Study Session 3
Description: RD makes a confession.
I heard a soft rumbling above my head. The clouds were gathering again and this time they meant business.
A storm was on its way.
The dark and dismal sky made the library seem depressing, like a mausoleum for dead writers the world refused to forget.
I yawned loudly as I walked in. The librarian was thankfully absent.
“Hey dude!” Rainbow Dash was already waiting for me, with her books neatly spread out, and a pencil in her ear. That fake smile was waiting for me too.
“Hi. You…um…look prepared.”
“Of course. Why wouldn’t I be?” She took a folder out from her bag.
“Because…never mind. Let’s get started.”
“Right on! I do the homework first and then you correct it? Like the last few times?”
“That works for me.”
“Alright! You got it!”
“But…are you sure you don’t want to-”
“Yep. Yes. Sure. Nothing to talk about.” She poked her nose towards her assignments and started.
Not knowing what else to do, I started reading…while keeping one eye on her.
She looked incredibly stressed. Dashie looked like the new carrier for AJ’s contagious anxiety.
She cleared her throat a few times, kept scratching her head, and that damn foot tapped up and down like a small jackhammer. That emptiness still plagued her eyes. Looking at her hurt; she didn’t look like herself anymore.
I moved my seat closer to her. Rainbow Dash looked up at me.
Then I put my hand on her back.
Rainbow Dash: “What are you doing?!” She got looked angry, and defensively pulled her arms close to her body.
“I’m sorry.” She said nothing. “I’m sorry that this all happened.”
She still said nothing.
She quickly looked around the room to make sure no one else was there. When she was sure she was safe…it happened.
“..AJ’s really mad at me…” She rubbed her eyes with the sleeve of her hoodie as a few tears came out.
“I know. I’m so sorry.” Then she leaned towards me. I obliged her by gently hugging her.
I heard her weep a little. Just a little. Maybe she didn’t know how to cry. Or maybe she was fighting the urge to totally breakdown. Or maybe…she was crying the exact amount she needed.
But whatever the excuse, still she wept.
And I held onto her.
And surprisingly, she didn’t push me away. Instead, I felt her small hands clutch my waist and she hugged me. Really tightly. Her squeeze tightened so much that it hurt, but I didn’t tell her that.
“I…I didn’t mean…” Her face pressed into my chest and she spoke into my clothes.
“I only…I just wanted to help.”
“I know. And you did.” I rubbed her back gently and her crying got worse. She felt safe enough with me to do this.
Minutes passed and she said nothing but a few mumbled moans and sniffling. Eventually, she calmed down. There was a watermark on my uniform.
“I really hurt her feelings.” She wiped the water away from her eyes on her sleeve again
“She’s worked up right now. Give her time. She’ll cool down.”
“What if she doesn’t? What if I really, really messed up and she never wants to speak to me again?”
“I doubt that. You’ve known each other for so long…”
“But what if she hates me!?” She bit down on her tongue, trying not to get worked up again. Her eyes were stained red, and her squeaky voice cracked.
“You know what? Why don’t we skip studying today? Math we’ll be here tomorrow.”
“…thank you.” She sniffled and cleared her throat.
I put everything away and led her out of the library, my arm over her shoulder. The sky rumbled again.
She led me to her track field and sat me down on the bleachers. She curled herself up like a ball on the edge of her seat, pressing her knees to her chest and her ankles to her hips. She stared at her sneakers and pressed her nose on her jeans.
The blowing wind had a bitter nip to it. It made Dash’s bangs swing left and right. We didn’t say anything for a long time. I waited for her to be comfortable again.
“I really thought I was helping.” She finally said, but her words made things more awkward.
“You just scared Applejack. She thought the worst first and then got mad when she figured out what happened.”
“It was…fun too.”
“I had fun.”
She went quiet again, for another long period.
I put my arm around her shoulder again. She inched closer to me. I thought was going to say that she did that because she was cold. She did not say that. Then she rested her colorful head on my shoulder.
“…I don’t… I don’t mean to cause problems.” She confessed. “I just do what I feel like. And it either works or it doesn’t. I never mean to make things worse.”
“No one does.”
“I don’t mean to hurt people. Or insult them. Or…or…anything. I’m not trying to be rude. I’m just…being me. I don’t like people thinking I’m weird.”
“AJ doesn’t think that.”
“That’s because she gets me. She’s one of the only people who does. And I really, really hurt her.” She curled up tighter. Her eyes disappeared behind her knees.
“I don’t think you’re weird.” She had no response to that. “Just wait a day and apologize. AJ wouldn’t turn down an apology.”
“Because I just can’t. I can’t. I can’t!”
“She doesn’t know you’re this upset.”
“She thinks that you think you did nothing wrong.”
“I hurt her feelings.”
“If you never apologize, then she really won’t ever speak to you again.”
“…do you…” She lifted her head out from her little ball of safety. “…think she hates me?”
“No way! She’s just mad right now, that’s all.”
“…are you sure?”
“She needs sometime to be alone, but that’s all. Like you said, you made her money.”
“You made me help.” I tried to tease her. It did nothing.
“I…kinda want to be alone.”
“Oh. Are you sure you’ll be alright?”
“…I don’t know. I just…want to be alone.”
She stood up and, holding the tips of her elbows, waited for me to leave. She still looked like a shadow of her self and I did not like it. I felt like I needed to say something to make her feel better.
“There was something I wanted to tell you. For a while.”
“I wanted to thank you. Before I met you, I wasn’t that confident. I still have to work on it, but I’m learning. Because you’re showing me how.”
“Ever since the Fall Festival, I’ve been thinking about a lot of things. And I want to be more confident. Like you. I don’t want to be full of myself, but I want to follow your example. I just wanted…you to know that.”
I expected Dashie to love that comment, that it would raise her spirits, or that she’d bow and say ‘you’re welcome’ Newbie. But instead of a grin, she fell into a deeper pit of despair.
“You…want to be like me?” She asked coldly.
“Well yeah. Not exactly like you, but a little.”
“Why? I don’t even want to be like me?” She looked like she was about to cry again.
My heart almost stopped.
Then she left.
All this time, I thought I was the ones with doubts. But it seemed Rainbow Dash wasn’t bullet proof, and she wasn’t perfect. Deep down, she had doubts bigger than mine.
I watched her cross the track field and disappear behind the bleachers, heading into the side roads. I wasn’t sure where she was going, or when she’d be back. I only hoped she would stay safe.
The wind picked up. My bones chilled.