So we all know that Lila knows that Helga likes Arnold, as we find out in the episode "School Play". So what if, Lila went out of her way to play matchmaker? XD
Um, so, here we go!
I don't know about you, but I quite honestly think an episode where Arnold goes to talk to Dr. Bliss should have been made.
Fifth grade, it seemed so far away at first, but it was here. All the fourth grade students were now in fifth grade. Best of all, though some may not admit it, Mr. Simmons had transferred to teach the fifth grade, so they all had him for class again.
Not much had changed, all the kids of the class were still pretty much the same as they were last year. Which was nice, seeing all the familiar faces and knowing what to expect from everyone. Mr. Simmons was especially happy to teach these kids again. Sure, they could be a handful at times, but he found a lot of joy in teaching them back in the fourth grade, and was more than happy to do so once again.
One thing HAD changed between two certain kids, however.
Lila noticed this the most, as well as Gerald and Phoebe. Some others did too, but they didn't make much of a deal about it.
Arnold and Helga...they somehow seemed, different. Sure, they still acted the same around each other. Helga picking on Arnold, and Arnold getting annoyed or just ignoring her. But, there was something else in there. No one knew what, but whatever it was, it was strange. It made them seem so different somehow.
For instance, Helga didn't seem to have as much force with her teasing toward Arnold. In fact, it looked more like she was trying too hard. Her habit of tossing spitballs at him were decreasing, in fact, she seemed to ignore him most of the time. When they were alone, she was....a little different there, too. Lila noticed this one time when she overheard Arnold asking Helga if he could walk her home after school one afternoon. He'd been doing that a lot, she also noticed.
It was pretty sweet.
She wondered if it had anything to do with when they'd saved the neighbourhood from Future Tech Industries. Because after that was over, things were never the same between those two.
Not to mention, sometimes, she caught Arnold casting glances at Helga when she wasn't looking. Not any particular kind of glance, he was just looking at her. That was odd, since he rarely ever did that unprovoked. Helga, she knew, would still cast her lovey-dovey glances at him when he wasn't looking. Lila caught that one too many times, even before she knew that Helga liked Arnold.
Lila smiled to herself as she wrote down some notes in her notebook. She could remember, back in the fourth grade, when Helga had told her that she liked Arnold.
"It's such a violent play Lila, all those bloody sword fights and everything. Doesn't that just disgust you?" Helga was saying as she paced around Lila's room.
"Not at all. The violence only serves to underscore the real meaning of the play, which is that love conquers all." Lila said in a dreamy way, from where she sat on a chair.
"W-Well what about those lines? I mean, what if you blow it on stage?" Helga reasoned. She was looking a bit desperate for some reason...
"Well I never get stage fright. I feel just oh so comfortable in front of an audience." Lila said earnestly, and looked back at Helga.
Helga wasn't giving up, Lila noticed. Why was she so desperate to play Juliet? She didn't understand it."
What about that crazy costume you have to wear?"
"I've seen the work Sheena's done on the dress. I think it's just delightful." Lila admitted.
"Look, Lila... I HAVE to play Juliet!" Helga said desperately.
"Why, Helga?" Lila asked, curious.
"Because I just do, okay?!" Helga cried, nervous and desperate by now.
Lila just looked at her oddly, wondering why she seemed so desperate, and yet seemed to have no reason for it. "Well, if you don't have a reason-"
"I do have a reason! I just...can't tell you what it is!" Helga cut her off as she paced around, her back facing Lila.
Lila paused, thinking of this for a moment. Why did Helga seem so desperate to play Juliet? Sure, it was the lead role, and had a delightful costume, but the play was the next day. Why would Helga want to go to such lengths to play Juliet, especially under all that pressure? There had to be some kind of motivation for her. If it had been the glory of having the lead role, or the costume, she would definitely know.
No, Helga was very passionate about getting the role for some reason other than the obvious. The obvious reasons just didn't fit.
It dawned on Lila then.
