Written and drawn by Ceehoff
Knock, knock, knock!
"Hello? Who is it?" a yellow pegasus softly asked as she walked up to the door.
KNOCK, KNOCK, KNOCK!
The sudden increase of volume of the knocking made the timid caretaker flinch back in fear. She cowered away from the door, her mind swarming with her paranoid imagination. Who or what could be knocking at the door like that? Burglars? An angry mob? Iron Will? A big, ferocious dragon that could gobble her up in one bite? Hell, she did not know! All she knew was that it sounded menacing.
The door swung open and Fluttershy instantly leaped in the air and landed behind the couch of the living room, evading whatever was storming into her cottage. Her buried her head into her forelegs, shaking furiously. She was shaking hard enough to rattle the entire sofa.
She heard rhythmic bumps fall and scrape against the hardwood floor, then it fell silent again. She heard heavy breathing, more like panting. Whatever this pony wanted to do with her, this pony looked like he or she was in a real hurry. The breathing sounded like it was coming from smaller lungs. It had a high pitch. After taking a big breath, the mysterious pony caught his or her breath. Fluttershy could hear rhythmic brushing of fur. The pony must be looking for her.
"Aw, darn it!" the voice said. "She's not here! Well, now this step of the plan just went down the--."
"Oh, Sweetie Belle!" Fluttershy exclaimed, poking her head out from behind the couch. "Thank goodness! I thought--."
The filly's head snapped back around to see that the owner was still in. Then, she suddenly started to prance in place, panicking. "Fluttershy! Omigawsh, Fluttershy!"
"Wh-what? What's wrong? I..." the pegasus noticed the filly's nervous dancing. He slowly nodded. "Oh, right! The bathroom's just down the hall and--."
"Oh, poor, poor Fluttershy!" Sweetie Belle cried as she hugged her. "Why? Just why??"
"W-w-why, what? What's wrong?"
Before she was going to respond, the white filly snuck in a devious smirk. So far, so good. Fluttershy was really taking the whole "panic attack" scene well.
"Ohmigawsh, Fluttershy! You'll not believe this! It's just so awful!"
"Awful?" the pegasus' voice went higher in fear as she reiterated the filly's words.
"I can't think of anything else to describe how awful and cruel this is! I'm so freaked out that--!"
"SWEETIE BELLE!" Fluttershy squeaked at the top of her lungs before sitting directly in front of the unicorn. She clapped her hooves together and begged, "Please, just tell me what's wrong! I can't take the pressure anymore!"
Rarity's little sister nodded and took a deep breath, gaining a more suitable and appropriate composure for breaking the news. "There's something I must tell you, Fluttershy. Filly to filly."
The pegasus said nothing, but her large, frightened eyes notified the little unicorn that she was listening.
"It's about Connor," she started.
The pegasus gasped in fright. "Oh, no! Is he hurt? Is he dying? Is he being attacked by a hydra? Where is he? I have to help him!"
"Help him? Help him? Why do you want to help him when he is one hurting you?" Sweetie Belle asked rhetorically.
Fluttershy shook her head nervously. "N-no! He didn't mean to drop the picture frame on my head! He was only trying to hang it up, b-but the nail in the wall just slid out! I just happened to be underneath it at the very same time! It's not his fault!"
The unicorn stared at her in confusion. "No, not that. I mean--."
"Nor did he mean to step on my hoof while he was helping me feed the chickens! He couldn't help it! The coop is just so small, that you're always bumping into things in there! I've been meaning to make it bigger."
Sweetie Belle let out an exasperated sigh. "No! Not that eith--!"
"Nor did he mean to--!"
"He's cheating on you!!" the little filly stopped her from talking any further. "Connor is cheating on you with another mare!"
Silence lurked in the living room inside the cottage. Fluttershy's worried expression from earlier calmed as her eyes opened wider in disbelief. Her ears twisted down behind her head in shock. The small unicorn stared intently in her eyes, insisting that the pegasus should believe her. The filly felt no worry or uneasiness in saying what she said, because it was no lie. If she were lying, she would have tensed up on the inside. Sweetie Belle was absolutely sure that she was telling the truth. After all, she was there when it happened. She saw Connor kiss Lily on the lips, which she admitted she did not see coming at all. She thought it was just going to be a convincing hug and snuggle. But then again, she was certainly glad that it had come to the unexpected kiss. It would be even more convincing than just hugs. Chance gave her lemons, and she was making lemonade out of them.
