The first time I noticed something was wrong it was on her birthday. As usual their parents had forgotten about her day, so naturally it was duty of Phoebe and myself to not let her special day being left unnoticed. After some persuasion, ok… lots of persuasion, Gerald finally accepted to help us out. I suspected he did that to score more points that he already had with Phoebe. Nevertheless we managed to assemble her a surprise party on my roof. We had invited most of the class, to our surprise and delight all of them came with presents. Must be the results of lowering her scolds and bullying.

It had been a successful surprise, she clearly had no idea what we had planned for her. Even if the ruckus could be clearly heard from Mrs. Vitello's flower shop. She stood there with her mouth gaping, holding on her right hand the movie I told her to bring her on the pretenses we would be watching it, blinking dumbfounded. After a couple of seconds I took the courage to approach her, since she was starting to freak out people by not moving at all. When I tried to reach her arm she immediately pulled away, I felt slightly offended but immediately she turned to me and gave me a soft smile. Those she barely gave to anyone, it made me feel special.

After that she spent the rest of the evening chatting with everyone and fooling around. Her eyes opened widely when she spotted a full table, filled with presents. Apparently she hadn't received much presents before in her birthday, because each time she opened a new box and even if it just contained chocolates or a Hallmark card, she turned to the person and smiled thankful. Never in my life I had seen her so joyous and grateful. It was a weird sight but definitely one I could get used to.

Once the party was over, she offered to stay and clean up with me. Naturally Phoebe and Gerald did volunteer too, but I dismissed them. Saying that with Helga's help would be enough. We bid our farewells and picking up a two brooms and lots of garbage bags, we started to clean. While cleaning both started to talk about trivial things, as how classes were, homework, basketball practice, you name it. Before we both realize we were finished cleaning up. I offered to accompany her to her house, she refused a couple of times but in the end I won over her. So helping her out with her presents, we headed our way to her place. We continued chatting all the way, it still surprises me that we can get along. Of course she still called me Football-head, but I didn't mind anymore. Somehow, coming from her it sounded right.

Once we reached her house it was immersed in darkness, this bothered me a little but I didn't comment anything. Instead I let her open the door and help her out putting the bags near the door. When she turned to wave goodbye and close the door, I decided that I had none of that, instead I pulled her into a light hug.

At first she went stiff, like she always did whenever I embrace her. But then I heard her whimper I knew something was odd. Never in my life of knowing Helga G. Pataki I had heard her whine or complain in pain. Not even when we got beat up by Wolfgang when we were in the fourth grade. Besides she usually sighed whenever I hugged her, so naturally this took me by surprise. I looked at her alarmed, she avoided my stare and pulled away. She then thanked me and closed the door in my face. Frowning I left her place and started to walk to the boarding house, dismissing the incident as something girl related. I still nowadays regret how stupid and clueless I had been that day.

The second time I noticed something was off was when Rhonda organized a pool party in her house during Spring Break. Naturally all the class assisted, along with some other guests. As I was walking to the pool I noticed that Helga was sitting inside with a hoodie and jeans. I thought she must be frying in those clothes and when I spoke my concerns to her, she snapped out and told me to mind my own business. This wouldn't have surprised me 8 years ago, but now that we had started to get closer, her words had stung me. She stormed away mumbling something about Football-meddlers; Gerald who had witnessed everything came to me and told me to forget about it, arguing that Helga must have been in her girl days.

The third time was when we were heading to play basketball Gerald, Stinky and myself. On our way we found Helga walking out of the Pharmacy. I ran to her and greeted her like I usually did, she immediately saved the plastic bag she was carrying on her right hand inside the front pockets of her hoodie. I raised an eyebrow and glanced at her pocket, she must had noticed my stare and told me to not meddle on girl stuff. I just rolled my eyes and dismissed her rudeness. Gerald and Stinky approached us and invited Helga to join us, so we could play two against two. Helga refused the invitation, saying that she didn't have the clothes to play. Stinky told her we could wait until she changed, she refused once again this time arguing she had lost her sport gear. I found it odd and highly unbelievable, but Gerald told us to move on and let her be.