Could Arnold have been the reason Helga wanted to play Juliet so badly? Lila knew that whoever played Juliet would have to kiss Arnold, who was to play Romeo. If Helga liked Arnold, she could see she didn't want to admit it. Was that the big secret? It would be understandable, sometimes girls would deny when they had a crush on someone. Helga definitely fit the bill, she wouldn't admit it if she liked someone.
Did she want to be Juliet because of Arnold? Did she want to kiss him? It made perfect sense, but she had to make sure.
Then again, she did have a sneaking suspicion that Helga liked Arnold.
"Is it by any chance that you like Arnold, is it?"
"Are you crazy?" Helga reacted, as if it were the craziest thing she'd ever heard.
Lila smiled. Maybe she was right, maybe Helga DID like Arnold. "Oh, because if that was the reason, if you wanted to play Juliet because you really like Arnold, and you wanted to kiss him or something... Well I sure could understand that. I guess I'd think it was ever so sweet. And I wouldn't mind giving up the part so you could do it."
Why not? If Helga liked Arnold and wanted to kiss him, she saw no reason why not to give her the part so she could do that. Lila wasn't into Arnold in that way, and didn't mind giving up having to play Juliet. This would be Helga's chance, and since all she had to do was give up being Juliet, no problem.
"You mean...if I said I liked Arnold...then you'd let me play Juliet?" Helga questioned, sounding suspicious.
"Sure Helga! But you don't, so I guess that-"
"W-Wait a minute."
Lila gave a little smirk. Was this it? Was she going to admit it? "Yes, Helga?"
"Uh, strictly hypothetically... if I said I liked Arnold..." The blonde girl let out a nervous laugh. "Talk about a crazy idea...Would you swear never to tell a soul about it?"
"I suppose so, if it was a secret or something." Lila replied. Had she been right all this time? Helga liked Arnold, but kept it a secret?
"And would you also understand that, and this is still hypothetical, that if I told you I liked Arnold, and you spilled the beans to anybody, that I would strangle you with my bare hands?" Helga made a strangling gesture with her hands, a deadly glare on Lila.
Lila was taken aback, a little nervous, but she kept true to her word. "W-Well I'm sure I would never tell." She managed.
Helga's hands shook, and she shut her eyes. "I like Arnold." She said in a small voice.
"Pardon? I couldn't hear you." Lila said.
"I like Arnold." Helga said through clenched teeth.
"Um, sorry Helga, you're mumbling." Lila was sure she heard her say"I like Arnold", but just wanted to be sure.
"I. Like. Arnold! I'm head over heels, hook line and sinker, over the moon, loop-de-loop, wawa douse, on love with the boy! Happy now?! Happy?!" Helga shouted passionately and desperately, on the verge of hysteria.
So it was true! Helga liked Arnold, and didn't want to admit it. She didn't understand why not, since Arnold was a very sweet and kind boy, it wasn't a bad thing having a crush on him, that was for sure.
Unless of course, she was afraid of getting rejected. Because of how bullying she could be, it was obvious that she feared Arnold could never like her back. No wonder she teased him like she did. It was to keep him from knowing her secret! It sure explained why Helga would look at him with a dreamy stare sometimes when Arnold wasn't looking. Lila hadn't been sure why, but she had a suspicion about it.
And now she knew. Helga was in love with Arnold. From what she could see, she had it bad for him. Lila felt bad for her, being so in love with a great boy, and having little to no chance with him. After all, Lila knew Arnold liked her, and probably never thought of Helga that way.
"I kind of had a funny feeling you liked him." Lila smiled.
"So can I have the part?"
"Of course, Helga."
"Thanks!" Helga grinned, and then left her room.
While Lila DID have a slight suspicion that Helga liked Arnold, she wasn't completely sure of it and barely paid any mind to it. But that day, it told her everything. Since then, she kept true to her word and didn't tell anyone. Still, she did feel bad for her, knowing that Arnold liked her liked her (Lila) at the time.
