It's Not Fine

by Inky Shades

Chapter VII: Diary

“You want me to read her diary?” Sunset asked. “Why?”

“I think there's something you need to see for yourself,” Mrs. Sparkle said.

But to read Twilight's diary… Wasn't that an invasion of her privacy? But she's not here, anymore. Still, it felt wrong. Even if she was no longer here, the diary was a piece of her soul, her innermost thoughts. She had no business reading something so personal. Her mom wouldn't suggest you read it if it wasn't important. You should see what it is.

Could she be in it? What would Twilight say about her if she was? “Okay.” While she was still apprehensive, Sunset couldn't deny that a part of her was curious about the contents of the diary.

“I'll go get it then. It's still on the desk in her room since I wasn't expecting you till later. Did you want to come with me?”

“Um...” Sunset hesitated. Did you? Can you handle it? You have to try. What if she cried? Oh, come on! At least be honest with yourself. You're afraid of the memories.

“It's okay if you don't want to,” Mrs. Sparkle said, seemingly taking her silence as an answer. “I understand. Wait right here, and I'll be right back.”

But what if the memories are what you need? “Wait!” Sunset grabbed Mrs. Sparkle's wrist, stopping her. “I'll go with you.”

Together they went upstairs.

“Are you sure you don't want to wait?” Mrs. Sparkle asked.

Sunset saw the concern on her face, and she appreciated it. While she wasn't sure how she'd react, she knew she had to try. “I'm sure,” she said. This is a good thing. Still, she took a couple quick breaths to calm herself.

“Alright.” Mrs. Sparkle turned the knob.

The memories flooded back. 'Pardon the mess.' She closed her eyes, envisioning Twilight with a light blush on her face, hurriedly picking up the stray papers that littered her floor. 'Sorry, I was working on a few notes for Miss Beakers' class. Okay. So maybe it was more than a few. Why don't you make yourself comfortable? I'll be with you in a second. No, no. You don't have to—thank you.'

“Do you want some time alone?”

“Huh?” Sunset blinked a few times before she realized that Mrs. Sparkle had spoken. “Why do you ask?”

“I can see it in your eyes,” Mrs. Sparkle said. “You two spent a lot of time up here together. So I think it's only natural that you may want a moment to yourself.”

“Is that okay?”

“Take as long as you need. I'll be in the living room if you need me.” She placed her hand on Sunset's shoulder. “Don't forget the diary on the desk before you leave.”

“Thanks, Misses Sparkle.”

When she was alone, Sunset steadied her breath once more. You ready? She didn't know, but she entered the room anyway, leaving the door slightly ajar. As she walked towards the desk under the window, she expected to hear the crinkle of paper beneath her feet. The thought alone made her want to apologize to Twilight for not watching her footing close enough, but there wasn't a stray paper to be found. There wasn't a stray anything. And that felt… odd.

All she saw were the shadows of how the room used to be. Books pulled from their shelves, strewn over the bed during one of Twilight's reading sessions. A sea of papers littering the floor because she was taking notes and couldn't stop for fear of losing her thoughts. The curtains closed since her experiment was sensitive to light… just shadows. Since in the light that shown from the window, nothing remained.

Sunset frowned. It was still Twilight's bedroom despite everything being put in place. Yet it didn't feel like her. There was none of her personality left, her “organized chaos” as she liked to call it. But then again, what else did she expect—could expect since Twilight wasn't here anymore? A sigh parted her lips. She'd spent too much time in here already. Better just grab the diary and leave.

Purple flowers and copper gears decorated the cover of Twilight's diary. Sunset ran her fingers along its surface, thoughts drifting to the words etched on the pages within. What did she need to know? Curiosity built, but then so did the anxiety. Though, she didn't understand why. Are you afraid about what won't be there? Or is it what is written that scares you? To think that she should read it now…

No. Not now. Later. She grabbed the diary and was almost out the door when her gaze was drawn to the dresser, more specifically to what sat atop it. Pictures. They pulled her towards them, and brought their memories to the forefront of her mind. Most were of the group of them. There was one picture in particular near the left edge where they were all piling onto Twilight in a group hug. Sunset chuckled at how imbalanced they all looked, and she still wasn't quite sure how Pinkie managed to fit them all in the image. When will you see them again? When?

Then she came across Twilight's nightstand with a single photograph on it. Her lip quivered when she tried to smile. Placing the diary on the edge of the bed, she held the picture in her hands, rubbing the frame with her thumbs. It was of them. Only them. Sunset's arms were wrapped around Twilight, and they both had the largest grins.

She reclined on the bed, holding the photo above her face. This was the first picture they took together shortly after the Friendship Games. Sunset recalled the euphoria she felt upon hearing that Twilight would be transferring to Canterlot High that she just had to hug her. And she knew Twilight was excited—if a little nervous—to begin her journey of friendship with the girls. With her. But she was happy, so happy.

