I cannot believe this. I get over excited over a couple of new video games and I totally ignore this story! Man, I'm bad. Sorry for the wait if anyone was waiting but I have been busy with school, women, and job careers. I mean who isn't always fiddling around with each area, am I right? Well starting with this chapter I have made it my goal to finish this story! I've made a quota to have one chapter up every Friday. If I don't have one up on Friday then I allow each reader to call me out on it and tell me that I'm lazy. No joke. Now that I set a firm deadline I'm gonna be punctual and on TIME! So anyway I'll skip the questions now and answer any question that I can if anybody has them for the next chapter. Thanks!
The following days after Arnold's coma revival were peaceful. No one had alerted the media yet so Arnold had to enjoy this calm before the storm. He flipped through the channels on the TV daily since there was not much for him to do. It was not bad. Besides the paralysis everything else was okay. It did take a while for him to wrap his head around the idea that it he would have to learn how to walk again. The Doctor's assured him that the paralysis could be worked out-as long as he continued to go through physical therapy and exercise every day. Arnold could not help but feel a bit of doubt in the back of his head. It was not like him to think like this, but then again he's been a coma for five years. There were a lot of things he doubted.
Lots of things were new to him. Comic book movies were actually being made, the Apple business is booming, cell phones were smaller, and apparently MTV really went down the toilet when he was in a coma. There were more important things that went on though. There was an African American President in the White House. Arnold was in total awe and shock at the revelation. How the world had changed. He could not have believed he missed such a momentous occasion. At least he could follow his career now. At least he did not miss that. He smiled; he hoped the best for his new President. His mind turned away the television for a moment. That was all he had, his thoughts lately. There was no one else he could talk too. He did try to call home of course. That was one of the first things he wanted to do.
He wanted to tell his Grandparents and the boarders that he was okay. They must be worried about him after all. Unfortunately no one would answer, or that was what he was told. Gerald did visit him daily. That was his only highpoint in during his stay at the hospital.
"So how have you been holding up, man?"
Arnold sat up in his bed, "So how'd high school go?"
Gerald pulled a seat next to him, "Not bad, not bad. People are beginning to talk though."
Arnold smirked, "What are they hearing?"
"That my best friend has finally woke his lazy butt up and will be back in school soon. Which by the way, I have no idea how you will be able to do. I still don't know how Sid found out. He must have connections in this hospital or something. Everyone is having a 'see to believe' attitude about this, though." Gerald folded his arms and sat back, "I mean, it would be great to have you attending High School with us but how are you going to do it? You should technically be a sophomore like me by now. And I'm going into my Junior year already. "
Arnold sucked his teeth, "Those talking about me getting back into school are going to be wrong. There is no way I can attend High School. I mean- have a Fourth Grade education. "
"So does Harold but that doesn't stop him," Gerald replied with a smirk but he could tell Arnold was not amused by the stare he returned. "Just trying to think positive?"
"Thanks, but we need to be serious. Did you find out anything I could do?"
"It's only been two days Arnold. I need more time to figure stuff out. I mean it's kind of hard since you have me being tight lipped about everything. More people should know you are conscious. I mean, I'm just one guy. We should be telling news reporters, we should be telling the school. The only people who know are me and the boarders at your house. " Arnold rubbed the back of his head, "Listen. I know you want to tell people that I'm conscious but I really do not want to deal with everyone at one time. For now I would just like to talk to my best friend and my family. Thanks for telling them I'm fine for me. I haven't been able to get a hold of phone anywhere here. By the way is there any news from my Grandparents?"
Gerald shifted uneasily in his seat, "I-no. No news yet. Sorry."
"Gerald!" Arnold said firmly, "I thought I asked you to tell them that I'm okay?"
Gerald apologized, "I know, I know. But they're not home. Actually, no one was home."
"Wait- are you saying that no one is at the boarding house? Well-where are they?"
Gerald shifted more in his seat. His eyes darted around the floor. "They-well. They're on vacation? Yeah-vacation. So they're not home."
Arnold let out a sigh, "Well that's disheartening. The first thing I wanted to do was see them but they left on the yearly summer vacation trip already."
