6.11: Precious

I can’t believe this. My poor little girl…

Being eleven is always full of ups and downs anyway. Part of growing up, right? And my Harper’s no stranger to a few bumps in the road, unfortunately… But this is probably worse than ever.

Hope and I were speechless when we found out. Our Harper, our baby girl, got detention. For fighting!

She’s told us about this Katie girl before. We even had a meeting with her teacher once to get her seat moved as far away from her as possible. So I guess this shouldn’t have come as a total surprise… But for my little girl to actually hit someone? Be violent?

That’s not like her. At all.

But when we questioned her about it, you know what she said? “It was justice, Papa! I was being a vigilante, just like you said.”

Oh shit.

Yeah, that was a fun one to explain to Hope. I mean, I thought she was just taking an interest in superheroes or something. Working on that little story of hers. I didn’t really think anything of it when she started asking me about superheros and vigilantes.

Guess I learned my lesson… And I guess Harper learned hers too.

I understand why she got detention, of course. And we told her we’d ground her if she ever did it again (God, I hope we never actually have to do that to our little girl… but what else could we say?).

But when she told us all that shit this Katie girl had said about her and her friends, I honestly couldn’t blame her. And I’m so glad this other girl was punished too. But how the hell did the school even let things get this far in the first place?! Hope and I already have a meeting scheduled with the principal tomorrow. We aren’t gonna let them sweep this under the rug like they have before. 

Believe it or not, all this teasing was even worse when she was younger. My little girl needed speech therapy until about two years ago. Her hearing made things so hard for her. And she used to get teased pretty badly for the way she talked. But Harper is still our little fighter, and she worked so hard to get where she is today.

So why can’t she finally catch a break?

Hope and I already felt so bad for her after what happened at football tryouts. She gave it her all, just like she always does. The poor thing always has to try so much harder than the other kids. But Harper was still so sure they were going to keep her off the team… And we weren’t about to let that happen.

She kept telling us to just drop it, and saying the same thing she always does — “I’m not perfect”. But I know what that really means. She doesn’t think she’s good enough. She’s let these other kids put her down so much that it’s starting to get to her. And it kills me to hear her say stuff like that. I’m not gonna let her think about herself that way. 

It’s not her fault she has asthma. It’s not her fault she’s hard of hearing. It’s not her fault she’s weaker than the other kids. And then this other girl has the gall to give her shit for it? To tease her for being the way she is? Something she has no control over?

It was all I could do not to congratulate Harper for standing up to this bully. I mean, of course she shouldn’t have hit her. But that’s better than just standing there and taking it, isn’t it?

I never had that kind of courage when I was a kid. There were some little shits who used to tease me about my scar (or worse, “not having parents”. God, how many nights did I cry myself to sleep over that one?). I never had the guts to say anything to their faces. Looking back, I sure as hell wish I did. Instead, it was usually one of the triplets who’d stick up for me… (Or all three, in some rare cases)

Hope and I are still really worried though. I’m glad she stood up for herself, but Harper got lucky this time. Katie didn’t get a chance to fight back before a teacher intervened. But what if she did?

I love my little girl, but I just can’t imagine she’d be able to hold her own in a fight. I feel sick just thinking about what could happen to her next time… If there is a next time. I’m sure as hell hoping there won’t be!

Tante Joce has been telling us we’re worrying way too much. “She can figure these things out on her own,” she keeps saying. And I totally understand what she’s getting at.

But not worrying is way easier said than done. She’s our baby girl. After everything we’ve lost, well… She’s our entire world. She’s the most precious thing in our lives. 

We just want her to do well. We want her to believe in herself. And we want her to be safe too.

God, I’ve gotta calm down. I’d probably go crazy if Tante Joce ever worried about me this much when I was Harper’s age….

But I just can’t help it.

I’ve never forgotten what my Opa told me all those years ago… The same day we found out Harper’s hearing would never be the same again. He made me promise I’d always support her, no matter what. That I’d always be there for her, and never turn my back. And every single day, I do everything I can to keep that promise.

