XD Well guys, here's a little epilogue for you. I wanted to do one anyway! So enjoy! :)
And yes...you can see I was in a nostalgia moment with the kite portion of this. XD Ah, the memories of childhood...
"Arnold! Helga! Come on downstairs! We got something for you!"
Arnold and Helga, who were in his bedroom playing a board game together, exchanged glances after Miles called them from downstairs. They stood up, both silently wondering what was up, and left his bedroom, going downstairs.
It was the following Sunday since Miles and Stella had been home. All weekend, the entire family, with Helga included, just caught and chatted all together, sharing stories and fun times. Miles and Stella got a laugh at how similar the kid's relationship was to Phil and Gertie when they'd been younger. They spoke about their years in school and things they'd done, Helga gave a brief mention of her real family at home but didn't go into too much details at the moment, and then came the very thing that brought it all in place, the fracturing of Arnold's leg.
"It was painful, and it wasn't any fun being so debi...debila...Helga, what's that word again?" Arnold had said.
"Debilitated." Helga had told him.
"Right, debilitated. I couldn't walk or do anything that involved moving my leg, I either had to have help or not do it at all. But in all, I'm so glad I did fracture it because it brought me closer to Helga, and now here we are. Here we all are."
In all, it was a great weekend so far. Miles and Stella were now officially staying in Hillwood, and moved into a spare room of the boarding house, so that Arnold wouldn't have to leave the house. They had also promised the Green-Eyed people in San Lorenzo that they would visit that summer, and bring Arnold along. This of course dismayed Helga, since the thought of spending an entire summer alone without him would be devastating. Though she tried not to show it, Arnold knew right away she didn't like the idea of him being gone. As exciting as it was, he didn't look forward to being separated from her, either.
"It'll only be for two weeks." Stella had said.
"Exactly, so don't worry, kiddo. We'll be back before you know it." Miles had assured.
Summer was fast approaching, too. So it wouldn't be long until the trip came into place.
So Arnold pulled Helga aside to talk to her alone about it.
"It's okay if you feel upset, Helga. I can understand why you don't want to be away from me for so long."
Helga just looked down at her shoes. "But I feel terrible, Arnold! You need this time with your family and here I am holding you back with my stupid feelings of missing you too much and trying to convince you otherwise! I'm selfish, Arnold. Your parents haven't been able to see you in years and vice-versa, we've seen each other every day since preschool and now we're together...Arnold, I feel bad! I should be happy and encouraging it!"
"Of course I am. I just don't want you to go."
"Helga Helga..." Arnold gave her a hug. "It's nothing to be ashamed of. I'm not exactly too crazy about being away from you for so long either. Especially now with the family back together and our relationship better than it has ever been. But I'll write to you, and I'll be back before you know it. I love you, Helga. Don't ever forget that. And I will always come back to you."
Sniffling, Helga wiped her eyes. "You're right, Arnold...I guess I should do what you do and look at the bright side. Maybe some time apart could be good for us."
"For the big picture, maybe, but not personally." Arnold chuckled. "Don't worry, after I get back, I'll be all yours. Promise."
"Okay, darling." She finally smiled. "...Arnold?"
"What if your parents move there, and...make you...live there with them too?"
Taken aback by that idea, Arnold was unsure of how to respond. He hadn't thought of that, and his parents didn't mention anything like that, since they WERE now living in Hillwood from now on, but...what if plans changed?
"I don't know." Arnold said honestly. "I mean, I guess it would be something different, and I would get to be with them and all, but...I'm happy here. Hillwood is my home, and it always will be. I don't know if I could."
"You better not. Because I'll hunt you down and give you a taste of Old Betsy and the Five Avengers!" She placed both her fists on his cheeks.
"Whatever you say, Helga." Arnold laughed, and hugged her again. "But let's not worry about it now, we've got all the time in the world for now. So let's make the best of it until school's out and we leave."
"Okay, football head."
Now today, they were in for a little surprise before Helga would have to go home later on.
Once downstairs, Miles grinned and presented them with a kite he had hidden behind his back. It was well done, but obviously hand-made.
"Whoa, a kite!" Arnold exclaimed. "What's this for, Dad?"
"I thought the four of us could go down to the park, and get this baby in the air!" Miles grinned. "It's time for some quality family time! So kids, in the words of David Tomlinson in the classic Mary Poppins...let's go fly a kite!"
"All right! Let's go!"
"We're not going to start skipping down the street hand-in-hand singing the song, are we?"
Miles and Stella laughed, and took the kids's hands before going outside. Before they knew it, they were all skipping down the sidewalk together, hand-in-hand, all singing Let's Go Fly A Kite together.
And for once, Helga didn't care. She was having too much fun with her honourary family to care anymore.
It was time, after all, for the two kids to just be kids for a change.
"With tuppence for paper and strings,you can have your own set of wings.
With your feet on the ground, your a bird in flight!
With your fist holding tight,to the string of your kite!
Oh, oh, oh
Let's go fly a kite
Up to the highest height
Let's go fly a kite
And send it soaring
Up through the atmosphere
Up where the air is clear
Oh, let's go fly a kite!
Let's go fly a kite
Up to the highest height
Let's go fly a kite
And send it soaring
Up through the atmosphere
Up where the air is clear
Oh, let's go fly a kite!"
The four of them headed off to Tina Park, still skipping and singing together. An occasional passerby would pay them a look, but generally, no one seemed to care about it. After all, it looked as if Miles and Stella had two kids as opposed to just one, joined by their son's little girlfriend. And they looked like they were having so much fun and not causing any harm, so really, no one cared. A couple of families nearby did find it amusing and quite adorable, however.
