You love him,
and here's the miracle:
he loves you too.
You are allowed
to lick off the colour from his lips
to listen to the hymns in his pulse
to bask in the sunlight of his voice
You are allowed
to have him.
You love each other,
and here's the tragedy:
it's not enough.
You are allowed
to watch the sun swallow him whole and burn him up
to stain your fingers to the bone holding him together
to count the constellations in his eyes as they blink out
You are not allowed
to save him.
"You can love him, but you can't keep him" ~ j.p.
Disclaimer: For those who would with Paul have suffered anything to save someone, and discovered that they couldn't—here.
Here's stories someone else wrote, someone who knew that happens sometimes.
Warning: Not all these stories have a happy ending. Some who make the choice to leave never come back. It happens, and to write it otherwise would be lying.
I saw it happen. You were my younger sister, a counterpart in ruling, my delight each time I came home with your welcoming smile, your grace, your kindness, the gentleness of voice and face and heart. You were everything war was not, and when I heard your voice I knew the war was over.
You were half the burden-bearer for our younger siblings, and the load felt lighter every time we spoke.
You were the source of the calm within me when petty things arose, the living proof that beauty conquers pettiness so sweetly that there is no need even for a fight. You shone more brightly than Narnia's stars, for you shone day and night, and within the reach of my fingers. Part of my Magnificence was the reflection of your soul.
And I watched you walk away.
All of these things, I say you were. I was.
You were mine to care for, one of thousands, one of three. You were mine to guard, to grow, to lead, and oh, my sister, I failed.
How did I fail? Where did I fail? I failed as a human must, but what did I do that was big enough it could not keep you?
What was lacking in me that you looked away?
No. Stay these thoughts. For it was not me you looked away from, but Him. And there is nothing lacking in Him.
But I watched the pretty, petty things catch your eye. I saw you look away. I called your name. And you looked back to us, to Him, once, twice, three times, but sooner each time, you looked away again.
And then you moved. Towards them, away from us; oh my sister, you might have had them both, if only they had not been higher to you than Him.
And I fought you. I fought you, and remonstrated you, and that one time even begged you. I would have died to see you come back, spent my life on my knees, given all I was to keep you and Edmund and Lucy safe.
Safe with Him, for there is no other safety than the terror of the untamed Lion.
But you walked away.
You were no longer Narnia's friend. You chose not to be mine to guard, to grow, to lead.
I would have given anything to save you, and there was nothing I could do.
The world convinced you
That there was life apart from grace...
So I'm looking up
But you're burning out,
My heart can't stand how we turned out,
No, I can't help but look at you
With the eyes of a rescue.
~"Eyes of a Rescue," Chasen
"'I am sorry for Nikabrik,' said Capsian, 'though he hated me from the first moment he saw me. He had gone sour inside from long suffering and hating. If we had won quickly he might have become a good Dwarf in the days of peace. I don't know which of us killed him. I'm glad of that.'"
There were three of us. Since youth, since I was no more than a kit, it was the Badger and two Dwarfs, running underfoot through the safety of the forest. My parents had been killed weeks after I was born, and those two found our broken nest in their adventuring together. Red Dwarf and Black Dwarf did not matter much then, when so few Dwarfs were left. And Nikabrik took up his child's axe and broke the branches holding me captive, then ran about looking for Telmarines to fight. Trumpkin took me with gruff and gentle hands and told me it was all right, they were my friends now.
And I was their friend. I smelled the soldiers sooner than my friends heard them, and together we warned the Old Narnians till there were no more broken nests, and the soldiers left, thinking they'd gotten us all. I shored up their tunnels underground. They offered me the family a Beast must have, and gave me the fierce loyalty of the Dwarfs.
I gave them my fierce faith, for I am a Beast, I am, and a Badger, what's more, and we hold on. I held on for all of us.
Trumpkin good-naturedly laughed, for he never believed in the Lion, and he laughed at the idea of Him. But he never laughed at those who did believe. He grew older, my sturdy, cheery friend, little in body and dear in heart. He laughed at things for the three of us, for Nikabrik's laughter vanished over the years.
He was our protector, strong with his axe, cunning with his hiding places, fearless against our enemies. Time and time again he saved us and others, before the soldiers left. He fought them with all he had, and that was enough to win—to win us time to flee, to escape, to live.
But he hated them, and it poisoned his heart till his laughter left. I kept on holding on.
I held on till the King came. And we had hope, and even Nikabrik had to admit it. I saw him begin to come alive, temper springing up with the rest of his heart, though Trumpkin and I checked it again and again, waiting for the rest of him, and soon he had enemies to fight, and he was at home.
But the war took too long. I held on, with all I was, but I found I could not hold on for him.
He let go.
When he turned to a hag and werewolf instead of me, my heart broke, betrayed. Were we not his friends? Was I not enough? Trumpkin had obeyed even when he had not believed, and was not there, but was I not enough?
And his spirit, too fierce for words, turned to blows, and in the council of the King we fought, and for the first time we were on opposite sides.
My side won.
