plane was about to land in New York. It was the end of June and the sun was
burning up the city. A lot of people on the plane were going on vacation, some
were going towards a new life and a new job, some were going back home after
some time abroad… it was the case of a young lady with long wavy and curly blond
hair. She had beautiful green eyes and freckles on her nose. She had just come
from backpacking all over Europe and she had a lot of fun. She was coming back
home where her family was missing her and waiting for her. But she wasn't ready
to confront them yet. They had been begging her to come back for over a year,
and now that she had come back, she wasn't quite ready to see them. After the
formalities, she was heading towards the exits. She found a cab and gave him her
friends address. When she got out of the car with her little bag, she looked at
the building on Madison Avenue…
- I hope Roberta is there, she said out
loud, otherwise I would have to camp outside again…in the Big Apple? That should
She walked to the building. The doorman looked at her and
opened the door. She got in, she knew they were not going to let her go up, so
she called Roberta's apartment in the interphone. It rang a few times, a long
time. There was no answer. She tried again, the doormen were looking at her the
weird way, they thought she was a homeless girl playing a prank. The second
time, no one picked up either.
- Come on Bobbie, pick up! You have to be
there, you're never out of the apartment before 5 pm!
The phone rang and
finally someone picked up.
- Hello? Said a sleepy voice
- Who is this?
- It's Candy! You're friend!
Oh…Candy? Where are you? In France?
I'm downstairs in your lobby! I've been calling you for the past 10 minutes! Let
me in you sleepyhead!
- Ok… you can come up!
- Finally! Thanks
Bobbie called downstairs to tell them to let Candy come up. Candy
got in the elevator and went to the 21st floor, her friend's apartment. Roberta
Davis was one of those spoiled brats with a humongous luxury apartment, where
she liked to entertain her friends and have parties almost every night. She had
a trust fund, a bottomless trust fund and she was always partying and spending
money. She invested some of her money and she was spending the interest on one
of her accounts…that way she would never run out of money. Candy had met her in
boarding school and they had become friends, despite their differences, in
attitudes. Candy was the careful girl when it came to boys, Bobbie was… not very
Candy got out of the elevator and Bobbie was waiting for her at
the door. She was wearing a red robe. Candy ran in her arms!
What a nice surprise!
- Bobbie! It's good to see you!
They got in
the apartment. A guy was walking around in his boxers, he smiled at her. Candy
was shaking her head.
- Who is that?
- My beau from last
- I know, I'll stop those one night
- You're growing up…you need to start getting into serious
relationships and think about your future…
- I love having you around,
said Bobbie, I love your lectures! I missed you Candy!
She hugged her
- I miss you too, said Candy, can I stay here for a few
- You're not going home?
- I don't really want to hear a
lecture from my parents…
- They have a fiancé in tow, waiting for
- Something like that. I tried to delay it as much as I could…but I
will have to confront them sooner of later…
- Are you still
- Yes, I've done some painting in Europe…
- One of my
bratty friends is getting married and I would like you to make a portrait of her
and her fiancé as a wedding present from me…
- You're giving me a
- Yes…I can pay you right now…
- So you'll
have some pocket money…since you don't want to go to your family, I'm assuming
you're not using your credit card, so they won't know where you are…And I know
you'll never take anything from me…
- The job is genuine,
don't worry… You're going to do the bride's portrait and the groom's portrait.
You'll start with the bride, the groom is on a business trip. How long will it
take you to do one portrait?
- When is the wedding? Asked Candy
In 3 weeks…
- I can put a rush on it and spend a week with the bride and
a week with the groom, I can arrange the rest from memory…
- All right…
I'm glad you came back! I was wondering what I was going to give them as wedding
presents… then again, the marriage is a business deal, arranged by both
families… so, we're pretending!
Bobbie burst out laughing.
They're not in love?
- I think she loves him but, he's drop dead
gorgeous! But for him it's just a business deal… she tried to get him in the
sack but he wouldn't budge…
- Ok, said Candy laughing, too much
- Still so prude…, so I can assume you acted like a nun
in Europe, you didn't try different flavours?
- I haven't tried any
- Still got your v-card! I love you Candy, you know that?!
