As the day progresses Amber seems to grow weary and she elects to return back to her new apartment, choosing a direct route along major streets. Hopefully no new interruptions happen along the way.
She does not spare a glance to her landlord/receptionist on the way up, though it does take Amber a moment to remember where the stairway is. She trudges up the cramped stairs and down the hallway, stretching her neck tiredly. Once reaching her door she pushes her snout below her cloak and pulls it back a moment later with a keyring with a solitary key. It doesn't take long for Amber to open her door and lock it behind her.
Once laying her burlap cloak as well as her headscarf on top of her dress over the counter, the mare does some stretches to loosen those muscles exerted by a day-long trot and heads into the bathroom. The toilet itself is designed with ponies in mind, being slightly elongated and set low to the floor. However, the space which encloses it is not, as most ponies would need to bend their hind legs at an uncomfortable angles with hooves pressed to the wall. Thankfully this is not so much of an issue for Amber, and although the wooden lid is cracked and smells strongly of chemicals, the commode flushes effectively if slowly. The sink is likewise a simple rectangle with a bare pipe underneath, and it has a single faucet topped by a spoked knob. After turning the knob the faucet spurts water erratically with a gurgle but after a couple of seconds and a splash it resumes a steady stream. Once washing her hooves and face Amber places her few toiletries atop its sparse space, including a rustic wooden brush, a simple toothbrush, unbranded tooth powder, and a small bar of soap.
The pony frowns disapprovingly at the only other bathroom fixture, the shower, jammed at the far end next to the toilet. She sighs and puts the brush and soap on the toilet tank lid before sidling over into the shower area. The width of the bathroom is barely enough to stand on all fours, and doing so requires an equine to turn her head to the side with it touching the wall. A simple set of pipes on the same side as all the other plumbing, and again with a knob valve, rises out of the wall to a fixed shower head. Amber determines that rising on her rear hooves is better for comfort and rests either her plot against the wall behind her or her forehooves on the wall in front for support. The shower itself works well and Amber starts by running the soap through her mane, behind her ears, and down her neck, followed by a brush. Although she manages to reach her withers with effort, her hooves cannot reach her loin and croup so she picks up the brush in her mouth. The shower's spray cannot reach her belly directly but suds running down her coat make it possible to wash there. This is followed by her tail, her nether regions and finally down her gaskins.
After rinsing and shutting off the water Amber is now free of the grunge inevitable after a full day of travel, but she's now faced with a new problem. Besides the lack of a shower curtain and spray thus reaching as far as the floor beneath the sink, there is no proper basin for the shower. Rather, the tiled floor slopes gradually into a drain, but part of it failing to do so leaves a puddle of standing water. She shakes herself off carefully and uses a hoof to sweep some of the water into the drain, and as she leaves she shakes the water off her hooves. Shivering in the sudden chill of the room the mare wishes she had a towel instead of having to resort to wrapping herself in her burlap cloak.
Having corrected her hair with the brush to be in the right place--namely, all falling over the right side of her head, she decides to have dinner. She carefully unwraps the bread and cheese, slices it in half, and after giving thanks nibbles on one half until it's gone. No longer hungry for now at least, she wraps the remaining meal, gulps down some water, and brushes her teeth.
Not wanting to go to bed until she's only slightly damp, the mare fishes out a bulky instrument from her saddlebags. In the rosy but fading glow of the sunset shining through her window, she sits on the floor with the cloak around her, carefully tunes this stringed instrument, and plays a little song over and over, trying out different variations. https://youtu.be/BQtJ3v4lGfY?t=99
This goes on for a couple hours, and when there's no longer enough light to see she resorts to the dimly harsh orange light of a sole unshrouded incandescent bulb on the ceiling.
Yawning, Amber carefully leans her mandolin against the wall and turns to the bare mattress serving as the only bedding in the room. Frowning, she jumps on top of it a few times with nothing happening. She grips a corner with her teeth and pulls it up, spotting a cockroach scurry out. Pupils shrunk and eye twitching, she drops the mattress and hits with a thwack. The young mare grimaces in disgust at the still-twitching remains, and she quickly finds a handkerchief, picks it up gingerly and practically throws it into the sink, washing whatever is on the handkerchief and her hoof down the drain. After what was surely an excessive amount of washing she shuts off the sink.
Amber, after calming down, rests next to her mattress in a supplicative pose. Aloud she says a very common prayer, "O Celestia, our Princess..."
, which praises the former monarch and provides petition for both well-being and forgiveness. She follows this with a shorter prayer devoted to Luna which requests safeguard from threats in both the world of reality and that of dreams. After following these with lengthy lists of things to be thankful for--mainly health, safe travel, accommodation, and a job--and requests--mainly the physical and economic well-being of her family--she crawls into bed. It takes some repositioning to huddle with the burlap cloth, and she's never truly warm, but she manages to fade off into sleep.
END OF FIRST DAY