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Drowning Lessons - Ep. 6: Lunch...

By Leaf
Created: 5th March 2021 01:09:16 AM

  1. >Crowds of ponies file into the cafeteria.
  2. >On a normal day, you would grab some food and head to the bathroom to eat in a stall.
  3. >You know where you have to sit today.
  4. >It's the table between the jock table, that table full of pretty gossipy mares and the table where the drama club ponies sit.
  5. >It's the table closest to the snack bar.
  6. >The table where every pony who is anypony talks to the cool ponies while they wait in line for pizza sticks or pretzles with cheese.
  7. >Instead of going straight to where Trixie and Flitter are sitting, you get in line at the snack bar.
  8. >Though you don't have many bits, you figure you can get a drink.
  9. >A large figure catches your eye.
  10. >His entrance actually catches the eyes of almost every pony in the cafeteria.
  11. >Anonymous dumps his bag down in a chair saved for him between his friends from the soccer team.
  12. >Many ponies from all around greet him as he tries to escape the attention and get in line.
  13. >It's nostalgic.
  14. >Your father comes to mind.
  15. >Memories of him walking into the barber shop with you as a filly to get your hair trimmed.
  16. >There was always a large group of older stallions there, not really getting their manes or coats taken care of- just hanging out.
  17. >It's where your dad would always stop by while out doing errands.
  18. >Every pony knew his name.
  19. >He was an old welcomed friend.
  20. >A hollow feeling opens up in your stomach.
  21. >"Miss Eri! Lucky me, huh?"
  22. >You flinch and spin around.
  23. >Anonymous is smiling down at you.
  24. >Your ears droop and the urge to roll onto your back and empty your bladder makes you almost do so.
  25. "Y-You too..."
  26. >Anon blinks then laughs cooly, "Hey, where were you this morning?"
  27. "This morning?"
  28. >You ditched him and Coco...
  29. >"Yeah, I walked to school with Coco. We were worried about you. We stopped by your house, but your mom said you had left early."
  30. >The line moves forward.
  31. >It's not going fast enough.
  32. >You're going to be stuck in line with Anon forever.
  33. >Ponies are starting to stare.
  34. "Um, I mndbdvs... I had to g-get here early..."
  35. >The conversation is interrupted by a couple of jocks from the baseball team coming up and rough-housing with Anon.
  36. >You consider running out of the line- out of the cafeteria entirely, and skipping lunch.
  37. >"Sorry, can we walk together tomorrow? I didn't mind walking with Coco, but I think she's actually still worried I might eat ponies. Haha..."
  38. >"HEY EVERYPONY!" A big hulk of a stallion (you recognize from the wrestling team) stands up on a chair to the side of you, shouting out to the cafeteria.
  39. >"ANON JUST SAID HE EATS PONIES!"
  40. >The whole place breaks out like a zoo at feeding time.
  41. >Ponies laugh and yell, some running away from Anon jokingly, others 'screaming' and shouting in mock fear.
  42. >This happens often.
  43. >Anon's friends laugh and slap him on the back.
  44. >The human rolls his eyes and rubs the back of his head, used to the attention by now.
  45. >While Anon becomes the center of all good times, you skitter up to the snack bar counter.
  46. >The grumpy mare behind the counter grumbles at you, "Whatcha' want?"
  47. >You fumble in your saddle bag, dropping bits all over the ground.
  48. >Most ponies are still enchanted by Anon behind you, but Lyra Heartstrings stares at you with a raised eyebrow.
  49. >Wanting to crawl away, you collect your bits and poke them onto the counter.
  50. "J-J-J-Just j-juice..."
  51. >"What kind?" The mare snaps, clearly annoyed.
  52. "Guh... RAPE! P-Please..."
  53. >She shoves a bottle of grape juice at you, then takes your bits, "Next!"
  54. >You stumble away with your first-ever snack bar purchase as Anon steps up behind you.
  55. >The grumpy mare turns flirty instantly at the sight of Anon.
  56. >"Eri, wait up?"
  57. >You ignore Anon's request and make your way for the exit of the building.
  58. >A hoof on your wither stops you.
  59. >"Where you going, wittle swimmer?"
  60. >Your legs almost give out and you lower your head so that your mane obscures your face.
  61. "I have to g-go to the bathroom."
  62. >Trixie guides you back over to the popular tables, "Bathroom? Plenty of time for that later. Come have lunch with us."
  63. >You are pushed down into a seat.
