I read the following somewhere, that “if a man is able to tell you the story of how the two of you met and fell in love, you are the old lady in The Notebook.” (Have you seen the movie The Notebook? If not, you should. 😛 )
Anyway, if you read Candy Candy Final Story (CCFS) carefully, you will notice it’s a story of how Candy met her Prince on the Hill and how they fell in love with each other. Remember the question raised in Part 1 of The day her life changed? Why was Candy’s life significantly changed the day Annie left the Pony’s Home? We know that it wasn’t because Annie got adopted by the Brightons; it was because it was the day Candy met her Prince on the Hill (CCFS Vol I, P. 30), but what was so significant about the brief encounter? 😕
In CCFS, when Candy grew up, though she and Annie reunited and became friends again, Annie was no longer Candy’s best friend. Someone else had taken that spot in Candy’s heart. Guess who? Albert. 🙂 That happened long before Candy realized that he was actually her prince. In Candy’s retrospection, she said (CCFS Vol II, P. 240)
To paraphrase this, Candy said, Albert and I promised to share anything(everything), including griefs and joy…
Remember her agreement to share her sandwich with him for the rest of her life? 🙂 Then on the same page Candy added the following about Albert,
I could talk to Albert about anything.
About Terry, even about Susanna… including all the things that I couldn’t even tell Annie.
In other words, Albert had become Candy’s confidant over time, and she was comfortable enough to reveal all her inner secrets to him. There are at least two more places that Candy talked about Albert in her retrospection (CCFS Vol II, P. 197 and P. 241)
Who else in the story of Candy Candy had this privilege? None. Not even Terry. 😉
Therefore, Prince on the Hill was undoubtedly the most important man in Candy’s life. That was why the day of their first encounter had been more than special to her.
Yes, Candy had fallen in love with two other men in between, but she lost them both and managed to get over her griefs. She was eventually back to her prince, who was the only male character who had gone to Pony’s Hill with her, and not just once! 😀
Not only that, the epilogue of CCFS is full of evidence that both Candy and Albert remembered very well the details of their first encounter. Not to mention that Albert wrote clearly in his letters that he was tremendously grateful to her for saving his life when he had lost everything (amnesiac). He had been considerably touched by her unflagging support to him back then. She had been fired by the hospital because of him but she hadn’t forsaken him. I suppose Albert would never ever forget Candy’s kindness. In other words, he implied he had helplessly fallen in love with her. See Her happiness for details. 🙂
Have you heard of this quote?
“A woman’s loyalty is tested when her man has nothing. A man’s loyalty is tested when he has everything!” ~ Unknown
Let me change the above sentences to:
Candy’s loyalty was tested when Albert had nothing. Albert’s loyalty was tested when he had everything! 😉 🙂
It’s so true. When Albert had regained everything, he wanted to make Candy happy! He bought the land and financed the reconstruction of her beloved orphanage (A generous present). He made Sarah Leagan clear Candy’s name. He tried his best to make her birthday unforgettable, bringing the horses back to her and inviting everyone from the Pony’s Home to Chicago, etc.
In short, he wanted her to know she was very important to him, that he was happy when she was happy. 🙂 😀
How about Candy? She felt so blessed to have met Albert that her past pains of being an abandoned child meant little to her now. Being an orphan, she had been abused by Eliza and Neil, but Candy in retrospection said that the tears she had shed during those days had become sweet memories. Why? They had essentially led her to Albert the vagabond by the waterfall, who hadn’t forgotten that little girl on Pony’s Hill either. 😉
Now, let’s get back to Candy’s last letter to Albert in the epilogue. As mentioned before, some time had elapsed between her mental letter to Anthony and her letter to Albert. Have you ever wondered why it had taken Candy some time before she could sit down to write a long letter to Albert? 🙄
Of course, she might have been busy as a nurse at Happy Martin Clinic, or she might have been preoccupied with chores at the Pony’s Home. But remember I said in Her happiness that Albert said he would investigate where Candy’s happiness was? Then her subsequent reply (see I wish you were here…) was so short yet filled with longing, and Candy explicitly wrote she would rather talk to Albert in person instead of writing a long reply to him. 😛
So I strongly believe, during her trip to Lakewood with Albert, when they spent so much time alone, he might have directly asked her, “Where is your happiness, Candy?” or “What makes you happy, Candy?” *sigh*
Or he simply returned her diary to her, as described in More than words (Part 1), to gauge her reactions. Candy somehow understood that Albert wanted a concrete answer from her to his unspoken question, “Terry or me?” 😮
One was the rebel whom Candy used to love from the bottom of her heart, but he had chosen another woman over her at least five years ago. One was her Prince on the Hill, the man she was now in love with. I think Candy needed time to make up her mind, not because of Terry though. Yes, she had brought the diary home, but in the end she hadn’t opened it. I’ve already explained the significance of her action in More than words (Part 2).
Come to think of it, after reading the heartfelt letters from Albert (shown in the epilogue), Candy was fully aware of his love for her. However, was she ready to commit her life to him? First, I figure Candy was willing to fight any obstacle that came their way, and so was Albert (as discussed in her mental letter to Anthony, see Part 4 of The day her life changed), but was she ready to leave the orphanage (the simple and carefree life) and ultimately become the wife of the only male descendant of the Ardlay’s clan (rigid rules and traditions)? 🙄
It was indeed a huge decision. Her response to receiving the family heirloom (the damascene jewelry box) proved that she still tried to adjust her mindset, that she was (would be) the lady of the house! 😉 😛 However, I think her love for her prince gave her the courage to face the unknown future (she had asked Anthony to watch over her too). After some deep contemplation, she decided to respond to her prince in a long letter.
After writing that she was so glad to have met Albert, Candy said it was she who couldn’t thank him enough. Also, she answered his question about her happiness by telling him that now and only now was her happiness. That is, she was now happy with her prince, not with someone in her past (please see More than words (Part 2) for my detailed explanation).
Finally, Candy deliberately ended her letter with love, (愛 “ai”), which is actually a heavy word that means true love, devotion and commitment (Expressions of love). You see? Candy was essentially telling Albert that she was ready to leave everything behind, that her heart was fully committed and devoted to him, so she was prepared to fight with him for their love, against all odds. Those people who brush off the importance of this word (愛 “ai”) and insist it’s a common way to end a letter to a parent or family have to explain why this was the only time Candy ended her letter with love (愛 “ai”) and why Candy hadn’t used the word love (愛 “ai”) to Albert before until now. 😉 Something must have happened, giving her the assurance that he was deeply in love with her, and that’s why she could respond to him with love.
More importantly, these people must have conveniently ignored the tone and mood of this lengthy letter, that Candy was apparently a happy woman in love, and her admiration for her Little Bert was irrefutable. Let’s be honest, if he was merely a father figure to her, would she call him Little Bert again and again with joy? That Albert would rather Candy call him Little Bert than Prince on the Hill? The intimacy between them was simply undeniable. 🙄