CHAPTER TEN: FINAL CHAPTER
"Mommy wake up it's Christmas! Mommy mommy" Helga felt Grace pulling insistantly on her arm and she slowly sat up in the bed.
"No, Grace sweetie Christmas is over" She shook her head stifling a yawn.
"No mommy it's really Christmas..come see" Grace bounced off the bed and rushed out of the room.
Helga hesitated a minute before finally crawling out of the bed and following her daughter. the prospect of seeing Arnold again made her sick but she guessed it couldn't be avoided.
She slowly made her way down the steps and froze when she reached the living room door way. There was a huge but fake tree in the middle of the room decorated for Christmas and underneath it were presents.
A fire crackled in the fire place Grace was already tearing into her presents Arnold sat on the couch watching.
"Arnold?...what's going on?" Arnold stood quickly and moved towards her she backed away.
"I uhm...wanted to give Grace the Christmas she was promised"
"That's sweet really but...we don't have anything for you" Arnold smiled at her.
"Yes you do" He reached for her hand but she didn't move.
"Arnold...I..."She wanted to say something, anything but she didn't know what.
"come here" He reached for her hand again and she reluctantly gave it to him.
He led her into the living room to the couch and motioned for her to sit down she did. Grace turned briefly to show Helga the new doll that Santa had brought her and Helga smiled.
"Helga, I'm in love with you" Arnold spoke suddenly.
"You heard me...I love you"
"No just, Let me talk for a minute. ok?" He reached over and took her hand and she nodded but couldn't bring herself to face him fully.
"I think I fell in love with you...that night ontop of the FTI building...at least I started too it was either then or the april fools dance once of those nights I fell in love with you. I never said anything because...I didn't know how you felt and I was a coward. After high school I found out that you pretended to be Cecile and I realized...it was the girl in resturaunt I loved not the one I had been writing to I was in love with you even then I just didn't know it"
"Arnold..." She looked like she was going to cry.
"I love you Helga...I want to marry you and adopt Gracie I want us to be a real family the four of us. You, Grace and our baby will never want or need anything as long as I'm alive you will be taken care of and loved and...with your cooperation maybe even more babies"
"I...I don't know what to say" She looked down at where his hand was holding hers.
"I don't think it was just dumb luck that you got pregnant when nobody thought you could. I think it's a sign that we were always supposed to be together"
"But...Arnold...what about Grace?"
"what about her?" He looked at the little girl who was playing with her new dollhouse.
"She's part of me of who I am...if you and I have children...of our own then..."
"What you think Grace won't be a priority for me if I have my own kids?" Helga nodded and he laughed.
"I love that little girl just as much as I could my own kids. That's not going to change once they are here Helga. I can promise you she will always be mine in all the ways that matter DNA doesn't mean anything...look at it this way my grandparents raised me not my real parents but it didn't matter...I loved them just as much as I could have my real parents"
"For so long...I've waited for this moment...I never actually thought...that it would ever happen" She blinked away the tears and he smiled at her.
"YES..yes..a hundred times...yes" He laughed and leaned over to kiss her. She met him halfway her hands going to his shoulders.
"I love you...he told her when he finally pulled away" She bit her lip and glanced at Grace who had now fell asleep on the other couch.
"Take me upstairs..."She said softly and he looked over at Grace.
"Now?" He was surprised and she smiled.
"Now" He grabbed her hand and pulled her to her feet and running for the stairs.
FOUR YEARS LATER...
"Honey, He's here" Arnold yelled up the stairs moving to open the door as Mr. Jones arms loaded with Christmas presents moved into the house.
"Hello, Arnold...Merry Christmas young man"
"Marry Christmas...how was your flight?" Arnold took the presents as the man shed his coat.
"Just lovely...now where are my goddaughters at?" Arnold smiled as Gracie who was now ten ran down the stairs.
"Grandpa!" She rushed to hug Mr. Jone affectionately.
"Gracie love, My goodness...you're so beautiful you look just like your mother" Arnold smiled.
"Yes she does"
"Grandpa!" Mr. Jones and Arnold turned as Hannah his and Helga first child but second to Grace came down the stairs. She also resembled her mother she was four now and growing fast.
"Hannah, where's your mother?" Arnold asked as she too recieved a hug from Mr. Jones.
"She's coming daddy... Alice wouldn't let her shoes on" She explained.
"GRAMMMPA!" The urgent squeals from the top of the stairs turned Arnold and Mr. Jones head to Helga who was slowly coming down the stairs carrying their two year old.
She wiggled in her mothers arms reaching for Mr. Jones who laughed and lifted her easily kissing Helgas cheek breifly.
"Alice my lovely...how are you?" He smiled moving into the living room Grace and Hannah carrying presents and running along behind him.
"How are you feeling?" Arnold asked Helga and she smiled.
"I'm fine...you act like it's your first baby Arnold" She laughed.
"How is my baby girl today?" He moved closer placing a hand on her very round stomach their fourth daughter seven months in the making.
"She's fine Arnold" Helga kissed his cheek.
"I love you"
"I love you too football head" Arnold smiled kissing her forehead.
"If she has my head are you going to call her names too?"
"Well the other too didn't lets just hope she doesn't either" He took her hand leading her into the livingroom.
"Whatever you say Helga"