My dear Terry,
I've well received your letter, old man. I can understand your relief to be finally free, only your loved one isn't. But you have known for years that she wasn't free, no? I have seen you living with your wife, as a good friend, without any passion. You were only your own shadow. Candy was really the one you needed, she was full of life. I can admit it now that you are far, because I know that I don't risk receiving your fist in my face; when Candy came back from England with Captain Niven, Sandra's father, and with your little friend Cookie, I had a crush on her. She was so alive, so lively and she didn't let others decide for her. But I saw the way her eyes sparkled when she realised that I knew you, and I knew right then that I didn't have any chance with her. And then in Chicago, when I usurped your identity, she took care of me when she saw that I wasn't you. And I fear I may have caused her difficulties... I understand why you love her so much.
A love so strong cannot be in vain. What if you try to see her? Maybe her marriage is unhappy? Maybe she is waiting for you? You never know, Terry, you can't draw a line like that on the love of your life without even having try... Yes she is married to your best friend... I am telling you, go to see her and let her tell you that there is no chance for you both... You are a gentleman and you're going to respect another man's wife, I am not telling you to go have an affair with her. I am asking you to go and see her to make sure that everything is really dead for you both. Think about it as soon as your mourning period is over. You have done your duty. You didn't love your wife, but you took care of her. The friendship that you offered her made her happy. She paid her love for you dearly... But she had you for the rest of her days and they were happy, despite her sickness. It's time for you to be happy, Terry. Before you engage in a new relationship, come back to America and go and see Candy... It's the last step, then you will know if you have to win her over or if you have to force yourself to forgive her for good.
Have fun with your dad in England.
My dear Charlie,
If you were in front of me, I would have given you a great punch on your crooked nose !!! You looked at my Candy ??!! Truly, I should be flattered. It's true that she is a girl unlike any other, she makes the best come out of me. She saw right through me when we were at school and I played the tough guy... I lost all my means when I was in her presence! From the moment that I saw her on the bridge of that boat, my heart was hers, even if I made fun of her and her freckles on her cute little nose... and I didn't even know I was going to see her again someday, but she occupied my thoughts night and day... To see her again at school, at church while I was disturbing, she had put on the wrong uniform. She was in white instead of being in black like the others. Don't ask me why we had to wear black to go to the Lord's house... I learned later that it was a trick played by her redheaded cousin with English curls who used one of her friends. But to see her in her white dress, she resembled an angel in the midst of all those sinners in black! You can't imagine my joy when I saw her in College. She occupied my thoughts since the boat encounter and now she was going to be in the same boarding school as I!!! I felt like jumping for joy! But of course I had to play the tough guy and I couldn't show it... Our relationship was very particular, during school we had outings, separately I must say, we spent that summer together in Scotland, I kissed her and she slapped me almost treating me of being a delinquant!!! A well-brought up young girl doesn't let the first guy kiss her, but it was me... and I assumed she was ready! In my anger and stupefaction, I slapped her back and she did too. Talk about killing the romance!!!! But I loved everything she did... I wasn't mad at her for slapping me on the contrary, I was happy because I was the first to have kissed her... She had never kissed her dear Anthony ! Starting from that moment, I ceased being jealous of a poor bloke who was not of this world anymore, who didn't even live what he dreamed of living with her. Having lived Susanna's death, I understand better the sadness that surrounds the atmosphere when a person dies and especially if it is a loved one. So I better understand what she felt for him and I regret my sick jealousy that was juvenile.
You tell me to go and see her to get to the bottom of our relationship? She is married to my best friend, he is a good man and I am sure that he will make her happy. For the moment I am mourning and I spend some time with my father with whom, I must admit, I have a better relationship. He apologized for refusing to come to Candy's aid when I asked him to. Especially when he told me that she had followed him, hanging on his buggy to beg him not to stop his donations to the college which would have to close without them and he also told me that Candy showed him the note I had left her... he said that she convinced him to let me pursue my dream. I have always asked myself why my father hadn't come to get me and I had concluded that he didn't care for me at all, but no, it was thanks to Candy ! In Scotland she convinced me to reconcile with my mother, a real little snoop always putting her nose where she shouldn't! But thanks to her, I have a better relationship with both my parents. You know what? The more I think about her the more I feel like going to kidnap her… But I can't do that to my best friend…
But I promise you that once my mourning period is over, I will consider your suggestion. I don't know in what frame of mind I will find myself, we will see. Only the future will tell us.
