Friendship Harder: Collected Microfiction

by KwirkyJ

Blameless [Slice-of-Life, Sad]

Little AJ stood on the linoleum, staring through the glass.

She wasn't alone, not really—a few families came and went, muttering amongst themselves, some stopping to look as well before moving on.

Granny and Pop had quickly left. There were things to be taken care of, things blank-flanked AJ didn't really understand. The thought, like the ponies, came and went, that they should have just cried rather than try to hide it. She reckoned it was because they were adults that they couldn't show it. At least she had stopped crying a while ago.

Mac hadn't lingered for long, either, having left leaning against that fancy fiddle-player filly friend of his. He was always the physical type, AJ wondered what they would be doing. It wasn't a fiddle that she played, it had some fancy city name…. The word AJ came up with was 'vile.'

The air reeked of cleanliness. Her ears sometimes swiveled to hear the sounds of the other ponies, more often they did not. Through the glass, she couldn't hear anything, even if all the bundles looked asleep. AJ's stare intensified.

It wasn't fair how peaceful they all looked, lying there. It wasn't fair, the judging looks the other ponies gave her. It wasn't fair, that she was alone. It wasn't fair that her Momma… AJ lifted a hoof, shifted it forward as if to touch the glass, but stopped and lowered it again.

From the side, "Miss Apple?"

Her ears turned.

"Miss AJ?" It was one of the nurses.

"I heard ya."

"Could, um, could you please go sit down? We're getting complaints that you're… well, you're scaring the new mothers and their families."

AJ turned her glass-melting glower to the nurse, the sanitized air tightening between them. "Yeah, fine."

"Miss Apple, I'm—"

"I'm goin, aright! Ain't nothin y'can say that hasn't been said a'ready, an I'm goin!"

The nurse gave a tight-lipped nod and took a step back, but didn't withdraw.

AJ turned back to the glass, to her baby sister, scowling.

"Yeah," she said, subdued. "I'm goin…" Her hoof finally touched the glass. "Ain't yer fault, Bloom. Ain't yer fault."

"Miss Apple, if you'd come with me…"

"No." AJ looked down at the tile and stamped a hoof. "No, thanks, I… I think I'm gonna go visit my aunts."

"But your family, your baby sister—"

"I'll see 'em when I get back."

Little AJ turned, mind set on her piggy bank, a note to be written, and a train to Manehattan.

Unspoken was the thought, 'if I get back.'