You Left Me Standing At My Front Door
I'm not sure if you remember me, but we grew up together. We were best friends. At least, you were my best friend. We did absolutely everything together. We were in the same classes, we loved the same books, we liked all the same games...
Then came that fateful day when you got your cutie mark. We were playing jenga with all the books in my house. Now that I have gone back and reflected on it, I remember having so much more fun playing than you were. When you stopped that tower of books from collapsing on me, and you experienced that surge of magic that instantly sorted them and put them all away... It was like I wasn't even there. You ignored me completely in your excitement. We did everything together, and instead of hugging me and celebrating your achievement with me, you didn't even give me a second thought, running right past me to go outside to your parents, who whisked you away to Canterlot, and I never saw you again.
You were the only one who was there for me, Sunburst. Maybe you didn't understand that. My mom and dad weren't as nearly as involved in my upbringing as your parents were in yours, and there is no doubt in my mind that that was part of the problem too. Your parents took you to the entrance exam for Celestia's School for Gifted Unicorns. Mine didn't. I had to learn to wield that immense power all by myself, and with all that potential and no one to guide me, it wasn't long before I became dangerous. I didn't get my cutie mark until more than a year after you left, and by then I hated that you had left me. I felt so inadequate because you got yours first and forgot about me. That turned into jealousy. I was jealous of you getting yours before me, because we were similar in so many ways. I didn't want to accept that some ponies just grow apart. Without guidance, that jealousy finally turned into a very real hate for one of the staples of our species and society; the cutie mark. I came to accept that cutie marks and individuality did nothing but drive ponies apart, and before long, I knew I had the power to do something about it. I gained followers, and I stripped them of their talents and individuality for years. Finally, I was happy again. Ponies who would never leave me or each other, because they were no longer different.
But it wasn't meant to be. The Tree of Harmony sent Princess Twilight Sparkle and her friends to my village, and two days later, my followers revolted, and my utopia collapsed. It was a fate worse than death to me... To see everything I had built be destroyed, and be left completely alone, again.
Despite everything I had done, they all forgave me. Twilight, her friends, and my followers, who had chosen to stay together in the village I made. When I convinced myself to return to "Our Town" to make amends, I was half-expecting them to lynch me.
Now thanks to Twilight, I have the counsel I needed all those years ago. If I have everypony's forgiveness, why can't I forgive myself yet? Is it because I'm wondering if I need to forgive you first? Do you even remember me? If you do, do you realize what you did to me? Do you care?
I'm a grown mare now, and I am just now learning about the magic of friendship; the magic I was learning about with you, Sunburst, and you took that magic away from me when you got your mark.
Why did you forget about me? Why wasn't I good enough for your friendship? Why-
Starlight dropped the quill onto the scroll as she failed to get her crying under control.
"Starlight, are you alright?" Twilight asked, coming up to her, offering her a handkerchief, and putting a hoof around her shoulder.
"What am I doing?" She asked her mentor, voice shaking and tears rolling down her cheeks. "It happened two decades ago. What would he think of this? How does he deserve a letter like this after twenty years?"
Starlight sat back to avoid staining her letter with her tears any further.
"All I'm writing is that I'm accusing him of abandoning me..."
"What you're doing," Twilight began, "Is pouring out the contents of your heart, and it's been broken for a long time, Starlight. Because you didn't let yourself heal. You didn't want to be hurt again. Your family didn't teach you that some ponies grow apart as their paths through life begin to split and branch out. But now you're not bottling it up anymore. There it is, right there in front of you... And you don't have to know what to do with it right away. This is going to take time. Maybe Sunburst doesn't need the letter. Maybe you do."
Starlight took a deep, shuddering breath, and began to get herself under control.
"Let me tell you about a friend of mine. Her name is Moondancer. We also went to the same school, had all the same things in common, and when I came to Ponyville, what I did to her was a lot like what Sunburst did to you. I left town without so much as a goodbye, and I didn't realize what I had done until a few years later. I almost took a pinata stick to the head when I finally got through to her with an apology. But the difference is, you were so much younger when it happened to you, and you haven't heard from Sunburst since. If your parents didn't help you through it, then yeah, I can see how that would mess you up. Starlight, I'm afraid that you have some very real abandonment issues, and I'm going to help you get through them. That's my promise as your teacher."
Starlight sniffled, and nodded.
"Thank you, Twilight. I'm... I'm not sure I can finish this yet."
"You don't have to. Take all the time you need to sort it out. Sleep on it, and see how you feel in the morning." Twilight reassured her, before turning and leaving the dining room. Save for the candle holder with the trio of candles that Starlight was writing by, the dining room was darkened in the late evening.
Starlight rolled up the parchment, took it and the candles in the grasp of her magic, and got up to retire for the night.
The castle was awfully barren, especially during the night, but even in the day; Starlight hoped that Twilight would take her advice and hire at least some security. It had been laughably easy to get inside and recline on Fluttershy's throne, waiting for her to return from her lecture in Canterlot.
Twilight's bedroom was on the second floor, while the apprentice's quarters she had furnished for her was on the ground floor, next to the library. Not only had Twilight reasoned with her, and offered her guidance, but she had also provided her with a place to live. She was determined to make herself worthy of what she had been given. She would open herself up, learn all she could, and hopefully begin to heal after so many years of hurt.
She entered her quarters, and set the candlestick on the nightstand. She sat on the side of the bed, and unfurled the scroll. She read through it, and found her throat tighten and her eyes tear up as she approached the point she had stopped writing.
No, she wasn't ready.
She opened the drawer of her nightstand, rolled the scroll back up, and placed it inside. She looked over at the dresser on the wall adjacent to the bed, and looked at herself in the mirror that made up the top portion.
All she saw was the abandoned, heartbroken filly from twenty years ago.
She took another deep breath as fresh tears rolled down her face. She turned away, back to the nightstand, and blew out the trio of candles on the nightstand, leaving only the moonlight that came through the window. She pulled back the covers and slipped into bed, determined to wake up just a little bit stronger each and every day...
And one day soon, she hoped to be strong enough to finish that letter.