FingerbangingMLP

AlexanderGrey - Time After Time

Jul 2nd, 2015
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  1. >Right as the clock strikes 2:30 PM, the final bell for the school day rings. All of the students at Canterlot Hight bolt up out of their desks and frantically race out of the classrooms into the hallways. Though many of them seem to have exiting the school grounds as their top priority, some individuals have chosen to stay inside.
  2. >But the reasons for doing this vary from person to person.
  3. >As for most of the athletes, the next destination is the locker rooms next to the gym, or probably the football or baseball fields. Some of them go over to the schools weight room to fulfill their schedule of fitness training.
  4. >Other groups of students grab their things and head over to various classrooms where after-school activities take place. Science club, book club, etc.
  5. >But there is one particular student that is staying after just this once, for one special reason. She decides not to meet up with her friends like she normally would, but instead pulls out a bouquet of lilies that she had kept safely stored in her locker.
  6. >And her name is Sunset Shimmer.
  7. >The process of keeping them from getting damaged wasn’t easy. After Sunset had spent the last month and a half growing the flowers in her own backyard garden, she had to be careful regarding how she removed them from the soil with her tools.
  8. >She had been growing many kinds of flowers in her garden, but she knew exactly what and who the lilies were for. It’s the whole reason she planted them in the first place.
  9. >It was only a day ago when Sunset finally decided that they were ready and took them out of the ground and lovingly placed them into a pot to stay alive. She was entirely sure to keep them watered just as often as necessary while she waited for Friday to come.
  10. >During that night, with the lilies under a carefully positioned heat lamp, Sunset had gone online and booked two tickets for a movie on Saturday. The place is a dine-in theatre that serves food during the showing of the movies. She reserved one ticket for herself, and one ticket for you, Anon.
  11. >And now on this day, Sunset is ready to take a leap of faith and ask you the question she had swelling inside of her for over a year. The lilies, gently wrapped in a bouquet, are slowly taken out of the locker and into the view of the other students. As this happens, everyone’s jaws drop while their eyes go wide.
  12. >This is a sight that they have never seen before and will probably never see again; Sunset Shimmer, one of the most desirable and popular girls in school, is showing signs that she has feelings for someone. This may be something they will never see again.
  13. >The lovestruck girl nonchalantly ignores them, at least thankful that it’s not the glares from earlier in the school year. There was a time when somebody she knew competed with her for the crown at the fall formal. When she didn’t win, she had used magical powers to turn into a demon and try to take the crown herself. She was stopped, however. But in the process, she learned a valuable lesson that eventually taught her how to slowly gain everybody’s respect back.
  14. >But all of the bad times are behind Sunset now, and she’s ready to move on to bigger and better things. The confidence that kindles within the girl’s heart tickles her emotions as she proudly trots down the hall, looking for you.
  15. >Your history with Sunset has been rather… uneventful. Neither of you had ever really thought about eachother, let alone conversed. The fact of the matter is, you each simply came from different social circles. You simply never had a chance to really get to know one another.
  16. >Despite the newfound dominance over the dark past, the most powerful thing on Sunset Shimmer’s mind right now is love.
  17. >Sunset has no idea how you are as a person, but she has a strong idea of how she feels about you. She’s completely certain.
  18. >She’s not wrong to think that her reputation with you had been heavily hindered during the fall formal. You had seen her turn into a demon and go against Twilight and her friends. You had watched the entire thing unfold before your very eyes.
  19. >If there was a way for Sunset could go back in time and prevent you from witnessing such a horrible feat, she would take that option in a single beat of her fluttering heart. But of course, time has walked on, and so has her relationships with her peers. Friendships have been gradually restored, and Sunset’s likability is beginning to resurface at a whole new level. Maybe this could mean that she has a chance.
  20. >Sunset has erased her past self, and replaced it with a girl that has what it takes to finally win the heart of the boy she loves more deeply than she’d like to admit. Though, Sunset really would love to admit it all some day; she can’t wait until she will sing it to the world, proudly declaring her undying love for her significant other.
  21. >The feeling of affectionate freedom.
  22. >And If there was anything in the world that could prove to this girl that love really does exist, any thing to open her eyes to the beautiful details of the world around, it’s you.
  23. >Sunset’s entire world has become warm and soft, welcoming each step she takes as she thinks about you. To her, you’re not just the sweetest guy she’s ever seen in Canterlot High. Her entire world itself is completed by you, and she can’t really put her finger on why she’s always liked you so much.
  24. >You don’t even need to be sweet talking to make her sigh every time she heard your voice. You never needed muscles or a nice hairdo or any kinds of good looks for that matter. With other guys, those are important factors to Sunset, but you are a stunning exception.
  25. >Sunset doesn’t even care what you look like; you could be the ugliest person in the world… and she would have fallen head over heels as long as it was you she was falling for. She doesn’t care about anything else in the whole world.
  26. >So… she wants to find out what’s fueling her flame for you. She has muster up enough courage to search for you in the hallways and confront you in a way that most guys would only dream that she would do with them. The girl turns every corner, anxious to find you on the other side of each one.
  27. >Sunset can feel her heart booming in her chest, literally pulsating to a point where she can actually hear it beat it’s song in her ears. But to her, the beating is just her feelings telling her to do what she needs to do… and say what she needs to say. She’ll soon be able to look back at all of this and say to herself that this was worth it; she already knows it’s worth it.
  28. >It has to be.
  29. >Alone you stand, having just closed your locker. As the surrounding crowd fades, a particular set of footsteps catches your attention. It’s obvious that someone’s behind you, but you don’t want to show that you’re aware just yet.
  30. >”Uh… Anon?” A voice sounds from behind.
  31. >Can’t pretend to not know anymore. You slowly turn around, almost pretending to be surprised.
  32. >Standing right in front of you is a sheepishly postured Sunset Shimmer. Her head is lowered slightly towards the flowers that she gently holds in her hands, allowing her radiant hair’s colors to become more prominent. Her soft cheeks are flush red, and the lower parts of her eyes squinted from a clear indication of nervousness.
  33. >You can swear on your life you’ve never seen Sunset like this. Sure, she was nervous when the other students were shunning her right after what happened at the fall formal, but that situation was in a much dimmer light than this one. This one brings brightness to the entire hallway with her very presence.
  34. >”H-hi… Anon.” Sunset meekly greets you in a voice more airy than usual.
  35. >Just the sound of her voice strikes you as… humble. She’s holding these flowers in her hand, blushing like crazy…
  36. >It’s pretty clear what Sunset might say next; you’re already internally bracing for it.
  37. “Hi, Sunset.” You start the conversation, feeling like you’re giving her some sort of green light to pop the question.
  38. >”Umm… can we talk?”
  39. >Every word she utters feels like she’s already saying it hundreds of times over. It’s just in the very softness and uneasiness of Sunset’s voice at this moment.
  40. >A fake smile is forced onto your face and you nod your head.
  41. “Yeah… I got a minute.”
  42. >A minute is all you’re going to need.
  43. >Sunset stands there for a few seconds, sliding one of her feet back and forth. Her question is too scared to come out at first, afraid that it’s going to present itself the wrong way in how it sounds. But there is one thing that can overpower that fear inside of Sunset, and she knows very well what it is.
  44. >”So… uh…”
  45. >She can’t figure out a way to say this. Which words is she supposed to start out with to grab onto her crush’s interest?
  46. >What is the right thing to say?
  47. >”I…”
  48. >You give Sunset a couple of seconds to spill it out, but it feels as though the longer you wait, the more the pressure builds within her.
  49. “Yeah?”
  50. >”Well… I’ve been doing some thinking… and wondering and stuff…” The shivering girl hesitantly stutters in the face of your presence.
  51. >It’s hard to tell whether Sunset’s shyness is coming from how the mane 6 had changed her attitude on things, or… whatever is up with her on this specific day. Sunset has had a rough past, and has been known to exert a rather tough or independent impression whenever faced with an uncertain situation.
  52. >But you, however.
  53. >There’s something about your presence alone that’s… doing things to Sunset. And she doesn’t even know how to point it out to herself so she knows exactly what about you it is. It’s… melting and shaking her down, making her into putty in one’s hands.
  54. >In the hallway, only a couple of students remain. But the scene that is taking place has captured their full attention.
  55. >”I was wondering if… you’d… like to go out sometime…”
  56. >This is it, Sunset. This is the proposal that begins an entirely new chapter in life. This is the part where Anon enters, and brightens up even the darkest of days. This is where all of this starts.
  57. “Oh, you mean like… hang out?” You redirect the subject, as though it’s going to make a difference.
  58. >You know she’s going to go right back to the point she was trying to bring up. The force inside of her is too strong for her fear this time; she must ask you.
  59. >”Well… no. I mean… more than that.” Sunset clarifies with the lilies shaking furiously in her restless grasp. “I’m talking about… I… um, would you like to go on a, um… date? With me?”
  60. >There it is.
  61. >You’ve never seen her stutter like this during the entire time you’ve known her. Sunset has never been this out of character, at least in front of you. How can she seriously be this affected by you?
  62. >”And y-yes. A… d-date date.”
  63. >She knows for a fact that she put the idea into your head at this point.
  64. >As you watch the mighty Sunset Shimmer cave in before you, you contemplate all of the things you could say to her that would rock her world. You could just go ahead and say yes, already. You can’t imagine how happy that would make her.
  65. >Sunset stands in front of you, completely silent. She is at the mercy of your decision as she forces the most awkward smile you’ve ever seen onto her face. But the smile somehow works with her contours, given that she already has a very well sculpted facial structure that can pull off most crazy expressions.
  66. >This is one of the many reasons that pretty much any guy you can think about would die to go out with Sunset Shimmer. This girl’s properties are, and have always been, serious business. You could tell by everyone’s reactions to her.
  67. >But their reactions to her literally mirror how she is behaving around you, which already says enough about what you’re making her feel deep inside of herself.
  68. >Every thought in Sunset’s mind spins around as rapid speeds as she sees that you’re about to answer her. Her entire world waits just for you.
  69. >And then you let it out.
  70. “No, Sunset.” You coldly respond in a harsh tone.
  71. >…
  72. >Sunset freezes in place, at first unable to comprehend the answer that was delivered to her. The young girl stares blankly at you, contracting her pupils and keeping her arms still. The shaking of her body has ceased, replaced by her shaky breathing.
  73. “No…” You repeat. “I don’t want to go on a date with you.”
  74. >And with that, you lift your backpack up to your shoulder and turn your collar from the now panicking Sunset Shimmer.
  75. >Without you realizing at first, your face forms a sly grin, just enough if Sunset’s view for her to see it. And you can tell that she sees it as well, you can make it out in the way she jolts ever so slightly. But the grin is only the icing on the cake for Sunset.
  76. >Not only had you blatantly rejected a relationship with Sunset, but you had also done so to the physical symbols of Sunset’s deep affection for you. You said no straight to the flowers that Sunset had grown just for you; you said no straight to the movie and dine in theatre that she wanted the two of you to go to.
  77. >You have single handedly crushed all of that with a simple word.
  78. >No.
  79. >The response to your final say does not escape Sunset’s mouth, nor can it even pull itself together in Sunset’s mind. The other students who were in the hallway have apparently already left. It’s uncertain whether they were here to witness you rejecting her or not.
  80. >As you strut away, a quiet fit of laughter bubbles out from your throat. You have literally just rejected Sunset Shimmer, one of the most attractive and popular girls in the school!
  81. >You would be lying to yourself if you didn’t see this as an upstanding achievement. A massive step forward.
  82. >And out to the buses you go…
  83. >The speed at which you are walking is considerably fast; you have already turned the corner out of the hallway. There can be no sounds heard from Sunset back in the hallway. The last you saw of her… she was standing perfectly still with that same blank expression.
  84. >She’s holding it all in.
  85. >Just as you’re exiting the front doors, you can just faintly hear the sound of a bouquet of lilies softly colliding with the cold marble floor. It’s quiet and you can barely hear it, but the sound is unmistakable.
  86. >After making it outside, you let a taunting chorus of laughter rush out of your lungs. The power of rejecting the hot girls runs through your veins. Anything inside of the school cannot be hear now, what with the deafening roars of the buses engines surrounding you.
  87. >You find your bus in less than a minute and climb aboard, ready to go home and enjoy the relaxing luxury of the weekend. It’s going to feel even better after what you just did.
  88. >Across the aisle from you on the bus sits Flash Sentry and his friends, among them is Twilight. They try to talk to eachother like they usually do, but are becoming increasingly distracted by your now maniacal laughter.
  89. >”Yo, Anon! Dude!” Flash addresses you. “You high or something, bro?”
  90. “Oh… heh, it’s nothing. Don’t worry about it, man.” You answer him in between breaths.
  91. >Just at this moment, Twilight’s phone vibrates in her backpack. She pulls it out and stares at the screen that displays her newest text message. Not even a half second later, her eyes grow wide and she gasps.
  92. >”Oh my gosh!” Twilight exclaims. “Flash, I need to go back into the school!”
  93. >”What? Why? The buses are about to pull off!” Flash complains.
  94. >”It’s Rarity. She’s saying that Sunset’s alone in the hallways, crying. And hard, too.” Explains Twilight.
  95. >”Whaaaaaat?” Flash gripes. “Can’t you just look into that late-“
  96. >”No, Flash! Sunset’s my friend and she needs me! I’ll get Rarity to drive me.”
  97. >You fall silent as you hope that the bus pulls off before anyone has a chance to find out that you were the cause of this. Twilight steps off as quickly as she can before racing back into the school in search of her close friend.
  98. >Flash Sentry gives you a joking expression.
  99. >”Heh, sorry to have that kill your mood, dude.” He apologizes. “Stuff like that happens with her sometimes.”
  100. “Ah. It’a all cool.” You reply, trying to talk the same way he does.
  101. >After a couple of tense minutes pass, the bus doors finally close and the engine lets out a loud growl. The lined up buses take off one by one… eventually the one you’re on. Right as you feel the motion from the bus taking off, you lean back in your seatbelt-less seat and let out a sigh of relief.
  102. >”Yeah I know, man. It’s finally the weekend! Woohoo!” Norman joins in, starting up a conversation just to see how you’d respond for the amusement of the cool kids.
  103. >”Hey bus driver!” Flash calls out to the front of the bus as it exits the parking lot through the bus lane. “Turn on the radio! We could use some music up in here!”
  104. >It’s a good thing nobody at Canterlot High knows your number or address. It’s times like this that you’re glad that you’re something of an outcast.
  105. >The radio is turned on as the bus steadily veers onto the main road. The very beginning of a song is playing on the station that the radio is tuned to.
  106. >The Beatles - She loves You. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T0YifXhm-Zc
  107. >The cool kids sitting in the back start singing along. Out of a fit of excitement, you join in. All of you continue to sing along with the radio as the bus majestically heads down the road.
  108. >And disappears in the distance to drop you off at your stop so you can continue on with your weekend.
  109. >…
  110. >Saturday morning, about 11:30 AM. You’ve slept in, having stayed up really late the previous night before watching cartoons. The light pouring in from the outside sky is the sole thing that forces you awake.
  111. >Every fiber in your being has an enriched feeling from your accomplishments. With this confidence, you get out of bed with ease and go downstairs to eat breakfast. Eat some cereal and waffles before getting some of your things going out the door. It turns out that you’re running out of milk, you you decide to pick some up at the store.
  112. >You can’t really put your finger on what possessed you to actually leave the house. Perhaps there was just enough energy within you to push yourself out the door. Usually, you find yourself too lazy to do so much as to get out of bed during the weekends.
  113. >Maybe you’ll go to the mall or something later today, it doesn’t look like the kind of weather that would prompt too many people to leave their houses.
  114. >The sky above is lined with thick grey clouds; overcast. The ground is soaking wet, making it clear that it must have rained earlier. Walking around too quickly would require one to be careful, lest they slip and fall to the ground.
  115. >On the driveway is your car, still coated in a blanket of water droplets. You spot the squiggly outline of your reflection in the window as you walk up to it, shrouded in the mosaic of raindrops that obscure the image. The image of yourself being contorted like so deems as mesmerizing for a little bit before you pull out your keys and unlock the doors.
  116. >You step in, turn on the ignition after closing the doors and back out of the driveway. Just at the same second, you notice a couple of new drops of water hit the windshield.
  117. “Got in just in time…” You mutter to yourself as you begin to head down the street.
  118. >The rest of the town isn’t very lively today, having very few people walking around and not even many cars on the streets either. A good number of houses have their lights on.
  119. >Now that there’s nothing exciting really happening, you start to feel rather… bored. It’s a cloudy day with nothing really going on; not exactly the ideal weekend you had in mind.
  120. >Maybe it would have been better than this if you had more friends. But maybe not even friends, just a person to hang out with.
  121. >But of course, you know where this is leading your mind to. Sunset.
  122. >Now, you know that if you had said yes to her yesterday, then she would be probably right here in this care with you right now, getting ready for the date that never happened. She’d be probably talking about something from the inner circle of the cool kids you had never heard of before.
  123. >However, you’re not going to cave into that. Frankly, you don’t care about whether or not your Saturday is boring. In fact, you’d rather it be boring; it’s more relaxing that way anyway. You don’t need Sunset by your side, and from the looks of how things went yesterday, she probably won’t ever want to see you again.
  124. >Stupid silly Anon, the guy that Sunset will never want to come into contact with again. You actually like the sound of that.
  125. >There’s no need to have that two-faced girl in your life. You just know that she’s going to end up being trouble later on down the road anyway. High School love has always been horrendously overrated.
  126. >Your drive ends at the grocery store, where you pull into a parking space and get out of the car. The slam of the car door echoes through the parking lot after you get out and head on in to the store. Luckily enough, the rain outside has reduced itself to a light drizzle. You can barely feel it hitting you.
  127. >Once inside, you quickly head for the dairy section and pick up the milk. While you’re there, and since you have some extra cash on you anyway, you decide to get a few more items as well.
  128. >Pick up a few more things and go pay for them at checkout. You gather the bags and leave the store, heading back to your car. But just as you’re back right behind your car and ready to load everything in, you can hear someone walking up to you from behind.
  129. >Spin around, and wouldn’t you know it, it’s Sunset Shimmer once again. The next thing you notice is her car parked across the parking lot a little ways, clumsily stationed across a couple of the painted lines.
  130. >You can’t find from within you anything to say. All you do is stare at her, watching her hold the same bouquet of lilies still in her hands once again. The lilies themselves look completely unharmed and unchanged, having been picked up again off of the floor and back into the air.
  131. >”Anon…” Sunset starts off. “I… I just want to say th- that…”
  132. >She starts to get choked up. But amazingly enough, she forces a smile onto her face, revealing her pearly white teeth. You can only bet that you’ll be able to see tears in her eyes any second now.
  133. >Is she wearing lipstick?
  134. >”I just want to say that… I’m not mad…” Sunset stammers. “And I-“
  135. “Wait…” You finally bring yourself to speak. “What are you doing here?”
  136. >”I still love you.” She suddenly blurts out. “And… and…”
  137. >Sunset is interrupted by a series of short gasps as the wind around the two of you begins to pick up. But she then looks back up and puts on her false smile once more. But you have to admit, with those tears in her eyes along with that smile, it strangely makes her look beauti-
  138. >No ,don’t say it.
  139. >You need to distract the thoughts by talking to her.
  140. “How did you even find me?”
  141. >”I was just… wandering around town. Thinking that maybe we’d run into eachother. And… it looks like I was right. Yeah?”
  142. >You are completely speechless. Let alone action-less.
  143. >”It’s just that- um… well… are you s-sure?”
  144. >Sunset gazes right into your eyes, letting her legs shiver from the chilly air. Her hair blows along with the wind, resembling a smooth flickering flame that waves in the direction of the gentle breeze.
  145. >But she is met with no answer, only to realize that your previous answer is all she has to go on in terms of her brave question that she actually built up the fortitude to ask you a second time. You have to give her credit at least for that.
  146. >”Look… I… understand if you d-don’t want to go on a… date with… with… m-me…” Sunset says to you in an airy, but shaky voice in between brief whimpers. “But will you… at least please accept my flowers?”
  147. >At this point, you place your bags on the ground. Sunset came all the way over here, a shuddering mess almost. But she still somehow managed to make herself look good for you and try to help you reach into your heart and find some sort of time to listen to her once more.
  148. >”I’m sorry I was so sudden… it’s okay. Really.” Sunset assures you while biting her lip.
  149. >You can actually hear the surface of her lower lip grinding against her teeth as she runs them along eachother. It starts out with a strained but soft dragging sound before ending in a slight popping sound when her lip breaks free.
  150. >This sends an unfamiliar shock down your spine. Why is this making you feel the way you do?
  151. >”Just… would you please… accept my flowers? I planted and grew them just for you.” Sunset hesitantly reveals to you.
  152. >At this very second, you freeze in place upon hearing what she just said. It will take a couple of seconds to wait for her to ask again.
  153. >”Will you please just… take them? I-I still want to show that I have feelings for you.”
  154. >All you can do is stare straight at her in sheer disbelief. Sunset tilts her head towards the ground while keeping her eyes focused on yours again. Her hair seems to shine even slightly brighter in this lighting, despite the sky being so gloomy today.
  155. >”Please?” She begs you with a noticeable tear beginning to form in her eye as you pick up your shopping bags once more.
  156. >Something makes you want to leave really badly, and just take these heavy bags that are tensely hanging from your freezing hands and haul them into your car. The chilly air from this overcast day makes it so your hands can’t take much weight from the bags before aching too much from being so cold. And carrying the freshly bought milk doesn’t exactly help with this sort of thing.
  157. >You know you won’t be able to just leave in a split second. And even in you tried, Sunset would be standing there, probably watching you the whole time with that same bouquet in her hands.
  158. >But why does she even have to be here right now? She did choose to come here; this isn’t your fault.
  159. >Deep within you, you feel a monstrous urge to tell her to take a hike. It’s not necessarily your fault; it’s simply the way you were taught.
  160. >Girls are always going to do things like this. They will try to manipulate your feelings and make you feel as sorry for them as they possibly can, possibly telling lies just so they can catch you on the relationship hook and reel you in.
  161. >You’ve seen it happen to other guys before.
  162. >Back in the day, you had a friend who met a girl who was unbelievably sweet to him. They eventually dated, both of them thinking that it was the best decision of their lives. It all looked perfect from the point before it all happened, and everybody else thought so. Perhaps it’s common for people to glorify the future so they can feel like the past was worth it.
  163. >The grass always looks greener from the other side. It’s the aspect of not having something that beautifies it.
  164. >But then, little by little over time, the tiny differences between two people begin to grow. It’s not too noticeable and quite bearable at first, but the same can be said about a soft poke on the back of the head.
  165. >Time is all it would take.
  166. >Every little poke to the back of the head eventually adds up after a while, becoming increasingly annoying. Annoying to the point where it doesn’t even feel like the same cute, playful poke anymore. It intensifies greatly.
  167. >And then the next thing you know, your friend and his girlfriend were arguing almost every day. It was absolutely heartbreaking to witness, having been cheering on their relationship, hoping it would go further. You used to be happy for them, but at that point, you felt… sorry for both of them.
  168. >Of course, the two had broken up after almost a year. Not only had they broken eachother’s hearts, but they broke everyone else’s as well. They took away other people’s hope for finding love in this vast world of seemingly endless possibilities. And that’s what had probably scarred your morale up to this very day.
  169. >”P-please?” Sunset humbly repeats herself in between sniffles. “You don’t have to do… anything with them. I’d just like to know that you… have them. So at least I know I tried.”
  170. >…
  171. >Well, you know at this point in time that you’d definitely be a heartless prick if you don’t even have the courtesy to at least let her give you a simple bouquet of lilies. You’d be telling her that you don’t even want to see her show her affection for you.
  172. >There’s a line, between being blunt and being cruel. Though, you’re almost certain that you might have already crossed that line at some point. But that doesn’t mean you want to keep going and see what happens.
  173. >This is not exciting, it’s just starting to get downright sad. And in your mind, you can hear a tiny voice of reason whisper into your brain: “Just do it. Take the flowers.”
  174. >Without a single word, you gradually reach your arm out and open your hand. Actually seeming surprised, Sunset Shimmer places the bouquet of lilies into your open hand that closes around the stems.
  175. >The stems are warm from Sunset’s hands holding on to them for so long. The warmth spreads to your hands, feeling quite refreshing.
  176. >Fine, So you gave her the chance to give her flowers to you. That’s fine, but you’re still not going to go on a date with her. You’re just going to leave it at the flowers being given to you and absolutely nothing further is going to happen between you two.
  177. >After a couple of short breaths, Sunset widens her smile a little bit an looks straight into your eyes once more.
  178. >”Th-thanks.” She finally sighs.
  179. “Uh… you’re welcome.” You find yourself responding.
  180. >Think about what you just said. The phrase “you’re welcome”.
  181. >You’re not sure why, but your mind internally rewords what you just said so it says “I welcome you”. There was no reason for it to sound this way to you, especially since you didn’t even realize you said it at first. Maybe that’s what put the actual definition up for grabs.
  182. “Oh, and… thank you for these…” You go on.
  183. >”Oh, haha. Don’t mention it.”
  184. >Both of you stop speaking immediately to keep the conversation from getting too cliché or awkward. With her hands finally free, Sunset crosses her arms to warm herself from the oncoming breeze.
  185. >”And, uh. You’re welcome, too.” She tells you.
  186. >This is the moment that dives deep into your mind. After already thinking the way you had on that phrase, you just can’t help but mentally put the words into her mouth as well.
  187. >I welcome you too.
  188. >”I, uh… guess I’ll see you later…”
  189. >As Sunset meekly nods and walks away, there is only one thing you have on your mind. She might love you, but you both welcome eachother. That’s probably not the highest of levels, but it certainly feels like something noteworthy.
  190. >You watch Sunset Shimmer get into her car, turn it on and drive away.
  191. >What shocks you the most is how quickly it’s all suddenly over. One minute she’s giving you flowers, and the next, she’s driving away. Something inside of you is not okay with this, but it’s not like you wanted this to last longer or anything.
  192. >It’s just that she left so… suddenly. It felt too rushed to be natural.
  193. >Perhaps you’re just overreacting, though there’s no reason for you to be doing so. It’s only Sunset, right? She can leave so abruptly if she wants to and you couldn’t care less.
  194. >Maybe she actually doesn’t feel for you. But then again, if that were true, then for what purpose did she give you the flowers?
  195. >But if there’s anything you’re sure about, you do not want a love story. There’s actually nothing at all wrong with Sunset, it’s just that you know that the two of you couldn’t possibly be compatible. Well, for very long at least. There’s simply no way that you and Sunset could happen the right way.
  196. >You gently place the bouquet of lilies on the passenger seat and go back to load your bags into the car. The doors are all closed, you are in the driver’s seat and the car is backed out of it’s parking space. While you’re cruising out of the parking lot, the bouquet keeps grabbing you attention. It’s not too too distracting, but it’s certainly asserting dominance in your thoughts.
  197. >Again, the grass always looks greener from the other side. It’s wise to keep that in mind.
  198. >But perhaps this sort of concept is why Sunset is trying so hard… she’s not with you and you’re not with her. She just doesn’t know all of your flaws yet because the two of you have never had a chance to actually get to know eachother. That must be why.
  199. >Aside all of this, there is one thing that you just can’t demystify.
  200. >Sunset told you that she planted, and grew, and clearly must have taken care of, those lilies just so she could give them to you. That is the part that sends a chilling tingle down your spine whenever you think about it.
  201. >Is this true?
  202. >…
  203. >At last, you make it back to your house. With the lilies safely resting upright on the passenger seat, you go around the car and bring your groceries in.
  204. >There’s something inside of you that wants to trust Sunset, but this notion doesn’t gain enough leverage to incline you to do any more than keep the flowers that were given to you. Sunset’s a really sweet girl, at least now she is, but that doesn’t mean you should simply throw all caution into the wind and trust her.
  205. >It is strange how she came up to you yesterday of all people. If she were trying to get some form of revenge or something, it would have to be with someone with whom she actually has history with. But Sunset barely even knows you. Not only this, but you’re not even affiliated with anyone she has had any issues with.
  206. >The only real friends you’ve had during your time in this town are a couple of random classmates with whom you rarely talk to anyway. And they’re not exactly in the “in-crowd” either. Sunset really had no business asking you what she had yesterday unless she really wanted to do so.
  207. >You’re finished with your groceries and go back out one last time to bring the bouquet in. To be honest, no one’s ever given you flowers before. But that doesn’t mean that you should let this become a weakness for you.
  208. >Just before you make it to the car, the rain begins to pick up again, coming down in heavier drops. You peer inside the car and spot the bouquet of lilies. Even though you never asked for them, it feels only fair that you keep them safe anyway.
  209. >While going back inside to retrieve your jacket to cover the lilies with, you continue to re-evaluate any possible motives.
  210. >Plus, what would she even need revenge for? The last time you checked, she’s become with the mane 6, and redeemed herself during that musical showcase thing that happened relatively recently. Pretty much everyone loves her now, and that’s what she’s always wanted anyway, right?
  211. >You take the jacket out of the coat closet and walk on out back to the car. The rain starts to fall just a little bit harder on your head before you open the door and shield the opening with the windbreaker jacket. It’s actually silly how careful you’re being with this bouquet. Don’t flowers thrive with being sprinkled by water anyway?
  212. >There’s no reason for you to be shielding it like this; perhaps you’re just starting to feel sorry for how you treated Sunset yesterday. But that’s only natural, it really doesn’t mean anything.
  213. >Although, you just wish that other people would understand this if they saw you right now.
  214. >But what about after what happened yesterday? There would be no surprise at all if that had sent Sunset over the edge or something. According to her friends, she was apparently really upset.
  215. >It’s a little harsh for you to think this way, but you really do not want to apologize for rejecting her. It was your choice not to go out with her, and no cluster of flowers should pressure you into something you don’t feel like doing. It’s your life, and you have complete control over it.
  216. >Sunset’s feeling were clearly hurt, however. There’s no denying that, as you could tell by her social cadences just a half an hour ago.
  217. >Just as you pick up the lilies, you are instantly reminded of how long Sunset must have held on to them. The warmth still remains, now slightly mixing with the warmth that your hand gave the stems.
  218. >Every time your hand holds onto the bouquet, it feels in your mind as though that you’re holding onto Sunset’s hand. It just seems to make sense, since both of your hands were holding onto the same spot of the bouquet of lilies and now leaving a warm spot there on that one part of the stems. You really wish you didn’t have to think of it this way, but the idea simply just… popped into your head.
  219. >Being as cautious as you can, you make your way back inside using the windbreaker as an umbrella and a shield. You go up to your loft and take one of the plastic vases off of desk. It’s being used to hold pens and pencils, so there’s nothing important to spill out of there.
  220. >The vase is vacated of all of its previous contents and the bouquet is slid inside. You take the vase back downstairs to the living room and place it on the coffee table in the living room. The couch hisses softly as it lets an amount of air out from the cushions after you plop yourself down onto it.
  221. >On the table, the vase with the bouquet of lilies inside stands on its base. You take a moment to just look at it, interpreting it as though it were a painting of some sort.
  222. >Did Sunset really grow these flowers?
  223. >You have to admit, if she had, they look pretty amazing to have been independently grown by one person. It’s only now that you consider the thought itself of doing such a thing.
  224. >Sunset actually took the time to plant the seeds or bulbs in her backyard or something, and go back to the same spot every day to give them their water for the entire timespan it takes to grow these flowers. If you had to take a guess, it would have had to be at least three weeks.
  225. >That’s actually some serious dedication right there, especially for a guy she barely knows. How could you possibly be this important to her?
  226. >This can only tell you just how much she really cares. You know this would seen corny from someone else’s point of view, but you’re in a position where these actions are actually being projected towards you. It makes this whole thing much more personal.
  227. >You decide to attempt to clear your mind of these more serious thoughts and enjoy your weekend instead.
  228. >Reach over to get the remote and flip on the TV. This is how every weekend turns out for you anyway, all you do is watch TV when you’re not browsing the internet. Nothing ever happens, and the boredom is starting to get to you.
  229. >Hours and hours go by, and you watch mostly cartoons that air in the early afternoon. It’s hard to admit that your attention is being slowly drawn back to the lilies on the table as you try to pay attention to the TV.
  230. >The volume is turned up, but you keep directing your attention back over to the lilies. They’re proving to be a distraction, and you can’t really say that you’re very much able to stop thinking about them. What did Sunset even expect you to do with these? Aren’t they going to die sometime anyway?
  231. >After another few minutes of watching TV, you start to feel yourself be overcome with a concern for the lilies. You realize that, despite anything you might have heard, you do not have any knowledge on how to take care of flowers.
  232. >You try to keep focusing on TV, but you soon find yourself getting up and going over to your computer.
  233. >And then the rest of your Saturday commences. You end up searching on the internet for ways to care for plants and what you would need. Sure, Sunset probably doesn’t care what happens with the lilies after you have them. But you have a feeling that the better thing to do is keep them alive.
  234. >This feeling drives you to work on trying to supply the vase with soil and water for the rest of the day. What you manage to do on your own is grab some dirt from your front yard and pour it into the vase to provide the lilies with soil. But there’s nothing else you can do other than water the flowers.
  235. >…
  236. >A couple more hours are spent on Saturday beginning to revert back to your own casual internet browsing. The sky outside eventually darkens and you soon eat dinner. After that, you stay up a little bit more, but then go to bed early.
  237. >The vase is taken up to your room before anyone else in the house can see it.
  238. >On Sunday, you do pretty much the exact same thing as the day before. After eating breakfast, you head on out the door to go driving to places.
  239. >Some errands occur on Sunday, resulting in you going to places like the local hardware store. Throughout the day, you don’t see Sunset anywhere you go. You’d imagine she was following you around yesterday, which is why she found you in the store’s parking lot.
  240. >What if giving you the flowers was actually all she wanted to do?
  241. >Your errands soon come to a close and you’re back at your house having only retrieved a single item. A heat lamp.
  242. >The lamp is placed on your desk right next to the vase and turned on, doomed to suck up nightmarish amounts of electricity. You’re still not entirely sure if doing all of this for one vase of lilies is worth it, but something inside of you believes that it would probably make Sunset feel at least a little bit better.
  243. >In conclusion, it’s the least you can do.
  244. ~
  245. >And at long last, you arrive at school on Monday morning. The weekend had been mostly the usual boring two days during which nothing exciting ever happens. But these days sure do beat staying at school and doing complicated equations in pre-calculus. You’d rather nothing much happen.
  246. >Standing at your locker once more, you make sure to have all of your necessary books before the late bell rings and the school day begins.
  247. >You’re definitely planning on running into Sunset at some point today; it’s bound to happen. It surely wouldn’t hurt to tell her about how you went around town to get supplies to take care of the lilies that she gave you.
  248. >In fact, it would surely help her a lot to give her at least that much closure. She’ll probably see you during lunch or something.
  249. >Right as you’re about to close your locker after rising to your feet, a sudden hand from the side slams it shut. Startled, you turn your head to find that the hand belongs to Applejack. Rainbow Dash is standing right behind her.
  250. >Both of the girls bear stern expressions on their faces.
  251. >”Anon.” Applejack tells you. “We heard about Friday. We need to talk.”
  252. >With a slight cock of her head, Rainbow Dash signals for you to follow her and Applejack down the hall. The late bell doesn’t ring in a couple of minutes, and you already have all of your stuff for the morning ready, so you can definitely afford to chat with them really quick.
  253. >In your mind, you’re already contemplating how the confrontation with Applejack and Rainbow Dash will go. They’re most likely going to pull off that entire “close friends sticking up for eachother” act. You’ll hear them passively degrade you and do all of those little things to work their way under your skin: bringing up your low amount of friends, implying that Sunset never really had to ask you, things like that.
  254. >To be fair, there’s nothing wrong with confronting someone about something if there was something that they did that hurt a friend’s feelings. But all you can hope is that they don’t go too extreme.
  255. >The two girls lead you to their lockers, which turn out to not be very far from yours. They turn to face you, already looking like they’re saying a million and one words through their facial expressions. Not angry expressions, just… rather anxious.
  256. >“You, uh, know who we are, right?” Applejack asks you, sounding a little careful with her words.
  257. “Yeah. You’re friends with Sunset, right?”
  258. >”Okay, good. Then you know why we’re here, then.”
  259. “Yeah.” You answer her. “Alright, listen. Whatever happened, I never meant to make anyone upset or anything. Okay?”
  260. >It’s quite possible that these two have only heard about what happened between you and Sunset on Friday. Perhaps the moment during which Sunset met you again on Saturday simply hadn’t been mentioned to them, and they only know half of the story.
  261. >”Oh, we’re not upset or anything, sugarcube.” Applejack clarifies. “Well… not particularly upset.”
  262. >”Why’d you turn her down, Anon?” Rainbow Dash suddenly intervenes.
  263. >”Rainbow!” Applejack turns to her.
  264. >”What? Isn’t that what we came here for?” Rainbow Dash impatiently groans. “Like, really.”
  265. “What was I supposed to do? I’ve never been asked out by a girl before! How was I even supposed to respond?” You say to them in an increasingly humble tone.
  266. >They both stare at you for a second and a half, perhaps silently judging you. These two can’t honestly think that you are automatically obligated to say yes all because of factors that you don’t even have any control over.
  267. >”Well…” Rainbow Dash starts off.
  268. >In between her words, she gives you a look that questions whether or not you’re actually being serious with her right now.
  269. >”She’s… Sunset. You know, like one of the coolest girls in this school. And it’s not like just any guy can get a chance to go out with her anyway!” Rainbow Dash brings forth. “I… just don’t understand how you could say to to an… opportunity like that. Like… what’s your deal, man?”
  270. >”While ah partially agree with what Dash said, ah should probably let you know that it’s understandable that it’s your own choice. And ah personally respect that sorta thing. But that’s not the point, however.”
  271. “Well, then what’s the point?”
  272. >”She worked really hard to impress you, Anon. Like, really hard.” Rainbow Dash conveys. “You know, for the last couple of weeks, I’ve been wondering what those flowers that were growing in her backyard were for. She told me not to go near them when I was over at her house.”
  273. >”Ah remember that too, sugarcube.” Applejack verifies. “In case you were wonderin’, she really did grow those flowers all by herself. Ah noticed them sprouting from her garden and get bigger each time I went over to her house. She told me they were for somethin’ special, but never said what for.”
  274. >So it really is true. She actually did grow them on her own.
  275. >”And that’s pretty much why we’re here. We know she gave them to you at some point, she told us.” Applejack continues. “We just need to know, for our friend’s sake. Yer… at least keeping them somewhere nice, right?”
  276. >After a pause, you blink at her.
  277. “Is that it?”
  278. >”Yes, just… tell us if her flowers are at least okay!” Rainbow Dash rushes you. “It’s the least you can do!”
  279. “Of course. I put them under a heat lamp and everything.” You let them know.
  280. >After you said this, Applejack lets out a barely noticeable sigh of gratitude. She realizes her shoulders, indicating that she can now be sure that a gift that her friend had worked on was taken care of with at least some amount of consideration.
  281. >”You did?” She asks to be sure.
  282. “Honest. I really did.”
  283. >”Well all right, then. I guess that’s settled.” Says Rainbow Dash.
  284. >Only now do you realize that the hallways have almost completely emptied out. You turn your head to the clock to realize that homeroom started a few minutes ago. But none of you heard the bell ring.
  285. >”Okay, come on, Dash.” Applejack mutters ash she begins to walk away, right before also realizing that the hallways are empty.
  286. >You rush your way over to homeroom, only to find that the door is still open and the teacher is waiting at the doorway. He watches you approach him.
  287. “I’m so sorry, I didn’t hear the bell ring.” You tell him.
  288. >”I know, Anonymous. It’s okay.” The teacher explains. “The bells aren’t working today.”
  289. “Oh.” You respond right as you hear the intercom beep and the morning announcements begin as you walk into the classroom.
  290. >”[Good morning, Canterlot High.]” Principal Celestia’s voice sounds on the intercom. “[I would like to start off by letting you know that if you are running late, do not worry. We’re having maintenance currently working on some of the electrical systems, and the bells are not going to be operational today.]”
  291. >You chuckle a little bit at the slightly late news.
  292. >”[And with that out of the way, I would like to wish you all a happy last full week of school!]” Declares Celestia before continuing on with the rest of the usual announcements.
  293. >Only now do you remember that the end of the school year is at your toes and Summer is right around the corner. It’s funny how you forget to think about this until you are reminded every single year. You listen to Principal Celestia go on about how the Seniors are going to graduate on Wednesday and how everyone is so proud of them for all of their hard work.
  294. >That’s going to be your class next year.
  295. >After the morning announcements are done, your homeroom teacher turns to the class and begins to brief how the school day is going to go. Roll call is first, naming each student with the last names from L to R.
  296. >Perhaps you should talk to Sunset during lunch anyway, probably clear the air with her in front of her friends. It would be good for them to get some closure along with them. Surely Applejack and Rainbow Dash would let Sunset know what you told them a few minutes ago.
  297. >Right as you’re thinking this, you notice Trixie giving you a suggestive look from across the room. You perk your head up and look in her direction to be met with her grin. She notices you and looks back down at her backpack on her desk.
  298. >You really hope that what happened on Friday isn’t going to get you the wrong kind of attention from your peers. It’s not like you had any control over what Sunset would do.
  299. >Two minutes or so pass, and once again, you are feeling as though you are being watched. You look across the room again to just catch Trixie peering over at you again. She snickers quietly, and you can just barely hear this happen. There’s not a doubt in your mind that she’s probably just trying to mess with you.
  300. >This does sound like something Trixie would do, after all.
  301. >You keep the area where Trixie sits in the corner of your eye, ready to catch her again. And probably tell her to cut it out the next time, since this is starting to get annoying. She doesn’t do anything for a couple of minutes, and homeroom is just about to end.
  302. >While you don’t see anything happen, you can hear a soft giggle come from Trixie’s direction. It’s a playful giggle, coming from someone who knows something that someone else doesn’t.
  303. >In response to this, you look over at Trixie anyway, just in case she actually was looking and you didn’t realize it. But she’s staring straight at her backpack on the desk.
  304. >Keep your sight on her this time, ready to catch her the next time she looks up. This girl thinks she can outsmart you, and you have quite the right mind to suggest the contrary. But the look on Trixie’s face just seems too confident for her to just not know that you’re staring straight at her.
  305. >Trixie’s smile widens as she begins to giggle again, but during the next second, she give a quaint little wave in your direction. It’s now obvious that she somehow sees you.
  306. >”Hi, Anon.” Trixie teasingly addresses you, not even looking up in the slightest bit.
  307. >Just at this instant, you finally notice the tiny mirror that she’s holding in her hand, tilted so the reflection of her eyes can be seen from your perspective. After realizing that you figured out the ruse that was being pulled, Trixie sets the mirror down and tries to stifle her full on laughter. Mocking you.
  308. >Clever girl.
  309. >An annoyed grunt escapes your lungs and you firmly turn your head back to your own desk, silently cursing to yourself. After a few seconds of subtle shame, the beeping of the intercom floods the room once more.
  310. >”[Attention all students.]” Vice Principal Luna’s voice sounds this time. “[Homeroom is now over and you may continue on to first period.]”
  311. >Everyone stands up, already having gathered their things, and leaves the classroom into the hallways.
  312. >…
  313. >The first half of the school day drags by without anything notable happening. You get a couple of funny looks from a few students that you don’t even really know, but that’s about it. But still, it’s not like this isn’t making you rather uneasy as it occurs.
  314. >Not only this, but Sunset has been nowhere to be seen thus far. It comes to the point where you begin to wonder if she even came to school today. That’s actually a plausible premise, considering that Rainbow Dash and Applejack had come to you in the hallways instead of Sunset.
  315. >Since Sunset seemed to have no problem approaching you in the parking lot of the store, then she would have been able to do it in school as well.
  316. >Fourth period ends and your lunch period commences. You get what you need from your locker and head on down the hallways to the cafeteria. After gathering your food from the mini buffet that the student go to, you carry your tray over to the table where you usually sit at.
  317. >One row away from your table, the athletes and other popular kids are already in their usual seats and eating their meals. Among them is Flash Sentry and Nolan North. They almost instantaneously notice you walking over to your seat.
  318. >You sit down facing away from them, trying to ignore the eager stares that you’re more than sure that you are getting at this present time. But as you start to eat, one of the guys behind you claps his hands a couple of times.
  319. >”Yeah! Eat that Mac n’ Cheese, playa!” One of them cheerfully hoots.
  320. >No sense in pretending that they’re not there. You spin around in your seat to face them, finding that every last kid at that table is smiling in your direction.
  321. >”There he is!” Nolan chimes with a singsongy tone before the others join in with their random cheering noises.
  322. >You’re unable to tell whether or not the praise is meant to be ironic.
  323. “Can I help you?” You ask them.
  324. >”Man, come on over here! Come on!” Flash urges you. “We don’t bite!”
  325. >Standing up and walking over to their table, you immediately find yourself overcome with a looming sense of suspicion. You can already tell that this isn’t going to turn out comfortably for you. The kids scoot over to make some space for you to sit down.
  326. >”Anon! Glad you can join us, bro!” Norman says to you. “Yo, dude. There’s something we like… really want to talk to you about.”
  327. >Oh god, no.
  328. >”Yeah, man. So uh… we heard all about that thing with you and Sunset the other day.” Flash brings up the obvious topic.
  329. “Oh, did you?” You reply, not even making the slightest effort to seem surprised.
  330. >The girls just sit there in their seats, mostly looking embarrassed for their boyfriends acting silly while in a group. The guys at the table all collectively go “oooohhh” as though they are the studio audience to some sort of a soap opera.
  331. >Clearly enough, that’s exactly what you believe that they’re trying to turn this whole thing in to. And frankly, you don’t want any of that drama.
  332. “Alright, look. What do you guys want me to-”
  333. >”Hey Anon. Like, why’d you say no, dude?” Another one of the athletes cuts you off.
  334. >Every face at the table is turned towards you, almost impatiently waiting for you to respond.
  335. “Listen. All I’m going to say is that I’m… just not the dating type, okay? It all comes down to that.” You tell them.
  336. >”Yeeaah, buddy! Anon here ain’t got time for no hoes!” One of the football players provides his input.
  337. >The chatter at the table builds up once again, and you feel as though you are lost in a sea of uncontrollable high school stupidity. You wish you could explain to them every single detail why. The grass, the relationship between your friend and his girl.
  338. >But you can already tell, just based on the character of this crowd, that your words would go into one ear and right out the other. And that’s if you can even find the right words to say anyway. You’ve never felt this trapped for as long as you can remember.
  339. >Among the talking, you can hear the guys say things like “playa”, “warrior” and other fictitious high school ideas for a guy who simply said no to a girl who asked him out.
  340. >”Dude, you’re so like… legendary.” A stoner kid compliments you. “Like, you don’t understand what just happened, man. You like, disturbed the food chain of hot girls, or something.”
  341. “Um… what?” You harshly respond, wearing your irritability on your sleeve.
  342. >”He means that you did a thing… and some stuff, dude!” Sandalwood, another stoner kid, tries to explain.
  343. >These stoner kids are a burden to try to understand. You give them credit for trying to explain this to you in their own terms. But evidently, you’re just not up to speed with their “hip” language and way of talking. It’s just not something you’ve come across this much in your life up until now.
  344. >”You pretty much upset the balance of power by rejecting Sunset.” Flash spoonfeeds the concept to you. “Like… what you did was ballin’ and everything. I get that. But, still… like…”
  345. >Can these guys at least try to speak with proper english?
  346. “Well? Like what?” You lead him on, now becoming very impatient with these guys.
  347. >”Okay, let me try to say this as simply as I can. You turned down Sunset Shimmer, bro. You turned. Down. Sunset. Shimmer. She walked up to you and asked if you wanted to go on a date with her… and you said no to her.” Flash articulates.
  348. >You don’t say?
  349. >“This is a critical matter, dude.” Norman, who’s also sitting at the table, tells you. “Like… serious stuff.”
  350. >Flash points over to him and nods his head in agreement.
  351. “Well what about it?” You protest with angst in your voice. “It’s my own choice, isn’t it? Like I said, I don’t go on dates!”
  352. >The guys at the table start to snicker to eachother as you say this. The girls widen their eyes slightly and look at eachother saying something that you’ll guess is “oh my god, seriously?”, or something along the lines of that.
  353. >Typical teenager-esque reactions.
  354. >”Anon, listen to me. What I’m about to tell you is very important.” Flash says to you.
  355. >You turn to him and show that you’re listening. Whatever he’s about to say, in your estimation, will probably be some overly-cliché quote from a movie that high schoolers watch, or possibly some corny saying that the cool kids came up with.
  356. >”I know you wanna be cool and everything. But the thing is, when a hot girl asks you out, you… kinda have to say yes.”
  357. >It looks like your prediction was somewhat correct.
  358. “Um… are you serious?”
  359. >”Very serious, bro. Gotta say yes next time. It’s the norm.”
  360. >The other popular kids all join in and nod in agreement. The circlejerk at this table is absolutely unreal, and you for one do not want any part in it. It’s clear that the people here are too blinded by common though to level with you, let alone anyone who would disagree with them.
  361. >At this instant, you stand straight up.
  362. >”Whoa. You mad, bro?” Flash mockingly asks.
  363. “I think I want to go eat at another table.” You tell them all.
  364. >”Oh, really? Well, think to yourself, Anon.” Flash rambles on as you go pick up your tray and walk towards the other side of the cafeteria. “Why are you leaving to another table? Is it because we’re right and you can’t think of anything to say back?”
  365. >You stop walking and turn to him.
  366. “No. It’s because I’m not going to let a bunch of social norms tell me what to do, let alone a bunch of high schoolers.”
  367. >”Dude, you’re a high schooler.”
  368. “I don’t care. Don’t tell me what to do.”
  369. >The noise at the table picks up again with their teasing, ironically calling you a tough guy as you walk away. You don’t even look back, keeping your tray level while you look for a new seat. The eyes of a number of other students are glued to you as you stride across.
  370. >There is one nearly empty table where a couple of freshman are sitting. You walk over to that table.
  371. >…
  372. >The rest of lunch goes by with you eating alone. It’s not like this is something you aren’t used to or anything, it’s only a little more awkward this time due to the fact that there’s people staring at you from the other side of the cafeteria.
  373. >Whatever, as long as you do not acknowledge their presence, they cannot do anything to affect you.
  374. >This same idea helps you through the rest of the day as well. During a number of your classes, there’s about one or two students that keep sneaking glances at you, mostly in what feels like disbelief. It’s not in the same way Trixie had before; she had definitely been trying to get your attention while doing so.
  375. >After the final class ends, the intercom beeps and you can hear Principal Celestia’s voice confirming that the day is now officially over. The classrooms flood out once more and everyone races to go home.
  376. >Just like last time.
  377. >And this time, you are sure to make your way over to the buses before anyone has a chance to catch you. Wouldn’t want any drama happening again.
  378. >The booming roar from the buses shakes the ground that you walk on as you scout for your bus. You find the bus, board it as quickly as you can, and pray that Flash and his crew have something else to do after school today.
  379. >A couple of minutes go by, and there’s no sign of anyone. Not even Twilight, who rides this same bus.
  380. >The after school book club is on Mondays, right?
  381. >However, things start to pick up right as the buses sound like their going to pull off any second. You look out the back window of the bus to see Rainbow Dash looking into the windows of each bus, obviously searching for someone. She’s coming up from a little ways behind, so you’re fairly sure that your bus will pull off before she manages to walk over to it and see you.
  382. >The final cluster of students boards your bus at the last minute, and the doors close. Dash is starting to make it closer.
  383. >You may have underestimated the time it would take for her to make it over to your bus, since she’s practically outside of your window.
  384. >But then, it seems like the universe just doesn’t like you right now. Dash actually hears the front buses pulling off and looks ahead right at your bus. She barely catches the top of your head peering over the furthest back seat of the bus.
  385. >The way she pauses and looks right at the back of your bus is all you needed to see to verify that she saw you.
  386. >”Anon!” Rainbow Dash calls out to you.
  387. >You sink down into the seat, realizing how stupid you are for not doing this a minute ago. Now with your head practically at the level of the bottom of the seat, all you can see beyond your seat is the opening to the aisle; the rest of the bus has become a mystery to you.
  388. >What does Rainbow Dash even want with you? Didn’t you already tell her that you’d take care of Sunset’s flowers?
  389. >At this very same moment, a purple skirt catches the corner of your line of sight from the aisle. You look over there to find that Trixie is standing right at the opening to the seat. She must have been one of the last students to board the bus.
  390. >”Mind if Trixie sits here?” Trixie asks you, seeming to have previously rehearsed her words. “All of the other seats are full.”
  391. >You stare up at her from the leather canyon that you’re sandwiched between. Trixie looks down upon you, smiling and crossing her arms.
  392. “Um… not at all.” You answer right before you feel the bus lunge forward.
  393. >Trixie starts to lose her balance before plopping herself down onto the bus seat seat that’s currently at the same level as your head.
  394. >It’s a little inconvenient pulling yourself back up out of such a tight space that’s supposed to be only for a person’s legs. As you finally manage to position yourself back onto the seat the correct way like a civilized human being, you are able to see the rest of the bus again.
  395. >Trixie lied.
  396. >There are at least five completely empty two-person seats on the bus, all of them before your seat all the way in the back. One of them is even two rows in front of your seat.
  397. >You turn your head to Trixie, finding her gazing right back at you with a growing grin on her face.
  398. >It’s going to take at least 20 minutes for the bus to reach your stop.
  399. >Strangely enough, no one else on the bus has their attention turned towards you. This is probably due to the fact that there’s a lot less people on the bus than usual time, due to clubs and whatnot.
