Life goes on... (by Mallory Quinn)This one is for you Lella. Remember when you asked me to write a fic about Alistair and Candy…? It took me long enough…Your wish is finally granted… Enjoy!
Chapter 1: “Changes…and surprises”
The war over, the world was rebuilding itself slowly. A lot of soldiers came back from the war, amputated, blind, limping… Like the world hadn’t suffered enough, there was a Spanish influenza epidemic! A lot of people were infected and a lot of people lost their lives. Was the world ever going to catch a break? It was like God was punishing the world for starting a senseless war.
In Chicago, a young nurse was working hard, since a lot of people were infected with the Spanish flu, and a lot of people were dying. It was devastating for their families and the medical staff.
- Nathalie, said Candy, this is getting worse!
- I know, said Nathalie, it’s awful…
- First the war and now this? Can’t the world catch a break? Said Candy
- It’s really awful, we were afraid of going to the war, now we have to deal with the consequences of the war and that terrible Spanish flu…
- Ladies! Said a young doctor, we need you here!
- We’re coming, said the nurses at the same time.
Candy went on with her business. The days at the hospitals had been very busy, stressful and tiresome. Candy had lost weight because she wasn’t feeding herself properly. She would go back to her apartment and just fell asleep. Annie would sometimes come to see her and force her to eat. She had married Archie and they were living at the mansion.
- Candy, come on… she said one evening, you have to come and live with us…
- Annie, I’m fine…
- The hospital must’ve very busy since the end of the war and the epidemic of the Spanish flu…Come and live with us, I beg you…
Candy looked at Annie. She was so tired. A little free time would be good when she comes back home….the maids, the servants…
- All right Annie, you won. I’ll come to the mansion!
Annie jumped of joy!
- Yes!!! Finally! You’re stubborn you know that? We’ve been begging you for a year… And Albert told you before he left that you could come to the mansion.
- I just like being on my own…
- You’ve got a family that loves you
- Tell that to the great aunt
- That mean old hag should’ve dropped dead with the Spanish flu… that would’ve been a good riddance…
- She’s impossible to lice with! She criticizes everything I do and everything I say and when Eliza joins the party, it gets worst…
- That slut should concentrate on finding a hubby and stay out of other people’s business…
They both burst out laughing.
- I can’t believe how mean we’ve become! Said Candy
- Oh please, we’re saints next to those two witches!
- Annie, you’ve come a long way, your shyness
- I can’t be shy with that family as in laws…they’re going to walk all over me!
- I’m glad you take care of yourself.
- I’m glad you came to your sense and finally agreed to come with me! I need a friend there. Archie is always at the office
- I will be working too…
- Come on Candy, take a little break…
- Annie, find yourself a hobby, something that’s going to keep you out of the mansion for the day…
- I’ve got charity luncheons but not every day…and sometimes they come too!
- Annie, the secret… a job will keep you out of that mansion…
- I wish we had our own place… said Annie sadly
While they were talking, Candy was packing a bag. She was going to send for someone for the rest of here stuff. Candy went with Annie to the mansion; a driver was waiting for them outside. They arrived at the mansion. The great aunt was there with her favourite niece.
- Well if it isn’t the stable girl, said Eliza
- What are you doing here? Said the great aunt
- Well good evening to you too ladies! It’s good to see that you haven’t change a bit…I’ve come to stay in my father’s house, said Candy walking by them
- Yes, you’ve got Rosemary’s room, said Annie; it’s actually the prettiest room in the mansion…
- Albert has that room sealed so no one would use it…, said Eliza
- He was actually keeping it for his daughter, said Annie, he wants what’s best for the daughter who took him in despite what people were going to say, and nursed him back to health…
- Come on Annie, you don’t need to explain my father’s decisions to them, they have no say…Actually if I want, I can ask him to throw them out…
The great aunt and Eliza remained silent. Candy had never used the power she had by being Albert’s adoptive daughter, but she was growing up and realising how much she can do, not only to the world, but also to annoying family members.
Candy and Annie arrived to the Rosemary room. The room was wonderfully decorated, everything was pink, the curtains, the bedspread the furniture… Albert had everything custom made.
- Oh my God! Said Candy, this is just so beautiful, I feel like not stay here, I would disturb the beauty of the room
- He had it made especially for you, said Annie
- Yes, really. It was in case you come and live here
- Oh Albert, he’s too nice to me
- No, you deserve it, you’re his daughter…now come on, let’s change for dinner.
- Right! Dressing for dinner…
- Come on, you can do it… There must be a dress in the closet for you…
Annie went to the closet and she took out a beautiful purple dress. Candy put it on and Annie brushed her hair and put a headband. Candy had given up the pigtails for a while now, it was about time! They went downstairs to the dining room after putting some nice shoes matching her dress. While they were living together, Albert was observing everything; he knew her dress sizes, her shoe size.
