To Be Able To Struggle
“The Awful Truth”
Candy ran through the glade filled by the sun and covered by every possible color. Her hair played in the sun, and her eyes shone with happiness like two emeralds—daring and shining with happiness. At last she reached a small lake, and she ran into it until the water reached her knees, spraying warm soft water to different parts of her. Her dress became wet from the water and fastened to her body quickly… But the girl, it seemed, did not notice. For only the owner of two dark, blue, bottomless eyes that had followed her were important. Without calculating his force, the young man fell directly into the water. Continuing to laugh while standing knee-high in the water, they started to spatter each other. The droplets, flying away from their hands, were brightly transfused under the sun, making these minutes seem like magic…
“Candy, I did not know that you were so naughty until now,” the young man bantered, overcoming the distance between them.
Filled with laughter, the girl attempted to throw and sprinkle water at him, but she was not in time. The young man caught her in his embrace.
“You are so beautiful today…” he said tenderly, spreading his palm on Candy’s cheek. Then he quickly added, “…and always.”
Candy trembled in his hands because she knew what will occur further. He did not keep her waiting. He slowly lifted Candy’s chin and brought her lips to his and gently kissed them. Candy in turn, twisted her hands around the neck of the young man.
“My nice and loving Terry! This is not really a fairy tale,” she thought, kissing Terry with greater passion than what was wanted by the young man. But he undoubtedly did not have the force to stop.
"My freckled little one, love of all my life," thought Terry, continuing to kiss Candy.
They stood for a long time, but the water was not as warm as before and Candy withdrew first.
“My legs are starting to freeze! Why not leave the water?”
Without any word, Terry took her in his arms and carried her to the lakeshore.
“Today is very hot, but you’re right. If we stay too long in the cold water, it’s possible we could get sick,” he told her, carefully setting her on the grass. Her dress was all wet, as well as clothes of the young man.
“You can remove your clothes and dry them under the sun.”
Candy’s cheeks instantly got reddish at his offer.
“Yes, it’s alright for you, Freckles. Don’t worry. In fact, we’re the only ones here.” Terry was obviously amused at the girl’s confusion.
“Terry, do you mind?” she asked seriously while stretching on the grass. “It is possible to lie down simply under the sun and our clothes will dry directly on us,” the blonde told him while making an obscene face. This gesture did not escape Terry.
“Well, small naughty kid. I’ll teach you a lesson from your senior.” And with these words Terry quickly lifted the girl from the grass and threw her into the water.
“Well, what do you say, Miss Freckles?” Terry asked, coasting on shore and looking on Candy, who was completely drenched.
“Well,” she shouted, “Now I shall get my revenge on you, Terrence Grandchester, or I am not Candy White Andrew!”
“And you’re not… or you won’t be!” Terry seriously told her.
“What do you wish to tell me?” Candy asked, while getting out of the water and brushing her hands on her sides.
“Here… with these words.” Terry got a small box from his pocket and presented it to Candy.
“What is it?” she asked in amazement while opening the box and seeing what was in it. “No, Terry, it cannot be!” she exclaimed.
“Yes, it is exactly this, Candy.” He took her hand in his. “Will you marry me?”
Candy did not trust the ears.
She seriously looked at Terry, and in the same way, she seriously answered, “Yes. I shall marry you!”
And Terry began to whirl her in a whirlpool of happiness and love in which she only dared to dream….
“Candy! Candy! Well, how many times is it possible to wake you?” Miss Pony repeated again and again.
Candy slowly opened her eyes. At first sight, she was puzzled by Miss Pony, who stood above her.
“Well, at last you have woken up,”prayed Miss Pony. “Rise, child. You have important visitors,” she said then left.
But Candy, it seemed, was not listening to her in general. She couldn’t understand. Where was the lake, the glade, the sun, where was… Terry!??? Did she really dream it all? That can’t be…
The girl slowly rose and approached the window, opening the shutter. She almost fell unexpectedly at seeing the Andrew family care in the courtyard. She hastened to get ready and left to the drawing room where Mr. William Albert Andrew was waiting.
“Mr. Albert!” She rushed to him, welcoming him. “I so am glad that you have arrived to visit me,” Candy told him joyfully.
