Hey Arnold!

Secrets and Lies (The Sequel to All Grown Up) - Chapter One

Disclaimer: I don't own Hey Arnold and I don't work on the show.

Notes: This is the sequel to All Grown Up! It was great writing All Grown Up and nice to see that people enjoyed reading it. Obviously, read All Grown Up first otherwise you won't know what is going on. Just one thing, this may not be as happy as All Grown Up, so please don't say, "You shouldn't have wrote that!" or "Make it happier!" or anything like that. I basically wrote this chapter to set the scene of the story, so bear with me! I really do hope that you like it!

Some parts of life had changed for Arnold, Helga, Gerald and Phoebe in three years. Helga and Arnold were still married and had one son called James. Gerald and Phoebe were also still together, and they still had their daughter, Chloe. The four of them still lived in England.

Phoebe sighed as she walked down the city streets. She had a painful headache after a stressful day at work and now she had to go shopping for toys for her daughter, Chloe. Chloe's third birthday was coming up and Phoebe hadn't found the time to shop for her presents, yet. Every day, Phoebe would work hard at work. Three years ago, it was as if she didn't have to do any work, as she was the boss of an Internet Service Provider, but now, the company was in serious trouble. If Phoebe didn't do something, her company would go out of business.

Three years ago, Phoebe had been happy. She had been happily watching a relationship develop between Arnold and Helga and was also delighted to be expecting a baby. Why did things have to change? Now, she was hassled by news reports saying that members of Phoebe.com were angry at the service, which had once been the best around. Also, she found that the stress of work was causing her to sometimes lose patience with Gerald, although Gerald was actually a great husband. Phoebe knew that Gerald didn't deserve to be snapped at, but sometimes she couldn't help it.

Despite the fact that Phoebe's business was failing, she was still a millionaire and had more than enough money to buy anything that she wanted. She had recently bought a new house, but money didn't make Phoebe happy. But, Phoebe still didn't have a bad life. She had a loving husband, a beautiful daughter and brilliant friends, but it was just that stress seemed to be taking over her life.

Phoebe walked past a toy store and entered went through the automatic door. The toy store was the biggest in England, but was very expensive. There were lots of working toys on display for children to look at and some parents took their children to the store even if they were not planning to buy their children anything. It was usually a treat to go to this brilliant toyshop.

Phoebe smiled as she looked at a "Walking, Talking Dolly," in one aisle. Chloe had smiled and laughed when she had saw that in action when it had been on display. Phoebe knew that it would be a great surprise to get Chloe this as one of her birthday presents so she went over to the doll and took another look. Life wasn't bad for Phoebe after work; she always came home to a lovely family.

Helga and Arnold were still happy together. Their son, James Pataki proved to sometimes be a handful, but Helga and Arnold both loved him dearly. The happy couple hadn't seen or heard anything from Lila since the night before the wedding and didn't really talk about her much. Nobody knew that Arnold actually had another baby boy called Josh, whose mother was Lila. Just before Arnold and Lila had broken up, Arnold had got Lila pregnant and Lila had kept her baby a secret.

In fact, Lila was living in America. She still lived with her father, who was blind to Lila's evil ways. Lila's father helped a lot with Josh, but Lila still loved her son. Despite the things that Lila had done since she changed, she would not mistreat him. She loved Josh with all of her heart and wouldn't let anything happen to him.

That evening, Helga decided to have a talk with Arnold about Phoebe's business. "It looks like things are getting bad for Phoebe," Helga told him. "She won't admit it, but she is actually in trouble."

"How much trouble?" asked Arnold, sounding concerned. Phoebe was still a close friend to Arnold, who always seemed to be there for Helga and him. Arnold didn't want Phoebe to be in any sort of trouble, but he hadn't seen much of Phoebe lately.

"I'm not sure," said Helga. "Because a lot of the staff that work on phone calls have quit, I've had to pitch in and help with phone calls, as well as my work on the home page of Phoebe.com! I am dealing with so many complaints about the service! I don't know what went wrong!"

