Please Don't Forget
Author's Note: I own nothing, as you very well know by now :)
Chapter Twenty-Five: Please Don't Forget
My eyes looked back over to the lion," How much longer do we have with them?"
We stopped walking for a moment and took time to look down the river where they all stood congregated around, what used to be, a river bridge.
"I suspect that we will arrive back at the castle later this afternoon and the Telmarines will throw some sort of celebration," the lion explained as we began walking once more," However, I think that tomorrow will be the day that we assemble the people and offer the opportunity for them to go back to their homeland. This will be when the Pevensies will leave as well."
I mirrored his steps while I swallowed the words he said and asked," There is no way that they could have more time?"
He looked directly at me and the look in his eyes told me that he was genuinely sorry and I did not need a verbal answer to know what he was going to say. Slowly, I turned my head away, knowing that he was right. Knowing that I could not delay the inevitable and that there was no getting around saying good-bye. We walked in silence toward the others and just before we rejoined them, the lion said," Rosalie, use these last hours wisely. I told you first for a reason."
Reluctantly, I met his eyes and nodded somberly, knowing that he wanted me to make the best of what little time I had left with them," Of course."
"Child, please do not be too saddened," he encouraged me," Remember, what I told you about the new horizon. It will be hard now, but you are strong enough to make it through, I know this."
A small smile came to my lips," I hope so."
Then I turned once more to go and join the rest of them, but before I could reach them…I felt as though there was something else that needed to be said," And Aslan," he looked at me," Thank you, for everything."
He replied, in the same tone that a father would a young daughter," My child, you are very welcome."
That time, I really did walk away and saw that my sister was waiting for me at the edge of the tree line where the others were already starting on the path back home. Home. In a matter of hours, we would be home again. As I approached my sister, she raised an eyebrow at me.
"What was that all about?" she asked me as I walked along beside her on the trail home.
Fighting the urge to confide in her, I placed an arm around her and pulled her close to me as we walked.
I told her," You'll soon see."
She looked at me, her eyes narrow," There's something-"
"Let's just not worry about it right now," I whispered to her and as I did so, I noticed Edmund walking up beside us. My sister's eyes flicked away from me and immediately looked over to the youngest king. I smiled to myself at this innocent notion before pushing her toward him slightly," Go for it."
Blush filled her face as she shot a glare back at me," You're awful."
I rolled my eyes," Just go already."
My sister stared at me hard for a couple more moments before finally walking toward the king. Even though I knew she deserved to know what was coming too, for some reason I felt as though Aslan would have preferred that I not spread the news. There was no need for me to ruin her happiness now. I watched as her and the king struck up a new conversation, but was soon interrupted.
"Rosalie," I looked behind me to see my horse being pulled along by Trumpkin, the dwarf. I laughed at the sight because Kingslee was being rather stubborn about the whole affair, whinnying and crying. His voice was rather irritated and it was quite a sight watching a creature of his height pulling a large horse such as Kingslee.
I took a step back to calm Kingslee," Thank you Trumpkin," I told the dwarf, who returned the gratitude with a nod. Suddenly, Reepicheep popped up over Kingslee's head.
Kingslee threw another fit and bucked high into the air," C'mon girl, it's alright. Calm down. Reepicheep, you're giving her quite the scare, why don't you get off?"
With a sigh, the small mouse came scurrying down from atop of the horse and bowed at my feet," My apologies, my lady, but nevertheless-your steed is here."
"Thank you, Reepicheep," I said with a smile as the two of them scurried on off farther up the trail," And Trumpkin."
I patted Kingslee on the nose, still trying to calm her down completely. The thought of never seeing her again had passed into my head and it was wonderful that they were able to return her to me. I was scared to ask how they found her, but it hardly mattered since she was back. After waiting for quite some time for her to settle down, I finally climbed on Kingslee, after she calmed down completely. Walking was getting rather tiring considering that I had so many injuries that my whole body felt as though it was aching.
However, I was able to ignore the pain as best as I could. Up ahead, I noticed my sister and Edmund, still engaged in conversation, as well as Caspian speaking with some of the centaurs, and then I also noted that Aslan was speaking with Peter at the front of the pack. I could only wonder what they were talking about, but I figured that when he was going to break the news to Peter, he would tell Susan at the same time.
