• Published 17th Nov 2014
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Crystal's Wishes - Crystal Wishes

Crystal Wishes thought she was content just writing about ponies falling in love. While her career takes off, her love life is somewhat... lacking. Can she be happy living vicariously through her stories or will she find her own happily ever after?

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Torn Illusion

Crystal swallowed, her throat dry. There was a faint, high-pitched ringing in her ears as the words played over again.

I'm moving to Ponyville.

Velvet broke the silence between them. "When? Why?"

Horsey actively didn't look at either of her friends. She just kept staring at the table. "After the last day of school. I—"

"Are your parents making you do this?" Crystal interrupted. "You're a grown mare, they can't just—"

Horsey returned the favor of interruption. "No!" She finally looked up at them, and they flinched at the sight of tears in her eyes. "It's not my parents. This is my decision. I'm—I'm just not happy here."

Velvet and Crystal looked at each other, then back at her.

"What do you mean you're not happy?" Crystal asked in a soft, confused voice. "Is it because of us?"

"No, no, no!" Horsey gave a quick, irritated shake of her head. She groaned and pushed the milkshake aside to lay her head on the table. A sigh escaped her. "Just let me talk, all right?"

The other two said nothing. There was a pregnant pause while Horsey seemed to be working through her thoughts for the right words, and they remained quiet to let her think.

"I asked 16-Bit out on a date. He laughed." Her voice cracked. "And I started to cry, right in front of him. It was so embarrassing! He tried to apologize, but I just ran away."

"But—" Velvet started to speak, but Crystal raised a hoof to cover her mouth and shook her head. Velvet reluctantly nodded and the hoof was lowered.

Horsey sniffled. "You know how we talked about me asking my dad for a chance to model for his boutique?"

Crystal winced, a pang of guilt gripping her heart. She had never asked how that went, and the uneasiness in the pit of her stomach told her that she wasn't going to like the news.

"He said there was no way. He doesn't want to show 'favoritism,' he said." She sat upright and slammed her hooves on the table. "It's not favoritism if he just lets me at least try! And my mom, oh, my mom!"

Though Horsey's eyes were still wet with tears, her voice carried a surge of anger as she impersonated her mother. "Sweetie, don't you think you should lose some weight first?" She dropped her head back down. "Ugh. That's all she talks about. That's all Golden talked about. My weight. Well, what's wrong with my weight, huh? Why is everypony so obsessed with that?"

Horsey sighed heavily and closed her eyes. "I just can't do it anymore. I'm tired of my parents. I'm tired of Canterlot. When you guys aren't around, things just—they suck. So I went to Ponyville and found a job. I don't need to finish school for it, and the academy is just an excuse to be groomed into this perfect little mold our parents want us to fit into, anyway. Well, I'm apparently too fat for it, so I'm moving."

Velvet and Crystal looked at one another, wincing at the sight of tears in each other's eyes. Crystal was the first to speak.

"Ponyville's not that far," she said softly. "We can come visit you."

"And write lots of letters," Velvet added. She scooted her chair around the table and leaned against Horsey. "Well, Crystal will write them with her stupid unicorn magic."

A short laugh escaped Crystal while she followed suit, moving her chair the opposite way to lean against Horsey's other side. "If this is really what you want to do, then do it." Her voice lowered, becoming softer and sadder. "I'm just sorry that we didn't know."

Horsey sat up with a small smile on her face though her cheeks were wet. She tried to wipe them dry. "I didn't want either of you to know. You both are usually so happy and carefree that I didn't want to bring either of you down."

Velvet grunted and nuzzled her cheek to Horsey's. "Well, thanks, I feel a lot better knowing that you didn't feel like you could share your feelings."

Horsey's ears folded back. "I didn't mean it like that, I—"

"It's okay." Velvet got up from the chair. "Anyway, we still have a while until you move, right? So let's make the most of it."

With a wicked grin, Velvet trotted over to the group of stallions. "Hey, boys!" she called over the loud banter, all of their eyes turning on the little mare addressing them so casually. She hopped up onto her hindlegs and leaned against the table most of them were at, a coy look on her face. "Which one of you fine stallions wants to buy a couple of cute mares a cupcake?"

