7.42: Rosebrook

Note: So you all aren’t super confused, this is a heads-up that this chapter kinda breaks away a bit from Phoenix for a moment. I wanted to do something a little special because, believe it or not, this one is my 500TH CHAPTER! 😮 I honestly never would have believed I’d have made it so far with this story. It’s a very exciting (but also kind of embarrassing LOL) milestone for me and I’m really happy to share it with you guys 🙂

I feel that it always sounds so hollow when I try and thank you all for reading. But seriously, know that it means so much to me that you’ve all read and supported me during these last five hundred (!!!!!) chapters. The fact that you’ve taken so much time out of your lives to follow this messed up little family is truly humbling, and I can’t thank you all enough ❤ 


With a soft sigh, Harper returned the notebook back onto the shelf where it belonged. She’d read enough for today — the memories from over two decades ago now felt so fresh and vibrant in her mind. But they were memories that no longer brought her the crippling shame and regret that they once had. The sadness she felt at reliving those days still remained. She knew it always would. But now, she also felt… Well, Harper wasn’t quite sure how to describe it.

Maybe pride, she decided at last as she returned to her spot on the sofa. At how far I’ve come… 

Harper ran her fingers along the green tattoo on her forearm. I hope you can still see me, Ivy, she thought. And I hope you’re proud too.

As hard as it still was for her to believe, today marked twenty-one years since the day she’d left prison. Twenty-one years since her life had changed forever… in both terrible and wonderful ways.

Every year, she liked to come up to the library and flip through some of the old journals she’d kept back then. Back when she was at her lowest. When she was such a terrible, entitled, angry person. A scared little girl who needed to stop feeling sorry for herself and blaming the world for her problems.

Harper had once asked her father if he’d ever done the same. Had he ever gone back and read the journals he’d kept in his youth?

He didn’t, she’d learned. Zayne told her he believed in moving forward and striving to do better, not dwelling on the past.

But his daughter didn’t quite agree. How could you move forward if you forgot where you came from? How could you do better if you didn’t remember what things were like at your worst?

Harper glanced back over at the shelf that held the dozens upon dozens of her family’s journals. There had been a time when they all sat in boxes up in the attic. But one of the first things Harper did when they expanded the library was to dedicate an entire shelf to the dusty old journals that held her ancestor’s stories. Their legacies.

Because just as she didn’t want to forget her own past, Harper didn’t want to forget theirs either.

She’d spent countless hours over the years reading through the lives of so many of the Rosebrooks who came before her. And the more she read, the more connected she felt to all of them.

She felt their pain. She understood their struggles… Though sometimes she wished she could reach through the pages and smack some sense into them. But other times, she wanted nothing more than to go back in time and just give them a hug. To tell them that everything would be okay.

Harper usually chose to do her reading up in the library. It was the one room in the house where she felt the most connected to the past generations of her family. That room held so many reminders of all the Rosebrooks that had come before her.

And, as silly as she knew it was, sometimes she swore she could feel them there with her.

So much of who they were still lived on in those old relics of her family’s past. Like that old writing desk.

Or that beautiful grand piano.

Or those sparkling trophies.

Or in the yellowed pages of the books on the shelves.

And in all those old journals too.

But though he’d been gone for nearly two years now, there was one set of journals that Harper still refused to touch.

Harper missed her father so much more than she’d ever imagined she would. It had taken many years to repair their broken relationship… But once they had, she and her father were as close as they’d ever been. And part of her almost wanted to take a peek at those journals — to learn more about his past. To remember him. But she just couldn’t do it.

She knew that part of it was simply fear… Mostly of looking back and seeing what sorts of things her father had written about her when she was at her worst. Those were wounds that would simply be too painful to reopen, even now. And of course, she also wanted to respect Zayne’s wishes too… He’d never wanted to go back and read his own story. So she shouldn’t either, should she?

But Harper still kept his journals carefully tucked on the shelf beside Jocelyne’s. Perhaps someone else would want to look at them one day.

Maybe even Phoenix…

The thought sent a wave of dread rushing through her. Because if her son chose to read Zayne’s journals one day, maybe he’d want to read hers too.

Phoenix already knew she’d stolen from her grandmother. He knew she’d gone to jail. And that was bad enough already. But he didn’t realize just how truly bitter and hateful and selfish she’d been…

What would happen if he ever found out what a monster his mother once was?

I guess he’ll be thankful he turned out better than me. Harper almost laughed as the thought crossed her mind.

But she felt her amusement quickly begin to fade. Because though her son would never be as terrible as she once was, maybe he was just as lost…

The more time that passed, the more she had begun to worry for him. Especially since he’d rushed into his marriage to Gigi and gone off to live in Brindleton Bay.

