Author's Note: Hello, hi! Lol! This is my second Hey Arnold! Fic and I'm actually excited. The idea came to me a few days ago and I finished writing it today and figured I'd post it. This is a 2 part story. Only 2 parts :) but I hope you like it. Leave your comments, I'd gladly appreciate it. Thank you! Oh, and one more thing, I think that maybe they might be out of character. Could you let me know if they are? Thank you once again and do enjoy.
Disclaimer: I don not own Hey Arnold! If I did Helga and Arnold would so be together! Lol!
Part 1: Helga's Disappearing Act
Nothing seemed worth it anymore. They would never change. Never. Ever. She was 16 years old and they still treated her as if she was invisible. There was only so much a girl could take.
Helga scowled as watched Miriam and Big Bob working around the clock to get the place spotless for Olga's return. She sat at the bottom of the stair case just watching. Miriam looked as if she would explode with joy, Bob actually had a smile on his face, and Helga felt suddenly sick.
They had ignored her. Completely forgotten her the whole day. Neither one had said "good morning" or even a little "hello." She suddenly needed to get out to get some fresh air. She got up and walked to the door. She took one last glance at her parents, wanting nothing more than to actually have them notice her and ask where she was going, who she'd be with, and what time she'd be coming back because that showed they cared. That showed that they loved her. Truly loved her. But they did not turn to look at her, they did not notice her, they did not ask where she was going or who she'd be with and they did not ask what time she'd be coming back. Helga turned around and slammed the door as she walked out, knowing that they hadn't even bothered to look even after she had gone.
She stepped onto the sidewalk and the light drizzles landed on her face. She looked up. They sky was a swirl of gray. The clouds looked ready to burst with the rain they held. Helga soon began walking down the street. She had suddenly remembered that first day of preschool. It had been the same. Except Olga was not home playing her stupid piano and there was no dog hiding in an alleyway to snatch her lunch box because she didn't have one.
They don't care, she thought. Everything is Olga. She pronounced the name as if she were smearing it across an empty room. Olga this and Olga that. Criminey! It's like I don't exist in this world! They act as if they only have one child. What was the point of even having me?! She clenched her fists. They won't even miss me, she thought. I'll leave for good and never bother them again. She quickened her pace as she reached into her pocket. Her fingers brushed the tip of a sharp blade. It was small, but it would do the job right. A small smile crossed her lips. They won't miss me. And then I can be at peace. Like you, Arnold. She took a deep breath. Like you.
Phoebe ran from street corner to street corner, searching, hoping to see Helga somewhere. Anywhere. She had not shown up at the house as she said she would and too much time had gone by. It had been exactly four hours ago that Helga had called. Her voice sounded angrier than usual and that only meant one thing. . .Olga was coming home.
Phoebe worried. It's not like Helga to take so long just to walk to my house. I really do hope she's alright, Phoebe pleaded as she jogged to Helga's house, hoping that maybe, just maybe Helga was at home. Maybe she fell asleep and forgot she said she was coming.
When she finally arrived, she pounded on the door. She waited for a while and when there was no answer, she reached for the door knob and turned it. It had been left open. She swung the door open and ran inside, leaving muddy tracks on the carpet. "Helga!" she shouted. She was just about to run up the stairs when two huge, powerful hands stopped her.
"Hey! Where do you think you're going?" A thundering voice asked. The powerful hands turned her around and Phoebe found herself staring into the face of Big Bob Pataki, the beeper king. She wrenched herself free of his hold and attempted to run up stairs again, but this time it was Miriam who stopped her.
"What's wrong?" she asked.
"Look, kid!" Big Bob roared as he pointed a finger at the floor. "You got the clean carpet dirty! Olga will be home any minute! And just what do you think you're doing here?!"
"Helga is missing!" Phoebe shouted. "She did not come to my house as she said she would! It's been four hours!"
"The girl?" Bob asked.
"Helga's been in her room all day. She hasn't made a sound," Miriam assured.
