Some years have passed since Candy found out that the real identity of Albert was Mr. William Albert Andley--that generous gentleman who gave her a lot of joy when he adopted her, and also a lot of sad moments, as everything in life. At the beginning it was hard to understand and to make the pieces fit together, since the very first time she met him as the "Prince of the Hill", then as Albert and then as the Patriarch of a big and respected American family.
Candy was still working as a Nurse. She improved a lot in her profession, learning new things and now she was in charge of a whole section of the City Hospital. As usual, her patients appreciated her a lot and every time that it was possible, they made jokes at her. "If Mary Jane could see me now", she used to say, but even her old teacher passed away a few years ago, she always thought about her. Thanks to that old woman ,she learned a lot of things, but the most important was the real spirit of a nurse.
Regarding heart matters, well… she and Albert had something going on, but she preferred to break up with him because she wanted to be honest. She said that Terry was still in her heart and she knew that it wasn’t fair for him (Albert) to be with a girl that had another person stuck in her mind and heart. It was pretty hard for Albert to deal with this. He always liked and loved Candy. He thought once that they both could lead this family together, but unfortunately, she had other plans. She said: "if I ever forget Terry, I promise that I’ll come back to you. I guess you know that you’re very important to me, but I have to be fair with both of us, please understand me." Albert promised her that he would be there for her every time that she may need him. Some days later, he had decided to travel, to spend more time with his animals and to try and forget (if possible) his love for Candy.
Some months later, her life wasn’t different. She had already received another letter from Albert, telling her how wonderful Africa was and that he missed her a lot. This would have been a day like any other, if she didn’t hear that somebody was waiting for her at the reception of the hospital. "Mmh, that’s weird, maybe somebody from Pony’s? Annie? No, I don’t think so, she’s very busy taking care of her kids with Archie, so… who could it be?" she thought while she walked to the reception. Once she got there, she saw a tall, and elegant woman wearing sunglasses and a hat.
"Good afternoon, I’ve heard you want to talk to me, is it right?" Candy asked politely.
"If you don’t mind, could we talk privately?" was the answer of the woman.
"Sure we can. Ellie, is the director’s office busy?"
"No, go and use it. The director will be back tomorrow," said the receptionist.
"Thank you. Please, this way," said Candy.
While they walked to the office, Candy was wondering who this mysterious woman could be. She reminded her of someone that she knew, but who? She couldn’t see her face, besides… what could be so important and secret that requested some privacy?
"Please take a sit. Would you like some coffee?" Candy offered her.
"Yes, thank you. You haven’t recognized me yet, have you? Or maybe you don’t remember me. It’s true, it’s been a long time since our last meeting," said the woman taking off her hat, the sunglasses and the scarf.
"But you are…" said Candy and was so surprised that she dropped the cup to the floor. "… you’re Eleanor Baker, Terry’s mother."
"I can see you still remember me, even now that I’m older than in those times in Scotland," she said, kidding.
Candy was smart enough to realize that something about Terry brought her to the hospital, and she couldn’t help but get nervous… fortunately she made the other coffee without another accident.
"Thank you," said Eleanor. "Are you busy? If you are, I can come back when you have some free time."
"No, it’s ok. Other nurses are taking care of my people… that’s the advantage of being in charge of a section of this hospital."
"You’re already the boss here? Congratulations, you’ve worked really hard for this," said the woman.
"Thank you, but you know? I don’t want to be rude or something like that, but your presence is making me nervous… did something happen to Terry?" Candy couldn’t wait.
"Yes, well… not to him exactly," said Eleanor putting the cup on the desk.
"Please tell me, I’m getting very nervous, please." Candy was beginning to have really bad feelings about this.
"I don’t know if I have the right to come here and get into your life. I don’t know if this is right or not, but I remember that Terry was deeply in love with you few years ago, and that’s why I thought immediately about you."
"But please, what happened?" She was getting very worried.
"Well, remember that some time ago Terry and Susana got married?"
"How to forget it?" Candy said sadly.
"It was something to regret, especially under the circumstances that it happened. Well, when the time passed, the anguish and depression of Susana continued, and got worst because she had a strong desire to walk again. She knew she had Terry’s support, but there was nothing he could do about it. He always helped her in everything. He carried her in her wheelchair to see the essays of the plays in the theater, but that made the depression grow and grow. She felt really bad every time she saw them performing characters and she was there in the wheelchair doing nothing. Besides, she wasn’t stupid. She realized that Terry appreciated a lot what she did for him, but he also had a strong feeling of hate inside his heart. He couldn’t forgive her for being the reason for his break-up with the most important person on his life, the one he has always loved and never forgotten… and I mean you when I say that."
When Eleanor said those words, Candy blushed and her heartbeats became faster just at the thought of Terry, but there was Susana in the middle.
"Well, some time passed and Terry played MacBeth in Broadway again. Susanna asked him not to take her to the theater because she felt tired and wanted to sleep. She wished him the best in his play. He thought it was weird in the beginning since she always liked to go with him to the premiers, but then he just forgot about it because he was very nervous. He left the apartment early and did his best performance, and the public rewarded him with a lot of compliments, applause, and great critics. When he arrived home he saw Susana on the bed with all the lights of her room on. He tried to wake her up so he could tell her how wonderful it was that night in the theater for him, but she didn’t move. He came closer and tried to move her, but she was cold… he saw some pills in her hand and well…"
"What?? Susanna committed suicide?" Candy couldn’t believe it.