Archie had arrived from the office and he was happy to see Candy. He smiled.
- Candy? Are you here for dinner?
- No, I’m here to stay, said Candy smiling
- Finally! Said Archie hugging her hard and laughing, finally you’ve come to your senses. You should’ve been here with us all along! This is your home
- I know Archie, said Candy smiling, it’s good to be home.
Dinner went fine, even though the Great Aunt and Eliza had their faces on the floor.
- I can’t believe I have to take the back seat with the stable girl again, mumbled Eliza
- What was that Eliza? Said Candy
- Nothing, she said sulking
- I thought I heard “stable girl”…, said Annie
- Are you calling me names Eliza? Said Candy, because if that’s the case, I won’t have you at my table…
Eliza wanted to explode. But she remained silent and looked down. The Great aunt was also outraged.
- What are people going to say when they will learn that we have an orphan as a family member…? She said
- Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn! Said Candy, I see people dying everyday, young, old, men, women, children… so what people right now as always I don’t care!!!!!
- You are not talking to me on that tone young lady, said the great aunt
- What tone, great aunt, the nice tone I just used? Isn’t that what you use with me all the time? Now can we have this damn dinner without further interruption from the two of you?!
Annie and Archie burst out laughing. Life was going to be full of action with Candy around. The great aunt remained silent and they had dinner. Candy was a little bit on the edge? A little? After the day she went through at work, she was a little cranky and she took it out on the great aunt and Eliza. After dinner they went for tea in the living room. The Great aunt went to her room and Eliza went back home, sulking.
- Well Candy, what happened to the little Mary sunshine? Said Archie
- The sun has been down lately, said Candy
- The Spanish flu? Said Archie, one of my associate lost his young bride to it
- That’s terrible, said Annie, Brandon Sutton, right? Poor Lacy…
- The funeral is in two days, said Archie, Brandon is devastated, he just got married and they wanted to start a family…
- That’s so sad, said Candy, and I see families shattered like that every single day, every single minute…
- You should take a break…
- Not until the outbreak is over, said Candy
- Candy you could get infected…
- I know, but if everybody thought like you, no one would be there to take care of the patients…
- You’re right, said Archie, but don’t overdo it, all right?
- All right, said Candy smiling. It’s good to be here with you.
They all smiled, they talked for a while, and then Candy went back to her room to sleep. She took her dress off and she brushed her hair vigorously. She was thinking about her life, about all these people dying from the Spanish flu, all these people who died at the war… She sometimes wished she had gone to France instead of Flammy. At least she would’ve been far away from Terry and the Susanna matter. She closed her eyes crying. She cried every time she thought about it, about Terry, the man she loved, the man she still loves, married to the woman who saved his life. She finally fell asleep. She had an agitated night as usual. Will she ever going to get over Terry?
She woke up in the morning and she wondered for a split second where she was. Oh yeah, the mansion. She smiled when she thought about how she handled the Great aunt and Eliza. She was not going to let them intimidate her and Annie again.
She took a shower, put on her uniform and she went down for breakfast. She found Annie and Archie at the table having breakfast.
- Good morning, said Candy smiling
- Good morning, said Annie smiling, it’s good to see you here
- Good morning, said Archie smiling, how was your night?
- Agitated as usual, said Candy. Annie, you’re a morning person…
- I want to have breakfast with my husband…, said Annie
- That’s romantic, said Candy smiling
- Life is so unpredictable, said Annie, Lacy Sutton just died… that’s too sad. She wanted to have a baby, she was in fact a few weeks pregnant…
- Poor Brandon, said Archie
- So I want to spend every available time my husband has with him…
- You’re right. If I had known how little time I had left with Terry, I would’ve transferred to New York to be with him…
- And maybe he wouldn’t have let you go so fast, if you had been there with him, said Annie
- I still say he might have still let you go, said Archie
- Well I guess we’ll never know would we? Said Candy, I just wished I had more time with him before we broke up…
They finished their breakfast and they all went out to leave .Archie was going to the office, Annie had a meeting with those society woman for another charity. They dropped Candy off at St. Joan’s Hospital.
- Thank you, said Candy, I’m working a short shift and I’ll got to Dr. Martin’s happy clinic for a little while.
- All right, we’ll send the driver to pick you up there then
- All right, said Candy who knew it wasn’t worth arguing about…
Albert had reinstated her in St. Joan after the Reagan fiasco, but she didn’t forget about Dr. Martin, who hired her when no one else would. A plot by the Reagans… She didn’t want to think about them. Good people were dying, and it seemed like the mean people are not getting their comeuppance…
It was another hard day at work. She went to Dr. Martin’s Happy Clinic and it was anything but, happy. It was overcrowded and a lot of people were also dying daily…
When the driver arrived, Candy was exhausted physically and emotionally. That’s how it was everyday. Until the epidemic was over, Candy took a few days off to get some well deserved rest. She had lost so much weight during that time. So she was trying to eat properly and rest a lot. She had written a letter to Patty to tell her she had moved to the mansion. She got a letter back saying that she was going to come and see them soon. Candy was excited to see her friend again. She hadn’t seen her since she had left for Florida after Stear’s funeral. She was telling Annie about it in her bedroom.
