A Picture's Worth a Thousand Words
A/N: Another one-shot! I was brainstorming the other day and I came up with this idea originally for Helga and Arnold, but figured it would work out so much better with Rhonda and Curly. Plus, I have always loved that pairing, so I hope you like it!
It was about 3:30 PM on a Saturday, when 18-year-old Rhonda Wellington-Lloyd was sitting in a large, black chair, her feet soaking in soothing chemicals, and jabbering her mouth off to her best friend.
"Oh, I know, Nadine. If he shows up, I might just die!" Rhonda said into her pink cell phone as she looked over her French manicure, which had finished just twenty minutes ago.
"I'm with you there. Remember last year? When he almost broke your dad's thousand-dollar vase?"
"Ugh, don't remind me. I swear, if Thaddeus 'Curly' Gammelthorpe shows up at my front door, he's not getting in!" Rhonda said scathingly. Gazing towards the Asian woman doing her toes, she sneered and covered the phone with her hand.
"Easy on the cuticles, Jenny." She told the woman before averting back to what Nadine was saying.
"But Rhonda, you basically invited our whole grade. And chances are, he's going to show up."
"Don't be such a downer, Nadine. You're ruining my good mood. Now, I'll see you at eight o'clock tonight. Ta-ta! Oh, and please don't forget to dress red and white. No green." Rhonda demanded. She heard Nadine sigh on the other end.
"Got it. I'll see you then." She said before Rhonda closed her phone and set it on the table beside her. She looked down at her feet, being painted by her pedicurist. Candy apple red with white stripes. They looked gorgeous.
Ten minutes later, Rhonda was hopping into the front seat of her red convertible and zooming home. It was four o'clock now, meaning she only had four more hours to get ready and decorate.
Tonight was Rhonda's annual Christmas party, thrown every year. Of course, her parents never knew about these parties for they were always gone on last-minute business before the holidays. They would be home in two days, so Rhonda had nothing at all to worry about.
Except over the past two or three years, these parties have turned from formal occasions with light small talk, to raving mad booze parties. You know, where lampshades are worn on heads and bedrooms are constantly occupied. Rhonda's house seemed to be the perfect house for this (due to the numerous lamps and guest rooms). And she didn't mind at all. As long as the maids were cleaning the house the next day, there was no harm in these annual parties.
Rhonda pulled up to her house, parked the car, and waltzed in. Before she had left for her mani-pedi at 'Jen's Tens', she set up the food and drink tables for when the caterers arrived, and the selection of music. But she still had a lot of work on her hands. She had to call her friend Phillip to pick up the money to go buy the many drinks (he was the only one of her friends with a fake I.D.), she had to set up the tinsel, she had to make sure every bedroom was clean, and she had to clear one of the refrigerators so that the drinks would fit in them.
Of course, she wasn't doing these jobs herself. She called in a few maids, promising to pay them extra if they didn't mention it to her parents. And if they did happen to mention it, Rhonda would pull out the old puppy eyes and say in her innocent voice, 'It looks like some of the money from your bedroom is missing, Daddy.' And it would all be taken care of.
After calling everyone she needed to call, including some friends to remind them of the 'red and white, but no green' policy, she headed upstairs to choose out her outfit. Stepping into her closet, she headed over to the red section, flicking through the clothes. Nothing good.
Sighing, she headed over to the winter section instead, seeing if she could find a cute white and red combo to go with her toenails. Finally, her hands fell upon a dress that she had bought just yesterday. It was a short, strapless red dress that had a flattering poufy bubble skirt. The bottom hem reached about mid-thigh, and it came with a satin white ribbon to tie around the waist. She held it up to her body and squealed with excitement.
"Perfect!" She whispered to herself as she emerged from the deep closet and hung the dress on the knob. Now, it was time for hair.
She flickered on the light in the bathroom and dug through her drawers of hair products and machinery. Holding up a straightener and a curling iron, she bit her lip. Which one to use?
After a few minutes of weighing out the pros and cons, she went with the curling iron. She waited for a few minutes for it to charge up before she meticulously curled each strand to perfection (not forgetting to hairspray like crazy after each lock, of course). After about an hour of curling, it looked just as she wanted it to. She gave it one last spray, coughed from the fumes getting in her nose, and opened a separate drawer in the bathroom filled with makeup.
