Maybe if I had just stuck to my instinct, the fibers of my body that screamed what I was doing was wrong and unnatural- none of this would’ve happened. Maybe if I had tried a little harder to fit in, stand out a little less. Maybe if I had thought about something other than the triumphant sneer on my face as my father looked at me in shock and adoration. If only I had craved friendship the way I craved the possibility of attention from the only person whose opinion I cared about.
But I didn’t. I couldn’t leave well enough alone and in penance I am forcing myself, on the shoreline of the Gulf of Bothnia, to watch the life and people I had finally accepted as home being taken up into flames.
As I stroke the pages of this journal with my pen, I am creating the last piece of evidence that a girl named Francesca Steen ever lived.