It is hard to look at something that you so desperately want every day of your life. Worse yet is when that thing is almost always right in front of your face and seemingly laughing at you. You can ignore it. You can hide it. But the pain is always there.
Scootaloo had just finished messing around with Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle at Sweet Apple Acres when she was on her way to walk back into town. But it was a get-together of the three that Scootaloo didn't willingly want to attend. It was getting painfully clear to Scootaloo that she was painfully jealous of her friends. About two weeks ago, Sweeetie Belle and Apple Bloom actually received their Cutie Marks.
Though initially happy for her friends, that happiness turned to hidden anger, frustration, and a feeling of loss. She knew that it was no good to actually be angry at her friends, though. But the feelings persisted and within the first week of her friends having Cutie Marks, she started being with them with them less and less due to her confused, angry, and selfish tyrade.
Scootaloo had a hard time with the fact that her friends had Cutie Marks and she didn't. She felt like it was somepony's fault, Perhaps her missing parents or her own self. But who was to actually blame and what was Scootaloo to do about it? Even though she knew that her anger was unnecessary and hurting herself and those closest to her, it would not subside. It only diseased her further.
Worse yet is that she also fell out of love with watching Rainbow Dash train ever since her friends got their Cutie Marks. In fact, it was more like just falling out of love with Rainbow Dash in general. Scootaloo often turned to Rainbow Dash as a hero. A role model who managed to get through insurmountable odds and at all times never lose hope. But now Scootaloo couldn't even stand the sight of her.
That falling-out of love turned into a despise for Rainbow Dash. She began thinking that her hero had failed her. That Rainbow Dash was not a solution to a Cutie Mark-less pony's problem and was instead a pony to avoid contact with because seeing Rainbow Dash made Scootaloo feel like a failure. A failure that couldn't fly and didn't even have that mark that made them special.
As if Scootaloo's day wasn't bad enough, by the time she got into town it was surprisingly late and down-pouring. Scootaloo also left herself with no place to go. She was originally going to do a sleepover with Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle, but she was not in the mood for it and couldn't handle the thought of being near them much longer.
So there Scootaloo sat at the edge of town looking into a puddle with a reflection that only made her feel worse. But Scootaloo was tired of all of this anger and confusion. Too tired to continue it all. No parents, losing her friends, no place to go, and a terrible feeling of being unaccomplished. She let her body down next to that puddle and closed her eyes. She knew that she probably wouldn't fall asleep, but what was there to do anyways? Best case scenario in her mind was that tomorrow she would be awake in a better place.
"We should call her in, Dear. We don't know how long she's been out and she might get hypothermia out there," said Carol as she saw the poor filly from a window in the bar she was in.
The stallion took a moment as he looked outside at the filly. He took a deep breath.
"I'll call her in. You go get a blanket and some nice, warm soup," said Hopin in reply to his wife as he stared out of the door of the bar.
Carol went to the bar's second floor, which was actually a living space, and came back down with a blanket and then went back upstairs to prepare some soup. Hopin went to the door and opened it fully.
"Hey, Kid!" Hopin yelled from the door of the bar to Scootaloo.
Scootaloo opened her eyes and turned her head to Hopin at the front door of the bar.
"C'mon inside! You're gonna get hypothermia out there!" yelled Hopin as he gestured for her to come inside.
Scootaloo lifted her head and could make out the name of the place through the rain, "Good Times Bar And Home". Scootaloo was too stubborn at the moment to feel like moving at all and was especially not up up for going to some stranger's bar.
"I don't even know you and I'm not old enough to enter a bar," yelled Scootaloo as she was still lying next to the puddle.
Hopin looked around and then back to Scootaloo, who he saw was still wasn't moving.
"Well at least we have a roof here and what's the point in being lonely? Now c'mon in, please. You're scaring me half-to-death," Hopin's tone was obviously a bit annoyed and stern, but he honestly cared for the filly who was next to the puddle and out in the freezing rain.
Scootaloo looked down into the puddle again and stared at her reflection. Although she didn't want to, Scootaloo eventually thought why not and started slowly heading towards the bar. She didn't realize how weak and cold she had become and tripped on her way there. Hopin rushed out to her, helped her back on her hooves, and walked by her side as they both entered the bar.
Scootaloo shook off all that she could once she got inside. She sprayed Hopin, but he didn't care. The filly before him was much more important than being a bit wet.. Hopin helped Scootaloo to a seat at a booth where a blanket was waiting for her. She sat down in the big, comfortable booth and lay with her head down at the table.
