Life in Real Narnia was, to anyone, paradise. The days were always sunny. The creatures were always happy. Music and laughter filled the air. You never got tired, never aged. It was a perfect place. But, to Lucy, it was a nightmare. She felt stuck in a loop, hating every second of her time there- and there was a lot of time to hate. Eternity to hate. She'd gotten so sick of it that all Lucy did was stay inside. People rarely saw her, or spoke to her. She didn't mind. No one seemed to get it anyways.
One particular day was rather dreadful. The day was sunny (again), and everyone was gone out to enjoy it (again). Lucy sat in her room, the same as it ever was. She had stopped reading whatever book she'd grabbed that morning, and stared at the tall ceiling above her. The painted face of a lion- a very familiar lion- stared back at her. She blinked, turning her head this way and that. The lion never changed. She frowned. No, she scowled. The lion still did not move. She wrinkled her nose, and sat up, crossing her arms. She didn't know what she was expecting from the lion, really. It was only a painting. Still, any movement would have been well appreciated from her.
A knock at her door scared Lucy back into her thoughts. She stared, feeling a bit of anxiety in her chest. Who would come knocking on her door? Especially when it was so bloody nice out?
"Come in." She said loudly, standing and brushing off her skirts. The door knob twisted, opening up for a rather tall and pale fellow with the same freckles at Lucy. She managed a smile at seeing him. "Edmund."
Edmund smiled back at her, gently shutting the door behind him. "Afternoon, Lu. I just came to check up on you." There didn't seem to be any deeper meaning to his words. Lucy wondered if this world had made him just as perfect as the rest. "Oh. Well, I'm fine, as you can see. Just doing a bit of reading." She gestured to the book on her bed. He gave it a look, and his smile seemed to flatten a little. "Are you sure? I don't want to intrude or anything, I just... can't help but notice that something's been off about you."
Lucy felt that anxiety in her chest start to grow.
"What? Edmund, that's silly, I'm perfectly.. I'm fine." She stopped herself, almost grimacing at the word perfect. Edmund nodded, but he didn't budge. "Alright... So then you not coming outside anymore?" He asked, raising a brow. Lucy held back a swear. "I just.. I realized that I liked the books in here. I mean there are so many, and I want to get through them all, you know, and I know I have forever but-"
"Lucy." Her brother interrupted. Lucy bit her lip as Edmund stepped forward gently, placing a hand on her shoulder. "You know you can tell me what's going on. You don't just ignore playing with the rest of us easily."
For a moment, she was torn. Part of her wanted to spit at him, at the idea that he could read her so well. Another part wanted to weep in his arms and yell about how much she hated it there. She thought about it, staring at him with a worried gaze, before she sat down and let a sigh out. Her fingers laced together nervously. Edmund didn't take too long to get the idea, sitting next to her and turning his attention fully on his sister. Lucy struggled to find the right words.
"I... I love it here, Ed. I mean... I... I don't actually." She muttered out, going up to tuck a lock of hair behind her ear. Edmund seemed surprised, but he didn't speak, just giving her a nod to continue. She took the chance. "Well, I thought I did. When we lived in Narnia, this is what I wanted. I didn't want things to change or bad things to happen. No rain, no cuts. I wanted it to be this perfect." Lucy admitted. It felt good to get that part of her chest. "What changed?" Edmund asked, confused. She turned to him, and gave a short shrug. "Being here, experiencing it, I guess. This place... It's not our Narnia. It's not where we grew up, where we fought battles and made our friends. It's like Narnia... but everything is so perfect. The world feels so different. The people, the nature- it's all so perfect. And it's always perfect. Things don't change here, Ed. And as weird as it is... I miss the change. I miss how our lives used to be. I miss growing. And the longer I spent pointing out all of the ways this place is so different, the more I started to feel... Trapped."
The words were heavy, but Lucy felt good knowing that she had finally gotten it all out. Maybe keeping it to herself had only made the feeling worse. Edmund seemed to consider thing, his brow furrowing. Then, he spoke.
"You always had a deeper connection to Narnia than any of us." He said, a sad laugh in his tone. "I'm not surprised you can notice all of that. The differences. But, Lucy, sometimes different can be good. Maybe it's not the Narnia you know. But it's home. We all had the same sort of problem when we moved here. We had to get used to so much so fast- it drove me a little mad." The two shared a soft laugh at that, before Edmund sighed. "Things do change here. You just have to get used to it still. I know it's frustrating, but at least we can relax. We can be at home, and we can just be kids. Not rulers. Not survivors. Just ourselves. That's not so bad, is it?"
Lucy thought on that for a moment. He had a point. It was nice not to have to worry about the next fight. Or about bombs. They could just finally be free. She reached over and gently grasped as his hand, which he let her. "You're right... it's not all bad."
Edmund smiled. "You can still be upset about some things. Just don't let them get to you like this anymore, alright?" He asked, to which she nodded. "Good. Now, come on, there's a tree out there waiting for you to climb it."
The two stood and hurried out of the room, kicking off their shoes halfway down the hall. The door of Lucy's room closed gently, and the lion on the ceiling smiled.