Hey everyone! Thank you so much for everyone who has read and reviewed my stories so far! It means a lot! Virtual Cookies for all! *Tosses cookies everywhere*
So as I promised it seems like a sequel was requested, cause you guys are so awesome and reviewed for the first one! ;) So here is the sequel to "Puzzles", hope you guys enjoy it!
"A Puzzle Half-Completed"
Crunch. Crunch. Crunch. Went the sound of the autumn leaves disintegrating under Arnold's feet, as he walked down the sidewalk. Even through the chilly September and the golden and red leaves getting caught in the young boys hair, Arnold couldn't help but smile in his current predicament. It was as if he felt that for once in his life, things started to make sense. There was a time that just yesterday, if someone mentioned to him that he would be approaching Helga G. Pataki at her house, and for personal reasons no less, he would have found it highly ridiculous. But thanks to the She-Devil herself, and his Grandpa Phil's talk, he came to a realization about his blonde pigtailed friend. Maybe…she wasn't so hard to figure out after all…
Despite how many times the young football headed boy had recited the same words over and over in his head on the walk over to Helga's house, he suddenly realized, (with every step closer of course) that he began to forget what he wanted to say. It was then that he noticed indeed, the moment he walked up to her stoop, that all pervious thoughts of his current mission, were lost. He stood awkwardly on the bottom of her stoop wondering, racking his oddly shaped brain, of what it was exactly he came to tell her…Helga…I…know…
No. That was just stupid.Helga…is it…true?
That was just plain blunt.
And it was just the phrase to ask if he wanted a beating.
Before he could put together a good enough answer to his long, overly drawn out question, he walked up the four steps of her stoop and pushed the little white doorbell.DING-DONG!
He heard the door's chime echo behind the door. A sudden shuffling behind the same door for the some reason caused Arnold to suddenly sweat.
It's not too late! I can still run!
His inner voice tried to bargain with him. But the opening of the door, told him it was indeed too late.
Whom Arnold remembered to be Helga's mother answered the door, as she looked the same as always, still drowsy expression dawned over her face and yawing as she greeted him.
"Um…hello, can I…help you?" she asked as if she had just been awaken from a deep sleep. Arnold found his voice after a second of remembering where he was, when he asked, "Uh, yeah. Hi, Mrs. Pataki…is…um, Helga home?" he tried to keep his nerves intact but so far, it was useless.
She blinked twice, and adjusted her glasses before she answered with another yawn.
"Oh…yeah…she's here…let me…go get her. Um…Alfred, right?" Miriam squinted one eye as if she tried hard to remember his name.
"Oh. Yeah…right…" the woman turned inside and walked away, leaving the door open just a crack. The young boy could hear Helga's mother yell for her daughter in the same groggy tone
"Helga…Helga dear! Your friend is here for you…Arthur or…something…"
Arnold sighed at this, as he never understood why her parents were never good at remembering names.
"Arnold?" he heard that familiar voice yelp out. It was Helga's voice alright. But Arnold noticed something different. Something he hadn't heard often in her voice. It was soft…and kind of nice…
Her voice was then followed by what he could have sworn sounded like multiple people running down the stairs. The beats were so heavily footed and so close together, that Arnold barely had time to notice when the door suddenly swung wide open. There, in the doorway, stood a very shocked Helga Pataki.
"Arnold." She half whispered again.
"I-I mean, what are you doing here football head?" she shook her head of her thoughts as he deer-in-the-headlights stare morphed into her usual scowl. The same one she had always worn. Especially for him.
"Uh…hi, Helga. I was wondering…if we could…talk for bit." He said sheepishly as he pushed his glance to the ground.
Helga noticed his stance, and couldn't help but wonder, exactly what Arnold was feeling.Is he actually nervous?…but why?…
She cleared her throat, as if taking control of the situation.
"Ok, Arnoldo, I'll play along. What is it you wanted to tell me, that couldn't wait until after school was over, and in the middle of me doing something important, no less." She crossed her arms over her chest with a half-lidded annoyed glare.
