I remember the day that he left us…the day that Arnold went away…
"Arnold…please…wait! Wait for me, Arnold! Don't leave us!" Arnold's twelve year old body turned, his hair strangely damp, which resulted in his eyes being covered.
"Helga…I'm sorry…say good bye to everyone for me." His small and fragile body shook as he turned back around, and walked in to darkness.
And that…wasn't even what happened.
Arnold, you left us without a trace. None of us know where you are, not Harold, Stinky, Phoebe, or even your best friend, Gerald. Your grandparents wouldn't tell us anything, either; they locked themselves up in their home, and never came out, only thinking about their grandson. It was as if you were dead.
But I don't believe that you are dead Arnold…I believe that one day, you will return to us. And when you do, I'll be waiting.
Helga G. Pataki"
G-good morning…" A petite Asian girl walked in to her new class room, looking around nervously for someone she knew.
"Phoebe! Over here!" She turned her head quickly to see her old friends Gerald and Harold. After sighing thankfully, she quickly walked over, grabbing an empty seat beside Gerald. "We're in the same class again, how great!" Gerald said, tilting his head to the side. Phoebe looked at his hair, expecting a giant cylinder of hair to bounce with it, but there was no such luck. He had pulled his hair back so that it was now tamed by braids. It was hard to believe, considering how he kept his hair so long from elementary to middle school.
"Hey Phoebe, do you have any food?" Harold asked, distracting her gaze by rubbing his stomach. She sighed, digging in her purse as she shared a glance with Gerald. Harold's eating habits never changed, despite his muscle growth and fat decay. Actually, it seemed as though he ate more now that he was pumped up about football.
"Here you go. I only have this protein bar." Harold gladly took it, and quickly opened it.
"Thanks! I have to get ready for football after school today!" Phoebe blinked.
"Eh? Did you try-out during the summer?"
"Yep, Coach really likes me, he picked me first on the final choosing session. I'm the best defense player in the ninth grade, he says!" Harold finished stuffing the bar in to his mouth, and smiled as he chewed. Phoebe and Gerald only sighed before sharing a smile.
"He's the same as always…" Phoebe said,
"Even if we're freshmen." Gerald finished. They chuckled with each other as Harold swallowed the lump of food in his mouth.
"Ah, this is going to be a great year!" Harold said, grabbing Gerald by the neck and attempting to sing some song that nobody knew.
"I see everyone is well." The three turned (Gerald had trouble, of course, since he was still in a head lock), recognizing the voice of one of their childhood friends. "Good morning." Phoebe stood up and ran over to hug her best friend tightly.
Her blonde hair, which reached the middle of her back (which was tied in a pony tail), swayed lightly with her loose pink dress as Phoebe squeezed her both curvy and light body. Her sparkling blue eyes narrowed down at the slightly shorter Japanese girl with a dazzling smile; she too had missed her best friend.
"Good morning, Helga!" Helga smiled down at her old buddy, and parted from her. The two walked back over to Harold and Gerald, who nodded and waved to Helga. After returning the gestures, Helga sat down behind Phoebe, claiming the seat quickly.
"So," Helga asked, crossing her legs and leaning forward, "Has anyone heard about our teacher yet? Is he mean or nice?" Harold and Phoebe shrugged, but all three looked to Gerald, who they knew knew something. Gerald opened one eye before smirking lightly to himself. He nodded lightly before speaking.
"He is okay by me. He'll let you off for tardies and you can use the bathroom as much as you like, but he will not accept nasty attitudes." Harold, Gerald and Phoebe looked at Helga with his last comment, and she blinked.
"Come on now, give me a break!" Helga said quickly, her cheeks brightening. "I'm not that bad anymore, am I?!"
"No comment." The three said, causing Helga to growl.
"I've gotten better! Don't be so mean!" She punched Harold on the shoulder harshly and the football player yelped; only Helga could hurt him, whether it was in his pride or bones.
"Ouch! That's why we didn't say anything!" Helga hissed at him, and stalked out of the room. Gerald and Phoebe avoided eye contact with Harold; they knew Helga got mad because of what he said. Harold attempted clearing things up, making himself look like the victim. "S-she hit me really hard! Her hits always hurt, you know what I mean, don't you? Gerald? Phoebe?" But the two only looked at each other before confronting their friend.
