A nineteen-year-old Arnold struggled down the sidewalk, his arms loaded down with packages that his grandfather had asked him to come down to the mall to pick up for him. Christmas was coming up in only a few weeks, and old Jack Frost had paid them a visit. The sidewalks and streets were coated in a white blanket of snow, and all the ponds and lakes in the city were frozen over. Arnold being more than aware of this, his entire body was snug as could be in a thick jacket, some pants, a hat and a scarf.
Feeling incredibly tired after walking for so long, Arnold decided that a small break was in order, and stopped by a bus bench to set his heavy load of packages down on with a sigh of relief. He sat down on the bench beside his pile of packages, picking one small one out in particular to observe a moment. He unwrapped the small parcel, revealing a little, black velvet box. Cracking it open with a smile, he marveled at the modest little diamond ring in the box. His eyes twinkled upon looking at it, anticipation rising within him...
He took a deep breath, calming down his excitement as he closed the box and deposited the precious item into his jacket pocket. He'd already agreed with himself that he'd wait until Christmas before he asked her... He wanted it to be special for her, no matter how anxious he was to just come out with it.
He shivered, partly from the cold breeze, partly from excitement (He could just see the look on her face), and he pulled his jacket tighter around himself and rewound his scarf around his neck nice and snug.
He was completely unsuspecting of the small, white, feminine hand that suddenly came down on the bench back behind him, right beside his head...
That hand then shakily came up again, and then back down... only to land right on his shoulder.
Arnold jumped slightly in surprise, snapping his head around to see who was there...
...and his eyes came to rest on someone he'd never thought he'd see again...
Cecile smiled gently, that soft blonde piece of her hair covering one of her lovely deep blue eyes as always, and her skin as white as the snow that lay around them. "Bonjour, Arnold..." Her voice was so soft and sweet, he had to hold back a shudder.
"W-What are you doing here?" He asked nervously in a bit of a rushed voice, his eyes looking distressed and shocked at the same time.
"Oh, you know..." She gracefully took the seat beside him, setting her hands in her lap, and her hair flowing gently in the breeze. "Just visiting in from France. I try to do so at least once a year, you know."
"I-I remember." He stuttered, looking a bit tense from having her suddenly sitting right beside him.
"Mmm..." She hummed gently, looking at him through lowered, long eyelashes. "I'm sure you do." She fluttered her eyelashes at him, looking completely unaware of the effect she was having on him.
Arnold gulped, desperately trying to seem casual as he asked, "Um, so, how've you been doing? I haven't seen you in... at least seven years."
"Yes..." She muttered faintly, suddenly looking a bit uncomfortable herself, though still quite graceful and alluring as she very slowly crossed her long legs, straightening out her long red dress with her hands. "On the day that you didn't show up for our annual date."
"I-I had other plans." He stuttered yet again, sounding incredibly nervous and flustered around the beautiful blonde haired woman.
"With whom?" She asked, still quietly, only this time looking up into his light green eyes with her own perfectly crystal blue.
Arnold began to hyperventilate slightly, but after only a few seconds of looking into her eyes, he felt himself calm. He sighed, looking away from her for fear his heart would burst. "With... my girlfriend."
"You had a girlfriend while we were dating?" She asked suddenly, sounding very offended, surprised, even a bit angry, but still lovely all the same.
"No, Cecile, it wasn't like that. It was new... and what we had was just one yearly little rendezvous on Valentines Day. I wanted something more real, I guess. So I spent Valentines Day with her instead." Arnold explained to her, memories of his current girlfriend filling him, and his knees suddenly felt like they had some strength in them again and his heart fluttered.
"Oh..." Her sweet blue eyes turned to the ground, and a soft frown came to her face. Suddenly, though, as if something had just occurred to her, she looked back up at him again and scooted even closer to him, putting her arm through his with a smile. She looked up at him innocently, yet with a bit of affection and deceit in her eyes as she said, "But I'm sure that by now you've dumped her and you're single again? What we had was just so very special, and I was just crushed to lose it... Could you give me another chance? I could move down here, we could start anew, begin something more... real, as you say." She pouted then, looking positively adorable and nearly irresistible as she stared up at him with her big blue eyes.
At feeling her touch suddenly on him like that, Arnold had to hold back a deep sigh of satisfaction. He fought off the goofy feelings and shook his head at her, frowning a bit in disappointment. "I'm sorry, Cecile, but I'm afraid I never did brake up with her... We're still together, I'm not single."
