6.75: Interlude – Silver Lining

Knock, knock, knock!

Harper quickly put down the book she’d been reading, and jumped up to open her cell door.

Her face fell slightly in disappointment as her visitor entered. Elly had been one of the last people she expected to find on the other side.

“Oh… Hey, Elly.” Harper could not hide her surprise and disappointment. She’d been expecting Ivy, of course. The two of them had been practically inseparable lately. “What’s up?”

Ivy’s roommate bit her lip nervously. “It’s Ivy.” Elly replied softly. “She… She needs you.”

Harper’s face fell instantly. She had a terrible feeling she knew what Elly meant. “Oh shit. Is she…?”

The other woman shrugged. “I think so… But you know Ivy. She never wants to talk to me about that shit.”

Harper almost laughed. Join the club, she wanted to say. Ivy didn’t like talking to anyone about… well, anything involving her past. And Harper understood why. It was just too unpleasant. Too shameful.

But there were still times when Ivy had no choice. There was a deep sadness inside her that came out from time to time — When the demons from her past caught up with her. And she couldn’t get through it alone.

“Thanks, I’ll go talk to her.”

Elly nodded. “No problem. I think I’ll go for a walk or call Sam or something… Give you two a little time alone.” She offered, heading for the door.

Harper smiled gratefully, and thanked her again before following her out into the hall, making her way toward Ivy and Elly’s room. She knew this was something that couldn’t wait — Ivy needed her.

She knocked gently on the door, but did not wait for a response before opening it.

Harper found Ivy laying back across her bed with her face in her hands. Her right leg bounced nervously up and down, causing the entire bed to vibrate slightly.

Had she even heard her come in? Harper couldn’t be sure. But one look was all it took to confirm that her suspicions had been correct. Her heart sank at the thought.

With a deep breath, Harper lowered herself onto the bed and tentatively reached toward the other woman. “Hey. It’s me.” She whispered soothingly, running her fingers gently through Ivy’s hair. “Are you okay?”

Ivy’s reply was too muffled by her hands to reach Harper’s ears, but the shake of her head was enough to answer her question.

“Is it… a craving?” Harper asked nervously.

This time, Ivy nodded, finally pulling her hands away from her face. “I can’t remember the last time I had one this bad.” Her voice was pained. “God, I hate this. But this is what I get, huh? I deserve this…”

“Shhh. Don’t say that. It’s not true, okay?” Harper wasn’t sure what else to say.

She hated hearing Ivy talk about herself like that… Thankfully it was not a very common occurrence, but these damn cravings just seemed to make it even worse.

They seemed to come on every few weeks, but it had been months since she’d seen Ivy this bad. It hurt so much to see her this way. Ivy had been clean long enough that her body no longer had any physical cravings for heroin… But the mind could be a powerful and dangerous thing.

For a moment, Harper caught herself thinking of Erik. After his overdose, his cravings were always this bad — or worse. It didn’t take long before he finally gave in to them. And she’d done nothing to try and stop him. In fact, at first, she’d almost encouraged it. The thought made her feel so disgusted. Harper did her best to chase it away.

“What can I do?” Harper asked at last, breaking the silence. “How can I help?”

Ivy’s lips finally curled into a slight smile. “Just having you here is already helping.” She replied. “And I guess talking kinda helps take my mind off of things…” Ivy’s eyes lit up slightly. “Would you mind maybe telling me one of your stories? It’s been a long time since you’ve talked about your writing.”

Yeah, Harper wanted to say, because I haven’t written anything but stupid journal entries in months. 

But instead, she just smiled. “Sure… I don’t think I’ve told you about this one before. It’s kind of a mystery story… Probably one of my favorites.”

Still smiling, Ivy snuggled up into Harper’s lap, and listened.

“And even after all that, she never found out who sent the envelope.” Harper finished at last. “But it was a question that haunted her for the rest of her life.”

“Woah.” Ivy breathed, sitting up slowly as she spoke. She already looked so much calmer and more relaxed than she had before. Apparently Harper’s story had done its job. “That was incredible… So intense!”

Harper felt her cheeks grow slightly warm. “Thanks.” She murmured. “I was always pretty proud of that one… but I never managed to develop it into anything long enough to actually publish.” Not that anything I DID publish ever got me anywhere. She added mentally.

