6.8: Stuck


I’m SO mad right now! I blew it. I totally blew it! And stupid Katie saw the WHOLE thing! I looked like an idiot in front of everybody!

I didn’t tell anybody, but I was really, really nervous about football tryouts today. I was sorta panicking about it before I got out on the field, and I guess that was kinda when it started. My chest felt like… heavy, kinda. Like that funny feeling you get sometimes when you’re gonna cry, but you’re trying really, really hard not to.

I knew from the second I walked out on the field that I was gonna suck. And I did!

The grass was all slippery and I was so scared. I tried kicking the ball, and I actually MISSED it! I had to try again. And when I did, I still didn’t make it into the goal. It took like three tries before I did!

Then Coach gave us some directions, but I couldn’t really understand what he said. He was too far away and talking way too fast. Almost every time he told us to do something, I ended up being the last one to do it! It was SO embarrassing!

And I was running SO slow. Way slower than the other kids. My chest still had that heavy-feeling, so I was trying to “take it easy”. That’s what my parents always tell me to do when my lungs start feeling all funny. But I could see Katie giggling at me and the coach shaking his head and I knew I was doing awful. I knew I had to do better!

So I started running harder. Harder than I think I’ve ever ran in my LIFE! But that’s when it happened.  Instead of the heavy-feeling, I got that terrible tight-feeling, like somebody was squeezing my chest. Or stepping on it really hard. It’s the scariest feeling ever. I hate it!

And once it starts, I can’t stop it! Not on my own, anyway. Not without my inhaler.

Ugh! I still don’t GET it! I do okay at gym class and stuff most of the time. Sometimes I need a couple puffs of my inhaler… But I haven’t had a big attack like that in a LONG time!

At least Nyla was really nice to me. She always is. That’s why she’s my best friend.

She walked back inside with me to the nurse’s office.  I didn’t even have to ask. She just did. Then she sat with me while I used my inhaler and waited for mom and Papa to come pick me up.

I was really really happy she came with me, but I was really jealous of her too. I didn’t tell her that, obviously. But her tryout was SO good. So much better than me! She didn’t miss the ball! Or run slow as a turtle! Or end up having a stupid asthma attack like I did.

And of course I had to start crying like a stupid baby about it. And that just made it even harder to breathe! Ugh! It was the worst day ever!

I still remember when I was really little and my Ur-Opa Tobi taught me all about football. I thought it was so cool! He died when I was six, but I still remember how much fun we used to have kicking the ball around in the backyard.

Can you believe we’re related? My Ur-Opa was this huge football star, and then there’s me. Stupid, weak little Harper who can barely hear or breathe. And who sucks at football. I know that’s what everybody thinks of me.

I don’t even know what was worse. The way Katie laughed at me? The way coach looked like he felt so sorry for me?

Actually I think it might have been my parents. They did that thing they always do when I mess up or I suck at something.

They lied and told me I didn’t.

At first they were really super awesome about it. They took me out for ice cream to make me feel better (my favorite… so I kinda HAD to say yes when they asked!). I got cherry and it was sooooo good. And once they got me smiling again, that was then they started.

Oma was pretty quiet and just kinda listened while mom and Papa went into their big speeches.

They told me they were “proud of me” because I was “so brave” and “tried so hard”. And they promised me that I’d still make the team, or at least get another chance at tryouts.

I tried telling them it wasn’t just my asthma attack that messed me up. I told them about how I missed the ball and ran really slow. And I still remember what Papa told me. “You were just having an off day. You can do anything you put your mind to, baby girl. We’ll find a way”.

They’re always like this. No matter what I do or how bad I mess up, all they do is tell me how awesome I am! They always take my side, no matter what.

And most of the time, it’s pretty great.

Like, I try real hard to stay out of trouble, but sometimes I end up doing something kinda bad… like that time with Katie and the frog. But when I do, they never yell at me. Usually they just talk to me about why I did it. And once I tell them the reason, they always understand. (Sometimes they make me promise not to do it again though. And getting in trouble is SO dumb and also kinda scary, so that’s a really easy promise to keep!)

It’s not just when I get in trouble though. When I fail a test, they never get mad at me. Sometimes they even go to the teacher and ask for a re-do. And sometimes, the teacher says yes! They think I couldn’t hear the lesson or something… And a lot of times, that’s true.

But… it’s usually a little bit my fault. I really like writing stories in my head when the teachers are talking. Listening is just too HARD! I don’t think people get it. Even with my hearing aid on, I’ve gotta try SO much harder than anybody else to pay attention. It’s not fair. I hate it!