I remember having read in the papers, that you had usurped my identity. And I was happy to be able to serve as an alibi for you for some time. I sent a check to Candy to pay for the hospital bills that were occasioned by your presence and I even told Candy to buy you a strawberry soda that you liked so much. So if Candy had problems, I solved them.
With all that, I didn't even ask you how you were, if you had found someone to make your life with. Your business is thriving! I wish you all the luck in the world and I will send clients whenever the opportunity arises.
Thank you for being always my friend, mate. You protected me as a child and I always considered you as the big brother that I never had. Thank you Charlie for your friendship and for your advice.
My dear mum,
How are you? I hope that you are well. I wanted to tell you that I have arrived in England and that father was most glad to see me. Our relationship is better and we have talked a lot and I have thus learned the reason why he never came after me, it was because of Candy. He said that she convinced him to let me live my dream. Do you realise? Candy is the reason why I could live in New York in peace and pursue my dream. I know that I loved this girl for a reason, but each time that I discover things like that, I love her even more. I would have liked really much to go and see her after my mourning period to ask her to give us another chance. Unfortunately, that dream is an utopia, because she is married to Albert, my best friend. I don't have any chance. I did my duty, mother, I left Candy a second time to care for Susanna. I remained faithful to a woman that I didn't love, because that is what Candy wanted, that I take care of Susanna. The fact that she was bedridden while we were together secretly made Candy feel so guilty... Sometimes I would have wanted her to be more selfish and that she thinks only of her. But she wouldn't be the woman that I love overall with all her faults and her qualities. We have tried to force destiny, and we came out of it more burnt than before. She is happily married with Albert, I suppose. Charlie is advising me to go and see her to make sure of this. To hear of her own words that we have no chance. What do you think of this? I thought of staying here to live my life in England so that I wouldn't be in the same country as Candy. I will miss you a lot, mom, but you can come and see me as much as you wish. You can even move here if you want. I am sure that England will have work for the great Eleanor Baker. Do you think that I should go and have my heart broken seeing Candy happy with her husband and tell me that we have no chance? I may have nothing to lose, only my heart once again. I am a shakespearian, I should be able to get over a heartbreak, no?
I am going. I will go and have tea with dad. We are going to a reception tonight. He seemed determined to wed me to a rich lady. But I am using my mourning to snub all these ladies for the time.
Do you have a new play to act? I hope the role will please you. I would like to play with you on stage one day, mom. What do you think? We should talk about this to Robert. He will surely find a play in which we could be mother and son. It will also be a pretext for me to come back to America. We never know.
My dear Terry,
I am happy that all is going well for you in England. And I am glad that you are considering going to see Candy at least before thinking seriously about starting your life over. Meanwhile, I guess that you will also play at the theater in England, or maybe you will prefer to rest until your mourning time is over? About this, what does a mourning time mean exactly? Is it some sort of ritual? A rule? An obligation? Are you always dressed in black? Forgive the ignorant that I am, but I find it a bit strange to see you wearing black for a woman that you didn't love. Well, maybe only for the fact that she saved your life... After all, I find it honorable to see you married to her and I also find it honorable for you to respect the mourning period for her.
About what concerns my business, it's going really well and thank you for your faith in me. For my love life, I have talked to you about Captain Niven's daughter, all those years ago and their protégé Cookie. The Captain is now retired. I met Sandra his daughter who was part of my gang at that time. She has become a good girl. She teaches in a kindergarden school close to the port, most of her students are children of seamen gone to sea. I don't know if it's the time, but I started seeing her with other eyes. I remember at the time we were young, when I had looked at Candy, she had made me lose my head for a while. Now she has just confessed that it was because she was jealous of Candy and the attraction I had for her. I started to woo her. I am not a thug, I am an honest business man, so the Captain didn't see any inconvenience as to me being with his daughter now. Cookie has grown, he is acting like a protecting brother with Sandra and he threatened me. I have interest not to make his sister suffer! So here it is, I am marrying Sandra Niven, I hope that you will be back in time to be my best man at the wedding. Another reason for you to come back to America.
So you paid my bill at the Chicago Hospital? Thanks, old mate. Especially that I am embarrassed. Candy and I have left each other on a misunderstanding. The police came to get me and I thought that Candy had denounced me. But now I know that she would never have done something like that, it was surely that unbearable redhead. If I see Candy again someday, I will offer her my apologies... I am very happy not to be leading that sorry life anymore. It really was going nowhere.
So my dear, I hope to see you very soon. I don't know how long your mourning period will last, but I hope to see you here quite soon and that you won't have the bad idea of settling in England... And don't forget to come and see Candy first.
