In my post “With love and gratitude (Part 1)”, I pointed out the facts that showed that Candy had special feelings for Albert. Not only she couldn’t get him off her mind, but she also enjoyed spending time alone with him.
Come to think of it, they had been seeing each other on a daily basis for a bit more than a year. Those who have lived with roommates before will understand what it’s like to live with people other than your family members. You just can’t pretend to be someone else for long even if you want to present a better image of yourself. Sooner or later the people living under the same roof will know each other extremely well (if not inside out). After a while, the roommates may either hate each other so much that they have to go separate ways or their friendship and mutual understanding grow.
To me, the latter case applies to Albert and Candy, who had become best of friends as time went by. If not, when Albert proposed to share the ‘sandwich’ with Candy for the rest of their lives, she would have found it very awkward. As a matter of fact, her response was quite the contrary; she was so touched that tears escaped her eyes as she nodded quietly, readily accepting that she would continue to be very close to him such that she wouldn’t mind sharing her pain and sorrows with him in her life. She might not have grasped the hidden meaning behind his words, but he had her trust. In other words, she felt safe to share her vulnerability with him, knowing that he had always been her refuge.
In the manga, many times Candy had been strong for her friends, especially to Annie and Patty. I suppose growing up in an orphanage being the oldest kid had affected her a lot. She had been looked up as the leader, even to her friends. For example, once she got to know Terry better, she admonished him over and over. Sometimes she even tried to “correct” his behavior. No wonder Terry teased her that she acted like Sister Gray to him.
But when it came to Albert, Candy was different. Albert being an adult could be the reason, but she respected his maturity and wisdom, and yet she wasn’t intimidated because he was very understanding, kind and patient to her. She could be totally herself and didn’t hide her weaknesses from him at all. There are many examples throughout the manga, but the most important one was after she had come back from New York, completely devastated and heartbroken. Soon after Archie had taken unconscious Candy home, she came to but didn’t tell her friends about the breakup. She even put up a smiling face as though she could laugh it off. However, she longed to see Albert again, believing that he would be able to comfort her. Therefore, as soon as she was alone with Albert at home, she poured her heart out to him without reserve. After that, she already felt better. Although she grieved heavily for Terry, Albert’s presence consoled her.
That is why I have chosen to start my story “Love Never Fails” just before this incident took place. I wanted to show that by then Albert had held a special spot in Candy’s heart that no one else could easily replace. She depended on him for advice, and he was her shoulder to cry on when she had troubles. Their bond was deep and real.