  64. >With a weak squeak, you look up.
  65. >Several ponies stare at you.
  66. >There's Flitter and her sister, Cloud Chaser (captain on the flight team), Vinyl Scratch and her pretty friend Octavia, Roseluck, Berry Punch, Flash Sentry (who moved back and forth between this table and the jock table), Trixie (next to you), and Soarin (on the other side of you).
  67. >They all wait for you to say something.
  68. >You know your face is beet red.
  69. >Trixie grips your whither tightly, "This is Miss Eri, remember Trixie said she was coming to Flitter's party this weekend?"
  70. >The others nod and go back to their conversations, forgetting you instantly.
  71. >A hoof makes its way into your vision.
  72. >Looking over, you see Soarin holding out a hoof to you with a smooth smile, "Hey Eri, nice to finally meet you. I'm Soarin."
  73. >You know who he is.
  74. >He's on the flight team as well.
  75. >You weakly shake his hoof.
  76. >Flitter pushes her glittery face over toward you and sneers, "That's Soarin. Like, one of the most popular ponies in school. He said it's nice to meet you, ERI."
  77. >You flinch away and grip your grape juice
  78. >"N-Nice to meet you."
  79. >Soarin touches the bandage on your leg and you snap it away.
  80. >"Hey, what happened to your leg?"
  81. >You slide it below the table.
  82. "I fell..."
  83. >A set of arms snake around Soarin's neck, making him scramble and cough.
  84. >Anon chuckles behind him, losening his grip slightly, "Hey Soarin, saw you talkin' to my girl Eri."
  85. >Anon lets go and the others laugh as Soarin massages his neck and bucks Anon with a laugh, "Oh man, no way I'll let you eat this cutie!"
  86. >What is happening?
  87. >Did Anon just call you his 'girl'?
  88. >Did Soarin just call you a cutie?
  89. >Anon waves at you, "Just kiddin'. It's good to see you eating in the cafeteria, Miss Eri. Don't let these jerks get to you."
  90. >You nod feverishly, your throat too dry to respond.
  91. >Anon points at the table beside the one you're sitting at, "I'll be sitting right over there. You should come join me, if you want to sit with someone cool."
  92. >He walks away with a smirk, holding up a hand like a champ as his friends at this table boo and joke at him.
  93. >You begin to get up and follow, eager to get away from these ponies.
  94. >A hoof pulls you back down forcefully and Trixie hisses in your ear.
  95. >"Don't think that because Anon talked to you, you're worth crap. You're going to sit here and get to know your date."
  96. >You cringe in pain from her grip and look around.
  97. "My date?"
  98. >She reaches over you and taps Soarin.
  99. >"Soarin, didn't you have something to ask Eri?"
  100. >No way.
  101. >Soarin smiles at you, "Yeah! Hey, I've actually been wanting to ask you for a while, since I saw you around and thought you were cute, but now that I have an excuse because of this party. You wanna go out on a date with me?"
  102. >The others begin to hoot and holler, cat-calling and whistling.
  103. >Your heart feels like it just stopped.
  104. >Did a stallion just ask you out?
  105. >You look at Anonymous, but he's busy talking to a teacher.
  106. >Trixie jabs you in the back.
  107. "YOW! A d-date? With... With me?"
  108. >Soarin nods, looking a little anxious, "I know it's sudden, but I keep seeing you around school and Flitter told me she knew you, so I'm sorry, but I asked her if she could introduce us. I just can't stop thinking about you. So uh, want to go to the movies tonight or something?"
  109. >The world bleeds out a little.
  110. >The noise of Soarin's friends all yelling and laughing around you fades into the background.
  111. >The only thing you see is Anon's face, laughing as he fades away from you.
  112. >Another jab in your back brings you back to reality.
  113. >"I just want to get to know you so... Is that a-"
  114. "YES!"
  115. >You flush and cover your mouth, rubbing your back where Trixie jabbed you with a quill.
  116. >Oh Celestia, you just agreed...
  117. >Soarin hops up into his seat and pumps a hoof, "SHE SAID YES!"
  118. >All the ponies in the cafeteria look around at the commotion as Soarin cheers in excitement.
  119. >You sink down into your seat as ponies start to cheer and shout.
  120. >Trixie's mean laughter pierces your ears.
  121. >You look over at Anon.
  122. >He stares at you with a confused expression.
  123. >You slide almost all the way under the table, wanting to disappear.
  124. >Why did he have to see that?
