Chapter 20: Extras

Extra Scene

"Okay, will the guardian please sign on this dotted line and everything should be finalized." A large, middle aged man pointed to a paper on a table to Grandpa Phil. Grandpa then took a pen out from a decorative mug lining on the table and produced his signature on the paper, as he was being watched by the middle aged man and his grandson Arnold.

"Is that all Principal Wartz?" Arnold asked the middle aged man.

"That's all to it." he replied back. "Hmm… I am somewhat surprise to see you again on the school grounds young man. I thought people like you would never come to this kind of place for a visit after they moved on."

"Well Principal Wartz," Arnold replied, smiling, "I just want to help Marcelo on his first day of school. Also, I have this urge to see an old teacher of mine."

"Mr. Simmons? Ah yes. Well, he'll be teaching your…" he looked at Marcelo, "brother for the rest of this school year's academic calendar. So…" he took the documents and examined it, "All papers have been signed accordingly, and he is now a student of PS 118. Congratulations." He then shook his hands with Marcelo. "Mr. Simmons' class is still in the same room when you were a student in this school, and I hope you still know the way to your former class."

"Don't worry about it, Principal Wartz." Arnold replied, smiling, "I know my way around the old place." He then looked to Marcelo, "C'mon man, let's go to your class."

"Okay class, today we're going to learn about parts in an internal combustion engine." Suddenly the door was knocked, and Mr. Simmons sighed, "Could you excuse me for a while, class?" he then walked out from the class, and much to his surprise, he saw an old student of his.

"Oh my… Arnold." He said in disbelief and surprise, putting both of his hands to his chest, "This… this is a pleasant surprise."

"I see you're still teaching here, Mr. Simmons?" Arnold replied, smiling at him.

"Uh… yes, yeah." He replied back, in disbelief, "This is such at a short notice. What are you doing here?"

"I'm here to escort your new student." He said as he put both of his hands on Marcelo's shoulders.

"Ah, so you're the one who I've been expecting these past few days." He said and shook hands with Marcelo. "Well Arnold, I'd like to thank you so much for bringing him here."

"No biggie. Glad to help."

"So, I'll see you later, okay?" Mr. Simmons said.

"Yeah… I might pay you a visit at your house this weekend."

"Oh… please do." He insisted, "We have lots of catching up to do." They then shook their hands. Mr. Simmons then looked at Marcelo and asked, "What's your name?"

"Marcelo." He replied back.

Mr. Simmons nodded, and opened the door, "Class, I have a very special announcement to make. Today, we have a new student in class," then murmurs and whispers began to circulate around the class, "and I hope that you all will welcome him with open arms. Class, meet Marcelo." Marcelo walked in, without the help of his crutch. His stubbly leg was now fitted with a prosthetic leg, which he got it sometime ago with the help of Arnold, his grandparents, Helga and Dr. Steiglitz. He wore brand new clothes, and yet despite of his new garbs, he still retained the symbol of his people: the tribal armbands that he proudly wears. The door behind him closed, and Arnold and Grandpa peered through the window on the door to look inside the class. They saw Mr. Simmons asked him to sit at an empty seat next to a girl. He nodded, and walked to the designated seat normally. Mr. Simmons then resumed his teaching.

"Hi, I'm Jasmine." The girl next to Marcelo introduced herself.

"Marcelo." Marcelo nodded back.

"Nice to meet you, man." A boy in front of him said to him.

"Thank you." He answered back.

"He'll be fine, Shortman." Grandpa said, putting his arm around Arnold's shoulder.

"C'mon grandpa. Let's go home." They then walked away from the class. As Arnold walked down the hallways of PS 118, his reminisced back his childhood days when he was a student here. Hopefully, his life here would be no different than when he was a kid.

