• Published 26th Sep 2016
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It's Not Fine - Inky Shades



Sunset is forced to pick up the pieces of her life after her world is shattered.

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Chapter IX: Shatter

Mistake. If Sunset had to summarize her life in one word, that'd be it. It was a mistake running from Princess Celestia, from home all those years ago. It was a mistake to think she could steal Princess Twilight's crown and usurp rule over her homeland. It was a mistake for her not to return to Equestria after the Fall Formal. If she'd done that one simple thing, Twilight would still be alive. You can't blame yourself for 'what ifs'. There's no way to know what would've happened had you left. But she did know.

The headboard to her bed dug into the back of her neck when she leaned against it. Why did Mrs. Sparkle insist she read that entry? All it did was reaffirm what she already thought. Only now there wasn't any chance at all for her to be wrong. The words were right there. Twilight died because of her. So why did Mrs. Sparkle think she'd be helped by the diary?

You know exactly why she wanted you to read that particular passage. She wanted you to know, without a shadow of a doubt, that it's what Twilight wanted. It was her choice. What Twilight 'wanted'. And what did her want get her? She died. All for what? Her? Because she fell in love?

Sunset didn't mean for that to happen. Most don't intend for it to happen, but love is a funny thing and crops up when you least expect it. If she'd known Twilight loved her so much, she'd have pushed her away to begin with. Spared her, her fate. So then you both suffer. What kind of life is that? One where she's still alive. You can't know that. No one can. Life is precious and fragile and all it takes is a single moment. None of us are guaranteed anything.

No. She pushed those thoughts away. Twilight deserved so much more. There was no doubt in her mind that Twilight would be a light to more people than just her. She felt this in the fibers of her being. So then why did the world take her away, snuff the light? Wasn't there already enough darkness? Why did the good have to suffer? Sometimes things just happen.

But it wasn't right! Fire flowed through her veins. She gripped her pillow, tossing it across her room. It impacted above her dresser. Several pictures fell out of place, a few shattering upon hitting the floor.

Great.

Sunset carefully avoided the glass shards scattered on the floor when she went over to the fallen frames. Bending over, she picked up the closest one. Behind the cracked glass, she saw a photo of Twilight sitting under a tree, nose buried in a science book. She fell against the side of her bed, gaze glued to Twilight's concentrated expression.

'I don't remember this picture. When did you take it? Really? Why? Oh! Well, you know this means I'm going to need to take a picture that captures who you are now, too. Not that a picture could adequately show how amazing you are… Hmm? Oh, nothing, nothing!'

Pain. That's all she ever caused. You know that's not true. From the moment she came through the portal, she caused suffering to others, to those that would become her best friends. But you changed. But it wasn't enough. If anything, she caused more pain with her “change” than she ever did before the Fall Formal. How messed up was that? Her lips curled into a painful smile at the realization.

How cruel.

Why didn't the Elements destroy her? Because that's not how they work. They should've destroyed her. Your friends would miss you. No they wouldn't. They'd miss the you that you'd become. The true you. Their friend. Their friend that broke them apart. Their friend that broke their hearts. Their friend that destroyed a families' lives. That friend? But—No.

All she'd ever do is cause pain to those she loved. And they didn't deserve that, and she didn't deserve them. She never did. They would be better off if she… if she'd just…

Die.

Sunset shot to her feet as if startled. No, that's not... that's not what she wanted. Isn't it? You can lie to everyone else, but you can't lie to yourself. Not anymore. The thoughts have crept through your veins like a poison since the funeral. You knew it was only a matter of time. Why do you deny them?

She gripped the door frame as she stumbled out of her bedroom. Where was she going? One step. Two. Her body felt driven by someone else with her in the passenger seat. You don't have an answer, do you? The poison pulses in your soul. Can you feel it?

Yes. An all consuming emptiness ripped at her core with tooth and claw. Sunset clutched her chest from the pain and was almost surprised to feel her heartbeat. Shouldn't she be hollow, numb to the world around her, by now? The seconds ticked by in excruciating slowness, exacerbating her anguish. She was a shell of herself. Why did she still feel when just a few minutes ago, she felt nothing at all?

Because there is always more pain to find, and you are a buffet of misery. The poison won't be satisfied until every last shred of you is corroded beyond recognition, beyond repair. You will find no rest. You will find no solace. This is your existence from now on. Endless suffering. But there is an antidote, a way to take all the pain away. You know what you have to do.

Sunset leaned over her kitchen counter to catch her breath. She wanted the pain to end, but what about her friends? What about them? You said so yourself. They'd be better off without you. Why do you hesitate? Do the right thing.

Would they miss her? Why should they? You've pushed them away for so long that they won't even notice you're gone. They'll probably be relieved. No. That didn't sound like them. Her friends… They'd hurt if she died. It be like Twilight all over again. It wouldn't be like her at all. Sure they may hurt a bit right away, but they'll come to realize why you did it. They'll know it was to protect them from yourself. They'll see the selfless love of your act.

But…

Enough! You have to do this. What kind of friend would you be if you didn't? You know the risks that you pose to them. Twilight's dead because of you. It doesn't matter what her mother said. You know the facts. If you live, how long will it be before another friend dies? A week? A month? A year? She didn't know.

Who do you think will die next? Pinkie? Fluttershy? Oh! Maybe Rarity. Yes. What do you think your surviving friends will say when they lose another friend in your presence? Will they be able to forgive you knowing that you could've stopped it? Will they understand? How selfish can you be?

“Shut up!” Sunset swept her arm across the counter. Knives scattered from their wood block and clanged onto the tiled floor while the phone dangled over the edge, tethered by its cord. “Am I being selfish?” She whispered as she slid down the cabinets.

Are you afraid? She hugged her legs, resting her forehead against her knees. You shouldn't be. It's what you want. Is it? It's the only way to end your pain, end everyone's pain. Was it? What would she do? She raised her head and spotted a knife by her left foot. It will be so easy. Just a bit more pain to never feel pain again.

Sunset reached a tentative hand towards the knife. That's right. Then she pulled back. Why did you stop? Her heart pounded against her chest in response to the conflict in her mind. What would she do? The question repeated. Sunset peered at her ceiling hoping to hear an ethereal voice tell her there was another choice. She needed to hear someone—anyone tell her there was a second option. There is no other choice. The thought rang with finality. There was only one other thing she could think of to do.

Reaching for the phone, she dialed the only number in her mind. What do you think you're doing? “Please pick up. Please pick up,” she said, listening to the phone ring. Sunset knew it was a long shot, but if there was ever a time for someone to answer the phone…

A yawn followed by a quiet voice. “H-Hello?”

“Fluttershy,” she said, voice equally as quiet.

Another yawn. “Sunset? Is something wrong?” Despite how tired she sounded, Sunset heard the concern in Fluttershy's voice.

Look at you disturbing your friend's peaceful slumber. You want to make her suffer too? No, she—Hang up the phone. “No, I'm sorry I woke you u—”

“What's wrong?” Fluttershy's voice was soft yet firm, inviting her to tell the truth. Wasn't it time?

Sunset's vision blurred. “I...” Her voice cracked. “I need help.” Sobs wracked her body.

“I'm coming over. Just stay on the phone until I arrive, okay? Sunset?”

Through her tears, she managed to choke out a single word. “Yes.”

But in the corner of her vision, she saw the knife still sitting, still waiting for her. Pick it up. She shook as she reached for it. “Please hurry,” she said, fingers wrapping around the handle.

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