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Dec 04 2016

A Man in Love – Chapter 14

Thank you very much for your feedback to “A man in love”. I wanted to write a bit more for this chapter, but my cold is killing me. Rather than making you wait, I decided to publish whatever I have at hand. Hence, your understanding is much appreciated. 💓 Those who have encouraged me through your comments on Chapter 13 or on Facebook, please accept my thanks. 😍 . Please bear with me! 💓💓💓

— Ms Puddle

Chapter 14

Ever since Master William explicitly asked me to keep a distance from Miss Candice, I’ve been contemplating what I can do if I run into her for whatever reason. I can easily come up with a valid excuse, that I decided to contact Master Archie because she hasn’t been keeping in touch with me, the representative of her adoptive father, for many, many months. Since I haven’t received a single word from her, it’s a legitimate reason for me to take the initiative to pay her a visit, to prove to her that we care.

Yes, I’m fully aware of the likelihood of seeing ‘Albert’ with her, and then I’ll be introduced to him. Nevertheless, I believe I’m more than capable to make her believe I have never met him before. For today, once I know Master William is safe, I can leave them alone within minutes, saying that I’ll arrange to visit her another time. With all these in mind, I set off towards the outskirts of Chicago without any guilty feeling. Master William is a sensible man, and he will understand that I’m just worried about him.

On my way there, I intentionally take a detour to where he had taken Miss Candice yesterday, just in case. However, the overcast weather must have scared people away, so there’s hardly anyone at the moment. Thus, I keep my original plan, which is to drive around the neighborhood of the House of Magnolia. It doesn’t take me long to get to the marketplace, and contrary to my expectation, the crowds are milling about on the streets despite the light rain. I slow down and make sure I pay attention to the people’s faces. If I don’t spot my young boss in their midst, my first stop will be Happy Clinic.

Presently, the drizzles turn into showers. I see that not many pedestrians have brought umbrellas with them, and they scurry around for covers or shelters. Out of courtesy, I make frequent stops to let them cross. Meanwhile, my mind is completely occupied with convoluted ideas; I strive to articulate them into appropriate questions for Miss Candice, first asking tactfully if her big brother came home last night. Hopefully she will give me a positive response, and next I’ll try to casually bring up my wish to meet him in person. Naturally, she will then inform me of his whereabouts.

Yet, surprisingly, there are at least half a dozen of young kids lining up outside the clinic, patiently waiting for their turns to see the doctor. Just then, a boy comes out from inside the clinic and announces to the others, “Dr. Martin has no idea why Candy is not here yet.”

What?

I can’t believe my ears; negative thoughts bombard my mind for the time being. Where is she now? Is she safe? At home? Or is she somewhere with her big brother? Where can they be?

The boy’s announcement is followed by a collective grunt and a chorus of “whys” from the young patients. In fact, if possible, I want to personally double check that with the doctor myself. With increasing anxiety, I swallow hard and look up at the gray sky, where even more dark clouds have gathered. Apparently, I won’t be able to find Miss Candice here, so it’s time to proceed to my next plan. As I quietly slip away from the patients, the rain gets heavier. Because of that, one after one the kids are leaving the clinic, and only a couple of them stay. It looks like they are here for the nurse, not the doctor. Miss Candice must be popular…

While driving around some more trying to search for a familiar face, my roaring heartbeats synchronize with the rhythm of the windshield wipers. I scold myself for being absent-minded. How could I forget to bring Master William’s current address? Though I know how to get to the House of Magnolia, I don’t remember the suite number. When my car reaches the apartment at last, my inner debate begins. Should I wait in the car or should I get off and approach someone? The fact that I’ve never asked Master William what last name he used in this neighborhood puts me in a panic mode. How am I supposed to ask his neighbors about where ‘Albert’ is…

The thing is, I’m afraid the neighbors will suspect my intention. Some moments later, an idea strikes me. I can simply refer myself as an old friend of Candy’s brother, who should have the same last name as Miss Candice. If I know their full names, I won’t appear like a stalker. Having full confidence that this should work, I step out of my car and start waiting. Unfortunately, possibly due to pouring rain, not a soul exits or enters the building in the next twenty minutes. When my right arm gets sore after holding the large umbrella under the pounding raindrops for some time, I decide to get back into my car. Feeling dejected, I figure it’s a total waste of time that I have come all the way here. It’s a futile search.

