A 5th Sunday on Wheels
The last class of the morning had finished, and while all the
students were leaving the school room Candy approached Sister Margaret who was
getting together all her books. Almost in a whisper, Candy talked to her.
“Sister, did you get the thing that I asked you?”
The nun went to the door and noticed they were alone, before answering in a low voice. “Yes I did, but if somebody finds out I will have problems with Sister Grey.”
Candy smiled at her positive reply. “Don’t worry for that Sister. Just think that God rewards us for our good actions and I’m sure you will also be rewarded for this little favour.”
The woman shook her head, she knew Candy well. “Stop complimenting me Candy. Tonight around 10, I will knock on your door and will leave the little package outside your door.”
Candy showed a wide smile of gratitude. “Thank you very much Sister.” And both women took different ways. Candy headed to Pony’s Hill and the Sister to say her morning prayers and to confess that she had done something she shouldn’t.
It was a quiet and relaxed night at St. Paul’s. All the students were in their rooms sleeping, studying or reading. But things were totally different at Candy’s… she kept walking from one side of the room to the other, anxiously waiting for the sign. She knew the sister wouldn’t let her down and wouldn’t be late, and a sister can’t lie. Right at that moment she took another look at the time. She heard the knock on the door. Carefully she opened the door and looked left and right, where she saw Sister Margaret holding a candle doing her night inspection of the halls of the school. Candy then focused her eyes on the little package that was lying outside her door, and before any curious eyes could catch a glimpse of the scene, she took it and closed the door.
The next day started as any other day, lots of assignments and
homework. When all the classes were over, an exhausted Patty opened the door of
her room and came in. She was about to close it, when Annie and Candy hurried
up inside and practically slammed the door before somebody could see them. The
sound of that slammed door resounded through the halls of the school. The two
girls were so excited that Annie didn’t have time to reprimand Candy for the
noise. Patty looked at them not understanding what they were doing there.
Both girls scared the hell out of poor Patty who even dropped her books to the floor. “Annie, Candy, that was so scary!”
“Candy keep it quiet,” Annie whispered trying to lower the volume of her extremely enthusiastic friend.
“Oops,” Candy smiled and put her hands behind her head.
“And how did you girls find out?” Patty asked.
“Well as the Sister says ‘you tell the miracle but not the saint,” Candy replied, “and this from Annie and me.”
Candy extended a little box decorated with a big bright red ribbon. When Patty took it, a shy smile adorned her face… it was the first time that friends of her own age celebrated her birthday and even gave her a present! She looked at the little box again and then to her friends… she felt so overwhelmed that tears fell from her eyes.
Annie got worried. “You don’t like it?”
“It’s not that,” Patty said sobbing. “I’m just so happy!”
“Come on Patty, open it soon or we will get old waiting to see if you liked it or not,” Candy added anxiously.
Slowly and with a lot of emotions in her heart she opened the little box. Inside she found a set of handkerchiefs in different colors: one was white, the other was pale rose, light blue, etc. The fabric seemed to be top quality and they were graciously sorted inside the little box. Annie took one with her hand and noticed that her name was embroidered on one corner, just like in all the other handkerchiefs. She looked at her friends and noticed her fingers were ruined. Were Annie had the skills to do that delicate work, but Patty imagined how difficult it must have been for Candy because her hands were in the worst conditions.
“Thank you so much friends, you didn’t need to do it,” Patty said hugging them.
“Come on Patty, if you want to dry your tears use your new handkerchiefs, not our uniforms,” Candy joked and the three girls laughed. Annie took one of the boxes and after removing her friend’s glasses, she dried her tears.
“We wanted to have a birthday cake to celebrate, but it was impossible to get one in this jail,” Candy explained remembering the delicious cakes that Pony used to cook in the past.
Patty held the little box close to her heart. “This is more than enough girls. You are the best friends I could ever have.”
“Did you receive something from your family?” Annie asked.
“Yes, my parents sent me some encyclopedias and books,” Patty replied.
“And Grandma Martha? I’m sure she didn’t forget about you,” Candy said.
Patty hesitated. “Well as a matter of fact, that was the first present I received, but I don’t know what to do with it.”