Fluttershy began to laugh nervously. "N-no! Wait, this is a joke, right? It is! Ohhhhh! Hahahahahaaa... I'm laughing, because it's a joke! Hoooo, you're really funny today! Are you trying to get your cutie mark in comedy?"
"No! I... You know what? That's not a bad idea. Maybe I should. All I need to find is a comedy club, a microphone, and--NO! Back to the case! What I'm saying is that you won't be laughing long when you see these," Sweetie Belle said as she slid the photos out onto the coffee table.
Fluttershy's nervous laughing was immediately cut off like a rope had tightened around her neck. She saw the first photo. It was a polaroid photo of Connor holding Lily's shoulders, which was when he was telling her something. The second image she saw was like the first one, only the colt's head was leaning in closer to Lily's. She felt her stomach twinge in shock when she saw the next image of the two ponies hugging each other. The next photo showed an even deeper hug.
"Wh-where did you get these?" she asked, her eyes begging for answers.
"I was helping Featherweight shoot photos of leaves for our next school project, until I saw these two sitting on the bench in the park. Plus, I even heard Connor say, 'I think I'm in love with you, Lily. More than Fluttershy.'. Then I heard her say, 'Who needs her when you can have me?'. And then..."
At the very moment Sweetie Belle trailed off, a loud and tearful gasp rung from Fluttershy's throat when she saw the last photo. Her hoof clapped over her mouth, and her eyes were filled to the brim with tears in a matter of seconds.
"...They kissed," the filly finished.
Fluttershy shook her head furiously, trying her best to deny what she was seeing in front of her eyes, already dripping with salty tears. It was no use. This was reality. This actually happened. The images were not fakes. Her coltfriend was kissing another mare with the kiss that used to please her and only for her. Tears squished out from between her eyelids as she shut them tightly. Her chin shook violently, trying to stifle her tears. A pitiful sob broke out of her straining lungs.
"I'm so sorry, Fluttershy..." Sweetie Belle said, placing a hoof on her back. "I just couldn't stand to see you live without knowing the truth. I had to prevent you from living in a lie. You had a right to know, as I had the right to tell you. I'm helping you as a fellow filly."
"This is my fault..." the pegasus whimpered. "If only I had been prettier. More charming like Lily... Then, this would not have happened. Oh, Connor... I'm so sorry that I was not attractive enough."
"Don't say that!" Sweetie Belle scolded. "You are..."
As much as she disliked Fluttershy for "stealing" her colt, she had to say these things to her. She had to make it sound like she was on her side. She winced as she spoke.
"You are... Very pretty, very attractive, kind, caring, and graceful. All more than Lily is. Connor just could not control his hormones to see all of that in you. It is not about what you did, it's what he did. Cheating on you with a mare like her like that is unforgivable!"
"But... I thought that he was the one. He was!" she cried as she collapsed onto the floor, burying her face in her forelegs.
"Well, apparently, he's not. Besides, there are plenty of colts out there! A lot of them stink, some are okay, a few are great, but there is always one that is perfect. Connor is just in the 'few' area now."
"But, I love him..." Fluttershy's voice croaked in tears.
"Let me ask you this, why love him when he doesn't love you back? It's like studying really hard on a test and you don't get a good grade because the teacher doesn't like you. It's unfair! You don't deserve such a thing like that!"
Fluttershy's crying fell silent, but she never stood back up. She still remained a sad, pitiful, tearful little ball of yellow fur and pink hair.
"Sweetie Belle," she whispered. "Thank you for your visit, but... I just want to be alone now."
"Right," the filly said as she stood up. Before she left, she placed a gentle hoof on her back. "I am so sorry, Fluttershy." Then, she made her way toward the front door, still unclosed since her arrival. She closed the door gently, careful not to make any noise. Then, she placed her ear against the door to hear pitiful moaning and sobbing.
Step: "Sabotage" had worked. Finally, she had won a battle in the war against Fluttershy for Connor's approval. This battle was the most important and vital of all. However, the war was not over yet. She still had to win the colt's heart.
"Where are you going?" Cherry Limeade noticed the colt heading for the door.
"My shift is up," Connor replied.
"Ohhh, no, no, no. You leave when I tell you to leave. In my book, you still got five hours left."
