By Mallory Quinn
"The heart in ashes…"
It was a cold and stormy night and the snow was falling abundantly with big flakes. Candy was walking the head down, the heart in ashes. Tears of sadness, tears of love, tears of goodbye, were coming down her cheeks. She had just closed the door on her past, present and future. She had just left the man she loved more than anything in the world, to another woman, because she needed him; Susanna Marlowe had saved Terry's life, risking her own. She had lost her leg in the process. Feeling like a burden in Terry's life; knowing he was in love with another woman, had driven her to suicide. Candy arrived at the right moment and had saved her life. Terry arrived and he carried Susanna in his arms to take her back to her room. To be in Terry's arms had made Susanna so happy that it gave her the will to live. Candy said goodbye to her asking her to take good care of Terry. She then got out of the room to tell Terry that she was going back to Chicago and that she didn't want him to go with her to the train station. He had caught up with her in the stairs, held her from the back and cried, wishing that time suspend its flight, asking her to be happy.
"Happy without you… thought Candy".
Candy also wanted like Terry that time had suspend its flight for good. And if Terry had held her for one more minute, she wouldn't have been unable to go; she would've turned around and would have hugged him… never to let him go again. She loved him so much and he loved her too. She thought about the summer in Scotland and St. Paul College, that's all she had left from Terry, now; memories. She continued crying, she'd just took the most difficult decision of her short life. Why was life against her? She lost Anthony the first love of her life and now Terry… her other love. Why did life allowed her to fall in love again, just to rip it out of her hands again?
She arrived at the hotel and took her luggage, paid the room and went to the station to take the train back to Chicago. In the train, she listened to Stear box of happiness and she continued crying in silence. The other passengers were looking at her and were wondering what had happened, to make a young girl so beautiful, so sad.
" Oh Terry, I love you so much. Would I be able to forget about you? But I have to. I have to forget about you. I have to forget about Terry, I have to forget about Terry…"
She continued repeating that phrase until she fell asleep. She said to herself with the power persuasion, she would be able to forget about Terry, so her heart won't be hurting too much. She didn't want to feel the pain that was hurting her so much. She thought she was going to die, that's how much it was hurting.
"Dear God, give me the force to support and to forget this love that is hurting me so much, and making me suffer" she said when she woke up for a brief moment.
She continued repeating in her head;"I have to forget about Terry, I have to forget about Terry…"
The power of persuasion was really strong and powerful to execute this perpetual order coming from the bottom of her heart…to forget about Terry, to forget about Terry…
A very big noise was heard followed by a big bang. The train stopped abruptly making the passengers fell violently on the floor, but the train continued moving and the carriages were derailing colliding with each other and piling up one on top of the other. The noise from the accident and the cries of the passengers was a dark portrait of horror; and after a while, when everything stopped, there was only pain and despair. The train was completely derailed and all the passengers were hurt, some lightly some badly some weren't so lucky and they had just lost their lives.
The emergency crew arrived slowly because of the snow that was still falling abundantly. The rescued crew did their best to help the wounded and took them to local hospitals close by; the train was almost in Chicago. All the hospitals were invaded by the wounded from the train. The operation rooms were all occupied. The wounded were literally on line to get operated on, and for some the waiting was fatal. The doctors and the nurses did their best. For the new in the field; they were able to live for the first time how to save lives and also how lives were lost. The emotions were at daggers drawn. But they held on. The family members were all in the hospitals looking for their loved ones. With the chaos of the accident, the handbags and luggage were lost, so were the identities. So, if some wounded weren't conscious, nobody knew who they were and only family members could identify them. But with the general panic, some people became impatient and started shouting on the hospital staff and the paramedics. After a few hours of chaos. The calm finally came back at dawn.
There was a patient that had been very badly hurt during the accident. She had to have surgery on the abdomen and another one on the head. She had an angelic and innocent face. The doctors and the nurses were waiting for her to wake up. But they didn't know that the young girl in question had no intention to wake up. Being asleep, to be in the void, not feeling anything was all our young patient wanted. She was in the coma; a deep coma in which she wasn't feeling anything and it was better that way, than the pain she had in her heart in the leaving world. Christmas and New Year passed, without our sleeping beauty waking up.