Anyway, times like that are when it’s super awesome to have mom and Papa act like that. But I guess it’s kinda starting to get a little annoying. Like today with tryouts.

Why couldn’t they be like normal parents and say “better luck next time” (or whatever grownups are supposed to say)? Why did they have to say all that stupid stuff just to try and make me feel better?

I wonder what Harper Hard-Heart’s parents would say if she sucked at football tryouts (That’s my supervillain, by the way. I started writing a story about her last night when I got home from school).  Would her parents be like mine? Would they lie and be way too nice and try to make her feel better? Or would they be honest and tell her how bad she sucked and just move on? Hmm…

But actually… Harper Hard-Heart wouldn’t suck, would she? She’d probably have an asthma attack like me… But then she’d get back on her feet and go kick butt and be the best football player ever!

Too bad that’s all just pretend. Stupid stuff I make up for fun.

I’m not Harper Hard-Heart, no matter how much I wanna be.

I’m stuck being stupid Harper Rosebrook.

48 thoughts on “6.8: Stuck

  1. Is it me, or is Katie showing early signs of being a sociopath? You don’t laugh at a kid with serious health problems, even if they suck at participating in sports. That’s just not something you do.

    But then, that could just be my past experience of being the bullied and teased one talking (though not really for the same reasons as Harper)

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Katie is definitely bad news and super cruel. I used to be bullied terribly when I was in middle school too, so I totally feel the bully hatred that both you and Harper feel 😦 Kids can be total shits.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Harper’s room looks great with all the lights off! I love that Harper is making up stories in her head instead of paying attention. (I sometimes do that too). While it would be better if she focused, at least she’s not idle. I could totally see her warming up to the idea of a journal. She could maybe even write some short stories in it! Harper’s relationship with Katie reminds me a bit of the relationship between the characters Millie and Felicia in Millie and Ozy, a comic strip I like.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Hi! ^_^ I don’t think I’ve seen you comment before? Thank you so much for reading!!!

      I love the idea of her writing short stories in her journal! In fact, you may be onto something there 😛 She definitely has a creative mind, even if she doesn’t always use her mind to pay attention 😉

      I have never read that comic, but I am intrigued and will look it up!

      Thanks again for reading!


  3. So I can sympathize with Harper as far as sports are concerned. I have pretty severe asthma and have had it my whole life. I couldn’t run because it would bring on an attack so I never participated in sports. I could do most gym class stuff fine unless we had to run. I used to sleep with an inhaler under my pillow and NEVER went anywhere without one. Thankfully there are better meds now and the fairly new long term bronchodilators which work extremely well for me. One puff in the morning and one and night and I don’t even carry an inhaler around anymore. The first time I ever slept all night was the first day I used the new inhaler. I woke up startled that it was daylight! I would always wake up during the night and have to use my inhaler. 🙂

    Sorry for the personal stuff, but it is so true how you are writing it. It IS scary when you can’t breathe! And crying makes it worse and people want you to lie down and you absolutely can’t – you have to lean forward and let gravity try to help your lungs.

    So I get what Zayne and Harper are doing trying to make her feel better and it is totally confusing her. She doesn’t want to be coddled and treated differently. Zayne should know this! He felt like he was coddled too. But I can see how hard it would be to say the truth to her that maybe football isn’t the right sport for her since she wanted it so bad. Why would they tell her she would make the team. That would be awful if they guilted the coach into allowing her to be on the team and she was terrible. Do they think they are following Tobi’s advice to support her in whatever she wants? She needs direction too! I have a feeling she is going to become more like her fictional Harper Hard-Heart soon.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you for sharing your personal experience with asthma. I’m so glad things are much better for you now! Hopefully that will be the case with Harper too.

      As for Zayne and Hope’s parenting… you’re definitely on to something there (especially regarding Tobi’s advice 😉 haha) We actually have a Zayne journal in a couple of chapters that I think will help shed further light on where all of this is coming from. A lot of it also stems from her being their miracle baby. She is on this pedestal and is their perfect child, in their eyes. Which can be both a blessing and a curse, I think!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Dark WitcHazard: Ooh I love Harper Hard-Heart or Hx3! Great name for a villainess! Now let’s talk superpowers! I’m thinking Hpyer scream to make all your enemies ears
    bleed is a nice touch and sound manipulation! Crushing her foes bones with powerful sound waves would be cool! I can see her decked out in a royal purple and black suit with a long flowing black cape and a purple mask to match! Gloves that are a mix of both colors and look like claws! Awww I love it!

