Nathan was not much help when I came crying to him with my problems. Okay, I wasn’t literally crying, but all he did was sit awkwardly and listen to my story.
“You shouldn’t feel bad,” he said. “I mean, it’s for her own good, right?”
“Maybe, but I feel like I violated Rainbow’s trust.” I stared at my hands.
“She would have done the same thing,” said Nathan.
“No, I don’t think she would have,” I said. “She just feels…more loyal than that.”
“Don’t worry about it, babe,” Nathan assured me. “I’m sure you’ll work things out.”
I believed him, but still felt terrible. To Nathan’s credit, he didn’t suggest that we have get-over-it sex. The fact that I almost expected him to said something about our relationship.
I knew I was kidding myself about him. I didn’t think he was husband material. He didn’t give me the consideration that I thought that he should. It was probably only a matter of time before we had to go our separate ways. I was just putting it off as long as possible.
It was late by the time I got back to the dorm. I opened the door quietly, but didn’t see a pony-shaped silhouette, so I went ahead and turned on the light.
It was well past sunset, and it didn’t look like Rainbow had come back to the room since she’d left, angry with me for prying into her life. I wondered where she could be. We’d known each other for just less than a week. How much did I actually care about her? Did she care about me?
A single sky-blue feather sat on Rainbow’s bed. I glanced around. The chewed pencils and lack of clothing in the closest also reinforced the fact that my roommate wasn’t human.
Did a multicolored pony deserve different treatment than a person? Was that racist? Uh, I mean, speciesist? I felt like I was in over my head.
There was no guide for Equestrian roommates. No books titled Living With a Pony For Dummies. With nothing else to go off of, I had to figure it out for myself.
None of those were pleasant thoughts, and I quickly went to bed before I could consider them further.
I must have been asleep when Rainbow finally came in. The next time I saw her was morning. Her alarm clock went off earlier than mine. I pretended to be asleep while she collected her class supplies and went out the door.
I felt bad about not apologizing to her right then, but rationalized it with the thought that Rainbow was in a hurry to get to classes. I could talk to her later.
I lay in bed, trying to decide how I could set things right between us. Gifts were out. I didn’t have much money, and had no idea what Rainbow liked. A card or a note seemed kind of impersonal.
Just talk it out with her, my conscience told me. Confront the issue directly.
I sighed. At least I had a couple of hours to plan what I should say. I headed off to my first class. After sitting through that, I went to work.
At the copy shop, Justin noticed my mood and couldn’t resist commenting on it. “What’s up with you? Have a fight with your boyfriend?”
“No, my roommate,” I told him.
“How do you argue with a pony?” he asked.
I didn’t reply. He shrugged. “It’s probably because you’re a bitch.”
I cocked my fist back, but he took a couple of steps away before I could hit him. “What is wrong with you?” I shouted. “Do you just do things without thinking?”
Justin shrugged. “Don’t you?”
A couple of our coworkers watched us. I turned away, embarrassed to have lost control of my emotions.
Regretfully, Justin’s words rang true. It was lack of consideration for Rainbow’s feelings that got me into trouble. If I had taken a moment to think about that before pumping Twilight for information, there wouldn’t be a problem.
That afternoon, I returned to the dorm with a plan. It didn’t go much beyond begging Rainbow for forgiveness, but it was better than nothing.
I stopped in front of my door. I didn’t know if Rainbow would be in the room, and part of me hoped she wouldn’t be. I tried the knob, and it was unlocked. I took a deep breath and opened the door.
The pegasus sat in front of her computer. She’d obtained another dexterity enhancer for her other hoof and appeared to be learning how to type using the hunt-and-peck method. She looked up when I came in. I closed the door and set my backpack down.
“I need to talk to you,” I began. I sat down in my chair and turned to face her.
Rainbow gave me a look of annoyance. I’m not sure if it was because I interrupted her typing, or if she was just generally annoyed with me. Either one was plausible.
I sighed. “I’m sorry that I went behind your back. If you didn’t want me to know something, I shouldn’t have pried. I was doing it for a good cause, but that doesn’t make it right.”
“Do you want to know why I was trying to keep it secret?” she asked.
