Dear Princess Celestia,
There’s so much that I always wanted to tell you. I wish now that I could have told you all of it earlier. I was so scared of how you’d react. I was scared that you wouldn’t feel as I did, and that my efforts would end in nothing.
I feel a strange freedom in knowing that all of it will end in nothing regardless. There doesn’t seem much point in secrets anymore. Perhaps there’s little point in honesty either. Tomorrow I will be dead. But I feel as though by letting all this out perhaps I can leave a bit more of my self, my true self, behind.
But I’m stalling. Even now it’s hard to write the words. But part of the problem is that I don’t know any words for what you are to me. You’ve never just been my Princess, nor my teacher. When I was a filly I just wanted to be you. You were wise, you were powerful, and you were beloved by all ponies, everywhere. I admit with some shame that I saw you as a mother. I know that I have a mother, a wonderful mother, and that she deserved so much better than to be so replaced in my heart. But I’m being honest. I would call you “Mom” in a whisper when you weren’t listening. Or perhaps you were. Maybe I hoped you were sometimes.
But when I first wielded the Elements of Harmony and freed Princess Luna, it changed. I wanted more than anything to be your little sister. To be able to talk to you about anything and learn from you and just be with you. I wanted to see a side of you nopony else got to see. I was terribly jealous of Luna for such a long time. Looking back, I suspect I was also missing Shining Armor at the time. He deserved better too. Everypony did. I could have done so much more, shared so much more of myself than I did. I’m glad that my letters will survive me. They were more myself than I ever was.
Over the years I began feeling differently. I’m not sure exactly what changed. But somewhere along the way I no longer found myself wishing to be your daughter or your sister. I just wanted to be your friend. To write to you about more than just lessons learned. To speak to you of more than just looming disasters that needed swift action by the Elements of Harmony. Or perhaps just to sit with you and enjoy a cup of tea.
I feel as though this is too much to ask of you. I apologize if I’ve overstepped my station, or made you feel uncomfortable. But please, when you think of me, don’t just remember your student. Remember me as somepony who loved you as a mother, a sister, and a friend.
I’m sorry I never told you this before. Goodbye.
* * * * *
Twilight couldn’t do much more than lay on her bed. Over the course of the last few weeks her magic had gradually faded away. She had strained herself yesterday writing a letter, and once she finished she found she could no longer lift the quill.
The hospital told her not to leave. They also told her the best they could offer her is a few extra hours of life. She turned and went out the door immediately. Rainbow Dash led her home. Her friends had been with her for most of the day, watching over her in shifts. They tried to be upbeat and talk with her, of course, but it was strained and awkward. Rarity, Applejack, Spike, and Pinkie Pie were in the room with her then while Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy went out to get something to eat. Pinkie was stroking her mane gently. It felt nice.
There was suddenly a light at the window and everypony turned to look, staring out as if in shock.
“W-what is it?” Twilight turned as much as she could and whispered to Pinkie.
Pinkie stared out the window in awe and turned to Twilight with tears in her eyes. New ones, not the same tears that had been coming all day. “Twilight, the Princess is here.”
Twilight’s eyes widened and she smiled. She heard the window open and the light entered the room. Pinkie backed away from the bed as the light approached, and Twilight suddenly found the strength to turn to look at it. Princess Celestia stood over her with a tearful smile. For the first time that day Twilight felt tears in her own eyes, and she fought the urge to blink them away. She was done with that. She was done hiding things.
Celestia stepped onto the bed and sat down next to Twilight, draping one of her large, soft wings over her and pulling her close.
“I’m sorry I took so long to get here, Twilight,” Celestia said. “My closest friend deserves better than that.”
Twilight sighed and chuckled softly. She let herself shut her eyes as she leaned back against the Princess. “I wasn’t sure I should expect you at all. But I’ve… I’ve been holding on. Hoping for this.”
“I’m sorry,” Celestia repeated. Her wing pulled a bit tighter against Twilight’s body. She leaned down to nuzzle Twilight’s head and she sighed.
Twilight shook her head. “Don’t be sorry. This is all I ever wanted.”
She heard the door open and hoofsteps entered the room.
“Whoa,” Dash said.
“Oh my goodness! Princess Celestia!” Fluttershy squeaked. Twilight imagined her taking a bow.
Twilight opened her eyes and looked at them all. Rainbow Dash. Rarity. Applejack. Fluttershy. Pinkie Pie. Spike. And Princess Celestia. She smiled, and her best friends were the last thing she saw before letting go.
I seem to have something in my eye. I apologize if this letter comes out smudged. This reminds me of a dream I’ve had. In the dream, I see the sweep of my life laid out before me, and my friends are a constant glow around it. From the moment Rainbow Dash helped me get my cutie mark, they have been a constant force in my life. And in the dream, at the end of my life, they’re all still there, with me. And it should be sad, that dream. But it’s not. It makes me so happy, every time I have it. So, thank you for reminding me of that dream.