Sometimes I wish I was like you and still have my v-card! But you and I know
mine was gone before you even knew you had one!
- Bobbie! Said Candy
- I don't get you, some girls did it out of curiosity… you're
not even curious?
- I have the rest of my life to do it… when I find the
right guy, that is…
- How will you know it's the right one?
just know…said Candy with dreamy eyes, that's why I don't want to settle with
the man my parents chose for me…
- So why don't you have fun
- It's just not what I do…thanks for the job Bobbie…
They live in Connecticut, one big mansion…big garden, all the shebang and the
church is not too far from the mansion… I'll take you there later today
We'll need to go shopping for supplies
- Of course honey…now tell me
- All right, but there are no juicy details…
didn't expect any less from you "Sandra Dee"!
to Bobbie's room and they talked while Bobbie was taking a shower, getting
dress, doing her hair and the "beau" was in another room getting ready. Candy
took a shower too and she changed her clothes. A maid put a very late breakfast
on the table for her boss and her guests. Bobbie and Candy continued chatting,
the one night stand ate then kissed Bobbie on the cheek and left.
That's it? Said Candy, are you going to see him again?
- No, the sex
wasn't all that…
- Oh my God! Said Candy laughing
- Forget about
him! Let's go get you some supplies for the portraits…
- You don't have
to come with me, to Connecticut; I can rent a car and go there…
pay for the car rental…
- Don't argue, this is my
- Fine, said Candy laughing
They went to get all the painting
supplies Candy needed to make portraits… Candy was happy to have something to
do, before going back to her parents…
"Mom dad, I'm sorry, I need a
little more time, after a year away in Europe! Candy thought, but I'm only
delaying the inevitable…"
Roberta gave her the address and showed her on
a map how to get there.
- You can't get lost, if you do, just ask for the
Bartlett residence, everybody knows it.
- I'll be fine, said Candy I just
spend a year backpacking in Europe, I can find my way in Connecticut!
All right Sandra Dee, good luck! Make me proud!
- I will, Bobbie! Thank
you for this gig… a painting job before I go back to my parents to be united
forever to a man I don't know from Adam…
- Have a little fun! Said
Bobbie, let yourself go, and then go be a prisoner… Here's one of my cell phones
and here's the number
Candy smiled, for the first time, she was
considering Bobbie's suggestion. Have fun before entering the lion's den… She
didn't want to marry someone she didn't know or love. Her father wanted her to
be safe, in a safe marriage…and make a great business deal in the
"Let me go concentrate on this job I have to do 2 portraits
in 3 weeks! I can do that…you're a godsend Bobbie!"
As Candy was
driving to Connecticut she was enjoying herself, the big streets, she did miss
America after all. She was listening to music and the trip seemed shorter to
her, since she was enjoying herself a lot. She had no trouble finding the
Bartlett Residence. It was a very big mansion and a big garden. There was a
parking lot and Candy parked her car. She went to the door and rang. A few
minutes went by before a butler showed up.
- Yes, can I help
- I'm here to see Miss Bartlett, she said, my name is Candy
- I don't know anything about any appointment. There are several
Miss Bartlett, which one would that be?
- The future bride? Her friend
Roberta sent me to do a portrait for her as a wedding present, said Candy who
was a little upset
- Oh, wait here…
A few minutes passed before
the butler came back with the future bride. Lacy Bartlett. She had brown hair
she was tall and slim and she had an arrogant look…
- Who the hell are
you? She asked Candy with a condescending tone, are you a new maid, you
should've used the back door! Not the main entrance!
Candy felt like the
annoying help. But she kept her calm.
- My name is Candy White, I was
sent by Roberta Davis to do a portrait for you and your fiancé as a wedding
Candy was wearing jeans and a flowered shirt. She looked like a
- You're twelve! Said Lacy
- I'm older than I look…,
said Candy motionless
Lacy's cell phone rang, it's ringing tone was the
- Hello? She said, Bobbie!.... yes, she's here… a
portrait? So you sent me a 12 years old Sandra Dee! I thought you would've got
Norman Rockwell for me! She's good? She looks so young… she's our age?????
