Disclaimer: I do not own Hey Arnold! Or Shadow by Ashlee Simpson. How could I?
Author's Note: Two things: (Please) enjoy and (do) review. Actually, three: you'll notice this fic is not like the usual Song fic. That's because the site does not allow us to post up a song along with our story because it's not our original work (the song), so I removed the lyrics and kept the story. It's a bit different, but the story is still there. I didn't want to risk account closure, you know. I suggest you listen to the song just once at least, to see that it fits with the fic. Thanks!
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Shadow by Ashlee Simpson
How absolutely wonderful. He liked Her. He was crushing on Her. Ahg! Nothing ever seemed to go my way. Arnold always loved another. No matter how "beautiful" I grew to be. Phoebe was constantly reminding me that I had "grown into a beautiful person both on the inside and on the outside." But it was a joke!
Everything had always been so hard, living this life that I was. My parents never payed attention to me because of Her. She was so perfect in every way. So beautiful, so not me! What was I to do to get away but run? Run away from it all! She had always been the one Miriam and Big Bob loved. She was the "pretty one", the "successful one." It was always "Olga this" and "Olga that." It was never me. Never Helga. Always Olga. Always! And it would never change. No matter how badly I wanted it to. It would never change.
All I ever wanted was someone to listen to me, to actually hear me and I thought it would be Arnold. He was always the helpful one. The person you went to for advice, for any problem. Anything! He was the one.
It was hard living my life and I thought he would understandI thought his warm compassion for those around him would extend to me. But he never really came to me. I guess it was my fault. Being mean to him, always picking on him. But I was in love! And I still am. There was no other safe way to express my emotions toward him that he could see without actually seeing.
I was always second or non existent next to Olga. Even in the eyes of Arnold. That is one thing that I can't stand, but I have to move on. What else is there for me anyway?
I looked out the window to watch the cars pass by. It was a boring Saturday. Nothing to do, but watch the people outside. I sighed and then I noticed Him. "Arnold?" I asked myself in disbelief. My voice was high pitched and I was a bit scared as my heart fluttered about. He was walking toward my front door! What was he doing here! But then it hit me. "Olga," I said to myself. "Of course. What other reason would the football head have for coming to my house?"
I heard Olga squeal with joy when she opened the door and saw him standing before her. She welcomed him in. I quickly moved toward my door and listened intently. There were mumbles and then things were silent. Not too long after that I could hear footsteps beginning to climb the stairs. My heart pounded in my chest. I moved away. I looked from side to side. Where do I hide? Where do I hide? I can't see him! I just can't! It'll destroy everything! I'll crumble before his eyes.
"Helga?" Olga's soft voice asked as she knocked on my door. "Someone is here to see you."
"I'm not decent!" I shouted. "Whoever it is can just leave!" I paused. "Now!"
I ran into the closet. It was my only hope. I slammed the door shut, not meaning to, and that's when I heard the door open. Olga stepped in my room. She turned and smiled at Arnold. I could see them from the small crack in the closet. Arnold looked a little flushed.
"It's okay. Helga isn't around. She's hiding somewhere. Come on in!"
So she thinks she can invite just anyone into my room, huh? We'll see. I was ready to burst out and start shouting and shooing them away, but my foot caught on something. I fell forward, opening the door as I fell and landed on my chin. Arnold and Olga both turned to me. I attempted to sit up on my own, but I felt two pairs of hands on my shoulders and back, helping me up.
I pulled away, not wanting to look up at either one of them. "I can do it on my own, thank you very much," I dismissed them.
"Well, I'll leave you two alone," she said as she moved away. She had a grin on her face. She was hiding something. I could tell. She whispered something to Arnold as she passed him, which confused me.
"Good luck," she had said.
Good luck? For what?
We stood there unable to speak. I wondered what it was that he wanted to say. To be honest I was scared. I thought maybe he was going to tell me that he and Olga had something going on between them. They had gotten suspiciously close on his visits. It was possible, wasn't it? Maybe. But Olga wouldn't. And even if she did, I'd. . .be. . .happy. . .for her. Not really, but I'd pretend to be. At least around her. See, Arnold, I've changed, even if you can't see that. I have become nicer, more thoughtful. At least toward Olga. I've put my hate for her at least behind me. . .some of it.
Arnold took a deep breath and then he spoke. His voice was so soft, but he was so nervous and he wouldn't look me in the eyes. It didn't matter, though, because I wasn't looking in his eyes either.
"I have something to tell you," he said. "But don't say a word until I've said it."