So they selected a wide open spot not occupied or surrounded by many people, and boy was it windy! A perfect day to fly a kite.
"When you send it flying up there, all at once your lighter than air!
You can dance on the breeze, over houses and trees!
With your fist holding tight, to the string your kite!
Oh, oh, oh
Let's go fly a kite
Up to the highest height
Let's go fly a kite
And send it soaring
Up through the atmosphere
Up where the air is clear
Oh, let's go fly a kite!"
"Okay, now, Dad!"
Miles grinned and let the kite go, flying up high into the air. It flew perfectly, just as they'd hoped. He rejoined them, standing next to his wife while the two kids stood in front of them, all watching with amazement and joy as their kite was flying in the sky.
It was so amazing, not just the kite flying, but spending time with his parents like a real kid would on a fun weekend day where they would go somewhere and do something fun, just to have fun and bond. Best of all, he was able to share this with the love of his life as well.
Flying their kite together like this, they looked like a perfect family.
So much so, that Stella, who had brought her camera along, had gotten a passerby to take a few photos. There was a shot of them flying the kite, Helga insisted they have a single family shot and took this one herself, then Arnold suggested they get a photo of the two of them, and it went on and on.
Now they stood as they did before, continuing to fly the kite, in contended silence but in all smiles and wonder.
Helga then turned her gaze away from the kite and looked right at the boy of her dreams. A boy who had given her so much happiness, and then some. She beamed big, and threw her arms around his neck from beside him, kissing him on the cheek. Arnold chuckled and gave her a warm smile before going back to flying the kite. Pulling back from him, Helga stood back up against Stella, and brought her arm around Arnold's shoulders, smiling big as she watched the kite glide and float in the sky.
Like Arnold, she felt happier than she could have possibly been in her entire life.
"Well, hello there, little lady!" Phil cajoled as he opened the door. "What brings you here today?"
"Nothing much, Phil." Helga shrugged. "I had nothing better to do, so I decided to come by here and see if you guys needed any help with anything."
"Awww, isn't that just thoughtful of sweet ol' Eleanor!" Gertie gushed, having overheard as she came out from the kitchen. "Come in, come in! I was just making some raspberry cookies!"
"Pookie, you know what those cookies do to poor ol' Phil!" Phil said.
"Now now Phil, we have Lady Roosevelt herself here today! Come now and behave yourself!" Gertie laughed. "Come, Eleanor, and you can help me! It would be my greatest honour!"
"Sure, Gertie. I just have to drop something off in Arnold's room." Helga said, her gaze dropping.
At the beginning of summer vacation, Arnold and his parents had gone down to San Lorenzo as planned, two weeks ago. Sure, it was only two weeks, and a couple days more than that, much to her dismay, but it still felt like an eternity. She missed him so much. They kept in touch through letters, and e-mail courtesy of a wireless laptop Miles had recently bought.
Arnold wrote back to her as much as he could, telling her about what was going on and how pretty it was down there, sending her photos, and most of all, telling her he missed her too.
The first two nights he was gone, she silently cried in her bed, unable to help it. Now that she was used to him being gone, it wasn't a bad, but she still missed him like crazy, hoping and praying he would come back soon. There was still no sign of them, which worried her.
Maybe it was time to check if he'd written back...
She slinked over to his computer, knowing he didn't mind if she used it. Logging in, she gave a joyous squeal to see that he had replied yesterday in fact.
How are you doing over there? Sorry I didn't get a chance to reply to you in a while. Dad took us down to a neat location outside the jungle where we camped out for a few days. It was really beautiful, with the waterfalls and the trees and flowers, and the spectacular views! I sent you some pictures of it in the attached folder, so definitely check them out when you get the chance.
Other than that, we're doing pretty good here now. The Green-Eyed people are doing well, too, which is good news since Mom and Dad don't have to worry so much about them like before. One of the kids, a little younger than me, his name is Garcia, and he wanted me to tell you hello. Yes, I told him about you. XD Sorry about that.
I miss you so much, Helga, I really do. Every night I look out my window in the hut and just stare up at the moon and stars, wondering what you're doing at the present moment, and wishing you were there with me. I haven't stopped talking about you some of the time...okay, most of the time, with Mom and Dad. XD I can't stop thinking about you, and every now and then I turn around thinking you're coming up behind me, but no. Often I sit somewhere, especially in the little camping spot, and imagine you there with me, both of us enjoying it together. You know, I'll have to talk Mom and Dad into letting you come with us next time. Oh well, I do have your little picture with me, that always helps.
Anyway, I won't bore you with my pathetic "missing you!" anymore. But of course, knowing you, you'll just say "Oh, go on.", and I wouldn't be able to resist. XD
Still, I feel like my arm is missing. I expect it to be there, but it's not.
I can't wait to see you when we get back. It should be soon, whenever Mom and Dad are ready to leave.
Hang in there, angel.
P.S. Don't tell Gerald. ;)
Helga giggled, letting out a dreamy sigh as she read over his e-mail. What a sweetie! She still couldn't get over it, and yet he never failed to show it. In return, she worked more to show it right back. And it was working a lot more now, since it came full circle after Miles and Stella came home.
"Ohhh Arnold...my football-headed love God!" Helga cooed, getting up from his chair and shutting the computer off. "How you never fail to make me smile though you are thousands of miles away... How I miss you dearly when you are not near, how I long for your touch...." She took out her locket and looked at the adorable and recent photo of him, his half-lidded smiling gaze looking back at her. "Arnold my love, return to me soon, return me into that embrace I so hold dear! To feel your kiss that makes me no longer fear!"
She let out a sigh, and kissed her locket photo.
