Roses for Valentine's day
Glaring as yet another crazy pack of giggling girls rushed past her almost knocking her down, Helga thought what a stupid idea valentine's day was. This year's was specially crazy, everywhere you looked someone was either giggling uncontrollably or squealing. Down the hall she heard another girl receive a rose. A yellow one, thank God. Red and those mixed ones made everyone loose it.
"Remind me again why everyone is going crazy over those roses this year?" scowling she turned to her locker to leave her books and grab her lunch.
"Rhonda is in charge this year, she swore she would make this the best year ever, and so she added a new rose, gave them meaning, charged extra depending on the color and dressed the delivery boys in tuxedos. The extra price on the roses made them all the more coveted. If a boy was willing to pay that much, it meant he really liked you." Phoebe smiled at her best friend "I think it's a good idea. We are making good money, and, it made a dull, expected event new and exciting again. Plus the guys look really cute dressed like that."
Snorting Helga fished a plastic apple out of her lunch bag, dropping it in her locker. "You would think it's a good idea," slamming the door close she turned a sly look at Phoebe. "You got hair boy to cough up three big red ones," she said; looking pointedly at the three roses that her friend had been carrying all morning.
Blushing Phoebe looked at them, a shy, sheepish smile on her face, "I didn't expect him to..."
"Yeah, yeah," smiling softly she touched one "maybe you should put them away, it'll be safer for them."
"I think they will be alright with me, I'll be careful," she finished hugging them closer to her.
"Right," rolling her eyes she turned around and started heading to the cafeteria, quickly looking up when she heard a commotion she barely had time to dodged out of the way to avoid being trampled by a frantic Rhonda who was running at top speed, close on her heels was a crazed looking Curly carrying 5 red roses. 'Ha! Serves her right' thought Helga as she righted herself.
"Think he'll catch up to her?" Asked Phoebe looking in the direction they had just run off to.
"Yeah, he'll also get smacked." Continuing down the hall Helga kept having to dodge and push people out of the way. More and more squeals filled the halls as the delivery boys did their job. Valentine's was a horrible day. She really hoped Curly caught up to Rhonda, stupid girl had to go and make the day even worse than it already was.
Groaning as she heard yet another delighted scream, she reached to open the door to the cafeteria thinking how it was probably going to be much worse in there, when it slammed open as a blushing Lila rushed out.
"Oh! I am ever so sorry Helga!" Reaching out she tried to help Helga up and at the same time balance the many roses she was carrying. It turned into a comical 5 minutes, with both Lila and Phoebe trying to help but at the same time trying not to, because it might ruin their roses, and Helga trying to push them away so she could actually get up. "Stop!" Glaring up at them she got up and dusted herself, rubbing her face she looked at Lila who was still asking for forgiveness and fretting over her.
"I'm fine, Lila." She repeated, brushing Lila's hand away. "What were you in such a hurry for anyway?"
"Oh! Well—I was just—Did you get a flower yet?"
"Well, it's just that I don't see you with any flowers and I was just wondering if you had just put them away." Explained Lila quickly, looking curiously at her.
"No...Why would I get any flowers?"
"Why? But...I thought Arnold...?" Her pretty little eyes widened here.
"Arnold bought a bunch of yellow roses, so?" Crossing her arms she glared at her, waiting for the stupid question she knew would follow.
"Were is your's then?" Lila asked innocently.
"Forgotten in the thousands of flowers yet to be delivered, or he just plain didn't buy me one. Either way, I don't care. I don't expect any flowers." Sweeping past a surprised Lila, she pushed into the too noisy cafeteria to try and find a place to sit. Stupid day. It was bad enough that she knew not to expect anything, but this year at least she had thought that it would be a little bit better. Now they were friends, she would get to talk to him normally this year. But so far she hadn't even seen him, Arnold being Arnold, had volunteered to be a delivery boy, and of course being the most responsible one, he was the busiest. To top it all, she was apparently, missing something great; if the squeals were correct, he looked 'delicious!'.
Miraculously finding an empty table at the far corner, Helga quickly pounced on it, glaring at a couple of girls who had been eyeing it.
"That was a quick change of subject," said Phoebe as she took her sit beside her.
