Octavia stared at herself in the mirror. Her light purple eyes seemed dull and lifeless in her face. Her mane was ruffled and messy. She closed her eyes and hung her head. "This isn't who I am, what is wrong with me?" she muttered the last words with desperation in her voice. She turned on the water and splashed some on her face, trying to erase the image of the broken mare she had seen in the mirror. She ran a brush through her tangled mane and tail and slipped on her bow-tie. Octavia looked in the mirror again, the pain and desperation was still in her eyes but her outward appearance gave the impression of a normal pony.
She walked out of the bathroom and glanced at the clock. "Shit, I'm late...again." She ran out the door and slammed it behind her. Her hooves pounded the sidewalk as she raced to the coffee shop where she usually met the one person in her life that made the hell worthwhile. She skidded to a stop and fixed her now windblown mane before she stepped inside the shop. DJ was sitting at their usual table, tapping her hoof against the table top. She lowered her eyes as she saw that Vinyl had already been through two cups of coffee and was working on her third.
"Where were you Octy? I was getting worried." Vinyl's voice was soft as the mare approached the table and sat across from her.
''I'm sorry Vinyl, I-I over slept again." Octavia stared down at the table, her voice more than a whisper.
The white mare reached across the table and laid a hoof on her shoulder.
"Octavia, what's wrong? You can talk to me, you know that right?" Octavia lowered her head to the table as Vinyl removed her hoof. "I'll go and order us some hot chocolate." Vinyl got up from the table and walked to the counter. As soon as she was away from the table, Octavia raised her head and wiped away the tears on her face.
"If only you knew Vinyl.." Octavia's voice was a little more than a whisper.
She straightened herself up and collected herself together as she saw the mare return holding two hot chocolates. "Here you go Octy, just like you like it." A soft smile spread across their faces as their eyes locked.
"Thank you Vinyl." Octavia sipped the hot chocolate and closed her eyes as she felt the warm liquid run through her body. She opened her eyes and looked at her watch.
"I have to run Vinyl, I have a recital to do in like an hour. " Octavia stood up and reached in her pocket. "Here," She laid a piece of paper on the table "come and see my show tonight." She smiled affectionately as she turned and left the coffee shop.
Once she was outside she walked to A'Lava studio, where she was performing a song that she had written. As she approached the studio, butterflies filled her stomach. This song was from her heart, she was so worried that her audience wouldn't appreciate it. She shook her head and walked into the studio.
"Ahh, Octavia, come right this way to your dressing room." She followed the pony behind the receptionist desk to a small room filled with bright lights and make-up. A groan escaped her lips as she sat down in the chair farthest away from the make-up covered counter.
"I don't need any make-up and my mane and tail are fine. It's the music I want people to concentrate on, not my appearance." She closed her eyes and napped for the remaining hour before her show.
"Octavia..Octavia!" She could feel someone shaking her shoulder. "You have to go on in ten minutes. Come and let me comb your mane and clean up your face." She could feel herself being dragged to a chair.
"Turn down these lights." She groaned and closed her eyes.
"Just lean back and close your eyes, I'll take care of this while you rest." The mare, Lightning Chaser, quickly combed and straightened Octavia's mane and put light make up on her face. "Alright, I'm done Octavia. Time to go and rock the stage." The mare smiled softly as Octavia's eyes opened.
She got up from the chair and walked toward the stage, the butterflies returning to her stomach. "I can do this, I can do this.." She chanted in her head as she got onto the stage and grabbed her bow. Her eyes scanned the audience and found an empty chair. Octavia's confidence diminished as she realized that Vinyl wasn't there to support her. The lights dimmed and she readied her bow on her cello. She gave a slight nod to show that she was ready and the piano started softly.
Octavia drew her bow across her cello skillfully, letting a symphony of notes dance from her bow and entrance the audience. She softly cleared her throat and started singing the song that she has written from her heart. She saw some members of her audience wipe the tears from their faces as her song wrapped around their heart. As her concert came to a close, she could feel tears well up in her eyes. The curtains closed and she ran off stage to her dressing room. Once she was inside, she collapsed on the couch and started crying. She felt a hoof on her shoulder and she looked up to see that Lightning was trying to comfort her.
"What's wrong?'' The mare's voice was thick with concern.
"Nothing, I'm heading home." Octavia stood up and walked out of the studio.