Cecile didn't deter even for a second at his admission. "Oh, but please, Arnold, Mon Cheri. I never was able to get over you. I was going to tell you on our date that I... I think I love you. But you never showed up... Please don't leave me out in the cold again, Arnold... please..." Her eyes glistened with tears, a hint of desperation coming to her face and voice as she wrapped one of her arms full around him, turning his body around to her fully so she could look him straight in the eye with her two hauntingly lovely blue ones, and to wrap her arms around his neck.
Arnold's eyes fell half-lidded in a loving gaze involuntarily, and his heart throbbed for her... but a flash of his girlfriend came to his mind, and he felt his resolve strengthen more than ever as he asked, softly as to not hurt her, yet still with some force, "You're asking me to leave my girlfriend... for you?" His voice shook a bit at the end, his heart pounding a bit more despite himself.
"Oh, please, would you, Arnold? Think of all we could do together... I would love to show you France, to show you my roots, to give you all of me... if you would just give me another chance. I was a fool back then, too young to understand what I was giving up, how I was hurting you. If you allowed me one more chance, I can promise it would never happen again... I'm yours, Arnold. Will you have me, Mon Cheri? Je vous en prie, my darling... please..." Her eyes were large, undeniably gorgeous, pleading... her breath so very hot on his lips in the shivering cold... and her arms wrapped even tighter around his neck than his scarf... and much more warm... her skin was practically burning into his...
Arnold was having great difficulty remembering who he was and where he was, his heart was pounding hard in his ears, his lips trembling desperately with wanting to meet with her own, and his arms as ready as they'd ever been to take her in his arms and promise her forever... but then the sound of his girlfriend's whimsical laugh whispered into his ears... the smell of her intoxicating scent enveloping his senses... the feel of her warmth and her loving, perfectly beautiful eyes... the image of her chatting with his family with a smile on her face, the memory of her washing dishes and then turning around to sprits him with water and giggle... the feel of her silky, long hair running through his fingers...
The light pressure of the small velvet box in his pocket seared against him, and he took a deep breath and then delicately, painfully... took her arms in his hands, and lowered them back to her sides, and stood up, trying to gain some dominance of the situation. "Cecile, as much as I appreciate all you're offering me... I just can't. I have a girlfriend now. I hate to be so blunt, but... Face it, we're over, and we always will be. There's much more on the line than there was seven years ago, and... I'm not willing to give it up over something that ended a long, long time ago anyway. Now I'll admit, I'd be lying if I said I didn't love you... once, but that was a long time ago. I've moved on. I'm sorry, but..." He placed a hand over the pocket that held the small box, and he felt his eyes soften. "...I love her too much to do this to her... or me."
Cecile blinked up at him, the tears in her eyes still twinkling and now beginning to run down her delicate face. She sniffled slightly, staring up into his eyes desperately, searching the depths of his soul, seeking the truth... She saw what she needed to, and she nodded weakly in understanding, wiping the tears from her eyes with a small handkerchief she pulled out from her own coat pocket. Once she was finished, she noticed he was beginning to pick up his packages again, preparing to leave her yet again. She watched him do so with a pained look on her face.
Once he had all the heavy packages in his arms again, he began off down the sidewalk, but not before hearing her call out to him one last time with her silky voice... "May I at least know the name of the woman that has stolen your heart from me?"
He paused in his exit, just standing there with his back turned to her a few feet away, unmoving for several seconds... Finally, he turned to her, a far away look coming to his eyes as he informed her in a breathy voice, "Helga... Her name is, and will always be... Helga."
Cecile nodded, knowing that she would never be the one to be able to bring such a mesmerized look to his eyes ever again... She turned her head away from him to hide her expression, replying to him with a saddened tone, "She is very lucky..."
"No," Arnold objected, surprising her, though she didn't turn to look at him as he finished softly, "I'm the lucky one."
And with these final words, Arnold left down the sidewalk, carrying his heavy set of packages and the engagement ring still stored safely away in his pocket, promises of true love whispering deafly in the wind as he walked out of her life for the second, and final time...
Cecile just sat there on the freezing cold bench for a while, watching as his silhouette disappeared into the distance...