"Come back soon, you stupid little football head..." She said affectionately. "Or I'll just have to pound you into next month!"
That was when a pair of arms came around her middle from behind, and a head rested up against her back. Helga froze, looking down to see thin, blue clad arms around her.
"Do I still get to be pounded?" Came the ever familiar voice from behind her.
"Nah, you're off the hook this time, pal. You'll just have to deal with me never leaving your side until I'm done with you." Helga said, softening and her heart exploding with joy.
Arnold chuckled, and let go, coming around to her front. "That sounds good to me. If that's torture, chain me to the wall."
Helga grinned happily, and then hugged him with all her might. "Arnold! Oh Arnold! I missed you!"
Laughing, her hugged her back and patted her. "I missed you too, Helga. I'm glad to be back."
The two hugged for a little bit, and then parted to look at each other, though still embracing.
"So when did you get back?"
"About and hour ago. I was about to go visit you at your house, but since Grandpa figured you'd be stopping by today, he thought it would be better if I surprised you like this."
"Well!" Helga then pulled him closer to her, leaning down toward him. "Come here and kiss me, football head! I must feel your lips, my love!"
Before he could reply, she kissed him feverishly, having been deprived of his soft and delicious lips for two weeks was just sinful. Arnold, feeling the same way, kissed her back and stood on tiptoe. Her kisses were always so overpowering and addictive, just as it had been back on the FTI building, their first actual kiss that wasn't scripted.
Neither of them knew how long they'd been kissing, and broke away for the need to breathe, looking into each other's eyes.
"Did I ever tell you that you have gorgeous eyes, darling?" Helga lay her forehead against his, playing with his hair.
"Only a million times." Arnold grinned. "By the way, I have something for you."
"Oh? Something for me? Well! Let's see it then."
"All right, hold on." He let go of her, and went to where he'd placed his bag next to his door. He reached in for something, and came back with a small box. "Here you go. I had this made for you in San Lorenzo. I uh...designed it myself."
"Wow, really? Gosh, Arnold..." Helga was touched he'd done that. She opened the box, revealing it to be a gorgeous necklace. It was in the shape of a heart on a silver chain. The heart was carved out of a red-coloured shiny rock, etched into it was an "H" out of really small diamonds, and little smaller rocks making the shape of the heart. On the back of the necklace were the words Para mi Ángel"A-Arnold...! Oh my Gosh...! Are these...are these REAL diamonds?!"
Arnold nodded. "Yeah, they are. The blacksmith who made this let me use them for free, since he has a lot in his shop. The rock as you can see is red, which is a rare rock found around the country. I picked the diamonds and the redness of the rock, since you're an Aries, with your gemstone being a diamond and your colour being red." He smiled and showed her the back. "I'm no good at Spanish, but that means 'To My Angel'."
"Arnold...this is...this is too much!" Helga uttered, tears in her eyes. "Oh gosh, I love it! But I can't accept this...it's too much!"
"Don't say that. I want you to have it, I had it made for you." Arnold assured her.
"I...I...oh Arnold, you're too much." Helga wiped her eyes. "Here, put it on me then."
He took the necklace and went behind her, carefully bringing it around her neck and then tying the clasp.
"There you go." Arnold smiled, and kissed her neck sweetly before coming back around to face her. "Let's see it." He studied her, and grinned. "It looks terrific on you, it really does."
Helga beamed, and kissed him lovingly and deeply in thanks, leaving the poor boy in a lovesick daze.
"Well football head, I've got something for you too. But it's not as big! So thanks a ton."
"Oh come on, Helga. You know I'll always appreciate a gift you give me."
"But it's cheap! Yours is probably worth thousands of dollars!" Helga cried.
"Helga, calm down." Arnold said firmly but gently, placing his hands on her shoulders. Once she was quieted down, he softened and touched her cheek. "I would never downsize the value in a gift you give me just because it doesn't cost a fortune. It's the thought that counts, and that's the true value. I love you, and no kind of gift could change my mind."
"Okay." Helga said, relaxing under his warmth and touch. "Hold on, it's right here. I'll go get it."
She went to his desk, where a box sat, that she had brought with her today. She had wanted to leave it in his room so he would see it when he got back, and now with this unexpected turn of events, she could give it to him in person. Even better!
"Well, here you go." Helga held out the light blue box to him topped with a plastic wrapping bow. "Um...Happy Un-Birthday?"
Arnold laughed, taking the box from her. "Nice one, Helga."
She grinned at him.
He sat on his bed, placing the box on his lap and taking the lid off. Helga went over and sat beside him, watching as he removed the tissue paper to see the contents of the box.
Inside was a thick, hardcover book that was entitled Jungle Expedition written by one of his all time favourite authors. It was a book he'd been trying to get for the past while but could never find. Being adventurous, a dreamer, and also soon finding out his parents often led expeditions in jungles, and he heard one of his favourite authors had a book that told a story of an expedition in the jungles of Africa.
"Oh, wow!" Arnold exclaimed in surprise. "Helga, how did you find this?! This book is so hard to get!"
"Had to pull a few strings." Helga said with a light shrug. "Bob was flicking the channels and an advertisement for this book showed up, and I figured you'd want it since you like the author, and plus, your parents have been in and around the jungle so many times, right? And funny thing, the author of the book, Jack Leery, actually went to college with my dad."
"No way! He did?!"
"He did. So, I asked Bob to call him and see if we could get a copy of his book. He got him on the phone, and I talked to him, asking if he could send an autographed copy of his book. He was happy to do it, and it finally came in today, so I decided to bring it over to you so you'd find it."
"Really?! Jack autographed it?!"
"Yep, open the cover."