You're kidding! I thought she looked too pure…
Candy couldn't believe
Lacy's rudeness! Lacy continued talking to Bobbie
- All right Bobby, for
you I'll do it. A portrait? This better be good, and I'll have to convince my
fiancé to stay still for hours for her to do his portrait… Thanks honey… very
Lacy hung up her phone. And looked at Candy with jealousy. Candy
looked so young and they were the same age! She looked so pure and innocent and
Bobbie told her she was innocent and to help her get a little
"I'm going to get my cousin Scott to wipe that innocent look off
her face!" Thought Lacy
She smiled to Candy but for some reason, this
last one didn't believe in the sincerity of that smile…
it was not a sincere one!" Thought Candy
- Sandy right?
- Oh Bobbie told me you're a real Sandra Dee, I guess it stuck in
my mind…, said Lacy with a fake smile
Candy was looking at her.
I'm going to show you to your room…
Candy followed Lacy to a very long
hall way went down the stairs, until they got to the staff quarters. She gave
her a room, very small with a single bed a table and a chair; the walls were all
white, but with traces of dirt…
- There, this is where you're going to
sleep…, said Lacy
- Well thank you very much! It's much better than to
- You slept out side?
- Yep! I was backpacking and
looking for adventure…
- Oh…, said Lacy unsure
- Don't worry, said
Candy looking at her like she read her mind, I would starve before I steal
something… You're silvery is safe…
Lacy had an uncomfortable
- I wasn't implying anything, if Bobbie trusts you…
Bobbie got me this gig and I love her for that. Can you show me where I'm going
to paint? I will need a place where we can get a lot of sunlight… and where I
will be able to move as I pleased, since I'm going to spend the day
- Of course, we have such a room… come with me…
followed her to one of the room; full of windows, a glass room… it had flowers
and different green plants. It was a perfect for an artist.
- This is a
beautiful room! Said Candy, when would you like to start?
- How about
tomorrow morning? Said Lacy
- Perfect! 8 o'clock?
- I'll be there.
I'll get the driver to get your stuff from your car.
- Here are my keys,
said Candy giving it to her.
- This is an expensive car, said
- It's a rental, Bobbie paid for it. Since she couldn't drive me,
she rented this car for me
- Right! She always roots for the
Candy looked at Lacy… what's with the hostility? But she didn't
say anything. She was there to do a job. Not to argue with her subject.
Bobbie is the best, said Candy
- She is, said Lacy, well I've got stuff
to do, you can go to the kitchen downstairs and get something to eat if you're
hungry…I will see you tomorrow morning.
Lacy dismissed Candy like she was
her hired help and Candy smiled. That was going to be a fun gig. She's going do
that portrait and she's going to make an ultimate effort not to draw Lacy with
Candy made herself comfortable in the little room. The sheets were
clean and the room was fine. She went to look around to find out where the
bathroom was. She went to kitchen and she found the staff talking.
Hello! Said Candy
- Hi! Said the others
The butler was there and
he smiled at her.
- I'm sorry about earlier, he said
- It's ok,
you were just doing your job, said Candy smiling
- That's the young girl
I was telling you about, she came to make a portrait of the princess of
- Oh… good luck, said the cook, spending the whole day staring at
that monster can't be a party of fun!
- I'm going to have to force myself
not to draw her with horns…
Everybody burst out laughing.
her friend's friend and she puts you in the staff's quarters? She could've given
you one of the many empty room in the mansion, said the butler
- Oh, it's
ok. I like it here, I can talk to you guys…
- Do you want something to
eat? Said Cook, I can find something for you…
- Yes, please, but I can do
it, just show me…
- I knew you were a keeper! Said Cook. It's ok, let me
do it! I like you all ready!
Candy smiled and the rest of the staff also
smiled at her. She was treating them like people, which was a change from the
"Princess of mean". Candy had a late supper and she talk to the staff all the
time. They were glad to have her. There were a lot of young maids who were
talking about their indiscretions with the men of the mansion. Candy thought it
was too much information she didn't really need to know about. She was going to
be there for a couple of weeks only until she finishes her work and then she
will leave and never hear about Lacy Bartlett ever again!
Candy was in
her bedroom about to sleep when Roberta called her.
- Hey Sandra Dee! How
- Bobbie, I'm fine…
- How's Lacy?
