Letters from Heaven
by Ko Kyoung Hee
(Translated by AllNiteRaver)
Note from the Author: Ever since I was a child, I was
hoping that Anthony would survive the accident and lead a life. However, he had
a tragic end and I was hoping that Candy would know Anthony's love for her even
after life. This was written while I was in my early teen. I beg for your
forgiveness even this story does not really make any sense. I had edited some
additional information since then. Enjoy it!
Anthony. It has been so long since I called your name. Such a loveable person, Anthony, the name I miss dearly! Anthony. I strongly believe that you are always with me. You are in my heart right at this moment, aren't you? This light breeze that softly touches my hair is like your caressing hand. No matter how many years have passed by, I still feel your caring heart and your soft lips. Anthony, by calling out your name, my heart is still throbbing. It is amazing that I still feel the rush in my heart at this age. You are my secret source to keep me young and fresh. Oh, Anthony. I miss you desperately.
Will I meet you again soon? Time has passed by and it is almost time for me to go to you. I am a bit worried, because compared to you young and still beautiful, I am an old hag. I just hope that you would still recognize me without running away from me. However, I will not let go of you this time. Not like during the fox hunting, I will never let you go. No, it will not be like that time when I was unable to do anything at all.
Ah, I see Archie coming. He always interrupts our time together, but do not tell him that. He would not be happy to hear it. It would be a secret just between you and me and I shall greet him with the best smile I have.
Time passes by and people come and go. There are new meetings and there are partings in everyone's lives. Things change, except the Hill of Pony. This place stays the same as if to keep memories of happiness and sorrow for everyone involved.
This place was the only place where Candy felt comforted. Her past went by in her head like a picture show: Anthony and the time at Lakewood, Terry in London, Susanna and her sacrifice, departing, and then there was Stair who had become a victim of the war, and Patty who eventually followed Stair in heaven.
Pony, who was just like a mother to Candy, has also passed away in peace. Thank you, mother. Due to the love you have given me, I was able to love this world and to smile. Thank you, whispered Candy when Pony took her last breath, leaving the world behind her.
Albert was there as well. His hair had turned all white, but still had a warm smile and caressing heart.
Then there were Archie and Annie at the scene. Archie had decided to protect Candy in place of Anthony and Stair while Annie had accepted him as he was. Two years after Patty departed from this world to be with Stair, they got married and now have become parents of two little children.
Candy was not part of the Audley family anymore. The sad incident with Terry was followed by the tragic death of Stair and Patty who had committed suicide. Then there was Neil who forced Candy to get engaged, but it failed when Albert had revealed himself as the head of Audley, William. Now that the entire world knew the true identity of William, Candy took the blame and decided not to be an Audley any longer. Albert respected her decision and promised that they would still stay friends.
Archie called, softly tapping Candy's shoulder.
"Ah, many things have happened for it has been sixty years since I was born," said Candy, thinking of the precious memories.
"What are you thinking of?" asked Archie.
Candy looked at Archie and realized that he has gotten quite old himself. She could see winkles around his eyes, but still he was looking good. She wondered how Stair would have looked like if he was still alive. "What brought you here, Archie?"
"It has been a while since the last time I came to visit. Everyone
is wondering about you. Besides, I found something in our study yesterday. I
wanted to show it to you."
"Oh? What is it that you found?"
"Ah, I love keeping you guessing. Your curious eyes have not changed a bit," commented Archie, thinking that Candy's two beautiful eyes were shining more than ever. Stair had also fallen for those innocent eyes long ago. It was the same for Archie who had been admiring Candy all these years. He had noticed the lonely eyes of Annie at times, but he could not help himself and Annie, with her great love, had accepted him as he was. Archie was feeling guilty for having such feelings towards Candy while having Annie at his side, but Annie had forgiven everything. Archie owed her big.
"So what is it that you found in your study yesterday?
Will you not show it to me?" asked Candy in desperation.
"I found this!"
Archie took out a letter and presented to Candy.
The letter begins:
"Dear Candice White Audley,
Surprise! This is the first letter that I have ever written to you and I am surprised myself. Ha ha. You are about to go see Terry tomorrow in Broadway. Candy, I love your bright smile and it is not just me. All of us enjoy seeing you smile! I would also like to see that smile on your way back, but I will not be so lucky to see it. I have given up that luck myself. I wanted to tell you something, something that I only told Archie about, but I do not think I have the nerve to say it to your face. It is a proof that I have a girl named Patricia O'Brian who is a bearer of an innocent soul and she means a lot to me. However, if I ever told you what I wanted to tell you, I am afraid that I might lose you, so I decided not to tell it. I have decided to protect you at a distance rather than losing you, and who knows, perhaps that was a wrong decision to make. I may not be an intelligent inventor since I am unable to invent a machine that would clean out your feelings for a girl that I cannot have. I like my little brother Archie and have always liked Anthony just like my own brother. I hope you understand what I mean.
