“Dude, have you no morals?” Tiffany whined.
“Morals? What’s that.” I teased.
“Please hurry, your crotch is in my face.” Alex complained as I finally hauled myself atop the one story roof using my brother Alex as a step ladder.
It was a typical Summer day, with a clear blue sky that you could get lost staring up at, sun cranked up on 10, giving everything a heavenly glow, kids screaming, birds chirping a perfect day to laze about and waste away the day doing nothing at all, or so I thought. But then, came the boredom, it snuck into my house, creeped into my room, slithered it’s way into my bed, and set into my bones. It woke me, a 15 year old kid with a thing for getting into trouble, out of a peaceful dream of jetpack kittens and squirrels with eye lasers fighting over muffins. Looking around my cluttered room of chinese takeout and countless half full bottles of water it took me a moment to register that I was still clutching my playstation controller while my character on screen sat idle fidgeting impatiently through the night, waiting for me to steer him onwards to fantastical adventures. As I got up to give the console some much needed rest after staying on all night I stumbled over my older brother Alex, who was buried beneath a combination of clothes covers. The moments interruption gave me enough time to forget completely what I got up for in the first place , and following a very well trodden path through the hazards of my room from my bed to the door, I staggered my way to the bathroom instead. Yup, just another summer morning.
One shower and two bowls of frosted flakes later I was lounging on the couch polishing off my third bowl of cereal watching Adventure Time reruns waiting for something spectacular to happen that would save me from my lethargic lifestyle I had taken up over the summer when Alex shuffled into the living room with sleep and exhaustion graffitied all over him. “Take your phone man, its been ringing for like 5 goddamn hours” with the flick of a wrist he threw it at me, caught off guard I watched it sail right into my milky bowl of frosted flakes. “Score!” Alex called over his shoulder as he walked off to the bathroom. In a panic I quickly scooped my phone out of its soon to be milky grave, and looked at the neglected notifications begging for my attention. Four missed calls and two unread text. Just as I was getting ready to read my waiting text another call popped up. It was Tiffany calling for what I assumed was the fifth time, holding my phone at a distance because it was still wet from milk I answered the call. She was talking before the connection was even made , when i answered it was as if she were in the middle of a conversation with me “ . . . so now I’m on my way to your house so get dressed ya bum, kay thanks bye” Click. Being de-sanitized to her hyperactiveness at this point nonchalance, I wiped the phone off on my pants, threw it back down on the couch and went back to watching the misadventures of Finn and Jake knowing that things were about to get loud with Tiffany on her way.
Just like clockwork Tiffany came exploding through the door. Tiffany’s a petite girl being about 5” 4’ her head is adorned with shoulder length black hair that compliments her caramel colored skin with the barest hint of a pout on her lips she always seems to be giggling to herself, smiling to whatever she may be seeing in her head. With soft curves on her thin frame she bounces around with a grace of a ballerina and practically radiates smiles, rainbows, and energy. Sometimes I think she lives life in fast-forward. Again she was talking as if we were having a conversation prior to her invading my house.
“ . . . cause then we wouldn’t have anything to do so I came over as fast as i can.” she babbled on
“You can’t keep coming in without knocking like you live here, I’m afraid I’ll be forced to call the police next time.”
“and you can’t keep leaving your door unlocked, thats a safety hazard mister.” She said decisively
I was preparing a witty retort when I realized she had me beat, either that or I was too lazy to carry on this losing verbal battle.
“So what brings you here?” I said quickly changing the subject not wanting to dwell on my lost
“Didn’t I tell you, it’s summer let’s go wreak havoc on the town come on get up get up.”
She said emphasizing her point by try to pull me off the couch, but I was a beached whale. Giving up she asked “Where’s Alex” Still watching tv I said “In his room doing his morning ritual of smashing baby seals, so don’t disturb--” with those final words I turned my attention back towards Tiffany only to realize she was already gone. “him. . .”
“Call the asylum Charles, Tiffany escaped again.”
“Har Har, I should be calling the cops on you, did you see the state of your room? I thought you guys were gonna clean up after the party. I told you i should have stayed where’s mom I need to say hi to her. Hey you think . . .”
On and on she went but at this point I learned to tune her out because if you listened all the time, I’m pretty sure your ears would explode from the sheer amount of things she says.
“Dude what are you doing still sitting there, get dressed, we have summer memories to makes.”
The house was trashed and my favorite tv show was going off, with the stale heated air suffocating me I decided that I didn’t have anything to lose by going outside
I went back to my room and picked up the first outfit that happen to be on the floor before me. I ending up rockin’ out in my purple skinnies, purple and grey vans, grey shirt, and my favorite Decepticons snapback (swag).
Stepping out of my room I turned to Alex and Tiffany and, breaking the dramatic silence as we quitely assessed one anothers outfits, I said, “In the words of Trey Songz himself ‘Leggo.’”
