‘She is your mirror, shining back at you with a world of possibilities. She is your witness who sees you at your worst and best, and loves you anyway. She is your partner in crime, your midnight companion, someone who knows when you are smiling, even in the dark. She is your teacher, your defense attorney, your personal press agent, even your shrink. Some days she is the reason you wish you were an only child. ‘
It happened a long time ago.
Some days it seemed like it truly wasn’t so long ago, and perhaps it honestly wasn’t, it all depends on who you ask and on where you ask. In Narnia, it was centuries since it had actually happened, yet it wouldn’t do anyone any good to ask, for the story itself had gotten lost in time; the memory of it had been erased. However, that was Narnia. In England, there was no memory of it, for it had never happened there; their time in Narnia was no more than a few minutes, gone in the blink of an eye.
It really doesn’t matter, either way it already passed.
The events took place in the Dark Woods, the most dangerous place in Narnia, the one place you really didn’t want to be in when the night fell. The story itself, however, started in the light. It was the Narnian time known as the Golden age, many years after their coronation. It was a beautiful day, or at least it started that way, and Susan, and Lucy had decided to go out and play like the children they still were. Mr. Tumnus went with them, but no one else did after all the danger had already passed. They paid no attention to their surroundings as Lucy ran and Susan pursued.
Further and further they went and with each step, they got closer to the Dark Woods.
Then the rain started.
Many years had passed since they lost Narnia.
The kings and Queens of old, who had at one time been so happy and care-free, had grown older and somehow more serious. The bond which they had previously shared, the one that everyone had been certain would be able to withstand anything, had shattered. It didn’t happen suddenly, of course it didn't; it was a long process; somewhere, though none are confident when exactly, they started to change. They all changed, became different than how they had been in Narnia.
It was logical; after all they were growing up in a different world.
Susan was the worst; she was the one who had forgotten Narnia; she was the one who kept saying it had just been a game. For Peter and Eustace, she was the cause, the reason they had grown apart; however, it really wasn't; they were all different and eventually they all would live different lives. Susan, who forgot, just wanted to be a part of this world. Edmund thought that if she could just remember all would be well, all he had to do was find out why she had forgotten.
It doesn’t matter, for her all memories of Narnia both good and bad had long since faded.
It rained in England to, but then again, it always rained in England.
She never even knew when it actually happened.
She supposes, however, that the when doesn’t really matter, neither does the who nor even the why – in such a case that someone actually did this to her of course. All that matters in the end is that it did happen, and that it happened in that moment when they were so far away from home. There are moments, months and years later, that she thinks she almost remembers a stinging sensation in her shoulder, but she’s never been able to remember clearly.
She forgot it in an instant, if it even happened, unimportant, then, though not later.
The rain falling from the sky wasn’t so bad at first so they ignored it, like they ignored other things; things they probably shouldn’t’ have. Like the fact that they were getting further and further away from known land and closer to the Dark Woods, there was no man should travel. They paid no attention to the world around them, being just two girls playing in the fields; they forgot for a moment that they were queens; they forgot that they should go back home at some point; they only played.
The rain kept falling and further they went, behind them Mr. Tumnus could barely keep up.
The invites to the parties kept coming.
Susan spends her time divided between her new-found friends and her parties; spending her time at home getting ready or at times helping their mother. She seemed so far removed from the queen, she had once been that some days Edmund and especially Peter found it difficult to believe they were the same person. The strange thing was, at least to Edmund, that to his sisters, it didn’t seem to matter. Lucy, who of all of them loved Narnia the most, seemed not to care that Susan barely remembered; if she remembered at all. Susan equally seemed not to care that Lucy did remember.
They found the middle ground, left Narnia behind and carried on.
Lucy would help Susan get ready for her parties; she refused to move out of the room they shared when their father cleared out the spare room (which is why Edmund now had his own room), and they were essentially the same. Even their arguments, unlike the ones with the others, surrounded around the same things they always had; in those moments when the sisters were together it seemed like Narnia truly did not exist, or it didn’t matter.
Edmund could not understand perhaps; he thought; it was just a girl thing.
Two hours later, perhaps longer, she started to feel it.
Like the beginning of something, a slight chill a little headache; nothing to worry about really, perhaps she did not eat enough. It didn’t matter; as always, there was no stopping Lucy and Susan did not want to worry her, so she said nothing. She ignored the signs even as they got stronger, the headache just a little more, and the rain slowly drenching her dress making the chill even worse. However, it was still a beautiful day, despite the rain and Lucy was having so much fun.
Surely, it was just the flu; she'd be sick in bed tomorrow, nothing to worry about.
When she thought of it later, in the years, they still spent in Narnia or in England before she forgot, Susan could not remember when exactly they entered the Dark Woods or when they lost Mr. Tumnus. They ran through the trees for hours it seemed, though it may have been just minutes; however, they paid no attention to where they were, after all there were woods everywhere in Narnia. The rain, which until then could have been ignored, started falling with more force.
