CANDY CANDY Fan Fiction ❯ Crossroad ❯ Memories ( Chapter 2 )

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The wind played gently with her golden hair while she run upwards the
hill. The sun was high in the sky and tanned softly her cheeks. She
felt some sweating drops in her forehead and stopped to rest for a
moment. She undid the laces of her shoes and walked barefoot feeling
the fresh grass under her feet. She looked upon the sky and marvelled
of the beauty that surrounded her. Pony's Hill enraptured her
feelings. She closed her eyes for an instant, trying to relish that
perfect moment... When she opened her eyes again she saw Terry staring
at her, lying next to her, unworried, with a sensual smile on his
lips. His deep eyes devoured her with passion as his fingers fondled
her cheeks; nevertheless his face showed a tremendous sadness that
found understanding in the female soul. She took a lock of his brown
hair in her hand trying to evoke some past memory. What is going on
Terry? We are now together, as we had always dreamt, at Pony's Hill.
He answered with no words. He took her by her shoulders and attracted
her towards him with growing passion, as he caressed deeply her mouth
with a kiss that filled Candy with bitterness. Their lips had not
moved away when Candy noticed her lover's eyes full with tears. She
tried to dry them, but his hands stopped hers while they ran all over
her figure, as if he wanted to leave a physical mark of his love. She
got scared then. She closed her eyes and when she opened them again he
had already disappeared.

Pony's Hill had changed. Instead, there was an elegantly decorated
room, with a terrace that led to a garden full with roses. A tall
figure with blond long hair was resting against the balustrade,
reading a book. She recognised it as Albert. His shadow moved towards
her and delighted her with an affectionate smile, though his eyes
showed a never-ending pain. She noticed that his bright white shirt
was stained. Come closer, please, she asked. So he did and then she
could see a red mark in the left hand side of his chest. You are hurt,
Albert, she said. He nodded and shrugged his shoulders, giving it no
importance. Let me heal you, she begged. He shook his head as he knelt
down next to her bed, then he kissed her hand gently. She could see
that a big thorn that pierced his chest had done the hurt. She tried
to take it out, but her hands did not obey because of some strange
spell. Albert smiled at her again. Never mind, seemed to say as he
went away. She tried to follow him but her body did not comply. It was
then when he disappeared in the horizon. And a feeling of total agony
invaded her senses...

"Miss Candy... Miss Candy... Be quiet... Shhh!"

Candy felt a tender hand over her forehead taking her back to reality.
The room with the terrace was turning more and more ethereal in her
mind as she recovered control over her body again and opened her eyes.
A gentle face was smiling at her. She tried to stand up.

"Don't, stay still, miss," Hannah told her as she put a cold compress
on her forehead, "Can't you see your head is boiling with fever?"

The maiden's eyes showed unbelief. Nevertheless, her nursing,
analytical mind began to check symptoms that had not been noticed
before. Her mouth was dry, her throat soaring, her joints stiffed and
her head heavier than ever. The housekeeper fluffed the pillows up and
put the undone sheets on their place.

"But I was feeling alright yesterday", Candy said as she let the old
woman take care of her, "and they will be missing me now at the

The woman gave her a hot drink. In spite of the bad taste, she drank
it in silence.

"Mr. Albert has phoned the hospital to tell them you were sick. Dr.
Petersen has promised to come to visit you as soon as he finishes his
morning duties."

Candy felt her body trembling due to the shivers caused by the fever.

"Do I look that bad, Hannah? I can't afford being sick too long. The
hospital has been full with patients lately."

Hannah looked at her seriously. "You work too much, Miss Candy. Mr.
Albert was very worried for you today. He missed you at breakfast and
asked me to come and call you. I realized you had fever as soon as I
saw your face. This has happened because you don't eat properly and
you have not enough reserves. The only thing you have to think about
now is to get well."

Candy tried to smile. "You are right, Hannah... and so is Albert... by
the way, thanks for last night's extraordinary salad."

The woman blushed, turned round and continued tidying the room.

"You know what? When you woke me up, I was dreaming. I can't remember
what was happening in the dream, but I do remember that Albert was
hurt. I tried to help him but I couldn't. What do you think it can

Hannah bent towards Candy. "Now you must not think of dreams but
sleep. There you have a glass of juice and some water. You have to
drink a lot and be warm until you heal."

