For You and Only You
The pain was nearly killing him. It hurt to even just move. He felt dizzy, nauseous, and ready to die at any moment. He needed it. He needed the bitter and burning sensation it gave him when he swallowed it. That was what he needed and he will get it. Standing up from the bed, he went towards the cupboard and took out the bottle of liquor he had there. It was still full, it would last him for the night. Terry was pouring himself the damned drink when he saw his face in the mirror. There he was, at his worst. A beard had grown, giving him the look of a true alcoholic and with the glass of wine, he now looked more pathetic. His hair was a mess and his eyes were bloodshot. He was a true work of a nightmare. "Is this how you want her to see you?" he heard himself say to his own reflection. "You have been trying to detoxicate yourself these past few months. Are you going to give up now, when you are almost there? How would you make her feel if she saw you like this? What will Candy say? What would Candy feel?" Angrily, Terry threw the glass of liquor at the mirror, making a splash of alcohol around it. Since he dreamt of her that night at that excuse of a theater, he had tried to pull his life together. It had not been easy. Detoxicating himself proved to be one of the hardest things he ever did in life. He wanted to give up, but for her, he couldnít. With Candy in his mind, Terry clenched his fists together and let sleep take over. Tomorrow, he hoped, would be a brighter day.
The first rays of the morning came softly through his window. Slowly, Terry opened his eyelids. The light, despite its warmness and softness, was too harsh of his just awakened eyes. Grunting, Terry got up from his bed and looked around. He had not seen his room in the morning for a long time. He mostly woke in the middle of the night and not return until the wee hours of the morning. It was indeed a disgrace to see his apartment. Dirty clothes were all over the room. Dirty dishes were caked in the sink. The overflowed trashcan reeked. The place was such a dump that the only thing missing were the rats and insects, which surprised Terry. With determination, Terry made himself start cleaning up his apartment. The first thing he did was to take out the trash, which were mostly empty alcohol bottles and half-eaten food. After that, he took care of the dishes, dusted, and even mopped the floor and washed the windows. He gathered all his dirty clothes and put them in a bag. Later, he would take it down to the lady living in the first floor. She did other peopleís laundry as a form of income. He thought he had finished when he noticed his bed. It was reeking of alcohol and vomit and sweat. "You are some piece of work, Grandchester," he thought amused and disgusted with himself at the same time. Without further ado, he pulled all the sheets and pillowcases away and took them out to join his trash. From his closet, he took out fresh sheets and pillowcases that have been there since ages. When he finished with his bed, he felt a sense of satisfaction he had not felt for a long time. Lord, the damn thing just looked so fresh! However, he still felt that there was something missing out of the whole picture. He noticed his hands and saw the grime and dirt that was caked in them. His fingernails were long and just disgustingly dirty. "Grandchester, you are such a fucker!" Not wanting to feel like a bum anymore, Terry took a towel, fresh clothes, and then wen to the shower. The hot water felt delicious and soothing. He had definitely forgotten the pleasures a shower can give. Terry gave a sigh of relief. For some reason, he felt that he was washing away all the bad things and shame. He felt as if he was given a new piece of paper so he could start writing his own life once again. Terry took the soap and cleaned himself until the water running down his body went from a dirty black to a clear and clean color. When he finished, he made sure to shave his beard. He made a note to himself to buy a new razor when he saw that this one was already starting to rust. Fully clothed, he took a lot of himself in the mirror. The Terry Grandchester he once knew was back. The arrogance, the elegance, the rebellion, the handsomeness, everything that he once was came back. "For you and only you I would do such crazy things, Candy. And this time, I am back to claim the owner of my heart and never let her go."
The morning air felt great. God, he thought, Iíve been missing so much! Passing by the flower shop, he picked up some flowers, making sure that they were not roses. The last thing he wanted Susannah to think was that he was expressing his love to her through the flowers. Some time later, he arrived to Susannahís house. Taking a deep breath he knocked. Talking to Susannah, with her mother present, was not easy. All she kept doing was begging him to give her a chance and to love her just a little bit and the old hag just made matters worse with her intrusion.
"Susannah, please donít do this!" Terry said, his temper nearly flaring. "I donít love you. I will never love you. I know it is hard to swallow, but I donít fucking love you! I love Candy, yesterday, today, tomorrow, forever! Do you know what Iíve been doing all this time? Iíve been a drunk because I wanted to forget that I was not going to be with her anymore. Donít do this to both of us. Donít make me hate you. Donít let yourself lead a life of sorrow with a bitter and destroyed man!"
