There were many ponies gathered around the campus ground that day, since it was the day of the festival. Everypony from all around Equestria were there to enjoy the show, opening a business stall, or many other things.
On the northern part of the wide open campus ground, a large set of stage had been placed facing the centre, which is filled with various shop stalls that sold their goods, from foods, drinks, accessories, clothes and merchandises. All of them were offered by the ponies behind the stall, hoping to go home with lots of bits.
It was still early in the afternoon, but it had already been fully packed by ponies. You woke up earlier than you usually do, to do the last practice with your assemble before the real show at the evening. So, after you had finished practicing with the others, you put your cello in your clubroom just like the others, so the juniors can take it to the location of the show. Then, you walked out the door leading the assemble, but your club advisor told all of you to take a break and rest, to avoid exhausting yourself.
“Hey, where are you going?” You heard somepony call you from behind as you had just stepped outside the clubroom.
You turned your head, seeing a mare approached you.
“Who are you again?” You ask the mare who is now right in front of you. Of course, it is a joke.
“What?! You already forgot me?” Her face is full of disbelief “It’s me, Octavia! You just practiced with me! We are in the same club. How could you-”
“It was a joke, it was a joke,” a sigh come out from your mouth, “Why are you so serious... Octy?”
“H-Hey, don’t call me that! Only my close friends can call me that!” Her cheeks blushed as she glared at you.
“Heh, it’s funny though, when the first time I heard that name, I thought you were some kind of octopus or Seapony or something.” You remembered when you first heard it from Vinyl.
Before she can open her mouth, you asked her, “Hey, did you know where’s Vinyl right now?”
Speaking of her, you haven’t talked much to her after the night when you walked her to her dorm, helped her walk to her dorm, to be exact, since she was in no condition to do something.
Even though you were an introvert, you knew you must sacrifice your little social life for a while to at least hanging out with your close friends since the time between the audition and the festival is actually an exam period which you thought really didn’t make any sense. But then you realized this is university, where the higher degree somepony has the less they use rational thinking.
Back to Vinyl, every time you two passed each other, you just gave her a simple greeting or just smile, and of course, she replies it. The only time you can have a time together with her was just when you grabbed some lunch at the campus cafeteria and saw her. As a popular pony on campus, she never ate alone, she always accompanied by her friends and thanks to her, a few of them became your friends too so you can join her every time you see a chance. But lately, she acts different. You don’t know if anypony else notices since you haven’t asked them but you can feel it. She becomes a little quieter.
There was a time where you were left out alone with her by the others and you could feel the awkward atmosphere was so thick that made you could not see her in the eye. Every time you tried to make a conversation, she just replied with ‘it’s fine’, ‘so far so good’ or ‘it’s okay’ and a chuckle when you asked her about her exam preparation. You didn’t dare to ask her about her rambling the other night since you knew it wasn’t really her. So, until both of you finished lunch, there was just a silent and a ‘see you later’ ending your time together.
“I don’t know, she’s still fast asleep when I go out” She sighed “That mare, I bet she can’t do anything for herself. She is really lucky to have you all this time that makes me jealous” You can hear an envy from her voice.
“Yeah, ‘cuz I’m a nice guy, right?” You said it with conceit on all over the word just for a joke.
She makes a sour face “Uh sorry, I think it was a dry joke after all” You said.
A few seconds passed with an awkward silence, you tried to break it by saying “So, what are you gonna do now?”
“You even haven’t answered my question”
“Oh yeah right” You paused “I just want to enjoy this day, you know stroll around the festival. How many times something like this happen?”
“I was planning to ask Vinyl but when I know she’s still asleep maybe I gonna ask her later. How about you?”
“I don’t have any plan for this day since I don’t really looking forward into it. But maybe I will join you if you don’t mind”
“Of course, it’s good to have a company” You look to the road where many ponies were walking around doing their business “Let’s get going shall we?”
“Y-Yeah” She murmurs “Let’s go”
As you walk first in front of her to lead, you were sure to hear a little giggle.
