"I don't believe you!" Edmund said with a snort. Drea looked at Susan and Peter; both just shrugged their shoulders before Peter added,
"Now don't tease Andrea that way. Maybe she's just found a nice way to play to wile away the boredom!"
"Nonsense," Susan snapped. "She's always off crying somewhere. I just don't understand. At least come and play our games, Andrea. You needn't be such a spoil-sport."
"But it's real. I met so many wonderful people there." Drea put her head down and would have sobbed but for the gentle hand that squeezed her shoulder.
"There, there, child. I believe you."
Drea looked up and saw the most pleasant face she had ever beheld. Not Mrs. Macready or even Professor Kirke, but a kindly looking woman who seemed to embody every fairy tale queen or enchantress of whom she had ever dreamed or imagined.
"You...you're here with me...out of the Closet...in the open where they can see?"
"No, child; that is my realm in the wardrobe you call a closet...a place of refuge and safety. They cannot see who refuse to look, dear. But there are many there who understand and accept you for who you are, even if your family does not. In time, perhaps, your siblings will come to know that place and the real you. But be encouraged for at least a time." The woman leaned closer as she bowed her head and kissed Drea on the cheek; her lips taking away the girl's tears. She then gently kissed the girl's forehead in blessing.
"I would have died but for the care I received from your subjects; the folks of gentle spirit who helped me and loved me when I needed it the most." Drea sighed a gentle and contented sigh.
"I am in all of your sisters, and they in me, and I love you. Be at peace even as you join me for a little while in my kingdom." The girl nodded eagerly, her tears replaced with a glow and smile as the woman led her into the closet, where she found fellowship and friendship and care, if only for a little while. She hoped, as all who enter the closet, that when she once again emerged into her own world, that the acceptance she had received would carry over. She prayed that one day all of her sisters and brothers would know the love and the care of the lady's world in their own. But for that moment, the Closet would more than suffice. And she bowed deeply and thanked the lady.
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