Okay, from here on in, my greetings are probably gonna be getting kinda weird... Like FLOP!

What kind of a sick joke is this?! FLOP!?!?! I don't even understand me... -_-

Anyway... Um... I was bored. *Shrugs* I felt like writing this... and so I did.

This is what happens when I'm bored. *Shakes head* Pathetic, isn't it?


Disclaimer: The owning of Hey Arnold! is not done by me.

Arnold's Journal

September 3

Okay, so my dad wrote in a journal, and I got one for my tenth birthday, and thought it might be cool to try it out. So... here goes...

Okay, where do I begin? My life has changed a whole lot in the past few months. I guess it all started when Scheck tried tearing down the neighborhood to build a mall... I guess you could say we didn't agree with his statement of, "Change is Good." I mean... change CAN be good, but not always. Luckily my life has changed for the better... actually... a LOT better.

I don't want to go too in detail with it though, because... well... I lived it. So long story short, we started recieving these mysterious phone calls from some guy named "Deep Voice". He gave us directions in a way, and told us what to do to save the neighborhood. I asked him who he was several times, but he always said it wasn't important. I wasn't so sure... something about him seemed kind of... off. I really wanted to find out who he was.

At one point, I was getting more instructions from him, and when he was talking, I looked around the corner and there was this mysterious, dark figure outside of a glass door. The bulldozers were going to be rolling very soon, and I knew it... but I couldn't help my curiosity and suspicion. It was too weird. So... I decided to confront him, to get to the bottom of this. I will admit to being a bit of a nosy parker. He was helping me with this, and I suppose I should have just taken what he gave me happily, and never looked back... That's what Gerald was doing. He didn't question my constant questioning towards "Deep Voice", but I knew he was probably a little annoyed. He (Deep Voice) offered us a way to save the neighborhood, and I should have just left it at that. But... I just... had to know. That's just who I am, I guess. Too curious for my own good...

He was wearing a long trench coat, and a hat, so I couldn't see his face. However, I did notice he was using a voice box. This made me even more curious, confused, and, frankly, irritated. I demanded him to tell me his identity, but he was relentless to keeping his identity a secret. Well, that didn't satisfy my overpowering need to know who this guy was, and why he was doing this for me. So I started walking towards him, which, naturally, only caused him to back away from me. His stilts snapped, and he fell to the ground. His hat fell off... revealing that "he" was a "she".

It was HELGA! I've gotta tell ya, I didn't get it. Why would my personal tormentor help me save the neighborhood? Especially since she was going to get rich off the whole deal, and was constantly bragging about it and rubbing it in our faces that not only was she never going to have to see our faces (Particularly mine) again, but she was going to be making a fortune off of it. Why would she give all that up for the one person she claimed to hate. I just didn't get it. I asked her why... but she kept giving me lame excuses. "No reason", "It's my civic duty", and "I love a good mystery"... For someone who was so good at lying to everyone everyday of her life for six years, she sure wasn't too good under pressure... especially when I was the one pressuring her. I do feel kinda guilty looking back on it... but I'm also glad I got so frustrated with her... because if I hadn't...

Anyway, after a little more prying, I was finally able to get the truth out of her... something very rare, I might add. And I guess I triggered a nerve, because she... snapped. She told me all these things... how she had a shrine to me in her closet, had volumes of books of poetry dedicated to me, and how she had basically stalked me night and day for the past six years... and that she did it all because she loved me...

How many nine year olds have to deal with this?

She even kissed me... a lot. It left me pretty breathless... she tends to do that to me. I never cared much to admit it at the time, I was too panicked and shocked... but she really is a good kisser. Ugh, how many nine years olds get to say that? Well, I'm ten now, of course... but I had thought it back then... no matter how much I wanted to dismiss the thought from my mind.

She had been in some sort of trance, it seemed... this freaked me out a whole lot at the time. I mean, I had never seen anyone get like that before... and over little old me? She had this look in her eyes... like she was literally telling me that she was mine... forever... and I honestly wasn't sure if I liked that or not. It was really confusing. I had never felt so scared, shocked, panicked, excited, flattered, and utterly horrified in my whole life... and all at once too. She kept coming at me, trying to kiss me again... and it was too weird. I mean, one minute she's all, "I hate your stupid football headed guts!", and the next she's declaring her undying love for me... not only outwardly... but in her eyes too. There was this truthful note in her words that you just couldn't deny was there, a note that I've never once heard when she's telling me how much she hates me. Honestly, I just... couldn't take the dramatic change. I was so confused. I... just didn't know how to handle it all. She was there... eagerly ready to make out with me... and that freaked the heck outta me. The mere thought of making out with HELGA, my personal tormentor, sent shivers of pure terror up and down my spine. I wasn't sure if I wanted this or not... which I know seems odd, considering who this was. But... I don't know. Helga has always been kinda... intriguing to me. An enigma, if you will... and I'm a very curious person. Oh, the irony. That was how I had gotten into that whole mess. Curiosity. I was curious about her. I had always been, I'll admit. There was just something about her. I had always had this strange connection with her. There was always this strange line of understanding between us that... kinda alarmed me.

But I guess the point I'm trying to make here... is that... I was interested? It was a proposal... and I was... interested? Eh, I guess I was. I had never really looked at Helga in "that" way before, and when she brought the subject up... it was an interestingly intriguing idea. Helga and Arnold... call me corny, but that honestly didn't sound too bad. But... I wasn't sure. I really had to think on the subject before I could give her a yes or a no. I know she probably wasn't looking at it the same as me. To her, I imagine, that was supposed to be it. I would either say "I love you too! Let's get married!" or "Sorry... but I really just don't like you like that." right after her confession, and that would be the end of it, and she'd either come out feeling like she was living a fantasy, or come out with a shattered heart and broken dreams... she was probably pretty caught off guard by my unspoken response of, "I have to think about it before I can tell you." I really did, I had to think. I told her that, but I somehow think it was met by deaf ears... or at least really foggy ones. Maybe it came as an echo to her. I was overwhelmed, and panicked... and it was all happening too fast! I believe I said that too. Not that she was really... and I do mean REALLY listening, but... she just kept after me. A distant look in her eyes, a sort of... insane adoration there that I had only seen flashes of from her. This only panicked and freaked me out more... I mean, shrines, poetry, and stalking?! Where was I when all this was happening? Probably with my head in the clouds, as Helga would say.