"She probably got a singing one," replied Helga taking out her sandwich and looking at it's contents. Ham and cheese.
"Hello there ladies!" Dropping beside Phoebe, Gerald kissed her cheek, "Seen Arnold?" He asked Helga, loosening his tie.
"Nop," she replied, smelling the sandwich. Just because it was ham and cheese didn't mean it was good to eat.
"Then he's probably still delivering flowers." Concluded Gerald, smiling and leaning into a blushing Phoebe.
"Probably," taking a small bite of the sandwich and tasting it slowly, Helga declared it good to eat. Looking up at a giggling Phoebe in disgust, she almost lost her appetite at the scene in front of her. "Honestly you two, will you quit that! I'm trying to eat here."
A quick "Sorry Helga," came from a chastised Phoebe, meanwhile Gerald cleared his throat and got up. "Actually, Helga, do you mind if I take Phoebe away for a while?"
"She's all yours," she said, waving them off, "just make sure she's coherent when she gets back!" she called after them.
Laughing at Phoebe's blushing face as she disappeared, she turned to scan the cafeteria. No Arnold, still lot's of crazy girls. Sigh, oh well. Biting her sandwich again she couldn't help but overhear the conversation some girls were having next to her.
"A whole dozen? From one person?" Came the overly dramatic gasp.
"Actually, I heard there were more!" squealed another. Curiously bored Helga payed more attention. Not like she had anything else to do.
"Oh! That is so romantic! I wonder who they are for?"
"Can you imagine receiving so many at once?"
"To think someone would spend so much money on you!"
"It can't be real, it's too much money. It has to be just a rumor." This one sounded less excited, more grounded. She probably didn't get a rose either.
So involved was she between listening to the girls next to her, and making her sandwich last as long as possible, she didn't notice someone sitting beside her. It wasn't until she felt a tug at her hair that she started and looked up. Into a pair of bright green eyes. She almost swooned. The squealing masses were right.
"You ok?" he grinned at her confused stare "you were spacing out."
To her utter embarrassment a very girlie "Oh!" escaped. "I was just—'' Stopping abruptly, she looked sideways at the girls, there was no way in hell, she was going to admit to what she had been doing, she thought as a blush covered her cheeks. Looking back at him she tried to cover her error, "I was just...thinking about...the sandwich." She finished lamely.
He looked dubiously at her, then looked at the still squealing girls. Grinning he turned back to her "Miriam made that?"
"Yeah" she groaned and looked back at her sandwich, "Is it good?"
"Going to finish it?" quickly she pushed it at him, "no, take it." Helga Pataki you are such a sap.
"Long day?" she asked when he swallowed what was left of the sandwich in one bite. Taking out a can of soda she had bought earlier she offered it to him. He took it with a bright smile.
"Yeah...people seem to go crazy on valentine's day." Leaning back he draped and arm over her chair, "Rhonda actually attacked me when I delivered Curly's roses." Tiredly he ran his other hand through his hair. He looked exhausted. He probably stayed late last night helping with the arrangements and then early this morning. Worked harder than anybody else too. Of course.
"At least you weren't trampled by a stampede of over-hyped cheerleaders, running after some delivery boy," she said, trying hard to keep her voice steady. He was so close, and so handsome, and smelled so good.
A snort escaped him, "that was you?" A scowl was his answer. Chuckling he leaned in to look at her better "I had heard there was some commotion this morning, but I never thought it was you. Did you get any of them?"
"No, by the time I'd gotten up they were already out of reach." A bark of laughter followed that statement.
"Man, I wish I had been there to see that. Helga getting run over by her worst enemy!"
"Har, har, har, it was hilarious," she tried to glare up at him, she was failing miserably. He did look less tired now.
Surprised both looked up at the voice. A girl from another class was looking at them. Well, at Arnold. And was that a blush?
Frowning, she was about to ask her what the hell she wanted when Arnold beat her to it. He was also nicer about it.
"It's just that, I was told to give this to you...to deliver..." Making a motion with her head, Helga noted the bouquet in her hands. Her eyes widened. How could she not have noticed those before? There had to be more than 12 roses in there. It had a combination of reds, yellows and those pretty yellow ones tipped with red in them, wow, even she had to admit, it was impressive. "They said to tell you this was your last delivery."