"Yes, she left a letter for Terry where she explained the reason for her decision. She also thanked him for their marriage because those were the best times of her short life. Even she knew that his heart belonged to another person."
"How’s Terry?" Some tears appeared in Candy’s eyes.
"Not good, even though this happened some months ago, he constantly blames himself for that tragedy. You don’t know how difficult it was for me to find you. I always had you in my mind for this, but I’ve been very busy. And besides, I hardly had information about you, but anyway… Terry left his career. He’s always at his apartment. He never goes out and doesn’t talk to anybody. He spent some time in Scotland, but his attitude was the same. He just looked through his window and played an old harmonica.
"An old harmonica? Could it be the one I gave to him?" she thought to herself .
"Now he’s back in New York. I tried to visit and talk to him, but he didn’t open the door. so I wanted to ask your help."
"What can I do?" Candy said, drying her tears.
"Could you go and talk to him? I think you’re the only person that could help him. Please do it for what you felt for him once. I’m desperate. You don’t know how difficult is for me to deal with his pain," said Eleanor.
Somebody knocked in that moment.
"Candy, we got problems with the patience of the room 36-d. Could you come please?" said another nurse.
"I’m sorry Eleanor, got to go," said Candy.
"Look, you can find me in this hotel. Terry still lives in the same department in NY. He hasn’t moved on. Do you have the address?"
"Yes I got it."
"Are you going to help me?" asked Eleanor.
"Sure, I can’t let him be like this. Don’t worry, I will. Now if you excuse me. I’ve got to leave. Thanks for coming Eleanor and telling me this sad episode of his life. I promise I’ll do my best," she said, smiling at her.
"Take this. It is my card with my number if you need it. Please Candy help him," Eleanor begged her.
"Yes I will. Now I got to go. Bye Eleanor," Candy said leaving the room
"Now it’s in the hands of God," the actress thought, drying her eyes and putting her glasses and hat on again. "Candy’s the medicine that Terry needs."
That night Candy looked at Eleanor’s card over and over again. Gradually she started remembering all those moments she shared with Terry at the Academy, in Scotland, in Broadway… the first time she saw him. It seems that his destiny was doomed. He was always surrounded by bad luck and painful separations from the people he loved the most. The more she thought about him, the more heartbeats she could hear, beating as fast as it could… and whispered when she remembered his kiss, his lips. She wanted to help him, but how? She will have to find out during the trip. She took some clothes and dresses from her closet thinking how cold New York was in this time of the year. She will travel as soon as she could, but still had to talk to the Director of the Hospital. She looked at her clock and realized how late it was, so she went to bed and fell sleep thinking about Terry.
"Madam, may I talk to you for a minute?" Candy said very early in the morning to the director, a really nice woman that in charge of the hospital.
"Of course Candy, please come in."
"Thank you. I must say that I feel a little uncomfortable for the reason that has brought me here, but I need to talk to you about it."
"What is wrong, sweety?" said the director.
Candy told her the story, but not completely, only the most important parts. She reserved some "details" just for herself. The Director saw in her eyes how desperate Candy was about this subject so she made no objections when Candy asked her for special permission to leave the hospital for a few days. The director just said that they will miss her, but they will find somebody to replace her during that time. Candy was so thankful for this, that she hugged the old lady showing to show her gratitude. Wasting no time, she left the office, went to her apartment to get her suitcase and headed to the train station. It was a long trip from Chicago to New York. She would have a lot of time to think about what to do with Terry, and what she will tell Albert in the letter she will write to him.
When the train was running through the fields of Cleveland, she picked some paper and a pen and started writing that letter. She knew she would hurt Albert with this kind of news, but she had always being honest with him. She couldn’t hide anything from him, and this was no the exception.
The days went by very slowly. She was so anxious to arrive that maybe the trip wasn’t that long, although for her, it seemed endless. When she saw that the train station of New York was getting closer and closer, her heart started beating fast again in anticipation.
Once she got her suitcases back, she picked up a cab to the hotel where she will stay during her visit to that city. She could’ve chosen the most expensive and luxury hotel due to her position of being an Andley in the society, but she chose one that was closer to Terry’s department. She arrived there, had a quick shower and changed her clothes. She didn’t wanted to waste any more time. Terry need her urgently.
She came out of the hotel and started walking through Broadway Street, looking at all the posters and billboards on the theaters… remembering the time when Terry did Romeo and Juliet… remembering the separation. The winter’s snow made her feel more and more melancholic and blue… but she walked so fast that she surprised herself for arriving to that building so quickly.
Few minutes later, she was in front of the door of his apartment. She got more nervous than before, her hands were sweating, her legs were shaking and she felt she was about to pass out. Will Terry be the same or maybe he has changed during all this time? What will be his reaction when he sees her there? What was she going to tell him? She was forgetting all the lines she had in her head.
© 2000 Gia