The dark, gloomy room that night was shrouded by the gentle drops of rain that struck against the window. The only light was the dim moonlight that trickled through the thin, teal curtains. The hospital felt like an entirely different place at night. During the day, doctors and nurses hustled back and forth through the halls, stopping every so often to exchange information on different patients. At night, however, the only noise that came from the hallway was the occasional hoofsteps of a doctor or nurse, making their nightly rounds.
Twilight was quietly sleeping on the room bed, giving soft, slow inhalations and exhalations. Her entire body was under the bed sheet, save for her head and front legs. A tube was attached to one of her legs, connecting directly with an intravenous bag. Another one was patched to her chest, sending the signals of her heartbeat to the electrocardiogram machine, making it beep in rhythm with her heart.
A voice asked from outside the room. “So, how is she, doctor?” If Twilight weren’t sleeping, she would recognize that voice anywhere.
“Your Highness… we’ve done everything in our power to keep Ms. Sparkle in a stable condition. We’ve given her a high dose of medicine, extensive care… but her body doesn’t seem to respond.”
“Doctor, are you trying to tell me that…”
“The disease Ms. Sparkle has acquired is very complicated to treat. If her body keeps rejecting the medicines we are giving her, her condition will only get worse.”
“There… there must be something you should be able to do!”
“Princess, believe me. We are doing everything in our power to save Ms. Sparkle. But as I said, her state is very fragile. If something is not done soon… well, I’m afraid Ms. Sparkle will…”
“No, doctor! Please don’t tell me that! She can be saved, right?”
“This is really hard for me to say, since I know Ms. Sparkle means a lot to you, Your Highness, but if her system once again refuses to let the medication do its work, and if she doesn’t wake up tonight, I don’t think she’s going to make it to watch your beautiful sun rise into the morning sky. ”
Princess Celestia didn’t respond. She only stared down at the doctor, who looked away from her to avoid eye contact. Her head turned towards the room. She could see Twilight, since the door was opened. Celestia turned her head once again to look at the doctor. “I… I understand. Can I see her? Just for a few minutes, please.”
“Visits were over hours ago, but I can make an exception for you, Princess. Please, just make it quick. We can only hope for her to open her eyes, tonight,” the doctor said. “Please, excuse me, but I need to check on some blood samples back the lab. With your permission, Your Highness.” With those words, he walked away, trotting down the hallway.
Celestia stood there, motionless. Several emotions ran through her body at the same time. Anxiety, worry, anguish… but there was one dominating over them. She was scared, scared of what was going to happen. Her heart pounded faster as each second passed during that rainy night. Celestia didn’t want to believe it. It just couldn’t be true.
A minute passed, and Celestia was still holding the same pose and expression since the doctor left. Out of nowhere, her gaze was fixed at the ponies sleeping on the other side of the hallway. It had several couches, some vivid plants and bright lamps on the ceiling. Shining Armor and Cadance were asleep on one of the couches. Sleeping next to them were Pinkie, Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash, on a somewhat bigger couch, and in front of them, Applejack, Rarity and Spike sharing a smaller couch. Finally, Twilight’s parents were asleep on the largest couch of the hallway. Both their faces were covered in dried tears.
Celestia looked at everypony, sleeping peacefully, oblivious of the news the doctor shared with her moments ago. They looked so peaceful, just like Twilight looked in her room. Celestia took a quick breath, and closed her eyes. “Oh, my little ponies. I so do not wish to see you suffer anymore.” Her stare went back to Twilight, feeling her legs moving as if they had their own life and walking towards the room.
As Celestia entered the gloomy room, her sole thoughts were about her faithful student. Nothing else was on her mind but Twilight. How could something like that happen? Maybe she was the powerful co-ruler of Equestria, but even she didn’t know the answer to that question. Why do ponies have to die? Why do they have to go away? Of course, Celestia was well aware that Twilight would pass away someday, and that she would have to carry on with her eternal life. However, she didn’t give it much thought up until she heard Twilight was in the hospital. She didn’t think the moment would arrive that soon, and in such way.