  400. >Onto the main road the bus veers, and Trixie casually leans back in the seat next to you. She doesn’t stop looking in your direction this time, resting her arm on the head of the seat as she faces you. After a minute or two, you take a glance at her, after learning that the absence of other available seats couldn’t possibly be the reason why she’s sitting here.
  401. >You do not talk to her first, though. It’s better not to advocate anything she might be trying to get you to do, so the less action you take during this bus ride, the better.
  402. >A couple more minutes pass with complete silence between the two of you. At least there’s no one else on the bus who’s paying attention to what’s… probably going on. But finally, you look over at Trixie once again, to find her still smirking over at you.
  403. >”Oh what’s wrong?” Trixie finally speaks. “You seem nervous.”
  404. >It’s a little difficult to fake a smile in this situation. You almost answer her, but realize that maybe it’s a better idea to play this off by not answering her, as though there’s nothing that you need to say to her.
  405. >But this is apparently a bad idea.
  406. >”Is Trixie making you nervous?”
  407. “No. Of course not.”
  408. >”Oh… good. Just wanted to make sure you’re… doing alright.”
  409. >There’s is nothing natural about the way she’s speaking. Her very choice of words itself concerns you.
  410. >As the bus makes a turn, Trixie is slid up against you across the seat from the movement. Neither of you had to do this, it was the movement of the bus. Needless to say, you’ve always hated this so much when this happens.
  411. >You do your best not to squirm around, but Trixie can feel the tension building up inside of you. She starts to smile just a little bit wider as she scoots back to her side, letting out a short chuckle. The amount of agitation you’re feeling right now can hardly be described.
  412. >”Are you sure Trixie isn’t making you nervous? Hmm, Anon?”
  413. >Every time she says your name, it practically doubles the annoyance that you’re feeling for this girl. It’s like your very name itself is a constant reminder of which side of this conversation that you’re supposed to be on. You swear if this girl gets on your nerves anymore, you might actually be inclined to change your name to obtain some sort of new dignity.
  414. >And that’s bad news, because it means that Trixie’s method is more than just a little bit effective. And you’re not okay with this.
  415. >Without realizing that you do so, you let out a quiet grunt right after she speaks to you. Trixie, obviously hearing this, gleefully covers her mouth with her hand and holds her laughter back. She can’t believe that she’s already affecting you this easily, and you can’t exactly believe this either.
  416. “I’m not nervous. You’re just kinda… bugging me.”
  417. >”Hehehe… right!” Trixie sarcastically replies. “And Trixie is a magical unicorn from another dimension! Is that true, Anon?”
  418. >She seriously needs to stop calling you by your name; it’s absolutely infuriating to you somehow. No one should be able to make somebody feel bad about their own name by simply saying it out loud to them.
  419. >”Anon. Trixie asked you a question.” Trixie continues to bother you.
  420. >Everything inside of you wants to keep you from answering. You know for a fact that doing so is only going to fuel the fire; she’s practically taking you for a ride. But the reason why is something you just don’t understand.
  421. >Why won’t she leave you alone?
  422. “Just tell me what you want already!” You snap at her as calmly as you’re able to, trying not to make a scene.
  423. >But it’s enough to be clear to Trixie that she has indeed struck a nerve. You’re pretty much in a gridlock at this point, and Trixie knows this all too well. You’d stand up and leave if you weren’t trapped on the window side of the seat, being pressed against the wall.
  424. >”Hmmm?” Trixie hums to you in question.
  425. >You squint at her.
  426. “What? What do you mean hmmm?”
  427. >”What do you mean what do you mean? Trixie asked you a question, Anon.”
  428. “A sarcastic question! Or rhetorical, or whatever it was.” You stumble around every possible term you can think of.
  429. >This is actually thoroughly embarrassing, really. Trixie’s pretty much getting under your skin with every new thing that is said, with your name being brought up all the while. It is though she knows this is bugging you somehow as she talks in circles around you.
  430. >”Well it’s okay, Anon. Trixie actually has a… real question she’s been meaning to ask you for quite some time now.”
  431. >And now you’re petrified in the face of what Trixie just said. The sharp tingle assaults your spine while you turn your head. Trixie is still sitting in that same position, comfortably as ever. She takes her hand and twirls a little bit of her hair with her finger, now smiling a little bit more warmly.
  432. >If she’s about to ask what you think she’s going to, you don’t think you can take anymore. You can’t even say anything back to prevent her from doing this.
  433. >”Well, Anon. You probably haven’t known Trixie for very long, and that probably means you don’t know much about her. You see, she gets a little bit… playful around certain people who stand out to her in a certain way.”
  434. >No… just no.
  435. >”And Trixie must admit, you stand out in this way… sticking out like a sore thumb, Anon. Which is what makes Trixie wonder about how you see… something about her that makes her special.”
  436. >Trixie gazes straight into your eyes once more with the same sly smily that she always pulls off. You really wish you could do something right now without making a scene, you really do. But there’s practically nowhere you can even go at this point.
  437. >Unfortunately, this girl is remarkably talented at making you feel uncomfortable. Makes you wonder if she’s had a lot of practice in the past.
  438. >”And this thing about Trixie really got her a lot of confidence when she impressed others in the past. It’s been proven to be very useful and amazing, to say the least. And trixie is about to ask you something regarding it, in a certain way of course.”
  439. >Great, now she’s playing the pronoun game. And not only this, but Trixie’s one-sided conversation with you has attracted a lot of attention from throughout the bud.
  440. >You can’t let this continue any longer.
  441. “Trixie. I know what you’re about to ask me. And the answer is no. Okay?” You coldly tell her.
  442. >”Oh Trixie knew you were going to say that. You sure do come off as the unsuspecting type, Anon. Why would you have any idea that Trixie has your keychain?” Trixie reveals to you, making you promptly examine your back pack to find the keychain that you usually have on it missing.
  443. >You’ve completely forgotten about that old thing until just now. The attention you were paying to it became less and less over the years.
  444. >Trixie then dangles the keychain right between the two of you, then tosses it into your lap. You’re absolutely speechless.
  445. >”Which brings Trixie to her follow up question. Would you like to know more about her sleight of hand?”
  446. >This has become just downright humiliating. The girl’s practically twisting your feelings around and walking all over you!
  447. >”It might come in handy for inclining more girls to ask you out just so you can reject them, you heartbreaker you!” Trixie then continues to mock, just loud enough for the other students on the bus to hear. “Just like what you thought Trixie was doing, didn’t you?”
  448. >Just during this moment, the bus slows to a halt at one of the stops. You seize this opportunity.
  449. “Well, Trixie.” You coolly play everything off. “I’d like to stay and chitchat about your sleight of hand and everything. And I’d love to learn more, but as much as that is true, I must get off here. This is my stop.”
  450. >”Oh! Talk about perfect timing, huh? Well, for you at least.” Trixie says to you with a giggle before sliding out of the seat and standing up.
  451. >Without saying another word, you get out of the bench and walk down the aisle. But there is one thing that is making you uncomfortable the most right now.
  452. >This isn’t even your stop.
  453. >You only told Trixie this so you had an excuse to get her to move. The stop that you’re supposed to get off at is a long way away, and you know you won’t be able to get there by walking. The bus needs to go across a small one lane bridge and onto a short distance on the highway before making it remotely close to your stop.
  454. >After making it to the front of the bus, the driver gives you a funny look, knowing that this is nowhere near where you need to get off. And the other kids know this too, watching you closely with contorted grins that they try to mask with their hands.
  455. >The frontmost seat is open… and you sit down, facing away from everyone else on the bus.
  456. >You can hear Trixie’s voice loudly burst out laughing from the back right after you do this. A couple of other students join in for a minute or two as the bus pulls off again. The bus driver is now giving you a disappointed expression.
  457. >The rest of the bus ride pretty much composes of Trixie losing her sides in the back while you silently sit in the front, glaring forward. But if there is any way you can rationalize this, there is one: You can’t say that you don’t deserve this.
  458. >…
  459. >After you make it back into your house, you automatically go up to your room to check on the lilies. As you do so, there is only one thing from today that is dominating your thoughts. It’s not about the conversation with Applejack and Rainbow Dash, it’s not the incident from lunch, and it’s not even either of the incidents with Trixie. It’s only one question that you surprisingly find yourself needing an answer to.
  460. >Why wasn’t Sunset at school today?
  461. ~
  462. >The day grows old and the sky begins to dim. You have the vase of lilies right in front of you on your desk and your most reliable search browser open on your computer. Many websites are visited as you search for thorough instructions on how to properly take care of flowers.
  463. >And you probably need these instructions more than ever.
  464. >The lilies, still as bright as ever, are beginning to wilt. It’s very slight, but it’s also just enough for you to notice. This is the first time in your entire life when you really wish you knew proper gardening techniques.
  465. >It’s quite silly and irrational to find yourself becoming concerned this much for the bouquet of lilies that is already done being given to you. As far as you can tell, it’s the gesture that counts, right? There’s no need to care for these things after no one else can ever be sure what happens to them.
  466. >But if that’s true, then why are you doing this?
  467. >If anything, all of what’s happened so far should mean that you and Sunset should be pretty much even by now. You rejected her on Friday, and then got heckled about it during lunch and then utterly humiliated because of it on the bus ride home.
  468. >You’ve paid your dues and got rid of your bad karma through all this, right? It’s not like the lilies are supposed to live forever anyway.
  469. >But still… what was it that Rainbow Dash wanted? It couldn’t have possibly been about Sunset, right? You’ve already settled that with her.
  470. >And what about the rest of Sunset’s friends?
  471. >After the sky starts to get considerably dark, you find time to eat dinner. Your family asks you why you seem so on edge lately, but you play it off as just stress because of the end-of-the-year final exams. The story is perfectly believable.
  472. >You keep in mind that it’s not necessary to try to keep them alive any longer, but just the feeling of letting them do so much as to let them wilt reminds you of what you said to Sunset the other day. It just feels like a solemn combination to you.
  473. >These flowers, the lilies, were given life itself to fulfill a certain purpose. Sunset had grown them so she could give them to you while asking you if you wanted to spend time with her, on a legitimate date. Perhaps, the lilies were to help prompt you to say yes, though you likely already knew this in your mind.
  474. >But that’s what your issue with the thing was.
  475. >The fact that she was doing something to sway you into getting into a relationship that would cost you time and possibly even money just felt as though… it just felt somewhat manipulating. Now, you know this isn’t exactly a popular way of thinking, but this fact only angers you more about this.
  476. >Doing something like growing flowers should definitely not indirectly obligate or require someone to go on a date even if they don’t want to. That’s… it’s just not fair. You have your own free unbiased will and you’re going to keep it.
  477. >And no factors, no matter what they are or will be, should change that. The choice should always be yours. In your mind, things like publicly proposing to someone at a sports game or something similar to that (like your situation) is almost equivalent to holding a gun up to someone’s head and ordering them to marry you. The only difference is, the consequences with the gun result in the loss of your life, while the others result in a loss of your likability.
  478. >But that’s the thing. People desire to be likable. You’re even sure that someone like Trixie would even die just to be likable in the point or view of others. It’s rather known that sometimes, likability and reputation could possibly be chosen over one’s life, given the correct circumstances. So what chance would someone’s time during their weekend have?
  479. >The fact that people out there try to use this to get into relationships is what makes you the way you are. You do not want to be controlled like that, it’s your life. Your free will. The object of this whole thing is to adhere to the unbiased thought that you had in the beginning, before any of this began. Before any outside forces ever dared try to influence your opinion through these ridiculous social expectations.
  480. >Not only this, but you also can’t help but feel paranoid from the combination of all of these thoughts and all of these things that happened in one day.
  481. >Just one day, and all of these things happened.
  482. >What if this whole thing is a convoluted ruse to turn the tables on you? Just like your other thought, this one rustles you more than you’d like to admit. You don’t want to be controlled. You don’t want to be… taught a lesson, especially because you broke a social norm that you don’t even particularly care for.
  483. >The very thought of all of this seems so disgustingly degrading; and you don’t know who to trust in result of this. It’s not like you want anyone to believe you’re not into girls or anything like that. It’s just that you have major trust issues with people.
  484. >Probably more issues than you’re supposed to have.
  485. >Everything that infests your mind with doubt and suspicion lingers all the way throughout the night. After you go to bed and while you sleep.
  486. >It even invades your dreams. Though, you do manage to sleep.
  487. >…
  488. >After waking back up, you find that everything you’ve been wondering about has not gone anywhere. All of these thoughts in your head… and such little time to make it to school.
  489. >Mondays have always sucked anyway, perhaps Tuesday, today, will be better.
  490. >But then there’s a last thought. One last thought that just keeps breaking your heart the more you think about it. It hasn’t really surfaced until this morning.
  491. >What if you’re overreacting?
  492. >What if everyone at school is simply upset because Sunset Shimmer, a girl who they recently saw reformed, had her feelings hurt after working so hard to impress a guy who rejects her.
  493. >What if they’re just trying to reason with you, aside Trixie’s abrasiveness and the “in crowd”’s stupidity.
  494. >What if Sunset just asked you to go on a date with her because she really wanted to?
  495. >What if she is genuinely in love with you, and you’re too blinded by your own suspicion to see it?
  496. >What if you’re blowing the biggest chance you’ll get in a long time?
  497. >Your brain can hardly handle all of these “what if”’s.
  498. >The flock of “what if”’s continues to harass your brain all the way to school, where you get nothing more than looks from the other students. No one says anything to you this time. Not a single person comes up to you to confront you.
  499. >Homeroom goes by; nothing. Trixie doesn’t pay any mind to you, thank goodness.
  500. >First three periods go by; nothing. Fourth period goes by; you hear a kid snickering behind you, but other than that, nothing.
  501. >You even catch a glimpse of Sunset walking through the halls between classes at one point; at least you can be sure she’s at school this time. But her and her friends are too far away to notice you.
  502. >And finally, you make it to lunch, where you’re almost more than certain that something’s bound to go down.
  503. >Not even bothering to go to the food retrieval buffet or sit at the tables you had last time, you sit at the same table where the freshman had been. None of them have seemed to arrive yet, and likely won’t since lunch periods are alternated through the week for the Freshman and Sophomores.
  504. >There’s an awful lot of chatter in the cafeteria, but you can’t tell whether or not it’s focused on you. You wouldn’t be surprised if everyone is already beginning to let go of the whole thing and starting to obsess over the last full week of school. After this week, it’s only until Wednesday with two half-days. While that’s when the tests are, the yearbook signing makes up for that.
  505. >Eating the lunch that you had brought yourself, you sit alone. The table remains empty for several more minutes before you notice someone sit down out of the corner of your eye.
  506. >”Oh hi! What’s your name?” A cheerful voice greets you.
  507. >You turn your head to discover Sonata Dusk sitting right next to you, despite the rest of the table being empty. The very fact of this already sparks your suspicion already. The only thing that you seem to be okay with is the face that she apparently doesn’t know who you are. So you might be in the clear.
  508. “Hi. I’m Anon. And you’re… Sonata, right?” You greet her.
  509. >”Yeah. I-” Sonata starts off before she cuts herself off.
  510. >Oh boy, here it comes.
  511. >”Wait… so, you already know who I am?” Sonata asks you with a hint of alarm in her voice. “Oh… I’m, um, sorry.”
  512. >You raise one of your eyebrows.
  513. “Wait… what?”
  514. >”Uh… you know… sorry about everything with the concert and all that.”
  515. >A few seconds of being forgetful pass and you finally remember. It’s funny how you didn’t make this connection right away.
  516. “Oh, right! Aw, it’s okay. I’ve only heard about that. I wasn’t really… involved or anything.” You calmly reassure her.
  517. >Just try to stay content and rational, Anon.
  518. >”You… weren’t? So… does that mean you’re new here?”
  519. >You only weren’t here for the whole Battle of the Bands escapade. For unrelated reasons, you had skipped school on the days when the sirens took control of the school, and hadn’t attended the concert. But you still heard about what happened.
  520. “Nah, I was just sick on those days.” You swiftly lie.
  521. >”Oh, okay! Well, you don’t have to worry about all of that. Adagio, Aria and I kinda… don’t do that anymore. We can’t even sing like we used to anyway.” Sonata informs you.
  522. >Just at this moment, students with encased trumpets, tubas, flutes and other instruments all walk over tot he table in a large group; the school concert and marching band. A couple of them wave over to Sonata, who waves back as they approach the two of you.
  523. >Only now do you notice the massive pile of tacos that Sonata has on her tray. This is pretty much the only thing that reminds you that it’s Tuesday.
  524. >The band kids all sit down at the table, some of them politely greeting you. You momentarily see Adagio and Aria join the rest of the group, sitting on the other side of Sonata from you. Sonata is the only one who hasn’t brought her own lunch.
  525. “So, you all know eachother now? That’s pretty nice.” You mention.
  526. >”Huh? Oh yeah. Well, since the girls and I can’t sing anymore, and we still like music a lot, the marching band and everyone agreed to take us under their wing and teach us how to-”
  527. >”Sonata!” Adagio cuts her off while lightly elbowing her in the side. “Stop just going around and telling everyone that.”
  528. >”What? He asked.” Sonata replies. “Besides, this is a good thing! Why should Sunset get redeemed and everything but we don-”
  529. >”Shut up, Sonata!” Aria interrupts her.
  530. >Great, now you can’t stop thinking about how you heartlessly turned Sunset down again.
  531. >The Dazzlings and the band members continue to banter with eachother while you look around to see if anyone is staring in your direction from another table.
  532. >Flash and his clique are busy horsing around with eachother. None of them are paying any attention to you.
  533. >You’re still in the clear so far.
  534. >”So, Anon. What brings you to our table today?” One of the band members playfully asks you. “Do you want to learn how to play instruments, too?”
  535. “Oh, um. I’m just jumping tables, you know? Been hopping around from place to place, not really sitting at a definite table and all that.” You blurt out your quick excuse, realizing that you’re actually making a first impression with these people.
  536. >It would make sense that they hadn’t heard about what happened with Sunset. The Dazzlings are still practically outcasts, and the students who are band members aren’t typically up to date with the news from the “in crowd” until over a week or so after something happens. And the school year will pretty much be over by then, so this is the perfect opportunity to gain some friends.
  537. >”Oh cool!” Wiz Kid, one of the band members exclaims. “We always welcome new members, even if they’re not in the band or anything”
  538. >”Yup. And they’re all going to teach us how to play their cool shiny instruments right before they go to practice today!” Sonata adds. “Graduation is right around the corner, but they have some spare time.”
  539. >Oh right, the seniors graduate tomorrow. You’ve always wondered why they always get to leave before the other kids. It just feels a little bit unfair.
  540. >”You’re going to love it.” Wiz Kid continues. “I mean, none of us can sing either. So we’re all in the same boat, am I right?”
  541. >”That’s like, totally true.” Sweet Leaf agrees with him before turning her attention to someone right behind you. “Hey, uhhh, aren’t you that magician girl?”
  542. >You drop your sandwich and freeze in place.
  543. >”Oh hello, everybody! You don’t mind if Trixie sits here, don’t you? She a friend of Anon’s!” Chimes The Great and Intrusive Trixie.
  544. >All of the band kids stare at her as she keeps standing there.
  545. >”Uh, yeah. Sure.” Wiz Kid answers her as he scoots over.
  546. >Trixie happily sits down next to you; Sonata’s still on the other side of you. You pick your sandwich off of the table and begin to try to eat it again, just trying to ignore Trixie. She’s just trying to make you uncomfortable and act strange around these newfound friends.
  547. >But she probably won’t do anything too drastic with them all sitting right here with the two of you, right?
  548. >Right?
  549. >”So what brings you here to our table, Trixie? You don’t normally… sit on this side of the cafeteria.” A band member asks.
  550. >”Anon here was telling Trixie the most delightful story about something that happened on Friday! There’s a whole lot of juicy drama, Trixie promises.”
  551. >You try to say something, but there’s nothing you can think of doing without making a scene. All you wanted to do was eat lunch, you never asked for this.
  552. >”Uh, what?” Sweet Leaf asks, now appearing to be confused.
  553. >”Oh Trixie is sure Anon will tell it. Go ahead, Anon. Tell these lovely band geeks all about how badly Sunset Shimmer’s feelings got hurt on Friday! Could you tell us all how hard she was crying?” Trixie begins to rant. “Oh, and Flash and all of the other jocks can’t get enough of him! Anon’s really been working his way up the ranks of popularity, and he and Trixie came all the way over here just to tell you aaaaallllll about it!”
  554. “Trixie, come on, no.” You blabber out, hardly able to speak properly.
  555. >”Oh yes, Anon! You are the heartbreaker after all! Aren’t you?”
  556. >You glance over at the band members, who are able to see that you are becoming visually uneasy. It’s clear what Trixie is trying to do, but they’re not buying it.
  557. >The band kids can easily tell that she’s just trying to stir up drama with everyone you come in contact with. And Trixie is willing to use every chance she gets.
  558. >”Trixie heard about the flowers too!” Continues Trixie as the band kids can barely be noticed taking their instruments out of their cases. “Tell us all, Anon! Did they die yet? Oh how would you know? You threw them away, didn’t you?”
  559. >She’s not even close to letting up, but that apparently won’t matter. After a couple more moments, you begin to hear the sounds of instruments being play all around the table.
  560. >Trixie’s voice continues to sound at it’s usual volume, but is gradually drowned out by the band kids overwhelming her mockery with their playing. The music starts off as a bunch of random chords being played by various students at a time.
  561. >But that all changed when the playing starts to synchronize into one single song little by little.
  562. >Of course, Trixie tries to talk over it at first, but then stops when she realizes that the music keeps getting louder and louder. It all evolves into a cheery, upbeat marching song. The band kids collectively start playing together, and much louder as well.
  563. >Every other person in the cafeteria turns their attention in the direction of the band playing. The look as though they are wondering what is going on at first, but then begin to smile at the sight and cheer and clap along. Trixie has fallen completely silent in the face of the music that would drown out her talking anyway.
  564. >Now blushing heavily, Trixie angrily stands up from her seat and stomps all the way back over to the cool kids’ side of the cafeteria in defeat. She goes over to Flash’s table, making the “cut it” hand signal under her chin and sits down with the group.
  565. >Through the crowd, you can see Flash talking to Trixie, but the only word or phrase you can make out through lip reading is “damage control”.
  566. >It’s been confirmed: The Band Kids are based.
  567. >You must befriend them.
  568. ~
  569. >What happened at lunch is the only thing you can think about for the rest of the school day. The support in the face of trouble that the Band Kids have shown is beyond anything you’ve received in quite a while. They continue to let you hang around them for some more time before they head off to practice.
  570. >You’re left going about your usual daily routine at school, dragging your feet through your classes and doing the best you can to stay awake.
  571. >It’s a little odd that you haven’t seen any of the mane 6 do anything since yesterday. It seems as though they simply confronted you once and that was it. In contrast, Trixie, Flash and all of those other kids remained consistent with their pressure so far.
  572. >Could what those kids are trying to do be what Rainbow Dash was trying to tell you about yesterday? What if she still knows more than you do?
  573. >After the last class of the day ends, you decide to try and find Rainbow Dash. Just in case this will benefit you somehow. You do have a pretty good idea of where her locker is.
  574. >These hallways sure do get crowded during the times when everyone’s flooding out to the buses. Every two steps, you run into another student. The hallways that you’re in right now should be the right one, but you still don’t see Rainbow Dash anywhere.
  575. >Her rainbow hair really should be easy to spot, it only makes sense. But you can’t seem to get a glimpse of her anywhere. You start to be nervous that Trixie’s going to be able to find you before you are able to find Dash. And the marching band is nowhere to be seen, probably out in the fields practicing.
  576. >But then, a stroke of luck. The spectrum of colors on her head are sighted after you turn a corner. Promptly rushing over to her, you make sure not to bump into anyone.
  577. “Rainbow! Rainbow, wait!” You try to catch her attention.
  578. >Applejack, who’s standing next to her, hears your voice first. She taps Dash on the shoulder and directs her attention towards you. And exactly where even is Sunset right now? Shouldn’t she be at least somewhere in these halls?
  579. >And what about everyone else who’s friends with Sunset for that matter.
  580. >You walk up to Applejack and Rainbow Dash.
  581. >”Whoa, buddy! I think they’re supposed to ask you first!” One of the athletes taunts from his locker, followed by a collection of laughter from his group.
  582. >Applejack turns to them and gives them an intimidating look. They notice her, chuckle a little bit and walk to somewhere else. Rainbow Dash watches them leave and then immediately faced towards you.
  583. >”Anon, listen to me. A bunch of the kids here are doing… well… a thing!” Rainbow Dash explains.
  584. >Though, you’re not sure what she herself means by ‘thing’, but you do have an idea what she’s talking about.
  585. “I, uh, I noticed.”
  586. >”Where have you been all this time, sugarcube? We’ve been looking for ya!” Applejack says to you.
  587. “I guess I was just avoiding Trixie. She’s been really… how can I put this.”
  588. >”Oh, we know about that, Anon. Rainbow here saw Trixie talking with one of the track team members bout everything and figured out what they were going to do next. She told me that she tried to warn ya, but you didn’t hear her call out to ya.” Applejack reveals, keeping her voice low enough for the other students passing by not to hear.
  589. “I’m sorry. I did see her, but I didn’t know what it was for.” You apologize. “Do you know anything else? How do I get these kids to take a hike?”
  590. >”Uh… we don’t know that yet.” Dash quietly admits. “But we’d like for you to meet up with us sometime to figure all this out.”
  591. >”Ah agree. Sure glad ya found us, Anon!” Applejack concurs. “Are you gonna be at the graduation tomorrow?”
  592. “Uh, no. I don’t know anyone graduating or anything. Are… you going to be there?”
  593. >”Yup. We go all the time. You should come with us so we can… uh, hang out and talk.” Dash offers, making sure the other students don’t catch on. “All of my friends are going to be there, and a couple of yours, too. It’ll be fun.”
  594. “Yeah, I’ll go. Just let me text the guys really quick.” You play along while pulling your phone out, knowing that the only contacts in your phone are your parents and a couple of other relatives.
  595. >Wow, that sure is a sad fact to bring up.
  596. >”Great. So… everyone meets after school tomorrow?” Dash suggests, giving you a hard pat on the back.
  597. >”Sure thing!” Applejack agrees before walking off. “Ah, guess we’ll see you and yer fellas later, Anon!”
  598. >Dash then leans over to you.
  599. >”When you see it, don’t panic!” She quickly whispers, and then follows Applejack.
  600. >When Dash catches up to her, they high-five eachother right in view of all of the other students.
  601. >You blink a couple of times, obviously confused at what she just said. Rainbow Dash gives you a rather hinting look, but also seems to be worried at the same time. With a shrug of your shoulders, you turn to her and try to silently ask what she meant.
  602. >All she does is give you a thumbs up before disappearing into the crowd.
  603. >Still confused, you raise an eyebrow for a second. But your wondering is interrupted by yet another peer addressing you from the opposite direction down the hall.
  604. >”Heartbreakeeeeerrrrr!” The voice bellows from behind you.
  605. >Whatever, just ignore them and go to your bus. You speed-walk through the halls, eventually making it outside. After exiting the door, a little bit of laughter can be heard. One student sounds like they’re laughing so hard they’re clapping their hands.
  606. >It’s a good thing Flash normally rides the bus on Mondays and Fridays only. You enter the bus once more and race over to the back seat as quickly as you can without incident. Maybe it would be a good idea to not come to school tomorrow until after lunch, missing over half of the day.
  607. >The waiting period surprisingly goes by without incident as you lean back into the cold leather bus seat, warming it. The buses all eventually take of, and you are met with a strong feeling of being home free.
  608. >Home will be within your reach in around 20 minutes or so.
  609. >…
  610. >You throw your backpack onto your bed and slip out of your jacket. After tossing your jacket onto your bed, you notice a sticky note with a piece of tape attached to the back.
  611. >Oh god, no.
  612. >The note has a pink broken heart on it with the title “Heart Breaker” on it. You can automatically tell that it was Rainbow Dash who slapped it onto you while she patted your back.
  613. >Ready to start raging, you pick up the paper in preparation for ripping it up in a fit, but you notice something on the underside that was facing your back the whole time. You turn the paper over and examine it.
  614. >It’s an actual note.
  615. >The note reads: [Anon… I don’t blame you if you ripped this in half or crumpled it or something, but try to read this the best you can. The whole thing on the other side was just a cover so no one would suspect us helping you and so no one could tell I was giving you my number so you can text me later. Just shoot me a message as soon as you can and we’ll iron out the details. R.D.]
  616. >Right under the note is a phone number. You let the note fall out of your hand, standing perfectly still in awe of this girl’s cleverness.
  617. >Rainbow Dash just gave you her number without anyone noticing.
  618. >You check on the lilies that rest on your desk. As you walk over to them, you are already noticing something different about them in their appearance.
  619. >It’s their color… it’s starting to become a little bit more faded. When this was only happening in your mind yesterday, you figured you already had the situation under control and there was nothing to become concerned about. But here they suddenly are right in front of you, clinging on to their life as hard as they can.
  620. >The pitcher of water is immediately grabbed and used to sprinkle the lilies with the exact amount of water as instructed by the internet. You just don’t understand what it is that’s going wrong; you’re doing everything right, aren’t you?
  621. >Maybe you just didn’t check to see if it was the right type of lily or something. Is it too late to do that?
  622. >Back to the computer you go, desperate to find the cause of the flaw. The heat lamp is placed at a reasonable distance from the lilies.
  623. >You convince yourself that everything’s going to be okay. There was just one little slip up with taking care of the lilies, nothing too extreme. You’ll have them properly watered and fed nutrients from this point forward.
  624. >This experience should teach you how to actually take care of plants, if anything. And it’s not like you think Sunset cares what happens with the flowers anyway, right?
  625. >All she did was spend over a month growing them, put them into a nice, cute little bouquet and try multiple times to give them to you even after you had rejected her. There’s no way they can hold any kind of importance to her, right? And even if they had, which they clearly did, would they still?
  626. >Only now do you wish that you had a chance to talk to Sunset about the lilies, so you could at least be sure that her closure was from the act of giving the lilies to you.
  627. >It’s nothing personal, you just want to be sure. Sunset’s a perfect girl and everything, you sure haven’t seen any flaws in her, but the reason you want to be sure is so that you can have… closure of your own.
  628. >You spend a good 20 minutes or so staring at the slowly perishing bouquet right in front of your face. It’s already beginning to wither right in front of you, and there is little to nothing more you can hope to do about it’s certain fate.
  629. >Something inside of you feels like that the only thing you can do is se whether or not Sunset still cares about these things. After seeing how dedicated she evidently was abou these before, you just don’t know what to think anymore.
  630. >And then you remember: you have Rainbow Dash’s number.
  631. >It finally occurs to you that you can just have Rainbow Dash ask Sunset about the lilies. She’s sure to have a way to easily contact her, and they’re already friends anyway. You pull out your phone and look at the paper again.
  632. >You know this is rather silly. They’re just a bunch of flowers, right? Though, judging by the way Sunset treated them, they were more than that to her.
  633. >This thought continues to persist before you realize what you are about to do.
  634. >When you ask Rainbow Dash to ask Sunset about the lilies, don’t you think she’s going to get at least a slight indication that what you really care about includes more than only the flowers? You’re fairly certain that such a notion would become clear in Rainbow’s mind if this happens.
  635. >But after a couple of minutes of planning this out, you figure it’ll work better if you just let it naturally come up in conversation. All you have to do is casually ask about it once it’s relevant and she’ll never suspect a thing.
  636. >Start typing the number on the keypad as you add Rainbow to your contacts. It’s a little bit mind blowing that you’re finally adding someone into your phone who’s not a relative.
  637. >You eventually find yourself sending a text: [Hey.]
  638. >And now, all you can do is wait.
  639. >To your surprise, Rainbow Dash is a rather quick responder. Only about two minutes later do you hear the phone vibrate on your bed. After taking one deep anticipating breath of preparation, you pick up the phone and get ready to answer. All you have to do is know what to say.
  640. >[Who’s number is this?]
  641. [Anon.]
  642. >[K Twilight told me to make sure first that’s all]
  643. [This is Rainbow, right?]
  644. >[yup :)]
  645. [Alright. That was really clever how you did that with the sticky note and everything.]
  646. >[Oh don’t thank me, that whole thing was Twilight’s idea. She just told me to be the one to do it lol]
  647. [Oh, really?]
  648. >[Yeah. She said that I was more likely to do that or something. you know, from what the other kids saw it as]
  649. [Hahaha, oh wow. That’s really thought out.]
  650. >[Yeah. So anyway, Flash and the others are probably going to find out at some point that you’re going to the graduation. They get word of things really easily.]
  651. >This is something you would have figured. You suppose that there really wasn’t another way for Rainbow to be able to text with you without having some kind of conversation in the hall. Though, she was probably going to do the whole sticky note thing without bringing up the graduation had you not suddenly approached her out of the blue like you had and started asking questions.
  652. [Oh right. Sorry about that. I wouldn’t have brought anything up about going to the graduation if I knew that you could have done the thing without people knowing I was going to be there.]
  653. >[oh it’s fine. they’ll probably recognize you anyway. once you’re there ugh, I wish there was an easier way to do this]
  654. [Same here. So do we at least have a plan or something?]
  655. >Rainbow Dash takes a couple of minutes to respond. You figure that it’s just mostly due to her taking her time typing a long message, which would hopefully be some sort of plan.
  656. >Another couple of minutes pass without a reply. At this moment, you realize how rarely you’ve been seeing Sunset.
  657. >The fact that you can’t call or text her is understandable, but what about at school? If Rainbow Dash and Applejack were looking for you, why wasn’t Sunset doing so as well? Or at least her other friends?
  658. >As far as you know, their group is Fluttershy, Applejack, Rarity, Pinkie Pie, Rainbow Dash, Sunset and Twilight.
  659. >Maybe it’s just your suspicious side getting the best of you again, but there’s nothing you can be absolutely sure about. You saw that Trixie and Flash were working together, after having no idea that this was a fact. Who’s to say that the connections don’t go deeper?
  660. >After letting these irrational thoughts bully your mind, you turn your attention over to the lilies. Just the very sight of them trying to sprout as high as they used to just… sticks a needle into your heart. It’s not out of love, it’s out of guilt and lack of closure.
  661. >The phone vibrating on your leg startles. It’s about time she texted back.
  662. >[um… nope.] Dash’s message tells you.
  663. >You feel a cold feeling rush into you as you read this.
  664. [Are you meaning to tell me that we still don’t know what we’re going to do yet?]
  665. >[hang on, can you call me? We all just got into the car and Twilight wants to talk to you.]
  666. [Uh, sure.]
  667. >[sorry]
  668. [No, it’s okay. I’m calling you now.]
  669. >Why does text messaging have to be so tedious to you? There’s just something about the improper typing and the little faces people make with colons and parenthesis. You’re just glad you’re going to actually start talking to people, which is what phones were originally for anyway.
  670. >You dial the number and wait for someone to pick up.
  671. >[“Hello?”] A voice on the other end says.
  672. “Rainbow? It’s me, Anon.”
  673. >[“No, uh, this is Twilight, actually. But Rainbow is right here, too.”]
  674. >[“Hi, Anon.”] You hear Dash’s voice call out.
  675. >[“Ooh! Ooh! Is that the Anon kid you were talking about?”] Pinkie Pie’s voice interrupts. [“I wanna say hi too! Hiiiiii!”]
  676. “Hi. I can hear all of you.” You let them know.
  677. >[“Alright, good. Okay, listen, I literally just thought of something. I’m telling Sunset right now for the first time, too.”]
  678. >Another shock overcomes you as you realize that Sunset is there with them. The pressing urge to talk to her screams at you while the lilies die a little bit more on the desk with each passing second.
  679. “What is it? I’m all ears.”
  680. >[“We’re pretty much going to stage something in front of at least one of the more… popular kids at the graduation.”]
  681. “Stage something?”
  682. >[“Yeah. What’s I’m thinking of doing is making it look like another rejection, but the other way around. You pretend to ask Sunset in front of all of them, and she’ll say no. This should give everyone the feeling that everything is evened out. Hopefully, this will work.”]
  683. >You widen your eyes after it all becomes clear to you. This plan that Twilight just came up with is absolutely brilliant, yet do simple at the same time. Just have Sunset do the same thing back.
  684. >[“Wait a minute…”] Rainbow Dash intervenes. [“I could’ve thought of that! That’s perfect!”]
  685. >[“So that’s it. Alright?”] Twilight concludes.
  686. “Oh, uh, yeah. That’s bound to work.” You answer.
  687. >The girls can be heard talking to eachother on the other end. Various voices sound, but you can barely make out what they’re saying. But you are sure that if they were talking about something they didn’t want you to hear, then they would have covered the mouthpiece and you wouldn’t have heard any of the background noise.
  688. >At least that’s something you can be sure of.
  689. >[“Hey, Anon?”] Twilight says to you. [“Sunset wants to talk to you. I’m giving her the phone now.”]
  690. >You can feel your heart skip a beat while she says this. This is the perfect chance to say everything about the lilies without anyone else hearing.
  691. >There are a couple of seconds of silence as you wait for them to hand the phone over to Sunset. Your heart practically beats out of your chest.
  692. >[“Hey…”]
  693. “Sunset? Sunset is that you?” You find yourself promptly asking.
  694. >[“Yeah… it’s me.”] Sunset confirms.
  695. >It can only chill you to hear the sound of her voice once more, given everything that’s happened so far. But it’s mostly because you haven’t even talked to her since Saturday, and it felt like it has been even longer than that. It’s not even Wednesday and this week’s been such a tough one, well at least to you.
  696. >[“Um… you still there?”]
  697. “Oh! Uh, yeah. Yeah, I’m here.”
  698. >[“Okay. Uh… thanks.”]
  699. “I’m so sorry, Sunset. I didn’t mean for any of this to happen. Please don’t think that I dislike you or anything like that, it’s not that at all.”
  700. >[“It’s okay, Anon. I’m… I’m not mad at you.”]
  701. >Though it was quite relieving to hear about that, the main topic you want to bring up just needs to come out. It’s possible that you’re not going to get a chance like this again, so you better do it now. The only thing you have to worry about is whether or not Sunset’s going to tell the others.
  702. “Sunset, there’s something I need to ask you about.”
  703. >A short moment of silence ensues.
  704. >[“Um… about what?”]
  705. “The flowers. I-I mean… your flowers.”
  706. >[“What? But Anon… I gave them to you. They’re not mine anymore, they’re yours now. They’re your lilies.”] Sunset insists. [“Why? What’s wrong?”]
  707. “Well, I…” You start off before hearing the voices of the others on the line.
  708. >[“What did he say, Sunset? What did he do with them?”] Rainbow Dash interrogates.
  709. >You already figure that you need to bring into the open that you did indeed keep the lilies. That’s really something you should have said first.
  710. “I still have them. And I’ve been trying to keep them from dying, just uh… because.”
  711. >[“Wait, what?”] Sunset asks with her friends silent and now closely listening.
  712. >So much for keeping this a private conversation. But you need to know no matter what, so it’s worth it anyway.
  713. “Eh, I don’t know. I’ve had them under a heat lamp and all that. I’ve watered them every day since you gave them to me. But like, they’re starting to die. And… I don’t know how to keep this kind of thing from happening. I’m no gardener, Sunset”
  714. >[“Wait, hold on. Are you telling me you were actually trying to keep them alive this whole time? Even though they’re already cut from their roots and everything?”]
  715. “Y-yeah.”
  716. >[“Anon, oh my god, of course they’re going to eventually die.”] Sunset explains in a tone that sounds like she’s saying this to a four year old. [“I mean, it’s not like they were supposed to live forever, right? Like, what were you going to keep them alive for, anyway?”]
  717. >At his point, she might as well be trying to explain this to a four year old. But the difference is, you’re about a decade and a half older than that.
  718. “I j-just thought you’d be disappointed in me or something if I had let them die without even trying to save them.”
  719. >Over the phone, you can hear the other girls all go “aww” collectively. You are 100% certain that they heard you say this.
  720. “Wait, no! I d-didn’t mean it like that! I…” You trail off.
  721. >[“Anon. The point of the whole thing was for the lilies to become yours. Since… well, I couldn’t do the same.”]
  722. >…
  723. >Oh god, the way she worded that.
  724. >You glance back over to the lilies on your desk, never able to look at them the same way again. Their still fading color seems warmer now. Welcoming you. You continue to watch them as Sunset continues to talk to you.
  725. >[“Listen, how about you think of it this way. Once I gave them to you, you accepted them into your life and provided for them a comfortable home. And from that point on, they were with you, the person I gave them to, for the rest of their lives.”]
  726. >Your face is completely blank as your eyes lock onto the lilies and your ear remains against the earpiece.
  727. >Sunset’s friends are completely silent as well in the wake of what she just said to you over the phone. You can hardly imagine the expressions on their faces.
  728. >[“Uh… Anon? Anon, are you still there?”] Sunset hesitantly asks.
  729. “Yes… yes, I’m still here. It’s just that…”
  730. >[“Yeah?”]
  731. “That was amazing… the way you put that.”
  732. >[“Aww, thank you. I’m glad we… cleared that up. So, you’re going to stop stressing yourself out, alright?”]
  733. “Yes.”
  734. >[“Alright. So, uh, I heard everything Twilight said about the plan too and everything. I just wanted to make sure we’re both on the same page, here. So… are we good to go?”]
  735. “Y-yes, Sunset. We’re good to go.”
  736. >[“Okay then, cool. So… is there anything else you need to ask me?”
  737. >Sunset’s voice sounds as though she’s really eager to get an answer out of you. It’s like she really wants to know what you have going on in your mind, wanting to learn about anything you might be feeling. You actually feel flattered if Sunset is really showing this much interest in you.
  738. “Uh, no. That was it.”
  739. >You hear Sunset warmly giggle on the other end.
  740. >[“Oh kay, then. I guess I’ll see you at the graduation tomorrow.”]
  741. “Yeah… I’ll see you then. Bye.”
  742. >[“Bye, Anon.”] Says Sunset before there is a brief moment of silence in between voices speaking.
  743. >A long sigh of relief is released from you.
  744. >[“So we’re all good, then?”] Twilight’s voice returns.
  745. “Oh, uh, yeah. I’ll see you all later.”]
  746. >[“Great. Don’t worry, Anon. We’ll get you past all of this. Welp, see you later, I guess.”]
  747. “Yeah. See you later.”
  748. >The call is ended at about the ten minute mark. Occasionally glancing over at the lilies in the vase, you eventually stand up off of your bed and head out of your room. You trudge through the hallway, noticing how uncomfortably dry the air in your house is.
  749. >It’s obvious that the humidifier really needs to be fixed, because the dry breeze hitting your face while you walk is so bad that your eyes are watering up. You find the thermostat and try to readjust it so the dryness of the air will die down. Though, you’re sure that the thermostat isn’t going to change anything other than the temperature.
  750. >So it looks like your eyes are going to water up from the dry air a little bit more before you can buy a humidifier of your own or something.
  751. >Another thing you didn’t know is how many little things there are floating around in the dry air. It’s very annoying, actually. A lot of these little things keep hitting you in the eye, getting stuck in there. But still, you manage to cope and try to ignore it.
  752. >You decide to immediately go to bed and rest your watery eyes until the air settles. You wouldn’t want to walk around letting people go under the impression that you might have been crying or anything.
  753. >Now wouldn’t that be silly?
  754. >…
  755. ~
  756. >In Twilight’s car, Sunset and her friends sit in silence. They are barely able to wrap their minds around what just happened on the phone with Anon. Fluttershy takes her hand and gently wipes a tear away from her cheek.
  757. >”Oh my goodness! Sunset… that was… beautiful!” Fluttershy softly squeals.
  758. >”I… have to agree with her on that one.” Adds Twilight. “You should really consider writing poetry or something.”
  759. >”Um… thanks, girls. I’ve actually kinda liked the idea of doing that.” Admits Sunset.
  760. >”So, you know the plan, right?” Twilight continues.
  761. >”Yeah. I know what it is…” Sunset responds, but with a lack of confidence in her voice.
  762. >Twilight frowns and raises an eyebrow at her.
  763. >”Well… what’s wrong?”
  764. >Sunset looks over at Twilight with a worried expression. She watches Twilight’s look of certainty turn to a look of concern for a friend.
  765. >”You do know that the plan is to go to the graduation ceremony tomorrow, let Anon come over to you like we planned and ask you out on a date in front of enough people to get word to spread. And then all you have to do is say no to him and that will be that.” Briefs Twilight.
  766. >”But that’s the thing!” Sunset tells her, trying not to let her voice crack up.
  767. >Rainbow Dash turns her attention over to Sunset, widening her eyes as she does this.
  768. >”Look, look… I…” Sunset frantically stammers. “I just wanted to tell you all this now, so it’s out there. I… I don’t think I can do it.”
  769. >”Say no to Anon?” Rainbow asks.
  770. >”Yes, that. And I just wanted to tell you that now. Well, since I heard about how he kept taking care of the lilies I gave him… I guess I just don’t want it to be fake anymore.”
  771. >”But Sunset.” Twilight warns. “The only way for you to satisfy everyone else is to turn him down. Once they see you do the same back to him, it will at least calm them down and make them lay off of him. Don’t worry, none of it will be real. I promise. If you still want to talk to him about legitimate relationships, you can do it outside of this.”
  772. >Sunset doesn’t change her facial expression.
  773. >”But still, thanks for at least telling us beforehand, Sunset.” Rainbow Dash joins in. “You, uh, wanna talk things out when we get over to Twilight’s place?”
  774. >”Yes. We’ll see… how exactly we’re going to do this.”
  775. >Twilight’s car cruises down the road with the group inside. The sky grows darker as Tuesday comes to a close. A whole lot sure can happen in just one day.
  776. >Only time can tell whether or not Wednesday, the day of the graduation, will be any more fulfilling.
  777. >…
  778. >The car pulls into the driveway, and everyone steps out two by two. They all enter the house right as the sky begins to lose the last of its daylight for the day.
  779. >”I just… kinda feel bad for him.” Rainbow Dash brings forth. “Those other kids just won’t leave him alone! The poor guy didn’t even do anything to them!”
  780. >”Um…” Sunset starts to mutter.
  781. >Everyone in the living room turns to her. She hesitates at first, looking for the right words to say to them.
  782. >”Are you… sure it has to be done this way?” She continues.
  783. >”Well… can you think of any better ways to help him?” Twilight asks Sunset.
  784. >Trying to answer the question, Sunset contemplates every possible scenario in her mind. Perhaps Anon can ask one of the other popular girls out instead, and be rejected by one of them. There’s quite a few of them that definitely wouldn’t be interested, and are also most likely upset with him at the moment.
  785. >”Okay… when I said what I said on the ride over here… I guess I… really meant it.” Reflects Sunset.
  786. >”But, you can’t possibly mean that! Can ya?” Applejack asks her. “Ah mean… do you really…”
  787. >Sunset’s cheeks begin to turn red as the words are nearly unable to be brought out. She already knows this very well, and would never need to convince herself of such a thing.
  788. >”I… can’t believe it!” Rarity gasps. “You truly are in love with him, aren’t you, darling?”
  789. >”I just can’t, okay? It’s not in me to say no to him. Now when I… feel this way…” Sunset quietly conveys. “It’s just… I don’t know.”
  790. >”Well in that case, how are we going to do this? You do want to help him, right?” Rainbow Dash impatiently questions.
  791. >”Yeah.”
  792. >”And we want to help him, too. I can’t wait until the day comes where all of the students in this school are finally friends with eachother.” Proclaims Twilight.
  793. >”Well, since I can’t really do it… how about…” Sunset starts to tell them.
  794. >”How about what?”
  795. >Sunset lets herself fall silent.
  796. >”Do you want one of us to say no to Anon for you?” Guesses Twilight.
  797. >A slight nod of Sunset’s head indicates that she guessed right. Twilight takes a deep breath while she considers the new approach instead of the first plan. It doesn’t seem like too bad of an idea to her, and it would most likely work to an extent.
  798. >”Huh… well I guess that would be a pretty good idea. If Trixie and everyone else sees him ask another girl out and get rejected, they’d probably not be very much upset anymore. Though, we would be a lot more confident that it worked if the girls that rejects him would be the same one that he rejected.”
  799. >”But uh… which one of us will it be?” Asks Applejack. “Ah think those cool kids have certain standards on who’s reject-able and who just… isn’t.”
  800. >”She’s right, you know.” Rainbow Dash agrees. “If someone like me got rejected, Flash and the other guys would just tell me to get over it or something. But someone like Sunset is different.”
  801. >”Exactly! So uh, which one of us would be closest to Sunset’s league?” Applejack asks, looking around the room. “Ah imagine it would be one of us that all the guys think is… hot? Ain’t it?”
  802. >Everyone in the room exchanges glances for only a few seconds, until those glances all start pointing to Rarity. She looks up from her phone and begins to understand exactly who everyone else chose to be the one to reject Anon instead of Sunset.
  803. >”Um… I guess that rules out all of us except for you, Rarity.” Admits Rainbow Dash. “You’re the only one of us that’s as popular and good looking as Sunset is.”
  804. >”Do… do you really think so?” Rarity softly gasps, trying not to look flattered. “Oh, but I couldn’t possibly just automatically rule you all out just because of my appearance! I suppose I just don’t want to come off as arrogant by agreeing right away or anything like that. I mean, it’s not like more guys find me attractive than you.”
  805. >”But Rarity, you have all of those things that guys nitpick about.” Dash points out.
  806. >”That’s true, ya know.” Applejack explains. “Ah mean, it sure is no secret to us. It would be more effective if a girl like you rejected Anon. Look at the rest of us: Pinkie and I may not be fat or anything, but we aren’t as slender as some girls, and neither of us have the faces to put the average guy head over heels; heck, ah don’t even do any of that make up stuff at all. And neither does Dash, while she and Twilight aren’t quite as developed in the chest as most girls. No offense to either of ya.”
  807. >”It’s only because I’m aerodynamic.” Dash insists.
  808. >”Yes, Ah know; most athletes are. And Fluttershy does come close because she’s skinny with the chest guys like, and that kind of pretty face that a lot of guys normally fall for. However, she’s always been far too quiet and nervous to work her way into that “in crowd”. Ah reckon if she rejects, it might look like she was just too shy to say yes or something.”
  809. >”As much as I’d hate to admit this, it is kind of true.” Twilight concurs. “Rarity and Sunset both have everything that makes guys like them more. It’s always been an awkward thing to think about, but it’s true.”
  810. >”That’s right. Both of y’all are always lookin’ pretty and all that. There were countless time ah caught guys around the school eyeballin’ ya. Also, yer hair is actually a lot more stylized as well. It’s all swirly and loop-de-loop, while the rest of our hair doesn’t stand out as much except for Rainbow’s and Twilight’s. You and Sunset make yourselves look a lot prettier than us.”
  811. >”And not only that, but I’ve seen Rarity turn down tons of guys before.” Dash adds.
  812. >”Yes, that’s true, darling. I’m practically known for it in some places.” Agrees Rarity. “Maybe I really should be the one to do it. I’m probably the one who they’d most likely expect to say no to him.”
  813. >”Oh my gosh that thing about their hair is so true!” Pinkie exclaims.
  814. >”Now… I’m not saying that there’s anything wrong with any of what ah just explained. It’s just that these are all things that guys in high school are going to look at whether we like it or not. They’re not flaws, just little things that some guys nitpick at when they get choosy. And ah can tell you for sure that popular guys like Flash are the nit-picky type.”
  815. >”So this means that if Sunset can’t do it, then Rarity has to.” Twilight concludes. “She’s pretty much the only other one who can really make it get through to them.”
  816. >”Well I suppose that’s settled, then. If you really feel like you don’t have it in you, I’ll do it for you, darling.” Rarity assures Sunset. “I already have a lot of experience in looking convincing when rejecting a guy, so I should have no problem with this.”
  817. >Everyone else nods in agreement.
  818. >”Thank you, Rarity.” Says Sunset while giving her a smile.
  819. >”Oh don’t mention it, darling. It’s the least I can do to help you.”
  820. >”Alright, then. So… do we tell Anon tomorrow, or…” Twilight proposes.
  821. >”I’ll text him right before school tomorrow. We’ll all just explain that he’s going to pretend to ask Rarity instead of Sunset.” Promises Rainbow Dash.
  822. >”Okay, then. So… do we all have a solid agreement now?” Twilight asks one more time to verify.
  823. >”Yup, ah can sure agree to this.”
  824. >”Absolutely.” Rarity confirms while everyone else agrees as well.
  825. >”Great. So we’ll talk to him tomorrow and move on from there.” Twilight derives.
  826. >Everyone eventually gets settled down in their seats after the plan is set in place. Sunset feels a powerful wave of relief wash over her as she can keep in mind that she doesn’t have to reject Anon.
  827. >”Ugh, finally! It’s about time we settled that.” Groans Rainbow Dash. “So what does everyone feel like doing?”
  828. >…
  829. ~
  830. >Wednesday morning.
  831. >The bus ride to school goes quietly, leaving you alone as you keep the plan in mind for what you’re going to do today. The walk into the school goes pretty well too, only with you hearing people whispering behind your back from time to time. Some of them can be heard saying “Anon”, which verifies that they are talking about you.
  832. >But at least they’ve reached the point where it’s not in front of your face anymore. Now it’s all behind your back, where the teasers would rather you not hear what they are saying about you.
  833. >Strictly speaking, this is quite an improvement.
  834. >The usual daily routine goes by, homeroom and the first few classes. Trixie leaves you alone in the classroom once again. But you’ve learned this time that she’s probably going to wait until lunch, when there’s more witnesses around.
  835. >Right at the end of 4th period, you discretely take your phone out to check for any texts you might have gotten. You had forgotten to do this in the morning since you were too tired from not getting much sleep last night.
