Writer's Note:The following one-shot Hey Arnold! Fanfiction story was inspired by the ending of the episode: "Helga And The Nanny" where Helga's now former nanny, Inge (according to Don's Hey Arnold Fansite, that is the proper spelling of the name "Inga") writes a postcard to Helga. I always thought of it as both a sad ending (because what Inge said ultimately came true) and hopeful, because Helga was learning (the scene with the cross stitching stuff). The story came to me as I was thinking about the episode while mopping a floor. Funny how the best ideas seem to happen when you are doing normal everyday things and you have an active imagination, huh?

Time frame wise, it takes place shortly after the events of "Helga On The Couch" Enjoy The Story! -D.R. (a.k.a. Carl)

Disclaimer: Hey Arnold and all of the characters of that show are the property of Nickelodeon and Viacom (Despite the fact they don't show them anymore...GRRR!). I do not own the show or characters . . . or there would be more episodes of it right now!

The Letter To Inge

By DarthRoden

The letter was written in purple ink and was easily recognizable to Inge, even before she opened the envelope, or before she actually read the name and address at the top left corner of the white envelope.

The nanny found herself both surprised and pleased to receive a response to the postcard she'd sent to her former charge two months ago. To be honest, she didn't expect the angry girl to write back at all, and, if she did, she expected a postcard with a bunch of sarcastic remarks at the most.

When she'd written her own message on the back of a postcard not long after leaving the employment of the Pataki family, Inge wanted to express her hope that Helga, the girl who'd gotten her fired because of her own bitter attitude, would have to realize what she'd done and the consequences of her actions.

Inge, herself, did not feel any bitterness toward Helga, despite her actions. If anything she felt very sorry for Helga and tried to tell her that the last time they'd faced each other in the park. She told Helga that she was a very angry girl who would not let anyone help her, and that she would have to live with her actions. Helga, of course, seemed to be flippant about her actions at the time, though Inge could tell better. In the short time she'd know Helga Pataki, Inge understood that all she needed was to let someone in past her guards to help her deal with some of her anxieties. The only thing Inge was sorry for was that she had not been the one to do it.

She turned her attention back to the envelope, curious about it's contents. Somehow Inge doubted that Helga would wait all this time just to write a scathing and angry letter in response to her own blunt postcard. She opened the top of the envelope carefully and pulled out the single folded sheet of paper inside. Unfolding it, Inge found more words written in purple ink and read them, hearing the voice of Helga Pataki in her mind narrating:

Dear Inge,

I got your postcard a while back. Sorry I didn't write back sooner. To be perfectly honest, I didn't have any intention of writing back, however something happened in my life recently that I felt the need to share with someone. Since I kept your postcard, I thought about it and decided that you'd be the best person to tell about my recent encounter.

The other day, while I was at school, we got a visit from the new school shrink (um, I guess if you don't understand the term, it means a psychiatrist). Her name is Dr. Bliss and at first, I didn't quite like her. I was called to the principal's office and was told that Dr. Bliss wanted me to come to her office twice a week in order to "discuss my anti-social tendencies and examine possible strategies for improvement."

In case you were wondering I sort-of socked another kid named Brainy in the face. Hey, I do it all the time and he doesn't seem to mind, so no big deal, right?

Well, anyway, I went to see Dr. Bliss, figuring that I would somehow just make up stories for an hour and keep her out of my personal stuff. It didn't quite work out that way. I have to give the woman credit, she got me to talk about all the stuff in my life that annoys me the most. Yep, you guessed it, my family, bucko. Mostly I told her about how Olga acts like little miss perfect all the time and Dad always cares more about her and never notices me. Also, how Miriam barely notices me, or anyone else hardly for that matter since she'd rather sleep behind the couch and suck on her smoothies all day. Then she got me to talk about – (Scribbling over a couple of words) – well about some other personal things too.

You know, it's funny Inge, I thought that Dr. Bliss was a snoop and a major pain, wanting to butt into my personal stuff, but it turns out she was okay. In fact, it was okay to talk about my feelings to someone for once. I felt so clean and honest afterwards. I was thinking about that when the stuff you said to me back at Tina Park a few months ago came to mind, about how I wouldn't let anyone else help me and was angry. Well, in a way I hate to say this, but you were right.

Yep, you heard me say it, but don't expect me to repeat it again, bucko!

In a lot of ways, Dr. Bliss reminds me of you . . . well, except that she doesn't bake things/ Ha Ha Ha! I think that you'd like her, Inge, she sort of grows on you after a while.

Well, I better go for now, but if you want, maybe we can keep writing back and forth? I'd understand if you didn't after everything that happened before, but I'd really like to hear from you. Maybe, I could even tell you about some of my other stuff every now and again too? Hope that you are well and getting along with whatever your doing.

Sincerely,

Helga G. Pataki

P.S. I also included a package with something in it that I hope you like. Believe it or not, I got the idea from you. -Helga

Inge blinked and smiled pleasantly surprised by Helga's words. Then she looked over at the package that came with the other mail addressed to her. It was a large, brown envelope that was bulging with something inside that barely fit. Curiously, Inge picked it up and likewise opened it carefully and pulled out the item inside.

It was a piece of cross-stitching that Inga unfolded to reveal a large pink and white heart with her name in large, white block letters inside and a small pink bow in the upper corner and a likewise cross-stitched signature underneath. A pair of bluebirds could be seen at the bottom in exquisite details and colors.

Inge's smile turned into a full-fledged grin as she looked at it. 'Well, Helga,' she thought to herself as she lay it down on the night stand next to Helga's letter, 'Looks like your learning after all.' She resolved to write back to Helga as soon as she found a nice frame for her gift.

The End

Happy St. Patrick's Day to all of you! -DarthRoden