Scootaloo is without a Cutie Mark and talks to a pony with some great advice.
Scootaloo is now the only filly without a Cutie Mark. She still plays with Sweetie Belle and Apple Bloom, but every time she is there with them, the saddening fact that she is without a Cutie Mark and can't even fly takes over her mind. On a late and rainy night with no place to go, Scootaloo is allowed inside the local bar where she meets a pony with some life-changing advice.
I decided to re-submit this due to a recent interest in the story. Seeing as to how the chapters were riddled with spelling errors and grammatical errors throughout, yet still had zero dislikes, thirteen likes, and generally good comments, I thought that a re-submission might be worth it.
It is hard to look at something that you so desperately want every day of your life. Worse yet is when that thing is almost always right in front of your face and seemingly laughing at you. You can ignore it. You can hide it. But the pain is always there.
Scootaloo had just finished messing around with Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle at Sweet Apple Acres when she was on her way to walk back into town. But it was a get-together of the three that Scootaloo didn't willingly want to attend. It was getting painfully clear to Scootaloo that she was painfully jealous of her friends. About two weeks ago, Sweeetie Belle and Apple Bloom actually received their Cutie Marks.
Though initially happy for her friends, that happiness turned to hidden anger, frustration, and a feeling of loss. She knew that it was no good to actually be angry at her friends, though. But the feelings persisted and within the first week of her friends having Cutie Marks, she started being with them with them less and less due to her confused, angry, and selfish tyrade.
Scootaloo had a hard time with the fact that her friends had Cutie Marks and she didn't. She felt like it was somepony's fault, Perhaps her missing parents or her own self. But who was to actually blame and what was Scootaloo to do about it? Even though she knew that her anger was unnecessary and hurting herself and those closest to her, it would not subside. It only diseased her further.
Worse yet is that she also fell out of love with watching Rainbow Dash train ever since her friends got their Cutie Marks. In fact, it was more like just falling out of love with Rainbow Dash in general. Scootaloo often turned to Rainbow Dash as a hero. A role model who managed to get through insurmountable odds and at all times never lose hope. But now Scootaloo couldn't even stand the sight of her.
That falling-out of love turned into a despise for Rainbow Dash. She began thinking that her hero had failed her. That Rainbow Dash was not a solution to a Cutie Mark-less pony's problem and was instead a pony to avoid contact with because seeing Rainbow Dash made Scootaloo feel like a failure. A failure that couldn't fly and didn't even have that mark that made them special.
As if Scootaloo's day wasn't bad enough, by the time she got into town it was surprisingly late and down-pouring. Scootaloo also left herself with no place to go. She was originally going to do a sleepover with Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle, but she was not in the mood for it and couldn't handle the thought of being near them much longer.
So there Scootaloo sat at the edge of town looking into a puddle with a reflection that only made her feel worse. But Scootaloo was tired of all of this anger and confusion. Too tired to continue it all. No parents, losing her friends, no place to go, and a terrible feeling of being unaccomplished. She let her body down next to that puddle and closed her eyes. She knew that she probably wouldn't fall asleep, but what was there to do anyways? Best case scenario in her mind was that tomorrow she would be awake in a better place.
"We should call her in, Dear. We don't know how long she's been out and she might get hypothermia out there," said Carol as she saw the poor filly from a window in the bar she was in.
The stallion took a moment as he looked outside at the filly. He took a deep breath.
"I'll call her in. You go get a blanket and some nice, warm soup," said Hopin in reply to his wife as he stared out of the door of the bar.
Carol went to the bar's second floor, which was actually a living space, and came back down with a blanket and then went back upstairs to prepare some soup. Hopin went to the door and opened it fully.
"Hey, Kid!" Hopin yelled from the door of the bar to Scootaloo.
Scootaloo opened her eyes and turned her head to Hopin at the front door of the bar.
"C'mon inside! You're gonna get hypothermia out there!" yelled Hopin as he gestured for her to come inside.
Scootaloo lifted her head and could make out the name of the place through the rain, "Good Times Bar And Home". Scootaloo was too stubborn at the moment to feel like moving at all and was especially not up up for going to some stranger's bar.
"I don't even know you and I'm not old enough to enter a bar," yelled Scootaloo as she was still lying next to the puddle.
Hopin looked around and then back to Scootaloo, who he saw was still wasn't moving.