My dear baby,
I know that you don't like it when I call you that. But for me, you will always be my baby. I am writing to give you a bit of my news. I miss you a lot since you've been gone to England to see your father. I am happy to learn that your relationship has gotten better and it's thanks to Candy! May God bless that child! She would have been the perfect daughter-in-law! I know that you have been unhappy for not having been with her all these years. Thankfully you were friends with Susanna, it has kept you from becoming taciturn and grouchy all the time. Charlie tells you to go and see Candy to make sure you have no chances left? What are you waiting for? Are you afraid to have your heart broken? You are not a little boy, Terry, you already know that life is not always kind. I agree with Charlie, you should go see Candy...
I will tell you what happened to me the other night after my performance. I received some really beautiful white roses with green hues. Amidst all the flowers that I received, they were the prettiest. A card accompanied the bouquet which said : « What if we have dinner tonight? » It was signed William Albert Ardley. Yes, Candy's husband. I was intrigued, why would Candy's husband want to have dinner with me? I thought that he might be one of my fans and he came to see me along with his wife. But he was alone when I came out of my dressing room. I accepted his invitation for dinner. And he told me of his numerous trips around the world. But he didn't talk about Candy. I realised that he was flirting with me and I was offended. How could he do that to such a sweet child? So, you know me I don't mince my words. It was then that he asked me for news about you. I told him that you were in England to spend some time with your father during your mourning period. He asked me if you were coming back, and I said I wasn't sure, depending on what you would find there... He seemed surprised and he told me that Candy and him had separated amicably some years ago. I couldn't believe my ears. Candy has been free since for years Terry and you're in England with your father. I hope that you will come back to try and speak with her. That's why I agree with your friend Charlie, go and see Candy. Go see if you can save something from your relationship. The one who kept you from being together is not there anymore. You are finally free!!!
I have also gone to see Robert Hathaway to talk of your idea, to have us both on stage together as mother and son. I really like that idea. He will think about it and find a perfect play for us both. I was thinking about « Hamlet »… You have already played «the prince of Danemark» some years ago, but to do it again with me would be interesting, don't you think so? I could play Gertrude, his mother. And it would give you some work while you try to conquer Candy over again. Has she sent you a letter of condolences? What if you answer her to restart your relationship? I know, you are wondering if she is still free, but I think that Albert would have told me, if she wasn't. He told me the news so that I could tell you. He loves Candy deeply and he wants her to be happy. I want you to be happy too. Let your mourning period pass my dear, then contact Candy if you still love her and I know that you love her more than anything else.
I miss you a lot and I'm thinking about you,
My dear Patty,
It was a real pleasure to see you over the Christmas Holidays, but it was sad that you couldn't stay until the New Year's party. The picture of the three of us with short hair is very pretty. I am sending you a copy.
This year as you know, I have accompanied Annie and Archie to New York. We had a lot of fun in many different celebrations. In one of these receptions, we met Eleonor Baker, Terry's mother. She was so kind and so happy to see me! I learned by her the reason of Terry's silence. He's not in America, but in England with his father during his mourning period. The other reason is evidently the fact that he's still mourning the loss of his wife. So all I have to do is wait until he comes back to America and contacts me. Eleonor promised me to keep me updated on the situation. She will let me know when Terry is back in America. Because if he doesn't contact me, I will go and see him to speak to him about Anthony-William. I don't know how he will react to that. He will surely be very mad at me, but I think that he will finally understand why I had to keep silent. I don't want to say anything to Anthony-William so he doesn't get too excited.
And you, how are you? Have you chosen a wedding date? I will want to go to Florida for the occasion. I did go there years ago just before going to New York for the Premiere of «Romeo and Juliet» where I met Karen Kleis, who spent her time storming against Susanna and Terry who had obtained the first roles. She had even told me that all the actors who played «Romeo and Juliet» ended up married in real life. That Robert Hathaway had married the actress who had played the «Juliet» to his «Romeo»… She had no idea how much this conversation was hard for me... Then she left hurriedly in the middle of the night... it was when the accident had happened and Robert Hathaway had made her come back in emergency to play the role of Juliet but at that time, I didn't know about the accident. I remember when I arrived in New York, I saw the «Romeo and Juliet» poster in Terry's room, you know like the one you brought back from Pittsburgh? But instead of being Susanna Marlowe, it said «Karen Kleis». I remember telling Terry that I was a bit surprised but happy that it was Karen and not Susanna Marlowe, beacause I was a bit jealous. I recall Terry had remained silent. « Be careful what you wish for ». He must have found me cold-hearted, but I didn't know that she was in the hospital after having lost her leg. And Karen's prophecy happened... Terry did marry Susanna Marlowe, the actress with whom he repeated Juliet until the terrible accident…
So, now I only have to wait until Terry's mourning period has passed... And please hurry to pick a date for your wedding and letting us know!