- You friend is
- You said it!
- I know… you can draw her
with horns if you want…
- Don't tempt me!
They burst out
- It's only for a few weeks, said Candy, I'll be fine.
All right honey, thanks for doing this
- No, thanks for the gig, the cell
phone, the car…
- Don't mention it! You have fun with the car while you
can, your money is in your account…
- Yes… you need it,
after backpacking without you parent's money…
- Don't you
dare argue with me…
- Did you give me this gig as a way to give me
- What on earth are you talking about? Said Bobbie faking being
- Just do your job or whatever you want, that
money is non returnable!
- So I can pick up and leave right now and keep
- Bobbie! You know I can't do that!
course I do, you're Miss goodie-two-shoes!
- Bobbie! Thanks for sending
me to the subject from hell!!!
- I bet she put you in the staff
- She thought I was too young
- Yes, I told her we were
the same age, that's probably what made her angry… she thought you were younger,
but you're the same age, she hates that!
- She hates not being the
centre of attention, so she stashed me away in the basement! What a charming
creature! On second thought, I think I'm going to draw her with horns!
Don't forget the tail and the fork!
They burst out laughing. They talked
for a while. Candy went to bed after finishing talking to Roberta.
Working with Lacy Bartlett was a pain in the butt! Candy woke up at
dawn, to get ready. She went to the kitchen to find the staff already
- Good morning! Said Candy
- Good morning! Said the
- You want some coffee? Said Cook
- Yes and I can get it
myself, just tell me where the mugs are…
Cook, a nice middle aged woman,
smiled. She gave Candy a mug and this last one poured herself some coffee. Cook
had toast for her with bacon and eggs and a glass of orange juice. Candy ate,
she was glad to be back in America, she missed her nice American
- Thank you so much, she said when she was done… I'm going to
go for a walk then go start my job…
- What time are you supposed to
- 8 am!
The staff burst out laughing. Candy was stunned,
did she miss something.
- The Princess of mean doesn't wake up until noon
if you're lucky, and that's when she opens her eyes. Then there's the bath, the
make up, the hair, her food…
- I think you should be expecting her around
2 pm, if you're lucky, said one of the maids!
- All right , said Candy
smiling, that will give me some time to think while I wait for her Royal
Highness of the kingdom of mean!
- That's the spirit! Said the
Candy went for a walk in town. She was able to see the milkman
delivering the milk. She saw the delivery boys going from house to house to
deliver the paper, the mailman doing his round. It was a beautiful day. She went
back to the mansion and Lacy was indeed still asleep. She went to her studio and
she painted what she saw from the windows of the garden. The beautiful flowers,
the trees, the pool, the gazebo, the swing… She was lost in her passion when she
heard some foot steps. It was a maid with a tray…
a scarf on her beautiful long hair to protect it from the paint.
lunch time, said the maid, I bought you a tray
- Oh, you didn't need
- You must be hungry…
- I forgot about it, but yes I'm hungry,
thank you so much!
- I'll come back to get the tray later…
- Stop it! You're a guest in this house, and we're going to treat you
accordingly…even if the POM won't!
- Thank you…
The maid put a tray on a little table where there was a chair. Candy
went to wash her hands and she ate her lunch. She was really hungry.
showed up around 2:30 pm… Candy didn't say a thing, she told her where to sit,
how to sit and started working. Lacy stood still for 5 minutes than she started
moving around and talking about herself all the time. She was so self-centered.
- My fiancé is so handsome, I can't wait to be his wife, he's coming
with my cousin soon, I can set you up with him if you want…
- No thank
you, said Candy, I can get my own dates…
- He's really rich, you should
be so lucky…
- Money isn't everything, said Candy, I'm not looking for a
- Everybody wants a rich husband
- I want a man who
loves me, rich or poor
- Yeah right!
Candy wanted to scream. Lacy
wanted Candy to be played with by her cousin… why? Because she wanted Candy to
be treated like a slut by a man… she looked too pure and innocent.
don't need a date… I have to go back to my parents, when I'm done here
Oh, you can bring them a fiancé…
- Why are you dead set on setting me up
with your cousin? I don't want to date!