Phoebe was skeptical. Something didn't feel right. "May I , please, check on her?" she asked, trying to keep the panic inside her calm.
"Not with those dirty things on your feet!" Big Bob exclaimed.
"Wait here and I'll check," Miriam offered. She walked up the stairs and Phoebe watched her turn the corner to Helga's room. Phoebe could not quell her nerves. The fear and panic seeped through her. Miriam returned and Phoebe's eyes questioned her.
"She must've gone out while we cleaned the house," she answered. "I'm sure she's fine." She ushered Phoebe to the door.
Phoebe turned and looked at them both. "Don't you care?" she asked. Her anger growing. Phoebe was not the type to get angry. It was rare for her, but rage surged through her. Helga's parents didn't care that their daughter was missing! Hadn't they even heard the words that she had spoken? Helga was missing! She was suppose to be at her house four hours ago! Why didn't they care?!
Miriam looked at her. "Of course we care, but Helga is a big girl. She's safe wherever she is and I'm sure she'll-"
"I said Helga is missing! Don't you know what that means! She's not at my house! Where else could she have gone!" Phoebe shouted. She pointed accusingly at them. "It's all your fault! If you had treated her as an actual daughter instead of neglecting her, than maybe Helga would be happier! Then maybe Helga wouldn't be missing as we speak!"
Missing as we speak. . .The words floated in her mind. Helga was missing and arguing with her parents was not going to bring her back like magic. She had to continue searching. With that Phoebe stormed out of the house and raced toward Arnold's house. He'd help me, she thought. Arnold is always there to help, to lend a hand. He'll help me find her. She then remembered that Arnold had invited Sid, Stinky, Harold, and Gerald for some "guy time" as Gerald had put it. They can help too! She raced to the boarding house, her lungs felt as they were about to burst when she finally arrived. She couldn't breath very well. Her lungs needed air and her frantic state was not helping her much. Her hands began to shake as she slammed the door, demanding entrance.
Arnold opened the door. His eyes were concerned and he tried to search for the problem in her eyes. Gerald rushed to her side as he came up from behind Arnold. Sid, Stinky, and Herold watched and waited for Phoebe to speak. The rain poured outside and the thunder sounded.
"Helga is missing," she replied as soon as she got air into her lungs. "She was suppose to be at my house four hours ago and she never showed up. It's not like her to take so long." She leaned on Gerald for support, feeling his comforting embrace engulf her. His warmth warmed her, but at the moment it did little to stop the horrible thoughts running in her mind. She hadn't realized that tears streamed down her face mixing with the cold rain.
Arnold's eyes opened wide. He seemed to be slightly off balance as he took everything in. "Are you sure she's missing? Have you checked for her at home?" Arnold asked as he stepped forward. His eyes were serious. Phoebe nodded.
"I wouldn't lie. Not about something like this," she explained. "Please, help me find her. I'm worried."
"Of course," Arnold said. He turned to the guys. "Coming?" They nodded in response. Arnold dashed inside and opened the closet door. He tossed every one their umbrella's and took one for himself. He walked to Phoebe. "Maybe you should go home, just in case Helga shows up there."
Phoebe shook her head in protest. The tears continued to stream down her face. "I'm highly doubtful that Helga will decide to go to my house. I will continue searching for Helga until I find her or until I know she's alright. I am not going home."
Arnold nodded. "Alright, Stinky you search the pond."
"Right," Stinky replied, opening his umbrella before running off.
"Sid, you search the schools. The middle school, high school, and the elementary school," Arnold ordered. Sid nodded as he ran off in the direction of PS118, his umbrella already opened. "Harold, you search the docks."
"Okay," Harold obeyed as he opened his umbrella. His feet splashed in a near-by puddle.
"Phoebe and Gerald you two search the park. Look high and low, tress, bushes, shrubs, park benches, whatever," Arnold said. "I'll look for her at the bus stops and the train station."
