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Submitted on
October 13, 2011
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The world felt like it had exploded around her. Suddenly, needles of ice punctured her lungs. The metallic taste of blood tinged her lips and for some reason she was burning alive. In the distance she could hear sirens wailing and terse, anxious voices barking out orders and choppy directions. None of them made any sense and she was being eaten from the inside out with fear. Scootaloo struggled to even remember what had happened that had led to this, but her thoughts were sluggish and she couldn't seem to collect them.

Only once the world came to a shuddering halt did she realize that she was in an ambulance. Before she could invest in the thought, she felt herself slip from consciousness and she was plunged into complete darkness. It didn't last long - or it didn't seem to. What felt like seconds later she opened her eyes and tried to sit up with a start. Her entire body was convulsing and trembling, but she could feel her heartbeat raging away within her frail chest.

A strong set of hooves pushed her gently back down, and as she tossed her head wildly to see who was confining her, the will to fight disappeared. "R-rainbow…d-d-dash…" she managed, her teeth clattering so hard she quickly gave up on attempting more than that. The mare looked down at her with tears in her eyes, but was smiling despite being just as scared as the filly. "Calm down kiddo, take it easy for me…that's right, that's my girl…"

A nurse entered the room, followed by other familiar faces. "Scootaloo!" "Oh Scoot! Are you ok?!" Both of them were pulled away by their older sisters as the rest of the visitors filed in slowly. "Applebloom, she's gotta rest now. Yer friend had a pretty close call…" For once, Rarity agreed, pulling Sweetie Belle close to her. "I should say so. Why did you girls never tell us she had been living in that tiny little clubhouse?" Both of the filly's lowered their heads, guilt surging within their voices. "We never knew…" "Ah…ah never asked…"

As the nurse administered the vital warmth the young Pegasus needed, the trembling began to subside. Slowly she found her voice and used it now to say the hardest thing she had ever brought herself to. "It wasn't their fault. I-it's mine…I was ashamed. I was scared of being taken back to the orphanage if anypony knew…so I…I lied to everypony. I was scared of saying goodbye…"

The room went quiet as it sunk in. She could see on each of their faces that they could not bring themselves to simply accept that answer. "I should have known." "I should have done something." Although unspoken, Scootaloo could see it in their faces. Only one of them spoke aloud, but it was not what she had expected to hear. "I'm leaving. This is something I shoulda done a long time ago."

Her eyes widened as she turned to face the voice of her mentor. "R-rainbow Dash, no, please!" The sudden distress caused her breathing to hitch, and she was taken by a fit of coughing. Without being able to say another word, she could only watch as the pony she looked up to the most got up and left the room.

The action had taken even her friends aback, and Fluttershy rushed after her to see what was the meaning of the outburst. The others merely talked amongst themselves, frightened of further upsetting the delicate health of the filly. They took it gradually outside, leaving Scootaloo alone with the nurse. Even her closest friends had been dragged away to leave her. This had to be a nightmare.


Nurse Redheart frowned, her eyes filled with a quiet sympathy. She tried to lift her patient's spirits as she continued to work on gradually reintroducing warmth back into her tiny body. "I'm sure there's just a misunderstanding, dear. Your friends are just outside discussing important things right now - but I'm sure they'll be back to visit once you're stable." The word caused Scootaloo to break from her sad reverie and realize that her body still felt as though it was overly warm. "W-what happened?" Nurse Redheart stopped and considered whether it was a wise idea telling the filly of how close a call she had had. Delicately, she tried to make it so she would understand.

"Sweetheart, they couldn't wake you up. After your friends went home, I think one of them got worried and said something to their sister about not having seen you outside of that little clubhouse for some time. It was enough to call a search party, and about an hour ago - Rainbow Dash found you curled up on the floor. She couldn't wake you, so she flew for help. If she hadn't found you - you wouldn't be here right now." She then moved close and tucked in the thick blanket close around the tiny Pegasus's wings. "They call it hypothermia. The temperature dropped so suddenly, and you were only wrapped in a thin blanket. You got too cold too quickly and it's very dangerous. I can honestly say that I'm grateful that you're alive and awake to be here right now."

Scootaloo said nothing, but rolled over. It was so much to take in. It was so much to handle and she was so exhausted. The nurse didn't disturb her anymore with the rest of the details, but the mare did lean down to gently kiss the top of her head. "Get some sleep…goodnight, Scootaloo." The nurse walked to the door and gave one look back before turning off the lights and shutting it quietly, leaving the little filly to fall into fitful slumber.

Morning brought with it a new world. Scootaloo slowly opened her eyes and took a deep breath, grateful her lungs had stopped burning. The room came into focus gradually and she found herself staring at something foreign. Rainbow Dash had come in sometime during the night and fallen asleep. The mare was curled up on a small sofa in the corner of the room, surrounded by flowers and gifts her friends had asked her to bring. The morning light caused her to stir, and a soft groan drifted from her as she opened her wings and stretched. It was then she noticed Scootaloo watching, and she moved to the bedside. "Good morning."

