6.82: Interlude – No Easy Way

“Alright, Munchkin.” Harper smiled warmly at her son as she spoke. “Time for Mama to go to work.”

Phoenix stuck out his bottom lip at her words. “Pway, Mama! Pway.” He said sadly, still holding the little yellow car.

As much as the sight of his disappointment broke her heart, she couldn’t help a bit of relief too. Phoenix was growing more and more attached to her lately — something she’d been looking forward to for a long time.

Harper shook her head slowly. “Mama can’t play anymore right now. But I bet Gammy would love to!”

The little boy’s brown eyes lit up at his grandmother’s name. “Gammy! Gammy!”

With a smile, Harper scooped her son into her arms and carried him downstairs.

Her father had taken Tomato to the dog park that afternoon, but she found her mother working on the computer in the study.

“Have a great day at work, sweetie.” Hope said sweetly as Harper put Phoenix down in front of her.

“Thanks, Mom.”

She watched with a smile as Phoenix followed her mother down the hall toward the living room. Harper followed along behind them at first, before turning into the kitchen to grab her car keys from the counter.

Before she could, however, she felt a slight buzzing coming from the pocket of her jeans. Harper pulled out her phone, her smile widening at the sight of the prison’s phone number on her screen.

Play it cool, she told herself as she lifted the phone to her ear. Don’t give it away! “Hello?” She asked, though she knew exactly who it would be.

“Hey, Harper.” Ivy’s familiar voice replied. She sounded so tired. But then, that was how she’d been sounding most days.

“Hey, Ivy. What’s up?”

“Not much… Just missing you, I guess.” Her voice was so soft, Harper had to strain to hear. “It’s silly, but I kinda just needed to hear your voice.” She let out a small laugh.

Harper felt a bit of relief at the sound. “I miss you too… Like crazy! How are things going in there?” As always, Harper tried her best to sound chipper.

“They’re okay.” Ivy gave her usual reply. “Same old, same old, I guess.” There was a beat of silence. “Sorry for bugging you… I know you’re probably super busy!” It was clear that Ivy’s cheerfulness was just as forced as hers has been. “Like I said, I was just kinda having a sentimental moment or something… Wanted to talk to you. Maybe bug you for one of your stories?” She asked almost hopefully. “It’s been a while.”

Harper’s heart sank slightly. “I’d love to… But I’m actually headed out right now. I’m closing down at the library tonight.”

Ivy failed to completely hide her disappointment. “That’s fine. Like I said, I know you’re busy.”

“Hey, but next time we talk, I promise I’ll have a good one for you, okay?”

She could hear the smile in Ivy’s voice. “Alright, deal.” The other girl paused for a moment. “I should probably let you go… But I’ll talk to you soon?”

Even better than that. Harper wanted to say. “Definitely… I miss you, Ivy.”

“Miss you too. So much. Bye, Harper.”

“Bye, Ivy.”

Harper couldn’t help but smile as she returned her phone to her pocket and finally grabbed her keys from the counter. As always, hearing Ivy’s voice hurt so much… But it was hard not to feel excited at the prospect of seeing her again.

She’d received the director’s response yesterday morning. The letter had worked. He’d approved her request to visit Ivy at the prison.

The day after tomorrow, she’d finally see Ivy’s beautiful face again. She’d get to hold her in her arms. And, above all, she’d get to finally tell Ivy the truth. That she loved her.

It had been so tempting to tell Ivy the good news as soon as she’d heard. Maybe give her something to look forward to? But instead, she’d opted to keep it a surprise.

Harper couldn’t wait to see the look on her face when she walked in the visitors room… She just hoped that Ivy’s reaction to her confession would be something to look forward to too.


A strange wave of anxiety washed over Harper as she stepped through the heavy front doors of the brick building. It felt so strange to be returning to the prison as a visitor. A guest. Part of her had been expecting that it would feel good to be back there as a free woman. But instead, it was just… odd.

The tangled web of nerves and excitement in Harper’s stomach grew even stronger as she approached the front desk. Maia was the one on duty that morning. She’d always been one of Harper’s favorite guards, ever since her first day there.

