"So, uh, what are you doing today?" Silver Spoon asked her reflection. All she got back from it was the same annoyed and frustrated look she was giving it. "No, no, that won't work. Okay." She took a deep breath and tried again. "Hey, what are you up to?" She tried to wear her widest and brightest smile, but all she succeeded in doing was creeping herself out. With agonized defeat, her head fell onto the desk of her vanity. "Urgh! No. Stupid, stupid!" With every cry of the word her head banged against her desk, her mane bobbing up and down. When she finally looked up, her meticulous work has been undone and left in wild ruin. "I look silly now, like that blank flank... hmmm." She took another deep breath and tried talking to her reflection again, imagining a large red pony's image over it. "Well howdy there. What are'ya up to?" she said with a terribly done and stiff accent. Silver Spoon collapsed again, utterly defeated. "This is stupid."
"Silver Spoon, darling, it's almost time for school!" her mother called to her from across their home.
"I'll be ready soon!" she shouted back. She turned again to her reflection and almost cursed. "Shoot, my mane; I need to fix it." She clamped her hooves down on a brush and groomed furiously to restore her mane back to its orderly state.
"Silver Spoon, you're going to be late!"
"Coming!" she called back. There was no time left. She took her brush and stuffed it into her saddlebags and shot off out of her room. She wanted to avoid the third mom call: that one never ends well.
The walk to school that day felt shorter than usual. She wished it was longer, maybe then she would have had time to fix her mane, even if she can't walk and brush at the same time. She once saw Snips just trotting along happily like a goofball while cutting his mane with magic. What she would give for that level convenience. "Magic is wasted on that dork."
"Silver Spoon!" Diamond Tiara called to her from behind. "Wait up!"
"Huh? Oh, Diamond Tiara!" she called back. "Sorry, I was thinking about something dumb."
"Well forget that, because you look like a mess," Diamond Tiara gagged. "Did you get in a fight with your brush?"
"No, just... a bad mane day."
"Inexcusable," Diamond Tiara admonished her as she arched herself over Silver Spoon's back. "Have a brush?"
"In my saddlebag."
Diamond Tiara dug into the open bags, spotting the little silver gleam of her friend's brush and bite down on its handle. Brush in mouth, she started working on Silver Spoon's silver mane. She always though it's too much a shame for Silver Spoon to waste her beautiful mane on something as petty as a bad mane day. "Walk slower so I can do this properly."
"Fine," Silver Spoon groaned, reducing her pace to a crawl.
"Ugh, did you get in a fight with this thing or something?”
"Something like that..."
The schoolhouse came into view, fillies and colts gathering in it excitedly to start this particular day of school, eager for today's field trip. Today, they would go to Canterlot and see their grand aquarium. The chance to see all manner of sea-creatures and leave boring old Ponyville behind for a day? Fillies and colts raced to school for once, bags weighed down with bits to spend at the gift shop. For everyone but Silver Spoon, today promised to be one of absolute wonder.
"Aren't you excited?!" Diamond Tiara gushed, "We're going to a city of real culture."
"Weren't you raving about the sea-pony show the other day?"
"T-that too," Diamond Tiara sputtered. "Now hold still; I'm not done yet."
"We're going to be late."
"No, we won't."
Silver Spoon ignored her and continued to the school house. Inside, Cheerilee wasn't the only adult pony. Some of the children's parents and older siblings had offered to chaperone for the event, but they didn't matter. At least, most of them didn't matter. Only one of them did for her. Apple Bloom's big red brother: Big Macintosh. "There he is," she whispered to herself, and today, she had told herself before, she would confess her crush to him.
"There what is?" Diamond Tiara groaned as she continued to brush her friend. "Silver Spoon, you're acting weird. What's going on?"
"It's nothing," she quickly retorted. "C'mon, let's take our seats."
With every filly and colt in the room seated, Cheerilee gladly took her place at the front of the classroom. "Okay, class. I hope you all brought your permission slips for today's field trip. It would be a real shame if somepony got left behind." She went around the room, collecting signed slips of paper from all of them. She was so happy they all remembered, even Snips and Snails. "Now, let's all make a single file line for the train. The sooner we get in order, the sooner we can get on the train and the sooner we'll be at the aquarium!"
"But dothent the train leave on a thchedule?" Twist asked.
"Very observant, now everypony get in line," Cheerilee chirped again, dismissing Twist. "C'mon, single file."