Then it dawns on me. Regardless of my reasons, people must find me odd to pay my friends a surprise visit on such a wet day; not to mention that they are supposed to be at work at this moment. That’s right. Last time I checked the clock in the marketplace it was already half past ten, so can it be that Master William is currently waiting at my place or in the office, worrying about me? The thought is more than comforting, and with hope rising inside me, I turn my key to start the ignition, heading back to my house. If I don’t see him there, I’ll go to the head office directly.

Yet, on my way back, what crosses my vision is the least expected. Good luck bestows upon me at long last, and it is no mere coincidence that I come across a truck heading the opposite direction. It’s fully loaded with hays, and by chance I cast a curious glance at its rear. Right there, a couple sit together next to the hays, cuddling under something like a blanket. I can’t see their faces, but my instinct tells me to make a U-turn to take a closer look.

By the time I can make a turn, the truck is already gone, but looking past six to seven cars before mine I can see the couple walking on the road, facing my way. Being able to recognize them from afar, I’m somewhat relieved my car is a good distance away from them. I don’t want the man to discover my presence like last time, but I gather he’s likely too preoccupied to watch his surroundings. His hair and clothes are hopelessly drenched, and only the lady is wearing the spare raincoat I gave Master William last night. Thus, it wasn’t a blanket that was covering them both just now when they were on the back of the truck.

What’s happened? Where have they been? Where’s the wrecked car?

Before I know it, the lady has abruptly stopped in her track. When the man notices and turns around, she immediately offers half of the raincoat to her taller friend, but he shakes his head slowly to decline her kindness, his quizzical frown replaced by a tender smile. Yet, his rejection upsets her, and her lower lip shots forward in a pout. Hence, the man puts his hands on her shoulders, seemingly explaining to her why. At this instant, she hastily pulls the raincoat off herself and throws it high up in the air. Before he can catch the raincoat, she literally sprints forward, running away from him and laughing mischievously. That catches him off guard to say the least, but he turns on his heels to chase after her. His long legs give him an advantage, and in a matter of few strides he closes the gap between them and clutches her arm to stop her from running further away. Right then, I can’t quite see how it comes about, but they end up in a friendly embrace. Needless to say, her clothes are now as soaked as his, and they burst out laughing. But their laughter dies down when he draws himself away and drapes the long raincoat over her shoulders. The lady responds by craning her neck with pleading eyes, and he looks down and holds her gaze, his fingers affectionately stroking her damp, spiraling ringlets off her face. Soon enough, he leans forward and plants a peck on her forehead. As if that light kiss is magical, a look of enchantment appears on her face at once. Not only that, her sulking lips break into a demure but sweet smile. Once again, she stands on her toes, stretching the raincoat out towards him invitingly. This time, he gives in, his smile broadening to a grin that makes his features glow. Although my raincoat can barely cover them both, they look content and happy as can be. By the time I drive past them, still unnoticed, I can observe from the rear view mirror that they continue ambling under the downpour of rain.

Judging from the way he interacted with her, my suspicion is confirmed. Without a shadow of a doubt, the man is in love, a love that is regrettably mingled with struggles. I know firsthand how it is when one suffers from unrequited love, the exquisite pain of desiring someone unattainable. Yet, I’m not so sure about Miss Candice, because I’ve never been close to her. Does she still regard him as her big brother or merely a male friend she cares deeply about?

Maybe she does; after all, he insists she’s still in grief of a lost love. Or is it a good enough excuse for him to deny his own feelings? Anyway, I heave a long sigh of resignation and head back home feeling saddened. How did the poor man feel the moment his memory returned? That he found out he was one of the overwhelmingly rich people in the world but legally related to his roommate? However, come to think of it, the fact that he became aware of the adoptive relationship didn’t necessarily enable him to convert the nature of his love for her. Neither would it make his feelings less intense. Somehow I wish Rosemary were still alive. She would know how to console her little brother or even give him advice how to handle this predicament.

After going home and inform my housekeeper of the possibility of Master William’s late arrival, I go to work without delay. As soon as I step into my office, my secretary knocks on my door and reports to me about Madam Elroy’s earlier visit. “Madam Elroy has left already but was obviously displeased. Not to mention her disappointment heightened into disapproval due to my ignorance, not knowing why neither you nor Sir Ardlay was working.”