Arnold pulled back the hard cover, coming to see a signature and message on the title page. It read:
To my fan Arnold,
I'm very humbled that you enjoy my books so much. It means a lot to me, and I very much appreciate it. I see now that this book here bears personal significance to you, which I must say is an honour. I hope you will enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it.
Follow your dreams, and never give up, my young friend.
P.S. Your girlfriend is a keeper!
"Ain't that the truth." Arnold said in a fake Southern drawl, imitating Stinky. "Gosh Helga...this is, this is just so cool! Thank you!" He placed the box next to him on the bed and turned to hug her.
"Aww, it was nothing." Helga ruffled his hair and hugged him back. "There's more in the box, you know."
"Huh? There is?"
"Yeah, so go and take a look."
"Okay." Arnold took the book out of the box, placing it on his bed and then returned the box to his lap. There was a slip of plain white paper, with drawn on little balloons and colourful shapes. On it was written "Welcome Back, Football Head" written above a football with spiked blonde hair. He gave her an amused mock annoyed glance. "Very funny, Helga."
She grinned at him again. "Now check UNDER the paper."
He did, and came to see a thick scrapbook. On the cover page, it was plastered with hearts, their names, and on the front written in colouring pencil was "Arnold & Helga's Scrapbook". Amazed, he pulled it out, placing the box aside and looking through it. Inside, a few pages were drawn on and filled with some photos, cut outs, and copy and pasted words. There were also slips of notepad paper taped to each page, each containing a poem.
The photos were throughout their lives, events at school, with some friends, and most of all, recent photos of the two of them together. One of their recent ones, the two of them flying the kite back on that Sunday, was in there as well.
"Oh my gosh...did you make this?" Arnold asked in amazement.
"Yep." Helga smiled. "I recently got into scrapbooking, it's a lot of fun. I made one for the school yearbook, and so I decided to put one together for you and I. There's a lot of pages that are still blank, so we're going to fill them out over the years. You like it?"
"Are you kidding? I love it! Helga this is..." He gently placed it aside and threw his arms around her again, this time with more force which caused her to fall back on his bed.
"Well you've gotten strong!" Helga giggled, hugging him to her.
"It paid off, I guess." Arnold looked down at her and caressed her cheek. "Helga...where you have been my whole life?"
"In the shadows, hoping and praying for your love." Helga admitted. "All the while doing nothing to help myself about it."
His expression became somber and he kissed her on the cheek. "I'm sorry you had to go through all that."
"Ah, it's in the past. I made it this far, haven't I?"
"You're a strong girl, Helga."
"Hey, YOU gave me the strength I needed, football head."
"I helped ignite the power. You just took it and made it better." He smiled.
"Oh, just shut up and kiss me."
"Whatever you say, Helga."
He leaned down and kissed her sweetly, returning the favour and stroking her hair and down her pigtails. She welcomed his kiss eagerly, playing with his hair as she did so. They parted, and Arnold sat up, helping Helga up too.
"I wish we were older right now." Arnold said, a sheepish smile.
"And why is that?" Helga smirked. "So I can finally have boobs?"
Taken aback, Arnold's eyes widened and he nearly fell over. "Helga! Th-That's not what I meant!" He cried, blushing.
Helga laughed, holding her sides. "I know...I know, I was just teasing. So what did you mean?"
"If were were older I think I might have proposed to you on the spot." He grinned.
"Whoa!" Her cheeks turned pink. "Seriously?"
"Yeah. Well, that came into play a lot more when I found out you helped to rescue my parents. Sure, we're only nine, but hey, this is all a lot to take in."
"Isn't it? Well football head, that can be life sometimes. Still, you sure you don't want to try? To be the youngest married kids?" She joked, although somewhat serious.
Arnold laughed. "Sure, let's go do that right now. Okay, we're done. Hello, wife."
Helga laughed along with him. "Hey husband! How's tricks?"
They both continued to laugh together, holding their sides and falling over on his bed, unable to contain themselves. Once finally able to calm down, they sat back up again, holding each other's hands.
"You know, I still find it so funny how we're here together like this. You're so full of surprises, Helga." Arnold said, smiling at her fondly.
"Well I'm a pretty amazing person, football head." Helga smirked.
Arnold laughed. "Oh man, that again. What happened there on the FTI building I think has been a major turning point for both of us."
"I'll never forget it as long as I live!" Helga said.
"Still, I wish my reaction could've been more...well, you know, what you wanted."
"Arnold, come on. Sure at the time I felt you rejected me, but now that I look back on it, you were just unsure of how you felt about me."
"Yeah, I was. That's pretty much why I gave you the opportunity to take it back for a while. Although I wish we had sat down and talked about it, I guess it was for the best."
"So, you knew I wasn't lying." Helga smirked at him, touching her nose to his. "You knew I was telling the truth."
"Yeah, I did." Arnold nodded and smiled. "For a few seconds I didn't believe it, but when you kissed me..." He blushed hard. "And the way you talked to me, the way you looked at me, especially the way you said you'd go with me when I said I needed to lie down, well, I realized you were telling the truth."
"So you DID know! Haha! Yeah!" Helga pumped a fist in the air. "Still, I guess I'm glad you did make me take it back. But then of course I knew it wouldn't be so easy since then you knew how I felt about you."
"Yeah, I did." Arnold nodded. "For a while I wasn't sure what to think. At first I was a little freaked out, to think that you of all people were secretly in love with me all this time. I never would've expected it. Although over time, I guess deep in my subconscious I knew how you felt, like I said before. Then there we are, on the roof of the FTI building and you pour out that you loved me."
"Well you did corner me a little." She shrugged. "I began to realize that I had no other excuse to use!"