Just recently, Arnold had told Lila that he no longer felt that way about her after she had curiously asked him what was up with that. She was relieved and glad they could just be normal friends without the one-sided crush. And she could see now that maybe, just maybe Helga had a chance.
But that still left the question, how did Arnold feel about Helga in return? Lila knew he DID like her in a way, when she was nice, and she could see he cared about her. Not only that, he seemed to see her in a way that no one else did. It was likely he either just simply felt sorry for her and wanted to be a good friend to her, or, another possible outcome was that he had repressed feelings for her, or probably didn't know it. It was possible.
Maybe it was time to find out.
The bell rang then, signaling it was lunch time. Perfect, maybe now would be a good time to get some much-needed information out of Arnold. Lila considered asking around, but she didn't want to somehow come out with how she knew about how Helga felt about Arnold.
"Okay, I'll just have to be ever so discreet...and find out what I want to know." She said to herself.
But how? She couldn't quite go to Arnold and say "We need to talk about something", that would make him suspicious.
No. She had to get the information out of him unprovoked, like they were just having a normal conversation. She knew somehow, Helga would be mentioned. And when that moment came, it would be time to go in for the kill.
In the cafeteria, Lila saw Arnold sitting by himself, which puzzled her. He never sat by himself, unless he was having a bad day. And she knew he wasn't having a bad day, since he acted as normal as any other day.
Then she saw why. Gerald and Phoebe were sitting together, which make Lila smile a bit. Gerald seemed to have a crush on Phoebe, and given how Phoebe reacted every time she was around him, not to mention how they never seemed to ave a problem holding hands, seemed to feel the same way. They were a really cute couple.
Lila then saw that Helga was also, sitting alone. And frowning at her lunch box before pushing it aside angrily. She was puzzled, why did Helga seem angry at her lunch?
What happened next was pretty surprising.
Arnold had also, seemed to notice that Helga was sitting alone and angry at her lunch. Because he stood up, took a few things from his own lunch, and went over to where Helga was sitting, and offered her the food. She looked at him with surprise, and then scowled as she made a reply to him. He just smiled and said something else, still offering her his food. Then she gave a small smile and accepted it, looking away. He then gave her a warm smile and then returned to his seat, eating in a contended silence.
Lila smiled a little, and found a perfect opening.
"Hey Arnold, would you mind ever so much if I sat here?"
"No, go ahead, Lila." Arnold said casually.
"Thank you ever so much!" Lila sat down across from him. "So, I couldn't help but notice how you offered some of your lunch to Helga like that. That was just ever so sweet of you, Arnold."
Arnold blushed a little bit. "Well, it was no big deal. I uh...I wanted to do something nice for her, I guess."
"That was ever so nice of you! But why? Did she not like her lunch?"
"No, it's because her mom sometimes forgets to pack her lunch, or to even give her the right stuff for lunch." Arnold said, his gaze becoming a little sad. "Well, I felt bad for her, so I decided to cheer her up a little bit.
Lila understood, she knew what it felt like not to have a proper lunch sometimes. Back when her father and she were living in pretty poor conditions. Now that he had a better job, things were picking up at her household.
"Well, gosh Arnold, that's just such an ever so nice thing to do." Lila smiled. "Even for Helga. I must say, it's interesting."
"What's interesting?" Arnold asked, curious.
"You seem to...I don't know, see Helga in a way that no one else does, and even though she teases you and picks on you, you still show her kindness and help her out. That's just ever so nice."
"Well, you know, Helga's not a bad person." Arnold said, staring down at the carrot he was eating. "She just acts mean and tough to protect herself from getting hurt. But deep down, I know she's a really nice girl with a great talent for poetry, and just...well, lonely I guess." He gave a small sigh. "I don't know why, Lila, but I could never stay mad at her for long. Sure, what she's done to me is no picnic, and may be hard to overlook sometimes, but I guess now that I understand her better, it's not the same as it once was."
