Terry's Letter to Candy
by Odyssea (translated
I’ve stared at this blank sheet for hours under the dim light of a lamp reflecting on the paper, going up and down silently, hearing only the noise of my steps on the floor. And I’ve been wondering for hours if the idea of writing you is right or wrong. Obsessed by this nagging thought, I’ve asked my conscience and my honour for a long time if longing to talk to you was consistent to the silent promise that I once made to the one sleeping in the next room. I haven’t found an answer, maybe it doesn’t exist. I only know that now I’m here writing to you, and if it's true that a real man never cries, then I’m not a man tonight.
You might be wondering why I’ve decided to turn up today, right now, after such a long time of silence, after I swore I would turn you into a far-off memory, after I chose a way that doesn’t include you, that hopelessly parts you from me. The truth is that today, in New York, I met Albert. I don’t know if it was by chance, or if one had unconsciously arranged to meet the other. I don’t want to know it.
Maybe I'm afraid to find out that it was me looking for him by all means, with hungry ardor, and if I realised this weakness I would also realise I’m not a man of his words. I wanted to know if you were ok…and I discovered about you two. I sensed it, I didn’t need him to tell me frankly. Albert’s face had signs of a deep emotion, together with the unmistakable mark of happiness. Was it
you who made him burn with joy? After all, how can I doubt it? Albert is the best man I’ve ever known, obviously better than me. I
hold him in high esteem, more than anyone else. If ever I had wanted to express a wish for your happiness, as a stranger looking at your life from outside, I would have seen him by your side. I confess
to you that, ever since you were living together in Chicago and especially then, when I met him in Rockstown, and we talked a lot about you
and me, and what could have been, my mind had already caught some signs, even if was unaware of it. I saw a devotion in him that had stopped being only friendly. I wasn’t jealous of him, at least I didn’t believe it, but I considered him so exceptional, so admirable, that I think I was certain, without focusing it, that finally you would rather like his exemplary soul, than my imperfect one. I’m not as worthy as him. For a moment, while he was talking in a gentle and sincere way, in a pleasant and firm manner, (as if he wanted to tell and not to tell) I felt a pang of sadness and disappointment deep inside my heart. A very selfish and miserable pain that made my attempt to hide it even more extraordinary. I smiled at him and I’ve never been so good at playing a role. There is no Romeo or Hamlet up to Terry pretending to be absolutely glad. Unfortunately, although my acting performance was excellent, I think I
was unable to deceive Albert. He’s too good and perceptive. However I made him promise me never to
talk to you about our meeting. What’s the point of doing it? I can’t expect any longer
that your heart belonged to me, otherwise, if you granted me the honour of considering me
still a part of yourself, this would be further reason not to mention our meeting. I’m sure he will keep this promise. I know you’ll be happy with him. I wish you that from the depths of my heart, but…I feel pain, my little freckled monkey. I feel pain. By what right am I feeling so desperate? I’m a man who first made a choice, told you
to "go away", keep off. Have I the right to feel something
with such little joy and so much misery?
When you prevented Suzanne from committing suicide
and while I was walking on the hospital terrace carrying her in my arms to
put her in a safe place, I didn’t even look at you, yet you were there, little confused woman in the snow, in the wind, with your vivid coloured coat fluttering. I wanted to turn my eyes to you, share my anguish with you…but I couldn’t. I haven’t been a hero, not the way I wanted to. I shouldn’t have left you, yet I did it. I even lost myself for a long time…I couldn’t forget your back against my chest, the
scent of your hair, your broken but brave voice…I couldn’t even act. I’ve been on the brink of a precipice for a long time. I was just one step
removed from falling down for ever. I used to drink. I wasn’t myself. I was a ghost with a heavy burden on my back. I was abasing myself in order not to think. I was dying in order not to die…Then…I believed to see you in the midst of that miserable crowd…in the smoke…like that night on the terrace…like the first time on the ship…a flash of light, and I was overcome with pride, with energy…how could I be brutalized this way? How couldn’t I be up to your extraordinary willpower? I said to myself "Candy would reprimand me if she really saw me…she would be sorry for me and would scold me …Get hold of yourself! Be yourself again!". So I’m back. I’m back now.
Newspapers acclaim me again, critics flatter me…When I’m Hamlet I forget my sorrow. That’s the only moment when pain parts from me; his passion becomes mine, his death sets me free. Theater takes me back to the
sweet moments we spent together, when we shared expectations, hopes, dreams, and there was nothing we didn’t expect from the future.
Candy you taught me to love. I don’t mean only love for you, but love in general. Before I met you I was an introverted boy, unable to feel something more than a cold contempt for other people. I wanted to destroy everything. I had a naughty anger inside me, a burning disappointment. I used to destroy for fear of building…Then you appeared. With your difficult life and your liveliness…what a model you were for me! I admired you, and straight afterwards I loved you. You helped me to make up with my mother. You found out my unexpressed sensitivity. You made me laugh. You made me find out my vocation for acting. In loving you, I loved everything else. You didn’t realize how you amplified every good thing was inside me…
Little Freckled Tarzan, I will never forget you. Still, I won’t come back. Suzanne needs me to stay with her.