Settling on a little bit of mascara and blush, she finished her makeup in forty minutes, tops. And then, the piece de resistance, the dress. She slipped it on carefully, making sure not to smudge her makeup or touch her hair, and tied the bow neatly in the front. Grabbing a pair of satin white heels, she put them on and glanced in the mirror. Perfection.
Sighing happily, she bounced downstairs to see if the maids had arrived yet. Sure enough, two or three of them were bustling about the downstairs area, cleaning and dusting and polishing. The tinsel was already dangling from the ceiling, and the guest rooms seemed to be neat and tidy.
The caterers arrived minutes later, piling the food onto the mahogany tables and leaving in a hurry, just before Phillip arrived with the drinks. Stocking them into one of the fridges, she looked around. Everything seemed to be done, and in ideal timing, too. It was 7:50 P.M.
Dismissing the maids, Rhonda then clicked a CD into the stereo and listened as a low bass started to fill the whole downstairs area. Just as she suspected, the doorbell rang seconds later, and the entrance room started to fill with kids.
Rhonda was surprised to see that almost everyone arrived within the first half hour or so. And, most of them didn't forget her dress policy.
"Arnold, doll, you look stunning." She said to her cornflower-haired friend. He grinned at her uneasily, tightening his grip around his girlfriend's hand.
"Uh, thank you Rhonda. I like what you did with the house," He replied politely. Rhonda chuckled and muttered a 'pshaw'.
"It was nothing, really. Oh, and Helga! What a beautiful outfit. So nice of you to come." Rhonda choked out before heading in a separate direction. Helga chuckled next to Arnold.
"Arnold, doll." She mocked with a sickly sweet smile on her face. Arnold laughed, too.
"That's just Rhonda for you." Arnold replied, kissing Helga's cheek sweetly.
Meanwhile, Rhonda spotted Lila, wearing a beautiful white dress with red accents. After complimenting her on her outfit and thanking her for coming, she moved on to the next bunch of people she knew. Being a host was hard work.
By nine o'clock, the place was overwhelmingly crowded. All of Rhonda's closest friends and not so closest acquaintances were standing around, dancing to the music, or playing some beer-related game on the dining room table.
Eugene was spotted in the middle of the living room, moving to the beat of the music expertly. At the dining room table, Sid and Stinky were dominating at beer pong against Harold and Iggy. Gerald and Phoebe stood hand in hand near the dining room table, cheering on whomever they were rooting for, along with Nadine and her new beau, Paul, an exchange student from France.
It wasn't until 9:30 P.M. that Rhonda heard the doorbell ring. She opened the door, hoping to God that it wasn't another crowd of people. From the looks of it, the house couldn't even hold that much more bodies. But instead, it was worse.
Curly stood in front of her, beady eyes staring intently at her from under the thick glasses that rested upon his stubby nose. And worst of all, he was wearing a green sweater. Rhonda scoffed.
"What do you want?" She asked angrily, as she heard mad cheers coming from inside the house. Apparently, Sid and Stinky won their game of beer pong.
"I'm here for the party! But more importantly, I'm here to see you, my breath-taking beauty." He said seductively, raising his eyebrows at her. She shuddered.
"No, I'm sorry. My house is full." She replied rudely before closing the door and returning back to the living room. By now, almost everyone had a drink in their hands and some were already rip-roaring drunkards.
About twenty minutes later, Rhonda spotted a green flash in the midst of the dancing crowd in her living room. She frowned and plunged into the sea of people, searching for whoever it was.
"My turn! Me next! I want to play!" She heard someone yell excitedly from the dining room table. She looked over to see Curly, looking giddy as someone handed him a ping-pong ball. Storming over to him, she tapped his back slowly. He turned around and his eyes lit up instantly.
"Rhonda!" He exclaimed, a smile on his face.
"How did you get in here?" She asked him frantically.
"Window was open." He replied simply, tossing the ping-pong ball from one hand to the other. Rhonda smacked her forehead.
"Damn. Well, Curly, I'm going to have to ask you to leave." She said as calmly as she could. His face dropped.
"Why? I'm already inside, and it looks like there's enough room for me here. Please?" He asked, letting his lower lip quiver just a bit.
"But you're wearing… green." She commented, clearly disgusted. Arnold, who was within the hearing range, stepped into the conversation.
"Come on, Rhonda. You're being kind of mean. It's one night, how bad could it be?" Arnold said softly. Rhonda groaned.
