For the Best and the Worst
This is my very first fiction. It took me some time to even start to write it. May thanks to the support of CT Forum especially, Gentillefille, Nila, and my professor who accepted to read my lines to correct them, our incomparable Lady Gato.
This fic starts right after Albert recovered his memory and left without telling Candy about anything.
Candy had spent the day working at the Happy Clinic and was walking back home. The snow started to fall and it was very cold. It reminded her about another time when she was walking in the snow exactly like that but that was in New York. She was thinking about Terry. “Terry... How are you? Where are you? I saw all those horrible articles in the newspapers.” She was feeling miserable. Why did all the people she love have to leave her? There was Anthony, then Terry, Stear and now Mr. Albert, whom she loved like her brother. He had always been there for her in all the sad moments of her life---when she nearly killed herself in that boat on the river, after Anthony’s death, and when she came back from New York completely devastated. She had been looking for him everywhere in Chicago during last days. But he had disappeared, leaving her without even saying good-bye. She was feeling so lonely now. Luckily she still had her job at the Happy Clinic with Dr. Martin and her friend Annie and Archie were still there.
When she arrived at her apartment she saw a parcel on the ground. She took it, wondering whom it could be from. “Mr Albert. It is from Mr Albert..."
I send you in advance this present from Rockstone. This is a coat for next spring.
I am thinking of you.
“Rockstone, I will meet you there. I hope you will still be there…” thought Candy.
Next day was her day off and she took the train to Rockstone. It was a very small town so she thought it would be easy to find Mr. Albert. She started to show Albert’s picture in hotels and bars. She was walking in the street when she suddenly stopped. In front of her was a tent with a big sign that read: “Starring: Terrence, The ex-principal actor of Stratford Company.”
“Stratford Company, would it be possible that Terry…?
She saw two girls
getting out of the tent.
“Wait for me,” said the first one. “I am leaving too, what was that? He was completely drunk.”
“Yes,” answered the other one. “He couldn’t articulate one word and was staggering.”
“He is a bit of a waster now, that Terrence.”
“Yes I was so happy to see him, I was an idiot.”
“No it’s wrong, it’s not my Terry. He would never go on stage drunk,” Candy thought astonished.
She walked into the theatre and bought a ticket. It was very dirty. There were a lot of people in front of the stage and she could not see anything at first. There was an incredible noise, people were shouting, insulting the actors. It smelled of alcohol and tobacco. There were no lights, no scenery.
“No it is impossible, Terry would never perform in such a place… he was a rising star… whenever he was performing on stage in Chicago or in New York he radiated a light stronger than the one of the projectors.”
Suddenly, she heard Terry’s voice coming from the stage. She held her breath trying to see him. He appeared with a pale face, fixed eyes. He could hardly walk. He was obviously drunk. Candy was horrified at his sight. His hair was dirty; he was wearing a dirty theatre costume. The actress was horrible and vulgar; she had too much make-up on and was fat. Terry walked to her and nearly fell. The public shouted at him. He could not even speak and was missing all his cues. The actress was trying to help him but he finally fell on the ground. His head moving all different ways.
“Terry, you have lost so much weight…why Terry, this is not your habit to behave like that, to play in such a horrible place.” Candy was crying, her hands on her cheeks completely astonished by the vision of Terry.
“Are you as miserable as I? So this what our love has made of us... You loved me so much to end up this way… Maybe we took the wrong decision in New York!”
The man in front of her was shouting insults. Suddenly, she could not stand it anymore.
‘”Shut up!” she barked. “How can you listen to anything with the noise you are making.” The man stopped immediately impressed by the young girl’s tone.
“Shhhh," he told to his companions. "Do not make so much noise, we cannot hear anything.”
On the stage, Terry realised that there was no noise anymore. Why are they so quiet… he wondered? He looked at the public and among the alcohol effect, he suddenly saw her. Candy, I am so drunk that you are appearing to me now. She is crying! Why does she cry?? He sobered up immediately and started to play like if he was in Broadway. His true talent was shining forth on stage; he was the rising star, a Phoenix rising back from hell. The public was impressed and completely under his charm.
Candy stopped crying. Yes Terry, this is it, you are slowly finding your way back. Oh Terry, I love you so much, I miss you so much….
Candy left before the end of the play. She was sure everything would be all right for Terry now.
Terry looked up to the public again but the vision of Candy had disappeared. Was it a dream? The effect of alcohol? He wondered.
After the play when the last person had left Terry asked the manager if he had seen a young girl with blond curly hair.
“Yes I saw her, a beautiful girl although she was crying. She had nice freckles,” the guy said.
“Freckles, this was her, she was there,” thought Terry with an incredible feeling of hope, he ran out the theatre, looking every sides trying to see her. But she was gone. She must be somewhere, he thought, I will find you, my lovely freckles…
Candy was walking down the street when a woman approached her.
“Candy, you are Candy aren’t you?” she asked.
The woman was wearing big sunglasses and a hat on her hair.
“Do I know you?” asked Candy.
The woman took her hat and her sunglasses off.
“Eleanor, what are you doing here?”
“The same thing as you, dear child, making sure everything will be OK for my Terry. Can I offer you a coffee somewhere so we can speak a little bit.”
Candy was not sure if it was a good idea but finally said, “With pleasure.”
They were sitting in the restaurant of Eleanor’s hotel, the only hotel in Rockstone in fact, and were drinking some hot chocolate.
“Candy, you must wonder what I am doing here?” Eleanor started.
“Yes, what is going on with Terry?” Candy asked.
“Well, after you left New York, Terry started to drink. His performance on stage was getting worse and worse, his relations with the troupe, with me and with… Suzanne were deteriorating. I tried to help him but he said nobody could help him except one person that he had lost forever. It was you Candy. One day he even told me that he was dead inside. That he had ruined 3 lives and that he wished he was never born…” Eleanor said with a trembling voice.
“Oh no,” said Candy crying as well. “What have we done…”
“The day after, he resigned from the troupe and disappeared. Nobody knew where he was. I took a private detective and he found him here. So I came immediately. I have cancelled all my obligations to look after him. He does not know I am here. Tonight I saw his transformation and it is because of you Candy, He saw you... You are the medicine he needs to get out of this hell.”
“No he could not see me, the theatre was so dark and I was far from the stage,” said Candy.
“I did see you Candy, and now I found you so I know it was not a dream. What are you doing here? And you mum?” said a velvet voice behind them.
“Terry!!!!” The two women shouted at the same time.