Live Through This

Sneaking Out

We lied, stole cars, hid boys all over the house, and even broke limbs for a taste of freedom.


I never snuck out, but I snuck people in. One night I had two friends over, and they invited boys that I didn’t know very well and didn’t really have any interest in having over. My house was split into two levels: The downstairs part could be locked off entirely like a separate living space, but we used it as a game room, and that’s where we were all hanging out. When my friends were leaving, I went upstairs to walk them out and noticed my dad was awake and in his office, which was near the front door. When I came back inside I tried to go downstairs to secretly kick the boys out, but my dad had locked everything up when he heard my friends leave. He told me to go to bed, but I needed to get those guys out! There was a balcony near my bedroom that looked out on the backyard, and I thought I could jump off of it with my keys and release them from their prison. I climbed over a rail and jumped—and landed on the tiled walkway under the balcony, and broke my arm! On top of that, during my acrobatics the keys had slipped from my hand and were now on the balcony floor above me. Suddenly I was locked out of my house—with a broken arm. I spotted some large buckets of paint in the backyard, and I tried to stack them up so I could climb back up to the balcony and retrieve my key, but that was stupid thinking: The paint cans came crashing to the ground, and so did I. My dad heard the crash and ran outside to find me on the ground covered in paint. At that point I had to tell him that there were two guys in our basement. He gave them 10 seconds to RUN.


My sneaking-out tactics were always absurdly boneheaded. I remember hiding in the shadow of our trampoline and waiting for my friend to honk her car horn from down the block—that was my signal to sprint across some neighbors’ lawns and launch myself into the open passenger door. But when it came to leaving the house itself, I just like walked out the back door. I can’t recall doing anything interesting during the nighttime sneak-outs—we’d just drive around at night or go to Denny’s or something.


I decided I was ready to have sex, but my parents wouldn’t let me go to sleepovers at other people’s houses because they knew I would use the opportunity to do sexy stuff. The night I decided to go through with it, I was at my boyfriend’s house and my parents ordered me to drive my brother to a little league game at the last second. As the clocked ticked down to carpool time, I lost my nerve and burst into tears and couldn’t go through with it. My boyfriend didn’t have a license, but I hinted that if he biked to my house later that night, I would be willing to “go all the way.” He didn’t live that far away, but to get from his house to mine required biking on one of the curviest parts of Sunset Boulevard, which is not a particularly bicycle-friendly roadway. He appeared at my window at 2 AM and woke me up; we did the deed, then promptly passed out. When I woke up at 6 AM and he was still there, sleeping in my bed, I freaked out and shook him awake so he could get out of there. But alas, my dad was already up and drinking coffee and reading the newspaper. My boyfriend had to crawl commando-style across the lawn so my father wouldn’t see him through the huge glass door in the kitchen.


I rarely had to sneak out, because everyone in my house was usually asleep by the time I decided to leave, but I constantly lied about where I was going and what I was doing in the daylight hours in order to stay out later or generally have more freedom. I skipped school almost every single day of my senior year; I would get ready in the morning, drive my busted car to pick up my friend Jay, and then drive to the diner in the town next to ours to have breakfast until we were sure her mother had left for work. Then we would just drive back to her house and hang out all day, usually falling asleep while watching Jerry Springer in her living room. At night I would say I was going rollerskating at the rink 20 minutes away, when I was really an hour away in New York City at a concert or dancing at the Limelight or hanging out with skaters in Washington Square Park. Since I was rarely where I said I would be, I had to sneak back in when I finally decided to come home at night. My grandparents would usually fall asleep waiting for me to get home (aw, olds), and I totally took advantage of their age and tiredness and lied to them the next day: “I was home by midnight, I swear! You were asleep.” I spent most of my junior and senior years like this, and I will never stop apologizing to them for my shitty behavior.


I went to art school, and my boarding house was in the middle of Johannesburg’s party capital, so it made no sense to stay in on weekends. We knew one girl who was really into staying in; the rest of us would grab the firehose on the third floor, pull it across the corridor, pop it out the window into the garden, take turns sliding down, and run off into the night. The return mission would involve calling the homebody, usually at 4 AM, so she could ready a rope we’d made of old curtains. We took off our jeans and tied them around our necks (they were skinny jeans, and we didn’t want to rip them during the climb) and shimmied up. If any teachers decided to peek out of their windows at that moment, they would have been confronted with many brown legs in all sorts of underwear, hoisting themselves onto the first floor and squeezing through the bars over their windows. It was always fun, but it obviously sucked in the winter. I was 16 and an executive in the school’s student body; my secret life of after-hours delinquency really brought me joy. I’ve never snuck out of my home—my mother’s way too scary for that mess.

