"Well, Helga, I must say, I'm surprised that you want to do this. I mean, I did tell everyone that the test is flawed so none of the results are right." Rhonda said as she settled into her bed, her eyes fixed upon Helga, who was sitting upon the vanity's matching stool.
Helga's usual scowl darkened and her monobrow furrowed. "Listen, sister, I didn't want to take this test because I actually care about who I'm going to marry, doi!"
Rhonda raised one of her own brows at this. "Well then I'm certain I don't understand why you want to take this test."
"Because everyone else got to take it and I'm not going to be the exception!" Helga snarled.
Surprise shone on Rhonda's face, "Helga…are you saying you felt left out?"
"No!" Helga answered quickly. "Are you going to give me the test or what? I don't have all day."
Rhonda shrugged, "Alright." She held the Origami Marriage Detector test between her index fingers and thumbs. "What's your favorite number."
"Seven." Came the reply.
Rhonda opened and closed the test with each number as she counted. "One, two, three, four, five, six, seven. Alright. What's your favorite color?"
"Pink." She answered.
"P-I-N-K. And what day of the month were you born?" Rhonda leaned forward, curious herself as to what the test would say about Helga.
Rhonda completed the last of the test before pulling open the paper flap, revealing the name of Helga's future husband.
Rhonda's face went white.
"No." She whispered.
Helga's brow arched. "Come on, princess, we don't have all day. Who's the sap?"
Rhonda promptly shut the test and put it back into starting position. "Do it again."
Helga's brow furrowed in confusion. It wasn't that long ago that Arnold had been demanding that Rhonda keep repeating the test. Rhonda had declared it foolproof, and seemed to prove it when Helga's name came onto his results. All one hundred and ten times. Maybe Rhonda's test was wrong. Or maybe Helga was supposed to marry someone that Rhonda liked…but who did Rhonda like? "Why do I have to do it again?" Helga asked shortly.
"Just do it, Pataki." Rhonda demanded. "Pick your favorite number."
"Seven." Helga answered.
Rhonda's expression darkened. "Your other favorite number."
Helga rolled her eyes, "Ok, fine then. Four."
The other two answers hadn't changed. And still, when Rhonda opened the flap to reveal the answer, her future husband. Before Helga could sneak a peek, Rhonda growled loudly and demanded that Helga begin again.
Helga crossed her arms and glared at Rhonda. "I really don't have all day, Rhonda. Can't you just tell me who it is?"
"Just one more time!" Rhonda begged.
Helga rolled her eyes. "Fine. This time my favorite number is six."
Rhonda finished the test and viewed the results with a horrified growled, slamming her clenched fists onto her bed.
Helga looked confused. Normally fits of rage were her thing. "Rhonda, what the heck is going on?"
Rhonda shut the test again and pushed it into Helga's lap. "Do me."
"Excuse me?" Helga's nose wrinkled. She really had no idea why Rhonda would act this way.
"Do the test on me, Pataki!" Rhonda exclaimed.
Helga picked up the test. "Ok ok, criminy, calm down, princess."
Rhonda took a deep breath and forced herself to cool off before Helga began.
"Alright, princess, favorite number." Helga asked, trying her best to hide how annoyed she was that Rhonda was making her do this.
"One." Rhonda answered.
Helga opened and closed the test once. "Favorite color."
"Red." came the answer.
Unlike Rhonda, Helga didn't spell out the word. She just opened and closed the marriage detector three times. "Day you were born."
"The seventeenth." Rhonda was beginning to sound nervous now.
Helga finshed the test and pulled it away before Rhonda could snatch it away. Helga saw Rhonda's results. At first she was confused, then she started laughing, clutching her sides. Rhonda looked confused. It wasn't a mean laugh. There wasn't any mocking in it. It was a genuine laugh. Rhonda had never heard that kind of a laugh from Helga. Still, it's geniuty scared her. "What's so funny, Pataki?"
Helga held up the test, still laughing, "You're marrying the twisted little freak!"
Rhonda's face went white and she looked horrified. "No! Not Curly!"
Helga shrugged, "What's the big deal? You said it yourself that the test doesn't even work."
"I does work though!" Rhonda cried, tears brimming her eyes.
Helga looked confused, "What?"
Rhonda nervously twiddled her fingers. "Well…after I got home yesterday…I did the test on myself. And all three hundred and six times they came up with Curly. I must grow up to be delusional or something."
Helga sighed and moved to sit on the bed next to Rhonda, awkwardly putting a comforting hand on the girl's shoulder. "Well you never know. He could end up being ok."
