Disclaimer: I don't own "Hey Arnold".

Chap.1: The greatest birthday

"Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you!". These were the words Helga G. Pataki were singing to herself while putting on her favourite white shoes. She was in a very, VERY, bad mood, as today was the worst of all the days of the year. Today it was her birthday.

Helga knew she should have felt happy. Every kid in the world loved his birthday. Every kid in the world except Helga Pataki. She just had had too many messed up birthdays. The first one she could remember of, her 5th one, Miriam had insisted on throwing her a party. Only three of the guest had shown up and had spent their time playing with Olga. There was also the one when Bob had spent the whole afternoon watching the "most important of all times" football game and Miriam was too drunk to get out of the sofa. After her 8th birthday, her parents had stopped remembering, but weirdly enough things always went wrong on her "special day", as if God was punishing her from still being alive.

Helga went downstairs feeling a bit anticipating. Her parents were having breakfast, or at least what looked like it, because lets not forget, it was Miriam who had cooked.

"Morning Olga" said Bob without looking away from the newspaper he was reading.

"It's HELGA" she answered mechanically

The guy couldn't even get her name right on her birthday. Miriam, for herself, was too busy making something real hard like a toast to notice her daughter. She sat at the table and ate slowly some cereals wishing she was sick in bed.

"Well people" suddenly said Bob, "today as you all know is a very important day!"

Helga couldn't believe it. So he did remember!

"Today" continued Bob, "his the day where I might make the biggest deal of my career."

Helga, who for a very short instant had felt like there was still hope for her, dropped her spoon.

"I know Bob," replied Miriam in her usual sleepy tone, "how could I forget something as important as that? "

Not wanting to hear more, Helga grabbed her bag and left for school, once more wishing she was sick.


Her day had been exactly what she had expected, which meant horrible. Most of the days of her life were but this one was likely to become top of the list. No one had remembered her birthday except Phoebe and Arnold. Of course, as she was the incredibly friendly girl she was, she had ruined everything with him.

"Happy birthday Helga! I hope you will have fun today!"

"I will if you stay away from me, now move it football head."

And with that, she had pushed him of brutally. Of course as soon as he had reached the ground she had felt terribly guilty. Full of remorse, she had reached out her hand to help him up, but when her eyes caught his, she had took it away and laughed at him. At this point Gerald had arrived to help Arnold and shoot a death glare at Helga.

"What are you looking at geek bait?"

That's what she had said before finally walking away feeling lower then anything.

And right now she still felt the same. "Criminey" she thought. Why did she always had to be so mean to him, the kindest person to her, and the one she cared for the most? She had tried so many times to be nicer but she couldn't and she hated herself for that. The last thing she wanted was Arnold to be unhappy and the times he was were because of her. Call it ironic, Helga for herself thought it was rather depressing.

As soon as she closed the door behind her, Helga heard Bob call her.


Helga sighed.


"Come here!"

To tired to argue, Helga dragged herself to the living room to find both her parents sitting on the couch waiting for her. For a reason she could not well explain, Helga knew something was wrong.

"Honey…"started Miriam,.

"Ok…"she thought"why is she honeying me?".

"We…hum…remember what your father said this morning about how he might make the biggest deal of his life?"

Helga swallowed with difficulty.

"Well he succeeded and now…we…"

"We're moving" interrupted Bob, "Pack your bags; we're leaving in three days."

It took her three seconds to fully understand the meaning of this one small sentence.

"WHAT?" she screamed "NO way, it's out of the question."

"It's not up to you to decide what's out of the question or not young lady. We're moving to France and that's final! "

"I'm not moving, especially not to France! I lived here my howl dam life…"

"Don't swear!" said Miriam

"I lived here my howl life and now we're moving to a different continent? Why couldn't we stay in America? I'm going to loose all my friends!"

"You'll make new ones" sighted Bob

"Yeah, sure, you don't care! As long as you can make some money out of the deal other people's feelings have no importance. No wait, other people's feelings are never important to you!"

