In the sixth grade, my best friend Vivian and I used to climb out her bedroom window and sit on the roof. From the roof we could still hear her parents fighting, but it sounded muffled and distant. We counted clouds and birds. We shared Mars Bars. We made up stories about the neighbors or the people across the street, or strangers walking down the sidewalk.
On summer nights we would bring our dinner up to the roof and stay there until the sun sank beneath the horizon and the first stars came out. We could hear Vivian's mother calling for us, but her voice sounded so tiny and far away that it was easy to ignore. The beauty of being on the roof is that no one ever thinks to look for you there. We stayed up on the roof so long that we shed our childhoods and grew up. Eventually we moved away and started new lives, and we completely forgot that we were still up on Vivian's roof; that we'd never come down.