Sour Sweet Sorrow

by Nico-Stone Rupan

Chapter 1: Uncertainties

Sour Sweet was the last to notice that something was different. What she had noticed were the odd, even sometimes freaked out looks she had been receiving from her boyfriend, friends, other CPA students, and teachers the whole day. Eventually, she realized what was amiss. Her voice. She had been speaking normally for an entire day. She cheered with pure elation, gathered her friends into a bone-crushing group hug, and gave her boyfriend the smooch of his life right in front of Principal Cinch without a single flying feather to give about her “No Public Displays of Affection in the Halls” policy.

Sour Sweet eagerly ran to her weekly therapy session after school. She couldn’t wait until she could demonstrate to Doctor Chrysalis this giant leap in her progress...

“She sells seashells by the sea shore.” Sour Sweet giggled adorably. “Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.” She clapped with joy. “I wish to wish the wish you wish to wish, but if you wish the wish the witch wishes, I won’t wish the wish you wish to wish.” She fist pumped the air. “I can’t believe it! This is the longest I’ve gone without a mood swing forcing my voice to switch tones!”

“I have to say, Sour Sweet, I’m very impressed,” Doctor Chrysalis commended, scribbling in her notes.

Sour Sweet sighed in relief. “It’s about time. Everyone has been telling me that it would happen one day. It’s like my grandmamma always used to say: ‘Patience is a virtue’.”

“Wise words indeed, but speaking of patience, in all honesty, I’m beginning to lose mine,” Doctor Chrysalis stated, suddenly sounding rather displeased. “When can I schedule a meeting with your father?”

Sour Sweet fidgeted and began twiddling her thumbs. “He’s busy. You know how it is. Long hours at work, no time to play or meet with daughter’s therapists…”

Doctor Chrysalis gave her a look. “You haven’t told him that I want to see him yet, have you?”

THE BASTARD doesn’t want to talk to me, so why should I talk to him?!” Sour Sweet roared. She then slapped her forehead. “Well, there goes THAT record!

“Sour, I’ve been asking you to tell him for weeks. It’s very important that I speak with him and get an EE measurement.”

Sour Sweet lifted an eyebrow. “What’s an EE measurement?

“EE stands for ‘Expressed Emotion’. It’s a scale of a person’s verbal positive and negative attitudes about the one with the condition while they’re not present.”

Sour Sweet rolled her eyes. “You mean shit they say behind your back. Leave it to therapists to come up with overly-technical terms for something that’s standard high school experience.

“Whether or not there is a supportive atmosphere within the family can mean the difference between recovery and relapse," Doctor Chrysalis gravely explained. "Now, if there is some trouble anywhere in that regard, then we should take it seriously.”

My dad is ashamed of me. End of story. Let’s move on now, shall we? So, in lunch today, Indigo and Lemon got into a mashed potato eating contest and boy was it –

“Sour Sweet, I want to meet your father,” Doctor Chrysalis interrupted, sternly. “Soon.”

Sour Sweet threw her arms up. “You got our number, you call him!

“I’d rather give you the chance to overcome your angst towards him.”

Sour Sweet shook her head in confusion. “Why is it so important to do anything, anyway? I’m going to be graduating and going off to college soon. I won’t ever need to see him again.

“Sour, a strained relationship with a parent can affect you in ways you may not even realize. Especially if it’s an opposite sex relationship, such as daughter and father. That’s why I’ve been concerned that you may be replacing your father with your boyfriend.”

There you go accusing me of incest again,” Sour Sweet growled.

“It’s not incest. What I’m talking about is on a purely psychological level.”

You know that I can barely understand any of that psychobabble mumbo jumbo.

Doctor Chrysalis adjusted her glasses. Sour Sweet grimaced. Every time she adjusted her glasses, she was getting ready to drop some mad psych.

“Alright, let’s review your current relationship situation objectively. First, your father began to ignore you. Then, when the first boy who had a lot of nice things to say came along, you immediately demanded that he go out with you. You’ve dated for only a few months, most of that time you’ve spent with him being on school grounds. And now, you pretty much consider yourself already engaged and even have your first child’s name picked out. That first child whom you think you’re going to have, by the way, being a product of your hallucinations and dreams. Do you see the cause and effect I’m talking about, now? Doesn’t it seem like things are going too fast here for a healthy relationship? What part of any of that seems normal?”

Sour Sweet didn’t say a word for a moment as she uncomfortably mulled that detailed summation over. In a way, it just sounded to her like Freudian nonsense. Then again, Doctor Chrysalis believed it, so perhaps there was something to it.

She then suddenly waved a hand dismissively. “Ah, normal is so overrated! Come on, it’s not like my daddy issues are making me go into STRIPPING or anything, right?

“Maybe not, but there are a lot worse situations that you could be in. Too many with your condition have not fared so well." Doctor Chrysalis reached out and took Sour Sweet’s hand. "You’ve been very fortunate to have had the amount of support you've had so far, Sour Sweet. I hope you understand that."

“I guess I do,” Sour sighed, reverting back to her serious tone.

“Wouldn’t you like to try to get back to the good times you had with your father, Sour Sweet?” Doctor Chrysalis urged supportively.

“We did used to be so happy,” Sour Sweet admitted. “We played board games together. We went on little father-daughter dates. He went to all my archery competitions to cheer me on. Everything was nice before the diagnosis two years ago. I suppose I do kind of wish we could go back to the way it was…”

Later, Sour Sweet exited the psychotherapy clinic with her head down low. A lot was on her mind just as there usually was after a session. However, these thoughts worried her. Was she moving too fast with her relationship? Or even worse, was the only reason she was dating her boyfriend was to fill up a void? What if the love she felt for her boyfriend… was just another delusion? How was she going to work up the nerve to speak to her father in order to help fix that void?


The voice snapped her out of her worries. She lifted her head up to see one of the subjects of her distress smiling at her.

Her boyfriend.