Candy closed her eyes while the good old woman tied her hair. She
didn't know what kind of brew Hannah had given her, but her headache
was disappearing. When Hannah got out of the bedroom, she was deeply
slept again.


It was midafternoon when a car stopped at the front gate of the
Andrew's Mansion and two young girls came down chatting lively.

"I could have never imagined that my dear Patty would learn to drive.
And the truth is that you do it very well."

Annie kissed her friend's cheek as they went up the stairs. Her face
was red by excitement. If Patty had been able to learn how to drive,
so could she, and she would surprise Archie. She was tired of him
thinking she was a scared, obliging girl.

"I could have never imagined it either, Annie," Patty answered. "It
has been thanks to Marge, my cousin in New York. She took me to a
meeting a year and a half ago, where I met some extraordinary women.
They fight for our equal female rights and when you listen to them,
you feel you can do anything."

Annie opened her eyes wide, trying to silence her friend.

"Do not boast about it too much, Patty," she answered almost
whispering, "you know that type of meetings is not well considered in

Patty could not avoid a laugh.

"I don't mind Annie. I have realised that I have a lot of things in
common with them. I don't care what other people say..."

Annie bit her lower lip nervously. She could not believe that Patty
had changed so much in the last few years. Patty had been even shyer
than her when they first met, but Alistair's death had troubled her
deeply. Now she was more determined and self-confident, besides her
way of thinking was more liberal. If she had had a bit of a complex
before because of her not very attractive look, now she was able to
wake up every man's curiosity thanks to her charm and extroversion.

Annie smiled when she remembered Patty rejecting her last suitor, an
English man called Rupert Beauchamp.

"... besides, it is important for women to start having some influence
in politics," continued Patty, not taking care of her friend's

Annie changed the matter straight away. Neither she was, nor she
wanted to be, interested in politics. That had always been a matter
for men. She already had had enough taking care of Archie and their
home, since they had been married, six months ago. She felt enormously
happy. He was such a gentleman, so considerate... If she could give
him a child soon, her ecstasy would be complete.

"Poor Rupert, my dear... How could you make him suffer like that!"

Patty winked as she noticed that Annie wasn't interested in listening
to anything that could question the organised world she was living in.
A world where men and women had very different and perfectly
established roles; a world where females had a sole destiny: having
babies and taking care of their house, while men had to take care of
mundane matters. Patty was sure Alistair would have approved her
developing her intelligence further from what the narrow society she
was living in would ever allow her. Alistair, his name still caused
her trembles.

"I am not interested in Rupert, nor in anyone else," Patty answered
taking apart all her memories.

They had reached the top of the stairs when Mr. Madsen, the butler,
came out to welcome them.

"Mrs. Cornwell, Miss O'Brien... I am glad to see you both here," he
said as he

greeted them, leaning his head forward.

Annie and Patty smiled as they entered the great hall of the Andrews

"We have come to visit Miss Andrew. Is she in?"

As professional as usual, he told them about Candy's sickness, with an
imperturbable face.

"Is Mr. Andrew at home then?" Patty asked, in a tone of voice that hid
her concern.

Mr. Madsen took them to Mr. Andrew's study. When he announced them,
Albert stood from this desk and hurried to meet the girls.

"Patty, Annie... What a great surprise seeing you here!" he said as he
kissed them.

Both girls sat in the great empire-style sofa that covered the
right-hand sidewall of the bureau. Although they had been there
before, they were absorbed by the exotic decoration. Every wall was
decorated with pictures of some of the most beautiful animals of the
world: in one of the corners there was an African life-size gorilla
and from the ceiling a big Japanese lamp hung up with origami
reproductions of beautiful eastern birds. As usually, the balcony was
opened and a bright natural light illuminated the whole room.

"I would like you to teach me how to make paper shapes sometime,
Albert," Patty said as she observed, enraptured by the little birds in
the lampshade.

"Whenever you like," he answered as he offered them some drinks.

Annie looked at her watch. It was almost teatime.

