The Twists of Fate

By Mary Jonch

Chapter 1
The Escape

  • I must end my visit now; I'll come back to see you tomorrow. Rest well.
  • Yes, Aunt. I'm looking forward to your next visit already.
  • Aunt Elroy got out of the room and closed the door behind her.

  • Edgar ! Be very careful and make sure that he never gets far from the house. If anything ever happens to him, I'll never forgive you !
  • You can count on me, madam.
  • Good. Tell the chauffeur that I'll be ready to leave in a while.
  • Yes, madam.
  • The stairs creaked under the butler's steps.

    For the last six years, Aunt Elroy had visited regularly the old Andrew mansion to check on "his" wellbeing and "his" safety. She loved him so! Why did he have to fall in love with that little shameless girl ? Because of her, she had nearly lost him, the person she cherished the most. Oh, all those hurtful words he had unintentionally said, when she was still among them ! If Aunt Elroy ever hated anyone above all things, it was certainly her.

    Fortunately, he had fallen off his horse. That fall which, for the rest of the world, had killed her nephew. But it had been all a masquerade, thanks to which she had been able to remain as the only object of his affections. With the complicity of the family doctor, whom she had rewarded handsomely on that occasion, Aunt Elroy had managed to convince the other members of the Andrew family that Anthony had died in the accident. For her strategem to be carried off successfully, it had been essential that nobody learnt of his recovery. Otherwise, the secret would have been betrayed one day or other. She was certain of that.

    Anthony's reaction had been quite unexpected. Not that she wasn't prepared for any eventuality, but never, ever, had the idea of memory loss crossed her mind. Indeed, that had greatly simplified things; she had even thought she would have to kidnap him against his will (that would surely have broken his heart, but if there hadn't been any other choice...). Her nephew's memory loss had been for her the means to make him forget his past, his mother and above all... Candy.

    Now, after six years, he belonged only to her. Her alone. Nobody could have got between them. Nobody ! And that must continue that way, even if it was at the expense of Anthony's freedom.

    *****

    With his hair flowing in the wind, Anthony observed his aunt from his window. His aunt, who had raised him since he was a little child. She had always looked after him. Even during the terrible illness that had befallen him at the age of fifteen, which he didn't quite remember. When he woke up, the first person his eyes saw was his aunt. Admittedly, he didn't remember her either, but the doctor had said it was completely normal, that it was in fact temporary amnesia due to his illness. In a few days he would remember everything. And it was true... well, almost. He didn't want to tell his aunt, so as not to hurt her, but although she looked familiar, it wasn't her face that appeared to him in his dreams, every night. No, it wasn't hers, but that of a beautiful girl with golden blond hair and eyes of such an intense green that one would never grow tired of looking at her. This girl seemed so real sometimes. But who could she be ? Was she simply born of his imagination, or had he actually known her ? This remained a mystery, which he had promised himself, deep inside, to find the key to. His aunt wouldn't have understood if he had told her. This was the reason why he had decided to keep all this to himself.

    Someone knocked on the door.

  • Come in !
  • Your breakfast, master.
  • Oh no, don't bother Christie, I'm going downstairs to have it. I have had more than enough of being locked up all day in this room.
  • Yes, master.
  • The door closed, leaving Anthony again alone with his thoughts. If he had one thing to reproach his aunt, it was having him for so long isolated from the world. And yet, he didn't know why but he had always obeyed. He had never risked going beyond the mansion's boundaries. Fear of the unknown, no doubt.

    *****

    A week later...

  • Master, your dinner is ready. It awaits you on the dining room table as you asked.
  • Thank you very much, Christie. I'm sure it's delicious. Marthe cooks so well that it's always a pleasure for me to sit down at a meal (or to have a meal tray brought to my room most of the time, he said to himself).
  • After the dinner was over, Anthony went back upstairs to his room. This time he had to act. The longing that had been gnawing him for months was today strongest. He couldn't remain eternally shut away inside these walls. It was necessary that he went out, that he realised by himself what the outer world really was.

    The argument he had had the day before with his aunt was not unrelated to his decision.

  • No, it's out of the question that you go out of this mansion. Do you understand ? I forbid it !
  • But aunt... you must understand, I cannot stay forever by your side. I must live my life, either you like it or not.
  • Do you know what awaits you outside these walls ? No, you don't know. The world is dangerous, and I don't want you to confront it. The best thing you can do for the time being is staying here, believe me.
  • Aunt, I have sometimes the unpleasant impression that you are hiding something from me. Why don't you want to leave me manage ny own life as I understand ? If it is losing me what you are afraid of, don't worry, I will return to visit you whenever I can. You have done so much for me ! You know very well that I consider you a bit like my mother.
  • The answer is no, Anthony. And don't try to appease me with your honeyed words. That won't work.
  • Anthony started losing his patience.

  • Well, I wonder why I have asked you for permission ! I'm 21 years old, and, I believe, fully able to make my own decisions. Therefore, I'm announcing you, I'm leaving tomorrow.
  • No, Anthony. You won't do that, because I won't let you.
  • And how will you do that ? Will you lock me in my room as if I was 10 years old ? Come on, aunt, be reasonable!
  • If it is necessary, yes, I will do it. And I will give orders to all the service to prevent you from going out of the mansion.
  • As you wish, aunt, but believe me, nothing you can do will prevent me from quitting this prison in which you have me confined - because I think that is the word - after all these years. So good bye, aunt. I ask you to willingly leave me alone, said Anthony in an icy voice.
  • Despite the sincere affection he felt towards his aunt, Anthony was from then on certain of one thing: he MUST escape. The words they had just exchanged had confirmed his doubts. Aunt Elroy had gone too far, and it was a case of making her understand that he was the only master of his own existence.

