It was snowing hard. The play was over and he had been magnificent as usual. He had come back to his duty, his obligations, after seeing her crying while looking at him act in that sordid third class theatre. He was seeing her everywhere, that time was the one time it marked him, it touched him so much that he decided to go back and fulfill his duty. She had that kind of power on him, she was part of him. He was sorry he had made her cry like that, she looked so hurt and so sad…That was not his purpose in life, to make her cry. She cried when he forced her to ride that horse with him after kissing her to make forget about her dead boyfriend she couldn’t stop thinking and talking about, while she was in his arms, she cried when he left college leaving her behind, she cried when he had to break up with her because an obsessed colleague saved his life and lost her leg…and, even if he imagined it, she cried when she saw him so drunk and acting so bad in that awful theatre. He decided to sober up, because even his visions were disappointed in him! He wanted the next time she sees her, or her vision, he wanted her to be proud of him. So he went back, to his responsibilities. Hathaway took him back, because of his talent and Susanna…. well she was happy to have him back, even if it was the same cold attitude, it was the man she love.

Terrence Grandchester entered a nice French restaurant. He had a table for one and he ordered some Scotch. He drank it and then he ordered another one.

A lady in her thirties was looking at him from her table where she was sitting alone too.

- If you want to get drunk, you’re really in the right place, she said

Terrence looked at her, and for a second, he thought he saw “Her” green eyes and some freckles.

- Bloody hell!!! I’m having visions again!!!!

- I can assure you I’m really here, said the lady…

She stood up. She could feel his pain.

- Aren’t you the “King of Broadway”?

- Do you see any crown on my head?

- You’ve got the sense of humour, I like that!

He looked at her and something made him stop his sarcasm.

- I’m sorry, I’m in a crappy mood…he finally said

- Can I sit with you?

- Sure…

He stood up to pull the chair for her.

- So what’s a handsome and talented young man like you, doing here alone drowning his sorrow in alcohol? Shouldn’t you be on the top of the world?

- Well, the top of the world is not what it’s cracked up to be…

- Really? Tell me more… Let me introduce myself first, my name is Lynda de Rothschild…

- Rothschild? Terrence Grandchester, you already know that…

- Grandchester, any relation with the duke?

- My father…

- I thought it was just a stage name…why are you here instead of being in London’s society pages?

- Well, I thought you’d be in France with your family…

- Don’t you just love New York? I just can’t stay away…

- I love New York… can’t you tell?

- Well my family is also here, another part is in France, but my immediate family is here

- “Lynda” isn’t that Spanish?

- My father had Mexican maid he liked a lot…, she said without cracking a smile

Terry looked at her surprised. She looked at him with mocking eyes and they bust out laughing.

- Well I don’t know, he spells it with a “y” instead of an “i”…

- It means “beautiful” and you are very beautiful…

- Why thank you, Terrence, you’re very handsome yourself…

- Listen to us… aren’t we full of ourselves???

They burst out laughing again.

- You want to order? Said Lynda

- Yes… you put me in a good mood, said Terry smiling

- I’m glad… with all the drinks you took you need to eat

- You sound like my mother…

- I could be your mother…

- Do you have any children?

- No…

Lynda sounded said when she said that.

- I’m not married, she add

- Well my mother wasn’t married when she had me…

- Really?

- Yes… well since we’re talking about it… Eleonor Baker is my mother

- The Great Eleonor Baker? Wow!

- Yes…so I’m the living proof that you can have a baby without being married

- I knew that, said Lynda smiling, you’re a very sweet boy… Tell me why are you so sad? Life has been good to you, you’ve got a successful career, you’re a natural on stage, just like your mother…

- Yeah, it’s in the genes…

- So… oh… your love life…

- My love life…

- How did you lose her? Can you get her back?

- No… it’s over for good. I can’t be with her…

- Why?

- Well I have a duty to fulfill…

- A duty?

