7.58: Washed Away

The stairs creaked softly beneath Gigi’s bare feet as she made her way down the stairs.

The sound seemed to echo all throughout the house with each step she took. Gigi winced, fearing she would wake Phoenix or his family. This was only the second week they’d spent at her in-laws’ house, and she was still adjusting to living in such a large and lavish home… And one where the sound carried so well too.

When she reached the bottom of the stairs, she paused to listen for movement from upstairs, but the house around her remained silent and still.

Or nearly silent, anyway.

Gigi jumped at the sound of footsteps from the kitchen.

Her mother-in-law came into view, sleepy but smiling. “Sorry… Didn’t hear you coming. Did I startle you?’ Harper asked softly.

Gigi returned her smile. “A little.” She confessed. “What are you doing up?” Gigi hadn’t expected to find anyone else awake at two o’clock in the morning.

Harper shrugged as Gigi crossed the threshold to join her. “Couldn’t sleep. It happens sometimes.” She explained. “When I was younger, I used to just lay awake for hours when I couldn’t sleep… Then Dev got me into this herbal tea crap.” She let out a small chuckle. Gigi could still smell a hint of chamomile in the air. “But you know what? It works!” She paused for a moment, her brow furrowing slightly in concern. “What about you though? Couldn’t sleep either?”

Gigi shook her head. “I couldn’t… Plus I’m starving.” She confessed. “I feel like I could eat a horse or something.”

This was the second night in the past week that one of her cravings had pulled her out of bed. And it had happened twice the week before that too. But those times, she’d managed to slip down to the kitchen unnoticed. She knew it was a typical side effect of her pregnancy, but Gigi couldn’t help but feel strangely embarrassed by it.

Maybe it was because she was living in her in-law’s house. It was their kitchen she’d been sneaking into. Their food she was eating. And as much as she knew they wouldn’t mind, she still felt so much shame at having to take advantage of their hospitality. But right now, she and Phoenix didn’t really have a choice. And his mother and stepfather had insisted they let them help.

Gigi had been surprised, at first. Phoenix’s parents were always so kind to her, and seemed to like her. But Gigi always got the sense that they would have liked her more if she hadn’t married their son. She and Phoenix had never spoken a word of their troubles to his parents. Yet somehow, it was like they knew. Or at least, that’s how it felt, anyway.

“Hey, I get it.” Harper assured her, her voice calling Gigi back to the present. “I was like a bottomless pit when I was pregnant with Lila. Thought I was gonna burst! Poor Dev was at the grocery store every week stocking up.”

Gigi couldn’t help but laugh softly. She could definitely relate to that feeling. “And what about with Phoenix?” She asked. “Did you have Erik running off to the store too?”

Harper’s face fell instantly, and Gigi knew she’d made a mistake. She’d known that Harper and Erik had split up when Phoenix was too young to remember. But could it have been even sooner than she thought? How could it possibly still be painful to think about?

“Uh, no.” Harper muttered awkwardly. “That was… different.”

“Sorry. I shouldn’t have asked.” She replied, still kicking herself mentally. “I guess I didn’t know exactly when you guys broke up…”

“It’s fine. That was a long, long time ago.” Her mother-in-law smiled gently. “And you know what’s weird? We never officially broke up, I guess. We just sorta dissolved.” Harper’s eyes looked so far away as she spoke. “Everything around us was crumbling for a long time… Then the waves finally came and washed us away.”

Gigi said nothing. Even with her sarcasm and sailor’s mouth, Harper had such a beautiful way of speaking sometimes… But then, she wasn’t a best-selling author for nothing, was she?

Gigi tried her best to ignore just how deeply she could relate to that image. Crumbling, dissolving… That had been her and Phoenix for a while now. Would the waters come and wash them away too? Or would this baby be enough to save them?

“Sorry… Now I’m rambling.” Harper’s slight chuckle broke the silence. She rose from her seat and headed for the freezer. “You said you were hungry, right? Chocolate or vanilla?”