"I guess not, that's pretty true." Lila agreed. "So, if Helga wasn't such a bully, you think things would be different between you two?"
Arnold blushed a little. "Well, I guess so. A little."
"Okay, a lot."
"Why ever do you say that, Arnold?"
Arnold paused, and shook his head. "I'm not sure, really. But I know I'd definitely like her a lot better."
"You mean, like her, or like her like her?" Yes! This was her chance! She was getting closer.
"Um, I'm not sure." Arnold admitted. "...Actually, Lila, can I talk to you about...well, um, something personal?"
"Of course, Arnold. I would be ever so glad to lend an ear." Lila smiled.
"Thanks, Lila." Arnold gave a grateful smile, and looked back down at his carrot. "I actually spoke recently to Dr. Bliss, you know, the school psychologist?"
"Oh, yes! I know her. You spoke with her recently?"
"Yeah, because I wanted to try to get some answers about things. Quite a bit of it had to do with....well, Helga. I've been pretty confused lately about how I feel about Helga."
Lila raised an eyebrow at this. "Whatever do you mean, Arnold?"
"As I was talking to Dr. Bliss about everything to do with Helga, I realized a lot of things, and she asked me some things, and something she asked me caught my attention, something I never really considered that way before."
"What was that?"
"She asked me if I loved Helga back."
Lila's eyes widened. Did Arnold know that Helga loved him?
"Hold on a second." Lila said. This was the perfect time to ask, especially without being suspicious. "What do you mean, if you love Helga back?"
Arnold realized what he'd said, his mouth forming a small "o". "O-Oh...oops. I don't think I should've said that."
"No no, Arnold...I won't tell anyone you told me this." Lila assured him. "You can tell me, and I promise not to tell."
The football-headed boy visibly relaxed, giving her a grateful smile in thanks. "Thanks, Lila."
"No problem, Arnold. So, by what you said about loving Helga back...you're saying she likes you likes you?"
Arnold blushed considerably. "Yeah...she told me recently that she loved me."
Lila hid a smile behind her hand, inwardly cheering. It was great that he finally could see that there was indeed a girl out there who liked him. Not to mention finally knowing that Helga held a torch for him! How did he find out? What happened? So many questions were buzzing!
"Did she? What happened?"
"Um, well, you remember when the FTI were trying to tear down the neighbourhood? Well, Gerald and I were getting instructions from a mysterious caller known as Deep Voice, which helped us get some key information to saving the neighbourhood from the FTI. Eventually, after I'd gotten the evidence I needed, I was in the FTI building about to leave with Gerald to get back to the neighbourhood before the bulldozers rolled in. This phone on the wall rings, and it's Deep Voice. Somehow, he always knew where I was. Anyway, I then see that he's outside on the roof, just nearby. So I went out there and confronted him, demanding to know who he really was. I noticed also, that he was only a little bit taller than I was, so I knew he wasn't an adult. Well, then he suddenly fell down and his hat came off. Er...well, I guess I should say, she. It was Helga. All along, Deep Voice was Helga."
"Oh my!" Lila exclaimed, astonished. She had not known about that, and was really surprised at how far Helga had gone just to help Arnold, to prove her love for him. And if not more so, to prevent him from moving away. "That's...that was ever so sweet of her to do that for you, Arnold."
Arnold blushed some more, swinging his legs nervously. "Yeah, it was. So anyway, I was kind of interrogating her, since I wanted to know why she did it. Eventually she caved, and that she did it because she...loved me." He blushed deep red. "And then...she well she...um..."
"She....?" Lila prompted.
"She kissed me. O-On the lips." The blonde boy finished.
Lila bit back a giggle and smiled. Amazing how Helga had not only confessed her love for him, but also, kissed him without the excuse of it being scripted.
"Oh my...that was ever so bold of her."
"Y-Yeah." Arnold blushed some more at the memory.
"She's kissed you once before, right? During the school play last year?"
"Actually, she's kissed me three times now, including the one on the FTI rooftop." Arnold admitted.