I understand. Rarely have I been so late to work without giving my secretary a heads-up. As I nod in acknowledgement, she goes on to fill me in of what I have missed in the morning. When she’s done, I say a few words to appreciate her efficiency and hard work. Her lips curl up into a satisfied smile after that, and when she leaves, I say, “If Sir Ardlay comes, please let me know.”

Instead, Master William unexpectedly shows up in my office later. By then, it’s at least two hours past lunch time. He plops himself down on the chair across from my desk, looking at me with a rueful smile. “Georges, nanny said you had gone out to look for me.”

When I give him a firm nod, he whispers, his eyes downcast, “Should have listened to you… not to consider that clunker.”

His confession nearly blows me away. I can’t help wondering about its fate, and feeling unsure whether to ask him to elaborate or not, he looks at me, asking with his brow furrowed, “What made you stop searching for me?”

Is he anxious about what I have witnessed?

“I knew you would ask, sir,” I reply in a matter of fact tone, and he raises an eyebrow but remain silent. I cough to clear my throat and begin, “I had been driving around in vain and when I left with a terrible sense of defeat, it so happened that I saw you both walking on the street. This came as quite an astonishment to me; that said, relief washed over me so long as you weren’t driving.”

He’s scrutinizing me carefully, as if wishing to read in my face whether I’m hiding anything from him. I boldly return his gaze without flinching, and before he has a chance to respond to my recollection, I throw a reasonable question back to him, “Where’s the car now? Have you left it at home because it stopped running?”

That successfully distracts him. He avoids my stare and abruptly pulls himself up to stand, letting out a tired sigh. “It’s a long story. It’s not the right time, so I’ll tell you more later. Now, first thing first, let’s focus and catch up with work at hand. Then I plan to visit my aunt. I was told she was infuriated about my unexplained absence today.”

(To be continued…)

A Man in Love

Note: Again, this chapter is entirely my imagination. Here, my sincere gratitude to my dear friends below (not in any particular order) for their encouragement and continued support! ❤❤ To the silent readers out there: thanks for following. 🙂

Elen Harket, Gina Riquelme Orellana, Loren Rios, Tania Frias, Martha Cervantes, Reeka, Mariacristina Marchetti, Tracy Jordan, JeannyJJ, Candy Bert,, Antlay, and marmalade

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  1. Candy Bert

    Tout d’abord et tardivement j’espère que vous allez mieux Ms Puddle et merci de travailler pour notre plus grand plaisir malgré cela!

    Trop mignon le passage où Georges voit Candy et Albert chahuter sous la pluie comme un véritable couple d’amoureux, heureux d’être ensemble, c’est tellement romantique!💖 Quant à moi cela me rappelle la chanson ” Singing In The Rain” chantée pas Gene Kelly car même s’il pleut, un amoureux s’en moque car il a le soleil dans le cœur et un sourire sur le visage! Vous avez si bien décrit ce passage, Ms Puddle, que j’avais l’impression d’être à la place de Georges.

    Georges est maintenant sûr que maître William est amoureux et comprend l’ampleur de ses tourments. En effet le retour de sa mémoire ne signifiait pas l’annulation de ses sentiments . D’autant plus perturbant si c’est un amour non réciproque, du moins d’après les dires d’Albert, si Candy porte toujours le deuil de son amour perdu! Mais quelque chose me dit que Georges en doute les ayant observés ainsi sous la pluie! 😉

    1. Ms Puddle

      Bonjour Candy Bert, thank you so much for your kind words 😍

      I haven’t been able to reply till now, and who could have thought your comment about “singing in the rain” is now mentioned everywhere these two days?? This is sad news across America, that the famous mother and daughter passed away one after another.

      Anyway, many thanks for taking the time to catch up the story. It’s so true that Georges saw through his young boss, the man whom he had known very well after all these years. I always think Georges played an important role in playing Cupid in Candy Candy. 😊😉

      1. Candy Bert

        You’re very welcome my friend! 😀 And take your time to answer, I am often late to do myself, lately!
        You’re right, it’s weird I thought about this movie just before this terrible news, mother and daugter who passed away one day apart! 🙁
        Georges as Cupid, I like the idea very much! 😆

  2. Sarah

    Bonjour Mme puddles
    Que j aime ce chapitre après mon absence et je découvre 2 beau chapitres le 14 et le 15 quel bonheur
    Je ferme les yeux 👀 et j’imagine Albert et Candy observée par Georges quel imagination et tellement dans la continuité du manga
    J espère que tout va bien pour vous et continuez à vivre cette superbe fic
    😍😘

    1. Ms Puddle

      Bonjour Sarah!