I’ve gotta make sure she knows that me and Hope will always be on her side… Especially when she has to deal with all the crap she’s been facing lately. Between her grades, football tryouts, and this bully of hers, it sure as hell hasn’t been easy. And I think it’s been a huge blow to my baby’s self-esteem. It kills me to hear her talking down about herself. I wish she realized how amazing she really is.

I just want her to be safe,  y’know? And happy. Screw the bullies. Screw the people who don’t believe in her. Screw anyone who’d try to hold her back.

She’s my strong, smart, amazing little girl. And she can do anything she puts her mind to.

Well, anything except dish out vigilante justice, I guess. But hopefully that was just a one time thing.

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51 Responses to 6.11: Precious

  1. Trip says:

    Good thoughts Zayne (even if I don’t entirely agree…”she’s perfect and our whole world” will come back to bite everyone and you know it deep down) but I was distracted with him not wearing any green. How long has this been going unchecked? :O

    Liked by 2 people

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      Hahaha the game only has so much green! 😛 He does have a green polo in her teen arc? My backup color for Zayne has always been black or gray, and I guess I relied 100% on the backup this time 😛

      Like

    • kaffepigen says:

      I think every parent feels like their child is their whole world in some way. But Zayne and Hope just takes it to the extreme.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Trip says:

        It feels like an anti-Tobi move, but while I’m still a little mad with how he gave Joce (and Auggy) the shaft I still know he loved his kids and thought the world of them. It’s how you express it…a lot of the male Rosebrooks need work. 😛

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Colourofmusic says:

    I’m really starting to love Harper. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Bugsie2016 says:

    Been looking forward to this chapter. I think Harper needs to explain to Zayne that she doesn’t think that low about herself. I get why he thinks she has low self-esteem as he doesn’t really hear her saying anything good about herself. He only hears her saying bad things about herself.

    Liked by 1 person

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      Glad this one helped shed some light on where he’s coming from (not that he’s right… he totally isn’t haha) Definitely seems like some major miscommunication. I wonder if he’d even listen/believe her if she tried to explain that though? I feel like that same thought might be what’s holding Harper back….

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Creshone says:

    Oh Zayne. I know you want to protect your girl but you got to let her handle her battles. I don’t think your Opa meant being a helicopter parent when he told you to support her. You have to draw the line at some point. I can’t wait to see when that line is.
    It’s nice to see the situation from Zayne’s point of view. He thinks Harper is losing her confidence but I believe she’s confident but she also knows her limits. She knows there are some things she just can’t physically do and she accepts that.

    Liked by 3 people

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      You’ve definitely hit the nail on the head here. Zayne has taken things way too far, and what he sees as low self-esteem is just his daughter understanding her own limits. I think he’s too blinded right now to see that… maybe things will change down the line though? We will see!

      Like

  5. audreyfld says:

    He’s so sweet and loves Harper so much. But… he’s smothering her. Jocelyn is right. She will figure it out. It’s only going to make it harder for her if he keeps trying to smooth things over without her even knowing he did. She needs to learn how to deal with adversity in a healthy way. Teen years are going to be worse I fear.

    Liked by 1 person

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      You are so right. His heart is definitely in the right place, but he’s going about this all wrong. It will definitely be interesting to see how this affects her when she’s older…

      Like

    • fabtiffsim says:

      Joce might be right cause she did pretty close to the same thing to Zayne growing up, then he rebelled so bad he got in a GANG! And got his little teenaged butt beat up too

      Liked by 1 person

  6. kaffepigen says:

    I loved the picture of the triplets standing up to Zayne as kids. Must have been hell to get that shot.

    I’m sad about the way he took tobi’s advice. It seems like he understood it like he has to make sure nothing bad ever comes her way, and he just can’t do that. She needs to make her own mistakes in order to grow. She can’t have her parents dictate how she handles everything and have them decide everything for her. Which is basically what they are doing right now. I understand how she can have a little low self esteem, but i think a part of that is because of her parents, but also from being bullied. I had very little self esteem when i was younger because i was bullied so much during school. It’s much better today, but it still follows me every day. I’m not being bullied anymore, but i just mean that i feel it every day.

