Tabby stared out the glass doors of the Pokèmon Center. Her gaze wasn't
centered on Tarquin, who was just coming up the steps; or on the well-worn path to the Satin
Slipper Sweet Shoppe; or even on the soft snowflakes that had just begun to fall. It was on the
mansion directly across from her current place of employment.
How Tabby thought she'd left that place behind forever! It was the place of her
old dreams, hopes, and aspirations; of her old heart-breaking incidents; of her old life-- and now it
stood out to her as clear as anything. She wondered why she hadn't paid more attention to it in
Yes, the mansion across from the Pokèmon Center had been Tabby's home in
days-gone-by-- the home of Tabby and her mother, that is. All the occurrences from her
schooldays that Tabby was now recalling were nearly overwhelming. The stately manor had
blended into the scenery since Tabby had left it behind after graduating from college-- until a
comment from her mother the previous week before she returned to Italy unlocked a flood of
"You know, Tabitha," Agatha had remarked to her daughter one morning, "I'm
looking into getting the old mansion fixed up."
"Mm," Tabby had nodded absentmindedly.
"It's only right that you should inherit it, of course," Agatha had continued.
"Ah, yes, of course."
"And it would be a wonderful place to raise a family."
"Quite fascinating indeed," Tabby had murmured in an uninterested tone.
"You'll be very anxious to get your hooves on it after you see the old place fixed
up, I'm sure," Agatha had said knowingly.
Tabby was brought out of her reverie and back into the present. But still, had her
mother been serious when she had brought up the mansion that morning? Knowing her mother,
she probably was. Agatha Fershund always had plenty of money to throw around. More
importantly still, was Agatha really going to sign it over to her daughter?
Tabby's mind wandered over past events, such as impossible English tests, worm-filled
lunchboxes, gifts of My Little People on Christmas...
"Tabby? Were you listening?" Tarquin jumped up on the desk in front of Tabby's
head and peered intently into her eyes.
Tabby blinked several times in succession. "Eh... no, not particularly."
"It's fifteen minutes after you technically got off work," Tarquin pointed out,
"which you've spent staring off into space."
"I did? It is? Oh! I was just... that is... thinking," Tabby said falteringly, pushing
back her chair and standing up.
"Let's get home," Tarquin urged, jumping down onto the ground. "Tess said she
"Yes, yes, of course. Chansey, make sure that all the doors are locked securely,"
Tabby instructed her other staff member.
"Chan-sey!" the pink egg-shaped Pokèmon said responsibly as Tabby and Tarquin
exited the center.
"I still can't believe we treated two Mews today," Tarquin commented. "They're
supposed to be rare, but they keep popping-up."
"Yes, that is strange, isn't it?" Tabby said distractedly, and was silent for several
moments more before continuing. "You go on home, Tarquin. I've got something to do. I'll
catch up to you in a bit."
Tarquin looked at her questioningly, but didn't say anything. With a quick wave of
his paw, he was soon dashing off and out of sight.
Seeing that no one else was around now, Tabby scurried across the path to the
mansion grounds. She simply couldn't resist the opportunity. She had to see the place again and
relive old memories.
Agatha had never sold the property after she had moved to Italy and Tabby was
settled on her own. Perhaps she had always meant for her daughter to inherit it, or the memory of
her lost husband kept her from parting with it. Whatever the case, however, the front door was
still locked when Tabby tried opening it.
"If they think that's going to keep me out..." Tabby sniffed, promptly walking
around to the back where a thick, bushy patch of shrubbery grew. She swiftly pushed several
branches aside (there was quite a bit more to push through than the last time she had done this) to
reveal the well-hidden back door. In the days of her youth, this door had always been kept
unlocked; even back then, it had been well-camouflaged by the vegetation and only Tabby and her
mother knew about this way in the event that they should get locked out by all other means.
Luck was with Tabby, for the creaky door was still unlocked. She stepped inside
and securely closed it behind her, hastily checking again that no one else was in the vicinity. Now
she stood at the end of a dark, musty hallway; but she still knew her way around.
The house remained fully furnished, but everything showed signs of wear. Tabby
paused in a doorway for several moments, looking intently at the old but familiar
And then she crept up the stairway, the flowered wallpaper on the walls peeling
and the varnish on the banister faded. There was one room in particular that she wanted to see on
this excursion. The route was familiar to her after all these years. Upon reaching the second
floor, she turned to the right and opened the first door she came to.
"It is still here," Tabby breathed, spellbound, as she bounced down on the
mattressed bed. "My room! It really is still here."