After many attempts to make her stop trying to... to... what was she trying to do? I'm not sure, and do I even want to know? I'm not sure... even someone as curious and naive as me can see that THAT particular question was entering dangerous territory that would probably scar me for life... or at least damage my naivete. Anyway, I was finally able to snap her out of it, and as soon as I was... I threw myself into my work, purposely to try and get the serious and awkward situation out of my brain. Yes, it worked... but I knew that eventually the adventure would end... and when it did... I'd still have to talk to her.

And... just as expected, I found myself next to her, feeling content with all my accomplishments for the day... until I remembered her little confession. Heh, can I even say the word "little" with "confession" there? Probably not.

But, here I was, standing next to her. I distanced myself from her, mainly because I was afraid she'd... well, that she'd try and kiss me again. Because if she did, I... I'm a bold kid, right? I'm considered brave? That's what I'm told... and here I was, deathly afraid of a girl with pigtails and a pink bow, ready to run away if even a glimmer of that old adoration sparked back to life in her eyes. But, once I realized she was feeling just as uncomfortable as me, I (Ironically enough) relaxed a little. Yes, she was very uncomfortable. I can't say I blame her. Looking at it from her perspective, that must have been the hardest thing she's ever done in her whole life... but by the certain flow in everything she did up there, also the easiest. I think it was hard to get started for her, but once she got started... she couldn't stop. So it was hard to start, easy to do once she got into it, and even harder to face the consequences. I... I just didn't know what to do.

It was an awkward chat, to say the least. But... in the end, we came to an agreement. We both claimed it to be, "The heat of the moment". She claimed to being crazy, and... I went along with it... even helped her with it. It was obvious she wanted out, and I didn't really want to deal with it right then either. Although I knew it was just a silly little excuse that... didn't make any sense, when you really got down to it, I couldn't help but feel a little relieved. As she screamed of her hatred of me, I had to smile. It felt like a game, kind of. I had half expected her to smile and wink at me. It was cute. A cute little thing. She screaming she hated me, after we both agreed that she truly did. Maybe she thought of it as a game too? Either way, I smiled. Oh yes, I smiled a lot.

As she walked away, I couldn't help but smile fondly at her retreating form. It was sweet, really. Yeah... I was definitely interested. Who could just turn down someone as amazing as Helga right away? Some people tend to miss it, and I did a lot as well, but rest assured, there were moments that flashed through my mind of how amazing she really was. A crazy, but amazing human being. I know she was my bully, but... I couldn't just tell her no. The thought of just telling her right away that I didn't like her "that" way seemed pretty ridiculous, especially at that moment. I knew I'd have a lot of thinking ahead of me. A lot of late nights being awake... and all to think of Helga in a romantic sense, something very new to me.

I'm sad to say that I did avoid it a lot. There was always something occupying my mind... purposely to try and push the thought from my brain... if only for a second. Funny... I've never really been afraid of Helga... but I was terrified of her now. I guess because... of what I knew she could probably do to me. I mean, I was a carefree boy, and her hating me was just the natural balance of things. Gaining a crush on Helga would've been preposterous... until she said she was definitely interested in ME. Now I was scared. I relied on her hatred to keep me at bay, but now there was nothing keeping me from... falling... hard. I knew that she could do that to me. I didn't want to admit it, and I was sure not ever going to... but... the offer was wide open now. I was innocent, and free... and then SHE was there, arms open. I was scared, okay? Helga was always interesting, and the fact that I was so intrigued by her scared me enough to keep a safe distance between us. She was dangerous in that way. So opinionated, so forceful, so strong... too much. I found myself forcing her out of my brain a lot, I'll admit. She was even stubborn in my mind. She just always seemed to pop up. I didn't like that. It scared me. I mean, think about it. She was my bully. If I got a crush on her... or more... I somehow knew it would be an eternal deal. Like a deal with the devil almost. If you give in, you're trapped. No way out. Not good. Especially since she... hated me. I was comforted by that.

Hate. Yes, my own personal defense mechanism towards Helga. Whenever I get too close, am about to fall... and I know it... she snaps herself shut, like a book that you're just noticing is crazy good, and yelled that she hated me. I, in response, would snap out of it too. It was better that way.

Love. Something I feared when it came to Helga. Yes, I knew I was attracted to her. What with her strong sense of opinion, opinions that she would surely take to her grave, and that witty, comical sense about her accompanied by that certain spark about her, always so passionate, even if it was on things she didn't truly mean. Like hating me, for example. Then there was her crisp, and almost always clean, golden blonde hair, and her striking blue eyes, that, if you looked hard enough, always seemed to be writing some kind of poem. And then there was her unibrow. Such an interesting feature. I know most would find this quite ugly on a female, but I can't help but find it attractive, in a way. It made her face so much more expressive... even if those expressions were insincere, they were always so entertaining. It was cute. Yeah... I was attracted to her... and that was always bad... a really bad thing.

So, I used her hatred to keep me at bay. It was good... yeah, I had to think. I was interested... but maybe not ready to admit all these truths just yet. For someone as honest as me, I sure did have this strange habit of lying to myself a lot. I'd catch her staring, and I'd always reason that... she was just bored and was trying to figure out why my head was so funny looking... even though I knew that was a lie, because I noticed the weird look of longing and adoration in her eyes just before she cut me off and scowled. I guess I kinda... chose to be dense. It was always safer. I pushed the thought of Helga liking me to the back of my brain, only so my dreams could be filled with my silly theories. No, Helga didn't like me, she just hated me so much that she had to spend every waking moment of her life, attempting to make mine awful. Cute... but no. That wasn't the reason, but it was the only one my poor, dense brain could come up with... or handle.