Celestia’s hoofwear clanged hard against the porcelain floor. As she approached closer to Twilight, her heartbeat increased. She stood next to her bed, looking at Twilight’s peaceful face, showing nothing but her trademark charm. “Good evening, Twilight,” Celestia whispered. “I came to visit you.” She sat on the cold floor, not giving much thought about it. “I just want to talk with you, and I know how much you love to talk with me.” She smiled and let out a faint chuckle. “First of all, I never properly told you how grateful I am for what you did in your brother’s wedding. I’m deeply sorry that I didn’t believe you right away, but let’s put that aside for a second, okay?”
The rain kept falling, getting stronger minute after minute.
“I read your friendship report from a week ago, and I couldn’t be any more proud of you, my faithful student. I’m sure it was a very valuable lesson to learn, and I’m happy you managed to sort things out with that mare Trixie.” Celestia blinked, feeling as how the sensation in her eyes grew stronger. “Also, the doctor has told me what your current situation is, well.” She gulped. The knot in her throat stopped her from speaking, but she couldn’t afford to waste time. “You’re very delicate, Twilight. He said that if your body rejects the medicines once again, you will…” She couldn’t continue. It was too painful, even for her. Celestia could not articulate such a word and even less spit it to Twilight. “If you leave us, everypony will be crushed. Your parents, your brother, your friends, and... me.”
Hoofsteps from ponies could be heard from the outside, but none from the ponies asleep on the couches. The only thing that laid outside the room were nurses and doctors speaking to each other for few seconds before leaving the hallway.
“Twilight, I… I don’t want to lose you,” Celestia continued. “Ever since you were a little filly, I’ve cherished and loved you with all my heart. I can still remember your ear to ear smile when you passed your entrance exam. I’ve never seen a happier filly in my life!” Another chuckle escaped from her mouth. “Remember our nights studying together? You used to fall asleep so often that I had to carry you to bed.” She kept chuckling, digging back those pleasant memories, memories that she would forever treasure in her mind. “I was truly lucky to meet you, Twilight Sparkle. You’ve been the best student I’ve ever had, and… oh, this is silly, but…” One of her eyes leaked, making a tear to run down her cheek. “You’re like the daughter I never had.”
Twilight’s soft breaths were everything Celestia got back in response.
“I have loved every single moment I’ve spent with you. Your friendship reports were honest, and I couldn’t be any more satisfied with what I have taught you. You have made this old mare the happiest old mare in Equestria, Twilight. Believe me when I say that I love you, no matter what the tomorrow has prepared for us, I still love you with all my heart.”
No words came from Celestia’s mouth for a few seconds. She only had one more thing to say. She extended one of her hooves and rested in on Twilight’s. The warmth of the unicorn’s hoof ran through Celestia’s body.
“I don’t want you to go, Twilight. In my life, I’ve seen ponies come and go. Immortality can be a double edge weapon, you know. In my life, I’ve lost loved ones and gained new ones. In my life, there are ponies I will love forever, and you’re not the exception, Twilight. In my life, my heart will always hold a special room for you. And for that, thank you, Twilight. Thank you for all these moments we've shared together.”
Tears kept leaking from Celestia’s eyes, refusing to stop. She stood up and bowed her head, giving Twilight a kiss on her forehead.
“Good night, Twilight. I’ll see you tomorrow.”
Celestia raised her head and turned her body, ready to leave everything in the hooves of fate. She didn't want to leave. She wanted to spend every single moment she could with Twilight. However, she was only allowed to enter the room for a few moments, and she wasn't a rule breaker. Slowly, she took a step forward when a weak voice stopped her.
“In my life…”
Celestia’s heart pounded hard. She didn’t move a muscle. Her whole body shut down at the melodic sound of that weak voice. Even her tears stopped flowing for a second. She didn’t remember the last time she felt her heart racing so fast. The rain seemed to have stopped, or she just didn’t hear it anymore. Her head slowly turned, looking back at where her faithful student was resting. She looked directly at her half-opened purple eyes. The final beacon of hope shined stronger than it ever had before.
“Princess... In my life… I love you more.”