"Giddyup, Big Mac!" Apple Bloom squealed as she hopped onto her brother's back, Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo following suit. He humored the three girls and whinnied while reeling up on his back legs, and then slowly followed Cheerilee into line at his own pace.
Silver Spoon watched enviously as Apple Bloom and her friends rode off. Getting close to him was going to be difficult, she sighed.
"C'mon, Silver!" Diamond Tiara called to her. "We don't want to miss the train."
"Oh, sorry." Silver Spoon gathered her things and followed Diamond Tiara out the door. Her day was just beginning.
With everyone on the train, Cheerilee struggled to keep order. The students were all so excited and full of energy that standing still had become an impossibility for all but two of them. Dignified and composed, Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon sat at their bench, talking with one another. Actually, Diamond Tiara did most of it. Silver Spoon only pretended to listen as she peeked over through the center walkways where most of her classmates were jumping around, to quiet Big Macintosh, sitting by himself with nary a care in the world.
"Silver Spoon, are you even listening?" Diamond Tiara pestered her.
"I am," she lied, not even bothering to look at Diamond Tiara. "Like, those blank flanks are acting so immature."
"Actually, I was talking about the field trip."
Silver Spoon's fidgeted in her seat. "I'm just a little tired, okay?"
"Silver Spoon, seriously, what's going on with you?" Diamond Tiara was staring at her friend with genuine care. "You can tell me anything, really."
It was that genuine care and warmth she felt from Diamond Tiara that made it hard to lie to her. "I just had a bad night of sleep, ok? That's why my mane was a mess in the morning, honest." She couldn't tell her best friend. She couldn't tell anyone. There was little point in it, she felt.
Canterlot couldn't have been any more different from Ponyville. Where Ponyville was full of loud town-hubbub, Canterlot had a quiet sophistication in its atmosphere. Instead of the stands and tents that littered the Ponyville marketplace, Canterlot was full of stores and buildings. It was everything Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon imagined and more. "This is going to be the best day ever," Diamond Tiara squealed. "Not even those annoying blank-flanks can ruin it."
"Don't jinx it," Silver Spoon groaned back at her. She followed Diamond Tiara and the rest of the class across the city and to the aquarium.
"It'll be fine as long as we're not in the same group as them."
"Yeah, but I bet they're going to be chaperoned by Big Macintosh..."
"So?" Diamond Tiara questioned. "Who cares if Apple Bloom's dull lug of a brother has to pull them around like dogs on a leash?"
"H-he's not a lug," Silver Spoon inadvertently shot back.
Diamond Tiara turned to her, staring at Silver Spoon with a confused look on her face. Silver Spoon's gray coat had always been terrible for hiding embarrassing blushes. "Well, maybe," Diamond Tiara finally snorted. "He's not as annoying, that's for sure."
"Yeah," Silver Spoon weakly sighed.
"We're here!" Cheerilee sang to her class before the gates of the Canterlot Aquarium, the biggest aquarium in all of Equestria. "Now, please wait while I call out what your groups and chaperones will be. Remember, we meet back in the front lobby at three o'clock. Nopony wants go get left behind."
"Here it comes," Silver Spoon groaned.
"Apple Bloom, Sweetie Belle, Scootaloo and Twist will all go with Big Macintosh," Cheerilee instructed, just as Silver Spoon knew would happen. She couldn't help but glare daggers at them as they all bounced around him as giggly as can be. "Diamond Tiara, Silver Spoon, Alula, Mango Dash and Berry Pinch you're all with me." Silver Spoon groaned more. Listening any further had become a moot point to Silver Spoon. All that mattered what that she was not in his group.
"Are you ready?" Diamond Tiara almost squealed out loud. She was careful to maintain some semblance of her pride despite her giddiness. "Er, Silver Spoon, you don't look ready for anything, actually..."
"Just a little tired. I'm fine," she replied back. All that time in front of the mirror, growing what little courage she could muster for a confession, it seemed it was all for nothing as her courage turned into a flickering candle. "Well, shall we go see the sea-ponies?"
A few minutes later, the class had been split up to their separate chaperones and were on their ways into the aquarium. The entire time, Silver Spoon never took her eyes off of Big Macintosh, that is until they finally went their separate ways, disappearing down another hallway. Cheerilee had happily begun to lead them all in another direction. "Let's go, fillies!" she merrily chirped.
"Coming," Silver Spoon grumbled.
