******Arg, I gotta write it all again!! I don't feel like it!!! Stoopid computer.. ******

******Its another story I started and never posted.******

Where Are You Going

By Tano


Nano Prologue (Isn't that a cool thing I jest made up??)

Life is fragile. They should put a big sticker on it that says, "THIS SIDE UP." Seems it's always being turned upside down. Your life could be going great, when something unexpected happens, and POW! You find yourself headfirst in a toilet, FLUSH! (figuratively speaking, of course, although that has been known to happen...)

Whether you realize it or not, the people you come into contact with on a daily basis make a difference in your life, no matter how insignificant they may seem. Sometimes you don't know how much someone means to you until they're gone.

An ordinary day of fourth grade. Mr. Simmons stood at the front of the class, yakking away about something or other. Hardly anyone really paid attention to his "special" lectures, especially not on a Friday morning. There was nothing he could do about it. If his class didn't want to listen, he could only pray that SOMEONE was paying attention. He hated to punish his students, although a punishment every once in a while was exactly what the children needed. Yes, a normal day. At least it seemed that way...

Curly softly hummed an Avril Lavigne song (Ordinary) to himself as he doodled on his desk with a red dry erase marker he had stolen from the teachers' desk. Or at least, that was what it would look like to any simple-minded mortal passing by. In actuality, Curly was drawing up his plans to take over the school again. He cackled evilly. First P.S. 118, then the City Zoo, and then THE WORLD! Yes... by now everyone was staring at him, and he stopped laughing. Fools! Mock Thaddeus Curly Gamelthorpe, will they? They were all in for a rude awakening. When he ruled the school, he would keep all the tapioca and lemon pudding to himself! That would show them! And then Cable Television would be his! Mwahahahaha...

"Geek." Rhonda muttered and then squealed in disgust as Curly blew her a kiss. How she was able to keep her status as a "cool kid" when this psycho liked her, she did not now. She shuddered; she could still remember what had happened when, under Helga's influence, she had admitted to writing the little weirdo that secret admirer letter. He had kissed her on the lips in front of EVERYONE. She shuddered again, not sure which was worse: The fact that Curly Gamelthorpe had kissed her, or that deep down she had LIKED it. No way. There was absolutely NO WAY she would ever, EVER, like that little freak. She wouldn't allow herself to.

"Hey, baby." Curly said in a sing-song way, "You look cold... Come over here, Curly'll warm you up."

"EWW!" Rhonda sank down in her seat and looked over at the clock on the wall above the doorway. 9:47a.m. Her life was officially over. Damn that Helga Pataki; this was all her fault.


Harold was bored and extremely hungry. Not to mention, he was STARVING! He'd only had a single bowl of cereal for breakfast that morning! Sooooo hungry...

Sid was sitting at the desk beside Harold's. The night before he hadn't had any sleep at all, afraid that there was a Vampire in the bathroom. He had sat up all night, that rubber dagger in his hand, big bags forming under his eyes as he waited for the undead, bloodsucking freak to finish using the john and come out. Eventually he had dozed off but only in time to get about an hours worth of sleep. Now he was falling asleep again, his head bobbing up and down as he started to lose conciousness. Twice he nearly fell out of his chair, but went back to sleep again.

"Sid!" Harold whispered, "SID!!!"

Sid's eyes practically popped out of his head and he fell to the floor, "ACK! IM AWAKW!!!! Back off, Vampires, you'll never get MY blood!" e screamed and jumped back into his chair. "Woah, my head... where's the Vampire?" he had gotten up to fast and felt dizzy.

Stinky looked up, "Sid, I told ya, I ain't a Vampire, I'm a psychic! Them's two enturly dif'rent concepts!"

Sid yawned and his head hit the desk with a loud thump.

"Siiiid!" Harold whined.

The exhausted boy lifted his head and looked over at Harold, who suddenly had a twin. "What, Harold?" he asked irritably, looking not at Harold, but at the identical person beside him.