“Um… hi.” Harper greeted the other woman awkwardly.

Maia glanced up from the computer screen in front of her. To Harper’s surprise, her face fell instantly at the sight of her. “Oh… Harper. Nice to see you again.” Why did her smile seem so forced? “Director Mayer told us you’d be coming. Would you mind waiting for a second?”

Harper shrugged slightly. “Sure.”

She watched as Maia pulled a small walkie-talkie from her belt, muttering something that sounded like “She’s here,” into the receiver.

The reply was much too garbled for her to make out, but the guard seemed to have understood. Maia glanced back up at her, returning the radio to her hip. “He’d like to speak with you in his office… Come with me.”

She rose to her feet then, beckoning for Harper to follow.

Harper’s brow furrowed slightly in confusion. What could this be about, she wondered? Maybe I need extra screening or something, since I’m a former inmate… She chose not to ask any questions, and merely followed the guard down the hall to the director’s office.

Director Mayer was waiting by the door as Harper entered. He was never one for smiling much, but today, he seemed even more serious than usual as he extended a hand toward her. “Miss Rosebrook, you’re looking well.” He shook her hand firmly as he spoke.

“Thanks.” Harper’s voice shook slightly with nervousness… But these nerves had little to do with seeing Ivy again. Something about the director’s demeanor was making her uneasy. “And, uh, thank you again for letting me come see Ivy.”

The man cleared his throat uncomfortably at her words. “Yes, um… Would you mind taking a seat, Miss Rosebrook?”

Her heart was racing in her chest as she did as she was told. What the hell is going on?! “Director Mayer, what’s this about?”

“I just have a few questions I’d like to discuss with you… Miss Rosebrook, when was the last time you spoke with Miss Allen?”

“Um, two days ago… Just for a minute or two. She called when I was on my way out.”

Director Mayer jotted something down on a piece of paper in front of him. “And did she say anything… odd? Or sound any different than usual?”

Harper shook her head, a sickening, twisting sensation slowly creeping its way into her stomach. “Please, Director Mayer. I know something’s wrong.” She fought hard to keep her voice steady. “What is it?”

A soft sigh passed his lips. His expression was suddenly pained as he replied. “I’m afraid there’s no easy way to say this… Yesterday afternoon, Miss Allen was found unconscious in one of the bathrooms… The hospital tells us it was an overdose.”

Harper could no longer breathe. It was as though all the air had been knocked from her lungs. “W-what?!” She managed to gasp.

“They say it was heroin.” He continued uncomfortably.

“B-but… But that’s not possible!” Her breaths were coming in shaking gasps. “She was clean! She hasn’t used in over a year! And where the hell did she even get it from?!”

“We’re still trying to figure that out, Miss Rosebrook.” Director Mayer replied gently. “That was why I wanted to speak with you… Any information you may have would help with our investigation.”

“Where is she?!” Harper cried, banging her fist against the arm of the chair. “I don’t give a fuck about your ‘investigation’! Just tell me what the hell’s happening! Is she okay? Is she still in the hospital? Can I go see her?!”

But Harper knew the answer before he even opened his mouth to speak.


110 thoughts on “6.82: Interlude – No Easy Way

  1. Oh snap… I bet Harper is having some major regret about not telling Ivy about her visit on the phone now! 😬
    Shiiiit. This is not going to lead to a happy place, dare I hope for minimal permanent damage?
    God I hope Harper doesn’t backslide and land herself back in prison now… OR WORSE.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. There’s a lot Harper will regret not saying now… 😭

      There’s a distinct possibility that she could backslide from this. But hopefully not! The poor thing 😭

      Liked by 1 person

  2. That was a mean episode… But it was kind of obvious that something bad was going to happen when they didn’t really talk when she phoned.. why couldn’t she just have ended up in hospital? Death is a bit harsh…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I know 😭 Ivy really didn’t. But she just fell too far and got too desperate. The poor thing!

