Thank you so much everybody for all your reviews!! I am so ecstatic that I was able to write something good for all of you. Anyways, as expected, here's the epilogue. Hope you all enjoy it!
DISCLAIMER: Hey Arnold! is not mine.
Tying Loose Ends
~Thursday, Helga's hotel room
Helga closed the door with her feet since her hands were presently occupied with the two light plastic bags she was carrying. She had bought lunch, as well as some snacks to tide herself over with whenever she got hungry.
She hadn't seen Arnold for two days because he had been spending the time with his parents. This was fine with her; she knew how long he had waited to be reunited with his parents, but that knowledge didn't stop her from missing him terribly.
Helga shook her head as she placed her food and groceries in her small kitchen/dinning room. 'Helga, old girl, when you are in love you turn into a wimp,' one side of her remarked. 'A loved wimp!' countered the other side. She sighed. Missing Arnold was making her crazy.
Helga stopped as a thought entered her mind. 'Where has Curly been these past few days? I saw him at the reunion but that's it. He wasn't at Rhonda's party.' She shrugged. 'If he doesn't show up tomorrow it will be a long time until I see him again.' Helga grinned. 'That's a relief!'
Since she was done placing the groceries away in their respective places, Helga began setting up her lunch. She opened the Styrofoam container and gazed at her deluxe hamburger. Helga smiled as she recollected the internal battle she had on buying this one.
In all the years she has spent working as a personal secretary she has maintained a strict health foods diet. She would only eat meat when it had plenty of vegetables to go along with it. But when she saw the burger, as she was looking for lunch, she convinced herself that the hamburger had plenty of vegetable beside it. One part of her retaliated by telling her that she was using a loophole. The other side (the hungry side) reacted by pointing out that she was on vacation. The earlier side became quiet (probably because it too was now hungry).
As she was munching on the hamburger her thoughts where once again on him. Arnold had said he would be back today, to watch with her and the gang as the developer demolish Gerald field.
Helga smiled at the thought of seeing her beloved again. Her smile widened as she remembered what had happened on that faithful day, right after her beloved convinced her of his love for her.
They were lying inside the greenhouse, the tops of their heads touching, as they watched the night sky. They were laying on a couple of old sleeping bags Arnold had found on his closet.
Both of them reminisced on the times they had spent together in grade school. Throughout their conversation, Helga told him everything she had done to keep her love a secret. She told him all the stunts she pulled and all the trouble she had gone through. Helga even told him about the two Ceciles.
"Who's Cecile?" Arnold asked.
Helga sat up straight and looked at him incredulously. She described to him what she had looked like and the whole situation 'Cecile' had made.
"Oh. So you're her" He paused. "Now I know why you seemed really familiar at Rhonda's party. You looked like Cecile, the fake one that is. But I guess I forgot her name. I just remembered what she made me feel."
He looked at her. "Kind of like now... only now it's more deeper."
In all her life Helga had never ever blushed. But today it seemed like she was making up for lost time. She blushed again. Arnold wickedly grinned at her reaction. After a while, Helga resumed her former position on the ground and silence descended over the couple.
However, she broke it by saying, "I've loved you ever since I was in kindergarten."
Silence was her only answer.
Helga, fearing the worst, sat up again and turned to look at him. He was looking away from her. Had she said the wrong thing? What could she do to make it up to him?
He didn't look up at her. Helga, now very frightened, slowly went to him. She didn't know what to say to make it all better. If only she could take it all back...
Slowly, he sat up and faced her. His green eyes slowly looking at her blue ones. "You know, a while ago I was thinking how undeserving I was of you. And when you said that you've loved me since kindergarten, the doubt came back a thousand fold."
Her heart plummeted as she looked away from him. No... no... after all that happened... Was she only allowed a taste of heaven and just be sent away?
She could feel caring arms enfold her. She still felt shivers but that was only a small reaction now, the biggest one was dying... dying on the inside.
"No. You didn't let me finish," he whispered in her ear.
Her fears lessened but still existed.
"Forgive me Helga, but I did doubt. But then I remembered what you told me," he paused. "You told me that I was the only one that cared, that I was a major person in your life. I was a football head not to realize that, but you see, you thought that you were unworthy of me. We both though we were undeserving of each other. I realized just now that we are worthy. We give to each other what the other needs the most."
He gently made her face him, only to find her crying. "You know, at the rate you're going I'm going to have a heart attack. I've been through almost all the emotions there are today... Twice!"
Arnold chuckled as he hugged the crying Helga, and in his embrace, she tried to stop the tears that flowed down her face. They stayed that way for some time. Finally, when he felt that Helga was feeling better, Arnold broke the silence.
"I'll tell my folks about us when they get back tonight."
