Disclaimer: Candy Candy and all characters belong to Kyoko Mizuki, images to Yumiko Igarashi and anime to Toei Animation.
Note: This short story was written from Albert's point of view, mainly based on the last volume of the manga version and some parts from the Candy Candy Final Story, which was published by Mizuki in 2010.
You might find that some specific scenes or ideas in this story are beautifully expressed in other stories about Albert and Candy too. Please bear in mind this is solely coincidental as we fanfic writers have based our stories on the same characters from the same manga.
If you have enjoyed reading this, please write a review! I would love to hear from you, but I reserve my rights to remove any rude or negative comments.
Special thanks to my beta readers so that I can publish this around Valentine's day!
What is happening to me? How can I feel sleepy now... It must be the heat from the afternoon sun that makes me drowsy. Or is it the scrumptious lunch that Candy and I have cooked together earlier?
Knowing that my faithful personal assistant, George, will soon arrive to take Candy back to Chicago, we have finally slowed down to do something quiet. In the meantime, my lovely angel is sitting beside me, so focused on making flower chains, one for me and one for Pouppe, my pet skunk. After having so much fun today frolicking in the meadow near the Mountain Lodge, enjoying outdoor activities such as fishing and climbing trees, I have almost forgotten that I am supposedly the legal guardian of my companion. Secretly staring at her profile, I can't help but admire how beautiful she looks when she is concentrating on her solo project, her mouth curled up in a satisfied smile. In fact, the one she has made for Pouppe is long enough for my neck, but it looks like she is going to make a much longer one for me. Judging by her current pace and the heap of flowers we have collected before, how long will it take her to connect them all together?
Unfortunately, as much as I want to watch her working on her little project, after all the excitement during the day, my body has failed me now. My eyelids have become heavier and heavier. Perhaps I should let myself rest for a little while.
"Candy, do you mind if I take a nap?" I venture softly.
She instantly turns her attention to me, staring at me with her shining eyes wide open. "Why, are you bored?" She sounds slightly hurt, and I do feel bad about disappointing her.
Shaking my head emphatically, I gently pat her hand to assure her. "No, Candy. It just that I didn't sleep very well last night."
"Why didn't you have a good sleep? Was something wrong?" she presses on, looking concerned now.
I manage a plausible excuse. "It was nothing really. I guess the couch wasn't very comfortable after all..." With my voice trailing off, I finish with a sheepish smile.
"Right," she remarks in a whisper, diverting her eyes to the ground and her cheeks turning red. "You let me use the bed."
She has no idea how her sudden shyness affects me. Yesterday, she trusted me enough to spend the night with me, sleeping in the only bed available inside the Mountain Lodge. Gaping at her, I have a strong urge to pull her into my arms right at this moment. She is your adoptive daughter, and what are you thinking? I scold myself harshly and have to firmly clench my fists. After taking some deep breaths, when I'm sure my voice will sound calm, I respond to her remark, grinning, "No worries, Candy. A gentleman should let the lady use the bed."
She merely laughs at my comment and is soon back to being cheerful again. She then adds, with her lips curved upwards into an amiable smile, "Sure, go ahead and rest a little bit, Albert. I will wake you up when I'm done with this."
Yes, to my great relief, she still calls me Albert as she always does. She doesn't know how embarrassed and ashamed I felt when she wanted to express her heartfelt gratitude yesterday, addressing me as Uncle William. I just had to interrupt her grateful speech because I didn't want her to start treating me as her father.
So why did I adopt Candy a few years ago? There was a handful of reasons. First, after I had rescued her from near drowning in the waterfall, I recognized her face and saw my badge dangling around her neck. She didn't know that we had met each other before this. I wasn't surprised because I had looked very different then. Being a troubled teenager myself, I had somehow wandered by a hill near an orphanage called Pony's Home. There I had met her, a little orphan girl, who had been crying. But my Scottish kilt had made her curious, and my bagpipe music had cheered her up. She had also managed to make me laugh heartily for the first time in a long while. After our brief encounter, I had absently dropped my family badge. Since neither of us had known each other's name, she had always referred this boy as her Prince on the Hill.