Phoebe nodded. She thanked God that Arnold was around. She knew he was the right person to go to. If he found Helga, he'd get her back safely. Phoebe was sure of it. Arnold will find her, she thought As she and Gerald ran for the park.
Arnold ran inside as Phoebe and Gerald ran toward the park. He quickly picked up the phone and began calling everyone, Rhonda, Nadine, Lorenzo, Lila, Eugene, Iggy, Sheena, and even Brainy and Curly. He quickly explained to them all what the problem was and thankfully each one of them wanted to lend a hand even Curly. As soon as he was done he ran out the door as he called to his grandpa. He attempted to open his umbrella, but it would not budge. With frustration he tossed it aside as his grandfather came to the door.
"What is it, short man?" he asked.
"Helga is missing!"
"Your friend with the one eyebrow?"
"Yes, grandpa!" Arnold exclaimed. "Call the police and report a missing person. She's been gone only for four hours, but Phoebe is sure that she's missing and so am I."
"Alright," his grandfather replied. Arnold turned and just as he prepared to run, his grandfather called him again. "Arnold!" Arnold turned, feeling frustrated. Phil tossed him a jacket. It was thin, but it had a hood. He quickly put it on without covering his head with the hood. He didn't have time. He quickly thanked him and ran off. I hope I'm not too late, he prayed. Please, be ok. Please, be okay.
He searched every bus stop and even the bus station down town. Panic surged through him as he ran toward the train station. Where could she be? What if she was kidnaped? What if she's hurt and cold and no one is around to lend a hand? What if some guy attacked her and. . . He shook his head, not wanting to even think of the other possibilities.
Where was the optimist in him? Where was the confidence that he always seemed to have with him? It wasn't in him. It was lost to him as he thought of Helga and everything that could have possibly happened to her. His fear grew insanely fast. His heart pounded in his chest. "Helga," he whispered. She's tough, he thought, trying to bring the optimism back. She's safe wherever she is. She's fine. She is Helga after all. But it did little to calm his nerves. As long as Helga was out there, alone anything was possible. With a girl as beautiful as she is, anything is game. Anything can happen, Arnold thought. Without realizing it, he quickened his pace. His feet pounded on the cement as he ran faster and faster to the train station. Please, be okay! Please! Tears threatened to escape, but he thought of Helga. She was strong, so he would be too. For Helga's sake. And for his own.
Olga Pataki payed the cab fair as she smiled, brightly at the cab driver. She was happy to be home. I can't wait to see my baby sister! She thought. Excitement raced through her as looked up at the house. Helga was home and she was only a few minutes away from seeing her sister. She got out of the car. She didn't have an umbrella, but she welcomed the rain. It was a nice change from the sun she had day in Central America where she had been visiting the President of El Salvador, trying desperately to help those in need. She was on a mission. A mission to stop world hunger.
Won't Helga be happy to see me. She had come home for some rest and relaxation and of course to see her family, but whenever she came back home she always thought of Helga first. She was always so happy to see her, but Helga always seemed so angry and they were never really close, but Olga tried her best to be there for her when she needed it.
She planned on spending most of her time with Helga. She wanted nothing more than them to bond and she deeply wanted Helga to let her in. She wanted to know everything about Helga. Her hopes and dreams. Her school work, her love interest if any. She vaguely remembered a small, blond boy who she had seen a few times before. He's a nice little fellow, she thought. She thought of Helga again. She wanted them to have a wonderful relationship and she wanted to know Helga. Actually know her. She wanted to know every aspect of her: her favorite foods, her favorite actors and actresses, and her favorite color, what she did on her spare time, the music she listened to, the kinds of people she hung out with. Anything that gave her an insight to who Helga was. She wanted to know every little thing, every detail to better understand her. She wanted to know the Helga she knew was in there somewhere, the one she always knew was there, the one she always treated Helga to be.
The cab driver got out of the car and helped her take her bags to the front door. She smiled at him as she thanked him. The man got in his cab again and sped away. She turned to the door and knocked. She would be seeing Helga in only a matter of seconds.