Helga chuckled. "Getting a bit senile, Arnoldo? It's already 7:00."
He looked at the sky. "Oh. Well, I guess, they're home now." He faced her, "you should be getting home too, Helga. I don't want you to catch a cold."
"Don't you worry your little football head," she said while patting his chest. "I have taken care of myself for twenty-seven years, I can still take care of myself now." She grinned at him. "Especially now that I know that you love me," she added in a soft voice.
Arnold looked at her face for a moment and then remembered something. "What about your parents? How will you tell them?"
Helga took her phone out from her back pocket. "I'll call them of course!"
Arnold looked at her, disbelievingly.
"I was just joking! Jeez! It so happens that my mom invited me over for Thanksgiving. You and you're parents are coming with me. If you all want to that is."
He smiled. "Of course we want to! When will it be?"
"Dinner on Thanksgiving Day. Doi!"
"I was asking about if it was dinner or lunch."
Helga looked at him and chuckled. "Okay, if you say so."
Arnold groaned but answered, "We'll be there."
Silence again. Helga still remained in his embrace.
"So what happens now, Arnold? I have my job at the CIA and you have your expeditions," she softly commented.
She felt his embrace tighten. "It sounds old, but we can make it work. I know you love your job so I'll quit mine. And your boss sounds nice, maybe they'll accept my parents again."
Helga faced Arnold. "You are not making a sacrifice, Arnold!" she told him fiercely. Then her voice softened, "Our jobs aren't that different. They both require that we do a lot of traveling around the world. As a secretary of the CIA I can make sure that you and I are in constant contact. I can go on your expeditions and do my work there. I'll only need to be at headquarters for extreme cases."
Arnold was touched but he still had one concern, "But what about your boss?"
"I can still monitor those sharks err agents from across the world. Make no mistake about it."
Her voice held so much steel that he earnestly believed her. "Okay, I guess."
After that, they finally agreed to go inside the house. There, Arnold told his parents about his newfound relationship. Helga partly expected them to reject her or be scared, but they were pleased with the match. 'I guess Arnold does get his caring nature from his parents.'
Helga took another bite and bit back a scream. Darn, she had bitten her own hand! She looked at her hand, which now held an imprint of her teeth, and then at the empty Styrofoam container. She sighed. 'If being in love means going through all this then...' she grinned, '...Bring it on!'
Lila was about to go into the kitchen when she heard a knock at the door. She looked at the clock in the living room. That was weird; who would visit her at 3 o' clock in the afternoon on a Thursday? Everybody should be at work today.
She went to the door and peeked. It was Helga. Lila smiled as she turned the door handle with her good arm. "Hi, Helga!"
Lila opened the door to reveal Helga holding a bouquet of flowers in front of her face. Only her eyes could be seen. Lila smiled but stopped as she focused on Helga's eyes. They were the same blue... the same caring and protective blue eyes. Lila gasped and immediately ran to Helga and hugged her.
The wind was knocked out of her, but that wasn't all that she felt. Pain flared as Lila ran into Helga. "Lila, wheeze please wheeze cast... hurt."
Helga was surprised by Lila's reaction to her arrival. She was obviously happy to see her, even though the bouquet was now a bit squished. Lila sheepishly pulled away from her.
"I'm really sorry, Helga. I seemed to have forgotten I have a cast. Please come in!" She noticed the flowers. "I'm really sorry about the bouquet. I'm ever so thoughtless!"
Still a bit weak from the hug and the bruise from the cast, Helga raised a hand to stop her. "It's okay, Lila. You would have thrown these away anyway."
Helga went in and sat on the sofa. She felt around the bruise and found nothing severe. She never imagined friendship with Lila to be this painful.
Lila sat beside her and seemed to be beside herself. Helga noticed this and asked, "Have I missed anything? I know you're happy to see me and all, but not this happy. You look like you've won the lottery."
Lila smiled. "I have finally found out who beat the stuffing out of Brent."
Helga's grin fell and she became serious. "Oh, so you figured it out? What gave me away?"
"Your eyes. I could never forget those caring eyes." Lila's eyes misted, "Thank you so much, Helga. I never knew you would do so much for me, not after all I've done to you."
Lila began to hug Helga again but Helga raised her hands, "Lila, the cast."
Lila giggled and lifted the cast out to warp it around Helga. She then hugged her.
"Hey, we were young then. You didn't mean to manipulate Arnold like that," Helga softly replied. Lila cried even harder.
After Lila calmed down, Helga pulled her away. "Anyway, the main reason I came here is to see if you're alright."
"I'm ever so fine, Helga. Thanks to you," Lila replied.
Helga could feel another waterworks so she immediately said, "And another one was because of Gerald field. Have you heard that they are building a new store on it?"
