Tomorrow Never Knows

by DeiStar

Chapter 1: Tomorrow Never Knows

Tomorrow Never Knows

The hospital felt like an entirely different place at night. During the day, doctors and nurses hustled back and forth through the halls, stopping every so often to exchange information on different patients. At night, however, the only noise that came from the hallway was the occasional hoofsteps of a doctor or nurse, making their nightly rounds.

Dragging a hoof in front of her mouth, Redheart let out a huge yawn, followed by a grunt. She stared back at the book, lying on the desk in front of her, and flicked a page with her hoof. “Not even that coffee can keep me awake,” she sighed to herself and resumed her lecture on microbiology. Her desk could barely allow a book to open, due the amount of patient files, hospital documents and all sorts of office accessories that needed to be there. Normally, she would have more space, but the number of ill ponies had increased ever since winter came.

Holding the mug with her hoof, Redheart took a sip of the bitter coffee, cringing. “Should have added more sugar,” she said, placing the mug back on the desk. The long corridor had several doors, which led to different departments, such as Neurology and Ophthalmology. Benches were set on the middle, so ponies could sit and wait their turn. The bottom of the corridor was occupied by Redheart’s—and a couple of other nurses’—desk. The only light was the dim moonlight that trickled through the thin, teal curtains of the few corridor windows. For a hospital, it was such a peaceful night.

As relaxed as the night could be, there was somepony who didn’t seem to agree. Redheart was just as stressed as she would be at noon, with the dozens of ponies, chatting and walking around the corridor, and the little foals, running and yelling aloud, even if it was against the hospital rules. No, that night was not peaceful for Nurse Redheart. Her Red Cross cutie mark could tell anypony that she was a nurse and that she was content with being one, but that was not the case. She indeed loved to be a nurse, but she couldn’t stand it anymore.

Redheart had decided that this would be her last week in the hospital, before signing her resignation letter. It wasn’t a sudden decision, though. She had been planning the whole thing for a couple of months. Now, six days had passed, and it was Redheart’s last night at the hospital. Next morning was going to be the end of a chapter in her life; a long and memorable one. As soon as she flicked her book page, a voice came from her desk radio.

“Nurse Redheart, please report to room 9.”

Gasping, Redheart jumped on her seat and stared at the radio. The sudden voice startled her, but the message was clear. Sighing, she stood up from her seat and trotted through the corridor, taking a left turn at the exit and then a right turn at the staircase. Even if the hospital was huge, she knew it like the back of her hoof.

Cantering through the marble halls, Redheart passed rooms one through eight and arrived at her destination. Finally, she stepped inside the small room, which was only illuminated by a simple lamp, hanging from the ceiling. She noticed a mint-colored unicorn on a bed, wearing nothing but a blue hospital shirt and gazing at her. However, Redheart didn’t return the stare, instead shifting her gaze to the yellow-coated unicorn, standing next to the patient’s bed. “You called, Doctor?”

Levitating files with his magic, the doctor turned and looked at the nurse. “Ah, Nurse Redheart.” He placed the files on top of a nightstand—which only had a lamp—and trotted towards the nurse. “I’d like you to watch over this patient, tonight. She has just arrived a few hours ago.” He pointed his hoof at the mare and the files he was carrying a few moments ago. Compared with others, the room was rather small; it was suited for just one patient, with a bed near the corner of the room, and a defibrillator on the other side, a simple wooden chair leaning against the other corner. The white walls and gray floor gave an eerie environment, considering the room had no windows.

Blinking, Redheart looked back at the mare, who was still gazing at her, simply lying there, with nothing but a cable attached from her foreleg to an EKG, and an intravenous bag on the other side of the bed, attached to her other leg. She had no bandages or signs that she had broken something; anyone could say she even seemed to be healthy and ready to go. “Uh, all right.” Redheart returned her stare to the doctor. At least she was going to have something to do, tonight, instead of reading a boring book all alone. “What’s the matter with her?”

“She had a heart attack some hours ago; we were lucky that we brought her in time, though. A little later and she might not have made it.” The doctor trotted past Redheart, making his way to the door. “We’ll be monitoring her for the night, but we need a nurse to be around here, just in case that something unexpected happens. We’ve got other nurses taking care of other patients, so you were the only one available.”

“Yes, I understand,” Redheart responded. Her words emanated anything but enthusiasm. She only wished for noon to arrive so she could step outside that hospital and never come back. She turned and trotted towards the bed, to at least greet the ill one she was going to take care of for the last time. The unicorn still stared at Redheart, like if she had something stuck on her face.

