Some time passed by since Candy heard the news of Terry’s great success in Broadway. She knew that he finally found his way and she had to do the same. Everyone always tried to be by her side and make her feel how much they cared about her, that she was not alone. How could she feel alone with all those children to look after at Pony’s House? But when she wasn’t too tired to fall asleep, as soon as she laid her head on her pillow, the night was dark and cold. It was one of those cold, sleepless nights. During the day something happened, something that didn’t let her sleep ...
It was a warm autumn day. The leaves gently fell to the ground and the wood was changing its bright colors into the hot yellow and red ones. It was a special day to have a rest with a special friend like Albert. They went for a ride through the countryside until they arrived at his house in the woods... how many memories so close to her, but she didn’t know that another one was about to happen!
“I’ve always liked this place,” Candy said caressing a squirrel in the park.
“That’s why I brought you here with me,” Albert told her. “I think it’s a special place for both of us,” he paused a little and then he added, “I think it could be the perfect place to be... our home.”
“What ?” she said looking at him with the most surprised and puzzled glance. “What is he thinking about, I wonder !”
“You know I’ve always cared about you Candy. Now I think the time has come for you to know...”
“Albert...” she interrupted.
“Shh... “ he whispered “I understood when we lived together in Chicago, it was the best time in my life. I’m fine when I’m with you. Do you remember I told you that I liked to share everything with you? I mean I’d like to share my life with you.”
As he came closer, placing his hand on hers, Candy felt her heartbeat become faster and her cheeks blushing. She lowered her eyes as she didn’t want to look at him… Now she was feeling very confused like never before. Albert’s confession sounded to her like a thunder in the blue sky. What she should do? He wanted to marry her and that made Candy happy and sad at the same time. She’d never looked at him that way. He was her best friend, like the older brother she never had, but what else? She went to the window, and looked at Pony’s Hill lit by the moon rays. It was such a wonderful view. The stars were twinkling in the sky, but a cold wind blew, moving the leaves. Shadows arrived and went by… the shadows of the past, of someone who went away forever. A tear rolled over her cheek. She surprised herself by thinking about Terry.
She opened a drawer and started reading a letter she wrote for him… those lines that were never sent. How could she have sent it? Now he was happy with his life and she was as well, someway, but she couldn’t think about getting married. It was too early, and maybe it would be early even after 100 years !
(The letter I’m talking about is the one who she really wrote to Terry, in Kyoko Mizuki’s novels, but she never sent it. Now I’m giving a new sequel to that novel !!)
The sunbeams entered through the window and kissed her eyes good morning. She found herself sitting on a chair in front of her desk. She saw the letter and said, “Oh Candy, how silly you are!”
“Candy are you awake?”asked a child. “Hurry up, Julie fell from a tree running after Klin.” She ran out of her room to Pony’s Hill where she found Miss Pony and all the children.
After she treated the wound, Miss Pony told her, “I’m sorry to have woken you up, my dear !”
“Oh, you shouldn’t, because I wasn’t sleeping. I’m really hungry! Come on, let’s have breakfast !” She smiled.
A man was standing in front of the door. “Albert” said the young woman, “I didn’t think you would have come so early in the morning.”
”Sorry Candy, but...”
“You don’t need to explain anything.” Looking at him, she could understand he was waiting for the answer of his life, but he didn’t want to bother her.
“Miss Pony, Sister Mary, I hope it’s not a problem for you if I don’t help you today.”
“Sure not at all, my child, enjoy yourself,“ said Sister Mary, knowing how difficult and painful the previous months had been for the girl.
“May I ask you where are you going?” added Miss Pony. “I’m curious !”
“Well, we’ll have a picnic and then, we’ll go to see our new house!”she answered to everyone’s disbelief, first of all the children’s, but also Albert’s, who didn’t think she would have accepted his proposal so early.
These words made Albert feel better than ever before. He couldn’t believe it. They walked toward Pony’s Hill, the first place where they met each other, after all he was her Prince!
“You made me the happiest man in the world,”started Albert, when they finally reached a nice place near the fall. “I’ll do all my best to make you happy.”
Candy smiled, but there was something she kept wondering in her mind, while they were talking about their marriage. She could just imagine what being married would mean. She didn’t have any experience, only a small kiss. But what a kiss ! The first and only kiss she ever had, the sweet kiss of Terry! Their sweet memories , the thought of their embrace, made her still feel certain emotions, both joy and pain, a fight of feelings. She couldn’t understand why they were still burning into her heart. But she knew love in marriage was more and at this thought, she became a bit afraid. “What did Albert expect from her?”
