Chapter 14: And then...
"That must have been quite the decision, especially to be made with such short notice."
Princess Celestia sat across from me amongst a pile of lavish pillows. An etched window next to her let in the light from the sun as it slowly moved towards the western sky and for the first time since I had begun telling the princess the story of how I ended up here, I was aware of the just how long we had been in this strange tree house, talking. Of course when I had arrived with Rarity it had been a different situation entirely. I had come through the portal with her, carrying the one thing I wanted to bring with me in my hand, and found that once we appeared at the other end of the pony relocator that Rarity was indeed a stunning unicorn pony. What was surprising is that I was a pony too with four hooves, an amber coat, black mane, black tail, and apparently this came complete with a shiny new set of saddlebags. I had become what was known as an Earth Pony. So being a man (pony) who has lived all his life knowing how to roll with the punches I did the only reasonable thing one could do in such circumstances.
I passed out.
When I woke Rarity had been there, helping ease me into these new state of existence – lest I lose consciousness again – and I had found myself in a new place than where we had appeared. That was later amended as Twilight Sparkle's library. After that I had been informed Rarity had told Celestia of the entire encounter while I was unconscious and now that I was awake, it had been my turn.
"Well if I'm being honest, I think I always knew what the answer to that question was – just no one asked it." I chuckled, "Though I have to admit, this is kind of weird."
I brought one of my hooves into my field of view, and wiggled it a little.
"What then do you think will become of your affairs on your realm then, should you remain here the rest of your days?" Celestia asked.
I had to think about that a few moments before I answered, arranging the information in my head.
"Well, my parents have been gone for a long time, and other than them I didn't really have any family I was close with to speak of. I could have just up and disappeared and my neighbor wouldn't have noticed for a week or so when he comes to see me. I had a will done out after I had lost my wife and child so in the event of my disappearance, everything goes into the care of my neighbor for a year and if I don't make contact or come back in that amount of time, the titles for the land and everything on it, goes to him and his family to do whatever with." I said, my tone waxed into musing as I continued to talk.
"My bank accounts will likely just be cashed out to the estate after so long without use, not that I was a rich man anyways but, I'm sure it will help my neighbor. Once all that goes to him. I don't have any unresolved debts, I don't have anything hanging and waiting for me – really for the last year I probably could have picked up and left and no one would have known the difference."
Celestia considered my words, her eyes betraying nothing other than the fact that she was thinking about what I had said. I made a mental note to never, ever, play poker with the Princess should the opportunity arise.
"Well, Mister Asher, I believe the question then becomes what you will do with yourself, and your special somepony, now that you are here?" She asked.
"I'd like to have the chance to see where this might go. I never thought I'd ever meet someone again who made my heart feel like it's on fire, someone that I know I want to be with, someone that I know I never want to leave because I'd feel incomplete without her and well…Rarity makes me feel that way." I said and hastily added, "Erm, your Highness."
Celestia tittered, covering her mouth with one of her gold clad hooves.
"Asher, I believe after the length of time you have taken care of our Rarity without harming her –or her harming you – and the fact that you two appear to have fallen in love with each other, I believe a fitting reward for the service you have rendered, and generosity you have shown, would be to let you stay here in our world, with the pony you love." Celestia smiled at me, "Should that be what you wish."
The corners of my mouth turned uncontrollably upwards, and my heard felt like it was going to burst through my chest like some strange pastel recreation of the end of 'How the Grinch Stole Christmas'. I wanted to hug her but that didn't seem appropriate. I needed something to hug, so I grabbed the pillow I had been laying on and clung to it with my hooves, bouncing up and down somewhat like an excited child before I was able to compose myself again.
"Just know, Asher, though you are a pony now, ready to embrace this new life but I think you should remember a few things. You are not native to this world – though you appear you are – so make some friends and trust them when it comes to social protocol. I'm sure there are many similarities between the culture you were raised in and our own, but I'm sure there are just as many differences. You would be wise to remember that. It would also behoove you to treat Rarity well, though I'm sure I do not need to remind you of that." She smiled genuinely, and I did as well.
We both stood then and Celestia levitated my saddlebags back onto my haunches, but as the bags dropped onto my haunches a small picture frame – the only item I brought with me – stayed in the air. Celestia brought the picture close enough that she could look at the people that were on it, then asked me who they were. It was the picture that had been on the wall right next to the one whose frame Rarity had broken what seemed like forever ago. Inside the frame was a picture of a group of ponies and one filly – apparently photos also get changed by magic – and it was one of my favorite shots from before my parents had died.
"From left to right that's my late Wife, Daughter, Mom, and Dad." I said proudly.
"A beautiful family." She observed as the picture slipped back into the left side of the saddlebag, "I am curious though, why this picture?"
"Well…they're the ones that helped make me who I am today and...well…even though I'm finally moving forward again, even though it wasn't how I expected, I still wouldn't have been here without them. I brought them with me so I'll never lose what I am, I guess." I said honestly.
"That was…very well said." Celestia said, looking at me a little differently. In a good way though. She then turned slightly and her magic enveloped the knob, opening the door to the outside.
"All I can ask of you, Asher, as you go into this new life, is to remember that your past may define you you are, but it does not control who you will become. Please keep in touch when you can, and remember to live each day to the fullest." She said as Rarity with her friends in tow trotted towards me.
"I intend to, your Highness." I said, and stepped across the threshold.
And that was exactly what I did.
And so this finally comes to a close. I'll eventually go through editing more closely and removing the old Author's Notes but this one will remain as the final.
These chapters were created quickly, and I think I got most of the egregious errors edited out, however if I missed one let me know, I'll correct it further. Otherwise other edits will come when this story is edited finally down the road.
Writing in 1st person POV has been an...experience to say the least. This is the first story I've ever written from that perspective and I feel like I'm a better writer because of it, but I doubt I will ever write in 1st person again, lol,
Hope you all enjoyed!