Now Lila was REALLY surprised. "Three times?!"
"It was during spring break last year, we were at the beach, and we won a sandcastle competition, which earned us a guest star role on the TV show Babewatch. I had to act like I was drowning, and Helga and the other lifeguards saved me, and she...well, gave me mouth-to-mouth. Well actually, she kissed me, to make it look like it was mouth-to-mouth."
"Ohh...." Lila giggled, having not been aware of this. "Oh gosh, Arnold..."
"And now that I know she loves me, it's no wonder she always kissed me for so long." Arnold murmured, blushing a bit more, a goofy smile on his face. "I always knew there was a reason she kissed me so long both those times."
Lila giggled again. "Well gosh Arnold, it seems you sure had a lot to think about concerning all of this."
"That's for sure." Arnold agreed with a nod.
"Well, so anyway, you were saying that Dr. Bliss asked you if you loved Helga back." Lila went on to get back on track. "Um, if you ever so don't mind me asking...do you?"
There was a pause as Arnold considered the question, now looking thoughtful. Lila could see he was still apprehensive about it, and wanted to have a sure answer. She didn't blame him, that was the right thing to do. She waited patiently as he gathered his thoughts, thinking about it for probably about a minute.
"Honestly, I'm not completely sure." Arnold replied, looking down at the table. "I mean, I think I do. Maybe not along the same vein she loves me, but, I think I do like her like her. I know one thing though, we're pretty good together."
Lila giggled, this was interesting. "Oh, you think so? Whatever do you mean?"
"Well, when we're not arguing and she's not teasing me, we make a pretty good team. She saved my life during our 'Biosquare' project, she helped me with that sandcastle competition I told you about and we won because of it, she helped me with that magic show one time, she helped us build the parade float I designed as well as getting her dad to sponsor us for it, she helped Gerald and I save the neighbourhood, obviously. She helped us save Mighty Pete...." He smiled a little. "She's done a lot to help me. And sometimes, when my Grandpa or Gerald can't give me advice, she's...well, she's always been there, and she does help me feel better sometimes. Which is strange, huh?"
"Coming from Helga, I don't blame you." Lila agreed, and smiled too. "So Arnold, you say you probably do like her...more than as a friend?"
"I'm still not sure, but I'm leaning toward yes." Arnold admitted, blushing a bit. "Helga can be a real sweet girl when she wants to be, and I don't know, seeing her so nice kind of makes me...I don't know, smitten, I guess."
"I can understand that." Lila giggled. "Well Arnold, you certainly have a lot to think about now. I'm going to go get some pudding now, so I guess I'll see you in class?"
"Sure, Lila. And...well, thanks a lot for listening to me. It really helped."
"No problem, Arnold. I was ever so glad to lend an ear to you. I'll see you later!" She waved and then walked off with her tray.
"Hey football head!" She suddenly heard Helga say from behind.
Curious, Lila looked back at the table where Arnold was, coming to see Helga going over to him. She watched them talk about something, which eventually led to Helga sit down with him, where they talked a bit more. She could see Arnold lighting up as he talked to her, and Helga, well, she was being Helga, but she looked pretty comfortable.
An idea crossed her mind then.
"Hey Helga, do you have a moment?"
"Not for you, Lila." Helga muttered. "What do you want?" She was in the library doing some research and studying for her essay.
Lila could understand why Helga was snappy toward her, since she was the one who had Arnold's affections when she didn't even want them. Plus, she probably didn't know that Arnold no longer liked her (Lila) anymore.
"I just wanted to give this to you." Lila handed her an envelope. "I'll let you read it in private."
Helga stared after her for a moment, puzzled. Then she shrugged and looked down at the envelope, which just simply had her name written across the back of it.
"Huh, wonder what it is." She murmured, and opened it up, taking out the letter inside and reading it.
I know this might sound a little weird, but I want to know if maybe tonight you would have dinner with me at Chez Paris. I think we need a chance to just sit together and talk without any interruptions or obstacles.
