by Misanagi Amakusa
Stear and Archie had invited Candy to have some chocolate in their room. As she usually did, Candy had gracefully balanced herself among the treesí branches which separated the boysí dormitory from her room in Saint Paulís Academy. But the moon had hidden its timidity behind thick clouds, and thanks to one of those twists of destiny, a slight spring breeze had extinguished the candle lights that Archie maintained in the balcony, just before Candy initiated her "landing ". She chose then to leave it to her instincts. How playful can our heart be sometimes, and what a complicity can it share with fate, taking us by the hand to find out the most intimate secrets of that person, who steals our thoughts and our dreams, even when we donít notice it.
Thus, by a trick of fate, Candy suddenly found herself in Terruce G. Grandchesterís room discovering a photo of Eleanor Baker, who was not other but the boyís mother.
"Terry..., Eleanor Bakerís son."
And destiny continued playing. When Candy was most immersed in her thoughts, Terry arrived in the room, without giving the girl the least opportunity to loosen the photo and escape as in so many other occasions she had managed to do, whenever the situation required it. His glance found hers, but how different they were from each other. The boyís cold glance scared Candy, icing her whole body instantaneously, making her drop the photo, which fell at Terryís feet. The boy, without moving a single muscle of his face, took the photo from the ground and began to tear it into pieces. Candy did not give credit to her eyes...
" Terry..., Terry is Eleanor Bakerís son, the famous Broadway actress. "
She did not understand how somebody could break the photo of oneís own mother in that form. What a deep resentment can the human heart lodge towards the person who gave us the life we enjoy! Candy, who did not have the grace of hearing her true motherís lullabies while cradled in her warm arms, did not understand what was happening, and in a fraction of second she thanked Heaven for no having only one affectionate mother, but two.
In spite of the dimness hanging over them, Candy felt how the frozen brightness of those deep blue eyes terrified her even more each second that passed. But they did not look at her, they did not see anybody, they were lost in some place, some moment in the past or another person that was not Candy precisely.
" Terryís eyes. Heís not looking at me, but looking far, far away. "
Candy had shown her courage many times in the past, and whoever had observed the scene would have understood that the girl still demonstrated an incredible bravery standing right there, in front of Terryís inexpressive face, which did not give the slightest indication of the internal storm that he lived inÖa storm that was about to break . . .
" Terry.., Iím sorry, you arenít angry at me, are you?"
The boy did not pronounce a word, but it was not necessary that he spoke. The eyes sometimes say a lot more, and internally, Candy knew it..." Why are his eyes in such a pain?"
" TerryÖI. "
Suddenly, like the lightning which predicts that the storm is about to break, a spark of wrath in the young manís glance made Candy fear for the worst. She felt as Terryís hands clung to her shoulders, with an extraordinary force that only ire provides. How passionate should a heart be to feel in such an intense fashion! Could his heart learn to love in the same way? Only time could tell it. Candy was paralyzed...
" Donít tell anyone about this, or else, Iíll make your life miserable. "
Sometimes, in front of adverse situations, the body, and why not, our very soul, gains the needed energy to face such troubles. How many times it has been said to us that the eyes are the mirrors of our soul? The sudden change in Candyís sight before his threatening words, showed Terry that there was no reason to be so hard with the girl . . . "What could Candy obtain by hurting me, speaking about my secrets behind my back?" She was not that kind of girl and those beautiful green eyes of hers, which never stopped sustaining his glance, were a clear proof of that. Only a couple of honest eyes, a beautiful soul, naÔve and flawless, could sustain that steely sight, full of hatred, resentment and longing.
In that fraction of second, Terry found out that his own soul was not as pure as the girlís and he simply could not face her glance any longer. Something inside told him that if he continued looking at her, he would fall on his knees and hold her lap, searching for the comfort that he had never encountered, seeking that lost caress, in the sweet and indulgent look of those green eyes. He loosened the girl for brief seconds, standing in front of her, as if he regretted to have threatened her in such a brutal way, but the fear of being rejected forced him to reject the first. He turned his back to rest his hands over the fine mahogany cabinet, trying to hide his shame, pain devouring his spirit until he finally said:
" Now, go."
"....Terry ...." Candy could barely vocalize.
But Terry didnít move, didnít pronounce a word. Perceiving the enormous sadness in the boyís soul, Candy couldnít do anything but sympathizing with him. Therefore, a sob escaped from her lips at the same time she said...
" Terry, Iím so sorry. I wonít tell anybody about this. I promise."
Terry thanked her for those words enormously. How melodiously that scared little voice sounded in the middle of his enormous pain. But that cursed pride, that sun which set down on his soul whenever he tried to control his temper, did not let him show what his heart truly felt. He could only stay motionless, while the warmth of a thick tear burned the back of his left hand.