“See it for yourself,” Patty said opening her closet, taking out a bag and left the contents of it on her bed.
“Ohh that’s so scary!” Annie said in horror.
“Roller-skates? How exciting!” Candy said taking them to have a closer look.
“Exciting?” Patty said also in horror. “Candy they’re very dangerous, and they’re for boys not for girls.”
“And what are you going to do with them?” Candy asked and Annie could tell that her friend was up to something.
“I don’t know, I thought I’ll keep them in my closet until Grandma forgets about them,” Patty replied.
“Can you lend them to me?” Candy asked with a smile.
“What? You want to use them?” Patty asked scared for the safety of her friend.
“Why not? I’ve always wanted to have roller-skates. I remember that Eliza had a pair at home but she never lent them to me,” Candy said, remembering her childhood at the Legan’s house.
“But you can have an accident, or break a leg,” Annie added.
“And what if Grandma asks for them?” Patty added.
“Well in that case I’ll give them back to you. The wheels will look wasted and used and she will be happy thinking that you have had a great time with them and everybody happy, see?” Candy replied finding a solution for everything.
“Please say yes!” Candy begged.
“Alright, but you have to promise me to be careful.”
“THANK YOU!” Candy replied out loud again, and immediately remembered that she had to be quiet and with her hands, she covered her mouth.
“Candy, we better go back to our rooms, the sisters will start the inspection soon,” Annie said. The blonde girl looked at the watch and noticed Annie was right. “Yes, we better go. Patty we hope that you liked our little surprise.”
“More than anything in the world, thank you friends!” she said while Candy opened the door and looked left and right. Once she saw that it was clear, they hurried to their own rooms.
Candy closed the door with her new ‘acquisition’ on her hands. She
remembered when she was just a little girl and how much she enjoyed the times
when Pony cleaned the wooden floor of the house with wax and then polished it
with a rag. The color was enhanced and sparkled everywhere you looked. It was
then when Candy waited until everybody was out of the room to rest; she removed
her shoes and began sliding herself from one side of the room to the other with
the help of her socks. More than once she fell on the ground and hit her head
hard, but the fun she had was stronger than the pain and she continued doing
it. Annie would look at her from one corner of the room, holding her shoes.
Obviously the teachers would find out later about her sport because her dirty socks will always give her away. No matter how much dirty laundry they had, Candy’s socks were always the dirtiest of the lot. But they could give her a speech a 100 times and she will still continue doing it. Well until she arrived to Eliza’s house, there she had to stop.
Candy sat on her bed, looked at the roller-skates and then the floor. It’d be impossible to try them there because they would leave a mark on the carpet and the sisters would find out immediately. While she thought of a place where she could practice, she mixed them with the rest of her clothes and hid them in the middle of the closet so nobody would notice them. “Perfect.” When she was done, she went to the balcony and took a look at the boy’s rooms and noticed that Archie had left the candle outside, which was the clear sign for her to go to their room.
Producing a rope from under her bed, she headed to the boys room. Once she was in front of it, she noticed that the lights in Terry’s room were on. “I wonder what he’s doing,” she thought and moved a few branches to the left so she could have a better view, but unfortunately right in that minute Terry – unaware of her presence – closed the curtains stopping any attempt of Candy the spy to take a look inside.
“Wow can he reads minds now?” she asked to herself seeing the reaction of the young man, because she was sure he didn’t see her. What the hell, the Cornwells were waiting for her. She took a deep breath and jumped to their balcony.
“Hi Stear, Archie, how are you tonight?” Candy said entering the
room and removing some leafs from her hair.
The brothers beamed when they saw her, and at the same time they said, “Candy!”
“I’ll recommend you to turn off the candle before somebody else sees it Archie,” she said, and he did as she suggested.
“So, how are you today Candy?” Stear asked serving a cup of tea to the girl.
“Very good Stear… I guess you haven’t forgotten what day is today, right?” she said getting her face close to his and winking.
Archie rolled his eyes and exhaled heavily. “Don’t worry Candy, he even woke up earlier today and interrupted my sleep, he does know what day is today.”