"Well at least we have a roof here and what's the point in being lonely? Now c'mon in, please. You're scaring me half-to-death," Hopin's tone was obviously a bit annoyed and stern, but he honestly cared for the filly who was next to the puddle and out in the freezing rain.
Scootaloo looked down into the puddle again and stared at her reflection. Although she didn't want to, Scootaloo eventually thought why not and started slowly heading towards the bar. She didn't realize how weak and cold she had become and tripped on her way there. Hopin rushed out to her, helped her back on her hooves, and walked by her side as they both entered the bar.
Scootaloo shook off all that she could once she got inside. She sprayed Hopin, but he didn't care. The filly before him was much more important than being a bit wet.. Hopin helped Scootaloo to a seat at a booth where a blanket was waiting for her. She sat down in the big, comfortable booth and lay with her head down at the table.
Hopin placed a hoof on her head and rushed upstairs. While alone, Scootaloo took the time to observe the place. It was actually pretty nifty. Memorabilia that ranged from sports to pictures to records were all over the wall. A long counter almost went across the entire width of the bar. Behind the counter were various alcoholic drinks along with some awards and more pictures. The place was very interesting and clean, which brought a warm feeling to Scootaloo. Something she had not felt in a while.
To the left of the counter were the bathrooms and storage places. To the right was a door that led to the living areas of the building. It was three-story building and the top two stories were the ones used as the housing.
As soon as Scootaloo was done observing the place, Hopin came down with more blankets and a heated pillow. Carol was carrying the soup with an ovenmit on one hoof and placed the soup in front of Scootaloo. Hopin placed the blankets around Scootaloo and let her use the heated pillow as she pleased.
The couple watched patiently as Scootaloo took a spoon from the bar table and started going at the soup with her new blankets around her and the heated pillow in her lap. After a while, Hopin put his hoof back on Scootaloo's forehead and was relieved. She was not quite out of a troublesome temperature yet, but he did not have to worry.
"So what's your name, Dear?" said Carol. Scootaloo was comforted by her soft and polite voice.
"I'm Scootaloo. What's your guys' names?" Scootaloo's frail voice managed to come through. The yelling earlier to Hopin from the puddle had worn out her voice already.
"I'm Hopin and this is my wife Carol. We run the place and live here."
"Hopin? Almost sounds like hoping," said Scootaloo as she continued to shiver and enjoy her soup.
"Coincidence, maybe. I'm a pretty hopeful guy," Hopin then turned around and pointed to Carol. "My wife is a beautiful singer."
"Yeah. We ponies tend to have names that resemble our talents and hobbies for some reason," said Scootaloo with a smile that the couple had been awaiting.
Scootaloo was taking note of the ponies she was with. They were an older couple. Maybe late 50's or early 60's. They seemed so kind and caring that it was no wonder to Scootaloo that the place seemed so nice.
"Hopin, dear," said Carol as she unlocked the door that led to the stairs.
"Yes?" said Hopin as he turned to his wife.
"I'm going to call it a night. Today was a bit busier than usual and it's worn me out. It's also considerably late."
"Okay. I'll take care of our little friend here," said Hopin as he turned back around to Scootaloo with an old smile.
Hopin walked over to Carol and they both gave eachother a little kiss, which Scootaloo giggled at a bit. Hopin turned around and sat at the booth with Scootaloo. He let out a deep breath and let himself get comfortable.
"Sooo...lemme guess," said Hopin with a friendly and questioning tone. "Long night for you too, huh?"
"Not long..." Scootaloo paused and took a moment to look at the remainder of her soup. "Difficult, though," she continued in a sad manner.
Hopin sensed the pain in her voice and gave her a little rub on the head. Scootaloo let out a little laugh and then slurped up the rest of her soup. Scootaloo looked at Hopin and saw him return the look. She knew that he wanted answers, but Scootaloo didn't feel comfortable with answering questions at the moment.
"Umm...sir," said Scootaloo in a frail tone that she could not prevent.
"I have nowhere to go." Scootaloo looked at Hopin with desperate and saddened eyes. "Can I stay here?"
Hopin would've said yes in an instant, but took a little while to look at her. He sensed the pain in her voice. He sensed the tiredness that was not from a lack of sleep, but from a fight that's gone on too long. This filly needed help and he was going to do the best job that he possibly could.
