• Published 14th Apr 2015
  • 2,579 Views, 214 Comments

Saying Goodbye - TheTrueDragoon

The hardest person to say goodbye to is always yourself. But that’s what friends are for. To say goodbye to you for you. But when those friends are close enough, is it really goodbye?

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The Book without a Friend

The scorching summer sun beat down on Sunset Shimmer making her feel like she was going to melt away. Still, she tried to put her complaints aside and enjoy her summer vacation. As she rounded a corner of one of the local neighborhoods she noticed what looked like a flea market in front of one of the homes. The idea of a personal sale at one’s home still intrigued her and peaked her interest. From the most worthless of things to a rare unique or valuable item sold for more or less than what it was worth. One never really knew what one would find in these yard and garage sales. The humans had an interesting saying, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” The human world was interesting.

Sunset made her way to the mini bazaar and began inspecting the trinkets for sale. A mass gathering of clothes ranging from clothes for infants to teens was lined along ropes attached to the front of the house and a tree in the yard. None of which fit her or were her style. A collection of old music albums sat in a box along with an array of electronic items to the right side of the driveway. Most appeared to be older than the dirt in the yard and hardly in working order despite the sign that claimed that everything was in excellent condition.

She passed the boxes of jewelry and buckets of toys with nothing catching her eye until she came across two book shelves full and overflowing with books. Her eyes went wide at the promise of wonders of knowledge before being shot down at the collection of poor quality literature or books that appeared to have been a dog’s chew toy. Before she left the condemned shelves a single book caught her eye. It was the only one out of the lot that was in not just good condition but excellent condition, save for the heavy layer of dust. She removed it from the shelf to find something very strange.

The book was nothing special, in more ways than one. The spine was a simple brown color and the cover was solid white with brown lining the edges. There were no words much less illustrations to adorn the hardback book. A quick flip through the pages revealed a mass of emptiness from beginning to end. Sunset gave a disappointed huff and reached out to return the blank book to its place but stopped short. She held it inches from the shelf finding herself unable to release the silent book. Intrigue built in her mind as she pondered the fact that a book could be so empty.

She looked it over again and began to feel sorry for the poor thing. There really was no explanation for such a feeling but the blank cover and pages along with the blanket of dust made this simple tome appear abandoned. For all she was worth, she could not return the book. There was no reason to take it but something tugged at her mind to hold on to it. Why? It was blank. Empty. It would be pointless to own a book unless she could read it or write in it. She continued to question herself even as she walked up to the homeowner to make her purchase. Maybe she could write in it. But what?

“How much for this? I didn’t see a tag.”

The man stared at the dusty book in confusion as though he had never seen it before. Not surprising as his yard and driveway were so full of stuff he likely forgot what he even had placed out.

“Um…” he said, visibly showing his brain trying to work out an answer and figure out why some teenage girl would want a blank book. “Five dollars?”

Sunset raised an eyebrow at the price given that a blank book that had been abandoned really would not go for that much at all. “How about three? It’s got nothing in it and you obviously haven’t seen it in years.”

The man began to sweat at the clever teen before him and relented to the lowered price. “Alright, three.”

Sunset handed the man the money and made her way out of the labyrinth of discarded possessions and back to the side of the road. She looked over the empty book several more times before tucking it under her arm and returning home. The whole way home she continued to think about the book under her arm. Was it just faded? Was it really so old that the pictures and words had faded away? If so, why did the rest of the book not show any sign of age?

When she made it home she went to a closet for a dust cloth and began wiping away the blanket of dust, much to her relief. She went to her room and placed the book on her bed before removing her shirt which had been covered with the dust of the book and put on a clean one. She used the dusty shirt to finish wiping off the dust that had accumulated on her hands and arms out of ease of access before tossing the shirt into the clothes hamper.

Now clean from the filth, she picked up her pod player and popped the earbuds into her ears and let the music wash its way through her ears. She flopped down onto her bed to relax but the thought of the empty book continued to prod at her mind. She rolled her head to the side to look at the book and rolled back to stare at the ceiling. She closed her eyes and tried to forget about the book until later but the thoughts continued to prod like a gentle call.

Finally she could not take it anymore. She hit the pause on her player and yanked the earbuds out of her ears. She sat up and grabbed the book and stared at it with irritated frustration.

“What do you want from me? Why do you have to be so quiet? Say something!”

