"So... Your parents..." I wanted a little insight before we actually got to the rock farm. Pinks, Octavia, who had come back to Ponyville and offered to show us the way, since Pinks couldn't remember, and myself were already on our way there. Pinks shook her head, and I assumed she didn't really know much about them than the obvious. Octavia cleared her throat, and I could tell she wanted my attention. "Yes, Octavia?"
"Well," Octavia paused for a moment, as if to collect herself, "our father's name is Clyde, and he's been working even harder than he normally does, because our mother, Roxy, has fallen ill. None of us know what's wrong, and we don't have enough money to pay for a doctor. I've even been pitching in almost all of my income from concerts, but it's still not enough, considering the cost of the upkeep on the farm. That's actually why I came along." She looked past me to Pinks. "Even if you wouldn't have come along, I was going to tell you about mother being sick..."
I looked at Pinks, and I could see tears welling up in her eyes. She was terrified of losing her mother, no matter how poorly she was treated. I wrapped my foreleg around the back of her neck, hoping to offer at least some comfort. Octavia looked over the two of us, and a little smile came onto her face. "You two really are close, aren't you?"
I chuckled a bit, and nodded. "Of course we are. We wouldn't be getting married otherwise, right?"
Octavia's smile widened, and she let out a sigh. "I can't believe my little sister is getting married... I never thought I'd see the day we saw each other again, let alone meet her soon-to-be-husband!"
Pinks giggled a bit, and leaned in on me a bit more. "You know, I think this is going to go really well." Octavia and I looked at each other, and shared silent smiles. We were both glad Pinks was actually eager to see her parents. "I may not agree with what mother and father did, but... You two are right. They're my family. And Shadow still needs to meet them."
The rest of the walk went by in silence. I enjoyed every minute of it, though. How could I not have enjoyed it when I had Pinks with me?
When we got to the farm, I suddenly felt a depressing aura around the place. The trees were dead, the fields were barren, everything was a bleak shade of brown... I suddenly felt like holding myself down in a bathtub until the bubbles stopped coming up.
"Now I see why Pinks ran away. This place is more depressing than Manehattan..."
Octavia had a huge smile on her face, though. "Well, here we are! Home sweet home!"
Pinks looked around, and her expression was that of nostalgia. "Sixteen years... I've been away for sixteen years..."
Octavia let her head droop a bit, and her smile faded. "Yes... But we just started looking for you a few months ago. We looked for you when you first ran away, but by then, you were already long gone. We even looked in Ponyville... I have no idea how we didn't find you."
Pinks shook her head. "I knew you were looking for me. I hid from you."
I decided it was best that we stopped this conversation before it went too far. "Uh... Are we going to go inside?"
Octavia and Pinks looked at me, then back to each other, and started towards the house. I took that as a yes.
When Octavia knocked on the door, an old-looking light brown stallion with yellow eyes and a grey beard answered. I assumed he was Clyde. He took one look at Pinks, and his eyes shrunk in shock. "P-Pinkamena...?"
Pinks nodded. "It's me..."
Clyde shakily nodded his head, and looked at me. "And you... You're her fiancé?"
"Yes sir. My name is Shadow Weaver. It's nice to meet you." I extended my hoof for a hoofshake, which he returned. We all stood there for a moment, until Clyde spoke up again.
"Well, come in, come in."
The inside of the house was just as depressing as the outside. Almost no furniture other than the essentials, and everything was made of old, faded wood. Clyde cleared his throat, which broke the deafening silence that was drifting around.
"Pinkamena... Your mother is in our bedroom. You came to see her, right?"
Pinks nodded, and we all went back to see her. Clyde and Roxy's bedroom was also depressing. A nightstand with a single photo of them, with blank expressions, and plain white bed sheets, which had gone grey with time. An old white mare, with grey hair tied up in a bun, and gold-rimmed glasses was laying in the bed, sweat pouring off of her head. I had no idea what could be wrong with her. She opened her eyes, and looked us over, and when she saw Pinks, she smiled weakly.
"Well, if it isn't Pinkamena..." She coughed. Her voice was quite, almost at a whisper. She looked like she was using every ounce of strength in her body just to speak. "How are you...?" She looked to me. "Ah, and this must be your husband."
I nodded, but then decided to correct her. "Actually, I'm just her fiancé at the time, ma'am."
Roxy let out a small chuckle, which was cut off by a bad fit of coughing. "Well, either way, I'm glad you're making my daughter happy..."
I looked at Pinks, and she had tears pouring down her face. I knew this was painful for her, and I wished I could help somehow. It felt terrible knowing I couldn't do anything for Pinks and her family.
"If only I had some more money... Wait a second." I remembered somepony from my time in Fauston. His name was Blank Check. He had loads of money, and he owed me a favor. "That's it! I've just gotta find a way to contact him..."
I looked to Clyde. "Do you have any paper, and maybe a quill and inkwell?"
He nodded, but then cocked his eyebrow. "Yes, but why?"
I looked back to Roxy, and I felt my determination coming on. "I'm going to help your wife."