There was a pause before the stallion to her right asked, "Don't your parents own this place?"

"And?" She looked up at him. "What's that got to do with making a mare smile?"

Crystal and Horsey were doing everything they could not to burst into laughter, managing to suppress their amusement into muffled giggles.

Velvet put her hoof on her hip and looked around the table at the uncertain expressions. "Who's it gonna be?"

Finally, one of the stallions slid off his seat and walked around the table. Once he was out from behind the others, Crystal gasped. "That's Defender Bronzewing," she whispered with a quiet squeal of enthusiasm. "Oh my gosh, oh my gosh!"

Bronzewing stepped toward Velvet. Even if Velvet had been of average size for a mare, she would still have to incline her head to look up at him. As it was, she had to crane her neck all the way back.

"Just one cupcake?" he asked, lifting one brow and grinning playfully. "Is that all I have to do to make you smile?"

Velvet took a moment to regain her composure and fluttered her lashes. "Well, if you're going to eat with us, we just might need two cupcakes."

Another stallion nearby chuckled and got out of his own seat. "Make it three, then. I'm not going to let my left guard have all the mares to himself."

Horsey giggled and nudged Crystal's side. "Isn't that the quarterback? You're not going to faint, are you?"

Crystal opened her mouth to make a snarky remark, but she snapped her jaw shut. Thinking a moment, she shook her head. "Any other day, maybe, but I would rather spend time with just the three of us, considering…" She trailed off. If she said it aloud, she might start crying all over again.

Horsey shook her head. "Don't worry about me. I'd rather us be laughing at you than crying about me."

"Oh, well, in that case, rawr." Crystal pawed at the air in the direction of the two stallions walking over to their table, each carrying a cupcake.

The other hoofball players had returned to their antics while Bronzewing and Indigo sat across the table from Horsey and Crystal. Velvet, carrying the third cupcake, sat on the other side of Horsey again and set the cupcake down.

"So," she started, gesturing with one hoof, "this is Horsey and Crystal. Crystal might start giving you two 'the look,' but ignore her, because Horsey is the one having a bad day."

Crystal blushed. "Velvet!"

Indigo looked at Horsey with a sincere, concerned frown on his face. "Why are you having a bad day?"

Horsey quickly shook her head. "Oh, don't mind Velvet! She—"

Velvet slapped a hoof over Horsey's mouth and smiled at both stallions. "Horsey's modest. I think it's one of her cute features. What do you think?"

Indigo looked between the two, then at Bronzewing. "Uh—?"

Bronzewing chuckled and patted his friend on the shoulder. "Don't worry, mares don't bite." He inclined his head toward Crystal and winked. "Well, that one might, apparently."

Crystal's blush grew brighter and she hid her face behind her hooves. "I will not!"

"Daffy, you're embarrassing the poor mare." Indigo leaned forward and pushed his cupcake toward Crystal. "There you go." He crossed his forelegs over one another on the table, looking back at Horsey. "So, what can we do to make your day better?"

Horsey twiddled her hooves, staring down at the table again. She paused, glanced at Crystal, then at them with a shy grin. "Well, if you could get the other one in your little hoofball trio over here, that'd make Crystal happy, which would make me happy."

"The other one?" Bronzewing tilted his head.

"Oh!" Velvet beamed. "Yeah, you know, the other guard. The right guard. Silent Knight."

Bronzewing and Indigo looked at each other, then laughed.

Horsey's ears dropped down. "What's so funny?"

"No, no, it's not that, it's just…" Indigo trailed off.

"Yeah, Silent Knight, well—" Bronzewing rubbed the back of his neck, his wings twitching nervously. "He's a great hoofball player."

"Uh-huh?" Crystal furrowed her brow. "We know that after watching the game."

"He, uh—" Indigo glanced at Bronzewing.

Bronzewing, having no other opportunity to stall, dropped his hoof down. "He's a bit antisocial. He's not called Silent Knight for nothing."

Indigo nodded. "Honestly, I'm surprised he's even here. He rarely comes with us for post-game celebration. He usually goes back to campus to train, I think."

The three mares turned their heads to look over at the other side of the bakery. In the crowd of stallions, they spotted the pegasus in question, sitting quietly among his peers and drinking from a mug. Although he didn't look unhappy to be there, he didn't look happy, either.