"What? But, I--!"
The green mare laughed. "I'm just messing with you! Jeez, I thought you picked up on that by now. You seemed to have picked up on it last time."
"What have you got to be sorry about? It's all fun and games!"
"There you go again!" she smiled. "It's only--!"
"CHERRY!" he barked.
Surprised by his volume, the barkeeper stared at him.
Realizing what he just did, he stuttered apologetically. "I-I'm sorry about that. It's just... there's a lot going on in my head right now, and I'm not really in the joking mood. So, please... if you would kindly.. get off my back?"
Cherry Limeade pushed up her torso with her forelegs and laid an elbow on top of the bar counter, eyeing him sternly. "Okay, I'm sorry, but just to let you know, that attitude is going to chance the next time you come here. The only attitude you are going to have around here is going to be positive, hard-working, and relaxed, not coked-up, high-strung, and moody. The latter is only going to get you nowhere with me. This is a bar, and we all know that bars are comfort zones. It's a comfort zone for customers and staff. As long as you're working here, I want you to relax, be comfortable, and be happy, all right?" she said, finishing with a consoling smile.
Connor nodded, weakly smiling back. "All right."
"Good. Now, get outta here. You disgust me," she said jokingly, waving a hoof.
The colt only chuckled at her jokester personality as he hung his apron up. He gently pushed his way out of the bar after he waved at his boss. Just when the door closed behind him, he heaved an uneasy sigh. As inspiring as Cherry's words were, it was not enough to break him out of his nervous funk. The image of Lily's kissing face right in front of his was still burning in his brain. The more he though about, the more nervous he felt. Plus, his lips started to tingle, mentally reminding him of how Lily's lips felt on his when he kissed her. Oh, God, he could actually feel himself kissing her again subconsciously. Why the buck did he do that? He was already in a relationship with Fluttershy, the pegasus he loved since he was a human, and he had to risk severing it like that? Well, luckily, nopony else was there to witness it. He tried to convince himself with that, but at the same time, he felt like somepony was actually watching him while he was kissing Lily. Hopefully, that somepony would not spill the beans to Fluttershy or anypony else. It would only result to heart break and self-destruction.
He had better enjoy the peace while it lasted.
Now, what was he about to do again? Oh, yes! Visit Fluttershy. That name sent a nervous cringe down along his stomach walls. He could imagine the worst if she found out. The image of her crying face. Oh, dear Lord, spare him...
He walked over to Roseluck's kiosk and bought a small bouquet of posies, because he always saw her as his little posey. Nothing like posies for a posey.
He chuckled to himself. "Heh, heh... Inception. Posey-ception. Ha!"
Ugh, that latter joke was horrible. What the buck was he thinking? He was trying to laugh himself out of his nervousness, but, apparently, he was trying too hard.
"Well, here we go..."
"I must say, Rarity," Cheerilee gingerly said. "I just love what you did to ornate my dress, but why did you have to do my hair and give me a makeover? With all due respect, I just came by to pick up my dress."
"Oh, Cheerilee," the fashionista giggled. "One must look fabulous and stunning when going to a social gathering. It's for the sake of attraction and attention! It is something you want from being single and everything."
"I appreciate your concern and generosity, Rarity, I really do, but this is only a baby shower. Plus, it isn't until three days."
"Oh... Still! Everypony has a right to look fabulous, party or no party. Wherever he or she goes," she said, bouncing her mane with her forehoof. "With that look, darling, you'll no longer be single in no time!"
"Thanks, I guess," the schoolteacher said. "Goodbye, Rarity!"
The teacher stopped in her tracks. "Oh! And that... (Giggle!) secret you told me?"
The fashionista gasped before she shrieked. "Oh, yes! I know! Isn't it so adorable??"
"So adorable! Oh, it just makes me want to faint just hearing it again! So romantic! Anyway, goodbye, Rarity!"
"Ta-ta! Enjoy your look!"
Cheerilee turned to walk toward home until she saw a colt walk past her, heading towards the boutique.
"Oh! Hello, Connor! Lovely evening!"
He did not say anything. He just brushed directly past her, not uttering a peep. Rarity noticed the two ponies walking past each other, and the schoolteacher's confused look. The colt's rude silence made her lower one of her eyebrows in concern. Seeing the colt trudge toward her, she cleared her throat, tossing aside the awkwardness.
