(This is another installment of Sarah’s story. All of the pieces stand alone, but they are also parts of a bigger story still unfolding)
Sarah’s bedroom had a window that opened onto the roof. It never occurred to her parents that she went out there, but she did – all the time. Sometimes she would go out to smoke a cigarette or to get high. Sometimes she just wanted a refuge from the negatively charged energy in the house. She liked the smell of the honeysuckle and the boxwood, and of the rain. Sometimes she would take a book out there with her. She read all of Marjorie Morningstar out there on that roof.
Sarah wanted to be grown and gone from that house more than she wanted anything – well, almost anything. What she really wanted was to go back to the days of feeling a part of things, back to the time of her parents feeling like a safety net, back to when everyone got along. She wanted to live in a place that felt like home.
Sarah needed a space to just be, a place to exhale. There was too much sadness in the air, and that was not including her own. The roof, like Mike’s tree house, was her sanctuary. It was a bridge to her imagined life on her own.
She wasn’t always alone out there. Sometimes Joe would hang out on the roof too. Joe was grey and soft, with extra toes and golden eyes. He liked to roam the neighborhood. Sarah thought of Joe as her secret cat. He technically belonged to her friend Mike, but Sarah believed that Joe set that up on purpose so that he could really be her cat, since her mom wouldn’t let her have one of her own.
Joe had his usual haunts, the places Mike and Joan would check when he didn’t come home by dark, but no one knew that he came up on the roof to spend time with Sarah. Joe knew all of her secrets and her sorrows. He was her resting place. His golden eyes were good for listening, and today she had a lot to tell him.
She couldn’t find the words, only tears. She learned today that her parents were selling her house, and she and her mom were moving to a place she never heard of. She couldn’t bare the thought of leaving her friends, and the tree house, and the creek she found behind the old train tracks, but most of all, she didn’t know how she could ever leave Joe.