Terry found a house in which Susanna will be able to move around with her wheel chair without problem, than in his small apartment. That's not how he wanted to move. He thought he would move with Candy. Candy… oh he loved her so much! But it was like fate was against them. He had a moral obligation. Susanna saved his life and she lost her leg. She was in love with him, the logic for him was to marry her and take care of her for the rest of his life. But that also meant, to live without Candy, the girl he loved more than anything in the world. Would he be able to be a good husband for Susanna, while he was feeling such an intense love for another woman? Every time he looked at Susanna, he saw Candy, who, with her big heart, left, sacrificed herself so he could take care of Susanna.
"Freckles, I will never love anyone like I love you" he said to himself.
He'd just come back from the theatre and found Susanna in the kitchen, giving orders to the maid. She smiled when she saw Terry.
- Terry, she said happily, good evening! How are you? Did you have a good day?
- Yes. Good evening Susanna
- Diner is almost ready. Go freshen up and we can eat in a little bit.
- Thanks, see you later
Terry went to change and got ready for diner. Susanna was taking care good care of him. But he couldn't return her love. He felt friendship for her, she was a good friend but he couldn't give her more than that. His heart was already taken.
Ever since the night that Candy left, he couldn't stop dreaming about her. He missed her so much! He was dreaming about her very single night and it was always the same dream; he was with Candy, they were laughing and they were happy and then, Candy started to disappear little by little screaming;
"Terry! Help! I need help! Terry help me! Terry!"
And then he woke up in sweats. He was doing the same dream almost every night, every time Candy called for help and he didn't know how to help her. Having the same dream every night, Terry understood how the Pharaoh in the bible felt before Joseph came to put some light in his dreams. Terry was in a bad mood and barely smiled since Candy's departure. Susanna was doing her best to cheer him up, without any success.
"Freckles, are you trying to tell me something? Or do I miss you so much that I dream about you every night?"
He couldn't talk to Susanna about it, so he went to see his mother one night.
- Terry, said Eleonor Baker, how are you, honey?
- Not really good mum…
- It's Candy, isn't it?
- How do you know?
- All I have to do is, look at you. Ever since Candy left, you've got this bad temper… you miss her, she's the woman you love
- Mum... Things are not what they seem
- Ok. I won't say anything more
- I wanted to talk to you about something
- I'm listening
Terry didn't confide in anybody, but these dreams were driving him crazy. He had to talk to someone.
- Here goes nothing… Mum, ever since Candy's departure, I can't stop dreaming about her….
- You love her, that's normal
- That's what I thought in the beginnings too, but it's the content of the dream that intrigues me
- What is it?
- We are together, we are happy and then it's like she disappears little by little and she's screaming for my help
- Oh… and that's every night?
- I understand now why you're in such a good mood…she said ironically
- Mum, please…
- I'm sorry. Candy is asking for your help…maybe she needs help… maybe she's in danger
- I have a bad feeling, but maybe it's because of the fact that I lost her for good
- Maybe it's a telepathic message… if you have to help her, you'll get another sign
- You believe that?
- Well you're the one getting a telepathic SOS from your beloved…!
- Thanks, Mum. I have to go now
- Bye honey
- Bye mum, he said kissing her on the cheek.
Annie Brighton woke up and went to check if the mail had come. Maybe there was a letter from Candy. Ever since she went to New York, she didn't have any news from her. Did she marry Terry and decided not to come back to Chicago? How could she forget about her best friends? Something was not right. There was no letter from Candy.
Annie got ready sadly and went downstairs for breakfast. Her mother who was already at the table, saw her long face.
- Annie, honey, said her mother, what's wrong?
- Mom, I have no news from Candy. I hope nothing happened to her
- That's odd, really. Since when don't you have any news from her?
- Since November…
- That's a long time alright
- I'm going to see Archie to see if he has any news
- I hope nothing happened to her. She's a nice girl, so full of life
Annie finished her breakfast and barely ate. She was too stressed by Candy's absence. She went to get Patty and they went together to see Archie at the Andrew manor. Archibald arrived with a smile.