The Concept

To tell you the truth, 'Run' is not a romance story between Arnold and Helga but rather, a story about San Lorenzo and the Green-Eyed people. I decided to write it because there wasn't any thorough explanation about San Lorenzo and the Green-Eyed people in the show, and therefore making them very ambiguous and mysterious. It's probably what the writers of the episode intended but I feel it'd be great if we know more about them. The pool of Arnold Helga romance fic (and romance fic in general) in the Hey Arnold section is so enormous that I feel it's not necessary to put another one in. Thus, I prefer to emphasize more on drama and comedy than romance and the relationship between Arnold and Helga is just one of the minor subplots that I've written throughout this fic. Though I originally intended it to be a romance story (sorta), but eventually I abandon the concept in chapter four after realizing that I'm just not that good in writing romance.

The focal theme of this story is hope. And to carry the theme, I tell the conditions of living in an undeveloped nation, in contrast of our lives in well-to-do countries in which we are fortunate enough to live in and born in. I also have been to these kinds of countries before, so the somber look is still etched in my mind. I just thought it would be refreshing to do something like this rather than writing the usual Arnold-Helga story. (You know… relationship…) As I told you before, romance is not my forte, and I'm sure there are lots of writers out there who write a better romance fic than me.

The goals are to have this fic to be as close as it could get to Hey Arnold's show, so it means that there will be no cussing, it's a kid-friendly and wholesome family entertainment that everyone can enjoy, their characters are close to their behaviors and attitudes in the TV show and be completely squeaky clean. Pop culture references are far and between because I want this fic to be… well, 'timeless'.

Inspirations came from variety of stuff, but mostly from my interests in current events and history. I wish I could pick Political Science as my minor but they're not offering it. Movies also made a lot of contribution and I'd like to suggest watching Hotel Rwanda, Grave of the Fireflies, The Motorcycle Diaries (Diarios de Motocicleta) and Beyond Borders.

San Lorenzo

San Lorenzo's geography and history is derived from various sources, fictional and non-fictional. The name is obviously from 'The Journal' episode and also it's taken from a name of a principal location in a book called 'Cat's Cradle'. Some elements in this story are taken from that book and I modified heavily because I want to do my own interpretation of San Lorenzo rather than carbon copying the original work. Furthermore, the San Lorenzo depicted in the book isn't at all like Hey Arnold's so I altered it to be relevant to 'The Journal' context.

The non-fictional stuff is a compilation from various countries in the world. The history of San Lorenzo is a rough adaptation of Cuba's history, and the current condition of San Lorenzo is pretty much derived from a country called East Timor. To assist visual imaginary of San Lorenzo, watch the 'Parents Day' and 'The Journal' episodes and if you watched King Kong already, think Skull Island as San Lorenzo, without the dinosaurs, monsters, and the natives. I zealously want this fanfic to be as close as possible to the original content (TV show) because I feel the story would be better accepted due to the sense of familiarity if it sticks to the Hey Arnold model.

San Lorenzo is also home to problems that many undeveloped and war-ridden countries are facing, and most of the problems are based on past and present hotspots and conflicts in the world. So in a sense, you could say that San Lorenzo is an allegory to those nations. The stories of war, famine, pestilence, and starvation were all referenced or roughly based on Darfur Region Conflict in Sudan, Iraq War, Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge Persecution, The Mideast Conflict, Cold War, Rwandan Genocide, and the Cuban Revolution. Creating awareness is so much fun.

Still, with all these political undertones to the world's past and current events, I tried to remain as neutral as possible. There isn't any pro this or anti that statement in this story. I even regret writing the one with the oil statement in chapter seven because it sounded too naïve. Though, I must admit this story has a bit of pro-democracy— um, I'm not going to elaborate any further… yeah. Free Aung San Suu Kyi!

As I said before, Arnold and Helga's relationship is one of the few subplots in this story. The others are Arnold's relationship with his parents, Miles and Stella's backstory on how they managed to survive all these years (this I stress the most since the show never addresses this one before), Helga's relationship with her family, and Helga trying to understand and sympathize with this foreign land called San Lorenzo. And in order tell these stories, certain characters had to be created.