“Um, okay.” I couldn’t tell where she was going with this.
Rainbow looked away. “I feel kind of ashamed about coming here.”
“What?” That was about the most coherent thing I could think of to say. I had no idea what she was talking about.
“I feel like I’m supposed to be more loyal to everypony,” she said. “Equestria is home.”
“I’m sure they understand,” I said.
Rainbow shook her head. “I’ve only told my closest friends in Ponyville about this. They know me. I don’t know what others would think if they found out.”
It was an abrupt turnaround from her earlier attitude. She liked talking about the Sonic Rain-whatever and her other abilities. I had thought that she wanted to be well known.
“Is there some kind of stigma against ponies to coming to Earth?” I asked.
“Well, no,” Rainbow told me. “I just don’t want to feel like I’m leaving everything I know behind.”
“You don’t have to,” I pointed out. “You can go back to visit.”
“That’s not what I meant,” she said, shaking her head. “The thing with the citizenship is what I’m worried about. I don’t like the idea that I won’t be Equestrian anymore.”
I shrugged. “What’s a citizenship other than a piece of paper? You still have your friends. If anyone else cares, that’s too bad. You don’t have to please everyone.”
“Haters gonna hate?” Rainbow suggested.
I burst out laughing. “Yes, that’s exactly what I’m saying. Where did you hear that, anyway?”
Rainbow smiled, pleased with herself. “I’ve been learning a lot about the internet in the last few days. Twilight’s jealous. She’s usually the high-tech one. Speaking of her, she called earlier.”
“Oh, did you have a good conversation?” I asked.
“It was nice to hear from her,” said Rainbow. She looked at me pointedly. “We talked about you.”
Payback’s a bitch, as they say. Rainbow and Twilight didn’t have any of my personal secrets to tell each other, but that didn’t make it any less pleasant.
“I’m sorry,” I said.
Rainbow’s expression softened a little. “I know you were just trying to help. Twilight told me about that. Just ask me first next time, okay?”
“Sure.” I was glad to finally put this behind us. It was clear that I owed Twilight big for calming Rainbow down. I’d have to thank her the next time she called.
“If the USCIS wants to talk to you, is there anything else you need to know about me?” Rainbow asked.
“I have one question,” I said. “Why do you want to join the Blue Angels?”
“I guess Twilight told you about the Wonderbolts thing.” Rainbow sighed. “A long time ago, I decided that I needed a big goal to work towards. If you’re always looking to the future, the day-to-day stuff is easier to deal with. My goal used to be joining the Wonderbolts. Now, I want to be a pilot.”
“That sounds really difficult,” I commented.
Rainbow rolled her eyes. “Talking to Navy recruiters is probably the hardest part. None of them know what to do with a pony, and a lot of them want to turn me into a celebrity. I don’t mind getting recognition for being awesome, but I want to earn it.”
“Are you going to join ROTC?” I asked.
Rainbow frowned. “Those people who run around in the early morning and sing songs?”
I shrugged. “Maybe. I don’t really know a whole lot about the military.”
“Neither do I,” Rainbow admitted. “It’s going to be a lot to learn.”
“I wish you the best of luck,” I told her. I checked the clock and stood up. “I’m going to get something to eat.”
“Go ahead,” said Rainbow, waving a hoof. “I have a few things to take care of.”
I hooked up with my friend Carol and we went to dinner. She noted, “You’re in a good mood.”
“I guess you could say that.” I nodded, but said nothing further.
“Do you have any plans for Labor Day?” she asked.
“That’s next Monday, right?” I said. “No, I don’t have any plans yet. Getting a day off classes will be nice, though.”
“Let me know if you think of anything,” Carol said. I told her I would.
After dinner, I went back to my dorm room. I had some homework due the next day that I hadn’t started yet. There was still time for a little Facebook, though.
I opened the door and saw that I was alone. Once again, I wondered where the pony went when she wasn’t in the room.
I sat down in front of my computer. As I opened the familiar blue and white homepage of the social media site, I spotted a new notification. I clicked on the symbol and a box popped up. Accept friend request from Rainbow Dash?
I laughed out loud and clicked accept.