Wherever you go, whatever you do, I will always pray for your happiness. I very much like to run to you at this very moment, but I am afraid that I might not be able to let you go if I did that, so I shall not.
This little music box I have made for you is to keep you happy.
Please bring all of us to the Hill of Pony when you get back. I will look forward to it.
"I assume that Stair was not able to send it to you. It was found among old books," stated Archie.
"Stair, I wonder what it was that you wanted to tell me, but could not do so."
"Stair cared for you as much as I cared for you! From the very moment that Anthony was still with us. However, we both knew that there was not enough room for all of us. We cared about Anthony as well, so Stair decided not to tell you how he felt about you. The friendship between him and Anthony was as important as how much he wanted to protect you."
"Stair did that? For me?"
Candy did not realize how Archie and Stair had been feeling about her, because her heart was out to Anthony and Terry afterwards. Perhaps she refused to realize how they were feeling about her. Now that Stair's long-lost letter had been found, she could not stop feeling bad about it. Why did she not want to realize it?
"Anthony, please let Stair know that I appreciate his caring heart and I apologize that I had not noticed it. I am sure he is with you now," whispered Candy. "Hey, Archie!"
"Do not worry about it, Candy. Nobody blames you for anything. It has been such a long time and I just felt like you should keep the letter now that I found it. I better get going now, Candy. I will be back soon. Take care."
"There is nothing you can do, Candy. We all knew that I and Stair were only friends to you. Your heart only cared for Anthony or Terry. It is unfortunate that I could not be the one you cared for, but that is how it happened and there was nothing else I could do. However, I am happy the way it is now. At least I could still care for you at your side. My heart will be the same until the day you die. From the first moment I met you, my heart has never changed. I know I am being selfish, but I hope to be your man someday to replace Anthony or Terry," Archie thought to himself as he walked away.
Candy, despite her eyes losing sight, stared at Archie disappearing. She thanked Archie for being with her all this time. After losing Anthony and Stair, she could not afford to lose Archie as well. If it was not for Archie, she would not have been such a cheerful person all these years. She was able to recall her memories of Anthony and Stair, because Archie was with her. He had been her strength and warmth. "Thank you, Archie."
Candy had been thinking a lot after
Archie's visit. Her body felt heavy and she felt lazy moving around.
"Ms. Candy! Ms. Rein is not well! Hurry and come see her please!" A student named Sarah was running towards Candy. She was in tears.
"What is wrong, Sarah? What is wrong with Ms. Rein?"
"You have to hurry!" Sarah grabbed Candy's hand and began running towards Ms. Rein's room.
Candy realized how heavy she was and missed the old days when she used to run around like a feather with no joint problems.
"Ms. Rein, what is wrong? Are you okay?"
"Candy, I think Mother Mary is calling for me," Ms. Rein smiled at Candy. Her face was covered with wrinkles. After Ms. Pony had passed away, Ms. Rein managed to keep everyone on track and never missed a day praying for Candy.
"What are you talking about? I still need you here," pleaded Candy.
"Candy, you have been very special to me. You are always happy and smiling, caring for people around you, never blame anyone for anything. I have been blessed to have you near me. Ms. Pony and I had always thought that you were a gift from God. I had a good life. I achieved what I was supposed to do on behalf of Mother Mary and now it is time for me to go. Everything was possible because I had you near me. Do not be sad for my death. I am not dead, but rather go near Mother Mary to guide you to the right way in life. I am sure Ms. Pony is doing the same now. She is praying for us and protecting us from any harm."
Everyone including little children were in tears. They may not be at the age where they could understand death, but they did realize that they would not be able to see someone they used to see everyday anymore.
"I also felt the desperation when Anthony passed away and cried just like that," thought Candy when she felt a light breeze against her cheeks. "It must be you, Anthony. You have come to comfort me. Ms. Rein is about to leave. Will you show her the way? Another mother of mine is leaving me. I should not cry, but tears are coming out against my own will."
