Hello Anna! A sneak preview...

On this page you will find a small preview of one of the chapters of our book. The title of this chapter will be called "Dead Camels". Yes, Dead Camels. You need to read it to understand the title. The reason for the title will become quite apparent at the end.

In this portion of conversation you will see how Anna questions my motivations and warns me of  the things that will be required when she comes to America.

I hope you all enjoy it. Keep in mind it is still in rough draft form and is only 5 pages of a 1350 page document. Anna and I count this portion of our conversation as one of our favorites.


Dead Camels

ANNA: I do not want you to become a father for my children, or that you would be someone who would help me to educate them. I love my two children but I want to think about you and me.  I need a man for me.  Or do you want to search again for a mother for your children?

ANNA: Do you understand the translation?

BRYAN: I have already tried searching for a mother for my children, unsuccessfully. I need to find a wife for myself .The children will leave home in 10 years and it will be just you and me after that. I will never ask you to try to take the place as their mother.

BRYAN: I am looking for a wife, not a mother. It did not work last time and it will never work.

BRYAN: I will tell my kids that you're not their mother, but my partner.

BRYAN: But if they disrespect you in any case, I'll come to your defense quickly.

ANNA: Bryan, I do not even admit the thought that between you and my children can be a problem, or vice-versa. Maybe I'm wrong about you, but I do not think you'll be treated badly for my children. Or we'll share them on yours and mine.

BRYAN: I've already gone through this experience, and this is the wrong way to do it. Perhaps if they were still in diapers, it would be considered. But our children are old enough to know who they are and where they came from.

BRYAN: I would never want to come between you and your children.

BRYAN: Something like that would destroy us!

BRYAN: I think we can agree on that.

ANNA: But I do not know what I think about us. On the one hand it seems to me all nonsense. This is when I think with my head. But when I think about how I now feel, I think, if I do not see you, then the world will collapse. I do not know what to do. You yourself tell me what to do. Can you become the world's first man with whom I will not argue?

ANNA: Usually, I'm always arguing and arguing.

BRYAN: I can promise you that we will have our differences, but to argue, I hope we both can learn to discuss our differences without arguing.

ANNA: Maybe I do not want to argue with you? You just cannot imagine how stubborn I can be. You're lucky because I got tired of arguing.

BRYAN: I, too, argued from time to time, but I'm learning to control my temper. I can assure you that I am not a violent person either. It was interesting that my wife started to hate me when I quit arguing with her.

ANNA: Perhaps it is the fact I am getting old. But I hope that this wisdom. Or love. . .

BRYAN: I think that is a mixture of all three!

BRYAN: I decided that I was tired of the games people play. I want to live in reality.

ANNA: No, Bryan. Your answer should have been "No, you do not age, you look very young"

BRYAN: This is true, you are not old! I wish I were the same but I'm definitely not as beautiful as you.

ANNA: Yes, but appearance does not matter.

BRYAN: So the million dollar question is "where will we live?"

ANNA: You are again wrong answer. It would be nice if you said: "You have hidden virtues"

ANNA: I have already said, Bryan. Where do you think we should live?

BRYAN: I already know that you have hidden virtues!

BRYAN: I can say that there are problems everywhere, but yes, I know that there are unique challenges exist in Russia. I can tell you that I have a good job, and if God is willing I'll be able to refinance the house so I could keep it after the divorce. It is large enough to fit all of us very comfortably.

BRYAN: You would even live next door to someone from Russia!

ANNA: You will be able to arrive a few days here?

BRYAN: I'd like to soon, but I have many things to take care of here first, but I want to visit there, probably soon in the summer.

ANNA: And do not forget, I have two favorite American girlfriends, and a good friend of my mother.

BRYAN: I'm not going to stand between you and your mother or you or your friends.

ANNA: I do not doubt it.

BRYAN: It may take a while for me to get things prepared here. I hope that you will be patient with me.

BRYAN: We need to get you to start learning English, too.

BRYAN: Do you think your mother would approve?

ANNA: According to the law of the genre, I must respond beautifully. After all, we're writers. . . Can I reply: "I've been waiting all my life for this moment and I'll wait a little bit more ..." Do you like this answer? Maybe I did not lie when you answer it. And can you tell me a different answer?

ANNA: I've long since grown up and stopped asking for my mother’s permission. In addition, she considers me a very sensible woman, and she trusts my judgment.

BRYAN: I think we both have been waiting for this! I'm kind of glad it happened the way it did, because when the time comes we will know if this is really what we want. I must say, it happened faster than I could ever imagine.

BRYAN: I can already hear everyone say. Bryan this is wrong. I think that many people will not approve at first, but as you said. We are both responsible adults. It's not like we will be married tomorrow. We have much time ahead of us.