      And I love that you’re already assuming the rosebrook-style reaction 😂 Though you’re probably right, unfortunately… :-/

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, this one was awful to write 😭 But you’re right that it’s a very unfortunate reality of real life. Depression and addiction are so awful, and drug relapses are so dangerous. Poor Ivy (and poor Harper!)

      Liked by 3 people

  3. That was so hard to read. I knew when Harper kinda blew off Ivy’s phone call that something awful was coming, but ouch.

    Poor Harper is going to be stuck with some regrets for the rest of her life, and just when things were starting to look up for her…

    RIP Ivy 😭😭😭

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I wouldn’t say that Harper ‘blew off’ Ivy’s phone call any more than she ‘blew off’ her son’s asking to play. She was doing what she needed to do and can’t just drop what’s she’s already committed to on a whim.

      That being said, dayum Citizen, that was just plain mean.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. It’s true, she really needed to go to work. If she’d had the time, she would have been more than happy to talk to Ivy ❤️

        And I know, I feel like a monster 😭

        Liked by 2 people

      2. You’re right, “blew off” wasn’t the right wording. I just meant that at that time she didn’t have time to talk, and since she thought she was going to see Ivy in a couple of days, she didn’t think much into not talking at that moment.

        Liked by 2 people

  4. Damn. Nothing good ever comes of knowing a Rosebrook. 😦 Or loving one, apparently.

    It was the perfect (shit)storm that led to Ivy’s death–guilt, loneliness, isolation, a phone call cut short… I wish we’d gotten to spend more time with her.

    I’m really, really not looking forward to the Downward Spiral Harper that’s probably right around the corner…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yeah… those Rosebrooks are a bit poisonous, aren’t they? :-/

      The spiral begins in the next chapter 😦 Hopefully it’s something she can recover from!

      Liked by 2 people

  5. This is so so sad 😢 when Harper Was told to go to his office i knew there Was a chance that Ivy had died. I didn’t expect a drug overdose though. I thought she might have hanged herself or something like that. How on earth do you get drugs in there? Oh! Maybe Tim got it for her. Maybe Tim is using in prison and that’s why she’s so aggressive All the time! Tim wouldn’t care if Ivy overdosed. She hated Ivy!

    I feel so sad for Ivy’s brother and for Harper. They Are the ones Who has to del with the grief of losing someone you love. And what makes me really sad is that Ivy and Harper never got to tell each other how they feel.

    I can imagine that Harper will be blaming herself for this. Using her login, she will think it is partial her fault because she didn’t have time to talk to her the other Day. It Was clear that Ivy needed her help because she asked for her stories. And Harper will probably think that if she had just told Ivy that she was coming to visit her, then she hadn’t done it because then she had something to look forward to.

    This makes me so sad 😢 They were good for each other. Maybe Harper Was better for Ivy than the other way around, but they made each other happy. They were so good together. And i expect there will be No good bye letter as the overdose wasn’t intentional.
    Maybe One of the other inmates did it to her? You take heroin by needle in the arm, right? So someone Else could have helped her and given her a lethal dose!

    She didn’t deserve to die. She was clean, getting help, being in love! I have never been addicted to drugs, just cigarettes, but I can imagine it is way worse with drug addiction.

    Harper will need serious counseling after this. The only People i’ve lost were My grandfather, My dog and My cat. I wasn’t close with My grandfather but it still hit me Hard. It Was way worse for me when i lost My dog. He Was My Best friend in the whole World. At One point he Was My only friend. I seriously thought i Was gonna break completely when he died. My cat’s Death Was Less painful as she wasn’t really mine anymore. She had been adopted by another family a few years earlier, but the New own er sent me pictures of her now and then so she was still close to me.

    I know losing a pet is not the same, but the pain you feel in the moment when it happens is the same. Especially if you Are as close with them as I were with My dog. It’s the feeling of loss and grief. And it’s not something that can be explained.