They entered into a domed section of the hallways. Along the dome was a display for a school of anchovies, all following each other around the walls of the circular dome, their silver scales glistening in the light.
"Kinda reminds me of you, Silver Spoon," Alula commented to her.
Silver Spoon looked behind her to her silver tail trailing behind her as always. "Whatever."
"Anchovies are so boring. When do we get to the sea-ponies?" Diamond Tiara agonized. Her patience had been stretched too far for too long, ever since the field trip was first announced.
"The sea-pony show doesn't start for another hour," Cheerilee informed her, "but don't worry; we will reconvene with the rest of the class so we can all watch the sea-pony show together."
Silver Spoon's eyes lit up, she still had her chance to get close to Big Macintosh. She can still confess to him. Just an hour away. She could wait that long.
"Can we move on already?" Diamond Tiara sighed. "These anchovies are making me dizzy."
"I want to see the manta rays!"
"I want to see the otters!"
"I want to see the eels!"
"One at a time, girls," Cheerilee replied, trying to calm down three gushing filles. "We'll get to all the exhibits, don't worry, but why don't you all follow Silver Spoon's example and follow along quietly?"
"Oh, and what about the oysters?"
"I want to see one of those big flat ugly fishies!"
"Of course," Cheerilee groaned as she was pulled in every direction. Years of teaching and each field trip had only become more stressful than the last.
Silver Spoon followed their badgered teacher into the next part of the aquarium, a large room with walls that were a non-stop train of different exhibits showing off various species of fish that she couldn't care less about. Her mind focused solely on counting down the minutes.
"Hey, these are pretty neat," Diamond Tiara called to her in front of the jellyfish tank. "They're, like, so weird, but kinda cute."
"Yeah, they are," Silver Spoon absent-mindedly commented, simply saying things she knew Diamond Tiara liked to hear.
"Do you think they have any brains?" No response. "Pretty stupid of a fish to have no brains."
"Whatever," Silver Spoon sighed. "What's next?"
Diamond Tiara couldn't control herself as she bounced up and down in glee, something that made Silver Spoon a little embarrassed, but she was still happy for her friend, but he promise of sea ponies meant nothing to her. She ignored her gushing friend and the other squealing fillies she was stuck with as she scanned the audience. "Where is he?" she whispered to herself.
"Taken?" came a deep voice.
"Like, I don't know," an annoyed Silver Spoon answered.
"Let's go find somewhere else to sit, Big Mac," came another high-pitched voice, a voice Silver Spoon knew well. She turned around, and there was Big Macintosh with his sister Apple Bloom standing next to him.
"I mean it isn't!" Silver Spoon blurted out thoughtlessly. "This seat is empty so you can sit... here." Big Macintosh just shrugged and took the seat right next to Silver Spoon. She turned back to the stage, her eyes wide-open and her body becoming rigid. Out of the corner of one eye, she saw the Cutie Mark Crusaders making faces at her and out of the corner of her other eye she could see Diamond Tiara making faces back. "Seriously, now?" she groaned quietly under her breath.
"You three better not mess this up for me," Diamond Tiara sneered at them.
"You better not ruin this for us," the three cutie mark crusaders shot back at once.
"You all are going to ruin this for me," Silver Spoon muttered under her breath, but the song of the show began to start and Diamond Tiara and the three cutie mark crusaders snapped back into their seats, their attention focused on the stage.
Shoo be doo! Shoo shoo be doo!
The song captures the attention of every filly and colt in the audience, all except for Silver Spoon. It was hard, but with a subtle turn of her head, she looked directly at Big Macintosh, peeking at him from just behind the frame of her glasses. The passive look in his eyes told her he wasn't paying a lot of attention to the show, or maybe even anything for that matter. She was close to him, so very close. "So, uh, what are you doing today?" she slowly asked him.
Big Macintosh blinked, a simple act that snapped him back into the world. He looked over to Silver Spoon who seemed to be looking back at him. He silently gestured back to the sea pony show. Of course, Silver Spoon thought, what else could he be doing today but putting up with the ridiculous play.
"Yeah, right," she sighed back to him.
"Did you see that!?" Diamond Tiara gushed at Silver Spoon, shaking her nearly out of her seat. "That was amazing!"
"Yeah, it sure was," Silver Spoon nodded back, paying little attention to the show. She turned back to Big Macintosh, trying to pick out the best words she had for getting at least one word from the stoic pony. "Are you enjoying the field trip?"