  836. >A surprise is met as you stare at the screen, discovering three text messages from right before homeroom started. You lean in toward your screen and read the messages.
  837. >Message 1: [Hey.]
  838. >Message 2, 19 minutes later: [Whenever you get a chance to read this, I want to let you know that we changed our plans a little bit. We’re going to have you ask Rarity out in front of everyone instead because Sunset doesn’t think she’ll be able to say no.]
  839. >Message 3: [Come see us when you get the chance, maybe during lunch. I think we go at the same time as you. Your 6th period, right?]
  840. >Pull up the keypad.
  841. [I’m 5th period lunch. We only had the same lunch in the third quarter, not this one.] You reply, hoping that you don’t get your phone taken away before the bell rings.
  842. >You can just skip pre-calculus during 6th period. You’ve never liked math anyway.
  843. >The bell rings and you head over to lunch.
  844. >Right away, you think to sit at the same table from yesterday where the band kids were. It’s not like you had another place o sit anyway. As you enter the room, you gaze across the space, already seeing a couple of them sitting there.
  845. >You’ve already gotten a text back from Rainbow Dash explaining that they could probably meet up right after school and can talk then. But you don’t want to take that chance, given that there could be enemies behind every corner.
  846. >It is wise to be careful.
  847. >The band kids immediately recognize you and wave to you, signaling to come join them.
  848. >”Hi, Anon!” Wiz Kid cheerfully greets you as you approach the table.
  849. “Hey. Why are you guys so early?”
  850. >”Oh, we’re leaving halfway through the period. Gotta go to practice a little bit earlier so everything’s ready for that ceremony. So what have you been up to?”
  851. “Oh me? Just… planning my summer. Got pretty much nothing to do, though. I’ve never really been the ‘hang out outside of school’ type.”
  852. >A couple of the other band kids sit down with you. You look across the room to the popular side as they do this. Flash and his crew seem to be minding their own business for now. But you know for a fact that as long as you’re with the band kids, you’re pretty much safe and in good hands.
  853. >And there doesn’t seem to be any sign of Trixie.
  854. >”Hi, Anon!” Sonata happily chimes as she and the other Dazzlings come over and sit down.
  855. “Hi, Sonata.” You respond. “Uh, how’s your day going?”
  856. >”Oh, my day’s been going so amazing! I learned how to play a new instrument during homeroom! Adagio, tell him about the flute thingy! Tell him!” Sonata excitedly rambles. “That thing was sooooo cool!”
  857. >You half-smile and turn your attention to Adagio, who has already taken a bite out of her sandwich so she doesn’t have to talk. She gives you a pressing look. One that says: “Nope. You talk to her. I ‘m not having it.”
  858. “Well, was it an actual flute or something?” You ask.
  859. >”I think so. But it was so much smaller. It was so cute!” Sonata continues, momentarily calling across the cafeteria to another band member. “Oh there’s Sweet Leaf! She’s the one who lent it to me! Sweet Leaf!”
  860. >The dark-green haired girl stops in her tracks as she notices Sonata, and reaches into her backpack as though she already knows where this is going. She rummages around the backpack and pulls out a tiny piccolo. It’s barely the size of a pencil and it seems to be made out of laminated wood.
  861. >”Aww, do you want to play this again?” Sweet Leaf asks her. “Here you go.”
  862. >She walks over and hands the tiny instrument over to Sonata, who gleefully takes it and promptly puts it into her mouth. As Sweet Leaf sits down right next to you, Sonata starts to play the piccolo as though it were a mini clarinet. She has literally no idea how to play this instrument.
  863. >A number of the band kids are obviously holding back their laughter while Aria lets her sides fly out of orbit. But Sonata is too distracted having fun sticking the wooden instrument between her lips and blowing air out of her mouth as hard as she can. Surprisingly, she’s actually able to make it play notes, and in what sound somewhat like melodies as well.
  864. >At’s admittedly an adorable sight.
  865. >”Looks like I’m going to have to clean that old thing again.” Sweet Leaf mutters to you as Sonata proceeds to play the instrument the wrong way.
  866. “Oh, wow. Well, at least she’s getting those notes out.” You joke around.
  867. >”Yeah. I’m like, totally happy for her for that at least.”
  868. >It’s now when you realize that Sweet Leaf talks almost exactly like the stoner kids from the other table. There’s a possibility that she might be friends with them. But the possibility of her being involved in what some of them and Flash are doing is most likely mutually exclusive from that.
  869. >You still decide to be careful anyway.
  870. >”So, Anon. Are you going to the graduation ceremony?” Wiz Kid asks you.
  871. “Uh, yeah. I’m going to be there with a few friends of mine. They like to go to the graduation every year and I thought I’d tag along this time.”
  872. >”Oh, that’s splendid!”
  873. >Sonata finishes playing her little song on the piccolo. She hands it back to Sweet Leaf, who carefully takes it out of her hand and slowly gets up. Everyone at the table stares at her, except for Sonata, who beams an oblivious smile straight up at Sweet Leaf. Everyone else already knows that she’s going to go clean the instrument in the sink.
  874. >”I’ll uh, be right back.” She says to the ones sitting near her, heading over to the girl’s bathroom.
  875. >”This summer’s going to so fun!” Exclaims Sonata. “I heard that the school band goes on the coolest vacation trips to… where do you go again?”
  876. >Wiz Kid takes a moment to think to himself, perhaps remembering something.
  877. >”I think we’re going to be taking a flight south this summer. Going to be touring cities from in different continents, like Anticourt, Brothens, Osterlot, and I think a couple of more. I think we might play there, too. I just figure that the plan this time since last time we went north to Lockland and Zenith.”
  878. >You have no idea what this kid’s talking about; you’ve never heard of any of these cities. Mostly because you’ve never left Canterlot.
  879. >Boy, do these kids like to travel during the summer.
  880. >”And they’re letting us come with them!” Sonata lets you know. “Adagio, Aria and I are going to be traveling all over the world! Well, all over a small part of the world.”
  881. >As the other kids continue with their conversation about traveling, you notice Trixie finally go over to Flash’s table and sit down, eyeing the table that you sit at. There’s no telling what she might do after this, but you know is’t probably a bad sign.
  882. >The band is going to leave halfway through the period, and you have to stay to meet the mane 6 next period.
  883. >You continue to analyze the table of the popular kids for a little bit more before noticing Trixie and Flash beginning to have a heated argument. It would be nice if you could hear what they’re saying, but they don’t look like they’re agreeing from what you can tell.
  884. >”Well, we’d get to the first area by plane. And based on what I’ve heard, we’d be transported by bus a lot of the way from there.” Reflects Wiz Kid as Sweet Leaf returns from the bathroom with the piccolo cleaned and rinsed off.
  885. >”Oh, are we talking about our trip?” Sweet Leaf Asks.
  886. >”Yeah! We still get to come along, right?” Sonata eagerly tries to make sure.
  887. >”Of course you do, Sonata. All of you do, because we get free passes and stuff.” Sweet Leaf explains. “And there’s like, a ton of extra seats that aren’t being used yet. Like… you can come along and all that, it’s all cool.”
  888. >”Nice.” Aria comments while she keeps staring at her phone. “So… are we like, going to go to the beach or something?”
  889. >”Yeah, that’s Brothens. We’re probably going to stay there the longest if we’re not going to any other cities. Well, at least I’m going to stay there. The beaches that area are like… totally radical.”
  890. >After about ten more minutes of conversation, the band teacher enters the cafeteria and catches the attention of the school band. The band kids immediately take notice of this and begin packing up their stuff.
  891. >”Ooh! This is it! We have to go now, so we’ll see you later, Anon!” Sonata tells you. “Bye!”
  892. “Bye.” You say back, waving over at the exiting band class, who joins the orchestra right outside the door.
  893. >After they leave, you automatically feel the crushing sense of solitude and vulnerability. You have an entire half of a period to go as you sit alone at the empty table.
  894. >Over at the other table, Flash and Trixie watch the band leave, and then look over at you. Flash says something to Trixie, who looks like she’s trying to contradict him.
  895. >Then, Flash stands up and starts to walk in your direction.
  896. >You are already bracing yourself for the worst. Flash starts to get closer and closer to your table, but he has less of a challenging expression on his face than before. The other tables around you don’t seem to take notice of what might be going on.
  897. >Grabbing your things anyway, you prepare to attempt to at least sit somewhere where there’s other people. But Flash makes it to the table before you have a chance to stand up, able to see that you’re already trying to avoid him.
  898. >”Anon, wait.” Flash urges you. “I just want to talk, man. It’s cool.”
  899. >His words don’t sound all too convincing to you, but it’s not like you’re in any position to just go to another table and expect to be left alone. None of the other kids have instruments. You stare at Flash, indecisive about whether or no you should answer him.
  900. >”It’s all cool, dude. All I want to do is talk, alright? I won’t try to tell you what to do or all that, just talk things over.”
  901. >He’s lucky that there’s a part of you that agrees to trust him.
  902. “Okay… I guess…”
  903. >”Alright, then.” Flash says before sitting down next to you and resting his crossed arms on the wooden table.
  904. >So far, he does seem to be rather trustworthy at the moment. You will admit that. But you still feel like it’s a good idea to keep an eye on the other table, just to make sure that no one else is going to come over. Everyone over there is still sitting down for now, at least.
  905. >”Alright, listen.” Flash starts off in a calm tone. “I’m kinda sorry about Monday and yesterday and all that. Now… the guys and I? We don’t have anything against you or anything like that. It’s just that it was so shocking when we… found out about what happened, you know?”
  906. “Um… okay?”
  907. >”I don’t want you to think that we dislike you. You were just kind of the talk of the town when you did something that none of us would have dreamed of doing. The thing is, we get a little, rowdy from all that and a couple of us might feel… challenged would be the best way to put it.”
  908. “So why did you like… I don’t know. Why couldn’t you just let me stick with my thing, huh? I told you that I just don’t go on dates.”
  909. >”Anon, there’s something I need to make clear to you. Us guys don’t really care all too much. Sure, it’s expected that a guy says yes when a hot girl asks him out. But we only wanted to put that out there just that one time.”
  910. >You give him a slightly disapproving frown.
  911. “Okay… well… if that’s true, then what’s all the stuff going on with-“
  912. >”Trixie?” Flash finishes your sentence for you. “Yeah, that’s what I was about to tell you about.”
  913. >Flash looks back over at his table, where Trixie still remains seated. She’s starting right at the two of you with a very uneasy expression on her face. She waves her hands around and signals for Flash to shut up and come back to his table.
  914. >Ignoring her gestures, Flash shakes his head and then turns back toy you. Trixie turns away and hides her face, blushing.
  915. >”Let me tell you a little something about Trixie, dude.” Flash tells you.
  916. “What… about her?”
  917. >”There’s no easy way to tell you this but… she likes you, bro.”
  918. >Your brow furrows and you make a stern, squinting face as you hear him say this. There’s no way you’re just going to blindly believe this right off the bat.
  919. >”It’s probably hard to tell with her being an absolute nightmare sometimes. You know how it can be like that sometimes by now, don’t you?” Flash asks.
  920. “Well yeah. I’ve… found that out. But still…”
  921. >”Let me guess, you don’t believe me, don’t you?”
  922. >Taking a deep breath, you look down to the surface of the table. You push your lunch forward and rest your arms on the surface of the table the same way that Flash is. It’s been a while since the last time you had your elbows on the table.
  923. “Care to enlighten me?” You shrewdly inquire, becoming more annoyed the longer you sit with Flash.
  924. >”Okay, listen. I’m already really experienced in this sort of thing. I know how it all works.” Flash starts off.
  925. >You pretend to be intrigued by what he is saying, keeping your head turned towards him and nodding at the appropriate times.
  926. >”When Trixie heard about when you turned Sunset down, she immediately started to talk about it to the rest of her friends. She wouldn’t really… shut up about it. It really seemed to be bothering her even though it didn’t involve her. But you see… I know why it affected her.”
  927. “Oh?”
  928. >Trixie takes very short glances over to the table at which you and flash sit, looking as though she heavily suspects that she is being talked about. Little would she know, she’s absolutely correct.
  929. >”You see, Sunset’s not the type of girl that’s expected to be turned down by… well… pretty much any guy, really. And when you did the thing that made yourself some kind of exception to that, you got yourself what I’d like to call… quick-cred.”
  930. >You scoff quietly and make a somewhat confused confused face at the guy.
  931. “Um… is that a thing? What does it even mean?”
  932. >”Just think of it all this way. Anon, the guy who could even reject Sunset Shimmer… made a fool of and humiliated by Trixie Lulamoon. It’s sort of an alpha thing, you know? It’s when you defeat the most powerful foe, you automatically become the new most powerful foe.”
  933. >Finally, your eyes widen and a gasp enters your lungs as you come to the realization. Why haven’t you thought of it this way before? It makes perfect sense now, especially since this is Trixie that Flash is talking about. Given the current circumstances that Flash just brought into the light, this type of behavior fits Trixie’s personality like a slipper.
  934. “Wow, uh, okay. I guess that explains the part about the fact that she is in fact doing this because of the thing with Sunset.” You admit. “But can you please explain how this means she likes me?”
  935. >”I was just about to get to that part.” Flash tells you before continuing.
  936. >Flash looks over to his table and smiles at everyone sitting there. Trixie shoots an agitated look over at Flash, who does nothing more than slyly smile at wave back before continuing to talk to you.
  937. >”Now, with Monday and everything… The guys and I were just messing with you for a while. It wasn’t particularly anything personal, just mostly us having some fun with something that was topical and sitting near us. You know, just banter and whatnot.”
  938. >Strangely enough, this is a little bit understandable.
  939. >”But Trixie over there… she doesn’t really want to… stop.” Flash explains while pointing over towards Trixie, just enough for her to see and hide her face with the back of her hand.
  940. >You watch her do this, getting a feeling that whatever she thinks (or possibly knows) that Flash is saying is something she doesn’t want you to hear. But there’s no way to confirm these things, and you could all the while be interpreting these things the wrong way.
  941. >”We started out doing these things with her because we were mostly having fun and stuff. Like I said, it was just a bunch of banter. But then after we finished, Trixie just wanted to keep going. She wanted to… do something permanent.”
  942. >A chill can be felt as you hear him say permanent.
  943. >”After you rejected Sunset, you made yourself pretty much un-obtainable in her view. You know, something that she knows she can’t have. In her mind, if Sunset couldn’t get you to say yes, what chance would she have?”
  944. “Wait… really?”
  945. >”She’s done it before, dude.” Flash insists. “She even tried that with me a couple of years back. Once she sees a guy that she knows she can’t have, she’ll try to break him down… and then build him back up to adore her.”
  946. “So, that’s what she’s doing?”
  947. >”Pretty much.” Flash confirms.
  948. >You don’t know whether or not to believe him… he hasn’t exactly been the most honest individual for the most part. But still, the points that he’s bringing up seems to make sense.
  949. >Trixie remains at her table with her face hidden behind her hand. You can barely make out an angered expression on her face.
  950. >”Alright? So I just wanted to come over here and let you know that.” Flash concludes before standing back up. “And just so you know, you’re always welcome to come sit with us. I think you’re actually pretty cool, Anon.”
  951. “Okay, well… can I just stay here and think about it?”
  952. >Flash nods his head with a strong sense of finality.
  953. >”Sure can. I know you’ve probably got a thing or two to sort out, but I respect that. So uh, have fun I guess. And see you tomorrow, maybe.” He says before finally walking away again.
  954. >You watch him go back to the table and approach Trixie. She looks up at him, and when she does so, you can see that her cheeks have turned bright red. Flash puts a hand on her shoulder and says something, causing Trixie to look a little bit more reassured.
  955. >All that’s left for you to do and pull your lunch back towards you and eat it before the period ends. After about five more minutes or so, the bell rings and everyone stands up to go to their next class. Like you had planned to do this morning, you stay seated at the empty table.
  956. >The room clears out and the new crowd eventually comes in. It takes a few minutes for them to appear, but you soon see the mane 6 walk through the doors with the lunches that they packed for the day.
  957. >They all notice you holding your hand out and waving to them and start to walk towards you. Among them you can see Sunset as well. Automatically, you feel yourself freeze in the light of her presence, suddenly thinking about what she said about the lilies.
  958. >During this morning, you had decided to turn the heat lamp off and let nature do what it does best. You hadn’t really thought about the moment you did this until right now.
  959. >The group of girls joins you at the table and they all sit around you. Sunset sits right across from you as Twilight and Rarity are on either side of you.
  960. >”You saw what we said, right?” Twilight starts off.
  961. “Unless you texted within the last hour or so, yes.”
  962. >The others look around at eachother
  963. >”Alright, good. So let’s get this all sorted out. Where are the popular kids most likely going to be during the graduation?” Plans Twilight.
  964. >”I imagine that a few of them will be in the stands watching everything happen in the center of the gym.” Rainbow Dash estimates. “So maybe going in there in the middle of the intermission or something is a possibility.”
  965. >Twilight pauses for a moment to evaluate this.
  966. >”Well… maybe. But won’t the seniors be sitting in the rows of chairs at the same time? It’s not like Anon and Rarity can go there.” She points out.
  967. >”If we do execute the plan that way, I’d be perfectly fine with being in front of the audience.” Rarity adds. “As long as we don’t have to stand there for too long while waiting or something like that.”
  968. “Where else do you think they could be? My best guess is that Trixie would be the main one we’d want to witness this.” You clarify.
  969. >”Well what about Flash?” Rainbow Dash asks. “He’s a lot more popular than Trixie.”
  970. >”Ah agree.” Says Applejack. “Sure Trixie can be a bit pushy at times, but people are more likely to listen to Flash. Also, they both might be just as likely as one another to spread word around.”
  971. >”Yes. We can’t forget that the main thing we’re trying to do is get them to spread word about something based on a single thing that one of them saw happen.” Twilight explains. “We probably could have tried to just spread the rumor ourselves, but I think it’s better if one of them starts it. They are more likely to listen to eachother.”
  972. >The other girls nod as they agree with what Twilight is saying.
  973. >”I remember a couple of them being on the sideline during the one of the last graduations.” Fluttershy reflects. “Remember when Big Mac graduated? Some of his friends who were the cool kids were to the side of the bleachers and in chairs, right?”
  974. >”Oh yeah…” Recalls Applejack. “Ah remember all those football players cheering him on and all that. Though, that might have been because he was part of the team back in the day.”
  975. >”You think Flash will be there?” Sunset questions. “I mean, shouldn’t he be at least somewhere where he can see the graduation, but doesn’t have to sit with the parents or any of that?”
  976. “But I really don’t think Flash would be too much of a problem.” You bring about. “Because based on something I just heard, Trixie’s the one who’s advocating the majority of this.”
  977. >The mane 6 all look over at you.
  978. >”Really?” Rarity tries to be sure. “Well what did you hear and by whom, darling?”
  979. “Heh, well, you see, I kind of heard this from Flash himself. Because he’s apparently cool with me not dating people and all that, and Trixie’s basically the one who is still stirring things up on her own.” You recap what you had been told before.
  980. >Applejack raises an eyebrow at you once you mention that you had heard the premise from Flash. You’re fully aware that the Mane six have no problems trusting Flash, and must have figured that the trust issues were just between you and him alone.
  981. >But at least amongst all of you, Trixie can be agreed to be be quite at trustworthy yet.
  982. >”Well how does he figure that?” Rainbow Dash queries. “That’s girl’s been a mystery ever since I first met her. How would Flash Sentry be able to figure out what makes her tick?”
  983. >You remember that Flash did seem a little bit vague in his answers and almost sounded like he was working his way around the main point by generalizing things to describe Trixie. But he did have a couple of good points, and you can’t really deny that.
  984. >A large part of you does want to trust Flash, but the other part doesn’t agree that you should. The mane six are your friends, and they’re more trustworthy than Flash.
  985. “He told me that Trixie might be doing this because… she likes me or something. Hang on, let me explain.”
  986. >The mane 6 six lean in to listen as you try to remember all of the things that Flash had told you. He said something about dominance, and how you might have upset the balance of something when you had rejected Sunset. No, wait, that was that other time you talked to him.
  987. >Though, that might count as well, since it’s the thing he might have been building up on since the last time. The two different conversations do feel like they relate, although the most recent one puts Flash in a light where he’s trying to help you instead of tell you what to do and how to feel about what you do.
  988. “Flash thinks that when I said no to Sunset, it put me in some kind of place where I had a high power and popularity with the kids at school. He also said that this makes me a lot more unreachable to Trixie, which must have caused her to feel like she could not have me no matter how hard she tried. So basically, Trixie apparently wants to counter this sudden ‘jump in power’ and make a fool out of me in front of everyone so she can look more highly upon herself or something.”
  989. >”I’ll admit, that does sound like her.” Twilight confesses. “I wouldn’t be surprised if Flash was actually telling the truth abou this. In fact, I might believe this even if no one had brought it up.”
  990. >You nod to her before continuing on.
  991. “He then told me that she likes me a lot because she thinks she can’t have me after what happened. So, that’s why I fee like Trixie should see Rarity reject me rather than Flash. It would kinda… take that ‘power’ or whatever away from me. Well, at least away from Trixie’s mind.”
  992. >”Huh… well that’s an interesting way to look at it.” Declares Applejack. “So uh, where do y’all think Trixie will be during the graduation? Is she even going to go?”
  993. >Sunset shrugs, unsure if Trixie would care enough to participate in such an event.
  994. >”I’d say there’s probably a 50/50 chance she’d go to the ceremony today. Though, she might have heard of out plans to being Anon along with us, so I sort of half expect her to show up.” Says Twilight.
  995. “She was here last period.” You reveal. “And she didn’t seem too happy about Flash explaining to me what he had. She was like, trying to get him to stop and everything.”
  996. >”Oh really? So did she know that Flash was going to tell you all of those things?”
  997. “Maybe, I don’t know. I can safely guess that she was hoping he wasn’t going to talk to me about her. I remember one of the last things he said was that I’m welcome to sit with him and his friends whenever I feel like it. Do you… I don’t know… think that’s sort of a trap?”
  998. >”Ah don’t really think there’s enough to go on here.” Applejack provides her feedback. “All ya got was his word, and it’s not like guys like him don’t know how to lie well. Now, I’m not saying he’s lying or anything, it’s just that we don’t really have any… proof that he’s telling y’all the truth.”
  999. “Well… isn’t he honest you you all?”
  1000. >”Yes, we are good friends with him, especially me.” Twilight verifies, emphasizing the word ‘friend’. “But you on the other hand… you don’t know him all too well yet.”
  1001. >”Have you at least talked to him before all of this?” Pinkie asks you before going back to being occupied eating a subway sandwich. “Maybe you should get to know him now, and then you’ll have your answer!”
  1002. “He and I have never really interacted before this. But I know that you girls trust him, so maybe it’s safe for me to do the same.”
  1003. >”Anon, let us ask him. If there’s anyone that we can be sure that he won’t lie to, it’s all of us. Or at least me.” Twilight suggests. “It’s just to confirm that he actually means what he says. That’s all. It’s just so you can be sure, Anon.”
  1004. >This actually sounds like the perfect idea, since you’ve always been so skeptical about this anyway.
  1005. “That works.” You agree.
  1006. >”Alright, perfect. I’ll ask him about that when I get the chance.”
  1007. >The rest of lunch goes by with you and the mane six further planning how you will handle the graduation ceremony. It’s eventually decided that you will automatically assume that Trixie is going to be there, and you’ll just do the whole act in from of some other kids in she’s not there.
  1008. >You and Rarity actually come up with the lines that you’re going to say ahead of time. It’s a lot better to have the entire thing memorized, so it will be easier to make it sound more realistic and convincing. Though, improvising would be the major factor in doing such a thing.
  1009. >The lines are discretely rehearsed in a manner that no one else would hear it. What’s basically going to happen is that you’re going to see Rarity sitting somewhere in the front row of the audience and walk up to her. She’s going to scoot over for you to sit down and start up a fake conversation about any casual topic of choice. You will have to make sure this happens around one of the more popular kids, but making it happen right in front of Trixie would be the top priority.
  1010. >Rarity would talk with you for a little bit longer, letting the conversation slowly work its way over to relationships. And that’s when you’ll pretend to ask her out on a date, only to be inevitably rejected. The ‘inevitably rejected’ part might have hit too close to home for you if it weren’t for Sunset.
  1011. >You all finalize the plan and head on out of the cafeteria once lunch ends. There’s not as many students left in the school for the rest of the day, as many of the seniors had to go prepare for the ceremony. But even though this occurs, you don’t find any more difficulty in avoiding and apparently lovestruck Trixie. Well, according to Flash, at least.
  1012. >The school day ends and everyone finally clears out of the hallways. You leave your last class, pick up a few things from your locker and try to go find the mane six.
  1013. >As you look out the windows, you can see large groups of people, parents and staff members, all starting to come towards the school. They arrive in flocks, almost visually radiating with their joy for the graduating students of Canterlot High.
  1014. >After a few minutes pass, you finally catch up with the mane 6 right outside of the gym, where Principal Celestia and Vice Principal Luna are arranging all of the entering people into the seats that correspond with their tickets. None of you have tickets, but there is a spot on the sideline where people usually stand each year.
  1015. >You and the mane six go there, waiting for anyone recognizable to enter the gymnasium and take their seat. A lot of parents enter first, and are directed to the stands as they show their tickets.
  1016. >”Applejack and I will look over on the far side while you guys keep watching the stands.” Rainbow Dash instructs. “I’m seeing a couple of football players, but they’re only the quiet ones who don’t care about stuff and just play sports.”
  1017. >”Okay. Keep looking, girls. As soon as you see Trixie anywhere, just let me know right away.” Twilight responds.
  1018. >Everyone keeps looking as more and more people begin to fill the gymnasium. You and the rest of the group continue to look around, still seeing no signs of Trixie. A few more minutes pass before you’re able to see Flash Sentry and some of his friends come in through one of the doorways.
  1019. “There’s Flash!” You point out.
  1020. >”It’s about time that guy got here! You want me to go over there so I can get a better look at who he brought with him?” Rainbow Dash offers.
  1021. >”That would be awesome. Go do that and we’ll keep scouting here.” Twilight tells her.
  1022. >Rainbow Dash moves across the gym through the entering crowds of people while Trixie is still nowhere to be seen. You hide behind the bulk of the crowd, trying to make sure Flash doesn’t see you. Part of you might trust him, but your brain is still more than willing to remain rational and not take any chances.
  1023. >A lot more time passes while the group waits. On the other side of the gym, Rainbow Dash sits right behind Flash Sentry and his posse. She doesn’t look in your direction to ensure that none of the guys can be able to figure out that she’s affiliated with the rest of the girls at this moment in time.
  1024. >You happen to notice Sunset sink down into her chair. She solemnly peers down to the floor, ignoring all of the chatter around her. There aren’t any tears in her eyes, but something inside of you suggests that there might as well be.
  1025. “Sunset?” You turn to her. “Is everything alright?”
  1026. >The girl looks up at you, almost surprised that you actually said something as she was sitting there. Her lips quiver for a second or two before she looks back to the floor.
  1027. >”Sunset? What seems to be the matter, darling?” Rarity asks her. “You seem to be rather upset.”
  1028. >A long exhale is the first part of Sunset’s response, followed by a collection of words that sound like they were waiting for a thousand years to escape the inner reaches of her thoughts.
  1029. >”No… I’m not okay. I want to say I am, but I’m not.” Sunset sighs to the rest of you as calmly as she can.
  1030. >She doesn’t look angry or anything, just… forlorn.
  1031. >”What’s wrong, Sunset.” Twilight provides her support. “It’s okay, just tell us.”
  1032. >After a few more seconds of slightly shaking her head, Sunset gradually rises to her feet.
  1033. >”I just… I just need some time alone, okay?” She quietly sighs before walking away towards the exit to the hallway.
  1034. >The group stares over to her as she disappears through the doorway and into the part of the crowd that is still outside of the gym. Twilight follows Sunset out of the gym and into the hallway. In the hallway, the parents and other people see a girl with red and yellow hair on the verge of tears rushing past people and heading into the nearby girls’ bathroom. They then see another girl follow her into there, trying to cheer her up.
  1035. >This is something you notice as you too follow Sunset into the hallway. You might not be able to go into the bathroom with her if she goes in there, but at least you can wait outside until Twilight resolves… whatever’s going on. But you probably have a pretty good idea anyway.
  1036. >”Eh, that’s high school for ya.” A former student in a denim jacket and sunglasses speaks out. “Drama, drama, drama. I knew a couple of chicks who would do the same thing at events like this back during my time here.”
  1037. >”Whatcha thing this one’s about?” His friend jokingly asks him.
  1038. >”If I were a betting man, I’d say it’s along the lines of her crush not liking her back or something. It’s always the same petty stuff over and over again, she’ll get over it.”
  1039. >”Yeah, I hear ya. It’s always over something stupid… I sure don’t need that B.S. in my life, man. I ain’t livin’ no soap opera.”
  1040. >”Mhm…”
  1041. >Those words they said… they somewhat speak to you in a way where you can mentally empathize with their way of thinking. Everything that’s happening right now was pretty much out of your control. Sunset asking you in the first place, Trixie harassing you about it, the mane six being your only way to try and get Trixie off your back.
  1042. >It’s as though almost everyone in this school is so bound to their social norms and values, that they’ve lost sight of their own common sense. Well, at the hands of another “common sense”, that is. The very idea of this just angers you.
  1043. >But the bottom line of this is, you don’t want anything to do with this. You just want to get this whole staged thing over with, let everyone forget about it over the summer, and start your senior year drama free.
  1044. >In fact, the only kids in this school that don’t let themselves get involved in all this are the band kids. When Trixie came over to that table and tried to stir things up, they didn’t say anything back or try to defend. They just drowned her out with their music and ignored all of the rabble she was throwing at them.
  1045. >This is exactly the kind of thing that you want to do to solve these problems. You’ve never asked for any of this to start, and you certainly never wanted to be involved all the way to the end. You just want Trixie to go away and for Sunset to be satisfied and not be depressed because of you. You want Flash and his group of friends to let you do things however you want and to refrain from judging you for not thinking the same way they do.
  1046. >The ridiculous high school drama just needs to put an egg in its shoe and beat it. And if it won’t… you just might do so instead.
  1047. >All these thoughts are finally becoming clear in your head, now.
  1048. >…
  1049. >Sunset Shimmer stands in front of the bathroom mirror, hardly able to make out her reflection through her hazy vision. She can see a little bit more clearly after wiping the tears away.
  1050. >”Sunset.” Twilight’s voice echoes along with soft footsteps against the tile floors at the entrance. “Sunset, just tell me what’s wrong.”
  1051. >Twilight approaches Sunset from behind, soon standing right next to her in front of the sink.
  1052. >”Come on, Sunset. I’m your friend.”
  1053. >After taking a deep breath, Sunset relaxes her shoulders and leans against the cold surface of the sink.
  1054. >”Have you ever had one of those days… where you wake up in the morning and just…” Sunset trails off.
  1055. >”Wake up and what?”
  1056. >”And you just stare into the mirror, like now… And you ask yourself, what can you fix?”
  1057. >Twilight tilts her head a little bit and squints her eyes.
  1058. >”Why are you saying that, Sunset? Is this about Anon?”
  1059. >Sunset nods her head in response. She then looks back to her own reflection, trying to at least see the slightest trace of what might have gone wrong. What about her might have caused Anon to say no to her when she asked to go on a date with him. Twilight can soon tell that this is the primary basis of Sunset’s current self-judgement.
  1060. >”It’s just the fact that we have to do this at all…” Sunset points out. “Is what I don’t think I’m all too okay with. It’s the fact that there’s something about me that still kept Anon from being interested after all I did. And now we have to stage an entire… thing so Anon can get rejected by someone. Someone who he’ll be seen to have shown interest in rather then me, and who would also be expected to reject him anyway. Someone who would be looked at as in a higher league than me, since it’s clear to everyone that I wouldn’t have rejected him and she would. Since, you know… I asked him before.”
  1061. >”Oh, come on. Don’t say that!” Twilight urges in a soft tone, making sure that there’s no one else in the bathroom. “If Anon turned down a girl like you, I’m sure he’d turn down Rarity too. Like we said last night, the two of you are pretty much in the same league, you know. And that’s why we chose her to do this in the first place.”
  1062. >”Yeah, I know. But still… it just makes me think really hard about my flaws. Because the fact still remains: he said no. And he couldn’t have said no without a reason. And there’s no way of telling if he would do the same with Rarity either. Or anyone else for that matter.”
  1063. >Twilight stares at Sunset as she continues.
  1064. >”I guess what I’m trying to say is… Anon rejecting me made me realize that I’m not as close to perfect as I thought I was. And I honestly wouldn’t mind if it weren’t him that said no. But… that’s not exactly the case.”
  1065. >”Um… okay, then.”
  1066. >”Can I just… stay in here for a little bit? I just need a couple of minutes to clear my head, that’s all.” Proposes Sunset. “I’ll be just another 5 or 10 minutes or so.”
  1067. >”I understand.” Twilight responds, starting to try to come up with another idea in her head. “I’ll be in the same spot as last time. Everyone else spread out so we wouldn’t be seen in a group and suspected of anything.”
  1068. >After she says this, Twilight realizes that she needs to tell the others to spread out to validate what she just told Sunset. A hopefully clever idea begins to sprout in Twilight’s head.
  1069. >Twilight leaves Sunset alone in the bathroom, re-entering the hallway. Once she makes it here, she notices that the last of the crowds are clearing out of the hall and into the gym. This is perfect regarding the new plan she’s coming up with. Nobody will be in the halls to hear what anyone in or near the bathrooms will be saying.
  1070. >Keeping an eye on the entrance to the bathroom, Twilight makes sure that no one else enters the bathroom. There are only about 10 people left in the hallway that Twilight can memorize in her head. She steps through the doors and gets ready to mentally check these people off as they enter the gym where no one can hear what’s going on in the halls.
  1071. >Back in the gym, you spot Twilight come back from outside, but she’s alone. Once she gets back to you, she walks up to Rarity and whispers something into her ear. Rarity nods as she’s told whatever’s so important and eventually turns towards you. Twilight’s watching the last of the spectators join the audience of the ceremony.
  1072. >”Anon. We better get ready to do a little thing once the hallways clear out.” Rarity informs you.
  1073. “What are we going to do?” You question.
  1074. >”Sunset’s starting to… not feel too confident about herself since she’s… not been rejected before I guess. It was something about the fact that we were doing this in the first place.” Twilight explains just quietly enough for no one else to hear.
  1075. >”Oh, the poor thing!” Rarity exclaims before turning to you. “Ehrm… I’m not saying it’s your fault or anything, though.”
  1076. >”Anon. Once there’s no one else in the hallways to hear anything, I need you and Rarity to go to right outside of the girls’ bathroom. Then, she’s going to pretend to ask you out this time around. And you need to say no.”
  1077. “Wait… what?!”
  1078. >”I know, I know. It’s a sudden change in plans, but it will make Sunset feel a little better in all this. She doesn’t even know, alright? But please, make sure there’s no one in the hallway to hear when you do it.” Twilight discretely briefs. “However, if there is someone in the hallway, then do it exactly like we had planned and I’ll figure out a way for you two do do this the other way later on.”
  1079. >”Okay, then. So… I’m confused, now. What’s the new plan?” Asks Rainbow Dash, raising an eyebrow.
  1080. >”Okay, listen, the crowds here in the gym can’t hear what’s going on in the hallway because of everyone talking before the ceremony starts. It won’t start for another 20 minutes or something, trust me. These things always make you sit for a while.” Plans Twilight. “And everyone who was out there before is in here now, I counted the last of them.”
  1081. “Okay…”
  1082. >”Now here’s what I just thought of: Anon and Rarity are going to go out into the hallway and right outside of the bathroom that Sunset’s in. She’s alone in there, I checked. If there are other people in the hallway to hear what they’re saying, Anon will pretend to ask Rarity out and get rejected. If there isn’t anyone in the hallway to hear them, then it will be the other way around. Rarity will pretend to ask Anon and he’ll say no, giving Sunset a reason to believe that she’s not under Rarity of anything. So… this can work either way.”
  1083. >”Whoa, Twilight.” Applejack compliments. “Yer just comin’ up with one good idea after another. And ah thought your thing with getting Dash to slap the sticky note on Anon’s back was clever.”
  1084. >”Eh, it’s the least I can do for Sunset. She’s my friend, and I don’t want to see her put herself down like that. But thanks, though.”
  1085. >Applejack tips her hat as two of the teachers close the doors to the hallway without locking them. The only open doors are on the other side where the graduating seniors are going to enter.
  1086. >”Wait until my command.” Twilight instructs.
  1087. >…
  1088. >Back in the bathroom, about a minute later.
  1089. >Sunset Shimmer keeps her eyes shut, trying to gather herself just enough to go back out there and at least be there for the thing that Anon’s going to do. She’s breathing heavily to calm herself down; her heart is racing for a guy that she’s talked to for not even a week.
  1090. >Out in the hallway, she can hear footsteps approaching the bathroom, making sounds from either high heels platform shoes hitting the hard floor. The sounds of a girl cursing to herself can barely be heard.
  1091. >A few seconds pass and the person from the hallway enters the bathroom.
  1092. >Approaching Sunset is Photo Finish, with a large maroon stain on the front of her outfit. She looks pretty steamed, desperately wiping at the stain with a handkerchief.
  1093. >”Ugh! Those girls can just get for too rowdy sometimes!” Photo Finish gripes to herself before noticing a jittery Sunset Shimmer. “Oh hello, Sunset! Um… are you alright?”
  1094. >Sunset sighs briefly and then turns her head towards the other girl.
  1095. >”Yeah, I’m fine. Just had a bit of a rough day.” Sunset lies.
  1096. >”Ah! Well you aren’t the only one. All day long, the girls and I were arranging the food and decorations for the reception in the cafeteria. But those two… ugh! They lack patience! They rushed… and wanted to have everything set up as soon as possible. They didn’t think to take their time with things and did everything haphazardly! And as if setting up the decorations wasn’t tedious enough… well…” Photo Finish rants. “Long story short, I have punch spilled all over my brand new outfit! And it’s all because of the girls’ lack of patience and discipline!”
  1097. >”Wow, that sucks.”
  1098. >”Ugh! I know! So with all of that said and out of the way… have you seen Rarity? She might not have told you this, but she secretly carries around stain removal with her everywhere she goes, just in case something spills on her.”
  1099. >Sunset remembers the plan with Anon, and doesn’t want to give him or Rarity any distractions.
  1100. >”Uh, no. I haven’t seen her. I think she’s busy with something.” Sunset lies once more. “Does… she really do that, though?”
  1101. >”Oh, you wouldn’t believe it if you saw it. Rarity keeps the little marker on her at all times, whether it’s in her pockets or in her purse. She always gets so fumed at me whenever a gossip to other people about her little secrets. But it’s all in good fun with her, it’s just so adorable! It’s okay, though. She told me that one, like a lot of her secrets.”
  1102. >”Wait…” Urges Sunset. “She’s never said anything about a guy named Anon, did she?”
  1103. >Photo Finish gives Sunset a confused look.
  1104. >”I… don’t know or care who that is. Unless he started a new fashion trend I need to know about. And what secrets does Rarity have with this… Anon? Does she… admire him?”
  1105. >”What? Oh, um, no. She doesn’t have a crush on him or anything.”
  1106. >”Are you sure? Because Rarity and I know eachother very well. And whenever she’s become… head over heels for a guy, she tends not to show it. I’ve seen it happen before when we saw all of those male models in Manehattan. She kept a perfect poker face, not letting anyone know that on the inside, she was going wild.”
  1107. >”I’m pretty sure she’s not into him. Anon’s a sweet guy, but he’s no model.” Insists Sunset right as she hears two more voices out in the hallway.
  1108. >The voices are immediately recognized to belong to Anon and Rarity.
  1109. >…
  1110. >You approach the entrance to the bathroom with Rarity right next to you. The two of you have already come up with your quick dialogue. There are clearly no other people in the hallway.
  1111. >”Let’s stop here, darling.” Rarity starts off. “So… uh, Anon. There’s been something I’ve actually wanted to ask you.”
  1112. “Is it about the plan for the ceremony?”
  1113. >”No, um… this is different. It’s… actually quite outside of everything else, but still relates.”
  1114. “It does?”
  1115. >”You see, I know how I’m supposed to reject you during the ceremony once we find out wherever Trixie is. And that’s if she’s even here.”
  1116. >You look at the entrance to the bathroom, hoping that Sunset in there can hear everything that’s going on. It’s a better idea to talk a little bit more loudly, that way, you can be completely sure that she hears you. But still don’t let the people in the gym become able to hear you speaking.
  1117. “Yeah, um… has Twilight found her yet?”
  1118. >”Well, no. But that’s not what I’m here for. You see… I don’t want you to feel too… locked away from having a chance at actually dating just because this rejection thing is already pre-determined. So there’s just something I’d like to ask you while away from the others.”
  1119. “Uh… what do you mean?”
  1120. >”Well, since the connection between you and I is already the subject in question, I was wondering if you would like to actually go on a date with me sometime. For… real.” Rarity asks. “Of course, without the others knowing. For Sunset’s sake.”
  1121. >You remain silent for a few seconds, giving Sunset some time to let this sink in.
  1122. >”Yes, Anon. I actually mean this. So, what do you say? Before we go back in there and do our little act, would you like to give this a real try?”
  1123. “But… but Rarity… why are you actually asking me out?”
  1124. >”I just want to see what it would be like, darling. It’s okay, the others won’t find out at first.”
  1125. “Oh, I would have minded if the others found out, but…”
  1126. >”B-but what?”
  1127. “…No. No, Rarity.”
  1128. >”Wh-wha…”
  1129. “I’m sorry, but… my answer is no.” You complacently reply.
  1130. >What was that you just felt?
  1131. >Oh god, this felt so amazing. Sure it was a bit uncomfortable the first time you did this, but you saw it coming this time around. A year ago, you would have never seen yourself saying no to a girl asking you out, let alone Sunset or Rarity.
  1132. >Or literally both.
  1133. >Your brief moment of internal glory power is faltered after you give Rarity a wink and she gives you a thumbs up, which reminds you that this whole thing isn’t actually real. There shouldn’t be a part of you that wished that this was real.
  1134. >And there isn’t… right?
  1135. >But there is something you don’t want to admit: that tiny moment felt better than you even imagined. It was that moment in which you got to be that guy who was so high up on that food chain thing, that not even Rarity could take him in.
  1136. >It could be compared to… maybe… a ship on the ocean. A ship that was met with one of the most cruel and turbulent storms that the sea has ever seen. No other ship has survived under the pressure of the great storms like this one… except yours. No, your ship was that one ship that survived; and the captain lived to tell the tale.
  1137. >You are the captain of that ship, the unshakable champion of the ocean. That’s quite a silly way to word it, but not as silly if it actually makes sense being compared to you. But it might be a bit crude to think this way, in a light that people would see you as some sort of… prick. It does sound very pretentious, but you just… can’t shake the feeling.
  1138. >This can’t be happening to you!
  1139. >However, this must have been what Trixie was trying to feel! That… overwhelming sense of power that you merely got a taste of. It provided you with confidence, even though that confidence has stemmed from what seems to be arrogance at the moment. And arrogant is one of the first words that comes to your mind when you think about Trixie.
  1140. >But at this same tiny moment, you also use the confidence to your advantage and make it known why you hate dating in the first place. It’s only fair to finish this once and for all… and never have to go back. Maybe your temporary arrogance will wither away after Sunset begins to understand your actions from before. Perhaps this arrogance is simply angst from everything that’s happened, and you should probably get yourself to snap out of it before it’s too late.
  1141. >”But… why, darling?” Rarity somewhat playfully asks, remembering when Twilight had told you to explicitly explain your reasoning on dating right before the two of you went into the hallway. “Is there… a reason?”
  1142. “Okay, look. I really wish I had a chance to explain this to Sunset, and everyone else for that matter. There is absolutely… nothing. Wrong. With you. Please try to understand that, okay?” You articulate.
  1143. >”Wh-what?”
  1144. “There’s a reason why I don’t want to date anyone. I know this is going ti sound cliché and overused but… it’s not you it’s me. And it certainly wasn’t Sunset either. Both you and her are perfect girls; you have absolutely no flaws. But it’s not you that’s the problem when you ask me out and I say no.”
  1145. >”It’s… not?” Rarity asks, now actually looking interested to learning why you had rejected Sunset.
  1146. “I can’t make this any clearer, Rarity. I hate dating. That’s it. I hate relationships, dating, marriage… all that as a whole. It doesn’t matter who asks me out! It doesn’t matter if it’s you, Sunset or whoever! I’m going to say no to literally anyone! Anyone and everyone.”
  1147. >”…Wow…”
  1148. >Rarity is actually intrigued by what she is hearing.
  1149. “Also, please don’t take this the wrong way. I’m not a bitter person, honest. I really wish I had said this to Sunset before all of this. I just… I’m just not all about relationships or dating or any of that. There’s trust issues and other personal experience things that tie into that, but I won’t go into detail. But you understand, right?”
  1150. >Rarity pauses.
  1151. >”Well, I suppose that if it’s only your own personal troubles and things such as that… I understand. Thank you for being so open with me.” Rarity tells you. “But you’ll promise to tell other girls this when need be, correct?”
  1152. “Of course I will. In fact, once you and I find out wherever Sunset ran off to, I’ll try to explain all of this to her too.” You say with another wink. “So uh, I guess we go back into the gym and try to find Trixie?”
  1153. >”I suppose so. Thank you again, Anon.”
  1154. “No problem, Rarity.”
  1155. >Both of you head back into the gym where the ceremony still hasn’t started yet. Nobody has found Trixie yet, so it might work better if the group picks someone else.
  1156. >…
  1157. >After a few more minutes, Violet Blurr and Pixel Pizzaz hear Photo finish racing back to the cafeteria as fast as she can. They cease what they are doing and get ready to apologize to her again for getting a huge stain on her outfit.
  1158. >Right as Photo Finish enters the cafeteria, they approach her.
  1159. >”We already cleaned up the spilled punch from the floor.” Violet lets her know. “And there should be more made soon. I think I know who-”
  1160. >”Girls!” Photo Finish interrupts. “You must hear me out.”
  1161. >”Wha- what is it?” Pixel asks.
  1162. >”You are NOT going to believe what I just heard happen!”
  1163. ~
  1164. >Many more uneventful minutes pass after you and Rarity re-enter the gym. The audience continues their chatter, waiting for the ceremony to begin. You notice that the only one still in the same spot as they were before is Twilight, and the rest of the group has moved around.
  1165. >The two of you walk up to her and let her know what just happened in the hallway. You emphasize the fact that you both spoke loudly enough for Sunset to hear you.
  1166. >Twilight nods her head to show approval while she points out the others sitting and standing in different places of the gym. Right as you manage to spot them all, you begin to hear the school band begin to play the familiar graduation music that you never learned the name of.
  1167. >But something is different, now.
  1168. >You remember all of the things that you had made clear in the hallway. Flash had pretty much heard the same idea by now as well, and the things you said were entirely true. But that’s not what the problem is.
  1169. >Consider the event in which the plan is taken into action. Flash will see you, the guy who had already told him that he has no interest in dating, clearly ask Rarity out on a date. This heavily conflicts with the premise that Flash is starting to become familiar with.
  1170. >If Flash already wants to be more of a friend to you, it would be best for you to be consistent with what you tell him. And what you’ve been trying to make clear to him is already true anyway, which could really get him to side with you in all this. He did say that he didn’t actually mind, didn’t he?
  1171. >You decide to go over to Flash and tell him the same thing you said in the hall without revealing the plan. He should be cool with you going over to sit with him.
  1172. “Hey, um, I’ve got an idea.” You hesitantly infuse. “I’m going to go over to where Flash is and try to get a conversation going.”
  1173. >”Perfect. Rarity and I will wait here, and I’ll send her over when the time is right. Tell Rainbow Dash to text me your number.” Twilight says to you.
  1174. “Alright.”
  1175. >Flash Sentry notices you a lot more quickly than you had expected. He turns over to your direction and sends you a friendly wave as you’re halfway across the gym.
  1176. >You automatically switch on your “cool” mode and think of things to say to him once you get there. You’ve pretty much gotten the casual walk down right before you make it to about five feet away from him. Since there’s so many other people talking in this room, you can already tell you’ll have to speak up quite a bit in order for him to hear you.
  1177. >”Whoa, hey Anon.” His typical greeting starts of the conversation. “Liking the tux, man.”
  1178. >The bleachers are lower than you thought as you sit down upon them.
  1179. “Thanks. It’s one of my better ones, so I figured I’d use it for an event like this. I’m liking yours, too.”
  1180. >”Eh, mine’s nothing special. I just slapped it on really quick with my normal clothes under it right after school ended today. But pretty much everyone does it this way.”
  1181. “Heh… I hear ya, dude.”
  1182. >The band can be heard playing the conclusion of the opening song before going quiet. Principal Celestia and Vice Principal Luna can be seen walking up to the podium to begin giving their speeches. At the same moment, you notice Sunset re-enter through the doors at the other corner of the gym. You would have said something right now if you were able to make her hear your voice.
  1183. >”Hey, Anon.” Rainbow Dash’s voice whispers from behind, startling you for a second or two.
  1184. >She can be heard stepping down from a row up and resting herself on the bleachers on the other side of you from Flash.
  1185. “Oh hi, Rainbow. Didn’t know you were over here.”
  1186. >”Eh, I just kind of wanted to sit down. It’s convenient when some people who had tickets don’t show up. I only hope they’re not just late or something.”
  1187. >”They usually don’t. At least, that’s the way it was all the times I’ve done this.” Flash reflects. “If someone comes to these seats, I’m sure there’s at least one more spot.”
  1188. >You remember that Twilight had told you to have Rainbow Dash text your number over to her. Knowing not to let Flash have knowledge of this happening, you pull out your phone and text Dash to give the number.
  1189. >”[I would like to thank every last one of you for coming here this afternoon.]” Principal Celestia’s voice is the main thing you can hear as you type. “[And I would definitely like to congratulate each and every one of our graduating students in the class of…]”
  1190. >Her voice is drowned by your brain out as you increase your focus on the text message. The message is sent and you place your phone facing down on your thing. Dash’s phone can be heard vibrating a second or two later.
  1191. >And now, you wait. About five or so minutes pass, and the first few speeches are given and a bunch of papers are seen being passed around among the staff members. You take a glance over at where Twilight is on the other side of the gym, ready to receive some kind of word from her.
  1192. >You notice Rarity, Sunset and Twilight all sitting down in chairs in a row next to one another. The people sitting there before must have gotten up for some reason.
  1193. >Sunset sits between them as they speak with her. Twilight lightly places her hand on Sunset’s shoulder, apparently saying something that makes her smile a little bit more. You watch Sunset mouth the word “really?” right before Rarity answers her, nodding her head up and down.
  1194. >Clapping can suddenly be heard throughout the audience.
  1195. >Turning your attention to the other entrance to the gym, you notice the long line of graduating seniors steadily move past the surrounding staff members and towards their chairs. You never pictured there to be so many of them, having assumed that each class is smaller than it actually is due to the very few people you know.
  1196. >Really reminds you of how big of a world there is out there that you’re missing. So many nameless faces.
  1197. >Names that you’re about to learn during this ceremony.
  1198. >Twilight and Rarity continue to assure Sunset of something, quietly preaching something to her nowhere near loud enough for anyone to hear, let alone loud enough for you to hear. Once the band starts playing again, you see Twilight give Sunset a quick hug, providing some sort of possible indication that something had been resolved.
  1199. >You could bet that she just talked to her about the things you said in the hallway. Beginning to think more positively about yourself, you imagine Sunset finally understanding that you don’t dislike her at all. The weight starts to lift from your shoulders as you slide back in your seat and let out a long sigh.
  1200. >”Yeah dude, I know.” Flash mutters in response. “This is gonna be a long ceremony.”
  1201. >Forcing a half smile and a nod, you play along.
  1202. >”It is kinda worth it, though. The thing is… it’s kinda nice seeing the other kids finally make it to the end. It all somehow puts things into perspective, you know?”
  1203. “That’s true.”
  1204. >You wouldn’t be surprised if you found out that Flash is so attached to high school culture that he even commits to the graduations just to be there every year. Oh yes, you can see it already. Flash Entry is one of those guys who let’s their whole lived revolve around their high school year, mainly because this is where and when the majority of his life satisfaction is going to happen. It’s always those popular kids; you’ve heard about this sort of thing before.
  1205. >But just imagine about ten years from now…
  1206. >Flash Sentry’s high school years will be too far into the past to impact his life. He’s going to be washed up, wondering why none of his former peers see him as a role model any more.He’ll be one of the only ones without a job, still driving his old car back to the high school to hang out in the parking lots even though he left the school ages ago. His only chances left at popularity would likely be at the high school reunions. It’s both funny and sad to think about.
  1207. >Lol, right?
  1208. >And that’s exactly how you think (and partially hope) Flash Sentry is going to end up in the future. One of the has-beens that irrationally believes that the “high school reputation” years held more significance than just a phase in one’s young life.
  1209. >Principal Celestia and Vice Principal Luna now step off of the stand and allow the Valedictorian of the class to say a few words. As this happens, you catch a glimpse of Rarity standing up from her chair and beginning to walk over in your direction. You know exactly what this means.
  1210. >Every possible way you can make the proposition runs through your head, each one feeling more awkward than the last.
  1211. >After Rarity starts to walk over, you notice Sunset turn to Twilight and whisper something into her ear. It looks as though she had waited for Rarity to leave before saying this. During the time Sunset whispers into her ear, Twilight’s eyes gradually widen and her pupils shrink drastically. She stares straight forward as some grim realization is brought forth to her in the wake of whatever Sunset has just told her. Twilight blankly stares over to the front of the gym for a second or two before pulling her phone out.