“Yes,” he said proud of himself and showing to Candy a bunch of
wires and cables “I present you my new invention and my present to Patty.”
“What is that?” she asked looking at it curiously.
“Well this is a device that was designed to help the people that have to wear glasses, like Patty and I,” he explained. “Look, with this especial adhesive you stick the device to the head of your bed, like this, see? About 50 cms. above your head.”
“Ohh,” said Candy.
“Then I lie on the bed with my head under the device and activate it with this control, see?” He started doing as he was saying, and even pushed the bottom of the control. “Mmh? This is strange.”
“And what is this for?” Candy still couldn’t really understand what it was about.
“It removes your glasses and puts them away before you get to sleep, so when you wake up the next day you push this other button and voilá, they’re back on your face again,” he explained.
“Come on Stear too much theory, show us how it works,” Archie said.
“That’s what I’m trying… ok, here it comes.”
Two hooks activated by the smallest engine ever descended until they grabbed Stear’s glasses. Candy and Archie thought ‘finally an invention that works’, but in the moment when the glasses had to removed they got stuck behind his earlobes. As the device was trying to use some force to try to remove the glasses and it didn’t work, the force was received on the other end, and the adhesive was starting to give up.
It fell directly on Stear’s face.
“Stear!” – Archie and Candy said in unison.
“No, don’t worry, don’t worry, I’m fine,” he said getting up and grabbing the now failed invention and with shattered glasses in front of him.
Archie just shook his head. “His inventions never work.”
“Stear your glasses are ruined,” Candy said concerned.
“Oh don’t worry, I have another pair.”
Somehow the little engine started working again and since the hooks were still stuck around the glasses, they removed them and released them, making’em fall on the ground. Now they were totally destroyed.
“Well at least it worked now,” Candy joked. “But I don’t think Patty will appreciate being hit on the face every morning.”
They all laughed.
Stear rubbed his head. “I guess I’m gonna have to buy her a present on the next 5th Sunday.” He went to the drawer to find the other pair of glasses.
“Do you have plans for that day?” Candy asked.
“Our parents are going to visit us at home, and unfortunately they invited everybody including Elisa and Neil, but they didn’t invite you,” Archie said. “I guess you know how strong the influence of the head of the family is.”
“We’re sorry Candy,” Stear said.
“Oh don’t worry for me,” she said with a smile. “You know I never get bored. Well I guess it’s time to leave.”
“Good night Candy,” both brothers said at the same time while she jumped from the balcony to the nearest tree.
One last look… the lights were still on in Terry’s room but she couldn’t see a thing. What the hell, she didn’t care what a person like him could be doing at this hour.
The usual parade of suits and fancy dresses started earlier that day. As any other fifth Sunday, the students of St. Paul’s could leave early to get on board the transportations that were waiting to take them to their parent’s houses.
Candy could perfectly hear from her room all the noise that came from the doors of the school. Patty and Annie excused themselves because they couldn’t invite her, but she told them not to feel bad for that and to have a good time. After that, she decided to wait a little before going out. When the silence was back in the place she knew that the nuns had retired to their rooms to rest and say their prayers, and there was obviously no students at the doors of the school.
“Free at last,” she thought once she was out, and stopped a carriage that was passing her on the street. “Good afternoon sir, can you please take me to the ‘Blue River’ zoo?”
Finally one of the most expected days of the year had come,
because let’s be honest that school felt like jail. Suddenly Candy wondered if
Terry had stayed at the second hill of Pony or maybe he went out as he had done
in other occasions? Well who cares? Today she had planned to have a very good
After a brief ride around the city they arrived to the zoo. Once inside she walked all the way to the room that Albert used for his breaks but he wasn’t there, and she started searching for him. Finally she spotted him giving the hippo a bath.
“Hey Albert,” she said, happy to see him.
“Candy what a nice surprise,” he said with a smile.
“Are you busy?”
“No, I’m just finishing his bath and then I can take a break. Can you wait for me or you have to go back to school immediately?”
“I can wait, today I have the day off.”