"Albert, how about some tea? It is almost tea-time," she asked

Although he didn't follow that English tradition, he knew Annie liked
to play the perfect lady of the house, so he asked Berta, the cook,
for some tea for all of them.

"Thanks, Albert," she told him, and changed the matter. "We have heard
Candy is sick, what is the matter with her?"

"Nothing serious, thank heavens," he answered letting out a soft sigh.
"Dr. Petersen has visited her this morning and has told us she has a
mild flu, but she needs to rest. In four or five days she will be fine

Both friends smiled, showing him their happiness for the news.

"Anyway, we have been lucky we noticed it on time. She is such a
stubborn girl!"

Annie observed Albert carefully while he continued talking about his
protégéé. It was so obvious for her that Albert was the perfect man
for Candy. With no doubt he was in love with her. Annie knew no one as
considerate and charming as he was, exception made by her husband. How
couldn't Candy see that? Why was she so blind? She felt a tremendous
anger. Candy is still obsessed with Terry. And Albert... I don't know
how he can continue living in the same house with her, continuously
hiding his feelings. These last four years might have been a torture
for him, especially when Candy was so devastated about Terry's
wedding. He will never admit his real feelings because he's convinced
she will never forget Grandchester.

The sound of a handbell announced the maid, Martha's arrival. Annie
indicated to her quickly where she could place the tea service,
playing the hostess part. Albert observed her with a funny look while
he asked her about her marriage. Meanwhile, Patty walked through the
room. Animals had always fascinated her. She remembered her tortoise.
Albert had taken care of it when they wanted to take it away from her
at St. Paul's College. She brought back the time when Candy defended
her before Sister Grey and was punished instead of her. Her friend's
courage had let her sweet Huly.

Patty looked towards Albert. Nobody could deny his attractiveness, or
his great personal qualities. His love for life, his generosity. Patty
closed her eyes and tried to place her feelings under control. She had
been hiding her true feelings to herself, but she couldn't deny
anymore that she had begun to fall in love with Albert. She even knew
the precise moment when her attitude towards him had started to
change, a year ago.

You were sitting at the lounge... You hid your face under a hat, but I
recognised you as soon as I saw you. Marge had taken me to an election
meeting at an inadvisable neighbourhood therefore very secure for us.
We were passing by that tavern when I saw you. Sitting there, alone,
drunk. I asked Marge to go forward and I decided to watch you for a
while. You were drinking as if you wanted to dry the place, slave of a
rough anguish you weren't unable to satisfy. I was really touched,
just as Alistair made me feel in the past, because I knew how you
felt. Jealously mad. At that season, Candy was putting down her pain,
caused by Terry and Susanna's wedding. You used to listen to and
comfort her. But, who comforted you? Your eyes told me more than the
six years I had known you... Because you are a great mystery, Albert.
Under your apparent quietness and stillness, lives a fiery and
passionate personality. I could see how you accepted the whore's
touch, how you tried to satisfy your appetite, how your eyes brought
out tears on her breast before common sense came back to you. I
witnessed your soul suffering, its silenced cry, its generous
abnegation... You said sorry to the woman, paid and went out of the
bar. You didn't notice at all that someone was watching you, that my
heart was so near yours...

Patty was absorbed in her thoughts and didn't realise Albert was
watching her curiously. Suddenly she felt his eyes staring at hers and
turned her head towards the papers that filled the near table, trying
to hide her embarrassment. She noticed there was a map of Zaire opened
out and a route outlined on it. Then she understood everything, she
needed no explanation. Albert is leaving...

"Patty", she heard Annie's voice, "when are you going to come and have
some tea? It's getting cold..."

The girl came over them, her head was a whirl of confusion. You can't
let them know you are upset, you fool, she thought.

"... Now you are both here, I would like to ask you for a favour",
Albert began to say as Patty was coming over, "I need your advice and
your help."

He shut up for a moment while he thought about the best way to explain
his concern. They observed him with expectancy.

"Next month is Candy's birthday. As you know, she will be twenty-one
years-old and I want to organise a party for her. Some kind of
coming-out to present her officially to Chicago society. I know this
kind of celebration takes place when a woman is eighteen but it could
not be celebrated at that time. Now I want to compensate Candy for
that mistake. Will you help me to prepare the party?"

