Hello it's Anna

1325 words


Hello it’s Anna is short I wrote in 2022, the only prompt requirement was it be an epistolary piece. I settled on a back-and-forth email exchange between two lost, long-distant souls. Or something like that.

From: [xxxxxxxx]@ukr.net

To: [xxxxxxxxx]@hotmail.com

Subject: re: Hello it’s Anna

Date: Thurs, 23 Mar 2000

My dearest Henry! Only have a few minutes of internet time but I am so excited to once again hear from you! Thank you for asking so much about my family. They ask about you too! Since my father died it has been difficult, but Natasha and I do the best we can to help our mother. My studies take up much of my day, but they are nearly finished and I do get enough work with teaching piano lessons to help with extra money. I wish my sister might help more with our meals, but Natasha does not like cooking at all! I enjoy cooking and usually make dinner for the three of us. I would love to also cook for you too!

I’m sorry but I don’t have any more pictures to send you. Those ones were expensive to have taken professionally. Thank you for your pictures you keep sending me! You are so handsome and have very kind eyes.

I have been working many extra hours to save the money for my travel to SmyrnaDelaware. My Natasha has even offered to give me some of her own money she has saved to help me with airport fees. It is very expensive to fly from the Ukraine to SmyrnaDelaware to be with you.

Internet time here is also expensive so I will have to say good bye for now. I will be thinking of you and our time together often, Henry!

Love,

Your Anna

From: [xxxxxxxxx]@hotmail.com

To: [xxxxxxxx]@ukr.net

Subject: re: Hello it’s Anna

Date: Thurs, 23 Mar 2000

Anna,

I wish I could hear from you every day. I get this intense feeling of anxiety as I wait for your email to appear in my inbox. Two or three days can often feel like weeks! But I do see you wherever I find myself walking. Upon the flowers’ brightest petals, even on book covers and in the reflections in shop windows. I see you on the bus, too, and I do a double-take just to make sure I know what it is—who it is—that’s really sitting there only a few seats away. It’s never you, of course. But I imagine you often.

I wish I could bring you here to Smyrna right now. Today. Tonight. But I think we’re growing stronger, more in love, the longer we are made to wait. Still, I do find it difficult to open my email and not find you there. I’m sorry, but I suppose I’m just impatient. Anxiety, like I said. Do you ever feel a sense of anxiety? I wonder sometimes how you must react in certain situations. I picture you as being very strong, but perhaps sometimes you need someone there for you? I hope to always be there for you.

I had your picture taped to my computer at work, but I think others around me were jealous so I took it down. Or maybe they just don’t understand how much I could love someone so far away. I put your picture in my desk drawer because I like knowing you’re right there.

I can’t wait for the day when I can finally hold you for real.

Love Henry

From: [xxxxxxxx]@ukr.net

To: [xxxxxxxxx]@hotmail.com

Subject: re: Hello it’s Anna

Date: Mon, 27 Mar 2000

My dearest Henry! My time is short today. Without internet at home it is costly for just these few precious moments where I get to read your words and feel like you’re near. Thank you for thinking of me always. I keep your pictures close to me too. Your kind eyes brighten my days!

SmyrnaDelaware must be an incredible place to live! So many beautiful flowers and shops you might visit every day. I will look for you on my book covers too. How silly!

Today I made a big beautiful cake to celebrate my sister Natasha. She was accepted to university! Unfortunately it is very expensive but she has been saving and our mother has some money put away too. I am very proud of my Natasha and I’ve told her she might be lucky enough to visit us in SmyrnaDelaware once she has finished her own studies. You would like her, even if she does not like cooking!

Right now I must go. Good bye, and I am thinking of you always, Henry!

Love,

Your Anna

From: [xxxxxxxxx]@hotmail.com

To: [xxxxxxxx]@ukr.net

Subject: re: Hello it’s Anna

Date: Mon, 27 Mar 2000

Anna,

I heard a song on the radio last night and it’s been stuck in my head ever since. It had the sweetest piano tune and I imagined it was you playing for me. Maybe I should buy a piano so you can play when you come to live with me in America? But pianos are expensive, and I don’t really know if I’d have room for one in my small apartment! I wonder if that money would be better spent on helping to see you sooner? How much does a flight from the Ukraine cost? Maybe I can help you? To wake every morning and see you here next to me would be the most incredible feeling.

There was a lyric in the song I heard, too. Something about how lonely a lake must feel when Summer is over. It’s hard to explain, but it’s a similar kind of loneliness I feel without you.

Love Henry

From: [xxxxxxxx]@ukr.net

To: [xxxxxxxxx]@hotmail.com

Subject: re: Hello it’s Anna

Date: Mon, 3 Apr 2000

My dearest Henry! I am sorry but this email will be brief. It hurts my heart so much to tell you that my mother has lost her office administrative job. She has been in tears for days worrying how we will pay for Natasha’s schooling and for my flight to America to be with you. I feel like if I could only get to SmyrnaDelaware then everything will be okay. Many people must feel the same way about SmyrnaDelaware I imagine.

Henry, you asked about the cost of the flight and I think it would cost $3000 American dollars to help. Henry, if there is anything you might be able to do to help me, I will leave my family’s bank account information here:

XXX XXXXXX

XXXXXXXX

XXXX X XXXXXX

XXXXXX

I have not let go of your pictures for days.

I will dream of you forever, until you are holding me in your arms and forever more after that.

Love,

Your Anna

From: [xxxxxxxxx]@hotmail.com

To: [xxxxxxxx]@ukr.net

Subject: re: Hello it’s Anna

Date: Tue, 4 Apr 2000

Anna,

I’m so sorry for your family’s hardships. It breaks my heart to hear this. That piano’s tune continues to echo in my heart and my hands tremble because they aren’t holding you. I’ve spent all night thinking and have decided I will help you. You’ve brought so much happiness to me that it is the only thing I can do, really.

I have transferred the money you need into your account. Please let me know when you receive the money.

Love Henry

From: [xxxxxxxxx]@hotmail.com

To: [xxxxxxxx]@ukr.net

Subject: re: Hello it’s Anna

Date: Mon, 10 Apr 2000

Anna,

It’s been a few more days than usual that I have waited to hear from you. I hope you and your family have been better. Have you received the money yet, Anna? Do you know when you will be flying to America? Please send me the flight info as soon as you are able.

Loving you deeply,

Henry

From: [xxxxxxxxx]@hotmail.com

To: [xxxxxxxx]@ukr.net

Subject: re: Hello it’s Anna

Date: Tues, 11 Apr 2000

Anna,

I hope you are okay. Please respond soon.

I am nothing but a lake after Summer without you here.

I love you,

Henry