"Green Tea" By: CP


Notez: There are many 'Hey Arnold!' fics that have our favorite characters in high school. Being a high schooler myself, I can't resist.

In this quiet, short fic (that I wrote when I was bored) the crew is in 11th grade.

Even though we write fiction, there is always a little bit of our experiences in it.

Helga's POV

*****

"Damndamndamndamn!" I hissed as we burst through the metal doors to the music room.

My name is Helga G. Pataki...and it was nice knowing you.

I sucked in a breath, clinging to my make-up kit and my change of costume. Phoebe and I must have looked pretty silly driving towards our high school, dressed like Asian princesses. We almost made it on time...until a truck pulled out of a corner and started to drive one mile per hour in front of us. Damn truckers.

Phoebe's eyes trailed around nervously over her glasses and looked up at me expectantly. I nodded and we put our stuff down and began to sneak towards the door leading to the stage.

"You're both LATE!"

Oh crap.

Miss D had a thing about two of her actresses sneaking in late on closing night...

"We're all on stage!" she barked peering up at us. She was a short, middle-aged woman also dressed as an Asian princess for our play 'The King and I'.

I almost trembled. Me, Helga G. Pataki, was fearful of my own music theater director.

"Well...technically...we're only 2.54 minutes late and we don't start until..." Phoebe began nervously, voice abruptly fading off when Ms. D's eyes became accusing slits.

"Come on Phoebe, I think she's hungry," I murmured before grabbing my best friend's wrist.

*****

After the show was finally over, I let out my blonde hair from the tight bun and shook my head around, letting the long hair flap free. Phoebe, more demure than I, took out her shorter hair and sighed a sigh of relief.

Tom, a tall, thin boy with spiky hair died blonde grinned at us. "Congratulations to us on yet another performance!"

"I'm glad that our next won't be until next year," I heard Rhonda murmur as she frantically brushed her short hair back into place.

Families started to pour in with roses and kisses, all except for my lovely family.

"Three stinkin' hours in a hotter-than-hell theater!" Big Bob exclaimed, pointing an accusing finger at me. "You better tell me next time you do that!"

I love you too, you stupid jerk.

Miriam looked dazed as usual. "That---that was a very lovely play honey."

Well, better than nothing.

Olga gave out a screeching sound and flung her arms around me, "Oh baby sister! That was so wonderful!!" She ran over to Lila, who of course, played Anna. "Lila!! You moved me to tears in that last scene!"

"Oh, I tried ever-so-much! Especially considering this was our last show!" Lila beamed.

Oh brother, cut the crap. Something told me to look over my shoulder and I was Arnold, looking around in the crowded, tiny music room for someone. Probably Lila. My nose turned up slightly as I quickly brushed my hair and removed my tight dress, revealing jean shorts and a black tank top. I was sweating like a pig from the stage lights and the lack of air conditioning, thanks to our stupid school.

I walked over to Phoebe but paused, smiling slightly at the sight of her family hugging her and praising her. She caught my eyes and quickly turned to her parents. "Mother, father? May I go out and celebrate with Helga?"

I turned around to pack my stuff, either way; I was leaving without my family. Phoebe skipped over to me, nodded and rushed to pack her stuff. I slung my costume stuff over my shoulder and motioned to her that I was going to wait outside. The cold, spring night felt good and I sighed slightly, leaning against the brick wall. A familiar scent came to my nose and I coughed a little then looked down. There was Kris, a gothic girl with purple hair and dressed in a black dress, smoking a cigarette.

"Yo," I said simply.

"Yo," she said back, breathing out a puff of smoke. "Liked your play."

I snorted, "You mean you liked their play. I was only in it for a few scenes."

Kris' hazel eyes looked up at me through the smoke. "Bull shit, you were leads in other plays."

I shook my head. "Never mind, I'm just cranky."

"So am I! Three hours! My boyfriend fell asleep after an hour and a half," Kris grinned up at me, eyes twinkling.

"Boys don't care about anything but themselves," I laughed.

Kris brushed back her long side bangs of violet, still grinning. "You've changed, Miss Pataki."

I blinked, about to ask when Phoebe pulled me away. "Come on, Helga! Do you want to join us, Kris?"

Kris shook her head, "I don't go for Japanese food. Give me a greasy, artery-clogging burger any day!"

*****

We drove to our usual hangout place, the little Japanese restaurant, Hanabi. It was slightly surprising that they were open at 10 o'clock on a Saturday night.

"Ah, Phoebe and Helga!" cheered our friend, Megumi, as we entered. She was our friend from school, a slender, Japanese girl whose family ran this joint. She teasingly bowed like a waitress. "Where do you want to sit tonight?"

I grinned, "The usual."

*****

We sat at a tiny table for three in the corner of the room as I stirred my green tea thoughtfully. Megumi sat next to Phoebe since there wasn't any work for her right then and there.

"So, how was the play?" Megumi asked excitedly.

"It was okay," I replied casually. "Phoebe was the only one who actually fitted in the play's setting!"

We all laughed at that, remembering the many blondes in the play.

"I heard you were the head wife!" Megumi said to Phoebe.

Phoebe nodded and blinked as if she had just remembered something.

"Helga, you didn't even tell your family where you're going," Phoebe said, concern in her eyes.

"Let me tell you something, Phebes, when Big Bob sees that 'it's ten o'clock, do you know where your children are' commercial, he laughs," I grumbled, feeling my forehead tighten.

"Megumi-chan!" called a man's voice.

"Hai!" Megumi sang. She got up, excusing herself and then rushed off.

Phoebe looked down into her green tea. "...I'm sorry Helga."

I sighed, "Come on, Phoebe. It's not your fault Big Bob's a big blowhard."

We were silent. I hate silence.

"...Hey Phoebe?" She blinked up at me. "...Do you think I've changed?"

She smiled softly, "I think we've all changed."

I put my hands behind my head, "I suppose so."

Phoebe looked down into her tea, "...I saw Arnold in the audience..."

Arnold...

Her eyes looked directly into mine, "Have you given up on him, Helga?"

I blinked and looked into her eyes, appearing to be watery and desperate. Smiling, I closed my eyes coyly and replied, "Well, what do you think?"

She frowned, "You appeared to be uninterested in him lately."

I paused and thought about what to say to that. "I guess I've changed so much, I've forgotten about the days I threw spitballs at him and sprayed the water from the fountain all over his face..."

Phoebe smiled, "Forgotten? Or have you grown up a little?"

"I tell ya, Phoebe, I've always been too smart for my age," I laughed.

The half Japanese girl looked down. "...I've always been like that too... It's a shame when you're like that... You miss out on all the fun other people seem to have."

I smiled sadly at my best friend, "True...but, think about this...life seems so much more meaningful..."

Phoebe appeared to be waiting for me to finish my sentence. "When you have a shining thing?"

I fingered my locket in my shirt, a picture of my favorite football-headed 11th grader inside.

"...Yeah..."