Dear Reader,

this is my first fic. Not just about Candy, but my first fic in general, and judging by the time-consuming nature of producing it, I suspect it will also be the last! I don't consider myself particularly gifted when it comes to writing fiction – science is my thing, really – but the story of Candy was inspiring enough for me to have a go.

So this is the result of the encouragement of other CC fans around the world. Through Candy's story, I have met some great people worldwide and it's a pleasure to be trusted with continuing Mizuki's story.

English is not my mother tongue, so please, be forgiving of any errors in grammar or syntax.

The fic moves back and forward in time quite a lot, which I hope is not too confusing. Three stars (***) typically indicate a change in time period or place/setting. I haven't done a great job with this and hope to re-issue some chapters in the future to make it easier to follow.

When I was watching Candy as a child, I was one of those people who found it impossible to recover from Anthony's sudden death. Much as I could see the incredible love our adorable heroine found in Terry, I simply couldn't connect emotionally with his character; to me he always seemed second best somehow, although I see now that I was probably too harsh in my judgement – and I have sought to redress the balance in this story. Now that I am considerably older myself, and after reading many bits of information on the origins of the manga as well as numerous well-written fics, I think I can see a happy future for Candy with Albert by her side.

Not because it didn't work out with Terry, but because these two have a genuinely strong bond, which is further enhanced by their many common interests and attitude towards life and their long history together. I think that love, true love (whatever that means) can find us at any moment in life; it's a matter of circumstance and opportunity. So this is what my story explores – a future where there is no romance with Terry, but Candy's heart can open again to let a new love find her and enrich her life.

To be fair, a lot of the ideas presented in this fic have been beautifully expressed in other stories too. I like to think that if there are common elements, it's only because there is a wider appeal and logic to how the story could progress.

Most of the letters included in this fic have been taken from translations of Mizuki's originals found on various relevant websites, such as CandyTerry and Candy Neige, as well as a few Spanish sites. A translation of the recently re-published novel is the work of a fan of this fic (who wishes to remain anonymous).

I hope you enjoy reading this. I sure enjoyed writing it, and hope to manage to make enough time to progress it further.

Thank you!