Maybe some time you could talk about Susan and what it would be like if she didn't desert Narnia
How about we talk about what might have happened if Narnia hadn’t deserted Susan?
What if, instead of sending a stag to lead them astray, the Pevensies had been given time to end their first rule– to have finished their reports, their negotiations and treaties, that letter in the bureau Lucy was half-done penning to Mrs. Beaver to thank her for the fruitcake and to ask about her grandchildren.
They had lived there more than a decade then, grown from children to kings and queens, to brave young adults with responsibility heavy on their shoulders. They had lived through storms and wars, peace and joy, lost friends to battle and old age and distance. They had made a home. What if they had been given time to say good-bye?
What if we didn’t tell Susan she had to go grow up in her own world and then shame and punish her for doing just that? She was told to walk away and she went. She did not try to stay a child all her life, wishing for something she had been told she couldn’t have again.
There is nothing wrong with Lucy loving Narnia all her life, refusing an adulthood she didn’t want for a braver, brighter one she built herself. But there is also nothing wrong with Susan trying to find something new to fall in love with, something that might love her back.
You can build things in lipsticks and nylons, if you don’t mind getting a few runs in them. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be pretty, especially when pretty is the only power left to you.
Let’s talk about being the last one left. No, really, think about it. You get a call in the middle of the night, in the little flat you can just barely afford, and you are told there has been an accident.
Think about it, that moment– you scramble over everyone you know, everyone you love, and try to figure out where they all are that night. There are things rushing in your gut, your fingertips, your lungs, your ears– there are words in your ears as the tinny, sympathetic voice starts to tell you: it is everyone.
They were on a train. Something went wrong. They probably died instantly. A rushing sound. A bright light. (You try to imagine it, for years. You try not to think about it. You imagine it, for years–a rushing sound, a bright light.)
Your little sister, who you always felt the most responsible for, who you never understood, really– Your big brother, who disapproved of your choices but loved you with a steadiness you could never regret leaning into– Your little brother, a smug and arrogant ass except for the days when he drowned in self doubt– Ed was going to go far and you knew it, were waiting for it, were shoring up your defenses and your eye rolls for the days when he’d think he ruled the world–
Your mother is gone. Your father, with his stuffy cigar smell and big hands and the way he got distracted telling stories– he is gone. Your cousin Eustace, who suddenly lost that stick in his ass one summer. That friend of his, Jill, who you’d never actually quite met. Gone. A rushing sound. A bright light.
Go on. Walk through this with me. You can’t sleep all night long, because you still can’t understand it, still can’t quite breathe in a world where you are the last Pevensie. You finally fade sometime between midnight and dawn and when you wake up you don’t remember for half a second. You think ugh and you think sunshine why and then you remember that you are an orphan, an only child. You remember there probably isn’t anyone else to handle the funeral arrangements.
Get up. Make tea. Forget to eat breakfast and feel nauseous and empty all day. Call the people who need to be called. Your work, to ask for the time off. The mortuary, to ask about closed caskets. Distant relations. Friends. Edmund’s girlfriend and Peter’s boss. You listen to Lucy’s friends weep hysterics into the phone while you stare out the kitchen window and drink your fourth cup of tea. You call Professor Diggory, out at the old house with the wardrobe that started it all, and it rings and rings. You don’t find out for three days that he died in the train crash too. When you do, you stare at the newspaper article. You think of course.
You are twenty one years old. You have ruled a kingdom, fought and won and prevented wars, survived exile and school and your first day as a working woman. Nothing has ever felt worse than this. You have a necklace in your dresser you meant to give your mother, because she loves rubies and this glass is painted a nice ruby red and it is all you can afford on your tiny wages.
Excuse me, a correction: she loved rubies. She is dead. You never wear the necklace. You cry yourself to sleep for weeks. The first night you don’t cry, the first morning you wake up rested, you feel guilty. You wonder if that will live in the pit of your stomach all your life and you don’t know. The years reach out in front of you, miles and eons of loss. You are on the very shore of this grief and you do not know how you will survive feeling like this for the rest of your life. But you will survive it.
Get up. Make tea. Make yourself eat breakfast. Make plans with a school friend to do lunch. Go to work and try to bury yourself in the busyness of it. Remember that you’d promised to lend Peter a hand with some task or other, but you don’t even remember what it was– Collapse. Hide in the bathroom until you’re breathing again. Redo your makeup and leave work the moment your shift is over. Drop your nylons and your sweater and your heels in the apartment hallway. Fall into bed and pull the covers over your head.
Get up. Make tea. Eat. Don’t think about them for weeks. Don’t feel guilty when you remember. Feel proud. Spend an indulgent weekend in your pajamas, reading Lucy’s favorite novel and making Ed’s favorite cookies and remembering the way your mother smelled and how it always made you feel safe. Love them and miss them and mourn them. Keep breathing. Cry, but wash your face after in cool water. Wake in the morning to birdsong and spend three hours making breakfast just the way you like it.