"Hello, Connor! How was w--?"
The colt brushed by her, too.
"Erm," she uttered. "I said, 'Hello, Connor!'."
He still did not say anything. He continued to drag his hooves over the floor up to his bed in the podium. He turned himself around and slumped onto his haunches. His expression was blank and dark, and his head was hanging like a vulture's head was when it was spying on some dying animal. Originally, the purple-maned unicorn was going to scold him for his rudeness, but she was instantly stopped when she looked upon the silent and glum state he was in. She slowly walked up to him, craning her neck downward to see his face.
"Connor? Is everything all right?"
"Is everything all right?" she repeated slowly.
"What happened?" she asked, sitting on her haunches in front of him.
"I don't want to talk about it..."
"No, you tell me."
Rarity squinted as she inspected his face. "That red spot on your face doesn't look like nothing. Please, darling, tell me! I'm all ears. If you need help, I will more than gladly help you. It is generous, is it not?"
"Well, it would be generous of you to not ask me what had happened..." he added glumly.
"Now, now, Connor. Let's not be like that. Just tell me what had happened. I just want to help."
"What part of, 'I don't want to talk about it,' don't you understand?"
"And what part of, 'I just want to help," don't you understand?"
"Just stop, Rarity..."
"Darling, I will not stop until you tell me. Spit it out," the unicorn said, losing her patience.
"Tell meeeee!" she said, looking down on him.
"I said I don't want to talk--."
"Tellme..." she repeated quickly, not taking her eyes off of him.
"I said I don't--!"
"Tell me, tell me, tellmetellmetellmeTELL ME!"
Connor could not take it anymore. The unicorn was not going to stop egging him.
"DAMN IT! FLUTTERSHY JUST BROKE UP WITH ME! THERE! I TOLD YOU! ARE YOU HAPPY?!!?"
The echoes from his outburst died away into silence. Rarity stared at the colt, who was breathing heavily, catching his breath from his sudden outburst. Then, the colt heaved a despairing sigh and hung his head deeply.
"Are you freakin' happy now?" his voice was shaken.
"Happy?" Rarity reiterated as she pressed her hoof onto her chest. "Oh, darling, I certainly am not! That's awful!"
"Don't remind me."
"Fluttershy... broke up with you?? I-I don't understand!" she shook her head. "Why on earth would she break up with you? You two looked so happy together! I just see no reason in this!"
"She has every reason. It's because of me."
Wait, did she hear that just right?
"Wh... what are you talking about?" Rarity asked.
"Well?" she asked, egging him to finish.
"I... kissed another mare. To be more specific... I kissed Lily, the flower-presser."
He lifted his head to look at the unicorn sitting in front of him. Her face was blank. Connor could not tell what thoughts were brewing behind that blank expression, which made his cringe to think about. Then, she lifted her hoof off of his back. She sat as still as a guard dog, staring at him. Then, her head moved slightly, looking like she was shaking her head little-by-little.
"You... you didn't," she whispered.
The colt solemnly nodded. "I did..."
Her mouth open by a little crack. Her breaths grew a little more labored.
Before Connor was going to speak, Rarity snapped, "How dare you?! What were you thinking??"
"You kissed another mare?? Right in front of her??"
"So you did it behind her back! Why, I never! Connor, you have sunk to a new low! How could you do that to a poor, poor, timid creature like Fluttershy?"
"That was it! I just felt like I was being hypnotized or something! I couldn't control myself!"
"Couldn't control yourself?? That's rubbish! Every action has its intent! You weren't controlled! You had an intention and I still have yet to know about it! What went through your mind to do something so forward like that? What was your intention?"
"Well..." the colt started, but was silenced for two seconds by Rarity's piercing glare. "Lily was crying when I saw her. She had just found out that she was being cheated on by her coltfriend."
"Oh, she was being cheated on? What a coincidence."
"Let me finish, Rarity. What she told me what he told her, it... it just really pissed me off. It made angry to think that some lowlife bastard would just go ahead and do something so horrible to her and say something so false and grisly to her. She reminded me of myself, back before I met you guys. I just wanted to help her. Rarity, she was crying her eyes out! She looked so freaking miserable! I did not want her to feel like that anymore. I wanted her to know that there was somepony out there who still cares for her and understands her pain. I didn't want her to feel that she was not loved or cared for. I talked to her, telling her that he was not worth the pain. But, she said that he was so perfect for her, before all of what had happened, then I said that there were lots of colts out there, and she will meet that one sometime soon, because she was pretty and she was nothing like that bastard said. Yet, she still did not feel consoled. Not yet. She said she missed what it was like to be kissed, so... there you go, I kissed her."
