Authors Note: It's meeeeeee! I don't know why this story was so popular, but I get someone now and again who finds me somehow and wants me to re-post it, so here it is. I started writing another HA! fic... and everyone just reviewed to tell me I need to re-post Dark At Heart. So... I may or may not continue that one, since everyone seems to care too much for this one to bother. Either way, please enjoy the return of the original Dark At Heart.
... And review please!
Disclaimer: Hey Arnold is not mine.
Chapter 1- Fare Thee Well:
It was a dark day. Not in the sense of the weather being gloomy. Quite the contrary in fact; The sky had been a bright and beautiful shade of blue that softly faded at the horizon. A soft breeze blew gently through the newly leaved trees while the sun smiled down warm and pleasantly, casting golden rays of cheeriness on this perfect spring day.
No, the day wasn't dark, she was dark in her heart. The storm that had been forming in her soul for five years seemed to be growing worse as the days dragged along. It raged and persisted inside her, forming a hurricane of uncontrolled emotions no one was even aware of. Lightning of hurt and resentment were reflected through her eyes, being the only hint to anyone else that something might be wrong.
While everyone else had complimented the day and basked gratefully in its warmth, she kept in her own cold world, isolated from everyone and everything. She didn't have a need to interact with the world anymore. For in her heart was a black hole. An empty space that couldn't be filled.
Arnold, the only light in her life, was gone.
A week after Arnold's tenth birthday, he had won a trip through the school to central America. Fortunately for him, that's where his parents happened to be. He had talked non-stop about how he was going to find his parents while he was on the trip. Using the map he found in his Father's journal, he was able to make his dreams come true.
Helga didn't know all the details. No one ever told her, and she was too proud to ask. All she knew was that two weeks later he left Hillwood and her broken heart behind to live in central America with his parents and Grandparents.
She could remember that day as the worst day of her life. From the moment she heard he was going to leave up until twenty minutes before he was boarding the plane, her chest felt like it was going to cave in. She avoided him like the plague, thinking if she never saw him again that maybe, just maybe, she would be able to survive without him.
She had sat in her room, watching her digital clock and counting down the time until her one true love would forever be nothing but a memory. To her complete shock, exactly two hours and twenty three minutes before his flight the doorbell rang. She could hear the muffled grumbling sound of Big Bob speaking to whoever was at the door, and finally, "Get down here Olga, Your little friend Alfred's here to see you!"
"Arnold!" She had exclaimed, though she was alone. "What's he doing here to see me?!"
She felt herself begin to tremble. She couldn't go talk to him. She was far too vulnerable. Knowing she would probably never see him again, who knows what she would end up saying. She couldn't risk it. She just couldn't. A few minutes later there was a soft knock on the door.
"Go away." She grumbled through clenched teeth.
"Helga it's me." Came Arnold's sweet and gentle voice. "Can I come in please?"
Her heart was plummeting against her chest. "No, you can't come in Arnoldo."
"Then can you come out?" He tried again.
She bit her lower lip and shook her head while the tears began to sting her eyes. Didn't he know the torture and agony he was causing her this very moment? Didn't he understand that it would be easier if he would just go away without glancing back?
"Helga please. I know we've never really been that close. And I know you don't care that I'm leaving..." He sighed and let his voice trail off. "This is really hard for me, leaving everyone and everything I've ever known. Well, except Grandma and Grandpa. I just wanted to be able to say goodbye to you."
"Sianara, football head!" She shouted bitterly. "Ya happy now?"
Boldly he opened her bedroom door and walked in, closing it behind him. For some reason, she never did scare him. He ignored the icy glare she gave as he walked over to her bed and sat beside her. Their shoulders touched.
"Have you been avoiding me?" He asked simply.
"Why wouldn't I want to avoid an annoying football-head?" She hissed.
"You never avoided me before, you were just... well, mean and nasty."
She glared at him relentlessly. Arnold didn't notice, he was rubbing his arm and looking down at his shoes. With his gaze focused elsewhere, she was able to open up a little more.
"If you hate me so much, why'd you come barging into my room?"
His head whipped around. "You think I hate you?" He asked, clearly perplexed.
"You think I hate you." Helga mimicked and rolled her eyes. "Of course you hate me, football-head. Doi! After all, I hate you."
He chose to ignore the last part of her sentence. "I don't hate anyone. Even if I did, you've done too many nice things for me to ever hate you."
"Puh-lease Arnold. I've never done anything 'nice'. That's left for the mushy do-gooders like you and Lila." She sneered, face screwed up in distaste.
Arnold gave her a skeptical look. "Even though you wont admit it, I know your a good person deep down. And you have done a lot of nice things."