"Did all of this happen all of a sudden?" asked Arnold.

"No, it happened gradually," said Helga.

"It sounds like she should sell her company," said Arnold. "It's not like she actually needs to work. She's a millionaire. Maybe some new owners could bring Phoebe.com back to life! Haven't you suggested selling to Phoebe?"

"It's hard to say!" Helga admitted. "She has so much pride! I don't know if she would admit that she is actually in trouble and sell the company!"

"Well, if you won't do it, I will," said Arnold. "She'll listen to me! No wonder Gerald has been telling me that Phoebe has been coming home stressed. I suppose he doesn't know about any of this, does he?"

"Phoebe doesn't want to worry him," said Helga. "She hasn't told him."

"Phoebe has always helped us, so it's time that we did the same for her," said Arnold. "I'm going to phone her on her cellular phone right now and ask her if she wants to come over or whether it will be okay for me to go over to her house."

Arnold dialled Phoebe's number and talked to her for nearly five minutes. Helga couldn't tell how the conversation was going, so Arnold had to fill her in after he had finished talking.

"She's at the toy shop right now," said Arnold. "I feel really sorry for her. She sounds like she hasn't slept in days, but she said that she'll be over here in an hour. Will you let me talk to her alone?"

"Sure," said Helga. "Good luck!"

Meanwhile, over in America, in a small house very near to the old neighbourhood, Lila's father had waited until Lila had put Josh to bed and had made her sit down. He had a surprise for her.

"Are you ready?" he asked.

"What is it?" asked Lila. "I'm tired!"

"You'll like this. I was at the travel agents today and I saw a great deal in the window. It was a two-week holiday in England. I got you a ticket!"

"You can't afford that!" said Lila.

"Well, like I said, it was a great deal and we're not really poor any more," he said. "You'll be taking Josh with you, of course, but I thought that it would be a break from this place for you."

"Thanks a lot, Dad," said Lila. "That was a nice thought. So, when am I going?"

"In four days."

They both heard Josh shouting for his mother from upstairs and Lila went upstairs to check on him. As Lila walked upstairs, she said to herself, "England! Home of the lovely Arnold and Helga! I just hope that I don't bump into them! I might have to cause more damage!" Lila laughed and went to check on Josh. She went into his room and sat on the end of his bed. "We're going to England!" Lila said sweetly to him. "If you're lucky, you may just see your Daddy!"

"What did you want to talk to me about?" Phoebe asked Arnold as she stumbled into Arnold and Helga's house.

"Come in and take a seat," said Arnold kindly. "You don't look so good."

"I'm fine!" Phoebe reassured him.

"No, you're not!" he said. "You look terrible! You look like you haven't slept in days and I've been told that you are suffering from a lot of stress!"

"Thanks for your concern, Arnold, but you don't have to worry about me," said Phoebe.

"I know about your business and that doesn't seem to be going so well, does it?" asked Arnold.

"Okay, I admit it," said Phoebe. "Work is a nightmare!"

"From what Helga has told me, I think that it would be a good idea to sell the company," said Arnold.

"You think that I should sell?" asked Phoebe.

"Maybe somebody else will be able to find success with your company," said Arnold. "I'm sure that you would still get a good price because of your company's past success."

"I'll think about it," said Phoebe. "Thanks for your concern."

"Do you think that you will be okay?" asked Arnold.

"Yeah," said Phoebe. "You're a good friend, Arnold."

"You too," Arnold complimented her.

"Just one warning," said Phoebe. "If I do sell, Helga could lose her job. I can't make the company keep her as an employee."

"I'll talk to her about that," Arnold promised. "I think that she will be happy that you are doing what is right for you."

"I hope so," said Phoebe. "I've found that I have been taking a lot of this stress out on Gerald, lately. In fact, I'd better get home and apologise."

Phoebe and Arnold said goodbye and Phoebe left. When Helga had heard the door close, she came downstairs. "What did she say?" asked Helga.

"She's thinking about selling," Arnold informed her.