Other than being taller and bigger, her appearance hadn't changed much as a teenage girl, and her emerald sparkling eyes and charming smile reminded me of my beloved late sister, Rosemary. When she regained consciousness, she told me her name, Candy, and I told her my middle name, Albert. Working as a stable girl for the Leagans, my relatives, I couldn't believe a girl her age was already going through such hardship. I genuinely felt sorry for her, and days later I found out that the Leagans were sending her to Mexico to work. I determined to do something in my power to help her, so I made one of the biggest decisions in my life.
Now that I look back, I know I could have done something different to get her out of the troubles. I guess I was strongly influenced by the individual letters written by my nephews, pleading me to adopt Candy. Back then, it seemed a natural thing to do by giving her our precious family name, which inevitably made my aunt extremely mad. Little did I expect then that I would eventually regret adopting her.
Letting out a small sigh remembering those days, I snap myself back to the present by searching a suitable sized log as my pillow. To keep her company, I put it down near Candy so that I could take my nap right behind her.
I lay myself down, with my hands under my head, my knee bent with my foot flat on the ground and my other leg crossed above that knee. Once Candy is sure that I have found a comfortable position, she shifts her focus back to her flower chain. Hence, she isn't aware that I am actually looking at her back now, smiling contentedly just because she is here with me, especially after months of hiding from her.
How can I tell her the real reason why I couldn't sleep last night? The fact that I was under the same roof with her again... that she was sleeping like an angel in the bed just next to my couch.
During the last frantic business trip with George, I told him my plan to retreat to the Lakewood Villa for the much needed rest and solitude. Ever since I became an orphan myself, I have enjoyed spending the early mornings alone in the solarium because for some reason, bathing in the morning sunlight often gives me the peace of mind. Therefore, the household staff know that I won't start my day without spending a bit of time in that room, and they will not disturb me at all.
But yesterday, when I enjoyed my first morning hour in the solarium, something unusual happened. Candy's sweet voice penetrated through the silence behind me, introducing herself. It was definitely the most shocking moment in my life. How did she know that her mysterious adoptive father, Uncle William, was in Lakewood? Had George informed her? How could that be? He had never disobeyed me and was always tight-lipped.
With deference in her voice, Candy explained why she had shown up uninvited. She implored me to call off her engagement with Neil Leagan because it was my order. I was more than furious to know that my name was again being misused, and this time it was to force her to marry someone who had bullied her for years. My instinct told me that it was my aunt who acted behind the scene. Really. Who else had the courage to use my name behind my back?
When I was debating with myself whether I should let her know that I was her benefactor all along, she suddenly stopped talking. Sounding unsure, she began doubting if she was indeed talking to Uncle William. The dreadful moment that I had been avoiding for years came at last, and I mustered my courage to speak up, knowing for sure that she would recognize my voice.
The rest of the day went extremely well; in fact, it was much better than I had ever imagined. As expected, she was shocked to the core to say the least, but it didn't take her too long to accept the fact that I was, after all, the one to whom she had been writing letters since her adoption. She didn't accuse me of lying to her at all, but instead asked me why I had been hiding the truth from her all these years. I apologized without giving her the reasons, but she asked no more questions after that, presumably lost in deep thoughts.
What a relief that is to me! For sure one day I will let her know all the details behind the mystery of Uncle William being known as an old man, but this is not the right time now. How many shocking facts can one take at a time? Well, she doesn't even know the whole truth yet. She will be even more astonished later if I decide to reveal to her that I am in fact the teenager whom she met on the hill many years ago.
To make the long story short, I was a bachelor in my early twenties when the adoption took place. Besides the fact that I wasn't supposed to reveal my true identity, I refused to have a teenage girl treating me with lots of respect. My goal was to watch over her silently as her older, and supposedly wiser, friend.