"Eeyup," he answered her mildly but warmly. He extended a hoof out and patted her once on the head, smiling kindly at her. It was a small token from him, comparable to a simple and quiet thank you, but for Silver Spoon it was like having her breath stolen for that one single moment. He took his hoof back and turned back to the show quietly, leaving her light-headed and obviously blushing. In her stupor, she also returned her attention to the sea-pony show, and it was already over.
"Thank you all. Thanks to all your efforts, the seapony world is safe from the nefarious Dr. Crabclaw!" came the announcer's booming voice.
"Wha?" Silver Spoon bleated, turning to Diamond Tiara who looked like she was on the verge of tears.
"That was the greatest story ever told!" she cried into a handkerchief. "Encore, encore!"
"Where did you get that?"
"Well girls, the show is over," Cheerilee chirped as she stood up.
"Jellyfish! Jellyfish!" Apple Bloom and her friends chanted as they practically pulled Big Macintosh out of his seat.
"I think the next exhibit is those eels. I know one of you has been hoping to see. Let's go everypony." Behind Cheerilee, Diamond Tiara and the other fillies of her group lined up, ready to move on on their journey. All of them save for Silver Spoon, who stood still with her eyes shifting between the two groups.
"I want to see the jellyfish too!" she blurted out hastily. As everyone turned to look at her, cold sweat began to break out all over her. She found it to be a very gross experience. "Uhh... yeah..."
"Didn't we just see those?" Mango Dash questioned.
"But I want to see the eels!" Berry Pinch protested.
"Uh, Silver Spoon, we just came from the Jellyfish exhibit. It would be unfair to everypony else if we went back just because you wanted to," Cheerilee tried to explain, but that meant little to Silver Spoon.
"Then, maybe I can go with B-Big Macintosh's group?" Just saying his name filled her belly with butterflies, but it also gathered the contemptful glare of the Cutie Mark Crusaders. She didn't care. She would never let those three get in the way of something she wanted. "It's not a problem, right?"
"Well, do you mind taking one more, Big Macintosh?" Cheerilee asked him.
"Nope." That single and simple word rung powerfully in Silver Spoon's head.
"Are you sure, Silver Spoon?" Diamond Tiara asked, unable to comprehend why her friend would endure the presence of the three blank flanks all for the sake of revisiting a bunch of brainless jellyfish. "The rest of this trip won't be nearly as fun without you!"
"It'll be fine," Silver Spoon told her. "S-shall we go?" Just like that she was a step closer to what she wanted. Cheerilee, Diamond Tiara and the others went one way, while Silver Spoon went with Big Macintosh another way. Back into the dimly-lit hallways with the incandescent windows. Back to those stupid jellyfish.
"Ooh, this one is cute!" Sweetie Belle gushed as she smushed her face against one of the windows.
"This one i'th glowing!" Twist squeal out loud at another mirror.
Silver Spoon pretended to have interest in them, but her eyes were dim against the gleaming glass. All her attention was on Big Macintosh. He was right next to her, enjoying the mystical creatures existence. "Do you like them?" she dared to ask.
"Eeyup," Big Macintosh answered her. She looked back at him, and he looked down at her and smiled before returning his attention back to the exhibit.
"I-I do too," she lied. It's not like that mattered. Behind her, Apple Bloom and Scootaloo continued to direct animosity her way with their stares, but that didn't matter either. All that mattered was that she was next to Big Macintosh.
"Ooh, ooh, let's go to that giant fish tube!" Sweetie Belle shouted, motioning to a hallways lined with transparent walls that allowed one to peer into the aquarium around it, surrounded on all sides by water and fishies. "Can we, can we?"
"Eeyup," Big Macintosh shrugged as he turned away from the jellyfish. "Let's go, girls."
"Right on top of you!" Apple Bloom yelled out as she jumped on top of her brother, followed by Scootaloo, Sweetie Belle and Twist. There was no room for Silver Spoon, and Silver Spoon swore Apple Bloom planned it that way. Big Macintosh didn't pay attention. He just continued down the hallway with Silver Spoon by his side.
"I need to get them away from him," she whispered to herself.
"Ooh! What's that?" Sweetie Belle motioned to a large and almost completely flat fish for whom the word “ugly” would have been an understatement. It blew bubbles at her.
"It's dumb, that's what it is. How far are we from the shark tanks?" Scootaloo groaned. "All these fish are so boring."
