Grief and Blame
My heart shrivelled up cold and abject within me. "If this is true," said I, "I've been deceived. If he had dropped but a word of it, I'd have taken every burden from him, sent him home forever, loaded with every honour I could give."
"You know him little, Queen, if you think he'd ever have spoken that word. Oh, you have been a fortunate queen; no prince ever had more loving servants."
"I know I have had loving servants. Do you grudge me that? Even now, in your grief, will your heart serve you to grudge me that? Do you mock me because that is the only sort of love I ever had or could have? No husband; no child. And you--you who have had all--"
"All you left me, Queen."
"Left you, fool? What mad thought is in your mind?"
"Oh, I know well enough that you were not lovers. You left me that. The divine blood will not mix with subjects', they say. You left me my share. When you had used him, you would let him steal home to me; until you needed him again. After weeks and months at the wars--you and he night and day together, sharing the councils, the dangers, the victories, the soldiers' bread, the very jokes--he could come back to me, each time a little thinner and greyer and with a few more scars, and fall asleep before his supper was down, and cry out in his dream, "Quick, on the right there. The Queen's in danger.' And next morning--The Queen's a wonderful early riser in Glome--the Pillar Room again. I'll not deny it; I had what you left of him."
Her look and voice now were such as no woman could mistake.
"What?" I cried. "Is it possible you're jealous?"
She said nothing.
I sprang to my feet and pulled aside my veil. "Look, look, you fool!" I cried. "Are you jealous of this?"
She started back from me, gazing, so that for a moment I wondered if my face were a terror to her. But it was not fear that moved her. For the first time that prim mouth of hers twitched. The tears began to gather in her eyes. "Oh," she gasped, "Oh. I never knew...you also...?"
"You loved him. You've suffered, too. We both..."
~C.S. Lewis, Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold, (1956)