Helga looked around a bit anxiously and quickly thought up a defense. "I thought you were here to say good bye, not preach at me." She crossed her arms. "Sheesh, what a maroon."
Arnold's lids lowered half way and he sighed. "Do you have a pen and paper?"
She looked at him slightly baffled, but reached into her side table drawer and pulled out a pen and small clean sheet of paper. He got up and set the paper on the side table and began scribbling something down. He then clicked the pen closed and looked over his writing before handing it to her. "This is my new address and phone number. Write to me or call sometime."
Helga stared at the clear, neat writing with a mixture of emotions. Before she could come up with a sardonic remark, she felt his warm hand on her arm. She looked up into soft, sincere eyes.
"I'll miss you Helga." He said quietly. And with that, he walked out of her room and quietly closed the door behind him.
She had sat staring at the door for a long time after that, feeling completely helpless, and she hated that with a vengeance. She fought with herself, wanting to go after him, go with him, make him stay. Something. Anything to keep him a part of her life. She cried long and hard into her hands. Finally coming around she looked at her clock. He would leave in 20 minutes.
"I don't have much time!" She shouted as she jumped off her bed and safely tucked his address under her pillow. She rushed into the bathroom, splashed her face with cool water, quickly dried it, and ran down the stairs.
"I'm going out Miriam!" She shouted as she flew out the front door. She ran as fast as she possibly could until she came to a bus loading passengers. She got on, and sat down in an empty seat, huffing and puffing. Sixteen minutes later she got off the bus and ran the rest of the way to the airport. It took some quick searching before she caught sight of the gang. She bent over, hands against her knees and tried to catch her breath.
"Oh Arnold, I'll miss you just ever so much." Lila said as she clung to him.
"I'll miss you too Lila." He replied and hugged her back. "I'll be sure to call or write to all of you."
"I'm oh so certain I'll write back." Lila assured.
There were mumbled agreements from the P.S 118 gang that surrounded him.
"Thanks guys." Arnold said with a soft smile.
Gerald walked up to him and playfully slugged his shoulder. "See you on the flip side my brotha."
Arnold pulled him into a hug. On the release, they did their 'secret' handshake. He then looked at Phoebe, who had quietly stood beside Gerald the whole time. She was now looking down, her eyes beginning to mist over. She suddenly flung herself at him.
"Oh Arnold, It just wont be the same without you!" She cried into his sweater. "I'm sorry Helga didn't come to say goodbye. I tried to talk her into it—"
"Its okay. I went to see her earlier today." Arnold assured.
Phoebe looked up at Arnold, her arms still around his waist. "Did you part on good terms?" She asked almost desperately.
Arnold pursed his lips together. Phoebe had been acting weird all week, trying hard to get him and Helga next to each other and alone as often as possible without looking suspicious. Helga, on the other hand, had found an excuse out of every situation and stayed as far away as she possibly could, even at the expense of missing baseball in Gerald field. It seemed vital to Phoebe that they part on good terms. To calm her fears he simply stated, "Things went okay, considering it was Helga."
Phoebe nodded in agreement, but didn't look satisfied.
"Keep Gerald out of trouble for me, okay?" He asked with a hint of teasing to lighten the mood.
"I will." She smiled and gave one last squeeze before letting go and rejoining Gerald, who gently took her hand.
Rhonda, Nadine, Lila, and Patty all gave Arnold one last hug as his flight number was called.
"Ready to go see your parents, short man?" Grandpa asked.
Arnold looked up and smiled at him as he nodded. Phil put his arm on Arnold's shoulder as they turned to walk away.
The sudden shout made him stop and turn around. Phoebe was smiling as she watched Helga walk cautiously up to Arnold.
"Helga... You came." He said in shock.
"Well, Yeah... I..." She stuttered nervously, not sure of what to say. She didn't have to. A second later Arnold was hugging her tightly.
"I still like your bow." His whisper tickled her ear.
Her eyes widened in shock. She couldn't believe he actually remembered saying that all those years ago. She felt him begin to pull away.
No! Don't leave me Arnold! Her mind screamed. Please take me with you! I cant live without you! No one would even notice I was gone! I'll do anything, just don't leave me! I love you Arnold, love you...
But her voice just couldn't form the words.
His smile was warm, like everything else about him. "Bye Helga."
"Bye Arnold!" Sid called.
It was followed by other random goodbyes and plea's for him to call or write from everyone else as he walked away with his Grandparents, and disappeared through the gate as Grandma sung "Fare thee well, fare thee well, fare thee well my fairy fay! For I'm going to Louisiana, for to see my Susyanna, Sing polly wolly doodle all the day!"
Helga wanted to run after him, beg him to take her with and away from the home and life she considered her prison, but her shoes were glued to the ground.
All she could do was watch him disappear from her life...
To Be Continued...