“Chocolate.” Gigi replied eagerly, wondering how Harper could have known what she’d want. Maybe she noticed some of the missing ice cream the other night… “And you’re not rambling.” Gigi assured her. She couldn’t remember Phoenix’s mother ever opening up like that before. It was actually kind of nice. “I’m sure that was a really hard time for you.”

To her surprise, Harper let out a laugh as she returned with a bowl of ice cream. “God, you don’t know the half of it… Things were a total fucking mess back then. And that’s putting it mildly…” She shook her head for a moment. “But what matters is that we both finally got our shit together. We had to. For Phoenix.”

Gigi was thoughtful as she brought a spoonful of ice cream to her lips. “It must’ve been scary though…” The words passed her lips before she even realized what she was saying. “Being all alone with Phoenix, I mean. After you and Erik broke up.”

“But I wasn’t alone.” The other woman shook her head. “I had my parents. And my friends. And I still had Erik too. He’s an amazing father.”

“I know. That’s not what I meant… I just wondered if you ever… Maybe wished that you didn’t, uh…” Oh God, what am I saying?

Harper seemed to know exactly what she meant. “Never. Erik and I brought each other down in ways you can’t even imagine… It was a nightmare.” She shook her head once more. “And even though we got our shit together in the end, it was something we both did on our own. And that wasn’t ever gonna be enough to fix things between us. We wouldn’t have been happy. There was no way we could go back.”

“Not even for Phoenix?” Once again, she’d spoken without thinking. Gigi felt her cheeks grow warm at her own words, despite the cold ice cream that filled her mouth. Projecting. She told herself. That’s what Phoenix’s text books would call this, right? “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have asked… Forget I said anything.”

To her relief, Harper did not look upset or offended at her words. In fact, if Gigi didn’t know any better, she’d almost say she looked concerned. “No, not even for him.” She replied, ignoring the apology. “It would have done him so much more harm than good if we stayed together. Trust me.”

Gigi said nothing for a moment as she tried to swallow back the guilt and shame that mixed with the ice cream in her stomach. “I get it… I think.” She replied softly. “And sorry again… I don’t know what’s gotten into me tonight..”

Harper let out a soft sigh before replying. “Gigi… is everything alright?”

“What do you mean?” Her reply was more defensive than she’d intended.

“I mean is there… something else you wanna talk about, maybe?”

“No!” Gigi practically snapped at her this time. “Why would you say that?!”

Harper seemed unfazed by the outburst. “Well, you and Phoenix haven’t really said much since you came back… And I know that this is rough on you guys. I was just…” Her mother-in-law seemed to hesitate. “I was wondering if there was something else, maybe. Something you weren’t telling us?”

This time, Gigi said nothing, staring down at her half-empty bowl. She couldn’t even find the strength to come up with a good reply. She was just so tired. And not just physically either.

“Phoenix told me you two have an appointment tomorrow… A counseling appointment..” Harper continued softly. “He said it’s just about ‘baby stuff’, but…”

It is.” Gigi insisted, finally finding her voice.

“Okay… Then let me offer a little advice on some ‘baby stuff’ that I learned firsthand…” She took a slow breath before continuing. “Which is that your little girl is only gonna be happy if her parents are too.” This time, Harper did not smile as she spoke. “And right now… I don’t think they are.”

Gigi didn’t even bother trying to deny it. At this point, how could she? “We’re working on it.” She replied seriously. “I promise.”

“I hope so…” Harper rose to her feet as she spoke. “Just don’t forget what I said, okay? Any of it.”

“I won’t.”

“Good… Enjoy the rest of your ice cream.” Harper turned to look over her shoulder as she reached the threshold. “Goodnight, Gigi.”

Gigi gave her mother-in-law a small nod as she watched her leave the room and head back upstairs.

She sat there in the silence for a few moments before finally bringing her bowl of half-melted ice cream to the sink. She’d completely lost her appetite. Harper’s words still echoed in her mind. Were she and Phoenix doomed to end up like his parents? Would the seas really rise up and wash them away?

It was true that neither of them had been happy for a long time. So much bitterness and resentment had bubbled its way to the surface… It wouldn’t be easy to overcome.