"Yes...yes you may," began Hopin in a gentle and caring voice. "We're not open tomorrow, so you shouldn't be rudely awakened. You can call me by name if you want." Hopin wanted to get to know the filly next to him, so he decided to try to get on a personal level with her.
Scootaloo smiled wearily. She placed the pillow on the booth seat and let the blankets lay over-top of her. She placed her head on the pillow and was out in an instant. Hopin stared quietly out of the booth window. He originally planned on going to sleep, too, but decided against it. He himself wasn't that tired and instead remained sitting in the booth next to Scootaloo.
It was still harshly raining outside. Soon after Scootaloo had fallen asleep, thunder started booming. Hopin turned to the filly next to him the first time he heard the thunder and saw that she was still sound asleep. So Hopin went ahead and let his train of thought run freely as he silently stared out of the window.
The rain persisted throughout the night and the thunder along with it. Some of the weather-control pegasi debated on calling in a flood warning for those located near the bottom of town since Ponyville was a hilly area, but the flood warning never went into effect.
Scotaloo found herself drowsily awake and still on the seat of the booth. Everything felt unfamiliar, but she knew where she was. But suddenly thunder occured. The thunder was loud enough to make Scootaloo accidentally roll off of the seat in a jolt of surprise. It was a harder fall than one might think for the weak and sick filly. She struggled to get up, but she saw a familiar face pop under the table and offer his hoof in assistance.
"You're...you're still awake," said Scootaloo in surprise as she grabbed the hoof and was helped back up to the seat.
"Of course I am... I didn't want to abandon you here..." Hopin paused to reflect on the pain and shock in Scootaloo's quiet tone. "I couldn't have you going back out there and if your condition worsened, I needed to be there."
Scootalo was comforted to hear and see the kindness of a complete stranger. A rarity even in Ponyville because so many thought it embarrassing to be friendly to strangers. She felt a rare sense of familiarity and coziness in the warm and well-kept bar. Something she had not felt in the past weeks. There was nice food, warm and comfortable seats, and a stallion who was as kind and understanding as could be.
"Th-thanks," said Scootaloo with a partial smile. Her voice weak and quiet. She coughed a little and then looked at the stallion next to her, curious of his kind behavior and intent.
"What did you do while I was asleep?"
"I checked on my wife, cleaned up a bit...but for the most part, I stayed right by your side just looking out of the window or checking your temperature," replied Hopin in his casual and soft tone which was quickly growing on Scootaloo.
Hopin knew that Scootaloo very much appreciated the help she was receiving and Scootaloo knew that Hopin took responsibility and silent joy from keeping her safe.
Hopin turned his head and looked out of the window some more. Scootaloo didn't feel sleepy and she didn't want to fall back asleep. A nightmare that she couldn't remember had woken her up, not the noise. But a young, spry filly such as herself had to do something for the rest of the night and the bar had many possibilities.
"This may sound strange..."
"Lemme stop you there, Scootaloo," said Hopin as he continued to look out the window. He had a big smile on his face while Scootaloo silenced herself and stared at him patiently and curiously. He returned the stare with with a friendly face.
"Throughout my years of life, I've come to learn and accept that there is no such thing as 'weird' or 'strange'. Things may happen for a reason and they may not. But different things happen every day. You meet new ponies and see new things. But just because something seems a little off doesn't make it strange. Just because somepony is missing a front hoof doesn't make them strange and it doesn't make the fact that you just saw them weird."
"If a house got up and walked away you wouldn't call it weird?" said Scootaloo in a sarcastic tone that retained friendliness.
"You tell me. Is it actually weird?" said Hopin as he returned the same tone.
Scootaloo was dumbfounded. There was no reason for it to be weird or strange. Things happen and that's that, she thought to herself.
"Huh... Anyways. I was wondering if we could go around the bar and you could possibly show me what some of this memorabilia is and what it represents."
"Why sure!" said Hopin with sudden excitement and surprise. The stallion obviously enhoyed talking about the things he had collected, the places he had been, and the adventures he had. He got up from his seat and stretched a little. "Where should we begin?"
"From the restrooms," said Scootaloo. She finally had some energy return to her voice and a smile plastered across her face.
Scootaloo got up shakily from the seat. She was offered assistance, but kindly denied. She started walking to the wall near the restroom and Hopin followed close behind her.