The other woman appeared thoughtful for a moment. “Did you ever have like, an editor or something who you could talk to? Somebody who could help you flesh stuff out or something?”

Harper shook her head. “I never really showed anybody anything I wrote… Well, except my friends sometimes.” And Erik, but she decided not to mention him.

Ivy eyed her almost skeptically. “Well, what about like, a writing class or something?” She asked. “Have you ever tried anything like that?”

“Not really… I was never really into school. You know that.” She reminded her.

Ivy chuckled softly to herself. “Harper, you have some great ideas. I think you’re a really talented writer… But if that’s what you actually wanna do someday, I think you’ve gotta start…” She seemed to hesitate for a moment.

“What?”

It was another moment or two before Ivy finally replied. “Like… Taking it more seriously, I guess?” She sounded almost guilty.

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Harper asked, her tone a bit harsher than she’d intended.

“I just think it might be a good idea to try kinda branching out or something. Like, finding somebody who can edit your stuff. Or even just trying to learn a little more about writing…” Her beautiful blue eyes suddenly lit up once more. “Hey, what about that class Melissa keeps hounding you about? That might be a good place to start.”

Harper’s eyes widened. Was Ivy actually serious? Did she have any idea who she was talking to? “Ha! You’re kidding, right?”

“Why would I be kidding? I think it’d be great for you!” Ivy smiled warmly. “And I’ve been thinking of finally signing up for an art class next semester… Maybe we could take the plunge together.”

Harper did not immediately reply. She took a few moments to consider Ivy’s words. Very few of the inmates ever took advantage of the prison’s partnership with one of the local universities. And she could definitely understand why. Ivy was making it sound so simple… But school was something that had never come easy to Harper. Not by a long shot.

“I dunno…” She said slowly. “I’ve never really been into the idea of going to uni… My parents always wanted me to, but it never really felt like something I wanted.”

Ivy shook her head. “Not me. I always wanted it… I used to dream of getting an art degree and opening my own gallery someday…” She paused for a moment, her face falling. “But uni was never even an option for me. It was way too expensive. Plus, I had to spend all my time worrying about taking care of Finn. And then I got all wrapped up in those stupid drugs, and I…” Her lip quivered slightly for a moment.

Harper reached out a hand, brushing her fingers gently against Ivy’s cheek. “Hey you don’t have to talk about that, okay?” She said gently.

“Thanks, Harper.” Ivy’s once-quivering lips now slowly curled into a smile. “Look, the point is, being locked up in here is pretty damn sucky, right? And honestly, my life before I got in here was probably even worse. But meeting you was my silver lining. And I think getting a chance to finally take a uni class could be another one. For both of us.”

The words made Harper’s cheeks grow warm. Ivy was definitely one of her silver linings too. It was surprising just how many she’d managed to find during the past year she’d spent in prison.

And she was sure Ivy was right — an art class would be a whole new silver lining for her. Something she could be proud of, and look forward to. She was already such a brilliant artist, but Harper could tell just how much she wanted to get even better. And Harper had already seen firsthand just how much art school had changed Devin’s artwork for the better.

Plus, she was sure that taking a class would be a great way to help distract Ivy from future cravings too. It would be really wonderful for her.

But what about ME… Could it really be good for ME too?

“It sounds to me like you should really take that class.” She replied at last. “But… you really think I should take one too?”

Ivy nodded. “Why not? We’re both artists who could probably use a little work to hone our crafts.” She smiled almost playfully for a moment. “And in-between peeling potatoes, organizing library books, and spilling our souls to Dr. S, is there really that much else to do around here?” She teased.

Harper sighed softly. How could she possibly say no to that face? “Alright, you got me… Let’s go for the silver lining” She smiled softly as she spoke.

“Really? You’ll do it?”

Harper nodded. “But, uh, for the record, you asked what else we have to do around here?” Her smiled widened. “I’m sure I could think of a thing or two that could keep us busy…”

Ivy returned her smile, sending a flurry of butterflies through Harper’s stomach. “Oh, don’t worry… No matter what happens, I’ll always make time for that.” She promised with a wink.

Harper reached forward then, taking Ivy into her arms. “Good.”