  1212. >She begins frantically typing something on the keypad right as Rarity walks up to you, Flash and Rainbow.
  1213. >”Oh there you are, darling!” Rarity acknowledges Rainbow Dash in a hushed tone.
  1214. >”Hey, Rarity. What took you so long to get here?” Dash asks.
  1215. >”Oh, you know me. I was just fixing up my hair in the ladies room. Oh, and your dress looks absolutely fabulous, darling!”
  1216. >”Thanks… uhh, you didn’t notice it sticking out from under my regular clothes earlier today?”
  1217. >As the two girls continue with their conversation, you feel your phone vibrate on your leg. It would have startled you if you hadn’t gotten used to it already.
  1218. >You take a look at your screen to find a text from “unknown number”.
  1219. >[Anon, we just had a change in plans. Don’t do the asking thing. That girl Photo Finish apparently heard everything you said from in the bathroom, so we need to find her and explain to her what really happened out there.]
  1220. >As you read the message, your heart skips a beat. The first thing that you find yourself able to think is: How on Earth did this even happen? Twilight told you that she checked to make sure everyone from the hallway was accounted for.
  1221. >You’re already imagining yourself going with the other throughout the school and trying to find Photo Finish. You might already have a good idea who she is, but still no idea where she is.
  1222. >”Uhh… you alright, dude?” Flash’s voice sounds from beside you.
  1223. “Oh, uh, huh?”
  1224. >”You look a little tense. Everything alright?”
  1225. “Yeah, I’m fine. It’s just… someone just texted me and something happened apparently.”
  1226. >”Darling? Would you scoot over a little bit for me so I have room to sit next to Dash?” Quietly asks Rarity.
  1227. “Uh, yeah. Sure thing.” You affirm as you scoot over.
  1228. >You find yourself sandwiched between Rarity and Flash Sentry along with a sick feeling brewing inside of you as the graduation ceremony continues on.
  1229. >Why did everything have to go wrong?
  1230. >A couple more glances to the other side of the gym reveal to you a visibly concerned Twilight trying to capture your attention. She’s waving her hand in the air, trying to get Sunset to do the same. It doesn’t take any more than about 20 seconds of this before Flash notices the two as well.
  1231. >”Whoa, uh, heads up. Sunset and her friend are trying to tell you something.” Flash notifies you, pointing to the two.
  1232. >You lean forward and look over, pretending to notice for the first time. The very moment you do this, you also bring up the text message on the screen again and turn the screen towards Rarity. The phone is being held on the side of your body opposite of Flash, so he can’t see what you’re doing with it.
  1233. “What do you think they want?” You quietly ask, stalling Flash long enough for Rarity to read the message.
  1234. >Flash’s attention remains of Sunset and Twilight. He continues to glance at them, letting a rather warm smile cross his face as he waves back.
  1235. >”Dunno. I guess it depends if they’re waving to me or you.”
  1236. >Out of the corner of your eye, you notice Rarity nod her head. Certain that she’s read the message, you slip your phone back away into your pocket. Rarity then looks over to the other two, pulls out her phone and starts to text as well.
  1237. >”[And now… without further ado, would each graduating student rise to their feet as their name is called during their reception of their scholarships.]” Vice Principal Luna announces as a stack of papers is handed to her.
  1238. >Oh right, this is the part of the ceremony when each student is individually awarded their scholarships. Just what you needed… another 30 minutes or so spent waiting for the ceremony to end.
  1239. >You realize that if Photo Finish was in the bathroom during the time of the ceremony, she most likely came from somewhere else in the school. And with each passing minute, she could be telling somebody else what had happened.
  1240. >It’s as though you tried to pour a gallon of water over a fire you accidentally started, and ended up reaching for a gallon gasoline instead. The longer you wait, the more anxious you become; there’s no way you can sit through this entire ceremony. Especially considering how long it’s going to take to finish.
  1241. >Dozens of thoughts race through your mind, about how long it’s going to take for enough people to find out to stop you from preventing another disaster. But if you, Rainbow Dash and Rarity all leave at the same time and go directly to Twilight and Sunset, it wouldn’t be very hard to figure out that something’s wrong.
  1242. >And it’s clear that Rarity is aware of this as well. She turns to Dash and quietly says something to her before turning back to you.
  1243. >Rainbow Dash shifts around in her seat before standing up.
  1244. >”Hey, um. The rest of you can wait here. I think I’ll go over there and ask them what’s up.” Dash announces before walking in their direction.
  1245. >”Yeah, that sounds like a good idea. Thanks, Rainbow.” Flash replies.
  1246. >You watch Rainbow Dash head over to Twilight and Sunset, who gesture for her to sit down with them to bring her up to speed with everything that’s been happening.
  1247. >Rarity stays with you and Flash for a couple more minutes as the scholarship distribution drags on. She firmly keeps her sights on the rows of graduating students before the lot of you, letting you be able to keep conversing with Flash.
  1248. >”To be honest, dude… I wouldn’t be surprised if it was you they were trying to get the attention of. You did have a little bit of a rocky start with them.” Flash suggests. “Though, I know it’s not your fault or anything. It’s just that they’re probably wanting to understand why or something.”
  1249. “Well, yeah. I don’t really think I’d be too surprised either.”
  1250. >Flash pauses for another couple of seconds. You can hardly stay in your seat, feeling nearly overwhelmed by the urge to stand up and help the others find Photo Finish as soon as possible before she manages to get the word out.
  1251. >”And uh, I’m just curious. What was the reason you didn’t want to go out with her again? You said you don’t like dates, right?” Discretely asks Flash, making sure that the conversation is only between you and him.
  1252. “Yup. That’s it.”
  1253. >You figure that if word does break out despite the efforts to contain it, you might as well spill out the entire truth to Flash so it will at least save you a little bit of damage control later on. If anything, you’d probably end up having to tell him anyway if he finds out about Rarity. But you don’t know whether or not you should tell him about the episode in the hallway. There doesn’t appear to be any way around this.
  1254. >Rarity is sitting right next to you at this moment, and Flash would hear how things “went” with her if the word gets to him.
  1255. >An idea suddenly forms in your head. Maybe if Rarity asks you to leave the gym with her right now, it can be a good excuse for two things. First, this allows you to go look for Photo Finish, second, it makes it look like you didn’t reject Rarity yet so you can later say that it happened after you left.
  1256. “Like, I actually kinda meant to explain this in detail before, but the other guys didn’t really let me get this off my chest.”
  1257. >”Oh… really?”
  1258. “Yeah. I’m not blaming you or anything, though.”
  1259. >”Oh, nah, it’s all good. Just tell me, man. I’ll hear you out.”
  1260. “Okay. Just let me text someone first.” You say as you pull your phone out. “I gotta reply to the guy who just sent me a message earlier.”
  1261. >”Right, gotcha.”
  1262. >You begin typing the message.
  1263. [Text Rarity and tell her to ask me to leave the gym with her in a couple of minutes. And in mid conversation so it looks realistic. Trust me, I have an idea.]
  1264. >”So… uh. Just kinda tell me what was going on, man.” Flash interviews you as you put your phone away after sending the message.
  1265. >It’s probably a good idea to speak quietly so he doesn’t think that Rarity can hear you. There would be no reason for any girl, especially one like her, to ask you out on a date after you say what you’re about to say. You need to execute this very carefully.
  1266. “Okay. I don’t normally tell people about this, but when I was younger, I had a friend who got a girlfriend. They really loved eachother and everyone was happy for them, but long story short, they grew apart after a while. Not even they saw that coming.”
  1267. >”Oh, alright. I see how it is, man. Heck, I know how that sort of thing is.”
  1268. >Well that isn’t hard to believe. You’re sure that Flash Sentry has been through all sorts of relationships with all kinds of girls, given the type of guy he is.
  1269. “Yeah. Anyway, this type of thing is pretty much the only thing I’ve seen happen to guys who don’t really… know how to be compatible with girls they date after a while. And I’m talking about like… after a long time, man. Of course things go well in the beginning, until people start to get to know eachother more.”
  1270. >”Yup. Oh god, dude. That’s like one of the worst things about relationships.”
  1271. “I know. And it’s sad, because getting to know one another is one of the main things they wanted to do.”
  1272. >Flash slowly nods his head in a very pronounced motion. After about two more seconds, you can very faintly hear Rarity’s phone vibrating. You don’t have much time left to get all of this out in the open before you must make your departure.
  1273. >”I hear ya, man. I hear ya.” Flash wholeheartedly agrees with you.
  1274. “And the truth is… I’ve never really been good at becoming compatible with people. I’m not saying that it’s no one at all, but…”
  1275. >”You’re just looking to make sure that it’s going to work long term? You know, find someone that you’re sure will last?”
  1276. “Yes! That exactly. And the problem with that is, Sunset and I are actually pretty different from what I can tell. And that right off the bat can say a bit about how we’d get along later on down the road. I mean, I just don’t want to start something that I can’t… finish. You know?”
  1277. >What you’re telling Flash is pretty much mostly true. Except you personally don’t have any plans of ever getting into a relationship.
  1278. >”Wow, dude. I didn’t think you’d think about this sort of thing so deeply.” Flash quietly gasps as the scholarship announcements drone on in the background. “Well, I’m glad you’re smart enough to know how to be careful about all that.”
  1279. >”Um, excuse me, darlings.” Rarity politely joins in. “I don’t mean to interrupt whatever you’re talking about, but… could I talk to Anon outside of the gym for a minute or two. I just want to ask him about something, is all.”
  1280. “Oh yeah, sure. I don’t mind at all.”
  1281. >Flash fixes a slightly surprised gaze upon the two of you. He looks as though he can tell what Rarity might ask you once you’re both out there. It really should be obvious: her asking to talk to you alone and ask you something.
  1282. >This is perfect.
  1283. >You and Rarity stand up to leave the gym as the mundane ceremony drags its feet to make its way to the end. Little does Flash know that what he likely expect to happen right now has already happened.
  1284. >And boy, has it made at least a little bit of an impact on your way of thinking.
  1285. >Ever since the little episode occurred in the hallway, you’ve been pondering really hard about your reputation with the other students. So far in your life, you’ve never been rejected by any girl that you had liked. With that in mind, you need to think to yourself: You’ve rejected at least one girl and have been rejected by zero. Why not keep something like this?
  1286. >It was that little moment during which you experienced the opportunity to at least make someone believe that you turned down a girl like Rarity. That one instant when you felt… worth more than you actually are. You felt powerful. Maybe letting a rumor spread that you turned down Rarity wouldn’t be so bad after all.
  1287. >Besides, it’s pretty much going to become known at this point, it will rustle Trixie’s jimmies beyond repair, and Flash is pretty much siding with you about it at this point. And this makes for the last impression that you can make for the school year.
  1288. >Think about the opportunity here, Anon. This could turn out much more in your favor that you had imagined.
  1289. >In addition to that, you don’t even want all of this stupid drama in your life. You want an interesting life where interesting things happen, and it’s starting to feel as though your life at this high school is hindering your chances at living the life you want to live.
  1290. >You’re not even sure if that’s ironic or not.
  1291. >It only takes you and Rarity a couple of minutes to meet up with the rest of the group. Fluttershy, Applejack and Pinkie Pie remain at the ceremony to keep an eye on Flash and out for Trixie while the rest of you regroup out in the hallway.
  1292. >Twilight waves you down and instantly starts to point in the direction of the cafeteria as you approach her. You have to stop running as abruptly as possible, feeling as though you might have bumped into her if you took another step.
  1293. >”Sunset told me that she’s in the cafeteria!” Exclaims Twilight, keeping her finger tensely aimed down the long hallway.
  1294. >The five of you rush over to the cafeteria in under a minute. Right upon entering the doors, you all begin to try and spot Photo Finish and anyone she might have already told what she heard happen.
  1295. >You all scan past every corner of the room, but there is no one to be found. Towards the kitchen area, a cluster of damp, pinkish paper towels on the floor catches your eye. As you glance over at them, a person coming out of the kitchen can suddenly be notice.
  1296. “Hey!” You call out. “Excuse me.”
  1297. >The person in the kitchen stops in their tracks and turns toward you and the rest of the group. It takes you a brief moment to recognize Cadence standing there, looking back at the rest of you.
  1298. >”Can I help you?” She attentively addresses the group of students.
  1299. >”Mrs. Cadence. Have you seen Photo Finish anywhere around here? We have to talk to her.” Twilight tells her.
  1300. >”Ooh! Sorry, you just missed her. She and her friends went out to the store a couple of minutes ago to get more punch.”
  1301. >”Aw come on, it just never ends!” Groans Rainbow Dash.
  1302. >”It’s okay.” Mrs. Cadence answers the group. “They’ll surely be back before the ceremony ends. Probably in about fifteen to twenty minutes or so.”
  1303. >After hearing this, you’re not sure what your stance about all this is given the circumstances of people finding out anyway. But Dash does have a point, the drama just seems to never end. But it all could if you just stop this complicated planning and let the chips fall where they may.
  1304. >You’ve already apologized to these people and thanked them for helping you. And there’s no reason for them to remain upset simply because you said no to a girl who asked you out. It’s only at this moment that you realize that if anyone’s still upset about this, they need to just get over it already.
  1305. >The longer this drama goes on, the more dull and action-less this life seems. If what was going on right now were a movie, you’d have already walked out by now, and that feeling only makes you feel unwell on the inside the more you think about it.
  1306. >Something else needs to happen.
  1307. >”So what do you need to talk to them about?” Mrs. Cadence asks.
  1308. >”Just some stuff.” Rainbow Dash answers.
  1309. >Mrs. Cadence delivers a questioning look at Rainbow Dash, automatically wondering if she could possibly be up to something. The rest of the girls exchange glances as you step forward.
  1310. “There’s just… a thing we need to explain to them. It’s kinda silly, really.”
  1311. >”Well alright, then. But still, they’re not going to be back for another twenty minutes or so.” Informs Mrs. Cadence.
  1312. >Right as she says this, Mrs. Cadence can hear her phone ringing in her pocket. She pulls it out and answers.
  1313. >”Hello? Uh… yes… Okay…”
  1314. >You and the rest of the group stare at her, waiting for some sort of absolution with this phone call. The entire room is silent aside from Mrs. Cadence’s talking and the very faint sounds of the voices on the other end of the line.
  1315. >”And… how backed up is it?”
  1316. >Oh, no.
  1317. >”So you didn’t even make it to the store yet?” Mrs. Cadence continues with the phone against her ear. “…well can you try to find a different route? How bad is the accident up ahead?”
  1318. >More garbled talking is heard on the other end. At this point, you can tell that there’s no reasonable chances to take if you want the rumor to be surprised. Like, it’s only a rumor anyway… what’s the worst it can even do? Maybe it won’t be so bad at first since you’re practically already known for this.
  1319. >”Well… alright then. Make sure to get that punch as soon as you can before the ceremony ends. I don’t want everyone coming here and seeing that there’s no punch available.”
  1320. >The words are dying to escape your lungs and make themselves heard.
  1321. >”Alright… mhm, okay…”
  1322. >”Wait… uh, Mrs. Cadence?” Twilight suddenly blurts out.
  1323. >Mrs Cadence blinks her eyes a couple of times and looks over at Twilight. She appears a little shocked, but also certain about what Twilight is about to suggest.
  1324. >”What is it, Twilight?”
  1325. >”Can I just tell them the thing really quick? Please? It’ll only be like three seconds.”
  1326. >With a roll of her eyes, Mrs. Cadence starts to hold the phone a little bit further away from her ear. She looks a little bit unsure whether or not she’s going to let Twilight talk to the girls, but there’s not really any reason for her to not allow this to happen anyway. Like Twilight said, it should only take three seconds.
  1327. >”Okay then. Before I go, miss Twilight Sparkle here apparently has something she needs to tell you really quick.” Mrs. Cadence tells the girls on the other end before handing the phone over.
  1328. >”Thanks.” Twilight says before holding Mrs. Cadence’s phone up to her ear. “Hello? Photo Finish?”
  1329. >You start to feel a little bit relieved as the conversation starts. Though, you don’t feel that you have much of a reason to feel relieved; perhaps it doesn’t really matter where this goes. If she stops the rumor, she stops the rumor. If not, oh well.
  1330. >”Listen. I only have a couple of seconds. But what you heard happen with Anon and Rarity wasn’t real. It was all staged by me because I wanted Sunset to feel better about something!” Twilight reveals.
  1331. >Sunset stiffens her posture upon hearing this, seeming to be struck heavily by the news that you figure she might be hearing for the first time. The garbled speaking on the other end continues.
  1332. >”It’s true, darling!” Rarity calls out loud enough for the girls over the phone to hear her. “Anon, help me confirm this.”
  1333. >Without thinking for a second, you join in.
  1334. “Yes, it’s true. The whole thing was planned. We didn’t know you were going to be in there with Sunset!”
  1335. >”I know, I know. It was kind of a dumb thing to do! I just… I was so heartbroken when I saw Sunset run in there. I’m so sorry I dragged you into this… I just really didn’t want to see my friend like that!” Apologizes Twilight. “But there’s something I need to know. Have you told anyone?”
  1336. >Garbled rambling sprouts from the phone’s earpiece, sounding like it’s saying a million words per second. Twilight listens to it closely, letting her face grow more and more expressionless every few seconds of listening. After about 30 seconds or so, she raises her eyebrows and becomes visibly alarmed.
  1337. >”How many people did you text?!” Twilight frantically asks. “And how long ago?!”
  1338. >At the same time, your heart both jumps and sinks. The conflicted feelings within you battle eachother hard, playing a tug of war with what can now be described as a struggle between your old good side and your new bad side.
  1339. >It’s already too late.
  1340. >Rarity somehow turns even more pale, covering her mouth in her own episode of shock. She’s mesmerized, lost in a poignant moment of sheer disbelief. One can only imagine the damage her reputation is going to take from this.
  1341. >But you… you can’t help but think about how your own reputation will be affected by this. The results will be both outstandingly beneficial and harmful, at least as they are in your imagination.
  1342. >”Well, try to do something! Okay?” Twilight urges before she notices Mrs. Cadence gesture for her to give the phone back.
  1343. >The phone is returned and hung up.
  1344. >Silent glances are exchanged among the group as Mrs. Cadence bids you all off into the hallways. The lady urges you to go back into the gym and wait for the other girls to return if you want to continue your conversation with them anymore. But it’s probably already too late for that at this point.
  1345. >The five of you loiter in the middle of one of the school’s hallways, staring at the walls, the ceiling and the floor. You would have expected Twilight to have come up with some other plan now, but she appears to be just as lost as everybody else at this point. Now is the time to realize that there’s nothing left you can do.
  1346. >But you have to admit though, it was a good effort.
  1347. >”I only hope that whatever word that’s going around will include the reasons why Anon said no. At least they’d understand a little bit more and not take this in the wrong direction in his light or mine.” Conveys Rarity. “I would not be so concerned if both of our reputations weren’t on the line.”
  1348. >”I’m sorry about all this, Anon.” Twilight turns to you and delivers a solemn apology as she stares down at the floor.
  1349. >Twilight’s sorrowful expression demands that you provide her with some form of reassurance.
  1350. “Look, Twilight. I’m not upset. I myself will be totally fine throughout all of this, trust me.”
  1351. >She lowers her shoulders a little bit and takes a deep breath. You might have just realized how stressed out she must have been during all of this.
  1352. “I’ll also make sure that Rarity doesn’t have to take the brunt of all of this… whatever it’s called… from the other kids.” You promise. “To be honest, she didn’t ask for this either.”
  1353. >”Well okay then, but… isn’t getting the other kids to leave you alone the main reason we started doing this?” Rainbow Dash asks you. “I mean, you really did seem to be getting… bothered about that.”
  1354. >You can tell she’s building up on a point, but you also already know how to explain why things might have changed a little bit.
  1355. “Look, that was a major problem for me at first, but a lot of them are starting to lighten up about it. And like I told you all before, Flash is pretty much cool with me anyway. The only one we might have to worry about is Trixie, but we don’t have to do any public ruses to deal with her.”
  1356. >”Are… are you sure?” Twilight wants to be certain, stepping a little bit closer to you just in case she isn’t correctly hearing what you’re telling her.
  1357. “It’s fine. I can be fine with them calling me a couple of casual names every now and then. They are just bantering, after all. And not only that, but I’m sure they’ll all let it die down over the summer once-”
  1358. >”Wait, what?” Rainbow Dash interrupts you. “Are you saying you’re okay with them doing this now?”
  1359. “Only to me. The guys are starting to care less and less, but I’ll make sure they don’t try and drag Rarity into this. I’ll still tell them the truth about what we did, whether they believe me or not.” You explain in an orderly tone.
  1360. >Rainbow Dash huffs quietly and furrows her brow slightly. But this is followed by a short sigh and an eventual half-smile on her face.
  1361. >”Okay. I just wanted to make sure you weren’t going to start… basking in all this or something.”
  1362. >A sharp tingle creeps up behind you as you hear her say this. You had absolutely no indication at all whatsoever in your mind that she would suspect you would do this. You have to keep her assured that you are to remain thought of as trustworthy.
  1363. “Ah come on, now. Why would I do anything like that?” You reply with a sly but friendly element in your voice. “I’m just letting myself be the main target for all their drama so Rarity doesn’t have to deal with it. All I’m saying is that I can handle a little bit of it, since it’s died down a lot since the beginning.”
  1364. >”Alright, then. But… what about Trixie?” Questions Dash. “I know how she can get, uh, sometimes.”
  1365. >You remember everything that Flash had told you about her. Everything involving how she possibly liked you and was just trying to act mean towards you about it. This does sound like a plausible premise, but not so much probable.
  1366. >But still, it’s always worth looking into if it can benefit you on your end, right?
  1367. “Look, I’m not sure about you girls, but I think I might have some kind of way to sort of… settle things with her.” You start to carefully explain, simultaneously trying to formulate a million and one different scenarios in your head.
  1368. >It must not have very hard to get a girl to ask you before, so it shouldn’t be very hard this time. Wait, what kind of thinking is this?
  1369. >You suddenly find your thoughts sidetracked by you remembering Flash, who’s still waiting for you to come back in the gym. But he’s going to have to meet up with you another time; you have some planning to do.
  1370. >”Um… and just what is that way you’re going to do this, Anon?” Twilight asks.
  1371. “It’s based on the things Flash told me.” You tell her as you start to backwards strut away. “Alright, listen. If you see Flash still in the gym, tell him I had to go somewhere really quick. If he thinks it was because of the asking thing, then whatever. I’m going to head on home and try to sort and put together what to do about Trixie if she- ehrm… when she finds out. I’ll text you as soon as I can, promise.”
  1372. >The rest of them hold their gazes on you.
  1373. >”Promise?” Twilight asks.
  1374. “You have my word.” You swear as you wave back at the girls, suddenly finding yourself wondering what types of things could soften Trixie up a little bit. “I’ll see you all later, promise!”
  1375. >In what feels like two or three seconds, you leave the school and text your parents that you’ve been at the graduation and need them to come pick you up. It would have been easier if you just drove yourself to school this morning.
  1376. >But the the primary thing on your mind is Trixie.
  1377. >Let’s see where this takes you in a few hours.
  1378. ~
  1379. >It’s so nice to finally feel the soft surface of your bed give way to your weight. A long breath of relief comes out from you as you land with your back to the bed. A long night of planning tonight seems to be a bit dreadful in your view, but there’s still a number of thoughts in you head.
  1380. >Like you had promised, you take out your phone to send Rainbow Dash and Twilight a text or two.
  1381. [Hey, it’s Anon.] You send the text to both of them at the same time. [Listen, you don’t have to worry about Trixie. I’ll go up to her on my own and talk to her, you don’t have to do anything.]
  1382. >The message goes unanswered for a couple of minutes. You really hope that the girls don’t try and take these matters into their own hands; you’ve already taken this far enough in the wrong direction. The couple of minutes concludes with the subtle sound of the phone vibrating on your bed.
  1383. >[You sure you don’t need us? We’ve had to deal with her before, so that could be something.] Twilight answers to the text.
  1384. [I know, but this thing right here is between me and her. I don’t want to drag you into all of this along with me. I’m sorry this has been so much of an inconvenience for you so far and I just want to see if I can handle everything myself.]
  1385. >[You sure?]
  1386. [Yup. Don’t worry about me, I’ll be fine. And I’ll be sure to help out if Trixie tries anything with Rarity once she finds out. Same with Sunset.]
  1387. >[Alright. But we’ll still be right here if you need us.]
  1388. [I understand.]
  1389. >A few minutes later, you get a reply from Rainbow Dash as well.
  1390. >[k]
  1391. >Well, that was easy.
  1392. >Let out another long exhale as you stare up at the ceiling, contemplating your next move. Perhaps you should try and take the nicer approach first, just to start things off smoothly.
  1393. >But your planning is interrupted when you hear your phone vibrating yet a third time. But it’s not a text this time.
  1394. >It’s a call.
  1395. >The number from which the call is originating from is unknown yet again. You had already renamed the one from Twilight to ‘Twilight Sparkle’, so there’s no doubt that this number is new. As you look at the number, you feel a strange feeling wash over you. There’s just something particular about this one that you’re sensing.
  1396. >Press answer and slowly hold the phone up to your right ear.
  1397. “Hello?”
  1398. >Two seconds drag by until the voice on the other line can be heard.
  1399. >”[Hi…]”
  1400. >And in comes the stillness to your body. You freeze in place and stare straight forward at the wall in front of you. There’s nothing and nowhere else you feel comfortable looking at right now, not any other direction than straight forward.
  1401. >The voice on the other line belongs to Sunset.
  1402. >”[…]”
  1403. “Hello? Are… i-is this Sunset?” You clumsily blurt out, caught completely off guard.
  1404. >”[Yeah.]” She replies in a comfortable tone.
  1405. >You can already tell that she is able to recognize the sound of your voice. The sudden connection between you and her reasserts itself within your thoughts. It’s a pretty chilling sensation, but a that with a warm chill, which might feel uncomfortable at first until it disappears only for you to miss feeling it.
  1406. >Do you think she’s calling to ask you about the lilies? Didn’t she say that it doesn’t matter anymore?
  1407. >”[H-how are you doing?]” Sunset interrupts your thoughts. “[Like… how are things?]”
  1408. >The interest can just be sensed in her voice. You find yourself at a loss for words, simply unable to believe that Sunset Shimmer would ask you something like this.
  1409. “I’m doing okay.” You pretty much lie back. “So… I assume Twilight or someone gave you my number?”
  1410. >”[It was actually Rainbow. I asked her if she could give the number to me.]”
  1411. “Oh. So uh, why did you want to have my number?” You ask as softly and politely as you can.
  1412. >A short pause ensues, confirming that you said something that made an impact.
  1413. >”[I guess I just wanted to talk to you for a while. C-can I?]”
  1414. “Sure. I don’t mind it. What do you want to talk about?”
  1415. >”[Just something really quick. Uhh… what are you doing this summer?]”
  1416. >And back comes the wave of suspicion. You are already figuring that there must be something going on in her mind if she’s eager to know what you’ll be doing in about a week or so after school lets out. It’s still apparent to you how she used to be, so there’s the possibility that something could be set up.
  1417. >But just go along anyway, maybe you’re just imagining things.
  1418. “Actually, I have literally no plans this summer. It’s… kinda the way it always is with my summers.”
  1419. >”[Well, I-]” Sunset hesitantly replies. “[I’m not asking for a date this time or anything, so you don’t have to worry about that.]”
  1420. >You feel a mildly uncomfortable rush go through you as you hear her say this. It’s almost like a pressing sense of guilt that locks you out of certain possibilities. She’s asked for a date before, sure. But now… it’s clear that you can’t turn away from the fact that a date is off the table.
  1421. >No longer an option.
  1422. “Well, what do you have in mind?” You bring yourself to ask, suddenly feeling locked out of an opportunity.
  1423. >”[Well, um, maybe we could chill a little bit. You know, hang out in town and stuff sometimes. You can come join me and the rest of the girls.]”
  1424. >It sounds fairly innocent so far.
  1425. “Uh, yeah. That sound cool. I mean, it’s the least I can do since you all offered to help me and all that.”
  1426. >”[So you’ll do it?]”
  1427. >You nod for a couple of seconds, losing your common sense during the short-lived moment of partial belief. You then remember you are on the phone.
  1428. “Oh! Um, yeah. I’d love to get to know you all a bit more.”
  1429. >”[Awesome. But still, you’re holding up alright, right?]”
  1430. “I’m fine, I promise. Just… what made you want to know so bad?”
  1431. >She doesn’t say anything back at first, leaving you in silence to wonder what might come next.
  1432. >”[Hey, umm…]” Sunset finally speaks again. “[There actually… is something else I’d like to say…]”
  1433. >Could this be what you think it is? The sudden upbringing of the subject in your mind leaves you a bit uneasy and struggling to think of any answer this time. You shouldn’t have to go through this again if you already have once.
  1434. “What is it?” You lead her on to reveal what it is she wants to say.
  1435. >Sunset quietly rambles a few words on the other line, not quite loudly enough for you to be able to hear. You’re not sure whether or not you should answer, expecting to have to force a few more words out that came through so easily last time.
  1436. >But now you know the effects.
  1437. “Um… what was it? I can’t hear what you’re saying.”
  1438. >”[I just… I just wanted to…]” Sunset barely raises her voice, struggling to get her words to be heard.
  1439. >Your eyes finally escape from their locked view of your blank wall to other directions in the room. It is as though looking around is going to make the awkward moment go by faster so it can end sooner.
  1440. >”[Um… nevermind. It’s alright. I just… wanted to say good luck with everything and all that.]” The final say comes out.
  1441. >You quietly let out a rush of air and relax yourself.
  1442. “Alright then. Thanks.” You reply.
  1443. >”[I guess I’ll see you soon.]”
  1444. “Yeah. I’ll see you soon, too.”
  1445. >The two of you say goodbye and hang up. The phone is set down and your mind is ambushed with bullying thoughts once more.
  1446. >Take a glance over at the vase of lilies once again, somehow desperate to find some sort of answer from simply staring at a simple bouquet on your desk. But the answer you receive feels almost like a harsh wake up call.
  1447. >The bright color that once painted the lilies with its radiance has become absent, leaving behind a fading shadow of what the lilies used to be. Their overall appearance has darkened as the stems grow weak and can no longer support the weight of the shriveling petals. It doesn’t take an expert to see; they’re dying.
  1448. >And the only thing you can think about is the fact that Sunset didn’t ask what you thought she would.
  1449. >You perk up and shake your head around in a quick fit of resistance. Shaking the thoughts away before they start to cloud your judgement to the point where your will grows weak. You cannot allow yourself to be softened.
  1450. >If there’s anything in the world that you despise so much right now, it’s the false sense of guilt. But it’s unreasonable; it was your decision to say no in the first place. You’re not going to allow yourself to give up your own spare time and spare money over the summer just because someone wanted to date you and such.
  1451. >Even if you had said yes and then said it wouldn’t work out after the first date, then you’d still look like a jerk for not letting the relationship that Sunset was trying to establish grow into more. You’d be the guy who was taken to a movie and given flowers free of charge on his end by a beautiful, lovestruck girl who wanted to be his, and then ended the journey that she wanted to start.
  1452. >This isn’t fair; you never asked for any of this mess. You just wanted to school year to end so you can go home and sleep in every morning and relax without worry of dealing with the ugly side of life. Because you only get one life, and you’re not about to let a bunch of drama and feelings take away the times that make you happy. Especially if you’re expected to.
  1453. >Who are you to just surrender?
  1454. >You cannot let these people get to you and pressure you into devoting your time like this. You’ve never even considered a thing such as avoiding someone who expects this from you. Sure, it’s a rather selfish thing to do, but you’re not giving up your free will for the world. Ever since this started, you’ve become a worse and worse person, trying to keep your life the way it’s always been. But you’re becoming a degenerate in the process.
  1455. >All you want is to be left alone.
  1456. >The perishing lilies struggle to stand as you sit in the chair, enduring a war inside of your head.
  1457. >Leaning forward would have helped of the feeling of the edge of the desk pressing against your chest would do anything to soothe you.
  1458. >Why else would she just call you out of the blue like that? Everything’s already been explained before, there’s no other rational explanation!
  1459. >This is exactly what would happen if they were planning something and didn’t want you to figure out what they were doing. The more you think about it, the more sense it makes.
  1460. >Twilight coming up with the plans she had so suspiciously quickly, the fact that you’ve rarely seen any of the mane 6 while they apparently show deep concern for your situation, and so many other subtle things that an unwise person would easily overlook.
  1461. >If there is something they’re covering up, the mane six are doing a remarkable job. They almost had you fooled, didn’t they? All of this is just… so realistic, that you have to believe them no matter what! And if you don’t then you’re just a “bitter person”, right?
  1462. >This entire thing frightens you as much as it angers you. Of course the bouquet of lilies would play an important role of this! They serve the purpose of reminding you of Sunset even when she isn’t around you, and to make you think that the guilt you’re feeling would be your own unbiased views. But in reality, the lilies were supposed to die to symbolically imply that Sunset’s love was dying with them, it’s almost right out of a movie!
  1463. >Plus, it’s already obvious to them that you don’t know the first thing about keeping them alive. All they had to do was to wait for you to start noticing that they’re dying, and then have Sunset swoop in, un-asked question and all.
  1464. >Wait…
  1465. >That’s why they kept asking if you kept them! It’s all coming together, now! There’s no way that all of these things at the same time could just be a coincidence.
  1466. >In conclusion, that phone call had to be some sort of strategy to make your feelings grow just a little bit stronger. It wasn’t the final blow; just another step closer to it. The final blow, as you imagine it, will force a “yes” out of you. And just the feeling of being forced to do anything discomforts you more than you’d like to admit to even yourself.
  1467. >How did you not see this before? Sunset Shimmer is their new reformed friend, and you shattered her heart into countless pieces on that fateful day. You remember hearing about how they immediately found out, when you were sitting on the bus and Twilight got a text before leaving.
  1468. >They must have sent Sunset to hunt you down and make you take the bouquet the… very next day! And then they asked if you kept them to make sure everything was set up in place! This had to be planned!
  1469. >Finally, something snaps inside of you.
  1470. >Look at the position you’re in! Known for rejecting two of the most attractive girls you can think of, and able to get the coolest kids to side with you along with an entire band as well. If you’re so sure that the mane 6 are working together on something to teach you a lesson, then maybe you should get some legitimate, certain support as well.
  1471. >You must counter this.
  1472. >The whirlwind of suspicion continues to dominate your night.
  1473. ~
  1474. >…
  1475. >A very sudden and rushed Thursday morning; you’re a little bit late waking up.
  1476. >So last night went rather uncomfortably for you. After that phone call ended and you looked over at your desk, you sort of repressed everything you had felt for the rest of the night. The memory seems to chase you for quite some time as you ride the bus over to school.
  1477. >The shocks from the bus rolling over the bumpy road somewhat calms you, reminding that there’s a rough, physical world out there not bound by the confined of your head. A place outside of your thoughts that still scream and shout at you.
  1478. >You can’t let your thoughts get the best of you. And now that you’ve finally gotten some sleep, your brain can finally prevent itself from drifting too far into the wrong direction.
  1479. >Remember how you thought in the beginning of all this. Sunset did all of the sweet things that she possibly could to get you to say yes. You have to commend her likability regarding how sweet she was with you, but she and everyone else needs to understand that this is your life. Not their soap opera.
  1480. >No one’s going to soften you, and you’re going to make sure of that.
  1481. >From now on, the first person you’ll turn to for advice in all of this is Flash. He’d be a perfect friend for you to make after all of this blows over, being an individual of high likability. The mane six had already tried to keep him oblivious to this as well, so he couldn’t possibly be in on this.
  1482. >Flash Sentry is a guy you can invest your trust into.
  1483. >…
  1484. >Walk through the main hallway to instantly be met with a crowd of whispering and staring students. Their chatter mixes in with the soft rain hitting the roof from outside, you hadn’t even noticed how cloudy it was this morning. It probably just didn’t affect you.
  1485. >”Heartbreaker!” A familiar cry sounds from behind you.
  1486. >But this time, you spin around, breaking the chain of your lack of taking action. You’re not the same Anon as during the last time you were called out.
  1487. “Who said that?!” You bellow in the deepest possible voice.
  1488. >This was probably a bad idea, as the voice that came out of you was anything but manly or intimidating. And the fact that you tried to make your voice sound deeper than usual just made it sound silly. A small amount of spaghetti is ready to exit your pockets as the response to your call turns out to be a chorus of scattered laughter.
  1489. >These people are not taking you seriously, but you’re not going to give up your dignity that easily. That spaghetti’s going to have to wait, because you’re going to go along with this.
  1490. “Well I guess it was nobody, huh?” You continue in the same voice, making it sound even more ridiculous to give them the impression that you’re doing this on purpose. “Hmm? Was it nobody?”
  1491. >Every one of the students gives you the face that tells you that you’re embarrassing yourself, but they partially want you to stop, and partially want you to continue. Out of the collage of belittling expressions, a guy about the same size and stature as you emerges. Ironically enough, you recognize him from last year’s drama club. His name is Indigo.
  1492. >”I guess I’d be nobody then, Anon.” Indigo playfully taunts. “And yeah, I know your name.”
  1493. “Well you’re quite right, you know!”
  1494. >”I’m what?” Indigo responds, implying that you’re just rambling at this point.
  1495. “Yeah it’s true. That is what I do, and don’t you dare think I’m afraid to admit it!” You establish, keeping you tone as playful as you can so the other students get a sense of humor out of all of this. “I am a heartbreaker. What’s it to you huh?”
  1496. >Indigo smiles widely with the other students doing the same behind him. It didn’t take him long to figure out that you’re now trying to establish some charisma with the public along with your reputation. It won’t be easy, but you’ll try your best. All you have to do is shine a light of humor onto your devious actions, and some of the other high school kids might start to go along with it. You’ve seen how shallow they are.
  1497. >But this assumption might be a little far fetched, given that nobody appears to be on your side.
  1498. >”Well I’m glad you’ve finally accepted who you are, then.” Indigo sarcastically responds. “You’re undoubtably the great heartbreaker of Canterlot High. And I guess I’m apparently just… nobody. Both of those totally make perfect sense.”
  1499. >Why did he have to walk right into that one?
  1500. “Well of course it does. I haven’t seen any girls ask you out, let alone you reject them.”
  1501. >Nevermind, you’re not going to question it.
  1502. >All around you, the other students begin to flip their lids in response to what you said to Indigo.
  1503. >They start to shout, jumping around.
  1504. >At this moment, a large amount of the fears that you’ve had in your life have abandoned you to disappear into the past. Indigo gives you a half smile and walks away muttering something to himself. It’s unclear whether or not the other students have started to sway to your side, but it’s a fact that they do feel impacted by your witty comeback.
  1505. >It’s at least something.
  1506. >You continue on to homeroom, soon noticing how empty the senior hallways are. You smile slightly at the sight, wondering where your new locker will be when the next school year starts. Now… if you could get the other hallways to be empty as well, then this would be that peaceful environment that you can enjoy.
  1507. >In the distant hallways, you can hear some of the students chanting. You can’t confirm that you’re actually hearing this, but you just know they’re saying it over and over again.
  1508. >”Heartbreaker! Heartbreaker!” The voices drone on from what’s the best you can tell.
  1509. >At the same time, Rainbow Dash and Applejack approach you. They can clearly hear the voices coming from elsewhere in the labyrinth of hallways, already sending concerned looks.
  1510. >”Anon?” Applejack starts off. “Anon, are you alright?”
  1511. “Oh, me? Aw, it’s alright. They’re just fooling around over there. Acting silly.”
  1512. >Applejack stares straight into your eyes, with a chilling feeling of disbelief in her glare. It’s not angry, just… somehow extremely skeptical.
  1513. >”Dude, there’s no way you’re fine! They’re making a fool out of you out there and you’re just going to take that?” Rainbow Dash sternly urges you.
  1514. >She points down the hallway, trying to get you to focus you mind on the kids in the distance. But you’re already lost within your new and growing ego. She really would want you to become concerned about this, wouldn’t she? You haven’t forgotten what you’ve made sure of last night.
  1515. >”You have to do something, Anon!” Dash pressures you. “I didn’t know it was going to be this bad!”
  1516. “It’s all going to be fine, I promise you. Their chanting doesn’t affect me at all.” You assure her.
  1517. >”No, it does.” Applejack disagrees. “Ah can see it in your eyes, Anon. It’s okay, ya don’t have to lie to me.”
  1518. >They have no idea that you’re actually slowly turning it into your praise. This advantage is yours while you have it, but you shouldn’t let the girls hinder it. They would try to stop the show that the other kids are putting on, whether they actually conspiring against you or not.
  1519. “It’s all fine, I promise. I’ll just ignore them for now. Better not fuel this fire at the beginning of the day.”
  1520. >”You sure? Because I can go tell those kids over there to take a hike!” Exclaims Rainbow Dash.
  1521. >You give her a solid nod, puckering your lips inward to emphasize your certainty. Not sure why that works so well in terms of connecting it to certainty.
  1522. >”Well all right, then.” Applejack says to you as she starts to turn around. “But if ya need us to help out, we’ll be here.”
  1523. >Just give her a thumbs up. There might have been something a little bit less corny that you could have done, but that was it.
  1524. >The two of them go back into the other hallways, leaving you to relish in the almost fading voices from the distant hallways. You wait for the bell to ring and eventually make your way into the classroom. Judging by how quickly the other students were to address you about everything, there’s not a doubt in your mind that Trixie is going to try and do something as soon as she gets the chance.
  1525. >You’re already bracing yourself for the most likely imminent encounter. Minutes soon pass to conclude in Trixie entering the room along with the rest of the late students.
  1526. >Don’t even try to avoid eye contact with the girl, you’d rather jump wight into the jaws of this beast so you can slay it. And just like you expected, Trixie’s eyes meet yours within a matter of seconds.
  1527. >She smiles right away, seeing that you’re not even trying to avoid the eye contact.
  1528. >”Oh hello, Anon…” Trixie greets you in a surprisingly calm tone.
  1529. >She sits down right next to you, placing her backpack neatly on the surface of the desk. The grin on her face tells you enough about whether or not she’s going to try something. But you decide to bring up the subject first.
  1530. “Judging by the look you’re giving me, I’m sure you’re aware of the crowds I’ve stirred up.”
  1531. >”Oh?”
  1532. “Yes, I can already tell.”
  1533. >”Well Trixie would just like to say a few words in… condolence to you. Trixie is sorry that not even Rarity has succumb to your… antics. They’re really making a pariah of you out there, and it’s probably never going to go away.”
  1534. >Lean against the table and rest your head in your hand.
  1535. >”Listen, you’ve really turned everyone against you. You’ve made quite a monster out of yourself. And Trixie can tell you know this… she can see right through your rough exterior.”
  1536. >Trixie leans back in her chair while keeping her head turned towards you. She looks like she’s trying to analyze you, perhaps get into your head. And the amount of discomfort begins swarming back to you once gain, but it doesn’t matter this time. You know exactly what you’re going to do.
  1537. >”You’re always so quiet when Trixie is around. It seems as though that you’d need a whole marching band to play a song in your presence in order to make anything you say make an impact.”
  1538. “I can’t believe you’re still mad about that.” You catch her in her bringing up of a previous event.
  1539. >A barely apparent tension can be noticed in Trixie’s posture, indicating that she’s off guard.
  1540. >”Do you honestly think Trixie would be mad about something like that? Sure, it was inconvenient. But you just got lucky there, old sport.”
  1541. >Old sport? Really?
  1542. >”But she knows the truth. You had that band play because you couldn’t say anything, didn’t you?”
  1543. >You stay silent on purpose, letting Trixie begin to believe that she has the upper hand. The girl starts to smile a little bit more and eventually lightly chuckle in the light of your absence of an answer. She then sighs and rests her arm on the chair that she sits on, now back to being fully relaxed.
  1544. >Her guard’s down again.
  1545. >”Ah… ha ha. It’s okay, Anon. You don’t have to be so shy around Trixie all the time. You’ve proven yourself to be quite the… dream crusher when it comes to girls unlike Trixie. You can just shoot them down one after the other, and Trixie likes to watch that happen. But she knows that you change during times like now.”
  1546. “Times like now?” You scoff.
  1547. >”Whenever The Great and Powerful Trixie is in your presence. Don’t think it isn’t obvious, Trixie can see through your rough exterior, as she had said before.”
  1548. “Yeah well, I think it’s the other way around, Trixie.”
  1549. >A quiet laugh comes from Trixie as she puts on a cool expression.
  1550. >”If you’re going to try to turn this around on Trixie, you might want to make this a little bit less obvious.”
  1551. “Did you ever stop to wonder why I would turn down such girls like Rarity and Sunset? Didn’t you ever think that maybe there was a reason?”
  1552. >”You simply wanted to break hearts, everyone in school knows this. You are the heartbreaker, aren’t you?” Trixie reiterates.
  1553. “Let’s say I went to lunch and wanted a specific kind of cookie. Now-”
  1554. >Trixie’s cackling laughter cuts you off in mid sentence. It might be quite loud, but there’s something in it that sounds… forced.
  1555. >”Oh, please… now you’re talking about cookies at lunch!”
  1556. “Yes. Now, there’s always those most delicious cookies that everyone loves to get all the time. But if I wanted a specific cookie at lunch, one that’s not one of the favorites… well lest’s just say that I would prefer something not as well liked. When asked if I wold like the cookies that everyone else likes, I’d say no thank you and wait until I see the cookie that I like.”
  1557. >”Just what do you think you’re getting at? Hmmm? Trixie finds it hard to believe that you could possibly have a crush of some sort.”
  1558. “Oh, there’s no crush. Well, at least not on my end. But this girl that I’m waiting for… she… actually has a crush on me, apparently.”
  1559. >Trixie’s eyes narrow a little bit while you withhold any further answers for her.
  1560. “Something tells me this girl’s hiding something so it’s not obvious.”
  1561. >Trixie does her forced laugh once again, flicking her hair to the side with her fingers. She scoffs once more before responding.
  1562. >”That’s one of the most absurd things Trixie has ever heard. Are you implying something?”
  1563. “You know, maybe this girl should stop playing games and just say the thing she wants to say already.”
  1564. >You already know what you’re doing… and you’re going to softly keep pushing this thing until she cracks. That’s when you’ll go in for the ambush. But you can tell that this time will not be the tie to do such a thing. Trixie squints her eyes and stands up from the seat.
  1565. >”Ha! It looks like Trixie has degraded you to the point where you’re talking nothing but gibberish.” She blatantly declares. “You’re living an apparition, Anonymous! You are a fool to imply what you are implying, don’t make Trixie laugh.”
  1566. “What are you talking about? I didn’t mention you in specific.”
  1567. >”If there’s anyone here trying to play games, it’s you. You and Trixie both know that you just dug yourself a deeper hole by turning Rarity down. Trixie is sure she’s absolutely crushed by what you did.”
  1568. “Uh, no… she’s not.”
  1569. >”Yeah, sure. Anyway, Trixie will resume this during lunch. Trixie must go.”
  1570. “Are you sure there isn’t something you’d want to say to me there? Maybe… there might have been a hint you could have picked up?” You lead her on.
  1571. >While hesitating at first, Trixie shakes her head and mutters something to herself. She then looks up to the ceiling and forces yet another cluster of giggles just loud enough for you to hear it.
  1572. >You just know that laugh can be real; it doesn’t sound natural at all.
  1573. >”Oh, there’s plenty of things Trixie’s going to say to you, Anon. But not what you’re thinking. Get your head out of the clouds, this is The Great and Powerful Trixie you’re talking to.” Trixie says to you before getting ready to grab her stuff and leave as soon as possible.
  1574. “So you don’t want me to ask about your sleight of hand?” You change the mystery question, knowing what effect this is going to have.
  1575. >…
  1576. >”You just think you’re sooooo hilarious, don’t you?” Trixie viciously mocks. “You may feel less like joking after Trixie does a little bit of breaking of her own. And she promises she’d break a lot more than just your heart.”
  1577. “Ow, the edge. It’s sharp, Trixie.” You chortle, almost politely.
  1578. >”Laugh while you still can, swine!”
  1579. >And with that, Trixie harshly snatches her backpack off of the desk and makes a quick strut over to the door.
  1580. “And just where are you going?”
  1581. >”Trixie is heading down to the cafeteria to hang out with her friends before she bursts out laughing at your utter stupidity!” Trixie announces before giving the knob a quick turn.
  1582. >With the swinging of the door and the clicking sounds of it closing, Trixie is out of the classroom before most people realize it. At least she had stayed for when the teacher checked the class’s attendance.
  1583. >But you can’t help but have a victorious feeling in you when you recall one tiny detail about Trixie before she escaped the classroom.
  1584. >She was blushing… ever so slightly.
  1585. >Classes go by in a haze, but still seem to last hours as you’re sitting in them. At this point, you’re not interested in the lessons anymore; the school year’s practically over. And the constant reminder of the seniors being gone further demotivates you from completing your work.
  1586. >More and more time drags by, but you finally realize that you’ve survived until lunch. The ringing of the bell finally releases you into the halls to retreat the the long-awaited cafeteria.
  1587. >It’s already your first priority to prepare for the unexpected, but you cannot deny the excitement that flutters around in your mind. There was something big that was being planned by Trixie, whatever it was. And it’s not goin to have any effect on you.
  1588. >You enter the doors to find most of the tables empty. But at the table where you and the band kids would sit, you notice Trixie already sitting there. She has already been seeking you at the doorway, having scanned the area for a time that you’re sure has been more than five minutes non-stop.
  1589. >But you’re not even slightly fazed by this appearance of hers, that beckoning grin that she always has and the empty seats and tabletop around her. To needle in some humor, you wave to the girl as you walk over, mockingly wiggling your fingers up and down individually.
  1590. >”How many have you crushed since the last time we’ve talked, Anon?” Trixie starts the conversation before you even have a chance to sit down.
  1591. “Well, one, since there’s only been you.”
  1592. >Trixie pauses with a quick rise of her eyebrows. You can tell the atmosphere has changed for her as she goes into some sort of a defensive mode.
  1593. >”And what exactly makes you think you would ever have a chance to reject Trixie if she won’t even ask you out… cretin?”
  1594. “You know what I mean.”
  1595. >Slide your elbow further forward on the table, trying to insist an appearance of being relaxed through your bodily language. She’s not allowed to think you’re fazed this time.
  1596. >”Do you know what Trixie just realized?” Trixie responds with a question, letting her jaw drop first.
  1597. “That you’re-”
  1598. >”You didn’t even reject those other two girls, didn’t you? Because if you consider Trixie calling you out the same as asking you out, then it actually make sense that you believed that Sunset or Rarity wanted anything to do with you in the first place!”
  1599. >Give her a smile to mock the answer she gave you. She keeps her voice engulfed in a shocked-sounding tone.
  1600. >”That’s it, isn’t it? Are you truly that much of a bottom feeder?” Trixie starts up her train of insults again before you would have had a chance to say anything. “Your whole heartbreaking reputation is a lie! Hah, so you really aren’t even as special as you said you were this morning in front of Indigo!”
  1601. >Oh, so she really was there with the rest of them.
  1602. >”Well come on! Answer Trixie!” She demands, obligating anything you say next to respond to the subject that she changed to.
  1603. “Trixie, I know you didn’t actually ask me out.” You reveal. “I just wanted to see how you responded.”
  1604. >”Oh, wow. You are so horrible at mind games.”
  1605. “And you’re very good at them. But unfortunately, I can still see the reason why you’re doing this.”
  1606. >At this moment, Flash and his friends enter the cafeteria. They look over to find you and Trixie sitting across from eachother, engaging in some sort of discussion. As Flash notices what is going on, he starts to look over at his friends, unsure whether or not he should help out.
  1607. >Trixie sees them, and lets her eyes glare at them with a challenging might. They see her and start to whisper things to eachother. The tension between them is almost physical in the air, pulling at every last one of you by your anxiety.
  1608. >”Well, Trixie wouldn’t need to do this if you weren’t such desperate little boy, Anonymous.” Trixie edges you on. “If the only thing that gets you even the slightest attention at the end of the year is trying to put down the best of the girls in school, then you truly don’t have any other way to become liked by anyone.”
  1609. >She points over to Flash and his friends.
  1610. >”You see them? They only like you for the fact that you did what they are never willing to do. But it’s only a passing glory… it won’t last, Anonymous. Everything the tell you is a lie… they don’t actually care about you. Which is why I came here to talk to you in the first place, before you changed the subject.”
  1611. “I’m pretty sure you’re the one who changed the subject, Trixie.”
  1612. >Norman starts to step a little bit closer to the table, but continues no more after his second or third step. Trixie narrows her eyes at him, telling him to be wise and keep the distance while he still has it.
  1613. >”That’s preposterous. If you weren’t so afraid of Trixie, you wouldn’t need a bunch of washouts playing their instruments just so you don’t have to talk to her. Let Trixie guess, you would have had them playing right now if they were here, wouldn’t you? And Trixie wouldn’t have been walking all over you, wouldn’t she?”
  1614. “Oh stop it. You should be able to tell that-”
  1615. >”Then why does Trixie keep talking over you? Him? Why is Trixie dominating you so much right now if you’re so not-afraid of her?”
  1616. “Because you’re afraid of certain things I might say. I can tell, Trixie. There’s no sugarcoating this one.”
  1617. >”You’ve been watching too many movies, Anon. Maybe you should grasp the fact that there’s simply people out there who just don’t like you and will strike whenever you yourself begin to dwindle.”
  1618. “Trixie, there’s no need to be afraid to say what you need to say.”
  1619. >”Oh don’t you try that, Anon! Calling other people afraid just because you’re afraid won’t make Trixie go away.”
