Suzie was a prostitute. Not a sex worker or a call girl, not someone in bad company at a bad time. She was a prostitute. That’s what it’s called when you can’t believe in anybody except for yourself. That Easter Sunday she had found herself dragged along to a church by a friend who wanted the company. Britney was different to her – Britney was ditzy and curious and she disliked being alone.
The pastor asked the congregation to take some time to remember the cross, but Suzie had never been there and had nothing to remember. After an uncomfortable silence, when her eyes had flicked between the cross on the wall, to the cross on her neck to Britney with her brow furrowed, remembering hard – the Pastor told them to remember the tomb.
To think about the death of God. What?
What an amazing God, the Pastor had said, for choosing torture over heaven, us over life. Pray, the Pastor had said, for Jesus to show you how much He loves you.
Suzy felt nothing. And what was love anyway?
The cue for hurt. A lie other women believed. Money. A chemical fizz.
Whatever love was, she’d never known its company or trusted its men. She kept love at a safe distance. Charged it, quantified it, measured it out. She wanted more from love than it took from her. A man wrote her a poem once. She pinned it to the wall, every time he came. Love was no longer her tormentor, love was a client.
The pastor asked the congregation to think about the resurrection. Suzie hadn’t understood. What was resurrection? What did the word mean? When they saw it, the disciples suddenly believed. But who were the ‘disciples’ and why take so long? Suzie had believed in her mother. Suzie believed in her father before he died, too – proof she never should have. She trusted herself. She believed in herself. She was everything she needed just to survive.
Leaving the church, Suzie asked her friend Britney what resurrection meant.
Britney said it meant God died and came back. Suzie thought about that as they walked the rest of the way home in silence.
That Easter Sunday she prayed for the first time in her life. Not to the God who cried for her or the God who suffered for her or even the God who died. She prayed to the God who came back.