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    In her entire life thus far, Twilight Sparkle’s heart had twice been crushed by a girl she loved.

    When Twilight Sparkle was a young girl, she had a friend called Sunset Shimmer. A brilliant, talented child with a personality as fiery as her hair. Sounds familiar, no? Our dear mage has a type.

    From ages eight to fifteen, Twilight and Sunset were inseparable. Their every day, every thought, every moment interwoven and dependent on each other like the sun was to the moon.

    It is important to note, as well, that Twilight was desperately in love with her. Not that she knew, at the time, for how could she? Things were different in the north. More proper, shall we say. Boys loved girls, girls loved boys, and the rushing heat burning her up whenever they touched was friendship and nothing more.

    Friendship and nothing more, indeed, she’d whisper to herself every night, clutching the covers rather tight.

    “Twilight?” Sunset had asked her once, the two of them sitting outside the headmaster’s office, twelve-year-old confiding in eleven-year-old. “Why are you here?”

    “What… What do you mean?” Twilight asked.

    “I’m the one in trouble. I punched him.” She balled her hand into a fist. “You’re not upset?”

    “He was stupid. He should be the one getting punished,” Twilight replied, the words the boy had hissed their way still ringing in her head. A certain slur that she didn’t understand only because no adult would dare explain. But Sunset knew what it meant. And so would Twilight, too, when she’d ask her mom later that day, and upon being scolded for asking, would resort to a dictionary for help.

    “Sunset,” she said, reaching out to take the girl’s bruised hand in hers. “We’re not what he said we were. Okay?”

    Sunset didn’t reply at first. She simply stared at their hands, fingers intertwined.

    “Okay,” she eventually said.

    “Twilight?” Sunset had asked her once, the two of them floating on swings, fifteen-year-old confiding in fourteen-year-old. “Do you ever feel different?”

    “Different? Different how?” Twilight asked.

    “Different,” Sunset replied. She stopped swinging. “Like you should be somewhere else, and like what feels right is wrong.” Her voice softened. “I feel different.”

    Twilight’s heart caught in her throat, and she was short of breath when Sunset looked at, eyes burning into hers.

    “…Do you feel different, Twilight?”

    “No,” Twilight said, and she hissed to herself this was true. “I don’t feel like I am.”

    Sunset didn’t reply at first. She simply stared at the ground, hands gripping the swing’s chain until she swung again.

    “Okay,” she eventually said.

    “Twilight?” Sunset had asked her once, the two of them standing before a train, sixteen-year-old confiding in fifteen-year-old. “Why are you sad?”

    “Why am I sad? What kind of a stupid question is that?” Twilight asked, tears burning her eyes. She gestured to the train, to the large bag swinging on Sunset’s shoulder. “You’re leaving.”

    Sunset breathed in, her eyes closing for the briefest of moments before they opened again and settled on her friend. “I don’t belong here, Twi.”

    “Yes, you do.”

    “No,” Sunset replied, firm. “I don’t.” And she paused, and when she looked at Twilight, the following words went unsaid.

    And you don’t, either.

    “What about me?” she asked. Pleaded, almost. “What am I supposed to do without you?”

    The train whistled behind them.

    Sunset made a choice.

    “Tell me why. Why should I stay. Tell me.”

    “Because you’re my best friend,” Twilight replied.

    “No,” Sunset replied. “Tell me why. The real reason why.”

    How the tears clouded her eyes. How they blurred her vision and drowned her heart. But my darling was stubborn. “That is the real reason,” she said, and she’d faltered, and she knew it, and so did Sunset, and they both had to live with that when Sunset looked away.

    And yet.

    If Twilight was stubborn, Sunset was even more so.

    “Come with me,” she said, and when she looked at Twilight, she was crying, too. “Just… Come with me, Twi. We don’t have to stay here. We deserve better. We can be better. Please. Come with me.”

    “I can’t,” Twilight said, and burning inside, she wished it were true. “I’m not like you.”

    Sunset didn’t reply at first. She simply looked at Twilight, a moment that was eternal, until her expression softened, and she smiled with a love that burned still.

    “Okay,” she eventually said.

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    1. Silver Mint
      Sep 28, 22 at 12:38 am

      You know, I like this chapter a lot. It tells a lot with very little and I love that.

    2. platinumSKIES
      Jul 8, 22 at 9:41 pm

      Aw jeez, Twilight has accidentally (or on purpose) done this twice.

      Also poor Sunset. She so clearly wanted Twilight to follow her, but knew that at her core, she was still Twilight. What might their lives have been like if Twilight had followed her…