Seeing this story come to an end is bittersweet. Honestly, this has become my little baby. I was honored and happy to bring my odd sense of humor and random dialogue to the world of Hey Arnold. You've all made this an AMAZING experience, and this story will definitely not be the end of my HA! fan fictions. And as you've learned about me so far… you never know what'll happen next ;)
Disclaimer: I don't own Hey Arnold!
(**Three Years Later**)
When I was a kid, I always believed I wanted the American dream; Boy meets girl, boy and girl fall in love. Boy and girl get married and start a family… boy and girl live happily ever after in their middle class home behind a white picket fence. What I didn't understand at the time, was that life didn't always follow that seemingly simple formula without it's hiccups along the way. Some people manage to fall in and out of love hundreds of times before finally finding 'the one'. And 'love and marriage' doesn't always come before 'the baby carriage'… There are no shortcuts or easy paths… in life, there never is. There's heartbreak and tears, and people willing to tear you down at the drop of a dollar. It's just how we are as a society. So how do you find a happily ever after? Is there really such a thing? No matter how old you become or how much life experience you have, there isn't one way to cheat the system I like to call life.
But as people, we do have the power to change our fate in the world. Years ago, I changed my fate in ways that I never thought I could. I spent the most magical summer of my life in the heart of a humid rainforest, digging myself out of ankle deep sludge and sweating off half my body weight…. And I would do it all over again if given the chance. When Arnold left for San Lorenzo after our high school graduation, I pondered for several hours about my own future… what I was really doing and where I was going. I was planning on spending my summer in Hillwood, cursing the world. It was only then that it dawned on me… I had to go to him. There wasn't a single doubt in my mind that I belonged in San Lorenzo with him, helping him with something he held so close to his heart. So the very next day I bought a passport and took a little trip to the doctors office, and 5 inoculations in my ass later… I was physically ready to leave the country. All I had to do was wait on my passport to come in the mail… and inform my parents and Phoebe that I was leaving. Big Bob was ecstatic to be rid of me, and gladly fronted the airfare cash while Miriam on the other hand thought San Lorenzo was in Canada… And Phoebe? She simply offered me a friendly hug and told me to "go get him tiger!". Two weeks later when the passport came through, I was at the airport and already buying my ticket.
I remember it was raining in San Lorenzo on that very first day. A rain unlike anything I had ever experienced before. It was heavy and harsh upon my skin and left a slight sting, my breath coming out as a hiss with each drop. I found a man loading up a truck full of boxes and showed him the address where Arnold was, to which he informed me he was going there with the supplies in mere moments. My stomach was going cartwheels and I felt like I was going to pass out. He kindly offered me a ride to the campsite and I hopped into his cargo truck. When the campsite came into view it finally became real that I had just left my entire life back in the United States, and was entering the complete unknown. I thanked the man for the ride and stepped out into the harsh rainfall, soaking me through and through in less than thirty seconds. A man in a large camouflage jacket approached me and asked who I was, and I quickly explained I was here for Arnold. He must have sensed my nervousness, because he didn't question me any further. He simply said Arnolds hut was the first one on the right, and with a small smile he wished me luck. After several minutes of pounding on the door, and Arnold demanding 'Enrique' to hold on… he opened the door. He was wearing rain gear from the neck down and a look of complete and utter shock etched on to his face. I couldn't think of something witty or charming to say, so we continued to stare for several moments. I took a step forward, our bodies just centimeters away from one another, and reached out to cup his cheek. My eyes welt up with tears and several of them began falling down my own cheeks, his hand suddenly reached out to touch my face before we finally crumbled and pulled each other into a bone crushing hug. I pulled away after what felt like an eternity, simply saying "hey Arnold.." Those two words changed everything. All bets were off, and my life was in my own hands. All that mattered was that Arnold was in my life again, and we had each other for the time being. We spent the entire summer scoping out the jungle in search of La Sombra and navigating his fathers path. It was far from pleasant conditions to say the least, and several times I wondered why I was doing this. But when I would lay down at night on our cot in the crook of Arnolds arm, listening to his melodic heartbeat… I knew I had made the right choice.