Lila nodded. "The others told me when they visited."
"Well, they're going to do it now. Harold and Rhonda weren't successful in buying the owner out. Today is the day they are going to tear the field down."
Lila covered her mouth in shock. "Oh, no! That is so unfair!"
Helga nodded. "The gang decided to pay their last respects to Gerald field today. I wanted to ask you if you wanted to come."
"Of course I'll come. Thanks ever so much for telling me, Helga. Just let me get ready and we can leave."
Lila stood up to get her coat while Helga waited for her in the living room.
Stinky glared at Harold. "Why didn't you buy the owner out? Now that dang fool will have Gerald field and we won't have anywhere for our children to play in."
"Haven't you ever heard of the City Park? And besides, the guy knew we wanted the place badly. He was just stubborn!" Harold replied.
All the former kids of Mr. Simmons' class, and some from the other class and grade, were gathered around Gerald field. Well, it was former Gerald field as the sign that was on the pitcher's mound said. Most of the people there leaned against one of the walls of the next-door building.
"This is just like when Helga's father wanted to cut down Mighty Pete," Sheena exclaimed. She was one of the people leaning on the walls.
"Yeah, it sounds like this time the money-grubbing businessmen finally won out," Arnold said. He stood, but he was only a hand reach away from the wall.
Helga, who was leaning on the wall beside Arnold, scoffed. "I'm surprised at you, football head. When did you become a pessimist?"
Arnold eyed her, but Helga ignored his look and instead looked at the field. She felt him lean on the space beside her. He took her hand, "You're up to something, aren't you?"
She delighted at his closeness but didn't give him a reply. She just lazily grinned as she gazed Gerald field.
"Hey, aren't there suppose to be bulldozers and contractors here?" Sid asked.
"Yeah, where are they?" Park inquired.
Everybody was muttering among themselves when a car pulled up. All looked at the car in silence. A black-haired man, with wire-rimmed glasses, stepped out of the driver's seat and raised his hands. "Thank you ladies and gents! Thank you for the warm welcome!"
Everybody groaned as they recognized who it was. "Curly!"
Thaddeus 'Curly' Gamelthorpe looked at everyone in confusion. "What? What did I do?"
"We weren't welcoming you. We thought you were the owner of Gerald field," Harold exclaimed.
A brown-haired woman stepped out of the passenger seat holding a baby in her arms. "I'm really sorry for the commotion my husband caused. But truthfully, I was the one who thought you were all waiting for him. Please, forgive me."
Silence. Everyone looked at each other, questioning to themselves if 'This was his wife?'
Curly approached the woman and put an arm around her. "Everyone, I want to introduce to you my wife of five years, Lorelei Gamelthorpe. She and the little bundle she's carrying are the reason I have been away."
Lila stepped out of the crowd and went to Curly and his wife. She smiled at them as she offered her left hand. "Welcome to Seattle, Lorelei. What is the name of your child?"
Lorelei smiled and presented the baby to Lila. "Thaddeus Gamelthorpe IV."
All groaned. Lorelei looked at everyone in puzzlement. "Please excuse my friends." Lila paused. "Would you like to join us as we watch Gerald field be ever so sadly demolished?"
Curly and his wife looked at each other. "Well, we could spend a few minutes," Lorelei replied. All three then joined the waiting group.
Suddenly, Curly grinned. "So, what are we going to do? Are we going to throw water balloons at the workers? Or maybe we're going to violently attack them and gain the attention of the media? Then this would be on national news! The entire worlds will know about Gerald field. They'll support us by..."
He didn't pay any attention to them and continued talking. The only other sound heard besides groaning and whispers of 'Lunatic' were laughter. Laughter coming from Curly's wife.
"Wait! I see a man in a business suit coming here!" Nadine suddenly remarked.
All turned around to see the man Nadine had pointed out. Sure enough, a shorthaired man, that used too much gel on his hair, was coming their way. He carried a briefcase in one hand and a sheaf of paper in the other. They were all puzzled as he approached them, and even more puzzled when he stopped in front of Helga.
Helga became serious.
The man nervously cleared his throat. "Umm, Ms. Pataki, I have the papers with me and the deed. You will be very happy to know that my client has accepted your offer, and is giving you the right to do whatever you want with this property." He gave her the sheaf of papers and bowed. "It's been a pleasure doing business with you, Ms. Pataki. Good day!"
Helga nodded back. "Good day to you too, Mr. Sternbeck! It has been a pleasure." She smiled.
For some reason, Mr. Sternbeck began to perspire profusely at the sight of Helga's smile. He gave a shaky smile and left in quite a hurry.
"I have never seen a man hightail it out of here so fast!" Stinky remarked.