Imagine the next birthday, the next Christmas, the next time you hit one of those days that herald the passage of time, that tell you how much you’ve grown and how much they haven’t.
Lucy, Peter, and Edmund will be at the same height for the rest of your life. Lucy will always be seventeen for the second time. You see, you think you know, when you lose them, what the dagger in you feels like. But it grows with you, that ache. You grow with it, too, learn how to live with that at your side but it grows, that ache, finds new ways to twist–
At the first friend’s wedding you go to, you cry because it’s lovely, those two smiling and promising and holding hands– but you also cry because you wonder what Lucy would have looked like in white, joyous and smiling and promising the rest of her life to a boy who deserved her.
Go on. You tell me if Susan deserted a world or if a whole life deserted her. You tell me who was left behind.
So yes, let’s talk about it– what if Narnia hadn’t deserted Susan? What if lipstick and nylons were things worn and not markers of worth?
What if we had a story that told little girls they could grow up to be anything they wanted– all of Lucy’s glory and light, Susan’s pretty face and parties, the way Jill could move so quiet and quick through the trees?
Because you know, some of those little girls? They were the little mothers, too old for their age, who worried and wondered, who couldn’t believe like Lucy or charge like Jill. Susan was reasonable, was hesitant and beautiful and gentle, was pretty and silly and growing up, and for it she was lost. She was left. And when Susan was left, so were they.
The little girls who worried louder than they loved, who were nervous about climbing trees and who would never run after the mirage of a lion, who looked at the pretty women in the grocery store and wondered if they would grow up pretty too– some of them looked at their little clever doubting hands, after they read Peter and Eustace and Jill scoffing at Susan’s vanities, and they wondered what they were worth.
Imagine a Narnia that believed in all of them. Imagine a Narnia that believed in adult women, lipsticked or not. Imagine Susan teaching Jill how to string a bow, arms straining. Imagine her brushing blush on Lucy’s cheeks, the first time Lu went out walking with a boy she was considering falling in love with. Imagine that when the last door to Narnia was shut, there was not a sister left behind.
aries: isle of flightless birds // We find our worth in giving birth and stuff || We’re lining our homes against winding roads || And we think the going is tough We pick songs to sing, remind us of things that nobody cares about || And honestly we’re probably more suicidal than ever now
taurus: taxi cab // I wanna fall inside your ghost || And fill up every hole inside my mind || And I want everyone to know || That I am half a soul divided || Sometimes we will die and sometimes we will fly away || Either way you’re by my side until my dying days || And if I’m not there and I’m far away || I said, “Don’t be afraid.” || I said, “Don’t be afraid. We’re going home.”
gemini: pantaloon // You are tired || You are hurt || A moth ate through || Your favorite shirt || And all your friends fertilize || The ground you walk || Lose your mind || He’s seen too many stare downs || Between the sun and the moon || In the morning air || How he used to hustle all the people || Walking through the fairgrounds || He’s been around too long
cancer: oh mrs believer // Oh, Miss Believer, my pretty sleeper || Your twisted mind is like snow on the road || Your shaking shoulders prove that it’s colder || Inside your head than the winter of dead || I will tell you I love you || But the muffs on your ears will cater your fears || My nose and feet are running as we start || To travel through snow || Together we go
leo: trapdoor // He wakes up early today || Throws on a mask that will alter his face || Nobody knows his real name || But now he just uses one he saw on a grave || He pretends that he’s okay || But you should see || Him in bed late at night, he’s petrified
virgo: addict with a pen // But no matter how || How tightly I will strain || The sand will slow me down || And the water will drain || I’m just being dramatic || In fact, || I’m only at it again || As an addict with a pen || Who’s addicted to the wind || As it blows me back and forth || Mindless, spineless, and pretend || Of course I’ll be here again || See you tomorrow || But it’s the end of today || End of my ways || As a walking denial
libra: before you start your day // Look in the mirror and ask your soul if you’re alright || Put out the glitter that your soul hides behind || You’re in my mind || I’m singing || You’re in my mind|| I’m singing la-da la-da la-da la-da la-da la-da da
scorpio: implicit demand for proof // I mean no disrespect || I am simply very perplexed || By your ways || Why won’t you let us || Use your name? || Rain down || And destroy me || Rain down || And destroy me || Rain down
sagittarius: march to the sea // No one looks up anymore || 'Cause you might get a raindrop in your eye || And Heaven forbid they see you cry || As we fall in line || And about this time of every year || The line will go to the ocean pier || And walk right off into the sea || And then we fall asleep
capricorn: johnny boy // He is falling in love || He knows it’s enough || And the world looks down and frowns || Get up Johnny boy, get up Johnny boy, || Get up ‘cause the world has left you lying on the ground. || You’re my pride and joy, you’re my pride and joy. || Get up Johnny boy because we all need you now.
aquarius: friend, please // I feel for you but when did you believe you were alone || You say that spiders crawled inside and made themselves a home || Where light once was || Petrified of who you are and who you have become || You will hide from everyone, denying you need someone || To exterminate your bones
pisces: fall away // I don’t wanna fall, fall away || I disguise || And I will lie || And I will take my precious time || As the days melt away || As I stand in line || And I die as I wait as I wait on my crime || And I’ll try to delay what you make of my life || But I don’t want your way, || I want mine || I’m dying and I’m trying || But believe me I’m fine || But I’m lying, || I’m so very far from fine
I looked at Zann, and saw that he was past conscious observation. His blue eyes were bulging, glassy, and sightless, and the frantic playing had become a blind, mechanical, unrecognisable orgy that no pen could ever suggest.