Harold noticed that Sid was looking past him and waved a hand in front of the confused boy's face, "Um, Sid? I'm right here."

Sid blinked, "Ow, my he-e-ead!" he cried out

"Sid, you got anything to eat?" Harold asked, ignoring his friend's moans.

"No! Leave me alone!" Sid whined. He hid under his desk and fell asleep, curled up in a little ball on the floor.

Harold looked over at Stinky, a couple of seats over.

Stinky was now staring at a wall, blank as a washed chalkboard.


It took a moment, but Stinky finally looked over at Harold. "Yeah? Whaddya want, Harold? I'm meditatin' here! I almost had A VISION, but you went and interrupted the dang thing!"

"You got anything to eat?" Harold asked, not bothering to apologize to Stinky.

"What? N-no!" Stinky stutter, "I reckon I ain't got nothing for ya! No lemon puddin today! N-No siree, no lemon puddin here!"

"Im SOOOO HUNGRY!" Harold whined so loudly, the entire class heard. He hardly noticed that he didn't hear, "So what else is new?" or any other sarcastic remarks.

"Here, Harold." Arnold said, tossing the starving boy a Mr. Nutty from his lunch.

"Thanks, Arnold!" Harold said as he wolfed the entire thing down in one bite.

Arnold shrugged and looked back to the front of the classroom. There she was... Lila... he sighed. She was the prettiest, nicest girl in the class, maybe even the entire school. And one of the only people still paying attention to Mr. Simmons.

Lila giggled, "Oh, that's EVER so fascinating, Mr. Simmons!"

Arnold saw the teacher's face light up, "Why thank you Lila! How very "special" of you to say so!"

Arnold sighed again. If only Lila were talking to HIM instead of Mr. Simmons. Why didn't she like-him-like-him? It didn't make sense. He was the nicest guy in school, wasn't he? Well, he tried to be. Why didn't Lila notice? Why couldn't she understand how much he like-liked her? Why couldn't she feel the same way? He and Lila were perfect for one another and she was the only one who didn't see it.

Suddenly, he cringed. Hmm... what was that for? When he figured out why, he realized he hadn't had a reason to. No spit wads hit him in the head. No nothing. He turned around and saw an empty seat near the back of the classroom. Where was Helga?


Brainy sat in the very last seat in the back of the classroom. He liked that seat for a couple of reason. First, it was the least noticeable. There was very little chance that anyone would see him back there. The teacher wouldn't call on him, the other kids wouldn't bother him. The second and most important reason he liked sitting there: It was the desk right behind Helga Pataki's.

This morning he was shaking. Something was wrong and he knew exactly what. Helga was gone. What scared him most was he had absolutely NO IDEA where she was. That was an impossibility to say the least. He ALWAYS knew where Helga was. If she was on vacation, sick, had slept in, etc., he would know. He didn't know today. It terrified him. What if something had happened to Helga? Something horrible? He felt sick. He wanted to leave so he could go find Helga, but in order to do that he would have to ask Mr. Simmons to let him go to the nurse. Brainy didn't want to call attention to himself. People would ask questions and he wasn't prepared to provide answers.

He finally just punched himself in the face, and that was that. No one noticed. No one cared. No one ever did. And maybe that was a good thing.


Phoebe anxiously watched the door for some movement. Please, please, please... Let Helga be alright. Where was she? She hadn't been at the bus stop that morning and she never called Phoebe to tell her she was going to be late or was sick and needed her homework brought over that afternoon. Helga ALWAYS called when she wasn't going to be there.

Helga... come to school! She concentrated on this one thought, this mental mantra repeating over and over in her head as she watched the door. A sad, desperate attempt to communicate with her friend telepathically... if only such a thing existed. After a while she was mouthing the words. Helga.... Come to school... Helga... Come to school... Helga...

She closed her eyes for a moment. This wasn't working. Helga couldn't hear her. It was foolish to think otherwise.

