Parting Ways
written by Clever Clover

"Clever Clover! I am talking to you!"

"Yeah, and I'm ignoring you. Now, why don't you just go away? All your nagging is getting on my nerves."

Morning Glory shook her head. "I'm not giving up on you! You may have lost your memory, but you still have responsibilities!"

Clever Clover sighed. "You're not leaving?"

"NO! I'm not leaving you."

Clever Clover stood up. "I'm not going to get anything done. I'm going for a walk." He stomped toward the door.

After a moment, Morning Glory followed him. "Well, at least that's like the old you."

Clever Clover paused at the door. "I just can't win with you."

"You can't fight your true self. I'm just reminding you of that."

"I can try." Clever Clover exited the house, closing the door behind him before Morning Glory could follow. "I wish I lived in town; it's easier to lose oneself in the city streets than out in the middle of nowhere." He trotted off toward the nearest stand of trees, in hopes of evading Morning Glory.

When he reached the trees, Clever Clover looked back toward the house. There was no sign of Morning Glory. "I guess she finally gave up." He sat down under a tree. "I might as well take a nap since I've got a moment of peace and quiet."

* * *

Back at the house, Morning Glory stood staring at the door. She took a deep breath. "He is so difficult. Why is he fighting me so hard? Doesn't he understand what I'm doing is for his own good? But he always has been stubborn; maybe the best thing I can do is just give him some space. Besides, I've been meaning to check on Belle Star and see how she's been handling this."

Morning Glory strolled into Friendship Gardens where Belle Star's apartment was. She climbed the steps to the third floor and knocked on Belle Star's door. There was no answer. She turned to Coral's door, across the hall, and knocked, but there was no answer there, either. "I suppose Coral took her out to try and cheer her up."

She then went down to the superintendent's office. "Excuse me, do you know when Belle Star went out?"

The superintendent shrugged. "A couple of days ago."

"A couple of days? Doesn't that seem a little odd?"

"Not for Belle Star. But that other one, Coral, she's usually here every night. But they both payed their rent to the end of the month, and told me to re-let their apartments if they didn't get back by then."

"What? Do you know where they went?"

"No. And as long as I got my money, I don't really care."

Morning Glory turned to leave just as Minoko was coming in. "Oh! Minoko! What are you doing here?"

"Looking for an apartment."

"You can't get an apartment without money, you bum!" interjected the superintendent.

"Yeah, yeah. No problem. I've got a job now, so money's not a problem."

"A job!" Morning Glory gasped in disbelief.

Minoko glared at the princess. "Yeah, a job. You got a problem with that!?"

"Oh, no. I'm impressed, but I wonder why?"

"Why? So I could get an apartment, that's why."

"Did Clever Clover throw you out?"

Minoko hung her head. "No."

"But... the two of you had been getting along so well lately."

"Yeah, I guess we were. But it just didn't feel right. Especially since he decided not to coach the Dragonflies this year. I enjoyed spending that time with him at the rink. It was the one thing we really had in common. Now..."

"Oh... I wish you well, Minoko." Morning Glory solemnly walked out of the building.

"What is happening to us? We didn't always get along, but we were still friends. It was Clever Clover who brought us together, and now we seem to have lost him. I wish I knew where Belle Star has gotten off to. We're going to need to work together if we're to have any chance of bringing him back."

* * *

Meanwhile, far from Friendship Gardens, Belle Star and Coral hiked across the rolling hills. Belle Star stopped and looked back, longingly, the way they had come.

"Belle! Don't look back. After what he did to you, you need to get away from him for a while. Give him time to regret what he did, and time for you to decide if he's really worth it."

Belle Star hung her head. "I... I feel like I'm abandoning him when he needs me the most."

Coral shook her head. "Abandoning him!? What do you call what he did to you?"

"He... didn't abandon me. He has amnesia."

"Stop making excuses for him. You had the ring; everyone knew the two of you were engaged. Even though he forgot, there was enough to remind him of the truth. But he refused to accept the truth. By tuning his back on you, he turned his back on who he used to be. He chose to be a new pony, someone you don't even know."

Belle Star was silent. No matter how much she wanted to believe in Clever Clover, Coral's arguments were very convincing. And, as Clever Clover was unable, or unwilling, to offer a counter argument, she found herself always being swayed by Coral.

Coral put her hoof on her friend's shoulder. "If you really want to go back, I'll back you up. But if you do, you'll never know the truth. How he feels for you, and how you feel for him."

Belle Star hesitantly turned away from Friendship Garden. Coral nodded and silently led her friend into the unknown.

* * *

Morning Glory wandered the streets of Friendship Gardens, looking for someone who might have seen which way Belle Star and Coral had gone, but to no avail. Having failed to find Clever Clover's one time fiancee, Morning Glory decided to visit the amnesiatic prince once again, to see if she could talk some sense into him. She knocked on his door and waited, but there was no response. "This is getting old," she mumbled, as she turned the doorknob. To her surprise, the door was locked.

"Well, I guess he was rather irate when I last saw him. He must not have calmed down yet. But I do need to talk to him." She knocked again, more forcefully. "Clever Clover! If you are in there, answer me!"

This time there was a response, of sorts, the sound of someone moving about inside. Shortly, the door opened. "I was trying to sleep!" Clever Clover bellowed.

"I'm surprised you can sleep, considering what you've done."

"Huh? What'd I do?"

"What!? You drove away the ponies who were closest to you! You've fought against all efforts to help you regain your memory! You've shirked your responsibilities as regent!"

"Oh, that. If you don't have any other complaints, I'll get back to my nap."

Morning Glory slapped Clever Clover in the face.

Clever Clover took a deep breath. "What was that for?"

"Your friends may have abandoned you- you've even driven away your fiancee- but I will not abandon you. I am a Princess of the Isle Ponies! It is my duty to see to it that you carry out your duty as regent, no mater how distasteful I may find your company of late!"

Clever Clover was silent for a moment. "Fine. If it'll get you out of my hair, I'll do the regent thing... tomorrow. Right now, I'm tired. Come back in the morning. Or better yet, tomorrow afternoon. Okay?"

Morning Glory nodded. She stood on Clever Clover's doorstep for several minutes after the door was closed. Finally, with a tear in her eye and a heavy heart, she turned from the house and slowly walked back to Friendship Gardens.

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