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    There is a bench in King’s Pike station whose beautiful green paint has been replaced with crimson rust. On this bench is a plaque commemorating a young boy found frozen to death on it about a century ago.

    It is the bench I listlessly sat on for hours on end the day I last saw Lady Celestia, and fittingly enough, it was the bench I sat on when Twilight Sparkle and I met for the very first time, two days before her lesson with my sister.

    We waited for the inner-city train, she and I, both comfortably quiet as she enjoyed her book and I enjoyed her in a much more innocent fashion than the one people often enjoyed me in.

    The thing about my beloved, you see, is that she drew your attention because she never quite fit in. She was strange in her own way, as perplexing as the magic she cast on a daily basis, sitting there with a children’s book and paper on which she wrote down complex equations.

    I asked her, weeks later, after we’d formally met, why on Earth was she doing math while reading a children’s book about dragons and fairies.

    She confessed with both pride and embarrassment that she’d been calculating the size and weight of a dragon based on things it had done throughout the book. When I asked her why she’d done that, she simply said why not.

    I thought about her for the rest of my life after that.

    As I was saying, I admired this strange young woman up until the moment she felt my gaze, turned her head, our eyes met and…

    I didn’t look away. I didn’t smile, or offer apologies for staring, or anything at all. How could I? You see, I’ve been looked at before. Day in and day out, men and women and all inbetween admire me, devour me, look down at me with their eyes.

    But no one had ever… seen me like Twilight Sparkle.

    Even as I try to describe it now, it’s difficult to capture what it feels like when she is looking at you, for Twilight Sparkle doesn’t so much look at you so much as she examines you, tries to understand who and what you are with as much passion as she does everything else.

    In the three or four seconds she looked at me, I was the dragon whose weight and size this beautiful and strange woman had to figure out.

    Only one other person in my entire life had ever seen me that way, and if I didn’t do or say something to her, I feared I might run away.

    “A boy died here, you know?”

    It was not my proudest moment, I’ll admit, but it did the job.

    She was pulled out of her trance and the stare she gave me was certainly not as passionate as the previous ones.

    I— What?”

    “A beggar boy died on this bench about a century ago,” I restated, determined to sleep in the bed I’d made. I gestured to the faded plaque. “See?”

    Finding no other choice but to comply with this bizarre but beautiful stranger, Twilight looked to the plaque and read it over. “In loving memory of little orphan Silver Blue, carried off to a better life by winter’s night.” Her expression softened. “Oh. How sad…”

    “Very much so,” I said, lifting my hand and brushing it on the name. “They couldn’t find any of his relatives, apparently, so everyone expected his funeral to be a lonely one. However, at the last minute, the children living in Bloomberry’s Orphanage at the time all came down to be with him.”

    A gentle smile graced her lips, and I found myself pleased by the fact.

    “And so here he is,” I finished with aplomb. “Remembered by a plaque on a bench.”

    “Remembered,” she said, and as her memories went back to the missing child in the Lady’s mansion, her tone softened, and with strange sadness she added, “but not missed.”

    I…

    I didn’t know what to say after that, or even after she offered a polite smile and went back to her book. I simply sat there, my heart faint in my chest, and I stared at her as though she were the ghost of little orphan Silver Blue.

    I was torn, crushed between unsettled and fascinated. I wanted to get up and leave with a polite goodbye, but I also wanted to know more about this stranger that I was convinced held more secrets than I dared to imagine.

    Even now, I don’t know what possessed me to speak up.

    “Will you miss me?”

    There was a moment of silence, and she turned to me again with her unflinching scrutiny, and it felt as though life itself depended on her answer.

    “Excuse me?”

    “Will you miss me?” I asked again, calm and composed and desperate all at once for this stranger to see me. “Will you miss me when I’ve gone?”

    She was baffled by the question.

    “No?” she replied, not out of rudeness or the like, but out of the simple blunt sincerity present in Twilight’s every action.

    I swallowed. I think I gave her a polite smile. I licked my lips and though they were not dry, I told myself that they were just so I had an excuse to look away.

    With shaky hands and shaky mind, I pulled out my lipstick, its golden case worn down by age, and painted my lips crimson red, Twilight Sparkle staring at me the entire time. Once I was done, and once the lipstick was put away, I kissed the back of my hand and showed her the lipstickless skin.

    “A lady,” I said, “never leaves a mark.”

    “Who are you?” she asked suddenly, a question blurted out without her consent. She closed her book, startled by her own step forward, but held her gaze on mine.

    I noticed the train approaching in the distance.

    “That’s not what matters, though, is it?” I asked as the train stopped before us, the door opening and people flooding out.

    “What does?” she asked, ignoring the train’s arrival in favor of staring at me with the same fascination I’d held towards her mere minutes ago.

    “You said you wouldn’t miss me when I’ve gone,” I told her as I stood up. “Well…”

    I smiled.

    “You will now.”

    And without another word, I strode forwards, into the train and behind the doors that closed just as I stepped through. The train whistled in approval and went on its way, leaving Twilight behind with a bench, a plaque, and the almost frightening realization that yes, indeed, she missed me now.

    She would miss me later that night, later that week, later that year, and unlike poor little Silver Blue, she would continue to miss me long after I’d gone to where she could not follow.

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    6 Comments

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    1. eddie
      May 10, '23 at 1:01 pm

      oh my god this is beautiful,, dude every chapter feels like its own novel the writing is so enticing too UGH I CANT GET ENOUGH

    2. A Deer
      Aug 24, '22 at 11:48 pm

      The dialogue in this chapter does a great job of moving the story forward. The entire scene is them sitting at a bench and now I’m wanting more bench scenes in my fiction.

    3. platinumSKIES
      Jul 6, '22 at 7:14 am

      When I feel bad about how I can’t start a conversation like a normal human being, I will now always remember the first conversation Rarity had with the love of her life was “Someone died here you know!”

    4. Pinky102368
      Jan 17, '22 at 12:00 am

      Now THAT’S a way to set a scene. I was entranced by both Twilight and Rarity in this chapter. It’s almost like I was both of them at the same time, falling in love with the other at first sight. I had the scene so clear in my head, and I think I want to draw it.
      I am in love with how Rarity takes the role of the “mysterious stranger” archetype, but since she’s the POV character, we know her thought process! I love how it’s clear the trope was being used by Rarity herself so she would know for sure she’d make an impression. Rarity’s elegant narration almost tries to hide the fact that she was in a bit of a gay panic, love that. Definitely a way to get out of an awkward situation I could only accomplish in my imagination.
      I will never get over this writing, and the characters feel so mature yet somehow still so much like themselves. I can see why this is one of your favorites that you’ve written, and I’m only on Chapter 5!

      1. @Pinky102368Jan 18, '22 at 12:09 pm

        aaah I’m loving your comments SO MUCH!!!

        I really love this chapter specifically for the reasons you’ve mentioned. She was definitely having gay panic, but tried to play it off, and it was so much fun to write. Her pickup line too is one of my favorite things lmao It’s become somewhat of a meme in my Patreon server.

        Hold on, lemme find the meme image

        heheeee

        1. Pinky102368
          @MonochromaticJan 19, '22 at 5:50 pm

          AHAHAHAHA.