The hippo was very relaxed and calm, enjoying his bath. There was something about Albert that always made the animals around him feel at ease with him; he cared deeply for them and he knew he didn’t have to be afraid because they would never hurt him. Candy had always been fascinated by this side of his personality and enjoyed tremendously the bath scene of Dino the Hippo. When he was done, he got out of the cage and walked to Candy.
“So, it’s your 5th Sunday?” he asked.
“Yes but you’re gonna get a cold, you’re all wet,” Candy said concerned.
“Don’t worry, it’s so hot that in less than five minutes I’ll be totally dry. Shall we go?”
Candy nodded and walked with him.
Once in the room, he took a towel and dried his arms and face. “What do you have in that bag?”
“This?” Candy said smiling. “Well it’s part of the reason why I’m here.”
She opened the bag and showed him the roller-skates. “Look, do you like it?”
Albert scratched his head. “Now I really don’t understand. What do I have to do with roller-skates?”
“The thing is that I can’t use them at the school, the streets are dangerous and I thought that maybe here in the zoo I could find a place where I could practice,” she explained.
“I see, where did you get them?”
“Patty lent me her birthday present.” She gave him puppy eyes. “And? Can you help me?”
“MMh… the problem is that today’s Sunday and many families visit us, which would make your practice difficult and their visit dangerous,” Albert joked.
“I see,” Candy said starting to lose her original enthusiasm.
“Well there’s a huge cage that is being built on the west wing of the zoo, that area is closed to the visitors as the animal’s shelter is still not build but now that I think about it the floor is in excellent conditions and you could help yourself with the bars of the cage for better balance and learn better, what do you think?”
“REALLY?” Candy stood up at once so enthusiastically that she even hit her chair hard.
“Yes but please don’t make a mess of my place,” he begged.
“That place sounds great Albert, are you sure you’re not going to have problems?” she asked.
“Not at all,” he said looking at his watch. “My break is about to end, do you want me to take you there?”
“Come with me.”
Albert guided her through a part of the zoo she had never visited until they arrived to the place he had mentioned. Candy noticed he was right as the zoo was totally crowded with visitors, children with balloons and families. In the meantime, Albert was telling Candy about the new boyfriend of Julie and that she was probably going to be a mom soon. She just giggled and imagined Patty’s face when she told her the news. Few minutes later they arrived to the place and she saw how big the cage was, and as Albert had said, it was the best place to practice. He took one key from his pocket and opened the door, then handed the key to the girl.
“Don’t lose it ok? And once you’re done you return it to me,” he said.
“Thank you Albert,” she said with a big smile and entered the cage.
“Now be careful, and see you later,” he said going back to his job.
Candy rubbed her hands against each other and thought. “Ok, now let’s see if all those dirty socks were good for something or not.”
She sat on the floor and removed her shoes. It helped a lot that she and Patty shared the same shoe size and for this reason they fitted perfectly. She put her shoes inside the bag and left it next to the door.
Candy was the image of confidence, and with this same confidence she stood up but what happened was that she went back to floor at once. “I guess I’ll have to take it easy,” she said rubbing her behind. She tried to stand up once again with the help of the bars of the cage. Unfortunately using the roller-skates was not the same than using the socks and was back on the floor. By the third try she was determined not to give up and little by little she began going to one side of the wall to the other with the help of the bars, trying to stay steady. Once she thought she had the control of the situation she tried to go from one side to the other of the cage, but she fell heavily on the floor. She remembered Annie and Patty’s words: “It’s dangerous, you’re gonna break a leg!” and thought that maybe this time they were right… but then she remembered that Miss Pony used to say the same to her when she was climbing trees and nothing dangerous really happened to her. Meaning, she was going to continue trying.
She stayed seated on the floor for a while with her back to the door, thinking of nothing really when she suddenly felt that something light had hit her head, but it was so light that she didn’t really attention to it thinking that maybe something had fallen from the tree that was close to her. But then she felt it again, and again and again, harder this time. Suddenly one of the little things jumped in front of her and she took it, it was a peanut. Curiosity killed the cat and this time she saw something she wasn’t really expecting: Terry was standing in front of the cage with a little bag with peanuts in it. His typical smile and way of looking adorned his face.