    I hope some day Harper will be able to find love again. She deserves it. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t know if we’ll ever find out where the drugs came from 😦 But no matter what, you’re right — this will not be an easy burden for Harper to bear 😦 Losing someone you love is never easy 😭

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Shipper WitcHazard: How could you be so cruel Citizen I can’t even drown my sorrows in alcohol because I’m pregnant now I have to suffer throuh this pain sober 😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭!

    Anti Shipper: Well she’s two for two I think we can all agree Harper doesn’t have what it takes to date and addict so next love interest! Anybody but Devin at this point it would be pity love and he’s to good for that!

    Lover WitcHazard: I feel sorry for her next love interest if there is one cause they ahave to deal with so much baggage when dealing with Harper! The constant interactions with her first love/baby daddy nothings going to happen between those two but still it’s now a good feeling! The responsibility of being a parent to a child that isn’t yours some people not all have issues with this not that I’d care especially with a cutie pie like Pheonix! The guilt she feels from not one but to moments of closure she’s never going to get because of death on top of all that she has quite the temper man she’s really going to have a hard time in the dating scene after this! I also agree with Anti no Devin for Harper I’m all for the the right person was right next to you all along cliche but he deserves before Erik Harper not Emotional Basket Case after Erik and death of Ivy!

    Dark WitcHazard: This just confirms what I was saying about the distance from Harper in the banner has to do with the distance between them in the story! Emotionally Erik and Harper are donzo Riley and Harper are still friends but she’s clearly not as emotionally perceptive as Devin is and now Ivy is dead so the closest people to her right now are Katie and Devin who will probably be the people who help her the most during her loss! She still might run away though with the whole bond with Pheonix becoming stronger I guess she’ll just be distant for a little while!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m sorry, Shipper 😭 But congrats on the nooboo!

      So true about all that baggage Harper will be carrying around now! She’s really gonna need some true friends to help her through this. And I think it’s true that it’ll be Dev and Katie more than anyone!


    1. Right now we don’t have 100% confirmation, but I also didn’t say she’s still alive either… we will know for sure Saturday but it doesn’t look good right now…

      Liked by 3 people

  7. OH my … where on earth did she get the drugs?? I wonder if it was intentional or accidental .. I suppose that if she is gone we will never know and if she is not then perhaps this is a lead out to her release … Overdose is a tragic ending!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I hate to be the one that everyone is going ot hate here … BUT if she is still alive and obviously still looking to drugs for some answer is she stable enough to be in Harper’s life without an Erik repeat .. sometimes love does not conquer all .. boundaries need to be set and held

        Liked by 2 people

  8. The only person Ivy had trouble with was Tim. She may have play a part in it.
    Seems like Ivy had some deep emotional scares deeper than Harper leaving and the fact that she blame herself for all the deaths that may or may not have been cause by her dealing. No one knows what she had to deal with in foster care.
    Maybe Harper will realize it was not her fault. It was Ivy’s choice.
    Don’t worry Harper Devin is there to pick up the pieces of your broken heart.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, Ivy had so many demons 😦 It was so bad. I fear Harper will blame herself too. But hopefully not! We will see…


  9. Outstanding Citizen!
    Really liked it and I must add that was some fine drama.
    I might be the devil on ones shoulder by saying from a narrativly point I hope death is the outcome. In my defense I love Greek tragedy.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hahahaha I appreciate that someone is cheering for this evilness 😂 It was very painful to write though. So sad 😦 Poor Ivy. Poor Harper!

      Thank you for reading!


  10. God dammit as soon as I started reading Harper and Ivy’s conversation on the phone I knew there was some finality to it, and that Ivy would die. And then when it said that Harper had not told Ivy about the visit, I was certain.

    Why couldn’t they just live happily ever after.