After that encounter I started to wonder when was the last time Helga had played with us in any sports. It's not like she didn't like rubbing in our faces how skillful she was, which she is. So… Why she had refused the opportunity to swipe the floor with our butts in a basketball game? My head started to ramble about this and then I noticed that she hadn't been wearing the short-sleeved shirt she loves to wear, the one really similar to her pink dress back when we were kids. And then it when I realized that she had been wearing baggy clothes and hoodies.

These thoughts followed me the next day when I was walking across the halls of the institute. As I turned to the left I bumped into someone. Instantly I started to apologize, when I looked up I found none other than the reason I wasn't paying attention to where I was walking. Her big blue eyes narrowed and she started rambling about how thick I was and if I had any brain inside the big head I had over my shoulders. I felt my anger raise a little but I didn't comment anything, feeling like we were back in square one. I started to help picking up her things when I noticed there was a tube of make up cream on the scattered things. I frowned, she had never worn make up before, in fact she was against it and whenever she had the chance she mocked the girls that did use it. I turned to her still filling a little pissed for insulting me, I was ready to out voice this to her and call her a hypocrite but my words died in my throat when I saw her face when I turned to her. Her eyes opened wide once she spotted what I was carrying, her mouth opened and closed and before I could ask her if she was ok she snatched the tube out of my hands, put it inside her bag and ran the opposite way. After that my head couldn't stop thinking about all these strange incidents.

From that day on I took as my personal assignment to observe what other odd behaviors she had started to develop. The first thing I noticed is that she spent a whole deal of time in the school, she was enrolled on the art class, poetry class and even in theatre. She almost spent the whole day inside the building, almost leaving at nightfall. Also she arrived too early to school. I noticed this because one day I had forgotten to print and essay and my printer was low on ink, so I headed earlier that day. The institute opened at 8 but classes started until 9. I thought I would be the only loony to be on the school grounds, to my surprise I found Helga reading on a couch on the corner of the library. She had greeted me calmly before resuming her lecture, when I questioned her why she was so early in the building she snapped at me and told me that it was a free country and she could do whatever she pleased whenever she felt like it.

I knew that the immediate response was to get angry and then ignore her outburst, but something inside my head forbid me from doing so, instead I kept on observing her. Turns out that she only spoke to Phoebe and it was on rare occasions, I found this particularly odd since she was enrolled in three different school clubs. I would have thought that by now she would have many friends from the different disciplines, but no. Instead Helga ate her lunch by herself listening to her iPod.

The next day everything collapsed and fell into pieces. My grandfather and I were painting the façade of the boardinghouse when Helga walked around the corner. I looked down from the ladder I was on top of, I greeted her even if my mind preached that she had been rude recently, to my surprise she greeted me back and gave me a small smile. I asked her what she was up to when my left feet bumped into the bucket next to it, making it fall and dripping all its contents over Helga. I climbed down the ladder and started to apologize, sensing that she would pound me till I was a pile of gooey. Instead she stood there, apparently shocked at what just happened.

Seeing she wasn't going to murder me I took this opportunity and guided her to the bathroom, she didn't put any resistance. I told her I would be right back with a towel. Finding a robe instead, I knocked on the door and handed it. Her hand snatched the robe from my right hand and smashed the door behind her. After a minute she walked out damped in water, covered in the white robe and the pile of clothes on her hand. I told her to give them to me and she could go to my room and pick a change of clothes from my wardrobe on the meantime. As I fixed the machine and begged the lord the paint would come off, I headed back to my room. I knocked first but hearing no response I opened the door slowly, calling her name. The sight before me made me froze on the spot. There was Helga wearing nothing but one of my black t-shirts, I gulped and felt my cheeks blush. I was about to apologize and run for my life when I noticed something on her thighs and arms, there were at least two nasty looking marks. Their shades varied from deep purple to green and yellow.

I felt my jaw dislocate and started to gap. Then my mind started to work back again into full speed mode, making me feel dizzy. The answer hit me straight on the face. Of course! Everything was clear now. All the quirks, all the oddities and abnormalities made perfect sense. As my mind kept reprehending me for how stupid I had been, I decided to face those thoughts later and confront the sight I had in front of me.