Not wanting to think the worst, Phoebe decided that Helga had only slept in that morning. Helga was ok, she told herself. She would go down to the Pataki residence after school, and Helga would be there. All would be well.

"Pheobe?" she opened her eyes.

"Hello Gerald." she greeted him softly.

Gerald slid his desk closer to hers. Looking Phoebe straight in the eyes, he asked her, "Are you ok?"

Phoebe sighed a long, shuddery sigh (much like one would do when they have been crying a long time). She looked down. Something about seeing Gerald so worried about her made her feel worse. "Not really." she responded and then explained the cause of her distress.

When she finished, Gerald gave her a sort of... pitying look, "Phoebes," he said slowly and carefully, not wanting to hurt her feelings, "It's only Helga. I don't understand why you're so worried, just because she didn't call you..."

"She always calls me! And why shouldn't I worry? She's my best friend!"

The bell rang and everyone jumped out of their seats to go to lunch.

"Yeah." Gerald said, "I don't understand THAT either."

But instead of continuing the conversation about Helga, he started a new one and they went to the cafeteria. He didn't want to hurt Phoebe anymore than he probably had, despite his feelings about Helga. He would try to understand; he would do anything for Phoebe.


Lila exited the lunch line, holding her lunch tray carefully out in front of her. She looked around for an empty seat. Someone called her name and she looked over to see Rhonda, Sheena, Nadine and Katrinka sitting at a table. Lila pretended not to notice them at first. She didn't feel like sitting with a bunch of giggling, gossipy girls today.

"Hey LILA!" oops, she looked again. Was there no escape? She put on her sweetest smile and walked over.

"Oh, hello Lila! Take my seat!" Sheena stood up enthusiastically offering her chair.

"It's ever so nice of you to offer your seat, Sheena, bur I'm perfectly alright..."

"Nonsense, Lila! You sit down, I'll be fine! Right here, on the floor!" the taller girl practically pushed Lila into the chair and sat on the floor by her feet.

As soon as Lila was sitting down, the girls started up their conversation once more.

"Someone isn't here today!" Rhonda sang happily.

"Who?" Nadine asked.

"HONESTLY, Nadine, how could possibly NOT know? Where have you BEEN? You certainly couldn't have been HERE. Haven't you noticed how QUIET it has ben today?"

"Not with you around." Lila muttered.

"No?" Nadine replied, uncertainly, "Who isn't here today?"

"Helga, of course!"

"Oh." Nadine said.

"Is that all?" Lila asked, trying not to sound as annoyed as she was.

"Not at all." Rhonda gestured towards another table where Arnold sat, staring at his tater tots. "Arnold sure is distracted today." she pointed out. "He hasn't talked to you all day, has he Lila?"

"Now that you mention it, RHONDA," her voice turned harsh on Rhonda's name, but returned to its normal sugarcoated sweetness once more, "I'm ever so sure e hasn't spoken to me once all morning." Lila was normally a patient person, but Rhonda was getting to her that day.

"Do you think it had anything to do with Helga?" Nadine asked.

"Mhhmmm." Rhonda agreed as she popped one of Lila's tater tots into her mouth.

"Now, whyever would it have anything to do with Helga?" Lila asked as she slowly pulled her lunch tray out of Rhonda's range.

"Well, I don't know about YOU, ladies, but I've always had a feeling that those two liked each other."

"Arnold likes Helga?" Sheena squeaked from her position on the floor. She and the other girls were more surprised that Arnold would like Helga than visa versa.

Rhonda nodded.

"But, doesn't he like-like Lila?" Katrinka wondered, speaking up for the first time in the entire conversation.

Lila looked at Rhonda with interest. Where was she going with all of this?

Rhonda smiled menacingly, "I think Arnold like-likes Helga more than he like-likes YOU, Lila dear."

"But how?" Nadine wondered.

Rhonda rolled her eyes, "You've seen how Helga treats him. And what does he do to her?"


"Exactly! Arnold doesn't do a thing to get back at her. He just says, 'whatever you say, Helga.' and lets her walk all over him! And have you SEEN the way he looks at her?"

