There are various ways to express love in Japanese. The direct translation of “I love you” is aishite-imasu (愛しています) or aishite-ru (愛してる), but according to How to Say ‘I love you’ in Japanese, Japanese people hardly use this strong expression unlike the westerners, mainly because of cultural differences. In fact, don’t be surprised if some say they have never said this in their lives; they rather express love through their actions, and if they do talk about love, they prefer to use suki-desu (好きです) or dai-suki-desu (大好きです) for more emphasis.
In general, they reserve the heavy word ai (愛) only for those they deeply love or have devotions to, such as their spouses (sweethearts), family members, the country, etc. For your interest, you can browse the following forum discussions of ai (愛) Vs. suki (好き).
Therefore, no wonder Terry was this shocked when Susanna made her love confession using both expressions, first suki (好き) then ai (愛), as shown below. Literally, she said, “I like you, Terry.” Then she added, “I love you…” (aishite-imasu… 愛しています…).
In Candy Candy Final Story (CCFS), Susanna was described as a beauty, bijin 美人, so her words must have carried some weight. After that, with hurtful pride, this beautiful actress confessed of sending Candy away back in the Chicago hotel, and Terry was surprised that these two ladies had actually met. Anyway, feeling somewhat guilty, Susanna expected Terry to be angry at her. Yet, she wanted him to know her feelings for him were deep and true, and in defiance she said she wouldn’t let anyone or anything stop her. There she repeated the strong word ai (愛) again.
Also, she honestly told Terry that she had been feeling very happy (the same word for happiness in the post Her happiness) just to be with him until she had become aware of Candy’s existence during the celebration after the charity performance in Chicago.
In other words, Terry had never informed anyone about being in a relationship or having a crush with a girl back home (he had always assumed Candy still remained in London), nor had he put any effort to clarify the rumors about him and Susanna. They had even appeared together like a couple after the charity performance in Chicago, don’t you think? 🙁
Then, after knowing that Candy was indeed her love rival, Susanna left the scene in tears. Terry thought about the whole thing and said he didn’t dislike Susanna even after knowing what she had done to Candy. He gathered he had probably begun to develop feelings for Candy ever since their first encounter on the ocean liner while crossing the Atlantic.
I’m not saying I doubt his feelings for Candy, but it seems to me she wasn’t as important to him as he had claimed. In short, his behavior was inconsistent with his words. Please read Agnès’ comment for her detailed analysis of Terry’s character in Candy Candy.
In any case, it’s very odd why Terry had never made any attempt to contact Candy ever since he had settled down in Stratford Theatre around a year ago. He seemed perfectly comfortable with his rising career as though he had moved on in his life (read Evelyn’s comment for more). Even Candy suspected Terry had forgotten about her, remember?
Didn’t he know the address of Pony’s Home? Or was it that difficult to write to the Ardlays in Chicago? Didn’t the Ardlays get the admission tickets to the Stratford’s special charity show?
Nevertheless, back to the love expressions mentioned above, if I’m not mistaken, 😉 in CCFS, Candy had always used suki (好き) and sometimes dai-suki (大好き) for Anthony and Terry, but Candy used ai (愛) whenever she mentioned Susanna’s love for Terry (more than a handful of times here and there in CCFS). However, Candy did directly use the heavy word ai (愛) once to one man only. Who? Albert. 🙂 Please read the series With love and gratitude for now, and I’ll talk about this in detail later. 😀