"But…Harold…she's been trying to be more feminine since you-know-who left …" Phoebe whispered, not daring to look at him as Gerald nodded.
"That's right. He left us and she suddenly decided that she was going to change everything. Why else do you think we said 'no comment?' Idiot, you said it too." After realizing his flaws, Harold quickly stood up and chased after Helga. Though he was what many would consider 'a stupid jock,' Harold still followed his own code of morals, even though he was also a hot head like Helga. He noticed her stomping through the hall, and he called out to her. She still didn't respond, and his hot head steamed up. As he gripped her arm, she spun around quickly to confront him.
"Helga, wait up! I wanted to say--"
"Don't touch me, or you'll get hurt!" She said as if to mock him, causing Harold to get more defensive.
"What's with you?" He yelled back, "We always joke around like this, what makes it so insulting now?" Helga narrowed her eyes at him.
"What makes you think that it wasn't insulting before?" Harold stopped arguing, and Helga glared at him. He blinked.
"Insulting? Was it?"
"Of course it was insulting, but it makes me feel even worse now because you're a big jock who got hurt by a girl! And that girl doesn't want to be that strong anymore!" She covered her mouth, and began to blush in embarrassment. Harold's eyes widened as he looked at the stubborn girl in front of him. He had always seen her inflexible and harsh side, but never had he seen her blushing…especially like this. He found his own face filling with the same color of red as he gazed at her red face. She noticed him staring, and she walked around him, heading back to the class room. "A-anyway, don't talk to me like that again!" Harold watched her walk away and lifted his hand to his cheek.
"She…she's so cute when she blushes…"
"Good morning, Helga!" Upon hearing her friend, Helga stopped and turned to wait for Phoebe.
"Good morning, Phoebe. Did you get the homework for math done?" Phoebe nodded as Helga groaned. "I got it done, too, but I stayed up until four to finish it!" Phoebe only giggled and Helga blew a strand of hair out of her face. "I don't know if I can make it, Phoebe. It's only second quarter…"
Helga walked in to the usual class room with Phoebe, but noticed that someone was sitting in her seat. She thought that it would be a usual day; she thought that she'd dread school as she usually did, but today, she met a new person, a transfer student. And he was sitting in her chair.
He sat in her seat with his toned legs crossed as he spoke with Harold and Gerald, who seemed to have taken a liking to him quickly. His blonde hair was a shade darker than hers, but his eyes shone bright blue as the light reflected off of them. His clothes consisted of a plaid over shirt, a light blue shirt under, and a pair of loose, black, cut-up jeans. Helga was speechless; the only difference between her beloved Arnold and the kid sitting in her chair was that he didn't have a football head and a little blue hat. But then again, Helga always thought that one day he would 'grow out of them.'
"Oi, Helga! Are you awake?" Helga came back to the real world, and noticed the boy looking at her with narrowed eyes. She blinked, hadn't his eyes just been lit up with joy while talking to Harold and Jerald? Harold leaned over the bar connecting his seat and desk to look at Helga closely. "I was talking to you!" Helga turned her head to Harold, but her eyes almost refused to follow. The boy smirked at her for a moment before looking away, and she, though mad and insulted, finally looked at Harold. Her three friends looked at the new comer, worried that he would be beat up for the move he pulled, but Harold quickly captured Helga's attention. "H-Helga, this is---" Her bag slammed on her desk loudly, and their classmates all turned to look at why so much noise was being made so early in the morning. Helga growled at the boy, and turned around to leave the classroom.
"I don't care who he is, just get him out of my seat by the time I get back." She sent him another glare, and to this one he only smirked at again. As her eye twitched, she called to her best friend. "Phoebe, come with me please."
"P-please calm down, Helga!" Helga gulped down a large mug of coffee in the cafeteria before slamming it down on the table. "This is your third cup already!" But Helga only stood and bought another cup before finally talking with Phoebe.
"I can't help it, Phoebe!" She said, almost yelling, "He was such a jerk to me! And I can't believe I almost thought that he was—" Phoebe blinked as Helga finally calmed herself down.
