When the Heart Rules
We had not met, or rather we had not spoken, since that afternoon spent on the banks of the river in Scotland. It was a beautiful summer day, with the sun shining high and hot in the sky.
We had a great day, the holidays had come to an end and I wanted to give her something to remember. I mistakenly thought she would be content with that kiss, instead she reacted in a way I had not expected.
She slapped my head, and I like a fool gave her a slap in turn. Her words that followed, full of sorrow, wounded me like a blow.
She thought I was trying to make fun of her, but it was really just fear. I was wrong to judge, she was not ready, was not able to accept her feelings for me.
Then when I got back to school and saw her message asking me to meet her at the stables, my heart went wild with joy and fear.
I was hoping she would allow me to be with her, beside her, and at the same time I was afraid that I would be definitively rejected. In my heart I knew she had feelings for me but I was not sure.
I ran to the stables and whispered her name. It was dark and very cold. I was afraid someone would find out, we'd be in serious trouble.
"Candy, are you there?" I asked in a low voice.
"I'm here," she said, lighting an oil lamp.
She was so beautiful in the dim light of the lamp, as she looked at curiously.
"Why did you ask me to come here, is something wrong?" she asked.
I looked at her dumbfounded, I had not sent any messages.
I had barely time to tell her when we heard footsteps and voices near the stables.
There was no time to hide and turn off the lamp when some nuns, headed by the director, came to the stables and we were caught in the act.
Iriza came out behind them. I should have known when Candy asked me why I had sent that message.
Everything happened so quickly.
Sister Chris saw her and took Candy by the arm, dragging her away. I could hear her crying and screaming, defending herself from the stupid accusations that Iriza made, that she had made an date to see me in a secluded place.
I tried to defend her, to say that was not true, showing the message to Sister Gray, but she was adamant.
"Terence! Terence do not abandon me! Please help me!" Candy screamed while she was being taken away.
I heard my own voice shouting "Candy, nothing will happen, I swear! Do not worry, I'll take care of it! Candy!" I was afraid of the pain that I could hear and feel in my voice.
It killed me to see her cry.
I learned from Sister Gray that she wanted to expel Candy and would temporarily send her to prison.
I could not do anything except wait for the next morning and try to reason with Sister Gray but the surly woman would listen to me. She did not believe me! And when I suggested to expel me instead, she refused because of my damn name and the grant that my father sent to the college. I thought I was going crazy and felt like an unexploded mine. I wanted to do something, but what? Then I came up with another silly idea.
I tried another way .... My father. It was like running into a wall at 100 per hour.
He would not help me. Before I left I shouted angrily in his face all the hatred I felt for him! I hated him, the house, my surname and all those silly futile and unnecessary rules that led to following the reason of the mind and not the heart.
There remained only one thing for me to do: leave the school. Tempers would calm down and Candy could continue studying. I had my dream to pursue, and I understood as never before that now was the time! I'd finally get to Broadway!
That night I went to the prison. There was no access road and the only thing I could do was play the harmonica to Candy, hoping that it would give her company and some relief.
I felt like a caged animal, I had no options and could not do anything.
How horrible is it to feel so helpless when you love someone and want to protect her from the sufferings of life?
"Candy, are you in here?" I screamed against the solid and dark walls.
"Terence! Is that you?" Said a voice broken by sobs.
"Candy, don't cry. I found a solution. Tonight I'll keep you company. Forgive me please!" I said.
"Oh Terence!" she said.
That damn wall was between us and all I wanted was to hold her to me, reassure her and tell her that no one would ever hurt her. But how could I promise that? I was not able to do anything to stop her punishment.
I played the harmonica for hours. The night was cold but I did not want to leave her alone. In the first light of morning I took my backpack and left. My steps were as envisaged as my heart, my mind aching and empty. I would leave for her own good. Could she understand that?
I was too young, I had nothing to offer, I could not ask her to come with me.
I loved her too much to constrain her to a life of hardship.
I left her a short letter telling her that I was leaving. I didn't tell her of my feelings -- how could I put them on a piece of paper? And what if someone might intercept it?
I took a cab and headed to the port.
"My dear England, you who have given me my first and only love, I entrust to you. Take care of her," I thought as I watched the port from the ship.
It was almost time to leave.
How sad to see people say goodbye to their loved ones on the ground, when I had not had that chance! And besides, how could I say goodbye – I would never have the courage to leave her if I looked into her green eyes.
Suddenly I saw a carriage stop and a sea of blond curls step down from it.
I could not believe my eyes.
"Am I dreaming while I'm awake?" I asked myself.
But when I heard her voice desperately call my name I realized it was real.
For a moment I thought to pretend not to have heard her. I could not meet her, I would never have the strength to leave her!