“Thank you, Nurse Redheart.” The doctor nodded and stepped outside of the room, however, Redheart didn’t reply back. “Now, if you excuse me, I’ve got to check some reports on the ER.” He waited a few seconds for an answer that never came. Rolling his eyes, he closed the room door and left without another word.

Redheart waited for the hoofsteps in the hallway to fade out and sighed. She looked at the unicorn and noticed that she had a weak smile on her face. Ignoring it, Redheart moved in front of the nightstand and opened a folder, reading its contents. The name ‘Lyra Heartstrings’ was displayed at the top of the first page.

The unicorn tilted her head, confused about the nurse’s silence treatment. Wishing to break the ice, she decided to go forth and talk. “Hi!”

Redheart turned her head and looked at the unicorn with a blank expression on her face. “Hello,” she said and shifted her gaze back at the documents.

The unicorn blinked; she didn’t expect such a cold and quick answer. Regardless, she didn’t want the conversation to die so quickly. “I’m Lyra Heartstrings!” she stated, offering the nurse a grin. This time, she hoped for a warmer answer.

Redheart rolled her eyes. “So the files weren’t lying, huh?” She didn’t bother to turn her head this time. She flicked through the files, carefully reading whatever was on them; the usual stuff, written by both paramedics and doctors. “It seems like you had a heart attack. Girl, you’re lucky you live relatively close to the hospital.” She flicked through the files, ignoring the grimace on Lyra’s face.

“Jeez, what’s with the attitude, nurse? Is that how you treat all your patients?” Lyra fumed, frowning. Redheart’s ear twitched, but no response came from her. She kept looking at the documents, as if she had heard nothing. Giving up, Lyra sighed. “Fine, don’t talk to me, then. I thought nurses were kind and sweet, but it seems like I was wrong.”

With a hoof, Redheart closed the files and glared at Lyra. “Do you really think that all nurses have to be kind and loving? Do you have any idea of what it is like to be a nurse?” She almost shouted that last question.

Lyra had no words in her mouth to answer back; Redheart’s sudden outburst was enough to shock her. She couldn’t do anything but stare at the nurse’s blue eyes. A few seconds of silence passed before Redheart grumped and turned away. Wondering if she had said something offensive, Lyra gulped. “S-sorry, whatever I said, I—”

“Never mind this, all right?” Redheart turned back and trotted away from Lyra. “You need to rest, so please don’t waste your breath talking to me. Go to sleep or something,”

Offended, Lyra frowned. Not even her apology could form a smile on Redheart’s cold face. “Fine,” she grumbled, closed her eyes and pressed her head against the pillow. She’d have turned away, but she feared that the cords on her legs would snap.

Redheart sighed. “Sorry, I’m a little stressed; I didn’t mean to be rude,” she said, turning back to Lyra. The unicorn opened her eyes and looked at the nurse, quite surprised because of her sudden mood change. “I’m just having a tough night.”

Lyra smiled back, although the same thing couldn’t be said about Redheart. “It’s okay, nurse.” She waved a hoof around. “What do you say if we start again? Hello, I’m Lyra Heartstrings!” She extended a hoof at Redheart.

Redheart looked at Lyra’s hoof and nodded softly. “I’m Nurse Redheart.” She dragged her hoof forwards. “Nice to meet you, I guess,” she mumbled, shaking Lyra’s hoof.

“What a pretty name; it fits your cutie mark!”

“Well, I could say the same thing about you, Lyra.”

“Hah, clever,” Lyra giggled. She rolled her eyes around and glanced at her files on the nightstand. “Say, what’s written in all those files? Seems like a lot of info.”

“Well, it’s pretty much your personal information and condition,” Redheart explained. “Also, blood samples are registered there, among many other things; it is quite small compared to the patients in intensive care, for example.”

“Oh, I see,” Lyra said, expecting something a bit more exciting, and not just boring data.

“Ah, that reminds me.” Redheart ran through the files once again, withdrawing a single form from the documents. “I need to ask you a few questions, now that you’re stable to talk.” She sat on the floor and grabbed a pen with her hoof.

“Shoot away. I’ll answer anything.”

“All right.” Redheart pushed the pen button, ready to begin. “First, I need to know if there’s any record of heart attacks in your family, to see if this is genetic or not. Parents, uncles, grandparents, you know.”

“Not that I know of,” Lyra responded. She tapped her chin with a hoof. “My parents never had a heart attack, and I’m sure neither my aunt Harpy.” As Lyra spoke, Redheart took notes on the paper. “All my grandparents were dead when I was born, except for one; my grandma Lyric still lives, but she has never had a heart attack. She only has diabetes.

