"Looking to find a way through the day, a life for the night, dear lord you've taken so many of my people, I'm just wondering why you haven't taken my life, like what the hell am I doing right?"
Never had Arnold witnessed Helga Pataki acting like this, it was as though something in her had simply snapped and she'd become entirely disconnected with the world. In fact, she had been acting so strangely that even Gerald had bothered to become slightly concerned for her welfare.
Granted, yesterday had been a tough day, Gerald had disregarded Helga's game plan in regards to the search-and-rescue mission they had embarked upon for some important papers and had thus descended himself and Arnold into a world of trouble. Gerald had been bound and gagged by one security guards and Arnold had received a gun pressed to his temple from the other.
Arnold had replayed the previous day's incident over and over in his mind, wondering why it had caused Helga to act so strangely, she had been safe and sound hiding in the ventilation. Nonetheless, Helga had been distant ever since, she had been unresponsive and she had been eerily quiet – she hadn't even bothered to lash out a Gerald for disobeying her instructions.
Moments later, he startled in his position, eyes going wide. Shit, he'd almost died and Helga had become lifeless. There was no 'heat of the moment', Helga Pataki loved him, like really truly loved him.
"Cinderella about to lose the glass off her foot, and when I find it is when I find you and we can do the things we never got the time to, better late than never."
Arnold Shortman bit his lip a little, glancing up again at the radiantly gorgeous blonde girl with the soft wavy hair that sat across from him, his Valentine for the third year in a row now. He'd been so patient this entire dinner, heck for the entirety of the past year, but he honestly had to say something...
"It must be difficult for you to use my real name." He announced suddenly, causing her big blue eyes to lift up from her dinner.
The thin blonde girl frowned in confusion, "I always use your real name..."
"No." Arnold shook his head decisively, "You only use my real name once a year."
"Arnold, I only ever see you once a year." she reminded him with a small roll of her eyes, a little 'giveaway' that made Arnold smile.
She was correct in a way, he only did see this girl once a year, "I suppose in a way that's true." he finally responded, "but tell me, Cecile, how many times have you almost slipped up and called me Football Head?"
Her eyes immediately grew wide, "WHAT?" she cried out in panic, her hands gripping at the side of the table.
Arnold smiled a little, "It's not that I don't like seeing you dressed up all pretty once a year" he began softly, "it's just that it feels a bit strange you calling me 'Arnold' all night and it would be nice to be able to stop referring to you as Cecile, it doesn't quite suit you like Helga does."
His adorable and now decidedly flustered date, simply spluttered in response "I-I... Uh, no... I..."
Arnold sighed, the first time he'd ever met 'Cecile' he wondered about her for months afterwards yet no matter how hard he tried he had never been able to figure out who she was. He could hardly express how thankful he was that Helga had assumed he'd be dense enough to fall for it a second time last year. He wasn't though, no way, not after FTI and April Fool's Day – not a chance.
Now, here they were a third time, and there was no way he was waiting another entire year after this night.
Arnold cleared his throat, "I was waiting for you to tell me yourself..." he explained, placing his hand over hers on the table which appeared to make her absolutely tremble, "but, I guess you could say I got impatient because this..." he motioned between the two of them, "is something that we should do much more regularly than once a year."
And, with that comment, Helga G. Pataki promptly fainted.
"But we don't want no problems, boy you don't want no problems."
Gerald walked into the cold alleyway and sighed a little, he often wondered how he got himself into this mess, protecting Helga Pataki at the insistence of his best friend. Sure, Gerald appreciated Arnold's friendship, the advice he gave, the gifts he sent from San Lorenzo and all that kind of stuff, but... well, this 'job' was tiring. During the two years of Arnold's absence Miss Pataki had grown into quite the pretty little thing and upholding his oath to keeping the hands of mangy teenage boys away from her had become more difficult by the day.
Not that they wanted to control her life, not at all, Arnold wasn't some crazy-controlling-ex-boyfriend-who-now-lived-in-a-jungle type. All he had asked of Gerald was that he keep Helga from those with questionable intentions, keep her safe.
Surprisingly, on his trip to Helga's alleyway today, there was an unexpected body in the shadows – Helga herself.