"No kidding, it's hard to explain when you're nine years old and have just given up being rich."
Helga giggled. "Then I suppose I'm no ordinary fourth grade girl, Arnoldo."
"I figured that the moment you kissed me." Arnold admitted. "Wow!"
"So you liked it?" She smirked.
"Yeah." The shorter boy blushed a little more. "Okay, so I was freaked out a bit since that was what did it for me, realizing that you were telling the truth, but yeah, in a strange way at the time, I did."
"So you admit I'm a good kisser?"
"Yes you do, you're done!" Helga then pounced on him, pinning him down on his bed, but careful to avoid the book and scrapbook. "And now you're all mine. I'm sure glad I told you I loved you back then. Not the best time, sure, but still."
Arnold smiled up at her. "I'm glad you did too."
They kissed again, savouring the feel of finally being together again, when all of a sudden, the door swung open and in came Gerald and Phoebe.
"Hey, guys! Welcome back Ar-OH!"
"Helga?" Phoebe gasped.
Both Arnold and Helga regarded their best friends with shock and surprise, as did Gerald and Phoebe. A pregnant silence befell the room, all four of them staring at each other and unable to say anything. It was hard to explain, with Helga partly on to of Arnold on his bed, both of them kissing, and getting closer.
"Well...um....this is awkward..." Helga finally said.
"Er...yeah...we'll uh...just be going now..." Gerald said, about lead Phoebe out.
"Wait!" Arnold said as he and Helga got off his bed. "Don't go Gerald, we've got to do...you know, that thing."
"Riiiight, of course." Gerald winked, and so did Phoebe.
"What thing?" Helga wanted to know.
Arnold smiled. "Would the little lady care for a milkshake at Slausen's and then a baseball game at Gerald Field with the whole gang?"
Beaming, Helga nodded rapidly. "Heck yeah! Lead the way, short man."
Laughing, both couples made their way downstairs onto yet another little double date.
And it was just the beginning.
(Oh, you thought that was all, didn't you? XD Nope! There's more!)
As promised and planned, Miles and Stella never left Hillwood again. While the scary possibility DID occur when Arnold was twelve, where they were considering to move to San Lorenzo. Arnold was against the idea, and immediately objected. Yes, he did like San Lorenzo, and he loved his parents and was glad to be with them again, but he just wasn't ready to leave Hillwood like that. But his parents at the time were adamant about the idea, and though they felt sad for how Arnold felt. They wanted to because it was the right thing to do, and they owed so much to the Green-Eyed people, and wanted to be close to them in case something happened to them.
Arnold hadn't told anyone about it, except for Helga. She had come to visit later that day, and he told her what had happened. All the while in tears. She had been absolutely shocked of the idea, and began to cry herself. While they did see why Miles and Stella wanted to do this and understood completely, they just couldn't overlook the fact that they would be separated.
It turned out that Stella had overheard them when she had gone up to his room and heard the two of them talking and crying. She told Miles what was going on, and they talked about it, deciding that it would be unfair to Arnold if they did that. After all, the Green-Eyed people by then had a lot more options and help, so it wouldn't matter if they DID live there or not.
So they didn't move. Instead, they kept to their old routine and went to visit down there. Sometimes Arnold went, sometimes he stayed behind, sometimes he even brought Helga along to have some company.
As it turned out, Arnold and Helga ended up dating throughout Elementary School and Middle School. Same with Gerald Phoebe, who were going on just as strong as they were. They were all still friends with the gang, and while everyone had grown up, no one really changed in retrospect.
However, things changed slightly during their Junior Year in High School.
Though Arnold and Helga didn't want to, they decided to break up. To grow up and try to be with other people, to see the potential in others and realize that they weren't the only ones out there for each other. They still loved each other, which was why they promised that if neither of them had working relationships over a period of time and they still wanted each other, they would get back together.
So, they split up for about six months. It was the hardest thing they had ever done. But it was also one of the smartest things they had ever done.
Of course, they still remained good friends, which went without saying. Though, it didn't help that throughout most if not all the ordeal, they would shoot the same loving glances at each other, whether or not the other was looking.
Arnold did manage to date three girls, while Helga dated two guys.
His first girl was Priscilla Hamilton, who was also a Junior in their school. She was a very nice girl and very much into ballet and opera. Very sophisticated. In fact, she was Sophisticated to the core! Although unlike Lila, she did get mad, really mad, but was polite about it, and was very honest with how she felt and didn't hide behind rose-coloured glasses. Still, it didn't work out between them. They lasted about three weeks.
Girl two was Bianca Brown, who was a transferred student from Nebraska. Though she was a lot like Rhonda, obsessed with fashion, she was also a little TOO obsessed with boys. Arnold had later found out she was not two, but four-timing him. He had confronted her about it, but she claimed that there was nothing wrong with dating four guys at once. He of course, didn't like that, and moved on from that. She only lasted a week and a half.
Girl three lasted the longest, a month and a half. Her name was Melissa James, and she was just like Helga. A nice and sweet girl to the core, but had a fiery temper. That was part of what attracted him to her. They were good friends since their late Sophomore year, so it wasn't as if they were total strangers either. Things went well and they were good together, but things went wrong when Arnold had accidentally called her Helga one time while they were at the park. This of course made Melissa realize that he wasn't over Helga. In fact, she knew all along that he still loved Helga, though she didn't say so. While she was upset about it, she did understand, and let him go. Arnold felt bad for it and wanted to make it up to her, but she assured him that she would be just fine.
And she was. Because a month later, she was then dating a Senior named Hank Wilkinson. Arnold was really happy for her, and wished her them the best. Hank was a football player, and he was a fun, humorous outgoing guy who was liked by nearly everyone, so Arnold wasn't worried at all.