Who could have thought that I would later get involved in an accident, and I suffered from amnesia as a result? Candy and I came across each other by chance in Chicago, and I had no idea who she was. She recognized me as her friend, someone who had helped her in the past. Oblivious to our adoptive relationship, she told me I was like a dear big brother to her, and to pay back my kindness, she wanted to take care of me by living together in a cozy apartment until I would recover my memory. Before long, I became her confidant, and time and time again, she told me a lot about herself, without reserve, including her first innocent love, Prince on the Hill. Needless to say, I didn't know that was actually me.
After months of living together with Candy, she finally got the chance to meet with her love, Terry, at New York. He invited her to his premiere performance at Broadway. They had been apart for more than a year, so she left Chicago with high expectations, using the one way ticket he had provided. I was aghast when she returned a few days later, completely heartbroken. When she poured all her feelings out to me about the reasons behind the breakup with Terry, I was seriously saddened seeing her in so much pain. I offered my sympathy and consolation by holding her close in my arms, giving her my shoulder to cry on, and listening to her detailed descriptions of what had happened during the trip. I didn't realize it at that time, but I was slowly starting to fall in love with her.
If she had known at the beginning that I was her guardian, she would have told me my place and my role in her life. Even though I was amnesiac, I wouldn't have let my feelings go down that path when we lived together. But because I didn't know who I was, I got to know her from a totally different perspective. However, I did my best to hide my feelings from her because I could sense that she was still grieving for her loss, Terry.
One day, when I was doing my routine work in the restaurant kitchen, washing the dishes, a terrible headache attacked me all of a sudden. I collapsed within minutes and was carried to the staff room. When I came to, I was back to my old self, and the first image that came to my mind was a cheerful, lovely face with freckles. I was horrified to learn that I was in love with my adoptive daughter.
As much as I understood that it was inappropriate, the feelings that I had for her were real and strong. With my past memory coming back to me, I knew why she had become so important to me. Due to my special place in the family, I had been lonely since I was a child, surrounded by tight-lipped servants or straight-faced tutors, having no friends my age to play with. No doubt living with Candy had been the happiest period in my life, when I could finally have someone to talk to, to laugh with, and to share all the nitty-gritty details of my daily life.
I wished there was indeed an on/off switch for me so that I could swap my mindset back to being her guardian or her friend. But it was too late for me already, as if fate was making fun of me.
Instead of going home right after that, I went to a park, floundering whether to tell her about my recovery and my love for her. But as soon as I arrived home, I knew she wasn't ready for a new love yet. She was fast asleep, sprawling on top of all those old newspapers. I had hidden them from her and stored them under the bed because they were all about Terry's bad news. Apparently, she had discovered them and cried to exhaustion after reading the news. The message was clear to me-her heart still longed for Terry even after months of that fateful breakup. No matter how much I wanted to make her happy, I had to continue to suppress my feelings. Yet one thing I was utterly sure. I didn't want to tear myself away from her.
Therefore, I decided not to inform Candy of my recovery. After contacting my assistant, George, I expressed my wish to keep on living with her in that small apartment located in the outskirts of Chicago. As always, he didn't say anything to oppose my will or doubt my judgement. Instead, he and the others came everyday to pick me up to work.
Then I quitted my dishwashing job at the restaurant and lied to Candy about a new job at the zoo, working as the animal consultant. Since then, I had been in constant struggle with my dilemma of whether to let her know about my recovery, and I rebuked myself nearly every day about lying to her. Every morning when I saw her angelic face, I just couldn't bring myself to inform her of the "good news" that she had been waiting for because I was afraid that meant the end of sharing our lives together.
Besides, I was torn between my work and my relationship with her. Being terribly busy as a businessman, I hardly cooked for her anymore and she even complained that I wasted too much money buying dinners. Sometimes I had to work during the weekends, so I couldn't spend time with her as much as I wanted to.