They were alone, laying on the grass. Albert was a gentleman and he’d behave as he would have done. Candy didn’t hear a word of Albert’s speech, but when she saw him getting closer to her, she stood up and ran away. A bit later Albert ran after her and reached her on Pony’s Hill.
“Have I done something wrong, my dear?” He said with his sweetest tone. ”Oh no, Albert, I’m only too emotional. I’ve never been engaged before!” She made a shy smile.
“Maybe we should fix the wedding day later.”
“No,” she answered. “The truth is that....” searching for something to say. “It was getting cold out there and I wanted to put on something.”
“Please let me go to bring something for you in your chamber. I promise you won’t miss me!”
Candy smiled. Albert was a nice and sweet man, surely he would make her happy and she would have become a good lovely wife. Albert entered Candy’s room and while he was holding a shawl for his lady, something kept his attention. There was a paper over the desk. He could clearly see the signs of tears over it. “What would have made Candy cry?” He shouldn’t read it , it wasn’t kind. “A gentleman doesn’t read someone else’s letters,” he thought, but he was too curious and also a bit worried, and jealousy flamed his heart when he saw it was a letter for Terry. But something stronger than his will made him take the letter and start reading. The sunset lit the room, a soft breeze entered through the window, but for him it was like the coldest artic wind that blew to his heart . He had to show Candy all his love. They stood on a bench in the garden , watching the sun hiding beyond the hills.
“I love you, Candy,” Albert whispered taking her hand in his. ”All I want to do is to make you happy.”
“I know, Albert, because you were always by my side in needing times and I will never thank you enough for your support.”
“I’ll always be there for you, remember it, even if tomorrow I’m going to Chicago ,my heart is here with you,” he said placing a tender kiss on her forehead as she slowly put her head on his shoulder, searching for a sense of protection and peace.
Thinking about the marriage made the days go by faster, until Candy found a letter on her table. It was from Albert :
Please forgive me. I’ve been looking after our family business for so much time that now I feel I need a rest. You know I’ve always liked animals and wild life, there are so many places still unknown I’d like to see. I know you can understand me. You’re the only one who can. I know I ‘m going to hurt you, but I couldn’t stay here any longer. I’ll let you know where I’m going, because I still don’t know, neither will I know when I’ll be back.
You’re free from your promise,
“There’s a letter for your fiancé, Miss Marlowe, could you kindly give it to him?”
“Yes ,sure,”she said smiling to the postman, but whose it would be, she wondered...when she found it was from Chicago. “Who else could it be than her?”
“Oh ,you’re here, my dear. What’s the matter with your beautiful face?” said a tender, well known voice, caressing her cheek.
”How he is kind today,” she thought. “Maybe he is beginning to love me. I can’t throw away this chance to spend a good time with Terry. He is always so busy, sometimes angry, and... he won’t care much of me if I give him this letter…Candy’s letter...”
“I’m a bit bored, as I’ve been waiting so long for you, but now that you’re here, I’m happy.”
“Well, we’ll have a holiday!” he said in the kindest and happiest tone he ever used with her.
”May I know why?”she asked.
“With the deep success Hamlet, my wages increased much more … I can buy you anything you want! Would you like to do some shopping this afternoon? I’m all for you!”
Then they went to the park. Terry laid Susanna on the grass and she smiled. She seemed like a girl like many others. The sun warmed their faces. Its shine blinded his sight and in front of him there was only a blond figure surrounded by golden rays. It was just like a dream. He kissed the angel on his mind, but suddenly he opened his eyes. It was not his angel, but just Susanna, happier than ever before, her shining eyes mirrored the happiness of her soul.
Terry stood up. “It would be better to go back home Susanna,” he said dryly, awakening from his dream. “Tomorrow I’ll have to work hard for the new play.”
“As you want ,Terry.”
Laying in her bed, Susanna could not sleep. ”He kissed me, he loves me,” she thought. “There’s no need to give him this letter. I’ll throw it away!...but...as there isn’t written the sender’s name, it could not have been from Candy... anyway Chicago would make him think about her. Well, I’ll open it and if it’s something important he won’t get angry with me, even if I read it !”