"There's so much cool stuff here," said Scootaloo as she looked over the wall in awe. There were autographed pictures to old, sized-down carriage replicas to old cigarette boxes (which were not opened).
"How about...this part of the wall, right here?" asked Scootaloo as she pointed a hoof to the top-right corner of the wall outside the bathroom.
"Ahh...nice part to pick," said Hopin. His face that of one who was remembering good times. "Some old jazz records in the very top-right there. A few of them are autographed. Some posters for some amazing movies. You must see these movies...hmm...what else? Oh! Certainly you know about this..."
Hopin continued down the entirety of the bar walls with Scootaloo for what must have been nearly an hour. Scootaloo continued to ask about the history of some items and the meanings of others. Most were just collectibles, but others had fantastic tales. A bloody hockey jersey from when Hopin got a front row seat to a game. An autographed baseball that Hopin lost and then found in Fillydelphia in a collectible's shop years later. He had done so much.
Scootaloo had the preconceived notion that she was done after they went around the counter, but to her surprise, Hopin let her sit on the countertop and showed her a few of the drinks.
"Want a sip, Scootaloo?" asked Hopin in a casual tone as he searched for a drink and a glass.
"Well I..." Scootaloo stammered and looked around while Hopin lightly chuckled.
"Nopony's gonna see ya'. Besides, you probably won't like it."
Hopin took out a shot glass and poured a tiny bit of whiskey into it. He laughed when Scootaloo picked up the glass with her hoof and examined the drink. She was hestitant to take a sip and, when she did, started making funny faces of disgust.
"This tastes horrid! Blegh! Why would ponies drink this?" said Scootaloo as she coughed and spit into the sink that was placed behind the counter.
"Well some enjoy it and others don't. I personally don't like it," said Hopin. His voice was slightly devious and joking.
Scootaloo put the glass down and let Hopin get out his laughs. She looked around the bar again, but this time saw something she did not see before.
"I didn't see that picture above the entrance," said Scootaloo as she pointed out to the picture and continued to spit. "I know that that's you and Carol, but are those your kids? They look similar to you and Carol."
"Yep. My two beautiful sons and my lovely wife...and some guy with an out-of-fashion mustache," said Hopin as he gave Scootaloo a glass of water.
Scootaloo laughed and so did Hopin. But an uncomfortable silence befell them and Scootaloo prepared for Hopin to inevitably ask the ask the question.
"I...see that you already know," said Hopin as he looked directly at Scootaloo with a face more serious than before.
"That I have to ask."
"Go ahead," said Scootaloo as she let her head down and started making pretend circles on the counter with her hoof.
"What about your parents?"
"Gone. I don't know. I live with my friends and alone sometimes. Yadda, yadda, yadda." Scootaloo's voice obviously signified that she was annoyed by the question and that she had answered it innumerable times.
"All by yourself for all these years? That's pretty impressive."
"I guess. It stinks that I've never met my parents," said Scootaloo. She was suddenly angry.
"You can still make the best of your life."
"Well how good can that 'best' be?" Scootaloo was now taking her anger out on Hopin. But Hopin didn't reply in an even angrier style. He instead sat down at a stool in front of Scootaloo.
"You know. I didn't turned out too bad, did I?"
"What?" said Scootaloo as she turned her attention to Hopin.
Hopin turned his eyes away from Scootaloo and looked at the collection that he and Carol had accumulated over the years. While still turned away from Scootaloo, he began to talk.
"Way back when I was even younger than you...my dad would beat my mom. He smelt of liquor when he came home every night. Always in his suit and always...not quite there." Hopin turned to Scootaloo and started to look at her. Scootaloo just returned the look with her big, curious eyes.
"Every night he came home, he'd blame our problems on my mother. She protected me from ever receiving abuse and took it herself. I wanted to call the police or tell somepony, but he said he'd hurt me and that we'd be ruined without him. Not as if we were better off with him, though. But I didn't know better. Anyways, I don't know if it was my mom, but somepony alerted the police on one of the days she was being beaten and the police took him away...just like that." Hopin took his eyes off of Scootaloo and stared into nothing as to think about the moment it happened.
"It was probably the noise from the ruckus always going on inside. After that, my mom and I moved to a different place and I never saw my dad again. But my mom was never quite right. We wasn't exactly well-off and my mom, like my dad, was not exactly there all of the time. She got drunk often. She got drunk instead of seeing a therapist. She got drunk instead of actually trying to solve her problems. But she always cared for me." Hopin stopped again and took a deep breath. Scootaloo continued to stare at him curiously. Always thinking deeper and deeper about what he had said.