    Anti Shipper: That’s it comic book writer! A nice creative way to let out her frustration with life! Creating a lovable clever villainess! She spends her time creating the storyline but is horrible at making what she sees in her head appear on paper!

    Lover WitcHazard: Then her dulled annoyed with life presence attracts the attention of a young artist who decides to make her his muse! She allows him to draw her in exchange for being the illustrator for her comic! The exchange seems doable at first and the two start a webcomic together! A comic competition that could launch Harper Hard-Heart into the big leagues is fast approaching the two start working on the first official issue but the artist needs a pinnacle piece for his portfolio to set him apart from his competitors and decides to give Harper a ultimatum he’ll finish the comic if she poses for a nude piece! When she seems apprehensive he tells her to make her more comfortable he’ll go nude as well! Thus begins the intimate relationship between and artist and his muse or writer and her illustrator!😘

    Shipper WitcHazard: You would make things awkward by making her partner a artistic pervert!

    Lover WitcHazard: What can I say these things just come to me!😝

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hahaha I love Dark’s idea for a costume and super power! Harper is definitely taking notes 😛

      And Lover’s idea is… well, typical Lover style 😂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. So Harper failed at the tryouts. I kind of expected this to happen, trying to do better than the other kids with her asthma would push her to her limits. That alone would be hard on most kids, but Katie laughing really made it over the top terrible. I feel for Harper, it must be like she can do nothing good. Problems at school, problems in sports, but she hasn’t found anything yet she enjoys and excels at. Maybe she should try out something cool. While Harpers parents are cozing her and try to do everything for her, can’t they try if she might be interested in a cool, unique hobby no one else at school has? Like sailing or kids stunt driving or some science stuff she can try out for herself without having to listen to someone.
    Zayne and Hope feel like hardcore helicopter parents. That is understandable, but it might not do Harper any good. She needs to be assured she is just as good as any other kid and she will be supported, but it starts to feel like she lacks any kind of boundary. She hasn’t really tested out the limits here, and seems too well raised to do something actually terrible or go directly against her parents, but not for the fear of a possible punishment. She doesn’t know the red line, or if there really is one. For her it feels like she is excused for everything because of her sicknesses. It might feel for her parents like they protect her of any evil, but for her this belittling behavior, as if she couldn’t see she can’t run like any other kid, is a clear sign she just isn’t as good as any other kid, she will always get a special treatment, and I feel at some point she will harshly start to rebel.

    Maybe Zayne will then see the problem. He hated being coddled by Joce too, but then again, he didn’t want to because he lost his parents and although everything she did she just wasn’t his parents.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is a great comment! I really feel for Harper as well 😦 Sports AND Academics are both such a challenge for her. I love your idea of her finding a unique hobby! Hopefully one day she will 🙂

      “Helicopter parents” is a great way to describe Zayne and Hope haha. They love Harper and they want to support her and believe in her… but they take it way too far. And I don’t think they see that right now. This definitely could have a negative impact on our girl in the future… time will tell! Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts ^_^


  6. I feel bad for Harper. Katie is making fun of her for having disabilities. I remember getting teased because I couldn’t play sports comfortably, due to asthma. So I understand how Harper feels.
    Writer or Criminal? That is the question. Both would be cool. Alex already was a writer, but Harper might take after him. Maybe she’ll aim to be a criminal earlier on in life but falls in love with someone who will only be with her if she leaves her life of crime? Will she decide she wants to leave her criminal career on her own, for her own or her family’s safety? Maybe she’ll aspire to be a writer but gets pressured into crime by a love, or a friend? Ugh, so many possibilities.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love all these theories! The future is still so wide open. Time will tell!

      I’m sorry you had a similar experience to Harper with being teased! 😦 Kids can be awful.