"Oh, I'm sorry, Helga. I didn't know you were busy. I can come back later if—." He began walking down her stoop when she stopped him.
"No, no. You're already here, football head. Might as well piddle whatever little thoughts you have to me now, while they're still fresh inside that weird shaped head of yours." Helga said with a sarcastic smirk. She turned sideways to close the front door completely behind her, and then took a quick plop on the first step of her stoop.
"Sit." She motioned to him impatiently, as he followed her suit. With a quick gulp, he swallowed his jitters as best as he could, and began.
"So…um…about what I wanted to say…"
"Yeah?" she asked in his same tone, confused as to why he was even here to begin with.
"Well, remember all the pranks you pulled on me today?" he finally moved his eyes from the ground and up to her face, that was now, just as bewildered as how he felt. But just as her face had been driven to perplexed, it was changed instantly to a grin of satisfaction, at the mention of her pranks.
"Yeah, I gotcha good today huh, hair boy? You shoulda seen the look on your face…" she began chuckling to herself.
"Uh, right." Arnold lowered his eye lids at her in annoyance at remembering.
"I mean, seriously football head, how did you not see the jell-o? It was right stinkin' there! Ha ha ha…" she continued to laugh harder at his expense.
"Helga…" he said flatly.
"Oh come on, Arnold. Stop being such a wet blanket. Crimeny, it was just a joke." The blonde girl scoffed in defense.
Arnold let out another sigh to release his remembered tension, as he tried once again to gather his nerves (and this time patience) for what he needed to get off his nine year old chest.
"Look, Helga. The reason I came by, was to tell you that…well…I know why you did all those things today." He said in the calmest tone he could.
Helga sat there quietly on her stoop, as if she were contemplating a response.
"Yeah. It's cause I don't like you." She finally said flatly.
"Well, that's what I thought too…but…I mean I know…the real reason. Like…how you really feel…" he trailed off waiting for her answer.
The second Helga heard him say the word 'feel', he noticed her tense up immediately. Almost as if…the conversation was making her uneasy. Like…she had something to hide.
"H-how I really…f-feel?" she stammered suddenly.
Why is she so nervous now? And I thought I was the nervous one.
"Well…yeah. I mean, I promise I wont say anything to anyone. And you don't have to worry about me pranking you back…but, I just wanted you to know…that…well…everything is ok." He tried to keep his blush well hidden as he fiddled with the end of his sweater, but Arnold wasn't sure it was working.
This is bad! This is sooo bad! The blonde girl screamed in her head. He knows! He actually knows my deepest darkest secret!
Arnold could tell by the poor girl's blank stare that he must have upset her somehow. Especially due to the fact that her blue eyes were now growing wider with every word he stuttered out.
"S-so what exactly…d-do you know…A-Arnold." Yep. She was definitely nervous.
"Well. I mean, the way you pick on me all the time, and…even though today, I'll admit. I was pretty annoyed with the way you pulled all those tricks…but…then, that's when I realized something…the truth." He trailed off once more, contemplating his next move. Not to mention whether or not it was safe either.
Just when Arnold sure Helga's blue pools couldn't expand any wider, they nearly doubled in size, in shock.
"Th-the t-truth?" she squeaked.
"Um…yeah…I know it must be hard…ya' know. Keeping in all of these feelings…but sometimes…it's ok to have someone to talk about them…" he smiled slightly to help her ease her tension.
"I know your family can drive you nuts, and sometimes…your not always having the best day. But ii just want you know…that, well…you can always talk to me about anything. And…you don't have to be alone. Um, am I making any sense here, Helga?" the yellow haired boy didn't dare move from his spot on the stoop. But somehow, he felt if he could only comfort her some way by being closer…maybe…just maybe things wouldn't have been so awkward.
Helga said nothing. She couldn't. he had practically hit the nail on the head! What could she have said now that could possibly wiggle her way out of this one?