When I finally did get around to thinking on the subject, I was startled to find that it didn't surprise me as much as I knew it should have. That's when I realized what I had been doing there. Ignoring it. Yup, I ignored it. Pushed the thought away. Didn't WANT to even think about it.

I had found my dad's journal. Wow. I don't think I've ever been that happy in my life. I had just found my father's journal! The one who was never there, but I knew wanted to so badly. It killed me. Not knowing why they never came back, that is. It really did. I know I had a loving family (Albeit, dysfunctional sometimes, and an extended one)... but... they were my parents. I've found that a mother's love can never be replaced, or a father's, for that matter. Oh sure, people try to help fill the void with their own brand of love... but it's never the same, and it does a number on ya. For me, it made me mature a bit faster than I probably would've if they were with me. It made me more responsible. Maybe things really do happen for a reason? Well, sure it did make me more mature and a lot more responsible for a nine year old (Ten now), but it also made me feel really sad and... lonely. I was a lonely person. Sometimes I'd torture myself by thinking that maybe... just maybe... they just didn't care enough to come back. I know that sounds ridiculous, considering some of the stories in my dad's journal... but... like I said, it does a number on ya, and it made me sad, even sadder when I entertained the idea that they didn't love me enough to come home.

But then I found the journal. Yeah... they definitely loved me. It was comforting, but also heart-wrenching. If they loved me so much... where were they? What happened? Maybe it would have been better if they didn't care and were off still adventuring and making the world better. But this... this only increased the chances that they were... dead.

That always hurt. Dead. Oh, then I truly was an orphan. Big Bob called me that once, and it paralyzed me for a while. I always knew in the back of my head... but hearing it out loud only confirmed it... and it hurt.

It hurt not knowing. It hurt thinking about all the different things that could've happened to them... and it hurt to hope. I had almost given up just for that reason. It hurt too much... too much... too much pain. So... I had packed it all up, all my parents belongings, anything that reminded me of them, and was about to throw it in the attic and try my hardest never to look back... but then... I found the journal.

And after reading it... I found IT. IT as in... a map. A map that showed where they went, that marked all the places they could be! And suddenly... I was excited, and hopeful. I was ecstatic, was more like it. So excited!

I had to go. I had to go find them, and find out the truth. I... I just had to. It was the only way to solve my misery. Even if they were dead... at least I'd know. I wouldn't have to keep that painful hope harbored in my heart anymore. I could mourn, and it would hurt... but I'd be able to move on.

So, that's what I did. I went. I found an ad for an essay competition, and I was determined to win. Why? Because of the prize. It was for a trip for my whole class to go to anyplace in the world... as long as it was educational. San Lorenzo was educational, right? Lots of history there.

I entered, I won, and that was it. Yes, I spent at least a month on that essay. Of course I won. If I hadn't, I would've cried my eyes out. I'm not one to cry, I know, but... that would've broken my heart. It would've crushed me... and I'm pretty sure I would've stayed crushed for a pretty long time. But I won! YES!

I announced it to my class the next day, in an overly excited and animated way... which was probably confusing for most of them. Gerald just shook his head at me with a grin, as he knew what I was up to. There were some people perking up, probably because it was free trip and a pass from class... but there was ONE person who didn't, although I knew she wanted to.

Helga. She just sat there with a blank, neutral expression on her face. Her eyes, however, were a different story. I could tell her mind was working in overdrive... and I wasn't sure if that was going to be a good thing or a bad thing for me. I was slightly afraid of a "Deep Voice" repeat.

But why did I notice? Simple. I had been paying her closer attention since the "incident". I was curious. I found myself watching her at lunch more often, contemplating my intentions. Did I want her, or did I not want her? Was my stare adoring or just bored. I just didn't know.

But anyway, we got on a plane, and flew off to San Lorenzo, off to my parents. I was really anxious. I know I looked it too, because Helga kept giving me these questioning looks. We were all seated next to eachother. Helga, Gerald, Phoebe, and I. Yeah, it would've been awkward to have Helga in such close proximity, but she wouldn't have that. After another minute of watching me squirm anxiously, she pointed it out. What was it she said? Something along the lines of, "Geez, Football Head! If you've gotta go, just GO!" Ugh. I told her I didn't have to use the restroom, and she gave me a funny look, then said, "Whatever." Then turned back to look out the window. Oh yes, she got the window seat. I had wanted it, but she wouldn't let me. Ugh...

She made a joke somewhere during the flight about how my head really WAS in the clouds now. Yeah... Helga... why me? I'm either blessed or cursed. Which one? I wasn't sure...

When we got there, I snuck away with Gerald to go off finding my parents with the journal in hand. Somehow, Helga popped up. I'm not sure where or how... but she did, and she insisted on joining me in my quest. I was afraid to let her in... I mean, it could've been highly dangerous, and judging by the journal I had in my sweaty hands... it WAS going to be dangerous. I didn't want her to come for that very reason. I was worried, I'll admit. If anything happened to her...

Anyway, we argued, and my worry that she'd be hurt came out... she was shocked, and it was written all over her face. I was shocked too. I hadn't meant for that to come out. It was something I was denying myself, and blurting it out like that made it real... which was bad. But was it really? I mean, she loved me. It's wasn't like it would be bad for me to care a little for her... but still, old habits die hard.

She eventually regained her composure and admitted to being worried that I'd get hurt too. I was shocked by that. I thought for a split-second that she was lying, until the memories of her confession flooded back... and by the way she said it so sincere. Gosh... she's amazing... but so confusing...

So she forced her way in, and that was the end of that. She'd be helping, no matter what I said... did MY opinion ever matter? Apparently not.