She looked away embarrassed as she tried to buckle the clear oversize jeans around her skinny hips. I approached her calmly, fearing I might scare her with any sudden moves. When I was next to her I guided to my bed and pushed her gently on top of it. She was avoiding my gaze as I sat right next to her. There were dozens of questions I wanted to ask, but my throat was dry and suddenly I lacked the skill of speech. Taking a deep breath I turned to her and found her huge blue eyes staring straight to mine.

She then told me to not say anything to anyone, I felt my mind froze Not tell anyone? How could I do such a thing? Someone was abusing her and she asked to play dumb and not raise the alarm? What kind of friend I would be if I did that? Hell! What kind of human would I be? She repeated her request over and over, her eyes crystalizing. I gaped, feeling my heart lurch inside my chest. The sight was overwhelming. She kept repeating the same words, arguing that no one must know. That it wasn't what it looked like and he didn't mean to do it.

At that moment, that is when it hit me. I turned to her and took her hands with mine, her words dried up on her throat. I gulped, taking the courage of asking what I was about to say. She blinked with her big blue eyes, almost looking like a deer caught by the lights on the middle of the highway. I closed my eyes and sighed, feeling ready I opened them and stared back down at her. I started to rub her hands with my thumbs as I asked her finally if the culprit of all the bruises was her own father. She looked away and closed her eyes and after painfully slow seconds she nodded.

I felt something burst inside of me, I released her hands fearing I might hurt her. My hands turned into fists as I started to shake in rage. Tons of thoughts bombarded my head, each screaming louder than the previous ones. Most to them dictated me to run to her house and slaughter Big Bob Pataki with my own hands, even if he was bulkier than me. I didn't care; the sight of her fueled me to continue with that course of action. I didn't know when I stood up or when she did, the only thing I do remember is her arms around my waist and her voice begging me to not do whatever I was thinking of doing. I turned to face her and felt my heart shatter into millions of pieces. There was the big, strong, feisty Helga G. Pataki reduced to a pitiful sight of tears, whimpering lips and shaking limps. I was parted in two, one side of me pushing me to kneel beside her and embrace her with all my strength, whispering things until the time ceased to exist, while the other kept on screaming in my ear to go and murder the culprit of this.

I took a deep breath and closed my eyes, trying to calm my spirits and be my usual self. Considering the gravity of the situation that thought seemed highly improbable, but after counting to fifty I managed to control my shaking body. I opened my eyes and turned to face her, she was still sobbing, her tears wetting clothes. I kneeled right beside her and embraced her tenderly. Stroking her hair gently as I spoke sweet nothings into her ear. Her breathing calmed as the whimpers ceased. From time to time I heard her clear her nose, probably with my clothes but I didn't mind. Instead I kept on playing with her hair as I kept on saying calming thoughts to her ear.

I don't know how long we were like that but when I turned to look at her face, her features had relaxed as her chest rose calmly. She had fallen asleep. Carefully I took her in my arms and placed her under the covers of my bed. Taking a last glance at her I closed the door carefully and headed back downstairs. As I entered the kitchen I started to ramble on how to bring this up to my grandparents. It wasn't necessary because my grandfather, yes the same one who only gives the Raspberry advice, told me if she was ok. When I shook my head he nodded and told me to sit down. My grandmother walked in and offered me a plate filled with cookies and a glass of milk, she told me to bite one down and share whatever was troubling me. After I swallowed one I told them.

After that it all turned out into a complete chaos, my grandfather called Gerald's dad and boarded this subject with him. He had come into my house later in the company of Gerald, after I explained to him what just happened it all turned into a blur. Unfortunately they had to wake up Helga so she could testify. We had to go to the station so the order could proceed, at first Helga kept on saying that it wasn't necessary but after some convincing from one of the officers she started to cooperate. There was a lot of paperwork and some testifying, it had been a dreadful night. The father of Gerald told us if we could offer shelter to Helga on the meantime, my grandparents agreed instantly. It was around 3 in the morning when we were brought back to the boarding house, my grandfather told me that for the night she could stay in my room. But the following morning she would have to use one of the spare rooms.