  1620. “And doing just that won’t make your question come out any sooner, Trixie. You-”
  1621. >”Are you being serious? Are you even trying anymore? Clearly you’re the one on the shorter end of the stick if you can’t stop getting cut off. It’s not like Trixie even minds what you have to say.”
  1622. “If you don’t mind, then let me bring it up.” You conclusively insist. “Since you’re not scared.”
  1623. >Trixie doesn’t respond after what feels like the the longest time.
  1624. >”Anon!” Flash calls over to you. “You uh… wanna come sit with us?”
  1625. >It doesn’t take a genius to see that they’re trying to break the entire thing up. You don’t blame them for trying to pull you out of this… at least they care that much. And you can be certain that Trixie was wrong about that, at least.
  1626. >”Well fine. Go ahead and tell Trixie whatever is so darn important!” Trixie urges you in a rushed tone.
  1627. >Barely rising your hand above the surface of the table, you point over towards Flash Sentry and the rest of his clique.
  1628. “You see those guys?” You start off by repeating something Trixie had said a minute or two ago. “Namely Flash. I uh, hate to break it to you but… he told me everything, Trixie. I know how you really feel about me and that’s why you’re trying to act mean about it.”
  1629. >Trixie glares over at Flash, discovering that what she had previously imagined him saying to you was actually a correct inference. He smiles back, shrugging his shoulders a little bit before calmly walking over to his table. A grunt disarray comes from Trixie.
  1630. >”Whatever he told you, it’s a lie. They’re not actually trying to help you.” Trixie tells you, now visibly annoyed.
  1631. >This is perfect, you’ve broken down Trixie’s previous impression and replaced with something that’s desperate to defend the illusion that she had placed in front of your eyes. Now all she’s focused on is trying to get you to believe her and not the other guys who had talked to you about her earlier.
  1632. >The band kids enter the room at this point in one large group. With them are the Dazzlings, eyeing the table to also notice you sitting across from Trixie. They all go past Flash’s friends and start to sit over at the table, brandishing their instruments in plain view of Trixie.
  1633. >”Trixie is simply bringing out the horrible truth about you, Anon. You’re a fool who’s simply received the luck of false acceptance of his fellow high school students. And trixie is giving you a wake up all.”
  1634. “Trixie, I know what you really want to ask me on the inside. Flash already told me that you like me. And I’m not going to go any further with this until you gather up enough bravery to say what you want to say. There’s a reason why I want you to, you know that, right?”
  1635. >”Trixie can assure you that she has no interest in anything other than walking all over you like how she’s been doing this entire time.”
  1636. “Don’t be afraid, Trixie. I didn’t become this so-called “heartbreaker” for no reason. Remember the thing about the cookies.” You hint.
  1637. >Trixie’s eyes get a little bit wider after your little reminder. The glance she gives you right before she looks down is all you needed to see that there is a growing doubt in her mind.
  1638. “Trixie…” You say her name again.
  1639. >”This is so ridiculous! Trixie cannot believe how full of yourself you are!” She berates you again. “Like Trixie brought forth before, you are a fool, Anonymous. You believe the lies that the most popular guys in school feed to you.”
  1640. “Well, at least you know I’m waiting for you now, Trixie.”
  1641. >She freezes in mid sentence.
  1642. >”You what?”
  1643. “You heard me. I said at least you know I’m waiting for you now… Trixie.”
  1644. >”Why are you so self-centered, Anon? This whole notion that Trixie would ever begin to have any kind of interest in you is absolutely… nonsense! Seriously, you really couldn’t be more self-centered.”
  1645. >Funny hearing this coming from Trixie. With this thought in your head, you stand up out of your seat and get ready to walk over the table at which Flash Sentry already sits.
  1646. “Oh Trixie, you’re so cute when you get this way!” You tease the girl. “If you ever decide to grow a backbone, I’ll be waiting. You’d be surprised by what answer I might get.”
  1647. >”Oh, ha ha. First of all, Trixie wouldn’t even fall for such a thing, even if she actually did have any interest in you. Second…”
  1648. “I’ll be waiting, Trixie. Remember the cookies.”
  1649. >All you need to do is drag this out little by little. With enough time and pressure, you can divert Trixie’s little act that she’s putting up and get her to spill the beans that are driving her to act out. You can already see another rejection ready to be added to the list that you’re already admittedly proud of.
  1650. >”Trixie doesn’t like you, Anonymous! You are an idiot who deserves what he’s getting! Don’t try to damage control your way out of this just because Trixie found a way to talk to you before the band geeks had a chance to come in and damage control for you!”
  1651. “Ah, but did you hear them play anything this time?”
  1652. >”Th-that’s not relevant!”
  1653. “Oh, so now it’s not relevant? Sheesh, make up your-”
  1654. >”Oh no, you don’t! Trixie isn’t going to let you think you’re going to win this just by making up a bunch of lies!”
  1655. “I thought you said Flash made up the lies?”
  1656. >”You’re adding to his lies by making up your own as well. And you know why? Because you’re afraid of the truth… you’re afraid of The Great and Powerful Trixie, Anonymous! Don’t even think you have any chance in successfully denying that. Trixie knows what she does to you.”
  1657. “Yeah sure, okay.” You conclude before you start to head back over to the cool kids’ table.
  1658. >”Yeah… yeah, that’s right! Walk away, you coward! Walk away and refuse to confront Trixie! But you can avoid this forever! You can try to convince yourself all you like, but Trixie will always have the upper hand, and that’s BECAUSE she couldn’t possibly have a crush on scum like you!”
  1659. >”Um… Trixie?” Sonata intervenes. “Could you please at least scoot over? You’re in my spot.”
  1660. >”Or better yet. How about you get lost!” Adagio joins in. “We don’t really want you here. And I thought that was established and made clear to you the last time you tried to come over here.”
  1661. >As she says this, the other band kids pull their instruments out of their cases and get them ready to be played. Trixie looks over at all of them and forces her cackling laughter once more. She then looks over at you, noticing that you’re still watching her, waiting to see what’s going to happen next during her confrontation with the band kids.
  1662. >”Trixie is not going anywhere!” Trixie declares, scooting over. “Sonata. Sit down right here next to Trixie!”
  1663. >Sonata looks down at the surface of the table and then over at the seat. Adagio shakes her head at Sonata and then looks at Trixie once more only to point her finger away from the table. Aria just sits in her seat and pulls out a tuna sandwich, not caring enough to join in herself.
  1664. >During this moment, you begin to think about how pointless the conversation between you and Trixie was. She sure was eager to confront you, sitting here at the table before you even came down to the cafeteria. She waited for you.
  1665. >But the thing is, that she didn’t seem to make very much sense once she started talking. This can only indicate to you that whatever it was she had planned… it was haphazardly put together. This can probably mean that she might have had no intention of talking to you during lunch until after your encounter with her in homeroom.
  1666. >And this can only mean that you’re causing her to frantically try to think of another idea as the day goes on.
  1667. >The idea that you’d be putting such panic into Trixie’s head is just warming to you. Not only this, but relieving as well.
  1668. >”Sit here, Sonata! Trixie is not moving, and she scooted over for you to sit next to her. Now sit!” Demands Trixie, making sure you’re still able to see and hear her trying to maintain some form of dominance.
  1669. >”No, she needs to learn that she can’t push us around. Don’t sit down until she leaves, Sonata.” Orders Adagio.
  1670. >”Just sit down, Sonata. Just do it!”
  1671. >”No, Sonata.”
  1672. >The silly, newly arising battle rages on over at the table while you slowly back away from it and migrate over to where Flash and all of his friends are not sitting down and enjoying the entertainment from across the room.
  1673. “Sorry about all of that over there, guys. Trixie kinda caught me off guard there.” You tell them. “But I managed.”
  1674. >”Dude! You’re unstoppable!” Norman excitedly compliments you.
  1675. >The entire table erupts with chatter and loud talking, most of it directed towards you.
  1676. >”We heard about what happened with Rarity, man.” Norman goes on. “And Flash was there too, right?”
  1677. >Norman turns over to a laughing Flash Sentry, who’s still enjoying the heated argument going on between Trixie, Sonata and Adagio. He turns over to the rest of you after he senses eyes being focused on him.
  1678. >”Oh huh? Uh… oh! Ah, yeah. Yeah, I know, man. He was literally sitting right next to her where I was during the graduation and talking with her right before it happened. You should have seen him, he was so freaking… chill about it, man!”
  1679. >”Anon ain’t got time fo hoes!” Another one of the football players chimes, almost exactly like the other time you has sat at this table.
  1680. >The rest of the guys cheer, ignoring their girlfriends giggling at their rowdiness. You give them a smile to incorporate a sense of friendliness with them.
  1681. >”Nah, but seriously. Dude. Like… how do you do it?” Flash asks you. “Like… if Rarity came up to me and wanted to go on a date, I would have caved, bro!”
  1682. >The other guys all immediately agree, not afraid to admit how weak they would be in a moment like that. It’s probably something they’d all share, making some sort of extra connection in their friendship.
  1683. >”You’re a warrior, dude! An unstoppable warrior!” Norman insists with a mouthful of cheeseburger.
  1684. >His voice was bumbling and difficult to comprehend, but you could understand what he was saying. And by the very tone of how he said it, you could tell that he was very deeply serious about this sort of thing.
  1685. >But it’s the meaning of what he said that really gets to you. The first thing that you remember is the thought about you being that un-wreckable ship in even the worst of storms at sea. It’s a bit of a cliché analogy, but it doesn’t sound as bad if it makes perfect sense in your case. Well, to you at least.
  1686. >The fact that you’re being called a warrior reinforces this, dare you say it, arrogance within you. You don’t want it to be arrogance, but confidence. But just how the mane six wanted you ti think, you’re more swayed towards seeing this as arrogance.
  1687. “Ah, stop it, guys. It really isn’t a big deal.” You assure them, embracing the way they flatter you.
  1688. >”But dude! Not even Rarity could reel you in, man! I mean… Rarity! That super hot girl that’s turned down tons of dudes before… some of us, actually.” Sandalwood explains.
  1689. >…
  1690. >Oh, wow… it all makes sense now.
  1691. “She has?”
  1692. >”Well duh, man. How could a girl like her not get asked out by like… every guy in school?” Norman continues. “I remember in out freshman year… I remember when I gave it a shot.”
  1693. >”Oh! Oh, I remember that!” Flash agrees. “Dude, she was so harsh with you, man! Anon! You should have seen it!”
  1694. >”That girl went full…” Norman trails off before taking another bite of his burger, aggressively sinking his teeth into the buns and through the contents between.
  1695. >”Yup! Yeah, that’s pretty much how it went down.” Sandalwood agrees. “That girl’s a man-eater, bro.”
  1696. >The other guys begin to laugh again and one by one all start to recite the lyrics to a popular song relating to what Sandalwood said. You sit there and try to hold back your bubbles of laughter as they act like buffoons in front of the rest of the cafeteria.
  1697. >”Whoa-oh there she goes!” About five to seven of them sing off tune in unison. “Watch out, boy! She’ll eat you up! Whoa-oh there she goes! She’s a man-eater! MAN-EATER!”
  1698. >Everyone else in the cafeteria, including the table where Trixie and the others still argue, looks over to the loudest table in the room. Trixie can be seen gritting her teeth in intense frustration, clenching her fists as she glares over. Her face is bright red at this point.
  1699. >Turn your attention back over to the guys at your table.
  1700. >You have no idea why you didn’t guess that these guys had an establish history with Rarity, having been turned down by her in multiple occasions. And then after hearing about what they think you actually did, the rumor has practically turned you into their personal hero.
  1701. >The rejector of Rarity; the one they must have been waiting for.
  1702. >”But dude, in all seriousness…” Flash continues.
  1703. >You feel like this conversations going to keep going in circles this way for a while.
  1704. >”This is like, awesome. It’s always the other way around with this girl; Rarity’s never been rejected by anyone before. This is crazy, dude!”
  1705. >”The heartbreaker defeated the maneater! He has emerged victorious!” Norman loudly shouts to the ceiling, somehow able to make his voice rise above the volume of everyone else’s.
  1706. >The attention of the entire cafeteria is captured once again. The eyes move over to the table which you, Flash and the others sit at.
  1707. >The guys continue to sing once again, now just a little bit more loudly than the last time.
  1708. >But after about a minute or two of the singing, you start to hear something else starting to go along with it. It sounds like… instruments being played. You turn your head to look over in the direction of the sound, and find the band kids playing the same song that Flash and his friends are jokingly singing.
  1709. >https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yRYFKcMa_Ek
  1710. >The other kids in the cafeteria begin to clap along just like the other time, making the moment pretty much an exact replica of the last time the band played in the cafeteria. But this might me more reminiscent of the last time to Trixie more than it was intended to be.
  1711. >You sit with your new fellows, continuing to enjoy your fun when Norman can be seen pointing towards the other table’s direction. His mouth is full of cheeseburger again, so he can hardly speak.
  1712. >”Mmph! Duh, dude!” He tries to give out a warning while still frantically pointing his finger.
  1713. >But before anyone can say anything else, you feel something warm and wet get splattered onto your face. After a half second, you can begin to smell and taste it.
  1714. >Cherry pie.
  1715. >Turn your head to see Trixie holding the mostly empty tin, the majority of the pie now residing on the right side of your face and your right shoulder. A heavily blushing Trixie stomps away from the table and marched out the door in an inferno of rage.
  1716. >”Oooohhh!!!” The group of guys at your table shouts as you start to wipe the pie away.
  1717. >”Aw, dude! She just got so mad!” Norman cries. “Oh my gosh, she actually thought we were talking about her!”
  1718. >Going along with the food on your face and shoulder, you begin to lick the cherry pie off of your fingers, surprised by how good it tastes. The rest of the crew cheers you on as you do this, yelling and pointing over at the doors that Trixie just left through.
  1719. >They pat you on your clean shoulder.
  1720. >”Yeah! Eat that cherry pie, bro! You eat Trixie’s cherry pie!” Flash says to you with his eyes tearing up from laughing so hard at Trixie.
  1721. >The group of high school students marvel you as you completely clean yourself off except fo the stains. They persist to cheer you on as the band kids on the other side of the cafeteria collectively give you a group thumbs up.
  1722. >Conversations spur up to a delightful amount in the cafeteria, most of them focused on what happened. It’s always the case where the students get louder and energetic right after something noteworthy happens.
  1723. >”You’re just making the girls fall left and right, Anon.” Sandalwood proclaims. “I swear we’ve never really met a gut who could do what you’re doing. You’re like… some kinda hero, dude!”
  1724. “Ey, no problem, bro. The pie was delicious anyway.”
  1725. >”Yo, Trixie is so thirsty for him it’s almost not even funny. And she’s getting so mad about it!” Flash point out. “Anon, you gotta keep messing with her like that. It’s the best thing we’ve ever seen all year!”
  1726. >One of the teachers comes to the table and asks you if you’re alright. You reply with a solemn nod, showing that you already got most of the pie off of you. The teacher offers you a cluster of napkins, which you kindly accept before he walks back to the other table where Trixie once fought with Sonata and Adagio.
  1727. >Eventually, you get yourself to go back and forth between the two table, meeting up with the band kids and still going back over to where Flash and his friends are. Wiz Kid and Sweet Leaf ask you what on earth happened between you and Trixie, to which you reply with a restatement of what Flash had told you.
  1728. >It would really be nice for the band kids and Flash’s group to get a chance to meet eachother, but the bell rings before much else can happen. You’re followed by your groups of friends as you leave the cafeteria for your next class.
  1729. >It has finally dawned upon you… you are a god among these guys.
  1730. >On a slightly unrelated note, today is the last day for any student to retrieve their yearbook. Most of the students had already gotten theirs, since they wanted to catch a signature from at least one of the seniors before the graduation.
  1731. >And now with all of the seniors gone, the groups of remaining students flock over to one another. They’re free to start signing their class’s yearbook without worrying about getting a senior’s signature first before they leave.
  1732. >Naturally, you had already bought your yearbook ahead of time. The problem is, there wasn’t anyone you knew to sign it aside a couple of people. And they’ve already signed it just a little bit over a week ago; you’ve stopped bothering to bring your yearbook back to school on these last days since there was no one else to sign it anyway.
  1733. >Whatever.
  1734. >Why does summer vacation have to feel so far away anyway? It’s literally less than a week away, but you feel as though you’re never going to get to it. In fact, you feel as though it should have begun already, and your time is being wasted here in this school with all of this petty drama that keeps trying to jut its way into your life.
  1735. >But you’re not going to have that.
  1736. >You’ve found a way to counter the force of high school cliché and neutralize the episodes that keep throwing themselves your way.
  1737. >”Anon.” A voice startles you, coming from behind as you’re walking into one of your classes.
  1738. >It’s already recognizable; it’s Sunset’s voice.
  1739. “Wait, huh?” You stutter as your body struggles to turn around.
  1740. >As if she had magically appeared, Sunset stands about two feet from you. As far as you’re concerned, she literally appeared out of nowhere and caught you completely by surprise.
  1741. >”Hi, uh… now before you say anything, I’m only going to be a couple of seconds.” She tells you. “I just wanted to thank you.”
  1742. >She stops it at that and eagerly waits for at least some kid of response to come out of you.
  1743. >Well this sure was random. And how did she find you?
  1744. “Oh… okay. You’re welcome, Sunset. I’m glad to see you’re doing alright.”
  1745. >All she gives you in response is a warm smile. It’s not the kind of smile that tells you that someone knows something that you don’t and such a thing makes them want to laugh. Her smile tells you that her day has been made a little bit brighter by what you just told her. But something else inside of you wants to be sure, given the past repercussions that has previously in a broken heart.
  1746. “You are doing alright, right?”
  1747. >”Of course, of course. I understand everything, now. Some people like relationships, and I guess… some don’t. It’s all okay, Anon. I only came here to thank you because I’m going to be leaving school a little bit early.”
  1748. “Well, I’m still sorry about everything. I never meant to start this.” You tell her. “But wait… you’re leaving school early?”
  1749. >”I’ll still be in town. Since this year’s been a bit of a rough one for me, I cleared it with Principal Celestia that I could take my final tests and go home a little bit early. The tests for each class are a completely different version from the type that will be given to the other students, so it’s not like there could be any cheating or anything.”
  1750. >You blink at her.
  1751. “Really? They can do that?”
  1752. >”Yeah, there’s apparently 4 different original versions of each exam that are made, and two of them are given to the students at the end of the year. They alternate between the versions of tests each year, to help ensure that no one who’s taken the class the previous year could give away answers to a student who takes the class next year.”
  1753. “Wow, that’s actually pretty smart.”
  1754. >”Well anyway, I’m not going to be here tomorrow or the two days of last week. So just um… I’ll keep in touch will you, I promise.”
  1755. “Same. I-” You start off before Sunset steps closer to pull you in for a hug.
  1756. >She gently yanks you towards her and her arms are locking across your back already.
  1757. “B-buh.” You find yourself blurting out, hugging the girl back.
  1758. >Her arms don’t wrap around very tightly, but rather sincerely. It’s the type of hold that tells you that the person feels a great sense of enthusiasm without being at all forceful.
  1759. >Sunset is actually really warm, letting her hair brush up against the side of your face and almost tickle the surface of your cheek. This is something you’ve never had a chance to get to know the experience of in the past, feeling a girl hold onto you like this. It’s a lot more friendly than you had imagined.
  1760. >”Okay, I’ll leave you alone now.” Sunset tells you before sliding away from you.
  1761. >She’s… suddenly leaving. But it’s in a way where you’re feeling some sort of pressure to do something before she’s gone. It’s only a little obvious, but you sure can sense this alright.
  1762. >Just think about it, she comes up to you out of nowhere, thanks you for some random reason, informs you that she’s leaving early, and then hugs you only to leave right after letting you go. You’d be lying to yourself if you can’t sense an induced urgency from all of this. It’s almost like she’s trying to quickly build up some sort of pressure in you to push you to do something.
  1763. >That has to be it! But you have to be sure.
  1764. “Wait, uh… Sunset?” You blurt out again, waiting to see what kind of response you get.
  1765. >She perks up a little bit, widening her eyes at what you uttered for just a half a second. She looks as though she’s internally excited, but you can’t tell for which reason. It could be because some kind of plan worked, or she’s eager to hear whatever you have to say next.
  1766. >Sunset silently listens with a blank face.
  1767. >The half of you that doesn’t want to be overtaken wins, knowing that you can just talk to Sunset later anyway. Though this would have been better in person, time to think things over hasn’t looked more precious right now. If only she didn’t take you by surprise at this moment; you feel rather breached.
  1768. “Uh, nevermind.”
  1769. >Her shoulders fall down a little bit.
  1770. >”Okay. Well, I guess I’ll be seeing you later. We’ll text, right?”
  1771. “Yeah… alright.” You smile and wave her off, realizing you have a lot to think about. “But uh, I’m okay will calling if you want.”
  1772. >”That’s great.” She says with a laugh. “Bye, Anon.”
  1773. >After she leaves and you go back into the classroom, an internal debate begins that will last for the rest of the day. Sit through the rest of the class, probably wouldn’t have paid attention anyway given that it’s the end of the entire school year.
  1774. >It’s time to blow this apparent plot apart once and for all. Critical thinking is the only thing that populates your brain, but it does not at all relate to the lessons that you are being lectured about. The trust that you once held for the mane six is beginning to dwindle. And this shakes down the confidence you have regarding their support for you.
  1775. >It makes sense that Sunset might want to say goodbye to you in person, if she really does like you as much as she shows. But that doesn’t explain the behavior of everyone else. The girls being so insistent on knowing what you were doing with the lilies, what was up with that? This is perfect grounds for manipulating someone’s emotions.
  1776. >As you build upon this, you go to your next class. It’s your last class.
  1777. >They are friends with her, and would without a doubt side with her if someone hurts her. But what about their connection with you? What have they done with you, Anon? The more you think about this, the more the possibility of them being with her and against you seems realistic.
  1778. >Those girls can’t like you the same way like they like Sunset. They simply have more history, trust and friendship. But not only this, why would Sunset keep showing this much affection for you if she’s already been rejected by you, let alone in a way that was admittedly a little bit harsh?
  1779. >This is all unnecessary suspense, at least for your standards.
  1780. >But if she really does like you enough to still show the amount of affection that she does, then that is a flame burning more powerful than you could have possibly imagined. Just thinking about this makes you feel more accepted than you’ve felt in well… your whole life. You really want to accept this one as a fact rather than the other option; maybe it just fills up your ego a little bit more.
  1781. >No, don’t tell yourself that. It’s not right to think this way.
  1782. >But then again, is it right to let yourself get manipulated by others when you clearly had a chance to get ahead in life?
  1783. >During the second half of your last class, you remember Flash and the rest of the kids with whom you tend to have a stronger connection with. Every last one of them were willing to stick up for you. It’s almost obvious that how you are to them is like how Sunset to the mane six. But you’re not this way to the mane six the same way before, which you have already confirmed. The different sides of this entire situation are forming, and you’re beginning to see, or rather realize, which one you belong on.
  1784. >You want nothing more than to avoid the drama with who asked who and who feels a certain way about whom. And of course, the side with Flash and everyone else seems rather distant from the side with the mane six and the drama that gravitates towards them. The only real, established connection you can make out between the two sides is Flash and Twilight’s blooming relationship. Other than that, there’s no real connecting interactions between these people, to the best of your own knowledge.
  1785. >Whatever, the last bell of the day has just rung and you’re too tired to do anything else today. Keeping your guard up around Trixie is more stressful than it sounds. That girl can get persistent whenever she needs to. You just hope she doesn’t try to find you again at any point today.
  1786. >Making your way through the crowds of students, you avoid conversations with anyone who does so much as look your way.
  1787. >Now, if it were Flash or someone, then you’d be a little bit more friendly, but there’s just not many people whom you can trust for the most part. Maybe you can give Flash or Norman or someone your number so they can keep in touch with you as well.
  1788. >It’s a good idea to establish something with these guys over the summer; get to know them a lot more so you to them would be even more like Sunset to the rest of the mane six.
  1789. >To your surprise, not a single “heartbreaker!” can be heard throughout your entire walk to the bus. Though you didn’t hear it, you could see it being said straight at you through the gazes from the other students. These gazes, however, are a lot less taunting and a lot more seemingly proud.
  1790. >You assume that they’re beginning to accept the thing that you’ve become as you exit the doors and head on up to the bus.
  1791. >However, one last obstacle awaits you as you climb up the bus stairs and look towards the rear in search of your usual seat in the very back. Peering back, you automatically recognize Trixie sitting in your seat.
  1792. >She doesn’t smile this time, looking a lot more determined than the last time you had encountered her. But this is a good sign, showing that you’re shaken her previous impression down to the point where she can no longer maintain it when she’s around you.
  1793. >As the other kids on the bus watch in anticipation, you slowly make your way over to the back. They must have been waiting fo this to happen, which might mean that Trixie has been sitting here for a while just like she had sat for a while in the cafeteria. Doesn’t this girl have anything else to do with her time?
  1794. >Whatever, you’ll just tackle this the same way you had last time. You’d even go further if you had to, but only if it comes to that.
  1795. >You walk up to Trixie, who sits in the exact spot where you always sit. There’s barely any other kids on the bus, so the amount of witnesses is rather low.
  1796. >”What’s wrong, Anon? You seem nervous.” Trixie leads on. “Trixie’s only sitting in your seat. She promises she won’t bite if you sit next to her.”
  1797. >Without another word, you sit right next to her. Trixie looks surprised for a second, as though she had expected you to go to another seat to avoid her. She’ll need to do a lot more than sit in your seat in she wants to intimidate you.
  1798. >Trixie huffs and looks out the window. She stares at all of the other kids boarding their buses, likely plotting her next move.
  1799. “I’ve gotta ask you, Trixie. Exactly what’s your… deal, anyway?”
  1800. >”You what?”
  1801. “It’s just that you seem rather persistent with whenever you get a chance to bother me about something. I feel like you’re literally going out of your way just to be around me a lot. Like, what stop do you even get off at after I’m off? Do you even live anywhere near where this bus actually goes to?”
  1802. >”That’s none of your business.”
  1803. “Ohoho! Funny coming from you, since you won’t stop annoying me all because I said no to someone who asked me out. And that didn’t even involve you!” You say before you remember the lie you’re making up. “Well, it doesn’t completely involve you…”
  1804. >Trixie narrows her eyes at you again.
  1805. >”What do you mean, Anon?”
  1806. “Oh stop it. You already know what I mean, I told you twice before. And I know why you want to keep giving me this whole ‘mean girl’ impression too. You’re using it to mask something.”
  1807. >”Don’t even begin to believe that you can start something like that again!” Snarls Trixie with a defensive growl somewhere in her voice.
  1808. >The bus’s engine turns on at the very second Trixie says this, mixing her words with the sound of the engine starting up. Something tells you it suits her current attitude perfectly, which causes you to widely grin against your will.
  1809. >”What do you think you’re smiling at?”
  1810. “Trixie, I know there’s something you want to ask me. Deep down inside.”
  1811. >”You couldn’t possible be any more wrong.”
  1812. >The bus takes off, making the two of you slightly fall back in your seats from the sudden movement. Trixie slides down in her seat, crossing her arms and pouting at you. But she tries to present a smile at the same time.
  1813. “I already told you before, Trixie. There was a reason for me to turn down Rarity and Sunset. If I went ahead and dated one of them, I wouldn’t be available for a certain somebody once she toughened up and decided to finally ask me out already.”
  1814. >You do realize that once you reject Trixie, she’s probably going to feel a hatred for you that outshines anything she’s felt before. But you have to admit, she does deserve what you have planned for her once she does finally cave in.
  1815. >Trixie’s probably going to be the only one left who truly dislike you once the next school year starts. What you need to remember is that this is the end of the year, and people are going to stop caring what happened at school over the summer if it didn’t actually involve them. Plus, most of the other students already don’t like Trixie very much, so it’s not like you’re making a bad name for yourself if you reject her after leading her on to ask you out.
  1816. >But whether or not she’s actually going to do it is the real thing you should think about. It’s not like she isn’t clever or anything.
  1817. >”Even if I- uh, Trixie wanted to… she knows you would have set the whole thing up just to reject her like all of your other victims.”
  1818. >You continue your long stream of smiles towards her. Trixie doesn’t appear to be very comfortable with this; you even broke her whole ‘speaking in third person’ character.
  1819. >”But that’s only implying that Trixie has any interest in you in the first place. Trixie wants to make it very clear that you are the very thing that Trixie despises more than anything else on this earth. You are Trixie’s prey, whether you deny it or not.”
  1820. >The bus makes a turn and you are nearly slid off of the seat.
  1821. >”In fact, Trixie can tell you’re getting slightly nervous already!” Declares Trixie. “It’s so obvious, it’s actually hilarious.”
  1822. >She deliberately scoots towards you after the force of the bus turning had moved everyone to the side. It is more than obvious that she’s trying to make you feel uncomfortable by invading your personal space. Now, you had given this trait about your mentality away before, and you regret that, but you can counterattack this time. Things are different, now.
  1823. “Oh, I’m not nervous.” You tell her as you get back into your proper position.
  1824. >You already know that it’s a good idea to avoid doing anything too extreme that would catch the bus driver’s attention and win you one free ticket to detention. Though, you’re not exactly sure how this plays out at the end of the year, but you’d rather not find out anyway. It’s almost worth it, but still not quite.
  1825. >Detention really shouldn’t apply to students at the end of the year, right? You’ve never really thought about this before.
  1826. >”Then why do you flinch whenever Trixie gets too close to you. Trixie saw all of that last time.”
  1827. >To be honest, not even you had noticed such a thing last time. Perhaps it was something you had subconsciously done or something.
  1828. >You feel something slide up against your arm. But you don’t need to look to know what it is. Trixie’s brushing her arm up against yours, trying to make you start to panic once again. To think that she has that much power over you that she can make your mind spin by just softly touching you…
  1829. >But no, you’re not going to let her have this power. You already know what is necessary for you to do to make this backfire.
  1830. >”A-ah!” Trixie quietly stutters as she notices your index finger glide across the back of her hand flat on the seat.
  1831. >She pulls her hand away in an instant with a shocked look on her face. You tilt your head downwards, keeping your eyes locked on hers, just like you had seen in various movies and TV shows.
  1832. “And I’m flinching?”
  1833. >Trixie tightly crosses her arms, squinting her eyes to the point where they almost look like they’re closed. She’s really emphasizing that she wants to appear repulsed by you, but she’s not very good at making it seem realistic. You practically have this in the bag with only a matter of time left until she falls into the trap.
  1834. “Look, you’re the one who keeps coming to me. How about you just say what you want to say and this will all be over with already. I wouldn’t need to be pressuring you like this if you weren’t here.” You explain.
  1835. >Wow, that’s actually completely true. Not once had you ever searched for Trixie yourself. If anything, you probably would have left this whole thing alone if she had just minded her own business. But with certainty in your mind, you were just waiting for her to try something, and you were right. Here she is… on YOUR bus that she doesn’t even normally ride herself. She’s in your territory, so you’re going to take her for a ride because of it. But this ride isn’t going to have a happy ending for Trixie, despite the fact that the rest of the ride might seem to contradict that.
  1836. >With this in mind, you wonder what else you might have been right about all along.
  1837. >You never knew you’d be so good at this, but you do need to take into consideration that Trixie does apparently have a crush on you. So while you’re apparently treasure to her, that still doesn’t change how everyone else except Sunset thinks of you. You’re still just an average looking guy to them, as far as you can tell.
  1838. >”How dare you! Trixie does not want to feel your greasy fingers on her hand you… you HOG!” She forces the insult out. “Have you any decency? Well?”
  1839. “Why are you blushing?” You immediately interrogate her.
  1840. >Trixie freezes in her seat, already knowing she needs to think of an answer fast. You sure are giving her a hard time, and the pressure only needs so much more time until it all pays off.
  1841. >”Trixie feels ill from having felt what your finger feels like! You’re absolutely repulsive, Anon. Trixie cannot begin to imagine what Sunset ever saw in you, but she’s surely over a buffoon like you by now. After all, you did shatter her heart into a million pieces.”
  1842. >She’s trying to turn this around and do what she came here to do. You’re not about to allow that.
  1843. >”Trixie is far from nervous, just disgusted by you, Anonymous.”
  1844. >And the timing is just perfect; the bus make another turn, but in the other direction. Trixie is slid up against the inner wall of the bus and the window while you find yourself being nudged right against her. This was the turn that you remember from last time when Trixie slid up against you.
  1845. >You remember how she humiliated you and made you walk out of your seat earlier. The other kids on the bus could be heard giggling as well as you were sitting there in the front seat with a steady stream of spaghetti emitting from your pockets. You’ll never forget that moment, especially the part where the cackling laughter from Trixie kept the memory alive the most.
  1846. >Something inside of you wants to crush this girl’s heart, and this sensation remembers when Flash and his friends called you “unstoppable”.
  1847. >Well you know what? They’re right, and Trixie has no right to made you feel guilty and afraid whenever she forces the situation to involve you being near her.
  1848. >Trixie pushes you away after you almost physically collide with her. The push felt definite, but weak.
  1849. >The bus is almost at your stop.
  1850. “Oh, Trixie. You know that you don’t have to keep being nervous like this.”
  1851. >She glares angrily at you, clenching onto the strap of her backpack with a force that you’re sure could crush diamonds. She stays perfectly in place with each bump the bus runs over, planting herself firmly into her seat.
  1852. “I know what you think I’m going to say, Trixie. I understand that. And I know that you’d just blow a fuse if I asked you first, what with the whole evening of power thing that Flash told me about.”
  1853. >”Wh… what?!” Trixie grunts as the bus nears your street.
  1854. >This ride seemed a lot shorter than that last one. Likely because you’ve gone though a lot less torture this time.
  1855. >”Stop being a fool, Anon. Trixie’s not going to cave into this… and she had no interest in you either!”
  1856. “Then why are you even here?”
  1857. >”Because… be-because…” Trixie flimsily stammers.
  1858. >You’ve finally got her in the palm of your hand. All you have to do is get her to ask you right before you get off, say no, and immediately leave Trixie to wallow in her embarrassment like she had done to you on Monday. Unlike spaghetti, revenge is a dish served cold.
  1859. >Finally, the bus rolls to a stop and you stand up.
  1860. >”Trixie’s already explained everything she needed to say! You’re just a lowlife, Anonymous.” Trixie insists, late with her response and flush red in the face. “There’s nothing else she needs to say!”
  1861. “Nothing else but one thing…”
  1862. >”In your dreams, you pig.”
  1863. “Last chance~.” You say to her in an overly singsongy voice, nearly singing.
  1864. >Trixie groans almost silently and looks straight down at her feet. The rest of the kids exit the bus and you need to leave next so the doors can close and the bus can get moving again. After another half second, Trixie shoots her head back up with blazing fire in her eyes.
  1865. >”There’s in no way in a billion years The Great and Powerful Trixie would ever fall for such a thing! It’s your fault that you became the widely hated heartbreaker of the school you little piece of…” Trixie rants on and on without holding back, soon using every curse word she can think of.
  1866. >You just walk off of the bus as she rants, catching a short glimpse of the bus driver’s face as he listens to what Trixie is rambling on about in the back seat.
  1867. >He’s never made this face before.
  1868. >Oh and is Trixie saying plenty, alright.
  1869. >”And never… NEVER in my life have I- argh- has Trixie come across someone so… so… horrible when it comes to you and your way of thinking, you horrid waste of flesh! You’re only getting ANY kind of recognition at all because of your stupid, stupid little episode with Sunset and her delusion that you were actually anything close to desirable by ANYBODY’S standards! ANYBODY’S! I AM SO- T-TRIXIE IS SO DISGUSTED… and repulsed by your rancid presence that she wants to put you out like Old Yeller. You are a MEME, Anonymous! A HORRIBLE MEME! And the whole world is going to hear about it and you’re NEVER GOING TO LIVE IT DOWN!!!”
  1870. >”Uh… miss Lulamoon?” The bus driver finally speaks up. “Mr. Mous is already 10 minutes and twelve blocks behind us.”
  1871. >For about five seconds, the snickering of the other students on the bus is the only thing to be heard. Among them is Nolan North, who is already texting Norman and Flash Sentry about what just happened.
  1872. >”I-I… I just…. Trixie just can’t… she…” The last couple of sputters of words spill out of Trixie.
  1873. >Trixie punches the back of the seat in front of her and grits her teeth at the little phallic drawings on its leather surface. She goes silent quickly, but not with a single tear in her eye.
  1874. >She’s enraged.
  1875. >Trixie Lulamoon sits silently throughout the rest of the bus ride all the way until the very last stop. She finally gets up and walks up the empty aisle with the laughter still somehow sticking with her, despite the other kids already being gone.
  1876. >The bus driver peers back at her over his shoulder.
  1877. >”You uh… need me to drive this thing to wherever you live? We’re about fifteen minutes ahead of schedule since we left the school a bit early and there weren’t many kids to drop off.” He offers.
  1878. >”No, it’s fine. It’s going to take a lot longer than fifteen minutes to drive to where Trixie lives. And Trixie has about three hours to spare, so… she’ll make it back to her home in time.” Trixie assures him, finally having calmed down for a little bit.
  1879. >But Trixie is only calm for the next minute or two.
  1880. >”Welp, alright then. You sure you’re gonna be alright? What with how upset you looked-”
  1881. >”Trixie is fine!”
  1882. >”Okay, okay…” The driver concludes before closing the doors and driving off.
  1883. >…
  1884. >Trixie immediately starts running through the town and it’s neighborhoods. It takes her about 45 minutes or so, but she finally makes it back to her house. She goes inside and heads straight up to her room, leaping straight into her chair.
  1885. >If she’s going to do anything before this year’s over, it’s take that Anon down before he has a chance to get away with what he did and escape into the summer with the upper hand. She opens up her account in Facebook and sets up a brand new page.
  1886. >”Trixie’s going to make you pay for that…” She grumbles under her own breath as she types in ‘Anon Y. Mous: The Bottom Feeder of Canterlot High’ into the title field.
  1887. >A request to share the admin role is sent to both of her closest friends, Lavender Lace and Fuchsia Blush. She messages then to take their admin roles right away so she can completely give up her ownership of the page and transfer it to them. This way, this whole thing cannot be traced back to her as long as her two loyal friends keep silent.
  1888. >To start the page out, Trixie writes a biblically long paragraph that goes into detail about how horrible of a person Anon is, writing under the alias of the Facebook page itself. She wants to make sure that no matter where Anon goes, he will always feel the wrath of her presence. Whether it’s from behind a computer screen or not.
  1889. >She plans to keep this page around for a long time, ready to stir up as much drama and conflict as she can.
  1890. ~
  1891. >In a blissful trance of partial victory, you fall back down onto your bed. Not only was today a long day, but it was packed full of all that stress that you never wanted. You’re surprised that you were able to overcome it with flying colors.
  1892. >The daylight outside begins to fade and you become less and less awake each hour. The lilies, having been dying a little bit more each time you looked at them, are in the same place on your desk as they always were. After your talk with Sunset on the phone, you’ve found yourself devoting less attention to them. It’s a great stress reliever, since you used to be trying do hard to keep them alive.
  1893. >Not sure why such verification of it not being needed to care for the was necessary. It’s not like you would have seemed like a bad person just because you let a bunch of flowers die after they were given to you.
  1894. >Oh look, a text.
  1895. >[Anon, do you know what’s going on with Facebook right now?]
  1896. >It’s from Twilight. And it’s a little bit odd of a time to suddenly text someone about something so specific; 9:30.
  1897. [No. What’s going on?]
  1898. >[Well during the last 5 hours or something, Trixie apparently made a Facebook hate-page about you. But she transferred the ownership over to her friends, who changed it to something kinda less hateful. And now they won’t let her back into the admin role and there’s a bunch of kids from school practically worshipping you for rejecting the girls who asked you out.]
  1899. >You can hardly believe what you are reading.
  1900. >[You have an account on Facebook, right.]
  1901. >After thinking for a minute, you realize that you actually do.
  1902. [Yeah, I have one. But why should I care if Trixie made a Facebook page about me?]
  1903. >[Because she made it to say bad things about you.]
  1904. [But she’s not even the owner of the page anymore, right?]
  1905. >[No, and the people who are liking it are actually saying kind of good things about you. But we need to convince Trixie’s friends to take the page down. I’ve already reported it.]
  1906. >Just reading this text feels equivalent to a hammer knocking you upside the head every five seconds. At this point, you just want summer to start. You don’t want any of this Facebook or high school drama. All you want is to get out of school and just go somewhere out of town for the summer.
  1907. >You didn’t even have time to make your usual last-minute plans for the summer, since all of this stuff kept happening. This truly isn’t fair, at least in your view.
  1908. [Twilight, it’s just a Facebook page. And I don’t even really use Facebook much, so it’s not like I’m going to see much of it. If at all.]
  1909. >[But Anon, it’s how it affects the other kids at school is what counts. It’s all about what they think of you, and we need to stop this from getting out of hand.]
  1910. [The school year’s literally three days away from ending. I don’t care, alright? Just let it go, I just want to enjoy my summer. Okay?]
  1911. >You already know what kind of response you might get from sending a text like that. You switch your phone onto airplane mode so no more messages can reach you and set it down on your nightstand. After this, you go onto your computer and look for wherever you wrote down the password for your old Facebook account. It’s on a sticky note under a mountain of returned homework assignments, most of which you’ve gotten zeros on.
  1912. >The account is finally accessed, and you’re immediately blown away by how long it’s been since the last time you’ve seen it. It was Christmas Day the last time you were logged in. Your most recent post is from 11 months ago, reading: [Ugh so bored].
  1913. >After deleting all of your old cringe fuel from your timeline, you start searching for the page you had heard about. Type in all of the keywords, including your name, school and town.
  1914. >…
  1915. >And there it is. [Anon, The Heartbreaker of Canterlot High]. The profile picture is of a man on top of a mountain with hundreds of pasted images of female celebrities made to look like they’re climbing up the sides.
  1916. >Your face is photoshopped onto the man’s head. You can’t deny that this artwork is well done; and nobody has ever really paid any kind of tribute to anything about you before.
  1917. >Just look at the comments. Flash, Norman and a lot of the other highly likable kids seem to be giving you praise rather than put you down to any extent. Are they actually… supporting you?
  1918. >Curly Winds, 7:52 PM: [I don’t get how this became a thing, but I’m liking it. You keep being you, Anon.]
  1919. >Normal Norman, 6:05 PM: [YES. Oh my god yes, the legend finally has his own Facebook page. I swear this is awesome.]
  1920. >What is even going on anymore?
  1921. >And an even better question, how on earth did something like this start up so fast? Don’t these people have anything better to do at the end of the school year? Aren’t there at least a couple of summer plans on their agendas, or are they just going to find every mildly interesting story they can and make a big deal out of it?
  1922. >You’ll admit that you don’t mind the page’s existence enough to want it deleted, but you don’t want to be involved with anything that happens with it. Again, you just want to leave all of this behind in the school year and enjoy your summer undisturbed.
  1923. >A bunch of comments from Trixie are also seen, many of them replying to other people’s comments. You widen your eyes as you look them over, noticing the fact that everything’s in all caps and the paragraphs span dozens of lines down.
  1924. >You don’t even read the comments or pay attention to what she’s saying; her jimmies are rustled beyond repair, and that’s enough for you. If anything, this page is perfect to have around. The rest of the guys from school can just let their immaturity flow onto here while it dies out in the real world through your absence. And the best part is, you don’t even have to be there for it.
  1925. >With a few keystrokes and clicks of your mouse, you permanently deactivate your Facebook account.
  1926. >There really wasn’t anything there that you saw as worth saving anyway. You only had a total of 9 friends, 7 of which were just family members who thought it was a good idea to add their relatives on Facebook. The other two were just random strangers who sent you friend requests out of the blue, each with thousands of friends of their own. They won’t even know you’re gone, let alone miss you.
  1927. >Whatever happens on Facebook, you don’t even want to know. You don’t care.
  1928. >You plop down onto your bed again, grabbing your phone and turning off airplane mode because why not? You might as well face the brunt of this now through texts rather than in person, it’s easier this way.
  1929. >But to your surprise, Twilight didn’t even text you back. All you see is that same message that you had sent about thirty minutes ago.
  1930. [The school year’s literally three days away from ending. I don’t care, alright? Just let it go, I just want to enjoy my summer. Okay?]
  1931. >Without anything else to do, you go to bed. The computer is finally turned off and the lights go out. A long sigh of relief escapes you after the longest time.
  1932. >Tomorrow’s most likely going to be something hellish when you enter that school, though. But all you have to do is survive the last full day and the last two half days of school, and you can completely forget that any of this ever happened.
  1933. >You’re just so tired.
  1934. >…
  1935. >At long last, it doesn’t take you five hours to fall asleep tonight. You owe it to your sense of satisfaction that you’re able to get some decent amount of shuteye during these times.
  1936. >You’re still not going to drop the possibility that the whole thing Twilight was doing was actually some sort of conspiracy. It just make more sense that way, what with all of her sudden, flimsy, but still rather well thought out plans over the course of the last week or so. The way Rainbow Dash and Applejack insisted on knowing what you did with the lilies, the fact that Sunset personally told you that she was leaving right before she did so, the fact that Twilight wanted to get the “heartbreaker” Facebook page about you deleted despite you telling her you were okay with it, the list goes on.
  1937. >And what if they really were trying to help you? The scenario would be: Anon breaks Sunset’s heart and people start to harass him about it, so the close friends of Sunset decide to help Anon instead of helping the kids who frown upon him for breaking her heart.
  1938. >Now think about the scenario in which they are against you.
  1939. >Anon breaks Sunset’s heart and people start to harass him about it, and the close friends of Sunset figure out a way to trick him into having feelings for her so she can reject him, and that should teach him a lesson for hurting their friend.
  1940. >Keeping in mind that the mane six are a lot closer to Sunset than they are to you, which scenario actually sounds more realistic? It’s not like you have any social problems or anything, you’re simply using rational thought and deductive reasoning to come to a logical conclusion.
  1941. >And this is why your trust for the mane six keeps dwindling. This is exactly why.
  1942. >You shall never fall victim to their trickery. No matter what happens, you must stand tall, Anon. You cannot let them win, no matter how complex or diabolical their schemes get. This is a clever pack of girls.
  1943. >Besides, you don’t even want any of this stupid drama anyway; you just want summer to start. You want to relax, with the absence of the ties of a relationship eating up your time and money. And no bouquet of lilies or kind gestures should sway you into such a thing over the course of your summer vacation.
  1944. >Yes, you’re very paranoid, but for good reasons as far as you can see. It’ll pay off.
  1945. >Just stay one step ahead…
  1946. >Only a few minutes of these thoughts go by and you drift off to sleep.
  1947. >…
  1948.  
  1949. >You find yourself in the same hallway as last Friday, in front of your locker. The school appears to be completely empty, leaving you in virtually complete solitude. The very radiance of the place itself glows, softening everything you touch with the warm sunlight.
  1950.  
  1951. >Maybe today was the last day of school? Perhaps you’re finally home free from all of the drama that used to try to entrap you? You feel rather unbiased at the moment, not giving a single care about any of the things that have previously happened.
  1952.  
  1953. >Without even becoming startled, you notice the gentle touch of a hand on your shoulder.
  1954.  
  1955. >Slowly turn around to discover Sunset Shimmer standing nothing but two feet away from you, just like a week ago. Her eyes glisten with a long, fixed stare, lost in your own appearance already.
  1956.  
  1957. >You don’t let out a single word, letting Sunset remain in her current stance in silence. She slowly smiles the longer she looks at you, unable to resist doing do whenever you’re in her sights. The bright white teeth behind her pink lips give off a pristine luminescence that rivals that of the moon in the night sky.
  1958.  
  1959. >And her hair, colorful and fiery as always, can’t allow your attention to overlook it’s brightness.
  1960.  
  1961. >Sunset lifts her hand and reaches onto the upper left side of her torso, making a ring formation with her fingers. Her hand tightens for a second,then loosens to unveil a soft cluster of lilies sprouting out from what is apparently the inside of her body.
  1962.  
  1963.  
  1964.  
  1965. >You realize that the place where her hand is directly correlates where the heart is. The symbolism hits you hard, but the impact is tender, easing you into the dreamlike realization.
  1966.  
  1967. >The lilies finish sprouting from Sunset’s wildly beating heart and are held in her hand. You blink, and the next thing you know, the lilies are in your hands. It was so fast… you hardly even had a chance to take notice.
  1968.  
  1969. >Sunset’s eyes gleam as her smile widens even further as she sees you holding the lilies in your hand. That smile lasts for what seems like hours before it fades away. Something inside of you makes you imagine the concept of denial. It’s… the same feeling that you felt when you rejected Sunset for the first time. However, your lips remain sealed.
  1970.  
  1971. >Finally, you glance back down at your hands to find that the lilies have completely vanished. Look back up, only to be met with Sunset staring at you with tears streaming down her cheeks.
  1972.  
  1973. >There are no word that you are able to think of.
  1974.  
  1975. >She suddenly lunges forward towards you, locking you into the same hug from yesterday. Exactly how you remember it. She holds you not in any way tightly, but compassionately. All you’re left with to look at is her pleading gaze, inched away from you.
  1976.  
  1977. >And all you hear her whisper is one single phrase.
  1978.  
  1979. >”Why won’t you love me back?”
  1980.  
  1981. >…
  1982. >Awakened in a cold sweat, you shoot your eyes open in the midst of your rational thoughts flooding back. Your breathing alone could be loud enough to wake someone up, even echoing off of the walls of your room. As you regain your composure, it’s finally made possible to get yourself to look over at your digital clock. Just as your eyes fix on the clock, you barely have any time to react to what happens in practically an instant after you comprehend what you see.
  1983. >6:19.
  1984. >6:20.
  1985. >Raspy beeps from the alarm force you to jump twice; once while sitting down and once more out of your bed. The timing couldn’t have possibly been worse… or better.
  1986. >Hit the snooze button. Then switch the timer off completely.
  1987. >It’s time to fade back into your usual consciousness once more… again, like every morning. This will all be over once it’s summer and you won’t have to wake up early anymore for school’s BS. You force yourself out of bed and into a new set of clothes.
  1988. >After stumbling into the bathroom, you manage to have the luxury of getting a good and horrifying look at yourself in the mirror.
  1989. >You look absolutely horrible, and almost beaten up for some reason. The top of your head and your face are covered in a brand new coat of growing hairs, five-o-clock shadow and all. It does seem about the time you’d have to shave again.
  1990. >The skin on your face, head and shoulders is pasty, and there’s horrendous bags under your eyes. There is no reason for you to be so stressed out over such little things.
  1991. >The answer couldn’t possibly be any clearer to you at this point: You need to pull yourself together. These… irrational thoughts about Sunset’s heart being crushed and how it’s all your fault need to be stopped. The only right thing to do is keep your wits about you.
  1992. >Remember: Twilight and her friends aren’t just going to forgive you for breaking Sunset’s heart, even though Sunset’s gotten over it by now. These girls are not going to stop trying until everything is evened out in their view. And why wouldn’t they want things to be evened out?
  1993. >Look at the position you’re in; the “Heartbreaker of Canterlot High”, having one of the broken hearts being Sunset’s heart. That heart belongs to their friend, and they will avenge her no matter what it take.
  1994. >Oh gosh, that sounds unbearable corny even thinking about it, but it also sounds like the exact path they would take in all this.
  1995. >Just like you do from time to time, you re-shave your head and your face, keeping your blank green skin completely bare above your shoulders. Keeping yourself bald. Keeping yourself Anonymous.
  1996. >After a shower, you get yourself ready and go out the door. This time, you’re early for the bus, so you take your time walking.
  1997. >Nothing much else happens until you make it to school. The bus ride is quiet, complacent and just overall relaxing with the many bumps in the road that feel to you like a cradle feels to a baby. But after you disembark the bus and walk into the school itself, everything changes completely.
  1998. >”There he is!” One of the students calls out from within the crows.
  1999. >You’re met with a thunderous uproar of cheering and collective praise. The students who surround you immediately draw closer and begin… applauding. You make out numerous “Heartbreaker!”’s from the clusters of high schoolers, barely rising over the rest of the immature chatter.
  2000. >Surprisingly enough, you show some sense of politeness by waving at them as you pass them by. Sure this whole thing they’re doing is rather, well… stupid. And you can’t deny that you despise their high school culture and want nothing to do with it. But still… it’s Friday, and almost the end of the school year anyway.
  2001. >Based on what you’re seeing so far, you wouldn’t mind being semi-ironically worshipped for a couple of days. You’ve never witnessed this opportunity enter your life in the past, that’s for sure.
  2002. >Proudly climb the stairs, remembering that the majority of this appraisal might have come from that Facebook page that was made by Trixie last night. You can only imagine how badly Trixie would want that thing to be taken down now, given how much more glorification you’re getting than her from something she started.
  2003. >Oh, you can sense her butthurt already as you stand outside of your homeroom, tasting her tears from her plan backfiring on her.
  2004. >…
  2005. >And speak of the devil, Trixie is the very next person you see emerging from around a corner. She immediately locks glances with you and begins walking in your direction.
  2006. >You prepare yourself for, yes, yet another confrontation.
  2007. >”A-Anon.” Trixie immediately starts off, barely close enough for you to understand what she’s saying.
  2008. “Oh hi, Trixie. You seem a little, tense.”
  2009. >She’s right in front of you in a matter of seconds, but you’ll have absolutely no fear, let alone show any. You casually lean against the lockers, making the coolest facial expression you possibly can. The first thing you can think about is the Facebook page.
  2010. >”Yes… you know what? Yeah!” Trixie confesses. “Trixie IS tense. Okay?!”
  2011. >You do the same head-tilting thing from before.
  2012. >”Listen… Trixie doesn’t have any… flowers for you or anything. All she has is an apology…”
  2013. >Observe her drastic change in character in contrast to the last time you had seen her in person. It’s as though that rough exterior that was displayed through her insults and cursing both on the bus and the internet has been broken down over time by something.