Before I knew it, months had passed. I still indulged myself in having this heartwarming life with her until one winter night when I overheard the conversation between Candy and our landlady at Magnolia, who was trying to kick me out, believing that I was some suspicious man. It hit me hard as I realized that our neighbors had figured out that I wasn't her brother after all. At the same time, I perceived that Candy had already found out that I was lying to her about working at the zoo, but she opted to trust me regardless. The most touching part was that she firmly told the landlady that if I had to move out, she would leave the apartment together with me. With heavy heart, I knew the time had come. I had to face the reality of the situation, but instead of telling her the truth of our relationship, I chose the escape route. I needed time to forget my feelings for her first, so I vanished without leaving her any detail about how to contact me.
From that night on, I had been trying my best to avoid Candy, and I sternly reprimanded myself many times that I should stop loving her this way because I was her guardian for heaven's sake. Yet this was something easier said than done. I acknowledged that thought in my head, but I couldn't stop the feelings in my heart. My hectic work life somehow eased me from thinking of her too much, and I appeared normal to most people. But at times I woke up in my luxurious bed in the middle of the night, wondering where I was or why I was here, as if I had left a part of me behind when I walked out of the apartment that winter night, and I would never be whole again.
I must confess the more I tried not to think of her, the more I missed her. Sometimes I even felt "homesick", reminiscing our times living in that tiny apartment that I had shared with her for a little more than a year. As it turned out, one of the things I used and enjoyed most was my journal. On lonely days whenever I found myself unconsciously picking up a pen wanting to write to her, I would jot down my moods or impressions in my journal, which gave me the comfort as though I was talking to her.
Then something dawned on me one day. Remembering how easily she was tricked by Neil that Terry was expecting her somewhere, I asked George to send a trustworthy private investigator to help me track down Terry's whereabouts. He soon came back with leads that Terry was heading to Rockstown based on his current schedule. The first thing I did was to put on my disguise lest Terry might recognize me. Indeed there he was, acting in such a pitiful state, obviously drunk. Convinced that he was depressed from his separation with Candy, I decided to play Cupid for them. What would make her happier than to reunite with her love, who seemingly hadn't forgotten about her either? As expected, George, who kept me company, didn't make any comment about my decision, and simply advised the private investigator to stay put and send us reports about Candy and Terry.
Hence, attempting to stop torturing myself, I bought her a nice Spring dress and sent it to her under my name, with a brief note telling her that she was on my mind wherever I went. If she received my present without taking any other action, then it would be a clear sign to me that I meant nothing to her. That would certainly help me to forget her. On the other hand, she would probably pay a visit to Rockstown, thinking that was where I currently resided. Then she would run into Terry as planned, and after that I would have the best reason to treat her as someone under my guardianship again. I figured these were the two possible outcomes, or so I thought.
She did go to Rockstown, but surprisingly, she came back to Chicago alone. According to the report from George's trusted investigator, she did see Terry's performance and stayed for a little while, but she left before the play was finished. She then went to a restaurant with a woman, who later confirmed to be Terry's mother, Miss Eleanor Baker. Still, Candy didn't meet with Terry, and what struck me the most was what happened the following day. She was looking for a man with blond hair and blue eyes all over that small town, showing a drawing of my likeness.
Was she really looking for me? I didn't dare to think. Of course I wouldn't deny the fact that Candy and I shared a strong bond, but I had never expected that her feelings for me were more than fraternal. Didn't she always say that I was her big brother? Had she changed somehow during my absence?
That was what I had been contemplating since the Rockstown incident. Therefore, yesterday, when we were sitting by the fireplace warming up ourselves in the Mountain Lodge, I tested the waters by telling her about Terry's return to Broadway. She appeared genuinely happy for him, but soon she seemed lost in her thoughts and didn't mention anything about her visit to Rockstown.
Last night, after the long day, Candy had no problem falling asleep as soon as she hit the bed. I was not as fortunate regrettably because I was overwhelmed by all these thoughts. My brain just didn't let me rest last night. Being wide awake, I had plenty of time to reflect, and the more I went through what had happened during the day, the more I appreciated George, who had instructed Candy to find her adoptive father in Lakewood.