She could sense that something was wrong. Mothers always knew, didn’t they? And she could feel it every time she spoke to him.

But no matter how many times she tried to hint or even outright ask, he would never open up to her. All he did was tell her things were fine. And, well, Phoenix was an adult now. And he lived literally an ocean away. There was only so much she could do.

It was so frustrating knowing that her son didn’t want to open up to her… Or Erik either, from the sound of it.

What did she expect though? She’d be a hypocrite if she expected anything less from him, wouldn’t she?

Guess that’s one thing we all have in common… Harper couldn’t help but laugh softly to herself at the thought. It was something she’d noticed in every Rosebrook journal she read. We all suck at opening up, don’t we?

But that wasn’t the only thing the Rosebrooks had in common either.

And that was what helped keep her mind at ease. That was why she never let her worrying consume her. Because Harper knew that no matter what happened or what challenges Phoenix faced, things would be okay.

She still hoped he would finally open up to her one day. And she wouldn’t stop trying to help him however she could.

But no matter how badly he screwed up or how cruel fate decided to be, Harper knew he would figure things out, one way or another.

He’d be strong. He wouldn’t give up.

And he’d find his way…

Because he was a Rosebrook.

62 thoughts on “7.42: Rosebrook

  1. Oh my gosh, 500 chapters! It feels like just yesterday , it was December 11th 2015 ( I think ) that I stumbled across this blog. The first chapter was so intriguing that I had to read more. I’m so happy and I look forward to many more chapters!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you so much for reading my story and following it for so long! ❤️❤️❤️ (can’t believe this story is almost 3 years old now too 😱 time flies!)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. First of all congratulations on your 500 chapters. Have I told you lately your writing is awesome, fabulous, fantastic, and on and on and on.
    It was great looking back into Phoenix’s ancestors lives.
    Harper is right no matter what Phoenix goes through he will rise from the ashes. Rosebrooks are a strong family whose been through a lot and no matter what they are there for each other.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. You are very sweet, thank you ❤️❤️❤️

      I’m glad you enjoyed this look back! And I love that you share Harper’s hope that Phee will live up to his name and rise from the ashes! The Rosebrooks are a very flawed and messed-up family, but you’re right that they are very strong too. And hopefully Phoenix will find that strength and be able to make it through!


  3. Wow, 500th chapter. That’s pretty big. I’ve really enjoyed reading this so far and I’ve become invested in these characters. Thank you.
    This was a sad chapter. It’s sad to see how far they’ve come. But I’m proud of them that they all worked hard to improve themselves.
    This was a good chapter, I love it.
    (By the way, have you seen BoJack Horseman season 5?)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you! ❤️ This one was definitely bittersweet. It was fun but also sad to look back on the past Rosebrooks! I’m glad you enjoyed it!

      (Also… OMG my fiancé and I stayed up til 1am last night binging the new season! Ahhh! I loved it but it was so sad and dark (I’d say the darkest yet) But then, that’s what I love that about that show. It gets so heavy and REAL. Wishing I didn’t binge it all at once though… nothing left to watch now! Did you watch too?)


        1. Yes, it’s one of my very top favorite shows! ❤️Those last 2-3 episodes killed me though. Ahhhh I need season 6! (Lol hijacking my own comment section to fangirl about BoJack… no shame 😂)


    1. Thank you, you’re very sweet! ❤️ I’m glad you enjoyed this little nostalgia trip! This family has certainly come a long way, and also has a ways to go as well…


  4. So many feels in this one! I loved that last pic of all of them standing around Harper. I’m glad this legacy house contains a sort of memorial wing dedicated to all the Rosebrooks of the past. That’s a really nice touch. I may end up borrowing that concept in my own legacy at some point.
    Harper shouldn’t worry about Phoenix so much and not simply because he is a Rosebrook and bouncing back is their thing. He will be fine but because marital problems is the least troubling issue compared to the stuff Rosebrooks of the past had to deal with. Stuff which includes sex addiction and depression, familial estrangement for years, jail time, being a drug mule, and those are just some examples. Phoenix is gonna be okay…so long as he doesn’t screw up and cheat on his wife cause that’s where I think it’s heading. Or maybe she might cheat on him? Either way, Phee’s gotta fill those journals up with something salacious for the next gen to read! LMAO.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Eddie! ❤️ I’m glad you enjoyed the feels! And WagonFruit totally gets credit for the memorial wing idea! I had kept things all around the house (like Mari’s piano and Tobi’s trophies) but when she made the house over for me for this gen, she told me she had the idea of turning Mark and Joce’s library into a memory room and putting things in there. And I loved it! (After Zayne died, I even added the “open book” display to the wall… recipe book 😛 )

      I am laughing right now but you’re right — Phee’s gen has been the most benign so far! 😂 He needs to up the ante a bit before his gen’s over! 😉 You has some interesting predictions about how that might happen. We shall see…

      Thanks again! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Harper reading the old journals minus Zayne’s and coming to the same conclusions as the people reading the legacy. That the family sucks at opening up. Wonder what Hope would think about the fact that Zayne once dealt drugs (and got majorly hurt).