- Yes…a while ago when I got the part of Romeo in Rome and Juliet, during the rehearsal, a spotlight almost fell on my head if the girl playing Juliet didn’t push me away, but she got hit on the leg which had to be amputated…

- Oh…double whammy! Poor baby…did you love your girlfriend?

- I fell in love with her from the moment I laid my eyes on her…

- I know how you feel…

- Why aren’t you married?

- Maybe because I couldn’t be with the one I wanted…

- No arranged marriage???

- Yes, but I always manage to ruin everything…

- Clever girl…

- If I get married one day, it will be because I wanted to, not because my father wanted a merger or some fake title of nobility…

- Well I have to marry Susanna, and I’m dying just thinking about it….

- Then don’t marry her…you can’t tie yourself to someone you don’t love

- She saved my life, I owe her

- So she saved your life to have it???

- Kind of…I might have died…

- But you’re dead now anyway… without the girl you love

- Well, I have a duty to be with the one who saved my life…

While they were talking the waiter came to take their order.

- I’ll have a chateaubriand, said Lynda, with potatoes and green beans, and some fruit juice

- I’ll have the same, said Terry

They ate their dinner and then they left the restaurant.

- I’ll drive you home, said Terry

- I have a driver, don’t worry about me. But it was nice talking to you…

- Yeah, thank you for the company

- You can come and see me anytime…and I mean it…

- All right

- Here is my address…

- Thank you Lynda…

After that, they became very good friends. Terry would go see her almost every night after the theatre. He would then go back to his home very late. Susanna was not happy.

- Terry, you always come back late, I barely see you…

- You know I’m busy at the theatre, Susanna

- Where do you go after that?

- I go and have dinner

- I can have dinner ready for you here…

- I know, but I like eating alone…


- You probably have a second rate actress you’re sleeping with!

- Susanna, I’m exhausted… I’m going to bed

He would leave the room and she would go to her room alone…All he had to do is think about the next day when he was going to leave the house to go to the theatre, and see his best friend, Lynda de Rothschild…

**********

The birds were chirping in the morning and a new day was starting. Candy was at the Pony Home. She was taking care of the children. But she needed something more. She wanted to go back to Chicago… She remembered seeing Terry in that third rate theatre, so drunk and so lost… Why did she walk away from him?? Didn’t she love him anymore? But she did…It was so painful to see him and yet she was happy to see him too. It took her everything she had not to go get him and sober him up and put him back on track…But she walked away… she walked away from her love, the love of her life, but why was she feeling so bad? She loved him so much, but… She went to talk to her two mothers.

- Miss Pony, Sister Maria, she said

- Yes, Candy, said Miss Pony, what is it?

- Miss Pony, I want to back to Chicago…

- Oh, said Sister Maria, you don’t like taking care of the children?

- Yes I do, you know I do. But I need a change… I need to do some soul searching…

- And how are you going to do that in Chicago? Said Miss Pony

- I’ll find a way, said Candy

- You’re free to go, Candy. Go and come back when you’re ready…, said Sister Maria

- Thank you so much…, said Candy.
I love you. You’re my two mothers!

Yes, her two mothers. She never had a real mother, she was abandoned as a baby…just a baby, she was tossed away like yesterday’s laundry, leaving her up bringing to perfect strangers… She never thought about it before, but… lately she’s been feeling very bad thinking about her origins. Was she the product of rape? An adulterous affair? Incest? Anything was possible…

She went to Lakewood to see Albert and tell him her plans.

- Albert, she said smiling

- Candy! How are you?

- Well I came to tell you I’m leaving for Chicago

- Oh…

- Yes… I need to do some soul searching

- In Chicago?

- Well I can start from there…

- What is it Candy? You look sad

- I just need some time to myself…

- All right… you can go to the mansion.

- I will

- And you can go to the hospital to get hired if you wish, I fixed all the mess the Reagan did…

- Thank you so much Albert!

- Well I have some things to do here, otherwise I would’ve come with you

- That’s ok, I’ll be fine. I’m going to see Annie and Archie…

- Have a nice trip back. I’m going to take off soon…

- For places unknown?