    I’m afraid that it will get worse when she hit teenage years. Teen bullying is way worse than being bullied as kids, in some cases. then it will be like “you don’t have a boyfriend”, “you’ve never had sex”… or something like that… And it’s way easier for teens to be ashamed and humiliated. I hope she will not get into more fighting. That is not the way to go. I’m just glad that Zayne didn’t tell her he would have done the same. He should really tell her more about his childhood and how he was bullied during school. she needs to know.

    It would be really good if she had an older sibling to look after her. That would do her good, like Zayne had the triplets.

    I have a theory btw. If she gets into crime, she will probably do it during her teens and it will be a result of being bullied. And also from feeling like she can’t do everything she wants to. Like her vigilante Harper Hard-Heart. She could be offered doing runs with illigal stuff and get money from it. A little like what Zayne did for Eun back when he was a teen. Hopefully, if she does do that, she will be able to get out of it again unscathed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts, kaffepigen 🙂 (I loved that shot of the triplets and Zayne too!)

      You are very right about Zayne kind of misinterpreting Tobi’s advice. He’s taken it way too far. And I definitely agree that him sharing his experience being bullied himself might be helpful to her.

      Hopefully things will get better from her during her teen years. Time will tell! I think your theory is really interesting about what the future may hold for her.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. megiare says:

    Oh, Zayne. That worry? It never goes away and Tante Joce certainly had many worries when it came to you. ❤

    Liked by 3 people

  8. skcaga6 says:

    Something needs to happen that Zayne and Hope can’t fix. Something that will show them that their daughter is not as perfect as they think, but can handle things herself.

    Liked by 2 people

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      I like this idea! It definitely might be the only thing that can get through to them at this point, unfortunately!

      Like

  9. Cement says:

    It makes me giggle that Zayne’s the “my kid can’t do anything wrong” type of parent until he found out Harper decked a kid at school lmaoo. He should give more leeway for Harper to explore, even when it’s hard. Harper does know her limitations and she’s willing to fight them, but unfortunately, Zayne feels the necessity to hound her.
    I totally agree with everyone else saying he misinterpreted Tobi and the HoZay couple is taking things too far. I guess with Zayne’s background of being bullied about his scar, he’s trying to put himself in her shoes; But the thing is, he’s not Harper and Harper isn’t Zayne. Silly Zayne, all of us readers are pretty glad she isn’t a little whiny brat like you were 😉😂
    Oh well, things are going to work out.
    Probably. 😂
    All I know is, I’m totally looking forward to seeing more of Harper Hard-Heart dishing out on more vigilante justice 😂

    Liked by 1 person

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      So true that she needs to be able to explore and make mistakes and figure things out for herself… If only Zayne could see that! The way you put it is perfect too — Zayne isn’t Harper isn’t Zayne! Another thing he needs to figure out… 😛

      We will see whether more vigilante justice lies in Harper’s future 😉 Thanks for reading, Cement!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I think I’m really liking Harper. As much as I like Zayne and Hope as doting parents, I think it’s gonna come around and bite them.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. sourocha1 says:

    It is very interresting to see how Zayne views this hole situation…He does have some point, thought, he could leave her to only do her stuff, like, ask her if she needs help, or anything like that, again, they are talking, but not communicating with each other, and that is a shame…And the thing about fighting is always an interresting topic, is like, violence isn’t the awnser, but if you are being bullied, maybe you parents wouldn’t mind you fighting back…Also, and there is irony to that, it seems that, even thought he dosen’t want her to think she is weak, he think she is weak himself, as he think she needs help to do any sport, needs help to solve her stuff ( not saying they shouldn’t have interfered in the hole Katie-thing) and needs to be supported, or she will fall into peaces…

    Liked by 1 person

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      I love that you pointed out the weird self-contradiction Zayne is doing. It’s so true! He wants her to believe she is strong and yet sees her as this weak little thing that needs to be coddled… Lord knows what this is doing to poor Harper haha. We will see within the next couple of chapters what kind of an effect this might have on her in the long-term 😉

      Like

  12. Luna says:

    Oh Zayne, you have a good heart, but you are thinking in the entirely wrong direction

    I know kids bullying is nothing but harmless, and I had to deal with many stupid comments myself, so I know what Zayne is thinking. He wants to protect Harper – and he is failing hard. There is only so much a parent can do as soon as a kid starts going to school. I don’t want to say he should stay out of it entirely, of course he should stand up for Harper and not leave her alone. But him standing up for every possible little whim has one main effect: No one will ever forget Harper is different and gets a better treatment. But Harper will need her own allies, if she doesn’t want to protect herself by becoming a rowdy or intimidating bully. Just like Zayne had his triplets, Harper will need someone to stand by her side, to talk back if someone talks bad about her. She doesn’t need to be protected in the same way, but she will need someone to be at her side and to value her, in her age group.

