She is the tear that hangs inside my soul forever
He had a cigarette on his lips, while sitting in only the shorts he uses to sleep. The phone on his ear was casually being held by his shoulder. "Perhaps she's right, brother." Lucy said with a voice that couldn't hide her sorrow.
"Lucy, you can't be serious." He says harshly, holding the phone with his hand.
"Peter, what you're doing… it's serious. Susan told me a story about these two French noble siblings who fell in love and they ran away, Peter, they even had a child. But they were found and they were decapitated, brother." She said with horror in her voice. "I can't condone you for taking that risk."
"We don't behead people these days, sister." He said exasperated. But he knew she was right. Maybe he was being overly romantic, imagining a life with Susan. He wished love was enough to keep them together.
"Peter! You have your trysts, isn't it enough?" She asked, knowing it wasn't.
"It's not enough, Lu." He sighed. The one person who had always believed in them has now given up. Lucy was the witness of their love since the beginning.
Susan asked her once, in Narnia "How do you know you are in love, Lu?" and the girl answered with fake expertise "You feel it in your stomach." And Susan knew she loved Peter.
"She's not calling, is she?" He asked weakly.
"I don't think she is, brother. But she loves you, Peter. When she told me what happened between you two… she was so sad. She's staying with me for a while. I worry about her." Lucy felt like her heart was ripped in two.
"I have to go, Lu." She heard him saying very low. He didn't wait her reply before hanging up.
The next few months, Peter buried himself in work. He felt too exhausted to think about his complicated love life, so when he met Angela, he was completely defenseless against the force of her desire.
They were in a bar and Peter had had a drink or two with his colleagues. Angela was a friend of a friend. He felt her eyes on him immediately and he just let himself being dragged into her apartment between kisses and desperate touches.
In the light of the day, she was even more impressive. She was tall and thin and blonde. She was a doctor and she was her own woman. She was ahead of her time, Peter thought. It was simple being with her, she didn't expect much of him, but she wanted him.
In the bedroom, she wasn't selfless, she knew what she wanted and she did everything to achieve her goal. She would touch herself while Peter was inside of her, just to make sure she would come. Peter felt relieved having her around, it was easy.
Being with Lily was an experience he was thankful for. She opened all kinds of doors for him, his fear of relationship was something distant in his mind and he didn't feel as lonely. He liked surprising her with presents and waking up with her warm smiles and warmer skin next to him.
With Angela, he found himself wanting that. But she beat him to it once again. She asked him, bravely, to move in with her. She reasoned that his work was closer to her place and that was the only way of them seeing each other, since her work overwhelmed her. He agreed.
They are together for a year now.
On Christmas, Lucy and Henry visited Peter. She knew about Angela, but Lucy didn't ask much about her. Her newfound proximity to Susan made her sad for seeing him with another woman.
Angela insisted that they stayed with them, even though they wouldn't do anything special for the holiday. One day, very early, Peter went to the guest room where Lucy was and took her to eat breakfast and talk without the prying eyes of their partners.
"How is she, Lu?" He asked.
"Peter, how do you do this? How do you share a bed with one thinking about another?" She was angry with him.
"Lu, what do you want me to do? Take chastity vows?" He asked defensively.
"You were so harsh with Susan in the past and now you do exactly the same thing. That Lily girl and now this woman." She couldn't call Angela a girl.
He ignored Lucy and asked again. "How is she, Lu?" She looked at him and sighed.
"She's fine. She's studying to be a secretary. Father is helping her with money for now." Peter nodded and realized that Susan was unmarried now. Inside of him, grew a will to provide. He was her husband once, he wanted to give her everything.
"Is she happy?" He asked. Lucy looked at him pointedly. "No."
The conversation did not go the way he thought it would, so he paid the bill and returned home.
After Christmas, Lucy left and Peter felt that there was a gap between him and his sister and he didn't know how to bridge that space. He sent Lucy a letter and inside of the envelope he sent Susan a check and a note, saying that he would be sending her a monthly allowance. It wasn't much, but it was enough so that she wouldn't need to work.
A few weeks later Lucy replied and inside of the envelope there was a note from Susan, the only she's ever written him.
