An Act Of Care 5- Outcasts
An Act Of Care 5- Outcasts

Hi people!  Big thanks to everyone who has reviewed; I really mean it, thanks so much.  Ok well I hope this part is all right…sorry not much romance really, but one of 2 mysteries is solved, that being who the 3 shooters are.  Oh, if ya don't know what the 2nd mystery would be, its centered around Helga and Arnold of course ^_^ wonder where this even will take em…=)

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Arnold's POV, the next day at school~

Being in school again was quite uncomfortable.  The fear of the horrid events happening again spread all throughout the school and every breath was like inhaling more of the fear.  But we had to get on with it, surely, whomever did this would have justice served on a silver platter. 

Sitting in my seat, the class rustled with noise and chatter while waiting for Mr. Simmons to come in.  I was blindly listening to Gerald talk about how he saved Phoebe and how grateful she was.  I inconspicuously turned to Helga's desk, seeing it empty dubbed my attention to sorrow.  I couldn't believe she wasn't here, but then I cheered up, I'd be seeing her after school, and I'd see her in school within a few days.  Things would be great…I just hope my gift didn't throw her off of any friendly status we might be building.  It's not like I want to start a relationship with her…or anything…I mean…what do I mean?

"Hey Arnold!" Gerald snapped.  "Are you listening to me?  You seem to be off in lala land." He said, a sudden smirk coming onto his face.

"W-what?  I'm sorry, I was listening…" I fibbed. 

"No." he turned and pointed at the empty desk.  Helga's desk.  "You were thinking about whose not here.  You know who." He told me.  I forced my smile down, and shook my head with one of those "whatever" sighs.  Gerald, he thought he knew everything.  Too bad he's right…

"Excuse me." Started Mr. Simmons.  "Class will begin now.  Now, I know what happened…with…well I won't go into.  I really don't have a thing for violence.  Sadly, we're missing a lot of innocent kids today.  I'd like to take time to acknowledge Harold, Sid, Rhonda, and Lila, whose presence is no longer with us…" he said, and stopped to clear his throat, stifling a cry.  His eyes were pained to see the empty seats.  "They were all so unique in their own special way, let us remember and take a moment of silence for them." He stated, and motioned for the whole class to stand up.

Sneakers squeaked on the floor, desks moved out of place as the remains of Mr. Simmons 4th grade class stood up quickly.  I'm sure all of us were holding in tears, and I know we all had a lot to say.  Just standing here, so much was going on inside my head.  I almost felt sort of selfish, because my thoughts weren't fixated on those who died, but much rather Helga.  The thought was ramming inside my brain that I would not be here if Helga didn't saved me.  And every time I realized this, I only felt the urge to repay her grow more and more, as did my attention towards her grew more…common. 

The clock ticked energetically loud among the silenced students, but I heard a small chuckle come from few seats behind me.  Who would laugh in a moment like this?  A bit afraid to turn around and look, I edged my eyesight to the side of me, hoping to catch a glimpse of any humor in this situation.  Just before I saw anyone my concentration split to Mr. Simmons voice declaring the moment of silence as finished. 

"Ok class," Mr. Simmons said beside a sniffle.  "You may all be seated.  One last statement though.  I'm not trying to preach to all of you, but what has gone on was no accident.  It was done purposely, highly thought out.  I have one request, for any of you suffering souls.  Please, if you know anything about this massacre or possible any leads or direct information to who did this, please, report it.  Thank you.  And now, onto math…"

I looked around the room, trying to spot any noticeable culpability.  Nothing seemed out of the ordinary nevertheless.   Though Eugene had beads of sweat from his carrot orange hair, and he looked awfully pale.  In fact, he was jittery.  He wasn't making eye contact with anyone and his usual perky appearance was greatly watered down by some mysterious emotion.  I could have laughed, I can't believe for half a second I could have suspected Eugene.  No way he'd do something like this.  Could he?

Then Curly raised his hand, his thick bifocals gleaming from the light almost glared out a…grin? 

"Excuse me, Mr. Simmons, may I use the restroom facility?" he asked, sounding formal and exclusive like he was using some special privilege. 

"Sure you can.  Just try and hurry up, we're going to start on long division." Mr. Simmons told him, and Curly jumped out of his seat and strutted out of the room.  Peculiar, his actions were. 