If she'd never come to Canterlot, she'd still be alive. If she never met—stop. Sunset exhaled, caressing Twilight's cheek. What she wouldn't give to see her smile again. She brought the picture to her chest and stared at the crackled ceiling.

“What are you trying to tell me?” Sunset asked. “Can you let me know if-if you...” But she chose not to finish what she was going to say, choosing instead to simply lie on Twilight's bed.

“What are you doing in here?”

Sunset's heart jolted, gaze jumping towards the doorway. “Sh-Shining Armor!” She fumbled placing the picture back on the nightstand. “I uh… I—” How long had she lain there for?

“Get out.” Shining Armor's voice was low, dangerous, filled with warning.

He didn't need to say it twice. “Okay, I'm going.” Sunset's hand shook when she grabbed for the diary, allowing it to slip from her fingers.

It was a delay too much. “Now!” he said.

“Okay!” She flinched, voice cracking.

When she managed to get a grip on the diary, she pressed it back to her chest and was almost out the door when Shining held his hand out, stopping her. “Hang on. What's that?”

“Wait!” But she couldn't stop him ripping the diary from her grasp.

Fire blazed in his eyes as his gaze shot between the diary and her. “What are you doing with this?”

Shining's tone was accusatory like she had tried to steal a piece of Twilight. “I can explain,” she said, wringing her hands. “Your m—”

“You don't deserve to have her diary.”

“I know that, but your mom said that I could take it with me.”

“Haven't you done enough damage to our family? Do you know what it's been like since my sister's death? There were days when my mom would stay up half the night in tears. She claims she's doing better now, but I know she still has trouble sleeping. Dad rarely says more than a couple words to us anymore. And there's only one person to blame.” Shining's voice went cold, and Sunset was certain that if a person's tone could kill, she'd be dead. “You.”

“Shining...” Her voice wavered and a tear rolled down her cheek. He was right. No he's not. It was her fault. No it's not. Misses Sparkle even told you so. It didn't matter.

“Do you want to know something about the day she died?”

“Please stop...”

But her words fell upon deaf ears.

“I was supposed to take her to a movie that day.”

“Please. I don't want to hear any—”

“Shut up! You're going to hear every word of this,” Shining Armor said.

“What's going on up there?” Mrs. Sparkle's voice carried from downstairs, growing closer until she appeared next to her son. “Shining, you promised that you'd be nice.”

Though Sunset was glad at Mrs. Sparkle's arrival, she could see in Shining Armor's glossy, anger filled eyes that it wouldn't stop him from what he wanted to say. “But she rescheduled her date with me because she had something else she needed to do that just couldn't wait.”

No. She didn't want to hear this. If Twilight canceled on Shining Armor then that meant their day, the Sweet Shoppe, the bus, the accident, all of it… The realization turned her stomach as if she'd been punched. She didn't even need his words at this point, but she knew she wouldn't be spared them.

Mrs. Sparkle glanced at her son. “Shining Armor.” A warning voice. “Enough.”

“It was you,” he said. “Twilight died because of you.”

“Shining Armor Sparkle!” Mrs. Sparkle turned to her. “Sunset...”

Fists closed, eyes shut. Sunset tried to force his words out of her mind, but it was too late. The truth behind the words permeated her thoughts. Her body trembled and she felt the tears leak from the corners of her eyes. He's wrong, he's wrong, he—confirmed what she already thought, already knew.

She wanted to run, but the energy drained from her in the blink of an eye. “I'm sorry I bothered you.”

Who were her words directed at? Shining? Mrs. Sparkle? Both? What did it matter? Head down, don't make eye contact. Just leave quietly. She shouldn't have come. As she left, she heard Mrs. Sparkle and Shining exchange words, but she tuned their voices out. She'd heard enough.

“Sunset, wait!” Mrs. Sparkle's voice.

Sunset stopped atop the staircase. After wiping her eyes with the back of her hand, she turned to see Mrs. Sparkle's apologetic face. “Yeah?”

“What Shining Armor said… I'm so, so sorry you had to hear that. If I'd known that's what he was going to say...”

“It's okay,” Sunset said, giving a pained smile.

“No, it's not. There's no excuse for him being so cruel. You didn't deserve that.”

“Why not? It's what he feels. Besides, what he said was true, anyway.”

“No.” Mrs. Sparkle shook her head. “There's more to that day than what he said. Just please read the last entry. I think it will provide you with clarity.” She gave her back Twilight's diary. “And once again, I'm sorry. I promise I'm going to have a talk with him.”

“Thanks, Misses Sparkle.” Sunset accepted the diary and left without another word.