“Well, you’ve gotta be careful with that. Diabetes is hereditary; if you don’t take care, you’ll end up being dependent on insulin shots.” Redheart stopped writing, turning the form around.

“I know… that’s why I try to keep a balanced diet.” Lyra had met many ponies with diabetes before, and it didn’t sound like a fun disease. She loved her candies; she couldn’t afford to lose them.

“Anyway, I need to ask you another question.”

“Sure.” Lyra nodded.

“It says here that the doctors couldn’t contact any relative or friend. They’ve got no info about you on that matter. Don’t you have any relatives we could contact and inform them about the attack?”

“Oh, about that…” Lyra bowed her head, her smile fading away. “No, all my relatives are in Manehattan and Canterlot. I’m the only one in my family who lives in Ponyville.”

“But still, I think we should call somepony and tell them you’ve had a heart attack; parents or siblings or anypony.”

“No… it’s okay, really. There’s no need to call anypony,” Lyra insisted. “Now, may we please change the subject?”

Redheart raised an eyebrow in confusion. Something about Lyra’s sudden mood change was off, but she decided to please her patient’s wishes. “All right, I’ll talk with the doctor, later. I just need to ask you about the attack and we’re done, okay?”

“Okay,” Lyra said, her smile returning to her face. “About what happened?” Redheart nodded. “Well, I was at my house, reading a book. I had been reading it for about an hour, and I was about to finish as soon as finished the chapter.” Redheart’s scribbling pen was the only response she got from her. “After a while, I began to breathe heavily and the room got hotter. I opened my room’s window so I could get a little of fresh air.”

“Did you eat something before reading?” Redheart asked.

“Hmm, yes, I had a daisy sandwich from Penny Lane stand. They’re literally the best daisy sandwiches you’ll ever have in your life.” Redheart nodded, indicating her to proceed. “Anyways, I kept reading for another five or so minutes after I opened the window, but I was still hot. I wanted to go to the kitchen and serve myself a glass of water, but that’s when that happened.”

“You had the heart attack when you stood up?”

“Well, yes. My body felt heavy and my chest was burning. I really didn’t know what was going on, but I knew it couldn’t be a good thing. I lost consciousness in a matter of seconds. When I woke up, I was already being examined by doctors, here in the hospital.” Lyra recalled the events of that night; events that would surely haunt her for a long time.

“It says here that the hospital received a call from a pony named Minuette. Who might that be?”

“Ah, Minuette is my neighbor. She must have seen me and called the ambulance. I think I collapsed in front of my bedroom window. Since we live really close to each other, she can look through my window and I can look through hers. I guess I was lucky she saw me.”

“Indeed. The ambulance arrived just in time. A little later and you might have not made it. But, how come she didn’t come with the ambulance? Did she just call and nothing else?”

“Well, we’re indeed neighbors, but we aren’t that close. We do favors for each other and greet every day, but we’ve never been that close. I guess she just didn’t see the need to accompany me.”

“I see.” Redheart pushed the pen and sighed. “Well, I guess this is the last patient form I fill, then.”

“Last? How so?” Lyra asked.

Redheart stood up and placed the form on top of the files, along with the pen. “Well, I decided that I’d be quitting, tomorrow.”

Lyra tilted her head. “Quitting? How come? You seem to be a great nurse.”

Redheart sighed and turned back to Lyra. “Well, it’s just that I’m not happy with this job anymore. I’ve been working here for years, and I just can’t find myself the motivation to keep going.” She looked around the room, glancing at what she has seen for so many years. “I’m a nurse… I’ve always been a nurse, but I think I’m tired of being one.”

“Oh…” Lyra wasn’t expecting to hear that. She had thought Redheart was just doing her job, and that she’d see her again tomorrow, or the day after, or whatever days she’d be in the hospital. “I’m sorry to hear that. But, hey, you’ve got to follow your heart.”

“I know, I know…” Getting a little tired, Redheart rubbed her eye. “I just want something new to happen. I’m tired of the same old thing. Every day is just the same thing; I'm sick of it.”

“What are you talking about? There’s always something new, tomorrow.”


“Yes, tomorrow never knows. Lots and lots of new stuff will happen, tomorrow. You just gotta be optimistic about it. If you treat every single day as the old one, you’re never going to find anything new!”

Redheart blinked. She had not expected for Lyra to say something like that. "No, it's always the same thing every day. Nothing new happens, ever.”

“Well, if you treat every single day as the last one, of course nothing new will happen. You should treat the tomorrow as a new day, because that's what it is.”

Redheart wanted to protest, but Lyra was right. What’s the point on treating every day as the one that had just passed? Yesterday shouldn’t be like tomorrow. “You know, I never looked at it that way. I guess you’re right.”