  125. >Why was this happening to you?
  126.  
  127. ~~~
  128.  
  129. *Journal entry 17 - Young fillies grow up with expectations of a charming prince sweeping them off their hooves. Growing up, I recall only ever wanting somepony that would understand me. I didn't want some handsome stallion that had flowing locks of gold and all the gems to pay the way to happiness. I just wanted somepony that I could trust. Somepony to love and hold me at night. Somepony that would never hurt me. Soarin is the type of stallion that all the mares want. He's strong, has a promising future and is well connected. His family is known for being well connected. I don't know much else about him. I know that he is most likely not my type. I know that he has had more marefriends than I have had good days. So why is he interested in me? Is this a joke? Is he going to hurt me at the orders of Trixie? Is this all some sort of a ploy? Maybe I'm wrong and he really does want to go out with me to get to know me better? But what do I know? I don't know...*
  130.  
  131. >"We have to make you pretty for your date."
  132. >Trixie throws a whole container of powder in your face.
  133. >You sputter and cough as Flitter holds you up by your mane.
  134. >As usual, after lunch the girls have you in the bathroom again.
  135. >Trixie smears the wet powder around your face.
  136. >Vinyl is holding your legs behind you.
  137. >Trixie slaps your cheek, "You have to look cute for Soarin. Luckily, we're here for you."
  138. >Flitter leans down to your ear as Trixie pulls out lipstick.
  139. >"I don't know why Soarin is interested in you, but you should thank us for setting you up, you ugly little troll."
  140. >Trixie begins smearing thick lipstick on your lips.
  141. "Mffmeew..."
  142. >Once Trixie finishes, she pulls your head up to the mirror.
  143. >"Take a look!"
  144. >You stare through tears at your reflection.
  145. >It looks horrible.
  146. >Your face is smeared with makeup that's now streaked with tears.
  147. >Trixie shakes her head, "Trixie thinks it needs one last touch."
  148. >Flitter pushes you to the ground, "Oh! Let me do it, Trixie!"
  149. >You pull your saddle bag to your stomach and curl up into a ball.
  150. "Please stop-p-p please..."
  151. >Vinyl rolls you over and Flitter kicks your bag away.
  152. >She sits on top of you while Trixie and Vinyl pin your legs down.
  153. >Flitter looks furious and grabs your throat, "Shut up! I'm really pissed off that Soarin even wants to talk to you, so stop struggling!"
  154. >Her hoof swings down and connects with your eye socket.
  155. >A bright light flashes behind your right eye and you yelp.
  156. >Trixie covers your mouth as your back arches up and pain shoots through your head.
  157. >Flitter hits you hard in the same spot once more, making your head bounce off the dirty floor and your back legs flail.
  158. >Trixie and Flitter laugh and let you go.
  159. >Vinyl seems to be refusing to look at you.
  160. >You roll over into a ball again, your cry of pain caught in your throat as you scream in silence.
  161. >Flitter picks you up by the mane again.
  162. >You begin to whimper and let loose a heavy stream of tears from your throbbing eye.
  163. >They hold you in front of the mirror again and you see that a black eye is beginning to form.
  164. >"Haha! That's just what you needed! Trixie will add the real final touch."
  165. >While Flitter holds you, Trixie begins to cover your black eye with makeup.
  166. >Once finished, she admires her work.
  167. >"Hmm. Yeah. Nope. It's no good, looks like we'll have to wash it off and start again!"
  168. >Trixie and Flitter cackle and begin dragging you toward the stalls while Vinyl lights a cigarette.
  169. "No! Please! No don't! Please!"
  170. >"Hey!"
  171. >The deep voice makes everyone stop.
  172. >Trixie and Flitter let you go just as Anon jogs into the bathroom.
  173. >Trixie yelps, "Anon! What are you doing in the mare's bathroom?! Again?!"
  174. >Anon's eyes fall on you and you look away in shame.
  175. >"I heard someone yelling 'no, stop' and came to see if everything was alright..."
  176. >Flitter giggles cutely and tosses her mane, "Oh, we were just giving our friend Eri a makeover for her date with Soarin tonight and she was worried about... Too much eye liner, right?"
  177. >She looks at you and you stare at the floor.
  178. "Yeah..."
  179. >Anon walks over to you.
  180. >You back away from him, avoiding eye contact at all costs.
  181. >He kneels down and puts a finger under your chin.
  182. >Your breath catches in your chest as you look into his eyes.
  183.  
