Ever heard of this quote? “Some people put walls up, not to keep people out, but to see who cares enough to knock them down.” -Unknown
That was Terry. He had built tall walls around himself, acting ill-mannered or skeptical towards people around him (to his parents, schoolmates or even co-workers). Throughout the manga, he had remained insecure, difficult and unwilling to be vulnerable. However, his walls had been gradually knocked down by Candy, and she had actually seen the softer side of Terry. That explains why she was special to him. She truly cared about him, and she had tried to help him to a point that she had behaved like Sister Gray to Terry.
Unfortunately, Terry had made a rushed decision and left London in such a hurry that essentially driven him and Candy apart. If he had stayed in London a bit longer and talked with Candy before leaving, their relationship might have a better chance to develop. In addition, Terry could have done more by keeping in touch with Candy, like writing letters to her, but for unknown reason he didn’t. Likewise, Candy didn’t have to leave London as a stowaway. First, she had no idea where Terry was going, and secondly, she didn’t really know what she wanted to do in her life at that point. She left for America without consulting with George or her guardian at all. It was by chance that she somehow found out that she wanted to be a nurse to help the sick and needy.
The other woman whom Terry had treated with tenderness was Susanna. After all, she had taken his place and ended up losing a limb and her own career. Without her sacrificial act, Terry would have lost his life or his career. Therefore, he felt responsible to take care of Susanna, and as much as he had wanted Candy, he had chosen Susanna over Candy.
Candy was fully aware of Terry’s dilemma, and after some struggling, she had no choice but to let him go. Candy used to dislike Susanna, knowing that Susanna had lied to her back in Chicago, but because of what had happened to Susanna, Candy put up a smiley face and even encouraged Susanna to live well. According to Candy Candy Final Story (CCFS), soon after Candy had left the hospital in a haste, Terry had promised Susanna that he would be by her side, now and forever, which means that Terry had resolved to give up Candy for good.
That was an abrupt end to Candy’s relationship to Terry. Believe me, I fully sympathized with these three characters, especially Susanna. I know many Candy Candy fans hate Susanna, but I think she deserved a better ending. Honestly, I don’t understand why Mizuki had to kill Susanna in CCFS (due to tremendous pressure from Terry’s fans? 😉 ). To me, it was like Terry had sacrificed his happiness for nothing in the end. Terry had kept his promise to stay by Susanna’s side till her death, but they had remained engaged, not married. But why? How many years had passed since his breakup with Candy? Had he not forgotten Candy or what? Or because Susanna had become too ill?
At any rate, Terry’s brief letter to Candy in CCFS is controversial. As I mentioned before, a reader has pointed out to me that the letters in CCFS are not necessarily in chronological order. Mizuki put his letter right after Susanna’s obituary to make it ambiguous or even misleading. Terry said he hadn’t changed at all after one year and a half. But since when? Since their breakup or since Susanna’s death?
Come to think of it, even if he claimed that he hadn’t changed, it seemed implausible. After all, his career had gone through some ups and downs since the breakup, and years or months of helping Susanna to fight her illness hadn’t changed him? Doesn’t that make him a bit inhuman?
If the letter was sent after Susanna’s death, did Candy actually receive this letter from Terry? If so, how did Candy react?
Moreover, it’s unclear if Candy wrote to Terry to send him her condolences after reading Susanna’s obituary. Candy should be able to contact Terry at Stratford Theatre, but did she do it?
Nobody knows it for sure except for Mizuki I suppose? 😛
However, I’m inclined to believe Candy hadn’t contacted Terry at all since their breakup. Regardless of when exactly Terry sent this letter, it’s undeniable that he didn’t know how to contact her. He wrote “I’m not sure if this letter will reach you”, which implies that he wasn’t sure if she had moved elsewhere or not. They used to correspond to each other using their home addresses, right (shown in the manga)?
Last but not the least, in the CCFS epilogue, which by definition often serves to give the readers a glimpse of the future of the main characters, Candy wrote to Anthony in her mind. After introducing his uncle, Albert, to Anthony in detail, telling Anthony that Albert was her Prince on the Hill, she talked about Terry (taken from spoilers):
… I was very much attracted to someone who was like you in London.
But it was just for a brief moment that I thought he was like you and maybe he was the diametric opposite of you.
I have learnt that there were different types of love through this person.
And that there was something we could never restore.
We can’t see someone again who has died — I couldn’t accept such a simple thing for the life of me …
And — now …
I have learnt there is a fate makes it impossible to see someone although the person is still alive…
Note that Terry’s name wasn’t explicitly mentioned at all, as if Candy had intentionally avoided it, which makes me wonder why.
What a contrast the way Candy described Albert and Terry in this last letter in the epilogue! So what do you think it suggests? 🙂
Picture downloaded from William Albert Andrew (el príncipe de la colina)