As for Helga, the guys she went out with were Junior students Earl Timmons, and Brent Patrick.
Earl was on the Crew Team, and he was a very giving and passionate boy who had overcome the use of smoking, drinking and drugs. Clean and sober, he was a great kid. Helga really liked him, and though they only lasted about a month, since Earl had admitted to Helga that he grew to like another girl. She'd understood, since she too was in the same predicament. They remained friends and wished each other the best.
Brent was a bit of a nerdy kid, but he had a great sense of humour and was very artistic as well. While they only lasted three weeks, due to them realizing they were far better off as friends, it had been a great experience none the less and they were still good friends afterward.
So needless to say, after the failed relationships, and waiting about a month to give each other time, it wasn't long before Arnold and Helga were back in each other's arms again, realizing they didn't want anyone else but each other.
And to think it all happened on the fated FTI rooftop...
"Thanks for the ride, Murray." Arnold smiled as he got off the bus.
"Hey, anytime, Arnold! Take care of yourself." Murray said, and closed the doors before driving off.
Arnold had no idea why, but something was leading him back here. Back to the old FTI building. It had been used and bought out since then, used as an office building, but when the company expanded, they moved, and now the building was abandoned again.
He went inside, taking in the old place. For old time's sake, he decided to go up the stairs. And he did, albeit taking his time. He was lost in his thoughts. As he had probably should have expected, he was still in love with Helga. Madly in love. While it wasn't easy, they had managed to live all right as friends, but he had to beat temptation too many times. One example was at a party Rhonda had thrown. Arnold was still dating Melissa at the time, while Helga had just broken up with Earl.
The two had chatted it up, and they had spent a good part of the evening tête-à-tête together. Temptation came back in the name of old love, and Arnold had to resist holding her to him and kissing her quite a few times. Unknown to him, Helga was feeling the same way. In the end, righteousness beat the temptation since Arnold still wanted to be a good boyfriend to Melissa, and Helga deep down knew that it was for the best that they overcome the temptation no matter how much they loved each other. It wasn't easy, but it had worked.
Now here he was, facing being single again. He'd decided to give it a month or so, to see how he would feel, to get a break, and to just see things through. Plus, Helga was also having faced breaking up with someone, so he decided to stand by in case she did want to come back. He wanted her back, he loved her, and didn't want anyone else. That much he knew for sure.
But did she still love him?
They hadn't spoken about it. And he didn't feel right going to her and saying "Do you still love me?" or anything like that. If she did, she would tell him herself when she was ready.
Until then, he just had to be patient and see what would happen.
Before long, he soon came to the top floor. He smiled a little, recalling all the memories of having been here with Gerald to save the neighborhood, and then the encounter with Helga, who had turned out to be Deep Voice.
Arnold saw that the phone he had answered when Deep Voice called him for the last time in the building was still there. For a few moments he stared at it, as if expecting it to ring. But it didn't. Gingerly, he went to it and held it to his ear. Surprisingly, it had a dial tone. He smiled, and placed it back on its cradle. Good times, crazy times.
He then turned the corner, looking toward the roof access door. No tall silhouette was standing there on a phone, it was just the light rain going on outside. And there it was, just up ahead was the rooftop. They very spot where Helga confessed her love for him all those years ago back when they'd been nine.
Slowly he went outside, and only had barely a minute to take in the large view before he found something just as unexpected as it was the first time.
"What are you doing here?!" The two of them questioned each other at the very same time, pointing at each other.
Silence, as they stared at each other with absolute surprise, their jaws dropped and eyes widened, still pointing to one another.
Helga was the first to start laughing, and Arnold soon joined her. Despite the light rain and cool breeze, they both felt quite warm, now being together.
"Well I asked you first." Arnold smirked.
"We asked at the same time, football head!" Helga laughed. "Come on, you first. Tell me."
"Uh-uh, you first. Ladies first."
"Ohhhhh!!!!" Helga scowled, and he laughed. "Fine! I guess you can say I just kind of...well, you know, felt some kind of calling to be here. I've been coming here a lot, you know."
"Really?" Arnold asked.
"Yeah. Ever since we...well, you know...split up, I come here a lot to have some time to think." She looked out over the city view and smiled a bit. "It helps, for some reason."
Arnold nodded in understanding. "I see what you mean. How long have you been out here?"
"About an hour, I'd say." Helga shrugged. "Then it started to rain."
Before she could do anything else, she suddenly felt his orange jacket placed around her shoulders, which made her blush and melt into the body heat still left in there.
"Thanks...I was a little cold."
"No wonder, you're in a tank top and jeans." Arnold said, smiling. "You know me, always looking out for people."
Helga gave him a light smirk and turned to face him. "Goody-two-shoes. But don't you dare change. If you do, I will seriously knock sense into your football head."
Indeed, Arnold hadn't changed a bit over the years. While he was now taller, a lot taller than her now, having made it to 6'2", and was still very thin, but with a light tone. He was still his kind, gentle, generous and giving self. He'd matured a lot, as well, despite that he had pretty much been that way in some ways even as a kid.
Oh yes, he was still the same football-headed angel she loved so much.
"I'll remember that." Arnold smiled, and looked Helga up and down for a moment to tease her. "And don't you change, either. I'll never make you forget it."
Helga herself had not changed very much either, though she did mellow out more and more over the years. Now, she was a lot more nicer to everyone in general instead of just alone with Arnold or their friends. Yes, she still had her feisty ways, her temper, devilish but sarcastic humour, and was never afraid to punch somebody out if they dared mess with her or her friends. She wore her hair down more often, and always wore her pink bow, either on her head, tied around a ponytail, as a choker, around her wrist, it didn't matter. She too had grown tall, having come to 5'9", courtesy of her dad. Not to mention the girly curves of her new body of a young woman.
