Letter(s) from Alena Sokolova to Mike (USA)

Letter 1

Hi, my Mike.
There is a finest news for me and for you - I got the visa!!! I am so happy!!!! I will get vacation February,24, 2004.
I went to the company which reserves airway tickets. I asked them how I can reach Denver (DEN) and how much it costs. They answered me that the ticket costs $ 1341.80 USD. I asked them to find cheapest ticket, because this price is expensive for me. They answered that they had a cheaper ticket and the beginning of the flight February,28, 2004. It costs $907 USD. I asked them to reserve a ticket. But they refused, because they have a lot of clients at this time and they can't reserve my ticket without advance payment. I spoke with them for a long time and asked to reserve the ticket for me without advance payment but they didn't agree. Then I wondered if it is possible to pay a part of the money now and the other part later. They didn't agree. I spoke with them for a long time and I managed to persuade them. They agreed but provided that if I will not pay the remaining sum, I will lose already nested money. We agreed that I would pay a part of the price today and the other part later. I paid $ 500 USD. But it was little for an initial payment. Then I went to the pawnshop and pawned my and Snezhana's gold jewelry for $ 113 USD. It was my last money. The number of the flight on which I will get the ticket is 215 Aeroflot-Russian International Airlines
The time of departure from Moscow is 7.55 am.
The time of arrival in Denver is 8.24 pm.
I will change a plan in Copenhagen (CPH), number of the flight 6417 Estonian Air.
I will change a plan in Amsterdam (AMS), number of the flight 43 US Airways.
I will change a plan in Philadelphia (PHL), number of the flight 43 US Airways.
After this I will fly to Denver, to you.
It is very difficult for me to tell you about it. But I have done everything what I could. I paid visa. I paid a part of the ticket. But this money is not enough. I didn't want to burden you. I wanted to reach you with my own money but unfortunately I failed. And now I feel so guilty. I thought that nothing can prevent our meeting. But I have to pay the remaining part. It is only $294 USD. I have to pay this money before February, 20, 2004 evening. Otherwise I will lose my money and our jewelry will be sold out simply in vain. Now I have extremely unpleasant feeling because I could not fulfill my promise to make all by myself, independently. I remember that I promised it and I always do all what in my forces to fulfill my promise. I am very ashamed to address to you. But I couldn't get money which I expected on my work. It so-called vacation money. It would solve my problems and I really was sure that I can get it.
When we get a vacation, we get vacation money besides salary. But unfortunately this money pays to us after ending of a vacation and sometimes even in some months. I have addressed with request to get this money now because I very much need in it. But unfortunately my inquiry has been rejected. They have told that they can give out vacation money before of terms only in case of serious illness or death of close relatives. Probably I simply must tell to you that I can't meet with you in this vacation because at present I cannot provide completely my travel. I understand that I should not asked you. But at the same time I can't simply say that I will not arrive to you. I too much have made and have passed to achieve our meeting. If I have simply refused our meeting, all my diligence would be spent in vain. I have made so much to meet you, and I can't now just say that I cannot arrive to you. I address to you and I think in it there is nothing shameful. I understand that it is incredibly big money. Of course you are not obliged to help me. It is bad but not fatal. I will lose my money. It is bad too but not fatal too. And these $330 that I have given for the visa, and these $ 613 that I have given for the ticket is the huge money for me. But I don't regret that I have made and have given all what I had for our meeting. Actually it simply money and our jewelry it simply metal. Sense of the life not in money and not in this metal. That's why I was the first who took the first step. I do not want this all to be wasted. If you really want to meet me, If you can help me to make our meeting, please, send money to the help before February, 20, 2004 evening. I don't want you to doubt my honesty and that's why I send you the view of my visa.
If you can help me I send you my coordinates. Snezhana said that you can help me with the help of some system. I have addressed in the nearest bank. I have been told that they have system of ''Money Gram''. They have told that it is very convenient office for me. There is other remittance system, but at present unfortunately it works not always because at present there is made some renovation and upgrade of the equipment and signalizing system. But they have told that system - ''Money Gram'' works always and reliably. I give you necessary elements for sending money with the help of ''Money Gram''.
IMPEXBANK STAVROPOLSKY
237 ULITSA MIRA
Stavropol, Russian Federation 355012
for Inna Rybakova.
In bank I have been told, that to get the money, I must tell to employee of bank your full name, full address, exact sum which I should receive and some confidential numbers (Reference Number). This number will give to you in your bank if you will send your help. Only at presence of all this information I can get your help.
Please forgive me all my words. I say so because I am in despair and confusion. Now, when only one step is separated us, I am afraid. I am afraid that you will not help, and all my diligence will have no use. I need you and I want to be with you and the word of honor, your help is necessary for me. I have not calculated my forces. I understand that it is a very big money for you. I did not want to ask you. I thought that I can make all myself. The loneliness has made me strong. I have got used to live without help, and to rely only on myself. I ask somebody for help very seldom, but now I ask you to help me. Probably I have offended you. But I need you. I do not know if my letter have brought to you a pleasure or only frustration, but I have written you honestly and sincerely. I am waiting for your reply.
Kiss you.
Your Inna.

Letter 2

Mike! I have only one minute. I in Moscow, at the airport in the Internet - cafe. I wanted to have registration at once to not worry tomorrow. I have figured out, that I am obliged to pay off obligatory insurance - for Citizens of Russia who leave our country without residence permit. If I the citizen of Russia, and I leave country with the visa, I should pay the insurance. Insurance at returning from America - voluntary, and I have refused off this kind of insurance. But I nevertheless should pay insurance at departure from Russia because it is an obligatory insurance for Citizens of Russia. It is the Russian Duma's decree in connection with intense terrorist conditions in Russia. I should pay 200 USD and then I can leave my country. The given sum will be returned to me after successful arrival into your country. Please, send me money as soon as possible because I have no money. You will receive this money back right after my arrival to you. Please, use system of Western Union because here there is several banks, which uses this system of a remittance and I can receive your money. Mike, my nerves on a limit. I have got the formal notice, according to which I should pay insurance to leave my country according to the law. I cannot write much because I use the Internet - cafe and I have no money. Here only three computers and so many people. I should spend night in Moscow in a waiting room. It is much more terrible than I thought. Tomorrow I again will use Internet - cafe to receive your letter. I cannot be in Moscow for a long time, because I have no money for a meal and a for the night lodging. I only have slightly of meal that I took at home for my trip in a train. Now already evening. I should pay insurance as soon as possible because I cannot be in Moscow for a long time. I am nervous very much. With love. Inna.