The night air stung as it hit her tear stained face. She ran home as fast as her hooves would carry her. She finally made it to her house and got inside. The door slammed behind her. She walked to the kitchen and poured herself two shots of vodka, which she downed together. She gritted her teeth as the alcohol burned her throat. She placed the bottle back in her cabinet and put the glass in the sink before making her way to the den. She turned on some music and collapsed in the recliner. "I'm so stupid! I knew that I shouldn't have invited her. Why do I even like her? I mean yeah, she is beautiful and graceful and funny.." She trailed off as the vodka numbed her body. "I'm sinking farther and farther into this darkness and nopony is trying to save me."
She got up and turned off all the lights and grabbed the razor blade from the bathroom before returning to the recliner. Tears fell from her eyes as she realized that she was alone. She leaned back and closed her eyes. "I know this is wrong, and I shouldn't do it but...this is the only way I know I am alive." She whispered the last few words as she drug the blade across the inside of her wrist. Her instincts told her to scream in pain but she swallowed it and sliced the other one. Blood slowly dripped from the cuts to the floor. Thanks to the alcohol, Octavia couldn't feel any pain. She glanced down at the cuts when she heard a soft rasp at the door. Without thinking, she stood up and answered it, feeling the blood drip down to her hooves. She swallowed and opened the door.
"Hey Octavi- WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED?!" Vinyl's face turned pale as she looked at the blood stained Octavia.
"You weren't there.." Tears fell from her eyes as she back away and ran to the bedroom.
She heard the door slam as she collapsed on the bed. Vinyl turned on the light as she entered the room. "Octavia please, talk to me.'' Hearing the pain and sadness in Vinyl voice, Octavia sat up and looked at her.
"There is a first-aid kit in the bathroom cabinet." She hung her head as the white mare returned and took her hoof between hers. She watched the pony wrap gauze and bandage up both of her wrists.
"Have you been drinking?" Vinyl's sharp magenta eyes stared straight into Octavia's dull purple ones. The light grey mare nodded her head in shame.
"Only two shot of vodka.." Her voice seemed almost as soft as a whisper. Vinyl walked around to the other side of the bed and sat down, putting her hoof on Octavia's back.
"Come here." She turned and sat beside the white unicorn. "Now Octavia, I don't know what exactly is going on in your life. I don't know what demons you're fighting but I want to help. You don't need to cut yourself anymore." Vinyl picked up her bandaged wrist and kissed both bandages softly. "You don't need to use the alcohol to numb yourself anymore, there isn't any need to drown yourself in the darkness alone anymore." She pulled Octavia close to her chest and wrapped her arms around the shaking pony.
"Vinyl, I..I look at myself in the mirror and shudder to think that I am still alive. I'm alone in this place. I drink two shots before I go to bed every night to numb the pain in my heart. My nightmares are so vivid that I scream at the top of my lungs. I'm scared to close my eyes. Everypony must think that I am okay because that is how I try to act but inside I am falling apart. All of my life, all I have ever done is mess things up and hurt ponies." Tears formed in her eyes. "I don't wanna hurt anypony anymore." As she finished that sentence she lost her grip on everything that she was holding back and collapsed onto Vinyls chest in tears. Vinyl softly cooed in her ear, trying to soothe the poor mare. Octavia's lungs heaved and shuddered as she finally let go of everything inside of her. Vinyl rocked her slowly, trying to calm her down.
"Octavia, you aren't alone. I swear." She heard a sniffle as the broken pony looked up at her.
"Then who is with me?" Vinyl placed a hoof under her chin and raised her lips equal with her own.
"I'm with you. I always have been, and I always will be." She whispered softly as she pressed their lips together. Octavia 's eyes widened as Vinyl's lips lingered on hers, then she closed her eyes and gave into the unicorns soft and gentle kiss.
After a few minutes Vinyl withdrew and smiled at Octavia. "I'm never going to leave your side. I promise." She kissed the top of Octavia's head and stood up. "I think I should head on home..It's already after midnight." Octavia reached for her and pulled her back down beside her and curled up to her.
"Stay here for the night. Please?" Desperation was thick on her voice as she pleaded the unicorn to stay. Vinyl chuckled and used her magic to turn off the lights before she pulled Octavia close and covered them both with the blanket. With Vinyl beside her, she fell into a deep and peaceful sleep for once, she wasn't afraid anymore.