Disclaimer: Yep, don't own a thing. Well the plot… have to own the plot… and… the title… love my title… characters? Nope… well… a few… hmm… ok then. I don't own HEY ARNOLD and such, that's better.
A/N: Recently got back into my Hey Arnold phase, always been a good show :) I figured I write a little something. It'll be a series, of course, lots of memories, angst, drama, romance, some cute/comic type things, also much longer, and much more cryptic in future chapters, this is sort of just a set up chapter, if you will. Well, R&R… :) Hope you enjoy.
She took a long drag on her cigarette. She exhaled slowly watching the streets below her balcony. She was sitting on a white lawn chair that was placed against the wall, a small table next to it. She watched the sun begin to dip low into the horizon. She sighed. Her mind was reeling from the phone call she had just experience with her mother.
She hated not working, damn vacation.
She took another drag of her cigarette. It seems her mother wanted her to come down and spend sometime at home. She didn't want too. However, the nagging voice in the back of her head was screaming at her. She hadn't seen home in close to ten years. Hell, she had only talked to her mother on the phone. The only one she had seen from home was her best friend, even that was three or four times in the span of a decade.
Homewasn't really home anymore.
She put the cigarette out as she heard the front door slam shut. She had stopped smoking years ago, but on days like these, she couldn't stop herself.
"I smell smoke." She turned and looked at the four-foot boy that had stuck his head out from the slider.
"Thank you Riley." She said, standing up. The boy with the blond hair and cool blue eyes smiled at her.
"What's for dinner?" She smiled at him, ruffling his blonde hair as she walked into the two bedroom pent-house sweet.
"I don't know. Hey, um, your grandmother called she wants us to visit her…" She stopped and looked at him. His soft lips were in a shape of an "o", as his eyes turned into saucers.
"Really? Are we… are we going?" She quickly considered her son's excitement. He had never been to her home. She never really wanted to take him there.
"Um, yeah, sure, if you want."
"COOL! I get to see grandma!" He began jumping off the walls. She placed her head in her hands. He had only gotten to talk to her mother, no one else in her way-ward family. She wanted to save him from that type of experience.
"Well, we'll leave this Saturday that way your all done with school for the summer and we'll stay down there for a few weeks." He gave another bright smile.
"Are we staying with grandma?" And what, expose him to the beauty of living at her actual home? I think not.
"No… we'll be staying with your godmother." She said walking into the kitchen. She heard a burst of excitement. She shook her head. "Go do your homework… that way you can manipulate the computer before bed."
She felt small arms wrap around her waist.
"Thanks mom." He bounded off towards his bedroom.
She looked at the ceiling, and then began cooking dinner.
She gently closed her son's door. She sighed as she walked over to her Italian leather couch and picked up the phone. She had to do some quick time differences in her head, but decided it wasn't too late to call her best friend and beg for a place to stay.
"Hello?" She smiled.
"Oh my god! Hey! I haven't heard from you in a while! How's my favorite man?" She laughed as the voice of other end picked up with excitement.
"He's good, just went off to sleep. Guess what?"
"You slept with George Clooney and is harboring his love child?"
"Damn… I wish I could sleep with George Clooney and harbor his love child." This set off a million giggles. It was minutes before the two had sobered up and were clearing their throats.
"Well, Ms. I'm married, I'm coming down there this weekend for a few weeks."
"I know right… I guess isolating myself and my child is unnerving my mother because she called and begged me to come down."
"Are you going to stay with her and your dad?"
"Not if I can help it."
"You're more then welcomed here, hold on… No, it's not my mother, even it is was my mother, she's more then welcomed here… Ok, sorry about that."
"Having issues with the husband?" She laughed. The girl chuckled a bit.
"Last time mother was here she cleaned the entire house, making him crazy trying to figure out where she put everything." She laughed, as her best friend continued to rattle on things her mother did to drive her husband mad. A few minutes and a lot of calming down later, "So?"
"You got yourself two guest for the beginning of the summer!"
"YAY!" She laughed again as the girl began discussing everything and anything they were going to do over the few weeks.
She drove on the silent interstate. She was grateful that it was empty making the three-hour drive slightly easier for her tired body. She looked in the rear view mirror to see Riley reading one of his mystery books. She smiled and looked forward again.
"How much longer?" She looked at him briefly through the mirror and then back at the road.
"Maybe an hour." She said. He let out a short sigh and then closed his book, looking out the window. "Come on kiddo, you were all smiles last night."
"I know. I guess it's weird, I always thought you hated Hillwood." She smirked; he was very perceptive of the world.
"I don't hate Hillwood, I just… I always wanted to get away. When I finally did, I just didn't ever wanted to go back." She smiled.
"Did he live there?" His small voice bordered on nervousness, as his blue eyes sparkled.
"Yes." She said monotone, not meeting his stare in the mirror.
"Is he still there?"
"I… I don't know." His small mouth closed and pressed into a line. He heard the truth behind her words as well as the emotional undertones.
He had always been so good with undertones.
They stood smiling in front of the tall white door. She tucked some of her long hair behind her ear and playfully ruffled Riley's blonde locks.
The door swung open and there stood a tiny child no older then four, smiling from ear to ear.
"Hi." She said, her voice small but happy.
"Lilith! My god!" A taller woman, maybe 5'4" or so, came rushing to the door, grabbing the child into her arms. "How many times do I have to tell you don't open this door?"
"Hi mommy." The child smiled at the woman.
"I see your training your children well." She laughed.
"This coming from a woman who's son ran around an office naked when he was five. Hey baby." The woman kissed Riley's head and smiled. She gently let go of the child, lightly patting her behind. "Come in, come in."
"Can I go play outside?" Lilith asked. The woman looked down at her and opened her mouth.
"I'll take her." Riley spoke up, he had known the child since she was born and always enjoyed playing out in the yard. The woman looked at him and smiled.
"Ok, why don't you use the side gate, and don't worry about the puppy, he's the biggest softy you'll ever meet." Riley smiled and took the girl's hand. Instantly she began babbling to him the fundamentals of life as a four-year-old.
"Well…" The woman smiled. "It took you long enough."
She smiled, looking the woman up and down. "Jeez Phoebe… sometimes you're so… ugh!"
They embraced both talking at the same time about how it was so good to see the other one.
She pulled away and looked at Phoebe. Her hair was long and braided down her back. She still sported her thin rimmed glasses, with minimal make-up. She had lost almost all the baby fat from her recent child Tai, and looked happier then ever.
"It's so good to see you."
"You have no idea how it felt coming here after so long. I think I shed a few tears passing P.S. 118." They laughed. "So… where's your hubby?"
"Hey Pheebs? Do you get this joke?" The two women turned and looked at the tall man standing at the kitchen doorway. In one hand was a newspaper folded over a few times and in his other arm was a tiny little boy no older then a few months. He looked up and stared at his wife and the woman standing next to her. The newspaper fell from his hand as his mouth dropped to the floor.
"In the flesh. Tall Hair boy." She smirked.