As we journey through our lives, there are many things that we will soon forget, but there are certain things that we have imprinted in our minds, and we will never erase them from our memories.
In Candy Candy Final Story (CCFS), Candy kept quite a bunch of memorabilia in her jewelry box, such as Stear’s music box, clippings from newspapers or magazines about Terry, the only letter from Susanna, etc. At any rate, these were all valuable to Candy, each denoting a certain period in her youth, some of which might evoke sad feelings and some could seize her attention more than anything else.
One of her keepsakes was a portrait of Albert, drawn by Dr. Martin. As I have already pointed out earlier in Candy Happy Maker, Candy glanced at the drawing when the music box stopped playing.
Later HE repaired it without any sweat.
The tune gets slowly and finally stopped in the middle of the melody.
I glanced at the “portrait” which I could see a part of it in the jewellery box. It makes me smile spontaneously, I took it out.
The portrait of Albert-san which Dr. Martin has drawn for me.
Judging from the excerpt of CCFS above, you can’t help thinking that Candy was very familiar with the drawing, so much so that she could recognize it by glancing only at a part of it. Then, without any doubt she took it out of the box after smiling at the thought of the drawing.
One might wonder if she had spotted Dr. Martin’s signature (at the bottom right corner as shown in the manga). It’s totally plausible, and that explains why Candy was so certain what it was right away. But what if that part didn’t show any signature? Then Candy must have known this drawing by heart. Just like some people can identify a particular era by merely glancing at the fashion, Candy could recognize the portrait at a glimpse.
The manga showed us that Candy had been holding the portrait while looking for Albert all over Rockstown. Is it possible that she had “scrutinized” this portrait at other times? Maybe. 🙂 After all, Dr. Martin had surprisingly done a marvelous job, and she had missed Albert very much back then, even crying in bed at nights. The manga seemed to suggest that she had longed to feel his closeness again. Since his disappearance, she had been sleeping in the lower bunk, the one that used to belong to him.
Therefore, after many years, Candy’s reaction to seeing this drawing again was interesting. Just like Stear’s music box would remind Candy of their farewell at the train station and Susanna’s letter would remind Candy of that horrible snowy night on the hospital rooftop, this portrait should remind Candy of the loneliest period in her life when she had been living in the apartment all alone for months. As I have said before, for some reason, Candy hadn’t moved somewhere else nor asked any of her girlfriends to move in to keep her company, as though Candy had hoped that Albert would show up again one day as she had imagined.
However, rather than bringing a lump to her throat, tears to her eyes, or a tug in her heart, the portrait made Candy smile, and right after that, she recalled how Albert had liked her original drawing so much that he had put it up for display in his office. In other words, he had been proud to show off her poor attempt of drawing to people. 😉
On the contrary, her recollection of the time when she had been very hopeful of seeing Terry again soon after she had returned to America didn’t sound upbeat at all. In fact, she sounded “matter-of-fact”, like “this was reality, so accept it, Candy”.
I was full of hope. I thought everything was going to well …
Later… I couldn’t even imagine the distress awaited us “around the bend”.
However…I don’t want to say the incidents that followed were the fate.
Yes, it was our own will to have turned the bend.
Of Terry, of my own…and, Alistair, of your own too…
Nonetheless, looking at the past wouldn’t necessarily bring back tears, especially when the hardship we have endured turned out to be a blessing in disguise. For example, in CCFS, Candy recalled the days when she had been a playmate at the Leagans, “When I was very young, got excited, I arrived at the mansion in Lakewood from the Pony’s Home. Those days, all those tears have turned to the brilliant beautiful memories now.”
Why? In hindsight, without the Leagans, she wouldn’t have gone to Lakewood. Without their maltreatment, she wouldn’t have met Albert near the waterfall and later been adopted into his family.
Now, let’s go back to the drawing of Albert. Candy had drawn him because she had wanted to track him down. Ever heard of the saying, “You don’t know what you have until it’s gone”?
Perhaps she hadn’t realized how important he had been to her until after he had left her. They had lived together as brother and sister for such a long time, and she had been completely comfortable around him. Regrettably, she had taken him for granted, assuming that whenever she needed him, he would be there for her. In fact, he himself had even proposed to her that they would share their “sandwich” from now on, and yet, he had unexpectedly vanished in her life.
Lucky for her, the story didn’t stop here. If it had remained this way, that Candy had lost Albert forever, then definitely his portrait would give her mixed feelings of nostalgia or even regret. However, thanks to Neil and George, Candy and Albert could reunite in Lakewood. It was another blessing in disguise, wasn’t it?
Moreover, above all that, it had turned out that Albert had been her Prince on the Hill all along. He had gone all the way to Pony’s Home, despite being incredibly busy, to confess to Candy. If he had kept his silence, I bet she probably would never figure it out herself. However, the fact that he was willing to make it known to her speaks volumes. I will talk more about this later, so please stay tuned. 🙂
I believe that was the beginning of the happy ending, and the portrait was a drawing of her prince. That’s why Candy could now look back at her tears with a smile on her face.