~* Hi there! This is my first story up on Fanfiction.net so please be as hard on me as you like. The more angry views I get, the better I'll improve. Yes, it's meant to be really short. Enjoy - Risma *~
"Helga, I love you."
Now this is not usually said to me every lunch hour, let alone coming from the mouth of the one I pine for everyday of my existence. The one I see but can not touch. The one I love but can not like. The one I . . . oh you get the point.
I didn't know what to say, partly because I was choking on the last bit of my sandwich and in a state of shocked-beyond-belief. The warm tingly feeling written in love novels is a huge understatement. Fireworks were exploding in my stomach and I felt like I was being stretched to every corner of the playground at once.
(He loves me! He loves me! He loves me! He loves me! He loves me! He loves me!)
Then I froze and stared down at the wooden table I was sitting on. Instantly I recalled all the other times I've heard these words from him, then suddenly wake up. So being extremely rational. I pinched myself.
"Are you alright?" He gently took my arm and lightly rubbed the appearing red mark away. He looked up and his eyes were full of so much concern for me, of all people! His gaze didn't falter, his blue-green eyes just kept piercing mine and all I could do was nod dumbly. The warm smile I got in return made my cheeks burn as I slowly took my arm away from him.
(He loves me! He loves me! He loves me! He loves me! He loves me! He loves . . .)
Suddenly a powerful slash of lightning struck my stomach. The storm brewing in my heart brought with it rain and it smouldered the fireworks fuses.
(What if this is a trick? I know he's not the kind of kid to play with other people's emotions, but he's still a nine year old boy! Average boy, average opportunity, average prank! Trying to soften me up with three . . . oh alright, four little words, just to prove that I'm not as bad to the bone as I say I am!)
I sneered down at him and the expression on his face was priceless. It was a cross between fear and innocence. Acting innocent and yet fearing what I could do to him. I folded my arms and squinted at him smiling all the while, the gig was up and by the look on his face, he knew it.
(I'm Helga G. Pataki and no one pulls the tricks on me!)
I leaned my elbows on my knees and smiled pleasantly down at him, taking him completely off guard. "Oh Arnold that's so sweet . . . but I'm not interested." I swung my legs over the other side of table, hopped off and walked across the playground towards the swings. Hurried footsteps behind me caused a grin to creep on my face.
(Man, it takes a while to sink in for him, doesn't it?)
"But Helga, it's true I do love you!" he said as he blocked my way. His eyes were starting to go all teary and his hands were shaking. It was if he was a plump mouse telling the starving cat that there was no point in eating him. If I weren't in control of myself I would've laughed in his face.
(Ha! I've seen him act better than that! You don't do Shakespeare and musicals for nothing!)
I turned right and headed for the monkey-bars. "This is some kind of joke football head! You're going to have to try harder than that!" I yelled over my shoulder. I climbed the metal rungs and hooked my legs over. An upside down hunk was running over to me. I smiled as I realised that this would be the only time we'd seen eye to eye, literally. I held my skirt up and patiently waited for him to catch his breath.
"I'm not lying and it's no joke. Do you think it's sane to tell you constant tormentor that you've loved her?" he panted, frowning at my odd behaviour, I guess. He's always so mature. Plus my head was starting to spin from all the blood rushing to it, so I pulled myself up and looked down at him.
"Loved me? How long exactly have you loved me?" I folded my arms and frowned at his stupefied expression. He dragged his feet a few steps backwards, shrugged his shoulders and timidly smiled.
"Um . . . about two weeks?" he winced. I grabbed my skirt and jumped to the ground right in front of his face. I leaned in close to him, nose to nose, and smiled sweetly at him. He laughed nervously as he shifted his vision back and forth across my face. He was scared. I could feel my broad smile grow wider and he started to shake. I clapped both my hands down on his shoulders, making him jump a little, but I steadied him.