As I started to fix up the couch so I could sleep on it, Helga had called me from the bed. She insisted that she could go home, she didn't want to impose. I shook my head and approached her, telling her that her presence would never be an imposition in my house. She continued saying that she would have to be the one using the couch not me, again I shook my head and gave her a small smile. I told her that I didn't mind, beside I had never heard a complaint from Gerald from all the times he had slept there. She smiled at me and nodded, laying back down and staring into my eyes. She thanked me and closed her eyes. I stood there watching her for like a minute and without thinking I kneeled down and kissed her forehead. When I was back into the couch, ready to fall asleep I heard her wishing me a good night. I smiled and told her the same.

The next couple of months went by so quickly and with so many obstacles that I still find it hard to realize what just happened. One moment we were filling the form to report Mr. Pataki, the other we were on trial against him. Of course the big jerk had pulled out some nasty tricks, accusing the girl for being the culprits. Also it didn't help much to our cause that he had the money to buy the best lawyer on the city. Thankfully Sheena's mother was the judge and thanks to her we had a fair trial.

After that there was some paperwork, Helga couldn't be back at her place since her parents were forbidden to take care of her any longer. At first it surprised me that not even her own mother could guard her, but it was natural considering the intoxicated state she was fond of. Also it didn't help that her big sister accused Helga of being a liar and stood by her father's side. So naturally Helga had to be released to the nearest relative she had, who wouldn't be a threat to her mental and physical state. Turned out there was only an aunt that lived in the same city. She was Miriam's sister and apparently the only relative Helga could cope with, so after some endless towers of paperwork Helga was finally moving out.

The sad thing was, I didn't want her to move out. During those three months all this mess started, Helga and I started to have sort of a connection. At first Gerald's father advised me to stick closer to her, since I was the one she trusted me first with this. I told him that I found about this by mistake, but he kept on insisting that Helga needed someone to trust and that would have to be me. So naturally we started spending time with each other. Some nights she crawled into my room, commenting that she couldn't sleep. In those occasions I would go to the couch and sleep there. In later nights however she told me we could share my bed. At first I refused, but after saying that she would sleep better that way, I accepted in the end.

Those nights were something I would always cherish, I would always wake up first and after staring at her relaxed features for a minute or two, she would wake up and accused me playfully of being a creep. There were other nights when she would beat me up first and brought me breakfast to my bed. In those rare occasions my mind started to drift into thoughts of she doing that for the rest of my life. Of course those thoughts were shattered when Helga started to ramble and scold me for snoring all the night. On the rainy nights she would always look for shelter next to me and if there were a lightning she would always embrace me, shivering as I played with her hair and whispered calming words to her ear.

During the day after school we would end up doing the homework in my room, now that I think about it, she rarely spent any time on her room. Instead we ended up watching movies on the living room or playing games on my room, but always in the company of the other. That was probably the reason that I did what I did the last night she was spending on the day in the boarding house.

She had come up with a movie, arguing that she was dying to see it from a long time. Instead of using the TV downstairs we hooked the DVD player to my TV and sat on the couch. As the movie kept on going, she cuddled next to me, resting her head on my lap. I smiled and started to play with her hair as we kept on watching the movie. After the movie was over, neither of us wanted to move. Instead Helga turned her face to me and started to talk about what she thought the movie was about.

She started by exposing her theories of what really happened in the end and what the writer was thinking by putting those key scenes. I wasn't paying much attention; I was too caught into staring at her blue eyes blinking lazily at me. She noticed and chuckled, calling me a freak before rising from her spot and punching me gently on the arm. I chuckled and returned the gesture by tossing a pillow at her, seeing the same old spark of challenge in her eyes she took one pillow and started to pound me with it. I started to laugh, running away from her as she tried to corner me. She finally managed to do it, by tripping me and sitting on my waist, immobilizing my body. She leaned over, wicked smile on her lips, chuckling cruelly. She told me she got me, my eyes drifted into her lips. I shook my head and told her it was the other way around. She frowned, not understanding. Before she could ask what I meant, I pulled her face towards mine and crushed my lips into hers.

This kiss was nothing like the ones I shared before with her. True all the kisses we had she was the one who initiate them, but this time me taking the first step gave me some sort of empowerment I had never felt before. She first tensed at my sudden action and before I could pull away she started to respond to my demanding lips. She surprised me by licking my lower lip and before I could realize she had taken control over the situation. Her tongue kept on pressing against my lips, granting her access she let it slip into my mouth. Making me moan on the process. It wasn't long before we broke the kiss, seeking for air. We didn't wait longer before another kiss followed, this time however it was hungrier than the one before.