I think maybe 5 minutes past, and he still wasn't back.  The teacher hadn't noticed, maybe he just had some important matters to take care of…

"Mr. Simmons?  Can I go get a drink of water?" Brainy blurted out.  Mr. Simmons turned, nodded, and went on teaching.  It was odd; Brainy was never really one to talk aloud during class.  I mentally shrugged it off. 

It looked as if Eugene wanted to raise his hand, but he kept hesitating.  He looked agitated.  I've never seen him like this before.  I couldn't help but feel something was going on and I wasn't really aware of what exactly, but I had to find out.  A curiosity was burning in me, so I raised my hand, asked to use the restroom, and was off. 

Before getting very far, Eugene rapidly snuck from the room.

"Arnold!" he called, his voice harsh. 

"What is it?  Is something wrong?" I asked.  He opened his mouth to speak but nothing could come out.  He was too much in shock.

"A-Arnold.  I've done something terrible!  And…I…I mean…I…Arnold I need advice.  Desperately!  I can't say why but…if you swear to do something…for someone else…just to save your life…even though others will lose theirs…God, I know that would be selfish, but, you don't understand!  I didn't have a choice!  Oh Arnold I don't know!" Eugene was stammering, obviously going into a strict panic as he forced himself to look me in the eye.  I didn't know what he was getting at, but whatever was bothering him…was causing him to lose it.

"Um, Eugene, just settle down.  If…you really can't say what it is…well my only advice for you is to…try and right the wrong you feel you made.  Death is…well it's a tragic thing, and…wait a sec.  Is there something you know about…the shooting?" I questioned, not trying to sound in authority.  His face turned ghostly, and tears welled in his eyes.

"I didn't mean to I didn't!  They forced me!  And there's nothing I can do!  Its over Arnold, they win, it's over!" He broke down crying, palms on the tiled floor now wet with tear drops.  I bent down, putting my hand on his shoulder.

"Whatever it is, Eugene, it can't be over.  If you know something, you gotta say it!  If you're so afraid its over, then don't let it finish.  Do what you have to Eugene.  Please?  It's not too late." I tried to get whatever he knew out of him.  He stood up, nearly fumbling over.

"I…I don't know.  I don't know if I can…I could try but I don't know Arnold, I don't know!" He screamed, and ran down the hall in a mad manner.  I gulped, this curiosity blazing in me now. 

I walked, stepping casually to the restroom.  My stomach pulled inside itself, and a wave of caution stirred in me before I opened the door.  I wanted to turn back, but kept on going.  For whatever reason, I stepped inside without making a sound.  Briefly paced my steps, barely a breath out of me, closing the door slowly behind me.  Not fully in, I cupped an ear and strained to listen from the echoes of low toned voices.

"Where is he?  He said he'd be the last to come." I heard a rough voice, spiteful in its emotion. Then there was just a muggy breathing, it sounded dreadfully like Brainy's. 

"I knew we couldn't have trusted him.  We should have killed him when he was reluctant in the first place!" the voice was a little louder, and confusingly enough, I made it out to be Curly's.  Could Brainy and Curly…be the ones…who…

Leaning over to far I fell flat in front of Brainy and Curly.  Shock running through their eyes as well as a cunning smirk upon their faces.  Oh no…

"Arnold.  Well, pleasant to see you here.  Why don't you step into our office." He screeched, pulling me up by my collar and slamming me against the wall.

"How long have you been listening?" he inquired, slitting his eyes in severe expectation.   I knew no lie would get me out of this now. 

"W-what are we going to do with him?" Brainy asked, glowing with a morbid excitement.  Curly's hands tightened against my neck, pushing on the wall and pressure was not even at maximum yet it hurt.

"Well, we can't let him get off when he knows we're the ones who provided P.S. 118 with a little excitement.  Oh, we mustn't forget Eugene too.  That boy took a lot of persuasion to agree to do it, Arnold.  You should be proud.  You're little attempts to be his friend almost paid off.  Then again, my attempts to prove him wrong succeeded that." He snickered and sighed.

"What do you mean?" I asked, anger and hatred in my tone. 

"I mean, Arnold, that Eugene didn't want to be part of my master plan to get back at all the "cool" kids for beating us up, picking on us, etc.  No, he was against it, but I couldn't have brought that to his attention not suspecting he'd back off.  No, I had to be smart and think about it.  I confused him, I lied to him, and I made him join our little gang.  Because if he didn't, he'd have no geek pride, as we now call it, therefore making him an outcast among the outcasts.  I'd lose respect for him, Arnold, and then I'd of course have to…kill him.  Well he didn't like that idea, so reluctantly enough agreed.  I don't know where the squirt is, but I'm sure he's faithful.  He knows I'll kill him if he says a word.  But you Arnold, no you are so very different.  Faithful to the "cool" kids, you'd speak up." He explained. 

