He pulled up to her house exactly on time and honked the horn. He learned a long time ago not to get out and knock on the door of the Pataki household.
The door opened and she walked out, pulling a sweater on over her dress. Sliding into the
car, she shut the door and leaned against the seat.
"Go." was all she said.
"Rough day?" he asked, pulling away from the house and driving towards the restaurant.
"Bob wanted me to stay home and entertain his clients. After I pointed out, again, that I
was not Olga, I told him I was going out."
Arnold nodded knowingly. He'd been around Helga long enough to know what her father
was like then he didn't get what he wanted.
Helga sighed heavily. "I just want this day over."
"Am I that boring?" he asked, faking a hurt tone.
She shook her head. "It's not you, it's just this day."
"Well, it's bound to get better."
She smirked. "It couldn't get any worse."

Dinner was exactly as Phoebe had promised. Relaxing. Just four friend having dinner
together. And no embarrassing servers singing "Happy Birthday".

Phoebe watched as slowly Helga began to relax and enjoy herself. At that moment, she
and Arnold were having a discussion on something that had happened in their Lit class.
Phoebe sat back and watched the unconscious tell-tale signs of flirting taking place
between the two
After school, Gerald had broke down and explained what Arnold had planned and why.
Phoebe was flabbergasted. After swearing Gerald to secrecy, she told him Helga's secret,
including the real meaning of ice cream.

She smiled slyly, watching them interact. This had gone on for far too long. If tonight
didn't work, there was always plan B.

After saying goodnight to Phoebe and Gerald, Helga slid into Arnold's car and sighed.
The dinner was the most fun she'd had in weeks. She really didn't want to go home yet.
"Before I drop you off, do you mind if we stop by my house?" he asked, almost reading
her mind. "I want to show you something."
She shrugged. "Sure."
He pulled up at the boarding house and was out and around to her side before she could
get out of the car. His green eyes were alight with nervous excitement as he took her
hand. As they entered the boarding house, she noticed everything was silent.
"What's going on?" she asked, following him up the stairs.
"It's one of those rare occasions when everyone had plans."
Still holding her hand, he led her to the rooftop door.
"I hope you like this." he told her, then opened the door.

The roof was filled with the soft light of lanterns and in the middle was a table. She
walked onto the roof, looking around.
"It's beautiful. What's it for?"
He walked over to the table and lifted a cover sitting on the table.
"Happy Birthday."
Helga spun around to see a cake sitting on the table. She looked up at him stunned. He
would go through all this trouble just for her?
"Don't be mad at Phoebe," he hurried to say. "I kinda pressured her to tell me."
He shrugged. "Everyone's sixteenth birthday should be special. And ever since I've
known you, I don't think I've ever seen you have an actual birthday." He held out a small
wrapped box. "So I decided to give you one."
Helga still stood there, her eyes focused on the box he held.
"You didn't have to." she said, her voice barely audible.
"I know I didn't have to," he told her. "I wanted to."
She walked over slowly, reaching out to take the box with shaking hands. Sitting down,
she slowly unwrapped the box as if afraid it would suddenly disappear.
Opening it, she lifted out the contents and gasped.


Inside was a small gold locket on a fragile chain. Smiling, he took it from her nerveless
fingers and walking behind her, clasped it behind her neck.
"It reminded me of you for some reason," he explained. "I hope you like it."
"I love it," she breathed, lifting it from it's new home above her breastbone to look at it.
Grinning, he went back over to the cake. She looked up.
"Is that lemon?"
He nodded, cutting off a piece.
"How did you know I love lemon cake?" she asked.
"Actually, that one was Gerald." he told her. "He said he'd overheard you mention it
once. He also said something about ice cream, so I got some of that too."
He lifted two small bowls of vanilla ice cream from a small cooler and placed them on the
table. Next he pulled out a can of whipped cream and nuts and placed them on the table
with a flourish.
"Sorry, I like my ice cream with whipped cream and nuts." he told her, finally sitting down
at the table. That was more than Helga could take. She started laughing hard, tears
welling up in her eyes. He looked at her odd.
"What's so funny?" he asked when her laughter began to subside.
Still giggling, she looked up at him. "Not that I don't like the stuff, but ice cream, in the
sense that Phoebe and I talk about it, is a code word for something else."
He watched her expectantly, but she picked up her fork, refusing to say anything else.
"This definitely has been one of the better birthdays I've had." she told him, after helping
him clean up. He smiled at her.
"It's not over yet."
Reaching over, he pushed a button on the CD player. Music swelled out into the night air.
"May I have this dance?" he asked.

She stepped into his waiting arms. Closing her eyes, she relaxed, enjoying the feel of his
arms around her, drinking in the scent of his cologne. She wished the night could stay this
way forever.

Arnold had finally found heaven. He couldn't believe everything had fallen into place so
perfectly. She just felt so right being in his arms like this.
"I can't believe you've never had a boyfriend." he said softly, still moving to the music.
"Hmmm," was her reply. " Didn't we discuss this once before?"
"Would you ever consider dating?"
"Of course I'd consider it. I'm not a saint."
"You've never been kissed?"
"Of course I have. There was Romeo and Juliet and that part on Babewatch."
"That was suppose to be resuscitation. I mean a real kiss."
"You mean those weren't?"
He smiled. "Sweet sixteen and never been kissed." he teased lightly.
She stopped dancing, pulling away from him. "What's that suppose to mean?"
"Exactly what it sounds like."
"Hey, I've been kissed plenty of times."
"Name one." he challenged. "It seems like every kiss you've gotten, I've been on the other
end of."
She ducked her head, her face burning. "So?" she mumbled.
"So? Maybe I'd like to be your first real kiss also."
Her head shot up, her face a mixture of confusion and hopefulness. Before she could
make a comeback; he dipped his head, his lips meeting hers.
She stood still for the briefest of seconds, then reached up, wrapping her arms around his
neck, returning his kiss.

It all felt perfect, her in his arms kissing him. The last empty part of him had been filled.
She was the other part that he'd been missing all his life. Now if he could just convince
her of that.

They parted, him looking at her curiously, her breathing hard. She glanced up at him, her
blue eyes twinkling. Her lips twisted into a small smile. Motioning him towards her, she
stood on her tiptoes and whispered in his ear.
"You're my ice cream."
Straightening, he frowned, his mind going back to the conversation between he and

"You should hear her and Phoebe go on about ice cream," Gerald told him. "It's almost
like she's obsessed with the stuff.
No wonder she never had a boyfriend."

Understanding flooded into his eyes. She stood there, waiting for him to realize what
she'd just told him.
"You mean..."
She raised an eyebrow. "I love you?"
Grinning like a loon, he scooped her into a fierce hug, burying his face in her hair.
"I love you Helga Pataki," he told her. "I've loved you since sixth grade."
She laughed. "Only since sixth? I've got you beat, then."
Pulling back, he kissed her again, loving the feel of her melting into him.
"I'm not normally this dense." he said, after they had parted the second time.
She laughed again. "Yes. You are."
Taking her hand, he led her towards the door leading back into the boarding house.
"I had one more surprise. I rented Sixteen Candles and Pretty in Pink. If you still want to
watch them.
She gasped. "I love those movies. Who told you?"
He shook his head, as they entered his room. Tomorrow, he was going to have a long
talk with Gerald. Tonight, he was going to enjoy this new part of his life.

The End