Applejack’s plan was set in motion. As soon as Apple Bloom had arrived downstairs to help Granny Smith prepare breakfast, she immediately let the young filly know about her sister’s plan. Apple Bloom, also hoping to see her big brother finally happy again, agreed to help Applejack with her plan without hesitation.
Big Macintosh also found his way downstairs soon enough, and Applejack was already eager to find out why he was feeling so sad.
“Morning Big Mac,” Applejack said as her brother walked into the dinning room. “You ready for another hard day’s work of apple bucking?"
Big Mac had been a bit zoned out, thinking about whatever it was that was on his mind, but he managed to hear his sister’s question.
“Eeyup,” the red stallion said in response.
Applejack was anxious to ask her brother what was on his mind, so she was relieved to hear Granny Smith from the kitchen.
“Breakfast is ready everypony!” Granny Smith exclaimed from the kitchen.
Applejack and Big Macintosh made their way over to the dinning room table, and Granny Smith and Apple Bloom emerged from the kitchen carrying plates that had the fresh breakfast on it. There were only two plates that they carried in, however.
“Umm, me and Granny is gonna go on out to the barn to uhh, get an early start on work. I aint really too hungry,” Apple Bloom said as they sat down the plates for her siblings.
“And I already had an apple to eat when I woke up, so I aint too hungry either,” Granny Smith added. “Come on now little one, let’s go ahead and get to work.”
Apple Bloom and Granny Smith then trotted out, leaving Applejack and Big Macintosh by themselves to eat breakfast. Big Mac raised an eyebrow in confusion as to why Granny and Apple Bloom had decided to skip out on breakfast, but decided not to worry about it and simply began eating his breakfast. Applejack was planning to wait a while into breakfast before asking her brother about what was troubling him, but with the anticipation killing her, she couldn’t resist asking as soon as she heard the door close behind Apple Bloom and Granny.
“Alright Big Mac, I’ma get straight to the point,” Applejack stated. “You’re worrying me and the rest of the family something fierce being all sad and what not, so please tell me what’s been making you feel so gosh darn blue for the past few weeks?”
Big Macintosh was a bit surprised at first. He was certainly not excepting to be asked about his mood out of the blue like this during breakfast. But then again, this was Applejack. His sister was one of the most caring ponies in all of Ponyville, so he should have known she would ask him what was troubling him sooner or later. Now it made sense that Granny Smith and Applebloom left them alone in the dinning room. AJ knew that Big Mac was more likely to tell her if it was private. Big Macintosh let out a sigh.
“Now sis, I’m mighty sorry if I’ve been worrying you girls, but y’all really don’t have anything to worry about. I’m doing just fine,” Big Mac finally said.
One of the benefits of being the element of honesty, was that Applejack could very easily tell when somepony was lying.
“Big Mac, now this is serious. Enough is enough. We’re family, and you can tell me anything you want. I’m really worried about you. Apple Bloom is worried about you. Granny is worried about you,” Applejack told Big Mac in response as she started to get emotional. “Please just tell me. You know you can trust me. You haven’t been yourself for a while and I want to know what’s wrong.”
Big Mac sighed again. He knew that he had been depressed for the past little while, but he didn’t know that he had made it so apparent. He also knew that Applejack was as stubborn as they come when it comes to ponies, so he knew he would have to tell her now that she had set her mind to it.
“It…..its Cheerilee sis. It’s about me and Cheerilee.” Big Mac sadly said in response.
“Cheerilee?” Applejack thought for a second. Then the realization hit her. It was all of a sudden so obvious.
It had been 4 months since Hearts and Hooves Day, and since the Cutie Mark Crusaders had used the love poison to try and make Big Macintosh and Cheerilee fall in love. After their plan went wrong, Big Mac and Cheerilee decided to go on a picnic, not only to tease the Cutie Mark Crusaders a bit, but also to enjoy time between friends. As they talked, however, they found that they had a lot more in common than they thought. They talked on and on for hours. It was probably the longest Big Macintosh had even talked to anyone else that wasn’t family. It was then that they realized that maybe the Cutie Mark Crusaders weren’t so crazy to believe that they could be perfect for each other, so they decided to actually date. Things had been going perfectly thus far. Things started out slow, with Big Mac and Cheerilee just seeing each other a couple of times a week to talk and spend time together. But as time went on, they found themselves seeing each other more and more often. Eventually, it was a rare occasion for them to not see each other at least once a day. Things seemed to be perfect, and Big Macintosh thought he was falling in love. But in the recent weeks, things were not going as perfectly as they had been.
Applejack didn’t know why, but now that she thought about it, she had not seen Cheerilee around Sweet Apple Acres ever since Applebuck season had began, and Big Mac was not rushing off to go see her as he had previously been. Applejack now realized that something was wrong with them, and that was what was making Big Macintosh so depressed. She was mad at herself for not realizing the answer sooner. After a bit of an awkward pause, Applejack spoke again.
“Big Mac, I’m mighty sorry. I didn’t know that something was wrong with your relationship. No wonder you’ve been so down on yourself, you’re head over hooves for that mare. Listen, I know things may be bad now, but you can’t let it bug you. I’m sure it’ll all work out.”
“Sis, it aint that simple,” Big Mac responded. “I mean, heck, you said it yourself, I care a lot about her, but things seem to be going bad with us and ah just don’t know what to do sis. I need help from somepony who knows how to help me fix this. I just don’t know what to do AJ.”
Applejack could see that her brother was getting emotional now as well. She wanted to be able to help, but she didn’t know what to say. As a farm pony that worked so often, she didn’t find any much interest in dating often, or really ever. She knew that she couldn’t help Big Macintosh any with his situation. But looking at her brother, the red colt looked like a wreck. He needed help, and Applejack would sooner give up apple bucking than see her brother like this any more.
“Alright Big Mac, I have a plan,” the mare said to her brother. “I may not know a thing about relationships but I’ll find somepony who does. And once I do, I’ll get them to come help you, and they’ll get you and Cheerilee back on track in a jiffy, and before you know it, everything will go back to being normal again, and you can be happy. As a matter of fact, I’ll go right now.”
“Sis, I appreciate the concern, but we DO have apple bucking to do. We aint got much time to go out to Ponyville for a relationship expert. Just forget about it. I’ll be fine. Now if you don’t mind, I’m going to get started on the apple bucking,” Big Mac said to his sister as he turned to walk out the door.
“You mean you’re just going to walk out and not address this thing that’s bothering you at all?” Applejack asked her brother in response.
Big Macintosh looked back at his sister and had only one thing to say.
And with that, Big Macintosh trotted out into the acres to begin the days work.
Applejack stood in the dining room for a bit, simply thinking. There was no way in the name of Celestia that she was going to let her brother continue feeling depressed. She was caught up in a long day of Applebucking ahead of her, but that didn’t mean she couldn’t ask somepony else to help her. An idea sprung into her head, and she galloped out of the house as fast as her hooves could manage.