"She never hurt me and always supported me. Every last bit of her money and energy was spent on getting me to college and getting a good education. The last time I ever saw her was when I arrived at college." Hopin took a moment as to add some deeper effect to the story and Scootaloo continued to watch silently and take in the entire story.
"Maybe it was because I went to college far away and that meant basically never seeing her. Her suicide note stated that she had nothing to live for and no hope of getting better. All of this created so many problems for me that I won't even begin to explain."
Hopin finally turned around to Scootaloo and saw the filly's confused and saddened face.
"I'm not sure if I've grown up in worse conditions, but I certainly didn't have my parents when I grew up. I know what it feels like. You feel like you're cheated. You feel angry for no good reason whatsoever, but your anger doesn't go away."
"Yeah...it does feel like that sometimes," said Scootaloo in a quiet tone. She couldn't be loud if she wanted to be.
"But look around, Kid. What do you see," said Hopin as he smiled and watched as Scootaloo gazed at the walls.
"All sorts of stuff. Everything from albums to autographs...to pictures of your family and your house."
"Everytime I see the inside of this place, I'm reminded of what's most important in here," Hopin touched Scootaloo's forehead, "and here," said Hopin as he touched the area where Scootaloo's heart is. "I'm reminded that there's no point in quitting or giving up. No matter what odds are stacked against you and even if you know you won't win."
"I'm confused about one thing, though, Hopin," said Scootaloo. Her voice implying that she was worried to ask.
Scootaloo paused to take a moment to think if she should speak her mind and eventually decided to go ahead with it.
"If you've had such bad experiences with alcohol, why do you own a bar?"
"Good question. I know that you've seen the picture of my family and that's why."
"I don't get it."
"The thing I see most when I'm working here is that picture. But let's go back a bit. I'm suggesting that you didn't see the sign next to the entrance in that rain, did you?"
"I don't think I did," said Scootaloo as she tried to remember the moment where she was let in.
"It shows specials and everything, but it has a rule on it. Guess what it is."
"I don't know," said Scootaloo as she was honestly out of a clue. "Employees must always wash their hooves?"
"Nope," said Hopin as he laughed. "It says that nopony may leave this place drunk."
"A bar where ponies can't get drunk?" said Scootaloo in a sarcastic and disbelieving tone.
"Some get drunk in here, but they're never allowed to leave drunk. It's caused us some hassle and even a lawsuit, but it's a rule we stick to."
"Why would ponies even come here then?"
"They can still get drunk. Besides, ponies get to know each other real well here. I've seen ponies who found true love and some that have become best friends. The drinks are good and we're very clean and friendly. We also don't have competition," said Hopin pridefully.
"But still, why is nopony allowed to leave drunk?"
"Because I'll be... If I ever let what happened to me happen to some other pony..." said Hopin with a more serious tone and a hint of anger.
The bar turned silent for a moment as Hopin stared out the windows and Scootaloo looked at the back of his head. He had turned away to look at the picture. Scootaloo felt sorry for Hopin and decided to apologize.
"I'm sorry. I should've known," said Scootaloo. She felt sad and a bit embarassed. She felt like she had inappropriately brought up topics that she shouldn't have brought up.
Hopin took a deep breath and turned back to Scootaloo. "I know that you don't mean bad. No need to apologize."
The bar was silent. Scootaloo looked at some of the memorabilia again and Hopin had his elbows on the counter and his eyes gazing out of the window.
"It's something that I have to do." Scootaloo turned her attention back to Hopin. "I live a life where everyday I try to fulfill my dreams. One of my dreams is to never let what happened to me happen again." Hopin was completely serious and still a bit angry, but his tone was always gentle and one that implied he was a kind person.
"Anyways. Enough of that. It's time to hear your story," said Hopin as he got Scootaloo off of the counter and walked back with her to the booth they were in previously.
Scootaloo took her blankets and wrapped them around herself again. She took the heated pillow into her lap and stared at Hopin who was gesturing for her to start talking. Scootaloo laughed a little and then fell silent. She took a deep breath, thought things over, and then started explaining herself.
"You've noticed that I don't have a Cutie Mark, right?"
