I have a confession – my name is Laura and I have never spent a night home alone.
That is, until this week, when I will be doing it twice. And I have to admit the thought of it scares me quite a bit.
I wouldn’t say I was a complete wimp.
I can save my sister from a spider or interview strangers and celebrities without breaking too much of a sweat.
My problem is I have an overactive imagination.
Bringing to life, and into reality, anything I see on screen or read in a book. To the point studying Dracula at school left me sleeping with the light on and movie-night at university more often than not saw me hiding in my room.
Even films with a certificate of 15 on the box have me reaching for a cushion to hide behind before the opening titles have rolled. And I would rather miss an episode of Doctor Who rather than watch it alone.
I do wish I were braver. And that a shadow cast in the corner of my room from a pile of washing didn’t transform into an axe welding maniac or a creek of a floorboard into an approaching hungry bear, but that is just how my brain works.
Up to now I have avoided it by having ‘conveniently’ timed sleepovers or ‘coincidentally’ inviting my granddad to come to stay.
I wouldn’t say it was babysitting or adult-sitting... but I could understand why other people might.
So yes, being home alone is going to be fun. Perhaps I will take inspiration from the film versions and string up an elaborate array of booby traps. Or, more likely, I will triple-check the door is locked and barricade myself in my room.
My mother’s comforting words were: “You should do something every day that you don’t want to.”
Which sounded pretty silly. But then she added: “It’s the only way you will grow.” And I guess she has a point.
Facing your fears is the only way to conquer them. Whether it happens to be heights, public speaking or dogs.
Sure, most people will face something slightly scarier than a quiet, empty, cottage.
But add to it the bewildering inventions of my brain and you have something quite terrifying.