"I know you have your…'reputation' to think of Helga, but I just want you to know, that you don't have to be mean all the time. But I wont get mad if you do…I'll just understand from now on. That you just need someone to talk to…and it's just your way of expressing yourself." He couldn't look at her anymore. That straight, unmoving stare was beginning to be too much fro him to handle.
"Helga? Can…you say something?" Arnold asked not sure what explosion might occur next.
Helga blinked once. Her pupils began to return to normal. It was then, in the moment of silence that she finally spoke up, with only word.
"Huh?" her voice asked incredulously.
"Is…something wrong, Helga?" he asked sincerely, now looking up at her face, almost relieved that she only looked as half as confused from before.
"I just…I don't understand…" she said almost to herself. Helga sat there for what seemed like minutes, silent.
What doesn't she get? I thought I was clear? Arnold asked his brain, befuddled.
"I'm sorry, Helga, what don't—."
"Ok, let me get this straight." She interrupted the boy in a matter of fact tone, as she stood up on her stoop's step.
"You mean…the reason, that I pick on you, is…b-because you think…I just need someone to talk to…" she glanced down at him curiously.
"Um…well yeah." Arnold shrugged, as he stood up on the same stoop step, just below his friend.
"A-And, possibly because I'm just trying to, oh I don't know, reach out to you in my own way, by picking on you, and calling you names, so I wont be…embarrassed about anything?" her voice suddenly seemed to suspiciously get shrill rather quickly.
"Sure. I figured that's why you always did it. You just need someone to talk to. I mean, its not like you have any other reason, like…um…you like me…or something…right…Helga?" asked Arnold slowly, anxious of her answer. And his grandfather's hypothesis.
Tell mew the truth, Helga. You can do it!Helga's eyes expanded once more, only this time something was different. Something clicked on her head…something she wasn't telling him that was for sure… "That's not it, right? You…don't…like…me…do you, Helga?" "R-Right." She stammered, not looking in his direction at the moment. "Cause if you did…you'd…tell me, right?" he asked again trying not to sound anxious.
Suddenly her eyes shot to his face. And how she was grinning. Malevolently.
"That's right, hair boy. Like I could ever like a pathetic little weird headed shrimp like you! Uuck! You practically make me sick!" she scrunched her face at the boy in disgust.
"And if I ever hear, you say anything otherwise ever again, you'll have to answer to Ol' Betsey. Got it, Football head?" Helga sneered once more, as she shook her left fist in his face.
That's it Helga ol' girl. Be even meaner! He won't suspect a thing now!
"Uh, sure, Helga. Whatever you say." He said nervously with a slight smirk, as he backed up off her stoop and on to the sidewalk.
"Hey, Arnold?" She called back to him suddenly.
"Yeah? Helga?" he turned back again to face his nemesis again, curious as to what else she had to say. Or in this case, to 'not' say.
"I just wana say…thanks…for…being a good friend and…its nice of you…even for a football head." She lowered her eyelids on the last word of her sentence, as if she were trying to sell her malice. But at that instant, Arnold realized something he didn't know, he already knew this whole time. Helga was lying.
"No problem, Helga. I'll see you later." He waved goodbye as he watched her turn to her door. Helga waved in return with a quick "Bye" of her own, and closed the front door with out another word.
Somehow, he had to laugh at himself. Though he really wasn't entirely sure as to why. Did he get the answer he was looking for? Or did he…perhaps find more?…All he could think about was what to do now…and how exactly he felt. The only thing he did know was that Helga G. Pataki wasn't a hard puzzle anymore. She was just…challenging.
"Don't worry, Helga," Arnold whispered to her house as he continued his walk back home.
"Your secret's safe with me." He smirked to himself, as another thought came to his football shaped mind.
She'll tell me when she's ready.
Arnold then returned to his walk, with green eyes swimming in a half lidded gaze, and a slight smile on his face.
"I wonder how Grandpa's puzzle is coming."
How did you guys like it? =) Let me know and review! I promise the next update I complete will be for Hey Helga! I think I've procrastinated enough lol
Thanks for reading! =)