Characters

Marcelo was created because it helps people understand what The Green-Eyed people had to suffer throughout the years under the repression of La Sombra. Marcelo's family was subjected to genocide (parents), malnutrition (sister) and forced child conscription (brother). Marcelo himself is a landmine victim. Later in the story, a new problem arise which makes Arnold and his parents split due to two different opinions. Arnold feels that by taking away Marcelo to another country will make him forget his own people and culture while his parents think that it would be the best way to help them rebuild and preserve their society. This type of story has been explored a lot in many documentaries where the narrator laments that the native people that they're showcasing will lose their identity due to rapid modernization occurring around them and something must be done in order to preserve their way of life.

Mona, a name that I took from the book, served as Helga's voice of reason and the person who tells Helga (and the readers) why San Lorenzo is in such a bad state. She also serves as the person who tells the recent history of San Lorenzo and why La Sombra is so hated in this country. Helga could reflect her story from Mona's since they both share a few similarities between them. Helga is influenced greatly by her and it shows in later chapters that Mona's words are really the reason why Helga opened up to Arnold in chapter 12.

Father Campbell saved Arnold's parents, but I never actually tell how he managed to save them because I cut his scenes out from the fic because I feel the context doesn't go quite well for a show for kids. The idea on how Father Campbell saved Miles and Stella and the Green-Eyed people was similar to Hotel Rwanda's protagonist on how he saved the refugees.

Salma's role is just to bring Helga to Arnold's house and to introduce to her about San Lorenzo. She originally intended to be Olga's friend from college and informed Olga about Helga's whereabouts. Her role was then minimized because Olga had already found a clue to where Helga ran to – the note that she left for her.

But still with all these extra characters, I try to minimize their scenes as much as possible because I don't feel they go well with the readers.

Miles and Stella in this story are aid workers working for the United Nations in San Lorenzo. Stella is a doctor for the Red Cross which has ties with WHO (World Health Organization) and UNICEF (United Nations Children's Fund). Miles on the other hand, works for a museum that collaborates with UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) although it's not mentioned in the story. United Nations plays a major part in this story, mostly on San Lorenzo's development.

I had no reason to describe how Arnold, Helga, Phoebe and Gerald look like in their teens because I feel I'm forcing my own interpretation of them on to you. I feel it'd better if you do your own interpretation of them so the immersion would be easier and to your taste. Some of you might interpret Arnold having short or long hair, beefed up or skinny, lanky or short. Helga has either shoulder-length hair or chin-length hair, well-endowed or not well-endowed, anorexic or otherwise. I don't care. It's up to you to imagine how they look like.

My regret is that I couldn't expand Eduardo's story more, since this guy has a lot of potential. Still, it's cool to make him one of the heroes of San Lorenzo that plays a part in overthrowing a tyrant like La Sombra.

Other Goals

Make San Lorenzo as believable as possible by describing every setting and every location in every chapter in minute detail. It gives you a mental image how truly beautiful and yet, deplorable San Lorenzo is.

Since almost every other Hey Arnold story is set in the city where the gang lives in, I think it's a nice twist to set the majority of the scenes in an undeveloped country like San Lorenzo. Even after Hey Arnold's unfortunate cancellation, San Lorenzo and the Green-Eyed people never much made into the fandom's spotlight.

Minimize the appearance of Arnold and Helga's friends. Only Gerald and Phoebe are an exception to this since they're their best friends. And because of the Arnold-Helga subplot, it was better for me to concentrate on their character development as a whole. Even if I wanted to put their friends into this story, I'll be doing it just for the sake of appearance, and nothing else.

Chapter Commentary

Chapter 1 – Waiting: Chapter title is appropriately named because Helga is waiting to board her plane.

I have nothing much to say here except this is about the introduction to Helga's portrayal as a poignant character. It hints that Helga has problems back at home and the broken vase just strengthened the impression. The broken vase in the middle of the hallway also serves as a symbolism of a broken family and it is mentioned several times throughout the story.

Chapter 2 Broken: To emphasize that Helga's family is in a complete mess and in this point of the story all hope of them being together is lost.

This chapter highlights the reason why Helga ran away from home, while still preserving its ambiguity. Olga serves as a major role in this chapter where she tries to mend the broken family. It also shows that Olga does care about Helga, regardless what Helga thinks of her older sister.