I never snuck out like a proper teen because I’m a dweeb, but when I was six I thought I was secretly sneaking out to run away forever because my dad wouldn’t take me mini-golfing. I packed a backpack of Chips Ahoy cookies, underwear, my toothbrush, and a Barbie Doll and snuck out the back door and dramatically walked around my neighborhood for hours. ♦

* All non-staff names have been changed to protect the less-than-innocent.


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  • María Inés Gul August 27th, 2013 3:15 PM

    Monica – this illo is just AWESOME.

    • Lola August 27th, 2013 3:29 PM

      x 2! monica, it’s absolutely gorgeous.

    • Rose August 27th, 2013 4:01 PM

      thirded! it’s gorgeous!

  • Sophie ❤ August 27th, 2013 3:18 PM

    Really awesome. Love the topic!

  • rottedteeth August 27th, 2013 3:29 PM

    Aw gabbys story is too cute.

  • o-girl August 27th, 2013 3:31 PM

    so much yolo-ing. I loved this though ughhh

  • kendallpanda August 27th, 2013 3:58 PM

    Looove this. makes me wanna sneak out ;)

  • Anouk August 27th, 2013 4:04 PM

    Amazing topic and great stories!
    This makes me want to sneak out tonight, hahah

  • NovaIrie August 27th, 2013 4:05 PM

    It’s sad how startled I was to see my name being used by someone else. For some reason it’s never seemed possible for someone to have the same name as me and when I read that the names were fake I was relieved.

    • reginageorge September 2nd, 2013 3:58 PM


      I think Nova is a staff member so I assume her name hasn’t been changed, just the names of the friends and boyfriends mentioned in the stories.

      • Anaheed September 2nd, 2013 4:03 PM

        Ms. George is correct.

  • Kenz August 27th, 2013 4:15 PM

    Man, this makes me wish I could sneak out. I live on a farm miles from ANYWHERE.

  • SouthWind August 27th, 2013 4:25 PM

    Maybe this is an American thing… I live in Ireland and I don’t know anyone who sneaks out. I mean… Where would you go?

    • anna-daly August 27th, 2013 8:21 PM

      I went to parties so I could stay past curfew and drink. It was mostly spent with my boyfriend doing sexy things. We mostly went to an empty apartment we found in his building!

  • thebrownette August 27th, 2013 4:40 PM

    I FEEL YA, GabbyZ!

  • Erin. August 27th, 2013 4:51 PM

    I guess I’m totally different from most people. At age 16 I could have left the house at midnight saying I was going to a friend’s party and sleeping over and that would have be fine. But I hated/hate parties, so I guess this was never a concern for my parents.

    • Johann7 September 10th, 2013 5:23 PM

      I’m in your boat – my parents didn’t think sex was evil or whatever other beliefs motivate things like curfews, rules against staying at other people’s houses, or any other restrictions that might merit sneaking around. I spent about half the nights the summer I was sixteen sleeping at my girlfriend’s house (her parents were cool too) 30 miles away. I simply can’t relate to the sneaking out concept.

      • Johann7 September 10th, 2013 5:36 PM

        Oh, I *did* sneak out plenty when our high school theater troupe went to Edinburgh for the Festival Fringe for two weeks. We were staying in sex-segregated dorms with *very strict* curfew rules, and also first-floor windows that opened. The security staff just stayed at the front desk, so I didn’t have to try very hard, but it was kind of surreal “sneaking” around in brightly-lit hallways. Hopping the wall around the dorm complex was fun, as was climbing up to the nearby hill to stargaze or seeing a few late-night plays in the city.

  • Holly August 27th, 2013 5:54 PM

    I’m confused, are the writer’s names changed, or just the friends in the stories? Anyway I loved this article, especially Gabby’s story. lol sounds like me.

    • Danielle August 27th, 2013 5:56 PM

      The names of the friends in the stories are changed. :)

  • AngstyTheBrave August 27th, 2013 6:10 PM

    This sort of makes me want to sneak out but I have no reason to and no way to and nothing to do. I used to skip school all the time, but that never really required sneaking out because either I just wouldn’t show up, or I would basically just walk out. Except once near the end of grade nine, the last year of junior high. I was hungry, I hated my school and I was tired of my friends. I did sort of have to sneak, because the teachers were much stricter and the school much smaller. But in the end basically all I did was walk out the back. I went to Whyte Ave, this really cool street in my city near downtown, with thrift shops and music stores and cafes and yeah.