"Helga?" Phoebe whispered, touching her friend's hand lightly. She jumped in response, and began to laugh loudly. What was she getting so upset for? Arnold left back in the summer of fourth grade; she had managed to deal with it just fine until some knock off came looking like him. She had to get a grip on herself; that kid wasn't Arnold.
"Oh gosh, what am I saying? Sorry I did that, Phoebe, you didn't need to witness that side of me again, only the heavens know how many times you have." She took a last gulp of coffee and stood up, only to sit back down quickly, and lay her head on the table.
"E-eh? Helga, what's wrong?" She tilted her head so that her friend could see her face of pain.
"T…Too much…coffee…" She whispered, gripping her stomach in pain. Phoebe sighed.
"I told you to calm down…"
"Well it was either coffee or the pork rinds, and you know how it is with those things…"
Are you feeling better, Helga?" Harold asked quickly as he noticed the blonde walking back in to the class room. She looked at him with a look of death as Phoebe rubbed her back. When Gerald gave her a questioning look, Phoebe explained.
"She was drinking coffee." Gerald and Harold stared at Helga for a moment before standing up and moving their chairs away from Helga as far as possible. She glared at them weakly and asked them what they were doing.
"Why are you moving your seats so far away?"
"Listen, Helga doll," Gerald said, waving his hand at her as if he were taking her out of a movie, "we've known you for a very, very long time and all, but…" He looked to Harold for some help,
"But because we've known you so long," Harold swallowed the lump in his throat, "We know that you get a little…special…when you drink coffee." Helga only rolled her eyes weakly before sitting down in her chair.
"Well don't worry, I'm too sick to do anything right now." Phoebe gave the two boys a look, and they immediately returned their desks to their normal positions. It was then that Helga noticed that the transfer boy was gone.
"Hey…" She said, lifting her head, "where is the jerk?"
"I'm right here, coffee-girl." Helga turned her head to see him leaning over her, a smirk still glued to his face. Her eye twitched. "And I think we could get along a lot better if you'd call me by my name." Helga turned around in her seat and sat like a boy; it was a good thing she was wearing jeans today. She glared at him, ignoring her churning stomach.
"Well then, what is your name?" The room suddenly got cold, and the two stared at each other for a moment before the boy looked away with a 'humph.' Helga's jaw dropped as he did so, and she clenched the chair tightly, causing cracks to appear in the old wood.
"Well, Harold was going to tell you earlier, but you interrupted him so rudely. You should listen more carefully." With that, he walked out of the classroom, leaving a stunned group of teens; at least until Helga burst with rage.
"I swear, I'll-I'll…I'll do something bad to him!" She avoided using the word 'kill' since she'd almost been suspended by the principal for doing so last quarter. Harold and Phoebe held her down until she calmed down a little. As the bell rang, the teacher walked in with the transfer student at his side.
"Good morning everyone."
"So, I bet you're wondering who this dashing young man beside me is?" He joked with a wink. "Well, this is Bobby…" He stared at his paper for a moment, looked at Bobby, and then back at the paper before Bobby finished it for him.
"Butterfly, sir." He turned from the teacher and looked straight at Helga, who stiffened a little. "Hello, my name is Bobby Butterfly. I just came back from South America." There were 'ohs' and 'ahs' through out the classroom, but certainly none from Helga. "…I hope you will help me catch up." As the teacher began to talk again, girls giggled and boys growled at him, while Helga broke the contact of her eyes from Bobby's.
Even if he is a jerk…I can't help but see Arnold every time I look at him…
"Helga," She still stared at the floor, "Helga!" She snapped her head up quickly to look at her teacher, who was sighing. "Pay attention! We haven't even started class yet!" As the classroom ruptured with giggles, Helga scratched the back of her head and nodded an apology. "Now then, since you already know Bobby," Helga blinked, "You will be showing him around today." Helga stood out of her seat quickly, turning red.
"Huh? B-but, what about my classes?" She stuttered out. Why? Why did all the bad stuff happen to her? The teacher only cocked an eyebrow and looked at her strangely.
"You have the same classes all day, so I don't think you'll miss anything." Helga stared at her teacher in disbelief—no way was this actually happening. No way!