“As I didn’t see a sign saying ‘don’t feed the animals’ I gave it a chance,” he said playing with another peanut on his right hand, like preparing a new rocket and his eyes were on his target.
“Argh Terry you here? How did you find out?” a furious Candy said
while trying to stand up again and failing miserably.
He laughed at her new attempt and asked, “Are you working on a new presentation for the circus?”
“For your information, nowadays roller-skating is almost considered an elite sport,” Candy explained looking to the other side.
“I see… and as they consider you a danger to the society and almost a monkey, they decided to lock you away eh?”
Candy was too upset and how she wanted to shut him up, showing him she was very skilled in the roller-skating arts, but unfortunately this wasn’t the case. She took a deep breath and tried to get some patience. Why, why he insisted on acting like that??
“Terry what are you doing here anyway? How did you know I was here?” she asked trying to start a civil conversation.
“It was a nice day and staying at school wasn’t in my plans and had to choose between going to the horse races or visiting Albert,” he told her. “And since I’ve been having bad luck with the bets lately, I decided to come here and he told me about you.”
“I see,” she said folding her arms. “Well the show is over, you can leave now.”
“I think it’s just starting so I’ll stay here,” he said sitting under the shadow of the tree that was next to the cage.
“Sir, why is she inside the cage?” Suddenly some curious kids that probably escaped the supervision of their parents were looking around the area, and got curious when they saw a girl in a cage.
“Because she is dangerous and comes from a rare breed of monkeys from America and you can always distinguish her by those freckles over her nose,” he said acting like a teacher to the group of little kids.
The kids were totally amazed. “Ooohhh, and… does she bite?” one of them asked.
“Of course she does, especially if you say something about the freckles. Oh I forgot to mention that she’s extremely skilled in going from one tree to the other.”
If Candy was upset before, now she was completely furious and tried to keep it cool until she couldn’t help it no more.
“AAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH TERRY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” she screamed.
“See?” Terry said to the little kids, trying to contain the laughter.
The face of the little kids went pale immediately. “Oooohhhhh how scary!!! Let’s go!!! Moooooommmm!!!!” And they ran away from the place as fast as they could.
Terry couldn’t help it and started laughing a lot, practically grabbing his stomach. “I’m sorry, I couldn’t help it.”
So much had happened in less than half an hour that Candy knew she had lost that battle and it was better to give up and leave as well. “You know what? I can’t stand you anymore, I’ll go back to the school,” she said and crawled on her knees to the door of the cage.
“Oh come on Candy, just pretend that I’m not here,” he said sitting this time next to the cage and giving his back to the girl, still laughing.
But she had already made up her mind and was determined to go back to the school, she could return to the zoo any other day. She started searching for her bag with her shoes but she couldn’t find it. It was pretty obvious who was to blame for it.
“Terry, give me my bag back,” she demanded.
He turned to look at her with an innocent expression because this time for once, she was blaming him for something he didn’t do. “Bag? I haven’t seen any bag.”
“Eh? But I left it just here,” she said pointing at the place.
“Maybe those kids took it with them earlier,” he said standing up and helping her to get on her feet as well.
“Oh no, what am I going to do now?” she said.
“If you had money to go back to the school there and you’re worried for that, you can go back with me,” he offered.
“My shoes were in there, and I can’t go back without them.”
“Now that’s a problem,” he said grabbing his chin thinking. “Maybe they’re gonna return the bag as a lost item to Albert later.”
“You think so?”
“Yes, after all they won’t be good for anybody else but you… anyway I’m leaving,” Terry said.
Candy couldn’t believe it! “What?! You just can’t walk away and leave me here.”
“Let me remind you that you asked me more than once to leave you alone, so I’m out. Bye,” he said, waving and walking away.
Candy looked as he started walking away and thought, “Well it
doesn’t matter, I’m gonna show him I can do it by myself.”
But after a few minutes…
“TERRY WATCH OUT!!”
He turned around and saw her going to him with no control over her roller-skates and trying to balance with her arms. The narrow road out of the area of the cage had a little inclination and there was no way she could stop by herself. He just smiled, looked at her and opened his arms receiving her in a warm way.
“Well I didn’t know you were that crazy for me,” he joked.
