Parties, get-togethers, boys, make-up, dresses, all these things seemed to be what Susan was about lately. But she's not content, not really.
"But I have this against you: You have left the love you had in the beginning." – Revelation 2:4
She never could truly lose herself in these get-togethers. The gossiping giggling of young ladies, their painted hands covering their rouge smiles as they whispered to each other, sending glances towards the men opposite them. Every girl there wore face powder, dresses, stockings, shoes, hair accessories; they were all so encumbering, but they marked the sign of a true and proper lady, so she decided must persevere. The men were not much better, Susan mused, what with their incessant nudging of elbows into their friend's sides as they pointed out a particularly appealing woman. Winks were a common accessory for them, along with dazzling smiles and charming manners. They often looked appealing, but once one delved into conversation with them, that attraction was swiftly diminished into outward appearances only.
Then again, there was little of deep conversation between the girls, too. Any talk consisted of who wore what best, when the next best thing was to be released, or just who that handsome man over there had winked at. Even with the girls she considered the very best of friends, Susan could never direct the talk to any serious matters. She might even admit on having given up on the matter entirely. A sigh left her as she sat on the chairs that lined the walls of the dining room the current party was in. Joanne Collins was the host this night, and so far, it had lived up to any previous parties the attendees had been at. All her friends were there, of course. She could see Vanessa, Lillian, and Jean on the other side of the room, chatting quite happily with three young men. They looked to be University age, something which all girls her age pined for.
Bethany and Rachel sat on either side of her, their chairs pulled close to hers as they leaned over, whispering to each other, asking Susan for her opinion every so often. They had been her first friends when she and her siblings had returned from her final escapade to Narnia five years ago. They had been the ones who filled her head with boys, make-up, and shopping. Confused, betrayed, and hurt, she had latched onto the prospect of a new life with eagerness. She had recited to herself that Narnia had been but a fantasy every day, determined to shut away the pain that still bled there. Her siblings had noticed, of course, and many arguments had been had since. Even tonight she had had a shouting match with Edmund when he caught sight of her leaving again. He just didn't understand how important these events were for her. He couldn't understand just how much of her identity had been taken over by them. Neither could Peter for that matter.
Lucy did, though. Susan winced as she felt the resounding ping of longing that filled her as she thought of her sister. They, who had once been so close it rivaled that of her brothers' relationship, had drifted apart. Lucy had tried, at first. Had begged, pleaded, and cried for Susan to just listen to her, to come back to her. She wasn't really sure when Lucy had declared the fight futile. And she wasn't sure if she was happy or sad about that. She thought Lucy might have tried again tonight, though, when as Susan was walking out the door she had called to her.
"Yes, Lucy?" She sighed.
"Those girls, those boys, everything… none of them will ever compare to your First Love." She hadn't replied. She knew of course what Lucy spoke of, but she refused to acknowledge that she did. After all, it was all just a silly game.
"Don't you think so, Susan?" She was jolted back the present at Bethany's inquiry. She flashed a smile at her friend.
"I'm sorry, what did you say?" Bethany and Rachel laughed gaily, patting Susan on her knees as they told her to rejoin the world around her.
"She said, silly goose, that James Leeroy is looking exceptionally handsome this night. Don't you think so?"
Susan's eyes flitted over to where the man in question stood, his green eyed gaze passing over her group multiple times as he chatted with his own friends. He was handsome, Susan thought. He was of a respectable height, with wavy brown curls that sat on a slightly worried brow. He was also the current sweetheart of Romilda Grant, a young woman who Susan definitely did not like spending time with. Even so, Susan had manners, and she refused to pine after a taken man, handsome or not. But even as she told this to her friends, James' group sauntered over to theirs, eager smiles on each of their faces. Her girlfriends' giggling grew slightly louder as their whispering rose to a new level, the two calling dibs on who they wanted.
"Hello ladies." His voice was handsome, too, Susan noted, as he stopped in front of her. He flashed Bethany and Rachel a smile each, but gave Susan a wink as well. Feeling her friends' elbows hit her ribs, she gave him a smile in return, though, not as dazzling as his. The men pulled chairs to form a circle with them, conversation definitely not lacking as introductions were made. She smiled and nodded, adding her own two cents at the proper times, answering with grace and womanly charm at questions sent her way.
"None of them will ever compare to your First Love." Her eyes closed in pain as she remembered.
It was the fifth year into their reign, and the day had been claimed by the rain that was currently washing their lands clean. The Cair was filled with noise as Narnians moved about, going about their duties for that day, conversation unending as they worked. Those who worked outside had brought their work in, if possible, determined to work their very best for their beloved kings and queens, no matter the weather. Those who could not do their work inside found others that they could help. Peter and Edmund had most definitely not been excused from their morning routine, their exercise and training having been moved to one of the halls on the lower floors. Even amongst the ruckus of the working, the noises of their training could be heard on the floor Susan and Lucy sat.