Take good care of yourself,
My dear mum,
It's always a pleasure to receive news from you. I'm well and dad is too. I hope that you are also well. What you have told me is the most stupefying news that I've heard... Candy and Albert have not been married for many years? Of course nobody was aware of it. They kept it secret this time, not putting this news in the papers like they did for their wedding. I have the feeling that the news of their wedding had been expressly put in the papers to oblige me to stay with Susanna and that the news of their separation was kept secret to keep me from leaving Susanna. I recognize there my dear Candy. I don't know if I must rejoice because she is free or be mad because she hid it from me. She absolutely wanted to make sure that I would do my duty this time. She felt guilty of being with me when Susanna was bedridden. I still don't understand how she can put someone else's happiness before our own. But that's part of the qualities that make me love her so much. She thought about Susanna, during our first breakup and during our second one too. Must I begrudge her to make it so that I would be sure to do my duty? I am now free to go and find her and be with her without any guilt. I may not have been happy, but Susanna is very happy. Maybe that when I was a teenager, I didn't care much about this fact. Susanna saved my life and my gentleman's education has made me stay with her by duty, because she saved my life and lost her leg and finally her life after many years. But now that I am a man, I understand better what I have done and the fact that Susanna was happy, despite her ailing health... I am relieved and I can now go and see Candy, after my mourning period, to ask her to give us another chance. We still have the rest of our lives before us... We are not yet 30 years old... Thank you very much mum, for the information that you have given me. I have time to digest all of this during my mourning period... then we will see where destiny leads us.
There is one thing that you didn't tell me in your letter, about Albert. Are you two together now? Don't you find it a bit strange that he was Candy's husband? Well, you are a big girl. As long as Albert is not with Candy, I am alright with that. If he makes you happy, that is all that matters.
About « Hamlet : prince of Denmark », it would make me very happy to get up on stage to play it with you in the role of Gertrude. It would be a dream come true for me to play on stage with the great Eleonor Baker, the one who gave me birth and her talent. You can tell Robert that I agree for « Hamlet » and for any other project that he has in mind.
I could get some secondary roles in the London theaters, now I was given the role of « Richard III ». He's a very sly character and very amusing to play. It's one of the things that I like with playing comedy, one can be whatever one wants on stage. I still remember when I told Candy about that. I was so carried away that I took her in my arms, but Miss Prude pushed me away... You know that she slapped me when I dared to kiss her? I know it wasn't very gentlemanly on my part. We should only kiss our wife and after the wedding, but it was irresistible. I had to kiss her... and I was her first. I would have liked to have her with me on stage, I had to imagine her face whenever I had to kiss an actress on stage... I am eager for my mourning period to be over so that I can run and join her and I will never let anything else separate us.
Thank you again for this wonderful news. I love you mum.
My dear Candy,
I'm taking a little break during my honeymoon in Hawaii to write you a short note. I would like to thank you for coming with your son to Florida for my wedding. I know that you had already been to Florida and that you had liked it. The climate is very different from Chicago, the windy city.
Jack is marvelous. We are on the same wavelength and we understand each other perfectly. Now that I am tasting happiness again, even though the one with Alistair was platonic, I am very eager that Terry comes back so that you can get together again. I know that you are afraid… «And what if he doesn't want to forgive me for having hidden Anthony-William's existence?». I am sure that he will be shocked and angry at first, but then, he will calm himself and see that you only thought about his duty. You have to clear things with him and continue on with your life, if he doesn't want to forgive you. Life is really too short... I would never have thought of being a «widow before my age» as you were with Anthony. I know, it's a funny expression, isn't it? Jack used that expression. It's cute, isn't it? You did tell me that you thought you had seen Anthony the first time that you saw Terry, no? I am persuaded that it is Anthony who guided you to him. So then you have to do all you can to reconcile with Terry, I know that you still love him and Anthony-William needs his father in his life. I trust you Candy, I know that this time, you will make the right decision for you and your family.