    • ohayisabella October 9th, 2013 10:16 PM

      i live in edmonton, loved sneaking out to hang around whyte ave.

  • kathryn-s August 27th, 2013 6:39 PM

    I don’t understand how you can skip school or cut class without lying to the nurse saying you’re sick or something. Don’t teachers report you absent?? I don’t understand how people just leave without getting caught. Is my school just super strict?

    • anna-daly August 27th, 2013 8:07 PM

      My school would call and so I’d bring a note from my “mom” saying I had a doctors appt. since I still cared enough to worry, then, you know. Leave. I’d be marked absent but my parents wouldn’t be alerted unless they decides to look up my inexcused absences for some reason.

    • llamalina August 29th, 2013 12:23 AM

      I can never cut class on a normal day because the school calls my dad. The key is taking advantage of weird schedule days like assemblies or AP testing days, if your school has them. While everyone’s going to the assembly, book it. That way, if the school calls your parents you can just tell them you were at an assembly and it’s totally legit and stuff. Yay for delinquency!!

    • Johann7 September 10th, 2013 5:28 PM

      Mine would mark me absent. I’d shrug. I was threatened with a truancy ticket and expulsion at one point by our principle, and in response, I pointed out that denying someone the ability to attend school as a way to try to motivate them to do so more made zero sense. I didn’t skip more than a couple classes a week and got good grades (discounting attendance), which probably helped. They never gave me a ticket or expelled me.

  • AnaRuiz August 27th, 2013 6:51 PM

    Favorite Rookie post EVAHHHH!!!

  • monkshood August 27th, 2013 7:05 PM

    Aww, I love Gabby’s story! I used to pack my backpack with Barbies, candy, and scarves or a blanket, and gently close the front door, but the end of the block was about the farthest I ever went from my house, as I would immediately go running back. Great article!

  • KatGirl August 27th, 2013 7:41 PM

    Me too…. I thought I would be able to walk to my grandparent’s house (who live on the coast, many miles away from me on the prairies)!

  • Catelyn August 28th, 2013 12:14 AM

    @Julianne, good ol’ Foco! #reppin’

  • llamalina August 28th, 2013 1:10 AM

    I have only ever snuck out once, and it was one of the best nights of my life. This article just convinced me to do it WAY more often. You Rookie staff are bad influences.

  • ohclemence August 28th, 2013 1:25 AM

    This post was awesome!!
    I could never sneak out when I was younger because my house was – as described by my friends – like a prison. My parents would come and check on my during the night every few hours and everything was locked up and basically impenetrable. Meanwhile, all of my friends were sneaking out and having the time of their adolescent lives.

  • MaddyGrace August 28th, 2013 6:05 AM

    This story makes me nostalgic for my childhood. I never snuck out, I think because I stayed up late at night reading true crime stories about serial killers and about children who vanished, never to be seen again. So sneaking out at night was never appealing in that regard as I was hyper aware or scared of the ‘predatory stranger’. But one time as a child, my best friend and I made a pact to meet each other in the park at midnight. Neither of us actually snuck out but because we had made that pact it remains part of my childhood narrative and it feels like it happened even though it didn’t.

  • nizmocat August 28th, 2013 6:11 AM

    ughhh omg i want to sneak out so bad now!!! it makes me sad reading about you guys being all rebellious and teenagery and me just.. not. all these adventures sound magical! i don’t really know what i would do if i snuck though. i can’t drive or anything. hmm.

  • flocha August 28th, 2013 6:47 AM

    I have never snuck out at home, because I live in the middle of nowhere, and the only thing near me is a cow farm. But last time I was on holiday with my friend we decided at midnight to take a walk to the abandoned holiday park nearby, and then we somehow ended up walking miles to the beach. All the while holding a wine bottle and glasses.

  • francesha August 28th, 2013 6:50 AM

    When I was 14/15, I dated a boy who was 18/19. (Looking back at it now it seems a little weird but I know that nothing untoward was going on- we just got on well, and he never made me do anything I didn’t want to) It was the first boy I ever went out with and I was nervous about my parents finding out, even though they are pretty liberal, and he obviously wanted to keep it quiet because well, it might have looking a little wrong to other people. I never truly snuck out at night and I never stayed overnight, but I did used to go “shopping” after school and on weekends which was really just going over to his house to play video games and make out. But I’ve never been one for lying and I spent a lot of time crying because I felt so guilty, in case something bad happened, and I felt especially bad if either of my parents ever said how much they trusted me. Eventually, when we broke up, I left his house sobbing one evening, as it started to get dark. He was going out somewhere and drove away whilst I waited for the bus. But the bus never came, and my phone died. I walked from his house to the main bus station in tears – it probably only took something like half an hour but it felt like forever – when I found a phone box I called my dad and told him that the buses had stopped running and I needed him to pick me up. He asked me if something was wrong and I said I was fine and tried to sort myself out. In the car I changed the conversation. He never asked me more about it but I’m sure he knew something was wrong. But I guess I got away with it.