- Annie, good morning, Patty he said kissing them on the cheek
- Archie, good morning, said Annie, do you have any news from Candy?
- I just checked the mail. Nothing
- This is becoming worrying said Patty, she would have give us some news…
Annie was looking at the pile of mail. Maybe Archie didn't look well. She was looking at a magazine and she saw a title that jumped in front of her.
"TERRENCE GRANDCHESTER, rising star from Broadway, just got engaged to SUSANNA MARLOWE…"
- Look at this magazine! She said showing them
- What? Said Archie, but… what's happening?
- He got engaged to Susanna? What about Candy? Said Patty
- The bastard! Said Archie, he broke her heart!
- But, if that's the case said Annie, she should've come back here, to us. Where is she? At least before we thought she was with Terry and now… it's worse!
- Yes, said Patty, knowing Candy even if she were hurt, and didn't want to talk about it, she would've want to be with us
- Archie, said Patty, we have to go see Terry to ask him what happened
- I'm going to beat him up! Said Archie
- Archie! Think about Candy. Terry is the last one to have seen her. If it bothers you, you can stay here and go to the police so they can start to investigate. I'll go to New York with Patty to see Terry
Archie realised that he had reacted a little violently and that he sounded like a jealous boyfriend. Annie understood, but didn't say anything. She was very patient and he was grateful to her for that. To leave the girls alone in New York? No, if Stear were there….
- No, we are all going to New York to see Grandchester… Two young girls alone, Stear would never forgive me if something happens to you
Stear had made the decision to enrol in the army and had left without saying anything to anybody. The whole family was completely devastated, not to mention his girlfriend, Patty.
Annie told her parents that she was going to New York with Archie and Patty to get some news of Candy from Terry. Since she was going to be in Archie's company, Mrs Brighton didn't object. Patty had no problem convincing her parents either.
The trio left for New York to look for their best friend. During the trip, they were trying to talk about other stuff, but they were all thinking about Candy. Where was she? What was she doing?
Once in New York, they went to the theatre to see Terry, but since it was the end of the day, he was already gone. One of the employees gave them Terry's address. They went to a hotel first to change and eat.
- I hope Terry would be able to tell us where Candy is, said Annie
- Archie, try to get a hold of yourself, said Patty
- Yes, we need his help and his cooperation, said Annie, so be calm, ok?
- He got engaged to Susanna Marlowe…. When I think how much Candy loved him. You remember before she left how dreamy she was? She was humming songs…
- She passed in front of us without seeing us! Said Patty, she was only thinking about Terry
- When we wanted to buy some ice cream, she said it was going to melt until she gets to New York… she thought it was to bring to Terry! Said Annie laughing
- And now… what happened? Where is she? Asked Archie sadly
They finished their meal and went at Terry's in early evening. They rang and a butler opened the door.
- Yes? May I help you?
- We came to see Mr. Grandchester said Annie
- Do you have an appointment?
- No. It's an emergency
- Who should I announce?
- Annie, Patty and Archie, Candy's friends
- One moment please
The butler went in the living room and found Terry with Susanna.
- Sir, you have visitors
- Who is it?
- Annie, Patty and Archie, Candy's friends
Terry raised his head surprised and Susanna had a twinge in her heart. Candy's friends? What did they want? Did Candy send them? Did she want Terry back? What was it all about?
- Let them in, said Terry
- But what do they want? Asked Susanna
- We'll know soon enough, said Terry
Annie, Patty and Archie came in the room. Terry stand up to greet them smiling.
- Annie, Patricia, Cornwell, Hello! What brings you by?
- Good evening Terry said Annie, Susanna…
- Good evening said Susanna
- Susanna, Terry said Patty, hi
- Granchester, Susanna said Archie
- Have a sit said Terry, you want something to drink?
- No thanks, said Annie and Patty
- I'm fine, said Archie
- Ok, Terry said Annie, we came to ask you something…
- What happened between you and Candy?
