Chapter 16 - Goodbyes
She woke the next morning to the brother guardians yanking the covers and pillows away from her. Antaeus then decided that a dog pile was necessary and let his full weight come crashing down on top of her stomach. This woke her up and her knee came up and connected with the side of his head with a loud thud. He cried out and got off of her. She sat up rubbing her eyes before glaring at the twins.
“That was rude.” She grumbled, scooting out of bed and walking over to the screen to put on the dress that had been laid out for her. It was beautiful, but much simpler than the one she had worn the previous night. When she came back out from behind the screen she realized that all of the guardians had convened in her room, including her sister. “I see you finally decided to show yourself.” She remarked, walking over to the table to eat. Kasmira was lounging on the sofa, her feet propped up on the arm. Unlike herself, Kasmira wore pants that were ripped and tattered with knee high leather boots and a loose tunic. As usual she looked like a mess.
“Long time no see dearest sister.” Kas sneered.
“Why wasn’t any longer?” Dris asked as she sat down.
“Father summoned all of us. We are here to watch your tear filled farewell with the King.” Kasmira taunted as she shot up off the sofa and skipped over to her to steal some of her grapes.
“Very funny.” She deadpanned.
“Aslan wanted all of us here so the Telmarines who did not know of us could be enlightened.” Idalia explained from across the room.
“Thank you, Ida.” Dris smiled at her. “Do any of you know what Aslan needs from us? He hasn’t called us together in a long time.”
“The Changing of the Guard is upon us.” Kamara answered as she walked through the doors. If she was here during the day it must have been important.
“I haven’t heard of that since Aslan first trained us. Is it really time already?” Aeolus asked, stepping closer to his brother.
“I am afraid so. With the new era rising we must pick who is to take our places at the end of it. We were the guardians of the Golden Age and our 3000 years is coming to a close. It is time for the new Guardians to be chosen and trained in this last generation.” The room was silent. The Changing of the Guard meant to cycle the guardians so that they were different every 3000 years. As they had all figured out 2000 years was a long time to live and now they were all ready to remain in Aslan’s country permanently. All accept one.
“Narnia belongs to the Narnians, just as it does to man. Any Telmarine who wants to stay is free to do so. But for any who wish, Aslan will return you to the home of our forefathers.” Caspian stood before the people who had gathered at the Far East edge of the city. They looked up at their King with admiration for fighting for what he believed in.
“It has been generations since we left Telmar!” A citizen yelled out from the crowd.
“We’re not referring to Telmar. Your ancestors were seafaring brigands. Pirates run aground on an island. There they found a cave, a rare chasm that brought them here from their world; the same world as out Kings and Queens. It is to that island that I can return you. It is a good place for any who wish to make a new start.” Aslan stepped forward and explained to the people. For a moment after he finished speaking no one said anything but then a man from the front of the crowd stepped forward.
“I will go! I will accept the offer!” General Glozelle had stepped forward from the crowd.
“So will we.” Prunaprismia was the next to step forward, with her son in her arms and a man escorting her forward. Drisana smiled sadly at her. She knew that Caspian’s aunt no longer wished to stay in the castle after losing her husband.
“Because you have spoken first, your future in that world shall be good.” Aslan informed them, before breathing on them. Next to her the tree began to untwist, creating an archway from them to walk through. Gasps erupted from the crowd as they walked through and disappeared.
“How do we know he is not leading us to our deaths?” The same citizen yelled out. Reepicheep stepped forward and offered himself to go through but Aslan said nothing, only looked to the Pevensie siblings.
“We’ll go.” Peter said stepping forward.
“We will?” Edmund asked, looking surprised.
“Come on. Our time’s up.” Peter said to his brother before unbuckling his sword from his waist and walking over to Caspian. “After all, we aren’t really needed here anymore.”
“I will look after it until you return.” Caspian said as Peter handed him the sword.
“I’m afraid that’s just it. We’re not coming back.” Susan told Caspian.
“We’re not?!” Lucy exclaimed.
“You two are. At least I think he means you two.” Peter told Lucy.
“But why?” Lucy asked, looking to Aslan. “Did they do something wrong?”
“Quite the opposite, dear one. Peter and Susan have learned all they can from this world. Now it’s time for them to live on their own.” Aslan told her.