"What did you do, Helga?" Peapod kid asked.
Helga walked away from them and proceeded to the pitchers mound. There, she removed the sign and faced the inquiring mass that was following her.
"Why, I bought the owner out," she simply replied. She then went to the dumpster and threw away the sign.
"How did you do it? Harold and I weren't successful and face it we're richer than you. No offense," Rhonda put in.
Helga waved her off. "None taken. I just offered him half a million for the land," she nonchalantly replied.
Everyone began to talk at once. Helga, who was very much enjoying how she was killing everybody with suspense, decided to stop now and gave an ear-piercing whistle. All quieted. "As it happens, my job happens to be a high-paying one. And I have royalties for all the books I wrote." Murmur again. "Criminey! Having a cell phone that can be used nationwide isn't cheap, people!"
Everyone quieted. Finally, Rhonda exclaimed, "Helga, you just love to show us up. You just love it that everybody sees how great you are, don't you?"
Helga wickedly grinned. "Yes, I do."
Rhonda smiled. "Welcome back, Helga."
"So, what do we do now?" Phoebe asked.
"What do we do in Gerald field? We play!" Gerald exclaimed.
"Oh come on, we'll look immature playing stickball!" Rhonda exclaimed.
"There is a saying, Rhonda. You are as old or young as you feel," Lorenzo exclaimed.
She put her hands on her waist and glared at Lorenzo. "What is that suppose to mean?"
"It means your really old, Rhonda!" Harold taunted.
Rhonda glared at her husband. "You take that back, Harold! I swear I'll remove your weekend sweets from Belgium."
"I'll take it back only if you'll play."
Rhonda huffed and folded her arms. "Oh all right! I'll play!" Harold then dragged his wife back to their limo.
Gerald was about to leave with Phoebe when someone called him. He turned around to see Helga in the same exact spot she had been in before, leaning on the wall.
"I was thinking. You know, since I bought this field I think we should change the name."
Everybody who was still there became quiet and looked at Gerald and Helga.
Gerald just stared at Helga incredulously. "Change?"
"Yeah, this should be Geraldine field now."
Gerald choked. "Geraldine?" Helga nodded.
"Well..." He couldn't disagree with her. He didn't know what Helga had done to convince the owner to let her buy him out, and he wasn't about to personally find out. He had a wife, and he wanted to live long enough to have kids and see his grandchildren.
A hand was on his shoulders. He looked down and saw a pair of very amused blue eyes. "Are you that scared of me, Geraldo? I was joking, you know. You can have this vacant field."
Gerald weakly laughed. "Yeah... Thanks, I think." He stopped as he faced Helga. "It's Gerald field," he corrected.
Her only response was a laugh. Now, after seeing that all was well, everyone proceeded to get ready for the game. So, they went home to get the necessary things. All who remained were Helga and Arnold.
Arnold looked at Helga's grinning face and put an arm around her shoulders. Helga leaned back on him as she savored the closeness. "Where are your parents now, Arnold?"
"They're at Sunset Arms. They told me they're fixing the old place. Later on we'll be going around Seattle."
"You've been showing them around, I see. That's great football head." For Helga and Arnold, those nicknames weren't insults anymore.
Helga felt him deeply sigh. "Is being with you always this exciting?"
She faced him and teasingly grinned, "Can't take the heat?"
Arnold smiled. "I can. I think my limit is two lifetimes and maybe even beyond that. We'll never know until we try it out."
Helga laughed. "Why, Arnold, are you proposing to me?"
He shook his head. "Think of it as a contract. If we do great together after some time, it's a proposal. If not, then you can try and talk me out of it. Like you did with Mr. Sternbeck and his client."
Helga resumed her normal place in Arnold's arms and closed her eyes. "I don't think I would be able to convince you, football head, because I wouldn't want to leave."
She felt him tighten his hold on her. "That's the idea, beloved ... That's the idea." Helga grinned as she snuggled closer to him.
First off, I would like to thank everyone who read my story and especially those who wrote reviews and constructive criticisms to help this first-time author out. Thank you so very much. And to all those who e-mailed me, thanks again!
Of course, to my dear editor, Polgara: Thanks for putting up with all the mistakes and grammatical errors I sent you. You've really hunted them down. And FBHelga, thanks for pointing my mistakes earlier and helping me again with the Japanese.
This is the end of this project but I have another one coming up. I'll be writing a new story called: Sometimes Love Just Isn't Enough. It's a two-part story. At first the format was like Changed, a problem in the present with a few flashbacks from the past. But after thinking it over, I decided to make it into two parts. So, I'll be taking a brief rest and then I'll post the first chapter of part one.
Again, thanks to all who read and reviewed.
~"Love hopes all things." 1 Corinthians 13:7