"Please?" Curly pleaded.
"Fine. Just stay away from me!" She bellowed, turning around and walking into the kitchen to grab herself a drink. Tonight was going to be long.
As it neared midnight, the party got crazier and crazier by the minute. Everyone, even Rhonda, was stumbling about, running into walls, or dancing like crazy. Now Arnold and Helga were at one end of the dining room table, throwing ping-pong balls into Gerald and Phoebe's cups. Sid was seen trying desperately to put the moves on Lila, who reminded him politely that she was 'ever so sorry' and that she 'wasn't into the dating scene at the moment'.
Stinky was nowhere to be seen (either he was throwing up or getting action) and Harold was at the food table, eating obsessively. Rhonda was trying her hardest to supervise the party and make sure nothing was broken but she was having too much fun dancing with Eric (formerly Peapod Kid). It was then that she spotted Curly, at the top of the stairs, holding on for dear life on her banister. There was a crowd of people at the bottom of the stairs cheering him on.
"I'm going to go now!" He cackled insanely, as he began to slide down the banister.
"No! You'll ruin the polish!" Rhonda screamed, shoving all the kids out of the way. She reached the bottom of the steps just in time for him to come crashing on top of her.
"Get off of me!" She screeched, shoving his thin frame off of her. He just kept laughing. Brushing off her dress she stormed in a separate direction to grab another drink. Boy, did she need one.
By one in the morning, Rhonda was completely gone. Still dancing, she was having the time of her life. Until she noticed Curly's pine green sweater right in front of her, looking very drunk as well. But she didn't sneer, scoff, shove him away, or even really notice what was happening. Instead, she let out a wild chuckle and kept dancing. She didn't even notice when Curly left for a second or two to talk to Eugene.
"Do you remember what I told you earlier?" He asked the redhead, who seemed to be the only slightly sober person in the room.
"Yeah. I still have the camera," Eugene replied, pulling out the silver device before dropping it back into his pocket. Curly chuckled.
"Good, good…" Curly slurred, looking back at Rhonda. "I want you to take a picture when you see us kish… er, kiss. Got it?"
Eugene furrowed his brow in confusion.
"How are you going to get Rhonda to kiss you? I thought she didn't like y-"
"Shh, shh. Don't worry about that part, that is all on me. Thanksh bud, I owe you one." Curly patted the boy on the back and made his way back to Rhonda, who was swaying about in an odd fashion. Eugene took out the camera slowly.
"Miss me, Rhonda?" Curly asked seductively, wedging himself in between her and Eric. She didn't respond, instead she just chortled hysterically. Curly shrugged. Better than nothing. Looking over at Eugene, he gave him a thumbs up before inching in just a little closer to Rhonda. She didn't seem to notice. Another step forward, and still nothing. Not even a sneer. She wasn't even looking in his direction. One more step and they were toe to toe.
"Rhonda," He called to her. She seemed startled, as if she didn't see him there. And just like that, he leaned forward just a bit so their noses were touching. Rhonda blinked furiously. And then he touched his lips to hers. He saw a flash go off from the side before Rhonda pulled away and squinted her eyes to him.
"Wh-aat do you think you're doing?" She asked him, her anger disguised by the slur in her voice. Curly didn't respond, instead he looked over at Eugene, who nodded at him.
"One moment, my dove." He mumbled, stepping out of the crowd once again and taking his camera away from Eugene. Although they were in the midst of a crowd, it was clear as day that their lips were locked. Curly smiled triumphantly.
"Good job," He slurred, patting Eugene's head.
Rhonda awoke the next morning, rubbing her eyes tentatively. She was on her couch, along with about five other people. Letting her eyes adjust, she saw teenagers splayed across every surface. Some on the floor, some on the dining room chairs, some on the tables. She groaned softly as she felt a migraine coming on. Getting up very slowly, she stumbled a moment before catching herself and regaining composure.
It was about ten o'clock in the morning, and she needed to get these people out. Waking up the sleeping drunks, she told them that they had to leave within the next ten to fifteen minutes. They all groaned in response.
She spotted Phoebe and Gerald asleep on the dining room table, in each other's arms. Arnold and Helga were entangled in a loveseat, snoring lightly. Harold, Sid, and Stinky were all on the floor, along with Nadine and Paul, Lila, and Iggy. Curly was nowhere to be seen. Rhonda felt somewhat bad having to wake them all up from their slumber, but she needed the house cleaned fast.