  2014. >”… And a question.” Trixie reveals solemnly.
  2015. >At the very second, the students in the hallway devote their undivided attention towards the girl who’s backing you up against the lockers. She ignores them, and swallows the fear that would have prevented her from continuing.
  2016. “Well Trixie, I-”
  2017. >Trixie slams her hands onto the lockers on either side of you behind your head. The loud bang actually silences you, ending your sentence with a brief moment of shock.
  2018. >”LET ME- l…let Trixie finish.”
  2019. “Uh, alright.”
  2020. >Trixie returns her arms to her sides as stands straight up like a board. Her face reddens up just like most of the other times as she tries to maintain a domineering impression. The teeth gritting is strong with this one.
  2021. >”Last night, uh, Trixie had done something on the internet. She… created a page on Facebook with your name in vain.”
  2022. “I already know.”
  2023. >”GOOD! Uh, g-good. So Trixie doesn’t have to go into detail about what happened with it, then?”
  2024. >You shake your head.
  2025. >”Well… some things happened overnight, and Trixie has done a whole lot, like… a whole lot of thinking. And… she wants to apologize for what she tried to do. Trixie… had let her anger get the best of her.”
  2026. >No kidding.
  2027. >”So, with all of that out of the way… Trix- I’m… sorry. I’m sorry I put you through all of that.”
  2028. >Trixie’s whole character itself broke in the face of what she forced herself to say to you. The girl stands there, squinting at the floor in anticipation of your response. Looking as though she just spilled out a million words out of her life story just for you.
  2029. “I forgive you, Trixie.” You tell her just as you notice Twilight appear out of the corner of your eye. “But you also need to prove to me tat you’re not afraid. I know why you’re really here.”
  2030. >Keeping her eyes shut, Trixie nods rapidly. Her stance itself resemble that of one about to take a leap of faith. And you’re ready to crush that faith.
  2031. “I need you to be brave for me and say what you need to say. That’s the point of all this, and I promise it’ll be worth it.”
  2032. >A couple of sniffles are all that can be heard from Trixie. She’s not crying, just… a lot more hesitant than you’d like to believe.
  2033. “It’s okay. Just say it.”
  2034. >The surrounding students spectate the entire episode, wide eyed and providing their full attention. Twilight almost speaks out, but the words are lost. She only watches along with everybody else. Trixie’s really struggling to pull the words out. But she turns out to be just brave enough. It makes your heart flutter just to see Trixie, the Great and Powerful Trixie, crumble before you like this.
  2035. >You can’t help but be internally excited for what you’re about to do.
  2036. >”Anonymous… will you…”
  2037. >Here it comes.
  2038. >”Will you go on… a… d-date… with me, Trixie?”
  2039. >The answer swells within you, bubbling up your lungs as it’s eager to escape and blast Trixie in the face with it cold, cruel nature. You cannot remember the last time you were so excited to say one simple two letter word.
  2040. “No.”
  2041. >The very second you say this, the reaction of the students overwhelms any other sound that dared to trespass into the atmosphere in the halls.
  2042. >Their reaction in a nutshell: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r0yobZojRHg
  2043. >Trixie Lulamoon stares blankly forward, being stuck with a massive wave of shock. Twilight is lost in the crowd of jumping students, unable to be seen.
  2044. >And all you can do is slowly let a smile creep onto your face as you do not walk away this time. Homeroom is going to start in only a few minutes, and only one of you is going to have the willpower to walk into the classroom.
  2045. >”Ooooohhhhh!” The collective cheer of the other students rages on before they disperse in to groups chanting your successfully defended title. “Heartbreaker! Heartbreaker!”
  2046. >Trixie finally widens her eyes as far as they can possibly go as the shock wears off into the sense of being betrayed. Her fists, likely involuntarily, rise into the air. She raises her right fist to the side of her head and pulls it back, clearly entering the start of a punching motion.
  2047. >But before you process that you might be in some sort of danger, Trixie’s tightly balled up fist gradually loosens. The girl’s face contorts, and in a matter of seconds, she cups her face in her hands with tears briefly seen before being shielded by her fingers. She just doesn’t have the strength anymore.
  2048. >She runs, quite slowly and clumsily, past all of the taunting peers and towards the nearest bathroom. Soon enough, all that’s left of her at the moment is the loud but distant wailing that echoes from afar. This only feeds the smile on your face.
  2049. >Her weeping exhibits pain and suffering. The sounds that can only come from someone who’s been so humiliatingly defeated in a one-sided fight.
  2050. >Victory.
  2051. >The homeroom bell rings and the hooting and hollering high school students scatter, all heading over to their homerooms.
  2052. >The hallway momentarily clears and Twilight can be seen again. You can bet a billion dollars that she hasn’t moved at all from her spot, or even her current position. She stands there like a statue, refusing to believe what she just saw take place.
  2053. >Your smile does not go anywhere as Twilight finally steps closer to you. Her look of disbelief would have been shameful to you if you had trusted her more.
  2054. >”Anon? What’s going on, Anon?” Twilight gasps. “Why did you do that?”
  2055. >A crescendo of laughter starts to push its way out, soon escaping your lips and entering Twilight’s earshot. She slowly looks more and more upset as she hears you start to chuckle.
  2056. >”Anon, what’s wrong with you… why are you laughing?” Twilight insistently catechizes. “Tell me! What’s happened to you, Anon?!”
  2057. >Your laughter does not cease, but it intensifies.
  2058. >”Anon!”
  2059. >All you do is turn and head into homeroom, a changed guy. You don’t even bother looking back at Twilight, everything you might have had with her is over at this point. And you know why?
  2060. >It’s the end of the school year. You are… so… done… with all of this drama, whether or not the mane six is on your side or not. You done want there to be sides at all, let alone be on one of those sides. This whole thing is stupid, and you just want absolutely nothing to do it. Trixie deserved what she got; she had it coming to her for a long time.
  2061. >Yes, there will be people who will tell you that this involves you whether you like it or not and you should deal with this.
  2062. >No.
  2063. >Those people do NOT dictate your life. They do NOT dictate your actions. You have your own free will, and that’s something that these high schoolers can never take away from you. To say the least, this entire situation has become too complicated for you to want to be involved anymore. You don’t even care if it centers around you; you’re not having it. You don’t even know who to trust anymore!
  2064. >So with that said, this is all over. All of it. Summer’s literally right around the corner, and you’re going to enjoy it… and no one’s going to stop you from doing so.
  2065. >After what just happened, no one should dare cross you in terms of dating. You’re the Heartbreaker of Canterlot High, and they better not forget that. You’re far above their petty drama to get involved with it, you just want to distance yourself from their BS as much as you can. They can say and think what they want, but you’re not going to hear it.
  2066. >From now on, your loyalty lies with the band kids. Not once have you ever seen them even remotely involved in this, not even on Facebook. And this makes sense, given that they’re not even part of the in-crowd. You feel horrible for ignoring them for this long… you should talk to them.
  2067. >Maybe the Dazzlings have some interesting stories to tell! You did overhear them all saying that they were going on some trip to somewhere apparently in the southern hemisphere.
  2068. >Sitting in homeroom, you listen to the teacher perform the usual roll call. Once she gets to Trixie Lulamoon, everyone in the classroom gives eachother an awkward look, having witnessed what happened in the hallway. You can only stifle your laughter.
  2069. >Homeroom ends and you leave the room to go about your day.
  2070. >…
  2071. >Classes go by and by, passing away to the bells that divide the day into sections. The students honestly won’t miss this sort of school life.
  2072. >As everyone goes about their classes, Trixie remains in the girl’s bathroom. She’s under the sinks, crying as hard as she can as the day continues to go on. A couple of girls occasionally check on her and try to comfort her, but the efforts to do so are virtually useless.
  2073. >Trixie has no intention of getting up any time soon; she is completely broken. Having no idea where to turn or what to do.
  2074. >After another half hour or so, she hears soft footsteps enter the bathroom and approach her.
  2075. >She doesn’t even bother to look at whoever it is, but the girl who is there kneels down to her level and speaks in a soft tone.
  2076. >”Trixie…” Twilight murmurs.
  2077. >Rather skeptical that Twilight has come to her aid, Trixie look up through her tears to make sure that the voice she heard was really Twilight’s.
  2078. >”Trixie, I’m so sorry.”
  2079. >”It’s no use.” Trixie whines, burying her face back into her knees. “There is nothing Trixie can do anymore. That page has become an uncontrollable monster, and Trixie just allowed herself to become another victim of it! Why would Trixie be so foolish to think she was great enough to create such a thing and get others to like it.”
  2080. >”Trixie, just because something went horribly wrong doesn’t mean you can’t do great things.” Encourages Twilight.
  2081. >”Just what do you want, Twilight? Why on earth do you care about Trixie?”
  2082. >Twilight looks around the bathroom, checking to see if anyone else is around. Nobody else resides in there except her and Trixie, given that the crying has driven everyone off.
  2083. >”Look, I can help you turn this around.” Twilight hints.
  2084. >After a short pause, Trixie finally lifts her head away from her shame.
  2085. >”What do you mean? Anon won… and Trixie was such an idiot to fall for his treachery! And she knew, too! She knew he was planning to do that and Trixie didn’t listen to-”
  2086. >”Shh…” Twilight calms her. “I can help you, Trixie.”
  2087. >”Help her how?! That Anon’s a pig who would reject anyone for his own pleasure. And now he has a whole Facebook page to boast that, all thanks to Trixie.” Trixie says before getting choked up once more. “Trixie wants that page destroyed! It’s… it’s a threat to her name!”
  2088. >”Trixie.” Twilight reveals. “A couple of other girls and I can help you. I promise.”
  2089. >Trixie temporarily snaps for a second or two.
  2090. >”I want you to show me proof right now!” She yells. “Right now… that you can help me!”
  2091. >Twilight gently grabs Trixie by the sides of her arms as shushes her again.
  2092. >”I can’t just say it out loud. It’s a secret.” Twilight tells her.
  2093. >”Can Trixie… be l-let in on the secret?” Trixie asks after another short pause.
  2094. >Twilight leans in closer. Trixie, now starting to feel intrigued, gets ready to listen to whatever she has to say.
  2095. >”Okay… so it all started when Rarity texted me about a week ago.” Twilight starts off in a low tone.
  2096. >…
  2097. ~
  2098. >It’s about five minutes until lunch. You’re already skipping your current class because… well, why not? There’s nothing really left to pay attention to anyway. You’re pretty much just hanging around in the hallway, waiting for lunch to start so you can meet up with the people with whom you want to strengthen your relationship with.
  2099. >Aside the episode right before homeroom, today’s been extremely uneventful, to your surprise.
  2100. >Everything’s quiet for the most part, and all you do is loiter in solitude. Out of the occasional footsteps that would sound from other hallways every few minutes, this set of footsteps approaches you. Whoever it is… is about to turn the corner and enter your field of view.
  2101. >You pay attention, primarily imagining this mystery person to be a teacher or something. Maybe you could hide behind something?
  2102. >It’s already too late, but you have nothing to worry about; the one approaching you is Fluttershy. Not only this, but it looks as though she’s coming over to see you about something.
  2103. “Oh, uh, hey Fluttershy.” You greet her. “How you been?”
  2104. >She stops right in front of you, locking her fingers behind her back. You hope that this is only because she’s nervous.
  2105. “I haven’t really uh… seen you much. Given the stuff that’s been happening.”
  2106. >”Oh, I know. The other girls tend to tackle things a lot more bravely than I do.” Fluttershy finally answers you. “But all of the stuff about Sunset and whatnot is kind of something I wanted to talk to you about.”
  2107. >The wave of alertness reasserts itself within you once again.
  2108. “It… it is?”
  2109. >”Y-yes… can I… um… ask you something?”
  2110. >It’s probably a good thing that no one else is around at the moment. If Fluttershy is going to ask what you think she’s going to ask, then you can already see what the outcome might be regarding the difference between your answer to her and your answer to Trixie.
  2111. >At least Trixie had something like that coming to her, but Fluttershy? It feels almost like the opposite effect, which really comes off as highly inconvenient. Just imagine what everyone would think if word of this got out… you’d become at least somewhat disliked.
  2112. >If there’s one thing you could point out about Fluttershy that are known to tug at some of the students’ heartstrings, it’s her usual timidity. The case that Fluttershy typically acts humble to others is something that wins other people over. It just isn’t fair.
  2113. >Might as well play it safe and prevent any questions from being asked here. You may be walking of a field of land mines here. It’s a good thing the bell’s going to ring in what’s now now two and a half minutes.
  2114. “Uh sorry, but I was just about to head on over to lunch. It wasn’t very important, right?”
  2115. >”It’s just something really quick.” Fluttershy insistently presses to ask.
  2116. >Whatever you do, don’t let her say a single word of it. This is a situation in which you really don’t think there’s an easy way out. If she does ask you out, there are only two possible outcomes. If you say no, all Fluttershy has to do is show the slightest sign of her feeling being hurt and she’s bound to turn at least a couple of people against you. And if you say anything other than no, even so much as a maybe, the game you and the cool kids are playing will be over.
  2117. >”I j-just need to… get this off of my chest.”
  2118. >No. This is whole situation too perfectly against you. There’s no possible way this wasn’t planned, you just know it. If it weren’t for everything that’s happened before, you would have never assumed any of this.
  2119. >Immediately stand up to leave, hoping Fluttershy doesn’t continue.
  2120. >After everything that’s happened, why would Fluttershy of all girls ask you this? It’s just too unrealistic to not be at least something close to set up.
  2121. >”I-I just… wanted to know if…”
  2122. >No no no no no…
  2123. “I have to go, I’ll see you later, bye!” You rush, already speed walking away.
  2124. >At this very instant the bell rings. Upon this happening, all of the students pour out of the classrooms and into the hallways, easily able to witness what’s going on. They automatically start to look at you and Fluttershy with the same expressions that they had right before you rejected Trixie.
  2125. >They lean over to eachother and start whispering. Gasps momentarily join in as more and more students are able to spectate what’s happening.
  2126. >Of course she chose right before all of the students appear, that timing couldn’t be more perfect!
  2127. >You can see the two different outcomes already: You either say yes and the students all come out to see her jumping around in joy and probably hugging you, or you say no and the students all come out to see her on the floor crying because you just added her to your list or rejects. Oh, this is just so unfair.
  2128. >”Well… I understand what happened.” Fluttershy stutters on, looking up at you with a puppy-dog face. “A-and I…”
  2129. >The crowds of students block your way out, and they’re all looking now, anyway.
  2130. “Listen, Fluttershy, I don’t know what you want to know, but can’t it wait until later?”
  2131. >Well that response felt out of place. You can’t think of any valid sentences that fit in with… well… anything. There’s nothing to bring up other than the question that Fluttershy is trying to ask. She’s pretty much got you in a gridlock.
  2132. >Why did you have to let your guard down?
  2133. >”Whoa, better watch out for this one, Flutters!” Heath Burns banters from the crowd. “We got a heartbr- ah!”
  2134. >He’s cut off by another guy elbowing him in the side.
  2135. >”Oh, he better not.” A girl’s voice can be heard. “Fluttershy don’t!”
  2136. >The white knighting is real.
  2137. >Stupid high schoolers.
  2138. >Fluttershy nervously looks around, eyeing the surrounding students. She somewhat huddles inward, as though someone’s about to throw something at her. You do your best to keep whatever cool you have at the moment.
  2139. >”No, Fluttershy. Don’t do it.” The same girl repeats. “Just step away from the guy.”
  2140. >She gives the girl an uncertain look, finding a lot of the other students quietly agreeing with her. They’re trying to push Fluttershy into not starting anything further with you. You might have lucked out this time; if there was a plan in action, it just might have somewhat backfired.
  2141. >You know at this point that if she does ask, the students will see the whole thing as her doing.
  2142. >”Uhh… nevermind. I’ll let you go to lunch, Anon.” Fluttershy says to you, letting the pressure from the other students influence her actions. “Uhh… bye.”
  2143. >She quickly turns around and disappears into the crowd, half of whom lightly clap and cheer for her for deciding to to ask what they think she was going to ask. These students are acting as though they just prevented a plane crash or something.
  2144. >One of the girls, Sophistica, soon gradually walks up to you. She blinks a couple of time before stopping.
  2145. >”Listen, I don’t know what you’re trying to do to make an end-of-year impression, but it’s not going to work. You can mess with Trixie, but Fluttershy’s not going to play your sick little game. Do you hear me?” Sophistica tells you.
  2146. “Look, she came to me, alright? Just like all of the other times. If you have such a problem with all of this, then talk to her. Not me.”
  2147. >”No… you’re doing something. I just know it… there’s no way that all of these girls would suddenly like you.”
  2148. >Looks like somebody’s a tad bit mad.
  2149. “Well uh, what do you even want me to do?” To ask her, putting her in the spotlight.
  2150. >Meanwhile, Vinyl Scratch walks by the entire scene with her headphones distancing her from the drama that’s currently happening all around her.
  2151. >She hardly even notices any of you and walks right through the middle of the crowd. The electronic music blasting into her ears through her headphones can easily be heard before she is far away and around the corner.
  2152. >You envy Vinyl’s stance on all of this; she doesn’t have to care even a little bit about any of this, and just walk right through it all as though it wasn’t even happening.
  2153. >”Just stop doing what you’re doing. It’s not funny. And you’re-”
  2154. >”Oh my god, shut up already!” Norman interrupts as he walks through the hallway in the cafeteria’s direction.
  2155. >Sophistica turns to him and delivers a far-from-subtle dirty look, only for him to smile back in response.
  2156. >“Hey Anon, wanna come with? I think the guys are already at the table.” Norman offers.
  2157. “Yeah, alright.”
  2158. >You get up with your stuff in hand and walk alongside Norman. The other students have already mostly dispersed, given that the event has already ended, but there are still a couple of them who frown in your direction. A couple of “Heartbreaker!”’s can be heard among them, signifying that at least a couple of them enjoyed what almost happened.
  2159. >This must be entertaining, yet intense for a lot of the students. Something worthy of a show for them to finish off the year, but it’s sucks because you’re pretty much in the center off it all.
  2160. >”Yeah that’s right, just walk away, Norman!” Sophistica calls out from far behind.
  2161. >Norman just looks at you and shakes his head back and forth, hinting to just ignore her. The two of you walk through the hallway and make it to the cafeteria in about a minute. Flash and a couple of the other guys have already been sitting there, apparently.
  2162. >Of course they’d wave as you walk on over, but they seem to be whispering things to eachother.
  2163. >You notice your phone vibrate in your pocket. Pull it out to see a text from an unknown number.
  2164. >[Anon, it’s Fluttershy. I didn’t want to say this in front of the other kids because the girls and I know you don’t like that. I want to ask you just one thing, to help you.]
  2165. >”Hey, Anon.” Flash greets you. “Uh… can I talk with you about something? It’s about Trixie.”
  2166. >He… he what?
  2167. “What is it? Does it at all relate to what happened this morning?” You ask.
  2168. >”Well uh, that’s the thing. It is exactly about what happened this morning.”
  2169. >Half of you thinks about answering the text from Fluttershy. The other half feels some concern about what Flash might say next. You’ve never been very good at having two conversations at once, but not a lot of people are anyway.
  2170. >”Alright, look. I’m cool with you not wanting to date her and everything. I know that you knew she was giving you a bit of a hard time with how much she liked you and didn’t want to say it. But there’s a line behind what you did.”
  2171. >What even just happened? There’s no need to have this discussion again.
  2172. >”Dude, what?” Sandalwood interjects.
  2173. >”I came here early for a reason, because I need to know before we do anything else. Why’d you have to lead her on like that, man?”
  2174. “Wait, what?”
  2175. >”Like… you knew she liked you, but you then made her think that you liked her back, tricked her into asking you out despite you being known for saying no, and then kinda betrayed her trust there. That’s just… I don’t know, a little cold if you ask me.”
  2176. >Oh…
  2177. >”I don’t know, man. She did kinda keep harassing him a lot. You saw what happened with yesterday, and she even waited for him on his bus, too. She just wouldn’t leave him alone.” Sandalwood points out.
  2178. >”But think about what he did, dude. Like… that’s kind of bad the way he played with her feelings like that.” Insists Flash.
  2179. >Flash and Sandalwood continue to argue, eventually getting a couple of other guys to join each of their sides. Naturally, you already feel like taking Sandalwood’s side, since he’s pretty much defending you and Flash is placing you in the wrong.
  2180. >You’re not sure why Flash would suddenly do this, especially after finally coming to peace with you. He himself said that Trixie was a major problem.
  2181. “Flash, come on. Didn’t you say that you know how Trixie gets? And how she manipulates people to get power?”
  2182. >Flash lets out an exasperated sigh.
  2183. >”Alright, look. I’m not saying I don’t like you, Anon. You’re a cool guy, and you’re still a bro and everything. But… it’s just what you did, man. It would have been fine if you just went up to Trixie and explained to her that you knew she liked you and then tell her to just buzz off.”
  2184. >”Yeah, but-” Sandalwood tries to rebut.
  2185. >”What you did was quiet a bit different, Anon.” Flash persists. “You led her on to believe that you had the same feelings back, manipulating her emotions. That’s not cool, man.”
  2186. >”Flash. She has done the exact same thing to him multiple times before that. She was pretty much asking for it.” Thunderbass points out, having taken Sandalwood’s side.
  2187. >”The fact that she did it first doesn’t give him an excuse to just take her for a ride like that. Especially when he could have just blatantly told her that he doesn’t care about her.”
  2188. >”Like she was going to just believe that! Trixie would use any chance she gets to get under someone’s skin. If he wanted to make a clear statement that he is not to be messed with, he needs to show it and not say it.”
  2189. >That’s right!” Sandalwood backs up Thunderbass. “This is Trixie Lulamoon we’re talking about here!”
  2190. >You want to settle this once and for all and just tell them that what’s done is done, but they’re not going to hear you out. They’re always going to put their own morals first.
  2191. >Meanwhile, Norman just quietly sits at his seat and eats his slices of pizza as the battle rages on. He doesn’t even look in the direction of the fighting, not wanting to get himself involved.
  2192. >It would be nice to join him in his solitude, though you’re practically the main subject of this argument. Flash continues to push his main point and address you about what you did to Trixie over the course of the last week. Not once does he go back to any of the things she’s done.
  2193. >Sandalwood, Thunderbass, Scott Green and Valhallen all hold their ground as they defend what you had done. Flash, Brawly Beats, Ringo and Nolan all do their best to convince the others that they are more in the wrong than they know. Norman continues to eat in silence, chill as can be.
  2194. >As you look across the room, you notice the band kids staring over at the entire lot of you, noticing the heated and escalating argument. It’s not surprising that they appear to be concerned.
  2195. >”Um… hello? Trixie isn’t even here right now! Last I heard of her, she was in the bathroom STILL crying!” Flash conveys with heavy articulation.
  2196. >”That’s stupid! There’s no way she’d just stay in there for hours! If anything, she’d likely come out of there after twenty minutes or so and start ruining everyone’s day!” Scott Green insists.
  2197. >The guys say a lot more things, but not much of it is understandable due to them talking over one another. Upon feeling your phone vibrating again, you pull it back out of your pocket to read a new message.
  2198. >[Anon, are you there?] Reads the message from the number that apparently belongs to Fluttershy’s phone.
  2199. >”Okay, okay, okay. Look Anon, I just want you to realize this here.” Flash puts you in the spotlight once more before the other guys start talking over him.
  2200. >At this point, the other students in the cafeteria are seeing this feud as a form of entertainment. They turn their attention to the table, watching and whispering things to eachother.
  2201. >Feeling the immense tension in the air, the band kids pull out their instruments once more.
  2202. >It feels as though this is the standard procedure at this point.
  2203. >You start to hear them play and attempt to lighten up the mood with their music. The guys at the table do take notice of the music being played, by that is the extent to which their attention towards the music halts. The argument does not die down… not even by a little bit.
  2204. >”Hey you pigs!” A female voice suddenly screams over all of the intercepting voices of the guys.
  2205. >Lavender Lace and Fuchsia Blush appear behind the ones sitting at the bench. Little had you known, they had been sitting at this very same table all of this time, and have just taken a stand.
  2206. >Why haven’t you recognized them.
  2207. >”What do you two want?” Sandalwood asks before he receives a turkey subway sandwich to the face.
  2208. >It hits him square in the nose, scrunching up as Lavender pushes it against his head. The other guys automatically start oohing as though the girl had made some sort of soul-crushing point by acting like a completely childish barbarian.
  2209. >The band kids begin to play circus music, to still lighten the mood while keeping it relevant to what’s happening. You’re not sure if they’re expressing their sense of humor, or trying to somehow ease everyone else in to calming down. And naturally, a small food fight ensues in the wake of this.
  2210. >Feeling the need to distance himself from the undesired action, Norman takes his tray of food and strides over to the table where the band kids sit. This way, the music that they’re playing will drown out the guys at his table and he can eat his pizza in peace.
  2211. >”Will you two just sit down?! You’re not making anything any better!” Sandalwood orders the two girls as he wipes the last of the mayonnaise off of his face.
  2212. >”How could you possibly defend Anon for-” Fuchsia starts off.
  2213. >”Oho no… don’t even try to attack Anon just because he gave Trixie what she had coming to her.” Scott Green joins in. “And giving someone a free sandwich on the house isn’t going to make your friend any less moody.”
  2214. >”I would have done it to Anon if he weren’t sitting so far away.” Lavender speaks out before picking up some french fries and chucking them in your direction.
  2215. >At this point, a lot of the other kids are laughing at the episode occurring at the cool kids’ table. The teachers, lazy and unenthusiastic as ever, decide to let the students have their petty little fun at the end of the year and the janitors will clean everything up.
  2216. >They just don’t pay these people enough, don’t they?
  2217. “Sandal’s right. You two need to just sit down.” You jeer over to Fuchsia and Lavender, ready to dodge yet another volley of french fries.
  2218. >”Shut up, Anon! You’re the monster in all this, and your opinion on this is not up for discussion!” Lavender harshly replies. “You were such a manipulative jerk to Trixie, and we’re sticking up for her until you apologize!”
  2219. >”And you have to go on a date with her to make it up to her!” Fuchsia adds.
  2220. “Screw that! You can’t tell me what to do!”
  2221. >”Don’t test me.” Lavender growls at you, wrinkling the ridge of her nose as she angrily grimaces.
  2222. >”Sit. Down!” Thunderbass orders them. “You’re acting stupid.”
  2223. >”And you’re not?! Are you kidding me?!” Fuchsia responds. “You’re the one who’s saying that it’s okay for Anon to play with a girl’s heart. I bet he did that to Sunset too!”
  2224. “No, I didn’t! She came up to me having never even talked to me before and asked me out! I didn’t start any of this!” You jump back into the argument.
  2225. >Norman stays with the band that plays the circus music as the soundtrack to the arguing.
  2226. >Logical fallacies and an ad hominem here and there fly rampant among the students. It’s starting to involve more and more people, including some students from other tables as the battle expands its proximity.
  2227. >You do have to admit that the music playing in the background is lightening the mood to some degree. But this argument is not something you want to be part of. You turn your attention to where the music is coming from and see Norman sitting there, far away and happily eating his slices of pizza in peace.
  2228. >Another vibration in your pocket indicates yet another new message. You want to read it, but you’re too caught up in trying to defend yourself in this ridiculous debate.
  2229. >…
  2230. >Somebody just threw an entire cheeseburger.
  2231. >”No I’m not, Lavender!” Flash yells. “I only said that Anon should reconsider his actions! Sure what he did wasn’t cool, that’s something we can agree upon! But you have no right to force him to go on a date with Trixie just because it will make you satisfied.”
  2232. >”You pigs have no right to defend him!” Declares Lavender.
  2233. >”We’re not! You’re just trying to attack him and over-punish him because you’re a close friend to Trixie!”
  2234. >”And if we’re attacking, and you’re trying to get us to stop, then guess what you’re doing?”
  2235. >The table’s starting to become hilariously messy with the copious amounts of tossed around food. One of the guys just got a face full of lemonade. To be honest, the circus music is the most fitting theme you could possibly think of for these people.
  2236. >You slam your fists down on the table.
  2237. “Alright, you know what?! Forget this! I’m out of here!”
  2238. >In a matter of seconds, you stand up, pick up your tray and walk away. In the direction of the band kids’ table you go, throwing all of your cares out the window.
  2239. >Lavender gets up to follow you, but three of the other kids hold her back. She’s screaming at you now. The other students in the cafeteria lose their sides watching to drama happen with the music in the background.
  2240. >”Hey, dude.” Norman greets you, hardly able to make himself heard over the music.
  2241. “Yeah, uh, I’m sorry about all that.”
  2242. >”What? Speak up, man. The music’s kinds loud.”
  2243. >You lean in towards his ear.
  2244. “I’m sorry about all of that stuff that started up over there. I swear I didn’t start it.”
  2245. >”Oh. Nah, it’s cool. I know you didn’t start it. Every time those guys make things get heated over there, I just kinda… walk away, you know?”
  2246. “Yeah, I hear ya.” You reply, having done the exact same thing.
  2247. >You pull out your phone as the music around you continues on. Looking over to the other table once more, you notice the kids there getting even more hostile towards eachother, almost ready to start throwing punches along with their food.
  2248. >Maybe they’re talking about you still, maybe they’re not. Maybe they’re blaming eachother for you leaving the table again.
  2249. >Whatever, you really don’t care at this point.
  2250. >And with the music around you, watching their drama escalate is actually like watching one of those silent films where all you can hear is the music and not the people. You do your best not to start giggling, just in case they look over to you.
  2251. >Look at the screen of your phone and read the most recent message.
  2252. >[I don’t know when you’re going to read this, but I was just wondering something. Would it be okay with you if you dated me for a little bit? I know how you’re aware of the differences between people and how they make couple grow apart. So I was just wondering if you’d like me to be your practice girl or something. I didn’t want to say anything in front of anyone else because I didn’t want to make a scene and knew you wouldn’t want anyone finding out.]
  2253. >You feel heavier and heavier as you read the message a second and third time. This is nearly impossible to believe.
  2254. >The phone vibrates again and another new message from Fluttershy appears, making the things she’s saying prove to be in real time.
  2255. >[You can break up with me any time you want, I promise. And I also promise no one anywhere is going to find out about this. All I want is for you to get an idea of what it’s like to be in a relationship with someone, because I know how hard it is to start trusting someone your first time around.]
  2256. >Why Fluttershy? Why on earth would she care this much?
  2257. >Another vibration and new message from the phone bear the answer to what you were just thinking as if she had somehow been reading your mind. Of course, there’s no way that could be possible.
  2258. >[It’s like when people take parenting classes. They get some experience under their belt before deciding to take care of an animal or another human being. It’s so they already know the do’s and don’t’s once they actually get started.]
  2259. >Another message.
  2260. >[Anyway, I know that if you and Sunset ever did start a relationship, you’d want it all to be done right. That’s why I’d like to know if you’d like to try it with me first. You don’t really have to do anything for me other than learn what it’s like to be with someone. Like I said, you can end it whenever you want… I promise I won’t be upset or anything. It’ll just be a good way to get to know eachother over the summer! :)]
  2261. >You stare at the screen for over a minute, hardly noticing the music dying down as the argument on the other side of the room finally fades a way. Norman, having been enjoying the food and music the entire time, hadn’t noticed or read any of the messages you received.
  2262. >An immediate answer to Fluttershy’s proposal is not present. Believe it or not, you actually have time to think this one over.
  2263. >Evidently, the basis of you rejecting Sunset in the first place was mostly because of you being so sure that a sudden relationship with the girl you barely knew would fail. You don’t want that inconvenience in your life, spending your money and time on someone whom you’re not even sure how to appropriately act around during a relationship.
  2264. >It was really sweet of Fluttershy to offer to do something like this for you. She’s even swore not to tell anyone about it or make you do things for her. You must admit that this would really be a major plus in your book. But there is just this one simple thing that it cannot counter.
  2265. >No matter what happens, you’re not ever going to allow yourself to be in a relationship. It’s nothing personal, it’s just that you never plan to do such a thing with your life, and would like to be left alone.
  2266. >It’s already been decided that you’re going to say no to her, but you’re going to have to say it as nicely as possible. Fluttershy isn’t exactly as sturdy as most girls, from what you could tell.
  2267. >Listen to the other kids at your table begin to converse.
  2268. >”That was so cool!” You hear Sonata exclaim. “This is pretty much the opposite of what the girls and I used to do.”
  2269. >All heads turn towards her and all eyes focus their gazes in her direction. Sonata immediately recognizes this and shrugs with a cute little smile.
  2270. >”What did I say?” She asks, trying to get some sort of clearance as to what happened.
  2271. >”Uhh… Sonata?” Adagio calmly but firmly informs her. “We don’t… talk about that anymore…”
  2272. >Sonata pauses for a couple of seconds, before perking up in her seat and widening her eyes.
  2273. >”Oh, right! Hehe… sorry everyone. I’m not exactly good at thinking things all the way through.” Sonata apologizes.
  2274. >”It’s cool. We won’t get mad. What’s in the past is what’s in the past.” Wiz Kid tells her.
  2275. >”Let’s change the subject, shall we?” Suggests Adagio. “How about that trip we’re all going on in about a week or so?”
  2276. >”Ooooh! You’re going to love Brothens!” Sweet Leaf insists.
  2277. >This is your chance to get to know these kids more, right now. You feel horrible for keeping them out of your life and your mind for so long, not even aware of half of the things that they’re doing or planning to do.
  2278. >And meanwhile, you’ve got the numbers of at least three different girls who are in the same group that you have good reasons to believe that are plotting against you. You don’t want to connect with those who connect to the drama, you want to connect with those who will enrich your summer with happiness and relaxation.
  2279. >You must join in on this conversation. This trip that they’re talking about is sounding more and more desirable to you the more you hear about it. You’ve been trying to think of a way to avoid all of the drama over the summer, just in case it will try to follow you after school lets out in a couple of days. It’s time to answer the message quick.
  2280. [I’m sorry Fluttershy, but I don’t need a practice girlfriend because I don’t plan on having a real girlfriend any time soon. Please understand that there’s nothing against you when I say this, I just don’t want to go through any of this stuff. The only thing I want is to enjoy my summer, and if you could let me do that, I’m happy. I promise.]
  2281. >In your mind, you’re already picturing Fluttershy reading the message and taking things the wrong way. You wish you could have worded this in a way that would ease her into the idea better, but you’ve pressed send before you can think about it.
  2282. >All you can do now is pray that you aren’t going to induce any tears from Fluttershy through this. But it subtly hurts the more you think about it.
  2283. >The offer that she made to you was perfectly reasonable as it was kind. She even told you that you could end the relationship whenever you felt like it, and you still turned it down anyway. Fluttershy isn’t the kind of girl that would get her feeling hurt from something like this, right?
  2284. >And yet, all you have is another rejection added to your list.
  2285. >The messages is received on the other end and you turn your phone onto airplane mode, not wanting the response that you might get to ruin the conversation that you’re about to have with the band kids.
  2286. >…
  2287. >In the library, Fluttershy sits in one of the lounge chairs, leaning back into the soft cushion. She has her phone in her lap, awaiting Anon’s response to the special question she had asked.
  2288. >A minute or two pass without anything happening, until the soft sound of the phone vibrating against her legs can be heard.
  2289. >Fluttershy picks up her phone and slowly reads the message that Anon had sent her. She reads the message again and again, at first unable to comprehend what had just happened. But it eventually dawns on her and she is able to let it all sink in.
  2290. >”O-oh… oh my…” Fluttershy lets out a quiet sigh before looking around the room.
  2291. >She weakly stands up, legs quivering, and trudges her way over to the shelves. After a couple of seconds, Fluttershy nearly shields her face with her shoulders as she walks.
  2292. >Most of the rows are empty, given that not many students at Canterlot High would spend much time in the library for any reason other than the work on their academics. Fluttershy continues to scan the rows, obviously searching for someone at this point.
  2293. >And then, Fluttershy turns a corner to find Twilight standing in front of her with a book in her hand. Twilight automatically looks up, having heard the soft footsteps of Fluttershy slowly approaching. She stares at Fluttershy, expecting her to say something first.
  2294. >”It… um… it didn’t work.” Fluttershy reveals.
  2295. >”He said no?” Twilight tries to verify.
  2296. >Fluttershy meekly nods her head in response.
  2297. >”Darn. Looks like we’ll have to find a better approach.” Twilight curses to herself. “Don’t worry though, I’ll think of something before today’s over.”
  2298. ~
  2299. >…
  2300. >”What other cities are you guys going to?” Sonata asks with eagerness in her eyes.
  2301. >”Uh… I keep forgetting. Who still has the list?” Wiz Kid brings up.
  2302. >The phone is slipped back into your pocket and hidden from sight. At the other table, Flash and his buddies are now calmly talking to eachother while cleaning up the mess that Lavender and Fuchsia started. Though, they had contributed as well, having thrown a good amount of food on their own.
  2303. >”All I know is that I’m staying in Brothens. I need a good and relaxing summer vacation just like the last one.” Declares Sweet Leaf.
  2304. >Wiz Kid rummages through a bunch of papers in his backpack, eventually pulling individual papers out to look at. You begin to wonder more about this place called Brothens, remembering when it had been mentioned earlier on during the week.
  2305. >Only now do you wonder: did Fluttershy text you back yet? You’re a little bit too afraid to turn the phone off of airplane mode, not wanting to discover and hurt feelings that will be shown through a text message that tries to mask the emotions.
  2306. “So… what’s the place like?” You ask Sweet Leaf.
  2307. >Sweet Leaf’s one visible eye brightens up, as though she is overjoyed to hear you ask this question. You can already tell that she has a lot to say about this place.
  2308. >”Tons of islands with beaches. Perfect weather. Beaches. Palm trees. And uh… more beaches. Boat transportation between the islands if the water’s not shallow enough to walk across. Lots of ice cream and pizza shops… with tons of cool people to hang out with. Luxury hotels that cost less to stay in than you would believe. Pools. More beaches. Tons of chill places to do literally nothing if you want. Other epic places where you can play sports, surf, and do literally countless other things. Oh, and… did I mention there’s beaches? Like… sooooo many beaches.”
  2309. “So… you guys are pretty going to the beach?”
  2310. >Sweet Leaf looks down and giggles at the floor.
  2311. >”That’s one way to put it. Though, literally anything fun you can think of is probably there in Brothens. Mostly in the DLC District.”
  2312. >Flash and his friends start calling over to you and waving at you, signaling to come sit with them again, since the dramatic battle is over. Trixie’s two friends angrily glare at you, looking like twin cobras ready to strike their prey at any given second.
  2313. >You make no effort to even pick up your tray, remaining seated and keeping your phone on airplane mode.
  2314. “Ah, so is Brothens like a rich city?” You continue to talk to Sweet Leaf.
  2315. >”The people who run the place are practically made of money. They literally have more money than they know what to do with… times ten. And they pretty much pay for a lot of the stuff themselves, making everything there unbelievably low priced. Except for the plane tickets in order to get there, which are like… 2,000 dollars each. The city itself is literally on the other side of the world from here.” Sweet Leaf explains. “The mayors, or whatever kind of ‘in-charge-guys’ they are, are apparently blood related to a long line of pirate families that raided places all over the world throughout history, bringing everything back to Brothens. So basically, money runs in their families.”
  2316. >This conversation just got so much more interesting. Later tonight, you’re going to kick yourself as hard as you can for not sitting at this table more often. There’s no drama here; just music, distance from the drama and stories about beaches and pirates.
  2317. >“Can I come?” Norman blurts out without thinking.
  2318. >This whole talk about the perfect vacation spot has put you in a trance where you do nothing but dream while staring into open space. After Norman asks this, the band kids all give eachother almost solemn looks.
  2319. >”Unfortunately, no. I’m afraid that all of the plane tickets have already been paid for, thanks to school funding.” Wiz Kid breaks the news to him.
  2320. >“And we’re all scheduled to leave in a week, next Friday morning.” Adds Sweet Leaf.
  2321. >”Dagi, Ria and I got tickets, too!” Exclaims Sonata. “They managed to squeeze us in at the last minute just this week. We’re going to stay there all summer!”
  2322. >Oh right, and what was it this week that you kept putting up with instead of hanging out with the band kids? You’re going to find the biggest boot you can possibly find tonight… and you’re going going to kick yourself with it as many times as it takes for your punishment to be complete.
  2323. >This just isn’t fair.
  2324. >”Anon! Norman!” Flash call over, standing up from his seat. “You guys can come back now! It’s all cool, dudes! I’m not mad.”
  2325. >Norman frantically looks over at them, and then back at the band kids. A couple of them apologize to him for not being able to go, which obviously means that your option to go is off of the table as well.
  2326. >”Ah, alright. Maybe next year.” Norman responds before standing up to walk back to his socially designated table. “It’s cool, man. Anyway, I guess the fight’s over. Nice uh… chatting with you guys.”
  2327. >A tension swells inside of you as you feel the perfect opportunity to escape permanently slip away from your grasp. You see Flash continue to wave over to you, beckoning you to rejoin his table where Norman is currently sitting down. They’re watching you.
  2328. >”Anon! Come on!” Flash repeats. “You can come back now, it’s okay.”
  2329. >You glance back over at the band kids, who have clearly taken notice of Flash beckoning you over. They all look at both you and the table on the other side of the room. The period is pretty much five minutes from ending.
  2330. >”It’s okay, Anon. You can go back there if you want.” Sweet Leaf assures you.
  2331. >Within you, there are both urges to go over to their table and to stay at the table where the band kids are. You don’t want another scene to be made, but it is apparent that the class period is almost over anyway. In addition to this, the band kids did make it clear that they are okay with you going to sit at the other table.
  2332. >It’s not like they’d have much of a reason to mind.
  2333. “Alright, uh, I’ll be seeing you guys later.” You tell them. “And… sorry about what happened a few minutes ago and all that.”
  2334. >”Oh don’t worry about it!” Wiz Kid assures you. “We really like playing our instruments anyway. It kind of made the moment fun.”
  2335. >”Yeah. We’ll catch you later, Anon.” Sweet Leaf bids you off right as you grab your tray and start to stand up.
  2336. >You wave to them before having to balance your tray of half-eaten food. Flash, Norman, Nolan and Sandalwood all call out to you in a friendly manner as you approach their table once again.
  2337. >All you have to do is not say anything that will make them start arguing again. The period is going to end in a couple of minutes, so this shouldn’t be too too hard.
  2338. >”Sorry about that, dude. We just didn’t exactly… agree on things.” Apologizes Flash. “It was mostly those two that made things get out of hand.”
  2339. >He points over towards Fuchsia and Lavender, who pout while sitting next to eachother. They’re hungry for war.
  2340. >”Sandal here got us all to keep our cool.” Nolan brings up.
  2341. >With a slight flip of his dreadlocks, Sandalwood give you and the rest of the table a thumbs up. You sit down next to Norman, receiving a warm welcome from the rest of the table.
  2342. >The chatter briefly starts up again, mostly composed of a couple of the guys asking what on earth just happened and who threw the most food about fifteen minutes ago. The table is mostly cleaned up at this point, but Fuchsia and Lavender made no efforts to help the other kids clean things up.
  2343. >”Look, I just want us all to come to an agreement here. What Flash was trying to say is that Anon might have gone a little bit overboard when he could have just gotten Trixie to go away.” Sandalwood explains to everyone. “But here’s what I’m saying: Trixie is a… really really dense girl. She’s not exactly going to take no for an answer when she’s determined. And I think that’s been proven from when she kept following Anon around everywhere.”
  2344. >”That’s right!” Agrees Thunderbass.
  2345. >”Which means that the only way to get the message through to her is to kinda… become a little harsh just like her.”
  2346. >”But…” Flash replies. “Doesn’t that mean he’s kinda stooping to her level?”
  2347. “Yes. Yes it does.” You join in, since the conversation is about you anyway. “But it was my choice, and it was effective too! I’m not seeing her trying to bother me ever since this morning. And that’s surprisingly an improvement!”
  2348. >”Exactly.” Sandalwood backs you up. “And on top of that, it’s not like you can reverse what happened anyway.”
  2349. >The other guys nod one by one.
  2350. >”But I will level with Flash on this: It wouldn’t hurt to apologize to her for being so harsh. It’s only fair.”
  2351. >”That’s true.” Says Flash.
  2352. “Alright, alright. I get that. I don’t mind apologizing to her or anything, I just don’t want to be forced to go on any dates with her, okay?”
  2353. >”No deal!” Lavender declares, almost standing back up.
  2354. >Fuchsia has to hold her down.
  2355. >”You two stay out of this. It’s not your business. If you didn’t help clean up, you don’t get to participate in this discussion.” Flash scolds them.
  2356. >”Trixie is OUR friend, and it’s OUR business. Plus, you can’t tell us what to do! This isn’t pre-school!” Protests Lavender.
  2357. >”And you can’t tell Anon what to do! And he’s OUR friend!”
  2358. >The bell rings right in the middle of Flash’s sentence. The students, having already been waiting for the bell, shoot up out of their seats and rush fort the door.
  2359. >The hastiness with the rushing out of the room is higher than usual, since it’s the last Friday of the school year. And at the drop of a hat, the conversation is ended as the kids at the table become overwhelmingly eager to all stand up at once to leave.
  2360. >Already wanting to end the conversation due to the tension, you, Flash and the others stand up as well and grab your things.
  2361. >”You’re taking the bus home today, right?” Flash asks you. “Like last week?”
  2362. “Yeah. Why?”
  2363. >”I’ll just talk then. See ya later!”
  2364. “Alright!” You say back as the group slowly disperses into the crowd.
  2365. >After a minute or so, you suddenly think of this as the perfect opportunity to catch at least one of the band kids. But it’s already too late to actually take the time to spot one of them and go over to him or her.
  2366. >Next class is about to start.
  2367. ~
  2368. >…
  2369. >Well today just got a whole lot more boring.
  2370. >Each class is going by with teachers rambling on about the final reviews of their materials that they were assigned to teach at Canterlot High. It’s all just the same stuff over and over again, almost like reading the boring part of the book before anything interesting might happen.
  2371. >6th period.
  2372. >You pay no mind to anything that’s happening, just automatically starting to take notice when the end of the period happens and everyone can leave. If there was a way to skip past all of the undesirable parts of life, you would have done so and just gotten to the interesting part. Because lord knows you would have definitely gone straight past the drama, but probably paused for a second and got yourself a plane ticket along the way.
  2373. >7th period.
  2374. >To be honest, your summer could have been better.
  2375. >Today really got boring, indeed. And you’re having a hard time getting through it, especially with the weekend right there in front of you. You tune out, practically fast forwarding through the rest of the day, despite everything still going at normal speed.
  2376. >8th period.
  2377. >…
  2378. >But alas, the final class of the day ends with the sound of the bell. Distant cheering comes from a lot of the other students. You race out of the classroom as quickly as you possibly can and gather everything you can from your locker.
  2379. >At least you can be sure this time that Sunset’s not going to be here to start up some sort of awkward moment. A lot of things can happen in one week. It’s a good thing there’s only three days after this.
  2380. >What you still need to worry about is the fact that Trixie is still here.
  2381. >You’re already expecting to see Flash on the bus. You were half hoping that he’d be here anyway, just in case you hadn’t gone back to his table during lunch. As you approach the bus, you can already see a large group of students in the back.
  2382. >At least you don’t have to worry about being alone with Trixie, and that’s even if she’s going to ride the bus today.
  2383. >Remembering everything from lunch, you get yourself ready to confront Flash a second time. Maybe he’s already talked to Trixie at some point today, which might help in some way. Well, you hope it would, at least. The less work you have to do with this unnecessary drama the better.
  2384. >You’re just getting tired of it at this point. Summer needs to swoop in and take all of the tension away.
  2385. >Entering the bus, you notice Twilight and Flash sitting in the same seat, talking to eachother. Just like last week, Twilight, Norman and Flash are all riding the bus home like the do every Friday. Upon noticing you stepping up the stairs of the entrance, Twilight promptly gets up and moves back across the aisle.
  2386. >Of course, this begins to rouse suspicions within you, but you ignore it. In slight relation to this, you have kept your phone on airplane mode thus far, afraid of finding out if Fluttershy’s feeling may have been hurt. But the choice you made was yours and yours alone, right?
  2387. >All you need to do is stop being so paranoid, but that shouldn’t hold back your free will.
  2388. >Besides, you can trust Flash.
  2389. >”Oh hey, there he is.” Flash chimes as you approach the back seat.
  2390. >Twilight smiles over at you, almost looking like she’s keeping a close eye on where you’re walking and where you might sit down. You don’t want to say that you don’t trust her. Well… at least that’s something you don’t want to just go out and say.
  2391. >She’s a nice girl, and you really are grateful for her helping you out… if that is what she’s been doing. Though, it’s probably not good to just jump to conclusions like that without giving it the benefit of the doubt.
  2392. >”It’s about time we got the weekend coming again, huh?” Norman says to you as you sit down.
  2393. “Yeah… it’s about time.”
  2394. >It’s relaxing to rest yourself on the leather bus seat in opposition to the hard chairs connected to the standard school desks. Buy lying around in bed all summer long is going to feel even better.
  2395. >Twilight and Flash exchange glances, waiting for the other to speak first. You do remember Twilight being right there when you rejected Trixie, and Flash did try to reason with you about the whole thing.
  2396. >But neither of them speak another word until the doors close and the bus gets moving. Norman begins to clap and cheer as the final Friday of the school year is officially over. If you didn’t know any better, you’d assume that he’s completely oblivious to what’s going on. But there’s no way he didn’t catch wind of… whatever Flash and Twilight are about to bring up.
  2397. >”So, uh…” Flash begins “We should probably talk about something.”
  2398. >You’re not going to let him vaguely leave it at something. You’re too worn out and impatient to be playing this pronoun game.
  2399. “Is it about Trixie?” You ask, skipping the preliminaries.
  2400. >The two nod… slightly towards eachother. It’s barely noticeable.
  2401. >But there’s no possible way they could be planning something. All they wanted to do was talk.
  2402. >”I hate to say this, but…” Twilight starts off. “You seem different, Anon. As in, you’re acting in a different way than usual.”
  2403. >”I’ll admit that I’ve noticed this too.” Flash agrees. “And uh, we just want to know if everything’s alright.”
  2404. >So this where they try to get some sort of definite answer out of you. This is the almost desperate confrontation that occurs at the end of the last Friday of the school year. They might try to do something really finalizing during this one.
  2405. “What are you talking about? I’ve been fine.”
  2406. >”It’s just that, you still don’t seem the same as you used to be. You’re even different than how you were last week.”
  2407. “Well what can I tell you? Things have happened, things that I’m not particularly proud of at first.”
  2408. >Flash blinks and furrows his eyebrows for a split second.
  2409. >”Uh… what do you mean at first?”
  2410. >”Anon, is there something you want to tell us?” Twilight’s voice and words kindly analyze what you just said.
  2411. >She’s almost interrogating you at this point, but in a way where it is similar to a teacher talking to a small child who just got himself into trouble.
  2412. >”Alright look, neither of us knew you very well before any of this started up. But we had a good idea of how things were in the beginning.” Flash infers. “You didn’t want any attention. Every time someone addressed you about the thing you did, you just briefly explained what was behind it and asked to be left alone.”
  2413. “Well it couldn’t be left at that.” You reflect. “Along with a couple of others, Trixie wouldn’t leave me alone about it. She stirred up a ton of drama that lord knows I didn’t want in my life. And I honestly still don’t want it in my life.”
  2414. >Their main point is being approached.
  2415. >”Okay then, so if that’s still true, then what’s with all of this Heartbreaker stuff you’re suddenly okay with?” Interrogates Flash.
  2416. “Everything that’s happened is why I’m doing this. There’s always going to be someone out there who just won’t leave it alone.” You spill the first part of the beans, withholding another part. “And I really don’t want to put up with it, like at all.”
  2417. >They both give you puzzled but attentive looks.
  2418. ”Might I remind you that you two came up to me about it around the same time.” You also bring forth. “And that says a lot about-”
  2419. >”What can you say about the Facebook page, Anon?” Twilight suddenly says to you. “Why don’t you want it taken down anymore?”
  2420. “Because I don’t care anymore! I didn’t make that page, I never forced any girls to ask me out, I never freaked out about it when I said no, I never started any of this! I don’t even want to talk about this stupid drama anymore, what with all the ‘you need to get the Facebook page deleted’ or ‘patch things up with Trixie’ and all that. Don’t you get it? I no longer care! I don’t want or need any drama like this muddying up my time and life. I just want summer to start so I can relax and enjoy myself.”
  2421. >”And what about Trixie? Huh?” Flash brings forth once more. “She’s hurt now, Anon. Her feelings matter too, you know.”
  2422. “I don’t want to talk about people’s feelings. I want no part in this high school drama. I want to do pretty much what Norman over here did and just isolate myself from it so I don’t have to hear all of that nonsense!”
  2423. >”But you’re the one causing it, Anon.” Twilight tells you. “You’re the one who led Trixie on to like you and then shot her down in front of everyone. She and I might not be the best of friends, but I still think that was pretty cold, Anon.”
  2424. “There was no other way to shake her off! Nothing else worked, and why do you think I was trying so hard to shake her off anyway? Because I didn’t. Want. Any. Part. In. This!” You articulate as explicitly as you can. “And I still don’t want any part in this.”
  2425. >”No, man. That’s not right.” Flash insists. “Playing with someone’s emotions is not good in any light.”
  2426. “Wow, really? Even if she was the one constantly doing it first and was showing no signs of stopping?”
  2427. >Why didn’t you bring up this point before? But an even better question, why are you even having this conversation?