- Yes… you want to come with me?

- No, I need to do this one on my own.

- Fine.

She stayed and had lunch with him. Then she went to see Tom.

- Hey Tommy! She said smiling

- Candy!!! How’s my little sister?

- Feeling blue…

- What about?

- I don’t know exactly…

- Are you thinking about your ex boyfriend?

- I always think about him, Tom. I can’t just shut down my feelings

- Nobody expects you to…You’ve been through a lot…

- I saw him…

- Who?

- Terry…

- Where?

- When I was looking for Albert…in a third rate theatre…

- And…

- He was so drunk he could barely say his lines…it was awful!

- What did you do?

- Nothing…

- Nothing?

- Nothing, I just walked away…, I left him there…

- You left him there? You, who pleads the cause of flies?

- I don’t know what came over me… maybe my life was so bad, that I didn’t care what happens to him

- Candy you know that’s not true… you still love him

- Yes, and I want to be with him, but nothing works out the way I want to… everybody who got adopted had happy families, I got the house from hell…

- They say what goes around, comes around…

- Yeah right! Was I a bad person?? Do I hurt people on purpose? No… but good things doesn’t seem to want to happen to me… Anyway, enough with the self pity! I came to say goodbye…

- Goodbye?

- Yes, I’m going to Chicago…

- Oh… the big city. You’re leaving us again

- I’ll come back, when I’m ready

- All right…you do what you need to do…

- Thank you…bye Tommy, she said hugging him

- Bye little sister…

She left the Steve farm and she went to the Cartwright farm to see her pal Jimmy.

- Boss! Said Jimmy, what bring you by?

- I came to say goodbye. I’m going back to Chicago…

- Oh…you’re leaving again?

- Yes, I need a change…

- You mean you need a life… taking care of the orphans, you’re going to end up like Miss Pony…alone and taking care of kids abandoned by their real parents…

- Jimmy!!! Some of the kids, their parents are dead…

- Same difference! Still other people’s kids!

- What Miss Pony does is very noble, she gave a home to you and me…

- So you see yourself doing this for the rest of your life??

Candy didn’t answer.

- That’s what I thought…, said Jimmy

- Well it doesn’t mean that I can’t change my mind…

- Candy, I’m sure you want to do more things, different things and if you can, go for it!!! Your adoptive father is rich , take advantage

- Thanks Jimmy. I’m going to miss you

- You too, boss… Bye and take care

She went back to the Pony Home and she took her things. Some volunteers from the village had come to help out at the Pony Home. Albert had sent them. The Pony Home was getting a monthly allowance, courtesy of William Albert Andrew.

- Good bye Candy, said Miss Pony, I hope you find what you’re looking for…

- Thank you Miss Pony, Sister Maria…

- Goodbye Candy said Sister Maria, don’t forget to pray the Lord for guidance

- I won’t, said Candy kissing her. Thank you. Good bye children!

- Bye Candy, bye Candy!!! Said the children

She went to the train station and she took the train to Chicago. She arrived at the mansion in the evening. She found Archie with Annie, who were surprised to see her.

- Candy! Said Annie smiling, it’s so good to see you!

- Oh Annie! Said Candy, it’s so good to see you too…

- Candy! Said Archie, you’re back! You’re staying here with us, I hope…

- Is the tree house available?

- No, said Archie laughing, it’s occupied with animals… you wouldn’t want to kick them out? Would you?

- Oh no, the poor animals wouldn’t know where to go…, said Candy, I guess I don’t have the choice but to share my father’s mansion!

They burst out laughing. They had a lot of fun together. Annie spent the night with them at the mansion. She was sharing Candy’s room.

- Candy…said Annie, now that we’re alone, what’s wrong?

- Why would you think something is wrong?

- Because I’ve known you since like forever…you can’t hide anything from me…

- I don’t know exactly what’s wrong…I …just need some soul searching time…

- Soul searching?

- Yes… I need some time alone

- So where are you going to go?

