It is rather simple to deduce what’s missing based on what’s been left behind.
A second toothbrush in the bathroom of an old woman’s apartment.
A baby’s bib and other such things hidden away in the closet of a quiet couple with sad eyes.
A jewelry box under the bed of the local lady’s man, and a dusty engagement ring beneath it.
A bracelet hanging on the doorknob of a locked door.
In the few days Twilight had been living in Lady Celestia’s mansion, she had… not seen things, no, but noticed them.
It started the first night, when she awoke with a start after having dreamt of things she did not care to confess. Things like failures, fear, disappointing others, and the fact that she was no longer home but living in a mansion full of objects but empty of life.
The floor did not creak when she made her way through the maze of rooms and hallways. The furniture, too, was quiet, and all she could hear was the sound of her own voice when she summoned a wisp of light to guide her way.
If she believed in the supernatural, she might have been frightened. Scared by the shadows creeping by of memories and stories forgotten and untold. Oppressed by the weight of it all.
But Twilight Sparkle did not believe in ghosts.
The only thing she wondered, as she stepped into the kitchen, was if a mansion so large was really properly suited for a single person.
I mentioned before that everything in the Lady’s house was ordered in a very precise fashion, Not a single thing was out of place, not a color, not a shape, not a frame, not a lie.
But the truth? Now that, my darling, cares little about fitting in, just like the little blue plastic cup Twilight found next to the perfectly identical glasses in the cupboard.
It was quite small, enough to hold perhaps only six ounces, and unlike everything else, it was old and damaged, filled with scratches and childish scribbles done in permanent ink. On the bottom of it, she noticed, someone had written the initials LR.
She turned it around in her hand, trying to understand why it was there.
Initials, clearly, but whose? The only person whose name started with L that Twilight could associate with the Lady was Lady Luna, but…
But this was a child’s, wasn’t it?
The second thing she noticed, the very next day, was when the Lady asked to meet with her in the private reading room.
The private reading room, located in the eastern side of the mansion’s second floor, was a much more intimate version of the mansion’s proper library. It had a few bookshelves, a few identical couches, and a table filled with those seemingly endless cookies.
Much like before, almost everything fit in save for the little blue armchair Twilight noticed near the back of the room. She walked towards it and so a small bookcase revealed itself next to the chair, filled to the brim with children’s books.
She kneeled down next to the chair to look over the books, and in doing so, rested her hand on the chair’s white throw-pillow for support. An unfortunate decision, as no sooner had she applied some pressure, something quite pointy greeted her finger.
She fell onto the floor with a wince and lifted her palm to find a drop of blood making its way down on it. She wiped the blood away and turned towards the chair, her quick scan landing on a needle in the middle of the chair, its tip crimson red.
She took the needle in her hand, examining it for a moment before returning her gaze to the couch and noticing a hand-sewn inscription on the pillow.
…but now we are the best of friends.
She turned the pillow around, expecting to find context for such a statement, but found the other side to be blank, and there were no other pillows around to perhaps complete it.
With an undignified yelp, Twilight turned around to find Lady Celestia standing under the frame of the door, her curious eyes set on the poor squatting student.
“Lady Celestia!” exclaimed my beloved, scrambling up onto her feet and bowing her head. “Sorry, I—” She gestured to the chair and the books. “I was just curious and I—I didn’t know you had children.”
The Lady smiled. “I don’t,” she said, and nothing else on the matter. She instead strode across the room, sat on a chair and gestured for Twilight to take another. “Shall we start the class?”
“Y-Yes,” Twilight replied, taking a seat and saying nothing more.
Nothing more of this child who was present only in the signs they’d left behind; in the ghosts and shadows of their life in this empty mansion.
In the blue cup waiting to be used.
In the little shoes at the back of the lobby closet waiting to be put on.
In the half-used crayons inside a drawer waiting to draw again.
In the children’s music vinyl record waiting to be played inside a dusty gramophone.
In the child-sized bracelet hanging from a locked door.
In the inscription it had.
We were strangers when first we met…