The queens' morning had begun with Narnian history lessons before moving into their separate lessons on negotiations, treaties, and niceties with other countries. They had retreated to Lucy's rooms as soon as they had finished, eager for the respite before taking lunch with their brothers. Susan had decided to pass the time with embroidery while Lucy watched the rain fall from her window. They chatter amiably with each other, trading stories of what the Dryads had told Lucy or how the dispute between a Raccoon and a Squirrel had been handled by Susan. There was a short silence before Lucy turned to her sister, resting her head on the window behind her.
"Do you think you or I shall ever find love?" Susan's brow furrowed as she glanced up at her sister. Lucy looked extremely solemn, her arms crossed about her tightly and a rarely seen frown marring her features.
"Dear sister, pray tell what you mean by that!"
"Well, think about it, Susan," Lucy exclaimed as she pushed away from the window, taking the seat on the couch next to her sister, knees tucked under her legs. "We've been queens for five years now. You've already reached eighteen years of age and have turned down at least ten requests for your hand!" Susan nodded, placing her stitching down before mirroring Lucy's position.
"It's only been eight requests, but I understand what you mean. What ever has brought this on, Lu?"
"I'm not sure myself, Su. I suppose the thought crossed my mind this morning during lessons. It distracted me for quite a bit, in fact. Oh, Bridgewild would be just mad if he found that out!" Lucy and Susan laughed as they imagined the annoyance that would fill the elder hedgehog if he did indeed find out. Lucy quieted first, taking her sister's hands in her own. "But in all seriousness, Su, why have you turned down so many?"
And she found she could not answer immediately, her hands gripping Lucy's as she stared down at them in thought. Why did she turn them down? Sure, Pete and Ed were quite adamant that no man would ever have either of their sister's hands in marriage, but that didn't mean it wouldn't happen. Three of them had actually been rather handsome and all eight had been chivalrous to the point of absurdity. They had been men of reputation or with power of some sort. Talk had been pleasant, for the most part, but had never delved deeper than was polite. And, she thought decisively, none of them reminded her of Aslan like Peter and Edmund tended to. Her brothers' seemingly endless love, kindness, caring, and protectiveness so reminded her of the Lion at times, she was quite sure she was looking at Him rather than Pete or Ed. Yes, she decided, none of the men were like Aslan as all. She smiled up at Lucy as she squeezed their hands.
"None of them are good enough, dear sister. For Peter and Edmund have set the bar high, but Aslan himself has set the bar highest." The sudden squeal that escaped Lucy and the hug that was flung upon her caused Susan to gasp, even as she returned the hug.
"Oh, Susan! That was exactly what I was hoping you would say! I, too, had this realization the other day! After all, what man can look at us and know us with one look? What man can say that he truly loves us with his entire heart? What man would be willing to lay down his own life to save ours and our brothers'? What man has longed to meet us since the moment we were born? Oh, Susan!" Lucy laughed as she suddenly stood from the couch, pulling Susan along with her as she danced about her room with glee. Susan laughed along with her, following the steps to the imagined music with ease.
Oh yes. No man would ever compare to Aslan, Lucy was quite sure of this, and Susan was, too. And He, Susan realized, was her very First Love. And He was exactly perfect for that role. And He always would be.
"Susan. Susan? Susan!" She jumped yet again as Rachel waved a hand in front of her face, Bethany smiling apologetically at the amused men. Susan blushed as she grabbed Rachel's hand, patting it gently and smiling at the boys bashfully.
"I'm so sorry! I must have gotten a bit tired for a minute." James and his friends laughed good naturedly at her, waving off her apology.
"No offense taken, darling." James winked at her and shot her a smile, scooting his chair just a bit closer to her own. Susan's smile faltered as she looked at him, her own words spoken in the past resounding within her mind. No, no man would compare to Aslan. But, she declared loudly within herself, Aslan didn't exist, so it didn't matter. After all, what kind of a First Love would woo her so deeply only to exile her from his own land? She stuffed the bitterness that rose within her down with force, grasping the hand that James had placed on her knee, sending him a charming smile as she delved in earnest into the conversation he had begun.
So, this is the first thing I've actually written in about four years that hasn't been for school. My goodness, I've forgotten just how fun it is! Anyway, I've recently become obsessed yet again with the Chronicles of Narnia. That's all I have read on here for the past few weeks! And I don't regret it! This little one-shot reared its head about four days ago, I think, and I just couldn't get it out. I actually don't like to read stories with Susan in them, since it grieves me that she forgot and was ultimately left behind. I tried with this to explain, from my opinion, just a little as to why she forgot, why she chose to forget. But in the end, who could truly forget Aslan?