      Thank you for reading and sharing your theories 😀


    1. Hahaha He must be yours? ^_^ He’s so cute. Thank you for him! Unfortunately we will not be seeing much of him. But his “father” is one of Harper’s teacher in high school… 😉 (I really liked how he looked so I made him older looking &I gave him a beard haha so be on the lookout! ^_^)


  7. Apparently my first comment went to the hills due to bad internet connection on my phone so now i’m trying on my pc instead…

    I feel really sorry for Harper, and not because she’s bad at football (which btw i think is mostly due to her maybe never really doing much “work out” because of her astma???), but mostly because of her parents. They are pretty much teaching her that no matter how many times you fail something, you can always try again. But no, you cannot always try again. Sometimes you only get one shot. And if they continue this protective parenting, she will end up breaking down every time something goes wrong in her life.
    Thankfully she can already now see that it is wrong of her parents, and she knows that they are lying to protect her. But she also often uses it for her own “benefits” (in quotes because it really doesn’t benefit her in the end anyway). The fact that she is not listening in classes and turning off her hearing aid because she thinks it is boring, and that when she then is confronted, she just says she had a hard time hearing the teacher, which obviously comes from her parents protectiveness.
    Parents are supposed to protect their children ofc, but not against everything. They are supposed to guide them more than protect them from bad things, like failing tests and football tryouts.
    They should instead tell her to get back on the horse and try next year. Instead she is now learning that her parents can make anything happen if she fails something. This will for sure mess her up somehow when she gets older.

    I’m just glad that she knows it’s bad to get in trouble.

    The only thing i think her parents AREN’T doing wrong, is that they don’t yell at her for making mistakes and such. They talk to her instead about why she did what she did. BUT! the fact that they then understands why she did it and that they then aren’t mad at her? THAT is wrong! They should still teach her not to do it again, and shouldn’t tell her that they understand why she did it. Maybe they do understand, but they should really tell her that it is not right and that she shouldn’t do it again, or she will get punished somehow.

    Great chapter though 🙂 I love hearing from Harper ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sorry your first comment didn’t work 😦 Thank you for taking the time to write it again!

      You have pointed out some very valid issues with Hope and Zayne’s parenting. They love their daughter more than anything and they mean well, but they need to learn to let her fail sometimes. They can’t coddle her like this her whole life. Or at least, they *shouldn’t* haha

      I will say that they DO make it clear that she shouldn’t do bad things again. They try to validate her feelings by sympathizing, but they do tell her if something is not right. So… that’s something?

      Overall they are definitely not superstar parents though haha. There are a lot of flaws with how they do things. But I’m not sure if they can see it.

      We do have a Zayne journal coming pretty soon that will help give his side of things.

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Argh, Harper you shouldn’t push yourself like that, it’s not good for you. You need to know your limits. My votes are for comic book writer in future. She’s got the imagination for it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s true, she should learn limits! And maybe her parents should teach her them… hahaha

      I like your idea for her future! We shall see! 🙂


  9. Too bad for Harper…It is understandable why she would want her parents to be a little more thought on her, as it would make her more like the other kids..That is always the dilemma with people society say “is not normal” , you can’t treat it diferently then others, but, sometimes, you can’t also treat they like others…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a really good point about the struggle between treating her differently and treating her like everyone else. I think it’s a really complicated balance that can be so hard to find. I wish we had an insightful button on WP!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Ugh. HoZay are THOSE parents? Methinks I’m not gonna like them anymore. I kind of like Harper’s attitude. It seems like she WANTS her parents to be more parental and less like yes men or cheerleaders. I want that too, but…ugh! I feel her pain with the tryouts though. Asthma is NOT fun. Good thing I was never interested in sports cuz I probably wouldn’t make it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha it’s okay, I knew there’d be some backlash toward HoZay. Honestly I usually hate those kind of parents too, so I totally get it. They mean well and they love their little girl, but they are just way too coddling and extreme.

      And yeah… Harper is definitely starting to notice that it’s maybe not always fun having your parents be like that. I’d go crazy if they were my parents, I think haha

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I would love to know what they think they’re actually doing for her. I mean, with the life experiences they’ve had, what are they trying to do? Do they think trying harder will hurt her? Failing at something will scar her for life? They don’t think she can handle it? Come on people.
        I know some kids (teens, really) who have lax parents. In general, they enjoy the freedom they have, but deep inside they wish their parents would be more authoritative. Sometimes they feel like they don’t care, but of course their situation is different than Harper.
        Oh, forgot to mention I don’t like the negative self-talk 😦 I wish she could talk to her parents without being coddled. They could probably help her.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. In 2-3 chapters we do have a Zayne journal that sheds some light in terms of what his thinking is with the way they treat Harper, so you’ll kind of get an answer to your question about what they think they’re doing for her 🙂

          And I think your comparison still kinda works. I think for Harper’s it’s the opposite, almost (but similar idea). Her parents almost care TOO much. She wishes they’d kind of back off and give her that freedom. Instead, they are a bizarre mixture of overprotective and overly-encouraging/expecting her to be able to do anything haha

          And yeah, there’s a little bit of self-esteem issue with poor Harper 😦 Being bullied sucks.