About an hour later, everyone was out the door. Rhonda sighed and dialed the maid's number before heading upstairs and collapsing onto her fluffy pink bed.
Feeling rejuvenated, she woke up hours later to find her house clean as a whistle, just like it was before her parents left. She noted to herself to remember to pay the maids extra.
And so her parents came home the next day, didn't notice a thing, and everything was how it should be. The winter break passed by faster than Rhonda had expected, and before she knew it, it was the Sunday before school. For Christmas, her and her parents stayed in a luxurious winter home in Aspen. She got everything she wanted for Christmas (including a new scarf, coat, and purse) and she was definitely not excited to return to her mundane life at school.
Curly, on the other hand, was absolutely thrilled to return. He had a few tricks up his sleeve, and he was excited to put them into action. When he waltzed into school on Monday morning, he had everything prepared.
"Oh, hello Rhonda, my beautiful flower." He greeted her at her locker. She frowned.
"Excuse me? Why are you talking to me?" She asked him, slamming her locker shut.
"Why else, love? After we shared an enchanting night at your Christmas party, I'm surprised you don't want to converse with me." He replied, a smug look playing across his face. Rhonda's eyes widened as passerby's stared at the two.
"What in the world are you talking about?" She asked in frantically.
"You don't remember?"
He grinned evilly. He was quite enjoying this.
"No, I don't." She answered curtly.
"Maybe this will refresh your memory." He stated, pulling out the picture Eugene had taken. She grabbed the picture out of his hand and stared at it with a horrified look on her face.
"What the…?!" She screamed frantically, ripping up the photo into tiny bits and pieces. Blowing a strand of hair out of her face, she appeared triumphant.
"Now what are you going to do?" She asked him, grinning. He didn't look phased.
"There is plenty more where that came from," He replied, grabbing a few more out of his backpack. Rhonda shrieked.
"You're a sick creep!"
Now, almost everyone in the general vicinity was gawking at them. She looked around laughed nervously.
"Heh, heh. Nothing to see here, move along," She muttered to the lookers. Turning back to Curly, she poked a finger at his scrawny chest.
"Look here, I don't know what your deal is, but you have to get rid of those pictures!" She pleaded desperately. He squinted at her.
"Hmmm. I don't think so. I've got a proposition for you."
She groaned loudly.
"Go on a few dates with me. I'll show you that I'm a nice guy!" He stated.
"And if I don't?"
"Well, then these pictures will mysteriously slip their way into our friend's lockers. Or maybe I'll just scatter them casually about the school grounds. Who knows?"
Rhonda felt her face drop dramatically. Why was he doing this to her?
"One date. Just one." She finally sighed.
He pulled the picture out of his backpack again and held it up high.
"Okay! Okay! Two."
He grinned successfully.
"This Friday, babe. Don't forget it." He winked at her before waltzing in a separate direction. She felt like crying.
Before she could blink, Monday turned to Friday. The last bell rang and she prayed that she didn't have to go on a date with that repulsive little jerk.
Unfortunately, the doorbell rang at around 6:30 PM. She trotted down the steps sullenly and opened the door. There stood Curly, rose in his hand and smile on his face.
"Hello beautiful!" He cajoled, handing the rose to her. She casually threw it behind her shoulder and walked onto the doorstep.
"Let's just get this over with. And stop calling me those nicknames!" She chided as they walked down the steps and onto the sidewalk.
"…Where's your car?" She asked.
She groaned for the eighth time that day when she saw a bike. Wait, that wasn't just a bike, it was… a motorcycle?
"You drive a motorcycle?"
"Impressed?" He asked her.
They both hopped onto the bike and he revved up the engine fiercely before they shot off into the distance. Just a few moments later they pulled up to a quaint little bistro next to the coffee house.
"Here we are," He said grandly as they stepped into the restaurant. After being seated and ordering, Rhonda had no idea what to talk about. Luckily, that was not the case for Curly.
"So what made you finally consider me? Was it the charm?"
Rhonda just stared at him, bewildered.
"What in the world are you talking about? You tricked me into this by taking advantage of me when I was drunk!" She said exasperatedly. Curly shrugged.
"Quite the party that was. Surprised your parents let you have such a huge shindig." He commented, taking a sip of water.