"I haven't noticed. I guess that I didn't much care to check."
"Well anyways," Scootaloo continued, "I used to be a part of a club that I made along with a friends called the Cutie Mark Crusaders-" Scootaloo was surprised because of an outburst of laughter from Hopin.
"I had no idea," said Hopin as he finished laughing hysterically. "Some ponies that we've had come here have told some pretty funny stories about this group of yours, but I had no idea that you were one of them."
Hopin was sitting in the seat very cozily until he saw Scootaloo's angered stare.
"Oh." Hopin put his hoof on the back of his neck and was embarassed. "Sorry. Please continue."
"Aaaanyways..." Scootaloo rolled her eyes as she tried to get back into a storytelling tone. "We did all sorts of stuff together. Anything that you can imagine that might give a filly their Cutie Mark and I assure you that we've done it. We were the best of friends..." Scootaloo stopped for a second to reflect on the past and determine what she should say next, "but my two friends in the group got their Cutie Marks one day and I didn't. They had that special mark and it made me so terribly jealous. They never wanted to do club meetings anymore or try to get me my Cutie Mark. Eventually I didn't even want to be around them and fell into this depression that I'm in now. I played with them this afternoon, but I felt uncomfortable and angry. I ended up here. But that's not the half of it, I also-"
"Scootaloo, hold on a second. You don't have your Cutie Mark and how old are you?"
"I'm ten," said Scootaloo. She was confused and somewhat angry that the stallion made her bring up her age. It made her feel bad to admit it due to the circumstances.
"Ten. No place to live. No parents. No Cutie Mark. Seems to me like you've ended up in a bad spot and it seems like you were destined to be there."
"Well thanks for that. If I wanted to feel bad, I would've asked," Scootaloo was quickly losing her temper and Hopin took notice.
"You already feel bad," Hopin started in a tone that signified he wasn't taking Scootaloo's anger seriously, "and I'm sure that these last few weeks have made you feel horrible. I don't want to anger you, but you're in the middle of a huge mistake that you're setting yourself up for and have, so far, been carrying through with."
"What is that mistake?"
"Where to begin is the question." Hopin opened his eyes up a bit and looked aside as he began to think. "You've turned on your friends, you're taking so much pity on yourself, and you're angry for no good reason." Hopin stopped and let the filly think about what he had said. "You're also only ten. A smart and mature ten-year-old at that. But for as smart as you are, you also made the mistake of thinking that your life wasn't going to go anywhere when your friends got their Cutie Marks." Hopin stopped again and looked out of the window. It was still raining and thunder occured every now and again.
"You were trying to sleep out there," said Hopin in a quieter, more serious tone. "Probably thinking that it was better off that nopony saw you and probably thinking that nopony cared if you were sick." Hopin knew that he was making Scootaloo feel worse still as he looked at her with her eyes down staring down at her Cutie Mark-less flank, but he continued anyways.
"Death is so often a misunderstood thing. I don't even understand it. But I know that there's a time. We shouldn't decide that time and should instead let it be appointed for us. I've had some ponies here that have gone through worse than I have. Ponies that thought that the time they had in life wasn't worth spending. That is until they came out of the shells they formed around themselves and found that there's more to this world than they ever thought possible."
Scootaloo still was staring at her side. Hopin knew that she was in pain, but he at least detected that he was getting somewhere with her.
"Ya' know, just because you're missing that mark doesn't mean that you're not special. A mark is a mark. Some are there forever and some are not. Some are physical scars and some are emotional. Some supposedly point out a talent. Mine here is a hoof reaching for a source of light," said Hopin as he got up and showed Scootaloo his mark. He then sat back down and continued. "I have no clue what the light-source is, but I've known what it symbolized ever since it appeared when I was a kid. Whenever the opportunities appeared, I've tried to make myself proud to have this mark. I've failed sometimes. I've failed deep friends and I've even failed myself. I never will quit, though."
Scootaloo had now turned to Hopin with desperate and teary eyes. Hopin saw and reached across the table and gave her a hug that she so desperately needed. For Hopin, it was a moment that made him happy because he knew that he was going in the right direction with her. For Scootaloo, it was a moment of emotional pain, but also a moment of understanding and great comfort. Scootaloo eventually let go and continued to listen.