They’d have to start from the beginning. They’ve have to rebuild their trust. They’d have to learn to love each other again.

But as difficult as that would be, it wasn’t impossible, was it? No, Gigi told herself. They’d be able to do it. They’d find a way to be happy again.

Especially once she’s here… She’ll make everything better. Gigi placed her hand against her stomach for a moment before slipping back into bed. She has to… Or this will all be for nothing.

33 thoughts on “7.58: Washed Away

  1. Uh…Would the waters come and wash them away too? Or would this baby be enough to save them?

    Babies don’t save marriages. Sorry, Gigi.

    Listen to your mom-in-law. This daughter will not be happy if her parents aren’t. Ugh.

    We can only hope these counseling sessions will work. One thing that is good–both want to go. Usually one in the relationship is being dragged there because they feel like they’ll be the one “blamed” for the problems in the relationship (usually that person IS the worst offender–abusers are typically like this.) So, it’s good there isn’t an abuser here. That gives this relationship hope.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Unfortunately Gigi is convinced that this baby will help… but, well, we’ll see? 😬

      Who’s have thought Harper would be one giving sage advice someday! Gigi should really listen :-/

      Good point about them both being willing, at least! Gigi wasn’t, until recently. But the baby has really changed things. And in a really sick sort of way, the fact that they BOTH cheated is helpful here… they’re kind of on an even playing field now. But they have a lot of work ahead of them if they really want to salvage things :-/

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I think counseling will be helpful, but they shouldn’t stay together for the baby. If they are unhappy and impressionable young child will sense that. They won’t understand. They may even think it is their fault.

    I do hope they work things out, but I also hope they will see that, if they are unhappy together, they shouldn’t pretend to be happy just to keep this image of a happy family alive. They both deserve happiness, and if that is not together they need to see that so they can find their happiness. It is never too late.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. This is so true! If the counseling doesn’t help then reach true happiness in their relationship, it won’t help their child to stay together and pretend to be happy 😦 The Generation is nearly over, so we’ll know soon what ends up happening.

      Thank you very much for reading! ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Originally I wished that Phoenix would be with Lola, but since he isn’t, I really hope that he and Gigi can make things work with this counselling.
    Harper sure is observant. She knows something is wrong. But really she shouldn’t be involved in that part of their life. I mean it’s not her business knowing how they both cheated and stuff. It’s private for them, and if she knew, she wouldn’t be that happy about Gigi I bet. Perhaps she wouldn’t even let Gigi live in their house? Knowing that she had brought so much pain to Phoenix.

    I thought for a moment that Harper was going to share her life story of her time with Erik with Gigi. Would be an interesting story for Gigi to hear. Though would she be scared then? 😛

    Great chapter as always 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Harper can definitely sense something isn’t right. But I don’t think she overstepped her boundaries here. She just expressed some concern and advised Gigi that her happiness would be important for the baby. Harper knows better than to pry 🙂 And Phoenix and Gigi have no intention of telling her about the cheating, don’t worry!

      And LOL I’m not sure Gigi will ever know about her in-laws’ story. But boy, that would leave an impression wouldn’t it? 😂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, hopefully they can find a way to actually work things out, rather than forcing it for the sake of the baby :-/ Time will tell…

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  4. That’s a lot of pressure to put on the shoulders of one baby, Gigi! Phoenix is doing the same thing too. They keep hoping that their daughter will show up and make everything like it was before. That won’t happen. I hope they are ready for the disappointment. Phoenix is in love with someone else, and I don’t even know how Gigi feels about him at this point. I think there’s still love between them but they’re definitely not in love anymore. Hopefully this new therapist will give them a much needed dose of reality. Or they’ll do as all Rosebrooks do and ignore perfectly decent advice and do what they want anyway. 😛

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Poor Gen 8 heiress already has the weight of the world on her shoulders! Lol

      And your description is SO accurate. I think they still love each other, but aren’t IN LOVE. There is a weird love/hate dichotomy there. There’s a song that I might link at the end of a chapter sometime that I think perfectly sums up their feelings for each other — Poison and Wine by The Civil Wars. The chorus says “I don’t love you, but I always will” and that’s very “them” haha

      And, well, their last name is still Rosebrook, so… 😬 Hehe

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Poor Gigi…placing her hopes that a baby will fix everything. Babies make *you* grown as a person (usually) not fall in love with the one that’s also taking care of that baby. It makes you depend on the other person, and most likely is going to end up like the baby has two parents that are separeted, even thought under the same roof.( It’s going to be an ilusion of married parents, even thought that’s actuallly *not* what’s happening.)