It was nice to be able to ride Kingslee in peace and as we trotted along the trail, it almost felt as though I was a little girl riding with my father again. I could clearly picture the river running alongside us, birds chirping overhead, my father's arms around me protectively…it was a nice fantasy to replay, but it was interrupted seemingly too soon when the crowd stopped moving at the top of the ridge.
Over the valley, Telmar could be seen. Standing tall and proud, just as it had whenever we left it. Only this time, a new ruler was upon the city.
Whenever we entered the city, one would have thought that we had brought a never ending supply of cheer with us as well. People gathered in the streets, dancing and cheering, screaming our names. They were in awe of the kings and queens that were joining us on our trip back. The whole ride through Telmar was like a dream. I felt as though I was only in a fantasy land all the way up until we were at the drawbridge to enter the castle.
Slowly, the bridge crept down and as it crept, my heart almost leaped through my chest with excitement. Coming back home was one of the best feelings that I had felt in quite a long time. Seeing all of the familiar faces of the servants and other Telmarines whom I had known since I was a child. It would never be the same without mother, father, or even Jacob, but at least these people could serve as small reminders of the old life we all used to share.
Fireworks were shot off that night in celebration of the new king that had come and all sorts of people crowded into the streets. The Pevensies, Caspian, and even a few of the Narnians gathered in my family's quarters to watch the show from the balcony. The streets appeared to be very crowded, but it was quite a relief to be home again and to watch the celebration. The evening was wonderful, being able to talk about something other than battles with them all, but I was mostly worried that the next day was coming much too soon.
Sunbeams broke through the curtains on my bedroom window, and I groaned at the sun's touch on my face. I felt as though I was just waking up from a long dream, the ones that felt so real. It was very hard for me to comprehend the fact that I was…home. Just the day before, I was fighting in a battle to save Narnia. And then, only a matter of hours later, I was awakening from my own bed once again.
"Good morning, Lady Rosalie," my servant girl, Emily, greeted me, just as chipper as always.
"Emily," I moaned, stuffing my head back under the covers, I may have been awake, but my body still ached greatly from all the beatings I had taken over the last twenty-four hours," Surely no one expects me to be anywhere quite so early?"
A chuckle came from the servant girl's mouth as she pulled the curtains all the way open, light swallowing the room whole," It's already mid-morning, my lady. Most of the castle has been awake for hours now!"
Slowly, I pulled my head up from my pillow, but a sting ran through my beaten arm and a small cry was elicited from my mouth. Emily, always the observant servant that she was, came running to my side," Let me help you, no doubt you are still horribly sore."
I shook my head with a horrible wince planted on my face as I pushed myself up with my other arm. Jacob may as well of cut off my arm since it was more than useless at the time being. Emily had taken the liberty to cleanse and wrap it just before the fireworks had began the night before. There were also some other minor places of injury all over my body.
We entered into my room of clothing once again, just as we had before and I took up my place in front of the mirror. As Emily went scurrying back through my clothing, I examined my reflection. Scraps graced the sides of my face and I noticed that right along the top of my forehead, I had somehow managed to get a large, gaping scrape with a small bandage over it. Lovely.
I shook my head in disbelief. Just a day ago, I feared that I would never see my home again. I thought that I might have been ending my life in rebellion against this very place. And yet, here I stood with only the slightest of injuries.
In that same day, I had met a creature unlike any creature that I had ever laid eyes on before. A creature that's roar could move mountains and steps could shake the ground. A creature that I had always thought to be make belief. A smile appeared on my face. It was foolish for me to think that Aslan was just a bed-time story for now, I knew him.
The smile soon disappeared as I continued to look into the mirror. Mentioning the lion made me think of what the lion had told me just yesterday.
I am sending the Pevensies home, Rosalie.
And then it hit me all over again.
I wanted to cry. I wanted to break down in the middle of the floor and cry. I wanted to scream and do anything I could that would make this stop, but then I remembered what else Aslan had told me.
I hope that you can see the brighter Narnia that is arising from the shadows.
I inhaled sharply. This is what Aslan said would happen. And the thought of that was what kept me from breaking down right there as Emily assisted me into the deep blue gown. So many things were going through my head, that it was hard to even think straight with everything going on.