Chapter 3 – Journey: Helga's journey to San Lorenzo and eventually to Arnold's residence.

My favorite chapter in the whole story. Helga sleeps a lot during her journey, which mirrors what I usually do during a long flight. I really enjoyed writing this piece because it's just me describing the scenery and the scene while keeping the dialogue to a minimum. I'm not a big fan of writing dialogues since it is difficult to write them and I have fears of it going to turn wooden. I have always imagined Helga's wit and sarcasm would be just as great as Dr. Cox in Scrubs but it's going to take a while if I ever go to their level of writing. On the last scene, I originally wanted Arnold and Marcelo roughhousing with each other instead of playing chess, but I realized the latter would be much more dramatic.

Chapter 4 – Arrival: Helga's arrival, and as usual, a warm welcome from Arnold.

Arnold and Helga are alone together for the first time, but we all know it's not right if Helga blurts her confession to Arnold since it's too early. I don't feel Abner's presence is necessary since he won't contribute anything to the story, so the piggy gets the boot. Arnold hinted San Lorenzo's bleak past in this chapter, and the chapter introduces to where Arnold lives in San Lorenzo. The Expatriate Village is constructed by the respective expatriate's company to house their employees in San Lorenzo and they are in constant protection provided by the United Nations. Miles and Stella later are shown for the first time when they're driving home after a formal function in the capital. Miles' hate for the wasteful function shows that he cares a lot about the people in San Lorenzo.

Chapter 5 – Morning: The story is set in the morning. Also, I had no idea what to name this chapter before I came up with the title.

The furniture arrangement was written just because I want to make this chapter longer. Heheh. This chapter has my most favorite scene in it: the conversation between Arnold and his mother, Stella. I really love how they react with each other, and their chemistry really shows that they have a lot of respect and admiration with one another. It emphasizes the strong connection and the bond that the both of them longed so much after being denied for many years. But, it was exact opposite happened at the Pataki house where Bob tried to hit Miriam, but Olga successfully intervened. Then came the most significant scene where Bob cried and begged for forgiveness from Miriam. We always see Bob as a jerk and blowhard, but never as a caring father and husband. This scene paints a more compassionate side to Bob, as I don't want to antagonize him a lot. Unfortunately, I contradicted this on chapter 12. The breakfast scene is nothing special, since it's a typical family breakfast scene with a start of a recurring joke about Arnold's last name.

Chapter 6 – Tour: The tour of San Lorenzo. Fasten your seatbelt folks, and let the tour guide introduce you to this wonderful country.

The first scene is a typical husband-wife argument, nothing special about it. The scene expands and reveals their concern for Helga and the consequences of her being here. And as parents, there's always some degree of distrust and doubt about their children because they too used to break the rules. Stella's rather rebellious past is also revealed for the first time. And onto the tour! The tour basically revisits the places and locales in 'The Journal' and also going to new places not in the episode such as Stella's Red Cross Sick Camp. Revisited places mentioned both in 'The Journal' episode and this fic are the famous excavation site where Miles and Stella met for the first time and the volcano which I decided to name it myself (Cabrakan – based on a Mayan God which mountains and earthquakes are his domain), and the hill where Miles and Stella climbed before they slipped and fell into the river. Helga delivered the classic "I'm so going to punch Eduardo for this!" line just like Stella did in 'The Journal' episode. The same hill and the same line actually foreshadows Arnold and Helga's relationship in the future, not to mention to put some déjà vu feeling to it.

Chapter 7 – Together: Arnold and Helga is finally together alone. Though, I was reluctant to name it so because they'll officially be together in the last few chapters later.

To me, this scene would be perfect if there was music playing behind it. I've always admired Jim Lang for composing the songs in Hey Arnold. Anyway, I always tell myself that this is the reader's most favorite and popular chapter due to the high number of hits this chapter received.Maybe you guys like it so much because this the only chapter where it only involves Arnold and Helga are together on top of a hill alone whilst looking at the breathtaking view and just talking about their themselves and their surroundings and disregarding the world around them. Regarding Arnold's ambition, I always thought of him of being a photojournalist since he's such a compassionate guy and I feel he'd travel around the globe just to tell the world about other people's hardship due to poverty and war. Helga on the other hand, I always thought of her being a writer instead of a poet… and about the oil statement, I really regretted writing it. It sounded too naïve. I realized that even the mention of it in this fic the story would become too 'political'. So for the rest of the fic, I decided to stay neutral.