"But tharks are thcary." Twist shivered just thinking about them.
"Shut it, Twist! I want to see some sharks!"
"I think that exhibit is coming up," Silver Spoon coolly answered her.
"Then let's hurry up this boring train!" Scootaloo hopped down from Big Macintosh and tried to pull him along faster. "C'mon, Big Mac. Daylight's wasting!" He didn't budge, continuing to go at his own pace. "Can't you go any faster?"
"Nope," he answered her.
Scootaloo groaned loudly and tried to climb back on top of him, but there was suddenly no room. "Huh, Silver Spoon? Hey, get off!"
"No," she spat back at her from atop Big Macintosh.
"Silver Spoon, get!" Apple Bloom howled as she bucked Silver Spoon off, making room for Scootaloo. Silver Spoon landed with an audible thud.
"Apple Bloom." Big Macintosh stopped, his one utterance of her name was enough to tell her he wasn't pleased with her behaviour.
"But, Big Mac..."
He said nothing.
He remained silent.
"Oh come on!"
He refused to say a word.
"Oh fine!" Apple Bloom grumbled loudly. She hopped off Big Macintosh and addressed Silver Spoon coldly. "Your throne, princess."
Silver Spoon glared back at Apple Bloom before turning away to climb back on top of Big Macintosh. Scootaloo jumped off him immediately, followed by Sweetie Belle, and then followed by Twist. It seemed like she had him all for herself.
"I don't want to sit next to her," Scootaloo whispered to Apple Bloom.
"Thanks," Apple Bloom whispered back. "Can we go now?" she asked her brother. He didn't answer her, but he resumed his usual slow pace. It was enough for Sweetie Belle and Twist to get in all the strange fish in the display hall.
Silver Spoon didn't see a single fish. Instead she laid herself down on Big Macintosh, her face mere inches away from his golden mane. It took a great amount of self-control to keep herself from burying herself in it. Was it like a pillow? Maybe even softer than a cloud? It smelled like apples.
The hallway came to an end, leading into a giant room with a single thick-glass wall. On the other side of the wall were the sharks. "There they are!" Scootaloo squealed as she nearly threw herself against the display. "Apple Bloom, Sweetie Belle, Twist! Come on!"
"Oh fine," Apple Bloom sighed as she followed Scootaloo.
"They’re tho big," Twist shivered, inching to the glass wall slowly. "What if it breakth!?"
"I think they're cute!" Sweetie Belle squealed.
Big Macintosh stayed at the far back of the room, his strong eyes focused on his little sister and her friends to make sure nothing happened to them. Silver Spoon was still on top of him. "Not gonna join your friends?" he asked, offering more words than he usually did.
"We're not friends." To even think of Apple Bloom or any of her associates on the same level of Diamond Tiara was dumbfounding for Silver Spoon.
She was so close to him. She was actually touching him. She even exchanged words with him, however paltry they were. This was as close as she might ever get to him. "It's alright," she sighed, her face buried in his back.
"Shouldn't a filly have lots of friends?" Even more words.
"I have friends, I just really wanted to go with you..." She was getting very deep into her true feelings. It felt like she was floating in an endless ocean. It was dangerous, she could sink at any moment like a of metal at any moment.
"You're... a really nice pony." More emotions, pouring out and churning the waters of her ocean. It was growing restless.
"I just try and be respectful." Waves poured out across her ocean, making it more and more unstable.
"But, you're more than that." It was becoming harder to stay afloat.
"B-but... I kinda like you..." The waters around her had become restless, threatening to swallow her and plunge her deep into the abyss where she might never escape.
"I like you too," he answered back absentmindedly. It wasn't what Silver Spoon wanted.
"No, but, I... I really really like you, a lot."
He didn't answer, or at least not at first. "That's quite nice of you, Silver Fork."
"It's Silver Spoon..."
"But," he picked her up and placed her on the ground in front of him. He looked at her with his gentle green eyes, eyes filled with nothing but kindness. Did he understand what she meant? "But, big ponies should be with big ponies, and lil' ponies should be with other lil' ponies. You understand?"
She choked, mentally trying to kick at something, to reach out for air. "B-but I'm a little pony now, but one day I'll b-be a b-big pony..."
"That's okay." He patted her on the head again. "But you're a nice filly, and should find a lil' pony like yourself instead."