I kept a closer eye on her than I'd care to admit. I was worried. The jungle was a dangerous place. I never doubted that Helga was strong, and maybe could handle herself just fine without me... but I had to make sure. She was too... special. Her death, would be my death. Whether I loved her or not, if she died, I knew I'd die with her. The thought of her being gone forever terrified me to no end. I was very paranoid, I'll admit. Always making sure she wasn't about to step off a cliff.

But soon, I realized much to my horror, that my death would mean hers too. I didn't like that, but it made me a bit more cautious.

But I was on a mission. I was out there to find my parents, and darn it, I was very well going to! That was the whole point of the trip. Not romance. I knew I was just putting it off again... and on some occasions during our adventure I'll admit to staring at her a bit too long and growling at myself for losing focus, or almost kissing her, but quickly realizing my actions and averting back to reality. Funny. That's something quite rare for me. But this was Helga, and I was losing focus... I had to find my parents, and leave... I'd think about the Helga thing later... when? I don't know... maybe never... it was too scary. Too final. As if I was asking myself if I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her or not... which I know was silly. But this was heavy stuff. Love... such a terrifyingly beautiful thing. I knew falling for Helga would be final. That would be it. I'd be forever committed. But I was TEN! Think about this, to be ten and eternally committed to one person. I knew it would be that way. Fall for Helga, and there'd be no way out. So I, once again, engrossed myself into my work. I'd find my parents... kisses and hugs and hand holding wasn't appropriate in that situation. Well, that's what I told myself, at least.

Yeah, I remember one night when it got particularly bad. I was starting to grow a need for her... and that wasn't something I was sure I was ready for. I heard some rustling at night, and it woke me up. I looked around, and suddenly found myself staring at Helga as she sat several feet away... staring up at the stars. Why me? Why was she making this so hard for me? The way the moon kind of shone on her golden locks... the way her eyes sparkled almost as much as the stars themselves. Then she laid back, and just looked so... angelic... it was too much. I wasn't ready for this... and yet I couldn't tear my eyes away... She was so beautiful... Ugh, why did I torture myself?

And then, she pulled out a book, and sat up, then laid on her stomach, writing furiously. What was she writing? Curse my curiosity... I had to know. So I got up and walked towards her... it almost felt like an out of body experience... maybe I was just that entranced by her... or maybe I was just tired. To this day, I still don't know.

We talked... and talked... and talked... I never knew I could talk that long to a girl without getting bored... but of course, this was Helga. She was never a boring person. She fascinated me. Especially that night. I felt myself clinging to her in a way, and the thought of losing her... scared the heck out of me... even more so after that night.

You know, the funny thing is that I never realized how long we had talked. It sure didn't seem that long, although I wish it had been longer, but no... soon the sun began to rise. A beautiful sunrise, especially with all the foliage surrounding us. The exotic flowers blooming, and the birds chirping, as the sun framed it all with it's gorgeous glow of orange, red, and gold... I found myself admiring it with half-lidded eyes. I was pretty content. Then I felt her gaze on me, so I looked at her... and all I could do was stare. Her eyes were wide in awe... eyes so beautifully blue... so... almost hypnotic... then my eyes shifted down a little, staring at her lips... then back at her eyes. As this continued, I suddenly felt myself leaning in... feeling this... strange connection with her... You know, the connection I was talking about earlier? Yeah... You know what else? I felt my eyes begin to drift shut, and I lingered my lips in front of hers, our breaths intermingling... And I was about to take that last half-an-inch forward and give in to all my temptations... all my emotions... when-

"Good morning, guys." Gerald. He sounded groggy, obviously just waking up. I don't think he noticed we weren't there, because he continued. "I think I'll get a little more shut-eye." and then there was more snoring.

We had both snapped away from eachother as soon as we heard his voice... but... Ugh, what had I been thinking? I had told myself over and over that I wasn't there for romance. I was there to find my parents. Maybe I was just avoiding the subject again, not willing to admit I was falling... harder and harder... That both terrified and excited me, falling for her, I mean.

I just got up and told her we'd need our sleep if we were to venture back out into the wilderness. Ah, my way of avoiding the subject... the subject of my growing need and desire for her. Yes, I wasn't going to admit it. I was there to find my mom and dad. Again. Avoidance. Denial. But, this was Helga...

So we ventured back out and I began keeping a certain amount of space between us... making sure only to talk to her about the reason for our being out in the jungle. No. I was denying it again. Avoiding the subject. I know I was acting childish... but then again, I AM a child. Don't I deserve the right to deny... to deny that I was falling deeper and deeper for her... denying that I was terrified I'd lose her, and thus consumed myself into our mission, eyes wide and alert all because I had this need to protect her... denying that I was finding myself staring at her longingly and more adoringly than I really should when she wasn't looking... denying how much I wanted and needed her...

Yes. I was denying it. I know it hurt her to see me so distant... if only she knew how close I really was to her. Maybe she wouldn't have such sorrow in those beautiful blue eyes I had come to adore. I felt guilty, because I knew what I was doing to her... I was hurting the very person I was beginning to care for more and more with each passing second... but I was in denial. It wasn't MY fault. She was just scared or something. She wasn't sad, she wasn't feeling the least bit defeated. Poor dear probably thought I was avoiding her because I didn't like her and felt too awkward that she liked me... when in reality I was just deathly afraid of what she was doing to me...

She walked off at one point... and I was too consumed in my mission to notice. Gerald and I talked about our mission... and after a little while I began to feel as if something were... missing. I had turned around... and there was nothing. No cute pink bow, no lovely blue eyes, no invisible smile planted on those lips I've been wanting to touch so badly... she wasn't there. I felt panicked suddenly, and I began yelling out for her, but no reply came... nothing. I was feeling even more panicked then. My mind had started going over all the possible things that could've happened to her. Snakes, quick sand, cliffs, leopards... no, no, no... I felt as though it couldn't be happening... She had to be there. Geez, I wanted that to be true. Denial. Yet again. I suddenly felt anger rise up inside me at myself. If I had just paid closer attention to her none of that would've happened. Now she was gone. She could be somewhere... hurt and alone... and it would be all my fault. When I found her (And I would), I was going to just... grab her and-...

