Learning to Cope
Disclaimer: Anything that doesn't look familiar or you haven't seen/heard of in the movies/books…probably belongs to me, but everything else goes to C.S. Lewis.
Chapter Twenty-Two: Learning to Cope
I wanted to fall to my knees and lose control.
I couldn't stand to see my mentor be burned away in a blaze. He deserved a much more proper ceremony than that, but I knew that none would ever be given to him. Not while the tyrant was still over everything. Emily had to drag me from the scene for we would have been an easily visible target now that the sun had risen. My head was still spinning and I was unable to say anything for a long bit of time. Tears fell from her eyes as well which goes without saying that there was very little talking for quite some time...though she would try to spark a conversation once and a while.
I was numb from head to toe. All of this was proving to be too much for me. Somewhere out there, my husband was trapped by something. Somewhere out there was the plot behind Jacob's key to success. Somewhere out there…a new Narnia lay hidden...maybe.
But why did I care now? Why should I have pressed on?
I had no idea what I was doing. Emily seemed to have more knowledge of it than I did, but even at that…was it really even worth it? How many days would we spend searching for something that we had barely any knowledge of? How much more time would I have to spend…in confusion?
How many more questions need I ask until I finally received an answer?
Days or perhaps even weeks seemed to go by in silence as I followed Emily through the narrow trails, bubbling streams, and steep cliffs... seeing parts of the country that I had never seen before, but I don't think that I cared much. With the passing of every tree, it was just another tree. Nothing more. I had almost forgotten the whole purpose of our journey. I could sense that she was aggravated with me and it seemed as though everything she had said to me the days before hadn't even mattered.
"We're about a day and a half away from the town where Jacob started all of this," Emily said to me as we climbed another ridge, I could not have guessed how many days had passed since Cornelius's death.
I had heard her, but I had no intention of giving her much of an answer," Wonderful," I replied simply, trying to ignore the steady rainfall that was falling from the thick clouds above.
A sigh released from her lips as she listened to my sulking once more. I can't say that I blamed her. She deserved every right to be upset with me, but I couldn't pull myself to be any other emotion. I know that she respected me, but I was still only a kid. I may have been queen, but I still had a right to mourn like any one else...or at least...that's what I told myself.
"Rosalie, I tried being nice the first time, but it's obviously not going to work this time," Emily said, obviously frustrated as she stopped in her tracks.
She turned and looked directly at me, her face looking as though I had just attacked her. She folded her arms over her chest and looked me up and down," This resembles the Rosalie I saw a while ago, who sat on the rocks and sulked about how her life was crumbling to pieces."
I looked at her through my hood and glared," Give me some time."
"I've given you many days!" she exclaimed, flailing her arms about," Do you even understand how important you are to this operation? Caspian wants you because-"
I rolled my eyes," Do we really have to have this conversation in the pouring rain?"
She exploded at me," Yes! Yes we do! In fact, maybe that will actually put a little fire under your bum to make you talk to me and give me some of your input! You realize that for as long as you act like this, the longer we have to wait until we can put our life back together?"
Suddenly, I felt anger boiling inside me as she tried to speak again, but I erupted," That's what everyone keeps on saying! Even Cornelius and you know where that got him! Everyone thinks that my life is going to be normal sometime, but I don't think that's even possible! Don't try to feed me those lies, Emily. I've become much to immune to them by now," I tried to press onward, but she grabbed me by the arm.
"In training to become a servant, we are taught never to give much opinion, but when you came along; you told me to express everything with you. I don't know if you remember that or not, but you always told me to do that and I'm about to do it," she growled at me, a sort of face I had never seen on her before.
I looked at her, very uninterested as she started her tirade," You're the Queen, but not only that, you've been royalty since you were a little girl. All your life, I've watched you grow up into a leader of this country and it seems like such a waste that you should have it all thrown out the window now just because one more bad thing happened in your 'awful' life."
Her words stung.
"You think you know me?" I growled back at her, pulling off my hood," You think you have experienced the pain that I have experienced?"
She looked directly at me and said," Maybe not to your extent, but don't you think for a minute that I have not experienced pain. You think that the death of your mother did not affect me? You think that the death of Beck did not directly affect me? You think that Jacob ruining your wedding did not also hurt me? You think that Cornelius, a man who I have looked to as a role model for years, did not hurt me? I would say that you are wrong, Rosalie Sopespian if you think that you're the only one who has experienced pain in the last few years."
I opened my mouth to say something, but merely shook my head. It wasn't worth it. I tried to shake myself free from her, but her grip merely tightened.
"I know you need time, Rosalie, and I wouldn't say anything if I thought all of this was normal, but for you…you bounce back quicker than this," she said a little more gently," This isn't you to stay silent for such a long time. I want to help you because I know that you can make it through this. Let me in, talk to me, tell me what I can do to ease the pain."
I looked directly at her and felt my heart pinge lightly, but I was still cold," I don' t think I can. Not from this," I whispered hoarsely.
She placed both of her hands on my shoulders," Think about it, Rosalie. What if you just stopped now?"
"What do you mean?" I asked her, the rain still dripping from both of our faces.
"Let's say that I left you here to mourn. Eventually someone would find you and turn you into Jacob, don't you think? Don't doubt for a minute that Jacob's men are on our tail hot and heavy. Can you infer what would happen?" she asked me seriously.
I gulped before answering with a shaky voice," They would take me back to him…and lock me away again. Maybe even kill me, I know he's not happy at the moment, but Emily-" I tried to argue, but she was focused on what I said before.
She nodded in agreement," And you know what that means?"
I shook my head, prodding for her to continue.
