Alena

Updated: Dec 15, 2018


The email stared back at him like an animal in a cage. Jordi knew what it would be since he had seen many like it before. He could see from the summary that a Russian woman sent it. He wasn’t sure he wanted to go down this road again after his experience with Russian or Ukrainian women.

At one point he was serious about pursuing a gorgeous, smart Ukrainian woman, which had been part of Russia before the wall fell in the 80’s.

This email caught Jordi at a weak moment. Jordi shook his head, knowing he was feeling more alone than normal, overriding his knowledge how this would end. The curiosity and distraction would be good for him at the low point he was feeling. He double clicked on the email and it popped up.

Hello!!!!

I hope you are doing well. I found you on a social website and thought it would be good to contact you. I am sociable, and a happy person destined to meet the love of my life. My life is similar to the night sky without stars. My life is without the most important element, love. I am searching for the man of my life, I came on this site to find him.

It seems to me that we should communicate through letters. I will try to be very romantic and as we go on I want to learn much about the in the letters before we meet. I will try to be honest with you and how I feel. I want to be serious and if you don’t have the same desire, then we should stop our dialog and I will wish you good luck. I don’t want to spend time with you if your intentions are not the same as mine.

I hope you will send me photos of yourself and tell more about your life. I hope I can read your letter soon. Your friend… Alena.

Jordi reread the short email and decided to respond. The email was the beginning similar to many others he received from women who found his information on a dating website. For the most part he didn’t mind, it was interesting and under the circumstances, an interesting person to communicate was a good distraction. Jordi decided to respond.

My name is Jordi from the United States. Where do you live? I’m guessing you live in Russia or a country near Russia. I hope you understand the problems starting a relationship like this. For starters, I’m a lot older than you, 57. I live alone in Charlotte, North Carolina in a small apartment.

I don’t know where this is going, but I would enjoy talking to someone, even if its email to someone halfway around the world. Please send me more pictures. Jordi

Jordi pushed the send button with little emotion. It was one of many similar he’s sent and it’s always ended the same.

His two programmers walked into his office. “What’s up,” Jordi asked.

“Nothing,” Sam said. “We haven’t seen you in a while. Thought we would stop in and tell you what we’ve done.”

Jordi’s raised his eyebrows, “what have you done?”

“We fixed the problem you talked about.”

“It’s done?”

Jordi nodded at his two programmers. He tried to fake a smile to give them deserved congratulations for overcoming a large obstacle.

The next morning, he opened his laptop and found an unread email from Alena. It was longer than the last one and had several pictures attached.

Jordi, how are you? I am very glad to see your letter! I think if you write me a letter, then you are serious and want to continue our dialog. I will try to tell you about my life.

I live in Russia, Achinsk City. I’m 34 years old, my height is 170 cm. I do not have children and I have never been married. I had a serious relationship, but the man was not good to me and deceived me. My ex-boyfriend had a drinking problem, and he met with other girls. It is a problem in my country and so now I am trying to find a man in another country that will treat me good.

I hope you will answer my questions. It will help me get to know you better. Have you been married? Do you have children? Your height? What colour are your eyes? Your hair? I would like to see pictures of you.

You are probably wondering why I decided to look for a man in the United States. I read in a magazine that American men have the same intentions as the Russian girls. I learned that men in America are real family men. I learned that they love and care for a family. Also I read that American women are not interested in family, that they do not have family values.

I realized that it would be very hard to find a man in my country, which is when I decided to meet a man from the United States.

I always thought that if two people want to be together, no distance can stop love. What do you think?

Jordi, you are right. I live in Russia. I hope it doesn’t frighten you. I want to continue our discussion and be better to learn about each other. I want my man to be a true gentleman, because my dad is a real gentleman. I want to meet a man who will be like my father. I want a man with whom we will be able to support each other whenever and wherever.

I hope you will answer my question in your next letter. I’ll be waiting for your letter, Alena

Jordi thought about the letter. Why can’t this woman be in the States? This is not good to lead this woman on, but it would be better than nothing. He thought about answering the email and what he’d say. Work was consuming his time, but finding a partner, a woman to share his life was consuming his spare moments.

The phone rang next to his computer. After picking it up to discuss a new product design and its launch date, Jordi hung up and stared at the email. He decided to answer.

Hello Alena,

I hope you are well. I looked on Google maps to find the city you live in. It interests me to see pictures of the city and how different it is from others. From what I can tell it looks different than most American cities. I did see a Bowling Alley. Do you Bowl? I do not.

