I do not own Hey Arnold; all rights go to Craig Bartlett. Yay!
This is my first HA! Fanfic so I hope you enjoy it. The first like 2 paragraphs are SLIGHTLY slow but that's only because I have to get it all going. Then it is gonna get GOOD I promise and most importantly,
Love you all!
After staying up until 2 am in the morning working on Mrs. Fetting's English paper final, I was more than exhausted for the upcoming last week of my junior year. In High school. Needless to say, the past few years weren't as easy as my vague memories from PS 118 had remembered school to be. I'd been missing Mr. Simmons' 4th grade class more and more lately, and I'd be lying if I said it was only for our less-complicated math problems and plethora of field trips.
But lying to myself was easier than facing the reality of my current situation with Arn- … well, him. And thinking of my flaxen haired angel, so innocent, so beautiful in a way the angels themselves could not attempt to replicate forced my heart into frenzy every moment he crossed my fragile mind. Only now, my shrines had grown dusty and my gum sculpture was starting to attract others besides me: ants. My daily rituals and vigils had even become figments of my memory. Figments of my memory to remind me of the hidden past.
Of our past.
A past that didn't really happen as Dr. Bliss continued to tell me in our now monthly sessions.
Which, as I might add, reminded me of the check from Big Bob I had to forge. Lord knows he'd never WILLINGLY hand over a check to pay for that kind of "bull." I could see it now:
"We Pataki's don't need any help, Olga."
"It's HELGA, dad…"
Which is the reason why I started all this illegal activity of the forging his checks. And it isn't like I'd get caught either. No, I had the whole thing set. I balanced his checkbook. The buffoon was too lazy to do it himself and it isn't like Miriam would wake up long enough to do them, which left me because Olga was always gone.
So, with check in hand, I headed for the kitchen and grabbed a Yahoo soda and a fudgy bar (the only things we really had for a breakfast) and walked out the door to sit on the stoop and wait for Phoebe.
Even though the perfect Olga had offered me her perfect car that smelled like perfect lilacs to take me to my perfect school, I decided to nix the offer and hitch my rides with Phoebe seeing as she had to come this way to get to school anyways. She didn't mind and I wasn't in the mood to hear anymore my dear baby sister's than I already had to endure on a daily basis.
7:04 on the dot rolled around and Phoebe rolled up in her 2003 Impala with a friendly smile on her face.
"Konnichiwa, Helga!" her cheerful tone greeted me once I entered the car.
"Hey Phoebe, could we stick to English? I got the start of a killer migraine."
"Sure thing, Helga. English!" she offered a small smile and I closed my eyes rubbing my temples to try and remedy what was already there.
The ride to the High School wasn't too long. I lived only a few blocks from it which came in handy on those rare occasions when Phoebe wouldn't drop by. At around 7:09 (I had developed a bad habit of checking the clock regularly) we parked into Phoebe's parking spot and she slip her keys out of the ignition.
"Hey Helga?" Phoebe's voice was testing the waters with me and I remained unmoved with my eyes closed.
I furrowed my brows and opened one eye to look over at her with a quizzical look.
"Four a wha-"but I was cut off by a knock on my window to which I replied by slamming the door open, throwing the perpetrator into Phoebe's parking spot neighbor.
"Oh- sorry hair boy. I barely saw you there." I smirked as he groaned and shot me a glare.
"Real mature, Pataki." Gerald replied.
I took a breath and counted to three before turning to get my backpack from the backseat without another word to Gerald, though he continued to banter on.
"…and if it weren't for the fact that we've known each other since Pre-K Miss Helga G. Pataki, I'd-"
"You'd what Gerald?" I turned to face him as Phoebe looked on with a worried expression. "You'd show me who's boss? You'd tell me off? You'd beat me to a pulp? Hmm?"
"I'd really hate you." He smirked slightly. I shoved the rest of the fudgy bar I had been nibbling on into my mouth, my eyes intent on him and smirked slightly, my expression remaining stoic and blank.