You enter the festival grounds with a mare following beside you. As you keep walking around, you hear a heavy metal song blares from the stage. You don’t mind the loud sound though since you actually pretty much like it but still, in your mind, even time won’t beat classical music.
Various ponies around you were walking around carelessly, from a running colt and filly to a slow old ponies with a walking support who keeps grumbling about a time when ‘he was your age’ and such.
You stopped to look to your side and you see a mare who has been following you flopped down her ear and her pupil dilates with a stiff face expression.
“Hey are you alright?” You asked her.
“I’m fine, I’m fine” She looks around her “I just not used to this crowd”
“Well, you must get used to it since when we perform, there will be many ponies watching you, for every movement you make, every-”
“Okay okay I get it. It’s not like I have problem with that kind of crowd” She interrupts.
“So what’s wrong?”
You can see her in a deep thought, then she sighed.
“It’s just, I remembered something when I was just a little filly”
“Hmm? What happened?”
You suddenly regretted what you’d just said. You know that digging her private past is rude, especially the one that make her feel bad.
As you tried to cancel your action, she began “When I was just a filly, I went to a festival, like this one, but that time, I’m going with my parents”
She began trotting slowly and you listen right next to her.
“I was so happy and very excited, there were so many colorful balloon, dolls, plushies and many other things that made a little filly in my heart running around. But then, the moment I turned around, my parents were nowhere to be seen”
She stopped from her track and sats on a park bench, watching many ponies pass the road and you do the same.
“I cried and cried, calling my mother and father while my hoof was moving on its own desperately to find them among the thickened crowd. I was really scared and frightened that day which made me shuddered if I remembered it even until now”
“Then how you could find your parents again?”
“There was.. a young colt, he approached me who were still have tears streamed down my cheek and asked me ‘do you want to play a game?’. Seriously, how much stupidity to make you asked someone who crying to play with you?”
“A lot... I guess” There is something about this story makes you feel uneasy as you heard her story.
“Well, I just sat there, sobbing and not doing anything but that colt just decided to play hide ‘n seek and then count to ten. When he finished counting he lectured me because I didn’t try to play” She suddenly smiles “Then he grabbed my hoof and told me to follow him and so did I. After I wipe the tears in my eyes, I followed him, watching him playing games, doing pranks and got caught then got lectured, it made me calm and ease my sadness. But suddenly my parents found me when he was going to buy some drinks and told me to wait at an empty bench” She sighed and looked to the grounds “I didn’t know what I feel that day. Between happiness since I met my parents again or sad because I don’t see him again after that day”
“We went straight home”
“Did you know his name?”
“Nope. He never told me and he was so cheerful and his shenanigan made me forgot to ask it”
“How about his address or school or anything about him?”
“Nothing at all. I was still a little filly then, what would you expect? Interview him?”
“So you don’t know him at all?” You perplex “What a pity, you were born and grew here, maybe he is right here now”
“He is here”
“How’d you know? You say you don’t know anything about-”
You see her swivels her face towards you with a weird smile like she doesn’t used to smile before but it is warm weird smile.
“Because that colt is-”
You heard a loud gurgling sound from her stomach that’s like a raging hungry hydra. She stops in mid sentence and look to her belly.
You look to the sky and spot that the sun already high which mean it’s already lunch time.
“Hey, it’s lunch time already!” You said obviously “Wanna grab a bite? Your stomach sounds like you haven’t eaten for a week”
“I haven’t eaten from yesterday practice” She claims.
“Wow! If I were you, my stomach doesn’t just whining like that, it would just burst out and find it’s own food”
As you try to make a little joke, she gave you a look that said ‘are you bu*cking serious?’.
“Oookay, let’s go then, I’m sure there are many ponies sell great food here”
When you start to walk, you look behind to see her sighing and shakes her head, smiling.
A tempting food aroma fills your nose and your company as you enter the food court. You see many stalls that sell foods surrounding a wide space with tables and chairs which were already filled with many ponies who think the same as you are.
You hold up your head to find an empty seat for both of you. You found one near the other exit and a stall that caught your attention because that stall sells so many apple products from apple fritters, apple tarts, apple dumplings, apple crisp and a large apple pies from your quick observation and the salesmare shouts their products competing with the others.