Apart from that, I am eager to be expecting my first child! It is wonderful the pleasure of the flesh! I understand better those who cheat ! What more tempting than a forbidden fruit? You succombed before the wedding and I admit that I would have liked to be as audacious with Alistair, I didn't even get a kiss from him !!! Terry should maybe have given some lessons to him and Archibald, because Annie kept complaining like me! You are the only one who had a normal guy who dared kiss you, even if you did slap each other mutually. I envy you !!! I envy your love ! It's worth it to save it, my dear. Fight for your love this time, whatever anger Terry feels when he learns for William-Anthony. Don't give up, don't get discouraged. You know Terry better than anyone, he is yours. Susanna stole him from you for some years, now that she is gone, go and take your «husband» back and live happily with your son and hurry to have a little sister or little brother for William-Anthony.
As fo me, I'm going back to my marital pleasures! You and Annie had never really told me how things went! Little naughty girls! Fine, now I am blushing, I'll stop !!!
Lots of big kisses, my pretty and to William-Anthony too. And Jack says hello also to you both.
The new satiated bride,
Dear Mister Grandchester,
I'm a little boy and my name is Anthony-William Andrew. I am 9 and a half years old, almost 10. My mother offered me a diary when she noticed that I liked to write a lot. I would like to do theater work like you one day and write my own plays... At school, I had an idea for a play and the teacher told me that I was very talented. You too have a lot of talent, I'm your biggest fan... I like you a lot and my friend Alistair brings me newspaper clippings that talks about you.
I live with my mom at the Pony Home an orphanage. I don't have a dad. My mom told me that another woman needed him, that's why he's not here with us. I know that happens sometimes. There are children at the orphanage that stay with us, then their dad or their mom come to get them. Sometimes it's only the mom who comes back, sometimes it's only the dad. So when my mom told me that my dad wasn't with us because he had to take care of someone else, I thought that he must be someone very generous to put someone else before his own family. It's at this point that my mom told me that he didn't know about me, and I understood that if he had known of my existence, he would have come to live with us. I saw that mom became sad whenever I asked all these questions so I stopped. I started asking Uncle Archie, my friend Alistair's dad and he told me the same thing. He even said that he used to fight for fun with my dad. I really liked hearing his stories that gave me the wish to see him. But I kept it all for me, I wrote everything in my diary.
But I'm writing you this letter because I overheard a conversation between Aunt Annie and Uncle Archie... They were talking and saying that you were my DAD! I was flabbergasted! I was so upset that I started to cry. I went to hide in the treehouse in the backyard of the manor, to cry. My mom had never said your name... and as she was always sad, I didn't want to talk about you with her... You are my favorite actor and now I learn that you are also my father! It's wondrous! I know that you're not aware of this, and that it must also come as a shock to you.
I don't know your address, so I am sending the letter to the Stratford Company in Broadway, as it's where you work. Mom doesn't know that I have written you a letter. I hope that she won't be too mad at me, to have kept it hidden from her. But she is always so sad when she talks about you. I didn't want to hurt her, that's all.
I can't wait to receive your answer. And I'm eager to see you… Daddy.
Your unknown son,
My dear Candy,
How are you? I hope that you're fine. I don't know where to write to you, so I am trying Pony House, because even if you don't live there, I am sure that your two mothers will keep this letter for you.
My mourning period has reached an end and I am back in America. I was gone to England to pay a visit to my father and spend some time with him. Our relationship was much better, to my great surprise, maybe I have grown up and mellowed with age? Or maybe a certain lady with freckles knew how to convince my father to let me follow my dream? You never told me that! I recognise you there. You are not the kind to boast about your good actions. I've always wondered why my father had never come to get me in New York. I thought that he didn't care about me at all or about what happened to me, but no, it was thanks to you! My lady Freckles!!! You're really incredible. You reconciled me with my mother and made my relationship with my father better! If I hadn't been persuaded already that you were made for me, now I would know.
You have never answered my last letters, those that I sent after our second breakup. You were decided not to contact me and the picture of your wedding with Albert completely finished me. But I couldn't hate you, because I love you more than my own life. So I did what you wanted me to do, I married Susanna and I took care of her until her last breath. I did my duty, Candy, and I admit that I feel relieved and free to try to start over with you. I have also learned from a faithful source, that you are not with Albert, and for some years already. I would also like to thank you for your kind letter of condolences and I am sorry for the general answer, I didn't know at the time that you were separated from your husband. Otherwise, I would have written you a personal word and I would have asked you to wait for my mourning period to be over so that we could start our correspondence again. So I'm daring to write you this letter. You told me in your breaking up letter that you still loved me. Is it still the case? Because I love you still, nothing has changed for me, Candy.