It's October 5th, so I wrote a little something to commemorate it. :)

Will contain sadness, hope...and a little love. :D

Enjoy. This is kind of a shift, TJM didn't occur. *Sniff*

I own nothing but the words I have produced just now.

Sorry it's a day late...life got in the way and I couldn't post it earlier. DX

XXX

Today was probably the saddest day of the year. At least, for one boy in particular. It was two days before his birthday. Five days into the month. The scariest month with the scariest day of the year. But that day paled in comparison to this day. This was a day filled with sadness, uncertainty, woes, hopelessness, confusion, longing, and...maybe a shred of hope. But that hope only lingered due to the inconclusive aspects of it.

Holed up in his room, with a photograph in hand, another sad sigh escaped Arnold as he stared at the photo of his parents. Still to this day, what happened to them remained a mystery. It was beginning to look like they were dead, and had been for a long time. San Lorenzo may have been a fairly small country in Central America, but the dense jungles were dangerous, easy to get lost within, and if the wild animals or the poisonous insects didn't get you, then something else did. If they really survived, why weren't they here? At home? Where they belonged? With him? With the entire household?

Was it too much to ask that he wanted his parents back? Was it too much to ask that he have a complete family? Was it too much to ask? Was ANY of it too much to ask?

He was often told no, it was never too much to ask for that kind of thing.

But sometimes he was beginning to think that maybe it was.

Arnold hardly cried about it. Not anymore. As a young little child, he would cry. But by the age of nine, he didn't cry. He would just sit there, staring at the photo, wishing with all he had that they would return. Dreaming of them. That was all he could do.

His grandparents contacted the San Lorenzo embassy every year to see if they could find anything, but even they knew they'd stopped looking a long time ago. It all seemed so hopeless.

So on this day, here he was, at the tender age of fifteen, sitting on his bed in his room, staring at the photo of his parents, wondering if he should even bother longing for them anymore. He'd found his father's journal when he was ten, and it did help answer some questions, and it did make him realize that it was indeed hard for his parents to leave, but it didn't offer any of the answers he wanted. Not as much as he wanted, anyway.

But, it did help a little. He had a personal piece of his father right there with him.

Arnold exhaled, fighting back tears, and placing the photo aside. Why did today have to hit him so hard? Why couldn't he take a few minutes to mourn the loss (if there was one), spend a little time thinking of them, and then move on with his day? Keeping them close to his heart none the less?

It wasn't like that. He hadn't been out of his room today, and it was 4:30, already getting a little dark outside. No one bothered him, since they knew he needed time to grieve and think about his parents. All of that time was spent sighing, staring at the photo, reading his father's journal over and over again, staring at the photo, laying back and thinking of his parents, and staring at the photo.

Arnold by now needed two things. One thing was unattainable. His parents, which he needed the most.

The second thing...that was usually always available, especially today. But he always hesitated sometimes in asking others for help, even when they asked him for help all the time. He didn't want to seem like a desperate, sad or even lovesick fool to them. He felt his own problems were what he needed to solve himself.

But at times, he just gave in. Often turning to a few certain people. Either his grandparents, who despite what they often did on a daily basis, could always have times of giving him what he needed. Or his best friend, Gerald. Who always loaned and ear and was there when he needed some good advice or just someone to talk to when a time called for it.

But then there was someone...who went beyond that. Someone he could talk to about anything, things he couldn't tell his grandparents or his best friend, or when they couldn't help for whatever reason. Someone who helped in ways no one else seemed to. Even when they'd been younger, there was still that "helping when no one else could" feeling there.

And now...he needed that person. Very much.

Getting off his bed, he slowly went over to the phone sitting next to his flippable couch, and picked up the receiver, dialing a number. Waiting for the person on the other line to answer, it was picked up on the second ring.

Taking a breath, Arnold felt a sense of relief wash over him as he heard the voice on the other line.

"Helga...I need you."

An affirmative answer was heard on the other line before they hung up. Despite the heaviness in his heart, he felt a little lighter by then, as he usually did when this particular situation was initiated. Right now what he wanted and needed was her. She was, after all, next to his grandparents and even Gerald, who knew the deeper details of this, and anytime this happened, her words and her touch always helped to make him feel lighter inside and so much better. She had such a remarkable ability to offer comfort and good advice in her own way, despite that she herself denied it.

Arnold even felt himself smile a bit.

Some time later, he wasn't sure how long, as he just sat there on his couch, waiting patiently, and trying not to think too hard about everything, but even that was proving to be impossible.