    *****

    Six years had passed since Anthony's death. For all those who had loved him, the damage had been deep, but the wound had finally closed. Anthony was now no more than a sweet memory, someone whom everybody loved to remember, warming their hearts in lonely times. Everybody was happy to have known him, to have loved him, and to have known how to share with him, while it was still time, some magic and unforgettable moments.

    Of all who had offered him their friendship or their love, Candy must certainly be, along with Archibald, the one who had suffered the most because of his decease. But those days were now gone by. Her meeting with Terry, and the precious moments they had spent together, have allowed her to cross out slowly, little by little, a painful past, and to forget. To forget that she had once loved this boy with all her heart and all her being. To forget his tender smile and his big blue eyes. To forget his warm and comforting words. To forget, yes... or at least to try and do it, but without success. Oh ! Surely Candy still loves Terry madly, but her relationship with Anthony was... different. It was her first love, and one never forgets the first love, whatever happens. But above all, Anthony was the first person who had known how to give her affection when she had arrived at the Legans' house. Just as she had felt alone and abandoned by everyone, a face appeared, like in a dream. A smiling, soothing face, that was able to make her regain courage. This face would never be erased from her memory, even if she wanted.

  • Candy, darling, what are you thinking ? It's been a while since you touched your plate. I hope nothing troubles you, worried Sister Mary.
  • No, no, don't worry, sister. Everything's fine. But...
  • But ? asked Miss Pony.
  • But... I was wondering what would my life have been like if Anthony were still alive.
  • Miss Pony and Sister Mary looked at each other. She still hadn't forgotten him.

  • I am sure you would have been very happy together, assured her Sister Mary.
  • Oh, I am certain of that! But no doubt I would have never met Terry and...
  • Not Terry either.

  • Candy, my dear, why do you torture your spirit this way ? Miss Pony gently reproached her. "Life is too short to ask this kind of questions.
  • Miss Pony glanced at the clock.

  • Anyway, it's getting late. Tomorrow will be a hard day for you. If you want to be ready for the picnic, it would be better if you went to bed soon.
  • Yes Candy, listen to Miss Pony. The children are so happy at the idea of spending a whole day with you; you wouldn't want to disappoint them !
  • As ever, you are both right. What would I do without you ?
  • Candy got up, kissed "her two mums" tenderly and retired to bed.

    « Anthony... Terry... I would love so much to see you again! Unfortunately, I know that's impossible... »

    *****

    Anthony had more or less managed to evade the vigilance of the service. When he was about to actually leave the mansion, a noise made him jump. Anthony turned around and stared at the woods. Nothing. It must be his imagination. After all, he was nervous enough. Anthony walked a few steps, then turned around again. This time he hadn't imagined it. He had heard perfectly clearly a noise in the direction of the woods. All of a sudden, his heart shrank. What if his aunt had hired someone to avoid him escaping from the old Andrew manor ? No, surely she wouldn't do this, would she ? And yet... he thought he heard noise of footsteps on the ground.

    Suddenly, somebody, or rather something threw itself against him. Anthony struggled as he could, while trying not to cry out so as not to alert anyone. He just then realised that what had frightened him so was actually nothing more than a poor little animal, scared and disoriented.

    A few minutes passed during which none of the two opponents let the other go. Then Anthony gave up, and the animal calmed down bit by bit. Now it looked at Anthony, a glimmer of mischievousness in its eyes. Amused by the strange expression of the little animal, the young man took it in his arms.

  • Tell me, what are you doing, all alone, in the middle of the night ? Do you want to come with me ?
  • The animal lowered its head a little.

  • OK, you will come with me then.
  • After this, Anthony put the little animal on his shoulders and started out again.

    *****

    Chicago. He had finally arrived. The city lights seemed to shine with a thousand fires. He had never thought that one day he would be able to see the smallest bit of this prodigious city. Today his dream had come true. A new world offered itself to him, and he wasn't going to let this chance pass him by !

    Anthony spent part of the night wandering through the city. How enormous it seemed to him... and how familiar ! It was as if he had dreamed so intensely during these years, that he had the impression that he had known it all the way through.

    His footsteps took him in front of one of the most famous theatres in Chicago.

    « How wonderful ! » he said to himself.

    Suddenly, while he was busy admiring the sculpted façade of the imposing building someone stormed out of the theatre and bumped into him. Anthony lost his balance.

  • Eh... you could pay a little more attention ! shouted Anthony.
  • I'm sorry, I didn't do it on purpose, said the stranger, keeping on walking. But apparently you haven't had anything broken, so I can resume my way.
  • Anthony hadn't had the time to say a word before the stranger disappeared.

  • Well Prune, our adventure begins well ! Don't you agree ?
  • The small animal approached its master and rubbed its head against his arm.

  • Hey! What's this ?
  • Anthony took the bit of paper that Prune was giving him, and looked at it attentively.

  • It's a letter ! He must have let it fall accidentally when he bumped into me. Let's see, whom is it addressed to ? ... Terrence G. Grandchester. I don't know what you are thinking, Prune, but I think I'm going to try and find this man. After all, this letter could be important.
  • Special thanks :

    Thanks Patty ! Without you, I wouldn’t be able to translate my fic into english ! Congratulations for your work ! That’s great ! !

    Thanks Nila for being kind enough to post my fic in your website !

    Thanks every Candyfriend for reading my work ! Don’t hesitate to give your opinion !

    Love, Mary.

    Chapter 2