She was pulled deep under, unable to breathe as the irony of his words choked away what little breath she had left. It was becoming hard to see, and impossible to gasp for precious air. "B-but..."
"You'll find a colt as nice as you are." He patted her on the head again. She didn't move. Not an inch. He smiled sweetly at her as she blankly stared at the ground.
Silver Spoon's mind was sinking deeper and deeper, far into a dim world. It was all for nothing. The practicing, the waiting, the hoping and dreaming. Her little filly dreams meant nothing in the end as her realm began to drown away in an ocean of shattered emotions.
"Oh wow, that was somethin'," came Apple Bloom's mocking voice. Silver Spoon snapped back to the world, staring right at Apple Bloom. "What the hay was that all about, tryin' to butter up my brother?"
Silver Spoon's eyes grew into saucers, her mind racing back and forth, trying to decipher how much Apple Bloom saw or heard. "Why do you care?! Go away, blank-flank!" was the only thing she could say, trying to shoo her away with scorn and bile. "I said, go away!"
"Are your glasses too tight or somethin'?" Apple Bloom shot back. "I want an explanation for your little stunt. My brother may not see you for what you are, but I do. Trying to get all comfy with him, for what?"
"I said go away!"
"Unless... no," Apple Bloom gasped. "No, it can't be."
"Leave me alone!"
"You actually like him! Like, like like him!" It was too funny to Apple Bloom. She could have doubled over, laughing and kicking her hooves in the air.
"Shut up!" Silver Spoon yelled at her again.
"Are you kiddin' me? You confessin' to my brother, and gettin' rejected like that? That's too funny! And a little sad too." She was laughing at Silver Spoon, who looked like a desperate and toothless puppy. She was absolutely pathetic to look at and on any other pony Apple Bloom would have been filled with pity, but it was Silver Spoon. Mean and heartless Silver Spoon who would insult her and make fun of her and her friends. No, on Silver Spoon, this was just too funny. "Oh, I can't wait to tell the others about this."
"You can't," Silver Spoon croaked, her little body running out of air.
"And why not? They'll get a good laugh out of this!"
"You... just... can't. You'll destroy me!" she was on the verge of tears, tears that were only going to fill up her ocean even further. "Don't!"
"Destroy you? You mean like what you and your 'friend' have been trying to do to me and my friends for no good reason?." She stared back spitefully at Silver Spoon, reveling in having the upper hoof for once, finally being able to see one of her tormentors squirm.She looked ready to cry. Really pathetic. "It's what you deserve!"
"I don't care, you just can't do this to me!"
"I can and will!" Apple Bloom snapped back at her before turning, trotting over to her friends slowly.
"Oh, look!" Scootaloo squealed loud enough for everyone in the room to hear. "That shark just ate that little fish, live!"
The rest of the field trip was uncomfortable for Silver Spoon. She didn't ride on top of Big Macintosh, giving the other four fillies enough room to squeeze together over him. Every now and then, Silver Spoon would glance over to Apple Bloom, and whenever Apple Bloom noticed she would smile mischievously back at her. She hadn't told her friends, or at least not yet. Silver Spoon couldn't blame her; she would have done the same.
"What exhibits are left?" Sweetie Belle yawned. They must have gone through every single attraction in the building.
"Actually, girls, it looks like it's time to go," Apple Bloom sighed, pointing to a nearby clock. "Well, best field trip in a long time, even if it felt kinda short."
"I want a field trip to Cloudsdale next. Fish are kinda cool, but I want to see a real pegasus city!" Scootaloo chirped, her wings buzzing excitedly.
"I would prefer someplace less high up," Sweetie Belle meekly answered her. "What about you, Silver Spoon?"
"Huh?" Silver Spoon's head shot sideways towards her, her tired eyes darting over them meticulously.
"I asked if you thought Cloudsdale would make for a good field trip."
"I don't care," Silver Spoon answered her. Sweetie Belle didn't bother her further, but she heard them whispering to each other. They were whispering to each other about her.
"Why did you ask her?"
"It's just weird with her being so quiet. I don't get it."
"Oh, I know why."
"Yeah, I'll tell y'all later."
Silver Spoon ground her teeth, wanting to run away from the situation. How much longer would she have to endure this?
"Silver Spoon!" a familiar voice cried out, Diamond Tiara's voice. "Silver Spoon, over here!"
She turned around, and there was Cheerilee and her group of fillies, all lined up and ready to head back to the train. "Diamond Tiara," Silver Spoon called back, running up to her best friend's side.