Gerald chuckled weakly, "Yeah…bummer." Gerald decided to change the subject. "Well I did think about something else. I remembered a while ago how this foreign exchange kid just took a test and was allowed to participate in High School. Now think about this. What if you took something like that? If you took an Intelligence Aptitude test and passed with flying colors maybe and just MAYBE they'll let you attend High School?"
Arnold bit his bottom lip, "Do-do you think that would actually work?"
Gerald smirked, "Heck yeah! Why wouldn't it? Listen, Arnold. I'm talking with my parents about setting something up while your grandparents are away. As your second emergency contact, my parents and I are allowed along with your Guardian Adlib to make arrangements like this for you."
Arnold raised a brow, "My what?"
"Y'know? That old lady with the thick glasses and eagle nose that came by the day after you woke up?"
"Oh yeah, Ms. White or something is my Guardian Adlib?" Gerald nodded, "Yeah, her. She's the lady who kind of acts like the person who gives advice to what you should do until you don't need her assistance anymore. Right now her and my parents are talking and they're debating if you should join us in high school or not. Which, I really hope you do. I mean you were one of the smartest guys I knew back in the day! I mean it's like on that show 'Are you smarter than a Fourth Grader?' except you are a Fourth Grader! People forget most of the stuff they learn in School anyway besides the essential basics. You just relearn everything from History in High School, have knowledge in basic arithmetic, breeze through science which I know you can do, and do good in English which is just reading about works or the works of a couple of dead guys. You love reading don't you?"
"Well-yeah," Arnold replied uneasily. "but you're logic is flawed in several area Gerald. It's really farfetched."
Gerald pounded his fist, "But that's the beauty of it! It won't be hard for you. Listen we have the summer coming up soon, right?"
Arnold nodded, "Right."
"So that means you have about four months to study your butt off and pass that test! C'mon, where's the kid that believed in crazy ideas?"
Arnold looked down in thought. He rubbed his chin. After a few seconds he decided. He extended his fist towards Gerald, "I use to remember you calling them bold."Gerald let out a triumphant chuckle as their fists collided together, "My, man."
Arnold laughed, "I can't believe all this, Gerald." Arnold ran his hand through his hair, "I really can't."
Gerald nodded, "I know man. I know." The best friends sat silent for a moment, "So who is going to tutor me?" Gerald thought for a second but only for a second. He had the perfect tutor in mind. The only qualified to tackle such a task would be none other than the smartest girl he knew, "Phoebe." Gerald smiled, "She'll do it."
Arnold's face lightened up, "Phoebe? Yeah, Phoebe! It'll be good for me to see another familiar face." Gerald chuckled lightly, "Well, she's still the same old Phoebe. Well, except for the purple highlights in her hair now."
"What? Purple highlights? Phoebe? I didn't know she would do something so-alternative. That doesn't seem like the type."
"I know, right. Helga's idea, and it was a good one this time. I'm telling you man, when I saw my girl greeting me at my locker that afternoon, I was speechless." Arnold leaned forward with a smirk, "Gerald, did you just say 'your girl'?"
Gerald returned the question with a confident smile, "Why, yes. Yes, I did. You are looking at the man with the smartest girl in school as her boyfriend. And let me tell you something, she was worth the trouble to get with." Gerald sat back, he didn't mean to brag, but it felt good to boast that claim. He wondered when Arnold was going to stop laughing though. "What pray tell is so funny about that, Arnold?"
Arnold waved his hand trying to control his laughter which began to die down to small chortles. "Nothing," he choked down another laugh. "It's just, that's great news. To think that I missed all the pre-teenage angst that was involved in that endeavor." Gerald couldn't help but laugh as well, "Yeah, to think you missed me serenading her at her window to 'I saw your face and wow'!" They stared at each other for a moment then the pair started to laugh heartily together for what seemed like forever. Oh god, Arnold thought. It never felt so good to laugh. It started to hurt, but it never felt so good to laugh. "Jokes aside, that is great, Gerald. How long have you been going out?" Gerald tilted his head up in thought, "I'd say about two weeks. It sort of happened at the end of the final semester. So I'm glad you came around now to see the rest of this continue."