"Two weeks isn't a long time Arnold. Maybe you've just got intergestion? In any case, if you want me to believe you, you'd have to prove it," and with that I flicked him on the nose and sidestepped around him.
(His little joke is toast! If I keep up this charade of playing 'hard to get' he'll eventually have to give in.)
"WHAT DO I HAVE TO PROVE?" I stopped dead in my tracks. Every kid in the playground was gawking at the scene before them. They had paused in the middle of their gossiping, fooling around and 'influencing'. All kids from all grades were staring at just two people. Arnold and me.
(So a private joke wasn't enough, huh football head? Now you have to embarrass me in front of everyone! Fine, bring it on!)
I spun on my heel and stood calmly waiting for him to continue, pretending to be under total control. He glanced around at the crowd, took a deep breath then gazed directly at me. "Do I have to prove that the sight of you brightens every corner of my heart, your very presence makes me hover five feet about the ground." He dawdled closer then held his arms out wide and gestured around the playground. "The whole school ground could be crowded and all I would see is you, Helga!"
A few quiet thuds echoed around the deathly silent grounds as some kids dropped their lunches. Faces were shocked, mouths hung open and eyes nearly popped out of heads. Even when Curly fell off the tether-ball pole, no one noticed, no one cared. All undivided attention was focused on us. Sweat trickled down my back and my knees felt weak. I just wanted to turn around and bolt for the sick bay.
(Oh no you don't! I'm not going to fall for this! Keep it up nimrod. I can take it.)
"I don't feel alive without you around. When you name is whispered, blue butterflies fluttering on early opening flowers fill my head." Arnold was only a few metres away and closing fast. He somehow noticed that I was a bit edgy. "There's no need to fear me."
"Afraid?" I gasped.
(Is it that obvious?)
"I'm not scared of you!" Unfortunately my brain was thinking otherwise. My courage was on the main highway hitching a ride to Las Vegas. He was now right before me and he took my trembling hand in his.
"Your golden hair dazzles in even the dimmest light, your eyes are so lonely like the distant sky." I was so nervous now. A giggle escaped me. "And your laugh, like tiny silver bells that peal to wake the sleeping cherubs."
"Arnold, are you sure you're not sick?" I whispered harshly to him. He shook his head, shrugging off any nervous consciousness he had before. The world seemed to pause, the only thing that was animated was the two of us. He lightly touched my face with the palm of his cool hand.
"If I'm sick, you've obviously caught the fever too," he softly said, brushing a few loose strands of hair behind my ear. I shivered and nearly fell to the ground, when I instantly remembered the rest of the school. I snapped back to reality.
(Oh you've had it this time, spit wad!)
I leaned over to look into his blue-green eyes. "So you love me huh? Well as long as I get half the bribe I'll make it worth your while," I grinned at him. He seemed a bit puzzled at my abruptness.
"But Helga, it's not-" I stood there, holding both his shoulders, kissing him as long as I could. All my pent up emotion was released right there on his breath, and I'm a very emotionally disorganised girl. His lips were so warm and I could have, should have, stayed just like that for eternity. Judgement Day meant nothing to me at that moment. Him and me . . . and the entire school.
Suddenly his shoulders went limp under my grip. I stopped and looked at him. He just smiled and then his eyes rolled back into his head, as he fell to the ground in a heap.
I turned around to the crowd and stood there with my hands on my hips.
(Now, what do I do?)
"Thank-you ladies and gentlemen, you've been a wonderful audience," I exclaimed and bowed low to the crowd. The kids walked inside muttering about how real our performance looked. What caught my attention though was when Stinky said; "Helga shaw had a lota guts doin a crazy thang like that! She is such a great actress, you'd think she actually liked kissin' Arnuld."
I waited until everyone was inside, then quickly knelt to check that he was still breathing. I rested his head on my knees and smoothed his tuffs from his forehead. He opened his beautiful eyes and they seemed to smile at me.
"How little they know," he whispered. I smiled down at him and winked.