Up On a Rooftop | Teen Ink

Up On a Rooftop

June 26, 2019
By seven_worlds GOLD, Lakewood, Ohio
seven_worlds GOLD, Lakewood, Ohio
17 articles 0 photos 11 comments

Favorite Quote:
"That's what the voices in your head are for, to get you through the silent parts."
-David Levithan, Will Grayson, Will Grayson

I never really wondered what little sisters were for, but recently, I found out that their sole purpose in life is to burst in guns blazing the second you find an ounce of inspiration.  The natural born interruption, the constant “ugh, not again.”

Okay, maybe that’s a little harsh, but I’m sure anyone with younger siblings knows what I’m talking about. 

The first thing Emily did when she saw me casually sitting on the roof of the garage was scream.  With a concealed eye roll, I turned slowly from my fifteen foot high perch to find her gawking at me and smiled a crooked “betcha wish you could be as cool as me, huh?” smile.  Jealousy practically seeping from her skin, she grinned a metallic middle school smile and dashed to find a way up herself.

Recently, I attended a writer's workshop, where, as a pre-workshop activity, we were instructed to "do something we've never done before, but have wanted to do for a long time."  I was truly stumped at these instructions, and asked my family for any suggestions.

They were...interesting, to say the least.

“Why don’t you go driving by yourself?”

“Mom, I don’t have my license.

“How ‘bout you actually go talk to people for once?”

“I’m good, Dad.”

“Let’s go buy baguettes, carve them into swords, and fight with them!”

I didn’t know what to do.  There was really nothing that I had the strong, adventurous urge to try, and I was seriously starting to consider going out and buying a few baguettes.  

I think I was glaring aimlessly out my bedroom window when I remembered the idea.  Staring at the garage, I had it; I would climb to the top, following the daring plans I’d come up with when I was little, and write.  It was perfect, I’d thought, recalling just about every movie scene of a girl chilling casually on her roof in the cool night air. You know the one.  With that kind of inspiration, I could write anything.  

I’d gone over the plan several times through the years; trash can, fence, garage.  It was easy enough. As soon as I convinced my parents that it was for homework, I hopped on top of the trash can, practically tasting the adventure, climbed the fence, and immediately found that the garage was a lot taller than I thought.  

I am only five four.  I quickly gave up and used a ladder.

It was surprisingly scary, at first.  The shingles are slanted down from the middle on both sides, and my cheap, off brand converse offered hardly any assistance.  Once I got up there with my mini notebook and pencil, my initial reaction was that it was pretty much how I had expected it. The setting sun, glowing between the trees, just about the perfect wind licking at my hair, and the all too familiar sounds of rushing cars on the highway.

I-90 is literally my backyard, so I began to write these deep little notes about watching people’s lives pass by, being able to see my neighbors’ backyards, and the fact that the sun was out for the first time in like, ten years.  

Everything looks freakishly bigger and smaller up here, I wrote.  Fences only exist in our minds; they only mean something if we think they do.  Look at me, trying to be all philosophical.

That’s when I heard the scream.  

I remember one fine Saturday morning, around four years ago, my mom and I were interrupted from our vital couch-sitting and Food Network-watching by a mysterious thumping sound coming from upstairs.  We ignored it for a while, but soon the thudding became persistent and mom, brow furrowed, went to check on the mysterious noise.  

The next thing I knew, there was screaming.  It must run in the family, I guess.

My two sisters had been shamelessly prancing across the roof of our house, escaping through the window of their bedroom and strutting flagrantly across the grey shingles in their M&M pajamas for the whole world to see.  Mom freaked, naturally, and Emily cried because all she wanted was a little “adventure” in her life. Mom moved her dresser in front of the window, turning her room into nothing less than a prison to the drama-crazed third grader.  

I don’t know why I hadn’t already expected her to find me on top of the garage.  I don’t know why I still try and avoid these kinds of things. It must be in her blood.

Yep.  Before I knew it, she was scrambling up the ladder and practically skipping across the steep roof of our garage, bursting my aesthetic bubble and clambering uninvitedly, yet again, onto a roof.  

“Ooh, let’s take a selfie,” she insisted.

It was definitely...louder, with her up there.  I’m the epitome of the introvert, so having her join me was sort of unnerving at first.  But the sun still shone, and the cars still flew by in front of us, almost like a movie, and it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be.  We talked, unavodingly bickering occasionally, and I found that that was something I needed after finishing a long school year of nothing but arguing like we were angsty classmates instead of sisters.  Somehow, in what I thought was bursting my bubble and simply annoying me, I found inspiration. Even through my constant sixteen year old moodiness and Emily almost dying by trying to grab a leaf from a tree, I reestablished an appreciation for sisterhood. I suppose little sisters aren’t killers of inspiration after all. 

Now my brother? That’s a whole other story.

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