As quickly as summer had started, it ended just a quickly. The world beyond the jungle awaited my arrival, and there was no escaping the reality. Arnold and I were forced to say our goodbyes at the small San Lorenzo airstrip, crying in each others arms. Neither of us could guarantee the next time we'd see each other again, or if we actually would get the chance. With my departure we inevitably were forced to admit our romantic relationship was no longer a possibility, and we broke up… for the final time. We shared one last kiss beneath the San Lorenzo skies before I finally boarded my plane that would take me back… back to a world without him.
Cut to three years later. Beyond all the drama and angst, heartbreak and longing… I'm still alive, and you know what? Life didn't turn out so bad. Of course I missed Arnold like crazy for well over 6 months into my college career. We wrote every three weeks and tried calling once a month. Slowly over time our letters and phone calls eventually become rare to basically nonexistent, it was an inevitable fate that we both knew was coming. We had physically and mentally moved on in our lives, and came to accept our fate… and I was okay with it.
"Helga!" the faint knock of my annoying roommate echoed through the bedroom.
"I'm busy!" I roared. The door handle moved back and forth several times in a vain attempt to open it. "It's locked, dummy." I smirked.
"Why did you lock it? Geez.. I wasn't going to bug you!"
"You're bugging me now!" I huffed, tossing my books aside. "I have to finish my paper on the contemporary postmodern Marxist theory. Try bugging me in a few hours." I felt kind of guilty about lying… since I had been staring blankly at the ceiling for the past hour and completely avoiding my stupid term paper that was due next week.
"You are possibly the worst roommate ever!" a loud audible huff could be heard through the wooden door.
"Would ya quit your whining? Crimeny." I scooted off the bed and stood in front of the door. "What's the magic word?" I decided to milk this irritation for all it was worth.
"Open the door before I get peeved."
"That works." I shrugged, finally opening the door. "Can I help you?" I leaned against the doorframe, staring expectantly.
"You know, when we agreed to share an apartment together I thought it would be a lot less… aggravating." a hand gently nudged me back into the room. "We have to leave soon. Get ready."
"Well.. Aren't you testy today?" I smirked.
"Helga… Just get ready." another glance of irritation was sent in my direction.
"Come here" I motioned with my index finger as I plopped down on the queen sized bed. "You're kind of cute when you're angry."
"You're really going there? Now?" a set of legs stopped at the edge of the bed.
"We've got time." I glanced over that the clock. "Come here." I repeated.
"What makes you think I'm in the mood?"
"Do bears shit in the woods?"
The springs of the mattress squeaked as another body slowly joined me on the bed, leaning me forward slightly. "You are such a freak Pataki."
"If you're barely just discovering this.." I grabbed a fistful of my shirt, slowly pulling it over my head. "you've got a lot more to learn football head."
"Then teach me.." his voice dropped down an octave just before he leaned in and kissed me.
Are you confused yet? Yeah.. I was too about a year and a half ago when I received a surprise football headed visitor at my dorm room one night. I didn't know if I should welcome him with open arms or slam the door in his face. It was all so unexpected and surprising. Arnold was first to initiate a long and drawn out hug, both of us breathing in a long sigh of relief. All of the distance and separation felt like it had never touched us, like I had just seen him yesterday. When our tearful reunion was complete we were left with a thick layer of awkward. We had spent so long apart and neither of us were experts in this subject, and I had yet to hear the reason why he came back to the US. When all was said and done we decided to try being friends again, in vain of course. I was still very much attracted to him, if not more since our summer in San Lorenzo. We spent a lot of time talking after that. He told me about his adventures after I left, and about the people he met along the way… but more importantly… he had found out what happened to his parents.