She blushed madly and tried to let herself out of his arms. “I am not, and let me go, you’re just trying to take advantage of me!”
“As you wish,” he said removing his arms.
But what happened was obvious, she lost balance immediately and all she could do to avoid to fall on the ground was to hold on to him really tight.
“I’d say you’re the one that is taking advantage of me, but I won’t complain,” he teased her with a smile, putting his arms around the small waist of the girl.
“Don’t say stupid things,” she complained as red as a tomato.
“And what do you suggest? I’m open to any ideas,” Terry said. “Maybe we could go to a more private place and remember the ‘good old times’?”
She understood immediately what he meant with that, and she was determined not to enter his game.
“I suggest finding Albert and asking him if somebody had given him the bag with my shoes,” she replied avoiding his previous suggestion.
“And why don’t you give them more time?” he said looking at her in the eyes. “If they took the bag by mistake they probably still hasn’t noticed it and therefore not return it to the people of the zoo.”
“And what do we do in the meantime?” she asked.
“We can share this little bag of peanuts, or I can help you with your roller-skates. It will always be a pleasure to receive you in my arms,” he said with a seductive voice, his eyes still on hers.
Candy was having troubles breathing, they were so close, and he was looking at her in that way that made her feel butterflies in her stomach. Finally she found her tongue and replied. “I’d … I’d prefer the peanuts.”
“Then lets go back to your cage, if you invite of course,” he joked.
“You should be locked up in a cage so you wouldn’t go around making life difficult for other people,” she said looking away from him.
“Did you say something?” he said taking a few steps back and when she felt she was losing the balance again, she held onto him much tighter and stronger this time.
“Don’t do that again!” she said shaking.
Terry just smiled. “Ok, now give me your hands.”
She looked serious as she raised one eyebrow. “What for?”
“If you haven’t noticed this road has some inclination and I don’t
think you can go back on your own, or am I wrong?” he replied.
She took a look back, never letting herself go from him noticing he was right, and sighed.
“No, you’re right,” she said, “but don’t let me go.”
“You can bet your life I won’t. Now give me your hands,” he said with a lovely smile to inspire confidence.
Little by little she removed her arms from around Terry’s neck and lowered her hands until she found his, which welcomed her in a warm way. In spite of the little age difference, his hands were bigger and they felt cosy and safe.
When she had finished her race in his arms she felt butterflies for the closeness between them, but at this point she was sure that now she had Dino the Hippo inside her stomach tap dancing, the sensations were too new and too strong for her.
“Now,” he said in a calm voice. “I’m going to trade places with you, but don’t get scared because I’m not going to let you go.”
“Are you sure?”
“I’m sure,” he whispered.
Candy felt him holding her hands tightly and softly he walked around her and traded places, and then he began to pull her up which was easy with the help of the roller-skates.
Inside, she prayed ‘please don’t let me go, don’t let me go”. Her eyes were shut tightly, but as the time passed by and nothing bad was happening to her, she felt confidence and opened them up.
Terry was looking at her seriously. “I thought you trusted me more than that.”
“I’ve heard that the danger is in the trust,” she replied.
He didn’t reply; he just made a face just in the moment they arrived. “Milady, you’re safe in your cage.”
Suddenly her nose was distracted. “Mmmh… that smells good.”
“Smells like Cotton Candy, wait here,” Terry replied once he saw
that Candy was safe and holding herself against the bars of the cage.
While he was away, she couldn’t help but think on how different Terry could be. In one minute he acted like a spoiled brat, but the next second he could be the most charming and considerate person of the world, and even if she didn’t like to admit it she liked it. She felt attracted to his different sides of his personality.
She couldn’t help but compare Anthony to Terry, whose death was still a pain in her heart but was also a source of lovely memories. Anthony… he was so sweet, he would have never treated her the way Terry did sometimes but he wasn’t there anymore. He had a brief but beautiful life, just like his roses. She managed to sit on a corner and closed her eyes and thought more about it, what would his life be like if he was still alive? And what about Terry? Certainly they all would’ve ended up in the same school together, and she tried to think if there would’ve been any chance for those two to become good friends. Nah probably not.