And she also got rid of the unibrow. Oh, tweezers...
"Fine then, fair enough." Helga smirked. "So then, you never did tell me why you came here just now."
"Same as you, I guess." Arnold shrugged. "I don't know, for some reason, I just kind of had a feeling I should come here. Pretty strange, huh?"
"I suppose." Helga said. "So..."
"Um, listen, Arnold..."
"Yeah?" Arnold looked at her again.
"Can I be honest with you about something?"
"Of course, Helga. What's up?"
Helga took a deep breath. It was time to take a chance. She wasn't a cowardly nine-year-old anymore. She had to face her feelings and see where they would go. She looked him in the eye, oh, those green jellybean eyes she loved so much...so soft and gentle...
Shaking her head to get back to reality, she spoke up.
"Arnold, I've tried dating other guys, and sure, they were good guys and I did like being with them...but they just weren't you. No matter what I did, I can't stop comparing them to you. That's unfair, but I can't help it. Yeah, this whole break up thing was what we needed, but...I can't stand not being with you. Arnold, I wasn't lying when I said before that my love for you would never change. It hasn't, not in the least. I love you Arnold, and breaking up with you is the hardest thing I have ever had to do. But, it's helped me to realize that I don't want anyone else. I want you." Helga said, advancing on him "I love you. I love you so much, Arnold. I was sure about it at nine and before then, and I am sure about it now."
Taken aback, Arnold was then backed up against the same corner she'd backed him up into all those years ago back during their first encounter here. But this time around, he wasn't a freaked out nine-year-old with his nemesis pouring her heart out to him all the while trying to save the neighborhood. He was a sixteen-year-old with his ex-girlfriend he was still undeniably in love with pouring her heart out to him all the while...doing nothing else but that.
"Helga, I'm SO glad you said that." Arnold breathed. "I love you too, and I never stopped. I don't think I can ever stop loving you, Helga. We've been through so much together, and you've done so much, all out of love and making me smile. You've brought me more happiness than I could ever have imagined, and I think it's clearer now that you're the only girl for me. We're meant for each other, Helga, and frankly, I can't take not being with you either. The girls I had, except for Bianca, were all great in their own ways, and I wish them all the best, but they just weren't you. After all you've done, how can any other girl compete with what we had? They can't. Helga, I love you too, I love you more than anyone in the world. And I want you back, too."
The joy and happiness sparkled in her eyes then, and a big smile came over Helga's face. She grabbed onto his shoulders, looking up at him.
"Oh, c'mere you big lug!"
Almost immediately, she kissed him passionately and forcefully, but filled with all the love and longing she had to offer. It was all absolute deja-vu right then.
Except Arnold didn't stand there stiff as a board, trying to push her away, and his eyes wide open. He instead kissed her right back and held her to him, the rain falling all around them. After about nine seconds, the same amount of time they'd kissed the last time, Helga pulled away.
A wave of nostalgia washed over him then, and he couldn't help but say in mock confusion, "I'm confused. Did you just say you loved me?"
Helga realized what he was doing and faked anger. "What are you deaf?!"
They both laughed and hugged each other tightly, happy to be back together again at long last.
They never broke up ever again after that.
Miles and Stella were thrilled about Arnold and Helga getting back together, as were Phil and Gertie. That evening, they had gone out to...you guessed it, they went to A Little Taste of Italy, with the rest of the borders and celebrated. Even when they were broken up, everyone still loved and welcomed Helga into the Sunset Arms and continued to treat her like one of the family. That, too, was part of what made her still love Arnold and want no one else. His wonderful family and household. It just astounded her how much they still loved and treated her even when she and Arnold had been broken up. But she was grateful none the less, and still continued to show her thanks to them, as they did to her.
Most especially, Miles and Stella never stopped feeling grateful for what she had done, and they showed her their appreciation in probably one of the most shocking but lavish ways possible.
On Graduation Day, when the gang had all graduated High School and agreed to meet up at the park later on, Arnold and Helga had gone to the boarding house to celebrate with the family. Helga's parents were, big surprise, out of town visiting Olga in Alaska.
Yes, things had gotten a bit better in the Pataki household, most especially when Bob and Miriam had briefly separated and Miriam took Helga to live in the Boarding House, surprisingly, for a while. It went on for about a year, and despite the hard situation, Helga was delighted at once again being able to pretty much live with Arnold again. She slept in his room on the same mattress she had used back when his leg was fractured, bringing back the old times. Arnold had helped a lot in reshaping Helga and Miriam in all of this, and soon everything went fine. Miriam got sober and attended AA meetings, and all the while, they had some mother-daughter bonding time. Bob had gone to get counseling, expanded in his business and got a partner to help, and made a better life for himself so that Miriam would come back to him. She did, and she and Helga moved back home. So things were better, and Helga was glad for that, but it just wasn't the same. She didn't feel the same love she felt with Arnold's family. It all didn't work that way.
So on Graduation Day, when Arnold and Helga had gotten back to the Sunset Arms, Miles and Stella surprised Helga with a Graduation/Thank-you gift that she never expected.
They had bought it from a friend, who was also a mechanic, so he was able to fix the car and put it in great condition. It was a 1985 Nissan Sentra, powder blue, four doors, and had about 1978.00 miles on it, and still running beautifully.
