The one thing Split had been afraid of before coming into her new school was that other ponies wouldn’t like her for her overly perfectionist personality. That part of her seemed to drive off a few ponies back in Hoofington; it seemed to make her come off as annoying to most other foals.
But here, it didn’t seem like that was the case.
She had barely even said a word, and yet these foals all seemed to want nothing to do with her already. The entire class period, she couldn’t get over the several pairs of eyes glaring at her. Her mind had been mostly focused on trying to understand why Featherweight was still shifting uncomfortably in his seat next to her.
‘What is everypony’s problem? I’ve barely even said two words to anyone.’ She thought to herself.
After about another hour of mathematics (And if Split knew Diamond Tiara, she knew she didn’t understand any of it), Ms. Cheerilee dismissed her students for lunch time. Everypony had lined up and trotted outside to the lunch tables.
After the disaster with Featherweight, and seeing the dirty looks she was getting from her classmates, she felt a little unsure of where she was going to sit.
“Hey Split, over here!”
Split heard the voice of Diamond Tiara calling to her from across the playground, and saw her sitting at a table with the grey filly she had been sitting next to in class.
Although the day so far was starting to leave a sour taste in her mouth (and not in the good “Sour Gummy Worms” kind of way Split was used to), she was happy that her best friend was around. Split trotted to Diamond’s table, sitting herself on the opposite side of Diamond and Silver Spoon.
“So, it’s been a while hasn’t it? How’s Ponyville been treating you?” Diamond asked.
“Alright I guess. Mom and Dad got this ice cream place set up on the west side, and I’ve been experimenting with my magic there.” Split said.
Diamond Tiara was fully aware of Split’s over the top obsession with perfecting her magic (as well as her looks) and it never ceased to amuse her.
“Still working on that whole ice cream magic thing? OCD much?” Diamond teasingly asked.
“The Delight Zone has no rhyme or reason when it comes to these things Diamond. Whenever I enter, I HAVE to stay in until my work is to my liking.” Split said in a manner that showed her great deal of knowledge on the subject of her brain surges.
Diamond seemed to understand, but Silver Spoon obviously did not.
“Ummm, what the hay is this whole 'Delight Zone' thing you’re going on about?” she asked.
Split cleared her throat.
“Oh. Well allow me to enlighten you on the subject…?”
“Of course. As you can see by my Cutie-Mark, I have a talent for perfecting the science and magic of creating ice cream. And whenever I get a new idea, whether it be for a new flavor or spell regarding it, I enter this state of mind. A 'trance' of sorts. I have come to call it, 'The Delight Zone.'"
“How the heck does THAT work?” Silver Spoon asked.
“Basically, The Delight Zone has one rule. I absolutely have to continue working on my idea until I deem it “worthy.” If I don’t, it’ll cause me to fidget and twitch uncomfortably until I get back to work and complete it.” Split said.
Silver Spoon was silent for a few moments before putting on an overly large smile and nudging Diamond’s shoulder.
“Diamond, I think we need to talk” she said through her teeth.
“Uhhh, alright. Split, can you give me a minute?” Diamond asked.
Split nodded and Diamond Tiara trotted next to Silver Spoon out of Split’s hearing distance.
“Alright, I’m just going to get right to the point…Diamond, that filly is CRAZY!” Silver Spoon exclaimed.
Diamond Tiara only rolled her eyes.
“Spoon, Split’s not crazy. Alright she’s a little eccentric, but-“
“Diamond, she basically just described a dimension inside of her head that consistently spews out ice cream flavors.”
“Okay, she’s a LOT eccentric. But when your friend’s very weird state of mind results in some of the greatest ice cream in Equestria, are you really going to question it?” Diamond asked.
Silver Spoon let out an annoyed sigh.
“It isn’t JUST that Diamond. It just feels…weird. It’s like she doesn’t fit into our circle here. I mean, just look at her.” Silver Spoon said, pointing a hoof at Split, who Diamond had noticed now had a butterfly perched on her nose.