“Candy, I too am very glad again to see you,” Albert politely answered, but somehow dryly, Candy seemed to notice.
“Actually, the purpose of my visit is not so joyful,” he told her sadly.
“What happened?” Candy asked in alarm.
“Dear, go and wash up,” interfered Miss
Pony. But at seeing Candy’s reaction she said, “Sit down, what’s wrong?”
Candy began to get nervous even more.
“Yes, tell me what happened!” she almost cried out. “Albert?!” She addressed him.
“Candy,” Albert began, barely restraining his tears. “The truth of the matter is that Madame Elroy, Annie and Archie died in an accident. But it’s not all bad news,” Albert continued, but the girl could barely hear as he continued to speak. “Eliza and Neil died too. I do not know, by what miracle was rescued…” and with these words, the blond girl fainted.
Annie Brighton opened her eyes for the first time after two long weeks. Cautiously inspecting the place where she was, she tried to remember what had occurred. But alas, she remembered nothing… how she got here, what happened and most importantly… who she was! Her body was broken with pain; her hands were set with grazes and bruises. “Yes… what happened?” the girl asked herself. An elderly woman entered the room at that moment.
“What happiness that you’ve come to your senses!” She rushed to the girl lying down. Annie smiled poorly.
The woman approached the window and opened the shutters. In the street, a star shone like the bright sun and warm air entered the crude premises. The woman took a small basin and approached the girl.
“You look better already. You’ve been lying unconscious for two weeks. We thought you wouldn’t wake up any more.” The elderly woman spoke tenderly while laying a hand on the forehead of the girl.
“Oh, perfect! The high fever has gone down and I hope from this day on, you will improve.” With these words, the woman carefully washed the wounds on the girl’s body.
“What happened to me?” Annie asked in a hoarse voice.
The woman looked at her sadly. “When we found you, you were unconscious and all your clothes had been burnt. We looked around and found a car nearby which was scorched. Most likely, you have gotten in a road accident and your car turned over. Only God knows what a miracle it is that you remained alive.”
“Was I the only one?” the girl asked excitedly.
“There were four more persons. In this accident, two cars ran into each other and you fell out of the wreckage. My husband and I saw this with our own eyes. But there was one young man nevertheless who managed to be rescued.”
Annie looked at her, her eyes full of tears. She remembered nothing.
“It was a miracle that the young man was thrown out of the car before it blew up. Then many police cars arrived and they found three corpses burned in the cars. The young man that survived testified, but unfortunately, we don’t know his name. But we heard that he spoke about one more passenger… a certain girl in the car who did not appear. The police man have searched everywhere in the district but found nothing. Then this survivor assumed that her body was also burned in the car. My husband and I sympathized very much so went to the road… and that’s when we found you. We assumed that you are this person they are looking for because of your soiled clothing which was half burnt. When we picked you up, you were almost dead and hardly breathing.” The woman finished the story. “And that’s how you appeared to us. Two weeks have already passed and we thought that you would not wake up, but my prayers were not in vain,” the elderly woman added with tears in her eyes. Annie also cried.
“Well, sweetie,” Timisija told her tenderly. “It is necessary that you recover on this big mountain where your friends and relatives have died. But there is still that one man who survived. As soon as you will recover, we will find him and tell him. Now tell me, what is your name?”
With this question, the girl was caught in a panic. “What is your name? What is your name”---turned in her head. “My God, what is my name?” she asked herself this question and she didn’t know the answer. Shuddering from tears, she silently whispered, “I… I do not know what my name is. I do not remember. I remember nothing.” Having said that, she buried her head in the pillow and began to sob.
Timisija sympathetically shook her head. “Poor girl,” she thought. “From this whole nightmare, she has lost her memory. I should tell my husband.” Then the woman hastened to the kitchen, leaving Annie to sob silently.
Candy sat near Father Tree, drawing her hands around her knees and thought about what Albert told her. Two weeks had passed since that awful day when the girl learned what had become to those people close to her. It seemed that the tears would never cease, but now Candy did not cry. She sat silently and looked out into the distance.