But the pain in her voice told me that we had left too much unsaid.
I leaned over and she saw me.
"Terence, don't leave, please, I beg you!" She screamed.
I ran down the gangway, because there was still some time left before departure. I ran so fast that I arrived on the platform completely breathless.
I stopped in front of her, her face wet with tears as she smiled at me.
"I did it! I was afraid I wouldn't get here in time," she said, throwing herself into my arms.
I hugged her hard. I hugged her so hard that no one could have taken her from me.
I breathed the perfume of her hair, her body trembling, the tears streaming down her face.
I pulled back slightly to look into those two beautiful emeralds.
"Do not leave me, please!" She said pleadingly. I could see the pain in her eyes and feel the suffering in her voice.
My heart shattered into pieces as I realized that I was the cause of her pain and suffering. Me, who had promised to always protect her from pain! What a huge error of judgment and mistake!
"Candy! I could never leave you," I said looking at her intently. Gathering up my the courage, I went on: "I love you too much to leave you!" I tried to hold back the tears that were threatening to make their way down my cheeks. Finally I had told her! I felt almost emptied, drained by the uncertainties and the pain I had caused myself in suppressing the strong feelings.
"I am going with you!" She said shyly, and then added, "I love you too! Sorry I've been a fool in Scotland ... I was afraid of what I felt!" And in so saying, she confirmed what I had hoped.
Her words filled my heart with joy, gave me new hope. I was so full of happiness and oblivious to the stares and the small crowd that surrounded us, as I drew her towards me and kissed her.
This time there were no slaps or painful words.
Her lips, at first timid and inexperienced, grew into a dance of love, passion and sentiment on my own.
When we untangled ourselves from the kiss -- and you can't imagine how much it cost me pull my lips from hers -- I did the only thing possible. I looked at her and said, "Shall we go and get your ticket?".
She nodded with a huge smile.
Now we could be happy. Happy together.
I ruined everything.
We had spent a wonderful summer together, I was able to discover so many new things about him and had even met his mother, the beautiful and famous Broadway actress Eleanor Baker.
I do not know what came over me that day when he went to kiss me, but I was so surprised and felt so afraid that I slapped him. When he slapped me in turn, instead of trying to understand his reasons I said some stupid and horrible things, overwhelmed by my emotions.
You make serious mistakes when you are afraid to admit your feelings, and I was paying for them with all of me. How could I accuse him of being a brute and making fun of me?
Because of my silly reaction we had not spoken for a while, but then I received this note in which he asked me to meet him in the stables.
I took advantage of the natural cover offered to me from the darkness. The night was very cold and I was nervous, unsure of what to expect but I was also afraid that I wouldn't like what he was going to say.
I arrived at the stables with my heart in my throat.
I opened the door cautiously and tried to call him softly
"Terence?" My slight whisper echoed, but no one answered. I must have arrived before him.
I closed the door behind me and waited in the dark for a few minutes that seemed to last an eternity.
Suddenly I heard someone come stealthily. I tried not to make any noise because I knew that if I was discovered I would be in serious trouble.
"Candy?" I heard his voice calling me. I lit an oil lamp that I had found.
My heart was pounding. I had missed hearing him say my name, and that whisper sent shivers down my spine, making me tingle.
He was even more beautiful there in the dim light provided by the lamp, his blue eyes staring at me curiously.
It only took a few mere moments before we realized we had been lured into a trap to be caught in the act by some of the nuns, headed by the director, Sister Gray.
He had not sent me that message.
I saw Iriza step from behind the sisters and I knew that she had been orchestrated his revenge: she had sworn that she would make me pay for the party in white.
As Sister Chris dragged me out to confine me in jail, Sister Gray informed me that I would be expelled.
I could not hold back my tears and my words echoed in the cold stables, full of fear, "Terence! Terence do not abandon me! Please help me! "
His words "Candy, nothing is going to happen, I swear! Do not worry, I'll take care of this! Candy!"
I could see the worry in his eyes and hear the desperation in his voice.
I was confined in a cold, dark dungeon with thick stone walls, from which there seemed no way out.
I felt like I was dying and could not stop crying in despair. I was afraid of what would happen to me. I did not care much about having to leave the school as such, but I didn't want to disappoint Uncle William. If I allowed myself to look deep into my heart, I knew I would see the depth of my fear that I would never see Terence again, never spend time with him again. Even worse, I knew I would never be able to undo what I had foolishly done in Scotland.
I could not leave the school like this – I could not and would not leave Terence like this.
Although I had promised myself not to cry, I fell asleep exhausted by my own tears.
The next morning I was awakened by Sister Margaret who brought me breakfast. I tried to find out what had happened to Terence but she responded politely that it would be better if I concentrated more on my own fate.
