Disclaimer: Edmund and Peter Pevensie and all the characters and situations in the Chronicles of Narnia belong to C. S. Lewis and not to me.
STILL WARM IN THE EARTH
He stayed for me.
Because I wept and pled, "Don't go."
Because I clung to his hand and laid my head against his burning side and begged him to stay.
Because I couldn't remember or imagine being without him.
He stayed and drew agonized breaths, every one a struggle, and still I begged him stay, not caring the price he paid for each one.
He stayed and looked at me with patient, uncomplaining eyes, eyes that did not beg for release, though they sometimes widened with sudden pain as his grip on my hand convulsed and then slackened again.
He stayed though he sometimes grit his teeth and arched his back, catching a low cry before it could leave his throat.
He stayed and listened to me whisper to him that he would soon be whole again, as though there could be blood still inside him, blood enough to replace the ocean that had soaked the unworthy ground beneath him.
He stayed because I was too weak and would inwardly bleed that ocean and more to have him torn from my grasp, from my side, from my heart. Because I was too selfish to unclasp our hands and let him run whole and free into the sunlit lands that awaited him. Because I was too afraid of that grim aloneness that yawned before me if I released my hold.
His breaths became more labored, and he gave a soft cry at each one, and I knew I must no longer be weak or selfish or afraid. He stayed for me, and I had no right to keep him.
I clung to his hand and laid my head against his burning side.
"Go," I pled, and his hand tightened on mine, surprising in its strength, and then was still.
I brought it to my trembling lips and then caught him in my arms, feeling the last breath leave him. I held him a long while, listening for another word, for another sigh, for another beat of the heart, but he only lay limp against me.
At last I stood, and I carried him to the place that had been readied for him beneath the sheltering oak. I laid him still warm in the earth and covered him over with my own hands.
And I knew I had done right to let him go.