"But why? Why kiss her?"
"Because my words weren't enough to make her feel better. I wanted to give the kind of appreciation I always wanted when I was an unconfident loser before I met and learned from you guys. You're making this sound like I had sex with her! It was just a kiss! A non-mutual, consoling, friendly, 'I-got-your-back' kiss."
"Darling, kisses are always mutual! They are more complicated and special like that. Kiss once, then feelings of love will pour in all at once. You should not underestimate the power of a single kiss. Why did you have to kiss her? Just a talk and a hug would do! Unless, you had some more thoughts regarding Lily, correct?" she asked him testfully.
"Yyyyessss," slowly escaped from his mouth. "She also happened to be another pony I fancied other than Fluttershy."
"So I guess that means you couldn't control yourself around another pretty pony?"
"Yyyyesss..." he slowly said again, admitting it.
Rarity heaved a stressed sigh. "How is Lily now? Is she feeling any better?"
"I believe so... I actually saw her smiliing rather largely when she left."
The unicorn sighed again and closed her eyes for a few, long seconds. She finally broke the silence.
"Connor... I really appreciate your concern for helping another lovely pony with her problems, but there is always another way to convince her that you care for her. You were in a relationship with Fluttershy, the lovely, little pegasus whom you loved since you were a human, but you broke it in two, because you could not control yourself. You have made your choice to do the cowardly thing. I'm sorry, Connor, but what's done is done. You are on your own. This is out of my hooves," she said before she stood back up and turned to walk away.
"I thought you said you were going to help me. Don't you remember saying that?"
Rarity stopped in her tracks, but she never looked back. "I am helping you. I'm helping you learn from your own mistake on your own."
Then, she disappeared into the other room.
Feeling like a complete moron, Connor shifted his body around to lie down on his bed. He rolled over, turning to the closed end of the curtains.
She was right. It was all his fault. He and Fluttershy were officially separated. Why the living buck did he kiss another mare, knowing he was in a relationship with another?
Then, memories of just a few minutes ago came flowing back in.
"Hey, beautiful! How's my favorite little pony doing?"
Opening his eyes, he saw two, red, tear-stained eyes stare at him.
"Um... Fluttershy? What's going on?"
"Why?" her voice filled with tears. "Just why??"
Confused, he stared at her helplessly.
"Why did you kiss her?" she asked again.
"Oh, dear God..." the colt mouthed.
"It's me, isn't it? I'm not pretty enough for you... I'm not charming enough for you... Isn't that right?"
How? How did she find out? How the freaking hell did she find out?? He was absolutely sure nopony was around at the park. Oh, no, this was not good.
He stammered. "No! No, Fluttershy! It's not what it--!"
"It's everything that it looks like! You kissed her... with our kiss! It was supposed to be our kiss!"
He could not say anything. His throat was holding itself.
The colt scrunched up into a ball in the bed.
"You said you loved me... All of the time we spent together... This is how you repay me? You... you..!" her eyes were pouring with tears. "You pig!" she finally shouted.
He was sure he felt a spear gore his heart, hearing that word. "No, Fluttershy! I love you! I still do! Please!"
"When somepony messes with your heart, tear that pony apart!"
He could feel his cheek burn again.
"I don't want to see you around..." she whimpered. "Ever again!"
She slammed the door in his face. Weeping was heard from behind the door.
A bitter tear trailed down Connor's cheek. Kill me now... he thought.
He heard the front door creak open behind him, followed by the sound of small hooves clacking on top of the hard floor. They increased in volume as they approached the grief-stricken colt.
"Hey, Connor! What's going on?" Sweetie Belle asked casually.
Ugh... It nearly killed him to mention it again.
"Fluttershy broke up with me."
"Whaaaaaaaat?!" she gasped, rather overdone. "She broke up with you?? Oh, boy-- I mean, Oh, no! Why??"
"Lily... I kissed her... and Fluttershy found out somehow."