    Zayne just gets this wrong. He wants to protect Harper, shield her upfront while he should be her backup and support her from behind. Problem is, he can’t ask his Opa any more, and Joce may tell him to let Harper sort that kind of thing out, but Zayne never told her of his problems and she hasn’t got any first-hand experiences like that. He knows how Harper has suffered, and he wants to support her, but ultimately he tells her there aren’t any rules for her, at least not at home, that he would actually care to enforce. Harper isn’t blind. If he holds a long educational speech, while silently gratulating and listening to all of her excuses, he is not discouraging her. He bought this whole vigilante thing as well as Harper did, only keeping it a secret because Hope might reasonably trash this idea and he propably feels a bit childish and ashamed of it.

    Zayne needs to learn that letting go is not the same thing as letting down.

    Liked by 1 person

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      Thank you for your thoughts on Zayne! It’s so true… His heart is in the right place, but he is not handling this well at all :-/ And you bring up a really great point about how it makes it look like Harper gets special treatment… Probably wont’ help much with the bullying! And you’re also right that it would be better for her to have someone her own age help rather than her parents… But the question is, does she have anyone like that? Hmm… We’ll see!

      Your line at the end of your comment was so great — Letting go is not the same as letting down. I hope Zayne is able to learn that lesson eventually. Thank you for reading!

      Like

  13. Lee says:

    I don’t know why, but I can totally picture Harper doing her best to overcome her asthma and join the police force and dish out some justice! I can also see it getting her into some tricky situations. I love Harper and how you’ve written her has made it really open to explore a numerous amount of possibilities.
    I hope the bullying doesn’t get to her and she remains strong into her teen years when hormones really start to get fucky LOL. Zayne’s overprotectiveness is endearing to a fault. It’ll come to bite him in the ass when Harper may or may not unload her frustration of him being too soft on her.
    Still, I guess we’ll find out when we get to her teen arc. Good work so far, keep it up!

    Liked by 1 person

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      Thanks, Lee! I also love reading about all the ideas and possibilities you guys come up with ^_^ The police idea is a great one!

      Glad you at least find the overprotectiveness endearing rather than annoying haha. The poor guy… He’s trying. But way way way to hard LOL

      Thank you so much for reading!

      Like

  14. Maria Boesiger says:

    Awww Zayne, you have to listen to your girl and let her sort her own problems out sometimes. Its ok to fail every now and then. Harper is so much stronger than Zayne thinks.

    Liked by 1 person

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      I don’t think I’ve seen you comment before, so first off, thank you so much for reading! ^_^

      And you are so right. She’s much stronger than he thinks! But he is so clouded in his view of her by his helicopter parent ways haha Hopefully he will lighten up as she gets older… but we will see!

      Like

  15. thegraeyone says:

    I love Zayne’s perspective here, especially after so many chapters of Harper. I’m very amused at Harper thinking of herself as a supervillain and him thinking of her as a precious angel.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Jes2G says:

    Love your new do, Brat Prince.

    …yep…that’s all I’m going to say. 😛

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Brass Buckles says:

    Meant to comment on this previously, but does Harper have ADHD? I mean she’s intelligent, but she can’t focus and she’d rather be doing something active–even if she’s not good at it.

    As for her parenting… I’m not surprised that Zayne would see Harper as putting herself down due to bullying. He wants her to be confident. it’s too bad he doesn’t understand that she’s trying to express that she needs to make her mistakes and learn from them, and that she doesn’t want to be held up to some standard of perfection that she doesn’t meet. She wants to earn her way, not be given it.