“Anny, my dear and favorite Anny. Why did you leave me? Why was there only one? And Archie... Stair has charged you to take care of me and Annie when you left for the front? Madame Elroy… although you didn’t love me, all the same, I trusted you were kind… Eliza and Neil…” Candy wiped the tears that ran down her cheeks. “Why, my God? Why did you take away the people most dear to me? First Anthony, then Terry…” At the thought of Terry, the girl started to cry again. “Then Stair and now Archie, Neil, Eliza, Madame Elroy and my dear Annie!”
The tears continued to roll from her eyes. Her thoughts became confused as she recalled the dream… that wonderful dream which she had the evening before hearing Albert’s news. She and Terry were happy. It all seemed impossible and the girl burst into tears even more as she recalled Terry far from her, happy with Susanna where he should be.
Yes… she herself… she released him. But how could it have been done differently? Candy recalled the episode at the hospital almost three years ago and it gave her heart pain. Probably, she would always feel pain at this recollection since she will always love that mischievous boy, the owner of the most beautiful blue eyes in the whole planet.
Her name was whispered silently, but Candy didn’t hear it.
He came and sat down near to her and looked out into the distance.
“They will always live in our hearts. Always. Each of them. And never will my memory erase them.”
Candy raised tear-stained eyes to Albert.
“Ah, Mr. Albert,” she rushed to embrace him. “I know… I know that I cannot, even if I wanted. I can never forget them,” she told him, continuing to cry.
Albert looked into her eyes and said, “Candy, you remember how you cried when Anthony died? It seemed that nothing was more awful than that. Then I sent you to college where you had trials but you have made it. Then after college, you experienced an even greater trial after breaking up with Terry. I am not sure if you have forgotten him or have stopped loving him, but you have learned to live with this feeling and have learned to be strong. And now Candy, you should be very strong and try and take yourself in your hands because we don’t know what lies ahead… life goes on.” Then Albert broke off, not absolutely sure if it was necessary to tell Candy the details of the accident. At least something was solved.
“Candy, there is one thing you should know. It concerns Annie’s body… it has not been found yet. Most likely it was burned with the car before the firemen could arrive.”
Candy looked at him in torment.
“But you know, it seems to me that it’s
not the case. The bodies of Madame Elroy, Archie, Neil and Eliza have been
found, thought their bodies were scorched, but Annie’s was not present. The
police have scoured the district but no other bodies were recovered. Probably…
“ Albert faltered. “By some miracle Annie had time to jump out of the car.”
Candy’s eyes began to shine with hope, but the moment died out when Albert added, “Candy, I do not wish to speak of anything certain, but it’s possible that Annie was not burned and jumped out of the car, but I’m afraid she didn’t survive considering the wounds she would have received from the accident.”
Albert didn’t have time to finish speaking when Candy interrupted:
“Mr. Albert, can we go there and look to see if Annie is still alive?”
“I am afraid there is no one there… I was there and the place was examined many times. I even asked the local people from the nearest village, but non one knows anything.”
“But Mr. Albert,” Candy began but the young man interrupted her.
“Yes, Candy. I understand your feelings but we cannot prove if Annie is alive or dead. There was no message from her since she was gone. This is all we can do at this moment.”
On Candy’s eyes there were tears… then hope. Annie… Annie is probably alive!
“Mr. Albert, is it possible to submit a search?” Candy took interest as she brushed her tears away.
“Yes, I think so. It is necessary that I try. Only then can we learn the truth,” Albert answered her, rising. “But now Candy, it is necessary that you return to our private residence as you are the unique successor of the family Andrew.”
Seeing the grieving look on Candy, Albert added, “Don’t worry. Memories of them will inevitably happen, but the sooner it happens, the less painful it will be later. I’m sure of it …you will see,” Albert encouraged her.
Candy smiled poorly. Probably, if Annie was alive… Candy was afraid to think of it. Nevertheless, she hoped very much that Annie was still alive. And if so, it would be necessary to find her.
“Annie, my dear, we will come to this hill together, without fail, and you will laugh in the same way as we always laughed and you will support me as I will you. Ah, Annie!” Candy told herself as if addressing her. “Don’t be afraid of anything. You must be alive! I feel it!” With these thoughts, Candy, together with Albert, left Pony’s hill to begin their search for Annie.