Seriously though, I just had a case of the anti-inspiration so I'm very sorry!
Also, thanks to Lunalitsol (my real life best friend) for reviewing and being generally awesome. (Even though the fact that you have me author-alerted scares me because I know you will always end up reading my work and your opinion matters so much to me… Also, sorry I'm too much of a coward to tell this to your face…)
In a lot of ways the second time was better than the first. Less traumatic at least, especially since this time the children knew that they were going home when they stepped through the door. It also helped that they hadn't spent as much time in Narnia as they had before or that they had already gone through the adjustment period once before. There was, of course, the matter of finality, at least for Peter and Susan, yet even that news was taken in stride. As for the younger siblings, Edmund and Lucy, they had the promise of return to help them through the transition.
Yet, there was some pain. In the year between their first trip and their second, they had let their memories grow dull, unconsciously of course, but yet they couldn't help but notice how it had made the pain easier, made it so that they didn't walk around with the feeling that they had had an integral part of their being ripped from them. But when they went back to Narnia the memories came back, and when they returned to England the memories stayed. This, of course, impacted the four's behavior, though only subtly at first. In fact, these changes were really only noticed by those who had really know the four before the second trip, an unusually small number due to the children's erratic behavior over the past year. In the end, the one whose changes were the most noticeable was Susan, but even then they only people to be truly affected were her siblings.
(Excerpt form a letter sent to Lucy from Edmund)
Both Peter and I have been talking of Narnia more and more frequently, especially with the Christmas season approaching. As we watch this world become slowly covered in polluted snow, we are confronted with such longing for the clean of Narnia. Though, perhaps we should not think like that. We must suppose that we are where we are because it is in accordance with Aslan's plans, and, as such, this must be what is best.
(Excerpt from a letter sent to Edmund from Lucy)
I agree that we must assume that Aslan knows what he is doing, but I only wish this could be explained to Susan. We had hoped that her beastly mood on the train ride to our schools would have remained temporary, but I fear that this will not be the case. I have tried to talk to her but she just refuses to respond. From what I can gather, even her school work is suffering. It's like she has thrown herself into relationships with the shallowest girls she could find just so she can avoid any thought of Narnia. On the rare occasion that I am able to speak to her about Narnia, her eyes turn cold. Before she would just glare, but now she goes as far as to suggest that it was all a game. It troubles me, Edmund. I have never had to worry about Susan before. Let us hope that our upcoming holiday will heal her, that Aslan's breath will cleanse her as it did before.
"It's going to be alright, Lu," Peter said, hugging her close while tears streamed down her face.
"No, it won't be… It can't be," she replied, her voice hitching in her throat. "You haven't heard what she's been saying. I honestly believed that this holiday would help, but if anything, it's been made worse," she paused to look into her eldest brother's eyes, "you don't share a room with her, I…" her eyes widened, "the anger, the betrayal it goes so deep."
"It can't be that bad, Lu," Edmund said. He hadn't spoken since the three had entered the room, acting just as he had in Narnia: listening first, then acting.
"She called Aslan my imaginary friend," Lucy replied, annunciating every word as if saying them with enough force would make them loose their meaning. Silence filled the room as her words sunk in. Both brothers looked at each other, shock mirrored on each of their faces.
"Peter! Edmund! Lu! Where are you guys?" the three siblings tensed as they heard the second eldest Pevensie sibling running up the stairs.
"It'll be fine," Peter said, "it's just a… just um… it's just a phase," though it might have been more effective had it not sounded like he was trying to convince himself as well.
"So another school term," Susan said, hoping to bring an end to the awkward silence that had settled in the siblings train compartment since they had left the station. It didn't work. This pattern continued until the train pulled into the next station. At this point, the brothers said goodbye to the sisters and boarded their train, leaving the two girls to wait for their train.
"So there any boys that you're interested in at school," Susan smiled at her little sister, nudging her in the ribs with her elbow. Lucy looked at her in disbelief; this was just not her sister. In a matter of seconds, Lucy's face showed anger, sadness, resentment, fear, essentially any negative emotion you could think of. Susan took this as an encouraging response, mistaking her expression for embarrassment.
"I knew it! That's why you have been acting so odd lately! I was starting to worry about you," Susan broke out into laughter, not noticing the fresh tears on her sister's face.
(Letter to Edmund from Lucy)
(Letter to Edmund from Lucy)
Honestly, Edmund, I can't take it much longer. I can't tell if she even notices how upset I am. Even more troubling, I think she is starting to really believe that Narnia never happened. How are we supposed to handle this?