I still clearly remembered the moment after George had finished reading the investigator's report from Rockstown. I was literally blown away, and my mind went completely blank for who knew how long. I even saw sympathetic expression on his face for a brief moment! It must be the look of stupefaction on my face that somehow affected him because he was always calm and cool otherwise. Yet he recovered very quickly, and he showed no particular emotions afterwards.
Considered that George had been my only companion for many years, especially after Rosemary's death, he was practically my elder brother. In fact, he was probably the only person in the world who could see through me. Therefore, he must have sensed my inner conflicts ever since I contacted him after my recovery, and the forced engagement of Candy and Neil must have propelled him to disobey my order.
Meanwhile, although I feel very exhausted, I still can't fall asleep. I lift my head a bit so that I can see part of Candy's face when she is painstakingly connecting the flowers one by one. I am incredibly moved because of the tremendous effort she has put in to making such a long chain for me. All of a sudden I have the strong desire to tell her that I was that "alien wearing a skirt" who appeared to her on the hill when she was a little girl.
But I know I can't just casually tell her, "Hey, Candy, do you know I was the Scottish boy whom you have wanted to meet again? Yes, you have been carrying my badge all these years as your amulet."
This is not funny at all. Knowing that Prince on the Hill was actually her first crush, how can she accept the fact that this young teenager has later grown up to be her adoptive father? Unless... of course... she has special feelings for me now...
Since George is on his way to pick up Candy, I decide not to waste any more time musing. I swiftly pull myself up and warmly call her name, "Candy?"
Obviously startled, she literally jumps and turns to face me in disbelief. "Albert? Aren't you sleeping?"
With a tight smile on my face, I shake my head slowly. Then I gather my courage and gently hold one of her hands in mine, my eyes gazing at hers steadily. A little baffled, she absently drops her flowers and blushes involuntarily, and her reaction has significantly encouraged me to ask the question that has been bothering me for weeks, "Were you looking for me, Candy?"
She creases her eyebrows slightly, looking at me seemingly clueless. Of course this question has been in my head for so long that, without knowing, I have omitted the place. Then I clear my throat and clarify myself, "I mean... in Rockstown."
I hope she doesn't know that my heart pounds furiously in my chest at this moment, though I manage a hint of a smile on my lips.
Lowering her gaze, she looks so adorable, her face gradually turning beet red. "How did you know?"
Her voice is barely audible, but her question is in fact an affirmative to me, so I lean forward and grab her other hand too. She looks up at once, peering at me, clearly astounded by my behavior.
"Candy," I begin, trying to sound as tender as possible, looking intensely into her eyes now. "Please tell me why."
She remains silent, apparently struggling for words. After a while, she even looks away, hiding her rosy cheeks, but that makes me desire her even more. I swallow hard, and while I am pondering what to do next, she regards me with tears welling in her eyes. A brief moment later, she speaks up in a tremulous voice, "Albert, you don't know how much I have missed you..."
Her reply penetrates my heart so profoundly that I have lost my words. For a brief moment, there is utter silence between us. With her lips quivering a little, she suddenly pops a question, "You did arrange that meeting... in Rockstown... didn't you?"
I nod as my answer to her. Being perplexed, she quietly asks through her teary eyes, "Why?"
I am about to tell her that I thought she would want to meet with Terry again, but I don't want to mention his name now. Instead, being highly emotional, I hear myself say this out loud, "Because I love you, Candy, and I want you to be happy."
Upon hearing my confession, her beautiful eyes are widened, looking bewildered, and tears begin streaming down her cheeks. She is not the only one who is shocked right now, but at the same time I feel instantly relieved. Heaving a deep sigh, I speak to myself, there, I finally said it, after all these months of suppressing myself.