"Helga!" said Miriam, "you're being really unfair. Your father wants what's best for you, and that's why we're moving!"

"Oh yeah? If he wants what's best for me, maybe he can start acting like a father and call me by my own name!"

Helga heard her parents tell her to come back but she didn't care. She ran out of her house, slammed the door behind her, and ran, ran, straight ahead without knowing where to go. All she knew is that she was moving! To France! Why was this happening to her? What had she done to deserve this? Ok so she may have bullied one or two kids today…but that was it! And she didn't want to loose all her friends. But then she thought: "What friends? The ones who couldn't remember it was your birthday? The ones who make fun of you and say things behind your back? Face it, no one will miss you, apart from Phoebe, who, as soon as you will be on the plane, will make new friends that truly deserve her!" Most importantly there was Arnold! How could she live without seeing him every day? Without being able to secretly look after him? It was already hard enough during the vacation…

She suddenly took conscience of being in the park. She decided to go sit under the tallest tree, in the middle of the park. It was the place she liked best. As she got closer to it, she realised other people were already sitting there. Helga could not tell who it was, because they sat on the other side, but the voices seemed awfully familiar.

"There's something I wish to tell you ever so much."

Only one could speak this way. Lila.

"What is it?

This voice Helga would have recognized anywhere. Arnold. Lila and Arnold. Together.

"Well, Arnold I know I you feel about me and…well all this time I tried to not feel the same because…you see a friend of mine…I like her ever so much and she…"

Helga knew who Lila was talking about. Was she going to tell how she, Helga, felt about Arnold? She never liked Lila, but weirdly enough she had trusted her with her secret.

"She what?" asked Arnold softly

"Never mind."

Helga sighed with relief.

"Let's just say I thought I couldn't allow myself to fall for you. But…I…I just can't help the way I feel, I don't care about my friend anymore. I like you Arnold, I like you like you."

"Well I like you too but not much surprise there I guess."

Helga couldn't move. She saw them hug and she saw the way Arnold looked at her. She knew him enough to tell that he loved her. Helga knew she should have turned away, but she couldn't. It was even harder then being nice to him.

And so she saw them kiss. Helga felt her heart sank, herhowl world crash downbut then something weird happen. It was like watching from outside her body, like she was not Helga anymore. She was shivering but she didn't notice how cold she was. Every single part of her body started to hurt her like never before, the beating of her heart ached her with pain, but still Helga could not move.

It was only when Arnold covered Lila with his coat that Helga realise she was freezing. She slowly managed to walk away. It started raining, but she didn't try to run or to hide from it. All she could think about was them. Together their lips locked in a kiss. She felt tears down her throat but tried to restrain them. Helga Pataki never cried. Although soon the tears were rolling down her cheeks, yet could have been mistaken with the rain drops. And at this very moment it hit her. At this very moment she understood she and Arnold could never be. All her life she had held on a dream that would never be a reality. She had always hoped deep down that one day he would realise it was her and nobody else. But this would never happen. There would be lots of other girls in Arnold life, but she would never be one of them. Helga knew one thing though. None of these girls could ever love Arnold the way she did. Never. She knew it.

This only made her more miserable. Helga hated herself for her weakness. She should have seen the truth long ago but her love had blinded her. And right now her love was hurting in a deep, painful way she never would have imagined. If that was the results of love, it was useless. Love was useless and cruel.

Helga wiped her tears; she never wanted to cry again. She never did.


"You're all wet."

That's what Bob said when she walked back in the living room. Both of them were still there, waiting for her, to finish their previous conversation.

"Helga…" started Miriam

Helga stopped her with a sign of her hand.

"I'll start packing."

Both of them looked stunned.

"But…" tried Bob

Helga shook her head.

"The sooner we leave the better."

She turned around and climbed up the stairs to her room a small smile on her face. She smiled because she knew one thing. None of her future birthdays could ever turn has bad as this one.