It was later that they noticed where they were, it was later that they realized they could not go back.
They did not know how.
When Susan was invited to a party, it took her hours to get ready.
That, Edmund admits, was the same in Narnia; though perhaps not that long or maybe it only seemed that way. Lucy would be there the entire time, sneaking into the kitchen to get some water and then spending the rest of the day up there. Susan would try on every dress and make a show of it; Lucy would be laughing and pointing out which dress would be right and which wrong (Susan would always know which dress she wanted to where, but she’d try on every single one).
They could hear them laughing all the way downstairs.
After they were done with the dresses, which could take many hours; Susan would take out all her make up. Lucy would sit beside her while Susan applied her make up; trying out a number of colors (most likely for Lucy’s sake) they’d exchange stories, not once in all the years they had been doing this had they talked of Narnia. They’d argued, of course they argued, some days Susan could have killed Lucy for being so annoying; Lucy would have liked to have hurt Susan for being such a perfectionist.
Still every time, which was a lot, Susan was invited to a party; Lucy would help her get ready.
(Perhaps this was the reason, Edmund one day thought, that it took Susan hours to get ready.)
The sky was rapidly darkening, though it was not because it was getting late.
The night itself was starting to fall as well but primarily the darkness came from the storm, the rain which before had just been a little annoying had now transformed into a real problem. They were already completely soaked but wasn’t the biggest problem; the real problem was that they were alone having somehow lost Mr. Tumnus (Susan would later wonder how exactly they had lost him, wasn’t he supposed to look after them?)
‘Susan where are we? Where’s Mr. Tumnus?’
‘I don’t know; I don’t know. It’s going to be okay Lucy don’t worry.’
Susan couldn’t tell whether Lucy was crying, but she knew Lucy would be scared; Lucy stepped closer to her in an instant burying her face in her big sister’s dress. Susan looked around trying to determine how to get back to where they came from but all she could see were trees and only those closest to her; the rain by now had gotten so strong that she could no longer actually see, which was problematic.
Don’t worry Lucy everything’s alright, we’ll get back. Come on.’
Slowly, Susan took a step backwards to where she thought they came from at least it’s where she hoped they were going.
That day, a Friday, Susan was again invited to a party.
Their mother and father had left some time ago, promising to return as soon as possible since they were going to the same party. Peter to would be at this party, Lucy was deemed too young and someone had to stay with her so Edmund would stay behind as well. Usually on days like these Lucy would somehow manage to wake up first, excited as she was (still after all these years) and wake her up. This time, however, Susan was the first to awake she looked over at Lucy’s still form and for a second she was worried.
But then she remembered hearing Lucy toss and turn and asking what was wrong.
Nightmares had been her answer, and she did not find this strange; everyone had nightmares once in a while. Now in the early morning it seemed strange to be the first one awake and wrong to move about, but she could not lie in bed forever. Instead, she chose to go downstairs and get some breakfast. Surely, by the time she came back up Lucy would be awake full of energy like she always was.
Still she felt slightly worried and ate her breakfast rather quickly, to the annoyance of her brothers.
Slowly, very slowly, they made their way through the woods.
It was not easy, not only did they not know where they were going; they could also not see where they were going. It was dark, and the rain was still coming down as heavily as it did before, Susan held Lucy’s hand as she made her way through the forest, falling over roots and sliding down small hills. At some point, after walking for an hour but making no real headway in the forest, Lucy suddenly remembered the horn. Susan took it out but could not make a sound; the rain had gotten so heavy that the horn was useless; filling up with water before she could even bring it to her mouth.
What good was having it if one could not use it when one really needed it?
So they kept on walking, ever slowly through the woods; holding hands, afraid that if they did not they would surely lose one another. At some point, Susan fell over a root and letting go of Lucy’s hand tried to steady herself against the tree; it was of no use, the tree and the ground were too slippery, and she fell. ‘Susan!’ Lucy was beside her in an instant a worried look on her face. ‘It’s okay Luce; it's nothing, and I’m fine. It’s just the rain.’ ‘Where are we going? What are we going to do?’ ‘It’s going to be okay; you'll see; they're probably already looking for us; we'll hear them shouting our names in an instant. Don’t worry. Just give me a second to get up, and we’ll keep going okay?’
She did not tell Lucy of her worries, the worry that they would not be found, the worry that the storm would get worse.
And the feeling that the chill was not just a chill.
Years later, only a few for them but many for Narnia, Peter would,one day, ask a rather morbid question.
He’d ask Edmund, while Caspian stood nearby and Miraz waited.
He’d ask: ‘What do you suppose will happen in England if we die in Narnia?’
‘Like branches on a tree we grow in different directions yet our roots remain as one. Each of our lives will always be a special part of the other.’