  2428. “And why are you blaming me for all of this? Like I said, those girls came up to me. It was my own choice to not want to go out with anyone ever! What was I supposed to do to make this whole thing end?”
  2429. >”By at least going a little bit easier on Trixie!” Twilight says to you.
  2430. >This whole conversation blows. You cannot begin to comprehend the amount of resent you feel in your heart for this drama. Especially since it had potentially prevented you from having a spectacular summer at some far away place. Although, you might not have met the band kids if Sunset hadn’t asked you out. But the thing that Trixie was doing is another story.
  2431. “A ‘little bit easier’ would have only further encouraged her to continue to rile me. You know how that girl is!”
  2432. >Norman stands up from his seat and carries his backpack down the aisle. He has to sit down at a couple of seats in between his previous spot and his destination, due to the bus moving around a lot. He’s trying to make it to the very front, the opposite end of the bus from where the rest of you sit.
  2433. >The other students watch him as he stumbles by with the buses movements.
  2434. “And don’t say that I’m the one causing this.” You continue. “I was never such a ‘bad person’ before all of this drama started up. I rarely even talked to anyone, and I liked it that way. Then Sunset came up to me, asking me to get into a relationship with her that would require me to devote time and money into someone else. I didn’t want that so-”
  2435. >”Devoting your time and resources towards others is just something that happens in life, Anon. It’s one of the main things that make friendship work, and there’s no getting around it.” Twilight cuts you off.
  2436. “I’m not trying to get around anything! Are you kidding me?”
  2437. >A couple of other students also avoid the heated discussion in the back seats.
  2438. “I’m not saying that that I don’t ever want to devote my time to others, but I’m not going to do it if I have the option not to. It’s my life.”
  2439. >”That’s really selfish of you, bro.” Flash tells you.
  2440. “No, it’s not! If the circumstances involved anything more than a girl in school, whom I barely even know, asking me to get into a relationship that isn’t likely to last… then maybe it would have been selfish of me. But that’s not the case, isn’t it?”
  2441. >”It kind of is now, since you seem to like it when the other kids practically worship you as the ‘Heartbreaker of Canterlot High’.”
  2442. “Hey, now… don’t say that was my doing! those girls came to me! And I turned them down for the exact same reasons; it doesn’t matter who asks me out, because I’m always going to say no. No matter what.”
  2443. >”Then why do you want the page to stay up?”
  2444. >They’re putting words in your mouth now.
  2445. “I DON’T CARE ABOUT THE PAGE! I don’t want anything to do with it, whether it stays up or goes down! It’s not my problem! And now back towards the other thing, I hardly know Sunset. Which is why a relationship with her is bound to have a quick end. I know how this stuff works.”
  2446. >”The page has YOUR name on it!”
  2447. “Too bad!”
  2448. >The bus makes a sharp turn around a tight corner. You lose your balance and fall backwards, landing against the bus’s interior with a loud bang against the surface of the metal wall under the glass.
  2449. >You didn’t even realize that you were standing up.
  2450. >”Look, all we’re saying is that you should at least apologize to Trixie. Just meet up with her somewhere and say that you’re sorry.” Twilight begs you. “You can’t solve this problem by avoiding it, Anon.”
  2451. “Yes. I can and I will. I mean, just look at what Norman did just now. It’s exactly like during lunch, he stands up and he leaves. Not being part of it.”
  2452. >”You don’t exactly have that option, Anon.” Flash proclaims. “And stop trying to bring Norman into this mess.”
  2453. “Stop trying to bring ME into this mess!”
  2454. >”Well, it’s your mess, so…”
  2455. “It’s not. If you have a problem, you can take a hike. Because I’m not going to let this be my problem. I’m just going to enjoy my summer.”
  2456. >”Alright, alright, alright. Let’s try to cool down, here.” Conveys Flash. “Listen, Twilight and I are just worried about Trixie’s uh… self-esteem and stuff. Regardless of whether or not it was the right thing to do, what you did broke her, Anon.”
  2457. “It was the only way to get her to stop.”
  2458. >”Okay, fine. So we’ll level with you on that. That was the path you took, and you got her off your back. Super. But now look at her, Anon. She’s still pretty upset. She doesn’t want to talk to anyone.” Flash informs you.
  2459. >”I can confirm this.” Twilight agrees. “It’s pretty bad. She won’t even talk to her two closest friends. Her whole world’s been turned upside down.”
  2460. >”Basically, Trixie’s a mess right now no matter what. So uh… now what?” Flash asks you.
  2461. >You give him a long look, expecting him to say something else. But he stays silent, edging you on to respond in some manner.
  2462. “I guess we wait for her to get over it.” You reply off the top of your head.
  2463. >”Anon…” Twilight says to you. She doesn’t sound too much impatient anymore. “You can’t possibly mean that.”
  2464. “Well what am I going to gain from making her feel better?”
  2465. >”You could gain a friend! The two of you obviously started off on the wrong foot. Maybe you can learn to get along with her over the summer or something if you just talk to her or something. It’ll signify to her that you don’t hate her or anything. I mean, you don’t actually hate her, do you?”
  2466. “Well, I can honestly say that she’s starting to make me hate her. I didn’t hate her at all before any of this started up. And yeah, I know I’m becoming more and more bitter and paranoid. But you know what? I was never like this until this whole thing started up. The drama is what’s turning me into this kind of person, so I don’t see how you could frown upon me for wanting to distance myself from it all as much as I can.”
  2467. >”Well like I said before. It wouldn’t hurt to at least do something small to make her feel a little bit better. It’s worth a shot.”
  2468. “Well, what do I even do?” You needle the question.
  2469. >”Man, I don’t know. Like… apologize and then compliment her or something.” Flash suggests. “Also. Norman, you can come back now, bro!”
  2470. >Norman perks his head up in response to Flash’s call. But he doesn’t rise from his seat.
  2471. >”Eh… I think I’m going to stay up here for now. My stop’s coming up anyway.” Norman calls back.
  2472. >Sinking back into his seat, Norman looks back forward and slips his phone out. He’s just about to go to an apps page when he hears someone in the front seat across from him.
  2473. >”Psst. Go back to the back!” The girl sitting there hisses at him, wearing a dark green hoodie that nearly covers her face.
  2474. >But her face is uncovered just enough for Norman to figure out who it is.
  2475. >”Uh, is that you, Trixie?” Norman quietly whispers. “What are you do-”
  2476. >”Trixie said go back over there! She is hiding!” Orders Trixie. “And don’t tell Anon that Trixie is here!”
  2477. >”Um… okay.” Norman agrees before grabbing his stuff and slowly making his way to the back of the bus. He knows that the episode is pretty much surrounding him at this point.
  2478. >”Anon, you should tell Trixie why you don’t want to date anyone as well.” Twilight proposes. “Because when a girl asks a guy out and he says no, it makes her really question her appearance and likability. I know this… I can empathize. And taking away that feeling of questioning oneself is a good way to show that you want to start a friendship. Maybe not a romantic relationship, but a friendship.”
  2479. >Ugh, what is with this girl and friendship?
  2480. >”Yeah. I think the best way to patch things up is to say that even though you said no to her, she can at least be confident that you still find her attractive. And then you can explain that it was her being the reason you said no. But about the leading her on part… I’m afraid that’s where you’d have to apologize.” Flash briefs.
  2481. >“You can still tell her that it was the only way to get he to stop, but still apologize. Like you can say, ‘hey, it was the only way to get things through to you, but I’m sorry I had to do that’. You do at least find her a little attractive, do you, Anon?” Twilight asks you.
  2482. “What? No, I don’t! I’m not saying she’s not pretty or anything, but I’m still not… interested in her!”
  2483. >Flash narrows his eyes a little bit. He almost smirks, but hides it away before it becomes too apparent.
  2484. >”Buuuuuuut… you do still think she’s pretty, right? That’s what you just said.” He calmly drills. “Because that means that you kinda do… think she’s attractive.”
  2485. “That’s not what I said!” You snap back.
  2486. >Twilight covers her mouth with her hands.
  2487. >”Oh my gosh! Do you actually like her, Anon?” She loudly gasps.
  2488. “No! No, I don’t and I already told you that.”
  2489. >”Yeah, mhm, mhm. And why did you feel the need to get her to ask you out? I’m starting to feel like you wanted that to happen so she’d swoon over you. In a way, of course.”
  2490. “If I liked her, then why did I say no to her when she finally bucked up and asked to be my girlfriend?”
  2491. >”Because you’re doing what I told you she was doing earlier this week! You wanted to see her show involuntary affection for you because it made you feel warm on the inside or something.” Flash rambles on. “Oh my god, you really are into her, aren’t you? Is that why you rejected Sunset?”
  2492. “Hey, what makes you think you can just define my actions like that? Let alone define the actions of someone like Trixie?”
  2493. >”See? You’re defending her! Once you found out that she likes you, you started to slowly like her back, didn’t you?”
  2494. >”Anon.” Twilight says to you. “I want you to be honest with me. Do you actually like Trixie and just don’t want to admit it?”
  2495. >They almost sound like they’re deliberately talking loud enough for even the bus driver to hear them. Norman nervously looks up to the front and then back at you, as though he wants to tell you something.
  2496. “I wasn’t defending her, you two. Why are you suddenly needling me with all of these assuming questions like this? It just feels a bit sudden.”
  2497. >”Anon, it’s okay.” Twilight assures you. “I didn’t mean to rush you or anything. But… I really am starting to think that you like her.”
  2498. >The bus rounds a corner, leading to what you remember as Norman’s stop. Norman already has his stuff gathered up and ready to go quite early, as though he’s bracing for something.
  2499. >”Listen, about a year or so ago, I kinda thought she was hot, too. I mean, it’s not something I’d like to admit since she’s not exactly a Mary Sue. But like… you can’t really fight the feeling, no matter how mean she gets. You get what I’m saying, right?”
  2500. >You let out an audible sigh loud enough for them to hear.
  2501. “Flash, you’re not going to make me like Trixie.” You push.
  2502. >”Ah, come on now… you and I both know that Trixie is one of those girls that somehow-”
  2503. “No, dude.”
  2504. >”Yes! You know it’s true, man. It’s not like you can go the whole time without noticing her at least once. And even if it wasn’t her that you liked, there’s still Rarity and Sunset who also asked you out. Let’s not forget that.”
  2505. “Well… what does that have to do with anything?”
  2506. >Flash smiles at you.
  2507. >”We’re talking about Trixie, Sunset AND Rarity. All three of them asking you out on completely separate occasions. Now… I know for a fact that you must like at least one of them at least a little bit, because the odds of none of them appealing to you are pretty low. I mean, they’re three of the hottest girls in school, which is actually a bit strange if you ask me. Because the whole concept of this doesn’t even sound realistic if all three of them wanted to date you over the course of ONE week.”
  2508. “It was all just a coincidence.” You explain. “Just tell me what you’re getting at already. Seriously, I’m sick of beating around the bush. Also, I already told you why I said no to them.”
  2509. >”And I believed you, too. Until now, of course, after finding out that you led Trixie on to ask you so you could reject her. With Sunset and Rarity being really hot girls who wouldn’t just randomly ask any guy out, I’m starting to think that you lead them on, too.”
  2510. >You at least know why Rarity had done so, given that the whole thing was staged anyway. It’s too bad that Flash probably won’t believe you if you tell him, and Twilight might pretend she doesn’t know what you’re talking about.
  2511. >Since Twilight hasn’t spoken up about what really happened with you and Rarity, it’s pretty clear where her loyalty lies.
  2512. >There’s no telling if she’d back you up in this if you told her, you’re still not sure if you can trust her. Given all of the evidence from before, you’re just going to assume no and not let this conversation get any more complicated… or one-sided.
  2513. >Best not let yourself look like you’re making excuses.
  2514. “I may have lead Trixie on, but that was only because she wouldn’t leave me alone.”
  2515. >”What about Sunset and Rarity?” Interrogates Flash. “Were they doing something like what Trixie was doing too?”
  2516. >Twilight says nothing to defend you, only looking down at her seat and twiddling her thumbs. You feel two things from this. A crushing sense of betrayal, and an absolute certainty beyond reasonable doubt that she’s plotting something that would fail if Flash learns the truth.
  2517. “I can tell you that I don’t know why Sunset showed so much interest in me. Because like I said before, this ALL started when she asked me out. That is a fact, and I have never even talked to her before she asked me out. And if you don’t believe me, you can ask her yourself.”
  2518. >”Huh, that’s pretty bold of you. I’ll ask her when I get the chance, but now what about Rarity?” Flash continues. “I know for a fact that Rarity has super high standards when it comes to guys, so I really don’t think you can come up with any excuses for that one.”
  2519. “I don’t need to make excuses, Flash. This is all completely genuine.”
  2520. >”Well it doesn’t seem genuine. You still didn’t confirm anything about Sunset, or even Trixie for that matter. I’m still convinced that Trixie’s hidden interest in you made her like you back, since you didn’t seem eager to lead her on until I told you that she liked you.” Flash points out. “Also, it’s kinds not realistic for you to not be interested in ANY of the three. I’ll bet that there’s two possible truths to this. Either you find at least one of them attractive or likable, or you’re just into guys or something, dude. Because those look like they’re the only two possibilities.”
  2521. >Oh no. He did not just imply that.
  2522. “That’s not true at all, man!”
  2523. >”Then which one do you like? Because from what I’m getting, you rejected Trixie because she was mean to you and the other two were… just a game to you?”
  2524. >The bus begins to slow down as it approaches Norman’s stop. The whine of the brakes fills the air with it’s continuous hum, signifying the students at the designated stop to stand to their feet and get off to return home for the weekend.
  2525. >You get ready to start yelling.
  2526. ”Sunset liking me was a coincidence. And Trixie… I don’t care if she is the most beautiful girl in the world! She continuously harassed me and manipulated my emotions! She’s arrogant and self-centered, not to mention she’s willing to start a Facebook hate page about something that has practically nothing to do with her! That girl’s a borderline psychopath, literally going out of her way to be in my presence just to try to bring me down at least a little bit more. It doesn’t matter what her appearance is, anyone who does things like that is ugly on the inside and I will not tolerate that!”
  2527. >”Uhh… he’s right, you know.” Norman states as he stands up, agreeing with you.
  2528. >”Well manipulating her back still isn’t good. Two wrongs don’t make a right, Anon. And you know… all this time has passed and you still haven’t come up with a valid reason for you rejecting Rarity. And don’t give me that whole ‘I hate dating and don’t care about drama’ stuff. Because if you truly didn’t want any drama, you wouldn’t have led ANYONE on in the first place.”
  2529. >Is this guy being serious?
  2530. >Just as you’re about to go back to shouting again, an idea that should have existed a long time ago pops into your brain.
  2531. >THE TEXT MESSAGES!
  2532. >Your phone still has the messages that were sent from Twilight’s number that completely give away the fact that the rejection of Rarity was 100% staged. Why haven’t you thought of this before?! The shock of realization shooting through you bites like a Rottweiler.
  2533. >Violent shaking rocks your hands as you get ready to bring out the heavy evidence.
  2534. “Hey Flash. There’s uh… a couple of things on my phone that I’d like to show you. They’re text messages.”
  2535. >Twilight’s face turns pale as she hears you say this. The complacent impression that she had a few seconds ago has washed away at the hands of drilling panic. Her posture immediately straightens, like that of a deer in front of the headlights on a truck. Trapped and doomed.
  2536. >”What are you talking about?” Flash says right as all of the other students step off of the bus. “Is this a distraction or something so you don’t have to talk about apologizing to Trixie or admitting the real reason why Rarity asked you out.”
  2537. “The real reason is what I’m about to-” You start off before Norman’s voice interrupts you.
  2538. >”If you want to apologize to her, she’s right here in the front seat!” He reveals with a wide smile on his face before being the last student to step off.
  2539. >Remember that reaction that Twilight just gave you when you threatened to reveal the text messages that she sent to you about Rarity? Flash is doing the exact same thing, now.
  2540. >He knew.
  2541. >Norman skips off of the bus and struts away from the stop. Flash stares out the window at him with wide eyes, unable to find the words that suit how he feels about what the guy just did. Twilight keeps the lower half of her face covered by her hands and stares up towards the front of the bus where Trixie sits.
  2542. >You barely catch a glimpse of Trixie peering over the top of the back pf the front seat to get a view of what’s going on, wondering what just happened. You can swear that you can barely hear her curse Norman’s name. Flash can be heard muttering something similar to that under his breath.
  2543. >Now is the time to be upset.
  2544. “She was right here ALL THIS TIME?!” You begin to shout in a mixture of shock and excitement. “Are you two being serious right now?”
  2545. >”I swear I had no idea she was hiding there.” Flash asserts with strain in his voice. “She must have entered the bus after the rest of us.”
  2546. >You can already tell he’s making an attempt to weasel his way out of this. The rushed manner of how he dishes out his sentences, the urgent expression on his face, the fact that he keeps trying to sneak glances back at Twilight. Flash is damage controlling now.
  2547. >Norman is band-kid-tier based.
  2548. >”I swear, dude! Neither of us had any idea!”
  2549. >He’s even speaking for Twilight, already implying that they share the same knowledge about this. You can see right through their lies, no longer in the dark.
  2550. “I… cannot believe what I’m seeing right now!”
  2551. >”Dude… I know what you’re thinking.”
  2552. “And I know what YOUR thinking! You’re trying to cover it all up, aren’t you?”
  2553. >”Not true, man. I never knew she was on this bus.”
  2554. >Raising her hand as though it is a white flag, Twilight catches your attention.
  2555. >”I-I… knew…” She hesitantly confesses with redness in her face. “I just didn’t want to say anything. And… for that I’m sorry.”
  2556. >This answer is just not good enough. You’ve been too heavily impacted by the fact that they’ve tried so hard and went through such great lengths to “teach you a lesson”.
  2557. >Before all of this drama ever starting up, you were nowhere near as paranoid as you are now. You were rather calm, relaxed and pretty much a cool guy to everyone who actually bothered to talk to you. You rarely second-guessed anyone’s motives when they did something nice for you, and you were more open to talking to people about things and hang out with them.
  2558. >There was never that constant notion of “Is he trying to get me to do something? Which words do I have to avoid saying?”.
  2559. >You never felt a need to gain the upper hand over the surrounding public that call you “Heartbreaker”. There was no need to take some newly earned reputation and twist it around so you can use it against those who speak against you.
  2560. >And you hate to admit this, but back in the day, you weren’t feeling this subtle hunger for power. There was no throne for you to maintain, and no enemies to watch out for. There was nothing that you needed to defend, nobody trying to get underneath your skin.
  2561. >No reason to be so defensive.
  2562. >Back then, you didn’t have any reason at all to be paranoid, good or bad. There was no drama, no second guessing, no BS. It was just you counting down the days until summer started so you can go home and sleep in every morning. To watch cartoons and browse the internet all afternoon and most of the night.
  2563. >And to repeat that coveted schedule for months on end.
  2564. >You just wanted to relax.
  2565. >But now… you have to be on your toes pretty much the entire time when you’re at school. There are multiple people who are clearly involved in this, but you cannot for the life of you decide whether or not you can trust them. You’re apprehensive, now. Too cautious to make a wrong move.
  2566. >Definitely not relaxed.
  2567. >”I just wanted Trixie being here to be some sort of surprise, just in case Anon decided to apologize. But that’s all there was to it.” Twilight says to you. “Look, if you want to clear things up with Trixie right now, I’m totally open with that. All she has to do is come back here.”
  2568. >Flash gives her a long look before turning his attention back to you. He glances over at your phone once more and then scratches the back of his head a little bit.
  2569. >Your stop is going to be coming up very shortly.
  2570. >”Alright, fine. I guess we could work things out that way, since things have seemed to get pretty convenient anyway.” Agrees Flash. “But first… there’s one thing.”
  2571. >You listen attentively.
  2572. >Flash looks down at your phone, which now has the screen off due to inactivity.
  2573. >”What were you about to show us on your phone, Anon?”
  2574. >With a few quick thoughts here and there, you consider showing him the messages. But there’s something within you that’s keeping you from deciding to prolong this connection with Flash after what has just happened. You hate being lied to and REALLY hate being manipulated.
  2575. >You’re starting to feel like Flash doesn’t deserve the truth anymore.
  2576. >It’s getting to be about that time to disconnect with these people. You’re sick of this… all of it. You want summer to begin, and for all of this dramatic BS to disappear like party-goers at 6:00 on a Monday morning.
  2577. >”What did you have that you wanted us to see?” Flash repeats as Twilight starts to hide her face again.
  2578. “Let me go ahead and bring it up.” You hold them off, facing the screen away from them.
  2579. >As you load older and older messages, you decide what you’re going to show Flash and Twilight.
  2580. >What you find about your options is… quite intriguing to say the least. Flash and Twilight wait patiently as they watch you scroll through your phone, looking for what you shall decide to show them.
  2581. >From Twilight’s number:
  2582. >[Text Rarity and tell her to ask me to leave the gym with her in a couple of minutes. And in mid conversation so it looks realistic. Trust me, I have an idea.]
  2583. >[Anon, we just had a change in plans. Don’t do the asking thing. That girl Photo Finish apparently heard everything you said from in the bathroom, so we need to find her and explain to her what really happened out there.]
  2584. >[Whenever you get a chance to read this, I want to let you know that we changed our plans a little bit. We’re going to have you ask Rarity out in front of everyone instead because Sunset doesn’t think she’ll be able to say no.]
  2585. >From Fluttershy’s number:
  2586. >[I don’t know when you’re going to read this, but I was just wondering something. Would it be okay with you if you dated me for a little bit? I know how you’re aware of the differences between people and how they make couple grow apart. So I was just wondering if you’d like me to be your practice girl or something. I didn’t want to say anything in front of anyone else because I didn’t want to make a scene and knew you wouldn’t want anyone finding out.]
  2587. >[You can break up with me any time you want, I promise. And I also promise no one anywhere is going to find out about this. All I want is for you to get an idea of what it’s like to be in a relationship with someone, because I know how hard it is to start trusting someone your first time around.]
  2588. >[Anyway, I know that if you and Sunset ever did start a relationship, you’d want it all to be done right. That’s why I’d like to know if you’d like to try it with me first. You don’t really have to do anything for me other than learn what it’s like to be with someone. Like I said, you can end it whenever you want… I promise I won’t be upset or anything. It’ll just be a good way to get to know eachother over the summer! :)]
  2589. >These are the messages from when Twilight explained the plan to you, and there’s the messages from when Fluttershy asked you out and rejected you. You know that if you venture further into the whole “Heartbreaker” reputation, you’re pretty much giving the middle finger to Twilight’s apparent plan to soften you up and get you to drop your reputation of rejecting so many girls.
  2590. >That’s what will happen if you show when you rejected Fluttershy.
  2591. >But if you show Flash the messages that prove Rarity’s rejection being staged, there’s pretty much nothing left to support his argument.
  2592. >And both of these pieces of evidence almost contradict eachother, but you never specifically confirmed what you were bringing up on your phone.
  2593. >You’re pretty much revealing to the two that the number of girls you’ve rejected is either one more or one less than what they think it is. You’re already pretty sure that Twilight had no idea that Fluttershy asked you out, and that Flash had no idea that the thing with Rarity was staged.
  2594. >”Uh… who’s text messages are they?” Flash asks, almost looking as though he’s about to jump up and peer over at your phone screen any second.
  2595. >It’s best to keep this thing in a definite direction if you want to maintain your calmness with ease.
  2596. “Maybe she can tell you herself. After all, she is sitting right here on the bus.”
  2597. >Flash slowly turns his attention back over towards the front of the bus, where Trixie not-so-discretely peeks her head out from behind the seat. Though, she doesn’t make an attempt to make herself hidden as she’s always aware that her cover has been blown by Norman.
  2598. >”Dude, when did Trixie ever text you?” Responds Flash.
  2599. “Not Trixie.” You hint, looking behind Flash to where Twilight is sitting in her seat, covering her face with her hand. She already knows which messages you’re going to bring up.
  2600. >Flash looks at her and the back at you. Twilight doesn’t even look over at Flash.
  2601. >”Wait… really?” He finally gets the picture. “Dude, how on earth did you get her number? Or, why, rather?”
  2602. “Yeah, let me just show you so you can understand the context of what’s going on.”
  2603. >You pull up the messages onto your screen just as the bus starts to pull up to your stop. Flash leans over to see what you have pulled up, and starts to develop a surprised expression as he reads more and more of the text.
  2604. >You know you’re going to be out of here any second, now.
  2605. >”Flash, before you say anything… I can explain.” Twilight finally speaks up again, already aware that there’s no way out of this.
  2606. >”I… think I already know what this means.” Flash murmurs. “It’s starting to become clear now.”
  2607. “That I was right and you’re finally seeing it?”
  2608. >”Anon. Trixie asked you out because you made her think that you rejected other girls just for her. And from what it looks like, Rarity didn’t even really ask you out, right? Or did you actually ask her out, she rejected you, and you decided to tell the story the other way around?”
  2609. “Wait… huh?”
  2610. >You look back at the messages again.
  2611. >[Whenever you get a chance to read this, I want to let you know that we changed our plans a little bit. We’re going to have you ask Rarity out in front of everyone instead because Sunset doesn’t think she’ll be able to say no.]
  2612. >This message doesn’t say anything about Rarity asking you out, it talks about you asking her out and rejecting you. And now Flash is trying to find a way to use that against you.
  2613. >”Anon, did you really want to keep being the Heartbreaker because it covers up when Rarity probably rejected you?”
  2614. >The other students on the bus can clearly hear him speaking to you. They start to look in your direction with eager glances, listening carefully to everything that’s being said.
  2615. “The original plan was for me to pretend to ask her out, but we decided to switch it and make sure Sunset could hear it so she could feel better.” You explain, pointing to your phone to show emphasis. “Twilight, tell him!”
  2616. >Twilight watches you point to your phone and widens her eyes again, as though there is something further you could show Flash that is inconvenient to her cause. You don’t spend too much thought thinking about what it might be.
  2617. >”I-It’s true. We had it so Sunset heard her ask him out and him saying no. But word got out and this whole thing just got worse.” Twilight informs him.
  2618. >The bus rolls up to your stop with a very familiar screech of the brakes. But at least it’s nice to see them brought into the light on the whole situation while Trixie still remains in the font seat as quietly as can be.
  2619. >”Twilight… is there something you want to explain to me?” Flash desires to find out.
  2620. “Listen… I’d love to stay and chat, but I really have to get off now.” You declare before you stand up right as the bus rolls to a stop.
  2621. >The way you darted down that aisle was something you will never forget. It was over in seconds, only giving you a half-second to glare at Trixie before escaping into the open air.
  2622. >You go home.
  2623. ~
  2624. >You find it laughable that you actually checked to see if anyone was fallowing you off of the bus. Though, it was still pretty reasonable that Trixie might have, given that she has been following you around literally all week.
  2625. >Just another example of your paranoia turning out to have been for a good reason.
  2626. >Like how you normally do every weekend, you plop down onto your bed to lie there for about thirty minutes or so to evaluate your thoughts and contemplate you weekend. Your day is finally over and your work no longer has to cloud you mind or your time.
  2627. >At long last, you decide to take your phone off of airplane mode and face whatever comes up now. You pull out the phone and slide the switch back to normal mode, allowing new text messages to be received.
  2628. >If there’s any music that you’d have to face before the weekend begins, you’d rather face it now. It actually might have been a good thing that you didn’t do this on the bus, since new messages might have had the ability to change the course of events back there.
  2629. >Since things have tipped in your favor while on the bus just a few minutes ago, you’re glad everything went this way. Now all you have to do is pray that Trixie finally gives up and the others decide that it’s more worthwhile to leave you alone.
  2630. >You have received messages from two numbers. But neither of them are the number that apparently belongs to Fluttershy. One is from Twilight, and in the preview of the text, you can see her mention Fluttershy.
  2631. >But the other text is from Sunset.
  2632. >Open up the one from Twilight first, under the impression that it’s the greater of two evils, if the other one would even be relevant in such a light.
  2633. >[Okay just hear me out for a second. I’m sorry I didn’t bring anything up about the thing with Rarity at first. I know I probably should have said something right away, but I still wanted to keep Flash from finding out about the plan. I didn’t know he was going to react that way. I’m sorry, Anon.]
  2634. >The urge to ignore any further texts from Twilight is already beginning to form within you. This could very easily be an attempt to win at least a little bit of your trust for her back, which is why you’re not sure if you should take this apology seriously.
  2635. >Even the simple act of thinking this kind of thing over feels like a drag to you. Twilight might be a nice girl and everything, but the last thing you want to do is let her drag you back into this. You’ve already left the bus with the longer end of the stick, and you have full intention to keep it that way.
  2636. >Another message comes in from Twilight. This one is in real time.
  2637. >[I knew you didn’t want to directly talk to Trixie about anything, and she didn’t exactly want to talk to you either. What happened this morning would have made that awkward. So I just thought that if you explained a thing or two while she could hear it, she might feel a little bit better. I understand now that you didn’t exactly have a choice in doing what you did… I just feel bad for Trixie for not having much control over her emotions. I wanted to do at least something to make her feel better.]
  2638. >While this concept does sound like it does make sense, you decide that you’re going to take it with a grain of salt anyway. You’ll just wait until she stops messaging you and then you’ll start replying, pretending that you were away from your phone at the time or something.
  2639. >Sunset’s new message is next.
  2640. >[I heard about what happened at school anon. It sounds like things are starting to get a bit rough huh?] Reads the message from Sunset.
  2641. >And that’s all it says. The message only came in a minute or two ago because that’s when you switched you phone off of airplane mode. There’s no telling when she typed this, but she was clearly starting a conversation when she did.
  2642. >You actually decide to text her back, letting all of the hints of suspicion slip out of your mind.
  2643. [Eh, today didn’t go perfectly at first, but it went smoothly towards the end. I’m not sure if you know this, but I’m starting to think that Twilight’s trying to keep secrets from me or something.]
  2644. >You be careful not to show her that you’re fully aware and against whatever plot might be against you. But you also remember to hint that you’re at least on your toes about the possibility, just in case she has knows a thing or two that you haven’t found out yet.
  2645. >Sunset replied to your message in less than a minute.
  2646. >[Really? That doesn’t very much sound like her lol.]
  2647. [Well, she apparently knew that Trixie had sneak onto the bus again today without me knowing. And she didn’t tell me about it.]
  2648. >[Why did Trixie sneak onto the bus?]
  2649. >You’re about to answer again before being interrupted by another message.
  2650. >[Or at least why did she need to sneak on instead of just get on?]
  2651. [She didn’t want to talk about what happened this morning, or even talk to me at all. If she had, I guess the whole thing would have been an awkward trainwreck. But she still could have at least told me about it, I mean, I don’t exactly like it when people lie to me.]
  2652. >[Did you not want to talk to her either? Because maybe she did that because you would have been uncomfortable if you knew that Trixie could hear you. It’s not like she didn’t know you were on the bus, right? If that’s the case, then why would she even be there?]
  2653. >You raise your eyebrows at this message, not having looked at things from this direction.
  2654. [That’s not a bad point. Are you saying that I wouldn’t have acted naturally while talking about Trixie if I knew she could hear me?]
  2655. >[I think it would be easier to get the truth about what you think about someone out if you’re sure that they can’t hear you. Maybe Twilight just wanted Trixie to hear you say things about her that you wouldn’t just go right up to her and tell her in person.]
  2656. >How exactly you feel about this… you’re not so sure.
  2657. [Well… I still don’t very much like that. And everything I said on the bus is stuff that I would have no problem telling Trixie. I don’t exactly have anything to hide from that girl.]
  2658. >[Ah okay. I understand, Anon. Sorry for getting a little bit nosy.]
  2659. >A notion that suggests that you gave Sunset the wrong impression alerts you. You start typing with your fingers a little bit faster than before.
  2660. [No, it’s cool. I don’t mind. I guess I’ve just been a little bit on edge lately.]
  2661. >[I don’t blame you. I’m sorry you have to go through all of this mess.]
  2662. [It’s not your fault, Sunset. You didn’t know.]
  2663. >As you were typing that message, you almost arranged the words to say something along the like “it’s actually my fault, not yours”. The fact that you almost do this befuddles you, as you’re not exactly sure how such a thing could in any way be your fault.
  2664. >Sure you were the one who turned her down in the first place, but that choice was your own. Even though none of this would have happened if you had just said yes in the beginning, you are still at least somewhat proud of yourself for holding your ground and not caving in to the petty social pressure.
  2665. >Blaming yourself for this is just stupid. Almost as stupid as the drama that has been thrown in your direction.
  2666. >You’re not selfish, and you need to remember that.
  2667. >[I guess stuff just happens. I just really wish that you and I at least started off on a better foot.]
  2668. >Look into your mind and begin to remember the laughter that escaped your mouth while tears escaped her eyes. This has never sickened you so much until now.
  2669. >[But hey, at least we have eachother’s numbers and the whole summer to talk, right?]
  2670. >Before answering, you need to make a decision. She was clearly unable to witness or be part of any of the events that happened today, to the best of your knowledge. But there’s not a doubt in your mind that she could easily text with Twilight.
  2671. >You need to be absolutely sure that you can trust Sunset Shimmer.
  2672. >[I think it would be pretty cool to chill over the summer.] Another message from Sunset comes in.
  2673. >Though you do have a lot of trust issues with virtually everybody at this point, you do have to admit that Sunset is the only person you can think of who hasn’t tried to cross you in any way at any point in this. Well, aside the band kids, of course.
  2674. [I think so too, Sunset.] You reply. [It is the weekend, after all. Are you busy or anything tomorrow? I guess we could find something cool to talk about.]
  2675. >You don’t even consider the possibility of this being too rushed until you actually send the message.
  2676. >[OMG I thought you’d never ask! I’d love to hang out sometime! Buuuuuuut… I’m kinda busy tomorrow. Maybe once school completely lets out?]
  2677. >It’s a little bit troubling that she was actually hoping that you’d ask to hang out with her. But maybe that’s just your paranoia trying to get the best of you. It’s not like she’s Trixie or anything; it’s Sunset Shimmer, one of the only people who have proven to be trustworthy.
  2678. [Okay. I’m a bit surprised that you’d really want to hang out, tbh]
  2679. >[Nah it’s all cool. I’m looking forward to calling or whatever whenever you want to do something sometime.]
  2680. >There’s an unspoken language that seems to be between you two that this is emphasized to not be a date. You’d normally become suspicious of the fact that Sunset’s messages might have come in at around the same time as Twilight’s, though there’s no way to be sure since your phone was on airplane mode. But it’s barely an hour after school let out as well, so it’s almost certainly a coincidence in your mind.
  2681. >At least you’re going to have a chance to get to know Sunset a little better next time.
  2682. [k. I’ll talk again later I guess.] You conclude, before turning your attention to Twilight’s messages.
  2683. >You re-read them, looking for anything that might be a little off about them. Her apology seems legitimate, which suggests that you should try to level with her as well.
  2684. >Type your message back with a little bit of your anxiety fading away in each keystroke. You’ve taken care of Sunset, now you need to see what you’re going to do about Twilight.
  2685. [Okay look. I understand that you were trying to make ends meet, and that may have required me to not know that Trixie was on the bus. But I have to admit that I just don’t like it when people don’t tell me things. I just really wanted to make that clear. I probably wouldn’t have minded Trixie being there as well if you had just told me about it beforehand. It’s not like it’s something I can’t handle.]
  2686. >That message felt quite confident as you had typed it.
  2687. >[Oh, okay. I understand now. I’m sorry I kinda jumped ahead there.]
  2688. [I forgive you, Twilight. But you need to tell me things that are happening, okay? At least when they involve me.] You jump straight to the point, not wanting to spend too much time beating around the bush.
  2689. >She takes a couple of minutes to reply, making you worry for a short moment. Maybe she’s writing something long, or perhaps started to write something and then deleted to make way for another message that she wanted to deliver?
  2690. >[Yes. I understand, Anon. I promise that I’ll make sure we’re on the same page next time. If Trixie tries to do anything else, I’ll be sure to let you know.]
  2691. >Another message from her follows shortly.
  2692. >[So… are we friends?]
  2693. [Of course we are, Twilight. I’ll be more than happy to talk with you again.]
  2694. >[Alright :) Thanks, Anon. I’ll see you later, I suppose.]
  2695. [Yeah. See you later.]
  2696. >You lightly toss your phone back onto your bed, surprised that the conversation ended a lot more pleasantly than you had expected. Yet another rush of air leaves your lungs in a relieved sigh, prompting you to relax your spine and allow yourself to fall back down onto your bed.
  2697. >The coolness of your bedsheets against your back whispers into your brain that it’s the weekend; a time of comfort and relaxation for you to enjoy for as long as it lasts.
  2698. >If only it lasted more than two days, which it will once the school year has officially ended and your academic chains will be broken.
  2699. >As you lie down on he bed, you turn your head towards your desk and spot the bouquet of lilies once again. You notice something disheartening about them.
  2700. >Their color that they once had is completely faded away, practically gone aside the small hint of the pigment that somehow managed to continue to reside in the now shriveled petals. The stems are no longs those thick and juicy strands of life that supported the lilies, but dark green twig-like strings of decayed cellulose that hardly have the strength to support the dying life that will soon no longer be above them.
  2701. >Sunset’s messages… they were… so warm and bubbly. You remember how afraid to talk to you she was before, and it was quite awkward to put up with. But now… she seemed more than willing to talk to you, even though it was only through text this time.
  2702. >But you could still sense it somehow; Sunset was showing some real enthusiasm in communicating with you. You look back at the lilies, remembering how she hadn’t asked you out again since a week ago. Sure, asking someone out would be a one time thing, but the way Sunset had done it stands out to you.
  2703. >She asked you twice: once on Friday and once on Saturday. After that, she had not done so, even when she had the chance to do it. This is what you’re tying with the lilies at the moment. She used to be so eager to present her feeling s to you, but things feel different now.
  2704. >This is the moment when deep down in your mind, you start to realize that… Sunset just might have started to move on. And the dying lilies is a clear sign of this.
  2705. >You then think about the possibility of her siding with Twilight. You remember everything that had caused your suspicions before: the fact that Sunset is closer to Twilight than she is to you, the strange behavior that the mane six has clearly displayed.
  2706. >It’s all of the things the drove you to lose your trust for them all. The things that prevented you from starting off on the right foot with, well… any of them.
  2707. >If Sunset is evidently losing interest, then why did she seem more energetic than before? Does this count as strange behavior?
  2708. >Already dismissing it as your supposedly irrational suspicion, you sit up and away from your hindered comfort. It’s hard to relax with all of these thoughts bullying your mind. There’s no way that Sunset would plot against you, right? All you did was reject her twice when she spilled out her feelings for you.
  2709. >She’s not the type of girl that would subtly try to turn the tables on you… well, she’s not that type of girl anymore.
  2710. >Anymore.
  2711. >But you’re not going to lose your trust for her. She’s the only one besides the band kids whom you can still trust. She’s never given you a reason to think twice about her actions. You’re going to be friends with Sunset Shimmer and put all of this rejection stuff behind you already. It’s not like doing such a thing is impossible.
  2712. >…
  2713. >Sunset is more affiliated with Twilight than Trixie is.
  2714. >This thought… it just caught you be surprise. And its effects press down onto you like a wet blanket. You really think about it: Trixie is rejected by you and Twilight comes to her aid. Sunset is rejected by you and you’re supposed to believe that the same thing wouldn’t happen?
  2715. >They both had their feelings crushed and cried, didn’t they? And Twilight showed extensive care for both of them, didn’t she?
  2716. >No, Sunset cares too much about you to manipulate you in contrast to her friends that white knight her when you broke her heart. She is a sweet girl who only wants to show her love for you, even if you don’t love her back.
  2717. >This drama and the whole concept of someone’s deep feelings is so cringy to think about it hurts. It’s all just so… mushy. And you hate it; all you want is summer. No drama, no feeling, just summer.
  2718. >But the most cringy part of all of this is the fact that you’re actually choosing to trust Sunset and not any of the other girls. Why? It’s because of her feelings and how she couldn’t possibly lie to you no matter what. And not once are you thinking that maybe you’re letting some possible feeling of your own get the best of you even when there’s evidence right in front of you.
  2719. >You’re not going to let your suspicion get the best of you, right? Besides, there’s no actual feelings that you’re feeling on your own for Sunset. If there really was a plan to get you to start to like her, you’re too aware of the mane six’s intentions to just let that whole thing work.
  2720. >The lilies are dying on your desk, that’s a fact. Sunset doesn’t care about the lilies anymore, that’s a fact. And you don’t either, that’s a… fact.
  2721. >Everyone important in school now sees you as the glorious “Heartbreaker” because of what you did and continue to do, that’s a fact. You don’t want any part of the drama that goes with it and just want to preserve the reputation as it is without any further confrontation and enjoy your summer already, that’s a fact. Deep down inside, you’re proud of rejecting Sunset Shimmer in the first place and standing your ground while not letting the pressure from multiple things take control of your feelings, that’s a… fact.
  2722. >You didn’t even realize it… you’re standing in front of your bathroom sink, staring into the mirror at your reflection. When did you even leave your bedroom? Were you that deep in though?
  2723. >Get ahold of yourself, Anon. You must be strong like a warrior. You will survive.
  2724. >Turn the water on and let it run over your hands for a minute or two.
  2725. >Splash it all over your face, feeling the coldness of the water collide with your skin to comfort you and cool you down.
  2726. >Stare at your reflection to make sure that you’re clear about your thoughts and intentions.
  2727. >You must not fall in love with Sunset Shimmer.
  2728. ~
  2729. >The internet seems to be your escape from a lot of things right now. You go straight to your computer and begin surfing the web.
  2730. >It’s not like you would have had any reason to go on Facebook anyway; all you have to do is avoid getting any wind of whatever might be happening there and you’re pretty much in your comfort zone. Like every Friday, you waste the hours away on the internet as though they never mattered to begin with.
  2731. >Time becomes distant and you soon find yourself in a dark room that’s illuminated by your computer screen, the only source of light. You finally get yourself to stand up and turn your light on, officially starting the mostly sleepless night of being nothing more than unproductive.
  2732. >There are no more texts that come to your phone. You are left alone with your thoughts for the entire night, and boy do your thoughts prove to be a lot more calm than how they were before.
  2733. >Hours and hours go by of you relaxing and remaining in the same chair long enough to not even notice it there under you anymore. If anything, this is what your summer should be. Nowhere to go, no one to talk to, just you and your serene sanctuary surrounding you as you browse the internet.
  2734. >Just in case, you turn your phone to airplane mode so no one can text you during this night and early morning.
  2735. >The time for everyone else to go to bed passes and you’re left with less and less to do by the hour. Already getting tired, you decide that you’ve had enough for the night and want to rest snug in your bed.
  2736. >You immerse yourself into the covers, letting the fabric tightly wrap you into a giant burrito of fatigue and laziness. Sleep takes you before you realize it.
  2737. >…
  2738. >Awakened again, you do not recall anything you had dreamt the previous night. Your head keeps on spinning as you try to figure out the current time.
  2739. >The clock on your nightstand shines the numbers for twelve thirty two in the afternoon.
  2740. >Your first thought is to take your phone off of airplane mode.
  2741. >Right as you switch the feature off, you instantly see a new message pop up. But this number is yet another completely new one. You’re honestly starting to get tired of this happening.
  2742. >[Anon. It’s Norman. Don’t ask how I got your number, I just need to meet up with you at some point during the weekend. There’s something important that I need to tell you about. It kinda involves Flash and those kids with all of the band instruments and stuff. Text back when you get a chance.] The message says as you read it. [Also, did you get any plane tickets to go to Brothens? If you did, tell me how you got them.]
  2743. >Automatically assuming that Flash is up to no good once again, you start typing your message back.
  2744. [Norman, is this really you?]
  2745. >You wait… a lot.
  2746. >There’s no response for about five minutes. And five minutes gradually turns into twenty minutes. You had nearly forgotten whom you had texted by the time your phone vibrates as the response comes in.
  2747. >[Yeah, It’s me, dude. Don’t worry, I managed to get your number to try to help you out. A lot of the other kids are planning something big. But it’s not all of them, so I’m not completely sure who cares enough about you or not.]
  2748. [Norman, what is this all about?]
  2749. >[You know that park that the bus goes by right before it enters your neighborhood?]
  2750. [Uh, yeah.]
  2751. >[Meet me there by the little booth thingy. I’ll be alone, but make sure you’re not being followed either.]
  2752. [Okay.] You reply, thinking of anything else you could have said that would have brought forth into the open so many new questions that you now have.
  2753. >You almost decide to type something else, but you just can’t find the words. This weary and softened up brain of yours need to rest itself as you calm your heart. Just go to the nearby park and meet up with Norman who’s supposedly there.
  2754. >Stand up from your bed and look for something new to wear today.
  2755. >After re-dressing yourself, you eat a quick bowl of cereal and head on out the door. The park isn’t very far away at all, so you might as well go ahead and walk over. The fact that no cars are on the street at the moment lets you cross whenever you want, letting you make it over to the park a lot faster.
  2756. >So far, no one seems to be following you, though that’s a little bit silly to think about when you’ve literally just gotten out of bed and left your house for a nearby park literally minutes ago.
  2757. >Aside Trixie, you can’t really imagine any of the other kids from school just waiting outside of your house for you to come out. And the proof is in the fact that there is no one around at the present time.
  2758. >Why can’t be proof be that the notion of someone stalking you that much is stupid and unrealistic? Why couldn’t that have been the thing that assured you first? You’re turning out to be more paranoid that you first thought.
  2759. >By the “little booth thingy”, you’re almost certain that Norman was referring to the gazebo that stood towards the the back of the park in the field. The walk was short enough, and you make it to the park in a matter of minutes after cutting through a few backyards. You scan the place, searching for Norman and/or the gazebo.
  2760. >It’s been a while since the last time you walked over to this park.
  2761. >”Anon!” A voice calls over before you have the chance to discover who is calling out to you.
  2762. >Norman stands right next to the gazebo, waving his arm around in the air to get your attention. He leans against one of the wooden poles as you change your direction of travel over towards him.
  2763. “So what’s up, man?” You greet him trying to use his way of speaking.
  2764. >”Dude… I’ve never seen anything like this before.” Norman brings up right away, almost seeming to stare past you.
  2765. >You briefly look behind you, as though someone had been following you, but you find yourself to be alone with Norman in the park as promised.
  2766. >”You’re not gonna believe this, but, I’m pretty sure Flash is trying to get you and Sunset together.”
  2767. “What’s making you pretty sure?” You ask him, already starving for evidence that could help you in the long run.
  2768. >”Remember how Sunset won’t let go of her obsession with you?”
  2769. “I… guess that what you could pretty much call it, yeah.”
  2770. >”That’s the thing that he’s hoping is going to pressure you into… like… you know, letting her in… to your life.” Norman tells you. “I don’t really have any confirmation or proof of this, but that’s how he’s trying to soften you up and get you to cave.”
  2771. >You shake your head around a bit.
  2772. “But… why would he even do that? Didn’t Sunset at least tell him that she got over me not wanting to go on that date with her? Can’t all of you people just leave me alone already?!” You loudly gripe before catching the words that had already escaped your lips. “Uh… I mean… not you, of course.”
  2773. >”Nah, man. I totally understand. Those guys are driving you crazy, aren’t they?”
  2774. “Well, I…”
  2775. >”Don’t sweat it, man. We’re already on the same page, and for a pretty good reason, too. I’ve been through this same thing, man.”
  2776. >Tilting your head at a slight angle, you squint your eyes at Norman.
  2777. “Been through this same thing how?” You interrogate. “And if you have, why didn’t you at least step in before?”
  2778. >”Dude, it’s a long story. And if you want to understand, you’re going to have to listen to my, uh… summary of that said story. Let me explain everything before we go any further with this.”
  2779. “Please do.”
  2780. >You want to hear about and find out what exactly is going on so badly right now. Out of your warm and cozy bed you had raced, on a Saturday afternoon right before summer vacation, to walk over to the park and listen to Norman reveal important information. And this information is about about a bunch of petty, unwanted social drama that you’re probably not even going to hear about again starting halfway through next week.
  2781. >”Alright. It all started about a year and a half ago. There used to be a time when Flash and Sunset were together for a while. You already knew about that, right?”
  2782. “I think a remember hearing about that or something.”
  2783. >”Okay. Well, Flash was pretty much the most popular guy in school back then, and Sunset dating him made her kinda… you know. Really likable to the rest of the guys.” Norman reflects, leaning against the wooden pole. “But about a year and a half ago, they had a horrible breakup. But the reason for the breakup is probably the worst part.”
  2784. >You raise one eyebrow in interest as Norman continues.
  2785. >”Sunset broke up with Flash because she was becoming obsessed with me.” Norman reveals. “And when she broke up with Flash, she did it in front of everyone and me so we all knew right away. And then she started coming up to me every day and flirting with me, telling me that I ought to go out with her because she dumped the most popular guy in school just for me. Though, she never actually asked me out.”
  2786. “She didn’t?”
  2787. >”No. She was a lot less nice before the whole Fall Formal thing. She pretty much came up to me all the time and practically ordered me to go out with her. She would tell me to hold her hand out of nowhere, as though I was already her boyfriend or something.”
  2788. >You raise both of your eyebrows this time.
  2789. >”Yeah I know, man. Those times were stressful. I had to literally hide from her whenever I was at school.”
  2790. “Wow, I… really don’t know what to say.”
  2791. >”Long story short, she eventually get over me. She still liked me after the Fall Formal incident, but never really ordered me to do anything anymore. And it just kind of lingered on for a little bit until suddenly stopping all at once. This was… pretty recent.”
  2792. >Stare straight forward and furrow your brow.
  2793. >Pretty recent?
  2794. >How long has Sunset been having a crush on you again?
  2795. >”Anyway, let’s figure out how we’re going to solve this.” Norman says before gesturing for you to come sit with him.
  2796. “How did everyone else take it when Sunset was crushing over you? Like… what did they do?” You ask.
  2797. >”To be honest, they didn’t even believe me at first. They thought I was just making stuff up, until they saw Sunset try to get me to hold hands with her.”
  2798. “What did they do about it?”
  2799. >”Basically said something along the lines of ‘hey whatever, man. You should just ignore it, it’s not that big of a deal. If anything, you should be happy that Sunset wants to go out with you’. Kind of the same thing that the rest of the guys and I kinda said to you that one day. I was just going along with them, though. I mean, as long as she wasn’t after me, I was fine. I’m sorry I didn’t really back you up at first… I just didn’t want to open up any old wounds in front of the rest of the guys.”
  2800. >You remember your first confrontation with the guys a few days ago. To the best of your memory, you’re fairly certain that Norman had something to do with what they were saying to you. He sure seemed as though he was agreeing with them and supporting what they were saying.
  2801. >This might contradict what he’s telling you now, and you have to be sure.
  2802. “Well… if you were just playing along while those guys around, why didn’t you at least drop me a hint or something?”
  2803. >”Well what was a hint supposed to do? Every other kid at that table was pretty much trying to sway you over to dating Sunset, and they already weren’t going to listen to anything you said.”
  2804. “True. They didn’t even let me finish my sentences.”
  2805. >”Yeah, and I actually kinda did take part in that. And for that, I apologize.”
  2806. “It’s all good.”
  2807. >”Anyway, I would have stepped in earlier this time if it weren’t for what I just told you. They wouldn’t have had another reference of Sunset doing this without knowing that it had to do with the situation with me. I’m actually surprised that they didn’t bring it up.”
  2808. “So… are you saying that she’s going to eventually get over it in due time if she hasn’t already?”
  2809. >”Man… I don’t know. A lot of stuff has happened to her in the last year or so. And she’s not exactly that mean anymore. What’s making your situation worse than mine is that she’s being extremely nice about everything and everybody else is kinda supporting her. And these situations really suck because if you try to stand up to her or whatever, you look like the bad guy. Which is basically what happened.”
  2810. “Well… at first. But remember the last couple of days; they’re starting to like what I’m kind of doing.”
  2811. >”Trust me, this isn’t going to last for long. Whenever there’s change or something, Flash and the guys make fun of it at first. But if it doesn’t go away, they’re going to start going with the flow of it to try to get some sort of control or understanding of it. This is like… weird, complicated social stuff, dude.”
  2812. “I get it, though.”
  2813. >”Good. Anyway, they’re going to try to become major parts in this whole heartbreaker thing. You know… like the ones who are cheering you on from the sidelines so you continue to keep doing what you’re doing to make them proud.”
  2814. >You can already see where he’s going with this.
  2815. >”They’re basically trying to replace your own drive to be the Heartbreaker with their own fake drive. And then all of a sudden, they’re going to turn it around on you.”
  2816. “The thing with Fluttershy! I think they tried to do it already when she might have been sent to ask me out. They were probably going to try to give the idea that rejecting Fluttershy would be too far and I should just go with it.” You mentally put the pieces together. “I never thought about it that way until now!”
  2817. >”Listen, all I know is that they’re planning… something. I kinda heard Flash and a couple of the other guys whispering about you in gym class. I didn’t get the whole story, but they’re saying that they think you and Sunset getting a little bit closer is a sign that something is working. I didn’t hear much else, but my first thought was to warn you about it.”
  2818. “Thanks, man. I guess this means you could be an extra set of eyes and ears for me? I could really use that.”
  2819. >Norman nods assuringly to you. You start to feel a lot more secure at this moment, aware that there is someone out there who is actually willing to assist you in working against a supposed conspiracy about you. Norman seems to be the first person who isn’t in any way a part of whatever’s going on, but still knows enough about it to help you do something to stop the pan against you from working.
  2820. >”You can count of me, bro. They’ve tried to pull this before, and it’s honestly not cool when they do this. But they are my friends, though. So I can’t just openly condemn them for what they’re doing. I’m just going to eavesdrop for you, that’s all.”