"I know what the deal is Johannsen." she said matter-of-factly, "but go home and get some rest, you crazy kid because I can protect myself from the teenage masses, okay?"
"Uh, listen Helga, with all due respect... I kinda promised Arnold that I'd keep an eye on you a-" Gerald began to explain.
"Gerald." Helga said pointedly, and he immediately paid full attention as she rarely ever addressed him by his first name, "It's Arnold or nothing, you hear me? I'll wait for him until the very end of forever and if he doesn't come back, then I suppose I'll die lonely with lots of cats. I've never even considered dating any of those losers you're constantly 'sussing out' for me."
Gerald blinked in shock a little, but then smiled at the girl he'd slowly come to respect over the years, "He will come back for you, you know? Soon as he can."
"Imma need counselling, I lost my mind and still haven't found it, I used to be so well rounded but now I tiptoe on hell's boundaries."
Harold sauntered over, a defeated look adorning his chubby face as he walked away from the scene of his 'crime'. The crime being loosening the bolts on Eugene's bike and the defeated look being due to the fact that Arnold Shortman had done nothing about it.
"It's hopeless." Harold whined, now rejoining the small cluster of his fifth grade classmates that had gathered together in the playground.
Phoebe shook her head sadly, "I have never seen Arnold so despondent." she noted, gesturing toward the forlorn young blonde boy who sat listlessly on the swing-set.
"Dang near breaks ya heart." Stinky agreed
Rhonda shook her head curtly, and said with no remorse, "Frankly, I think he only has himself to blame."
"Rhonda's right." Gerald sighed, glancing over at his uncharacteristically quiet best friend once more, "He could have been honest with himself earlier, you know, before she moved away."
"Gerald, I think they're both partly to blame in this situation." Phoebe spoke timidly, now feeling a little guilty at the situation, and wondering if maybe she should have done something to 'push' it sooner.
"No Phoebe." Gerald disagreed, "Helga may have lied to all of us and to Arnold, but at least she didn't lie to herself."
"She'll be back in two years." Phoebe reminded them, in an overly forced optimistic tone.
"I hope those two years go fast." Gerald mumbled, and even though this was Helga G. Pataki they were talking about – he truly meant it, because he was beginning to realise that Arnold just wasn't going to be Arnold, without Helga around.
"Day light beams, night light schemes, this is my inception, doing what I'm born to do, I see the blue sky."
Arnold Shortman burst into laughter, causing the friends around him to adorn looks of absolute confusion and Helga Pataki to look absolutely horrified.
If it wasn't bad enough that her entire 'Cecile' facade had come crumbling down in one horrible night, many thanks to the Rhonda the 'Gossip Queen' herself and her nosey investigations – now it was all worse. Arnold's immediate reaction to the startling revelation was to laugh... laugh.
"Arnold..." Gerald began politely, a little worried that his friends strange reaction was rather insensitive to say the least. Sure, Gerald didn't exactly get along with Helga but nobody deserved to be laughed at, "...um, I don't really think this is a funny situation man..."
Lila grimaced a little, "I think you're being ever so rude." she lectured.
Arnold simply ignored their comments, and made his way toward his childhood bully, wrapped an arm around her shoulder and whispered into her ear, "You're an idiot Pataki."
Helga was about to contemplate if she should cry or punch him, when her train of thought was promptly cut off by the incredible sensation of Arnold's lips crashing down on hers.
I Can't Believe It
"They pointing and asking but we gonna keep on going, it's just me and you and ain't nobody else."
It's a question, or the inevitable beginning of a question, that I have heard far too many times for my liking in regards to Helga Pataki during my life.
At first it started out with things like, 'why are you dating her' and 'why do you love her' and then moved on to things like 'why aren't you angry she said that' and 'why do you let her call you Football Head...still'.
After a while, people asked things like, 'why haven't you dated anyone in San Lorenzo' or even, 'why do you write to her everyday even though she never writes back'.
Over the time, the days and months and years, I've spent learning who Helga Patkai is – there's been one startling truth right in front of my face and that's how incredibly complex, talented and amazing she can truly be.