Still doubtful, Candy stepped back, leaving towards the balcony. She was about to stay and comfort that hurt heart, but familiar voices took her out of her troubles. Impelled as a trapeze artist on the circus protective net, she jumped to the contiguous room, which was Stear and Archieís bedroom.
The boys had prepared everything for their friendís smooth landing, but an error in her calculations made Candy fell a few inches away the soft mattress.
" Candy! Are you all right?"Stear replied, always worried about the girlís well-being.
" Arrgg, Sure. Iím fine. It was nothing,"Candy said, rubbing her body just on the area where she had centered all her weight during the fall.
" Why did you take so long to leave?" Asked Archie, somehow curious about her delay in his not so dear neighborís room
" Err, I donít know, I just missed the room and later it was very dark to leave," Answered Candy, not able to stop hearing Terryís threat buzzing in her head.
" Ooff, you were lucky that the prepotent English aristocrat didnít find you there, Otherwise we would have really done it!"
Candyís silence as an answer to Archieís statements made the boys look at each other, as though they were trying to find an explanation to the sudden worried face on their always cheerful friend. Suddenly, something caught the girlís attention. It was a photograph of the woman who, just a few seconds before, was nothing beyond a famous American actress. Now, that face had for her a greater meaning, she was the mother of that boy whose mood changes surprised her constantly. The discovery of that picture aroused in both brothers a passion that Candy didnít know in them, an admiration for the theater or rather towards an actress in especial.
" Candy, look! Here we have a lot more," Archie said, showing her a beautiful carved wood coffer, stuffed with photos and newspaper cut outs related with the famous actress.
While Archie and Stear discussed between them, trying to define which of the images was the most beautiful, Candy was engrossed discovering the similarity between Terry and his mother.
" She looks so much like Terry, the eyes and lips."
Suddenly, a sweet pair of eyes saw her again, and a sea of feelings flooded her heart once more when she saw that face that she loved so deeply, that face that was snatched from her by a fatal misfortune in an autumn day...
" Anthony! " so many memories overflowed her mind. " Heís smiling, how wonderfully heís smiling! "
" What is it Candy?" Stear asked, trying to see the image that Candy held with trembling hands. "Anthonyís photo! I thought that we had left all of them back home," concluded the boy, looking at his brother suspiciously, who responded shrinking his shoulders as if he were saying: " Donít blame me."
"May I keep this photo?"Candy asked anxiously.
"Su . . . sure. You donít have any photo of him, right?" Stear responded, somewhat sorry for the sad sorrows that Anthonyís memory meant for Candy.
Candy just could crush the photo against her hear, in a desperate attempt to retain the image and never let it go, as the boy in the picture had done indeed, leaving her heart sunk in the saddest loneliness. And the boys could not do anything but share that pain. Especially one of them, who suffered the pain of not being able to take her in his arms and console that sweet heart...
" A lot of memories, Anthony,"Candy thought when the clock of the tower reminded them that it was very late . The evening nunsí patrol would soon take place to verify that all the lights were off.
The girl left the boys, offering them her best smile to thank them for their company and the beautiful present that she had in her hands. Again, she took off towards the girlsí dormitory, leaving behind two brothers who shared not only a blood tie, but also the deepest love for one little girl who had stolen their hearts since the very first time they had seen her. It was love so great and selfless, and lacking of any competition against their beloved cousin, so that sweet girl would not endure any kind of suffering.
Terry still remained in his room, observing the broken pieces of his motherīs photo that had fallen to the floor. The mixture of feelings inside him made him hate himself...
" Why didnīt I throw it away when I had the chance?"
He was transported in his mind a few months back in the past, to a frosty and dark winter night. How many hopes, doubts, questions which wished to be answered! But instead of answers...
" Terry.., itís been a long time... But you mustnít come here, no one should know that you are my son... Donít misunderstand me, Terry, I love you... "
When youth dims reason, our lack of self confidence can distort the most sublime intentions. If the young man who remained standing in that beautiful Victorian house, located in a luxurious and bohemian district in New York city, had grown under the protective and affectionate wings of a good natured father, he would have not interpreted those words like a rejection from his mother, who he thought, had left him when he was a baby. But that was not Terryís case. He had crossed the immense ocean looking for the approval and affection that his father had always denied him. For that reason, his motherís words, which were meant to protect him from the social discrimination of their times - a power that was able to destroy any human beingís life - were received by Terry like the cruelest rejection. Without saying a word, he left that place, pretending not to listen to that womanís cries, which reminded him about his lineage and how impossible it was that the world found out he was the product of the illicit love between an American actress and an English Duke. At that moment, the wrath fire was so inflamed in the boyís heart, that he did not notice how the intense snowfall assaulted him. All that he wanted was to leave that city, that country, in which he had not found any answers, but only greater questions.