“Oh. Um…Hello?” Split said to it before it flew off in another direction, prompting her to turn her head in said direction it had been flying.
“…Starting to see what I’m talking about?” Silver Spoon asked.
Diamond Tiara gave a hard deadpan.
“Spoon, I’ve known Split for quite a lot longer than you have. All you’re really doing is saying things I already knew about her. So can you just try and give her the benefit of the doubt of here?” Diamond asked with an expectant look.
Silver Spoon still wasn’t entirely convinced this was a good idea, but when it came to Diamond Tiara, a mule’s stubbornness pales in comparison to hers, so it was pretty much a losing battle.
“…Fine. But you DO remember what happened the last time we let a goody-four-hooves hang out with us right?” Silver Spoon asked.
Diamond kind of wished she didn’t remember what happened with Applebloom’s cousin, and how quickly she turned against them, ditching them for those “loser blank flanks” and she visibly scowled at the memory.
“Don’t remind me. Ever.” Diamond said.
Split still sat at the table, eating a daisy sandwich she pulled out of her saddlebag and watching Diamond and Silver Spoon talking to each other across the playground.
“Huh. Wonder what they’re talking about…Whatever, I guess it’s none of my business. Time to focus on the task at hoof.” Split said taking another bite of her sandwich.
At the table next to her, Split noticed a few foals whispering to each other and pointing hooves at her. She couldn’t quite make out what they were saying, but she was fairly certain she heard the word “Sellout” in there somewhere.
‘…Alright, this is getting a little ridiculous. I mean, I can understand being a little weird around the new kid, but my Celestia! They weren’t acting like this this morning until-‘ Split’s train of thought was broken when she remembered the situation she had had with Featherweight earlier in the morning. He looked pretty scared when she confirmed that she had been friends with Diamond Tiara.
…Was Diamond…somehow responsible for this?
“No no no. That’s absurd. Why would Diamond be driving these foals away?” Split said to nopony in particular. Split saw Diamond and Silver coming back to the table and immediately shut up.
“Sorry about that Split. We just had to…what’s with that look?” Diamond asked.
“I’m just thinking. All day it seems like everypony is either making mad faces at me, or is too scared to even get close…You wouldn’t happen to know the reason would you?” Split asked with a suspicious look.
“Have they?! Hmph. You know what I think? I think they’re just jealous of you.” Diamond said.
Now Split was thoroughly confused.
“What? Why?” Split asked.
Silver Spoon trotted over to Split’s left side and put a hoof around her shoulder.
“Listen Split. Diamond and I happen to be in the higher ranks. Around here, we’re the popular ones. A lot of ponies would kill to be in your position; being able to hang out with us.” Silver Spoon said.
Split shook her head in amazement.
Diamond only gave a cocky smirk and nodded.
“Hehe. Well, it’s good to hear you’ve made quite a reputation. Especially after all that junk that went down in Hoofingt-“ Split was cut off by Diamond putting a hoof over her mouth before she could finish her sentence.
“…Don’t talk about that.” Diamond said with a serious expression.
Now it was Silver Spoon’s turn to be confused.
“What? What happened in Hoofington?” she asked.
Diamond let out an annoyed sigh.
“Look, just…drop it. Alright?” Diamond said. At that moment, the school bell rang, signaling that lunch was over and it was time to return to class. Diamond and Silver Spoon trotted to the school house, and Split was getting ready to leave too.
But before she could she was stopped by the feeling of a hoof on her shoulder.
“Beauty Split?” a voice from behind her said in what sounded like a southern accent. Split turned around to see a yellow Earth Pony filly with a red mane and pink bow giving her a very serious look. It wasn’t the “I’ll kill you in your sleep” look she had been getting recently, but just…serious.
“Uhmmm…Yeah?” Split said.
“Ah need to meet with ya’ll after school. We need to talk.” The filly said.
Split raised an eyebrow.
“What about exactly?”
“…About your 'friend'.” she said.