Sometimes I’m afraid of her dependence on me …If I left her she would die... she would die away like a flower in the darkness.
Sometimes when I’m immersed in my thoughts and absent-minded, I feel her hand gripping mine and her voice
is pleading, frightened, as she is fearful I would go away again. She always smiles, but she’s scared. I can perceive it from her breath. I care for her, she saved my life.
How could I be indifferent to such a gift? Now I could be in her place, on her wheelchair, with the same flashes of panic in my eyes. Helping and supporting her in this hard trial makes me feel deserving of forgiveness for all my mistakes. I feel purer this way, devoting myself to her, who, without me, wouldn’t have anything. Even her mother died …
Candy I truly hope you’ll be happy. I hope so…and I feel pain too… I will never be able to be as perfect as you, as you can see. Never so good as…But I won’t give up, don’t worry…I’m stronger now. I know what’s my life and my destiny. Theatre protects me. So does your memory.
Goodbye my love. Goodbye to your girlish smile, to your childish grimaces, to your adult words. You’ll be happy, I’m sure of it, much more than you’d be with me, much more than me. But you’ll never know it, ‘cause I won’t send you this letter. You’ll see my cheerful face on newspapers and know about my success, and you’ll think I’m finally
at peace. You may think I’ve got over nostalgia, you will live better believing that. I will hide the truth
from you to set you free, and for me, to survive with my self-respect. But don’t forget me completely, please don’t. Keep something
of mine inside your heart. I will forever have fond memories of our days in London, in Scotland, and of your white uniform running after my train and the golden waving spot of your hair. I must be going…but I wonder…like Romeo once did…"Can I go on, if my heart is elsewhere?".
Author's (Odyssea) Notes:
I’m really excited about being your guest here. I can hardly contain my joy, and my thunderous thanks are going to drown you out... In imagining the letter Terry wrote to Candy, I empathized with the soul of a boy who feels lonely, who made painful and necessary choices, and who will never forget his great love...Terry, this imperfect man, so human, passionate, in love with Candy to his fingertips, like only one who has never been in love before can be...with astonishment, awe, afraid of letting himself go...and then, when he decides to let himself go, his world crashes down...or...the floodlight crashes down... and from then on everything changes and takes a strange terrible course. I imagined him this way, in a lonely night, his house enveloped in darkness, while Susanna is sleeping in another room. I imagined him going up and down, and when finally he stops to sit down and write, he starts to cry...he remembers what once he had and doesn’t have any longer... I may look foolish, but I swear I cried too...it was like being with him, near the lamp shedding an orange light on the white paper, exhorting him to be strong... I could reprimand him but...I didn’t do it...he was sad enough, alone...I just stayed with him for a little while, looking at him while he was writing, and he was beautiful, too beautiful, too desperate... In this way I lived this little imaginary emotion, remembering a cartoon which has never been only a cartoon...but a true school of life...Thank you Candy and thank you Terry...I will never forget you.
Translator's (Kiara Notes:
All over the world there are both perfect people and heroes. It’s not the same thing. Perfect people are those who have all the best qualities, usually do the right thing, and they are supposed to never to fail. While heroes are ordinary people, with their qualities and their faults, but they have to face extraordinary, difficult and hard situations, where they are challenged to prove their value, when nobody would like to be in their shoes. Sometimes they do the right thing, sometimes the wrong one. Now it’s too easy to say Terry and Candy took the wrong decision. No one was there to advise them to act differently. Everybody around them thought that separating was the appropriate thing to do. Thank you Candy and Terry, the hard trials your love underwent made of you two unforgettable wonderful heroes. And thanks to Susanna, whose mediocrity makes their love and courage shine even more.
We know that some fans don’t like completely this letter because what after all emerges is that “Terry stays with Susanna, and Candy stays with Albert”, and everybody accept it. It wasn’t intended to show that. This letter is strictly based on the three posthumous Kyoko Mizuki’s novels, the only official Candy Candy’s sequel, where it’s correct that Terry is still looking after Susanna (with his heart elsewhere...), but it's obvious that after two years Candy hasn’t any affair with Albert, or better still, she also writes that famous letter to Terry that never mails, that letter overflowing with love and nostalgia...but Terry cannot know it...He could have misunderstood the relation between Candy and Albert, maybe because deep inside his heart he knows that this can take place, after all he really wants Candy’s happiness and he recognizes that marrying Albert would be “the best” for her…who knows? Recognizing other people value and our imperfections is something that increases our value. This letter is just a flash in Terry’s emotional life, which wants to show the very true part of him.