ANNA: Yes, Bryan, you're right. I need to learn the language. I find it more and more difficult to translate.

BRYAN: Yes, it is becoming increasingly difficult. I think that perhaps we need to get you some software to work with. Until then, I think that this site will help you. http://www.usalearns.org

ANNA: I do not think that someone can tell us that we are smart. But it is our right to ignore them. I will not tell anyone I know about it. My friends would not even believe it and think it was a joke.

BRYAN: I want to make sure that you can communicate well with people when you get here. There are not too many people who speak in Russian here. I know that you will have many conversations with my neighbor from Russia though.

BRYAN: I will not tell anyone about it until we're ready for you to come here.

BRYAN: It would make no sense for us to listen to people try to discourage us.

BRYAN: I must go now to get my son out of school!

BRYAN: We'll talk tomorrow!

BRYAN: I love you!

ANNA: Yes, I will continue to sit at the computer. I will look at the screen and think of how very scared I am.

BRYAN: OK, I will be back very soon

ANNA: I'm going to bed.

BRYAN: good night my love

ANNA: I will have a bad night because my love is on the other end of the world. . .

BRYAN: I just wish it was easier for us. I also will suffer without you tonight

The next day…

BRYAN: I'm sitting in front of my computer and look at your latest post, and a smile. I am very happy, nervous, anxious and afraid all the time. I told my friend Bradley, and he was absolutely shocked, too! He says I'm crazy and maybe I am. I'm crazy for you! I cannot wait for the day to pick you and your children from the airport and drive you to your new home. Introduce you to my neighbors and help you in your house and lock children in a room, and then you can throw a coat on the floor and push me on the bed ... ;) On the serious note, I think you'll love it here. If all goes as I plan and prepare you will not even have to look for work. You can stay home and decorate it as you want, because trust me it is ugly, and you will totally hate it (of course we will have your mother to re-arrange it later :). Then you can focus all your time on you and the children. I just hope that you can reserve some time for me too! There is also a big yard with lots of space for children to play and to plant a garden, if you want. This is what I want for you! I hope this is what you want. I think you could become good friends with Helen next door, who also came from Russia. You can spend the day with her, if you want. I hope that it will meet your expectations.

ANNA: Bradley’s words are right, Bryan. If I was your friend, I would say to you: "You are taking upon yourself a big burden and it will be very difficult for you. Also, you have to care more about the three people from another country as you do for your own children. They will be helpless there at times. And you have to consider them 100% of the time. You must make them a priority. Is this really what you need? And what will you get in return, you do not know? Maybe you will get nothing in return. There is an Arab proverb that says; “A woman's heart is like a well in the desert. You never know in advance what is there. Cool water or a dead camel." But I hope that you will not hear your friends and listen to me. And I tell you I love you.

ANNA: I often re-read your posts, in between chores around the house. I Sit at the computer and revere our correspondence, and then go on to fry burgers or clean the carpet. I am very sorry that I have not copied our original correspondence from http://www.badoo.com . Now I'm angry at you. It's your fault, because of you I have not slept all night. In the morning my head was thinking badly. You are a saboteur, Bryan.

BRYAN: If it is any consolation to you, I could not sleep too!
I also forgot to copy our correspondence from Badoo, before I deleted my account! It's really sad: (I can assure you that I keep all of our correspondence on Skype, but I want to be able to look back on it in 20 years and see how far we've come ...
I love the Arab proverb. I'm sure that there will not be dead camels in your heart. I think I not only discovered the cool water, but the perfect Oasis full of luscious vegetation surrounded by fresh water passing through it to for your children to drink. I too would like to drink from this spring!
I hope you know that I am not entering into this lightly. It takes a lot of preparation and calculated decisions. I know that you and your children will have special needs that require immediate attention.
I promise I will not listen to my friends, as I have not listened to my common sense because my common sense does not agree with me on this too :)

ANNA: I breathed freely when I read a message, Bryan. I was afraid you'd say, "Even if you're a dead camel, Anna, you're the most beautiful dead camel in the world." I still have not forgotten about the rabbit. Ivan let me sit at the computer for 2 minutes before the evening.

BRYAN: You know me better than you think. If this were true you would have the most beautiful of dead camels. But I think that each of us has a dead camel in our heart, but your dead camel has been dead so long that the dry bones lie partly in the sand. They serve only to improve the landscape within your constantly growing oasis. So, yes, I guess it's true even a dead came has a beauty of its own. In your heart I find more beauty every day. ;)

ANNA: I tried to thirty times to write back, but my words are not translated. So I'll just say this. "I have no words, Bryan. Simply there are no words."

BRYAN: you do not have to say anything

BRYAN: sometimes there are no words

BRYAN: when I run out of words to say there are only three words left to say. Those words are “I love you!”