The rain deafened all that listened to it. It poured down into the streets, cold and harsh, and soaked everyone in the streets through to their bones. These unfortunate, drowned souls, who had chosen to travel without an umbrella, ducked under every shop awning they passed in the hopes to preserve the illusion of being dried. Nothing helped. Most of the lights in the shops and the houses that decorated the side streets that wound off the main road were off; darkness shrouded the streets and the buildings seemed dark and ominous. But, down one of the side streets and around the corner, there was a warm glow that casted down onto the slick road through the front windows of a small home. A lone figure stood in front of the window, a shadow to the light. Their breath made a small cloud on the window pane, a heated contrast against the chilled glass. The figure at the window looked out onto the road, as if they hoped to spot someone. They seemed to not find what they sought, for they turned away from the window and soon, the warm light from the front windows was dimmed to a small whisper a light.
An hour later, as the clock chimed midnight, one figure turned around the corner onto the small road. They had hunched their shoulders and ducked their heads in an attempt to shield themselves from the rain that continued to pour. Puddles were formed in the streets now, as deep as six inches of wet and filth, and the figure sidewinded around the puddles to avoid soaking his shoes that were already wet-through. The person fiddled with their pocket as they marched up the front steps of the small home and, upon finding what they sought, they pulled the house keys from their pocket and turned them in the lock of the front door. They entered the home and closed the door behind them. The light to the entryway was flicked on and as he removed his jacket and shoes, Peter Pevensie was illuminated by the soft glow of the electric bulbs that hung over his head. As he set his hat down onto the radiator in the meager hope that it would be dry by tomorrow, a lamp flicked on in the adjoining den and when Peter turned, he saw his mother in the doorway to the den.
Mrs. Helen Pevensie wore rollers in her greying hair, had a frayed night robe around her body and soft slippers upon her feet. But she had more wrinkles upon her face since the last time he had seen her and she looked tired. But she smiled and opened her arms to her son.
“Did I wake you, Mum?” Peter asked as they embraced. She still smelled of her favourite perfume, a scent that had always reassured him.
“No, dear. I waited for you to come home with my tea and my nightly reading, that’s all. The lights were dimmed because my eyes aren’t so keen on bright light anymore.”
“Mum, you’re talking as if you’re an old woman,” Peter said with a small laugh as he kissed his mother’s cheek. “You’re anything but.”
“Sweet of you to say, darling.” Mrs. Pevensie led her son into the kitchen. “Do you want some tea? It’s awfully cold out there, I don’t want you to catch a chill.”
“Mum, I’m twenty-two, you don’t need to worry about me anymore. I’m not a child.” His mother crossed her arms at his statement and smirked, an expression that was similar to one Edmund would always use.
“Peter, a mother will always worry about her children until all of them are happy, healthy, safe and asleep in their beds. And even then, a mother worries about if her children have bad dreams.” She turned around and as her left hand turned the tap on above the sink, her right hand grabbed the teapot and put it under the running water to fill it. “Now, tell me about your last semester at university. How did your finals go?”
“I passed them all with exceptional marks, Mum. I told you I would.”
Mrs. Pevensie laughed. “Well, I don’t know. I worried that your eyes might be distracted by women instead of immersed in the readings of a lesson.”
Peter rolled his eyes. “Mum, you know I don’t have anyone right now and nor do I really want one.” Mrs. Pevensie casted a side glance his way but said nothing until the water was boiled. The teapot whistled and Mrs. Pevensie poured the water into mugs of loose tea. She brought the mugs to where her son sat at the kitchen table and sat across from him.
“You’re going to leave me without grandchildren,” she chided with a soft smile.
“I will not,” Peter said. “Besides, even if I do, you still have Ed, Su and Lu to fulfill your dreams of thousands of grandchildren.”
“Maybe not thousands,” Mrs. Pevensie corrected. “Do you want milk in your tea, darling?”
“It’s alright, Mum, just a spoonful of sugar in mine.”
They sat in silence for a few minutes as they drunk deeply from their tea cups. It warmed Peter through. He was thankful for his mother and he realized that he didn’t say it often enough.
“Mum, do you ever feel lonely? With me in university and Susan never home because she’s dating… Ed in university now too and Lucy about to go… Do you ever feel like there’s something more in your life that you’ve missed out on?”
“No, my darling. You, your brother and sisters are my pride, life and joy. You make me happier than anything even when you’re nowhere near. I was born with two purposes: to marry your father and to be your mother.”
She got up from the kitchen table and kissed Peter’s cheek as she took his tea cup over to the sink. Peter had a ghost of a smile.
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