- I just want to help… since I'm
getting married I want everybody to get married and I'm giving you the chance to
be with a successful executive in one of the biggest firms in the
- That's really nice of you, but I don't need a man
about it, talk to him when he gets here, you might hit it off…
right, said Candy, but I'm not promising you anything. I don't care about the
- Maybe you'll fall in love with him…
- Whatever! Now can
you stand still for me to do my job?
- Of course, said Lacy
She was glad she got Candy to agree to give her cousin a chance.
Candy worked until supper time. Lacy was glad not to be forced to pose anymore.
They worked together for a week in a half and Candy finished the portrait mostly
by memory, because Lacy was unreliable. She gave Candy her picture and told her
to use it.
- This woman is impossible! Said Candy
So the portrait
was done from a picture! Lacy was glad and she loved it, Candy did a very good
- I love it! You rock! Said Lacy sincerely
- You can stay with me, my fiancé is coming tonight with my
- Oh… I wanted to rest a little…
- You go get some rest and
I'll send a maid to come and get you …
- Fine, said Candy
Candy went to her room and she took a long nap until the maid
woke her up because the POM was looking for her.
- Oh… I jut want to
- Her fiancé is coming soon, she wants you to meet him …
She wants me to date her cousin, said Candy
- Oh… said the other maid
- I'm not interested
- You haven't seen him yet
don't need a date
- You might like him
- Whatever, said
Candy got ready she put on a nice skirt and a beautiful green silk
shirt. She some make up on. The maid was surprised by the
- You look lovely, she said
- Thank you… I just
want to finish the fiancé's portrait and leave…
- You won't stay for the
- I'm not invited…
- But if you hit it off with the
- I won't ok… I have stuff to do home, I don't have time for
- It's ok, said Candy smiling I'll see you
Candy went to the living room where the whole family was. Lacy
had sisters and cousin who had come over for the wedding. They were all talking
not paying any attention to her. Candy was bored. When the fiancé and the cousin
arrived Lacy took Candy by the hand to introduce her to her cousin. Candy
followed her slowly and she looked at Lacy hugging two guys, she hugged one
longer. He had blond hair.
- That must be the fiancé, said
The other one with brown hair entered the mansion.
must be the cousin, said Candy
He was tall, he had brown hair, a little
long and blue-green eyes. He was smiling, and Candy was melting…
my God! What the hell is happening to me?" She thought.
The young man
looked at Candy and he was just frozen on the spot. She was the most beautiful
sight he had ever saw. He smiled.
- Hello, he said
- Hi, I'm
- Pleased to meet you Candy, he said taking her hand to kiss it…,
- Pleased to meet you…, she said smiling
He looked at
her and he was melting. Candy was glad she would have to date him, he was
charming, handsome and it was love at first sight for her.
nonsense! She thought, I'm not that kind of girl who believes in love at first
sight! And I have to go to my parents to meet my…suitor! And I meet the man of
my dreams? How do I know that after a few seconds? I just do…! This is not
happening now!" Thought Candy
Terry was talking to her.
You've got freckles on your nose, he said
- Oh, you're not thinking you
're telling me something I don't know
- Of course not, I just think
- You wish you had some?
- Yes, so we could talk
about it all day…
- You can still talk about it, said Candy
She was floating in the air…
- We can find time to talk
about it, he said
- I have to do the portrait of the groom, but
afterwards, I'm free…
He looked at her, he wanted to reply,
- Candy! Here you are! I see you've met my darling!
Said Candy stunned
- Yes, that's Terry, my fiancé, this is your date! My
Candy looked at Scott; she looked at Terry with hurt eyes.
She managed to smile.
- Oh, of course, hi Scott!
- Hello Candy,
said Scott approaching and kissing her hand, you look lovely
- Thank you,
said Candy with a forced smile
Lacy was standing next to Terry.
Don't they make a wonderful couple? She said
Terry was looking at Candy
and Scott without a smile.
- Yeah, he said not convinced at
Lacy hugged him.
- I'm so glad you're finally here honey, I
missed you so much.
Terry was hugging his fiancée while looking at Candy
and Scott. Candy looked at him, she almost had tears in her eyes. Scott took
Candy away to the living room to greet the rest of the family. Lacy and Terry