"Caspian, Apollo and all of those other men are still stuck wherever they may be, Jacob gets the satisfaction of destroying, not only you, but the entire nation of Narnia, the giants will never be set back to their peaceful ways, and most of all, everything that Cornelius ever worked for will have been for nothing. If you're going to do anything, at least do it to make Cornelius smile from the afterlife," she said to me, her voice so tender and loving even when I was being so difficult.
Her words cut me deep once again. I never had realized what an inspiring young woman Emily was until the other night at the river and I completely ignored her words. Thinking over what had happened, she had every right to just abandon me there, but the fact that she wouldn't…showed how much loyalty she really had. I didn't get it at first, but she was right.
Look at me.
I was being such a baby about all of this.
"You're right," I whispered to her," As always."
A smile came to her face," So what are you gonna do? Are you going to let me leave you here to mourn?"
I felt my heart pace quicken and my blood flow move even faster. Slowly, I felt myself defrosting and even though the pressure was becoming too much, I had a country that needed me. This wasn't a matter of just me; it was the matter of all Narnians. If Emily and I didn't get on it, Jacob could get what he wanted.
And that was the last thing I wanted.
This time, I meant it. Even if I wasn't sure of anything...I was at least going to try.
"Let's go," I told her confidently and she beamed through the thunderstorm.
I nodded to her before placing a hand on her shoulder and saying confidently," Thank you and I believe it's time that we move on. Should there be a village that we will reach by the end of the day?"
I walked very quickly and Emily, who seemed rather shocked at my change of attitude answered," Y-yes, there should be a village up ahead."
I smiled at her and said one more time," I really do mean that, Emily. Thank you. All of Narnia thanks you."
She giggled and pushed a strand of hair behind her ear," It was nothing."
We both laughed and continued walking through the trail, with the constant sound of Jacob's men in the distance looking up and down for any sight of us.
As the day came to an end, we approached a small village that lay nestled in the foothills of the mountains out west. In the previous days, we were lucky enough to find camp in caves in rock structures, but this was the day that we would actually be able to stay in a village. Even if it appeared to be a little farm town with houses that lacked proper roofing or roads that lacked proper care.
"An actual bed sounds rather nice at this point," Emily said as we traveled down the path to the village.
"I have to agree," I told her, watching as men plowed through the fields outside the city, this was most definitely an agricultural city," Now, Emily, how much do you know of this town?"
"The only thing Caspian told me of this town when he was telling me what route to take from Cornelius's cottage was to only stay in it for one night at the local inn. He didn't even tell me a name," she said to me, as several men gave us wary glances from their work," I do remember him mentioning that these people have been quite…distant ever since the scare with the supernatural or whatever. They're basically neighbors to that town."
I nodded my head in understandment," Sounds interesting…I'm sure the people are quite the characters."
Just as I said that, a woman with a goat pulling a trolley came passing by us from the town below. It appeared as though all of her belongings were packed away in the back and she seemed to be humming some sort of mantra to herself. As she passed, I tried speaking to her," Ma'am, are you-"
She looked at me, but continued humming to herself and pressing forward. I looked at Emily in bafflement, but tried not to pay much attention to it. Before I knew it, we were standing at the gates of the small village and walking through to see that the rest of the small, bleak town was not so different from the woman exiting the town.
"Lead the way to the inn," I said to Emily quietly while we strolled through the city and I cautiously pulled my hood back over my face.
She nodded and walked in front of me while I continued to scan the city…looking for nothing in particular, but rather just looking around to get a better view on the town. All of the men, women, children appeared to be in some sort of a trance for none of them seemed to be showing any expression. I found it rather odd, but tried to ignore it for the time being as we passed through to the small inn.
The inn was not anything to write home about. The black sign with faded white lettering that hung from the was tilted and about to fall off the building:
The Ol' Farmhouse
Come on in! Stay awhile!
Emily looked back at me and said with a nod," Here we are for the night."
"Let's see what this place is like," I said with a sigh as she opened the creaking door to the equally creaky floor boards and beaten up walls with all sorts of pictures of farm animals on the inside. I swallowed hard as we made our way to the small, rickety desk that lay at the back of the room.
Near the fireplace to the side, I noticed many men sitting around with all sorts of bottles in their hands, passing around the many colored containers. They seemed to have the only excitement in the entire city for they were loud and boisterous, but it did not surprise me. They all seemed to drunk to realize much of anything other than themselves.
Sitting at the desk appeared to be a boy of no more than seventeen, roughly Emily's age or maybe just a little older than Penelope. He looked up from where he sat, whittling away at some stick, shaving away, one layer at a time.
His dark eyes looked up as I pulled my hood from my head. Emily spoke, but his eyes were glued to me in this very odd, blank stare. His hand was frozen with the knife tight in his grasp as he stared at me. I tried to look anywhere but at him, but it was impossible. Emily tried several times getting him to speak, but it got to the point where we realized it was useless.
"Excuse me?" she tried, waving a hand in front of his face," Hello?"
She stood there for several minutes trying to break this stare down, but he was so intense at looking directly at me that never once did he flinch or even blink, for that matter. I was irked by this boy greatly and started to turn on my heel toward the door as Emily spoke to me.
"C'mon, maybe we just can't stay here tonight…" she mumbled to me, done with trying to get him to speak.
As we turned our back to the eccentric boy, I felt something whiz passed my ear. I gulped hard as I watched the object that had flown by my head, a knife enter the wedge of the door, locking it to where we would not be able to exit. Slowly, I turned on my heel and saw the dark headed boy, standing straight up and staring at me…just as he had been.
"Perfect," the boy said darkly with a chuckle.
Author's Note: This update was much quicker than the last! Haha. Hopefully, I can keep on cranking out the chapters, but we will see. Writer's block may have something to say about that J On a different note, thanks to everyone who has stayed committed to this story! It means a lot to me and I hope that you are still continuing to enjoy it.