"Ms. Rein!" cried Sarah.
closed her eyes for good. Candy softly hugged everyone in the
At Ms. Rein's funeral, Archie, Annie and Albert attended. Annie cried her eyes out. She secretly blamed herself for being a fool at one time in her life when she tried to forget her past in the orphanage. Ms. Pony and Ms. Rein were her mothers! Candy was her best friend! And still she tried to hide her past from everyone else! She regretted what she had done.
Candy did not cry at the service. Perhaps she had no more tears to shed.
"Candy, are you okay?" asked Albert in his usual soft and caring tone of voice.
"Albert, I am not sad. I am just trying to say goodbye to the old memories. It is not sorrow, but rather an appreciation," responded Candy with a smile.
"They will always be with you to protect, will they not?" Albert smiled back.
"Yes, they will be, just like they have been all my life."
"Good, Candy. That is my girl. Oh, by the way, I have Terry's news. He has become the head of a theatre company. I ran into him by accident. He looked great. He asked about you, so I told him that you were at Pony's House. He mentioned that he missed you a lot, but was not able to come and see you. Instead, he got me to deliver this to you," Albert handed a letter.
A strong breeze blew across Candy's face. Anthony must be jealous, Candy thought. This was another unexpected letter for Candy.
"I know you are jealous, Anthony, but will you please forgive me? He was the one who had comforted my empty heart after you left. I know you would not mind it, because you are an understanding person."
"I get jealous, too, you know." As if Anthony has said that.
Candy felt bad, but at the same time, she wanted to read the letter so badly.
"Alright, then. This would be the last time. You are way too popular for me to keep an eye on."
"Thank you, Anthony," smiled Candy and began walking away from the crowd to read Terry's letter in a quiet place.
"She still is like a little doll," smiled Albert, looking at Candy walking away.
"Dearest Miss Tarzan Freckles,
It has been so long since the last time I called you this. Hah. I can picture you trying to correct me, running towards me with rage.
You must have become a granny with white hair. Time only flies so fast. I only acted and performed and worked hard just to forget about you. Now time passing by has grown numb to me that I have not realized how old I was now.
I have become the head of a theatre company. I have become inseparable with acting. I missed you dearly Candy, but have sworn to myself that I have given up being myself when I chose Susanna instead of you. The one that has chosen Susanna is not the Terry you know. The Terry you know is still in love with you and will always be.
Do you remember what I have told you last? I asked you to be happy, told you that I would not forgive if you were not. Are you happy now? Are you still smiling with that beautiful smile of yours? I wonder about every little thing about you, but I am sure you would still be smiling no matter what.
I do not know how much time we have left, but please remember one thing: that the Terry you met loved no one else but you.
"Terry, I thank you for everything. Your letter helped me the way I felt about you. I knew how you felt, that is why I could let you know. It is fun to imagine how you may look nowadays. Albert told me you were still looking great. I am sure of it, because you are the man I loved. No matter how old you get, you will still look great. Thank you for loving me. Please be well," Candy said. "Farewell."
Candy folded Terry's letter precisely and went back to where everyone else gathered around. All of a sudden, she felt lighter. She felt like she was back to her young self. She felt like running.
"I must be getting old," thought Candy. She knew she had joint problems. She could not possible run like the old days, but she knew she felt happy. Ms. Reiní's funeral was still on and Annie was still crying her eyes out, but she was happy! Then she inhaled a soft scent of roses, which brought her memories of Anthony's Sweet Candy, Lakewood, Stair, Archie, and Anthony. "I miss you, Anthony."
Candy turned around in surprise. This voice she has not heard for decades. This voice she missed dearly. This voice she had been searching and hoping to hear one more time, but was not able to. "Anthony?"
"Hi, Candy. How are you?"
"This must be a dream. This cannot be true. You are not in this world anymore, but you feel so real. Is this one of those dreams again in which I lose you when I wake up? I would not like that if I had to lose you again," complained Candy.
"No, you will not lose me anymore. I am right here in front of you. Stair is also waiting for you. He wanted to come along as well, but I figured I would have the honor to greet you. Besides, I told Stair that I would tell Patty on him. He got pretty upset. Ha ha. Candy, let's stay together this time. I will not let you go again. I had been waiting for so long. I prayed for your happiness, but my jealousy does not allow it to happen with anyone else. You probably had no idea that it was me who arranged you and Terry to meet. I knew Terry would comfort your lonely heart and figured he would be the only one to bring back your smile which you lost after my death. I borrowed your scarf and let it land it land in front of him on the ship to London. Back then, I did not think you would actually forget about me, but you did and I was a bit disappointed, but hey. You were happy, I was happy.