  2821. “Understood. But I have to admit… if this is all some master plan to manipulate me into dating Sunset at some point, it’s pretty good.” You confess. “You know… it’s a really convoluted but effective plan.”
  2822. >”It is? I mean, it’s not like it’s actually working or anything, right?”
  2823. “Uh what do you mean?”
  2824. >”Well, have you been rethinking your choices more often? Or should I say… has this gotten you thinking more about Sunset?”
  2825. >A feeling of something breaching you creeps up your spine. You feel a pressing need to answer Norman quickly before he might fill in the blank himself.
  2826. “No, dude. Of course not.” You reply. “But I was just saying that the plan is really good, regardless of it working or not.”
  2827. >”I’m not sure who in the school would be smart enough to come up with a plan that does that. From what I know, Flash is more of a one-way thinker. Sunset used to be a bit diabolical, but there’s no doubt that she’s not so tough anymore after what happened at the Fall Formal. And Trixie’s too obsessed with how great she thinks her ideas already are to come up with something that clever. It has to be someone who’s pretty much a genius-level sociopath who’s become obsessed with getting you to cave in to Sunset.”
  2828. “How many classes do you have with Flash?” You keep your voice in a curious tone.
  2829. >”Gym, lunch, a couple of study halls and I think math.” Reveals Norman. “Though, we’re not even going to really have any classes starting Monday anyway, so it’s not like that really matters.”
  2830. “Right, right. That makes sense.”
  2831. >”Don’t worry, bro. I’ll stick up for you all the way through this, promise.” Norman reassures you.
  2832. >You try to let out a sigh, but the apprehension is holding it all back. There’s just too many things that have happened for you not to be on edge at least 90 percent of the times. Once the school year ends and you’re far away from all of the centers of the problems, then you could truly rest assured.
  2833. >Something needs to be said in response.
  2834. “Aw, I know. It’s just I’ve been so uneasy lately…”
  2835. >”Anon, dude, I understand. It’s alright, we got this.”
  2836. >The two of you stare into the distance for another minute or so. You almost feel like re-confirming the alliance that you’ve just formed with Norman, but you already have a feeling that it’s set in stone at this point.
  2837. >”Anyway, there was also something else I wanted to ask you about. You read the whole text, right?”
  2838. “Uh, yeah.” You reply.
  2839. >Norman suddenly suspiciously looks around, as though his very impression of going against people with secrets had vanished into thin air.
  2840. >”That place, man…”
  2841. “A… place?”
  2842. >”You know what I mean. Brothens, right?”
  2843. >It finally clicks in your head as you remember the mention of the fabled city.
  2844. “Oh, right!” You finally say. “So what about it?”
  2845. >”Dude…. you and I need to find a way to get onto that flight and over to that city with the band. That place is just too good to be true.”
  2846. >You squint a little bit.
  2847. “Well… how are we going to do that? You heard them; there’s no more tickets available.”
  2848. >”There’s gotta be something we can do, man. That place is just perfect.”
  2849. >Norman has a desperate look in his eyes. They dart around as though something in the park might be able to get him onto that flight to the islands. But of course, the thing in that park is you, who also cannot obtain the tickets.
  2850. >”Man, we gotta do something. I looked it up on the online virtual atlas, and Brothens is literally on the other side of the world. It’s apparently always perfect weather there, which makes it one of those perfect vacation spots or something.”
  2851. “I’m pretty sure that the band kids can’t get any tickets for me either. I mean, I haven’t really even known them for that long. If anything, the Dazzlings have known them for longer than I have.”
  2852. >Norman grabs you by the sides of your arms, but in a rather friendly way.
  2853. >”We have to find out how they got their tickets, man!” He urges. “You know them, right?”
  2854. “Uh… as much as I’d like to go to Brothens too, I’m pretty sure we’ve already missed the boat on this one.”
  2855. >The blank stare that Norman gives you after you say this almost makes you want to start giggling. You probably would have if the two of you hadn’t talked about something so down-bringing. Not exactly a serious subject, but just undesirable to bring up. You’ve always hated drama, and will escape it the very second you get the chance.
  2856. >”Dude…” Norman gasps. “What if… there’s boats that go to Brothens?!”
  2857. >His proposal is met with resounding silence. All you do is stare him down, with a look on your face that you’re sure must be belittling to some extent. But Norman continues to stare while an ambitious smile creeps on to his face.
  2858. >”I’m serious, dude.” He presses.
  2859. “Boats? Uhh…”
  2860. >”Come on, man! That’s like… a genius idea!”
  2861. “What? All you’ve suggested is that you and I go on a super long boat ride halfway around the world just to get to a vacation spot that we missed plane tickets to. I’m no expert, but I’m fairly certain that this does not constitute for a genius idea.”
  2862. >Norman quietly curses and shakes his head a little bit.
  2863. >”Wait wait wait… my bad. I didn’t explain my whole thought to you.”
  2864. “You what?”
  2865. >”Hold on, hold on… just hear me out for a second.”
  2866. >You listen to him attentively, already beginning to doubt whether or not his idea is going to be worth listening to. But then again, if there really is a way to get yourself to those islands, your summer would be a whole lot better than how it would have been if you had stayed in town.
  2867. >Running into someone from school is almost inevitable here, not because of the size of the town but simply because of the fact that virtually everyone always goes to the same places. Not only this, but a lot of them surely have your number by now; even Norman managed to get ahold of you.
  2868. >”Alright, so the Dazzlings are sirens, right?” Norman starts off. “Well, used to be sirens. But that doesn’t mean that they don’t still like the sea and whatnot. I read up on something that talked about this… the uh, Oligarchy?”
  2869. “The what?”
  2870. >”That story where the guy finished fighting the Trojans and wanted to sail home and stuff, but he got lost in a storm-”
  2871. “Do you mean the Odyssey?” You interrupt and correct him.
  2872. >”Yeah! That! Great story, by the way. I loved reading that one when I was a Freshman.”
  2873. >You can already tell where Norman is going with this.
  2874. “Are you saying that we should try to switch the tickets with the Dazzlings and find a way to convince them to ride a boat all the way to Brothens?” You guess. “Because I’m sure a boat ride would take days, if not weeks while a flight would take hours.”
  2875. >”That’s why it might be a good thing that they like being at sea.”
  2876. “IF they like being at sea enough to AGREE to such a thing. Which they probably don’t and won’t.”
  2877. >”C’mon, dude! Don’t you want to get out of this place for the summer and go to the beach with the Dazzlings and the Band Kids instead of deal with school drama? It’s totally worth a shot.”
  2878. “Norman… are you high?”
  2879. >”Not since Wednesday.”
  2880. >You finally let out a sigh as you try to think of a way to try to level with Norman on this.
  2881. “Alright, listen. I’m not saying that I hate your idea or anything. I’m not even saying that it’s too horrible or anything, it’s just that it’s not exactly… realistic.”
  2882. >”What do you mean, man? It’s not like doing a thing is impossible.”
  2883. “But there’s a line.”
  2884. >What Norman needs to understand is that the Dazzlings aren’t going to just trade in their plane tickets and take a boat ride halfway across the world just because two guys they hardly even know want to go to the same vacation spot as them.
  2885. >”Well why can’t we just ask them if they’re going to go through with it? I mean… it’s not like anything’s certain yet anyway, right?”
  2886. “I want to go to that place just as much as you do, but we’ve got to find a more realistic way to do it than that.”
  2887. >”It won’t hurt to try this one first, man. Maybe they’ll agree to something close to it at least.”
  2888. >You don’t answer him this time, not really able to think up something to divert him away from this.
  2889. >”Come on. It’s not like it’s impossible.” He continues to urge. “I’ll even talk to them for you, unless you want to do it.”
  2890. “Ugh, fine.” You give in after taking another uncertain glance at the park around you. “But I get to talk to them first.”
  2891. >You’d rather give yourself an excuse to socialize with them more. You’ve been trying to do this literally all week. And it would have been enough for you to find out about the islands to begin with and get yourself a ticket out of this town for the summer if it weren’t for the whole deal with the graduation and whatnot.
  2892. >This whole thing has been dragged on for too long.
  2893. >But at least you’ll be the first to find out if there’s a way to join that flight to Brothens with them. Perhaps you should talk to Sonata first whenever you get the chance. You hate to admit this to yourself, but she does seem the most sway-able out of the three.
  2894. >”Deal.” Norman agrees before turning and walking back over to the sidewalk. “So uh, listen. I’m going to head off now, since we’re on the same page about everything. I guess, uh, give me a text whenever you find out anything else. Alright?”
  2895. “Alright.” You agree. “Um, later… dude.”
  2896. >Norman lets out a heartily chuckle.
  2897. >”Anon… it’s okay if you’re not the kind of guy that says dude or whatever. You can talk however you want, you don’t have to say things like me, man. I’m not going to judge you, so don’t pressure yourself.”
  2898. “Oh, alright.”
  2899. >”Yup, just like that social pressure, man. Gotta stay ahead of it.” Norman informs you as he walks away, slightly facing you. “Also… we were never here. This conversation didn’t happen.”
  2900. “Right, right. I get it. We never had this conversation.”
  2901. >The official agreement to keep your lips sealed felt rather… grim. As though you just signed your soul over to the devil, and you’re going to face a world of trouble if you take one wrong step that goes out of line.
  2902. >Whatever, that’s probably just you overreacting again. Take out your phone and look over your texts once again.
  2903. >Right after Norman is clear out of sight, you open up the texts from one of the girls and tap on the contact info. You highlight the title and replace the default label with her name, Sunset Shimmer. Right after this, you do the same thing to Norman’s number, giving that contact info the corresponding name.
  2904. >You never think at first about how you did Sunset’s contact info first, making her the first contact out of all of your new ones to actually be given a name. But there’s no time to overthink this right now.
  2905. >Before Wednesday, you must find a way to get ahold of Sonata.
  2906. >…
  2907. >After getting back home, you return to your bed to lie in it for a couple more hours. Getting up quickly has some remarkably tiring effects on your stamina, unfortunately.
  2908. >However, you have more time to think once you’re back there under the covers.
  2909. >As it turns out, Sunset was apparently crushing over Norman before she even met you. You can only imagine how pushy Sunset would have been before she turned away from her tough, abrasive side. Norman did say it was enough to force him to have to hide away from her, instantly reminding you of how you felt about Trixie.
  2910. >You don’t even want to imagine what it would be like to have to face both an abrasive Sunset and Trixie at the same time. That would be an absolute nightmare.
  2911. >The worst part is, that nightmare might actually come true if anyone from school keeps telling them your whereabouts during the summer, making virtually the entire town something close to No-Man’s-Land.
  2912. >Well, more like No-Anon’s-Land.
  2913. >It’s a good thing that you aren’t too opposed to staying at your house the entire summer. You just might have to, unless you find a way to get onto that plane next week.
  2914. >If Sunset wants to hang out, if she actually genuinely does, then she will have to meet you somewhere away from the other students. Though, you might need to send her a text explaining to her that you’re not going to be in town all summer long.
  2915. >This text is something you’re probably going to send anyway, plane or not. It’s just for the best; you’re just not going to put up with this anymore.
  2916. >Your thoughts start to drift towards the possibility of you actually being able to escape for the summer.
  2917. >While Norman has a few good points about the reasons for wanting to go to Brothens, there is pretty much no possible way his plan is going to work. You begin to wonder if that’s why he’s offering to help you with your problem regarding what happened with Sunset and how the other kids are dealing with it.
  2918. >Could his assistance in all of this be nothing more than a bribe to convince you to help him travel to a place halfway around the world? What if Norman doesn’t actually care about your problems, and is happy as long as Sunset continues to leave him alone and go after you while he relaxes on a beach somewhere?
  2919. >You really wish you could have thought of this sooner, so you would have had the ability to somehow bring it up.
  2920. >Norman does seem like a fairly nice guy, not having done anything against you that you know about. But then again, that’s how everyone starts out. Maybe you’ll trust him, maybe you won’t.
  2921. >But if there’s anyone out of all the people whom you know that you can trust, it’s the band kids, including the Dazzlings. Not only were they not a part of whatever’s being planned against you, they don’t even have any idea what’s going on at all.
  2922. >…
  2923. >Hours later, you drag yourself out of bed and over to your computer with whatever energy you have. From late afternoon to late at night, you just generally be unproductive. Browsing one website soon leads to migrating to another, opening up enough posts to make your internet connection lag a lot more than you’re comfortable with.
  2924. >More time goes by. And still more… without anything else taking place. There aren’t even any texts on your phone.
  2925. >It may be boring, but at least you don’t have to worry about the million and one things that obligate you to stay on your toes whenever you’re around other people. You’re just too overloaded with concerns to want anything at all to happen.
  2926. >There’s Sunset still being in love with you, Norman wanting you to help him get to the islands as a team effort, Twilight and whoever else is involved trying to push you into dropping your loner-status and find a date, the crowds from school who give mixed reactions to the rumors about you that aren’t even entirely true, Trixie likely wanting an apology of some sort.
  2927. >And lastly, the band kids are simply going to go far away to Brothens while you sit here and remember how you missed your chance to get away from the mess that has become your life.
  2928. >And the internet seems to be your current escape. Not cigarettes, not alcohol, but the internet. So at least you’re not negatively affecting your body to cope, right? That’s something.
  2929. >There’s just too many things going on, most of which you don’t even care about. You just want your life back, at least for the summer.
  2930. >If there’s anything you remember standing out to you before you go to sleep, it’s your reflection in the mirror right before you get into bed. There’s a long moment when you stand there and take a good look at your appearance.
  2931. >Despite getting out of some things scot-free, you don’t look exactly in the best condition. Your stubble might be gone and your head cleanly shaven, but you still look a little bit more tired every day. All of these different things to worry about are pulling you apart on the inside.
  2932. >There’s no way you’re going to let everyone do this to you… you need to remember who you are and how you used to be at the beginning of all of this.
  2933. >You are Anonymous, got it?
  2934. >The guy who doesn’t have anything to do with all of the immature drama and schemes that go on around Canterlot High. Well… you shouldn’t have anything to do with it.
  2935. >It wasn’t your fault.
  2936. >This mess had pulled you into it, all initiating at that one fateful moment when Sunset came up to you and asked you a question that you never thought you’d hear in your entire life. She asked you to go on a date with her, only to be told no. And there was a reason.
  2937. >Relationships are nothing but a trap, that is something that you’ve held near and dear to yourself for as long as you can remember. They cost money, time and effort that take out of your days of living life the way you want to live. And they eventually take years of that if the relationship lasts.
  2938. >You are a seventeen-going-on-eighteen year old boy who knows better than to throw his past values away just so he can have a girlfriend. You are an individual who sees past that, and won’t cave into the pressure from the students around you.
  2939. >Yes, people are going to mock and oppose your choices, and yes they are going to subtly try to force you to change your ways. But you have risen above this, as you are unswayable in the face of petty drama. You will not forget who you really are, holding onto the edge of your wit on the end of a strand.
  2940. >These teenagers chose to cross you, and in response, you have become the heartbreaker. Making it clear that you will not cave into their pressure.
  2941. >You said no to Sunset and that’s the way it’s going to stay. They have no right to make you feel guilty or apprehensive for making your choices against the silly norms of High School. It has come to the point when, as you stare at your reflection, you realize that you must stand up for yourself.
  2942. >It has already been made clear that Flash, Twilight and some others are planning something to overtake you. You’ve gotten wind of it, even after seeing evidence of this that proves it to you beyond reasonable doubt. You don’t want to admit this, or really even hear yourself say it, but… everyone’s out to get you.
  2943. >And in a strange way, love is out to get you. But not in a manner that you’re okay with.
  2944. >Now that you’re confident enough to sleep without your brain bullying you all night long, you race over to your bed and get ready to fill the room with darkness until the light from the sunrise re-illuminates it in about two or three hours.
  2945. >The internet sure was time consuming today; you had a lot on your mind beforehand.
  2946. >Just as your eyes begin to close, a sudden noise shoots into your ears. The vibrating of your phone makes you jump before sitting up to read the new text you just received.
  2947. >It’s from Twilight.
  2948. >[Anon. I know you’re probably tired or something, but I just wanted to let you know something.]
  2949. >That’s all the message says. You squint at your phone screen, already feeling the light begin to hurt your eyes from its comparison to the surrounding darkness. Needless to say, you really don’t feel like replying at this point. It’s late, and you normally go to sleep at this time anyway.
  2950. >But you might as well, also wanting to avoid any further encounters.
  2951. [I’m here, but I’m about to go to bed. What is it?]
  2952. >A couple of minutes pass before the next message comes in. You’re already becoming highly impatient.
  2953. >[There’s something you should know. Sunset’s been talking about you. She apparently can’t get you out of her mind. She doesn’t know I’m telling you this, so don’t tell her.]
  2954. [What do you mean?]
  2955. >You already know the answer to that question. There really was no other reason to ask that other than to either stall Twilight or make sure that she means what you think she means.
  2956. >[I think she’s not over you, Anon. She’s pretty much saying that it’s okay if you don’t like being in committed relationships or something.]
  2957. >That text replied to yours way too fast. Whatever it is that Twilight’s trying to make clear, it’s probably not even close to true. Despite you not caring anyway, you’ve already seen signs of Sunset already being over you. Just as you think about this, you eye the nearly dead lilies on your desk once more.
  2958. >Their very decrepit appearance in your dark room give off a surprisingly discomforting vibe.
  2959. >[Wait, hang on. She says that she wants me to tell you something. She’s sitting here with me right now.]
  2960. >The suspicion in your head explodes like a giant star at the end of its life. There’s no way someone could bring something like this up in such a manner and have it be actually legit at the same time. All of it just seems too unnatural.
  2961. [What do you mean tell me something? Why can’t she tell me herself?] You interrogate, hoping that this whole act is just a ruse that doesn’t actually include Sunset knowing about it.
  2962. >[She’s telling me that she wants to hang out sometime tomorrow. And maybe talk things out. She’s not telling me to say anything about her still liking you, but I’m telling you anyway just for the heads up.]
  2963. >It sounds more like she’s trying to plant thoughts into your imagination. And then it will be something on your mind once you actually do meet Sunset in person, likely triggering… something.
  2964. >This may or may not be a trap.
  2965. >[Do you like… want to text her, or…]
  2966. >After this message, something’s starting to make sense to you. Twilight’s probably trying to make it so you’re the one who texts Sunset first. And meanwhile, Sunset’s going to have no idea of what’s going on until you do so, and fall under the impression that you’re starting to show your own independent interest in her.
  2967. >Quite out of character for your whole “heartbreaker” impression.
  2968. [Are you sure she’s actually saying this?]
  2969. >You go straight to demanding to know, not wanting any more lies or BS. Something inside of you, somewhere in your mind, you hope that Sunset actually doesn’t have anything to do with this. You’d feel crushed if she actually turned out to be part of the plan against you.
  2970. >She’s one of the only people left you can trust.
  2971. >[Anon, she really is. I’m not lying to you. She’s sitting right here next to me. I’d call you, but it’s late, and we don’t feel like making noise.]
  2972. >The first thought that enters your head is to ask for a timestamped picture of the two sitting together, but that in and of itself seems sketchy enough. Not only this, but it gives away the fact that you’re onto her, if she really is scheming.
  2973. >[She told me to text you that you can text her in the morning if you want. She just really wants to communicate with you, give it a chance, Anon. At least talk to her.]
  2974. >Why doesn’t this seem right?
  2975. >The very rushed nature of Twilight’s text message keeps you on edge about the whole situation.
  2976. >You really do wish this had been a phone call instead, so Sunset could at least say hello or something in the background.
  2977. >That way, you could prove that she’s actually there, and it’s not just Twilight speaking for her.
  2978. [Why can’t she tell me herself?] You insist in multiple short messages, each one needling a new question. [Can’t she use her own phone?]
  2979. >That second question sounds like something you should have asked at the very beginning. Why couldn’t she text you when you’re not tired?
  2980. [Can you tell her to text me or something so I hear it from her?]
  2981. >There’s a limited amount of possible responses that Twilight can use to answer you. Sunset is either actually there or she isn’t.
  2982. >After a minute or two pass, Twilight texts you once again.
  2983. >[She’s telling me that she can’t find her phone right now.]
  2984. >If that doesn’t raise the biggest red flag ever, you don’t know what will. There’s no way Sunset would simply be away from her phone when she’s around other people.
  2985. >You begin to frantically type on your phone, 100% certain that you’ve finally caught Twilight in the act after this entire week of what you’d like to call social torture.
  2986. [Riiiiiight…] Your long and not-yet-sent message sarcastically preaches as you type it, [And I also suppose that she would still obviously want to text me asking to hang out now after she clearly stated before that she was busy and wanted to wait until school was completely out.]
  2987. >After pausing and saving the message, you go back to Sunset’s other messages that are from her actual number.
  2988. >The lie shattering message from Sunset:
  2989. >[OMG I thought you’d never ask! I’d love to hang out sometime! Buuuuuuut… I’m kinda busy tomorrow. Maybe once school completely lets out?]
  2990. >Yup, that’s the one you were subconsciously remembered. Twilight’s pretty much cornered now. Hook, line and sinker.
  2991. >Go back to the long message to Twilight and begin to type more quickly and more excitedly than you were before.
  2992. >You’re not tired anymore.
  2993. [In fact, I just so happen to have the message right here:] You boast before pasting the message into the text to Twilight. [And I’m pretty sure that if Sunset had ANY kind of change in plans, she would have told me herself before asking you to do it for her.]
  2994. >This is amazing. You swear you feel like a young Sherlock Holmes at this point.
  2995. [Which, by the way, brings me to yet another point. You see, I’ve been aware of your tricks for quite some time now. I know that you were behind a lot of the stuff about Trixie following me onto the bus, and you damage controlled your way out of it. I know that you are actually trying to get me to slowly fall in love with Sunset so she can either get what she wants and go out with me or get revenge and reject me. I mean, it’s pretty obvious that your loyalty will sway towards her more than me. I barely even knew you until recent days, I’m not stupid. I know that Rainbow Dash and Applejack were involved, too. I figured out that they demanded to know what I did with the lilies for one reason and one reason only. It was to make me feel guilty and start to care about the lilies, wasn’t it? You getting all of these girls who also *happen* to be in your little circle of friends to help you manipulate how I feel and get me to let my guard down and “teach me a lesson”. I know you’re onto me. And I’m onto you as well, because I know you’re lying to me. And Sunset has no idea about this, doesn’t she?]
  2996. >A new message comes in as you’re typing. You’ve been on a roll for about fifteen minutes now.
  2997. >[You still there?] Twilight’s message comes in.
  2998. >Oh just you wait, Twilight. Anon’s cooking something up for you. Just you wait.
  2999. [And now you’re trying to make it seem like I wanted to text Sunset first, making her think that I’m crawling back to her…] You continue the freakishly long text message.
  3000. >Your fingers haven’t moved this fast in a while. This message just keeps getting better and better the more you type it.
  3001. [I bet Sunset isn’t even there with you right now, isn’t she? And even if she is there, why on Earth wouldn’t she just contact me herself? You know, I really have to ask you something, Twilight. Why can’t you just leave me alone, huh? I told you this before, but I apparently have to make this clear again. I never asked for this. I never did, okay? Sunset came up to ME and asked ME out without me doing anything to provoke her to do so. And don’t even think you can give me that whole ‘you being who you are and doing things the way you do is what drew her over’ shindig. That’s a load of BS and you know it.]
  3002. >This girl just needs to hear everything.
  3003. [I’m going to tell you one last time. I said NO to her. Got it? I hate relationships and I hate dating. I’m not going to spend my time and money on some girl I’ve barely even met in HIGH SCHOOL. Like, I mean come on! This is ridiculous to say the least. And then all of your friends get involved, and then eventually Trixie too, to manipulate me into doing something that you believe will teach things right by breaking my character down and forcing me to give dating a chance. I will NEVER give dating a chance! NEVER EVER! This was the decision I have always made with my life and it’s the one I’m going to keep. I’m going to stay true to myself and there’s nothing you can do to force me to do otherwise. Go ahead, call me selfish. Call me a jerk Try as hard as you can to pressure me into feeling guilty. But just know that I’ve had enough of this and I want NO MORE of it. Do you understand?]
  3004. >Your glorious, monstrous rant goes on and on as the minutes go by. The text message has become so long, it would probably take a whole minute to scroll back up to the top at this point. You actually find that a bit hilarious.
  3005. >A couple of excited giggles escape your lips as you continue.
  3006. [And if you even try to do anything to try to make me think that Sunset is still there with you, that is an insult to my intelligence. Because I am going to make it clear to you that you are out of line, thinking you can tell me what to do. You can’t, okay? YOU CAN’T TELL ME WHAT TO DO.]
  3007. >It feels as though you’re writing the USA’s Declaration of Independence to the British.
  3008. [I have been so paranoid, and afraid to even walk into school because of what you and everyone else are doing. I will not tolerate it when people go through such great lengths to make me feel so insecure. Nobody wants to feel that way. With all of that said, I want you to know that I am fully aware of the fact that you’re lying to me. I know you’re trying to use drama and social pressure to indirectly force me into either asking out Sunset or saying yes to her eventually. It’s NOT going to happen. This is MY life. And you’re NOT going to take it away from me. Got it? And it’s obvious that you’re keeping this from Sunset, putting her through all of this emotional stuff with your scheming. I’m only going to say this one last time. Leave. It. ALONE. I am SO done with this.]
  3009. >You have never typed any kind of message this long to someone for as long as you have lived.
  3010. >Right after the instant you press the send button, you see another message come in. But it’s not from Twilight’s number.
  3011. >It’s from Sunset’s number.
  3012. >[Hi, Anon. I’m not sure if you’re still awake to read this, but, I’m sorry I couldn’t text you before, my phone slipped behind the cushions of the couch Twilight and I are sitting on lol. I heard that Twilight was letting you know that I was asking to hang out tomorrow, and yes, it’s true. I changed my mind and would just like to officially clear the air. Not some quick phone call or something or run-in at school. I’d just like to have a concrete, concluding conversation that will put this all behind us and everybody else once and for all. Just you and me. Okay?]
  3013. >What you just experienced was… some kind of heart attack.
  3014. >It’s as though the universe itself is working against you; the timing couldn’t have been worse. The sudden shock strikes you like a lightning bolt.
  3015. >You rush back to the messages to Twilight in half of a heartbeat. Already imagining the worse, you prepare yourself for the notification that the message was successfully sent and that Twilight had received it. You can already picture her reading the message, envisioning the nails being driven into your coffin.
  3016. >[Error: Sending failed. Message exceeds 160 character limit.]
  3017. >…
  3018. >There’s a long moment of silence before you manage to pull yourself together and fall backwards onto the gentle, welcoming surface of your bed. You land on your back with the softest thud you’ve heard in a long time. But the massive sigh of relief that erupts from your lungs sounds loud enough to wake up your parents.
  3019. >The gentle tingling flutters through you as you lie there, too relieved to even do so much as smile.
  3020. >It was both good and bad that you had so much to say.
  3021. >The vibrating of your phone from the new message doesn’t even startle you, unable to interrupt your episode of bliss. Without even coming close to stressing out, you pick up the phone and briefly glance at the screen.
  3022. >[I just watched Sunset text you. I had to call her phone so we could figure out where it fell to. If you’re still there, text us back as soon as you can and we promise we’ll get everything settled. I know times have been getting hard, at the worst possible time of year too, but the two of us have been working together to help you. And I’m glad to know that you trust us. See you tomorrow! :)]
  3023. >You interpret the message from Twilight.
  3024. >The two of us have been working together.
  3025. >Glad to know that you trust us.
  3026. >See you tomorrow.
  3027. >Switch the phone to airplane mode, set it on the nightstand and wrap yourself into the covers.
  3028. >Screw everything; go to Brothens.
  3029. >...
  3030. ~
  3031. >…
  3032. >The night goes by, and you don’t even remember falling asleep. The dreams that you had were a little bit hazy, but nothing you are able to remember. But you could probably guess that they had something to do with the current circumstances regarding Twilight and Sunset that you cannot expel from your mind.
  3033. >Like it does during every other late morning that wakes you up, the sunlight soon reaches your eyes and bring you to wake. You don’t look at your clock, but you’re sure that it’s sometime in the afternoon.
  3034. >Upon checking your phone for any new messages, you find that there was nothing else that came in after you had set the phone to airplane mode. Not that it matters, though.
  3035. >You’re just so done with all of this.
  3036. >Sunset Shimmer was the very last friend of Twilight that you could trust. She was so compassionate and understandable, and she wasn’t even at school for a good fraction of the dramatic scenes that took place. You really did believe that she wasn’t at all involved.
  3037. >But you’ve become wise, now.
  3038. >All of the past trust that you had invested into Sunset before falls away from you, disappearing into the past. It has finally come to the point where you decide to drop everything and do whatever you want, regardless of what anyone thinks. The last straw has been pulled, and your patience is gone.
  3039. >You stay at your computer with the decaying lilies beside your arm. They barely sprout out of the vase now, as dead as your trust for Sunset. You’d like to convince yourself that you’re happy it’s over. You… really would.
  3040. >But there’s still a task at hand.
  3041. >There are still three days during which you must go to the school. Monday and Tuesday being half days with final exams, and Wednesday being that one final day where the students get to say their goodbyes before the official start of summer.
  3042. >You must survive these final days, finding a way to contact Sonata about the plane tickets.
  3043. >In your mind, the only thing left to accomplish is a great escape.
  3044. >After heading downstairs, you get yourself a bowl of cereal. You sit there, hardly touching your late breakfast at first. The time actually turns out to be a few minutes before 4pm.
  3045. >It’s nice to know that you have your summer sleeping pattern already set up.
  3046. >Your phone suddenly vibrates on the table, irking you a little bit. You put down your spoon and look on your screen to see what interrupted your breakfast.
  3047. >[Hi again, Anon. Would you like to hang out at some point today? I won’t be at school and was wondering if it would be okay I we met today.] Sunset’s message follows up the previous one.
  3048. >It’s pretty clear that she might not leave you alone until you actually do something with her. Part of you just wants to say something blunt and cut all ties with her, but you mostly just want to get her to move on so she leaves you alone on her own. But still, you’d rather not allow the continuation of Twilight attempting to ship the two of you together.
  3049. >Type back, letting know that you’re there.
  3050. [I thought you said that you were busy this weekend.]
  3051. >[I kinda was, but I changed my mind and wanted to hang out with you a little bit. You’re free today, right?]
  3052. [Yeah, I am.] You decide to be honest. [I guess I could chill for a bit. Where do you want to meet up?]
  3053. >[I’m not sure.]
  3054. >You get ready to type another message before another one interrupts you.
  3055. >[Do you mind me asking you where you live?]
  3056. >Stare at the tiny little statement on your phone’s screen for about ten seconds. You can hardly believe that she actually just asked this.
  3057. >If you had any doubt about whether or not she was in on whatever it is Twilight is doing, it’s gone now. Whatever you do, you must not let anybody from school find out your address. It’s bad enough that your phone number is already out there.
  3058. >A person’s address can’t be found from someone’s phone number, right?
  3059. [I’d rather meet up at a park somewhere or something. It’s nothing personal, I just never really meet people from home.]
  3060. >The first place that you think about is the park near which Norman met you to talk with you about Sunset. It’s not close enough to your house to give Sunset enough of an idea of where you live. She hasn’t ever ridden your bus before, so it’s not like she’d have any idea where your house is.
  3061. >But you suddenly think about the time when Sunset met with you in the parking lot. Given that she just asked you where you lived and doesn’t know that information yet, how on earth did she find you in that parking lot? You don’t remember going to that store often, and you would have run into Sunset before if she’s been going there often as well.
  3062. >Sunset probably has a general idea of where your house might be, but doesn’t know the exact address. And that address is something that you intend to keep a secret at all costs.
  3063. >Perhaps you can meet her there instead of the park. It isn’t as close to your house anyway.
  3064. >[Oh, I’d love to go to a park or something.]
  3065. [On second thought, maybe we could meet up at that grocery store.]
  3066. >[How about the school? No one’s really there now that all of the clubs and stuff are done for the year.] Suggests Sunset. [We can go to like, the stands of the soccer field or something.]
  3067. >Wow, you actually hadn’t thought of that.
  3068. [That works, I could totally be there in about an hour.]
  3069. >You keep your sentences to Sunset as short and simple as possible, trying not to get too in depth or hint that you’re already on to her and Twilight.
  3070. >[Super. So I guess that works then. Oh, and can Twilight come too? She says she wants to apologize in person along with us talking things out.]
  3071. >This already doesn’t seem like a very good idea. A lot of things about this hint the idea that Twilight wants to further try to influence something between you and Sunset. The very thought of this makes you narrow your eyes at your screen yet a little bit more, already wanting to come up with an excuse not to come.
  3072. >However, she also doesn’t know that you’re fully aware of what she’s doing. With this in mind, you start to see a window of opportunity. Every time Twilight starts to bring up something involving you and Sunset, all you have to do is actively shoot it down instead of try to be nice to someone whom you believe is helping you. In short, you don’t have to remain neutral about the situation and allow them to think there’s still a way to change your ways.
  3073. >Just reply back and make sure you’re prepared for what you’re getting into.
  3074. [Yeah, she can hang out too, I guess. It’ll be nice to hear from the both of you. I’ll see you at 5:30.]
  3075. >[Yup. See you later! :)]
  3076. >An ominous feeling enters your stomach as you both text your “see you later” messages. You set your phone down and begin to think critically about the fact that Sunset and Twilight have your phone number.
  3077. >You can’t help but feel that there might be some sort of way to track a phone’s location if you have the number. What if this has been Twilight’s plan all along when she had Rainbow Dash give you her number so you could text her and reveal your own number?
  3078. >It you recall correctly, Twilight never asked for your number; she only got it from Rainbow Dash telling her what it was.
  3079. >But still, if they knew where you live, they would have definitely shown up at your house or something at least once by now regarding the malicious intent that they hold. And they wouldn’t have had Sunset try to get your address either, if that was the case.
  3080. >The address of your house is still safe, and you need to keep it this way. Only now are you absolutely relieved that you deleted your Facebook account. You have no idea whether or not an IP address can be traced from a Facebook account. And considering how smart Twilight might be, it would be bad news for you if she got ahold of the IP address of your home computer. You can only pray that she’s not computer literate.
  3081. >The thing is, she still has your number. And if there’s a way to track a person based on their phone number, you might be in trouble. Because of this, you look up how someone can keep track of a phone’s location with just the number.
  3082. >After a few quick Google searches, you already find a result that unsettles you. There’s apparently an app that people can get on their phone that ties into some GPS database and allows the app users to geolocate other mobile devices.
  3083. >You open the link and begin to lightly skim the articles, looking for any important key words. But upon further investigation, the app only works among devices that have it installed. In other words, a phone cannot be geolocated with that database unless it is connected through the app. Only phones with the app can trace other phones as well.
  3084. >Well that’s one more app you’re sure that you’re never going to get.
  3085. >Clicking on a few other links, you only come across a few sites that go into grand detail on hacking someone else’s devices. There doesn’t seem to be anything that appears useful to anyone who would be trying to infiltrate your privacy. So in conclusion, you can only assume that you’re safe as long as you never let that app onto your phone.
  3086. >You take a quick shower and clean yourself up before going out into public again. You’re making sure that you’re prepared for whatever Twilight and Sunset have in store for you, ready to show then that they can’t just go around playing these games with people.
  3087. >Pretty much nothing is done as you wait for the hour to finish passing. At about 5:15, you decide to finally head out the door. The drive to the school is about 10 to 15 minutes away, so this timing is perfect. You contemplate your future answers to their questions on the way over there, keeping an inventory of sharp responses in the back of your mind. These said questions will most likely be loaded questions, automatically implying things about you in their nature.
  3088. >The drive lasts a few minutes before you make it to the school. There’s already a car in one of the parking spaces, and it isn’t hard to spot Sunset and Twilight walking from it.
  3089. >It already discomforts you that they have been waiting for you. Why would they be this determined?
  3090. >The times when Trixie had waited for you in various locations immediately reassert themselves in your mind. These two are already showing traits similar to those that Trixie had before. The two girls walk up to your car and wave you down.
  3091. >You’re already growing suspicious, despite your best efforts not to. You know that a lot of your paranoia has been mostly unrealistic; it’s mostly based on your own assumptions and fears of people trying to change you. And that does sound a little bit stupid, but things start to sound less stupid once you come fact to face with actual evidence. But has it gone beyond your reasonable doubt?
  3092. >In any event, giving these two a final conclusion with everything that’s happened could get them to leave you alone once and for all. You’re just so sick and tired of dealing with this, and all you want to do is make them go away. Hopefully, this one last talk will give them enough closure to be satisfied with how things turned out and no longer care.
  3093. >A week may have gone by, but it felt like a month and a half. This is highly inconvenient, as you were counting the days while waiting for the school year to end. All this did was make everything seem to take longer and plant a seed of paranoia into your thoughts.
  3094. >The sound of distant music can be heard as you roll down the window on the passenger side.
  3095. >”Hi, Anon.” Twilight greets you. “So uh, it actually looks like there really are people here today. I totally forgot that the band was going to be playing.”
  3096. >You realize that the music is coming from the stadium. It’s clear that the band must be practicing for their performances during their upcoming summer tour. Maybe Sonata is over there with them.
  3097. >To be honest, you really want to go over there instead of talk over here. At least the band kids actually have a valid reason to be at the school right now. It’s a little odd that Sunset and Twilight were so eager to talk with you yet again.
  3098. >Maybe there’s a way to go over to the band kids and talk to them, namely Sonata and the other Dazzlings.
  3099. >”We can’t really sit on any of the stands without someone noticing us, and the doors to the school are locked as well.” Twilight brings up. “I kinda hate to ask this, but can we just kinda hang out here in the parking lot or something? We can just keep our car doors open and use those for seats.”
  3100. >Your hands grip the steering wheel a bit more tightly at the sudden and strange idea, though Twilight does have a point. It’s a better idea to stay out of sight of the band kids and not let them know that you’re here. The last thing you want is for them to become involved with this. They’re the last group of people you actually trust.
  3101. >If anything, you’re willing to go even further away from the stadium to make sure that they never notice any of this. No connections are to be made.
  3102. “Sure, that can work.” You reply, looking back forward.
  3103. >After a few turns and maneuvers, you stop your car in a parking space and turn off the vehicle. It’s nowhere near where the band kids can see you, but it’s still close enough for you to catch a glimpse of where they might be once you pull out.
  3104. >Something tells you that you’re going to be paying them a little visit after clearing things up with Twilight and Sunset.
  3105. >You step out of your car as the two girls walk over from theirs; they had parked pretty close. Twilight looks at your car as though she’s about to tell you something about it.
  3106. >”Do you mind opening the door or something? I just need somewhere to sit, that’s all.” Twilight explains to you.
  3107. >”Alright.” You accept, looking back at the car and reaching over to open the door.
  3108. >All of a sudden, you get the feeling that this conversation is going to feel like a movie script being recited amongst three teenagers. And to some extent, you’re actually right. You can already see the system where you will take turns speaking.
  3109. >Why did you have to agree to this?
  3110. >”Just so you know, Trixie isn’t actually here this time.” Sunset reveals to you. “Twilight told me everything about what happened with her.”
  3111. >”I just want you to know that I’m deeply sorry for everything that’s happened.” Twilight adds. “But we’re all on the same page now, right? No more not telling eachother about things.”
  3112. “It’s okay, Twilight. You didn’t know how to react in that situation. I forgive you.”
  3113. >You’re just going to do everything you can to keep the conversation depth as minimal as possible. Just agree with a lot of the things that they say unless it has anything to do with you and Sunset. If you can make this conversation end and let them leave soon enough, you could have time to go over to the band kids before whenever they’re supposed to leave.
  3114. >Though, it might look a little bit sketchy if you randomly went up to them and asked for ways to get the tickets. Maybe you’ll just pretend that you were at school for a different reason, definitely not relating to the conversation with Twilight and Sunset.
  3115. >”Are you… willing to talk with Trixie at some point? That’s pretty much the only thing left that I’m concerned about.” Twilight brings up.
  3116. >Don’t do anything to push the contrary. Just end this as quickly as possible, and maybe Trixie would be a bit more of a humble person now that her ego has taken some stumbles.
  3117. “I guess. To be honest, I am starting to kinda feel bad about the way I handled her. The more I think about it, the more I want to apologize.”
  3118. >You watch Twilight’s eyes light up as you say this.
  3119. >”That’s really great to hear, Anon!”
  3120. “Look, I’ll talk to her the first chance I get tomorrow. It would actually be pretty good, since I was mostly worried about her following me around everywhere.”
  3121. >The music in the distance halts for a minute or two, making you fear that they might be packing up and leaving for the day. All of your past effort feels at risk as you maintain eye contact with Twilight. You really hope that she doesn’t keep you here for very long.
  3122. >Twilight is sitting on the back seat of your car with her legs hanging out while you lean against the side right above the back bumper.
  3123. >”Wow, thanks Anon. You know, I really thought that you weren’t going to want to do it. You’re usually a lot more… how can I put this…”
  3124. “It’s okay, Twilight. I’m starting to see what you were talking about earlier.”
  3125. >You can hardly play along with this conversation. While it is possible that you may be over-analyzing this, they way you’re speaking to eachother feels rather awkward.
  3126. >”Would you like me to come along with you and Trixie? I’ve recently started to get to know her as well. She’s actually a nice girl, you know.”
  3127. “Oh, I’m sure.” You answer her right as you hear the faint music resume in the distant stadium.
  3128. >The most awkward part of this conversation is the fact that there’s pretty much nothing left to talk about… and you’re only been here for about five minutes. Why would these two want to meet you out here in the parking lot so badly if there was hardly anything to talk about?
  3129. >Your thoughts stir up again, but it’s clear that the better idea is to ignore it.
  3130. >Twilight begins to twiddle her thumbs as she looks at the ground. She’s definitely trying to get herself to say something, but it’s not coming out. It’s as though she knows that you don’t want to be here, but needs you to stay just long enough for… something to happen.
  3131. >Think back to the moment when Sunset asked you where you live. It was right after when it was decided that you would not meet her at your house, and Sunset’s proposal to bring Twilight along seemed a bit sudden. Perhaps she-
  3132. >No.
  3133. >Stop that.
  3134. >The key aspect here is to stop overthinking things and then coating it with your own suspicions. You’re starting to take this too far, not letting things flow naturally inside or outside of your imagination. There’s a reason why it’s a bit hard to avoid having an awkward conversation with you; you’re too busy trying to figure out if someone’s trying to trick you or not.
  3135. >You need to just talk to these people so they can help you settle things with Trixie and leave you alone for a change. But that doesn’t make you hate being here any less. Maybe you can just try to pay more attention to your surroundings instead.
  3136. >Recent times have stolen all of your focus and got them caught up in a sea of worrying.
  3137. >”So… how bad was it?” Sunset asks you.
  3138. “Do you mean when Trixie kept following me around places?”
  3139. >”Yeah. I’ll admit that… I wasn’t too different from her back in the day.”
  3140. >”Based on what I saw of her, it might be best to get Trixie to turn herself around the same way Sunset has.” Twilight proclaims.
  3141. “Did Sunset do something like what Trixie did?”
  3142. >Sunset squints before staring down at the grass beneath her feet. You’d rather not hear what she’s remembering, but you probably already know what she’s talking about. Norman might have already given you the answer to this one.
  3143. >”Well, you see…” Sunset begins. “There was this other guy that I kinda… obsessed too hard over. I think you already know him, Anon.”
  3144. “Who?” You ask while already knowing what she’s going to say.
  3145. >”Remember those guys were sitting with you before you moved over to that other table with the band class?” Twilight joins in.
  3146. “Was it Norman?”
  3147. >”Uh, yeah, it actually was.” Reveals Sunset. “How did you guess?”
  3148. “I just remember hearing about you liking him a while back. I was going to this school during the time when that was happening.”
  3149. >”Well anyway, I was kind of like how Trixie used to be in terms of how I acted around Norman. I’d do the same thing and follow him around while harassing him until he’d do what I wanted. I was like that with a lot of things, before…” Sunset trails off before eyeing Twilight.
  3150. >A short pause ensues until Twilight breaks the silence.
  3151. >”But that’s all in the past now.” She conveys in a reassuring tone. “And there’s one crucial thing that turned her around and set her on the right path.”
  3152. >Twilight’s voice seems to slightly become more serious and emphasizing as she says this.
  3153. >”And that thing is friendship.”
  3154. >Sunset nods along in agreement. You honestly aren’t surprised that Twilight had said this, but it’s just the way she said it that makes to start to wonder. It’s as though it holds some sort of high importance to her.
  3155. >”And that’s what we need to provide to Trixie.” Declares Sunset. “We need to be those people who reach out their hands and help her back up. Just like how Twilight and her friends had done for me.”
  3156. >”This is good, Anon. It really helps that you’re willing to make amends with her. Maybe we just stopped someone from doing something too drastic before it even happened this time.” Twilight says to you. “And uh… thank you for that.”
  3157. “You’re welcome, Twilight.”
  3158. >The band kids are still playing their songs in the stadium. But whether or not they are playing their last song is still not known.
  3159. >”Also, I’m just a little curious. You… don’t mind if I ask something a little bit more personal, do you?” Twilight brings up.
  3160. >It only occurs to you now that Twilight has done most of the talking. So much for someone who wanted to “come along” with Sunset who wanted to “hang out with you” for a while. But of course, you’re starting to get sick of yourself from all of this superstition that is still mostly unproven.
  3161. >Just man up and let her ask, Anon. There’s no way it could be what you’re hoping it isn’t, you all should be clear past that by now.
  3162. “I don’t mind.” Your monotone voice answers her.
  3163. >Twilight takes a deep breath as a slight breeze picks up around the three of you.
  3164. >”Okay. Like I said, I’m only asking this because Sunset and I are curious.” Twilight feels the need to reiterate. “So… in your life… you you ever plan to get married, or at least a girlfriend at any point?”
  3165. >Ah yes, here it is. It’s that one big thing that the two girls are just dying to know.
  3166. >”We don’t mean it too personally. Just out of curiosity, like Twilight said.” Sunset explains. “I guess the best way to put it is… do you ever plan on finding somebody to love?”
  3167. >This is where your plan to negate things comes in. Under no circumstances are you to encourage them or give them the idea that there’s still a chance for them to tie any kind of know with you someday. You must make this very clear to them, unfortunately.
  3168. >You probably wouldn’t normally feel the need to do this, but after all of the things that have happened, it pretty much feels like a war of attrition at this point. And you truly, truly hate the feeling.
  3169. “To be honest… not really, no.”
  3170. >The answer you give projects a somewhat opposite effect in opposition to your answer regarding Trixie. Sunset and Twilight don’t look particularly upset, just… let down. It’s as though they were internally cheering you on, and the answer you just gave them rained on their parade.
  3171. >They have no reason to care that much.
  3172. “I know this might be a bit difficult to grasp, but I’m more of a loner. Well, completely a loner. And that’s the way it has to stay.”
  3173. >”But… why?” Twilight desires to know. “Like… there must be some sort of reason. Why wouldn’t you ever want to get married?”
  3174. “I guess I’m not a guy who wants to ever have a relationship to worry about in his life. That’s all. There’s really nothing else to it, and nothing personal about it either.”
  3175. >Twilight tilts her head to the side a little bit.
  3176. >”I just don’t understand how you can say that regarding the rest of your life while in your teenage years. Like… aren’t you ever at least going to change your mind or something? I’m just saying this because, this is the time of your life when practice with relationships really comes in handy.” Twilight explains to you.
  3177. >Okay, now she’s definitely trying to imply something. You internally promise yourself that you’re going to keep your cool and refrain from freaking out. But you’re not going to cave in as well.
  3178. “Eh, I don’t know, Twilight. I’m fairly certain about this. I’ve already had a long time to think about it, and I’m one hundred percent sure it couldn’t possibly happen any day.”
  3179. >”Really?” Twilight’s tone strongly hints disbelief.
  3180. >Notice how Sunset still doesn’t talk much, and yet she’s the one who “originally” wanted to talk with you. And meanwhile, Twilight is passively trying to convince you to be come more open to relationships “in the future”.
  3181. >You see right past all of it.
  3182. “Yup, that’s just the way it is and the way it will always be. It’s nothing personal, though.”
  3183. >”Well to be honest, that does sound like something I’ve heard a lot of people say some time before they start to think twice about whether or not they want to try being with someone.” Twilight says to you.
  3184. >And now she’s trying to make sure you think about it possibly later today. This is a method that you swear that you remember observing parents use on their children.
  3185. >You can’t help but feel so belittled.
  3186. “Twilight, trust me. I’m a loner, and nothing’s going to change that. There’s nothing wrong with it, you know.”
  3187. >The music from the stadium ceases again. You keep your ears open to that direction, wanting to know if they’re going to start playing again to verify that they’re still practicing.
  3188. >”Oh, I know. It’s just that… I don’t know…”
  3189. “Hmm?”
  3190. >”Well, I know that a couple of girls here and there have been expressing… things for you.” Twilight informs you, not even needing to hint over to Sunset. “And I’m just saying that it’s not exactly a good thing to turn them all down just because of this notion you have right now that apparently speaks for the rest of your life. And then once you change you mind in your later years, you’ll hardly have half of an idea of what you’re doing. And uh… that’s kinda how some lonely people are created.”
  3191. >You need to get this through to her now.
  3192. “Well, again, it’s not like I’m actually going to change my mind or anything.” You reassert in a barely soft tone.
  3193. >”Well, what’s exactly the thing that made you decide this?”
  3194. “It’s just that… I already like my life the way it is. I don’t have to worry about buying anyone gifts or going out to dinner with anyone and spending money along the way from that. It’s… uh… the single life.”
  3195. >Twilight actually starts to nod her head in an understanding manner. Surely she could at least level with you on this. Please… please let her just level with you on at least this.
  3196. >You just want to get out of here.
  3197. >”I guess there’s nothing wrong with wanting to keep the benefits of being single. And I understand that.”
  3198. “Well… that’s great.” You tell her. “So… we’re on the same page now, right? I’ll talk to Trixie when I get the chance, become friends with her along with the rest of you, and we can hang out together during the summer so all of this is behind us before we know it.”
  3199. >You left out the part about Brothens.
  3200. >”Well, yeah. But there’s just this one last thing. A little thing.” Insists Twilight while Sunset is still mostly silent.
  3201. >The band cannot be heard resuming their music.
  3202. >”The thing that’s worrying me the most right now is the whole deal with you being the… uh…”
  3203. “The Heartbreaker?”
  3204. >Twilight raises her cheeks a bit and slightly nods.
  3205. >”I’m not saying that you shouldn’t be single. But… at least don’t brag about it. That’s… a little disheartening so some people. You know… like Trixie.”
  3206. “Oh. I guess I see what you mean.”
  3207. >”Please don’t take this the wrong way or any-”
  3208. “It’s alright, it’s alright. Look, uh, I didn’t exactly start this on my own. The other kids at school kept coming to me and starting things up. And Trixie was the main example of that.”
  3209. >”So?”
  3210. “I wouldn’t be doing this if they just left me alone about it, okay? All I saw was a bunch of people giving me a hard time for making what they saw as the wrong choice. It was already obvious that they weren’t going to let it go no matter what, especially in Trixie’s case.”
  3211. >Part of you feels like this applies to Twilight as well.
  3212. “So I just turned it around on them, and in a way where they have to accept that I’m not going to agree to a date with anyone no matter what. It’s just who I am, Twilight. That change that people are trying to push isn’t going to happen, and If I have to openly display that, I will. Why would I just stand by and let other people define me?”
  3213. >As you continue to talk, you begin to like the sound of your voice less and less. You start to like you words less and less as well. Any real argument that was in your head, one that was certainly true, has been clouded by your defensive judgement by now.
  3214. >All that comes out of you is more talking. Just more and more words until you can finally bring Twilight to a point where she doesn’t want to talk anymore. It’s the easiest way out of this.
  3215. >You don’t want to come up with points, you don’t want to explain yourself. Choosing to tackle this might have been a huge mistake, and you could have avoided it if you stuck with your mentality of forgetting about everything that you don’t want to matter. Just forget the drama and the complicated spiderweb of suspicion; just go to Brothens with the band kids. There’s beaches there, and apparently tons of fun activities.
  3216. >It’s the polar opposite of what you’re experiencing now; the heaven to this hell. And you keep blowing your chances to get a ticket to heaven.
  3217. >”O-okay. Well… I understand that’s how you feel about this. But I was just saying…” Twilight begins to stutter.
  3218. >It worked. She has finally run out of things to say. The feeling is finally mutual.
  3219. “Look, I’m not trying to keep all of this going. I didn’t start this.” You try to convince her, doing the best you can to provide absolution.
  3220. >”No, it’s okay. I understand.”
  3221. >Strange how the very moment she feels less willing to talk is the same moment when you feel the need to say more. Only another factor to make you hate this moment more. Only another little thing that makes you hate the drama more as well.
  3222. >Seriously, screw this.
  3223. >“Listen, everything’s fine, Anon. I totally understand your… thing about freedom and everything.” Twilight tells you, wearing a face that obviously doesn’t match her words. “I’ll just try to get ahold of Trixie for you as soon as I can, alright? We’ll tackle this together. As friends.”
  3224. >And with that, she stands up from the back seat and gently closes your car door, almost getting her skirt caught in the crease she closes the door so fast.
  3225. >Whatever, as long as she agrees now… you hope.
  3226. “Uh, okay. Yeah… we’ll do it together as friends.” You go along with her logic. “Friendship sure is some powerful stuff, eh?”
  3227. >Twilight stares at you with… suddenly the most disconcerting grin you’ve ever seen on her face.
  3228. >”Of course, Anon.” She cheerfully replies. “Friendship is magic.”
  3229.  
  3230. Continued: http://pastebin.com/Ak4v6Chu
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