          Liked by 1 person

  11. Aww, Harper, sweetie 😦 You have your own strengths. You tried football and it ended up not being right for you. I’m sure you can excel in other areas, though!

    I can definitely understand why her parents are overprotective the way they are. After their struggles to have a child and her being their miracle baby, they don’t want to be harsh to her. But of course, while their approach is good in some places, they can’t afford to coddle her too much. It’s quite insightful for Harper to recognise that instead of letting it go to her head.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Nat! Yeah, Hope and Zayne totally mean well, but they’re going way too far with this coddling 😦 And I don’t think they realize it 😮

      And as for Harper… Yeah, she’s super bummed 😦 She wants to do sports like her friends do! Poor dear.

      Thank you so much for reading!


  12. I feel like Hope and Zayne are kinda like my parents. Super supportive and absolute sweethearts, but because Harper is an only child and they went through some tough times before/after her birth, they’re almost… oversupportive? I think they don’t want Harper to ever feel like she’s failing or different, but sometimes it’s good for kids to learn what failing feels like and how to deal with it. I still get super upset whenever I try to do something and it doesn’t work, because I feel like I should be able to do anything at any time if I work hard enough for it. The reality is, some things just aren’t always meant to be. (Both my parents and Harper’s have the best intentions, though, and they’re lovely ❤ It's just a common thing parents do, I think).

    I love that Harper still adores ice cream!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hehe I think Harper will love ice cream for life 😀

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences with your own parents 🙂 I agree that Harper’s parents have the best intentions. They absolutely love her and they are trying to be fully supportive of her… But like you said, they’re just taking it too far. I think they don’t realize the negative effect it could have on her! Maybe they’ll figure it out in time though…

      Thank you for reading, sonnie! 😀


  13. Uhg. Kids. On the plus side Harper, if you don’t do sports you can keep your knees! I feel like Zaynes parenting style would be my own. It’s interesting to see how it looks from the kids perspective.

    Loved the little Harper and Tonight picture. 😭

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Surprisingly I figured out your phone’s autocorrect craziness hehehe

      Love the positive spin for Harper 😉 And woah, you are the first person to kinda-sorta side with Zayne (or at least say it might be how you’d be as a parent). Thank you for sharing that perspective!


  14. I really dislike Katie. She either has severe emotional w/ envy issues or she is a flat out sociapath. I’m leaning more towards the latter since Harper is now exhibiting signs of mental and emotional abuse from someone with that mental condition. Her parents not teaching her that we all have a place in the world and babying her way too much isn’t helping either. Instead of being on the field she could be a world renowned orthopedic sergon for the players.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Love the idea of her being a surgeon. Dream big! 😀 Yeah, Katie is… not kind. The reasons are still kind of unknown, but either way, she’s a litle shit haha. And you’re so right — Hope and Zayne really aren’t helping the situation with the way they treat their daughter :-/ They THINK they are… but they aren’t.


  15. I wonder what Joce thinks about Zayne and Hope’s coddling of Harper. I bet she is seeing a mirror of herself and trying to decide if she should stop them.

    Katie didn’t look like she was laughing at Harper at tryouts, though maybe that’s just because she was right by the coach…

    i wonder if maybe they should’ve taught Harper sign language or sent her to a school that actually addresses her hearing needs. It seems so unfair to her to make her struggle to keep up when there is only after-the-fact consideration of her hearing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think Harper actually would have hated being sent to a school for kids with hearing loss, unfortunately haha One thing she DOES agree with her parents on is wanting to be like her peers/in the same classes as them, etc. head-canon is that she once took a sign language course over a summer, but didn’t really get into it/didn’t connect well with Deaf/Hard-of-hearing culture. Don’t know if it’ll ever come up in the story though haha

      As for Joce… I think she’s quite torn, as you said. I think she recognizes many of her own mistakes, but also doesn’t want to step on toes and tries to stay out of it as much as she can.


  16. Hmmm I’m having an inkling as towards where conflict will creep in later
    Hope and Zayne hold onto Harper so tightly because of losing two children, and because of her illness that they sort of let her get away with everything. They’re not strict, they enable her, all because they don’t want to lose her, they want her to be happy, but it’ll backfire because then she’s not disciplined. She’ll rebel. That kinda stuff. Just a guess.

    Liked by 1 person

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