    RIP Ivy.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Oh my gosh. I’m only new to your story but this brought tears to my eyes. It’s so well written and you really drag people into your story. I know it’s a long shot but i truly hope Ivy isn’t dead. That would just be too too sad 3😢😢😢

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! I appreciate your kind words about my writing, but I’m sorry for the heartache 😭😭😭 Thank you for taking the time to read and to share your thoughts too 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  12. WOW the time I decide to play catch up, Ivy dies
    just when the both of them were gonna make something together damn

    RIP Ivy

    Is it too late for Katie to swoop in and pick up the pieces? 😭

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sorry! *hides* I am evil 😭

      (And LOL well, Harper is very much single right now, so you never know? 😂 Though I’m not sure if Harper is quite ready for a rebound yet 😛 )


  13. Ok ok ok ok I did not see this coming. Just when it all seems settled down, you throw a stone. I’m so devastated for Harper right now, I might not be her no.1 fan but this is too much. I’m off to cry now. Please give Harper some happiness 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sorry 😭😭😭 I’m a monster, I know. She really does deserve some happiness after all she’s been through. Hopefully she can find some ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Poor Harper. I wasn’t particularly fond of Ivy for Harper. It’s not that I didn’t like her, just that from the beginning, she just seemed too far gone for “redemption”. Some emotions and “inner demons” just run too deep to be healed. Sort of like a scar on the face: you can cover it up with makeup, but in the end, it will always be there.

    Harper is Harper. The Rosebrooks, as a whole, have almost always had more than their share of troubles, but as one of them told another (I forgot which ones), something the lines of: the Rosebrook family members have a strength that can get you through just about anything.

    I’m not worried about Harper per se, but feel sorry for Phoenix. If Harper stays the way she has always been, then she will let herself emotionally detached and break the newfound thread between mother and child. Or it could go the other way, and she will pull him closer, realizing that he is the one she wants to hold onto after so much lost time separating her from anyone. Her family, unsaid words that death has cheated the chance for forgiveness and true feelings being shared. Her pushing people away, etc.

    This chapter didn’t surprise me, I was expecting something almost exactly like this. I do wish, for Phoenix’s sake, is that Harper won’t be typical Harper.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I understand your worries for Phoenix haha I think for Harper it will be really hard not to let herself be destroyed by this. :-/


  15. Okay, you are brilliant at foreshadowing – I just knew knew KNEW something bad was going to happen to Ivy, especially when Harper kept it as a complete surprise instead of “giving her something to look forward to.” Like, that girl obviously needed something to look forward to!

    BUUT saying that, it probably was going to happen at some point either way. Harper’s visit might have delayed it, and prevented all the complete and utter regret she’s going to have again now U.U but Ivy was just not going to do so well in there alone.

    As the comment above me says, Ivy was a little far gone – Harper will probably be better off without her, as hard as that will be for her (she really does have a type 😅).

    Anyway, cute Phoenix is cute! I hope we see more of him in the upcoming chapters.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha Harper might be better off without her, but poor Ivy still did not deserve this 😦 My heart breaks for her (and Harper!)

      Glad you enjoyed my foreshadowing — I tried to drop as many hints as I could! Haha thanks for reading!


  16. Ok, so I’ve had the time to process this and here comes my probably miles-long comment. I have a lot of thoughts^^

    First of all, as heartbreaking as this is, I can’t say it came as a complete surprise. When I realized something bad was going to happen, I first thought of suicide (which it of course could have been, we don’t know that). Ivy has seemed depressed to me for a long time now – the constant guilt, the feelings of worthlessness or that she ‘deserves’ this, her forced smiles and happiness.

    I also think this is what’s kept me from fully jumping on board of this ship so long. Ivy has Always depended on Harper a little too much for my comfort. Harper reconnected with other friends and family, while Ivy just clung to Harper and was not solving her own issues in a constructive way (perhaps she wasn’t given the right guidance, perhaps she just could not find the power within herself. I’m not judging her, just observing). It’s like I had a feeling this could happen in the back of my mind which made me concerned about the relationship they were forming. If it evolved into a true romantic commitment, they would have been no less co-dependent than Harper and Erik were.

    Also, I’m very concerned about what this can do to Harper. She was on the road to recovery and just got a massive blow pushing her back down. I am very scared all her hard work will be for nothing. I don’t think she will abandon or neglect Phoenix (at least I hope not). I think she might turn into one of those helicopter parents she despised so much, AND I think it’s going to take a loooooong time for her to let herself be happy again – if ever. I saw the picture of Joce and Mark as she was going down the stairs and it almost looked like a warning to me. I see a lot of guilt in Harper’s future.

