MDT's "Hey Arnold!" Fan Fiction
Same In The End
Written By Shaun Blankenship
Well, I'm not the first and I definitely won't be the last to finally jump on the idea of having the Hillwood kids in high school away from their grade school days. Which is why I've rated this story PG-13. Not because of the fact that they're older (That would just be stupid), but that you know as well as I know that kids in High School aren't anywhere near G or even PG. Some of you may be, but you're a slim three-percent out of a hundred. Most likely, you're Mormon too. I have no grudge against you, it's just after a while you're vocabulary just seems to go beyond such insinuations as "stinkin'" and "freakin'". Sometimes at fourth grade it's even like that, which is why Hey Arnold is a complete work of fiction. I don't know any city kids in fourth grade whose mouths have a TV Y rating. It just doesn't happen. I live in the suburbs and I can't walk down the street without some third grader singing every word to Eminem's "Drips" right behind me. That's why I ain't got no time… for these games and stupid tricks… Anyway, the point is that the PG-13 rating on this story isn't for violence or some kid committing suicide or anything: it's for language and some strong sexual content. If you can't handle it, don't even start to read it so you can whine at me about it. I don't care. With that said, I hope you enjoy the story.
Outside, the rain pounded against her window. The sound of every droplet banging violently against her window had started to get irritating. It was nights like these that reminded her of the old days. It was the worst storm the city of Hillwood had ever seen since the flood when she was in fourth grade. Although the city wasn't flooded now, this storm was still pretty bad.
In two more weeks, school would finally reopen and Helga would return for her senior year in High School. Staring out of her bedroom window, she started to look at her dim reflection in the glass. She had changed drastically. The little nine-year-old of her childhood days was now gone and replaced by someone else she couldn't recognize. Maybe it was just her inner child. Was she even young enough to have an inner child?
Many people had said it before her, so she definitely would not be the last, but when she was a kid, she never realized how special those days were. School was almost over for her, one more year and she'd never have to return to Hillwood High School, and she was still unsure what was in her future. College? She hadn't applied anywhere. She hadn't even opened the advertisements sent to her address that boasted of other colleges "beautiful campuses" and "ethnic diversity." She couldn't stand reading them. She always wanted to get as far away from this city and her psychotic parents, but for some odd reason she couldn't. Something inside wouldn't let her leave. It could be that this was all she knew; she had only left this town three times in her life. It was always so inviting with a warm welcome, always taking her in its arms and singing her to sleep. She knew if she left, she'd be miserable. There'd be so many things left behind. Her childhood friends, the arcade, the store that sold the red cherry gummy bears she loved so much…
Somewhere in her sub-conscience, she couldn't forget about him. As far as she was concerned, she was over him. She had no feelings for him whatsoever. She might not have anymore feelings for him.
But if she was over him, why can't she stop thinking of him?
It was the start of ninth grade when she finally came to the realization that she would never be with Arnold no matter what she did. They still spoke from time to time, how could they not? He was in at least three classes of hers every year in High School! What was she supposed to do, ignore him? It was freshman year when she decided that no matter how she tried, it just wasn't going to happen. It was inevitability at its best.
Lucky for her, that year was also the return of someone from her past. Mike Trenton had come back for another year of public school education. Michael had gone to good ol' P.S. 118 for about a week back in the day. Mike had confessed his love to Helga in the park one day and that had been the last time she had seen him until High School. They went out for almost five months, but the time seemed to have moved much quicker than that. Helga lost her virginity to Mike at her house when her parents weren't home. Other than that, there weren't any other highlights to their relationship. Michael treated her like a play toy from preschool that he couldn't throw away, something hidden in his closet brought out from time to time to remind him of all the fun they used to have until it became dull. Helga had to break-up with him; it was her only option. Either that or stay tucked away in a closet forever.
Loves had come and go with Helga. Every month she had a new one and they both would agree with each other that they had finally found whom they've been searching for. Usually it ended with a big fight, a slur of rumors, and a hateful break-up. Her victims were usually kids she hadn't met until High School. Mostly because they were from the public schools she had grown up around. Apparently, P.S. 118 was not the only public school in the Hillwood Community School system. This news wasn't shocking to her at all now, but it was somewhat neat to know when she was in middle school. Being ignorant is fun, especially when you finally realize it.
Seventeen years and five months wasted in this town now didn't seem that terrible. It was spending the rest of her life in this town, being the one left behind but being helpless to stop it was what really scared her. It was as if she could see everyone she knew being huddled on a bus for a one-way trip out of this place, but being paralyzed from the waist down and only being able to sit and watch it all leave her. She started to cry. It was just one of those things she did from time to time. Sometimes she felt like going down into her parents bedroom, going in the fourth drawer on the left of her dad's dresser, finding the gun her parents kept for home protection and shoving it inside of her mouth. Then she snapped soberly back into sanity and realized what the hell she just thought about doing.
The rain continued. She stared out her window and watched the raindrops splash against the wet and empty street. At that time, a car had started to drive up the road. Who in their right mind would be driving down the street during this weather, she thought to herself. Who…Holy shit. The car turned the corner, and it was at that time it was Arnold driving behind the wheel of the olive green Packard. He probably had just come back from the store. His grandparents were still breathing (Amazingly) but they were in really bad shape. Arnold now ran every errand for them; he made dinner for them and the boarders, cleaned the up the house from time to time, and kept a job at the Chez Paris restaurant to bring some money into the home. Mostly his money would go to his grandmother's medication. It was astonishing how humble he still was. She had assumed that as soon as he hit puberty, or at least High School, that he'd become more bitter and harsh. She didn't anticipate it; she feared it, but when she saw how he had turned out to be she was relieved that he was still the same old Arnold. The Arnold that she had fallen in love with all those years ago. The Arnold that she had to convince herself to give up. Whenever she tried to forget, he's always been right behind the corner with his cheerful little grin on his football-shaped head. The amazing thing that still baffled her to this day was that he hadn't caught on to how she felt. She was sure she'd be figured out sooner or later.
"HELGA! DINNER'S READY"
The obnoxious yell of Bob Pataki filled her ears and pulled her away from her trance at the window. She pulled herself away and proceeded to walk towards the door of her room. On the way, she stopped and looked at herself in the mirror. The pink bow had turned into a ping ribbon in her hair. The bland pink dress with the white undershirt had been dropped at sixth grade. She had gone to a simpler back-to-basics, kind of punk-rockish look. She usually only wore tee shirts, mainly concert shirts with the band members printed on the front or skimpy mid drifts with poppy phrases on them, with jeans that seemed pretty normal until they bagged at her feet. If she wasn't wearing a tee shirt, it'd be a sweater-hood, and those usually had band names printed on them too. Her hair no longer stuck out on each side of her head, but was tied in the back very much like Hilda, her complete opposite from one of Arnold's dreams. She hadn't become a priss or a prep, but a lot softer than she had been before, although Ol' Betsy still clocked in some working hours from time to time.
She walked down the stairs to the kitchen for another miserable, silent dinner with her family. Two weeks until school started and Helga wished it would just come and be over with.