To this day I don’t know what lead us to the church. Maybe it was the way it demanded attention amongst the tiny row homes of Southwest, or maybe it was simply the big cheese himself beckoning us to his flock whatever the case one uneventful Summer me, Alex and Tiffany found ourselves standing in the shadow of this sleeping giant with a most perplexing question. The church looms over 56th and Chester and is long abandoned, it’s a old style cathedral church so its grey brick by brick design looks more like Dracula’s castle than a place for religion. It has an eerie feel to it being the tallest structure surrounded by row-homes and corner stores and you can tell it has history just by looking at it. It has one lone bell tower that seems to piece the heaven’s itself and i gigantic faded red mahogony door that is impossibly huge for anything short of a giant to make use of. Upon closer inspection a tinier door is cut out of if making the larger one more for show than convience. The plan was easy, que spy music, we would circle around to the low roof around back of the church. Alex, being the strongest, would lift me, being the lightest/ I called dibs, onto the roof, from there I would slip in one of the many windows and open the door from the inside. Simple.
Let’s take a step back, ok? Let’s address the elephant in the room. Here we have 3 teens breaking into an abandoned church, just for the hell of it. Not only does this sound like the setting for a cheesy horror film, but it also just sounds wrong on paper. People may think that because we’re breaking into a house of holiness that were desecrating his almighty sanctuary, but i disagree, we aren’t being deviants, we aren’t spitting in the face of religion we’re simply doing it because we’re young and reckless. We have a saying my friends and I and its half as long, twice as bright. I want no regrets when I get older, I don’t want any ‘what if’s in my retirement I’ll do it all now and let God or whoever’s up there waiting for me sort it all out for me, but I won’t let doubts and worries hold me back from having a good time. Memories aren’t waiting to be stumbled upon, you have to go out and make them. Live life to the fullest and disregard everybody else, because at the end of the day you’re all you got in this world. Anyways, enough of that back to the task at hand.
4 attempts later and I had successfully gotten on the roof. Surprisingly it was pretty clustered, frisbees and nerf footballs from games that would be never finished. A baseball here some shoes there, reminded me of our room and i felt right at home. “Before my bedtime please.” Alex yelled from below, reminding me of my mission. I eyed the stain glass window, it was easily 3 times as high as me, square at the bottom, rounded off at the top much like a archway. On it, it showed Jesus arms out eyes clothes looking down as if deep in thought behind him was a shining light and he seemed to be coming out of it above his bowed head along the arch were the words “All are welcome, Come in” Well there was our invitation at this point being on the roof where the sun was baking all the debris like cookies in a oven I wanted to get in right away luckily for me the stain glass had a smaller push out window at the bottom that i suppose they used when the heat got to be to much. I reached down for the silver handle and gave it a pull . . . then a push. None of which opened the thing frustrated or maybe just heat crazed I lashed out and kicked it, in it’s self-defense a cloud of ancient dust plumed up and attacked my face going straight for my throat and eyes. After much hacking and cough i triumphed over the evil dust spirit and regaining my composure I looked down and to my surprise the window was open ever so slightly. So I finished the job and pushed with all my might against the cold long forgotten glass caking my hands in dust and grime. “Hey I got it open!” I reported to the wolf pack eagerly waiting below for me to open the door. “Are you telling me this whole time you weren’t even inside?” Alex said with genuine shock in his voice. I ignored the slew of snide comments and slipped inside.
The church was unlike anything I’d ever seen before. I mean I’ve been to plenty of churches in my day but none were as majestic as this one. The absence of people allowed to me to really take the how huge the place really was. I felt like an ant on a basketball court in comparison, The silence was deafening, my footsteps echoed so loudly that I made a conscious effort to make less noise as to not disturb the silence the main voyeur had stained glass windows all along the room so even though there was no electricity the room was bright from sunlight alone, the floor was all marble, with a dusty burgundy carpet running between the clustered pews which were split evenly down the middle. The ceiling was what seemed like miles above me with a detailed portrait of what i suppose was the garden of eden where it showed lions and elephants all living in harmony, it was all a lot to take in and i felt like an intruder in this garden of eden of its very own.
Looking around I spotted the the grand faded red doors, though it was deteriorating before my very eyes, it clearly stood the test of time as it was the only barrier stopping my ragtag band of friends from seizing our new castle. I quickly spotted the culprit of our trouble, a simple bolt lock running through a rusted iron loop keeping the doors from opening. With some effort I managed to undue the last guardian of the abandoned church and swung the ancient door open. I shielded my eyes from the blinding light of outside. Suddenly, the outside world was ugly to me, it was too bright, too loud, too chaotic, looking back inside the quite church untouched by what seemed like man and time, I felt like i was betraying my new silent friend, i felt like i was about to destroy a very delicate world. I had thoughts about closing the door and living in it’s peaceful silence forever. . . nah who am i kidding, forevers a long time and I’m only 15, shaking off what seemed like hypnoses from the church itself I called over Alex and Tiffany and couldn’t help but laugh at their expressions as their mouths hung in disbelief at our new playground.
“Can you say Halloween party?” Alex said.
“Hell yea . . .”