yet when he spoke, his voice was quite steady.

"Hello, Tumnus. I've been expecting you."

"I've been hoping to find you out here," Tumnus countered.

When Terence would say nothing more, Tumnus said decidedly, "All right, Terence, out with it. I know there's something wrong with you this evening, and I want to know what it is."

"Since when is there not something wrong with me?" Terence muttered in reply.

Tumnus knew Terence to be a prankster, but he could tell the young man was hardly joking this time. "Come on, Terence," he said, in a more pleading tone this time.

Laying an imploring hand upon Terence's shoulder, he went on, "Please, talk to me. We could always talk to each other, about anything."

No, Terence thought inwardly, as he brushed his sleeve across his eyes, not necessarily. When he looked up again, his face somewhat drier, he asked the faun out loud, "Would you mind if we went for a little stroll around the beach, mate? Just you and me? I'd rather we do this in private."

Tumnus saw no problem with that. So, he willingly accompanied Terence as the young man made his way down to the shoreline. Soon, the sounds of the party in the Cair gave in to the soft, steady rumble of the sea. As Tumnus and Terence unhurriedly walked side by side, Tumnus said to his companion, "You know Lucy and I are set for next spring, don't you?"

"Yeah," Terence said halfheartedly, not really bothering to meet the faun's eyes. "Splendid idea, mate. What could be more romantic than a spring wedding?"

"And," said Tumnus, faltering somewhat, "I was wondering…if you were willing to be my, as they say, best man at the ceremony."

This time, Terence looked Tumnus fully in the face, his expression incredulous. "Me? Your best man?"

"Yes, you. Lucy quite agrees. We both feel there is no one more suitable for the position, than you. What do you say?"

Terence was silent for a time, then he nodded acquiescently. "Er…yeah, sure, Tumnus. That…that would be a t-tremendous honor." Tumnus noticed he spoke with a faint quiver, and he saw Terence's throat give a twitch as he swallowed hard. And the faun didn't know if it was merely a trick of the moonlight, but he could have sworn he saw a new film of tears swimming in Terence's eyes. Terence put one hand over his eyes, drawing in a deep breath, fighting to pull himself together. Yet it felt as though his heart had just split in two, right down the middle.

He felt Tumnus's hand on his shoulder, heard Tumnus's solicitous voice ask him, "Are you all right?"

Terence wasn't sure how to respond to such a question. Physically, he was well enough off. But mentally, spiritually, emotionally…

"Terence?"

Looking up slowly from his hand, Terence surveyed the faun intently with his sapphire-colored eyes.

At length, he commented, in a voice that sounded slightly hoarse, "I suppose you and Lucy really are serious about this, mate. About getting married, and raising a family, and all that."

"Of course, we are," said Tumnus, now at a complete loss about his friend's unusual behavior. "You knew this, only just now?"

Unable to help himself, he burst out, "Terence, what is with you? This is the biggest night of my life, as well as Lucy's life! Why are you acting like this? Why are you not happy for me?"

"I am happy for you, Tumnus," Terence said simply. "Because you're happy. This is a big step for you and Lucy. If you two truly love each other, are truly meant for each other, if Lucy is what completes you and makes you happy, that's good enough for me. Who am I, to stand in your way?"

"But you look as though someone had just died," Tumnus countered.

Terence promptly stopped at that last part, and Tumnus stopped with him. Tumnus saw the young man close his eyes briefly and pull a sad wince, as if recalling something terrible.

Immediately, the faun regretted his words. "Forgive me, Terence," he said contritely. "I—I didn't mean it the way it sounded—"

Opening his eyes again, Terence brushed the apology aside with a slight wave of his hand, and a casual, "Never mind." And he resumed walking once more.

Tumnus hastened to catch up with him. "But, really, Terence, what is it? Are you sure you're all right? What is it that's eating away at you?"

Suddenly he had a thought. "Hey, if you're afraid that my relationship with Lucy will have an impact upon our relationship—"

"Oh, no," Terence didn't hesitate to cut in. "No, it's not that, mate." He looked away abstractedly. "It's just that…that…" The young man's voice faltered, and wavered into silence.

"What?" Tumnus persisted. "Tell me, Terence."

Terence bowed his head, so that his long, thick white bangs spilled freely into his face. When he spoke, he spoke in a voice so low that Tumnus barely heard him. "Well…it's just that…this may sound absurd, but whenever I see you and Lucy together, Tumnus…when I see you two so happy together…it reminds me of someone else I used to know."

"What?" Tumnus asked again. "Who? A unicorn mare?"

"No," Terence whispered, "a human girl. A maiden…a princess, if you'd like."

"A princess?"

Terence still would not look up, but Tumnus saw him nod faintly.

