He had to go into town to get a few things they were lacking at home. This was a trip Big Macintosh avoided if at all possible. His first time away from the security of the farm and it felt like everypony was just watching him, waiting for him to fall apart. He couldn't take the sad gazes, the touches, the words of sympathy. It was worse than shouldering the burden of his loss all on his own. Ponies he knew by name but never really spoke to came up to him as if they'd been friends forever. But that wasn't the worst of it.
Pinkie Pie burst into tears every time she saw him. He never thought he'd miss her non-sensical chatter, her bouncing, even her teeth grindingly annoying habit of calling him "Macky." But after the first few times she threw her forelegs around him and sobbed, he knew he'd taken perky Pinkie for granted.
On the rare occasion he saw Rarity she all but ignored him. It was easy to blame him for what happened, he was aware of that. Big Macintosh blamed himself every day. How could he want for Rarity to find somewhere else to place the guilt? He could wish she'd act more like Rainbow Dash. The pegasus generally avoided the subject. She was melancholy like everyone else for a long time. Now, however, she was on the same page as Applejack and was trying to get life back to some semblance of normalcy. If only it was so easy.
Then there was Twilight Sparkle. She couldn't meet his eyes anymore. It was like she hurt just as much as he did and for almost all of the same reasons. Seeing her was the hardest part of his occasional trips into town. All they had to do was see one another across the way, lock eyes and know what the other was feeling. It was like having his heart ripped out fresh every time. And the pain wasn't worth even the basic conversation. Because it would never be easy for either of them.
He got what he needed and headed home as fast as he could. There was a rumble somewhere in the distance, like the thundering of his hooves was echoing, bouncing back from the thick gray clouds above him. Good. Let it rain. Let it pour. Let lightning strike him and end this charade of a life he was living. Only in death would he ever find peace.
The thunder rumbled again, closer this time, sending vibrations into his bones. There was a bridge up ahead. If he cared about being smart he'd find someplace to hunker down in Ponyville. Or maybe more accurately, if he cared about anything at all. As it was his pace slowed upon approaching the bridge. In the middle of it he paused and moved to look over the edge. The reflection in the water was like something from a fun-house mirror. Wind blew across the surface making the shifting clouds overhead move in odd and impossible ways. Lightning flashed above him, and Big Macintosh took a breath before leaping over the railing.
The water wasn't deep by any means, only coming up to his knees. But the wind was picking up, tossing small sticks and pebbles at him. This was going to be one heck of a storm by the look of it. Still he waded in the water. His gait was slow as he walked, deciding to follow it into the trees. What he would do or where he would go beyond that was not even a concern.
In the forest it was as though it was midnight for the lack of sunlight. Still he walked, enjoying the howling wind, the way his heart raced with every strike of lightning and drum roll of thunder. With the lack of good light it had been near impossible to see the good sized rock in the stream ahead of him. Big Macintosh took a normal step, knocking into it and tripping, falling forward into the cold current.
Water rushed into his nose, his mouth, stinging his throat with ice as he coughed and tried to regain his footing. Lighting flashed as he stood. Shadows ghosted around him and he saw the rock. He snorted and turned around, bucking the rock and sending it tumbling heavily away. He turned again, bucking out with his rear legs to make harsh contact with a thick tree trunk. He did it again and again, anger and heartache combining in such a rush that he no longer had any control over himself. The tree gave a satisfying crunch and tilted, swaying before falling. He bit into a branch of the fallen tree and tore it from the rest of the limbs. His head swung and CRACK! he hit another tree with the branch. The rough wood cut into his gums and the sides of his mouth. Even tasting his own blood couldn't stop the storm he'd become, his ferocity a worthy rival of the storm high above. He wanted to destroy and moved like a feral beast.
Then he heard it. Somewhere between the bucking, the beating, the snorting, it reached him, cut through everything he was feeling to stop him dead in his tracks. It was crying. Soft, sweet, tender. He knew that cry like he knew his own heartbeat. Lightning flashed and he saw her standing down a ways. Her coloring was unmistakable, her mane, her wings, her sad eyes.
And he had made her cry.
Big Macintosh dropped the branch instantly, his breath heavy. "Darlin? What are you doin' down here?"
She didn't answer. Instead she turned her back on him and ran away, echoes of her weeping trailing behind her.
"Wait," Big Macintosh whispered. He forced his legs to move, to follow her, willed his voice to regain some of it's strength. "Wait, don't go!" His body surged forward and he crashed through the underbrush, following her as best as he could.