I guess I never had much reason to be afraid. They had given me all I had and now they were taking it away.
I know you’re angry right now. You’re probably scared and confused. But I need to tell you everything. You need to hear the whole truth after all the lies I’ve told you about myself and my past. So, well here it goes.
From the very beginning I never had any idea where I came from or even what I was. Nine years ago I woke up on the side of the road with blood coming from my head and a dead stallion lying next to me with a baseball bat in his hooves. Blood oozed from a wound in his neck and a metallic taste on the tip of my tongue indicated that I may be the culprit. But for the life of me I couldn’t remember why we were fighting or what I was doing. Some instinct told me to take his form and with a flash of magic I didn’t know I possessed I was immediately transformed into a perfect doppelganger of the rugged brown pony, complete with a copy of his monkey wrench cutie mark.
I wandered down the road for a few days before coming to a town where the locals helped me to get my bearings and to learn a little about the strange world I was living in. Before long I found myself traveling to the next town. For the next four years that was my life, traveling the roads and hopping the trains of Equestria becoming more and more savvy of the world around me as I went.
Eventually I got lonely or hungry, as they tell me, but I knew I needed to stop and begin developing relationships with some of the many denizens of the surrounding country. I came to this conclusion on the back of a train traveling to Ponyville and when I arrived at the stop I got off the train picked the first name that popped into my head and never looked back.
Initially I got by doing odd jobs for whomever was willing to hire me, but as time went on I developed a knack for repair jobs for both appliances and homes. And finally I earned enough of a name for myself that I didn’t have to search for jobs but could wait for something in town to break knowing that the owner of broken item would most likely give me a call.
Once I had secured myself monetarily I began to make friends. You’ve known for a long time that my two best friends were Big Macintosh, the local apple farmer, and Time Turner, who owned a small shop containing a variety of Knick knacks (mostly clocks). Before I met you the three of us would get together at least once a week to drink and joke with each other about mares and whatever dumb things our customers had said or done that week.
However the biggest development in my life was by far my chance meeting with you, Cheerilee, at the time I only knew of you as one of Big Macintosh’s ex’s. I still smile when I think about the day we literally bumped into each other in the market and I knocked you over causing your groceries to spill everywhere. The resulting destruction destroyed half a dozen eggs and brought a large welt into existence over your left eye (I’m still sorry for that part). I apologized profusely and insisted on replacing the eggs and carrying your groceries home in order to make up for it and though you initially protested, you finally allowed me to do just that. I don’t remember what we talked about, but I must have been smiling like an idiot as we talked on the way to your home, I knew we had hit it off. You were smart, educated, and kind; and I was uneducated, willing to listen, and relatively quick witted. I asked if I could take you to dinner sometime; and I’ll never forget my excitement when you said yes. That was three years ago and these last three have been the best of my life, bar none.
A month ago I decided that I was going to ask you to marry me and I've been waiting for the right time to pop the question.
But as we both know that can never be, at least not any more. Two weeks ago when the newspaper appeared at my doorstep with news of the Canterlot invasion I was intrigued. When I noticed that the creatures in the pictures looked like I did before I stole that poor drifter’s identity I became scared. When I learned of the Princesses’ decree that each citizen of Equestria would be subjected to a test to confirm species, I cried. I’ve never cried before, at least that I can recall, but I cried for hours. I fell asleep, woke up and cried again. I was terrified and perhaps rightfully so that this life I had created was coming to an end and there was nothing I could do about it.
Had I still been a drifter I would have hid on the outskirts of society and waited for the whole thing to blow over, but to do that now would mean the ending of all the relationships I had created. I considered running away, but the thought of leaving you without an explanation burned in my chest like a hot iron on flesh.
Eventually, as you know, I came to the decision that I would turn myself in, come clean and hope for the best. And as you also know, that didn’t work out, for me anyway. Nopony believes that I lost my memory, but they believe think I killed a stallion in cold blood, which I probably did. But I’ve stood trial for that crime and many others I know I did not commit. However my insistence of my own innocence is useless now and as you read this you will already have witnessed my execution.
None of these things hurt as much as when you came to visit me in my cell here in Ponyville prison. At first I was excited I would finally get a chance to tell you how I felt and tell you the story from my point of view. But you wouldn’t have it, you arrived with a tearstained face and a fire in your eyes, you angrily demanded I tell you what I’d done with the real Forlorn Hope. When I told you I was the only Hope you’d ever known you spit in my eye, you didn’t notice but the guard behind you snickered. I pressed my face between the bars and attempted to speak again but you punched me in the face. It was then that I gave up, I just lost the will to argue and leaned against the bars as you hit me, I don’t know how many times, but I didn’t feel any of the blows and I figured if it made you feel better I was happy to let you do it... Since then I haven’t been able to cry.
This brings me to the real reason I’m writing this letter, I already said I wanted you to know the truth, the whole truth after all the lies I’ve told you about my past.
I've been told that changelings can’t feel emotions like pones can, more importantly that they can’t love. Maybe that’s true and maybe I can’t feel love, but I do know that I could die for you. In fact I will, when I walk to the gallows in my true form it will be with a smile on my face, and I’ll keep telling myself that by doing this I’m setting you free. Free from a creature that might not be able to feel love, and a creature that could never give you any of the foals you talk about so often. And by telling myself this I’ve been able to make myself happy; happy with these developments that bring me to the gallows.
I guess well
Do you remember that night we spent under the stars on the bench at the school. It was Friday night and I showed up after hours to see you. We talked for hours about everything and nothing and somehow we ended up sitting on that old bench in front of the school starring at the stars for hours while you pointed out dozens of constellations in the sky for me until you fell asleep in my arms and I, not wanting to move for fear of wakening you up, fell asleep thinking about just how beautiful you were under the soft moonlight. That was the night I really fell in love with you, or developed a great affinity for you as a food source I’m told. But regardless, in that moment I felt like my life could never have been complete without having met you and that I could die right then and there and I would have been happy, I would have been complete.
If what I feel isn’t love then I’m happy to die, you deserve nothing less than the entirety of a great stallion’s heart.
Even though I’m not really a citizen of Equestria they let me write a will. It’s pretty short, you get everything. But really there’s only one thing I really wanted to give to you. To the right of my bed, in the top drawer of my nightstand there is a small mahogany box. In the box is a small diamond ring, and engraved in the ring are the words “For the only flower in my life. Forever yours, Hope” I want you to have that ring, if nothing else please, keep that ring.
Whenever you see the ring I want you to remember that I want you to find a stallion who can love you like I couldn’t. And I also want
DAMN IT ALL. Cheerilee I love you. Please believe me dammit, I love you. I wanted to marry you, to hold you in my hooves every night, to sit with you in my living room and watch the foals, our foals, playing by the fire. I wanted to grow old and die by your side. I…
Cheerilee I Remember that I want you Can you ever forgive Please
I will smile when I walk to the gallows, I’ll smile for you.
And as the Changeling swung upon the gallows, not a sound was made. But for the tears of one mare as they wet the earth to which he returned. She alone would remember that on that day Hope died.