"They didn't know, duh. They were out of town. Don't you ever do anything at your house when your parents aren't around?"
Curly's grin faded just slightly.
"Oh… I don't have paren-uh, it's a different situation for me." He said all too quickly. Rhonda stared at him for a second and didn't respond.
"But I have to admit, that party was fun. Sorry I rubbed the polish off your banister…" He said apologetically, scratching the back of his head. Again, she just stared at him, not sure whether to accept the apology or sneer at him and say that he should be sorry.
"It's not that big of a deal."
Contrary to popular belief, Rhonda did have a conscience. A small one, but it was there. And even if this situation was totally and completely ridiculous, he was being genuine about his apology. Just then, the waiter approached them.
"Here you are," The waiter said politely, placing their dishes in front of them. Curly smacked his lips happily.
"This looks delicious! Thank you, sir," He replied to the waiter as he turned to leave. Rhonda couldn't help but notice how polite the boy was. But she shook that notion off. He was still a creep. A creep, and a jerk.
They ate in mostly silence, except for the occasional comments from Curly on how good the food was. When the waiter dropped off the check, Curly reached for some money in his pocket. Rhonda almost felt bad that he was paying, but after all, he was blackmailing her. So she didn't say a word.
"Am I going home now?" She asked as they left the building.
"Not so fast, missy." He replied, veering her away from the motorcycle and leading her behind the restaurant.
"What are you going to do, kidnap me?" She asked, half-playful and half-worried. He laughed.
"No. Just follow me." So she did, grudgingly. Behind the restaurant was a park she had never seen before. White bulbs still hung from the streetlights, left over from Christmas. The two walked in silence under them.
"Nice lights, huh?" Curly asked enthusiastically.
Rhonda pulled her mink fur coat tighter around her body as a zephyr of freezing air brushed passed them. She looked over at Curly to see that he was only wearing a thin sweater.
"Aren't you cold?" She inquired. He shrugged.
"Nah. I mean, the heater's broken in my house so I'm kind of used to it." He replied simply. As he talked, Rhonda could see his breath come out like smoke into the air. She sighed heavily.
"I know, I know. You want to go home." He said grudgingly. Well, even if that was the truth, she felt somewhat saddened at the way that he worded it. Damn it, she thought, why must my conscience kick in now, of all times?
"Let's head back." He proposed, before she could say anything. Instead, she just nodded.
The motorcycle ride home was quick, and before she knew it, Curly was walking her up to the doorstep. The 'date' had only lasted about two hours or so but it felt much longer to Rhonda.
"So, next Friday?" He asked her. She rolled her eyes and nodded.
"Uh huh." And with that, she opened the door.
"Hey, I'm sorry about this all. I'm just trying to prove to you that I'm a nice guy."
She blinked at him a few times.
"…It's okay." She said, before closing the door.
On one hand, she couldn't believe him for blackmailing her like that. But on the other hand, she would have never said yes to go on a legitimate date with him, ever. So he did something so incredibly ludicrous and stupid, but he did it to prove himself to her. She rubbed her temples thoughtfully. All this nonsense was making her nuts.
The next Friday, she found herself in the exact same position. Opening the door to see Curly, who surprisingly hadn't bothered her all week, with another flower for her. She placed it on the coffee table before heading outside to see the familiar fire-truck red motorcycle parked outside her house.
"Where to tonight?" She asked dully.
"You know, go kart racing."
Before Rhonda had the chance say anything else, they zoomed off. This time, the ride was much longer.
They arrived at a stadium-like building. They entered and paid for two kart passes before heading over to the track. Curly and Rhonda waited in line as they watched the racers, mostly twelve and thirteen-year-olds, race around the road. Rhonda looked disgusted.
"And this is supposed to be… fun?" She asked him as the race ended and the kids exited the racetrack. Curly laughed as he showed the rather obese worker their tickets.
"You'll see," He told her as they climbed into two separate karts, followed by enthusiastic-looking kids who argued loudly about which colored kart they would get to ride in. Rhonda grabbed a hold of the deteriorating seatbelt and, with difficulty, latched it into the metal slot. She shuddered as she thought of all the disgusting children who had touched these karts with their grubby little hands.
The racers watched as the light turned from red to green, signaling the start of the race. As Rhonda pushed her foot down on the pedal she squealed when she zoomed off onto the track, right behind Curly, who was chuckling at her reaction. The first few turns were rough, but after the first lap she was getting the hang of it. Hell, it was kind of fun.