I will be alright.
And she returned his check. He folded that note and hid inside his wallet. He would often read those words and imagine her writing on a desk, or imagining how she felt when he sent the money. He knew she wasn't angry with him. Yours. His.
A few months after that, he was celebrating for winning a difficult case for his firm. He promised paying a round of beer for everybody, but he would be drinking expensive scotch.
They sat on the booth and he took off his coat.
"Pete, you killed it today. I'd expect a promotion after that." Jack, his colleague, said.
"You think?" He replied with a grin and sipping his drink. Jack saw when Peter's smile vanished from his face and he looked forward as if he saw a ghost. He followed his gaze and saw a brunette woman with a suitcase looking directly at Peter. He thought it was strange and joked.
"Hot, huh. But leave that one for me, you already have a girlfriend." And with that Peter seemed to come to his senses and said harshly "She's my sister." And he ran to her, holding her in his arms strongly. Susan's face was red and she was wearing jeans, which he had never seen her wearing. She only wore dresses and skirts.
He hugged her like he wanted merge himself with her. And she went limp into his arms, she almost tumbled on the floor, but he caught her and looked at her worried. She wasn't well.
Her face was red from crying. Her voice seemed to disappear as she said "take me to your place, please, Peter." She begged. His heart raced, what happened to her?
The bar was in front of the building he lived, so the rain didn't soak their clothes as they crossed the street fast. Peter never turned back to take his coat.
"Susan, what happened?" He said as he touched her arms and shoulders. His hands traveled to her body as if he wanted to make sure she was real.
She cried again. She sobbed on his chest as he pressed her to himself. He worried.
"They're dead, Peter." His heart seemed to stop. Who?
"Susan, who? Who's dead?" She tried to catch her breathing and tell him everything, but she couldn't say it. She felt like puking.
"All of them, Peter. They're all dead." She fell on the floor and Peter let her. "Lucy, Edmund, Mother, Father, Henry." She counted the bodies.
"No," he said. His eyes lost. "No." he repeated as he crawled into the floor with her. His eyes poured and she let herself cry openly too.
"What happened, Su?" He asked with his voice coarse.
"Peter," she was on his lap. "I think he took them." What?
"What are you saying?" He worried she was losing her mind.
"Aslan, Peter. I felt it. My fingers tingled when I went there. I felt the magic. He left us behind." And she cried again. He was stunned.
"What happened, Susan. Please tell me." He begged.
"A train wreck. They were all in the train when the accident happened." She told him. "I swear I felt it, Peter. He left us behind." She repeated. He believed her.
"When?" He asked.
"A week ago." He nodded. Why didn't she call him? "There weren't any bodies to burry, Peter. They disappeared."
"Why didn't you call me, Susan?" He asked. He wanted to go there and feel the leftover magic too.
She raised her head and told him. "I don't have your number, Peter." And he felt the irrational urge to laugh. He laughed desperately, but the tears on his eyes never stopped pouring. She just looked at him, empty.
Her eyes dried and she tried to get up. Her jeans were wet and her blouse was cold. He looked up and saw the dark stains under Susan's eyes. She offered her hand to help him up. They hugged and mourned the loss of their whole family.
A few minutes later, after a heavy silence, Peter asked "When was the last time you slept, my love?"
"I slept a bit on the plane." And he knew the answer.
"Come to bed, you need to rest." He led her by the hand to the room he shared with Angela, who was working. He started to peel her wet clothes off and soon she was on her underwear and he was pressed behind her on the bed. She felt protected and safe and exhaustion won the battle as she drifted into a heavy sleep.
Peter didn't sleep that night. He couldn't. Would Aslan really leave them behind? Had they sinned so much that heaven had its gates closed to them? He felt her body on his and he swore that he didn't regret. They lived in hell, but the fleeting moments with Susan were better than an eternity in heaven.
He saw the sun starting to show its face from behind the light drapes on the window and he got up. He went to the living room and lighted a cigarette. He was only wearing his boxers and he sat on the sofa with his hands on both sides of his face. He regretted being so far away from Lucy on those last months. Edmund wouldn't talk to him properly after Lily and he never really had a full conversation with Lucy's husband. He thought he had time to patch things up with his family. And now he would never see them again. The last piece of himself lay on his bed.