40 thoughts on “6.75: Interlude – Silver Lining

  1. This Harper made me both happy and sad… “And she’d done nothing to try and stop him. In fact, at first, she’d almost encouraged it. The thought made her feel so disgusted. Harper did her best to chase it away.”

    As I was reading this I wondered how she would react after having seen Erik like that so much. I was happy she realized that she didn’t try to help Erik and pretty much encouraged a fix so he would be “himself” again and nice to her. But then she didn’t want to examine it and instead ‘chased it away’. I wish she would have taken the time to have a come to Jesus meeting with herself. But she is getting there is I suppose. A least she is realizing her part in their joint downfall and trying to get it right with Ivy.

    She is Starting Over, getting a New Beginning, given a Second Chance….lol….all the story plugs. 😂😂😂

    Liked by 7 people

    1. This is a really great point! Harper still feels so much shame about how things were handled with Erik. It’s hard for her to face it! But she really should…

      And you’re right! This change in her is really Day & Knight, huh? Fangs for the great comment 😉

      Liked by 4 people

    1. I’m glad they’re making you happy! And I appreciate the kind words! ❤️ (also, Hamilton was 😍😱❤️😭 and more! Ahhhhhh! *fangirling*)

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Ahh! I think this chapter really showcased how far Harper’s come!
    It just hit me that she’s sort of low key repeating old patterns (in her choice of romantic partners), but this time she’s making better choices for her own behaviour, and breaking the cycle that leads down the road to ruin.
    Keep it up girl ❤

    Also, YASS! Uni; do it ladies! 🎉
    The arts are one career area where having a record is almost a non-issue (or even a bonus?).

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Thank you! Harper handles difficult situations so much better now. Including this one, like you said! And you’re also so right that it’s like Harper is getting a do-over of sorts, but doing a lot better this time around! Haha (and yeah, she seems to be attracted to addicts (Erik) and artists (Rylie and Devin) huh? And Ivy is both! 😂 I think the artist thing is self-explanatory, creative minds getting along and all that. And as for the addiction part, I feel like Harper is weirdly attracted to broken people.)

      And you’re so right! These two are in a much better position than poor Katie in terms of having a promising future after jail… 😦

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Harper as a good, supportive partner instead of enabling addiction! And Ivy having dreams! I feel like we don’t actually know too much about Ivy. It’d be nice to peek in on a few more of their conversations. These two are getting on too well. If things go any better for them, I’m going to start getting nervous.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ivy definitely doesn’t reveal much about herself… to Harper or the readers haha She has a lot of stuff she keeps inside, but we will get to know a little more about her over time! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow, Harper getting serious about something? I never thought I’d see the day! But Ivy is being a good influence on her. Classes should be very worthwhile for both of them.

    It’s interesting that Harper finally blames herself for enabling Erik, even though I can’t assign all the guilt to her. When someone’s addicted to something we know is bad for them, sometimes we still just want to make them happy, or at least not make them angry, upset or worse. Erik wasn’t very pleasant when he didn’t get his fix.

    Maybe things are finally looking up for this Rosebrook…!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. She’s growing every day! Lol about time too! 😂

      And yeah, she’s finally realizing her own mistakes on the Erik front. I mean, she only has a very small fraction of the blame haha like you said, she did wanna make him happy…

      And looking up? For a rosebrook? uh oh. That’s never a good sign, is it? 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I have to admit, even though I want Harper with Devin, Ivy is a good influence on Harper. Harper and Ivy going to college. Prison is the rock bottom for both of them and it may just be the best thing that ever happens to them.
    Wouldn’t it be ironic if Harper went home and thinks her dad for sending her to prison. That would really show growth and maturity.
    I just got my Sat scores back 680 in math and 550 in English. I passed with 1230, of course it’s not good enough. My English needs to be better. For a child who could barely read or write until the age of 10 I have come a long way.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Congrats on your scores! 🙂 And yeah, Ivy is definitely a big positive influence on Harper’s life! Hopefully things go well for both of them at school! And you are so right about her thanking her dad haha I wonder if it’ll ever happen…

      Like

    2. On score from 2 to 8. I got a 6 or 600. In South Carolina they do not include it on your score, yet. You still have to take it. I want to take architect classes. So, I guess some art classes would be good. I am 15 so, I still have a while before deciding a college.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I like that Ivy is having a positive influence on Harper. We all know she needs it!