My mind had stopped there. Denial. Again. Even in time of crisis, it never fails me. How was I going to finish that thought? I'm not sure. I never did finish it. I can only imagine what I was going to think now. Probably something along the lines of kiss her with as much urgency and force I could muster (Considering I'm just little, old Arnold), and then get down on my knees and declare my love for her. Yeah, like I was going to admit to considering that (Oh sarcasm). No, instead of finishing my thought, I started searching for her desperately. I looked everywhere. Bushes, trees, I even was able to muster up enough courage to look over a cliff to see if she was... -I gulped-... there.

I searched for her, as Gerald did too, although I think he was a bit weirded out by my panic attack and desperate search. But really. I may have been in denial, but I was still in too deep not to throw a fit when she goes missing.

After... I don't know how long, it was kind of a blur... I found her sitting behind a tree, smiling to herself in that old Pataki way. The defeat and sorrow I had seen from before was gone from her eyes, and she seemed at peace as she tucked away some kind of little golden object into her shirt. It looked almost cracked... but like I cared at that moment. I had let out a huge relieved sigh, and allowed my frantically beating heart to settle. I then slumped down on my knees and hugged her as tight as I possibly could. I was on the verge of breaking down right there and pulling back to just-...

Again, I cut off that thought. Denial is funny like that. What would I have done? I still don't know. Probably something along the lines of my other thought that was cut off by my deep denial and fear.

I had scolded her, and she looked pleasantly surprised by my obvious fear of losing her. I noticed this, and abruptly stopped, my finger in the air, and my eyes wide, just realizing my actions in the middle of scolding her for walking away when I was ignoring her. I had then just cleared my throat and helped her up, telling her simply not to do that again, because it impeded progress. Yeah, right. I wanted to say that she had scared me to the point of almost crying... but no, no, that wouldn't have been good, old, dense Arnold, now would it?

You know what was probably the most satisfying about the whole adventure? When we met La Sombra... not because he was a good guy or anything. But I knew he had something we needed in order to find my parents. La Corazon. That jerk. It's not like me to just... judge so quickly like that... but this guy was at cause for making my parents disappear... so I was a little angry. Sue me.

But back to the subject at hand. Ah, we tried asking politely for him to give us back La Corazon after he caught us in the process of trying to steal it, but he didn't agree. Now to the pleasurable part! The part where Helga grabbed him by the shirt collar, forced him up against a wall, and demanded he give us back La Corazon or meet her friends, Ol' Betsy and the Five Avengers. He looked pretty shocked by such brute strength coming from someone so young and small... with a pink bow on her head and her hair in pigtails. You know me, I was enjoying seeing him squirm... but it was kind of cruel. I didn't like that, so I asked Helga to please show him mercy and... she let him go. Then I came forward and explained everything in an eerily calm voice as he sat on the ground. I told him I needed the relic for personal reasons, and that if he didn't give it back to us... I'd be forced to unleash Helga. Ha! Yeah, Helga would gladly kill him if I asked. I even heard her crack her knuckes behind me, and I could almost feel the sadistic, evil smile pulling at her lips.

It took a while, but after a good beat down by my dear, dear Helga, he cracked, and we got La Corazon. Don't worry, I don't mean that he 'cracked' literally... I think. But it didn't matter, we had La Corazon. We were that much closer to finding my parents. OH! I was so excited, as I walked forward with a bright smile on my face as I carried that big hunk of rock. Ya really want to know what happened next? Well... I fell. Yup, I fell suddenly. I had forgotten that La Sombra's hide out was on a cliff near a waterfall... heh, I guess that's just me. Head stuck too high in the clouds to really notice what was going on around me. But, in my defence, I was carrying a big, heavy rock folded up in a cloth that was blocking my vision a bit.

So now I was falling. You know what I found flashing before my eyes, though? Not my life, no, but pink. Yup, I saw pink... and then suddenly I was back on land. What in the world had happened? Well, judging by the fact that Helga was standing next to me with an alarmed look on her face and a vine in her other hand... I can only guess that she swung down and saved me... oh, great. That was terrific! Another reason for me to adore her. Dang it. Of course I knew I should've been throwing my arms around her and thanking her a hundred times... but I was too shocked, and... once again... denial. And here's the part that really scared me here... it was lifting. The more I began to love her, the harder it was becoming to just... force it down, I guess. And now she had just saved my life in a really cool, sort of "action spy" way... curse her for doing this to me. Do you have any idea how much I wanted to kiss her a hundred million times and just... stop. Stop being in denial, that is. But... no... instead I just stared at her wide-eyed.

I knew I couldn't feel resentful of her for saving me... I mean, that would be really stupid... but... Ugh! Have you ever had something done for you, something wonderful that you felt immensely grateful for... but it was given to you by someone you don't really like... or someone who... you maybe didn't WANT to like... but they just kept making it harder for you not to just say, "AW! Come here!" and give them a big bear hug? Maybe you think I'm insane... but it made sense to me. It did.

Heh, heh, look at me calling you a "you"... when you're really just a book with blank pages waiting for me to fill up. Oh well, it's not like anyones ever going to read this... I hope.

Anyway, back to the story here. Helga and I just stared at eachother, fear painted across both our faces. Though for different reasons. She was probably still recovering from the fact that I almost died... and I was fearing the fact that I wanted to pounce on her and just... give in. But really... why would I do that? I'm Arnold... something that has plagued me for... well, ever. Curse my Arnold-ness!

But... neither of us did anything for a while, until we heard Gerald crying out for Helga to swing the vine back over to him. And then I simply launched myself back into the mission. NO more interruptions from the "Pink one".

So we went back to our quest. Though I kept a closer eye on Helga to make sure she didn't pull anymore of her hi-jinx. I just knew having her around was going to be the death of me... if not because she does actually die, but from the sheer panic that she could... Why did she have to be so stubborn? Well... that was something I liked about her... just liked. I remember emphasising in my head. Denial... once again...