What is your job, what do you do every day? When you meet up with friends, what do you do? Where do you go? Do you like to shop for clothes? Do you know how to drive a car? Are you religious?

If you had a boyfriend in Russia, what would you do to have fun? Do you live in an apartment?

When you come to America, what will you do first? Do you know how difficult it is to come to America?

Do you read books? Who is your favorite author? Have you gone to Moscow or St. Petersburg?

I hope you can answer the questions. I look forward to hear from you.

Jordi

He pressed the send button and watched the computer screen. It wasn’t an excitement that propelled him to respond, he reasoned it was something to do to disrupt the boredom of his life and the lack of passion for his job.

He looked up from his computer screen and shook his head while thinking how desperate his life had become. His lead engineer entered the office and noticed his stare.

“What are you thinking about?” Jenna asked.

Jordi took a deep breath trying to shake his negative thoughts. He didn’t need to bring her down to his level. “I was thinking. You know how I get when I work on a problem.”

Jenna gave him a weak smile back and nodded, “I do know how you get. I saw it live when we were under attack by the hackers a few years ago. You came up with a great plan.”

“Hmmm…that was scary and fun at the same time. We all got close at the time.”

Jenna sat down in one of the chairs in front of Jordi’s desk. Her eyebrows arched in wonder, “yes we did. It didn’t last long though. We lost half the team to other projects and the other half left the company. The problem we solved gave them credibility with other companies. There are moments you see greatness and dominance and then it goes away.”

Jordi stared at Jenna and didn’t respond right away. He rose from his chair and walked around his desk to the chair beside Jenna and sat. “Yeah…it did go away. Everything is temporary.”

“Is that why you were staring at your computer?”

Jordi looked down at his hands, “You’ve been with me longer than anyone.”

“Yes, we’ve survived each other,” Jenna said giggling.

“I’m glad. How’s your family? We haven’t talked in a while.”

“Why is this coming up? What’s wrong?” Jenna said searching his face trying to read his reaction. “They’re doing well. Both in college and doing well.”

“How are you and your hubby doing without the kids at home?”

“Hmmmm… we’re doing really good. We found out the years with the kids was good, but the time before and after the kids is much better. I haven’t had this much fun hanging out with him since before we had our first child.”

“Nice,” Jordi said, nodding and connecting with her eyes. “I wish I could say that.”

Jenna’s smile faded, “Now I get it.” She glanced away from Jordi’s gaze, “we’ve talked about this before. Still haven’t found someone to take away the loneliness?”

“No,” Jordi shifted in his chair. He didn’t want to bear his soul to his friend and coworker, but he had to let it out. He knew she would prop him up as best she could, and he would go back at it. She knew of all the women he talked to, even Alena. “The emails with Alena are continuing, but I’m not connecting with her either. I’m gonna end it, probably tomorrow.”

Jenna frowned at Jordi, “I’m sorry. I keep hoping you find someone. You’re a great catch. I don’t get why this is happening to you. Maybe you need confidence and hope.”

Jordi smiled and looked away from her, “I don’t know, maybe for non-business relationships, women hate me. It seems to be a negative thing to say, but it’s the reality of the situation.”

“Don’t be that way,” Jenna said. She rose out of the chair and stepped for the office door leaving Jordi sitting. “At the end of the day it will happen. We don’t know why I’ve met my life partner and you haven’t, but it’ll come. Be patient.”

“Easy for you to say.”

“You’ve survived this long. She’s out there somewhere…I’m sure.” Jenna turned and walked out the door.

Jordi sat in the chair in front of his desk and surveyed the items he had in the sparse office. He felt better knowing someone understood how lonely he was. It didn’t solve the problem, but she allowed him to talk and he felt better because of it.

The next morning, he opened his email and found Alena sent a new one. He double clicked.

Hey Jordi!

How are you? Thank you again, I can read your letter. Today in my city it’s all rain and not the big wind. What is the weather in your area today? I think that is no bad weather. And I like the different weather. I love heat. I love snow! I love the falling leaves. I love when it rains. I always thought it very romantic listening to the rain. I like to fall asleep to the sound of rain. I like the air after the rain. I love the storm, but I'm a little afraid of it.

Are you afraid of thunderstorms? I love autumn park. I love the leaves under your feet!