Helga Pataki is the most intricate and fascinating human being one could ever encounter, and the only thing people should be confused about is why she picked me.
"You could close your eyes, you can hear me when you're sleeping..."
Helga stomped her feet impatiently, not currently satisfied with the customer service she was receiving in this particular store. She had merely gone to find a fluffy teddy bear as a birthday gift for her niece, and mercilessly bothering the sales assistant simply turned out to be a bonus.
"Football Head, honestly.." she continued with feigned annoyance, "I'm only asking about the teddy bears stamina. I mean, I need to know if it can hug all night, I hardly want to be let down."
Arnold, who was currently practically unable to form sentences at this point, simply stared back at her with a disbelieving look, "Uh... I-I don't..." he tried to begin.
Helga pouted a little at her secret love, or maybe not-so-secret considering she'd been rather careless lately, "I just think it would be an awful shame to wake up all alone in the morning, with nothing beside me..." she added sadly.
"Helga..." he frowned, now taking a deep breath and attempting to regain control of this situation.
"Come on Arnoldo!" she huffed, "Do you work here or not?"
Arnold sighed, "Yes, I work here Helga... but nobody has ever asked me about the endurance of the stuffed toys before."
"Oh?" she said thoughtfully, "I think it's a fairly reasonable question..."
Suddenly, her eyes locked onto a large brown bear with a push-button, 'Hear me talk' said the small blue tag. A happy grin on her face, Helga turned back to face her beloved, "Can this bear whisper sweet nothings into my ear at night until I fall asleep?"
"No." he informed her promptly, a slight blush coming to his cheeks.
Helga bit her lip a little, "Hmmm... would you?" she almost whispered.
Arnold felt his face heat up, "Helga!" he cried out, almost in panic, "I..." in response, the tall blonde girl simply raised an eyebrow at him, sighing he admitted defeat and looked her dead in the eyes, "Yes." he admitted, "Yes I would."
You Be Killin' Em
"When them other hoes call, I hand her the phone and she hand 'em the tone."
Arnold Shortman glanced down at the ringing cell phone in his hands, the screen lighting up with the name 'Melissa' and promptly threw the device up toward his bed, where it was swiftly caught by a quick pair of hands.
"Hello?" said the voice of the person lazing on his bed, as Arnold went back to his Biology homework which had been spread out over the brightly coloured carpet of his bedroom floor.
"Uh huh, it is..." came a confirmation, before a long sigh followed by, "I'm not sure, which way would you like your face rearranged?"
Arnold looked back up at the blonde girl as she hung up the phone and dropped it by her side on the bed, "Who the heck was that?" she asked.
He frowned a little, "Cheerleader?" he guessed with a shrug, he honestly had no idea.
"Criminy." Helga muttered to herself, picking up her small pink notebook and purple pen and placing them back onto her lap, "Would they get the hint already?"
Arnold smiled at her, "I'm thinking I should just write your name on my forehead?" he teased.
She smirked at her boyfriend, "Well, there's certainly room."
Glaring her down in mock offense, he grabbed at her hands and sent her tumbling on the floor with him, determined to 'punish' her until she relented.
"I love bad bitches, that's my fucking problem."
Arnold liked nice, soft-spoken, pretty girls, he really liked them, in fact, you could say he like liked them. He had since as long as he could remember, ever since his very first crush, whenever that was. So, for much of his young life, or at least until he was around nine or ten years old, he was very content in chasing nice, pretty girls and trying to make them his girlfriend.
Actually, it wasn't until the moment he actually succeeded in getting a sugary sweet girlfriend that something awkward began to dawn on him – he like liked nice girls, he really did, but he certainly didn't love them.
No, he loved bad girls, wave a fist in your face and threaten to remove your organs the 'old fashioned way' type girls. Daring girls, who weren't afraid to speak their mind, and make their presence known. Maybe, that was because even though deep down they were just as caring as any sugary sweet princess, they were strong and realistic. Somebody who was real, and wasn't about to change for anyone.
And, he realised that this description was rather specific, and that was simply because he had finally discovered that maybe he would probably only ever love one person and she was all of the above.
I really need to go through these and make some of them into one shots or bigger stories, so many useful ideas... maybe soon... ;)