The Third Big QuestionMonochromatic
The third time Twilight Sparkle met with me—the same day as her second class with Sweetie Belle—the poor dear still had no idea what to make of me.
“Here you are, Miss.”
Even as the waiter handed her a glass of lemonade, she was unable to tear her eyes away from me. How rude, the waiter must have thought, when she only half-heartedly acknowledged him. Rude, rude, rude, but really, who could blame the poor dear?
She was frustrated, you see.
Frustrated by this woman-shaped enigma who she could not define despite her vast vocabulary and who was pointedly ignoring her. She’d counted, because she was Twilight Sparkle and she counted those sort of things, and in the fourteen minutes we’d been sitting at the restaurant, I’d only actually looked at her twice.
She’s ignoring me, she decided, and she couldn’t figure out why.
It made no sense! I’d invited her! I’d asked her out to coffee after her class with Sweetie! And now I was ignoring her?!
I wasn’t, by the way. Not that she knew, but just to be clear with you, for you have been a wonderful audience, I would never dream of ignoring her. To try and ignore Twilight Sparkle is akin to trying to ignore the sun. You simply can’t. She was there, large and imposing and brilliant, and much like the sun itself, staring at her for too long burned you.
“So,” she said, trying to sound polite and move the lacking conversation along, “this is a nice place.”
I hummed in reply, my eyes scanning the outdoor restaurant, with its pink tables and pink umbrellas.
“It is,” I replied and nothing else.
It made her twice as frustrated, which was a shameless delight for me, but quite awful for her—particularly when she was almost as fascinated by me as I was by her.
“It’s always the third big question, isn’t it?” I said, finally, still looking away into the distance in a way I found suitably dramatic.
Twilight blinked at me, and she actually had to take a moment to figure out what she’d said to warrant that reply. “I—What?” she asked after failing to find it. “The third big question…?”
“Yes,” I continued and rewarded her with my gaze as I grabbed my glass and swirled the water around as though it were fine wine. With my free hand, I showed her two of my fingers and elaborated, “Whenever you meet someone, there’s always at least two big questions. What’s your name and what’s your story. Do you agree?”
“I guess? It’s always something like that, yes.”
“Exactly! And so you’ve told them your life story, your dreams and aspirations, thinking you’ve made a wonderful new friend, and then they reveal their true intentions to you when they smile, lean in and ask—” I put my glass down, leaned in and with a tilt of my head, grinned. “Do you have a boyfriend?”
My poor beloved didn’t quite know how to react. Was I… actually asking her…? Or…?
“It’s a hassle, honestly,” I continued before she could make up her mind, leaning back and crossing my arms. “Unless of course you’re looking for someone, in which case that’s fabulous for you, but what if you aren’t? And now you’re just standing there, biting down on your lip, suddenly having to question if this person’s entire interest in you is dependent on whether you’re available to dance or not, so to speak. It makes it so difficult for the people who are sincerely and innocently curious about it.”
“I’m sorry,” she blurted out, “I don’t understand where this came from or what you’re trying to get at.”
“That’s alright, dear. I only said that because I want to be clear with my intentions when I ask—” I offered her a grin that was neither sincere or innocent. “Do you have a significant other, Twilight?”
Twilight was so taken aback by my bluntness, she did not have time to hesitate. “No.”
I smiled. “I see! Thank you for answering.”
“What about you?” she asked immediately, somewhat embarrassed by the topic yet too polite—and intrigued—to end it. “Do you have a boyfriend?”
I leaned in again. “Why, Twilight,” I said, “how bold of you to assume I’m straight.”
Her cheeks caught fire, either at her assumption or my revelation, she wasn’t quite sure. “I wasn’t—! I mean—!” She defensively crossed her arms over her chest. “Well, you assumed the same thing!”
“Did I? I distinctly remember saying ‘significant other’,” I replied, and laughed gently at her mortification. “To be fair, I swing both ways, so it’s a common assumption people make about me. Don’t feel too bad about it, dear.”
“Right. Yes. Right.”
I giggled. “And to answer your question, no, I do not have a significant other.”
A strange relief overcame her at that answer. She told herself she was relieved simply because the conversation had ended and we could move on to other topics.
And I did! I spoke about Sweetie, and the city, and whatever trivial affairs came to mind. Twilight, however, did the opposite. She’d been ensnared not only by my question, but more than that, by a clarification that had gone unclarified.
For the entire hour we were there, she sat there trying to figure out how, when and if to ask for details, and it wasn’t until the very moment I was leaving that she mustered the courage.
I stopped walking and turned around. “Yes?”
“You… Uh…” An embarrassed blush tinted her face. “You never actually said what your intention was when you asked me if I was dating someone…?”
I blinked. “Oh? Oh yes, I didn’t, you’re right!” I exclaimed, and whatever sense of victory Twilight earned was quickly dealt with when I turned around and kept walking, waving back at her. “Well, I’m sure you know what I meant! See you Saturday!”
She did not know what I meant, even though she thought about it for quite a long time after that.
All she did know, even if she didn’t want to admit it, was what she hoped that I meant.
Rainbow Dash couldn’t help a grin as she watched me despairing on my bed.
“‘I’m sure you know what I meant’?! What was I thinking?! I should have just told her! I’m a fool, Rainbow Dash! A fool! A cowardly fool!”
“Do ya want me to get you a violin or something?”
“Oh, be sympathetic, won’t you?!” I grabbed a pillow and pressed it against my face. “‘I’m sure you know what I meant’. I’m sure I want to go back in time and smack the back of my head!”
Rainbow laughed. “Well, maybe next time you won’t try being all interesting and mysterious, Rares.”
Rarity should look on the bright side, she’s most likely unforgettable to Twilight now. The dialogue’s been great so far.
Oh Rarity, you sweet idiot. Maybe playing it a bit too cool is more than you can handle.