“It’s alright, Lu. It’s not quite how I thought it would be but it’s alright.” Peter reassured her. Then the goodbyes started. Lucy immediately came running over to her and she had to brace herself as the youngest sibling slammed into her. She kissed the girl on the top of the head a reassured her that they would see each other again one day soon. Next to come over to her was Peter. He looked hesitant as he approached but she pulled him into a hug.
“I am going to miss you Pete.” She whispered into his ear. He hugged her back tightly and she could tell that he was cherishing this moment with her.
“And I you. I am sorry if I overstepped a line.” He whispered back. She smiled and pulled away.
“It’s alright. We both did. Don’t get into too much trouble back home, okay?” She tells him, gently flicking his nose.
“Yes, ma’am.” He salutes to her and she laughs. He went and stood by Edmund and they all watched as Susan was walking back to them. However, halfway back to them she turned around and kissed Caspian on the lips. The kiss surprised everyone, mostly the King and Drisana stood there watching. She could feel the jealousy rising within her chest. She wanted to look away but found that she couldn’t bring herself to do so. Not only was she jealous, she felt betrayed. She had, had no idea that Susan had liked him. Not that it truly mattered now, but she had mentioned to Susan that she had feelings for the Prince and then to see her friend kiss him hurt.
The kiss didn’t last much longer than a couple of seconds. When they pulled apart Caspian stood there stunned as Susan walked away. The one thing that caught her attention was how he didn’t watch her walk away. Instead his eyes found her, searching for a response. She immediately dropped her head as tears pooled in her eyes. She didn’t even watch as the four siblings stepped through the arch and left Narnia or when the tree twisted back down after no other Telmarines decided to leave.
“For those of you who are not familiar with the history of Narnia, the Nine Narnians standing to my right are the Guardians. They each have taken on a responsibility to protect certain parts of the world.” Caspian looked to her and motioned for her to join him. She nodded and took her place beside him.
“Many of you do not know me. Yet some of you do. Since your people invaded Narnia I have served the royal Telmarine family. As the Guardian of Peace it is my responsibility to ensure that one day Narnia could live in peace as it once did. I was there when you King was born eighteen years ago and I haven’t left his side for more than a few weeks at a time.” She explained to the people. She was having a difficult time keeping her composure as she spoke, so she stepped back and looked to Aslan for help.
“I am afraid to say that Drisana and her fellow Guardians will be leaving this world for a two year time period. King Caspian must prove that he himself can maintain the balance and order of Narnia in their absence. Upon their return Drisana will return to ensure that the peace is maintained.” Aslan informed the crowd. Caspian was staring at her, the look on his face being one step away from being terrified. She couldn’t look at him, the sadness was too much.
Each guardian disappeared in their auras until she was the last one standing there. She wanted to disappear so bad but knew she would regret it if she didn’t say goodbye first. He was standing before her, searching for her gaze that she was so reluctant to give. He finally took her chin between his thumb and index finger and gently tilted it so she was looking at him.
“I’m sorry I didn’t mention this sooner.” She told him, her voice dripping with guilt. She had tear in her eyes that she was so desperately trying not to shed.
“You said you didn’t plan to leave me.” He said, his voice equally low and full of emotion.
“I didn’t plan to, nor do I want to.” She said, a tear rolling down her cheek. The hand that held her chin quickly cupped her cheek as he wiped away the tear that had escaped.
“Two years?” he asked, pulling her into a hug.
“I’ll see you in two years. Promise me something?”
“Stay safe. I have instructed Gareth to be your personal guard, just in case. He is to be your protector in my place.” This made Caspian chuckle.
“You stay safe as well. Only I can’t assign a guard to you.” She laughed and nodded. He sighed and loosened his grip on her enough to place a gentle kiss on her forehead. Her eyes closed as she took in the moment, trying to memorize the way they felt on her skin. His lips were gone too fast and she wanted nothing more than to lean up and kiss him like she had planned to but Susan had spoiled her plans. Instead she settled with leaning up and kissing him on both cheeks. The kiss she left on his left cheek was small yet lingering, letting him know that she didn’t want to leave his side. She left him standing there and the sobs finally hit her body. Aslan was waiting for her and as she place her hand in his mane she waved to Caspian.
“Until we meet again, my King.” She whispered as he disappeared in the light that engulfed her and her father.