When the green eyed people discovered Arnold's presence in San Lorenzo, they immediately sought out for him. He was the first and only person allowed to be in their presence. He says it's because he's viewed as some sort of deity to them… I think he's full of hot air, personally. The green eyes informed him that Miles and Stella's plane did make it to San Lorenzo, despite the rumors. On their first night, they created a new base camp deep in the heart of the jungle. Two weeks into their mission they managed to deliver the medicine the green eyed people. That very same night they were ambushed by a group of river pirates, run by La Sombra. They burned their plane and took them as prisoners, threatening death if they refused to reveal where the sacred gem of the green eyed people was being held. Like the selfless people they were, Miles and Stella refused to reveal where the green eyed people were and vowed to protect them with their lives… and they did until the very end. After several weeks of starving them as torture, La Sombra grew tired of their lack of cooperation….. He ordered for them to be executed immediately. The green eyed people never actually witnessed their death, but after the gunshots were heard, several of them found La Sombras hideout. After years of feuding with the river pirates, the green eyes took the situation into their own hands… and they attacked in Miles and Stella's honor. La Sombra and his men were finally taken down in the long and strenuous battle. The green eyes then found Miles and Stella, taking them back to their hidden village and giving them a proper burial the deserved. I think Arnold had somehow found peace by actually seeing his parents final resting place. It broke my heart that he never got the chance to know his father and mother… but he insisted that their death wasn't in vain, and they were genuine heroes in his eyes. When he came back to Hillwood, his family had their own private ceremony to say their proper goodbyes, and like Arnold, his grandparents were genuinely proud of their son and daughter in law. And now that the truth was out, their lives could finally move forward…
"You know… I'd have to give that a 9.5" I rolled over on my side and watched Arnold put on a fresh set of clothes. "I think our neighbors heard us again!" I cackled.
"Why just a 9.5? If I recall correctly, you weren't complaining." he buttoned up his pants, smirking slightly.
"I would have given you a 10.. But you didn't snuggle." I stuck my bottom lip out.
"We didn't have time! We gotta go in less than ten minutes." he punctuated by pointing at his watch. When I refused to move, he slithered on top of me and kissed my forehead. "We'll cuddle later… I promise."
"Good boy!" I lightly slapped his cheek. "You know who wears the pants in this relationship."
"Yeah.." he grabbed my hand and examined it. "Me." he pointed to the diamond ring on my left hand.
"HA!" I snorted, pulling him closer to my face. "Just think… in seven months, I'll own your sorry butt. We'll see who's laughing then."
The smirk on his face failed to disappear. "I'm not scared of you Helga… I never have been."
"Just wait until I'm Mrs. Arnold…" a loud buzzing sound cut my sentence off, distracting us both.
Arnold grabbed his phone and read the message. "We gotta go Helga! We're really going to be late if we don't hurry!" his hand wrapped around my wrist, effectively pulling me from the covers.
I grabbed a pair of jeans and a shirt, hastily throwing each item on. "Satisfied?"
"Yes.." he pulled me in for another kiss. "Lets go pick Phoebe and Gerald up at the airport. We've only got them for the weekend, so we better make the most of it."
"Yeah yeah… get the ants out of your pants football head. We have time to pick them up and make our dinner reservations on time."
"I'm just excited!" he grabbed my jacket off the coat rack and assisted me into it before grabbing his own. "And besides… I don't want to miss my own birthday party.." he opened the front door and took off down the hallway. I grabbed my bag off the table and turned off the lights we had left on, scanning the room one last time.
I stood in the doorway of our apartment and took a deep breath before reaching for the final light switch. "Yep.." I smirked, clicking off the light. "definitely not a supernova.." I closed the door behind me and took off after my giddy fiancé.
Okay, so some quick clarification.. Helga's last line was referring to chapter 10 (to which Arnold calls his relationships a 'supernova'.)
Anyhow, I genuinely hope you like how I chose to end it. I know I didn't really explain what Arnold was doing with his life, and frankly? I have no clue! Lol.. I'll leave it to your imaginations!
And yes, Arnold was willingly going to his own birthday party. You didn't read wrong. Lol.. I think many of you can understand WHY he's okay with it now.
As for his parents dying… seriously you guys? Did you think they'd be alive in the jungle for 17 years and nobody would find them? Lol.. I hope nobody is too bummed out about it. I was being realistic. XD
Sooooo, in conclusion; I hope everyone enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it! I love doing this, and I will definitely be back SOON! Brand new story in-hand!