"But Arnold's too nice to get back at anyone." Nadine pointed out.

"He could if he wanted to. Remember that time he came to school and started shoving kids into lockers?"

Nadine nodded and said nothing more.

"Well, what about ME?" Lila challenged, "If Arnold Like-likes Helga then whayever would he follow me around saying he like-likes ME?"

Rhonda of course, had all the answers, "It's pretty simple. Wait, no it's needlessly complicated. But anyway, it isn't so hard to figure out. I'm sorry to say, Arnold is one of the densest kids I have ever met. He can't even tell that Helga like-likes him, even though it is so COMPLETELY obvious!"

"It is?" Katrinka asked.

"You mean you didn't know?" Rhonda was amazed at how oblivious her peers were.

The girls all shook their heads, except Lila.

"Really? But how could you NOT know? She always treats Arnold like dirt, abusing him with her insults. Helga picks on Arnold more than anyone else, and he never does anything wrong. But here's a question: Have you ever seen her physically hurt him? I mean, besides tripping him or throwing spit wads at him."

The girls all shook their heads.

"I thought not. And do you know why? It's because she CAN'T. She's beaten up every boy in our grade at least once, all except for Arnold. She just can't bring herself to hurt him. See, to Helga, hurting Arnold would be like hurting herself, and Helga couldn't stand to do that."

"She likes him that much?" Sheena said in disbelief.

"I know, it's sad, isn't it?" Rhonda laughed, "And that's not the worst thing! Did you know that Helga follows him around? I've seen her do it, she's always 'bumping into him'. It's HILARIOUS, because whenever she does, she yells at HIM for following HER!" she laughed again, "And poor dense little Arnold doesn't have a clue. He doesn't realize that she loves him."

"She loves him?"

"She's OBSESSED." Rhonda replied, "Anyway, the boy's an idiot. I of course blame Helga's attitude. She's so mean to him. And Arnold, being the nice guy he is, thinks he should like someone who is like him. Someone nice and sweet and perfect."

"In other words, me." Lila said. She hated being "perfect", but that was what she was to these people. Why disappoint them.

"Yes you, Lila, are exactly what Arnold THINKS he wants, but in reality he like-likes Helga, your complete OPPOSITE, as well as his. You know, opposites attract and all. You see?"

Lila tried not to laugh. It was amusing that Rhonda knew all these things. She never would have imagined that the fashion princess of the fourth grade could be so intelligent.

Rhonda continued, "I played a little trick on Arnold. Remember when I had my Origami Marriage Predictor? Well, I had one for Arnold so he'd ONLY GET HELGA! It was so funny; he was so terrified at the idea of being married to her, and he kept taking it over and over and over hoping it wasn't true. I had to try so hard to keep a straight face."

"Rhonda that was mean." Nadine and the other girls all giggled and headed off to the playground, except for Lila who stayed behind.


Out on the playground one could find Arnold sitting in a swing, rocking slowly from side to side as he stared at the clouds above. For some reason he felt empty that day. Something was missing, and he couldn't for the life of him figure out what. It was something important; he could tell by how hopeless he felt. It was kind of the way he felt every year on the anniversary of his parents' disappearance.

It had been too quiet a day. He couldn't think straight. He only drifted through his confused thoughts, trying to figure out what was wrong.

It was a beautiful day, despite his confusion. The sky was blue, except for the few clouds floating around here and there. He could have sworn that the rest of the clouds were somehow inside his head, clogging up his brain. In his head, it was foggy, raining and miserable. If only he could figure out what was wrong, maybe the clouds would go away, go back to the sky where they belonged.

If only life could make sense.

******Ok, the longest chapper of anything I have ever written. I would have written more, but this was where I stopped. And so I will stop here.******

******Where is Helga? You might find out next chapper, if you review.******

****** I will try to update soon, but my parents are locking up the basement. They say I am online too much. What do they know? Anyhoo, I will try.******

******I like this story, please review!!!******