He heard the front door opening and he remembered Angela. She looked surprised to see him up half naked on the sofa, but didn't question him. She walked fast to her room to put her things there and then ask what was the brooding about. But he only heard a "what the hell, Peter." And he jumped, remembering that she didn't know Susan.
He held her elbow and closed the door, so Susan wouldn't wake up.
"Peter!" She screamed.
"Stop screaming!" He said harshly. "She's my sister." He repeated what he said to Jack earlier. That got him off the hook most times, but Angela didn't react like he thought she would and didn't look embarrassed for having the wrong idea. "I've bad news." But he couldn't bring himself to say it. She looked at him expectantly, but was taken aback when Peter's eyes started to pour again. "Peter…" She approached him calmly. She touched his face and said "Tell me…"
"They're dead." and he started to say all the nonsense Susan had told him earlier, he couldn't explain right with all the tears and the pain in his chest. He felt himself being held and he cried on her shoulders.
Later, he had put on some pants and a T-shirt. He sat on the sofa and Angela prepared tea.
"She's Susan, right? The estranged sister." He nodded.
"Why is she naked?" She asked, but there wasn't malice in her voice. He gave her a look and answered "She's not naked. We got wet from the rain." He answered evenly.
They looked at the door when they heard it open. Susan was still on her underwear and her face was completely red when she noticed that Angela eyed her from head to toe. She had left her suitcase on the hall. She looked at Peter with panic on her eyes and he got up and pushed her into the bedroom to hide her body. He took her suitcase and brought to her, closing the door behind them and leaving Angela puzzled. After a while, he emerged back into the kitchen as if nothing happened. She didn't say anything.
"How is she?" She asked.
"She's tired." He asked drinking his tea. "I will leave back to London with her. I need to…" he trailed off.
"Sure." She answered. "Do you want me to come with you?" he shook his head.
Susan appeared again. She had taken a shower on Angela's bathroom and her hair was wet. She wore a white dress and Peter thought she looked like a bride.
Angela approached her and introduced herself with a hand on her shoulder. She was taller than Susan, which made her feel a little intimidated. "I'm Susan, Peter's sister." She said coldly.
Peter poured her a cup of tea and handed her, giving her a chance to escape Angela's condolences as she ran to sit next to him on the kitchen stools. Peter saw how Susan already hated his girlfriend and he felt an urge to protect his sister, so he put a hand on her shoulder and whispered "okay?" and she nodded.
Angela felt like a third wheel so she decided to go out to buy them some food. She has seen people mourning before. As a surgeon, sometimes she felt way too close to death. She understood that these days would be difficult for Peter and Susan, so she assumed that it would be best if they were left alone.
"I've forgotten about her." She said when Angela left. "I knew, but…" He nodded and didn't say anything. Every time he tried to move on, she would show up and make it clear that he could never, he loved her and only her. He fought the urge to apologize for having someone else in his life.
They moved to the sofa. Peter had his head on her lap while she caressed his hair. "Are you certain you felt the magic?" he asked looking up at her. "I felt it in my body. My fingers… I can still feel it."
"I want to feel it." He said. He longed to feel that since they were sent to this horrible world.
"Peter, we have to do something about our parent's house. Are we selling it?" He didn't know. Would he abandon her in London all by herself? "Lucy… her house is Henry's mother's now. Ed's apartment, I've been there only once. It's small and it's a rental." She knew she had so much to deal with and Peter felt like kidnapping her and letting all these problems solve themselves, but he knew better. "I'm coming back with you. When are you leaving?" he asked. "In two days."
"How did you know where I was last night?" he asked.
"I didn't know. I went to your apartment. No one answered when I rang the bell, so I went there to make a phone call. Book a room in a hotel." She answered watching his eyes flutter when she caressed his nape. His breathing started to even in and she knew he was sleeping. Susan observed Peter. He was older. She remembered when he was that age in Narnia. He would have a beard and their son was 3, maybe 4.
