[Fiction] Here for You  

Source: Internet

Here for You 

By John Ogunjimi 

I returned from the office exhausted from the day’s work and with files of unfinished business in my briefcase. My plan was to get home, have a shower, take a one-hour nap, and resume my office work, as I have had to do in the last two weeks. 

However, something unusual happened when I arrived home. My wife was home earlier than usual, seated in the living room coiled up like a cat in a carton with her gaze fixed on the television. 

“Hello, dearest,” I said, dropping my briefcase on a stool beside the couch. 

“Welcome home,” she replied, sitting up but without really looking in my direction. 

There was something about her reply that didn’t seem right. I could tell when my wife was angry about something, but this was not that. It was something else… Something I couldn’t explain yet. 

She slouched in the couch, shot me a brief smile and refocused her attention on the television. I moved closer and placed a soft kiss on her forehead. “I love you,” I said. 

“I love you too.” She smiled and returned her attention to the screen before her. She was glued to it moving her eyeballs like one tracing a laser light on a projector screen. 

I shifted my stare from her to the television. She was watching the Sound of Music. 

“Great old classic,” I commented while removing my cufflinks. 

“Hmm,” she replied curtly. 

I made to move away but hesitated when I noticed she didn’t say anything or even look in my direction. Was something wrong, or was she just engrossed in her movie? I wondered. 

I came closer again, and this time I sat beside her. She sat up and placed her head on my shoulder. I put my arm around her, squeezed her shoulder gently, and stroked my fingers through her hair. She exhaled loudly like someone relaxing into scarce comfort, then she put one hand around my back and placed the other on my chest as if to feel my heartbeat. 

“Sweetheart, are you alright?” I asked. 

“I’m fine,” she replied in a way that didn’t sound any fine, her attention still on the movie. 

I paused for some seconds before trying to talk again. “If there is anything you w–” I was saying when she slid her hand from my chest to my mouth and stopped my lips with one finger. 

“Shhh. Everything is alright, my love. You don’t have to say a thing. I just need you to sit here with me, watch with me, and laugh with me.” She looked up into my eyes like she was expecting a consent. “Like old times, you know?” 

I nodded, took a deep breath, ran my hand through her hair again, and replied, “I’m here for you, darling. Like old times, I’m here for you.” 

[Inspiration] Would it help? 

​Would it help? 

By John Ogunjimi 

1957 

The height of the cold war. 

The United States and the Soviet Union fear each other’s nuclear capabilities — and intentions. 

Both sides deploy spies — and hunt for them. 

Inspired by true events. 

***
That’s the text on screen at the beginning of the movie, Bridge of Spies. I’m not a big fan of history, and my laziness in reading history books makes me sometimes resort to watching historical movies when I’m less busy. 

I’m not a movie reviewer — and I don’t intend to sound like one now. I’m just going to pick out a lesson form this historical drama I watched. 

There’s this Russian spy, Rudolf Abel, that was caught in the US. James Donovan, an insurance lawyer, was charged with the responsibility of defending Rudolf, like Atticus Finch was appointed to defend Tom Robinson in Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. Okay, maybe not exactly, but something close, you know? 

James Donovan presents himself to his client and tell him his mission. After Rudolf accepted that Donovan should represent him, this conversation ensues between them: 

Donovan: Then do not talk to anyone about your case inside of government or out, except to me to the extent that you trust me. I have a mandate to serve you; nobody else does. Quite frankly, everybody else has an interest in sending you to the electric chair. 

Rudolf: Alright. 
Donovan: You don’t seem alarmed. 
Rudolf: (Shrugs) Well, would it help? 

When the case got to trial, there’s another scene where this happened after Donovan and the prosecuting counsel returned from the Judge’s office: 

Rudolf: How did we do? 
Donovan: In there? Uhm… Not too good. Apparently, you’re not an American citizen. 
Rudolf: That’s true. 
Donovan: And, according to your boss, you’re not a Soviet citizen either. 
Rudolf: Well, the boss isn’t always right. But, he’s always the boss. 
Donovan: Do you never worry? 
Rudolf: Would it help? 

Then, after the trial and conviction, Rudolf was sentenced to 30 years. The defense counsel had earlier advised that Rudolf should not be killed as he could still be useful for them. As it turned out, they eventually had to trade Rudolf for Gary Powers, an American Pilot was who was shot down from the CIA’s top secret U-2 spy plane over the USSR. 

This conversation takes place between Rudolf and Donovan on the bridge where the exchange was to take place: 

Donovan: What do you think will happen when you get home?
Rudolf: I think I’ll have a vodka. 
Donovan: (Chuckles) Yeah. But, Rudolf, is there no possibility–
Rudolf: … that my people are going to shoot me.
Donovan: Yeah. You are not worried. 
Rudolf: Would it help? 

***

I haven’t been able to shake of the thought of Rudolf’s calmness in the midst of it all. The way he never worried is quite impressive. 

Perhaps, you have been worrying for so long that if worrying were a university course, you’d have a PhD by now, but how has it helped? 

I mean, all the years you have invested in worrying about things you can control, how has it helped? 

How has worrying helped you become a better person? In what minutest way has it proffered any solution to the problems you’ve been facing? How does worrying put food on your table, or money in your pocket? How does it boost your health? How has it helped? 

This is what Jesus has to say about worrying: 

“So do not worry or be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will have worries and anxieties of its own. Sufficient for each day is its own trouble.” Matthew 6:34 (NIV). 

A song writer puts it this way: 

“One day at a time, sweet Jesus, 

That’s all I’m asking from you. 

Just give me the strength 

To do everyday what I have to do. 

Yesterday’s gone, sweet Jesus, 

And tomorrow may never be mine. 

Lord, help me today, show me the way, 

One day at a time.” 

I pray that God will cure us from the worrying spirit. Amen.