Candy smiled, because she knew that in spite of their different personalities they had something in common, they both owned a heart made of pure gold. “Maybe Terry would’ve never called my attention if he had Anthony’s personality,” she thought to herself, and exhaled a whisper at the thought. Suddenly she was distracted by a subtle noise and noticed that Terry was getting close; and she realized that her skirt had ridden up a little and even if for a brief second she felt attracted to the idea to leave it just that and see what Terry could say, she shook her head dismissing the thought. “Bad idea Candy, what were you thinking?” she reprimanded herself and to avoid any problem, she covered her legs.
“This is for you,” he said handing her a cotton candy. “I can’t believe all the people that were in line to buy these.” He sat by her side and looked at her. “Did you miss me?”
She nervously focused her eyes on the cotton candy. “Why should I?”
“It would be nice to hear that you did,” he said lowering his stare to the floor, with a smile on his lips.
Silence surrounded them for some minutes as they enjoyed their cotton candy. The weather was nice, to be away from school and the sisters was super nice, and to be there in each other’s company was more than nice.
Suddenly Terry broke the silence. “Can I try it?” he said pointing at the roller-skates.
“Your feet are bigger than mine and you’ll probably ruin them,” Candy said finishing her cotton candy.
“Saying no would’ve been enough for me,” he replied.
“It’s not that, really,” she hurried to reply not wanting Terry to think that she wanted to be selfish with him, and to change the subject she added. “The cotton candy was delicious, thank you Terry.”
“How peaceful is your house, I like it,” he said relaxing himself.
“It’s not my house,” she said upset with his comment.
But he was right and noticing he had stopped talking she looked at him and thought he was dozing off, which was obviously great. And because of this she decided to continue her practice in silence. She managed to get on her feet with difficulties and started practicing. She was a woman who loved a challenge and she was not going to let these little wheels win.
She began with the basics, trying to gain balance with the help of the bars but then little by little she could do more than that. Of course her butt met the ground in some occasions but it was less humiliating and frustrating than in the beginning.
Candy was smiling when she noticed she was doing it right, maybe the security of having Terry around in case something happened to her also helped her. “Maybe I was just a bit rusty after all these years,” she thought remembering her practices with socks during her childhood. Suddenly she managed to go from one corner of the cage to the other without the help of the bars, practically like a professional. She was so proud of herself!
“Congratulations Miss Freckles,” Terry said from his place.
“Did I wake you?” she asked with a smile on her face, from the other end of the cage.
“I wasn’t really sleeping, I was watching you practice,” he said standing up. “And that includes your two emergency landing.”
She was so happy that she didn’t notice his last sentence.
“Did you see me?? I did it!” she said very happy.
“I’m not sure, I bet you can’t make it all the way to here,” he said, challenging.
“Oh yes? That’s what you think? Watch this!” she said taking a deep breath and starting to skate to where he was.
“Let’s see if you can,” he said with a special sparkle in his eyes.
She had planed to stop right in front of him and rub it on his face, but it didn’t work and ended up in his arms once again.
“See? I did it,” she said not so sure of that.
“So did I,” he replied.
He just couldn’t stop staring inside her beautiful green eyes, and at the same time she couldn’t resist the temptation to look into his blue ones.
“Allow me,” he said with a soft voice and she looked at him not understanding what he meant. “You have some cotton on your nose,” he said as he lifted one of his hands to her face and delicately removed it with his index finger from the end of her nose. With that same finger he caressed her lips softly.
As for Candy? Everything in her was shaking and her eyes were fixed on his, noticing they were getting closer and closer. She thought to herself, “I want to resist, but I can’t, this is… stronger than me,” and she closed her eyes to fully enjoy the sensations and feelings Terry was giving her.
With the back of his hand, he caressed Candy’s cheek, then turned his hand and cupped her face with his strong hand. She was a Pandora ’s Box and he wanted to find out all the surprises she kept in her.