And when the King said he did not know who had killed him and was glad, I kept my silence. I would have been glad too. I did not want to know. But I am a Beast, I am, and I smelled the Dwarf blood on my claws. I had had to make the choice. I had to. My friend or my king, some would say, but it really boiled down to the Witch or Aslan, and there was never a choice.
Peace would come, but Nikabrik would not live to see it.
I could not save him. I had been the one to kill him.
I wished with all my heart he had been Badger, and I had been the Dwarf. I wished he had held on.
I wondered (shame on me!) if even Aslan could wash the blood from my paws.
"But more than thirty champions (knights, centaurs, good giants, and all sorts) have at one time or another set out to look for the lost Prince, and none of them have ever come back. And at last the King said he was not going to have all the bravest Narnians destroyed in the search for his son. And now nobody is allowed to go."
I lost my son.
I lost him three times, each one a blow.
When my wife died, I grieved, and my son raged. A worm, a snake, a simple animal had taken his star and sky from him, and he could not bear it. He left our home every day, and I watched him ride away, knowing, from trying, that I could not temper his grief. Only time could do that.
We were not given time. I lost my son a second time. He left our home, and he did not return.
I looked. I rode the road he'd taken, I went to the fountain my life-long friend told me of, I searched high and low, for a body, a living man, a boy, my son. I feared for him, for Drinian had said the lady felt evil. I must find him.
But I did not. He was lost. Oh, my son, my son!
Yet the sovereigns of Narnia are given the love of their people, and knight after knight, hero after hero, went to find my son. For the love they bore us. And I longed to go with them, but must rule, and I waited in hope.
I waited. And waited.
And no one returned.
And I lost my son a third time, when my heart went to war with my duty, and my duty won. I decreed there would be no more searches. I gave myself no more hope. There would be no saving either of us now. The King had won, and the father had lost, and only the country was saved.
I lost my wife.
I lost my son.
I lost myself.
And I went to sea to find myself, and to find Him.
There was no more I could lose.
I lost my father.
I lost myself long before, to anger, to enchantment, to imprisonment, but three friends had found me. I came back to myself, and as myself, brought us all back to my home, only to find I had lost my father.
When he did not come off the ship, I wondered, just for a single moment, if he did not want to see me. If he couldn't bear to look on the son who'd fallen for evil. He'd fought evil his whole life. But the Lord came, knelt, and told me my father could not walk, that they were bringing out his bed, that my father was sick.
I saved myself, by the grace of the Lion, but I could not give myself back to my father. I could not save him.
I could not keep him alive.
I gave him my fealty, he gave me his blessing, and we gave each other our love,
but love is not to make a person live.
My love was not enough to stop what my ten captive years had taken.
I could not save my father.
"Aunt Alberta, who said [Eustace] had become very commonplace and tiresome and it must have been the influence of those Pevensie children."
My precious little boy. We brought him up, carefully training his mind, so very careful to apply all the new health tips science discovered. He was the most intelligent, interesting, fashionable, charming boy anyone had ever met. He was a scientist from the age of three.
We'd done everything, Harold and I, to make him exceptional.
And his cousins spoiled it all. He became so commonplace, so tiresome, and nothing I did made the slightest difference!
Then he kept changing. And I didn't like it. I tried to stop it. Yet—it grew on me. I never showed him, but I would have missed his quiet goodbyes as he walked out the door, his blurting out the new things he was thinking (so old-fashioned, but he said them like they were new), and I-
I never showed him I began listening.
And then he was gone.
I'd told myself I'd lost my precious son from the middle of that summer with those tiresome Pevensies, but I hadn't lost him. Not really. And I never told him how his lecture on chivalry reminded me of Harold when we first met, that his thoughts on dragons sounded like the legends I'd loved as a girl, that he made me young again-
He died on one of the newest forms of transportation, and there was no knowledge, no science, no humanistic advance, that could save him.
Nothing I had given could save him.
He couldn't be saved.
He was gone.
And no future mattered without him.
I still remember what you were, before that horrible school. I still missed you as my older brother, confused by what you were. I trusted you. I was too young to differentiate between the brother you were and the bully you became. So when we found the same world, I believed you'd love it like I did. I believed you'd have friends on the side of the good.
Only you didn't.
You chose her side, and you mocked the world we found, and you mocked me. So when we found the world later our siblings shunned you, and I felt justified.
But then you vanished. You went to her. We ran after you, calling your name, desperate to find you, Peter already planning the best way to find you. None of us believed you'd betrayed us. You can't have, you can't have done that—
But you did. You went where we couldn't follow, not without condemning you too. You made yourself hers. We couldn't save you.
But He could. We went to Him with your name on our lips, a plea for you in our hearts (and He saw it clearly), and Peter acknowledged our guilt. We saw Him, and we still wanted you. We begged Him to save you.
We couldn't go with the ones who saved you. We couldn't be part of your rescue. We couldn't save you.
But we awoke to the dawn, and you were there.
You were there with Him.
You were His.
You were saved.
You are not allowed to save him,
But someone else did.
And maybe that is enough
A/N: I will admit this hurt to write. I could only write one section at a time, sometimes not even that. But I wrote it because I hope it helps someone.
I hope it helps me.
I hope I always remember His name is Savior.