    • VagabondZombie August 29th, 2013 2:26 AM

      Sigh, yeah. I had my first boyfriend when I was 13 and the guy was 18. It did look wrong for most people and almost everyone, even my best friends, looked at us the wrong way. We never worked out, though. The pressure on our shoulders was just way too much to handle.

  • Ladymia69 August 28th, 2013 11:13 AM

    Oh, yes,I was a defiant sneak-out specialist, baby. How else could you have a life if you were constantly forbidden to go out (due to “getting in trouble”…pshaw!)?

  • Lemons August 28th, 2013 5:02 PM

    This is amazing. I used to sneak out in boarding school all the time. One year in particular I became some kind of ninja expert and went to great lengths to dodge the houseparents who were supposed to be in charge. After I had slid down the wall, pushed the window to look closed, rolled across the driveway, hopped three garden fences, changed my walk to look like a man and made my way through dimly lit streets to my crush’s apartment…I felt overwhelmed with exhilaration. I miss that feeling.. now that I think about it.. having rules made life so exciting!

  • Harriet August 28th, 2013 5:47 PM

    Hehe, my friends and I never snuck out when we were younger but just recently we decided we had to do it before our teenage days were over, rebellion and all that. We had to be really sneaky though because if our parents found out they wouldn’t be remotely bothered and that would ruin the fun of it. It was the most exhilarating thing I’ve done in a while. We drove around the countryside and danced to Kate Bush in front of the headlights.

  • VagabondZombie August 29th, 2013 2:21 AM

    Jessica, your story is the one that I could relate to the most and ugh, I know how you feel. My parents are strict at random times as well and they shit their pants over the tiniest issues ever.

    I have a boyfriend and my parents don’t have an idea. I’d tell my parents that I have after-school activities and we’d go to his house or some place else. Whenever we’d try to hang out, I’d lie to my parents that I’m just going to the mall with some girl friends. Then we’d hang out at random staircases and make out. But other times, we’d go take walks in the park or sit in a cafe. I live in a small city so I’m always paranoid on who might see me.

  • bubblegumangel August 30th, 2013 6:54 PM

    I just moved out of my house last Friday to go to college four hours away. My very last week at home I got involved with this guy and we both agreed we would just have fun, no commitment since I was moving. I have ALWAYS been a super goody goody and never do anything remotely bad but since it was my last chance to be a wild teenager, as I’m 18 and now out of the house, I snuck out every single night to see him, makeout, and get frisky but never TOO frisky, if you catch my drift. It was so much fun and I’m sad I waited until my last week in town to sneak out because now I’m a “grown up” and don’t have to sneak out anymore.

  • Pia August 30th, 2013 7:17 PM

    Ugh I was the worst at 14. I would sleep over at my bad-girl friends house and we would plaster our faces with stolen make-up, wear crop tops and take cabs all over LA (which we often ditched!), to hookah lounges, rich boy’s mansions or to huge parties. We would hitchhike rides from UCLA frat boys and smoke cigarettes while reveling in our newfound control over the male population. We would make it home by morning somehow in one piece and I would get picked up while my friend had to go to soccer practice.

  • eremiomania August 31st, 2013 3:44 AM

    Wow I know a ton of ways to sneak out of my house but I have no idea what I would do, who I would do it with, or how to get there? Plus I’m terrified of being kidnapped/raped/murdered even in my own home with the doors locked so I don’t think I could ever go sneak out at night without being with someone or having a weapon.

  • cornly_ August 31st, 2013 9:35 AM

    This is one of THE MOST accurate articles I have ever read here on Rookie.

    One time, at a concert, my cousin broke her foot because we jumped over a 7 foot tall barricade just to get a wee bit closer to the band. It was scary (mostly the part where we have to tell it to our gran), but also exciting but mostly scary. And terrifying. We still didn’t get THAT close to the band. But it was OK. It was fun. Thank you again, Rookie. Keep on Rook-ing. (? That was lame oh my god. It was supposed to be keep on Rocking but whatever nevermind)