Its been a tumultuous day. But a good one, I guess, looking back on it.
My mother was out of the office when I arrived, which gave me a little time to dwell on things. I could have done without that, honestly. I wanted her to just…BE there. So I could walk in and we could get it all over with. but no. Her assistant said she was out on a job, wouldn’t be back for another thirty minutes or so. So I waited in her office and looked at things. Old pictures, awards, the little hints of her personal life mixed with her professional one. There was a picture of me on her desk, from right after I got my cutiemark. It didn’t use to be there. It used to be up on the shelf with the other pictures. She must have moved it, when I was missing.
It wasn’t the only thing. everything had moved. My mother is a very neat, very orderly pony. she knows where everything is, all the time. She can run her office by remote, just telling ponies where they can find each and every document and quill. but today, her desk was disheveled. not badly, just…enough. pictures were askew. papers were unsorted. the littlest things. If you didn’t know her, you would never have noticed. but each little pen out of place spoke of heartache to me. every messy signature and splot of spilled ink spoke of a night spent sobbing, wondering if her daughter was okay.
I should have come right back to Canterlot after I got out of the North. I should have shot back here through the Bifrost with my sister. I sent her a letter instead. A letter. How damned classy of me. I shouldn’t have gone to Ponyville. I shouldn’t have gone to Apple Loosa. I should have come right back here and seen my mother.
I’m pretty sure I was crying when she walked in. I cant really remember. There was a fair amount of crying all around, for a little while.
When I was a filly, not long after I’d finally learned to fly at a reasonable rate and was gaining some confidence with my wings, I went traveling with mom around some of the bigger cities in Equestria, to see how the weather worked around the country. I was looking forward to it. Even back then, I got along better with my father than my mother, but this was a chance to show off how much better I had gotten at flying. maybe impress her a little. It seemed like a golden opportunity.
We were traveling the Northern border toward the end of our trip, on our way to Neighgra and back to Canterlot, when mom had to deviate up toward Vanhoover to check out some rouge cloud system or something. It took longer than she figured it would, and we ended up having to sleep in one of the small waystations sprinkled around the border for lost travelers. It was the closest I’d ever been to the mountains, and we spent the evening sitting outside and starring at them as the snow on their sides glimmered in the fading light.
I wanted to go see them. I’d never flown around a mountain like those before. But mom said I wasn’t old enough to be trying that sort of terrain yet. The mountains would have to wait for some other time, we were behind schedule as it was. I remember grumbling over that, when she went to bed. “behind schedule”. It was just the sort of thing she would say.
I cant remember what made me go alone, after she’d fallen asleep. Maybe I was trying to punish her. Maybe I figured I’d be fine if i just didn’t go in very far. Maybe I felt like she was underestimating me. Maybe it was just one of those things children do, because they’re children. because the universe compels them to learn important lessons through mistakes.
It was mom who saved me from the Frost Giant, that first time. Sped in out of no-where, yanked me out of its hand as the fingers were closing down. It batted her out of the sky as she passed, with me still clutched in her arms. I had to be as big as she was by that point. She still didn’t let go. Bounced off a mountain and kept flying until we’d cleared the border and were safe behind the Aegis. I cant remember her head bleeding, but I saw the stitches later. It must have been bad. She had a limp, too. for almost a month.
We don’t really talk about that trip much. I was pretty messed up, for a while. Didnt sleep. Didnt eat. scared of being alone. I wouldn’t talk about it, I just…froze up, whenever it came up. It was the Frost Giant had sucked the hope from my spirit like all the color drained from a rose, and even though mom saved me from it, I felt cold and empty inside. Like there was nothing to look forward to. No greater motivation, no reason why she might forgive me my transgression. just this fear of some inevitable doom, waiting behind every door. As though it had followed me home.
And I couldn’t face mother. for weeks, I just shrank away whenever she tried to talk to me, and cowered in a corner. I cant even remember why, looking back at it. It must have broke her heart.
I couldn’t understand how she could still love me. Not in a world with those things in it.
And then, a few weeks after we had gotten back, I came home from school to find all the doors in our house had been removed. Mom and dad were unscrewing the last one and laughing about something when I came in. he handed me a tool and told me to unscrew the hinges on them, so they could be painted. Seemed odd, at the time, but I did it. we trucked them all out into the backyard and set them up for painting.
And left them there.
For about a week, there wasn’t a single door in the place. it was awkward as all get-out, but it led to a lot of laughter. awkward situations and funny accidents, curious mannerisms nopony knew about coming out in the open, and nowhere, nowhere to hide. and you know? that actually worked out pretty well. you wouldn’t think it would, but it did. I could see my family all the time, going about their business, being happy, being hopeful, and working toward their goals, with no shadowy place for fear to hide in. and after a while, I started smiling again.
We never did paint the doors. They hadn’t bought any paint to begin with.
Mom took Malachite and I out to a store in Canterlot that sells custom clothing for pets, which is more or less the best shot I had at finding her something that would fit. Shes in love with her new jacket, I think im going to have to find her patches for it or something. the goggles help hide her eyes from the stares of onlookers who haven’t seen her before. all in all, shes quite the sight. I’m happy she’s happy, but I’m more happy mother doesn’t seem to be holding any ill-will toward her over what happened. I didn’t think she would, but mom can be a bit protective from time to time.
Its good to be spending some time with her again. I feel better than I did. Better than I have in a while, really. It was weighing me down harder than I thought it had been. All I need now is to get my report about Apple Loosa cleared.
And to find out why I keep feeling like I’m being followed.
No need to be worried, citizen! Two ponies were merely experimenting with untested artifacts of unknown quality. This is standard procedure, before shipping off some discoveries to our ex-intern.
(( Stories from the front is a really cool (NSFW) story blog. And Sev is amazing-talented at art. I mean, look at that! ))