Inside the envelope there were two letters, one was from Albert, his friend he met in London, but the other was from her. She shouldn’t have, but she read it. For her own happiness she had to know and finally she did . It deeply touched her heart since she didn’t know what kind of relationship there was between Terry and Candy, how much they had been unlucky, as he had never wanted to tell her. On the other hand, she didn’t want to know.
She decided to keep the letter secret, hidden in her room, even if she felt miserable for what she had done. ”I’d feel more miserable if he leaves me,”she thought. “He’s learning to love me, together we’ll be happy !”
Every night, in the darkness of her room a cold wind blew to her heart. “Why were those tears on that letter if she was happy? Why did his friend send him the letter if she didn’t want ?...And what would Terry have done if he have read it ? It was his right, she should have told him, even if she didn’t want , maybe he would understand and forgive her. ”
Candy was still astonished and unbelieving about Albert’s letter. After having read it over and over, she still wondered why Albert left her right at that moment and decided to keep it in a box with all her closest letters and things. Looking at them she realized that something was missing, the last letter she wrote to Terry, the one that would never be sent. It was a kind of confession, like a diary, only for herself, just a way to make her feel better looking at the pages of her life, during one of those sleepless nights...
Suddenly she remembered she had left it on her desk. Like a flash in her mind, she understood, everything was clear now, reading it. Albert came to know she still loved Terry and that was why he left her.
“I’m sorry Albert, I didn’t mean to hurt you. I would never have written that letter. It was just for me, what a silly thing you’ve done, Candy! Albert is the only one who helped you every time and you treat him like that!”
She felt very sad, but even she didn’t know her heart was lighter. She didn’t like telling lies to Albert. She loved him, but not that way, the way she loved Terry, the way that meant hurt and pain when you’re not together, when also a glance can satisfy when you don’t meet for a long time, the one whose touch and embrace makes all your body, mind and soul tremble, the heart beat faster, the breathing stop, the skin shivers... That wasn’t Albert’s love, but Terry’s. She knew it in the bottom of her heart, even if she didn’t admit it. She couldn’t , or it would have driven her mad. She had to be strong for Terry’s happiness. Laying on her bed, she fell asleep with these heavy thoughts.
“Good Morning, is there mail for me?”
“Sorry Mr. Grandchester, I don’t know. Are you waiting for something particular?”
“Should I? But why don’t you know if I have it or not ?” He asked with his typical curious eyes.
“Well, last week I lost my job,”said the postman.
“What are you doing here early in the morning, then? It’s a cold day to have a walk! I haven’t already had breakfast. Would you like to join me? So we can talk,” said Terry.
In front of an hot cup of coffee the man spoke about the way he lost his work. Then it was Terry’s turn, as there was a question in his mind he kept on wondering...
“Excuse me, but why should I have been waiting for any letter?”
“As I knew sometime ago your eyes shone in a special way, when you received a letter from Chicago.”
Terry stood up. “Stop joking, or else..”
The man was embarrassed, but he finally found the courage to go on. “Maybe I shouldn’t, but ...I see Miss Marlowe didn’t give that letter to you !”
“Whose letter was it?”
“I don’t know there was nothing written on it, I only read the post stamp!”
“Sorry, I didn’t receive it, and sorry for my behavior. I hope you can find soon a new job. I’ll see if I can help you, but now it’s getting late. I really need to go, have a good day, ” he said as he left the coffee shop.
A mixture of emotion shook Terry’s soul. Was it a letter from Candy, his Lady Freckles, his great and only love? Why didn’t Susanna give it to him? He couldn’t forgive her. He’d rather die than live far away from his love, beside a woman he could never love, because she was the reason of their breakup.
Angry, mad by his love, furious, he entered Susanna’s house. She was there, sitting on a sofŕ in the living room, staring at him with her innocent and weak blue eyes. She could see something terrible in his glance. She lowered her eyes, looking at the floor, trying not to think of the worst things. He couldn’t know about the letter, who else knows? Looking at her, he didn’t want to know why or what she was thinking about. “Give me the letter, Susanna!!” Terry said, trying to control himself.
”What, my dear?” She pretended with an angel smile.
“Give me the letter or else I’ll find it by myself anyway, but then I could only hate you for the rest of my life.”
Tears rolled over her pale cheeks. “Terry, I love you, I don’t want to lose you.”
“You’re just like a girl who broke her beloved toy, but now you stopped playing with me!”