“Look at me, even though I just had a heart attack, I’m still optimistic about tomorrow, and I can’t wait to see what it has prepared for me.”

“Wow, you’re quite the philosopher, Lyra,” Redheart giggled.

“Nah, I just read a bunch of books…” Suddenly, Lyra realized something. “Hey, that’s the first time I see you smile!”

Redheart’s smile disappeared for a second, but came back as soon as she spoke. “Yeah, I guess you have turned a boring, old night into something better.”

“I just look at the bright side. I just can’t wait to get out of here and go eat some daisy sandwiches at Penny Lane.” Lyra could already picture it, munching on a toasted sandwich with crispy daisies. “It just isn’t fair if I keep the sandwiches from there to be known by other ponies.”

“Are they really that good, huh?” Redheart wondered.

“Totally, in fact, why don’t you go with me once I get out and have a couple of sandwiches? I’m sure you’ll love them as much as I do. Well, maybe not as much as me, but you’ll be pretty satisfied.”

Redheart wasn’t only touched by Lyra’s optimism, but because of her kind offer. “Sure, it sounds like fun to hang out.”

“Oh, and if you want, you can get a friend to tag along with us if you like.”

“Ah…” Redheart rolled her eyes. “Sure…”

“Huh? Is something the matter?” Lyra noticed a sudden mood change on Redheart. That ‘sure’ didn’t sound agreeing at all. If anything, it sounded like a forced response.

“It’s nothing… it’s just that… well.” Redheart rubber a hoof against her leg and bit her lower lip. “It’s just that I don’t really have any friends. That’s all.”

Lyra’s jaw dropped as her head tilted. “Wh-what? You don’t have any friends? How is that possible? You work in a hospital. I’m sure you’ve got lots of friends!”

“Well, yes, I work here, but that doesn’t mean I’m friends with everypony. I’ve known many doctors and nurses for years, but we’re all acquaintances at most, nothing else.” Sighing, Redheart looked at Lyra. “I think I never bothered to make any friends, because I thought I didn’t need them. I thought I was happy the way I was. Now, look at me. I’m going to quit my job, tomorrow, and I don’t even know what I’m gonna do next.”

“But, Redheart, making friends is something very important in everypony’s life. We all have to depend on other ponies to co-exist. You can’t live a life all by yourself.”

“I guess you’re right. I never wanted to make any friends because I thought I didn’t need them, but, well, you can’t change the past.”

“True, you can’t, but you can fix its mistakes.” Lyra extended a hoof at Redheart. “I will be officially your first friend. How does that sound?”

Redheart was surprised at the sudden claim. Why would a simple patient whom she just met less than an hour ago agree to be her friend? “S-sure,” she said and shook Lyra’s hoof.

Lyra smiled. “It will be a shame that you won’t be here tomorrow to take care of me, though.”

“You’ll get another nurse, and they’re all much kinder and sweeter than me. I’m sure you’ll be okay,” Redheart said. She had known many of the nurses for a long time, and they were indeed kind and loving, except maybe Nurse Coldheart. “But thanks, Lyra.”

“Huh, for what?”

“For cheering me up, even though we’re total strangers. You told me to be optimistic and look at tomorrow as something new.”

“It’s nothing, really. I just like to make ponies happy, and I’m glad—” she coughed. “Glad that you’re happy.”

Redheart nodded. “Even if I’m not here tomorrow, I’ll still come to visit you, and go get those sandwiches whenever you can go.”

“Thanks, I appreciate it. You’re a nice pony, Nurse Redheart,” Lyra said.

Redheart smiled. “You’re nice, too, Lyra.”

Out of nowhere, the hospital radio began playing soft instrumental music. There were speakers scattered all over the hospital; one in each room. The background music transformed the silent and cold hospital environment into something warmer and happier. “Unf…”

Redheart looked at Lyra. “Huh, is something wrong?”

“I… I don’t know... I… ung!” Lyra slowly began to breathe faster than usual, her pupils dilating.

“Lyra? Are you okay?” Worried, Redheart approached Lyra.

“I… I… my… chest…” Lyra’s legs began to shake as she gasped loudly; the EKG on the side of the bed started bleeping. “Aargh…”

“N-no! Lyra, hold on!” As soon as Redheart heard the bleeps, she stood up from her seat and pressed a button on it. “Code blue in room 9! I repeat, code blue in room 9!” She dashed back to Lyra and ripped her shirt apart with her mouth. The constant bleeps on the machine began to become louder and faster. “Lyra, hang on. You’ll be fine, just, resist.”

