A Flaw in Perfection

Composed By Silver Kitten

A/N: I'm keeping this short cuz my ending note is longer…hehe, my apologies. Thanks for clicking the link, hope ya like the story.

Disclaimer: Of course I own Hey Arnold. That's why I've resorted to fan fiction instead of writing new episodes…(sarcasm, I promise)

Brief Summary: Helga is put in a very intriguing situation. At the peak of her jealousy and immense envy of Lila, Helga has to make a choice that could physically save someone's life, or figuratively end her own…

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::Helga's POV::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

"I don't get it, Phoebe," I put my chocolate milk on my tray and slid it across to the center of the lunch table. "You have everything going for you. You're way smart, funny, pretty, and not to mention smart…why haven't you just told him how you feel?"

"I always perceived my true feelings to show themselves through my actions. We've gone to the Cheese Fair together, and we've spent time outside of the school premises…I figured he must know," she answered knowingly. I sighed.

"Hate to break it to ya, Phoebs, but guys typically aren't as…aware. You two have known each other for a long time. All I'm saying is I don't understand why you two aren't going steady already. You two obviously have an attraction to one another, even you can't deny that,"

"Well, Helga. I suppose you should ask yourself the same question and apply it to…you know, Ice Cream," she smiled.

"Hey, don't change the subject," I ordered in a mock-frustrated tone.

"I apologize. Maybe you're accurate in your observations of Gerald's friendship with me. Perhaps I should talk to him about us…and find out if we have a friendship or a courtship."

"Absolutely. Hey, I'm gonna use the restroom quickly. I'll be right back. Oh, and if Gerald walks by, you know what you could do," I grinned and gave her a friendly pat on the shoulder.

"Affirmative," she answered.

On my way out of the cafeteria I was met with a sudden jolt.

"Oh, sorry Helga,"

"Sheesh, watch where you're goin', Football Head!" I snapped mechanically at the blonde-haired wonder in front of me. As in our normal routine run-in, he lent out his hand to help me up. I, as usual, was stubborn and declined his offer, warily standing up by myself. "What's the big rush this time? Is there a fire in the cafeteria you need to put out?" I ridiculed his do-good nature I really did admire.

"No, I was just looking for Lila. I needed to talk to her. You haven't seen her, have you?" He asked with an anxious enthusiasm.

"Quit drooling, I haven't seen her," I barked, and continued on my way to the restroom.

"Is everything okay, Helga? I didn't hurt you when I ran into you, did I? I could walk you to the nurse's office if you want," he offered. I scoffed.

"I'm fine, I'm fine. Go find your girlfriend,"

"She's not my girlfriend. She doesn't like me like me, she just likes me,"

"That's her issue…" I muttered below a breath.


"I said 'I need a tissue', because I'm gonna cry at your sob story there. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have business to tend to in the girl's room," I told him smugly.

"Whatever you say, Helga," he sighed, and walked back into the cafeteria.

Stupid…no-good-love-sick-fool…bent out of shape because of that counterfeit, stuck-up twit Miss Perfect…

If I had one chance to show him…not just him, but P.S. 118…the entire world how very imperfect she really is…

I guess…I'm no better. Even if I did somehow prove that she's not who she claims to be…it wouldn't help my chances of Arnold loving me. She might treat him unfairly, leading him on and breaking his heart each time it beats…but I…and the way I treat him…I just smash the already broken pieces of his love-torn heart. And there is no justifying the fact I hurt the one I love most in this world with every savage breath I take.

Upon walking into the bathroom, strange but recognizable noises were heard echoing from a bathroom stall. I could only think to myself how disgusting the sounds of regurgitation could be. After hearing another heavy spew, I about lost it myself. Not wanting to alarm whoever ate a bit too much of the meat surprise at lunch, I quietly slunk into another stall.

I heard a familiar delicate cough that seemed to be forced from the poor, nauseous soul, a few stalls down. I quivered at the idea of vomiting, especially in a public place. Little did she know anyone could overhear. I remembered the time in the first grade I nearly lost my breakfast, and how if anyone had heard I'd have to kill myself. I decided not to embarrass whoever it was, and kept still.

A toilet flushed, a door unlatched and sloppy footsteps were made towards a sink.

"That was ever so horrible," I heard a fragile mumble as the faucet was turned to its highest pressure. Did she say ever so? There's only one person on this side of the universe who says that, mightily overdone I might add. I stealthily leaned to one side of the stall, peering through the tiny sliver of opening where the door is hinged, and nearly fell over. Vibrant red hair, two keenly tied green bows, a green dress…it was Lila.

Oh, I could just imagine the look on her face if she knew I was in here with her. And to see the look on the entire cafeteria's faces when I could describe, in repulsive detail, the obnoxiously gross ordeal she'd gone through…how humiliating. It would be due justice to the constant humiliation she puts Arnold through…but could I?

I'm Helga G. Pataki. Of course I can.

I readied myself to jump out from behind the stall and scare the manipulating monster, until she started talking again.

"That wasn't so terrible. I can do this. I'm not even hungry anymore lately, so I won't have to bother throwing up so much. I just have to keep this up…but no one can know. I have to stay perfect…"

The faucet turned off, and the frail steps trailed on to the door. I was left in disbelief standing against a cold, steel wall.

I slowly came out of the stall. The thoughts of Lila's words were taking their time registering in my skeptical mind. I couldn't possibly have overheard that just now. The one and only Lila was not only throwing up, but self-inflicting it?