Chapter 8 – Evening: The story is set in the evening. Also, I had no idea what to name this chapter before I came up with the title.

This chapter's pacing is a little bit too slow for me, and I think a lot of you could feel it too. The narrating line 'Arnold quickened the pace and stepped on the gas pedal in hoping they would reach home in time before the day would go completely dark. He hoped the same thing that happened to him and his father years ago wouldn't happen to him again' refers to Arnold's childhood after a few months of staying in San Lorenzo. He and his dad were on their way home when suddenly one of the wheels gone flat. As they tried to change the wheel, Arnold had the urge to take a leak and went into the jungle to relieve himself up. But to his astonishment, after walking for some while he came across into a clearing. And to make matters worse, it had a horrid smell, and as he walked further into the clearing, he tripped onto something, and to his horror, he saw a bone sticking out from the ground. The clearing was actually a mass grave where genocide victims were buried – and Marcelo's parents were in it. His dad quickly came to his rescue and brought him to Stella's sick camp, where he was treated for mental trauma for weeks. This paints a really dreadful look on the story and I decided to cut it out because it was too dark for a fanfic that I want so much to be close as possible to the TV show.

Chapter 9 – Concern: Arnold and Helga's family's concern about her.

Helga's first day as a volunteer, and the introduction to Arnold's deceased baby brother. His untimely departure is an analogy to infant mortality rates in undeveloped countries where malnutrition and the lack of good healthcare are frequently blamed to be the cause of it. The Sleeping Disease and its cures are named by Stella, basing on her hatred for La Sombra and her love for Arnold. Though we never see Stella and her husband speak Spanish in the show, but it is necessary for them to speak the language so they could interact easily with the local people. The decision of making Helga not knowing Spanish was made because I needed humor material and to show Helga that she cares a lot about the people here that she's willing to learn the language. Mona, the old lady that spoke to Helga chapter six plays a huge role to help her and convince her to open up to Arnold. And back at the Pataki's house, the family is still worried about Helga and thanks to Olga, they finally found a major lead.

Chapter 10 – Patience: Helga is testing Miles' patience and Stella's request for her husband to be patient.

This story's timeline is set roughly around nine days. Since there's nothing to tell in two of those nine days, this story is fast forwarded two days further. Then, I got to a write a scene about Miles' clumsiness, and that was the only one in this fic. I wish I could make him more comical, though. Towards the end of this chapter, a person dies from the Sleeping Disease. But since I want to write this story to be as close as possible to the show, such disturbing images could not be shown. That's why it was implied, rather than described. After the scene ends, Mona then came to Helga and consoled her. This was done so Helga could develop a sense of trust around her.

Chapter 11 – Decision: Helga's decision of finally opening up to Arnold about her problems back home.

Another tender scene between Helga and Mona, just to show that their bond is strengthening. Back at Arnold, I just want to show the readers what Arnold would do if he had no cargo to deliver – he went to the library and daydreams. It's just a reminisce to the early seasons of Hey Arnold (Seasons 1 & 2) where he daydreams a lot in class. During the rain scene, I originally wanted to have a group of guerillas loyal to La Sombra to follow Arnold and kidnap him. But Arnold fights back and the scene will be very similar to Raiders of the Lost Ark whereIndiana fights with the bad guys on a moving vehicle (namely, the truck). 'The Journal' had a lot of references to the Indy movies (E.g. Miles' clothing was almost similar to what Dr. Jones is wearing), and by writing Arnold in this scene just expands the continuity to that episode. Than again, Arnold is too young to take on a group of trained guerillas and it's not right to put an action scene in a story that emphasizes on drama. So it was cut off. The story then continues to another touching scene with Arnold and his mom, and then he and Helga.

Chapter 12 – Truth: Helga's tells the truth why is she here in San Lorenzo.