You show her the place you both can eat at by pointing the way. Walking through crowded space is already difficult but now you must lead her and trying not to go far ahead so she might not lost.
When you arrived at your destination, as a gentlestallion, you pull one of the chair and help her push it, then you asked her what does she want to eat. After you get an ‘anything good’ answer, you approach the salesmare who caught your attention before.
As you approached her, she is the first one who opens her mouth “Howdy partner! What can I do for you?” There is a strong southern accent in her voice along with her smile. You take a detailed observation to the mare you talked to and you can see her with her blond mane tied in a ponytail style and an orange coat with three apples cutie mark.
A cough snapped you after your eyes wander to her best part “Umm, what is your best offer?” You said as you look to her emerald eyes and you notice something, she is wearing a light brown stetson hat and a freckles that make her looks pretty cute.
“Our apple pies are the best in Equestria! Want a cut?” She beams.
“Makes it two!” You said.
She looked to the table where you would sit at “For your marefriend of course” When you want to clear her misunderstanding, she continued “Do you want to try our apple cider for the drinks?”
“I think it’s still too early to drink cider”
“No, it’s not hard cider you silly, it’s the soft cider” She chuckled “So, do you want it?”
“Well, bring it then!”
“Okay, two apple pies and two cider for a lovebird”
“SHE IS NOT MY-” You were too late, she was already gone to the back of her stall to make your orders.
You sighed and walked away slowly to the table where she is waiting.
“Quite a scene you made there” She said as you plop down to your chair, head hangs low.
“I just wanted to have lunch in peace and she teased me” You muttered and sink your face to the table.
“How could she teased you?” She curiously asks you.
“I don’t want to talk about it”
After you said it, a few silence moment passes before your order comes.
“Here you go, two apple pies and two apple cider” She place it in front of you and the mare in front of you. The smell from the warm apple pies invade your smelling receptors and makes you drool a little bit. Beside it, there is a big mug of apple cider and a muffin.
“What’s this?” You said as you point to a muffin.
“It’s a muffin” She answered with a straight face.
“I know what this is, I mean I don’t remember ordering this!”
“Oh! It’s a gift, for being the first customer...” A crooked grin formed on her face and she leans her head while winked “And a sweetener for your date”
“WHAT?!” A gray mare in front of you suddenly yelled and jerk her head “WE ARE NOT DATING!!!”
“Told you” You said.
Her yelling attracts everypony around you for a while, then they continue to their business.
“Aw shucks. I’m sorry if I tease you too much” The mare with stetson hat apologizes “But aren’t you overreacted?”
“Uh, I guess you’re right. Sorry” She suddenly develops a huge interest to her apple pie by staring at it with a solemn look.
“Uh sugarcube, you know I’m a honest pony and I can tell that you are hiding something, but let me give you some advice”
The orange pony approaches the gray one and whispers to her ear something you can’t hear. Then the face of the pony in front of you turns to beet red and burrows her face with her hoof. After that, a content smile adorns her freckled face.
“Okay, I’m gonna leave you too for a while. If you need anything, you know where to find me”
With that said, she leaves you with her alone at last.
“What’s she said?” You asked her curiously.
“N-Nothing, nothing at all. Let’s just eat before it’s cold” Then she began eating and you immediately followed suit.
When you eat, you hear a serenade playing from the stage. The song reminded you about the changeling invasion when The Captain of The Royal Guard and Princess Cadence were getting married and must redo it in a few days. You didn't really know the detail though but you heard about some queen became an impostor and they drove them away by the power of their love. As an earth pony, you don’t really know anything about how magic works like the unicorn does but you know, love indeed a one of the strongest magic in the world that everpony have, no matter what your races are.
Neither you or her speaks a word during your meal, either because of the table manner or because the deliciousness of your pies plus the relaxing music among the crowds makes you don’t want to ruin the atmosphere.
After you finished, you told her you were going to pay her meal as well. At first, she refused your offer but after you insisted, she gives up.