She shook her tears away and heard Angela arriving back to the apartment with food bags and soda. Susan managed to leave the sofa without waking him up and helped her sister-in-law with the bags.
"I met your sister last year." Angela told Susan. "She was very nice. I really liked her." and Susan couldn't get past the fact that she said "was" instead of "is".
"Lucy's the best of us." She couldn't use the proper verb tense.
"How are you feeling? Physically, I mean. I can't help you with anything else…" Angela said sympathetically. Susan didn't know how to answer.
"I'm tired. I haven't really slept after the accident. Last night…" She didn't say anything else, remembering Peter's body against her.
"How long have you been with my brother?" Susan asked suddenly.
"How long?" She repeated and counted. "A year and four, no, five months." She told Susan.
"I haven't talked to him since Lucy's wedding. I missed him." She said earnestly looking at her brother sleeping on the sofa. He looked lonely.
"Susan, you're his last family. I don't know what happened between you two, and it's none of my business, but don't disappear on him. He loves you a lot."
"I know." Angela would never know how much.
They ate in silence. After a while, Angela showed her the guest room and said that she was tired, she had worked a long shift last night and she would sleep, but Susan should wake Peter up.
Susan sat on the kitchen stool and supported her own face on the counter while she looked at Peter sleeping. She wanted to lay with him, feel his warmth and fool herself for a while, thinking she wasn't alone. As if feeling her eyes on him, Susan saw his eyelids open and he looked directly at her for a moment.
They shared so much with their eyes.
He got up the sofa and asked about Angela. Susan said she went to sleep.
"She left you here alone?" He knew Angela was not the warmest person ever, but this infuriated him.
"We talked a little. You slept a long time, brother." She said looking at the clock. Four pm. When he was close enough, she touched his face and he relaxed. She wanted to kiss him.
"I have to call work." He said with his eyes closed, feeling her hands caressing his face and neck. He didn't move until he felt her hands leaving his body and he opened his eyes. She was close. He leaned and kissed her mouth.
It was a light kiss, the kind of kiss teenagers share when they are kissing for the first time. His hand was on her hair and she accepted his lips with anxious longing. He hugged her and spread kisses over her face. Her cheek, her chin, her forehead, her lips again. And Susan didn't feel lonely anymore.
"I love you, Peter." She whispered feeling his soft lips on her ear.
He stopped the kissing and looked at her "I know." He pulled away from her and reached for the phone. He called his firm and then he booked a flight to leave America with his sister.
"How are you feeling?" She asked him.
"I don't know." She didn't press. "It doesn't feel real." He said searching the bags Angela had brought. "I'm sorry I wasn't there for you." He said.
"You didn't know." She responded simply.
Later, at night, Susan was terrified of being left alone. Angela would only work the next morning and she assumed Peter would be sleeping with his girlfriend. She was on the balcony of Angela's apartment and admired the sight before her. She could see the traffic, the lights and the people from where she stood and she desperately wanted to be one of those anonymous people walking hastily. Being on her own skin hurt her, she's lost so much and she continued losing. She wondered what she's done to deserve such relentless punishment. Susan thought of Peter and the life they shared. Was her love for him that wrought such ire from the above?
She felt his arms enveloping her from behind as if it was an answer and she leaned into him. She looked at the skies defiantly and linked their hands together. Susan felt Peter's breathing on her neck and she closed her eyes. Their proximity healed a little of her pain and she never wanted to leave him again.
"I have to tell you something." She said turning to see his face. He just waited. "I'm barren." She told him flatly.
He frowned "What?"
"I can't have children. After the last time we made love I felt something, I hoped… But I wasn't pregnant and I learned that I could never have children." She told him and her eyes started to shine.
"But… we have a child, Susan." He said, remembering how many times they mourned their unborn children.
"He was a miracle, Peter." She cried on his chest. "We lost our miracle." And he felt tears on his own eyes.
Angela was on her bed, but she suddenly felt cold. She turned around and found herself alone. She searched for the source of the drift and saw the open door. She got up the bed to look for Peter.
But she saw him and Susan on the balcony. Their foreheads were touching and they were both sobbing. Peter's hand was on his sister's face and she had her own on his shoulders. Angela felt something in her heart and ran back to her room, afraid to see more.