I never knew a fourth grader could be so…violent.  Then again, he was no everyday fourth grader.  And Brainy, well he was always so quiet…

But now I was worried for my life, there was so much sincerity and no remorse for what he's done.  Nor was Brainy at all sympathetic.  I only wonder where Eugene is…he knows then…I hope he does the right thing…

"You're crazy!" I muttered.  To think some of my friends died because of him, it was disgraceful! 

"What?  You dare insult me?  Oh Arnold, this is why I tried to kill you.  I almost had you're life, I almost did.  But you know what, Arnold?  Someone had to push you out of the way and play "hero of the day".  Helga, oh I wasn't going to kill her just then. You all deserve to die though!" he stated. 

"And what makes you think I have a thing against geeks?  I never did!" I yelled now, praying someone would hear me. 

"So?  You're friends did, and so since you were their friends, that makes you all the more reasonable to kill!  You think I care about any of you?  I've lived my life in desolation and fright to speak for myself because so many of you "cool" kids put me down!  I hated it, I hate you all!  I am getting my revenge and no one can stop me!" He laughed maliciously, one of his hands releasing my shoulder and pulled a sharp knife out of his pocket.

Brainy stood laughing to himself, looking evil in that respect.  I couldn't believe this was happening…I couldn't say anything; I gulped and tried to keep breathing.  My heart was racing and my eyes searched the room for anywhere to look for to get a sense of relief.  But the small laughter sounded the room and all its vision blurred with it.  I had no relief, no security.  I could taste wickedness in the air.

"Before I kill you, there was always something that sort of…well bothered Brainy." Curly said, looking back at Brainy.

"Y-yeah…I have a question for you, and you better answer truthfully.  I wanna know…how do you feel about Helga?" Brainy asked suspiciously.  As if there was nothing to say before, I was utterly at loss for words.  How I feel about…Helga? 

Sure, I could blame this on the tension, the lack of decision.  I could blame this on fear because my thoughts are scrambled.  But nothing could obscure the truth that behind all the fear and tension, I was confused on how to respond.  Normally, although this at the least supports normal times, I would say she's nothing more a friend if a friend at all.  I'd answer with how she made me feel before, the hurt and anger.  But as I tried digging those words up, I realized they were now wrong.  Buried in forgiveness and understanding, I think my hesitation and thought reflected I felt something else…for Helga.

Of course what would my silence matter at this point…wasn't I going to die?  Then again…I couldn't give up.  Maybe if I stalled just long enough…

"Hurry up.  I'll need to kill you and make a run for it before anyone knows we did it.  I have my parents note to leave school, forged of course.  It's all set up perfectly.  So anyways, back to the question.  How do you feel about Helga?" Curly asked.

"What does it matter?" I retorted.  Brainy stared me down.

"Because I wanna know!  I have…er…had a thing for Helga, and I wanna know.  Do you hate her?  Like her?" he demanded. 

"I…well I mean…I don't hate her…I…" I stuttered, Curly pressed the cold blade against my neck.

"Answer a little faster, will ya?" he continued, invoking the most fear in me. 

"I…uh…I…." I wasn't sure what I was feeling; aside from immense worry I was about to die. 

"Go on.  I'm sure since she saved you're life you'd want to say something to her.  We'll deliver the message for you…Hehehe…You have to the count of 10." He smiled cynically. 

I breathed less, thought harder, and grew more confused and scared.

"1…. 2…3…." he said.

Helga, I'm sorry…I hope they don't hurt you…I wish I had more time…

"4…. 5…."

I guess there's more I needed to talk about with you…

"6…7…"

God…help me…I felt my heart slow in anxiety. 

"8…."

Wait please no!  I need to speak to Helga…. please…just let me gather my thoughts…

"9…."

"WAIT!  TELL HELGA THAT…" –

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To be continued…. ^_~

Hehe left ya with a cliffhanger there eh?  Sorry bout that…well please let me know how this part is!  I know it wasn't much, but a lot was revealed huh?  Yeah well…what do ya think Arnold was about to say about Helga??  *gigglez* please review with your thoughts on this, thanks and take care! 

~*Silver Kitten*~