As she saw there was nothing she could do anymore she pleaded. “That’s right Terry, I’ll give you the letter, but please listen to me first!”
“Believe me, I had already decided to tell you the truth, but it’s hard Terry, so hard...letting you go is the hardest thing I ever done. How could I let you go when I needed you so much! These were the best days of my life. When you kissed me, I thought you were falling in love with me and you had forgotten her, you were finally mine! What a silly I was ! I was blind, Terry I love you , but she loves you too, and now I can say you kept on loving her all this time, your were just pretending to be happy with me. You tried, but you can’t. I appreciate it. Please forgive my selfishness. The only excuse I can give you is that I made it for love, and you were so kind that you took care of this fool girl that could never make you happy because you’re happiness is in someone else’s arms...
Now you can take this letter and go away, before I change my mind, please leave me alone.”
“Thank you Susanna, I know you are a good person. I never meant to hurt you, please forgive me!” he said as he turned his back. Suddenly he stopped at the doorway. “Susanna...”
“Please Terry, go away, I’ll be fine. Don’t say anything it would be worse...Good Bye Terry,” she said with her eyes full of tears.
Sitting on a bench in the park he opened the envelope and his heartbeat grew faster. He was so emotional, trembling like a little boy, he start reading:
“Dear Terry, I’ve just read…”
A shy smile appeared on Terry’s face. “It’s not too late, my little Lady Freckles, my only love. We’ll never say goodbye again. I’ve been a fool to leave you. Now I know, how can you say to be happy not being with me, if you love me like I do? I chose her because you told me. I was too confused that time. The accident was too near. How could I have made the right choice? You’re the only one I love, you have to know. You’re at Pony’s Home. I’ll be there in few time and we’ll be ...I’ve got so many things before leaving,” he thought putting the letter in the envelope and he saw another one. This was from Albert, “Why did he send me letter? Anyway let’s see what’s inside.”
How many times have passed since the first time we met in London, when I left for Africa. I knew I could have counted on you to support and protect my little Candy. I tried to make her happy, but I couldn’t be the one who makes her dreams come true. That’s why I had to run away, though I’ll miss her. Only you can give her that kind of happiness, even if she doesn’t know. She’s trying to forget you, but she’ll never be able. She never looked at me like she does also simply looking at a picture of you. She wouldn’t have sent you that letter, but as a true friend of hers and yours, I had to do it.
Your happiness is in your hands.
Please take care of Her,
Your Friend, Albert”
This letter surprised him more than Candy’s. He didn’t think that also Albert was in love with her, but as the loyal person he was, he gave up, although he could have had her easily. Now nothing could stop him, neither Candy.
“Candy, Candy, there’s someone looking for you, come here!”told Julie.
“Who could it be?” she wondered. “Maybe Albert came back, he should give me the chance to explain...”
“Candy, I should have known you were here,” she said running up to Pony’s Hill top.
“Annie, my dear Annie, I’m so happy you’re here!”
“How are you, Candy? I thought you need someone to speak, ”she said embracing her childhood friend.”
“Why?”Asked Candy ,trying to look anywhere else.
“Don’t pretend to be always so strong! You always take care of everyone but you. I know Albert left you some days ago. Grand aunt Elroy is very angry!”
“Is she?” Candy said smiling.
“Yes, she told you’re the shame of the family and it’s all your fault if Albert left at all!”
“I know and it hurts me so much, because she is right, it’s all my fault! He read a letter I wrote for Terry. I’m never going to send it, but it was enough for him to go away and let me free, but not free to choose. He helped me so many times, he didn’t deserve it !” she explained sobbing.
“Candy, I think he didn’t want to be loved for what he did, but for what he is, don’t you? He is a man, he always knew you loved someone else in the bottom of your heart. He couldn’t bear to have you at this price, I think this is the last thing he did to help you to be happy!”
“Thanks Annie, I really need to talk to you. You made me know what I didn’t want to. But what shall I do now?”
“I can’t tell you, you have to search the answer in your heart !”
“Ok, now let’s talk about you! Have you already decided the wedding day? How is Archie? I’d really like to see him. He’ll miss you a lot !”
A blush appeared on Annie’s cheeks. “He is very busy, I don’t think he’ll miss me as much as I do! Even when we are both in Chicago we don’t meet so often. I’m busy too, there are so many things to do for the wedding! I’m happy to be here also because I can have a rest from everything about the marriage! But why don’t you come with me when I’ll come back home? You’d really help me! I need someone else but my mother to talk and to go out for shopping, we’ll have a good time!”