Indeed, it was Tabby's old bedroom. Her personal belongings had all been long
ago taken out, but some things still remained, such as her bed, desk, wardrobe, and her favorite
feature of all-- her windowseat.
Squealing softly, Tabby rushed to seat herself in the old beloved windowseat. It
had been such a quiet and serene place to think, and still was. She stared out over the town with
wide, curious eyes. How fascinating it was to be here again!
Tabby was not entirely sure what she wanted to accomplish on this venture, if she
wanted to accomplish anything at all. She couldn't tell how long she sat there in her old
windowseat in silence. How eerie it was to be alone in her old house, now empty and devoid of
life. Impulsively, she pushed up against the purple velvet pillows trimming the windowseat.
Upon hearing something crinkle as she did so, Tabby was naturally curious. She
lifted one of the pillows from behind her. Firmly pressed down over the years, a yellow piece of
paper was revealed under the pillow.
Tabby cautiously reached for the paper. Who knew what ghost of the past might
be hidden in it, and why did it happen to be there? She opened up the folded slip, and a stormy
expression crossed her face as recognition flooded her mind.
What she held in her hoof was a letter from Tex from their high school days.
"There shouldn't be a comma there," Tabby scowled as she reread the message for the first time
Tabby, I know, what you think of me after what I did to you with those worms.
Believe me this time, I didn't mean it to hurt you so bad. I really do care about you, a whole lot.
Honest, I like you better than all the other girls at school, and better than any girl anywhere.
You're a lot prettier than them, too. Please, can't you just let the worms go? I'd really like to
get to know you better. Would you come with me to the Satin Slipper Sweet Shoppe tonight?
even try to stop using my accent if that would help. Please.
Tabby was compelled to crumple the paper, but refrained herself from doing so--
to keep it as a memento of the past, if nothing else. "Flattery will get you nowhere, Tex," she
muttered softly. "He really thought we could be a couple, eh? I can't believe he had the nerve to,
after putting worms in my lunchbox. He cared about me? Hah! Not after worms in my
Tabby suddenly cringed at the realization of how pathetic of an excuse that
sounded like for putting someone on her blacklist. Why was she so down on Tex? Was it entirely
because of the trivial worm incident, or did it go deeper?
"It's because he was so annoying, following me around every chance he got
begging for my forgiveness," Tabby scowled. "I really hated that. I couldn't stand it. He acted
to-o-o pathetically lovesick for my tastes."
Perhaps Tabby really didn't hate or despise Tex, after all. It had certainly been fun
flaunting around spreading rumors about how evil he was, but it had become so natural for her to
do so she really didn't think seriously about why she was doing it. "I should be glad he's
obsessing over Tamara now, so he doesn't worry about me," Tabby said slyly to herself. "Now,
back then, 4-Speed was pretty annoying, too. And then there was Slugger. Plus..." Tabby
thought back to all the dates she had turned down throughout her school years. Why, she hadn't
accepted a single one. Perhaps it was because she could only see Tex in all the stallions trailing
after her. Perhaps she had been blinded by hatred on the topic of romance. But perhaps it had
worked out better for her that way.
The letter dropped unnoticed from Tabby's hooves and swished down onto the
floor. "It was for the better," she whispered. "It was. I probably would have gotten
married years ago had it not been for those years. And then... and then... there wouldn't be any
Tabby stood up abruptly and snatched Tex's note off the floor, shoving it back
under the pillow. She returned to staring out the window, and her thoughts wandered back onto
more recent times, starting with the arrival of Thomas in Dream Valley a year ago. How bitter
was the resentment Tabby had felt when he had first infringed on her veterinary clinic! And how
sweet it had been when she had first opened her heart up to him.
Tabby's eyes misted over. She was viewed by most as a pony without much
respect or feelings for anyone. But she really did care about things more than anyone suspected,
and she truly did love Thomas, even if she didn't show it openly. She only prayed that he
understood. For Thomas had been the first to melt her icy heart, and Tabby would not lose him
Tabby stretched and yawned. That's enough deep thinking for the day,
she decided. Her mind feeling at rest now, she skipped to the doorway and surveyed her room
one last time before leaving. Tex's letter could stay where it had been, for she had no need for it.
More memories could wait for another day. And she had things in the present to attend to.
Perhaps she would come to live at the mansion one day. And perhaps any number
of numerous things could happen to her. But only the future could tell what was next in store for
Tabitha Elaine Fershund.