Ilsa packed two suitcases: the first for her clothes, the second for her journals.

The ReLife Institute didn’t have their own bedrooms, so she stayed in an AirBnb, where she stacked her journals, by date, beside her bed.

The first was labeled 1993. She’d written it at thirteen, a spotty set of tales about the girl she’d crushed on, but described as desperately wanting to be the girl’s best friend.

Ilsa managed to finish reading it before falling asleep.

ReLife’s process of backing up her mind, of creating a digital copy of her being, required the growth of neural probes throughout her brain. This was painless, tedious, done while she sat on a too soft couch, watching tv.

1994 through 1997 were only two A5 notebooks of spotty thoughts and occasional highlights of the school year that had just finished; no talk about her sexuality, her first kiss.

Daily her brain activity was watched and, sometimes, stimulated. Memories came unbidden between what she was watching: happy things, sad things, angry things, all things.

At night she’d read about those events, tracking them down in her journals. The flow was similar, the individual acts not. Something between the description on the page and the memory had changed.

Each day, while involuntarily remembering her past, she wondered who she was — she who was recalling her past skew. Who was it that was being backed up?

That evening she burnt her journals.