The sun was all but set when Gilda reached the edges of Ponyville. Dash had given Gilda good directions for getting to the town, but it got a bit sketchy once she actually arrived in town. Maybe she was just tired from the trip, but all the building looked exactly the same to her.
As she walked down the street she spotted a young white furred unicorn playing on the doorstep of her home. Gilda walked quickly over, "Hey kid, can you help me for a second? I'm looking for a pegasus named Rainbow Dash." The filly only got to let out a small gasp of surprise before a purple furred head reached out and pulled the unicorn inside and slammed the door. Gilda felt her temper flare up when she saw another young unicorn with a blonde mane staring at her from across the street.
"What's a matter kid, never seen a griffon before?" Gilda asked with a smile. The unicorn mumbled something Gilda couldn't make out. "Speak up when you're talking to someone. Didn't your momma ever teach you nothin'." Gilda joked, but felt her patience waning.
"I said, 'I'm not gonna let you hurt Rainbow Dash.' I know all about you monsters from the Everfree forest, I know you eat ponies. My friends told me so!"
Gilda suddenly felt like she was back in Junior Speedsters, but in the earliest days. She hated that feeling. "Listen up kid, we monsters only eat young ponies such as yourself. So why don't you stop messing around and tell me what I want to know before I get hungry."
An adult earth pony came from a nearby doorway looking angry, "That's no way to treat a little filly!"
Gilda sighed with exasperation "Look dude, I was just messing with the kid. How's about you just tell me how to find Rainbow Dash and then none of us have to look at each other anymore. Deal?"
The earth pony indignantly gave her directions and Gilda took off without another word. 'That was annoying, but at least that's done,' Gilda though as she flew ever closer to Dash's house in the clouds. 'Everything will be alright now.'
"That. Really. Sucked." each word was followed by another punch into the barn wall. Gilda had managed to fly to the outskirts of town before she had to stop, she was having trouble seeing straight.
"All I wanted was one day with my friend," *punch* "But that STUPID Pinkie Pie wouldn't even give me that!" *punch* "And Dash LEFT me for some dumb weather work that anypony could do!" *punch* "NO ONE laughed at my pranks or would even TALK to me!" *punch* "And then that wimp!" *punch* "After I frazzled her they all stared at me like I was..." *punch* *punch* *punch* "And then that party! I KNOW Pinkie had that planned somehow! She HAD to of! *PUNCH* "And now Rainbow Dash..." Gilda pulled her fist back but just collapsed against the wall and buried her face in her fore legs.
"Excuse me," a small voice broke Gilda's sobbing and she looked over to see a little red haired earth pony with a large ribbon in her hair. "Why are you beatin' up my family's barn and why are you cryin'?"
"I AM NOT CRYING!" Gilda roared as loud as she could. "Don't you know that monsters don't cry?"
The little pony said simply, "But you're not a monster. You're just a girl like me you look like you could use a friend."
Gilda stood up and shouted, "Well, what do you know about it? You're just a kid!" Gilda took to the skies and headed away from Ponyville as fast as her wings would carry her.
When Gilda finally got back to her room she looked at the mess she saw in the mirror. The main thing that caught her eye was the pouch around her neck that had come dislodged from underneath her feathers. She ripped it off and tore out the envelope.
"This is all your fault!" She screamed at the envelope. "Why did you hate me so much that you couldn't let me have anything good? WHY!"
With nothing left to lose, she tore open the envelope and looked at the letter that had haunted her for so long.
I just want you to know first thing, what happened to me was not your fault, it was mine. And not for the reason I told Rainbow Dash, this accident had nothing to do with an old flyer like me trying to keep up with the kids. I know you, Dash talked about you so much that I couldn't not know you. You'll blame yourself for this and even now you'll think I'm doing the "adult" thing and lying to make you feel better. The truth is that I failed you in so many ways as a teacher and this was my punishment.
You see, I had never met a griffon before, let alone taught one. I didn't know what to do with you, you were just so different that most of my lessons wouldn't work for you and I didn't want to take the time to work with you. I just hoped if I ignored you that you'd just take care of yourself and you did just that with a little help from Rainbow. But it was my job to teach you how to work with others as well. And I know Rainbow Dash helped you out in many ways, but there are things that a young pony just won't think about. Such as simple safety measures that everypony knows and they don't apply the same way to you. If I had taken the time to learn how exactly you fly as a griffon, I wouldn't have gotten myself hurt.
Now that's out of the way, let me count all the other ways I failed you. I knew it would be hard on you from the start, being the only griffon surrounded by ponies. Kids (and adults too while we're being honest) can be mean about the littlest things and there you were, as different from the others as you could possibly be. I could sit here and plead ignorance about how rough you got it, but the only reason I can is because I purposefully ignored it.
When you and Rainbow Dash became friends I breathed a sigh of relief. I figured a pair of outcasts like yourselves could watch out for each other and I wouldn't have to worry about either of you.
So I, of course, stole Rainbow Dash from you first chance I got. I'm sure that's what you're thinking. Oh, but the truth is so much worse.
I saw in Rainbow Dash the kind of potential and raw talent that I'd never seen before and I had to try to mold it so that when she became great she'd say it was all thanks to me. The same potential was in you as well, but that would mean I'd actually have to come up with whole new teaching techniques and that was simply too much work as I've said earlier. I just sort of hoped that having a friend you only saw for a few minutes of the day would be enough for you. Surely that's enough for anyone away from their home for the first time and surrounded by hostile strangers.
I figured the worst case scenario is that you go to bed crying a few times and maybe write some bad poetry. But I underestimated how you'd learn so quickly that the easiest way to make friends is make common enemies. But hey, that's what friends and mentors are for, to help you with tough moral decisions so it was a really good thing I took both of those away from you.
I'm not saying you're a misguided monster that needed MY guidance or anything egotistical as that. Do you remember what I said to Rainbow Dash on the last day of camp? "When someone's really hurt, they'll often say or do things they don't really mean." And you were hurting something awful, weren't you?
And then I went and busted myself, leaving you with a "I hurt everyone around me" complex. I can't blame you even a little for not wanting to talk to me back at camp, I really can't.
But time passes and I find it harder and harder to pretend like I didn't do anything wrong. Now, this isn't an absolution for you. Everything you did, that was still your choice, and you'll have to deal with that your own way. But let me make a suggestion, stick with Dash. The two of you together, I can't even imagine what you two will be able accomplish. And when you are soaring high above us all and everyone's asking you how you did it you'll just laugh and say, "On our own."
One last thing. I started writing this letter because I wanted to help you in all the ways I failed to back at camp. But now that it's done I have to admit that there's a selfish reason for it too. You see, I find myself hoping, insanely, that after you've forgiven yourself you might be able to
Never mind. I don't deserve it.
(the words "Your Teacher" were crossed out)
Gilda let herself cry until she fell asleep. When she woke up, she pulled out a stack of paper and a quill. She had so very many letters to write.