"Okay?" Rhonda exclaimed. "Helga, he blackmailed me into dating him! That is not ok!"
"Oh! So that's why you were his girlfriend." Helga said, realization coming across her face.
Rhonda's shoulders slumped. "Yes. It would never happen! I mean I hate him!"
Helga winced, "Hate is a pretty strong word. That and you don't really know what's going on with him. He could just…need a little help. You know people can change."
"Yeah, like you're going to change enough to want to be with Arnold?" Rhonda scoffed. "You hate the boy, but your test came up with Arnold every time."
Helga's eyes went wide. 'My test says I'm going to marry Arnold?' she thought to herself. 'Maybe it is right.'
Rhonda arched a brow at Helga. Her usual scowl was replaced by a dreamy smile. Then it hit hit her. Rhonda gasped, "You like Arnold!"
That managed to pull Helga out of her daze. "What? N-no! I don't know what you're talking about."
Rhonda smiled, "Oh this is wonderful!"
"This is horrible." Helga thought. "You're getting all girly and weird for nothing, Rhonda. I don't like Arnold."
Rhonda crossed her arms over her chest, "Helga, don't act like I'm stupid."
Helga scowled at Rhonda and Rhonda just smiled back. Finally, Helga cracked. She released a sigh and her shoulder slumped. "Ok ok. So maybe I don't hate him."
"From you I'll take that as a confession that you like him." Rhonda smiled and inched closer to Helga.
Helga glared at Rhonda and got onto her feet, towering menacingly over the other girl, "If you tell anyone I swear I'll rip out your liver and choke you with it!"
Rhonda winced, "That won't be necessary, Helga. But I think it's time that you've told him."
"I already have." Helga mumbled.
This made Rhonda perk up, "What?"
Helga scratched the back of her neck, "Back when he and Gerald saved the neighborhood. I…I helped out by giving them information."
Rhonda arched a brow, confused at this. "Wait…back when Fti was here your dad was going to get rich off of it. Why would you help them?"
Helga scowled at Rhonda and told her the same thing she'd told Arnold when he found out she was Deep Voice. "Money isn't everything."
"I just don't understand why Arnold and Gerald would trust you is all." Rhonda replied.
Helga shrugged, "They didn't know it was me. I only ever called them and I used a voice disguiser and told them to call me Deep Voice."
"Well that makes sense." Rhonda stated thoughtfully.
Helga's eyes suddenly narrowed, realizing that she had just told Rhonda something she hadn't told anyone else. Not even Phoebe knew. "If you tell anyone about this." Helga began angrily.
Rhonda waved her hand and rolled her eyes, "Yes yes I know, you'll choke me with my own liver."
"I was actually going to say that I would give you a root canal without anything to numb your mouth." Helga muttered.
Rhonda ignored Helga's last comment. "So…when you told Arnold…what happened after that?"
Helga shrugged, "We agreed to it being a 'heat of the moment' thing that didn't really mean anything."
"That's not true though." Rhonda said smugly, leaning into Helga with a smile.
Helga glanced up at Rhonda before forcing her eyes back into her lap. "No. It doesn't matter though because he doesn't like me back."
Rhonda couldn't help feeling a bit sad for Helga. Suddenly, she got an idea and a smile crossed her face. "I'll be right back." Rhonda sashayed out of the room and to the phone in the living room, where she called Helga's parents and informed them that Helga would be sleeping over at her house. When she returned to her room, she found Helga wearing a scowl and usual, her cheeks red, probably from embarassment. Rhonda beamed at the other girl. "Well it's all settled."
Helga gave Rhonda a befuddled look. "What's all settled?"
"We're going to change his mind." Rhonda replied cheerfully.
Helga's expression just became more confused. "What?"
Rhonda opened a drawer in her vanity and pulled out a basket full of beauty products. "A makeover."
Helga face fell, "Oh no. I actually think my parents need me at home."
Rhonda shook her head, "I just called them and they said it's fine. Now sit still."
"Arnold!" Gerald shouted into his best friend's ear. "Hey Arnold!"
Arnold was yanked from his daydream, "Huh? What?"
Gerald rolled his eyes, "Man what is with you today? You aren't thinking' about Lila again are you?"
Arnold shook his head, "No, I realized that nothing was going to happen there after Timberly thought that I was her boyfriend."
Gerald snickered at the memory of his little sister following his best friend around like a lost puppy and calling him her boyfriend. "Alright, man. Then what's on your mind?"
Arnold's cheeks turned a little red, "I was thinking about Valentines day."