Then I reach out and lovingly wipe away her tears with my thumbs, teasing myself as a way to ease the tension, "Don't cry now, Candy, is it really this bad that I love you?"
Her face breaks into a smile after this. She then says thoughtfully, between her sobs, "Albert, I remember the sandwich we have split in halves... and your promise to share everything with me..."
I nod quietly, wondering what she is getting at. Then she carries on, stammering, "But since you disappeared, you have deliberately cut all ties with me... I have spent many sleepless nights missing you... crying myself to sleep..."
"Candy, I'm so sorry..." This is all I can mutter at this moment, feeling terribly guilty about upsetting her. When I decided to leave her that winter night, I thought she would be able to move on with her life without me by her side because she is always cheerful, strong and independent.
With her eyes fixed on my face, she continues in her sweet voice, her tears receding, "I missed you so much that I was desperate to find you, and Dr. Martin helped me by drawing a picture of you."
So that was the picture she used searching for me... I lovingly put my arm over her shoulder and give her a half-embrace. She then leans into me and nestles her head against my shoulder. I close my eyes now, knowing that I want nothing more than to hold her this way. She doesn't need to talk anymore because I believe I have already heard from her what I wanted to know.
But she speaks up again, "So when I received your parcel, without a second thought, I decided to go to Rockstown just hoping that you would still be there."
Just then, I feel tears start burning in my eyes too. Then she straightens up herself to face me, and she says softly, "I was very disappointed that I didn't see you there. I was so worried about you, wondering what you have thought about us... our relationship."
I respond right away in a hoarse voice, my eyes never leaving hers, "Now you know."
She sighs in frustration and avoids looking at me, seemingly discouraged and exasperated. Then, after exhaling deeply, she keeps her head low and whispers in a resigned tone, "Yes... you're my father... legally..."
No doubt she now understands my affliction. I really don't know what else to say at this point, and I start absentmindedly playing with the flowers scattered on the grass. A long while later, she disperses the silence and says with an appreciative tone, "Please don't get me wrong, Albert. I'll be forever grateful for your kindness to me. As a poor orphan with few prospects in life, you gave me a shelter and the opportunity to get an expensive education... yet..."
I raise my eyebrows, waiting for her to continue. She catches my questioning look, but nothing comes forth from her lips. I urge myself to be patient at this point because I know she's about to tell me something important. Looking down at her own hands, she makes a comment in a low voice after clearing her throat, "yet... I don't want to be your daughter."
What else do you need to hear from her, Albert? Isn't her hint clear enough?
That's true. She didn't know that I am the one who adopted her years ago, and she has regarded me as her brother for a long time, well, until recently I hope.
Therefore, I bravely broach the subject just to make sure, "So you want to be my sister then?"
Immediately she shakes her head vigorously, finally meeting my gaze. Her silent reply is more than enough for me. Without saying anything else, I pick up some flowers on the grass and warmly ask her, "Do you mind?"
Once she understands what I am up to, she shows me a smile of approval. I take that as a 'yes' and with her permission, I move in closer to her and gently align some flowers in her hair such that they form a hair band on top of her head. I take a long breath, holding her emerald eyes silently for a long while. Then I praise her wholeheartedly in my deep voice, "Candy, do you know you have become a beautiful lady?"
With a shy smile on her face, she averts her eyes, her long eyelashes fluttering.
Gathering all my strength, right then and there I firmly profess my love, "Candy, I want you to know that I love you with all my heart. I need you more than words can say, and my life is lonely without you."
"And I love you too, Albert."
Her quick response is music to my ears. I have been dreaming of this moment for so long, and without any more hesitation, I tenderly grasp one of her hands as I aim my eyes at her beautiful ones, which are glittering with moisture now. Slowly I raise my other hand to her face and start caressing her cheek as lightly as possible. Her breathing quickens in anticipation, with each breath getting more shallow. Then I lean toward her and whisper to her ear, "Candy, please close your eyes."