Sunset sat and stared at the blank book for a second pondering the fact that she had just yelled at a book as though it were alive. She dropped it back on the bed and fell back to stare at the ceiling again. She gave a frustrated huff and closed her eyes to try and calm herself down.

“I just yelled at a book…And now I’m talking to myself.”

Once more she rolled her head over to look at the barren book on her bed. She felt…sorry. She rolled onto her side and picked the book up once more to stare at that blank cover. The white void seemed to stare back at her as the sensation of longing permeated from within those silent pages. She set it back down, gently this time, and stood to ponder her thoughts.

What was this book? It was blank with nothing to its name, much less a name in and of itself, yet each time Sunset looked at it she felt like something…someone…was calling to her. She had a fondness for books but it was more for the knowledge than anything else. Of course this could not even compare to Twilight Sparkle’s love for books. But this book was different beyond the empty silence.

There was a feeling of loneliness that she felt from the quiet book, one she knew all too well. Her mind drifted to the friends she now had. They had helped her out of her pit of despair after her attempted coup of Equestria and had held out their hands in friendship. Perhaps there was really nothing to the book on her bed. Perhaps she was the lonely one. The last few weeks of school had kept them all pretty busy and they hardly had any time to spend together. Maybe some time with her friends is what she needed.

She walked over to the desk in her room and grabbed her cell phone then tapped the contacts list to find a very short list. The fact of the list being so short, a mere five names, caused a knot to form in her stomach. She tapped the first name on the list and waited for the call to be answered.

“Hello?” came the drawl of the receiver.

“Hey, Applejack. I was wondering-”

“Sorry sugar cube, I’m a might bit busy right now. Gonna have some family visiting and we’re all working to fix up the place right now. I’ll have to talk later.”

“Yeah, sorry,” Sunset said as the call ended.

She felt the weight of the words more than they were intended. Applejack had a rather large extended family and with all her work on the farm she likely needed any time she could get away from the work now and then and catch up with relatives she had not seen in while. A vastly different situation from Sunset. She tapped the next name on the list hoping for some relief.

“Fluttershy,” she said as it picked up. “I-”

“Oh my goodness,” Fluttershy said amongst an array of sounds in the background. “Sunset? Sorry, but I – Oh please! Ahh! Now’s not a good time. Oh no!” A crash echoed in the background. “We’re trying to clean out the kennels at the shelter right now – No stop, please. I’m sorry if I didn’t tell you. Oh…”

“No, no. It’s alright. You did tell me. I just…forgot. Sorry to bother you.”

She hit the end call and watched the screen return to the contact list. She hesitated a second before moving down the list. Each time resulted in more disappointment.

“Sorry, Sunset. I have like a bunch of birthday parties to help out with. But we’ll totally hang out another time.”

“The team’s prepping for a tournament out of town so I’ve got a lot of practicing to do. You understand right?”

“Oh dear me. I’m sorry darling but my parents decided to take a last minute trip and…well…I’m sure I’ve told you how they get. Maybe next time.”

As the last call ended, Sunset stared at the contact list almost hoping that another name would appear. She stared long enough for the screen to go dark and even a half minute afterwards before finally giving up. She set her phone down and turned back to the book on the bed.

“Well, it looks like it’s just you and me. And…I’m talking to a book again...and myself.”

Sunset walked back over to the bed and sat down, staring at the floor. She understood that she did not have many friends still and the friends she did have had their own things to do. It was not like they could just drop what they were doing just to hang out with her and ease her boredom. She could not fault them. But her friends had also not really kept her in the loop all that well with things that were going on, last minute stuff or not. She was still getting to know them. For some reason, she felt abandoned as much as she felt lost.

“Is that how you felt?” she said as she turned to the silent book once more, not even questioning herself this time.

But something different caught her attention and caused her to do a double take. She rubbed her eyes, pinched her arm, and even slapped herself in the face to ensure she was not dreaming. Sure enough the book was now different. Set on the front cover was a picture amidst the span of white. It was simple but actually spoke to her.

There was no color to the mysterious illustration which depicted a cartoonish bear sitting on a log. A few blades of colorless grass sat at the ends of the log to indicate the ground. The lonely bear appeared to sag a bit as it sat on the log as though it too were sad and lonely. Its features were simple with no visible fur and rounded paws. Its forepaws were set in its lap as though waiting.

Sunset turned the book over several times to find everything else about it on the outside was the same emptiness. When she opened it up she found a few words adorning the first page which read: “Our tale begins with a bear…”

With that, reality seemed to shift as everything went white.