Lyra could not say anything. The burning pain she once felt back at her home was coming back, but stronger this time. She clenched her teeth, wishing for the pain to disappear, anyhow. Redheart held onto Lyra.

The sound of hooves and voices could be heard from outside the room, quickly approaching. In a few seconds, two doctors and a nurse burst into the room. The two doctors dashed towards the defibrillator, while the nurse went to aid Redheart.

“Irregular pulse! The heart’s beating slower than usual!”

“Nurse Coldheart, prepare the patient for the defibrillator!”

Lyra… Lyra…

“Please move, Nurse Redheart!”

“Pulse is decreasing; we need to do it, now!”

“Doctor, the patient’s ready!”

Hang it there… Lyra… please…

“Damn it, Nurse Redheart, move! You’re getting in the way!”

“Hurry up! We don’t have much time.”

“Okay, Nurse Coldheart, please move.”

“Everypony, clear!”

Please… resist…

“Nothing happened; repeat!”


“Her heart isn’t responding. We’re losing her!”

“Pulse decreasing!”



A flat bleep noise told everypony what had happened. The doctor put down the defibrillator and bowed his head. Nurse Coldheart bit her lower lip while the other doctor looked at the wall clock.

“Time of death: 8th of December, 11:15 PM”

Redheart stood there, staring at Lyra. Everything in the room went black except for the unicorn she was talking to just a few moments ago. Everything went silent except for her cheerful voice. What had happened? Why was she feeling sad? During all her years as a nurse, she had seen a fair share of patients who couldn’t make it. Lyra was just another unlucky soul, so why was she sad? Usually, when a patient passes away in her turn, she just leaves the room and goes back to her station, so why was she still in the room? She had never felt sad about any loss in her years as a nurse, so why was she crying? She had never had the need to stare at a patient whenever they were pronounced dead, so why was she staring at Lyra?

As soon as the doctor announced the time of death, a song played on the hospital’s sound system.

‘Close your eyes and I’ll kiss you,
Tomorrow I’ll miss you,
Remember I’ll always be true.

And then while I’m away,
I’ll write home every day,
And I’ll send all my loving to you…’


“Doctor Robert?”

The doctor turned and looked at the yellow-coated mare in front of him. “Ah, Nurse Coldheart. Do you have Lyra Heartstrings’ files?”

“Yes, we’ve checked them and they’re all in order, now. But there’s one odd thing about this.”

“Hmm, and what might that be?”

“Well, we weren’t able to contact any of her relatives; we could only contact her neighbor, which was the one who called the ambulance, last night. She told us that Ms. Heartstrings had no relatives or friends. She was a total nopony.”

“Well, that is weird. No relatives or friends. I guess no one will be mourning her. By the way, Nurse Coldheart, have you seen Nurse Redheart?”

“Yes, she is in room 9. She told me she wanted to be alone in the room for a while. I don’t know why; she just went inside with a greasy paper bag and a plate.”

“Well, I think we should let her alone for a while. She seemed to be quite affected by Ms. Heartstrings passing away. It’s almost noon, so perhaps we should go get some lunch.”

“All right, doctor.”


“Hey, Lyra. I brought you a daisy sandwich, from that Penny Lane place.” Redheart sat in front of an empty bed. The strong sunlight that filtered through the window illuminated the whole room. A toasted daisy sandwich rested on a plate on the bed, while Redheart took another one out of a paper bag. “You know I promised you to go grab some after you got better.”

Redheart gave the sandwich a small bite. “Wow, Lyra. You were right. This sandwich IS amazing!” She giggled and placed it down. “I’ll be frequenting that place from now on, heh.” Looking around the room, she sighed. “You know… you were right. We never know what tomorrow has prepared for us, and every day is indeed a new day.”

“I never truly understood why I was so exhausted of my job, but now I do. It was because I did nothing new to improve. I kept doing the same thing, every single day. I kept thinking about tomorrow as another boring day, instead of thinking about it as another day to live and do something new. With no friends to care for, and treating every day as a cycle, of course I’d end up hating my job.”

“Thank you, again, Lyra, for becoming my first true friend, even though I met you for a very short time. Thanks to you, I’ll be able to fix the errors I committed in the past. I have decided to keep working here at the hospital, because one shouldn’t run away from their problems, but fix them, and become a better pony.”

Redheart stood up from her seat and put her sandwich in the paper bag. She turned and trotted towards the door, stopping midway. “Goodbye, Lyra. Thank you for making me a better pony and for being my first friend.” She resumed her trotting and left the room, closing the door behind her.

‘Thank you, Nurse Redheart. Goodbye.’

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