There aren’t many who could foresee their own death, but I could.
It was grand and magnificent. One night, in the darkest of dreams, I found myself face-to-face with my own mortality.
I could see the bright lights, and hear the rush of the waves.
It was eerie, like somebody had drained the happiness from my life. Yet I could not stop for death. It was a cold harrowing of a destitute existence. How could I feel somber when my own life had been so unfulfilling?
Oh it was magnificent indeed.
They adorned my body with the finest silks and whisked me away in the great river. It was strange thing to be looking at this from the outside. On the banks ponies had lined up for miles and miles to offer their prayers.
It was nice though -- I had finally been affirmed that my life had meant something. Despite everything, somepony, somewhere, cared enough to offer me such a splendid farewell.
Then something happened, something even I had not seen coming. A voice rang out from the dead silence that accompanied my vision.
She was a tall black mare, I think. It was so terribly long ago that I stared into her serpentine eyes and came face to face with a true goddess.
She spoke to me. Soft, tender words that lured me to the darkness. She pleaded me, promised me the things that correlated with my very nature.
I could not stop for death for she was a vicious witch with the kindest intents. She begged me, promised me things that I could only dream to accomplish by myself.
I tried to resist, but I am only one mare. I held out for as long as I could, but I soon fell captive to her sickly charms.
It was just a dream though.
I awoke just minutes later, face to face with myself in a great glittering mirror that my room held such joyous esteem for. As I stared into its pristine surface, I noticed there was something about my reflection that terrified me.
They wore a gentle, gray glaze across them that masked the path to my soul. I was trapped -- suffocating on my own impudence. The fires that had been my rage still burned on, yet they were hidden. Behind what, I could not answer, but it was not open for the world to see anymore.
I felt the need to do something, anything at all. But the hour was late and I was exhausted. I felt an immediate desire to return to bed, despite the agonizing fear that overwhelmed my senses. Cautiously, I stepped over to my regal mattress, and laid myself upon it before being whisked away in effortless sleep.
Morning came, as it always did, and the fresh morning rays washed over me through the small crack in my thickened curtains. I groaned as I selfishly lolled out of bed, and made my way out of my bed chambers.
That was when the true terror began.
I was face to face with my sister, Celestia, and I could feel her gaze reading me like an age old book. She smiled gently, but I could tell there was some level of concern beneath those curved lips. She asked me, in the most regal tone, how my morning was.
I responded with a simple nod, fearing to respond with anything else, as there was a great fire burning in my belly.
I could tell she she wanted more though -- she always wanted more.
“I’ve just been thinking.” I said, casually. I had the act of judging her reactions down to a science at this point. The gentle twitch of her snout meant I had just intrigued her.
“Oh.” she said plainly, staring deeply at me. I couldn’t help but compare her to some majestic mentor breaking down their pupil. “What about?”
“Mother and Father. It seems like so long ago that we were little ones running about their heels, doesn’t it?”
I lied. I had really been thinking about my return from the moon. In truth, I had tried my hardest to fit in with everybody else, but all I’ve been able to accomplish is distancing myself. Even the relationship between her and I now felt hollow -- void of life or substance. To me she was a puppet being pulled by monotonous strings that led us through day to day life.
I yearned for true affection.
But again I could tell she saw through my facade. She offered the same motherly smile and nudged me with her muzzle.
“Come on,” she said, “I’m not that dense. Why don’t you tell me what’s really wrong?” At that moment I knew there was no hiding anything from her. I’d have to tell her, even if I didn’t want to.
I opened my mouth cautiously, but no words came. Just as I was going to tell her that it was nothing, I felt a gentle nuzzle across my neck. It was gentle, and sweet. Quite unlike the Princess I had come to know.
“C-Celestia...I...” I stuttered, “I’m not sure...what to say, really.” I closed my eyes, and heard a sweet whisper near my ear.
“Say what comes to heart.”