She couldn't sleep anymore and Peter never returned to her bed. She wondered if they were really blood related, but their eyes, their lips and their jawline were identical. Calmer, Angela thought that she was being unfair to them. She couldn't begin to understand the trauma they were going through and this thought comforted her heart. She fell asleep.
In the morning, Angela left her bed and walked to her bathroom to get ready for work. When she stepped away from her bedroom, she saw Peter and Susan intertwined on her sofa. Their legs were overlapped and their arms hugging each other, their faces almost touching. She couldn't keep her eyes off of them and she pressed her teeth together. She felt something that she had never felt towards anyone before. She felt jealous.
Later, Peter woke up feeling his arm numb. He tried to get up without waking Susan up, but it was impossible with the way their bodies were tangled. She opened her eyes and saw her brother standing and walking towards the kitchen. Her face was puffy from crying, but she felt that she didn't have tears anymore.
He looked at her and she smiled, he smiled back. They were staring at each other and Susan saw when his smile faded and he ran to her, crashing his lips with hers. She desperately accepted his tongue inside her mouth and he started to strip her. She let him. His hands squeezed her thighs and she opened her legs as if by instinct. Peter was surprised to feel how wet she already was "My love," he whispered "I haven't done anything yet." And she looked mortified, but soon her eyes closed when she felt his fingers inside of her. Susan moaned and felt herself close. She didn't want to come so soon, but before she could do anything she felt herself trembling and shivering under her brother.
He watched as she shook off her orgasm and their eyes met. "I haven't been with anyone else, you know." She said "After you…" He nodded and started to caress her breasts. "You think you can go again?" She closed her eyes and nodded. Their lips met again and Susan tried to take his clothes off, but he never left her mouth and they kissed for what seemed hours. Peter missed her and he wanted to hold on to that moment. He finally left her mouth when Susan reached his cock and started to move her hands up and down on him.
He stripped and soon he was inside of her. His movements were slow, feeling Susan's hand on his hair. He looked down and admired how beautiful his sister was in that moment. Her eyes were closed, and her mouth was partially open, breathing fast. She moaned quietly in every thrust and he leaned to lick her lips, not resisting the way her mouth gaped. "Faster" she whispered and Peter seemed to come to his senses, speeding up into a pace he knew she liked. She was close and he felt her walls squeezing his cock, he came when she screamed his name on his ear.
Peter rested his head on her shoulder, catching his breathing, and then collapsed next to her on the small sofa. Susan turned her body and started to kiss his face, he closed his eyes and accepted her love. "I'm ready, Peter." She said and he opened his eyes, searching the truth on her face. "Su…"
"There's no life without you. I can't fight this anymore." She said with her hands on his face.
Peter held her naked body and said "We leave tomorrow."
At night, Angela arrived with food. Peter was smoking on the balcony and Susan was taking a shower. She noticed his traveling bag next to Susan's and felt her heart clench.
"Peter," she said appearing on the balcony "I brought pasta for us." He thanked her warmly. He felt that his relationship with Angela was entirely based in convenience, but he had spent almost two years with that woman. He felt like he owed her an explanation, but couldn't give it to her. Angela felt his eyes on her and remembered that his intense staring had always scared her. It was like he wanted something from her, but she didn't know what, so she never held his eyes too long.
When they were eating, Peter tried to take his eyes off Susan, but he couldn't. Eventually, he gave up on food, got up his seat and poured a glass of scotch. When he returned to his seat, Susan looked at Peter's glass and said surprised "You still drink it" and he looked at her eyes. "It was all I had left." Angela thought that exchange strange and noticed how Susan held his gaze in a way that she never could. She left for bed early while the siblings were still on the table.
Peter didn't come to her bed that night.
In the morning, Angela drove them to the airport. She wanted to kiss Peter goodbye, but suddenly it felt inappropriate, so she only hugged him and then Susan.
She watched the siblings walking side by side to the boarding area and saw when Peter reached for Susan's hand, lacing their fingers together. She was only mildly surprised when Peter never returned.