"Peachy." I stated quietly before turning around again and heading for the doors with Gerald and Phoebe trailing along behind me, discussing some topic I didn't care enough about to eavesdrop into.
I had learned a lot of anger management techniques from Dr. Bliss right after my big "Confession Session" back in the 4th grade. After observing my behavior, she thought the violence and bullying was among the first priority and needless to say it took a while for me to start complying with all the assignments she gave me. Silly things like, counting to ten before I respond to a question, taking a deep breath in an argument, relaxing my hands when they would clench and yadda yadda yadda.
Unfortunately, we had only just began on the Arnold situation my freshman year and even though I was a junior, the love affair hadn't completely fizzled out yet. But, I was getting close at least.
I sat down beside Arnold in our 1st hour- the English class I had stayed up all hours of the night for just to turn in my crummy paper.
"Hey Helga," he said casually with a small smile. "Finish your paper for today?"
Crimeny! Class hasn't even started and I'm already getting bugged about that joke of a paper sitting in my backpack, I thought. I reached down to retrieve the paper and slap it onto my desk.
"Yea, yea. I ended up staying up until 2 doing it. So I guess, here's to it being coherent." I lifted it in the air as some kind of mock toast and sighed putting it back onto the desk in front of me and huffed. Arnold only smiled that smile that made my heart palpitate in my chest and glanced down at the paper.
"I'm sure it's great, Helga."
"Sure, football-head. And I have wings and fly to fairyland. It's horrible, alright?"
Calm down Helga old girl, he's just trying to be nice… him and that kind, sweet voice…
His smile faded as he rolled his eyes sarcastically and looked up to the front of the room where Mrs. Fetting was standing, ready to collect our papers.
"Whatever you say, Helga." He murmured as class began to start.
Most of English, I would doodle in my notebook and write riddled poems. During third quarter, this wasn't a problem because Arnold sat on the other side of the room by Lila and while that bugged the living snot out of me, I at least could doodle Arnold in that silly little blue hat of his or I could write the sonnets about the way he blinked and how his eyelashes were like the wings of the angels who called me to him…well I could write all that in peace. I had told Dr. Bliss my pros and cons almost immediately after the seating change had occurred.
"So tell me Helga, I know you're excited about him sitting next to you but why would it bother you?"
"The Privacy!" I said as I lay backwards on the chair, my legs in the air. "If he sits by me, how can I write poems about him? Or make those hearts with our initials in them and all that other girly junk I hate to admit I do?"
Dr. Bliss smiled and shrugged giving me a look.
"You don't think you can still do those things with him sitting next to you?"
I sat up and adjusted my beanie that had been sliding off of my head, threatening to reveal my old pink bow.
"Well, he'll be sitting right next to me! What if he sees it?"
"Helga, think about it. Poetry is all about expressing your feelings-"
"Which HAPPEN to be about ARNOLD!" I cut her off and she simply smiled before continuing as if I hadn't interrupted.
"-in a creative way…"
"So?" I said rather unenthused after a moment.
"So, why not doing poetry in riddles? Things one could read, but had to ponder."
"Like using metaphors and that other junk?"
She chuckled and replied cheerfully, "Right, Helga. That other…junk sounds like a good idea, don't you think so?"
So following her advice, I had changed my poetry style and continued it on the blank pages of my English notebook.
Its untamed melody
Surpasses the time
When you could be mine
Behind closed lids
I caught Arnold glancing over and I chuckled as he looked away quickly, a slight hue of red hinting in his cheeks.
"Whattya looking at, Arnoldo?"
"You aren't good at lying."
"I was just curious as to what you were so busy writing… There aren't any notes to take or anything…"
"I'm not stupid, Arnold, I'm just free-writing."
I looked back to my paper and attempted to continue but I was suddenly at a loss for words and ideas.
"Like a story?" he continued in curiosity.
"No." I said without looking away from the page.
"Then what is it?"
"A poem, jeez." I said. My voice was getting to the point of sounding really annoyed and I tried that stupid breathing thing that worked earlier this morning with tall hair boy.