By the end of the race, Rhonda came in right behind Curly, who was behind two or three others.
"Again?" He asked her. She shrugged.
"What the heck. Why not?" She said as they got back into the line.
This time, Rhonda got ahead of Curly during the first lap of the race. She laughed hysterically as she turned rapidly around the corners, making faces at Curly.
She won that race, and she was very proud of it, too.
"I beat you by a long shot in that one!" She gloated, smiling triumphantly. He just grinned and shrugged.
Again, they stood in line, but this time, Curly decided to be bold.
"How about we get a two-seater kart?" He asked her with a glint of hope in his eye. She groaned.
"Fine." She replied grudgingly, although she didn't put up that much of a fight. Curly, being the 'gentleman' that he was, allowed her to drive and him to be in the passenger seat. They started off zooming in front of everyone else. The good thing about the two-seater kart was that it could efficiently block the road to others passing you, if you drove in the correct position. Rhonda and Curly laughed hysterically as the kids behind them looked rather pissed off.
But then she heard a voice that caused her to stop laughing all together. She could recognize that voice anywhere.
"Come on, football head, can't keep up?" Helga taunted her boyfriend. They were both two and three cars behind them, but Rhonda could hear her jeers and insults anyways. She gulped and didn't even realize that she was slowing down significantly.
"Rhonda, what're you doing?" He asked her, clearly befuddled.
Shaking out of her daze, she sped up to make sure they didn't see her. But it didn't do much good. As they exited the track, Helga and Arnold were right behind them.
As soon as they got out, Rhonda ran in a separate direction, claiming she had to use the ladies room. Curly shrugged. In the bathroom, Rhonda's eyes grew wide as she turned on the sink to distract herself. Would Helga tell her friends about this? And if Rhonda confessed that it was blackmail, would Curly distribute that awful picture? She growled angrily.
Emerging from the bathroom, she grabbed Curly's arm and pulled him out to the parking lot.
"No more races?" He asked innocently. Rhonda sighed.
"No, Curly. No more races." She said dully, hopping onto the motorcycle.
However, they veered off onto a different street on the way back to Rhonda's, and he stopped in front of an ice cream parlor.
"Hungry?" He asked her. Come to think of it, she was famished. Shrugging, they sauntered into the parlor. He, again, paid for her and she began to wonder where he was getting all this money from.
"I can pay you back if you want," She mumbled quietly as they sat down. He took a large spoonful of his double chocolate chunk ice cream and looked at her thoughtfully.
"No, it's okay," He replied. She looked down at her nonfat vanilla ice cream and stirred it around carelessly.
"Where do you get the money, anyways?" She asked him.
"I work down at Florencia's Pizzeria," He explained, "It pays pretty good."
"Oh. Cool." Rhonda replied, taking a bite of ice cream.
"I mean, I'm kind of forced to work anyways, it's a good thing I like the job." He said, looking down at his ice cream. She thought for a moment back to the night at the restaurant when he had mentioned something about not having parents… she wondered if this had to do with it. But she didn't pry anymore.
"Nonfat vanilla, huh? Boy, living on the wild side." He said sarcastically.
"I'm trying to watch my figure," She replied simply, taking another small bite. He looked at her peculiarly.
"You don't need to watch your figure, trust me. You're beautiful." He mumbled quietly. She was taken aback at this statement. Well sure, Curly was prone to very 'flattering' nicknames, but he had never sincerely complimented her. She almost blushed.
"Thanks." She replied. It became slightly silent for a few moments.
"Double chocolate chunk has always been my favorite." He told her, taking a spoonful into his mouth, "I used to have it almost every day when I was a kid."
Rhonda nodded, finishing off her ice cream. They both simultaneously rose and threw their cups away before heading outside, once again.
"Back home, milady?" He asked her, without the usual tone of seduction in his voice.
"Yup." She replied, hopping onto the bike behind Curly. Just minutes later, they pulled up to her house and he was walking her to the door, once again.
"Well, I don't know if I've changed your view on me. I doubt it, actually. But I definitely had fun, even if you dreaded it. Goodbye, Rhonda." He said as they reached the door. His voice sounded regretful. He turned on one foot to leave.