You stood up from the table and approach the mare you have business to. You are glad that she straight to the business and not continuing her teasing. You pay the bits she demanded and then you get back to the table where you left her. She is already stood up and watching you approached her.
“So what’s next?” She asked you.
“Well, there are many things to do here. How about some games? I’m sure you will enjoy it and maybe it can loosening you tense personality”
“Do you think I’m a tense person?” She said, making you regret what you'd said earlier.
“A little” You pause a while and quickly continue before she opens her mouth “It’s not like it’s a bad thing. I know you were very serious about your life, especially we are now in our last year of our college life. But there is more to life than to work hard till the day ended, it is to enjoy it, and I think a smile would make you prettier” You end your lecture by teasing her a bit.
A moment passes, your expected taunt or insult never come. Instead, you see her looking down to earth as if the gravity is ten times greater and only affecting her head.
You grab her hoof and pulled it to make her start walking and say “Ok, it’s time for you to enjoy your life, at least for this day”
Since your table was near the exit, it’s not long enough until you both were out and realized that the exit was lead to the game area.
You play many games, from Whac-A-Mole to a Ring Toss which is the most game you suck at that makes you need to apologize a dozen times to a certain unicorn because you accidentally threw the ring to his horn. But at least it makes her smile even though most of the time she just watching you.
After you played so many games and accused some game operator to rigged their games, you are worried that the mare who is following you doesn’t enjoy her time with you.
“Is there anything to you want to do?” You asked her.
“No, just watching you is enough” You notice her flat tone and lack of enthusiasm.
“Aw come on, I know there is something you wanna do, just say it” You convinced her.
“Well, there is something I wanna do”
“What is it?”
She points her hoof to the sky behind you. You look behind and see what is she is pointing at. A ferris wheel.
“What? You wanna tear it down?” A chuckle escape your mouth to your own joke.
“What? Why do you think I am-”
“You want to ride it, I know” You stop her expected outburst. “If that is what you want to do then let’s go, we only have about an hour or so before we perform”
You see her closes her eyes and with a deep sigh she said “Come one then, we don’t have much time”
When you arrived at your destination and waited in line for a while since it’s not crowded as the other rides, finally you and her stepped at the cars and let the operator close and lock the door.
You felt the car starts to move with a little shake as the motor started abruptly.
“I was wondering” You began “Why do you want to ride this?”
“This is my first time”
“This is my FIRST time”
The way she repeat her sentence makes you don’t want to dig it any further.
As time passed, you feels your car were ascend to an altitude where it will hurt if you fall from there. You see outside from the window on your side, you can see all the campus grounds which filled with ponies you never seen before and you can hear a muffled music playing by the ponies on the stage but you can still hear the lyric. You look at the distance and saw the vast ocean glistening in bright sun ray.
“Hey” She spoke.
“Hmm?” You hummed.
“Do you-” She cleared her throat “Do you remember about the colt that played with me when I lost in the festival when I was just a little filly?”
“Yea, what about it?” You turned your head to face her. You see her talked to you while looking to scenery from the other side of the car.
“You don’t remember do you?” She glances at you
“That colt was-” She stops and shakes her head which makes her mane swinging, reflecting the sun ray who peek inside “That colt is you”
You are aghast. It is true that you always went to any festival or carnival when you were just a colt and then you remember that once, you were separated by your friends and played with a filly. But you never ever thought that filly was her.
“It was normal for you to forget it since it’s not important for you. But for me, you was my savior that day, the day that I won’t forget how your stupid shenanigan made my fear and worries disappear”
You keep quiet listening to her while a tons of memories started to play on your mind.
“And do you remember what I said about how jealous I am to Vinyl?”
“Uh huh” You nod your head in agreement to what you'd said.
She suddenly turns her head to meet your gaze.
“It’s because I love you”
She leaned in, closing the space between you and her, then she jerks her head to you to make her lips met yours.
What happened? In the description, you will gonna date Vinyl, but why the hay Octavia confess? Where is Vinyl? What will happen at the rest of that day?
These question will be answer in next chapter. When? I dunno LOL