The still hot August sun drew their shadows on the meadow up
the hill, while a light wind moved the long stems of the lush grass.From that height it was possible to dominate the valley and
the loch below. That was their favourite place because it was hardly ever
visited, they knew they could meet there, certain of the fact that nobody would
see them or have anything to say about it. They had never really arranged to
meet there, nevertheless both of them used to reach the place in the early
afternoon, when Candy had finally completed the numerous activities the summer
Candy’s day used to be pretty intense even though not as much as an ordinary school day in London and it began with Mass, it was a Catholic school after all, run by nuns, then there were the lessons, which used to drag on till twelve o’clock, then lunchtime, and after that the rest hour, during which, Candy would take advantage to do her homework and be free in the afternoon; if she wasn’t already engaged in some activities with Patty, Annie, Stair and Archie, she would climb the hill, her hill, as she used to call it, where she was certain Terence would have come to meet her and share with her the rest of the day.
For Terence everything was easier, he didn’t reside at the school but in one of his family's villas where, free from the control of both his father's authority and his teachers’, he used to do exactly what he wanted, from dawn to dusk. But what he liked doing the most was to spend the afternoon with Candy, so he used to reach her on her hill, on horseback if he had promised to take her riding, or he would walk there, bringing along a book, if he had promised to read to her, because he already knew how she loved listening to him reading some theatrical work. But, sometimes, they did not stay there, they would go back to his villa, where Terence had already started giving her piano lessons. She absolutely had no ear for music but he did not mind giving her a hand and with infinite patience, he didn’t know he possessed, he would sit with her in front of the keyboard, guiding and encouraging her to learn.
That day Terence had brought his harmonica because he wanted to entertain her by playing some melancholic Scottish and Irish ballads. He had talent for music and from any instrument, piano, violin or a simple harmonica he could extract melodious sounds, as only a virtuoso could do.
After a while they interrupted that activity and began
talking about their imminent return to London. Summer was almost over and they
would soon have to leave Edinburgh's surroundings and the freedom that holiday
had granted them, the best vacation of his life, thought Terence, because it
was time for them to go back to the St. Paul’s Academy, where they had promised
to each other not to let even one day pass without meeting at least once.
"I think I'll spend my lunch break and the after school on the hill," Terence said, looking at her with a mischievous smile playing on his lips. "Me too, I'd like to spend my lunch break on the fake Pony's Hill," Candy replied, winking at him with a jaunty grin. "Terry?" She continued after a moment of silence, "hmm?" he replied while looking across the landscape in front of him, "As soon as we return to London I would like to visit Albert at the zoo, would you like to accompany me?"
"Of course, with pleasure!" Terence answered then a long silence fell between them.
After a while, Terence came out from his deep thinking and
asked: "Candy, shall we dance?" He stood up and held out his hand to
her. Candy liked dancing, but she found the question rather bizarre, there was
no music, no melody that could guide their steps except the chirping of the
birds, the rustling of the leaves and the light blowing of the wind, yet she
accepted and put her hand in his; Terence helped her up, encircled her waist
with his left hand and began to move, smiling, miming the light steps of a
waltz. He was an accomplished dancer and was able to guide his partner, making
Candy was amused and delighted at the same time. She liked very much the game they were playing. He made her feel as light as a feather. Terence's smile was sweet, his eyes glued to hers, both seemed to feed on the image they had in front of them, like honey bees, sucking the nectar from flowers. The sun played with their hair, moved by the breeze of the early fall. To Candy it seemed like the boy's dark hair had taken copper reflections and she felt utterly happy, she was happy to be there in his arms while she danced to the rhythm of her young heart whose feelings, maybe a little confused, were now leading her to the awareness that she did like him in a very special way and that he too liked her exactly the same way.
All of a sudden, Terence stopped waltzing so unexpectedly
that Candy, unable to stop just as quickly, bumped into his chest.
"Terry, what's up, why did you stop?" She asked, raising her face to look at him. The smile had disappeared from the boy’s face. He was seriously looking at her. He was not angry, though. His gaze was clear and serene but very intense, as if he was meditating on what to say. As if he could see through her. Candy was dazed, unable to free herself from his embrace. For a time that seemed endless, the two of them continued to look at each other and then, it was as if Terence had finally returned to Earth from a distant journey. He shook himself, blinked twice and whispered: "Candy ... I’d like to ..."
Candy felt that something had changed between them, but she was not sure what it was. She put her hands on his chest as if to push him away, but she did not act accordingly. With one hand Terence went on holding firmly her waist while taking her hand with his other and bringing it to his lips. He kissed Candy's fingers repeatedly one by one, then he turned her hand and pressed it on his cheek. Candy had never caressed Terence's face, which appeared smooth to the eye but she could distinctly feel some stubble on the boy's cheek. She felt her knees tremble, she wanted to run away but at the same time she could not move. While his soft, slightly moist lips, started brushing her palm she could feel how they transmitted a sensation of pure electricity throughout her body, making her heart thump wildly.
The next moment Terence's face was coming dangerously close to hers, so much so that Candy could feel the boy's breathing tickle her skin, his nose brushed against hers and Terence, naturally tilted his head slightly to one side while protruding his lips towards hers. "Please, please Candy let me do it!" prayed Terence in his heart, feeling that the girl's body had stiffened. Rationally he sensed that for Candy was still too soon, she was only a fourteen-year-old girl after all, but he wanted her. He had already pictured this scene so many times in his head, and not once in his imagination, had he been rejected. "Juliet was 14 too but she never turned Romeo down, did she?", he thought.
Candy blushed profusely while Terence's mouth came closer,
dangerously closer to hers! But she could not stop him from approaching her
further. The boy closed his eyes and gently touched her lips, and it was as if
a butterfly had landed on Candy's mouth.
Terence opened his eyes and rested his forehead on hers, then he kissed the tip of her nose, he took her face in his hands and gently moved his thumb over the lips that he had kissed a few moments earlier, to caress them. "I would like to do it again," he whispered, looking tenderly at her. Candy nodded, blushing, and got on tiptoe the instant that Terry bent over her, covering her mouth with his own. This time the girl's lips parted to receive his and as Candy's lips opened, her eyes closed, lost in that mutual feeling of warmth. Her arms clung to Terence's waist and soon the two young lovers were transported to a world of their own, until a strong gust of wind made them jump, as if something wanted to separate them.
Terence held Candy strongly in his arms to protect her, afraid that the wind could take her away from him. A flash ripped the sky and next came the thunder and a sudden shower, a full-blown summer downpour crashed on them making them explode with uncontrollable laughter.
"I fear that someone is telling us it's time to go back!" Terence shouted in the midst of the thunder roar. "Yes, I think so!” Candy cried out. They quickly gathered their belongings and holding hands they started running down the hill to where the sun was still shining ... towards the rainbow.