    Lastly, I feel absolutely awful for Ivy’s brother. Like I said, Harper is hurting but at least she has somewhat of a support system around her, even if she does not realize it. But Ivy’s brother is now truly alone.

    Honestly, I have not felt this worried about an heir’s future in a long time. Usually I’m pretty optimistic, but given Harper’s track record, I think there is a genuine chance she won’t recover from this, or not for a very long time. Let’s hope I’m wrong!


    1. Yeah, unfortunately it isn’t too shocking (or at least, shouldn’t be!) that things kinda came to this. There was so much darkness and so many demons Ivy couldn’t escape from. Even before we knew her full story, I kinda tried to throw in hints that there was some darkness/sadness beneath the surface.

      It’s so true about the codependency aspect of their relationship as well.And that is going to make this all the more difficult for Harper to deal with, I fear. 😦 These next several chapters will be… well, you’ll see!

      And I love that you thought of Ivy’s brother :heart: Exactly what you said in your comment comes up in a couple of chapters. He is so alone 😦 The poor guy!!!!

      Hopefully there’s still hope for a happy ending for Harper?


  17. Okay…okay. So…I’m going to private message you my first train of thoughts because those aren’t comment appropriate.

    Poor Harper! 😦 Right when she gets everything all sorted, love just kicks her right on the f**king ground again. I thought she was done being tossed around but she’s a Rosebrook. She’s never really done, is she? 😦 *hugs Harper* It’s okay babe. It’s okay.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you so much<3 Thankfully this chapter was written before tragedy hit… but it's still a real struggle to be in such a heavy arc during all this! 😦

        Liked by 1 person

  18. My heat is breaking for Harper and Ivy right now. What a chapter 😔 I’m sorry to hear that you’ve experienced your own tragedy recently citizen, sending you love.

    Liked by 1 person


    I’m not crying. Those damn onion cutting ninjas…

    But hey! Hearty has a chance now, right? (T-T)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sorry 😭 This was so awful, I know. 😦 And I guess technically Harper is single now? Haha but man… she’s gonna be so broken 😭

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I can see it now — she’s going to slip back into old habits… Or maybe not. Maybe she’s stronger now. But damn, this is a huge heartbreak… And I think she’ll blame herself hardcore for this — if she’d have told Ivy a story…

        Liked by 1 person

  20. Oh no…But, they didnt say Ivy was dead! Maybe she is just alive, in a coma…? If she is alive, Harper will need to help her get back to her feat, and fight addiciton yet again! Ife shes dead, well…I dont think Harper will forgive herself for making it a surprise, and msot likely live her life bitter because of that.

    Liked by 2 people

  21. I’m actually crying. When you said fatal overdose I didn’t think this. I thought it was gonna be backstory. I actually cannot keep reading right now. Will I anyway, maybe, but damn. I’m actually really shaken.


    1. I’m so sorry to pull the rug out from under you like this 😦 When you said that you were rooting for the two of them, I felt so bad. Please forgive me 😦


  22. Okay, so I know the whole backlash of this chapter really hit you hard. But I have to say, OMFG you know how to bring out the tension and the foreshadowing. This was brilliantly done. And I probably would have been more upset if I hadn’t known about Ivy’s death months ago when shit hit the fan. Still, this was an amazing chapter, and never ever forget that. You did an amazing job telling Ivy’s story.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you ❤️❤️❤️ This was such a sad chapter to write for me, and obviously it caused a lot of grief for me in the long run haha but I’m glad you enjoyed how it was written ❤️❤️❤️


  23. Stopping here while I do a catch up, only to say “I KNEW IT!” though to be honest I thought Tim was gonna have killed her, unless Tim is the one who gave her the Heroine.

    That being said, time to continue. Still enjoying your story!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for reading! This one was a hard one 😦 We will never know where she got the heroin from… but Tim is definitely a possibility…


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