While she was tying me up, I remembered the reason why I had never particularly liked getting dressed up for nice events. The bruises all over my body didn't really help the matter either. Finally, after taking seemingly twice as long as I remembered, I was able to walk out of the dressing room.
"You're actually rather lucky this time, you know," Emily chipped to me as we walked through my old family's quarters," I didn't tie it up nearly as tight as I normally do."
A small smirk laid on my lips," You gave me some sympathy?"
"Only because I could never imagine what actually fighting would be like. I've never held a blade in my life!" she exclaimed," And by the looks of the bruises you've got, I doubt that I want to."
I shook my head," Emily, don't be silly. I would rather walk out with a couple of bruises than without my life."
Her eyes widened," And I would rather not mess with the lot of it! I admire you for your bravery, but I am only a servant girl."
I scrutinized her face," You think that being a servant girl prevents you from being brave?"
She looked flabbergasted at my question and could barely speak without stuttering," Wh-well-I-"
I laughed and placed a hand on her shoulder," Perhaps," I started as we entered the room where more women were beginning to flock around me," One day, I shall teach you."
She smiled, a shaky smile, but a smile nonetheless as I was placed into a seat to have my hair done. As usual, I didn't really pay any attention to the ladies playing with my hair or slathering powder on my face. All I knew that it seemed to take longer and suddenly I was missing being in the woods all day and all night, not having to worry about every one of my flaws being covered or having every tendril perfectly curled.
"Lady Rosalie, how dull the castle has been without your mother or Penelope or you to keep us company!" one of the, slightly plump, women exclaimed while running a comb of some sort through my hair.
I hadn't a clue how I was to reply to this, but only smiled and let out a weak," Oh really? Well, it has been rather dull without you all to keep me company as well."
"Thank goodness we are now rid of that awful man!" she exclaimed once more," Darling, I never realized how much you must of have to go through with such a monster such as he."
Word must have gotten around fast amount the Telmarine community. I tried to nod my head and tell this lady how terribly miserable I was with my father, but the truth of the matter was that I was not saddened by my father's presence at home. In fact, I loved my father with all of my heart up until I discovered that the man I loved was merely a façade of the true man in the body. Although, part of me would have liked to believe that there was still some good tucked away.
"Darling? Darling?" the lady questioned, breaking my thought.
"Oh, right," I said, slightly in shock," Yes, it was…I'm sorry can we not discuss that topic?"
She gasped in sharply," Oh, I'm sorry is that a sensitive-"
Feeling the need to excuse myself, I shot up quickly," I'm sorry, you've all done a fantastic job, really it's just that-"
Then the lady exploded and starting wailing and balling and all sorts of obnoxious noises came from her mouth," Oh, I have offended Lady Rosalie! Ohh, what a horrid creature I am!"
"No, no, really it's-"
The wailing was so loud that it was basically useless anyways. I sighed before silently exiting the room without another word to any of the women in there. With a sigh, I reminisced once more on the days of not worrying about what anyone thought of the way I dressed.
While walking down the corridor of my family's quarters, Emily informed me that I needed to report to the stables within an hour. Then, for the first time since I had been home, I was alone. It felt odd for a moment, but I then noticed that I most definitely was not alone for a certain High King of Narnia was standing just outside, on the balcony that extended from my family's quarters.
This was it.
I gulped hard, heart beating out of my chest as I proceeded forward. His back was turned to me, but still I felt as though I was making more noise than any creature could possibly make. Slowly, I placed myself beside him and together we looked out over the landscape that was dear to the both of us.
"So this is how it ends," he said tenderly after a few moments of silence.
"Peter-" I tried, but he would not allow me any room for words.
"I will never be able to fully understand his reasoning, Rosalie," his voice shaky, even though he was trying to appear strong," I will never understand why he is doing this to us once again."
Anger filled his voice. Hesitantly, I placed my hand atop of his to provide some sort of comfort. This was not exactly how I had envisioned our last conversation going, but I could at least try and provide him with what little comfort I could before he was gone. However, he was not in the mood to accept my sympathy. Quickly, he jerked his hand away and I looked at him, confused and slightly hurt as he spat," Both you and I know that this is useless. It would be easier if we just went ahead and didn't speak to each other again."