"Why did I come here? What was I thinking? What for? To see her. See her . . . then, what? "
The worst of all had been to confirm all his fears. He had finally met his mother, but within him, he had known in advance what would happen. Later, during his return to England, he knew he had face that family who was not his. His fatherís wife, a woman he detested as much as she did in return. His fatherís children, those who he did not consider his siblings and..., and he. Terry didnít remember himself calling him "Dad". If he loved her to the extent of having a child with her, why didnít he love her enough to remain by her side...?
" Then, Why ?" The rage flamed in his young wounded heart and took him back to the present. With the enormous need of erasing from his mind all those painful images, he left the room, in search of the only living being who managed to calm his tormented soul.
" The cross, the Andleyís brooch and Anthonyís photo. My three treasures."
Candyís memory was flooded with beautiful images of Ponyís Home, her Prince of the Hill and her sweet first love. But they were just memories. The inexorable passing of time that does not back out, did not allow her to live again those moments and even sadder and more painful was the fact of not being able to change the consequences of such moments.
" If the fox hunt hadnít happened, if it hadnít been for the trap."
The happy experiences of the past cheer up the spirit to face the present and to plan the future, but the painful memories accentuate the fears of the soul and as long we donít get over them, they are transformed into nightmares which take us back to that tragic moment that broke our heart. The sound of horseshoes galloping ferociously, lingered in Candyís mind, louder each time, transporting her unexpectedly to that sad moment.
" Itís the sound of a horse."
Candy went out to the balcony and, with horrified eyes, she observed a rider. Fear seized her in such a way that she didnít look at who the rider was. Anthonyís image falling from his horse invaded her and like in the midst of dreams, or rather, in nightmare, she tried to stop what she believed was inevitable.
" Anthony! Donít... Donít ride the horse!"
Candy was in an unreal world, so she didnít notice when she missed her footing on the staircase steps, and fell abruptly to the ground. Candyís scream made Terry pull on Theodoraís reins, to stop its gallop. In the shadows, he distinguished a white figure that lay on the foot of the stairs that led to Candyís room.
" Candy!"He shouted when he recognized her.
Instinctively, he tightened the right rein so that his mare turned towards that side. He dismounted and impelled by an inner force that he didnít know, he ran towards her. With gentleness, he lifted the girlís torso and her head fell down backwards telling the young man that the girl had lost consciousness.
" God, she is very pale! Candy! Candy! "
Although the girlís cheeks had lost their usual blush, she was beautiful, he thought. And those freckles... " God, I had never seen so many." They made her different from the other girls. It was as if those freckles were the expression of that rebellious character, enthusiastic, determined, which distinguished her from other girls.
Within her unconsciousness, Candy whispered something that Terry didnít get to listen very clearly.
" Candy... " The boy said, with the sweetest tone of voice that his vocal chords could emit.
" Anthony... Anthony... Donít ride the horse."
Terry was impressed to see the distressing way in which Candy pronounced that name, that painful request that seemed to be born from the depth of her soul. He never got to imagine that such a cheerful girl could hide such deep sorrow - Soul Mates! - He said to himself. Smoothly, he removed with his hand, a few golden curls that covered her eyes, to notice that the temperature of her body was a little high and a small drop of sweat crossed her temple. Not ceasing to see that little face, he took her in his arms. He climbed the stairs, walking past Candyís room, he continued till he reached to Sister Margaretís room, who was the one in charge of the girlsí dormitory.
" Sisters! Someoneís hurt! " Terry shouted, while he struck the door of the dormitory with his foot.
" Terry! What happened? Candy!" Exclaimed the nun, surprised to see Candy unconscious in the boyís arms.
" Candy fell from the stairs. Please, give me the clinicís key," said the young man, apparently collected, but for the nun it was clear that he wasnít, given the preoccupation reflected in his face.
" You go ahead, Iíll go and get Sister Grey," she said sweetly, trying to appease the boy while she left the key in his hand.
That corridor had never seemed so long to Terry, while he maintained in his arms the inert body of Candy and she didnít stop repeating that name.
" Hush, Candy, I am here, I have you in my arms, donít worry," Terry whispered to her, trying to calm her anguish.
As if the boyís warm voice were the perfect analgesic for her afflicted heart. It seemed to Terry that, for a momen, the expression of terror in Candyís face was softened. At last, he arrived at the clinic, he opened the door and placed the girl on one of the beds. Gently, he tipped her a little, to be able to introduce her under the sheets. He covered her with the tenderness of... a friend? Perhaps a brother? Or somebody that cared in a special way.
