Welcome to Hillwood City
Stinky couldn't help but find it strange and somewhat creepy that they were all huddle behind the corner of the science building, waiting for Lila to arrive. It wasn't very long before her small figure emerge from the adjacent building, holding the alleged note that Helga had mentioned. Seeing her, Stinky swallowed a nervous gulp and clenched onto the neck of his guitar.
"The stage's all yours, my friend," Helga announced and gave Stinky a shove away from the brick wall where they all hid.
"Wah—! Wait! I can't—"
"Good luck, buddy," Sid said, giving him a thumbs-up.
"Remember the plan, Stinky," Phoebe encouraged.
An insuppressible rush ran through his entire body, making him almost shake as he took slow strides towards Lila who was gazing aimlessly about the campus. When their eyes met, Lila's confused expression was traded for a warm smile and she waved at him.
"There you are," she said in her usual sweet voice.
"H—Hi there, Miss Lila," Stinky stammered once they were in speaking distance of each other.
Their physical closeness made him even more worried that the trembling feeling in his limbs would cause him to drop his guitar. But he willed his body to keep calm and still the best he could while Lila spoke again.
"Your note said that you had something to ask me," she said.
"Y—yes, I have a s—song for you, actually," Stinky blurted out.
"Oh? Why that's ever so kind of you, Stinky. Please, let's hear it."
"Okay," Stinky said with a nod.
Draping the guitar's strap over his neck, Stinky took in a few deep breaths before laying his fingers into the right playing positions. He gave the acoustic a few test strums then took a peak up at Lila's adorable, smiling expression. Darn it! Did she have to be so cute all the time? Stinky wondered to himself. But he cleared his throat, mouthed the words of the song that Phoebe had creatively rewritten for him, and began to play and sing for the lovely lady before him.
Hey there, Miss Lila, what's it like in Hillwood city
I'm just standing here right now and tonight you look so pretty
Yes you do
Slausen's* can't be as sweet as you
I swear it's true
After a few lines of the song, Stinky noticed that Lila was watching him in awed delight and even giggled to some parts of the lyrics. In the end, Stinky found himself smiling with her as he finished up his performance and somehow found enough courage to hold out his hand for hers. The knot in his stomach slowly began to undo itself when she placed her delicate hand in his without hesitation.
"Miss Lila," Stinky said. "Would you like to—to go to the spring dance with me?"
"Why, Stinky," Lila gasped.
The country boy bit down on the insides of his cheek and suddenly became nervous again. He waited for her answer.
"Of course. I'd love to."
"That's—" Stinky began but a loud cacophony of cheering exploded from familiar voices behind him. He could have sworn that they made both him and Lila jump for a split second.
Turning around, Stinky saw his friends coming out from their hiding spot, wearing ridiculously happy grins. When he heard Lila let out a giggle, Stinky smiled at her and thanked her for her time and answer. Now, it was only a matter of waiting until the spring dance was upon them. Though, Stinky found that the entire week leading up to the spring dance was one of the most enjoyable ones in his high school career thus far.
It was always amazing to see their gym transformed into an extravagant dance floor with blaring music, colorful decorations, and delicious snacks. Amidst the throng of dancing high school students, Arnold spotted Stinky and Lila happily swaying to the music with their hands intertwined. He couldn't help but be happy for his friends and quietly tipped his cup of punch as a pseudo toast to them.
"So you actually help set this all up for Stinky, Helga?" Arnold asked, intrigued.
"Doi, Football Head," Helga said. She had been standing next to him at the snack bar with her own drink in hand. "I mean, who else could come up with such an ingenious plan?"
Arnold gave a low chuckle and said, "You're so thoughtful."
"Yep that's me," Helga said, sarcastically proud. "Always the thoughtful one."
To this, Arnold only rolled his eyes at her and tightened his hold around her waist, pulling her closer. He continued to watch Stinky enjoy the spring dance with his date and wondered if one day, there could be something even more special between him and Lila.
I think this ending chapter could have turned out a bit better but I've been away from this story for so long that I've lost the desire to continue with it. But I knew I had to finish it up one way or another. I rather enjoyed writing the very ending of this story and I hope you enjoyed it, too.
* Slausen's is an ice cream parlor in the HA! universe