    I hope she listen’s to Harper! At this point I hope they just part their ways, and try to get their stuff together on their own. It’s not like one of then is inocent either, they both did something terrible, so I’m not siding with either Gigi or Phoenix.( btw, If Harper ever want to make Gigi talk for real, she just has to use the ”techniques” she learned in prison :P)

    Sadly, someday they are going to realize they are so miserable with each other, that they won’t find another way *but* to break up, and, at least on the way i see it, that will be more traumatic depending on how old the baby will be when that happens.

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  6. PREACH HARPER! Nothing else to say on that, lol. Gigi you’re making me not like you even more with protecting your agenda on your baby girl. Can Harper have the same convo with Phoenix too please? He’ll respond to it better than Gigi. One thing I noticed with Gigi, is that she got irritated with Harper like she always does when she’s confronted.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s a great point… Phee might have been a little more receptive to his mom’s advice… but maybe not! He’s pretty dead set on trying to fix things. Though we’ll see how that goes…

      And yes, Gigi doesn’t do well when confronted! She defaults to defensive and angry :-/ I think Harper can probably relate 😂😂😂

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      1. So not only does Gigi have the “don’t talk about their life own drama till too late” down pat. She also has the “get defensive and angry when confronted” like the Rosebrooks (or at least the women!!) sounds like she’s 100% Rosebrook in my book

        Liked by 1 person

          1. Too bad she can’t have a dream that involve her ancestors-in-laws plus her Mother-in-law warning her.. about keeping secrets

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  7. It feels so really weird to listen to Harper giving out wise advice… she has gone such a long way. But she nailed it and even though I appreciate she didn’t push Gigi here it’s good she gave her something to think about. Gigi and Phoenix will not be able to work out as a couple, at least not for a long time, and the sooner they rethink their relationship the sooner they can find at least some happyness. And it’s not like a happy child could only be raised by husband and wife in their happy ever after. Even if they continue like this, they should take a step back. Live a bit more like roommates with shared responsibilities. Take some space for themselves to figure stuff out. But to be able to do that they have to be able to admit their problems to Harper and Dev, they aren’t blind. They can see the troubles right now and they would notice when Phoenix and Gigi started to avoid each other.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. She really has come so far! And Gigi should listen to her advice :-/

      I think your idea about taking a step back would be really good for them. They can’t just magically fix things and force themselves back together romantically right now. It’s just not practical! But rosebrooks don’t have a good record for being practical either, hmm…. 😛

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  8. At least Gigi isn’t blaming Phoenix and trying. Maybe they can make their way back, but I’m afraid Phoenix Will be comparing her to Lola. gogo stands to lose everything. She has boyfriend waiting for her, Phoenix does. So I’m sure she is terrified of being a single mom. I hope they both find that spark again. Curious to see how it goes!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. She’s definitely making an effort, which is more than could be said for her before! And she is 100% afraid of being a single mom, yes :-/ That fear is playing a big role in all of this right now! We’ll see whether there can be any kind of happy ending here…

      Liked by 1 person

  9. That was some decent advice Harper gave. Gigi and Pheonix is life is going to change that’s for sure. Good they are going to counselling though they need some sense to kick into them because babies aren’t relationship bandaids. I’m interested to see where this goes for them.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. So… Here’s my prediction of the day.

    They’re going to stay together, and the baby is going to grow up seeing her parents always upset with each other, always fighting. She may bounce from relationship to relationship because, as she can see from her parents, love isn’t worth it. Maybe Gigi and Phoenix will get a divorce down the line when they realize it’s finally too much…

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