Scootaloo lowered her gaze and braced herself for the lecture she was sure was coming. Rainbow Dash had been woken up in the middle of the night to go look for her in the cold. She had had to deal with her stupidity at not knowing better, for not being more careful. She could hear her fears as loudly as if they had already been spoken, and dreaded the stark reality she had woken up to. The world was about to change.

The words never came though. Rainbow didn't launch into a long winded lecture, or start yelling at the filly. She did not scream at her at how stupid and useless she had been, nor how the unloved should be shut away. Instead, a gentle hoof took her own and Rainbow spoke quietly. "I'm sorry…about last night. I was angry at myself. I've done a lot of stupid things. I've made a lot of mistakes. I'm going to try to start fixing them though, starting right now. Scootaloo," she gently took the filly's chin and made her look up at her. Rainbow smiled and took a deep breath before finishing what she had begun. "How would you feel…about…about moving in with me? About me adopting you? Last night made me think about a lot of things long and hard. I was so scared of losing you, we all were. So if you want to…if you can forgive me for being so slow, you never have to be alone again. You can come home."

It took a few seconds before it sank in, but the filly answered without words. Tears brimmed, hot and unbidden with joy as a relieved sob broke from her and she hugged Rainbow as tightly as she could. The mare didn't push her away. She would never push her away, and she would never wake up alone. "This is the beginning of the rest of your life, kiddo. I promise to make it an adventure as long as I can."

Through the tears, she opened her eyes. She could see Applebloom and Sweetie Belle standing there, both of them just as overwhelmed as she was with emotion. Behind them their sisters and the other mares stood, all relieved and thankful that the nightmare had ended. All of them were there, and for a moment someone she didn't recognize. It had been an old gray mare passing by with a smile on her face. She was there and gone, leaving the filly to the happy moment.

Later that day, the adoption papers were signed and officiated. Scootaloo was released from the hospital a few days later. As she walked out with her new guardian by her side, an old gray mare watched from the hospital window. Sad brown eyes closed, and a tear slid down her cheek to meet her smile. The filly would never again see her, but she would remember her. She would be the one who chose all the pains and sorrows of life so that every moment of happiness and joy was her own little piece of heaven that she would never have to wake up from again.
And that, my dear readers, would be the end.

Edit and a Note to my readers: I want to thank you all for reading my short story. These last few months have been some of the best, and I have enjoyed reading how this little piece effected so many. While I admit that I have been lacking in replying to comments, I want you to know that I do read them.

It makes me happy when I know that my writing can invoke so many different emotions. Whether it's a kind of happy sadness, or even deep sorrow, it's important to feel all these different things. It helps us grow as people and experience life a little more.

Some have sent me notes with alternate endings, some have sent other messages as well, and even some have condemned me for writing this. What I want you all to take away from this story is that sometimes sad things happen. Sometimes there is a reason or cause, sometimes there isn't, but when something truly sad happens, sometimes you have to accept it.

It may hurt for a long time, and some things never really heal entirely, but in the end of all things, it's going to be alright. Right now what's important is living and taking from all those memories, learning and remembering good and bad times.

I wrote this in one of my own bad times. It helped me vent a lot of pent up hurt that had been building up for a long time. The ending is one of my personal beliefs, and even though I know some people would like me to change it, I feel like it would devalue that belief.

I never anticipated so many people would read and take away from this the way that they have. I never thought it could help anyone else get in touch with old feelings they weren't sure they had anymore. It amazes me still to know it can do that.

So what I'm trying to say, is thank all of you. Thank you for an amazing ride, and an amazing experience. Please never stop reading the stories that make you feel, and write the story that will help you heal.

You never know what might happen!
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:iconnachtana:
Nachtana Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Loosing someone always makes a wound in the heart that will never heal. And guess what? It's good that way. Because if this kind of wound is able to heal itself, we will forgot them.
Chapter one and two took me in like sugar in a cup of tea, but number three was really hard to read because of all the tears. Scootaloo made a good choise.
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:iconthe-doctor-kami:
The-Doctor-Kami Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
y u do dis *sobs*
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:iconamberlepu:
AmberLepu Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2014
Yer welcome! <3
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:iconeditandcreatecf:
EditAndCreateCF Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2014
Thank you for the great story (And Thank you for making me cry):crying: rvmp 
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:iconwonderwolf01:
WonderWolf01 Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2014
Had me crying at the title.  So sad! D': But I'm not clear on the ending.  Did she choose a heaven where she would live with Rainbow Dash and know her friends forever, or did she choose to come back to life and...never really die.  Im a little unclear on this.  I understand this was written a long time ago, but if the author happens to read this or someone who knows the answer to this themselves I would love to have a better understanding on this!  Otherwise awesome story! 
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:iconcosmicbrony199:
Cosmicbrony199 Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2014  Student Traditional Artist
Wow just wow😏
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:iconhapbog:
Hapbog Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2014
That was amazing. You have an amazing amount of talent. 
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:icontricky213:
tricky213 Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
No words can describe how I feel right now....
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:iconperriwing:
perriwing Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2013
This was a amazing ride, thanks for sharing this tale.
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:icontex-vixen:
tex-vixen Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
this story warmed my heart. i cried after reading the first chapter. my pop died last december and i know that this is the kind of heaven that he would of picked.
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