When he was sure that that the young woman would be comfortable, he took seat while he waited for the nuns to arrive. Candy, as if she missed the warmth of the boyís embrace, started being delirious again...
" Anthony... "
Terry felt a jab in his heart that he didnít know how to explain. The name appeared again in her lips with anguish, maybe with a little of nostalgia.
" Anthony. She keeps on repeating that name."
A sob coming from Candyís throat made the young man leave his seat and approach her. He had been attracted to her smile, but in that moment he felt even more charmed by her sad beauty. Those golden curls, beautifully disarrayed over the pillow, made her look so sweet. But, at the same time, her saddened face gave her such a helpless appearance that he understood why, within him, an urgent need to protect her had been born since the very same moment when that arrogant American boy had tried to hit her.
He approached a little bit more and noticed that her cheeks were wet. What great pain could be oppressing her to that extent? Smoothly, he wiped those tears that her eyes shed. He felt a sort of magnetism that forced him to come closer and closer to her. He perceived that perfume of roses that he had already sensed before, which he had attributed to the fragrance of the rose bushes near the hill where they had met in more than one occasion. But it was not so. It was her skin which was scented with that intoxicating perfume. How could someone make him feel so disturbed?
Each second closer to her, he was tempted to taste the sweet nectar of those lips that had already recovered their carmine color, but when just a millimeter separated him from the delight of that delicacy, a slight movement of the girlís eyelids, made him wake up from his own dream. In a reflex, the girl took his hand, which still rested on her damp cheek. For a moment, Terry believed that Candy had opened her eyes and looked at him. How beautiful were those green eyes that made the green summery plains of his beloved Scotland looked deserted. The ecstasy of seeing himself reflected in that chorale sea lasted a few seconds only, because Candy closed her eyes once more, this time immersed in a deep but quiet dream. It was as if seeing Terryís face by her side, had vanished all her anguish, making her feel safe and protected.
The sound of the nunís voices approaching the room grew louder. He felt confused, a little bit bewildered by that cocktail of feelings that flooded his heart, his soul. He didnít want to give many explanations to Sister Grey about what had happened. He returned his glance to the face, now calmed, of Candy; He dared to leave a kiss on her forehead, kiss that he had previously stamped on his fingertips. "Take care, Freckles." And he left the room through one of the windows next to the bed where the girl rested.
" Terry helped Candy," Sister Margaret said, trying to reduce importance to the fact that the boy was outside of his room at such a late hour in the evening.
" Terry? But he isnít here," asserted Sister Grey when finding Candy alone in the room.
" He got out through the window," responded Sister Margaret nervously.
The nuns began to nurse the little bruises that Candy had gotten in her fall. They tried to know what was the reason that had made her go downstairs at three of the morning, but the only thing that they got as an answer was an incoherent explanation about her sleepwalking problems that she supposedly suffered sometimes. When they had finished attending her, Sister Grey offered herself to escort Candy to her room.
While they crossed the vaulted corridor that lead to the dormitories, Candy felt again the warmth of that hand on her cheek. She wasnít sure of whose hand had that one been, just the image of a deep blue see came to her memory.
" I felt somebody wiped my tears away. Those soft hands. "
The sound of a nocturnal animal that she had never heard before, made her turn around to see Terryís silhouette leaning on a tree. She realized then, that those hands had been his, and that blue sea which she believed to have dreamt about was nothing else but his deep sight.
" Is there a problem? " Sister Grey interrogated when she saw that the girl didnít move.
" No.. Iím fine now, really!" Candy yelled, not really trying to respond to the nun, but with the intention of letting her enigmatic classmate know that she was fine because of him.
Throughout the passage, Candy didnít stop crying out that she was very well. Which made Terry grow a smile for the first time in all the evening.
" She didnít hurt herself badly. Thatīs the Mountain girl."
But Candyís tearful image still lingered in Terryís head. That name.
" Anthony... she kept on saying that. Who is he? "
That question kindled a flame, hurt his heart, poisoned his soul, but why?. He didnít know the answer.
Well, this is my first work about Candy and Terryís love story. Why a dream wish episode, and precisely this one? Because, for me, it was in this episode where the young couple really started to know each other, discovering the sorrows that afflicted their hearts and it is in this episode when Terry shows us that he is able to be the sweetest person on Earth. My acknowledgement to Nila and Alys, who found the perfect stimuli to make my little head work on a Candyís fic. I will always be grateful to Elaine, because her page allowed me to return to a beautiful time in my life, and the best of all, gave me the opportunity to meet you all and enjoy your company. I shall be delighted reading your comments on this story.
© (2000) Misanagi Amakusa