I'll be there tonight at 6:30 PM. Look for me at the table by the window on the right side of the entrance, I'm sure you know which one it is. I'll be there waiting for you.
"...What the heck?" Helga stared at the letter weirdly. "Is someone stalking me?! Who the heck is trying to invite me to Chez Paris?! Ohhh...I'll go over there and sock them with Old Betsy!"
Still, despite that, she stared at the letter with longing.
I wish it was from Arnold...
"Helga? What's that you have there?" Phoebe then asked, coming to join her at the table.
"Oh, hey Pheebs. Some anonymous guy wants me to have dinner with him at Chez Paris tonight." Helga handed the letter to her to read.
"Oh my..." Phoebe said, reading over the letter. "It seems to me that this person must really be embarrassed about how he feels."
"What should I do, Pheebs? I mean, I know I shouldn't...well, ya know, but, I don't know."
"I think you should go, Helga." Phoebe told her. "Just to see what it's about. Remember, it's all up to you in the end. You can decide where you want to go with it, depending what it's all about."
Helga thought that over and gave a small sigh. "Guess you're right, Pheebs."
"Here Arnold, I wanted to give this to you."
"What is it?" Arnold asked, taking the envelope from Lila.
"Why don't you read it and find out?" Lila smiled. "I'll see you on Monday, Arnold!"
"See you, Lila." Arnold waved to her, and then took the letter out of the envelope and read it.
This is gonna sound weird, but hear me out, okay? We seriously need to have a good talk together, just you and I. But I'm too nervous to ask you in person. So would you come and have dinner with me tonight at Chez Paris?
I'll be there at 6:30, waiting for you at the table by the window on the right side from the front entrance.
Arnold stared wide-eyed at the letter, unsure of what to make of it. He couldn't decipher the handwriting, so he had no idea who it was from. Someone wanted to meet him? But who?
"Hey Arnold! You up and ready for some after school basketball?" Gerald came bounding up to him with a basketball under his arm. "...What's that you got there?"
"It's a letter from someone, asking me to meet them tonight at Chez Paris." Arnold showed him the letter. "I have no idea who, though. What should I do?"
"What do you mean what should you do? You gotta go, man!" Gerald told him. "This girl must definitely like you! You gotta take the chance!"
"...Well, I don't know, Gerald." Arnold sighed. "I don't want to be mean or anything, but I don't know, if it's some strange girl I don't know or barely know, then...well, I don't know."
"Come on man, just go there, see what this is all about, and then go from there with what you want to do!"
At Chez Paris, Lila stayed under cover at a nearby table, with a menu to hide her face. She checked her watch. 6:27. Perfect, if all went well, they would be here soon. She watched the door and window, hoping to soon spot a couple of certain blonde kids.
She then saw Gerald and Phoebe enter, much to her confusion. Why were they here? Were they going out too?
"No, they must be ever so concerned about their friends, so they came here to observe." She said to herself, and smiled a little.
A couple minutes later, Arnold then entered. He could see he was surprised to be here so early, and so he went and sat down at the designated table. The same table, he'd had his previous "dates" with Helga at. He was dressed in a simple little suit with a blue necktie and white shoes. Lila watched him carefully, and could see he was nervous, but he had showed up, that was a good sign. Now all that was needed was Helga...
Two minutes later, Helga entered, which Arnold didn't notice yet. She was wearing a simple pink and purple striped sleeveless dress, her hair was down, topped with her pink bow on her head, black ballet flats, and a pink purse. Lila smiled, glad she had showed up, and pretty surprised at how pretty she looked.
Okay, any second now...
"What are you doing here?"
"What do you mean what am I doing here?! I'm...meeting someone, football head!"
Okay, not the reaction she was hoping for...
"Well, okay." Arnold said amiably. "Who are you meeting here?"
"N-None of your business! Now shove along, I need this table to meet my date."
"I would, but I need this table too."
"What do you mean?! Just move!"