"Hmm," Arnold mumbled plainly and remained silent for a good 2 seconds. "I never pegged you to be one for poetry."
"Crimeny!" I whispered rather loudly and a few people turned to see what the noise was about. I offered a cheese-ball smile before turning back to him and continuing. "Why does it matter to you if I enjoy poetry or if I don't?"
He shrugged almost unnoticeably and looked forward again to Mrs. Fetting as the class began to come to a close for the day.
"Sorry, Helga. I was just curious is all."
I kept myself silent as the inner monologue ensued.
Arnold my love! Why do I slander you so? Why do I slice through your every kind word with my acid tone and sharp words? If only I could muster the courage to stop the charade that tears apart the love we could share. The relationship we could attempt. Oh Arnold! How I-
"Seeya later, Helga." Arnold called out behind him as he walked towards the crowd congregating by the door.
"Yea…seeya…" I shook my head to get out of my daze, "Guess the bell already rang." I hurried to stuff all of my junk back into my backpack before jumping up and hurrying to get to my economics class on the other side of the school.
My schedule for this semester was pretty chaotic. I guess I was getting exercise in the least. By the time lunch had rolled around, my first five classes had sent me all around the four corners of our school and then some. I'd be glad when summer was finally here.
But it hasn't yet and you're still in this crummy school getting crummy grades and admiring that Arn-
"-old!" I said as I saw him approach and he gave me a strange look. I coughed a little bit. "I mean… old buddy, old pal o' mine…. Boy it's getting warm in here…" I pulled at my collar with a nervous chuckle.
"Hi Helga. Have you seen Gerald around?"
"No Arnoldo, I haven't as a matter of fact."
"Oh. Well, we were supposed to catch lunch today at Slausen's. You could join us if you're interested."
"And what makes you think I would be interested football-head?"
He simply shrugged with a casual smile, his hand in his front pockets of his jeans.
"Just thought you might enjoy a change from the regular school lunch."
My love was asking me to join him for lunch! Well, him and tall hair boy, but what mattered was he wanted ME, Helga G. Pataki to share a meal in his presence!
"What?" I blinked my eyes a few times to snap out of my thoughts.
"I asked if you were in or not?"
Good going, genius.
"Er- yea. I mean, it wouldn't kill me to grace you with my presence for a measly lunch period, right football-head?"
Gerald showed up eyeing us curiously as Arnold laughed and shook his head.
"Sure, Helga." He turned and spotted Gerald shooting him a grin as they did their silly little handshake thing they'd been doing since Pre-K. "Hey Gerald, I asked Helga to come to lunch with us."
"Well what'd you do that for?"
"I'm still here Geraldo." I snarled.
"I know. So why did you do that, Arnold?"
I grinded my teeth and focused on unclenching my fist as Arnold sighed.
"Alright, alright my man. But she's paying for her own food."
I rolled my eyes.
Gerald had his eyes planted on me, his jaw agape.
"Helga G. Pataki, you are the only girl I know who can eat that much food."
I looked down at the last four fries that remained on my plate and shrugged as I scooped them up through the mountain of ketchup and looked over at tall hair boy with a grin.
"And you Geraldo, are the only boy I know who can get his hair that high." I popped the fries into my mouth and relished the feeling of triumph that surged through my system.
Gerald shook his head and looked to Arnold who only shrugged and offered him a smile.
It was one of THOSE smiles.
I hid my swoon.
"Well, it's almost 12:45, we should head back to school." Arnold was digging into his pants pocket to get money out of his wallet and stood up to go pay.
"Hey, take this up for me, will ya Arnoldo?" I offered him my money for my triple-decker burger meal and an extra large chocolate shake.
"He isn't your slave, Pataki." Gerald countered.
"It's no problem, Gerald. I don't mind." He smiled and took the money to make his way for the counter.
Arnold, my love. Arnold who is so Kind. Arnold who is so offering of himself. Arnold who is so-
"Really, Helga? Torturing him isn't enough for you, is it?"