The door swung open and her parents bombarded her with welcoming kisses and hugs, but there was no Helga. Usually, she stood in the back, but Olga did not see her. She wondered if she was upstairs.
"Mommy! Daddy!" she exclaimed as she hugged them still searching for a sign of Helga. They led her inside. "Where's Helga?" She looked in the livingroom and then in the kitchen, but Helga was not there.
"The girl?" Bob asked.
"She went out a while ago," Miriam replied.
Olga turned to her mother, a confused look on her face. "Didn't she know I was coming home?"
"I'm sure she did, but you'll see her later," Miriam responded as she led her eldest daughter into the livingroom, but Olga's intuition told her that something was horribly wrong. This doesn't feel right, she thought. Where are you, baby sister? "Tell us about your trip, dear."
"Did Helga tell you where she was going? Who she'd be with? Did she leave a number?" Olga pressed.
Miriam shook her head. "Why?"
"I just have a feeling?" Olga replied. "How can you not ask her these questions?" She wondered if they had seen her even leave.
"Her friend came by, she was talking crazy. Saying that Helga's missing," Big Bob said. Olga turned.
"And you did nothing!" Her anger was sudden and surprising, but ti was soon swallowed up by concern as her heart sank. Missing?! She became frantic as she ran to the phone. She quickly dialed 911 and as soon as she heard an operator. . . "My baby sister is missing!"
"Damn!" Helga shouted as she began to run. At first she thought the rain would stop and she didn't pay much attention to it, but now it was pouring and she was drenched in water. She needed a nice place to stay. A nice, warm place. She thought about hiding out at the park, but there were no places there to keep her out of the rain. She suddenly stopped. She looked up, the rain splashed on her face. It slid down her cheeks as she looked at the small building in front of her. I'm going to preschool now, her own voice came. A tear suddenly slid down her cheek. It was the preschool she had gone to so many years before. Where she had met Arnold for the first time. Where she discovered love. Where she found her best friend, Phoebe. The whole day flashed before her. Her parents didn't notice her (as usual) and her walk alone to the school was a nightmare. She stepped forward and placed her hands on the glass and peered inside. The tears continued to come.
The preschool was deserted. Papers were scattered across the floor, desks were tossed about, dust and cobwebs filled every corner. It was old and worn. She pressed her forehead against the cold glass as she thought back. This was how Arnold had found her. He had protected her from the rain as he covered her with his umbrella. She turned and her eyes fell on him for the first time. I like your bow cause it's pink like your pants, he had said. She almost laughed thinking about it now, but her sorrow forbid it. Arnold, she thought. Nothing would change. Things at home never went the way she wanted it to and with Arnold it was the same. He would never give her a chance and as it sunk in she looked into the school, her heart torn as a lump formed in her throat. The one thing she wanted most was to tell Arnold about how she felt, but she couldn't. She feared his rejection. If he rejected her after she confessed, it would be the end of the world for her and she didn't want that.
She suddenly felt alone.
Her hands stayed on the glass as she looked inside, remembering and wondering, what if. . .she hadn't completely lost herself when her secret was threatened then? What if she had just let it be? Who would she be today? Would she and Arnold be good friends? Would they be. . .together? She sighed as she shook her head. No use in thinking about what if's. You can't go back in time. It's done, she thought. She stayed outside, her hands and her forehead pressed against the glass, looking inside as the rain continued to drench her.
What if. . . She couldn't help herself. The though just suddenly came, but it trailed as she headed toward the door. The school seemed to call her somehow.
"Ma'am, your sister isn't considered missing unless twenty-four hours have passed," the operator said. "And you said yourself it's only been four hours."
Olga couldn't believe it. She had explained everything she knew and yet the police wouldn't help her. "But she's missing," Olga protested. "She's usually home unless she's out with her friend. And her friend passed by earlier, saying that Helga was suppose to meet with her, but she never showed up."