The chapter starts with Helga blaming everyone in her family for the ordeal she's facing. The decision to make Olga a married woman was made because she was about in her mid-twenties when Helga's a teenager, so it was appropriately so to write her to be one. Also, the decision to leave Olga's husband to be ambiguous was made because I want the readers to make their own interpretation of him of how he looks like and such. The drama scene was coordinated and written to be touching as possible and to make us sympathize with Helga and Miriam. Still, I feel kinda bad for antagonizing Bob so much, even though I originally wanted to show him as a good person, even with all the crap he'd done to his family. Phoebe's scene was created because I needed to show that Helga really needed someone's help at this point, and Phoebe was the perfect candidate since she's her best friend. But Phoebe makes mistakes sometimes, and this is where she made her mistake. Still, I felt the explanation that I gave was kinda weak because I wanted a stronger reason to justify Helga running away. Eh, that's what you get when you ran out of ideas /. The scene changed, and now back in the present. Arnold is well known for his advice and problem solving, but in this case, he's unable to solve Helga's problem because it was too complex. Everyone is not perfect.

Chapter 13 – Conflict: Helga is conflicted with Stella over her presence in San Lorenzo.

I hate long chapters, don't you:) San Lorenzo's Independence Day is a day after the signing of Treaty of Paris, indicating that it participated in the Spanish-American War. Other facts were a reference to a collection of some really poor countries. Bokononism is a made-up religion that was featured in the 'Cat's Cradle' book. After some research, there is a real Sleeping Sickness which I conveniently put its facts at the end of the chapter. Stella is really awesome in this chapter, as she effectively pressed Helga to reveal her motive of being in San Lorenzo. Stella then told Helga her story back when she was young, just to show that running away from home is a stupid idea (and it is). The story then develops where Stella finally convinced Helga to call her parents, and she did so. Still, Helga is still scared of Bob, and when he asked to talk with her, Helga opposed to it greatly. Bob is saddened to indicate that the gap between them is still not bridged.

Chapter 14 – Orphan: Marcelo becomes a total orphan, and Arnold reminisced his childhood days where he used to be one.

I always think that the Green-Eyed people must have a real name instead the ones that Miles and Stella used to call them. The naming of 'Isayan' as their original name is based on a combination of two words, 'Isla' and 'Mayan', and thus, Isayan. It's not from Dragon Ball or anything… Saiyan anyone? And regarding their history, I really had fun creating them, as I thought it would be the most plausible story about their people. Throughout human history, people have overcome insurmountable odds to expand their territory, and the Green-Eyed people accomplished it by traveling to an unknown place driven by the will to survive. The Green-Eyed culture is thoroughly explained and decision to 'kill' Marcelo's grandmother is made so Arnold can sympathize and relate with him and justify his reason to want Marcelo to stay in San Lorenzo, as opposed to his parents who want to send Marcelo to The States. Arnold's 'extended' family is shown for the first time, and Arnold's reveals to Helga why Stella is going to Geneva in a few days. Arnold angry with his parents was written because I want to show that even with the most wholesome of all families, there's always a time where they differ in their opinions and fights.

Chapter 15 – Family: Arnold tells Helga how his parents survived after years being trapped in San Lorenzo.

Eduardo's speech is written both in Spanish and English because it helps Spanish and English language students to brush up the languages they're learning. I'm not a native Spanish speaker, but by reading the both of them it kind of helps me to familiarize with the language. The bulk of this story is mostly about Arnold telling Helga how his parents survived after being trapped in San Lorenzo for so long. The show left us with a void regarding this matter and this is just a small contribution from me where I express my views and reasons on why his parents went missing during the length of the entire show. The fanbase generated a lot of discussions about it too so this chapter is where I expand the debate even further. Feel free to discuss about it. The missing parents theory is one of the big subplots that I want to share in this story.

Chapter 16 – Intimate: Arnold and Helga's relationship is advancing to a whole new level.