  184. *Journal entry 18 - Please help me! Notice how much pain I am in! I'm sinking every day and no one can see! No one will notice! Help me before I drown! Help me before I drown myself! I AM GOING TO KILL MYSELF I AM GOING TO KILL MYSELF I AM GOING TO KILL MYSELF TONIGHT I AM GOING TO KILL MYSELF TONIGHT*
  185.  
  186. >Moments of silence pass as Anon stares into your eyes.
  187. >Does he understand?
  188. >Can he see the marks under the makeup?
  189. >Will he help?
  190. >"I like it best without makeup."
  191. >He gets up suddenly, leaving you frozen and still holding your breath.
  192. >That's it?
  193. >He walks back out the way he came, but stops in front of Trixie.
  194. >She seems surprised when Anon bends down and whispers into her ear.
  195. >Her look of surprise changes to one of sheer terror.
  196. >Anon stands back up straight and smiles back at you, looking like nothing just happened, "Don't be late to class, Miss Eri."
  197. >With a wave, he exits the bathroom.
  198.  
  199. ~~~
  200.  
  201. >Trixie and her friends avoided you for the rest of the day at school.
  202. >Questions of what Anon had said to Trixie raced through your mind all through classes.
  203. >You also had to avoid Soarin all day, but he eventually cornered you after the last bell to get your address so that he could pick you up tonight for the movie.
  204. >After telling you that your makeup looked good, he departed with his friends.
  205. >You left school with your headphones on and your face feeling like a clown.
  206. >Soarin will pick you up at six.
  207. >As you leave the school grounds, you light one of your stale cigarettes and plod along, staring hollowly at the ground.
  208. >Your eye is still throbbing.
  209. >A small cut had opened up inside your lip when Flitter had hit you.
  210. >You can taste the blood still running over your gums.
  211. >Your hooves carry you all the way back to your neighborhood.
  212. >As soon as you step on to the street, your eyes dart to Anon's house.
  213. >It looks empty.
  214. >Of course, he's at practice.
  215. >Your house looks empty as well.
  216. "Mom's at work..."
  217. >Looking past your house, you see a pony standing on the road.
  218. >Coco Pommel waves at you.
  219.  
  220. ~~~
  221.  
  222. >"Shh, Miss Eri... It's okay. I told you before..."
  223. >Coco Pommel rubs your head gently.
  224. >"I will help you. Don't cry."
  225. >But you can't help it.
  226. >After you told Coco all of what happened at school while the two of you drank tea in her garden, she insisted that you let her clean you up.
  227. >The two of you sit in her bathtub in the hot water.
  228. >She sits behind you, her back legs wrapped around you under the water as she cleans your back gently with a warm sponge.
  229. >You sob and let your tears drip into the bath.
  230. >Coco drops the sponge and presses her body against your back.
  231. >"Miss Eri, I am so sorry... I should have been there."
  232. >She lets go and pulls your chin around so that you look back at her.
  233. >Her hoof brushes your dripping mane out of your face, then goes to your eye.
  234. >You wince and inhale sharply in pain.
  235. >Coco's eyes scan you sadly, "Oh, this is ever so sad..."
  236. >Her face moves closer to yours.
  237. >You don't stop her.
  238. >Her lips press to yours.
  239. >Both of your eyes close.
  240. >Coco grips the sides of the tub and presses her soft lips more into you, water dripping off of her onto you.
  241. >She coos a bit and pulls back, "You poor thing..."
  242. >Her affection feels better than anything else.
  243. >"I am always here to take care of you, Eri."
  244. >She smiles and steals another quick peck from your lips with a giggle, "Now how about I give you a proper makeover for your date?"
  245. >You nod and she begins to get out of the tub.
  246. >Before she can go, you reach forward and pull her into a hug.
  247. >Her body tenses in confusion at first, then relaxes.
  248. >Her soft coat and mane feel good, wet and pressed against you.
  249. >She smells of exotic flowers.
  250. >Her voice hums happily into your ear as she returns the hug, her legs snaking around you.
  251. "Thank you... Coco..."
  252. >Your friend plants several love-filled kisses lightly on the top of your head while the two of you embrace.
  253. >"I will always be here for you, Miss Eri."
  254. >In silence, the two of you stay holding each other.
  255. >Soon you will have to get ready for your first date.
  256. >If only you could take Coco with you.
  257. >If only...
  258. >Your first date was with Anonymous.
  259.  
Miss Eri

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