Rooftop Days

I sprinted across the yellow green grass while a bombardment of screaming plastic bullets whizzed past me, getting dangerously closer with every intoxicating second. I didn’t have anytime at all to enjoy the first real autumn day while I dodged this piercing plastic. Sounds scary right? Uh, wrong! Especially when while I’m running and screaming, I’m laughing so hard that I almost fall forward. I hear my older sister, Liz, shouting about twenty meters away from me. Her friends, Cole and Bryn, are screaming with her, firing off their automatic air soft guns in unison. I’m about two feet from Cole’s fence when I use the rest of my energy to jump up and grab the edges. They cut into my hands, but I don’t care, and just use that as more motivation to pull myself over it. Finally, the heels of my black, high top Converse hit the splintery edge and I land in Cole’s backyard. I take some time to climb back up onto Cole’s fence so I can get a better view of the area. After about ten seconds I notice that it’s unnaturally silent. I shade my eyes from the unusually bright fall sun and look over the hill. I can’t hear or see anything, but I can sense it. I here some footfall behind me, but I’m too late to respond because suddenly one hundred and forty pounds of Hot Topic clad college student slam into me.

I land with a huge thud that probably created a two foot hole into the ground. I flip around, only to find Cole pinning me to the ground, grinning mischievously. His blue eyes held mine and I knew he was trying to freak me out because I hate looking people in the eyes. When I had first met Cole eight years ago, he was just some gangly, stereotypical California teenager, but now he had actually gained some muscle and could really hold me down. I struggled under his grasp and decide that I should be following Liz’s advice to work out more. I finally got tired of struggling and decided to knee him instead. It had a better affect then I thought it would, so now Cole was the one on the ground but he was rolling and groaning instead. My face went bright red when I saw Liz and Bryn coming over the top of the hill, staring curiously at Cole. It took them a minute, but they finally figured out what happened and Bryn went to go help him up. Bryn had long, wavy brown hair that had gold highlights from the sun. Her eyes were always filled to the brim with excitement and playfulness, kind of like a puppy. Bryn was strong though, from when she was homeless runaway and had to toughen up to survive. Now she lived with Cole until her job at the coffee shop paid for an apartment. When he grasped her hand, she tsked him and said, “What did I tell you Cole? This is why you don’t tackle girls. Especially Cass.” Liz looked him up and down and turned to me, smirking, “I hope you didn’t break him.” I started to apologize, but Cole shook his head, “Don’t worry, Cass, I’ll get you back. You just wait.” I rolled my eyes and teasingly said, “Bring it Cole. I’d like to see you try.” Normally, when a fourteen year old says this to a twenty one year old college man, you’d think I’d be kidding. I’m not though, in fact it’s hanging out with all these insanely awesome college students that toughened me up a bit.

I felt a slight breeze gently comb through my hair, and that’s when I remembered that today was the official hanging out on the roof day. I hope I didn’t fall off this time, because I didn’t want to end up in the emergency room again with a broken arm. I jumped to release some of my excitement, “Hey guys, I got to go get my friends. Catch you later?” They smiled one last time and jumped the fence over to Cole’s house. I shook my head, never before had I met a crazier group of people. I grabbed my new long board and started off down towards the park, where I knew my friends were waiting for me. Now that I had time, I started to actually enjoy the fall day. Although winter is my favorite season, fall is a close second. The weather is absolutely perfect, a warm coating of sun with a few lazy breezes mixed in to keep it from getting to warm for T-shirts and skinny jeans. It was pretty quiet today and I’m sure everybody was at the fall parade that took place by city hall. I really could care less about it since it was turning into a Hallmark holiday, which I intensely loathed. I had pulled up to the park to find it empty and started looking around, wondering if I got the time wrong. I kicked my long board up, caught it, and walked around in search of my friends. I heard a rustling above me and figured it was a squirrel or something, but I would regret that later because that was when Briar, Dawn, Jet, and Katie jumped out of the tree and landed directly on my back. For the second time today, I found myself crushed into thick, dead grass. This time though, I had a mouthful of it and it didn’t taste very good. I was lucky enough this time to get out from underneath the pile before my lungs collapsed. I pulled myself up and brushed all the dead leaves and crushed pinecones off of my jacket before I started helping people up. The first person I grabbed was Dawn, who immediately hopped up and started fixing her hair and making sure her clothes were alright. Dawn had caramel brown eyes and light brown hair that curled in cool ringlets a little past her shoulder. It was usually held back by a clip or a bobby pin, but today she let it free. I love Dawn, I mean she’s fun, energetic, creative, but sometimes she can be really self conscious and…blonde.

When Dawn was sure she was still intact, she sighed and took a seat at the base of the pine tree. Already up was Briar, his green eyes always bright and curious about everything. He ran his fingers through his crew cut, blonde hair to dislodge any sticks or grass. One thing about Briar is he has a very thick Irish accent that takes a while to get used to and he’s always moving. Even now when he finally sat next Dawn, his hand was tapping the beat of his new favorite song. Katie had long, straight black hair and you could totally tell she was Jet’s cousin when she stood next to him. She had a long, narrow face just like his, but unlike his solemn expression, she usually had a slight smile resting on her lips, like she had a secret or something. Katie had climb up a couple of feet and rested on the nearest, sturdiest branch. I was going to help Jet up, but using his amazing ninja skills; he used his back to throw himself up and now was standing there at a slanted angle. If Briar was the bright, happy color of our group, then Jet was the dark, solemn black. Jet’s hair was also straight and black, but his was cut so that it went three fourths down his next and his bangs hung half way over his eyes. Speaking of which, Jet’s midnight blue eyes were staring at me waiting for me to take my seat. Such a gentleman right? Wrong, just wait until we’re on the roof; he’s the reason I fell off and broke my arm.

I sighed and shook my head so Jet just shrugged and took his seat next to Katie. I had dark brown hair that had been cut into what you’d call “emo” style, but I hate calling it that ‘cause I’m not. Recently I’d added some blond streaks to lighten up my already brilliant blue eyes. I fixed my black skinny jeans and took a seat next to Jet. We all just sat there for a minute, inhaling the scent of pine until Briar’s drum solo got a little too obnoxious for comfort. I waited for a few minutes; just enjoying how our breaths sounded in perfect rhythm, except for Briar’s which was of course boarding syncopation. Finally, it was Dawn who jumped up and asked, “Hey, are we going up on your roof or what?” I nodded and we all hopped up at the same time, grabbing our boards. Everybody except for Jet who couldn’t afford one, but I wasn’t too worried about him; he was the fastest guy in skinny jeans I knew. We headed down Kingston and glided to my house. Like I said, Jet kept up well, his five foot ten stature really giving him an advantage. After ten minutes, we had reached my front lawn and were all scrambling to find the quickest way on the roof. The first one on the roof always got to fire off one of our illegal fireworks that we hope didn’t catch anything on fire because last time…..well anyway I don’t want to go through that again. Dawn grabbed the edge of the garage and started hauling herself up that way. Briar decided to squirrel style it and was jumping branch to branch up the aspen in my front lawn. Katie was attempting to climb the drainpipe and Jet was, well being Jet and wasting valuable time trying to formulate a plan. Don’t let him fool you, for a consecutive three years Jet was always the first one up without seemingly doing anything at all. I decided to actually be normal for once and go though the door and the secret passage on my roof. I slammed the lid down and looked around, confident that I was actually the first one on top. That was until strong, skinny hands roughly grabbed my shoulders and said, “Boo.”





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