"You sure you'll be okay?" she asks me, on the nine hundredth call of the day. "I mean, there are locks on the doors, and you can use the --"
"I swear to you, I've been alone in a house before," I tell her.
She gasps, shocked. "WHEN?"
When I was fourteen, she was much less protective. It's like in her mind I'm growing backwards; is this empty nest NOW setting in? And if so, why? Her nest is full! Her nest is overflowing! Her nest has children in it who, at sixteen, watch scary movies in broad daylight and end up standing outside of the house, huddled in the sunlight, hissing into the phone to their sister (me) and their mother that someone has to come home immediately, because the house is haunted, okay, haunted!! and they've squirted holy water everywhere, and it's done nothing. That's the kind of chick she's got in her nest!
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go wash all the soy milk off of my feet and say a couple "Hail Starbucks" to placate the coffee maker god, so that maybe tomorrow less capuccino foam will end up on my person.