Conclusion!!! Maybe I'm a little biased (it is my story after all) but I seriously got all misty-eyed when I got to this part.
What about you guys? Not being full of it or anything but I am really proud of this story :)


Arnold was still waiting for her answer. Slowly, she withdrew her hand from underneath his. He watched her draw back.

This is it, thought Arnold. Beddy-bye time. She's gonna hit me.

She did, but not the way Arnold had imagined. She whacked the back of his head in a sort of comical big-sisterly way.

"Oww!" Arnold shouted. He got on his feet. "Helga! What's wrong with you?"

"Me?" she replied indignantly, getting up to look him in the eye. She then walked in circles and waved her arms around for emphasis. "What about you? How can you even ask me such a thing? Are you crazy?"

"But I thought...That kiss...didn't you feel anything?"

Helga felt a lump in her throat. Of course she did, and even long before that. She felt a stinging in her eyes.

You better not start crying now, she warned herself. She pretended to laugh.

Arnold winced when she started laughing. He wondered what Helga found so funny that tears started running down her cheeks from laughing.

She wiped her eyes.

"Oh brother, footballhead. " said Helga when she regained composure. "Can't you even comprehend a simple concept such as acting?"

"I know, but-"

"I'm not finished!" she snapped. "Look, I'll admit you did a great job in the play but get over yourself, you're not that good. I mean, you were a good banana, too, when we did the Four Food Groups, but that doesn't mean I wanted to put you in my cereal, now does it?"

Arnold couldn't think of anything to say, he was too confused so he let her go on.

"And what if I did say yes and became your little girlfriend and they asked you to do another play? Would you dump me for your next leading lady and so on? Wait! don't answer that or I'll hit you again, no matter what you say."

"Or maybe you're still getting into character which is why you're forcing yourself to like me, but I've got news for you: Scene's over, Arnoldo."

"I'm not forcing anything." He told her.

"Oh really?" she asked, challenging him. When she saw he wouldn't say otherwise, she added, "So you've really started to like me? Then you're more pathetic than I thought! Honestly, footballhead, can't you think for yourself?"

Arnold blinked. "I don't know what you're talking about." he said.

"Oh yes you do, " she insisted. "You're letting that stupid play decide for you to like me. Just like you only liked Lila after someone else brought it up!"

Helga stopped. She wasn't so sure of the last one, but she always hoped in her heart it was true.

Arnold was dumbfounded. Sure, he didn't think of it that way before, but now he was starting to have doubts. He turned his back on Helga and sat back down.

Helga realized she'd upset Arnold. She was sorry. He had no idea how she felt about him, so he didn't know he would hurt her. What she did was on purpose and it was a low blow. She sat herself beside him.

"Look, Arnold, " she tried again, this time more gently. "All I'm saying is that there's no point in forcing yourself to feel something you don't. You'll find love eventually, you just gotta wait your turn."

She hesitated before saying what she said next for fear it might reveal too much.

But to soothe him, she risked it. "We all do," she added softly. "No cut-sies."

He looked at her. He found it hard to determine which setting she was on at that moment. Not neutral anymore because he definitely saw emotion in her, but she definitely didn't sound like she normally did. She looked and sounded kind of sad.

But wasn't she always sad? he asked himself.

No, she was always unhappy. That's different.

He conceded. "You're right. Thanks, Helga."

And he was grateful. Helga could have told him no and left it at that, but she didn't. She chose to teach him something.

Glad that it was over, Helga replied, "No problem. Hey, you don't mind if I go now, do you?"

"Huh? Of course not, you go ahead."

"Oh good. Because I have to, you know... " Arnold didn't hear her finish her sentence. She got up and walked a few feet away from him.

"...go lick my wounds," she muttered under her breath.

Before she went, she turned to him once more and said, "And Arnold?"

He turned to face her. "Yeah?"

"As far as I'm concerned, this conversation never happened, got that?"

He smiled, glad she felt that way.

They could pretend this never happened and they can go back to normal. That's what he came for anyway, right? If that other thing didn't work out.

"Got it, Helga. " he replied.

And then she was gone, leaving him alone with his thoughts and the sunset.

But as he watched the sun go down, he could think of only one thing:

I wish Helga had stayed a little longer. She might have gotten a kick out of seeing this.