“I’d like too, Annie, but there are so many things to do here, looking after the children, I can’t leave them all !”
“Please Candy, ask Miss Pony! I need you!” In Candy’s eyes, Annie looked just like the child she always knew, even now was a young beautiful woman!
A week later, Miss Pony and Sister Mary looked at Candy and Annie leaving. “They grew up! I remember like it was yesterday the evening when we found them,” said the Sister Mary. “Now they are two young women. This week that we’ve been together was so happy for me. They were just like years ago always together. They really love each other like sisters. Annie’s eyes had never been so shining. I hope Candy would find early her own happiness too. She needed to go away for a while!”
“Miss Pony, when will Candy come back?”asked a child.
“I don’t know, dear, I think soon!”answered the woman.
“There’s a man looking for Candy!”added the child.
Miss Pony raised her glance and she saw Terry, standing in front of her.
“I’m sorry, Candy is not here,” said Sister Mary smiling at the young man.
“I can’t believe we missed another time! I must find her, please tell me where she is!” he pleaded.
“She’s just left for Chicago about 20 minutes ago”...And there was nothing to add because he had already gone away.
“I don’t know if we had the right to tell him where she is,” said Sister Mary with a worried expression on her face. “He made our Candy suffer a lot.”
“Yes, but he is also the only one who can make her happy. He loves Candy as much as she does. I hope he’ll arrive on time,” added Miss Pony.
The street to the station seemed never ending. His heartbeat was faster than ever before and caused both of emotion to see her again and the fear to lose her another time.
“The train is leaving Sir, you can’t stay here.”
“Candy, Candy, where are you?” he cried out desperately.
Candy sitting on her seat, raised her head. She couldn’t believe what her ears has just heard. “Could it be possible? Maybe her mind was playing a trick on her, but her heart wasn’t lying to her.
“Candy, look! It’s Terry out there ! You have to go, don’t care about me, he needs you more than me, just promise to write me soon!” The two girls embraced.
“Thanks Annie. I’ll write you very soon.”
“Hurry up now, or it would be too late, the train is leaving!”
Terry was standing on the platform, looking at the train that was bringing his love away. He thought he had already lived that scene, but at that time he was on the train. What could he have do now? He wondered turning his shoulders.
“Terry!” a sweet voice called his name in the empty platform.
Candy was in front of him, more beautiful than ever. It was just like in a dream, the most wonderful dream he ever had. They looked at each other in silence, paralyzed by the sweet and intense emotions burning in their hearts. He held her hand in his, tears rolled over Candy’s cheeks.
“Don’t cry, my love, there’s no need to cry. I’ll never leave you again,” he whispered, getting closer to her. “When I saw the train leaving I thought missed you another time, but I’d search you until the end of the world, until I found you!”
These sweet words warmed her heart, but as she could see all his troubles in his eyes. She thought about a way to make him feel more at ease, saying ,“I see you forget who I am! I’m always Freckled Tarzan. I can even jump off a train moving...”
They laughed for a while, walking without a destination. They walked in the countryside, side by side, saying nothing just like in a dream come true. Candy thought she couldn’t feel better than this. She would only taste that special moment with all her senses. She stared at him hoping he wouldn’t found out it, with admiration, he grew up. Now he was a very handsome young man, with that sort of charm that probably made all his fans crazy.
“Without you by my side I didn’t realize how much nice this place is,” he said giving her a tender look. Then they finally sat on the grass near the riverside.
“Here we’ll be quite for sometime before going to Miss Pony’s Home,” said Candy.
“I don’t need to hear anything. I only want to be with you, nothing else matters,” he said getting closer to her.
Candy stood up giving her shoulders to him .“We can’t. You have to take care of Susanna, did you forget?”
“You promised me you would be happy,” he said standing up closing the distance between them. ”I know you weren’t. Me neither, nor Susanna. She knows I was just pretending, so finally she let me free. She deserves more than I could ever give and I could never give her my love because I’m madly in love with someone else... ”
Candy had a knot in her stomach. He was embracing her, squeezing her waist. “I love you… I loved you… and I’ll love you always,” he whispered at her ear in a so tender voice that she couldn’t resist him anymore.