"What are you talking about, tall hair boy?"
"The nicknames, the attitude, Helga G. Pataki, you have some built up rage going on under that blue hat of yours."
And a pink bow…
I remained silent for lack of a comeback.
"Mmmhmm…" Gerald hummed. "That's what I thought."
Just as I was about to give him a piece of my mind, Arnold returned and put his change back into his wallet.
"Ready?" his emerald eyes sparkled as his eyes locked on mine.
I wasn't enthused to head home. It was always the same routine anyway. Allow me to enlighten:
I'd walk in.
"Miriam?" no answer. "Miriam?" nothing. Nada. Zilch. "MIRIAM!"
"Yea, hi Helga..ready to go to school? You…you need a ride?" she'd try to get up from the couch and fall and I'd go to help her up.
"I already WENT to school mom. I just got home."
"Well…well that's nice dear."
I'd help her back on the couch and Big Bob would walk into the living room complaining about his back and how his soap starts in ten minutes and he didn't want to be bothered.
"Hey Olga," he'd say "go on and get some chicken or something. I'm starved."
"It's HELGA, dad. And Olga should be home with your dinner soon. Pipe down."
Then, I'd leave the room and goody Miss lilac-smelling-Olga would make her grand entrance.
"I'm back dearest mother and father!" she'd say all cheerfully like she's frickin' Snow White or some other high-pitched Disney nightmare. "Oh! My baby sister! Would you like to help your big sister make dinner?" and she'd say THAT like I was a little 3 year old again.
Then I'd retort, "No, I'd rather not, big sister. I'm going to my room."
"Alright, Helga! I'll call for you once it is ready! I'm making Goulosh!"
Then I'd run to my room and plot onto my bed and try to waste time until I was summoned by Mrs. Freaking Cleaver for a scrumptious meal that Big Bob would rave about and force me to compliment on. Then, she'd kiss my head and hug me and burst into dramatic tears about how much we all- especially me –meant to her and how blessed she was. After Big Bob would watch his soaps, Olga would clean clean clean, Miriam would fall into her usual drunken stupor and I'd remain in my room until the next morning when my day would start ALL. OVER. AGAIN.
Annnnnnnnd, end scene.
When Phoebe went to take me home to that sure-to-come-routine, she seemed pretty chipper and I figured I would ask, knowing she would tell me soon enough, but she beat me to the punch.
"So Gerald told me you joined him and Arnold for lunch this afternoon at Slausen's."
The mere mention of Arnold's name sent my heart to pick up its steady rhythm dramatically.
"Yea? And what about it?"
"Nothing." There was a long pause. "I thought you'd ask why Gerald and I were talking…"
"You always talk to Gerald, Pheebs."
"Oh. Right. Well, we're going to the movies on Friday." I glanced over at her with a smile.
"Yea? Like a date?" she looked over to me and nodded. "Well, congrats Pheebs! I'm… I'm really happy for you."
"Thanks, Helga." She smiled. The remainder of the 5 minute ride was filled with Gerald chatter that I tried to act interested in despite my dislike for him and all his hair. I was just happy for her. She had had a crush on Gerald since the summer going into fifth grade.
When she dropped me off, I waved for an extended moment and headed for my door preparing my lungs to yell out for Miriam to initiate the regular after-school special that was my family. But, before I could even touch the doorknob, the door swung open to reveal a sobbing Olga.
Ooo. Shocker. I thought and smirked to myself.
"Oh, Helga…" she cried out and pulled me into a very one-sided hug.
"What are you doing?" I pulled away from her and brushed off my shoulders and readjusted my hat on my head.
"Something absolutely TERRIBLE has happened."
Oh? You lost your favorite pink nail polish? You gained some L-B-S? Dinner was burned? Big Bob didn't compliment you enough today?
"Yea, Olga? And what's that?" I deadpanned.
"Olga, spit it out already, crimen-"
So much for scheduled programming tonight.
I really can't wait for your guys' feedback.
hope you are liking it so far!
see you at chapter two! :)