"And what about Helga, how is she doing?"
"Besides being a pain in my neck more than in high school than grade school? She still hangs with Phoebe which means I hang with her too. Although we are getting along better in high school than in middle school and grade school. In fact she just a notch above annoying to tolerable."
"So you guys still argue?"
Gerald shrugged his shoulders, "Yeah, but now it's just friendly banter between us, or at least I hope it is. We've been getting close over the years." Arnold pursed his lips but before he could say anything Gerald clarified, "Not like that man. Helga and I had some bonding moments where I got in trouble and when she was in trouble. It's-it's really complicated."
"What do you mean," Arnold asked.
"It's like I said before, and if I didn't yet, things were not the same when you were not around. No one had someone to talk to about their problems. No one could give them advice. So most people came to me since they thought I would have picked up something from you. I mean, I got sick of it after a while so I told all of them that I was done. I mean, except for Helga. I found time to listen to her out of all people. At first I did that solely to get on her good side but also to get on Phoebe's. Helga needed someone else to talk to besides her. Someone-, who could have a second opinion about things. I mean after that day me and her just seemed to, I don't know. Click. Me and her and Phoebe started to get together to do things, which I did not mind at all since Phoebe would come along also. But do you want to know the weirdest thing, Arnold? The weirdest part of all this?"
"I formed a new opinion about Helga. When Phoebe was busy with something and had to bail on doing things together, I didn't mind spending my time with Helga G. Pataki. I actually started to like her. Can you believe that? Can you believe that? Me? Gerald J. Johansson and Helga G. Pataki actually going to movies together or going to lay around on the pier and- just talk? And talk about the stupidest things. Like when she decided to do something about that eyebrow and when I would do something about my sixteen inch afro I kept until freshman year. All we did was goof around. Even I didn't believe it."
Arnold just sat there speechless for a moment, "Neither can I."
Gerald shook his head laughing, "Man, you could not believe the rumors that spread about me and her."
"Wait a minute?! Rumors?"
"Yeah, man. When she and I started to get all buddy-buddy, Rhonda opens up her mouth and BOOM. It spread like wildfire. You cannot believe how ticked off Helga was. I think she was going to kill Rhonda for that when she found out. I'm not kidding either. Helga trapped her head in a bucket and batted balls towards her head one day outside for softball practice when no one was looking."
Arnold started to laugh, "That sounds like, Helga. It's good to know she's doing alright."
Gerald poked his friend on the forehead twice, "She's going to feel a lot better knowing you are here and alright." Arnold swatted his friends hand away, "Really?"
"Yeah, Arnold, she will. She was just the one who made sure you were still alive when we got you here."
Arnold was stunned, "How'd she do that?
"Don't ask me. She just did. And if I was you, the first thing I would do is give that girl nothing less but absolute gratitude."
"You know I would," Arnold replied. "Where is she now?"
"She is probably with Phoebe down at the park. You have to let me tell her, Arnold. She has to know that you're here and you're awake. You owe her that."
Arnold shifted in his seat. He really did. He wanted to, but he just couldn't yet. "I want to tell her thanks, in person. I don't want you to tell her, I'm fine. I want to tell her myself. In person and not in the hospital, okay? It's the last place I want to be seen."
Gerald placed a hand on his shoulder, "I give you my word, Arnold. I will make sure you get out of this place and back home where you belong." Arnold smiled back. He was hopeful, and he was grateful to have found such a loyal friend, "Thanks for everything, Gerald."
Gerald smirked, "Oh, that's not the first time you're going to be saying that. You got a whole lot of other people to thank besides me, Arnold."
Arnold chuckled, "I don't doubt it."
And that is the end of this chapter! Wow, I wrote long for this one. Guess I owe people that much. And don't worry. All the other chapters will be longer and just as or longer than this one! Hope you enjoyed and please review. We are going to get into good stuff next chapter and chapters after that. It's all moving towards Arnold finally getting out this Hospital and out in the real world. How will our Foot Ball Headed Protagonist take it? Find out in the next chapter! All comments are taken are non refundable!