Lila sighed, shaking her head. This was not going well at all. She noticed Gerald and Phoebe looking panicked and shocked, wondering what they should do.
Arnold then stood up, and showed her the letter he'd gotten. "Here, I received an anonymous letter from someone, telling me to meet them here tonight, at this table."
"...That's impossible." Helga took out her letter too. "I have one also."
"So that means...
"You're anonymous!?" The two of them said at the same time, pointing to each other.
"But I didn't write that letter." Arnold said.
"Well SOMEONE had to! And I know I sure as heck didn't write that letter! Why the heck would I even think to go on a date with a football-headed geek like you!?"
"That's not going to work, Helga." Arnold said patiently. "Look...just, sit down, okay? Whether or not either of us wrote these letters doesn't matter now. I think maybe we should follow what they say."
"Oh, fine." Helga muttered, and sat down in the chair across from him. "So what do you want to even talk about, anyway? And with ME, no less?"
Lila gulped, edging a little closer to eavesdrop on their conversation. Thankfully, neither of them noticed her.
"Helga, I..." Arnold blushed considerably. "I know it might be hard for you to say, but I really want the truth."
"The truth about what?"
"You know what I'm talking about, Helga."
"No, I don't."
"Yes you do. Come on."
"Look, I already told you! It was the heat of the moment, and nothing more!"
"Oh come on, Helga. What you did made perfect sense. I mean, it was still shocking, since little to no nine year olds would actually give up getting rich over helping a boy save the neighbourhood."
Lila's eyes widened considerably at this. She remembered hearing some students saying that Helga's father, who owned Big Bob's Beeper Emporium, was going to get rich off the FTI take-over. And Helga had really gone against her own father to help Arnold?
"Yeah, well, it was the right thing to do, you know that!"
"Of course it was. But Helga, listen, I can understand why you took it back, I did give you that opening, after all. Please, just talk to me about all this. I really want to sort this all out."
"Sort what out? What's there to sort out? I...well, you know how I feel by now, football head. What's there to sort out? We all know how it is. I....I...I love you, and all, and you don't feel the same way. So if you're going to just give a long rundown speech about how you don't feel the same way, forget it, I don't want to hear it." She started to get up, but Arnold reached across the table and grabbed her hand.
"Helga, wait. That's not what I'm saying at all. I'm trying to sort out my own feelings."
"Yeah, sure." Helga sat back down.
"No, really. I don't want to be just friends, Helga."
"...." Taking it the wrong way, Helga's head drooped.
"Th-That is...I mean..."
"Forget it, I know." Helga said in a broken tone.
"No! I mean that I want you more than just as a friend! I'm falling in love with you!" Arnold shouted a little too loudly, slapping his hands on the table as he stood up.
The entire restaurant stared at him, taken aback by his...rather passionate outburst. Lila too was shocked, but she hid a big smile behind the menu, inwardly cheering Arnold on. Gerald's jaw was hanging open and his eyes were wide with shock. Phoebe looked equally surprised, but then a smile came onto her dainty face.
"Arnold! Keep your voice down!" Helga hissed, holding the menu over her head.
"Sorry." Arnold sat back down. "But I meant what I said."
"....You really did?"
"I did, Helga. I've thought a lot about it, I spoke to Dr. Bliss about it, and I even had a chat with...wait a minute."
"Lila! ...Lila! Helga, give me your letter for a second."
"Just give it to me, okay?"
Helga did, and Arnold compared the two of them, and just as he had thought, they both had the exact same handwriting.
"Helga, how did you get your letter?"
"Lila gave it to me."
"...Lila gave me mine, too." Arnold said, and looked at her with surprise.
"Lila!" They both said in realization.
"It was LILA all this time?!" Helga uttered, not sure what to think. "I can't believe she did that!"
"I don't get it either." Arnold said, astonished as she was.
"Wait a second. Speaking of Lila...what the heck? You're supposed to be in love with HER!"