Once again she felt a soft caress on her lips, but this time it wasn’t his fingers but his own lips that were tasting every inch of hers, until he gave her a full kiss that began slowly, until he lead her to where he wanted. This kiss was deeper and with more feelings than the first one they had shared some time ago. Besides he was holding an ace, he had noticed that Candy was holding on tighter to him probably because she was losing balance with the roller-skates and taking this into consideration, she wouldn’t slap him this time. What he didn’t know was that Candy was in such state that her legs were jelly and she could hardly stay on her feet, and that’s why her arms were holding Terry’s body tighter.
When the kiss was over, they slowly separated their faces and he looked at her waiting for her reaction. She lowered her eyes and remained in silence for a while until she said, “I think we better go back to the school now.” Terry didn’t say anything at that moment, maybe because he was expecting that kind of reaction from her.
“I’m going to see if Albert got your bag,” was all he said, removing his arms from her and leaving the place.
Candy saw him walking away and thought that maybe it was better this way. Trying to get the control back on her legs, she managed to skate to the door of the cage and sat next to it, waiting for his return. Suddenly a deep and involuntary whisper left her lips, she was still shaking and her hands were cold. “How dare he…” she said, trying to convince herself that she didn’t care for what happened and he was the only one to blame. But no matter what, she could still feel lips on her and she kept closing her eyes to relive the moment.
After some time and to her surprise, she saw Albert walking towards her, but he was alone and thank God, her bag was in his hands.
“I thought it was yours for the contents,” he said handing the bag. “Some kids thought that somebody had lost it and gave it to me.”
“That’s great, I thought somebody had stolen it,” she said.
“So, did you enjoy your stay? Did you learn something?”
“Yeah sure,” she replied and thought to herself, “…more than I had imagined.”
“I’m glad to hear that, you can come anytime you want, I mean, in your next free day,” he said not wanting to give her bad ideas.
“Thank you Albert,” she said as she removed the roller-skates and put on her shoes, now she tried to use an ‘I don’t really care’ tone of voice. “And where’s Terry?”
“He told me you were here and what happened with the bag, but then he just disappeared, I think he left. Did you two have an argument?”
“No, not at all,” she replied finally getting on her now safety feet. “Ahh… it feels so good to have my shoes back on.”
“Are you leaving?” Albert asked.
“Yes, I’m afraid the Sisters don’t know I’m here and if somebody goes to my room to check me and I’m not there, I will have problems,” she said putting the roller-skates back inside the bag.
Candy looked inside the cage in case she was forgetting something, and saw the little bag with peanuts that Terry had on his hands earlier. She put it inside her bag as well and then Albert locked up the cage. As they walked to the exit of the zoo, she kept looking everywhere in case Terry was around but no luck. She thanked Albert for his help and then left, wondering during all the way back to the school why Terry had left. “Well who knows, he can be so unpredictable sometimes,” she thought.
Once she arrived the school and was back on her room, she was satisfied to see that everything was in the same place she had left it, including the pillow that simulated her sleeping form inside the bed. Later, when she heard the students returning from their day off she went to Patty’s room where she and Annie told her that they had lunch with the Cornwell’s that day. After all, it had been a good day for both girls.
“And what about you? Did you get bored?” Patty asked.
“I never get bored, and I also had a good time,” Candy said returning the bag with the skates. “But I better return this to the original owner. And you two were right, they are dangerous.”
“Did you hurt yourself Candy?” Annie asked concerned.
“Does it hurt?” Patty asked.
“Not precisely, but let’s say I don’t want to take the risk again,” Candy said, blushing.
None of the girls really understood what the blonde meant, but decided not to ask more questions and instead, tell her what had happened during lunch with Stear and Archie.
Later that night, Candy went to the boy’s room as she did every night, and when she left she looked at Terry’s room. The curtains were closed and the lights were on, just like the other day. She jumped to a tree that was closer to his balcony and searched inside her pocket for three tinny stones she had picked up earlier, and threw them one at the time to the window trying to call his attention. Suddenly she saw a familiar silhouette that opened the curtains and the window.
“Here, you forgot this. Goodnight Terry,” she said with a smile, throwing him the little package with peanuts which he skilfully caught in his hands while she returned to her room.
Smiling he just replied in a low voice, “Good night, my beloved Miss Freckles”, and blew a kiss with his hand that she didn’t see, before going back to his room.