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::After School:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

The final bell had just rung. After nearly three hours of crucial deliberation on whether or not I should confront Lila about the incident, I was still left with indecision.

On one hand: I tell her what I heard, and maybe there's a logical explanation, a simple misunderstanding, and I can go on with my life mission to find something a little less life-threatening to ruin her reputation with. One the other hand: I tell her what I heard, she confesses and I don't feel guilty for prying into her life because I may have just helped the girl out. Or…on neither hand, but always in mind, I can tell her what I heard, and use the very discouraging information to my advantage…she could be my slave, my errand runner, my spy…

Who was I kidding…this whole self-induced vomiting could become real serious…and I'd hate to be part of that knowledge when she throws up a little too much and—

All right, enough of that talk. I'll confront her and go from there…

I ran out of the school building and saw her walking towards the bus, barely able to catch up with her.

"Lila!" I called. The mere mentioning of her name coming from my mouth made me want to gag.

"Oh, hello Helga. How are you today?" she asked blindly. I held in a bitter scoff.

"It doesn't matter. Listen, I need to…well, sort of ask you…um," I guess this would be harder than I thought.

"If you want me to teach you to be more like me again, I'd be happy to help. Besides, you could use a little work still on your politeness, if I'm not being ever so direct," she smiled sheepishly and tilted her head.

I was ready to stuff her head back down into a toilet, but I held back.

"Actually, that's not what I was getting at. Um, I…well during lunch…I heard some things,"

"Oh," she nodded in a courteous understanding. "I'm sure Rhonda didn't mean what she was saying. I think you dress absolutely fine, it's your own unique style."

I bit my tongue, ready to yank hers out.

"If I'm not being ever so direct, I'd really appreciate it if you'd let me finish my sentences," I told her. She seemed taken aback for a moment, but quickly recollected herself and prepared to listen with a vivid, forged smile. "Near the end of lunch, I went to the bathroom. I heard…the very distinct sound of someone throwing up. I didn't want to freak them out, so I kept quiet. Well…I heard what you said," I explained flatly. Her eyes were suddenly diluted with confusion.

"I'm sorry, you'll have to be more specific," her voice wavered in apprehension.

"Something along the lines, like 'I don't have to throw up so much,' 'this isn't so bad', 'I can keep this up'," I trailed off. Her smile diminished into one of her more solemn faces.

"I see…did you happen to hear the part when I said 'no one can know'?" she spat out.

"I heard everything. Actually, I heard more than I'd have liked to, if you get where I'm goin,"

"What I do on my time is my business, and mine alone. So if you don't mind,"

"I do mind," I cut her off. "Look, I don't know if that's the first time it happened, but I hope it's the last. You're smart, you should know how seriously ill you can become by doing that," I stated, half-way surprised at myself for expressing concern for my one true enemy. She did her best to remain civil.

"This is my life, okay? And I know what I'm doing, so don't try and pretend to care. One thing you can pretend is that this whole thing never happened," She demanded, and was about to turn and walk away.

"Yeah, I can do that, but I won't. If you don't tell someone about this and get some help, then that's something I can do, and will,"

She faced me directly again. There was a sinister glint in her narrowed eyes, a kind of nefarious turn of expression I knew she had, though no one else would ever believe sweet Lila had the capacity to hold.

"If you tell anyone a single word about what you heard, or about this conversation, I swear I'll tell everyone your deep, dark, precious little secret," she paused and leaned in towards me, "You. Love. Arnold." She took vile pleasure in reminding me.

"Are you threatening me?"

"I'm simply just telling you. See it as a threat, if you'd like. Now if you'll excuse me, I do believe the bus is waiting." Her voice dripped demonically off her serpent tongue. I wanted so badly to just…

(A/N: I'm trying to keep this thing G rated, PG maybe just to be safe…so I'll leave what Helga thinks to your imagination …oh, sorry for this interruption…please continue, thanks )

I couldn't stand to get on that bus with her. I knew I'd end up doing or saying something I might end up regretting in a few years.

Lila, the so-called epitome of perfection, wants to try and blackmail me? And she thinks she can just prance on that bus and be done with it?

Something in the very last crevice of my mind, on my very last nerve, a state of conscience maybe, was telling me to back down. I know myself better than that. I don't back down. I fight back….

The only question that keeps stabbing through my thoughts is…are the risks of the consequences worth this battle? Is helping my worst enemy overcome an obstacle really worth the exposure of my love for Arnold?

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::To Be Continued::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

I really hope you liked this. I think out of all my stories, I've done the best job keeping the characters in…um, character. I'm sorry if I seemed too harsh with my portrayal of Lila. Honestly, I think she has a mean side in her. To me, she's like the opposite of Helga when it comes to having facades. Speaking of being in character, did anyone see the newest episode of Hey Arnold (Phoebe's Little Problem)? Is it just me or were none of them in character? And whats up with Arnold…granted he has a persistent, caring and helpful nature, I think he was a little too concerned about Phoebe. And where was Gerald? Don't even get me started on Helga…

Sorry, I'll leave you to review now if you'd like. I'd appreciate it much! Any feedback is appreciated. I'm really having fun with this story, and I promise to finish this…it won't be too many more chapters. Thanks, and take care.

One more thing…in case anyone reads this who has also read my latest story: Whatever You Say Or: Here in Hillwood (shameless plug) I just wanted to say thanks so much for reviewing and I'm glad you enjoyed it!

Silver Kitten