He caressed her cheek, drying her tears. Their faces became closer and closer, until their lips met. Suddenly she broke the kiss. “Please Terry, don’t make things worse. Go away and forget me. We can, nothing will ever be the same. Go to Susanna, and I’ll go on with my life. I know she loves you the way you deserve,”she said not looking in his eyes, trying to hurt him, so that he would never come to see her again.
Getting desperate, Terry grasped Candy’s arms and shouted. “You’re lying, why are you betraying your feelings like this, when your lips showed me that there was still hope, that time didn’t change your feelings for me? You brought me to Heaven only to put me to Hell from higher? No Candy, I don’t think so.”
“It was a moment of weakness, I was overwhelmed by the emotion to see you again after all these years.”
“Such kind of feelings will never change. You can hide everybody but me. Don’t pretend to be indifferent to my love for you. Will you ever be able to forgive me?”
She was trying with all her might to search the way to push him away from her with the most hurtful words she could ever find. Even if her heart was broken into a thousand small pieces and she didn’t know why she was doing it, while she would only have embraced him and let him know how much she loved him.
“It’s not so, Terry… I can’t requite your feelings, because… I’m engaged with someone else. Now you should go to New York and marry Susanna. It’s the only honorable thing to do. Believe me, Terry, I can’t hide once I loved you, but all we had is dead by that cold night, covered by the snow.”
He was speechless, his eyes wide open. Why was she acting like this? He wouldn’t give up so easily, even if she hurt his pride. He had to know what was going on Candy’s mind.
“I don’t know why you’re doing this foolishness, but I don’t think I’ll give up! And let me tell you, you’re not a good actress! I know you’re not engaged and I don’t think you’re in love with Albert. A man knows it in the moment he has a woman in his arms and Albert was kind enough to let you go, but now his sacrifice his useless because of your behavior! What for then? For Susanna, isn’t it? She will be fine. I won’t let you make the same mistake this time!”
“Who are you to tell me what I shall or shall not do? You don’t know anything about me!”
“I know more than you think, because you can’t lie to yourself!” he said showing her the two letters.
“You should never have read that letter, but it’s all my fault, I should never have written it !”
“I see you’re not the girl I used to know, Candy. That girl would never hurt me this way. You’re behaving like my mother, when she pushed me away from her, thinking it would be better for me. I’m old enough to know what is right for me. I’m bored that everybody wants to decide in my place. I’m not a boy . I suffered for my mother’s decision. Once you understood it and even helped us to rebuild our relationship. I can’t believe now you are doing this to me. I can’t bear this from you.”
At these words, remembering the days they spent together in Scotland, Candy started crying desperately...
He received her in his arms for some minutes, like she was a child. She perceived his warmth slowly invading her body, until she felt no more sadness, nor sense of guilt.
He was quiet, letting her calm her tears and glad that she chose to rest her troubles in his embrace than going away, as he thought she would have done. When he saw Candy lifting her eyes, still wet with tears that only made her green sparkle more, he felt the need to comfort her with his most loving words.
“Candy, I know I can’t buy back our past, but we can change our future, maybe the scars would last, but the wounds will stop bleeding. You’ re the water of my thirst, the air of my breath, the blood in my veins. There’s nothing I wouldn’t do for you, and if you didn’t want me I’d be so crazy that I’d steal you to have you in my arms forever. Don’t you see how much I miss you? The world can even fall if don’t have you. I don’t care about anything without you. I’d rather die now in your arms, then live in misery away from you for the rest of my life. I want to stay with you for the rest of my life. I love you. I know you love me as much as I do, so please, will you honor me by becoming my beloved wife?”
In the same time he threw out of his pocket a little box. A million emotions ran through Candy’s heart. She was thinking of everything and nothing at the same time, because that deep blue glance, hypnotized her, paralyzing all her muscles and even her thoughts, making her will terribly weak and unpowerful.
“What are you waiting for? Open it. It’s for you and only you, my freckled Lady Grandchester,”he told her, anxious as he was to have the response.
“Terry… I love you…”and she couldn’t say anything else because he shut her mouth with a tender kiss. Then he took the jewel from the box she had opened and she was still looking at in disbelief. Looking into her eyes, he put the ring in her finger. “Now you’re mine forever. This will remain yours. I’m yours when we’re not together, until we’ll be married.”