Slowly, I crossed my arms and studied him hard. I knew that he was angry, but I could tell that he was covering up how he really felt," Peter, I know you don't mean that. If I were to let you leave here now without saying another word to me, then both you and I would regret it later."
"Maybe, but maybe not," he spat back, his words still latten with hate and feeling of betrayal from the lion that he had trusted for so long," We will both move on. It won't take you long to forget about me and live happily with Caspian."
These words were what hit me hard. I knew Peter well enough to know that when his emotions were strong, his words were strong as well, but now he was saying things that I knew he didn't believe with all of his heart. I knew him well enough to know that he was only venting.
After several moments, I tried once more to get him to come to his senses. Tenderly, I placed a hand on his shoulder," Look at me, Peter."
Biting back more hesitation, he looked directly at me. His usually demeanor that was filled with pride and cheer was now replaced with a sullen, confused one," Please, don't make this hard, Rosalie," he practically begged.
"You're making this hard for me," I whispered hoarsely, fighting tears," We both know that this is not possible, but please don't try and tell me that you will just forget it like every other minor detail of life."
I could tell by the way he was biting on his lip that he was trying with all of his might to keep his emotions tucked inside. He broke my eye contact briefly before looking back at me," I didn't mean that."
I nodded, understanding," I know you didn't."
"It's not fair," he whispered hoarsely, I could sense him slowly breaking down.
Looking right into his blue eyes, I nodded once more," I know that it's not, but this is what has to happen. It has already been chosen for us. We must go our separate ways."
I felt his hand travel up to my cheek, just as it had the night in the woods," You are going to be just fine here without me. I know it."
"Don't say it like that," I pleaded," Don't make it sound like this is going to be easy for me."
He chuckled slightly," But it will be-"
"Just as hard for me as it will be for you," I finished his phrase," Don't you think that a day will go by that you will not pass my mind, do you understand?" I asked him, making sure that I made myself clear.
There was no way that I would be able to forget him. I owed him for risking his life to save mine.
He released a sigh, almost as if he was sighing in defeat," You've made your point."
"Please tell me you won't forget," I whispered, pleading him once more," Realize that you must move on, but never forget."
There was another pause as he stared directly at me, as if searching my eyes for an answer. My tear-brimmed eyes could hardly stand it much longer for tears were about to explode out of them. Once more, I collapsed into the High King's chest and cried hard. I felt his arms wrap around me tight and softly he whispered into my ear," You know that I never will."
The words sent chills up and down my spine.
We stood there embraced for seemingly forever, not wanting to face our fate, but it was not long for fate to draw us apart. I was not able to fully predict what would have happened had Peter stayed in Narnia for I know that it probably would not have been easy even had he stayed. Those thoughts were not in my head.
"You're going to be just fine back at your real home," I muttered to him, through my tears.
He kept me held tight before replying," It's going to be hard."
I looked up at him," But you are strong."
He wiped away a stray tear that ran down my face with his thumb before saying," I sure hope so. Thank you for everything, Rosalie. You have helped me look deeper within myself."
I shook my head," If anyone should be thanking the other, it should be me thanking you. You helped me get through some of the hardest times I have ever faced."
We stood there for several more moments, embraced, but in just a matter of moments. I heard Emily's voice interrupting.
"M-m-my lady?" she stuttered softly, probably feeling embarrassed for cutting in.
I sniffled and slowly backed away from Peter, wiping a tear from my eye I looked at Emily," Y-yes, Emily?"
"Sorry to interrupt," she said so quietly that I hardly heard her," It's time to go now. They have the town gathered.
I nodded my head and looked back into the King's blue eyes. We both knew what this meant. This was the end and even though it was painful, I remembered the words of Aslan once more. They weren't much of a comfort at the time, but they were the only thing that gave me enough will-power to disentangle myself from Peter's grasp. As I stepped away, he kept my hand held in his and looked deep into my eyes," Goodbye, Rosalie," he said softer than ever.
It is suppose to hurt now…
The lion's words echoed in my head as I stared at Peter, knowing that I had probably ruined the image that the women had worked so hard to build on my face. Painfully, I squeezed his hand tight and choked," Goodbye, Peter."
But, things will get better for you are building a new, brighter Narnia.
Author's Note: Go, go, go there's still one more chapter to read! Surprise!