Poor Helga just about spasmed and couldn't stop going on and on about how she didn't deserve it, it was too much, too big, but still so excited about it. Miles and Stella assured her, also over and over, that she DID deserve it and they did this because they wanted to, and were happy to. Hey, Arnold had even chipped in a bit as well. So needless to say, all three of them, as well as Gertie and Phil, who also chipped in, all got a huge hug and thank-you from her. Though Arnold got a hug AND a huge breathtaking kiss.
But that wasn't the only best part of that evening.
What happened? Let's go find out.
First off, the entire household celebrated with a big cake. Then they went off to Gerald Field to hang out and party with the gang, and they all had a huge blast, all talking about their futures and college plans.
Gerald was going to Florida State University for basketball, and Phoebe, who although had been accepted at Yale and Harvard, was going with him to study medicine.
Rhonda was going to college in Paris to study communications and fashion.
Harold and Patty were staying in Hillwood and going to community college for a basic degree in business/retail management, since they were to take over the butcher shop for Mr. Green.
Curly, who had mellowed out over the years thanks to therapy, though still eccentric, was going to the University of Phoenix to study Animal Biology and one day become a vet. He also wanted to travel a bit, but was planning to come back to Hillwood.
Lila was going to move back to her old hometown in the country, live in an apartment there, get a job, and go to the local college where she would study being a nurse.
Sheena and Nadine were going to an environmental program that had just opened up in Yale, going to become an Entomologist and Environmentalist.
Sid was going to UCLA in California to study Communications and Law.
Stinky was also going to college in Arkansas, to study Film Directing.
Arnold and Helga were also staying in Hillwood, planning to move into an apartment together, and to attend Hillwood College. Arnold planned to study Psychology, and Helga wanted to also take Communications and Law.
So with all that out, the gang all shared their tearful hugs and goodbyes, wishing everyone the best, and made plans to always meet back in Hillwood once a year. It would be tricky, but they were going to do all they could. They had all gotten close back in 5th grade, not long after Arnold's leg was all better.
Finally, after a long day and long night, Arnold and Helga returned to the Sunset Arms, since she was staying there until Bob and Miriam got back. She still lived at home for the time being, though a lot of her boxes were stored in the basement of the boarding house since they were going to move in together over the summer.
Everyone had gone to bed by then, and boy were they ready to go to bed too. But, Arnold still had one more surprise up his sleeve.
"Yeah?" Helga said, looking at him.
"I know it's late, and we're all tired and ready to go to bed, but I have one more thing for you."
"Oh?" Helga smirked. "And what's that?"
"I...um...well...." Arnold suddenly felt a bit nervous, since he couldn't think of all the proper words he wanted to say. "We've been together for nine years now...wow, nine years. Where has the time gone?"
"Nine...same age we were when we got together!" Helga laughed. "So I guess those five months we broke up don't count, eh?"
"Yes and no, but it doesn't deter." Arnold said, laughing a little. "But anyway, so it's been nine years, almost a decade, and while it is surprising, and yet it's not, given our love life together, I have to say that they were undoubtedly the best nine years ever. They really were. I love you, more than you can even imagine, and I want to tell you right now, even though I did say so before...I don't want anyone else. Helga...what I'm trying to say is, I want to spend the rest of my life with you."
Helga's eyes widened.
"I...want to ask you something I think I've wanted to ask since I was nine."
Taking a breath, Arnold took a small box out of his pocket, got down on one knee, and opened the little jewel case, revealing a beautiful ring of her birthstone, the diamond, on a simple silver band. The diamond itself was small, but noticeable, and surrounded by tinier diamonds. She gasped, raising her hands to her mouth and already crying with joy. She couldn't believe it!
"Helga Geraldine Pataki, love of my life and my angel, will you marry me?"
A dream come true.
Dream come true.
Those were practically the only words she could think of to describe her immense happiness at the moment. In fact, nothing could describe it. A dream come true was close enough.
This was the moment she had been waiting for since she was three years old. This was the very thing she wanted in life more than anything else.
It all just blew her away, and after all they had been through, they still remained together and were happily in love. She couldn't have asked for anything better.
Seeing him there down on one knee proposing to her, hearing the beautiful words he spoke before and after, thinking of all their times together, and now their future together, it just made her so emotional, and happier than she had ever been in her entire life.
"A-Arnold...I...I..." Tears ran down her face and she smiled big. "Yes...yes...YES! YES! YES!" She took the ring from the box, and carefully placed it on her ring finger, which fit perfectly. "Arnold...ohhhhh ARNOLD!!!!"
Just getting up, Arnold was knocked down onto his back on his bed by Helga's overjoyed glomp, with her happily squealing and kissing him all over his face.
"Arnold, you're amazing! You're a god, an angel, an amazing person, a Messiah, a...EVERYTHING good!! I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love-" She took a deep breath. "-you. My football-headed love god, I...I don't know what I'd do without you! I love you so much! I'm....I'm...I can't even say happy, it's too small a word!"
Arnold laughed, amazed at how she was able to say "I love you" so many times in one breath. Still, although he was pretty sure she would say yes, he was happier than he'd ever felt in his life, too.
"Helga...did I ever tell you that I think you're the sweetest most loving girl I've ever known?"
Giggling, Helga lay on top of him and nuzzled his neck. "Oh yes, you've told me so many times. Which must still be funny to say considering how messed up I was during our childhood."
They both laughed and kissed passionately, now rolling around on his bed, making out like crazy until they needed to breathe.
"Yes, my love?"
Arnold smiled at her with so much love and caressed her cheek. "I'm still to this day very glad I fractured my leg back when we were nine."
Helga giggled, smiling up at him as she brought her arms up around his neck. "So am I, Arnold. I love you, darling..."
"I love you too, angel."
Once more, to think this all began and came together because of Arnold's leg.