"Why you! You have not right! You have an obligation towards my daughter!" the old woman said sternly. How dare this bastard do such thing to his daughter? If it werenít for her, he would be dead!
"And that is all that he has towards me, an obligation," Susannah suddenly said. Tears were already welling in her eyes. "Why Terry? Why canít you love me?"
"I do not know! If I knew Iíll tell you, but I donít know. These are matters of the heart."
"No matter how much I ask you, you will never love meÖcanít you at least try?"
"Please, Susannah, donítÖ"
"Okay," Susannah said, cutting Terry off. "Go. Be happy."
"Daughter, you canít! What about your happiness?"
"What happiness mother? Have you seen me happy all this time Terry has been engaged to me? Go Terry. Go to Candy, tell her you love her, and be happy. Go before I beg you not to, please."
Terry, for the first time, looked at her tenderly and Susannah knew that she had made the right decision. Until the day she died, old and surrounded by her children and grandchildren, she never forgot that look. Nothing more was to be said, so he left, ready to go to Chicago and find the love of his life.
Candy knocked on the director of the hospitalís office and went in when the old woman asked her to. The director was seated on her comfortable chair looking over some papers. What were they, Candy couldnít tell.
"Is there something wrong, Director?" Candy asked as she took a seat.
"It depends on how you will take it. The director of a hospital in California, Mrs. Rosenberg, wrote me a letter asking me if I could send her some nurses to help. An epidemic of fever broke out in the little town and they are desperate for experienced nurses that can train some of the volunteers," the director explained, looking at Candy straight in the eyes.
"Iíve decided to select you. Will you be willing to take the job?" Candy thought for a long moment. She wanted to get away. Her friends, although she knew they cared deeply for her, were starting to annoy her. Since her break up with Terry, they had all been treating her like the most fragile of porcelain dolls. Every single word they said was carefully thought over and that was the last straw. No matter how much she tried to tell them that she was okay and that they should be their own selves, they just kept at it.
"Yes, Iíll take the job with one condition," Candy said. Her mind was made and unchangeable. "You just have to say it." "I want complete confidentiality. I do not want anyone, especially my friends, to know where I am. If you can promise me that, director, Iíll be your volunteer and the best one theyíve ever seen."
"Ms. Candice White Andrey, you just got yourself a deal." The very next day, Candy left to California and no one had information on her. On the road, Candy couldnít help to think about Terry like she did every single day. Hard as she may try to forget him and not think about him, all her work was in vain. Her mind would either go back to that day at Scotland when he kissed her at the lake, the May Ball Festival, or that night at the New York City hospital stairs. Dear lord, she though miserably, I miss him so much. I wish Susannah would let him come to me, but it is no use. He will never come back to me. I just wish he were not the drunk I saw at that ambulant theater. Lord, he has the talent to belong in the best of the best of Broadway. Please, help him. The rest of the voyage was quiet and sad, mirroring Candyís heart.
"What do you mean she is not here!" Terry yelled angrily at the nurse. "I came all the way from New York City, please let me see her!"
"What is all this commotion? This is a hospital, not a circus! What is going on?" the director demanded after she came rushing from her office when she heard Terryís loud voice.
"Iím looking for Ms. Candice White Andrey, can you tell me where she is?" Terry asked, almost pleading.
"I sorry young man, Candy made it clear to not tell anyone where she is. She will come back. Be patient," the director said to Terry, putting a hand on his shoulder. "She will come back."