Once assured of herself that he was definitely gone, a very happy smile came to her face as she tucked the piece of blonde hair covering her eye behind her ear, revealing both of her deep blues. She hugged herself then, feeling incredibly warm despite the horridly teeth-chattering weather. "Looks like Arnold really is utterly faithful to me..." Helga's grin picked up even more, if possible, and she giggle a bit giddily. "OH, I just KNEW he wouldn't let me down! Oh, my beloved, how I adore you..." She sighed dreamily, closing her eyes in bliss for possibly the billionth time, and certainly not the last, as she laid her head back on the bench and closed her eyes with that bright grin still ever growing on her fair face. "Perhaps we truly will be together forever... if you are able to resist even the charms of an old flame as powerful as Cecile, then I know you'll NEVER leave me... Never, ever, ever, ever..." She made a light, feminine sound of happiness in the back of her throat, sighing yet again with her arms still squeezing herself giddily.
Arnold opened the door of his bedroom quietly, knowing that his soon-to-be wife was probably taking a nap at this time. She'd been working rather late at her father's beeper store the other night, and he knew that she was probably exhausted. He threw his coat, hat, and scarf down on the couch and kicked his shoes off, before tiptoeing over to his bed to see just what he expected - Helga sound asleep on the bed, the thick, warm blankets pulled up over her and her head buried deep into the pillow. He held back a chuckle at the adorable sight, before he very carefully slipped himself into the bed beside her, pulling some of the already heated up blankets over himself and scooting himself nice and close to his girlfriend, feeling quite tired from his long trek from the mall all the way back to his house.
Completely enveloped in the warmth from the blankets and his beloved, he let out a more than contented sigh, snuggling himself deep into his love's golden hair, enjoying first hand that delicious scent that always radiated off of her... He felt he could just stay there forever.
Suddenly, though, the warm presence beside him twisted over and looked at him, her eyes not looking the least bit dreary, indicating she hadn't been asleep. She blinked at him, scooting over so she could put a hand to his chest, feeling his heart pound beneath it. She smiled at him lovingly, rubbing small circles on his chest as she muttered, "How was your little trip, my love?"
Arnold shivered at the contact from her hand, concluding that no one else could ever possibly make him feel this wonderful. "Cold. Very cold."
"Oh." Her tone sounded intrigued as she pulled him even deeper into the covers, her face so close to his that he could count every eyelash of her lids if he so desired. "Well then, I suppose I'll just have to warm you up, now won't I?" She whispered mischievously, her lips ever so tauntingly close to his own.
He felt himself weaken in her presence, and his insides all melt nearly into nothingness. "I-I..." Was all he could manage before her lips crushed into his...
Once they were finished, they both parted lips finally after the past-(Oh, who were they kidding? They weren't counting, and even if they were, how accurate would that be? Every second felt like an hour to them when they kissed), breathing heavily.
His eyes still glazed over, Arnold adjusted himself onto his back, his right arm searching in the dim light to pull his girlfriend closer and up into his arms. He kissed her on the forehead, and she sighed contently, both of them just enjoying being near each other for a few blissful minutes...
Finally, though, the silence was interrupted by a yawn from Arnold, and another one soon followed coming from Helga. They both looked to each other, and Arnold smiled softly, "It's been a rough day, Sweetie... Maybe we really should just rest for a bit."
"No arguments here, Football Head." She smirked slightly in the darkness, the drowsiness shining in her eyes as she looked at him.
Arnold would have laughed again, had a yawn not interrupted him and sent another wave of fatigue over him. He smacked his lips, adjusting himself and Helga a bit more comfortably before letting his head just fall back against the pillow, Helga still wrapped in one arm, as he closed his eyes and whispered to her within the shady room, the only light coming in from his skylight, "Goodnight, Helga..."
Helga smiled softly, raising up slightly in his arms to look down at his tired face, his eyes still closed and a light smile dancing on his lips in his last moments of awareness... She just gazed down at him adoringly, running the back of her hand along his cheek as she whispered back, "Bonsoir, Mon Cheri..." And with that, she kissed him on the cheek and settled herself back into the bed, pulling the covers up over herself and relaxing into his arms, just waiting for his reaction to come... and she knew it would...
Arnold just sighed contently one last time, feeling sleep just beginning to fully overcome him... but then her words processed with him after a few moments...
His eyes bolted open like lightning and his jaw fell as far as it could go without breaking off.
A/N: Oh, I just love this one. It has a moral and everything, just like in the show... *Sighs happily*
DON'T CHEAT ON YOUR SPOUSES YOU MORONS! NOT UNLESS YOU WANT TO LOSE THEM FOREVER AND DIE ALONE!
End of story. Have a good day, gentlemen and mesdames. *Takes a bow*
OH! And quick jokey message to my buddy, Nintendo: Arnold is a good boy! ^_^