I felt like crying, and I didn’t know why. It was like I was hearing her voice, her true voice, for the time since I was banished.
“I...I miss you, sister.” I felt her breath warm the back of my neck and her soft hooves surround me in a tight embrace.
“I miss you too, Luna.”
I don’t know why I told her that. It was true, yet I see her everyday. How could I miss somepony that had not gone away?
We held each other for some time.
I could feel her heartbeat upon my back, two souls linked for the first time in ages.
“Luna,” she finally said, breaking the silence that had overtaken us, “I’m sorry for what I had to do all those years ago. I caused you great misery, and I live with that regret everyday.” I could feel wetness in my mane. Was she...crying?
“You did what you needed to.” I said, boldly. While I still held some disdain from those days, I could not blame her. As much as I willed it, I could not bring myself to punish somepony who sacrificed so much to save so many.
“There had to be some other way.” she said through choked sobs. My heart ached to hear her like this.
“None that would have been easier. Would you have rather killed me, sister?” I felt her heavy, sporadic breathing growing ever more rapid -- though I could not see her.
“I-I could never have done something like that to you. You were so young...so innocent. That’s why you were a...t-target, I think. I couldn’t harm you, I just couldn’t!”
So long, so very long ago I presumed her to cast me aside like a broken toy. Years later and here I stand the fool, holding back tears for a long lost sister.
“Celestia there has been something I’ve been meaning to tell you for a long time now...” I said, turning my head so I could be face to face with her. I caught a glimpse of her eyes. Wow, had it been so long since I had made eye contact with her? She had the most beautiful eyes I had ever seen. Despite the thin film of tears that coated them, their magenta sheen peered out from an endless sadness.
“After all this time I still love you. You were my sister and you always will be. I know you did your best, and what happened was unfortunate...but you’ll always be with me now.” I leaned forward and kissed her muzzle gently. “I forgive you.”
Tears gently streamed down her cheeks.
A silence enveloped us.
“Luna,” she projected, “thank you. I’ve watched you grow into an extraordinary young mare. I watched as you made your way through harrowing provocations and challenges, and you never lost your head. I used to like to think that I’d have to watch over you forever, but I’ve come to realize that you...don’t really need me anymore.” She leaned in once again and embraced me tightly.
“I love you too.” I closed my eyes, enjoying the moment. I wanted to hang onto this forever, to live in this single embrace for eternity.
Twas not meant to be though.
“I do need you, by the way. Without you I’d still be the sad, miserable pony that wished to dominate Equestria in eternal night. With your help, I was freed from that hate.” I felt a strange sensation, and a wetness on my cheeks. Was...I crying, now?
“We are blessed with a great gift. It is how we use it that defines who we really are. I’d love to say that I had played a substantial part in your transformation into a true Princess, but I know that is you’ve always been at heart.” Celestia said. What did she mean? Of course she played a part in that. Had she not sent me to the moon... I do not wish to even think of such things.
“Where in life do you find yourself Luna? Will you linger in days long past, or will you move on? Terrible things have transpired between the two of us, and I’m sorry for the burden I have placed upon your shoulders. But, as I stand before you today, I can’t help but feel proud of you.”
The tears continued to flow. To Celestia, I was not the failure I had long since labeled myself.
How could I feel somber when my own life had been so unfulfilling? No, I was no longer sad. I had a purpose -- somepony who believed in me. My endearing existence had meaning past the sad Princess whom everypony should pity.
There was still something left to say though, one final sentiment that needed to find its place in a very sad existence.
“I hated you. For several days, weeks, months after it happened, I was enraged at you. I was alone in a deep space, and I had nobody to blame but you.” She flinched at the agony in my voice.
“But...” I said, “as time went on I came to realize that I had nopony to blame but myself. Do you wish to know why I finally chose to forgive you?” Celestia nodded gently and closed her eyes.