- I don’t know… but I’ll go tomorrow at the hospital to see Professor Leonard… Albert managed to take me off the black list…

- That’s good. Is that all?

- No…

- Candy, tell me…

- I saw Terry…

- You did? Where?

- When I went looking for Albert… he was in a small cheap theatre, drunk and acting bad….

- Oh my God! What did you do?

- Nothing…

- What do you mean, nothing?

- Nothing, I cried and I left the theatre…

- You left him there, in that state?

- Yes…

- Why???

- I… don’t know…I abandoned the man I love and it hurts like hell

- But he’s back on Broadway…so seeing you must have done something

- It was not too long after I saw him. I met with his mother who told me he was back to his duty…

- You did a good thing

- He was so drunk he must’ve thought he imagined me… I walked away from the man I love… What’s wrong with me???? How could I have been so heartless? My mother abandoned me, she must’ve been heartless to leave her baby on the doorstep of an orphanage…

- Candy…

- No, Annie, we have to face the truth! They abandoned us! They didn’t want us! We were an inconvenience!

- Maybe they didn’t have the choice…

- I’ve been at the Pony Home, I see mothers coming every day to leave their children so we could take care of them, because they can’t… some of them come back some of them don’t because they simply abandon them or they've died in the mean time….Our mothers could’ve come inside and left us, giving their names…but they chose the coward way, abandoning babies on a doorstep…

- Candy, why are you thinking about that now?

- Maybe I take after her…maybe I’m like her and I abandon the people I love, I abandoned Terry

- You have stop punishing yourself Terry is back on stage…

- No thanks to me…

- Candy…

- I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to be so whiny… Let’s sleep. Tomorrow is another day…

The next day, Candy went to St. Joan’s Hospital to see Professor Leonard.

- Candy! How are you?

- I’m fine…

- You want your job back?

- Well I wanted to talk to you about that. That mission to Florida, you sent me to a while back, do you have anymore like that?

- It’s funny you mention that, because I have a lot more like that, as a matter of fact. You can go throughout the country and work for a while and leave for another mission without having to come back here

- Really? Said Candy, that would be wonderful! That’s just what I need.

- You can leave as early as tomorrow…

- That’s great! Thank you Professor Leonard!

- Your adoptive father has made a very generous donation to our hospital, so if I can make his daughter happy…

- Thank you so much

- And I’m sorry for having to let you go…

- That’s ok, said Candy smiling, I know it wasn’t your fault. But thank you for giving me a job now

- You’re very welcome.

Candy went back to the manor to announce to her friends she was leaving

- Already? Said Annie

- Yes, I leave tomorrow…

- When are you coming back?

- I have no idea, I just know that I’m going to be on the road for some time…It’s just what I need

- Candy, said Archie, you barely got here…

- I know I was just passing by… I need this Archie.

- All right, said Archie, good luck on your trips

- Thank you…

Candy spent the day with her friends and she got her luggage ready. She was ready to go. She spent the whole night talking with Annie who was telling her about kissing Archie and getting to first base.

- It’s so wonderful Candy! You should try…

- Terry kissed me…

- He did?

- Yes… but I slapped him

- You what??

- And he slapped me…

- Oh… that must have been fun!

- But now I think about the only kiss I got from him and it was so good…

- Why did you slap him?

- I had to ruin everything; as usual…I told you something is wrong with me…

- Not your mother again…

- All right I won’t say it, but you get my drift…Maybe I set myself to be rejected… I slapped him; I let him go very fast without thinking… like I wanted to be hurt and alone like when I was abandoned…

Annie hugged her hard.

- I hope you find what you’re looking for…

- I hope so too…

Candy took the train the next day. Her two friends took her to the train station.

- Good luck Candy, said Archie

- Thanks, said Candy, I’ll come for your wedding when you decide on a date…

- Keep in touch , said Annie, or I’ll never forgive you if you miss my wedding

Candy got on the train and left. She was turning a new leaf and was going to do some soul searching during her journey. Her first stop was Florida again…

Chapter 2