"I didn't dread it, Curly." She called after him. He turned his head to gaze at her as she talked, "I have to admit… the circumstances were utterly ridiculous. Blackmailing me? That was awful. But you are a nice guy underneath it all." She answered him, feeling oddly honest that night. He seemed to blush.
"Glad to hear it. Goodnight." He waved goodbye to her before heading back down the steps to his bike. She didn't immediately go inside. Instead, she watched and waited for him to leave before she opened the door and closed it behind her.
Monday morning came very soon after that, and Rhonda felt apprehensive. She wondered if Helga or Arnold had told anyone about Friday night. But when she arrived at school, no one stared at her peculiarly, or asked her anything about it. She sighed with relief, until she reached her locker and Helga was standing next to it, popping her gum.
"Hello, Rhonda," She greeted her coldly.
"Oh, hi Helga." She responded, trying to keep her cool.
"So, I saw you and Curly at the go kart arena this Friday. What gives? I thought you hated the little creep," Helga asked her, picking at one of her nails. Rhonda gulped, afraid of this conversation.
"I do, I was just … doing him a favor. Trust me. It meant nothing." Rhonda said, assuring Helga. She still didn't look convinced. "I mean, seriously. Me? On a date with… him? Ew. Gross. He's repulsive."
Helga raised an eyebrow at the rambling girl.
"You guys seemed to be having fun," She prodded.
"Oh, please. Who could ever have fun with that weirdo? It was absolutely awful. As soon as I got home I had to take a freaking shower, for God's sakes." She replied fervently. Helga shrugged.
"Whatever you say, Rhonda. I'll see you later."
As soon as Helga turned her back, Rhonda let out the breath that she had been holding throughout that whole conversation. Close one.
Little did she know that Curly had been just a few feet behind her, and he heard the whole thing. He stared at her, a hurt expression smeared across his face as she tentatively opened up her locker. Just as she was turning around, he darted to the bathroom.
The next morning, Rhonda opened her locker to find a note with something attached. She opened it, and stared at the boyish handwriting scrawled onto the paper.
I honestly don't know why I decided to believe you on Friday night, when you said that I was 'a nice guy underneath it all'. I have to admit, I was pretty happy when you said that. Hell, I was giddy. I had thought that for at least one moment when we were hanging out that you did a double take, and realized that I'm not bad. The picture? It was the only way of getting your attention. Any other time I'd approach you, it was always 'What do you want?' or 'Get away from me!' So yeah, I did something crazy. And yeah, it wasn't very fair to you but all I wanted was a chance. And I thought that I had at least showed you what kind of guy I was.
But yesterday, all of that just fell down the drain for me. 'He's repulsive… Who could ever have fun with that weirdo?'
I understand now how you feel. Sorry I was so 'creepy' and that going out was so 'awful'.
P.S. I threw away the copies of the picture. This is the only one left.
And attached to the letter was the picture of them, in the middle of Rhonda's living room, in a lip lock. She stared at it for a few moments, and sighed. She had no idea he was standing around her when she said that. And now her conscience was kicking into overdrive. She felt guilty, shameful, angry, and upset all at once. She couldn't help but wonder where her conscience had been all her life, and how was it that Curly, of all people, could make it start up again?
She folded the letter and put it back into the locker, and she was about to do the same with the picture. But she didn't. Instead, she stared at it for a few more moments, taking in all of the details. The crowd, the ecstatic look on Curly's face and how his eyes were closed and hers were opened.
Instead of sticking it in her locker, she glanced at the side door and grabbed a magnet, and stuck the picture onto the side door of the locker, along with a few pictures of her and Nadine. Feeling slightly better, she closed the locker and headed to class.
Days passed, and she didn't see Curly in the hallways. She wasn't exactly looking for him, but it kind of worried her. She wondered if something had happened to him, or if he was just ignoring her. It wasn't until the next Monday, when Rhonda was rifling through her locker to find her math book, when she saw someone out of the corner of her eye. It was Curly. But he wasn't looking at her; he was looking at the picture that was posted up on her locker.
He didn't move. He didn't say hello, call her some weird nickname, he didn't speak at all. Instead, he just smiled. And for once in her life, she smiled back at him.
A/N: Wow, that turned out to be longer than I had planned! Anyways, I hope you guys liked this one-shot, because I had a lot of fun writing it! Getting into Rhonda's character is so much fun because she can be so snooty! Hah, anywho, review and let me know what you thought.