Sergei Kozlov, admitted Russian spy and soon-to-be deportee, sank into the first pew, close to the altar. He was a God-fearing man who knew he had sinned. No, it was worse than that. He had committed atrocities, betrayed so many people, in the name of his country. He had accepted deportation rather than further investigation of these crimes.
He did not know how to feel, uneasily shifting his hands and feet. Part of him was glad to be returning to Russia, to Leningrad. To home, he made himself add, to Saint Petersburg. But thoughts of his once-beloved, traffic-clogged streets plunged deep in history no longer felt to him like home.
Now, home was in the small, but cozy house on the quiet street in Burke, Virginia. Home was his dog, Sacha, rolling around in the garden. Home was his love of 40 C degree days. Home was the pastry and coffee at the bakery down the street, every morning, without fail, except on Sundays. Because on Sunday, home was the unadorned, unassuming church in which he now sat.
Yes, he had done horrible things for what he had, at the time, thought of as his country. But he had changed; he was not the same person. He found it harder and harder to think of himself as Russian, yet easier and easier to think of himself as human.
Silently, he stood up to leave. His flight left in three hours, and airport security was very different from when he had arrived.