Maisie sighed, laying her silverware down on the formica table top, realizing she was cornered and would have to listen to Hope’s spiel. Hope was every bit the arrogant, concern trolling prick her father Rev. Bradley was, and every time Hope saw Maisie on campus, she’d give her the spiel about how she “Just Needed Jesus”. Accept Jesus into her heart, and all this madness would go away.
Maisie looked up at the young woman who’d once been her best friend, who’d she felt closer to than anyone else in the world, and wondered how they’d both so soured. Hope said she prayed for Maisie every day, but wouldn’t actually be by her side when the shit hit the fan. And Maisie, realized, bitterly, she really didn’t want Hope at her side when said shit hit the fan. All Maisie was to Hope now, was a soul to save, not even a person, and a vulture like her would swoop down in a vulnerable moment to manipulate her into accepting “Jesus”. And even if she did, her mind would still be broken, and things would still be fucked, and Hope would just tell her she didn’t have enough “Faith”.
Hope finally finished, and Maisie returned to her food, which was already getting cold, and just looked down and pretended not to see Hope still standing there, fake and rictus smile pulled open like dry leather, waiting for Maisie to say yes, she’d come to church or the graduate student bible study, or that she knew Jesus loved her. Maisie would never say any of those things.
Finally, Hope left.