Patty and Annie looked at each other with complicity. They said
nothing, but their excited and delighted look was enough answer for

"I will take care of the servants and decoration," Annie said.

"Don't worry about the money, Annie. Feel free to squander if
necessary. I want a memorable party," Albert told her.

Annie laughed with joy thinking about organising an unforgettable
party for her friend.

"Then I can help sending the invitation cards, the musicians and the
gardens", Patty proposed.

Albert gave her a look full of fondness. Patty felt how her heart
started to beat faster and faster, but she managed to avoid his
noticing her embarrassment.

"Thank you, my ladies. I want it to be a surprise for her. I've even
ordered a dress already. My tailor recommended me a dressmaker who has
just arrived from New York, it seems her models are revolutionising
Chicago's fashion."

Patty smiled with wonder.

"It is true, Albert. Mme. Bradley's sense of elegance is excellent.
Thanks to her

models the 20's decade is going to be well remembered in Chicago for a
long time."

Albert winked at her. "Of course. I said to Mme. Bradley that a couple
of friends of mine would visit her study to choose their dresses for
the occasion. It is my way to thank them both in advance."

None of them could hide their shouts of excitement.

"Thanks, Albert. But I don't know if I could ever wear one of those
daring dresses of Mme. Bradley," Annie said.

He looked at her with unbelief.

"I am sure you will be charming with any of them, dear. Are you going
to deny me the pleasure of watching you being the most fashionable
girls of Chicago?"

Annie smiled with pleasure. "Of course, I won't."

Albert turned round to Patty.

"What about you, Patty? Would you let me thank you?"

She looked at him with all the innocence of her clear brown eyes.

"I can't imagine a better present from you, Albert. Thanks."

He smiled with satisfaction. He wished with all his heart that the
three girls could have a wonderful time at the party.

"Do you think we can see Candy now, Albert?" Annie begged.

The man asked them to wait while he went upstairs to ask Hannah, who
was the one in charge of the sick girl. He closed the door behind him
and his footsteps were heard walking away the corridor. Annie lowered
her voice to talk to her friend.

"It can be a perfect time to play Cupid, my dear Patty."

Patty shrugged her shoulders not understanding her friend's

"Haven't you noticed that Albert is deeply in love with Candy? It
would be a perfect time to make Candy realise his feelings towards

Patty felt her heart sinking.

"Of course, we will have to invite some young single men," Annie

"otherwise nobody would believe it is a coming-out party, but we will
have to bring also some of the best-eligible girls of Chicago. Candy
might feel jealous if she realises how many admirers Albert has."

Patty nodded, her look lost in the pleats of her skirt.

"We have to manage that Candy and Albert get married, Patty. Those two

would never be happy with anyone else," Annie concluded.

Patty closed her hand strongly while she remembered something.

"Would we have to invite Terry and Susanna? I think they have just
arrived from their trip throughout Europe. Besides, Terry is now the
Duke of Grandchester, one of the few nobles that live in Chicago."

Annie bit her under lip. Her eyes showed indecision.

"I didn't think about that, Patty. What are we going to do? If Candy
sees Terry again, all our hopes will vanish."

For a moment, silence invaded them. None knew which would be the best
solution for everyone.

"We will have to ask Albert," Patty concluded, "He would know what to

Annie stared at her.

"I think making that type of decision would be harder for Albert than
for anyone else. He will have to think of the reactions of four
people: Candy, Terry, Susanna and himself. It will be difficult, very
difficult, especially for him."

At that moment, the door of the study opened and their host

"I believe, my ladies, that Candy is much more better now and is
ravishing to see you."

They stood up and went out of the study quickly.

"Hannah will take you to her room. Try not to tire her a lot. She
still has to rest".

Both girls said goodbye to Albert, who locked himself up in the study

What are you going to do, Albert? Patty wondered as she watched the
door being shut. How will all this end up?


I will like to thank Violante Martin Ruiz ([1] for
her kindness, sense of humour, friendship and especially for her great
effort at the time of translating this text from Spanish to English
giving me time to concentrate deeply in other Candy Candy projects.
Thanks a lot, Vio!

© 2000 Rosa Carmona