“I know you are but what am I?” My voice echoed my older sisters’ in a copycat singsong as I stuck my tongue out at her and disappeared around the corner to hide from her. We were staying at my parent’s house for Thanksgiving weekend and our inner children had come out to play. I heard my mom call out from the kitchen where she was pulling plastic dishes of leftovers out of the refrigerator for dinner.
“Girls, behave. I can’t believe you’re acting this way. You’re grown women.” The rest of her words were garbled as she stuck her head inside the fridge, most likely looking for the sweet potato casserole my father had finished at breakfast. He could never resist it, even in the morning.
I ducked into my bedroom and flopped onto my bed, looking around with a bit of nostalgia. My mother had left everything the same as the day I left for college six years earlier. The posters on the walls had faded, the boys in them were now forgotten, replaced by newer, younger models and revered by girls who didn’t know better and had no worries, at least as far as I was concerned. Sometimes I wished I could go back in time.
Jillian finally found me, peeking her head around the corner. “What’s the matter, you’re not gonna get all grown up on me now are you?” She nudged me over and laid on the twin-sized bed next to me, both of us squished together hanging on for dear life.
We both stared at the poster on the ceiling above the bed, very strategically placed, and I asked her, “Do you remember the time when all the tires on Danny Smith’s car went flat during the homecoming football game?” I bent my head towards hers so they were touching.
“Yeah, who could forget. The quarterback’s car got punked in the middle of a crowded parking lot during the biggest game of the year. It was legendary. I wish I knew who did it. Danny dumped me right before homecoming. Whoever let the air out of his tires was a hero to me.”
I turned to look at her and smiled. She sat straight upright. “YOU? You did that? Cara, why didn’t you tell me?” Her eyes started to get teary.
“I was afraid you would start bragging to everyone and I’d get in trouble. But nobody messes with my big sister. Not even the star quarterback. Especially the star quarterback.” I grinned at Jillian just as she pulled me up into her arms and squeezed me tight.
“Care-Bear, I love you.”
“Right back at you Jilly Bean.”