"But just because you're missing that mark doesn't mean that you're not special. It doesn't mean that you can't change the world or live a happy life..." Hopin stopped to look at Scootaloo's now smiling face and smiled back, "...and it certainly doesn't meant that you have no talent."
What continued was happy and thoughtful silence. But for as enjoyable as the silence was, Scootaloo was still curious about Hopin and Carol.
Scootaloo enjoyed the silence a bit longer, but the question gnawed at her. She saw no purpose in not asking, so she went ahead. "How did you meet your wife?" Scootaloo then hid her head and closed her eyes like she was uncomfortable and embarassed.
Hopin looked at the filly surprisedly, but gained his composure quickly and when ahead. "Carol lived down the hall from my dorm in college. I had talked to her a bit, but nothing much besides small-talk. I didn't ever really bother to talk to her which was a shame because she is so enjoyable. Anyways. She was in my morning class. It was a small class, so I'm not surprised that she noticed that I was missing. I was still in my dorm...wide awake." Hopin paused. He took a little while and then continued in a quieter and noticeably sadder tone.
"She knocked on the door, but I disregarded it. I forgot to lock the door because I just didn't care and eventually she came through. I turned around and saw her. She was surprised to see the tears rolling down my face and she immediately picked up that it had to do with the suicide note that I had just received from the police who had came by to tell me of my mom's death. I asked for the note and they left me with it...." Hopin paused again, but this time, his tone signified that he was a bit more comfortable and even a bit happy for talking about such things.
"Most ponies would have walked away and pretended like nothing was wrong...but instead, she asked if I would like some comfort. I saw no reason to say no and she sat by me silently as I cried. We talked a little bit more after that, but she eventually went away. I saw her more often, but it was when she volunteered to participate in the choir at my mother's funeral that I truly realized that she was the pony that I loved. The funeral was far away and took important time away from her, but she did it anyways. We've been together ever since."
"Wow...That's a beautiful story, Hopin...and she's a beautiful mare."
Hopin laughed a little. "Every love story is beautiful..." Hopin stopped for a moment and thought. "On second thought...I remember reading a horrible book about some love between a girl and some vampire. Some werewolf comes in and...and the book was JUST AWFUL. Horrid. Not beautiful at all," chuckled Hopin
Scootaloo gave a good laugh and looked at Hopin. Hopin was still curious as to what was left of the filly's story, though.
"You still have more of your story left to tell, Scootaloo," said Hopin as he stared deviously.
Scootaloo was surprised and looked around. "I'm not sure if I want to tell. It might make this whole stay end on a bad note."
"None-the-less, I still plan on hearing it." Hopin planted his elbows onto the table and put his hooves under his chin.
Scootaloo saw this and figured that there was really no good in not telling him. Besides, he was a smart stallion and she still needed some answers. Scootaloo looked outside at the rain for a moment and went on telling her story.
"When my friends got their Cutie Marks two weeks ago, I didn't just fall out of love with them, but a few other things, too. It was like things were just so much harder to enjoy from that point on. Riding my scooter, seeing tricks, going to school," said Scootaloo. Her eyes now down in a depressed manner as she reminisced. "But I never thought that I'd stop enjoying watching Rainbow Dash fly." Scootaloo stopped and looked at Hopin, whom was paying very close attention.
"Whenever she trained, I always used to watch. There was some mystical feeling about being friends with the best flyer in all of Equestria. Eventually it became such a natural thing for the both of us that she would tell me when she started training. Every single day I'd watch her and smile. Always thinking: I want to be up there. That looks awesome," said Scootaloo with her voice showing some enthusiasm and happiness.
"But..." Scootaloo's voice was suddenly depressed. It was a voice with no significance of hope, "how can I be up there and do that if I can't fly?" Scootaloo paused. It was hard to continue. "During her practices, or when she and I were alone, we'd always try to get me off of the ground. I could flap hard enough to only do that, though. But I couldn't flap any harder. 'Keep trying, c'mon Scootaloo!' Rainbow Dash would say. I'd barely get up and then land flat on my belly. I'd look over and see her worried and saddened face. 'Maybe next time,' she'd say. That was before these past few weeks."
"I don't know why, and I am so frustrated with myself for doing this, but I started despising her. Whenever she'd ask if I wanted to watch, I'd always reply with a harsh, 'No.' and then walk away, leaving her confused and probably thinking that I'm a brat," said Scootaloo with a voice filled with pain and regret.