"Awwwww, that stinks! That really stinks! Really, it does. Yeahhhh..."
Behind his back, Connor's brow wrinkled. Why was Sweetie Belle talking like that? Did she even realize how painful this whole predicament was?
"So, you are broken up with her now?"
"...Yes." Didn't he just say that?
"Sooooo, does that make you single now?"
"I guess so," he sighed, facing the truth.
"It doesn't get anymore official than that..." he replied, growing impatient and put off by her attitude towards his heartbreak.
"Ohhhhh, okay. Sooooo, who are you going to date now?"
"I don't want to date anyone else. I want Fluttershy..."
"Pony, she's broken up with you! She's moved on! You should, too. You can start by dating another pony."
"Ugh, I don't even want to date another pony... I want Fluttershy."
"Well, she's gone, bro. Hate to break it to you, but it's reality. You need to date another pony."
"It's not that simple, Sweetie Belle."
"Of course it is! You just need to make friends with her first."
"Fluttershy was my best friend (alongside with Joshua)."
"It does not have to be her. It could be somepony else. Somepony who's prettier. Somepony who's kinder. More charming. More graceful. Cuter. Wayyyyyy better than her in every way..."
She stopped right there. This was it. This was her chance to finally reveal her true feelings for him. With Fluttershy out of the way, she could finally move in on him.
"Do you want to know who that pony is?" she asked, lightly nudging Connor's back.
No answer came from the curled ball of shame.
Time to finally say it.
"That pony is me! You can date me! I'm right here when you need me. I'll always be at your side, no matter what. Just keep this an absolute secret, and we'll all be fine. You and me. Whaddaya say, Connie-poo?" she said, nuzzling against the colt's back.
Silence loomed in the room, except for the sound of fur being brushed passionately by the little filly's cheek. A warm current slithered down her spine as she felt his warm hide brush against her cheek. She hummed happily. Then, she felt his body roll back, facing her. His forelegs shifted from underneath him as he reached out and hugged her tightly. She buried her face into his chest, embracing the love escaping from her favorite colt's tight grip.
Then, she felt like she was falling. She gasped in fright and found her face smothered into the mattress. Trying to wrap her mind around what had happened, she looked up to see the colt with his back still facing her. He was sitting up.
He was not hugging her. Her mind was just playing cruel jokes on her again. The colt's head turned sharply around toward her, giving her a sharp, tense, and unamused glare. Sweetie Belle shrunk back, frightened by his expression.
"Do you think this is some kind of joke?" he asked softly.
Sweetie Belle's heart wrenched in hurt. She was not even joking. She was dead serious. She tried to speak, but her fright kept her voice silenced.
"Do I look like I am in the mood for jokes right now? Do I?" he asked once more, his voice growing more menacingly.
"I... I... Uh..."
"Am I smiling? Am I laughing? Do I look like I am amused??"
"Uhhhhhhhh..." her voice shook in fear.
"I'm not!! Don't you see me right now?! Take a good look! I'm sad!! I'm depressed!! I'm heart-broken!! Fluttershy, my fillyfriend, the love of my life, broke up with me because of me! I'm freaking devastated! Destroyed!! And all you do is joke about it?? Are you that insensitive?? And that's another thing! You march in here and try to 'comfort' me, and you're taking this very lightly like you don't give a flying feather! Don't you know how serious this is?! This is damn serious!"
Connor towered over her like a lion preying on a lamb; the lamb was the hurt and quivering Sweetie Belle.
"You know perfectly well that I can't date you! Look at me! I'm a hell lot older than you! Look at you! You're a hell lot younger than I am! Do you want to me to march around Ponyville, hold your hoof, and look like a freaking pedophile?? F@#$ that!!"
The white unicorn flinched violently at the loud profanity. Her eyes began to moisten as she watch the colt of her dreams attack her with harsh words.
"I'm getting out of here," he growled as he jumped off of the bed, using the energy grown from his anger. "Until you've grown a little more sympathetic and not like some joker, don't approach me again."
Clop! Clop! Clop. Clop. Clop... Clop... His hoofbeats struck against the ground angrily as he stormed into the living room.
Salty drops of water escaped from the wrenching and twitching eyes of Sweetie Belle as she sat miserably on the floor in front of the podium.
"Don't give a flying feather"?
She hung her head.
This was not what she expected at all.
Not one... little... bit...
To be continued...