"I see you two girls have missed each other," Cheerilee noted happily. "You two can share as much as you want, on the train. We need to hurry or we might miss it."
Silver Spoon fell in line with Diamond Tiara and the other fillies, and watched as Big Macintosh, at his own unyielding pace, carried his own group off. Their destinations were the same, but now she was further away from Apple Bloom, who she was certain was tattling to her friends about Silver Spoon's deep pain.
"Oh," Diamond Tiara suddenly said holding a small bag out to Silver Spoon. "Here."
"What is it?" Silver Spoon took the bag and peeked inside. "Jellyfish?"
"Yeah, jellyfish mane-clips. You really liked those stupid fish, and maybe this will help with further bad mane days?"
"I hate fish," Silver Spoon sighed quietly to herself. "But, thanks..."
"What are friends for?"
It could have been minutes or seconds for however long it took, not that Silver Spoon cared. They were boarding the train that would take them back to Ponyville and their usual mundane lives. She and Diamond Tiara parted ways with the other three fillies Silver Spoon could barely remember the names of. They sat at the same bench as before, and like before Diamond Tiara couldn't stop talking about their time there.
"Did you know pearls are actually oyster mucus? Or something like that? And my mother loves those things. Like, ew!"
"Yeah, yeah, that's nice," Silver Spoon absent-mindedly commented.
"Uh, Silver Spoon, that's totally yucksville. Are you feeling okay?" Diamond Tiara stared intently at her friend. "You don't look okay."
"I'm fine, just fine," Silver Spoon shot back. "I just want to get home already. This entire day has been a drag."
"I bet it would have been fine if you had stuck with me."
"Yeah, probably," Silver Spoon sighed, struggling to hold back a tear as the events of her confession played over and over in her head like a broken record. She could see herself about to expose her feelings to that big dumb pony and she wanted to just jump into the scene and buck herself to make it stop. Time was something she had no control over, though. She was stuck with the outcome.
"Silver Spoon?" Diamond Tiara called out to her worryingly. "If something's on your mind, you can tell me."
"I'm fine, Diamond Tiara," she lied. "I just want to go home."
She threw herself on her bed, at long last alone with only herself to blame. Tears streamed down her face as she smothered herself into her bed. "Stupid," she chanted. "Stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid! I hate you!" she screamed into her pillow so on one could hear. "It's not fair, why do I have to suffer like this?" She could still see Apple Bloom's snide face in the back of her mind, still laughing at her. "What do you know, you stupid blank-flank!"
She screamed, and cried, and wailed until her body was too exhausted to do anymore. Her mind was empty save for the feeling of regret. "Stupid... stupid... stupid... me..."
She eventually passed out from exhaustion. If she could remember any dreams, they would mostly have been blurs of herself of Apple Bloom, of red, of jellyfish, of her broken heart, but she remembered none of it. They were far too deep in her mind to remember even the faintest of these dreams. Eventually she would wake up, and when she did she would have to force herself through another day of life.
Diamond Tiara waited idly at the usual place where she would meet up with Silver Spoon. There was nothing to look forward to today except maybe badgering those three annoying fillies. She caught sight of her silver-maned friend trotting slowly towards her. "Silver Spoon!?" she cried out. "Your mane! It's a total mess, again!"
"I just forgot to brush it this morning," Silver Spoon groaned, honest for once. Her mane was an untidy rat’s nest, her usual elegant braid now a matted disaster.
"No, this won't do. Looks like I have my work cut out for me, but I like a challenge. Silver Spoon, brush!" On command, Silver Spoon produce a brush and resigned herself to her fate as Diamond Tiara leaned on her on the way to school, fixing her mane.
"Hey, Silver Spoon," Scootaloo called to her, "want my apple? My macintosh apple?!" she yelled at her before being consumed in a fit of laughter.
"Yeah, it's all big and red, just like Big Macintosh!" Sweetie Belle added.
"Don't explain the joke," Scootaloo groaned. "Whatever, Apple Bloom told us the whole thing. Man, are you pathetic or what?"
"What?" Sweetie Belle added again. "What's what?"
Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle argued the whole way to the school, but Diamond Tiara had no idea what was going on. "Apple Bloom told them what?" she asked.
"I'll... tell you later." It was almost time for school, as much as Silver Spoon dreaded it. Back to school, and life, and all the good and bad that was a part of it.