"That's good," said Helga. "She needs a break!"

"I have something else to tell you," said Arnold sadly. "If she sells, you could lose your job."

Helga had feared that she would lose her job, if Phoebe was going to sell, so this didn't come as much of a shock. "I thought so," said Helga. "I'll just have to think of another way to make money!"

"You have other talents!" encouraged Arnold.

"Well, no talents come to mind!"

For five days, Helga and Phoebe didn't see each other. Helga now had a car, so there was no need for Phoebe to drive her to work. Phoebe had made the decision to sell the company and finally decided that she should talk to Helga about it all. Phoebe invited Helga to come and see her and Helga reluctantly went along.

Helga reached Phoebe's house at midday. First of all they chatted about things non-related to work, but the conversation went that way after twenty minutes.

"Arnold told me that I could lose my job if you sell the company," said Helga glumly.

"I'm really sorry about that," said Phoebe, feeling guilty.

"Don't be silly, Phoebe, it's not your fault if the new owners don't want to take me on," said Helga.

"I have decided to sell," said Phoebe. "I have had a few great offers in already."

"That's good," said Helga.

"But none of the people who want to buy want to keep my original staff. I'm going to wait until I find somebody who will."

"Are these offers really good?" asked Helga.

"They're better than I thought I would get," admitted Phoebe.

"Then go for it, don't worry about me or any of the other staff," said Helga. "For once, think about yourself before you think about everybody else."

"Okay, thanks," said Phoebe. "Have you got any ideas at what you are going to do next?"

"I can't think of anything else that I'm good at!"

"Well, remember when we met back in America and you said that you were struggling with your poetry?" asked Phoebe. "Maybe that was because you were away from Arnold! You haven't wrote any more poetry since you got together with Arnold. Maybe you could try!"

"Wow! I haven't wrote any poems for years! I don't know if I'll be any good at it, now. I'll try!"

"You should!"

"Isn't it Chloe's birthday tomorrow?" asked Helga.

"Oh no!" exclaimed Phoebe. "I forgot to finish off my shopping for her birthday! I've been so busy lately! You must think that I am terrible!"

"Of course not!" said Helga.

"I'll have to get to the toy store! Sorry that we didn't get to talk for long!"

"It's okay!" reassured Helga.

They walked out of Phoebe's new house together and said goodbye. Helga drove home while Phoebe drove towards the city.

Lila was now in England. It was the second day of her holiday and she had spotted the enormous toy store in the city. "Look at those toys, Mummy!" said Josh.

"Well, let's go inside and we'll take a look!" said Lila sweetly to her son.

"Yay!" he shouted and they went inside. Josh was amazed at the selection of toys. Lila looked at some of the prices and was shocked. They were way too expensive for her. She just hoped that Josh didn't ask for anything. She didn't want to disappoint him. But, Josh seemed happy enough just looking at the toys on display.

Lila stayed for twenty minutes when she found a toy that Josh would like that was quite inexpensive. Lila went to pay for the toy when Phoebe walked in the shop, looking for more toys for Chloe's birthday. The entrance to the store was quite close to the cash registers. Phoebe walked past Lila and didn't notice her. Phoebe went down one aisle and then went up another. She turned around to see an Offer of the Day poster near the cash registers. Then, she glanced at Lila, knowing that she recognised that face from somewhere. Then it hit her - this woman was Lila, but standing next to her was a toddler who looked slightly older than Chloe. Who was this toddler? Was Lila looking after a child of her friends? Phoebe couldn't see Lila actually helping somebody.

Phoebe heard the small boy say, "Mummy, I'm hungry." Phoebe got a terrible shock. This child was Lila's son! Was this Arnold's son? Was Arnold keeping this child a secret from Helga? What was Phoebe going to do?

Notes: This first chapter might have been boring, but this chapter is only to set the scene of the story. I know that Gerald didn't appear in this chapter, but he will appear in the next chapter. I hope for this fic to be longer than All Grown Up. Please review and tell me how I did!