But anyway, we went to one of the green eyes temples and found a very interesting rock carving in the wall... it looked like an eye. Yeah, we had found it. I had set the ancient relic on top of a small pedestal, then we stared at it, almost expecting it to disappear out of thin air. No such luck... so we turned around, and as soon as we did, we suddenly heard rustling, and then whispering... and then something grabbed us. Everything after that is kind of a blur... just little half-memories of waking up and then falling back asleep... stuff like that.

When I finally did wake up, I realized we were in the ancient city of the green eyes. How do I know this? Well, judging by all the markings of the green eyed people all over the place and ancient, green looking buildings and temples... I was pretty sure it was safe to say it was the green eyes ancient city... no to mention all the actual green eyes. Yeah, I saw the green eyes. Amazing, right? And it was just like that. You'd think that with how secretive my dad made them out to be in his journal that this would've been a little harder to accomplish.

I was amazed, really... and extremely excited as soon as I realized our location. Maybe they could help me find my parents. Maybe they had some information on their whereabouts. Maybe they-... And that's when I realized what I was dressed up in. I had face paint all over me, and a necklace around my neck with a little rock attached to it... a rock with the symbol of the green eyes. I had just woken up in the middle of the city... dressed up like this with no body around. I could see the curious, stunning, neon, green eyes of the green eyes poking out behind buildings. They were tall men, with pretty deep tans and dark hair... and I already mentioned their green eyes. I looked around more, trying to figure out why I was there... then I realized I truly was alone (Save for the green eyes). Where were Gerald and Helga? I remember getting annoyed by that. What had happened to them? I know I was supposed to be some kind of miracle child, so naturally I was there alive... but what if they ATE Gerald and Helga?! That very thought had twisted my entire stomach and heart upside down, and I was about to freak out... when I heard her.

Helga is really loud, isn't she? I mean, if she woke up in a strange place, it would be really, really loud? Answer... yes! How do I know this? Well, I heard an earth shattering shriek coming from one of the temples, and then I saw Helga run out of one of the temples, a scowl plastered across her face... as usual, although everything else about her appearance seemed a little... heh, different.

I remember my mouth dropped open in shock when I saw her. They had killed off her pigtails, so her hair was falling all over her shoulders, and her face was covered in paint (Much like mine), her eyes were rimmed with large black circles, and her usually pink dress and bow were dyed green. Wow. They don't mess around, do they? She was freaking out, I remember, and once she realized what I was staring at (She didn't look half-bad, really), she looked down and shrieked again. Geez, that hurt. It like... vibrated all throughout my head. Ouch. I've got a pretty big head, so imagine a head ache, the pounding, throbbing kind, only stretched out... a lot. It doesn't feel good.

But anyway, after she figured out what she was wearing, she immediately ran over to a fountain and practically cannon-balled in. Apparently the green dye comes out pretty easily, because once she came out, her bow and dress were restored to their usual bright pink. The make-up was smudged, but I don't think she realized she was wearing make-up until she saw her reflection in the fountain. She had strarted scrubbing it off, and then when some green eyes ran at her in defiance, she pounded them all into the dirt. I tried to stop her, really... but she was really mad. You know, for a long time I saw Helga as all talk and no action, because of her constant threats to pound people, that she never really went through with... I even thought once that maybe she didn't even know how to throw a punch... but I'll never doubt her abilities to crush us into smithereens ever again.

Another thing, you'd think that the green eyes would have been highly upset with her for being so stubborn and firey in their presence... but they just seemed to eat it up. After the few green eyes session with "Ol' Betsy", many more came out, looking at her with wide, shocked (And quite shocking in themselves... the eyes, I mean) eyes, and for a moment I thought they were going to kick us out... but much to both our surprises... they started bowing. What the heck? I wasn't prepared for them to start bowing down... and it wasn't just to her... but to me. I know I was some sort of miracle child (As I've said before), but why were they bowing before a girl who just pounded their own kind into the ground? She didn't notice them at first, though, she had started putting her hair back up in pigtails, and was grumbling something to herself. I was the one who nudged her and then she noticed all the attention. It was so weird.

She hid behind me, which I thought was kinda cute. She had just proved that she could destroy them, and here she was standing behind me with her hands on my shoulders. I asked her too, and she said that she could only kill so many at a time, and that she'd need back up... when really she was like my back up, considering her position directly behind me. But she never fails to try and twist the situation around. Whatever.

So now we were being bowed before, and suddenly we heard someone yell out... and then here came Gerald running out of a temple. Helga immediately burst out laughing behind me, and I had to try really, really hard not to do the same. His hair... was green. His giant stack of hair... was all green! His face was done up in make up, like us (Or just me, since Helga washed hers off), and his jersey was indeed green. I guess they didn't see a point in dying my clothes, since I was already wearing a green sweater. But anyway... he looked funny.

Once he noticed Helga practically rolling around on the ground, and my pained expression with my lips pursed tightly together to try and keep myself from falling down with her, he became confused. He asked what was so funny, and Helga struggled greatly to point out that his hair was green and then commented on how she'd now have to call him "Green tall hair boy" from now on. Poor Gerald, as soon as she said that he ran over to the fountain to see his reflection and gasped. Okay, that was it for me, I began laughing... hard. The green eyes looked confused at first, but soon started to join in. I'm not sure if they knew what we were laughing at. Maybe they were only doing it because we were doing it. Either way, now everyone was laughing and rolling around on the ground, clutching their stomachs.

Gerald practically threw his head into the water, and began swishing his head back and forth. Oh... it was funny. So very funny...

I'll skip over the boring stuff here... let's see. While in the green eyes city, we uncovered the truth of where my parents were. I never knew I could grin that wide before... but it almost hurt how excited I was. There was still that small part of me that held onto the possibility that they could just be dead, but the green eyes had conformed that they were alive... so obviously I was happy.