"Rhiella," the youth muttered. "Possibly the sweetest, most beautiful, most extraordinary girl I could have ever had the pleasure of knowing. Being a unicorn, you know, I have encountered many women, both young and old, in my time. Some of the maidens I came across were more beautiful than others, and others were more afraid of me than some. I went to them all and put my head in their laps, as we unicorns tend to do, even let some of them ride on my back. It was not until I became a man that I met Rhiella. Somehow, she stood out from all the rest."

Rhiella—the name sounded exotic to Tumnus, yet it had an appealing taste to it. "You loved this girl?"

"Loved her? I was once set to be married to her."

Tumnus's mind reeled at the implication. Terence, his own Terence, married? To imagine his mate—that charming, mischievous, impertinent, precocious clown—as a lover of any sort was one thing. But to picture him as a husband, a father, with little children trailing him about, that was quite something else!

Then Tumnus recalled the words "was", "once", and "to be", and how Terence had spoken them in a tone of such evident regret, and the faun felt his disbelief melt instantly into heartache.

"What happened, Terence?" he was afraid to ask. "What happened between you two?"

Terence peered up slowly at him, through those tangled silvery strands, and the look on the youth's face was more tragic and terrible than anything Tumnus could have imagined. It made Tumnus want to weep himself, on the spot. "It just never worked out for us," Terence replied tremulously. "That's all I can say, Tumnus. She was too good for me. It was all a fool's fantasy, a dream too impossible to be real. And now she's gone, and I can never get her back. I'll never find anyone like her again, anywhere in the world…not even if I searched for a thousand years."

By that time, he had stopped walking again and now stood still on the beach, paying no mind to the waves of the sea washing over his feet. Tumnus stopped at the same time Terence did and stood with him, letting the warm salty water lap gently at his hooves and pasterns. All the faun could do was stare at his mate, feeling as if he'd just been struck dumb.

It dawned on Tumnus that, despite all he knew about Terence—or thought he knew—there was yet so much about the young man's life that remained a mystery.

As handsome as Terence was on the outside, as easily as his striking looks and charms would have won the heart of any girl, Tumnus never would have thought his friend would be involved in such an epic romance. This Rhiella, whoever she was, must have been a remarkable and very special girl indeed, to steal Terence's heart away so completely.

Tumnus felt great waves of pity wash over him, like the incoming tide. Poor Terence, he thought heavy-heartedly.

To have loved so purely and sweetly…and then to be left all alone, in the dark…Tumnus couldn't begin to fathom how crushed and devastated he, himself, would be without his Lucy. The thought was too horrible to even consider. Tumnus longed to comfort Terence, to put his arms around him and say something that would help take away his pain.

But the faun was at a loss of what to say.

Furthermore, anything he could tell Terence, Terence probably knew it in his heart anyway, and still the pain lingered.

Terence was silently grateful that Tumnus didn't press for further details, at least for that time. He had neither the strength, nor the will, nor the heart to reveal the full story. The idea of reliving it all again, of experiencing the loss of his love one more time, was more than he could bear. However, there was one thing the young man felt compelled to say out loud.

"Tumnus?" he said tentatively.

"Yes, Terence?"

"Will you promise me something?"

Tumnus hesitated only briefly before answering, somewhat haltingly, "Why…why, yes, of course, mate. What would that be?"

Taking Tumnus's hand, giving it a fervent squeeze, Terence gazed earnestly into the faun's face.

"Promise me that you'll look after Lucy," he besought him, "that you'll take good care of her, that you will do everything you can for her happiness and well-being. Promise me that you'll protect her with your very life, and that you two will cherish every moment you have together. Do you hear me? Every single moment," he added emphatically.

Tumnus had a pretty good idea of what Terence was getting at, and he nodded submissively and answered, "I promise."

"Good." Terence therefore loosened his iron grip on the faun and turned away to face the sea, but not before Tumnus caught sight of a fresh tear dropping down the young man's cheek. In his mind, Terence added, with inexpressible sorrow, Because without each other, mate, without love, you and Lucy will both find that your lives are hardly worth the living.


No, I can't forget this evening
Or your face as you were leaving
But I guess that's just the way the story goes
You always smile
But in your eyes, your sorrow shows
Yes, it shows

No, I can't forget tomorrow
When I think of all my sorrow
When I had you there, but then I let you go
And now it's only fair
That I should let you know
What you should know…

I can't live
If living is without you
I can't live, I can't give anymore
Can't live
If living is without you
I can't give, I can't give anymore

Well, I can't forget this evening
Or your face as you were leaving
But I guess that's just the way the story goes
You always smile
But in your eyes, your sorrow shows
Yes, it shows

Can't live
If living is without you
I can't live, I can't give anymore
Can't live
If living is without you
I can't live, I can't give anymore

Ohhhhhh
(No, can't live)
(No, I can't live)
Oh, I…
No, no, no, I

Can't live
(No, can't live)
If living is without you
(No, I can't live)

I can't live
I can't give anymore…

"Without You" ~ as sung by Mariah Carey