Gerald raised an eyebrow, "What about it? You mean that French girl."
Arnold smiled weakly and his cheeks turned a darker shade of red, "Not exactly."
Then Gerald realized, "OH! You mean the other not-so-French girl?"
"Yeah. I've been thinking a lot about her lately, actually." Arnold admitted sheepishly. Gerald paused in the doorway of the classroom and Arnold stopped with him, not bothing to see what had caused Gerald's pause. "I just wish I could know who she was. I mean…she said she liked me."
Gerald laughed and shoved his friend forward into the empty classroom. "Well now's your chance to ask her."
Arnold saw what had made Gerald stop and his mouth fell open. He nervously looked over his shoulder at Gerald, who just encouraged him. Arnold swallowed a lump in his throat and walked forward. "H-hi Cecile. Did you change classes?"
Helga, who had been writing into her book of poetry, jumped and slammed the book shut. "What?"
Arnold smiled slightly. He'd had a feeling that Cecile had written the pink book filled with poems about him. "Hi. Um….did you transfer to Mr. Simmons' class?"
Helga blinked at him, once before she realized that Rhonda styling her hair, giving it curls and letting it hang onto her shoulders made her look like Cecile. Well…the Cecile she had been on Valentines day at least. "Oh…um." Her feet were dressed in a pair of pink shoes, that matched the pink and purple dress Rhonda had given to Helga.
"Hello Arnold. I didn't know we had a new student." Lila said, walking up behind them with a sweet smile upon her face. "I'm ever so certain we'll be great friends. I was new here too. I'm Lila."
Helga just stared at Lila blinking a few times. Didn't anyone recognize her? "Um…hi." Helga said hesitantly, taking Lila's hand and letting the other girl shake it.
Lila just smiled sweetly, "I know you're new here, but you might want to pick a different seat. Helga sits there and she can get confrontational from time to time."
Helga did her best to not scowl, "Thanks, but I think I'll be ok."
Lila smiled and waved sweetly as she went back to her seat.
Arnold took a shaky breath before saying, "So…um…well…"
Helga just arched an eyebrow at him before pulling her hair into two pigtails that hung lower that usual, then she combed through her bangs with her fingers. Looking a bit more like herself she turned and arched one of her eyebrows at him.
Arnold's eyes went wide and his mouth fell open. It couldn't be.
Rolling her eyes, Helga placed her hand under his jaw and pushed it up, forcing his mouth closed.
"Garsh, Helga, you sure do look pretty." Stinky said as he and most of the other boys from their class gathered around Helga at the front of the school.
"Thanks, Stinky." Helga said, doing her best to not retort rudely. It felt nice, being pretty.
"Boy howdy, that's for sure." Sid spoke up in agreement.
Helga tried to push her way out of the knot of boys. "Alright alright, I get it. I look pretty. Criminy, I'd like some space."
Arnold swallowed a lump in his throat before approaching her from behind, "Hey Helga."
Helga yelped, "Criminy! What are you tryuing to do? Give me a heart attack?"
"Sorry." he said nervously. "You…you look really great today."
Helga's cheeks turned red, "Thanks. It's all Rhonda, really."
"Well you still look good. Could I maybe walk you home." His voice cracked and he wrung his hands in front of him.
Helga glanced between him and the knot of boys that had been fawning over her a few seconds ago. She swallowed a lump in her throat, "You don't have to do that, Arnold."
"Yeah, I know, but I'd like to." He managed to crack a weak smile.
Helga bit her lip and her gaze went to the bus stop where Rhonda and Phoebe were waiting for her. "Well…"
Rhonda had been watching the whole thing and gestured for Helga to go.
Helga sighed and finally said, "Ok."
They smiled at each other briefly before Arnold linked his arm in hers and they began the walk to the Pataki residence.
Rhonda smiled, feeling rather proud of herself as she climbed onto the bus.
She felt a familiar presence behind her and she turned around to glare at him. "What do you want, Curly?"
He smiled widely, "Well I want to sit with you, my darling."
Rhonda scowled, but then considered it. It might not be so horrible, assuming she laid out some ground rules. "Will you talk about your underwear, try to kiss me, ask me for a piece of my hair to put under your pillow or anything else weird like that?"
Curly looked surprised, "Um…well, no I don't have to do that."
Rhonda shrugged, "Fine. Then you can sit by me. But if you try anything funny I'll make you regret it."
Curly's shock shone clear on his face.
Rhonda only looked out the window smirking. Who knew? Maybe the test was right.