My father holds my diary open in his palm.
“‘Dear Diary,’” he reads. “‘Tonight at dinner I crossed my fingers behind my back while Dad said Grace.’”
I stare down into my lap. A cameraman breathes down my neck. I can feel the lens focusing on me like little bugs crawling on my skin.
“‘It felt good,’” Dad continues, “‘and Dad didn’t even notice.’”
I allow myself one blink. He wants me to cry, to repent, to beg for a light punishment. I won’t give him the satisfaction. I won’t give them the satisfaction.
“‘I’m too smart to be in this family. Not blind enough to believe what they want me to believe.’” He slams the diary shut. “Jenny-fer.”
He always says my name like it rhymes with “Lucifer.”
“Look at me.”
I’ve never seen so many lines on his forehead. The light from the sunset filters through the blinds and highlights his puffy combover and his graying eyebrows. A camera pokes over his shoulder.
“What you wrote in this book is evil,” he says. “It’s very, very evil and I want an apology.”
Can’t see straight. The pressure in my chest warps my vision. Can’t even think. I stopped writing in that silly diary months ago. I’ve found a better outlet. I won’t make this mistake again. When I don’t speak, his eyes flash. His sausage-like fingers grip his desk. A vein twitches on his forehead.
“You need to pray,” he says, holding out his hands. “If you pray, Jesus will fix you.”