I still don't know how it happened, maybe having my eyes closed and the rest of my senses too focused on what my body was feeling, forbid me from seeing what was happening. Before my mind could grasp what just happened, we were both on top of my bed making out fiercely. My hands drifted to her waist as I tried to peel the pink shirt she was wearing off her skin. Seeing my pathetic attempts she chuckled and decided to help me out.

I gasped at the sight of her, of course I have seen naked woman before I'm a teenage boy for crying out loud, but no amount of porn could have ever prevent me for this. She blushed and smirked, she told me if I liked what I saw. I gave her my response in the form of a hungry kiss, assaulting both breasts with my hands as she tried to help me to get rid of my shirt. When we were finally topless I started to get impatient and undo her pants, as I slowly stripped her jeans while licking her neck she tried to do the same. I stopped her, arguing that ladies were first. She rolled her eyes and crossed her arms over her chest and lay on the bed.

As I pulled off her jeans I noticed that there were still some marks on her thighs, I couldn't help but frown and feel rage bubbling inside me. Helga seemed to notice and immediately tried to cover up them. I took her hands with mind and stood up on to of her. I told her that it wasn't her fault and she wouldn't have to feel ashamed of them. She looked away and sighed. Feeling my heart aching by her sadness I kissed both of her cheeks gently, and to prove my point I went down to her thighs and gently kissed each bruise. She sighed at first, then giggled and at the end she made a sound that almost broke my concentration. After that I heard her moan louder, it wasn't long before she told me to take her. In that instant my mind went blank and as I did like she asked me to.

The following morning I woke up and found her staring at me with loving eyes, I felt my heart warm up as I kissed her forehead gently. We stood like that for a couple of minutes before the hard realization came to us. She had to leave before midday. Unwillingly we stood up and decided to change. After helping her packing, she was finally ready to wait for her aunt to pick her up. We were waiting on the living room when we heard a honk outside the house. I helped her picking up her bag and putting them on the trunk of her aunt. The lady had embraced her niece into a tight embrace, then she proceeded by thanking my grandparents for taking in her niece.

When the moment arrived Helga walked to both of my grandparents and hugged them tightly, thanking them for all the attentions they had with her. Then she turned to me and smiled widely, pulling me into a hug. Before she broke the contact she whispered into my ear that I had to look up into my pocket once I was back into my room. Breaking the contact she bid her farewell and got into the passenger's seat. Her aunt once again thanked us and started the engine, waving their goodbyes the car drifted into the horizon.

As I kept on waving goodbye I suddenly remembered what she told me and without waiting I sprinted towards my room. Locking the door I jumped into my bed and started to scout into my pocket. There was a piece of paper folded in four. Carefully I opened it, there was two lines written on it. It said that I had to look into the pink book. I frowned at first, not fully understanding what she meant by that. But then I remembered what she meant. Not wasting anytime I climbed my bookshelf and pulled out a small pink book. Jumping down, I started by flipping the pages, trying to find anything that she might have left here.

At first glance apparently there was nothing, I flipped the pages filled with poems about me, but nothing came up. It was until the last page that I noticed something written in black ink. At first this didn't outstand that much, but when I noticed that the other pages were written by pencil and were really old, I knew that was what she wanted me to find. I walked to my bed and sat on the border of it. It didn't say much, hell it wasn't even a poem for crying out loud. But what it said made me smirk.

What did she say you might wonder? Well… that's like Helga always says, none of your beeswax. But lets just say that some odd things that happened in my past now finally have an explanation, like who was my Christmas Angel. And also that I should had paid more attention to her handwriting, doi!

A/N: Wow... this came out a lot longer that I predicted. But here it is :D the prize of the winner of the contest Senorita. Hope you had liked it WhatEverx1100. Anyhow this is a difficult topic, I did some research. But forgive me if I did mess up in some stuff, not my intention to mock this subject. It is a delicate one, so I hope you could forgive me mistakes.

Anyhow if you like it :) spare me a review please? Change? You have change? Oh come on! Help a girl would ya?