We went back out to search, now with the green eyes help, and we found them... trapped long ago by La Sombra and their plane had been taken apart by the green eyes and turned into shrines a long time ago. I know they didn't mean to, but that plane really would've helped in finding them... but they took it apart. I know it was abandoned, or at least seemed that way, but it still made me a little angry with them...

But I forgave them mentally after they helped with all the information on my parents. So yeah... we found them in one of La Sombra's secret dungeons down by a cliff. They were asleep when we found them, and I was overjoyed! I wanted to just... run right at them after the green eyes were able to break the bars to their cell... but Helga held me back. I was angry at that, but she said that if they woke up to find their son hugging their brains out that they might have a heart attack. Curse her logic... she was right... so instead, we all went over to them and shook them awake. They were pretty disheveled, and looked like they hadn't had a shower in... eight years. Like I cared.

Once their eyes were open, the first thing they saw was me, staring at them in pure awe. They had blinked several times, rubbed their eyes to make sure they were seeing right, before my dad announced that they were starting to hallucinate. We all laughed at that, and he had groaned. Luckily my mom had a little more sense and had reached out to touch my face to make sure I really was there. I remember she asked, "Arnold?", and I had nodded excitedly. Wow. My brain could barely process that it was really happening, especially after they had both jumped forward and tackled me in a hug, and my mom had kissed all over my face. I had never felt so loved. For a moment I remember getting scared that they didn't remember me, or didn't want to since they had just been staring at me for so long... but the reassurance was great.

Helga and Gerald were grinning from ear to ear, and once I told them (My parents) that they were my friends, they tackled them too with hugs. My dad seemed to recognize Helga as Big Bob's daughter, and she had been surprised that he knew her dad... yeah, my dad had apparently grown up with Bob. Who knew?

Halfway through our little reunion, someone came out from deeper in the cell... and you'll never guess who... Eduardo. I hadn't recognized him of course, but he had seemed vaguely familiar. My parents had pointed out his identity, and told me of how he was the one who trapped them, but it was all by force. Eduardo had been blackmailed by La Sombra into leading my parents into a trap... and right after he completed his task, he was thrown into the cellar with them by La Sombra. Apparently my parents had forgiven him, since he had been forced into it, but... I was still supicious after that point. I kept a close eye on him as we talked more. He'd have to gain my trust back after that little stunt. Forced or not, he was part of the reason my parents had been gone for so long.

But anyway, we had to get out of there, and so that's what we did. My mom had grabbed onto a vine, and taken Helga safely across, and then my dad had taken me across, and so on, until the only one left was Eduardo. He wasn't quite as adventurous as my parents, so my dad had to help him across on the vine.

But two grown men on the same vine? No, the weight was too great, and the vine was about to snap if one of them didn't let go... so Eduardo... let go. My dad had been horrified... and so were the rest of us, but after the extra weight was gone, my dad was able to make it across. We all stared down at the water below... unbelieving that he had done that. He had gained my trust back right then... sacrificing himself like that. I don't know how long we stood there, just staring down at where he had fallen... but we eventually were able to walk away... after my dad had thanked him silently, and my mom had shed some tears... I was too shocked to know what to do, so I just felt bad. That's the least I could do for the friend of my parents, and the one person who sacrificed himself just so my dad could make it across...

But we were able to walk away, leaving the cliff and all it's memories...

It wasn't easy, but we made it out. After snakes, quick sand, and poison darts... we made it back to camp where the rest of our class mates were. They were shocked to see us come back with two grown ups, that were all dirty and smelled bad... but I was ecstatic... but then... then it was over. The adventure was over... my mission had been completed... I didn't have any outlet to use for my denial anymore... and that's when I cracked. My denial had been lifted... because there was no way to ignore it anymore...

I had feelings for Helga Pataki. Geez, that sounded weird. But I had to tell her.

I saw her smiling at the exchange between my parents and I... she looked content, as if she had really accomplished something... and she did. I don't know how I would have done it without her help. I told my parents I had to take care of something, and they had both looked at me knowingly. Did they know what I was going to do? I'm not sure... but if not they probably got a good idea when I walked over to Helga and asked if we could talk in private. She looked terrified, but also really anxious, so I walked her off into the jungle a little, where no one could see us. After we were out of sight and ear-shot, I looked at her nervously, rubbing my arm. She didn't look much different than me, because her eyes kept darting around, and her mouth was in a thin line... obviously very nervous.

So finally I sighed, and said, "You know, I never did give you an answer to your confession." and she said, "What confession?" and then she laughed nervously. Oh, I knew right then it wasn't going to be easy to get through to her. I still remember it word for word...

"The one on the roof top of the FTi building... I know you remember, Helga."

"No... no, I don't know what you're talking about, Football Head."

"Please, Helga, I can't give you an answer if you don't admit to it."

"But... I don't... you're just..."

I had taken her hands and given her pleading eyes, and she finally cracked, and started rubbing the back of her neck. "Okay... okay, so maybe I don't... hate you... but... okay, fine! I... I... I kind of... sort of... maybe... love you." I remember she'd shut her eyes really tight, as if waiting for an explosion.

"I know. Thanks, Helga."

Then her eyes had shot open, and she'd looked shocked. "You're not completely and utterly repulsed?"

"Why would I be?" I remember being confused by that. Why would I be repulsed? Because she was my bully, my tormentor... Helga Pataki? No... I don't understand that. I never would've been repulsed... just shocked and majorly confused. Sure in the beginning I'll admit to being pretty horrified... but I had never expected Helga to actually... LOVE me. I knew she had insecurities... but repulsed? No.

"Because I'm Helga G. Pataki! The one person who's been shooting spitballs at you and making your life a living heck since pre-k!"

"Also the person who gave up being rich to help me save the neighborhood, and risked her life to help me find my parents."

"Well... yeah, but..."

Geez, she was adorable. She really didn't give herself as much credit as she should have, and somehow I knew that those weren't the only good deeds she had done for me... that annoyed me a little. Why did she have to be so secretive when it came to her generosity?