      It’s nice to hear from you again. 😊 Glad you enjoyed reading my imagination. In the manga it didn’t mention raining, but of course, nobody knows what happens the following morning. 😉

      Merci beaucoup! ❤😘

  3. Martha Cervantes Quiroga

    It is a beautiful landscape that has described us, Candy and Albert walking under the rain, enjoying the moment. It’s a magic and romantic moment. I imagine listening as musical background Unchained Melody. Fall in love.
    Hope you are feeling better Ms Puddle.

    1. Ms Puddle

      Muchas gracias Martha!! 😘 Glad you like this passage too. You’re right, they enjoyed each other and didn’t notice that they were being watched. 😅😄

      I like Unchained Melody too… Definitely a classic 😍

      Thanks for asking, my friend. I’m recovering well. Gracias 😍

  4. antlay31

    Bonjour Ms Puddle
    J’aime beaucoup le passage où Georges décrit Candy et Albert dans la rue. On dirait deux adolescents amoureux. Candy insiste pour qu’Albert prenne partie de l’imperméable, afin d’éviter qu’il attrappe un rhume ou pour qu’il se rapproche d’elle ?! 😀 Cette fois-ci c’est au tour de Candy de partager, pas un sandwich mais une moitié d ‘imperméable…
    Quoi qu’il en soit Georges n’a plus de doutes sur les sentiments de son jeune maître envers Candy.
    Je vous souhaite un bon rétablissement Ms Puddle. Merci pour ce très beau chapitre.

    1. Ms Puddle

      Bonjour Antlay mon amie! 😘 So glad you like that passage too, and I intentionally kept it that way so that the readers can imagine the conversation between Candy and Albert. 😆 What you said about “sharing a sandwich” is definitely one great imagination, and it’s highly possible too! 😍

      Indeed, Georges is no longer in doubt of his intuition. 😋

      Thank you for your kind words, and I’m slowly recovering. 😊 Merci beaucoup ❤

  5. Mariacristina

    Dear Ms Puddle, meraviglioso capitolo… amo la tua scrittura… e spero che alla fine ci sia qualcosa di buono anche per Georges, con quella ragazza del mercato… Tantissimi Auguri di pronta guarigione!

    1. Ms Puddle

      Ciao Mariacristina! 😍 Grazie!! So glad you like this chapter. 😘 About Georges, I’m still thinking, but no, not that girl in the market. 😆

      A presto! 😋

  6. Mina Ferarri

    Fall in love….💕

    1. Ms Puddle

      Yes Mina… It’s true 😘😍

  7. marmalade

    hi , miss puddle…. get well soon…
    it’s indeed a short chapter but worth waiting…..

    1. Ms Puddle

      Hello marmalade, thanks for your understanding. 😘 I’m taking a sick day off work today to rest 😅. Glad you like the short chapter. 😆

      1. marmalade

        it’s okay… i have already plan to re-read this story from the beginning once it’s completed…. hehehe…..

        1. Ms Puddle

          Thank you marmalade for your constant support 😘😍

  8. JeannyJJ

    Hope you are feeling better, Ms Puddle.
    I wonder what Candy told Albert while they walked on the street.🤔
    And the way Georges described Albert been in love is just wonderful. Albert’s loving gestures has already showing, maybe Candy is the only one who’s not aware of due to her still recovering from the break up with Terry, right?

    1. Ms Puddle

      Hello JeannyJJ, I’m feeling slightly better. Thank you! 😍

      What exactly they were talking doesn’t really matter, and yes, Albert’s feelings for Candy showed. Glad you like that part, my friend. Actually, me too. 😘 As in the manga, Candy wasn’t aware of her own feelings until after Albert vanished in her life. 😂😌

  9. Bertgirl

    Gracias Ms. Puddle me encanto el capítulo. Deseo que te sientas mejor.

    1. Ms Puddle

      Muchas gracias por leer, Bertgirl! 😍

      I’m feeling slightly better. Gracias 😘

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