Knowing that there was nothing to do, Terry wondered what he could do next. The only thing he could think of doing was rebuilding his career once again. For that he had to go to New York and he didnít want to go. He wanted Candy. "But being here in Chicago wonít help either," a voice inside his head told him. So Terry made up his mind and left for New York once again. This time, Terry was sure it was she. There could be no mistake. He saw her at the balcony, looking at him with proud and content eyes. This time was not a dream. It was not like last time. He was just sure of it. A rush of energy went to him as he saw her there and he made sure he was going to put out the best performance for her and only her. Slowly, he closed his eyes, this was the last scene of Hamlet and he was to die. When the play finished, the whole audience went to its feet. Applause filled the room. Terry looked back to where he saw Candy, but she was not there. Not caring what the papers might say in the morning, he jumped off the stage, determined to look for her. He went all around the theater and its surroundings but found nothing. There was no sign of Candy anywhere. "My lord, please donít torture me like this! I canít bear it!" Terry said to himself. His only consolation was that this time, there was pride in her eyes for him. The look of disappointment and sadness was gone, replaced by a look of pride and happiness. Terry couldnít accept that it was an apparition. It couldnít be. It seemed too real. Her gaze felt too real. Not knowing what else to do, Terry went back to the theater. Candy smiled to herself as she went to the hotel. She had not stayed to see the whole play, fearing that Terry might see her and run after her. She was so proud of him. The Terruce Grandchester she knew was back. He looked amazing in his costume and his portrayal of Hamlet was immaculate. He was not the drunk she saw that night anymore. Candy had spent the last two years volunteering in California. The work was hard, but she learned a lot. Even in a place so faraway as California, Candy received news of Terry. The papers had traced Terryís success and talent closely. Every single article spoke of his great talent and passion for theater. She had kept every single one of those articles and every time she saw a new one, her heart would be filled with pride and relief. Those two years however, she had not received news on Terryís personal life, but it was better. She was scared that there would be an article telling about Terryís happiness with Susannah and she knew her heart would break if she ever saw that. This night, right on New Years Eve, she had to go see him. The papers had announced a special show the day she got back and as soon as she knew, she rushed to New York after promising Annie and Archie and Ms. Pony that she will go to the Bellhauntís ball in Annie and Archieís place. Seeing him tonight was what she had envisioned him to be. She was not at all disappointed. His performance had surpassed her expectation. However, she had to leave before the finale. She couldnít risk him seeing her. Lord, please keep helping him, she said a silent prayer as the cab drove her to the hotel.
"I donít want to go," Terry said as he dressed himself. He just wanted to go home and the last thing he wanted was to go to a New Years ball.
"Terry, you got to go! You are the star and you have to go. Terry, donít fight me this one time," the director pleaded.
"Fine, but I donít have a costume," Terry said, giving out a sigh of defeat.
"Just get one from the dressing room. Donít forget a mask, after all, it is a masquerade party."
The party was a drag to Terry. He had, as the director had requested, said his greeting to Mrs. Bellhaunt, the patroness of their theater troupee. After that, he felt like leaving, but the director wouldnít allow it, telling him that he had to stay until the end as a sign of respect. Bored and with nothing better to do, Terry went to the balcony. He did not have to worry about the ladies because of his mask. It was only after a sign of relief that he noticed he had company. The lady was dressed in a pale green velvet gown. An exotic mask covered her face, and her golden curls fell to her waist.
"Hello," she said with a little smile.
"Trying to escape the people?"
"No," Terry replied a bit dryly.
"So, what brings you to this party? I was made to come by my friends, but I'd rather be at home with my family."
"I was made to come too," Terry replied. He liked the lady for she was not the dimwits he nearly always encountered at events like this.
"Why donít you go to your family then?" A little laugh escaped her lips and Terry thought that it sounded wonderful. It was a real laugh, not those that girls faked to make themselves more desirable.
"My family knows my friends too and they both made me come."
Terry was about to reply when the grandfather clock of the Bellhaunt Mansion struck twelve.
"Well, guess the New Year is here," Terry said. "Shall we take off our masks so you can see how ugly I am?"
"Sure! This way you can see how ugly I am too," she said with a laugh and took of her mask at the same time Terry did. Time in the balcony stood still. There were Terry and Candy in front of each other and there was nowhere to escape to. They looked at each otherís eyes, neither of them wanting to look away. Deep green eyes met wild blue ones. The silence seemed endless, yet precious.
"Itís New Years," Terry said after deciding to break the ice, "and they say that you have to kiss the person in front of you for good luck. But if you have the person you love in front of you and you kiss her, you will forever be together."
Before Candy could react, Terry took her in his arms and kissed her. They could catch up later; now, he just wanted to feel those sweet lips that had haunted him these past years. Not surprised, he found out that they were still as sweet if not sweeter.
Author's Note: All right Terry lovers, as promised here is the fic reuniting Candy and Terry. I had to set it up after the series to make it feel right. I canít seem to be able to change the events in the storyÖGuess that is the wrench that I have as a writer. Well, I hope you guys like it. By the way, this is mainly dedicated to Nilsy for all her hard work and since she told me she loves Terry. All comments are welcomed. One last thing, Iím sorry for writing Boston instead of Chicago in my fic about Candy and AlbertÖI have no idea why I kept writing Boston instead of Chicago. Sorry, next time Iíll be more careful. I also discovered that I put "His" instead of "Her", sorry for that too. Well, until next time.