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yup, Harper is getting a readers’ perspective on her familys’ lives! Haha

      Good question of what Harper would think if she knew about her dad’s teenage mistakes! I imagine she would be pretty surprised!


    1. Marklyne feels are the worst (best?) so I get it haha I’m glad you enjoyed, Audrey ❤️❤️❤️ And thank you for all the help you’ve given me the last two gens!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. This was such a sweet reminder of where the story has come from! It’s easy to lose the connections between all the generations of this story. I loved how you reconnected all the heirs, and that last picture was great ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I totally agree that the further we get into the story, the more of a disconnect we feel from the previous heirs. So chapter 500 felt like a good time for this kind of look back. Thank you again! ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Awww, this was so sweet! You definitely captured what it feels like as a reader. It’s incredible how much you’ve written and I look forward to see what the future has in store!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you 🙂 I’m glad you enjoyed this one and I appreciate all the time you’ve taken to read my story (and share your thoughts too!) ❤ ❤ ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  8. NOOOO! The FEELS! Arghhhh! This is so sweet I CANNNNN’TTT!

    I just look at this heirs, and remember all the stuff they habe been trought! Gah! So MANY FEELINGS!

    *ahem* It was interrsting to see Harper being semi-meta while saying that all rosebrooks had a hard time to open up, but, in the end, everything still worked out.


  9. What a sweet chapter .. it was lovely to see all of them again ❤ Congrats on the milestone ❤ ❤ that is dedication .. I am just over 1/4th of the way to you and cannot even start to wrap my mind around that milestone

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Ok… I’m feeling major Harry Potter vibes!!! Loved this chapter. Im so glad that they were able to keep all the journals and that Harper is able to go back and read them. Thats awesome!! And congrats on 500 chapters. Its been a crazy wild ride but definitely glad to have been apart of it… silently. Teehee

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Oh my gosh I saw the thumbnail and skipped a few chapters and I’m crying I felt my heart ache as I saw all of them do the things they had done or achieved when they were alive man you took me on a feels trip and the last picture felt like I got hit by a feels train I cried almost as hard when I saw Mari getting married thoroughly enjoyed this chapter. T-T

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww I’m glad this one moved you so much! It was so emotional for me too to get those shots. My babies 😭❤️ Thank you so much for reading!!!


      1. No problem and I understand how you feel with getting attached I’m doing a gen challenge on my game (my husband and I as founders) I’m on gen 4 right now I wish I could tell my Sims story but it would take a lot of time my 2 gen my heir Aubrey had 11 babies 😶
        And the heir after her (maci) had 3 and is raising her late brothers daughter. The gen I’m working up to (gen 5) is an arranged marriage with my friend lol but i think mr julian and his future wife will be great and I’m super excited! I may need to show you some screenshots of my heirs. Man I wish I could write a story like yours I love it keep up the good work and congratulations on 500 chapters 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    First off, congrats on 500?!?!? This was forever ago, but still!! That’s hella impressive
    Second, bringing up Ivy reignited the fire in my sad soul.
    Third, all of the past heirs and then that final picture!!! This was so cool. I loved this little chapter a whole lot.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! (For both the congrats and the compliment on this chapter!) I still can’t believe I’ve made it so far 😱 Thank you for reading and supporting my crazy through all the crazy ups and downs of those past 500! ❤️


  13. OMG that last picture ❤️ What an emotional chapter, and what an accomplishment! It was sweet to get glimpses of the past heirs. And how wonderful that Harper feels for the legacy so profoundly. She’s come into her own for sure.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That last picture was so hard to stage, but so worth it 🙂 I knew I had to do something special!

      Harper is probably the heir who fell the farthest and struggled the most during her younger years, so it felt right that she would, during her process of recovery and improving herself, turn to the past generations of her family for strength and wisdom. ❤️


  14. I loved this chapter and how you made the pictures to go with the memories. Harper has come a long way and I like that final end…because he is a Rosebrook…..I feel that way about my family sometimes. Can’t wait to see what happens.

    Liked by 1 person

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