He wasn't sure how much later it was, but when four knocks came to his door, which was their "secret" knock, he murmured a soft "Come on in", and the door opened. Helga walked in, and immediately he brightened a little bit upon seeing her. She took off her blue cap, which she wore to hide her bow, hanging it on the doorknob as she shut the door behind her, and even released her hair from their pigtails, to cheer him up since he liked it when she wore her hair down.

"...Hey." She murmured, and walked over to where he stood, immediately bringing her arms around him in a comforting hug.

Hugging her back, he felt himself just seem to melt and his heart felt lighter, inhaling her sweet vanilla scent, relishing the feel of how perfectly their bodies fit together, and oh, the softness of her sunshine hair...

"My poor, sweet beloved... Such cruel fate just had to be bestowed upon you this day several years ago, clearly undeserving in all ways..." Helga murmured into his ear, making the young man shudder a bit.

"It's not fair, Helga...they should be here. Here with people who love them. Here where they'd be safe."

"They should be here, always. With you. With your grandparents. This is where they belong. Adventurous they may be...but home is always where the heart is. Wherever they may be...they long for you, wish to be by your side forever. If only they knew first hand, just how much of a boy you've become over the years." The young woman pulled back, and brought one hand up to run her fingers through his hair. "They'd have been so proud of you."

Despite everything, a soft smile came to his face and his eyes went half-lidded at her affectionate gestures.

"Even though they're not here...you're not alone. You've got awesome grandparents who love you so much, the boarders are like a whacky but lovable extended family, heck, you even have Abner! Good ol' Abner. Then you've got the gang at school...eh, they may not always live up, but they can be great when the time's right. And you've got Gerald, Phoebe..."

"You." Arnold added, his hand cupping her cheek. "Especially you."

Helga blushed a little and smiled, placing her hand over his, and kissing his fingers sweetly. "You have all of us...so you're not alone, and even though it can go either way, your parents being dead or alive, there's no reason to give up hope. And they love you, no matter where they are, and they'll always be with you, even if you can't see them." She placed her free hand to his heart. "They'll be right here. Where you need them most. And well, it's okay to be sad, of course. To mourn them not being here with you, but don't forget what you have, and let them know you're happy, which I know will make them happy too. Because that's what is important. Keeping them close to your heart no matter what."

At times he wondered just how she did it, how she was able to tear down everything around her and just be probably the sweetest and most comforting kind of girl he'd ever known, just knowing what to say and what to do, without it being too much or too little. She was stubborn, a fiery temper, sarcastic, take-no-prisoners, and aggressive when the situation called for it. But she had mellowed out a lot over the years and wasn't afraid to show her kinder side. And deep down beneath her exterior was the heart and soul of one of the sweetest, kindest, creative, warm, gentle and loving girls ever.

And he just loved her for it. Everything about her, in fact. From the depths of her mind, all of the aspects combined into what made her the person she was, to the outside. Her golden hair falling down her back in a light wave when she allowed it down, her stunning azure eyes that he never failed to get lost in, her cute little nose almost shaped like a G, her pouty lips, her omnipresent bow (even though sometimes hidden under her cap, which he also grew to like her wearing), and the lovely curves of her body he continuously longed to run his hands over...

They hugged once more, as silence befell them, and he let her words process and sink in. It was what she always said over the years of being there to offer comfort on this day, and it grew more and more.

"Thanks, Helga. You're right. ...I know my parents would really like you, you know."

A giggle escaped the girl in his arms. "You think so?"

"I mean it, Helga. They'd adore you. My parents would never be able to resist the Pataki charm. ...Like me."

"Oh, Arnold. You're too much. But for what it's worth, your parents sound really great, I'd love to meet them too. ...So I can thank them."

"Thank them? What for?" He asked curiously.

She lifted her head and smiled. "For mixing and creating the most wonderful boy in the world." With one more hug, she slipped her hand into his pocket, and pulled back from him. "I'll go get you a snack, you must be starving."

"Whatever you say, Helga." Was all he could say with a smile.

As she turned to leave his room, Arnold took hold of her hand and pulled her back to him. Before she could ask what was up, he kissed her tenderly but with passion, and felt her melt up against him before eagerly reciprocating the kiss. Even at nine she kissed with so much passion and meaning, and boy did she still do so, if not more better, to this day.

They kissed for an entire minute, before air was becoming scarce and they parted, looking into each other's eyes.

"What was that for?" Helga managed, a goofy smile on her face.

"For being here with me today. Because you comfort me in a way no one else can do." Was all he said.

She beamed happily, and kissed him on the cheek before she exited his room and headed downstairs to get a good snack. Arnold sat back on his couch, and reached into his pocket instinctively, and pulled something out. Perplexed, he stared at the thin, small pocket envelope.

What's this? He thought, opening it, and his eyes widened.

Inside were two charter tickets to San Lorenzo.