I remember taking a deep breath, and tilting my head, studying her. "Helga... I do have to give you an answer... and well... I-"

"I know, I know. You only like me, not like me like me. I knew it would be like this from the beginning... so please, save me the speech, Arnold." Wow, she looked sad. It hurt to see her like that.

"What? No, no, Helga... it's not like that. You see... I have been thinking a lot about it... and I've come to realize that I do... have feelings for you too."

Her eyes had gone really wide, and her jaw had practically fallen onto the floor. Why was that so shocking? She always seemed so confident in herself, so seeing her be that dumbfounded that I had grown to have affections for her was... odd. It was a new experience... to see her so shocked that I had feelings for her. But no matter how weird and surprising that was, the thing she did next was even more shocking.

"What? You've gotta be kidding me! You... Arnold... have feelings for me... HELGA..." She had put a hand on her head in complete awe. "This isn't happening. All the unrequited love has finally caught up to me and now I'm hallucinating things... Yeah... yeah, that has to be it."

"Helga, you're not hallucinating. I have feelings for you..."

"Stop... stop, hallucination Arnold... be gone!"

"Helga... I-"

"NO! You're not real! You can't be real... it's impossible!"

Then I grabbed her by the collar and pulled her lips down to mine. Well... I had wanted to do it for a while since I had started to gain affection for her, and she obviously needed reassurance. Definitely a win-win situation there.

Her lips tasted like... well, like berries. Sweet, sweet berries. And they were soft too... really soft. The world had seemed to stop... which I know sounds really cliche', but it's how it felt, and I'm an honest person. So yes, the world had stopped spinning, the jungle had disappeared, and nothing else in the world existed... nothing but her... and the soft, sweetness of her lips.

I could tell she was shocked, and her wide, blue eyes that I had seen before closing my eyes had proved that. I could feel her start to kiss back, and her arms just beginning to snake around my head when-

"Hey Arnold! Helga! We're all boarding the bus now to get to the airport before-"

Oh. My. Gosh.

As soon as it registered that we were no longer alone we had both separated, and all three of us had wide eyes and our mouths were open in shock... probably not a good idea considering all the mosquitos...

I don't think I've ever been that embarrassed in my life... not when I had to wear bunny pajamas in front of everyone, not when I had shown up at Gerald field in my pajamas with little bears on them, not when Helga had thrown feathers on my butt and said I was a bird, not when Timberly had announced that I was her boyfriend to everyone at school... nope... this was definitely the most embarrassing moment of my life.

The tension was so thick that I'd be willing to bet that even a butter knife couldn't cut through it... it had to end, or else my face was going to explode from all the blood rushing to my cheeks.

So... naturally we began making up an excuse. What did we say? Something like, "She had a mosquito on her lip... and I was just trying to kill it." Of course she contributed to that once she caught on, and Helga's a much better liar than me... but our defenses were pretty weak.

Gerald had just shaken his head, and smiled knowingly at us. "Whatever you say." How long had he known that something was going on between us? Had he noticed the looks? The way we were both so worried about the other persons safety? Had he really seen us about to kiss that one morning when the sun was just coming up? I don't know... but he's a crafty one...

After he had told us to come out soon and then just left... we were still a little shocked, and then we both laughed nervously. And I had so much hope that after our feelings were out in the open, the awkwardness would be gone... oh well. I remember what had happened next...

"So... you believe that I have feelings for you now?"

She had just nodded very weakly. Then we had both smiled at eachother, and taken eachothers' hands, walking out of from the jungle and getting on the bus with my parents. It would be new, and a little weird... but it would probably be forever, I knew that much. The connection there was kind of freaky, but also comforting. I knew she'd never break my heart, and I'd most certainly never break hers. Although I knew it would be hard... we'd make it. I knew, and that... for once... was good.

You think that's the end of that story, don't you? Nope, right after we'd boarded the bus, we heard someone yelling for us to stop... but by who? Well... it was Eduardo! He had apparently survived! How...? I didn't know. But he had, and then he'd boarded the bus with us, announcing that he needed a major vacation and would be heading off to Florida, but needed a ride to the airport. It was good to know he was safe, and once we had seen him, me and Helga had both hugged eachother in celebration... with everyone watching... Well, they were going to have to find out sooner or later.

So then we went home, and now I have my mom and dad back... wow, that feels good to say!

Wow... I didn't know I could write this much. I think this whole journal thing might be working out. But I'd better go now. Helga and I have a date... our tenth one, too. Our relationship is going strong, and I'm planning on telling her I love her tonight. I was kind of vague back in San Lorenzo, I guess. "I have feelings for you" isn't a straight up, "I love you"... so I'm gonna tell her. I know she'll be thrilled... or shocked again. Either way I'll end up kissing her again... which is good. I know I'm only ten, and the kissing is a little weird... but it's a good kind of weird, and I've been liking it more and more. Our relationship is pretty basic, I guess you could say. Hand holding, kisses between classes, and genuinely getting to know eachother better. I knew she was a poet... but she's really amazing. I didn't know a ten year old could write like that... it's nice... nice to have a girlfriend like Helga. But I'm still adjusting a little... I guess she is, too.

Uh oh, I'd better get going now. I don't want to be late, and I've got to get ready.

So... bye.

A/N: Holy freakin' crap... Oh, how lady-like of me to say. *Batts eyelashes*

Yeah right. But really... wow... This definitely takes the cake. I have NEVER written something this... long. Wow. And all because I bored... WICKED! *Jumps up and down*

Okay, I had so much fun writing this... it's complete insanity! *Screams*

Anyway, I worked long and hard on this... So please review! I had so much fun writing this and your reviews may encourage me... to add more. *Wiggles eyebrows* That's right! Limited time offer now! If I get enough reviews I might add! I. MIGHT. ADD. ...But in the future. *Grins*

So, if you want to make me excited to write more...

REVIEW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Pwetty pwease? *Gives you puppy dog eyes*