"I'm sorry I can't help you. Call us back in twenty-four hors, ma'am. Thank you," the operator replied. Olga heard a click. She held the phone against her ear. Unbelievable! Her sister was missing and she knew it, felt it and yet the police would not help. Then I will go to them myself! She pulled her jacket closer for warmth and walked placed the phone down. She walked to the door.
"Helga is missing?" Miriam said as if now realizing. She took a step back as her breathing became harsh.
"Yes, mommy," Olga responded, trying her best to sound angry. "Daddy, please take us to the police station."
"And I did nothing when her friend came by," Miriam said, her voice shaky with the threat of tears. She seemed to be in a trance as Bob grabbed his keys and dashed for the car. Olga led her mother to the car and ushered her mother in the back seat as she took the front. They buckled their seat belts and soon they were speeding down the street. I hope you're safe, Helga, she thought to herself, fighting the thoughts that threatened to tear her up inside.
Arnold was losing his mind! Where is she?! He thought. Where in the world was Helga? It was like looking for Waldo under a minute in the circus in one of those stupid books. His feet pounded as he ran. Where the hell was she? He was driving himself insane with panic and worry. Fear worked it's way to the surface as well. He didn't know how to quiet his heart. It thumped in his chest as his mind reeled. He heard it's wild beat in his ears. So many possibilities as to what could've happened to Helga would not leave him and he had no idea how to make them all disappear. I have to find Helga, he thought. She needs me.
He didn't know where she could be. He had checked the train station and he had even asked around. No one had seen her. No one. It was almost as if she just disappeared. Be strong, he reminded himself as he felt the threat of tears again. He ran as fast as he could. He had to find her one way or another. Maybe Phoebe and Gerald found her, he thought. Or Maybe even Sid. Or Stinky. Maybe Lila or even Curly. Anyone of them could've found her. Maybe Sheena or Eugene found her.
He bumped into an old woman and almost knocked her over. "I'm sorry, ma'am," he said as he helped her stand upright. She angrily pulled away from him and walked in the opposite direction. He continued running again and he was soon running through an empty street somewhere close to his neighborhood. Arnold had no idea how he had gotten there so fast, but he did not have time to think about it.
He wondered if Helga had already gotten on a train and skipped town. He hoped she did not. He wondered what could've made Helga feel the need to run. What could've happened to her? Immediately his mind thought of her parents. They don't show their love for her as they should. The anger rose inside him. It fueled his speed. The angrier he became, the faster he ran. I'll get to the bottom of this. He suddenly stopped. He looked at the building in front of him. It was familiar somehow. It soon hit him, it was the preschool. It was so deserted. He walked toward it, his heart hammered in his chest, but he barely payed attention to it. He looked inside. Papers were tossed about and tables were upside down. He didn't know why he was suddenly drawn to the place, but he felt the need to enter. Helga, he thought. Maybe she's inside. It would be a great place to hide. No one would ever think to look for her in here.
He opened the door and stepped inside. "Helga," he called. But the only answer he got was silence. He walked further into the preschool and distant memories flooded him. He smiled to himself. He had first met Helga in this place, outside in the rain. He remembered. Though, then she was the same mean, bullying Helga, but he remembered the way she looked, peering in the preschool, watching everyone inside. She had been so drenched and she hadn't looked mean, but a bit sad. She was both surprised and confused when he had offered her his umbrella as shelter from the rain that had wet her so. It was almost as if no one had ever done something like that for her. His smile grew as he remembered her. She didn't seem like a bad person when they first met.
Arnold continued walking through the building. He still remembered every room. He headed for the cafeteria. He looked about and gasped. His eyes opened wide as they came to rest on Helga. She sat alone. Her jacket was pulled up, revealing her bare skin as she held her arm out. Blood seeped through a cut on her arm and Arnold watched as she eased a blade she held in her other hand to her skin.
"Helga!" Arnold exclaimed. "No!"