“It is because, one day, I looked upon the great burning sun, and I could feel you. It was strange, really, to be so alone yet so connected with somebody. I’ve come to realize that we share a bond that nopony else could even comprehend. So, I ask, not that you forgive me for my own atrocities, but that you find it in your heart to forgive yourself.”
Celestia smiled her same familiar smile and casually walked behind me and whispered gently in my ear. “Thank you Luna.”
At that moment the door to the main hall opened graciously, and a gentle looking maid trotted in. Her mane hung carelessly across her eyes, and she carried a somber look about her.
“Madam,” she called out, “who were you talking to?” What a silly question to ask, there was nobody in the room but Celestia and I.
“My sister, of course.” I called out. To be honest, I was feeling slightly embarrassed to be seen in such condition, but nothing could break the euphoria that was currently flooding my being. It felt like, for the first time in years, I was free.
“Celestia...” she said quizzically. “Luna...Celestia passed away years ago.”
“Don’t be foolish!” I shouted. “She’s right her-” As I turned to face my sister I found that I was utterly alone. The servant had taken the time to approach me and place her hoof on my shoulder.
“She died over a thousand years ago when she saved you from Nightmare Moon, Luna.” There was a sincerity in her voice, but it meant nothing to me.
“No...no...no...” I muttered. This was impossible, she was just... right here. I could feel her, touch her. There was no way that was in my head. This is some kind of sick joke, or a nightmare. Celestia didn’t sacrifice herself for me, she sent me to the moon. There’s no way she’s gone, no possible way. She’s too nice, too powerful to be gone so easily.
“Luna...” the servant said softly. “Are you okay?”
I looked away from her and turned my attention elsewhere. I found my gaze finally resting upon the corner where a small statue stood -- a statue I had, for some reason, never noticed before. It was of Celestia, and written in beautiful calligraphy was the single sentence: ‘In life, honor; in death, peace.”
She was gone then. She was really gone and I was alone in a vast expanse.
“No,” I said flatly. “please leave me.” The servant bowed as low as she could and quickly made her exit. I waited until I heard the familiar groan of the door closing before I broke down.
The tears fell like waterfalls. She was so real -- so many years I felt her presence. But, there was something different just then. At that very moment, I felt her. She wasn’t just filling the space next to me anymore. Her words were sincere, and she was so lively.
I was crying, yet there a strange bliss that encumbered me. I had spent the last... who knows how many years living a complete lie to mask my own depression, but I was free now. After so many years I could see.
There aren’t many who can foresee their own death.
But I could.
It was grand and magnificent. One night, in the darkest of dreams, I found myself face to face with my own mortality.
I could see the bright lights, and hear the rush of the waves.
It was eerie, like somebody had drained the happiness from my life. Yet, I could not stop for death. It was a cold harrowing of a destitute existence. How could I feel somber when my own life had been so unfulfilling?
Oh it was magnificent indeed.
They carried her away in a beautiful chorus, her corpse draped in the most beautiful ornaments that one could ever hope to find in such a barren land.
The very angels themselves wept, for they would soon be welcoming the greatest mare to ever walk the land.
Far away on some unforgiving cliff, there was a tall black mare with beautiful magenta eyes. She watched me, a familiar fragile smile gracing her delicate lips.
I smiled back, a thin glaze of tears gracing my own eyes. For the first time, my mind was my own. The gray film had long since passed, and I was free. She too, gently faded away, leaving only me to feel for the everlasting silence that so plagued the river.
I turned back to the gentle cascading waters where the neverending tomb of my sister shall forever rest. I prayed that her majesty shall find peace with herself.
I closed my eyes, and began to hum gently.
I understood now. So many years she had passed, yet she remains with me still -- silently watching over me. I now know that she was there, making peace with herself. I had not foreseen my own physical death, but rather the passing of my sister, and the death of whoever I used to be. Though she has not truly been with me since that faithful day, she has remained a part of me ever since. Two souls, intertwined, locked in an eternal dance to find peace.