A sudden gust, stronger than the others, caught up the manuscript and bore it toward the window. I followed the flying sheets in desperation, but they were gone before I reached the demolished panes. Then I remembered my old wish to gaze from this window, the only window in the Rue d'Auseil from which one might see the slope beyond the wall, and the city outspread beneath. It was very dark, but the city’s lights always burned, and I expected to see them there amidst the rain and wind. Yet when I looked from that highest of all gable windows, looked while the candles sputtered and the insane viol howled with the night-wind, I saw no city spread below, and no friendly lights gleaming from remembered streets, but only the blackness of space illimitable; unimagined space alive with motion and music, and having no semblance to anything on earth.
genre: some (a lot of) depressing angst + major fluff + cute romance.
synopsis: wonwoo is the strangely quiet boy that sits in the back of class and would rather be reading than listening to the lessons. his appearance is also quite questionable, with dark rings under his eyes and disheveled hair.
he’s earned the nickname, insomnia, and you’re curious to discover if the quiet boy matches what everyone seems to call him.
There is nothing but silence, a still unsettling silence that sticks to every corner of the room as watery streaks of moonlight bathe the boards of oakwood. A clock sits on the bedside table, the black numbers being highlighted by the bright blue that lays behind them. At this time, the world is quiet, the only sound being the blood rushing through your ears or the steady heart beat thumping in your chest.
A bed is placed snuggly into the corner of the room, a thick comforter lying neatly over the old mattress that carries the stains of spilt coffee and tea. Nothing is out of place, all the clothes are folded with precision and tucked away inside the dresser, every book on the shelf has its spine turned out, each series perfectly aligned with the next. It might even look as if no one ever stayed inside the room for it was always too clean and organized, or maybe whoever slept there had too much time on their hands.
Just as the digits on the clock struck 3am sharp, the door handle slowly swiveled and a figure emerged from the hallway, a tall glass of water curled in its fingers. After sitting down on the mattress and taking a very long sip of its beverage, the figure shifted to the centre of the bed and crossed its arms over its knees, back slouching and tufts of ash coloured hair falling carelessly over its eyes.
Noise. Why was it always so noisy?
The hallways acted like a speaker, amplifying every little clink or clank down the long corridors until it faded away. Only a few more weeks left of school, only a few more weeks left of angsty students who were constantly slamming their lockers and scuffing their shoes, only a few more weeks of fed up teachers who couldn’t even bother to yell at their class because they knew it was worthless.
You could hardly wait to get away from it all and finally be able to isolate yourself back into silence, sweet, sweet silence. After navigating your way through the morning crowd of zombies that moved slower than molasses, you set your heap of books down and pushed in your earbuds. You liked being alone in class, before the lights were turned on and curtains were tugged open. You could just slouch at your desk and let your foot tap against the tiles while listening to something you actually wanted to hear and not the brainless conversations of the people around you.
Then the door was opening, and a streak of yellow light washed over the floor for a few seconds before disappearing. Another student was here, though he hardly looked like a student. His frame was tall and lean, prominent collar bones resting under his milky skin tone while messy ash tinted hair almost covered his eyes.
Yes his eyes, they were dark, very dark, like someone dropped a splash of black food colouring into his irises. Discoloured circles lay under his lash line, like the result of someone who hadn’t slept in weeks while his attire consisted of a loose long sleeved white shirt and dark grey sweatpants tucked into worn out sneakers. His name was Wonwoo, but everyone called him Insomnia because that’s exactly how he looked. Like someone who couldn’t sleep.
Wonwoo stared blankly across the empty classroom as he readjusted the books swept under his arm, his hollow gaze sweeping right over you like you weren’t even there. Suddenly the bell began to ring and before you knew it, the zombies were flooding into the class, their voices still drowsy from the morning atmosphere as they plopped down lifelessly into their seats. Everyone was sitting except for Wonwoo, he just stood there with his usual blank stare, his back slightly slouched while he remained like a statue.
“Wake up Insomnia and take a seat already.” Someone called from the back of the class, but Wonwoo didn’t take a seat until Mrs. Kang the English teacher walked in, her heels clicking against the tiles while she pushed up the glasses sitting on the bridge of her nose. She patted his should while slipping past him to get to her desk and it wasn’t until then that he finally moved, his eyes flickering slightly before finding an empty desk near the back. Wonwoo was just as fascinating as he was strange, and one day you wanted to have a real conversation with him just to see what was going on inside his head.