    Although I’m not going to lie, part of me was feeling frustrated with the fact that Harper was able to support Ivy in a way she never supported Erik. But then again, it takes a certain level of maturity to help someone in need and Harper simply wasn’t there yet at the time, and the same thing can be said for Erik. He kept enabling her habits, as well.

    I also strongly encourage anyone getting an education so these two are doing good in my book 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Ahh this was both beautiful and sad. I am so proud of Harper and Ivy though. Deciding to go to uni was a big step forward for them. I can see a possible partnership in the future. Harper the writer and Ivy the illustrator. XD

    Liked by 2 people

  8. When I was listening to Harper’s excuses about not wanting to improve her writing by taking classes, it made me cringe because most people think anyone can just up and get published without lots of hard work and honing their craft by learning about how to write. That’s one of my pet peeves (probably because I get tons of people wanting me to edit their work when they really need LOTS of classes first!) 🙄

    Bravo, Ivy! You’re such a smart woman! I hope Harper takes your sage advice so she can truly be successful.

    Now as for Ivy’s troubles. Hmmm…I see her as a blend of Devin and Erik. She has the determination, sweetness, and artistic ability like Dev and the demons like Erik. Thankfully Harper learned her lesson with Erik on handling the demons. I think they have a bright future! Let’s hope Harper doesn’t screw this up! 😜

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Ivy is super smart! And you are right — a total blend of those two guys… guess Harper has a type? 😉

      Like

  9. Good job, Harper! Encourage the healthy dreams and not the destructive addictions. That’s a good step. Keep on the yellow brick road. Do not get distracted by the munchkins.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Oh, glad they were able to work that craving out of Ivy…Go take the art class, girl! If I was in your place, I would thank the lord for giving me this oportunity to paint for DAYS! I’m glad that she is mayyybe giving uni a chance, that’s the problem when you say you 100% hate something, you could be missing a great opportunity simply because your first impression wasn’t good.Passion can help you make some good things, but honey, in most cases, only that does *not* pay your bills…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, she’d totally convinced herself that she hated the idea of going to university… but I think Ivy is finally helping her see what she was missing out on! Passion definitely isn’t enough on its own!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Look at that, Harper finally going to university. The irony makes me want to laugh aloud. I am not looking forward to her parents’ reaction to her being with Ivy. I don’t think they’ll mind the same sex thing because of Gus, but the ex-addict thing… Maybe that’s just me projecting because of my own thoughts on it.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I have a lot of thoughts. I shall take a second to gather them.
    You’ve done a lot of paralleling this arc, which I really love. I really love when a story parallels two characters or conflicts etc. I don’t know how to articulate what I mean, though.

    Like, Harper and Erik have been two sides of the same coin. They both were struggling. Erik did drugs. Harper stole. Harper ended up in prison, whereas Erik went to rehab. Erik is now able to recover and have a stable relationship. Harper is stuck fixating on what she did wrong and is struggling to move on. All of this kinda stems from parents. Harper’s parents who cared too much, and Erik’s parents that probably cared not enough. It puts things into a perspective of how your life can go from something decent to something horrible or something horrible to finding something decent. You know?

    It’s just interesting to see the two paths that have come about. Hopefully Harper can learn from Erik and make a meaningful life for herself, and Erik can continue to prosper.

    Ivy parallels Erik as well as another significant figure in Harper’s life with a history of drug addiction. So now is she more equipped to deal with it, or will everything go up in flames? :3

    I know I’m not articulating my thoughts correctly. I’m really tired DX but basically I think you have a lot of skill, and still think maybe you should write a book or look into it. Your use of flashback, your use of parallels, it’s all very effective. :3

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is all so kind of you to say! I appreciate your compliments so much ❤ I've definitely been trying to do a lot of paralleling this time around, and also trying to kind of show the different paths things can take. Like you said, Erik got rehab and a stable relationship, Harper ended up in jail and struggling. And same with Ivy and Erik — he went to rehab and is doing well. She ended up in jail and still struggles a lot with her demons.

      Thank you for noticing! ❤ And thanks again for sharing your great thoughts!

      Like

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