"Thank you," he said, motioning to the table "you can just leave them there. I'll take care of it."
The girl carefully placed them on the table, and hesitated for a few minutes. Eyes wondering from Helga's raised eyebrow to Arnold's smile, before turning quickly and disappearing.
"So it was true."
"Some girls were talking about a guy that bought a thousand roses," she clarified as she looked closer at the roses, pretending to be bored by the whole situation, when in reality she was very curious as to who the hell would give Rhonda so much money for a girl. And a little bit envious.
"Well...not a thousand, just 15." Getting up he picked up the flowers "I should deliver these," looking at her sad face he continued quickly "It will only take a moment."
"Ok," looking away from him she decided that maybe it was best if she made her way back to her locker to gather her books. It was still early but with all those hyper, annoying girls it would take her a bit to get there. She was getting up when she noticed that the cafeteria had gone quiet. Looking up she was surprised to realize that Arnold was still there. Did he look nervous?
"Did you forget who they were for?" Looking down she didn't notice a card anywhere on the table.
"No" Looking back up her eyes widened in disbelief when he extended his arm he presented her with the 15 roses. A small shy smile on his lips.
A chorus of squeals reached her ears. Looking up she noticed the whole place staring at her. The group of girls from earlier where huddled together looking expectantly at her, stars in their eyes. Confused she turned back to stare at the flowers.
After what felt like an eternity with her just staring at the flowers, Arnold moved forward, making Helga give out a small squeak and take a step back in surprise. Blushing she looked up, eyes widening as he got closer still. The rest of the world disappeared. Smiling warmly at her he reached out taking her trembling fingers in his and placing the flowers in them.
Gulping she looked questioningly at him. "Me? Why...15...?"
Smiling he explained softly, "3 yellow ones for when we first met," her mouth formed a perfect 'o' at this, her eyes watered, "10 red ones because that's when you confessed," her blush flourished at that and he stepped closer still.
"...the others?" she asked, her voice barely a whisper.
"A single yellow with red, because it took me one month to realize the truth," pulling her to him, almost crushing the flowers between them, "another red one because I feel the same way."
She couldn't breath, she couldn't believe, she couldn't make a single sound or movement, she was so afraid to would ruin the moment. Things like this didn't happen to Helga G. Pataki. Her dreams didn't come true, specially not in such a beautiful and romantic way.
"Helga, I love you," he whispered so only she could hear, touching her cheek, wiping an unnoticed tear, he moved his face closer, his eyes burning, "will you be my girlfriend?" And at this moment she fleetingly thanked her lucky stars that he had moved his other hand to hold her by the waist, and that somehow without her noticing it she had also moved her free hand to hold his jacket, she would have hit the floor otherwise.
All at once she wanted to cry, to swoon, to faint, oh God, she really wanted to kiss him, but all that she did was whisper a single breathless "Yes" and then he was smiling brighter than ever, and leaning closer still and finally, finally, he was kissing her. And it was the taste of him, so familiar, the feel of his lips, so perfect, that brought her back to reality. This wasn't a dream. He loved her.
Cheers and squeals and whistling erupted around them. But all Arnold did was hold her tighter. When the cat calls started he finally broke the kiss, grinning down at her.
"Happy valentine's day," he whispered kissing her nose.
She couldn't help the blissful giggle that escaped, she looked down at her flowers, gasping when she realized they were being crushed by them. Sadly taking a step from him so they wouldn't be ruined, she pushed them up a bit and smelled them, her first roses.
By this time Phoebe and Gerald had somehow materialized beside them. So had the rest of their classmates. Phoebe pulled out a napkin and started dabbing at Helga's eyes, smiling up at her in a way that said she knew what was going to happen. Gerald was clapping Arnold in the back. The rest of their friends were voicing their congratulations, wondering about the meaning of the roses and the prices, and just being generally loud and obnoxious. Harold was informing Arnold loudly that he had ruined it, how was he ever going to top this now?
Looking back at him a silent thrill ran up Helga's spine when she noticed the fire in his eyes.
Grinning she returned to his arms and kissed him, "happy valentine's day."
Needed to get this one out of my system. Happy Valentine's Day!