“If you love somebody, let them go, for if they return, they were always yours. If they don’t, they never were.” ― Kahlil Gibran
For those of you who have read my short story, “It must have been love”, you might have remembered this was my theme.
In the last two volumes of the manga, we can see that Candy and Albert began to develop a deeper affection for each other beyond what they had had when he had first suffered from amnesia. The evidences are everywhere in the story, including the sandwich sharing scene, which I would discuss in my next post. In any case, the relationship between them was no longer merely friends or brother and sister near the end of the story.
For example, when Albert recovered, the first image that came to his mind was a smiling Candy, and that says a lot. He remembered who she really was, so he struggled, lying by the river bank for who knows how long. Being the only male descendant in his clan, he didn’t think twice before he used his own body to protect Candy from the ferocious lion. Unlike the anime, in the manga the lion pounced on Candy alone, and in a split second Albert squeezed in between them to shield her from the attack. Note that the lion actually pierced his left arm and chest near his heart. Thereafter, Candy shed silent tears, fully aware that Albert could have been killed because of her.
Later, Candy learned that Albert had lied to her about working at the zoo. She was clearly upset but kept her mouth shut rather than confronting him. When her neighbors accused Albert of being a gangster months later, she defended him vehemently and decided to leave the apartment with him. She trusted that he was not a bad guy, but at the same time it shows that she was afraid of losing him.
Then after Albert had disappeared and confessed to Candy in his departing letter that he couldn’t let her know earlier about his recovery (which implied that he had wanted to stay living with her), she broke down and cried. In the following months, gone was the cheerful young lady who used to be full of life and vigor. Nobody can deny that Candy missed Albert terribly after he had vanished in her life, and I have already mentioned in my previous posts how the Rockstown incident (the significant episode only in the manga but not in the anime adaptation) conveys that, so I won’t repeat myself here.
Later, thanks to Neil’s imposed marriage and George’s disobedience, they finally reunited. Albert must have been astonished that Candy suddenly walked in, disturbing his solitude. On the other hand, Candy was more than shocked to discover that the man she had been pining for turned out to be her benefactor — the “old” man she had been dreaming to meet in person.
After they both calmed down, they spent an amiable time alone in Lakewood for the rest of that day, that night and the next day. But neither said anything to each other about their inner feelings. Interestingly, though Albert later returned to Chicago, Candy didn’t reside in the mansion with him. She was his adoptive daughter, and he had admitted that in front of every guest in the engagement party, but why didn’t he invite her to live with him? Or is it possible that he had asked but she refused?
Then one day (how many days had elapsed since the engagement party?), Candy made up her mind to return to Pony’s Home. When Albert agreed with her decision, she didn’t look very happy. She was aware that she would miss him.
Some people argue that Candy was too naive or that she didn’t love Albert as a man at that point but only missed his companionship. I don’t think so however. She had gone through a lot in her life already, losing her loved ones twice. It doesn’t make sense to me that she was still too ignorant to understand what loving a man meant. How else can one explain why she yearned to see his face again if it wasn’t love? She might not have realized the extent of her tenderness for Albert until she had lost him, and she probably repressed her true feelings toward him after knowing his real identity, but her affection for him was unmistakable, especially from the way she interacted with him after he had successfully annulled her forced engagement with Neil.
That was when my imagination kicked in. I knew there must be more happening in their minds during those days than what was shown in the manga. I have a feeling that both Albert and Candy had sacrificed their own happiness for each other. In other words, they were in love, but they both let each other go.
Yet, Albert took the first step at long last. He went to Pony’s Hill ahead of Candy to reveal one last secret. He was actually her Prince on the Hill. To me, that was his love confession to her. It’s unclear how much time had passed since Candy bid Albert goodbye, telling him that she was leaving Chicago, but we know he had deliberately kept this last secret from her even after she had discovered his identity, so what exactly pushed him to disclose the truth?
At any rate, Candy was undoubtedly ecstatic to find out who her prince was after all this time. He was the man who had always been there for her since her first heartbreak in life (her best friend Annie had left her). That is exactly how the manga ended. The main heroine, Candy, was back to her first love, a full circle.
In an attempt to fill in all the blanks, I was inspired to write “It must have been love” last year. I would like to express my appreciation to those who have read it and/or left reviews for me. But if you haven’t read it yet, you can find it in
Note: I got the image above from the colored, Greek manga version.