"I did not know about the tragic accident. I was away for a bit and the accident occurred while I was absent. It would not have happened if I continued guarding you. Susanna would have been fine and you and Terry would not have been parted, but I was happy in a way. It hurts me to see you sad, but on the other hand, I was relieved that you were not with him any longer. I wanted to make Stair live, but it was not up to me. Because Patty had committed suicide, she went to hell, but Stair and I begged God and we were later joined by Ms. Pony. That must have helped a lot, because she just got transferred to heaven not to long ago. She found out about how Stair felt about you. She is upset with him and Stair is on his knees everyday. My mother would love to meet you. You started looking more like my mother as you grew up. It was very unfortunate that I was not there with you, but now that I have you, I will not let go of you, never! It was pretty bad that my uncle was your first love. The one I was jealous of was my own uncle! I could not believe it! Oh well. Let's make fun of him together when he joins us later."
"Anthony, can I feel you? Am I able to touch you?" Candy was in tears.
"Candy, you need not to cry. Of course, you can feel me. I am right here."
"Oh, Anthony. I can feel you now. You have no idea how much I missed you while you were gone! Even if I was in love with Terry, I never spent a day without thinking of you. You were my first love. You were the one who taught me how to love and feel. You are my savior," cried Candy.
"No matter how old you would get, I only care for you. You are the only one I love. I have lost my body, but my soul is still here, deeply in love with you, Candy."
"Ah, Anthony, I will never let you go!"
"Candy!" Archie came around, running. He was soon followed by Annie and everyone else at the scene.
Albert was aware of the last moment of Candy. He felt the same feeling when Rosemary took her last breathe on earth. "Anthony, are you ready to bring Candy with you? You could not have waited a bit longer. We need her bright smile here as well, but I guess we can only enjoy it in our memories now. Be well, Anthony. Take care, Candy."
"Candy, what is wrong? Why, you? Candy, wake up!" cried Annie. She was desperate. She had been given a lot, but she has not given much. "Candy!"
"Archie, I can feel Anthony. He is near." Candy was breathing hard.
"Anthony?" Archie felt chill on his spine. He knew it was time for Candy to go. He noticed it before when he came to drop of Stair's letter, but was in denial. He looked at Candy whom he cared for since they were young. He had been trying hard to be friends with Candy, lying about his true feelings for her. However, he did not lie anymore. He could come clean now. "Candy, did you meet Anthony? Both letters of Anthony and Terry may have been from heaven." He could not stop his tears. "I still have a letter from Anthony for you to read. I found it with Stair's letter, but it was unreadable. So I had to process it in order for you to read well, but perhaps you would not need to now. When you meet Anthony up there, he will let you know. You must be happy now that you are with Anthony. Have you met Stair yet? I will be right along. Remember all of us, Annie and Albert. We shall meet again. Until then, farewell, Candy, even in next life, I will love you, the life after that, and the life after that. You would be the only one that I will care for." Archie gave final kiss to Candy as Candy took her last breathe.
Everyone was in tears. They all knew that it hurt more than anything to let go of their loved ones. Everyone watched quietly as Archie lifted Candy's body. A letter dropped from Archie's pocket. Sarah picked it up and opened it.
"My Dearest Candice White Audley,
Tomorrow is the fox hunting! Candice White Audley is such a great name! It fits perfectly! I am so excited to live my life with you so near me that I am unable to sleep at night! You must think of me as an idiot, do you not? Take me to the Pony's Hill. Just the two of us will go without Stair or Archie. I would love to see the place where you grew up! It is the season when roses die away, but it is the season when I get to fall in love with you! I feel no longer lonely because I have you. When we grow up, let's live on Pony's hill. We will live a small house. I will plant roses around the house. We will spend our time together. I will be your wonderful husband. I will do my best to be your perfect man.
A day has passed and today is the fox hunting day. Not like last night, I feel weird. My heart races so fast and I cannot calm down. What is happening with me? I wanted to see you first thing this morning, but Stair and Archie came to my room first. I just hope nothing will happen to you. If anything happens to me, I will always be with you, so you can feel me around. Even if I die today, I will write to you everyday, so you can receive my thoughts and love on a daily base. In that way, you would not forget about me. For some reason I miss you already. I will see you in a moment, but I cannot wait to see you. I am surprised at myself how deeply I am in love with you.
Candy, please remember that I will always be with you no matter what.
I love you."