Hopin placed a hoof on her head and rushed upstairs. While alone, Scootaloo took the time to observe the place. It was actually pretty nifty. Memorabilia that ranged from sports to pictures to records were all over the wall. A long counter almost went across the entire width of the bar. Behind the counter were various alcoholic drinks along with some awards and more pictures. The place was very interesting and clean, which brought a warm feeling to Scootaloo. Something she had not felt in a while.
To the left of the counter were the bathrooms and storage places. To the right was a door that led to the living areas of the building. It was three-story building and the top two stories were the ones used as the housing.
As soon as Scootaloo was done observing the place, Hopin came down with more blankets and a heated pillow. Carol was carrying the soup with an ovenmit on one hoof and placed the soup in front of Scootaloo. Hopin placed the blankets around Scootaloo and let her use the heated pillow as she pleased.
The couple watched patiently as Scootaloo took a spoon from the bar table and started going at the soup with her new blankets around her and the heated pillow in her lap. After a while, Hopin put his hoof back on Scootaloo's forehead and was relieved. She was not quite out of a troublesome temperature yet, but he did not have to worry.
"So what's your name, Dear?" said Carol. Scootaloo was comforted by her soft and polite voice.
"I'm Scootaloo. What's your guys' names?" Scootaloo's frail voice managed to come through. The yelling earlier to Hopin from the puddle had worn out her voice already.
"I'm Hopin and this is my wife Carol. We run the place and live here."
"Hopin? Almost sounds like hoping," said Scootaloo as she continued to shiver and enjoy her soup.
"Coincidence, maybe. I'm a pretty hopeful guy," Hopin then turned around and pointed to Carol. "My wife is a beautiful singer."
"Yeah. We ponies tend to have names that resemble our talents and hobbies for some reason," said Scootaloo with a smile that the couple had been awaiting.
Scootaloo was taking note of the ponies she was with. They were an older couple. Maybe late 50's or early 60's. They seemed so kind and caring that it was no wonder to Scootaloo that the place seemed so nice.
"Hopin, dear," said Carol as she unlocked the door that led to the stairs.
"Yes?" said Hopin as he turned to his wife.
"I'm going to call it a night. Today was a bit busier than usual and it's worn me out. It's also considerably late."
"Okay. I'll take care of our little friend here," said Hopin as he turned back around to Scootaloo with an old smile.
Hopin walked over to Carol and they both gave eachother a little kiss, which Scootaloo giggled at a bit. Hopin turned around and sat at the booth with Scootaloo. He let out a deep breath and let himself get comfortable.
"Sooo...lemme guess," said Hopin with a friendly and questioning tone. "Long night for you too, huh?"
"Not long..." Scootaloo paused and took a moment to look at the remainder of her soup. "Difficult, though," she continued in a sad manner.
Hopin sensed the pain in her voice and gave her a little rub on the head. Scootaloo let out a little laugh and then slurped up the rest of her soup. Scootaloo looked at Hopin and saw him return the look. She knew that he wanted answers, but Scootaloo didn't feel comfortable with answering questions at the moment.
"Umm...sir," said Scootaloo in a frail tone that she could not prevent.
"I have nowhere to go." Scootaloo looked at Hopin with desperate and saddened eyes. "Can I stay here?"
Hopin would've said yes in an instant, but took a little while to look at her. He sensed the pain in her voice. He sensed the tiredness that was not from a lack of sleep, but from a fight that's gone on too long. This filly needed help and he was going to do the best job that he possibly could.
"Yes...yes you may," began Hopin in a gentle and caring voice. "We're not open tomorrow, so you shouldn't be rudely awakened. You can call me by name if you want." Hopin wanted to get to know the filly next to him, so he decided to try to get on a personal level with her.
Scootaloo smiled wearily. She placed the pillow on the booth seat and let the blankets lay over-top of her. She placed her head on the pillow and was out in an instant. Hopin stared quietly out of the booth window. He originally planned on going to sleep, too, but decided against it. He himself wasn't that tired and instead remained sitting in the booth next to Scootaloo.
It was still harshly raining outside. Soon after Scootaloo had fallen asleep, thunder started booming. Hopin turned to the filly next to him the first time he heard the thunder and saw that she was still sound asleep. So Hopin went ahead and let his train of thought run freely as he silently stared out of the window.