• Published 26th May 2014
  • 8,220 Views, 117 Comments

To Be A Parent - Pastel Pony

When the desperate tears of a teacher force Filthy Rich to at last see his daughter for what she is, it will be less than easy for him to rediscover what it means to be a father, and uncover the diamond of a filly he hopes exists in his daughter.

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Silence Screams Loudest

Silence screams across the dinner table louder than any argument ever could. I take a small sip of my water and watch my daughter’s passive face as our butler, Randolph, wheels in our meal.

He offers me a small smile as he places my dish in front of me. “Lavender really outdid herself tonight, sir.”

I chuckle. “I’m sure she did.”

He gives Tiara her plate and begins to wheel out the cart. She makes a face at the vegetables heaped on the side of her plate and opens her mouth to object.

“Randolph,” I say, cutting her off. “Would you like the rest of the evening off?”

He turns to me with a confused expression. “Sir?”

“Go home and be with your family.” I smile and wave my hoof. “It won’t kill Diamond and I to clear our own dishes for once.” He nods happily at me and trots out the door.

“Dadddd…” I glance back at my daughter. “Picking up dishes is, like, icky.” For once, I don’t laugh. It’s not endearing anymore. Instead, I simply begin eating my food.

I’m not sure if I have the ability to speak to her right now.

I study her expression as Cheerilee’s words continue to assault my head. Despite all that I have heard, I am still unable to see the monster I would have expected from a child that picks on others. Part of me wants to pretend this morning never happened… the rest of me can’t.

“How was school today? Learn anything new?”

She shrugs. “I guess.”

The silence presses down on me. “Like what?”

“I don’t know. I think we were studying the Crystal Empire’s history, or something.” She blinks. “Oh… and I got a D on yesterday’s math test.”

I sigh. “Diamond, you promised me that you’d study.”

She snorts. “It’s not my fault that my tutor’s a grouchy old idiot.”

Her tutor is only a few years older than me, and the best mathematician in Ponyville. “Diamond… You do know that even with a tutor, you still have to… try, right?”

My daughter’s lip quivers as her eyes go wide. “Are you saying I’m not trying?”

Yes. “No.” I say. “I just… I worry about you, that’s all. If you don’t like your tutor than I’ll help you with your math homework. I’m sure brushing up on my multiplication and division wouldn’t be bad for me.” My laugh dies in my throat as she rolls her eyes. “A-Anyways, what did you and Silver Spoon do after school?”

“We went to SugarCube Corner. I wanted to go to that nice café near the library, but it was closed.”

“If you want, we could always go there for lunch tomorrow. I’ve got some business at a couple shops in that part of town in the morning, but if you wouldn’t mind coming with me-“

“No thanks, Dad.” She says, before pushing her plate away. “I’m done.” She hops off her chair and trots towards the stairs.

“Diamond,” I call after her, and she turns. “I… Good Night.”

She nods and places a hoof on the first step before looking back at me. “Dad?”


“Would you remind Lavender that I don’t like carrots?”

I sigh. “Of course, dear.”

I carry in the last of the dinner dishes and place them in the sink, turning on the hot water. Lavender has already left for the night, not that I mind. Slowly, I scrub each of the plates, cups, and bowls clean, savoring the calm sound of the running water and the occasional squeak of the almost empty dish-soap bottle.

Eventually, the thoughts that I attempted to drown out with work reach me.

Why didn’t I say anything?

I can’t just ignore it. I must have been ignoring something all this time to never properly see the truth that Cheerilee had to force into me. It still makes my sick to my stomach.

Any other parent would ground their child, at least. I’m not above punishing my daughter when she misbehaves… So why couldn’t I confront her about it?

I’m afraid.

The horrible fact resounds throughout me. I’m afraid… because deep down, I know somehow it must at least be partially my fault. Studying my reflection in the water, I fight the urge to yell at it, like some kind of fool. I don’t know what I did wrong, but I must have… right?

I dry the last dish and wipe my hooves clean. Through the kitchen and into the dining room, I turn and follow the old oak staircase upstairs. It’s the same one as when I was a colt, one of the many things Diamond says needs updating. As I reach the top, I slowly open the door to my daughter’s room.

She looks so peaceful, so innocent. I quietly cross the room, and just watch her breathing peacefully. I was right, all those years ago, her hair did turn out to be curly. I lean down and kiss her forehead. No matter what I may discover tomorrow, or the next day, or any day after that, I love my daughter... No matter how much it might hurt me later.

Even though it is late, when I reach my room I am too uneasy to sleep. Instead, I open my desk and pull out some files for the shops I’m checking up on tomorrow, forms for deliveries, notes from my manager at my other Barnyard Bargains in Manehatten, even the constant letters from my ex or her lawyer, promising to have my money and my daughter. Anything… Anything I can find to avoid being alone in bed with my thoughts.

I fire off letters, make notes, and when there is nothing else to do, I sit and work out each order for apples or pears, pencils or pens by hoof. Normally I would use a calculator, but I am in no hurry to be finished.

The numbers fill the silence.