"I started thinking that she had failed me. She was my friend and hero and she couldn't even teach me how to fly. Even worse was the fact that I was so old and not able to fly anyways. My friends sometimes poked fun at me because of it. I always acted like I disregarded them or didn't much care, but it was hard stuff to hear. Anyways. I know that she hasn't failed me, but..." Scootaloo stopped and looked at Hopin, "I don't know what to do."
"Tell me, Scootaloo," said Hopin as he stared at the filly. "What was life like before all of this?"
Scootaloo briefly smiled at the reminiscence. She hadn't bothered with much thinking about it in a long time. "Times were fun," said Scootaloo. Her tone a little bit more laid back. "Playing with my friends everyday. Going on some whacky adventures just for the heck of it. Trying to live my dreams every day. Watching Dash perform amazing tricks. I wish..." Scootaloo suddenly stopped smiling and looked out of the window again. "I wish that those were the times I was having right now."
"You didn't have a Cutie Mark before and you couldn't fly before. Yet you were still happy," said Hopin in his casual voice.
Scootaloo looked at Hopin who was already looking at her.
"You were living a life that some could only dream of. I feel like you're taking that life for granted, Scootaloo." Hopin's tone now was more serious and had a hint of controlled anger. "Who's to say that you had to stop?"
"I don't know what it was," said Scootaloo in a somewhat scared manner. "I just couldn't deal with it all."
"You may not be able to fly, but being with your friends everday. Always riding around on your scooter. Going on adventures. Watching the fastest pony in Equestria train and being friends with her," said Hopin with a questioning tone. "You were soaring pretty high in my opinion."
Scootaloo couldn't help but blush at Hopin and became a little embarassed.
"Thanks," said Scootaloo.
"There is no reason that you shouldn't be able to get back to that," said Hopin with a more enthusiastic and charismatic tone. "You see, I refuse to believe that there's no such thing as hope. Some thing's will inevitably fail or can't be changed, but there's always good hope somewhere in there. Continue to try to earn that mark. Continue to try to get up there in the sky. Never a point in quitting, now is there?"
Scootaloo nodded a little and started to tear up. She was coming to the full realization of her mistakes and wanted to take them back. Scootaloo smiled light-heartedly as Hopin got up and went to the filly's side of the booth. He sat there patiently, gently stroking Scootaloo's hair as she cried on his shoulder.
Eventually Scootaloo stopped crying and looked outside. It was becoming daytime and Scootaloo and Hopin did not feel tired. The rain was no longer so heavy, but it was still there. Also, the thunder had stopped.
"But how do I apologize?" said Scootaloo as she continued to look out the window. Her voice shaky from recently crying.
Hopin directed his eyes from the filly's head to the window as he thought.
"Admit your mistakes. Say your sorry. They may be angry at you, but if they're your true friends, they'll forgive you and understand."
"Just like that?" said Scootaloo surprisedly as she turned her head to Hopin.
Hopin looked down at the filly with a light-hearted smile.
"Maybe not so easy...but overtime."
It was now about six or so in the morning. Scootaloo grabbed the blankets she had received and wrapped them around herself. Hopin got out and headed to the door leading to the stairs. Scootaloo placed the pillow she had down on the seat. Before going to sleep, Scootaloo looked up and saw Hopin, who had turned around to wave at her. Scootaloo smiled back, turned her head, and then proceeded to sleep.
When Hopin and Carol came down the stairs the next morning, they saw the blankets, the pillow, and the empty booth.
"Is she alright, Hopin?" said Carol as she looked worriedly at Hopin, whom was grinning at the empty seat.
"I think that she's more than fine." Hopin turned around to his wife. "I'm hungry. Let's go out."
Carol and Hopin proceeded to walk out of the bar. They went to the middle of the town and chose a nice seat at a local restaurant with some of the seats outside. Hopin felt relaxed sitting back in his seat, enjoying some nice small-talk with his wife. But he couldn't help but be distracted and filled with joy as he saw Scootaloo riding her scooter down the middle of the road with two other fillies and a rainbow-maned and rainbow-tailed pegasus flying overhead.
Hopin sat and stared. And for what seemed like one magical moment, Scootaloo turned her head to see the stallion and waved. Hopin waved back. A sense of immeasurable joy in his heart. The filly then continued to look forward and zoomed off.