- We broke up, said Terry uncomfortable
- Oh… that's why you're with Susanna now, obviously, said Patty
- Yes…, said Terry
- I knew you were going to hurt her! Said Archie
- Archie… said Annie
- You don't know the whole story, said Terry, it's complicated…
- For me it's simple, you got tired of her… said Archie
- ARCHIE! Said Annie, that's not why we came…
- Why did you come here? Asked Susanna who couldn't take it anymore, is it about Candy?
- Yes, said Patty, but not in the way you think…
- Terry, said Annie, when was the last time you saw Candy?
Terry didn't understand why Annie was asking him that question. Did something happen to Candy? But he said suspicious:
- In November, after the premiere, we broke up and she went to the train station. She didn't want me to go with her. Why, what's happening?
- Terry, said Annie, Candy never came back to Chicago….
- WHAT! Yelled Terry, WHERE IS SHE!
- We don't know, said Patty she disappeared…
- What do you mean disappeared? Asked Terry
- We mean that she didn't write, or call, said Patty
- In fact said Annie, until we saw the announcement of your engagement in the magazine, we thought she was with you and was being lazy writing or enjoying your company or something…
- Oh my God! Said Terry visibly upset. We have to do something… I'm going to go to the police so they'll start looking her, I had no idea. If something happened to her, I will never forgive myself!
- You can say that again! Said Archie angry
- You're the last person to have seen her in fact, said Patty
Terry remained silent. He thought about his dreams. Did Candy really needed his help? His mother told him that if it was a telepathic message, there will be another sign; Candy's friends telling him that she had disappeared…He wanted to say something, but not in front of Susanna." Where are you Freckles?" he asked himself
- Since you don't know anything, said Annie, we're going back to Chicago. I'll give you my phone number if you hear anything, call me.
- Thanks said Terry, I'll give you my phone number too. Call me as soon as you hear something
- Ok. Said Annie, Thank you
- No, thanks to you for the information. Let's keep in touch.
Candy's friends left. Susanna was a little disappointed. Candy couldn't leave them alone?
- Candy has disappeared…
- Maybe it's a trick to get attention…
- Susanna, she saved your life, she left me so I can be with you…be a little compassionate!
- I'm sorry, said Susanna ashamed, I hope she's fine
- Me too.
Terry went to the police station the same day to report Candy's disappearance. Needless to say that Terry spent a very bad night! The dream he had about Candy became more and more intense.
"Terryyyy! Come and save me! Terry help!"
He spent a very agitated night.
Candy's friends returned to Chicago and went to the police to report Candy's disappearance, so the police will start to look for her in Chicago.
Albert, got his memory back and since Candy didn't come back, he went on his adventure trips, thinking Candy was happy with Terry.
Eliza and Neil learned about Candy's disappearance, too. Eliza was glad.
"The stable girl got only what she deserves! May she be gone forever!"
Neil, strangely felt very sad. Candy, he won't see Candy anymore. He liked to tease her, but he realised that he liked her! Those beautiful emerald green eyes that long blond hair, and those freckles she was beautiful…. And now, he won't see her anymore! No, she had just disappeared, she might reappear… he prayed that Candy was alive.
The Great Aunt Elroy was maybe motionless towards Candy but she was following the researches closely, after all she was a member or the family.
The young patient with blond hair and freckles, that the nurses had nicely nicknamed "angel face", was still in the coma. Her body was starting to suffer because of the non-nutrition and non-activity.
- Wake up Angel face was saying a young doctor, your body needs activity, come on wake up… wake up, oh ye who sleeps, wake up from among the dead… come back among the living. Your place is not with the invalids. Wake up so you can tell us your name Angel face.
But the "Angel face" was not moving and she was mute. The void, the nothingness the darkness, the darkness, was not good for health. You have to come towards the light, but the darkness was not hurting, the darkness was motionless and emotions hurt. But she needed strengths; her body needed strengths and activity. But… later, later…
A month passed before the light came back in the long black hallway, without life and without emotions. The light was hurting her eyes. The sun; feeling a little heat did her good. But she was incapable of moving. Only her eyes were opened.