Crystal blinked a few times as she remembered the question that brought them to the subject and waved her hooves. "Well, that's all right! Two stallions is enough for me." Her cheeks heated up. "I mean, er, no, what I mean is—"

The others at the table broke out into various laughter, ranging from chuckles to snickers to giggles.

"Oh, ponyfeathers! See if I ever talk again!" Crystal smiled in spite of her words.

Horsey rubbed at her cheeks with both hooves. "I really am all right, so you two can go back to celebrating with your friends."

"And pass up the chance to talk to some pretty mares?" Bronzewing asked, grinning as all three blushed. "Do you feel like taking off, Indigo?"

Indigo folded his hooves behind his head. "I'm comfortable right where I am, Daffy."

Even Horsey joined in a chorus of giggles, none of the three mares able to keep the joyous sound muffled. While Crystal flirted, her friends teased her, and the stallions enjoyed the attention, they were able to forget reality, at least for a while.

At the end of the evening, once Sunridge Sweets was closing down and all the hoofball players had left, there were no more distractions. They sat in silence while Sunbeam swept the floors. None of them looked at each other, instead staring at the empty wrappers of cupcakes eaten and gone.

"I'm going to miss you both," Horsey finally said.

"Yeah," they replied in quiet unison.

"But I think I'll be happier in Ponyville." She looked up at them. "I really do. I've taken the train to visit there a couple times, and everypony is so friendly. You guys know that really nice restaurant, Le Bernardin?"

Velvet shook her head, but Crystal nodded. "My mom loves that place."

"Mm." Horsey tapped her hooves together. "Well, the maître d' there that told me he has a brother in Ponyville who would let me work as a waitress."

"Really?" Crystal tilted her head. "I didn't know Hors D'oeuvre had a brother."

"His name's Savoir Fare and he was really nice—like everypony else in Ponyville." A small smile pulled at her lips and she looked between Crystal and Velvet. "This is what I want to do, girls. I feel happy and accepted when I go there, and I want to feel that way not just when I can be with you two, but every day."

"Then we totally support you," Velvet said as she climbed out of her seat. "Gonna miss you like crazy, though."

Horsey followed suit, as did Crystal, and the three walked toward the door together.

"It's only a few hours on the train if we pitch in for the direct line," Crystal offered.

"And we definitely would!" Velvet added, smiling. "I'd rather see you sooner than save some bits and take the overnight train. Sleeping on a train sucks."

Horsey giggled. "So, we'll still be friends?"

"Absolutely!" Crystal and Velvet exclaimed as they stopped to hug her tightly from both sides. In perfect mirror of each other, they pulled back, sat on their haunches, and crossed their hooves over their chests.

After they walked Horsey home and before they parted ways, Velvet and Crystal stared at one another in hesitant silence. Velvet started to tear up, which broke Crystal's resolve and they both started to cry.

"I can't believe she felt this way the whole time," Velvet said, bitterness at the edge of her voice. "And we just kept laughing and smiling while she—"

Crystal put a hoof on Velvet's shoulder. "Hey, she didn't want us to know, okay? We got to have a lot of fun together because we weren't constantly worried about her, and that was what she wanted."

The words fell from her lips almost hollow and empty. She was just reciting them to Velvet because she wanted to believe them, but her chest ached from the reality. They had lived their lives, ignorant of Horsey's pain and suffering.

Velvet sighed. "Maybe, but I still feel guilty."

Crystal hugged her tight, then tried to smile. "We'll just have to visit her twice as often in Ponyville."

"I guess so. I'll see you at school tomorrow?"


With heavy hearts, they walked away to their separate homes. Crystal went straight to her room and sought comfort by hugging her pillow tight. All she could think about was how miserably Horsey's parents treated her. For all of their faults, Jet Set gave her every opportunity he could, and Upper Crust? She tried to encourage her, even if her methods weren't exactly what Crystal would call 'kind'.

Crystal quietly went back downstairs and climbed onto the couch, crushing a magazine in the process of curling up against her mother. Before Upper Crust could scold or question her, Crystal mumbled, "Thank you, Mom."

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