Jordi, I love the first snow, when snowflakes fall slowly to the eyelashes, hair, lips and they'll melt. I love spring. I love when the trees bloom and everything is green. I'll be glad to know about the weather in your area.

Jordi, yes, I did read War and peace. Yes, sometimes my students think that the subject is boring.

This afternoon I met my friend Olga when I had lunch break. We are familiar with it since childhood. We lived in the neighborhood. We're still best friends. I think that it is my real true friend. I have a lot of friends. I know a lot of great people at work. But Olga I can call my friend. We have been through a lot together. I think of her as my sister. Olga always cares about me and wants me to be happy. And I also want her to be happy.

Now she is married. She has two children. I think that Olga is a caring mother. Olga and Sergey met when we were in college. I remember how she was happy when she met Sergey. We always shared her desires and secrets. I remember when she told me about her pregnancy. I was very happy. Now I am godmother to her children.

Jordi, we have not seen each other for some time. And today, we had dinner together. I told her that I met you, and she was very surprised. But Olga always wanted me to be happy, and she supported me. For it has always been important to both of us. Olga said that she has a problem. She cannot find a job. It is very difficult to find a job in my country. I was very upset about this, because I cannot help her in any way. But I told her that I'll always be there, and I always try to help her. Will you tell me more about your friends!

I'll be happy if we can continue our dialogue. Also, I'll be happy to learn more about you and your life! I really hope that I can read your letter tomorrow. I'll be glad of it. Alena

Jordi cringed when he looked at her two pictures attached to the email. She was a pretty woman. If she lived in the States he knew she would be hearing from him with more passion and energy.

Jordi felt the presence of someone in his office. He looked up from his computer screen and saw a young woman and man standing in front of his desk. The woman said, “Hi Jordi, Jenna told us to show this to you.”

Jordi nodded and gave them a welcoming smile. “What did she tell you to bring me?”

The two smiled and looked at each other. The young man said to the woman, “You go first.”

She nodded, “Well…we have the results of our recent changes to our internet social media. It has been a success. We’ve seen a 100% increase in views in the last thirty days. We are now approaching one million per day.”

The young man said, “that is good in this industry. We will see an increase in traffic and income.”

“The boss will be happy. Good work both of you. I was skeptical, but you proved me wrong.” The two people turned with smiles and left him alone.

He decided to reply to the email.

Hey Alena,

The weather is getting cold here in Charlotte. I like warm weather - 80F is a good temperature

I’m sorry for your friend Olga. It is always bad when jobs are not plentiful. I hope she finds something. In America there are many jobs looking for a person. The jobs are good and pay pretty good. Can you speak English? Olga will be sad if you leave Russia. Are you willing to leave all your friends and family to go to a country that is very different from yours? It will be hard. Many people have done it, which means you have a lot of decisions to make.

I don’t have many pictures, so I will need to find some to send you. I will send you pictures of the city I live in. Jordi

Jenna entered his office. Her shoulder length blond hair flowing as usual. “You look nice,” Jordi said.

“I wanted to tell you the impact you made on those two young people you talked to.”

Jordi squinted, “What impact?”

Jenna smiled, “don’t worry. You were great. They were afraid you would give them grief because they didn’t follow your instructions. How you treated them will go a long way with the rest of the young people working here.”

“I was just being me,” Jordi shrugged.

“Yeah…but sometimes…you know, you get a little edgy. You go after people sometimes without justification.”

“Maybe you think it’s not justified. Regardless, they did a great job. I didn’t say anything to you, but I wanted to have fun and test them… and you.”

Jenna’s eyes widened, “how’d we do?”

Laughing Jordi said, “What do you think? Of course, you passed.”

“Ok, just checking.”

Jordi winked at Jenna before she walked out of his office.

He went back to his laptop and pushed the send button on his keyboard. He would think of a way to stop the emails. Alena gave him a distraction, but it wasn’t fair to her. The next morning, he found another email.

Hello!

I woke up today in a good mood and have gone to work. All day at work I had a smile on my face. And after work as has usually decided to go to library to write you the letter. But when I have come to library and have not seen your letter, I was upset and at me the smile was gone. Why have you not written me a letter? have you been occupied? I hope, that soon you will write me a letter. I will wait with impatience for your letter. Your friend Alena


Jordi could not respond. It wasn’t in him any longer to give her false hope. That the American man of her dreams would take her away from the dim hopes of living in Russia.


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