Terence Playing the Piano

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Translated from Italian publication of CCFS Vol.2. pps42-46

Terry...

Terry was sitting in front of a piano situated near the window, concentrating on elegantly moving his long fingers on the piano keys.

The music continued and it looked like a beam of light as it spread from his hands crossing outside the window. Holding her breath, Candy supported herself on a robust tree trunk. When she listened to that melody, for some strange reason her heart began to tremble. She had sensed that it might have been Terry playing, and she hadn't been mistaken. Supported by the trunk and sitting on a branch, the young girl rested and listened enraptured.

The boy who now had his head lowered to the pianoforte was a different Terry's from all the others she had known until then: in front of her was Terence G. Granchester, shrouded in an aristocratic air. That young man, clearly of high social class seemed incredibly far away...But suddenly the music stopped.

-I never would have imagined that even monkey's listened to music- said Terry, lifting his face showing his usual ironic expression.

Remaining dazed until then,, Candy collected herself and she raised herself on the trunk. How long had he realised that she was there? They hadn't looked at each other so directly since the May festival and the young girl huddled up on the branch. She was so embarrassed, wishing to return to the ground immediately, yet she couldn't stop looking at him.

-If you want to continue listening to me jump down and join me. It should be easy for a monkey like you. Laughing as if he had completely forgotten their last meeting, Terry motioned for her to come with his hands. It almost looked like he was calling a puppy, and growing irritated, Candy was freed from all the embarrassment she had felt.

- Stop calling me in that way! You're really ill mannered! -she rebuked him, instantly catapulting into the room.

-Wow! Looking at you closely you're a freckled monkey. You must be part of an especially rare breed- he continued to tease, laughing and aggravating the keys of the piano.

-Terry!

Seriously cross now, Candy grabbed the curtains, intent on leaving. She felt stupid that she had let herself be influenced all that time by what had happened at the May festival.

-No, wait- the boy stopped her with his sincere tone. Then he continued:- I was playing...thinking of you.

Perhaps embarrassed by the words, Terry lowered his gaze to the keyboard.

It was the truth. It had been a long time since he had wanted to play. Then, when he raised his eyes, he had seen her on the branch.

I thought I was dreaming...Candy...

But Terry didn't tell her these thoughts. He limited himself to silently observing her, whilst she still held onto the curtains, with a confused expression on her face.

-Even I would never have thought that a good for nothing like you could play the piano so well- the girl finally managed to mutter.

Terry smiled and started playing again. Listening to the music that succeded in melting one's heart, Candy began to finally relax and she leant absent-mindedly against the classroom wall.

-You're very good, Terry... she said in a low voice at the end of the piece, sighing with admiration.

-Yes but only regarding this lullaby by Mozart- he answered, delicately closing the pianoforte.

-It's a lullaby, that's why I was feeling sleepy.

-That woman used to play this song regularly... I remember that she would sing it softly in my ear when she put me to bed...

With his look somewhere far away, Terry half closed his eyes as if he was listening.

In saying that woman he meant Eleanor Baker.

Candy held her breathe and she watched him. She was happy to see that in recalling his memories there was no sign of anger, hostility or violence. He felt in his heart relief.

-Well, there aren't any other memories to tie me to that woman...

-I envy you...Candy couldn't help herself saying.

Terry was surprised and turned in her direction.

- Even if I had one memory, at least you have...I haven't any- she confessed sincerely.

It's true Candy...you don't even know who your parents were...

As if she had heard the boy say those words, Candy shook her head and smiled.

- However I was abandoned in the best orphanage in the whole world. I remember my child hood at the Pony House as a real treasure...I am grateful to my parents for having left me there. I am sure that they chose it carefully.

Hearing her speak with such joy, Terry felt dazzled as he watched her.

Tell me more about yourself, Candy.

Naturally the girl didn't need enticing. She told him about the generous Miss Pony and Sister Lane, so serious and sometimes so comic.

-To think at the Pony House there was no one better than me at throwing the lasso or for climbing trees.

-And what do you say about the number of your freckles were you unbeatable even there?

-Certainly! Don't tell me that you're still jealous, Terry- she jokingly laughed.

- Yes I am jealous...I like freckles.

He had let out a terrible confession, Terry coughed and quickly changed the subject:-By the way are you returning to America for the summer holidays?

-No... nothing has been said to me about returning, I'll probably go to the summer school.

-You're going to Scotland then.

Terry rested against the pianoforte and lowered his head, absorbed in a thought.

-And my family villa is in Scotland.

The bell rang. Without even realising it the sun had set and the classroom was tinted dark blue with orange reflections. If they didn't hurry to get their dinner they would have a demerit.

-I've got to go-said Candy breathlessly and grabbed the edge of the window. "I like freckles"... this phrase was enough to unsettle her. But there was something she wanted to say. She took a deep breath.

-You know Terry...I...I am no longer afraid of horses.

She said it in haste, and without looking, she jumped out of the window to grab a branch. She felt like her body was in flames.

-Come and find me at the Villa.

Did she really hear those words murmured over her shoulders?


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