    I’m kind of dreading seeing Harper as a teen, considering how she’s being parented… That girl is gonna go wild.

    Liked by 1 person

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      You are very perceptive 😉 When I first started writing this gen, I’d actually planned on having an ADHD diagnosis (especially because there’s a correlation between premature birth and having adhd!) but it kind of never came up because she has so much else going on with her hearing and astham, so I kind of decided that she has undiagnosed ADHD (though this won’t ever be explicitly stated in the story. Just implied in the writing)

      And yeah, there’s a HUGE miscommunication/misunderstanding between Zayne and his daughter, basically. His heart’s in the right place, but he really doesn’t GET it. And Harper is so frustrated that he doesn’t 😦

      Speaking of the teen arc… Stay tuned for this weekend! 😉

      Thank you for reading, Buckles

      Like

  18. Simmie says:

    Just noticed that child Zayne seems to have the same band t-shirt as D2D Lucas…
    Anyway enjoyed as always. Interesting insight to Zayne’s thoughts.

    Liked by 1 person

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      Haha woah, good memory! 😛 Maybe it’s a family heirloom at this point hehe Glad you enjoyed this peek into his head 🙂 Thanks for reading!

      Like

    • Bugsie2016 says:

      Well, young Zayne seems to have the same/similar style as Lucas from D2D. (Had this conversation with Citizen only last week about a different one that I noticed.)

      Like

  19. sonniejj says:

    In an earlier comment I kind of compared Zayne and Hope to my parents, but goodness Zayne, you are taking the title of helicopter parent to a whole new extreme! My parents were quite overprotective as I’m an only child and they had gone through a lot in their lives, so I totally get where he’s coming from, but what bothers me is not his protectiveness but rather that he seems to think Harper is kind of… weak?

    I see an interesting contrast in Zayne’s thinking. On the one hand, he is super proud of Harper and acknowledges how hard she’s trying to be ‘normal’ and she can do anything she wants. On the other hand, he is constantly letting it show through that he worries about her being less physically (or even mentally/emotionally) able than other kids. I guess those are normal concerns, but they must be very difficult for a young girl to understand.

    I don’t really ‘blame’ Hope and Zayne for how they parent, because I get it, I really do. But you gotta have a little more faith in your girl, Zayne! And not just ‘oh you can do whatever you want because you’re great’, but real, solid ‘if you apply yourself, you can achieve many things’-type of faith. He took Tobi’s words a bit too literally, I think!

    Liked by 1 person

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      Haha I think you’ve got it so right — wayyyy too literal with Tobi’s advice! He means so well, but he’s doing this all wrong!

      And you are also right about the weird contradiction in his thinking. Logically it makes no sense at all… but in helicopter parent logic, I think it does? Or at least Zayne-logic 😂

      Thanks for reading, sonnie ^_^

      Liked by 1 person

  20. DanaColourful says:

    It’s so interesting to see the contrast between “she’s perfect, she can do everything” in the same breath as “she’s so fragile”. He’s over- and underestimating her at the same time. She’s defintely tougher than he gives her credit for.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. MrsRacooney says:

    You’re devastated because of Harper getting a detention, Zayne? Really? Almost everyone I know got a detention once or rather more often. If it’d have been a suspension, yeah, that I could understand. Okay, I guess my parents would have freaked out if I got one but… Never mind. ^^
    I like how Zayne understands Harper’s reasons and even thinks she’s brave. She really is. But he’s right, if Katie decides to fight back she won’t stand a chance. And for life, she should learn to solve conflicts not by the fist. But honestly, I believe that in the moment she just has to try out different approaches and will stick to the right one in the end. And maybe she won’t prove to be a vigilante but a true superhero. ;D

    Liked by 1 person

  22. raerei says:

    Loved the chapter. It was fun seeing how he interpreted Tobis advice and how he’s reacting to Harper’s vigilante shenanigans. I would love to hear him explain to Hope their previous conversation. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      Haha catching up while you wait? 😛 Glad you enjoyed this one! He definitely has a unique interpretation of Tobi’s advice…

      Like

  23. lisabeesims says:

    Lol ❤️ Harper … you go girl!

    Liked by 1 person

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