She willingly closes her eyes with her lips slightly parted waiting for me. Then I stroke her jaw with the backs of my index and middle fingers, aiming at her delicate chin. Lifting her chin slightly, I tilt my head a little and press my lips against hers, giving her a gentle kiss. She responds by kissing me back softly, circling her arms chastely around my neck. Then I wrap my arms around her slender waist, pulling her closer to me. Our lips merge together as we deepen the kiss, which is becoming more passionate with each passing second. I have failed to keep track of time, but I don't really care if George will see us like this, losing ourselves in our fervent kiss and holding each other in a tight embrace. How many times have I fantasized about kissing Candy? I have lost count already.
But something strange happens at this moment. I feel a nudge at my elbow. At first, I just ignore it. Then I am jolted awake by some hands shaking my shoulders.
"Wake up, Albert, wake up!" I finally hear Candy's voice, and as I open my eyes, she is smiling at me affectionately. My dream was so vivid that my heart thumps against my ribcage violently. Feeling disoriented, I slap myself awake and rub my face roughly. As I am slowly getting up, Candy hastily says, "Don't move, Albert! You've almost ruined it!"
Then I see her swiftly fixing the flower chain by relocating it a little bit. She then instructs me, "Now, you can get up, but slowly please!"
I carefully sit up, and I'm astonished at what she presents me. Her long flower chain has formed a big heart shape with herself encircled inside, holding the midpoint of the shape, and a part of the chain lies across my abdomen and the other part lies across my legs.
She must have noticed the stunned expression on my face, and she shyly asks, "Do you like it?"
What are you trying to tell me, Candy?
I want to ask, but still reeling from my dream, I'm not quite sure how to respond to her question. Then we both hear a honk, and she utters, "Oh George is here already!"
She gets up right away, and I quickly follow her through the bushes. As I see her running to George, I miss her already. After I have sincerely thanked him for his thoughtfulness, I wave goodbye at them as they take off. My only solace now is that I have already planned to meet her again at the so-called engagement party tomorrow.
If I'm not in love with you
What is this I'm going through
And if my heart is lying then
What should I believe in
Why do I go crazy
Every time I think about you, baby
Why else do I want you like I do
If I'm not in love with you
And if I don't need your touch
Why do I miss you so much
If it's just infatuation then
Why is my heart aching
To hold you forever
Give a part of me I thought I'd never
Give again to someone I could lose
If I'm not in love with you
Why in every fantasy
Do I feel your arms embracing me
Lovers lost in sweet desire
Why in dreams do I surrender
Like a little baby
Someone help explain this feeling
Someone tell me
If I'm not in love with you
What is this I'm going through
And if my heart is lying then what should I believe in
Why do I go crazy
Every time I think about you baby
Why else do I want you like I do
If I'm not in love with you 
 Thanks to Angel of Versailles for recommending the song "If I'm Not In Love With You" by Faith Hill, which perfectly captures Candy's feelings when she missed Albert during his absence, which is palpable in the manga. Of course this song applies to Albert as well.
One day when I was casually chatting with another Albert fan, we were wondering about why Albert was napping when Candy was making her long flower chain. My friend then joked that he probably didn't have a good sleep the night before at the Mountain Lodge with Candy in the same house again. In addition, another Albert fan had noticed that the flower chain that Candy was making seemed to form a heart shape.
So I got inspired about writing a short, just-for-fun, story using these ideas, as a break from writing my long story, "Love Never Fails". Please bear in mind that this story is totally my imagination based on the last few volumes of the manga version of Candy Candy.
Even though in my story it was just Albert's dream, Candy's recollection about how she had missed Albert was actually based on Candy Candy Final Story and the manga. Since he was gone, she realized that he was more than a brother to her, and that he was someone very special, to whom she could talk just about everything. At the same time, wondering what he had thought about their relationship was driving her crazy.
Also, I have made this into a dream because I want to stick to the story development in the manga. Albert didn't confess until he revealed himself as Prince on the Hill at the end of the manga.
Revised: May 25, 2013 (minor changes)