[Background Info: Susan is the second eldest of the four Pevensie children who stumbled into Narnia and became Kings and Queens. After their reign, the children return to their lives in England and Susan eventually grows out of the Narnia phase, preferring material objects, much to her siblings’ chagrin. At the end of the seventh book, the three other Pevensie children come to Narnia to stay, and appear to have died in a train crash in England. Susan does not come with them.]
I try to ignore my mother’s irritating sniffles as we leave the graveyard.
Yes, I know. “Irritating?” Why isn’t Susan crying at her own beloved siblings’ grave? But honestly, if I were to shed tears at the moment, they would be for my own self, not those three. They’ve gone away together and left me quite alone… well, not that I wasn’t alone before. To be truthful, I wonder myself why I’m not in tears, but somehow I can’t manage—perhaps Peter would say it was all the better, for pity is the worst thing you can do to a person.
Peter, the High King of Narnia, that is. I’d expect better from him, being the eldest—he never seemed to understand when I insisted that we set a good example for Ed and Lucy and wash all that imaginary childish nonsense away. Peter the High King, Peter the Magnificent, and King Edmund the Just, and Queen Lucy the Valiant. Why couldn’t they see there were better ways to spend their time—why, it was just around the age where we could actually attend parties and balls and have a bit of our own freedom! And not only would they refuse to listen, they’d try to drag me in as well. Narnia, Narnia, Narnia—it was fun when we were young, but one must grow up at some point.
To… to be honest, sometimes I have dreams about that place, Narnia. I dream that I am sitting at the throne of the palace we four lived in, I can’t remember the name now, and all the wonderful foolish creatures bow to me as Queen Susan the Gentle. And I smile and listen to them—that’s all I do, that’s all I can do. Queen Susan the Gentle. Peter gives orders some or another, and Ed and Lu are deep in council with some other important people, because they’re all Magnificent and Just and Valiant, and I am Gentle and I sit and smile but when I stop smiling the throne disappears and I fall away, and then I wake up and am glad.
No wonder I couldn’t remain in their lovely little dream land. The Susan that lived there was Gentle Susan, the Susan that I am is the one they all call “pretty,” the young lady who got to go to America with Mother and Father because she couldn’t study like Peter, while Edmund and Lucy stayed at Cousin Eustace’s. I couldn’t be that Susan anymore, I—I’m too old for childish games now, and—and thank goodness for that… They have gone, and I am here, Pretty, ignoring my mother’s crying and thinking of the dress I will wear to the party tomorrow.