“Terry, it’s simply beautiful, but I don’t need a sapphire to remember those eyes that stole my heart from the very first time they met mine. And let me tell you that although it’s the most beautiful jewel I ever had in my hands, it vanishes in front of the sparkles of the two gems you own since your birth.”
“You’re making me blush Freckles!” he joked.
“There wasn’t a day, along all these years that I haven’t thought about you. You don’t know how many times I blamed myself for not being able to admit my feelings for you when we were still together at school, maybe things would have gone a different way...”she added.
“Don’t speak like that,”he said holding her softly in his arms. “I would never have left you back in England. I would have brought you with me, but how could I? We were so young... Did I have the right to steal your future away? You had the opportunity to study in an academy in England. What would your adoptive family have thought of you? I couldn’t. Moreover, how could I have supported you. I had to find a job, a house, even if I could have asked help from my mother, and she would be pleased to help us, but I had to do it on my own… if only I hadn’t be so proud…I was a fool…”
“Stop Terry, don’t blame yourself. You did what you thought it was right in that moment. You couldn’t know I would have run after you. We grew up, we found our ways in life. You had to follow your dream. Now that it’s true I’m so proud of you! You were born to be an actor. I still remember the first time I saw a picture of you on the paper. I was so happy, and the first time I saw you on stage... there are no words to describe the emotion I felt. Now I thank God for all the things that happened because they helped me to understand the depth of my feelings for you. I could never be happy otherwise. What I feel when I’m with you is something I can’t explain. It’s only that ... I love you Terry... probably this is the reason why Albert went away,” and her eyes became veiled by a sad shadow at the thought of her friend. She hurted him, and she will have to hurt him even more.
“I’m sorry for Albert because he has always been a true friend of mine. It’s not a pleasure to hurt someone you love, but he also knew that we were still in love. He gave us the greatest and most precious gift, the only way to happiness. It should be difficult and painful for him to let you go and that’s why we can’t lose this chance he gave us.”
“Albert...”she whispered still perplexed, but Terry had enough of talking, as his desire for her was growing more and more urgent inside him. He kissed her with all his passion and even if Candy was still inexperienced about this matter, after a moment, she answered the kiss. He was caressing her cheeks, then his hand softly and slowly fell down her back, he squeezed her waist so tight that she could hardly breathe. His advances made her entire body tremble, her skin shiver. She felt so good in his arms, that she slowly lost her will. There was only him and her. She felt like she could even fly. Unconsciously she put her arms around his neck, her hands started caressing his silky brown hair, his neck, his shoulders... After all those years he could taste again her flavor, but this time he needed something beyond... He opened his eyes to see his woman surrendering to his caresses and he could hardly believe it was all true. The sight of their shadows on the grass, their hands everywhere... At Candy’s caresses he felt like never before. He slowly laid her on the grass, kissing her throat, then down towards her breast, their breaths getting heavier. He couldn’t stop the emotion burning inside him, that would have made him possess her right there, but he didn’t want to make Candy do something she could have regretted. He looked at her with eyes still full of the fire of passion. “You’re so beautiful,” he whispered, “That you make me lose control over my instinct. I want to give you all myself , but I know we need to be married first...” and he rested his head on her breast surrounded by her soft golden curls. He could hear her heartbeats. His eyes were closed and he could taste the smell and softness of her skin, the light pleasure to lay on her, the thought of their future life together... Suddenly he opened his eyes, and, looking into Candy’s, he suggested, “Why don’t marry on New Year’s Eve?”
Candy was still tasting the sweet sensation of his weight on her, crossing her fingers over his hair, his body warming hers like a coat. She felt a fire growing inside her. Their bodies were calling each other, and she understood that if he wouldn’t have stopped, they would have make love. Hearing Terry’s words, she raised her head and gave him an astonished look.
“Maybe you need more time to have the wedding you deserve, and I need some time to buy a new house to become our home...” he said giving a small kiss on her nose “...You know I still live in that small apartment in New York...”
Candy shut his mouth by kissing him. That made him crazy. They couldn’t wait anymore... “I’d marry you even tonight, but I know everybody would be disappointed, Your mother and our closest friends have to be present, but nobody else. I don’t want a big party, so I don’t need so much time for the preparations. All I want is you! Oh Terry, it’s so romantic to get married the same day we met first!”
The sunset lit their faces and their eyes shone with love. The evening breeze blew away the sufferings of their past. A new day has come, the beginning of their life together…