- I can’t wait to see her, said Candy
- I know, me too… said Annie closing her eyes
- Are you ok, Annie? Said Candy you look… tired
- I’m ok, said Annie, just a little dizzy
- Dizzy? Could you be pregnant?
- Pregnant? Said Annie
- Yes, when was your last cycle?
- It was … Oh my God! I’m late!
- You’re pregnant… said Candy smiling and hugging her, finally some good news!
- Yes! Said Annie laughing and hugging her sister back, I’m going to have a baby!!! I hope it’s a girl and you’re going to be her godmother…
- Thank you, said Candy moved
- You’re my sister, I’m so happy to have you here with me to share this wonderful news…
- I’m happy to be here with you too…I’m happy you’re happy Annie
- Patty will come to visit soon, it’s going to be the three of us again, like in college!
College… those days seemed so far away. Those happy days, even when she was punished it was fun, she snuck out to go to the zoo and she saw Terry, the May festival, happy times… Life goes on…
But one day, there were more sad news to report. Candy had just came back from work, and she found Annie in tears. Archie was holding her. She got worried…
- Annie? She said what’s wrong? Did something happened to the baby?
Archie stood up and walked to Candy.
- Archie? Tell me what’s wrong…is it the baby?
- Candy, you need to sit down…
- Why? What’s going on?
- Let’s go sit down, and I’ll tell you everything…
Candy looked at her friends. What was going on, it was something bad very bad to have upset Annie like that.
- Candy we just got a phone call from Grandma Martha
- Patricia’s grandmother? Said Candy
- Did something happen to Patty?
- She had been taking flying lessons for sometimes
- Flying lessons?
- Yes, she said she wanted to see what Alistair felt in the air, why he liked it so much
- So she could feel closer to him, said Candy with a weary tone, Archie, what happened?
- There was an accident…
- While she was in the air?
- Did she hurt herself by jumping with the parachute …
Archie remained silent.
- There was trouble with the plane, she did jumped with the parachute, did she? Said Candy trying to avoid thinking about the inevitable…
- Unfortunately, it happened so fast, she didn’t have time to jump…
- NOOOO!!!!! Tell me she’s not dead!
- I’m so sorry, Candy
- NOOOOOOOOO!!!!! WHY WHY??? She said crying, why did she have to die? She was so young!
Archie took her in his arms as Candy was sobbing, he took Annie in his other arm, both girls were crying in his arms… Archie of course couldn’t help it, he was crying in silence too…
The three of them went to Florida for the funeral. It was sad, it was raining it was depressing… Candy couldn’t stop crying and Annie too. The beauty of the state Candy saw for the first time when she was on a mission, was invisible to her. She could only think about one thing, she will never see Patty again, like she will never see Anthony or Alistair again. Like was so cruel. What possessed Patty to learn how to fly? She was probably trying to understand Alistair better, he said he wasn’t going to war anymore and then he disappeared on her by leaving and dying on her at the war. He left a dear Jane letter a for her, he promised to come back, he was gone, she was gone… They were together now…in heaven.
Life goes on… Annie’s pregnancy was going fine and Candy was still working at the hospital. She needed to keep her mind busy, she thought about Patty every singe day. She looked so peaceful in her coffin. When she thought about her, the thought of her in heaven with Alistair, made her feel better.
One day she was at work, when one of the colleague, Nathalie came to see her.
- Candy she said, could you take care of the new patients from room 302?
- More war survivors? Said Candy
- More “war rejects”! Said Nathalie laughing
- We can joke about it now that the war is over… I still don’t understand those young men willing to go die at the war… the doctors and the nurse’s when there to help the wounded that crazy war did…
- They just arrived now, said Nathalie and they are in a hurry got get checked before going home…other nurses are there already, they need another hand
- My shift is almost over… let me go fast then…, said Candy leaving for the room in question
Candy went to room, she was taking the temperature and looking at the patients charts. She took their temperature and wrote it on their charts. She arrived to one of the bed, and she was looking down, she took the chart and read the name…
- No, that’s impossible! She said out loud
- What? Said another nurse
Candy had become pale. She raised her head and looked at the patient… But… It was!
- Alistair? Said Candy uncertain
- Candy! Said Alistair smiling! You’re a sight for sore eyes!!!
Candy looked at him, thinking she was dreaming, and then she fainted.