I didn't respond.
He took another deep breath as he closed his eyes. I looked up at him now, tilting my head slightly, both intrigued and confused at the sight of him, still not quite believing he was really in my room. "I love you."
He opened his eyes and looked at me. My heart was hammering against my chest, I could've sworn that he heard it."I've loved you for so long and I just now got the courage to say it to you." He smiled sheepishly as he looked down at his hands as I slowly reached for my heart, clutching it like a life raft. I felt a little dizzy. Was this real?
"I. . .I've noticed you over the years. You've really grown." He looked me up and down with the shyest of looks with his blush growing making him even more beautiful than he had ever been before. He looked away a bit embarrassed. I took a step back as I listened to him. I couldn't speak. His behavior was just unbelievable. Was he actually looking at me like that? Was he actually saying all this to me? To me? Hel Pataki!
"Olga's been helping me. That's why I've been coming here so much. I came to her asking for advice."
Arnold? Asking for advice? He was the one who had the answers so why had he needed advice?
"I didn't know how to approach you about this. I thought going to Olga would be a good thing. And I got to see you, but you were always so angry. I thought you hated me the more you saw me."
I thought so too, I wanted to say.
"This is hard to believe-"
"It's true. All of it," he said quickly, pleadingly.
I stood there, staring at him. What else was there to say? It still felt so unreal, so fake. I didn't know what to think and I could tell that my silence had made him rethink his decision.
"Helga. . ." he said softly before his voice faded. He looked away. "I. . .I was ready to give up on you." I stared at him. "And for a while I really had given up on you. I thought that you would never change. For a while I thought to myself, why couldn't you just be like Olga? She was so perfect, so beautiful."
It hurt me to hear my beloved say that to me and it angered me. I was thankful for my anger, though. I was beginning to feel more comfortable in my own room again. The anger always had a healing effect on me. It helped me deal. I knew of no other way. Except for my poetry and writing, of course.
"But she's nothing compared to you, Helga. I don't know why I didn't see it any earlier than I did," he said as he turned his attention to me. My anger dissipated as I looked at him and my heart began to race again. "Olga isn't perfect. No one is, but in my eyes. . ."
". . .you are."
A tear slid down my cheek. My bottom lip quivered and I looked away, not wanting him to see. But I couldn't stop my tears. He didn't see me as anything but me. Not Olga. Me. No one saw me for me. Only Phoebe and now Arnold too. I wasn't living in Olga's shadow anymore. I was living in a new light. Arnold's light.
I could hear him approaching me. He wrapped his arms around me as I let myself go, allowed myself to give up and rest, let go of all the hate, all the sorrow, all the regret and pain . . .everything and I fell into his arms, into him. . .into his loving embrace.
He loosened his hold and pulled away enough to look at me. He wiped my tears away with the tips of his fingers. His touch feeling so warm and gentle. It was unlike anything I had ever felt before. I had never known such a touch with so much warmth, so much joy, and so much. . .love. I didn't even know such a touch existed! It sounded like something from a fairy tale to me. It was unreal like everything that was happening at that very moment. But that wasn't the end of it. Something completely surreal and yet amazingly enchanting happened after that that made me feel as if I really were in a fairy tale.
He looked me in the eyes in a way no one had ever done so before. It made me feel like a person. A real person. He didn't look at me with any high expectation. It was far from that. He looked at me with his gentle, honest eyes, speaking of love. For me, love for me and me alone. My tears came again. He leaned in close. His eyes traced the path to my lips and he looked at me in the eyes once more as if asking for my permission and then when he felt, knew he had it, had me, his lips met mine.
I allowed myself to completely embrace his love and embrace my own. His tongue lovingly caressed mine and I was drowning in his passion and warmth. I was drowning in his very soul and I had never felt such a connection to anyone before. It was as if our hearts were one, beating in the same exact, steady rhythm. Our hearts were in sync and I was loving every minute, no every second of it. Every second of him.
Our lips coincided with one another as our hearts and souls did as well and as we kissed, I brought myself to say what I had wanted to say from so, so many years of hiding."I love you, Arnold." He pulled away from me and looked at me with surprise and was that awe? Had it been the look on my face? I knew I was looking at him differently. I could feel it. With everything I was feeling I knew I was expressing every single one of my emotions for him in my eyes. I knew it.
A slow smile formed on his face.
"And I love you," he saidbefore once again kissing me.
And that was when I knew for sure that I was no longer in Olga's shadow. I was finally embracing myself freely and Arnold was embracing me with me.