Arnold just shook his head. "I've stopped liking her...you know, crushing on her, a couple months ago, before we saved the neighbourhood."
"What?!" Helga nearly fell out of her chair. Lila had been his most drawn-out crush since Ruth McDougal! Impossible, and yet. "..........So you really meant it."
"I did, Helga. If we talk about all this tonight, just you and I with no interruptions, I think maybe we can do something about it."
Helga blinked, and then blushed a bit, managing a small smile. "...Okay. I'll play your game, football head."
And they did.
Lila watched happily as they chatted animatedly all evening, enjoying the food, and just plain enjoying each other's company. It had worked! She'd succeeded! Sure, they found out it was her doing, giving them those letters, but that didn't matter. All that mattered was that her matchmaking plan had worked.
Gerald and Phoebe were happy too, and in turn, they too got to enjoy a nice evening together, without having to worry so much for their respective best friends. It looked like she brought two couples closer together instead of just one!
"Well...thanks for tonight, I guess. I had a great time." Helga said in a small voice.
"You're welcome. I had a great time, too." Arnold smiled up at her.
Arnold had offered to walk Helga home after their little date, to which she'd agreed to. Lila had of course, followed closely behind in secret, as did Gerald and Phoebe, not that the three of them noticed, however.
Now they stood at the front of Helga's house, while Lila hid behind a car across the street to watch them, while Gerald and Phoebe hid behind a nearby alleyway.
"So....thanks for walking me home." Helga blushed a little.
"No problem, anytime." Arnold smiled more, and took her hand, kissing it.
Helga blushed heavily and giggled a little, unable to believe that this was really happening.
"Um...do you want to go out again sometime? Maybe on Sunday?" Arnold asked, looking up at her hopefully. "We can go see a movie or something."
"Um...sure." Helga nodded. "We can do that."
"Uh, great! Great! I'll...uh, call you."
"Sounds good to me, football head."
They both looked away shyly from each other, unsure of what to do next. Helga took it as her cue to go inside, before she would melt into a puddle right there at the front steps!
"Well...so, I'll see you on Sunday, then." Helga started to ascend the steps, but then Arnold gently grabbed her arm.
Nervously, Arnold came around to face her front, held her shoulders, stood on tiptoe, and then kissed her sweetly on the mouth. Helga's eyes widened with surprise, stiffening. But within a moment she melted and kissed him back, bringing her arms around his shoulders. His arms lowered, coming around her waist and pulling her closer, which she didn't object to.
Lila blushed considerably as she observed this sweet scene. It was nothing new, she'd seen them kiss before, during the school play, but that had been scripted and a little more one-sided. This time, it was a kiss of love. And just, as she would put it, ever so sweet.
Gerald and Phoebe held back their gasps and giggles, surprised at seeing such a display of affection between their best friends. Then again, no one seemed to be complaining.
The couple kissed, kissed, kissed and kissed. It was deep, but very slow and soft. Eventually they pulled away after probably a little over a minute. Maybe more. For a few moments they continued to embrace, looking into each other's eyes with a dewey, lovesick gaze.
Then again, Helga wasn't exactly known for short kisses.
"Goodnight, Helga." Arnold finally said, gently releasing her.
"Goodnight, Arnold." Helga said in a sweet tone.
They held hands for a few moments as Arnold walked away, and then he let go, waving to her as he headed down the street with a lovesick smile. Helga watched him go for a couple of minutes before she shakily went up the stairs and entered her house, falling back against the door with a dreamy sigh.
Gerald and Phoebe emerged from the alleyway, shared a little hug and a kiss on each other's cheeks, before they walked off to go see their respective best friend.
Lila too, took this as her cue to go home. She had succeeded, mission accomplished.
"I'm ever so glad it worked out...they make just such an oh so sweet couple." Lila said softly to herself, and headed on home, smiling the entire way.
The End! :D
And yes, Helga was wearing the same dress that she wore in chapters 9 and 10 of my fic "Arnold's Leg" during the date scenes. XD