But I did not care about me; the only thing I could think of was that I had lost him forever.
At that thought I felt a strong pain in his heart that took my breath away. I tried not to think about it but it was too hard.
I felt like a caged animal during that seemingly endless day confined between those four walls.
I tried to remain calm and to find a solution but the more I tried to reason, the more the situation seemed hopeless.
Although I tried to forbid myself to cry, as the darkness of the night came, all the stress and discomfort got the better of me as my tears had a mind of their own.
I wondered what Terence was doing and what would happen to him, when suddenly I heard his voice from the other side of the thick walls.
"Candy, are you in here?" His voice a whisper full of concern. My heart sank and I couldn't stop the tears from falling.
"Terence! Is that you?" I asked in a voice broken by sobs. I just could not stop. I felt sad, lonely and afraid of losing everything I cared about.
Terence then spoke again: "Candy, don't cry. I found a solution. Tonight I'll keep you company. Forgive me, please! "
His words were comforting and from the depths of my despair I was only able to utter a sigh, "Oh Terence!"
Those damn walls separated us, but were unable to prevent him from keeping me company. The sound of the harmonica that Terence was playing for me warmed my heart and made me feel less alone.
It was silly of me not to realize how much he cared -- it was freezing out there as he played for me! The sound of the harmonica was cathartic and relaxing.
The next morning I woke up with a heavy heart, my eyes swollen.
Thanks to the sweet sound he played for me and the awareness of not being alone I must have fallen asleep.
Early in the morning Sister Margaret came to pick me up and told me that I was not being expelled, but would only have to be confined after class to my room for a month.
I was crazy with joy, because that meant that I would see Terence and I had the opportunity to explain everything to him!
When I got to my room I found a short note under my door. It was signed TG.
My heart began to beat faster, and I was afraid that something irreparable had happened. When I read that he was leaving for New York I fell to my knees, upset by the news. I was not ready for such a thing, my heart could not stand up to a separation.
I could not let him go.
I stood up, wiped my tears and left the school in the first car I found.
I cursed the time and the slowness of the other cars. I was terrified of not arriving on time and seeing the ship disappear over the horizon.
A journey by steamer had given me a wonderful gift, introducing me to a precious and rare gem, and a steamer was about to take it away forever.
When I arrived at the port, I heaved a sigh of relief to see that the ship was still docked in the port.
I felt helpless and hopeless in my desperation as I realized that it would be difficult to find him in the middle of all those people, especially if he was already gone and maybe in his cabin.
With all the strength I could muster, I began to call his name as loudly as I could, not caring that my voice echoed of the desperation I felt inside. Oh how foolish I had been!
If I lost him, I would never have his forgiveness.
Then, at some point during my frantic search, I saw him leaning against the railing.
"Terence, don't leave! Please!" I heard my voice screaming loudly.
Then he vanished, and I was again overcome by despair. I feared that he no longer wanted anything to do with me and had gone into his cabin so he would not have to hear this silly person calling his name.
Then suddenly I saw him running toward me. He was out of breath, having run the length of the ship.
It was so nice to be cause of taking his breath away, and the more I looked at him, the more I realized how much I loved him. Well, yes, I loved him, I loved him from the very moment I laid eyes on him.
My face was wet with tears of happiness. At the least I would be able to see him this one last time and have this chance to explain.
"I did it! I was afraid I wouldn't get here in time," I said, throwing myself into his arms. It was the most natural thing to do.
He tightly hugged me to him, as if not wanting to let me go. The strength in his gesture gave me new hope.
"Do not leave me" I pleaded, my voice was full of pain and love.
He pulled away slightly so I could look into his eyes.
When he finally spoke, my heart burst with joy to hear those words again and to hear his voice.
"Candy! I could never leave you!" He said, and then paused before continuing as if trying to contain the emotion he was feeling or as if searching for the right words. "I love you too much to let you go," he said in one breath.
"I love you too! I'm so sorry I was such a fool in Scotland ... I was afraid of what I felt," was the only thing I could tell him, and was the only thing I wanted him to know.
It was true -- I loved him, I loved him so deeply that I could not imagine life without him. I loved him so deeply that when he had confessed his love to me, I felt almost sick from being too happy. My heart had never felt such emotion, except perhaps only on that day when he had kissed me.
As if by magic he pulled me to him and kissed me ...
The eyes of the crowd were all on us, but this time I did not care, the only important thing was me and him.
His lips brushed mine in a sweet kiss and I let myself be guided by him in this new sensation.
As we parted, my heart was so full of emotion and overflowing with love as he turned to me and said "Shall we go and get your ticket?" The only thing I could do was nod.
It was the beginning of a new story, our story, and finally we could be happy together, happily ever after.