A Ladder For Jane

There was a girl on the rooftop next door named Jane and he loved her.

He heard her when he had the window to his basement apartment open. It inspired him and drove him until one day he decided he would talk to her. She always seemed to be there, just out of reach. He just had to get up to top of the building.

It was an official building, and there was no way he could walk in. After he thought about complicated disguises for a bit, he decided he would just go as he was. The easiest solution was to build a ladder that lead to the top of the building.

He'd never had a clear voice, he had always babbled incoherently when he was nervous. But the month he spent ordering supplies, and questioning everyone he could his voice grew stronger. He spoke clearly as he planned out each little detail.

Finally his ladder for Jane was complete one fall day. He waited till it was closing time, and went around to the side of the building where he wouldn't be noticed. Stories above him, he heard the creaking of the heavy metal door opening followed with the rustling of feet on the asphalt.

Biting back his fears and his doubts he leaned the sturdy oaken ladder against the wall and began to climb. His ascent seemed to last longer than he had ever planned. Taking a deep breath he looked upwards at his goal.

There was Jane, at long last, leaning over the fire escape. She wasn't as beautiful as he had imagined. She was plain, with mousy brown hair but if he squinted he could see a soft glow to her blotchy complexion.

"Hello." She said in a voice like broken glass; each shard tinkered and reflected, crystal clear in a broken melody of harmony.

He pulled himself over the top of the building and stood on the red brick roof. He smiled and took long steps forward. "Hi."

She tilted her head and looked at him. "What brings you here?"

He frowned slightly. He'd thought that was obvious. "To see you. I heard your voice, I came because of your call."

Jane laughed softly. "Really? For me? But I didn't ask you to."

He bit his lip. "I just…I." He froze and took a deep breath. "I wanted to impress you."

She waved her arm, gesturing to the horizon. The sun was hanging low in the sky with clouds dancing here and there. "What could you do to out shine what I already have?"

He stammered as she stepped closer to him. She touched his shoulder. "Look, it's awful sweet of you but you don't have to go about your life just for me."

He squeezed his eyes shut and remained silent. She dropped her hand and waited. Finally he spoke, "I prayed for the longest time to know you."

"And?"

He looked at her sadly; his blue eyes were turning darker as he tried to find the calm in his storm. Her hazel green eyes inspected his gaze, but she couldn't tell what he was thinking.

He took a step back and looked out at the sky. Jane was right, it was more beautiful out there than anything he could make. "And I guess I never will."

She tucked a lock of hair behind her ear. "Adam-"

He looked up, surprised she knew his name.

"Just remember there aren't any Gods of Fate that can tell you who you are. You have to make your own decisions." She looked up at the sound of some unseen alarm. Her eyes narrowed on the reddening clouds. "You should go."

"Alright, but…"

She shook her head. "Just go. You have my blessing, I know you'll create beautiful things- you just don't need me watching over you."

Stumbling backwards he reached the edge of the roof as she turned towards the rooftop exit. Bending down, he grabbed the edge of the roof and found the ladder's familiar rungs. He climbed down the ladder and shoved his hands in his pockets. Halfway down the alley he looked back up at the roof top and screamed until his voice was gone.

There was a girl on the rooftop next door named Jane and he thought he had loved her.

Now, he thought, he'd just have to get by on a little faith that things would work out eventually.

…the end…