This is the most laidback, carefree, lighthearted and fun chapter in this story in comparison of the bleak, somber and depressing chapters before this. It's fun to write Arnold and Helga's chemistry in this chapter, as I always thought their relationship will always be a love-hate type of relationship rather than lovey-dovey ones. The ice-cream analogy is just a reference to that one episode which I've forgotten it's title, and also it's a reference to another outstanding Nicktoons, Invader Zim. (See the pilot episode). Arnold inciting revenge on Helga and she threatens him and punches him in the face, what can be more exciting than that? I originally planned a scene where they were rolling in grass then I decided not to write it because it's too... silly. And after their fun at the waterfall, they came back home, and then, Arnold confessed. Helga is happy. The very fabric of reality is tearing apart.

Chapter 17 – Night: The story is set during the night. Also, I had no idea what to name this chapter before I came up with the title.

Arnold and Helga, finally together. Nothing raunchy and risqué here, since I want to keep this story clean. And when Helga brought Marcelo's issue up to Arnold, he's upset because she doesn't share his opinions with him. And when Helga said "…people like us to guide him. You know… like a sister, or brother." A new character dynamic suddenly develops. Since Arnold's brother is dead, Marcelo would be the one choice if Arnold wanted to become a brother. And as for Helga, by being a big 'sister' to Marcelo, she now knows how it's going to feel like to be in Olga's shoes. And Marcelo finally knows how it's going to feel like to have a brother and sister again, since he lost his brother to forced conscription and his sister to malnourishment. And because of Helga's words, Arnold finally sees the reason what's best for Marcelo. The chapter ends with a happy note, where La Sombra is finally captured.

Chapter 18 – Goodbye: Everyone is saying goodbye, and they finally leave San Lorenzo.

The conversation between Miles and Arnold is written because throughout the story, they really never do share a same scene together. This was a last minute effort to have them in one scene talking the usual father-son stuff, as opposed to mother-son talk with Arnold and Stella. The chicken line is a reference to the 'Back to the Future' trilogy. I'm big fan of the movies, and this is just my way to say thanks for all the fond childhood memories that the movies had given to me. And in the middle scene where Arnold, Helga and Marcelo fights for the window seat is reminisce to all of my long family field trips, which I hate so much. I'm sure you have experienced the same situation as I did.

Chapter 19 – Home: They arrived home. A conclusion chapter.

All the loose ends have been tightened up, and it's now for them to reunite with their family once again. A truce is finally declared between Helga and Bob, and Arnold finally sees his grandparents again, after not seeing them in years. Arnold and Gerald meet again and they do the old handshake, and I thought of a pinch of Star Wars reference wouldn't hurt the scene. Arnold defends Helga from Gerald shows that he really does love her and the scene where the Patakis talking with each other in the car establishes that they're warming up to one another. There was a scene I originally written where Helga told Olga about San Lorenzo needs volunteers and Olga was quick to make the decision about staying there. It's sort of a way for Helga to get rid of her sister once and for all :). It was cut since Helga no longer hate Olga that much since she offered shelter to Helga during her parents' fight back home and it didn't go well with the dialogue flow. After a final scene with Phoebe where Helga apologize to her, I then end the story without cliffhangers, indicating that the story is officially done, except for the extra scene in this chapter.

Postscript and Afterthoughts

Thank you to all the reviewers for giving me support throughout the story. I'm actually kinda stunned to receive a lot of encouragement from you guys. And I'm very flattered to hear someone actually translated this story into Russian. I'm so thrilled!

This will be my first and last Arnold-Helga fanfic. Don't expect me to write anything like this in the future, although a Gerald-Phoebe fanfic sound pretty tempting right now. HINT! HINT!

Thanks to acosta pérez josé ramiro for translating most, if not all the Spanish sections and dialogues. The simple Spanish translations were made possible with Babelfish.

This story was created due to boredom and insomnia.

A lot of chapters in this story would go well with some The Corrs (All romantic scenes), System of a Down and Rage Against the Machine (The 'political' stuff) songs. Try it.

My apologies if I offended you in some way.

My thanks to Craig Bartlett for creating such a great cartoon show for all of us to enjoy. I'm pursuing a career in animation now because of your show.