{Howdy, all. I just got an idea for a way later chapter and it really upsets me that I can't publish it now.}

The List

"Excuse me for a moment Arnoldo, but I have to go do…" She paused, thinking it over. "Something."

"Alright, Helga, see you in class."

And off she went.

With his heart in tow.

Boy that was sappy, he was sure glad he didn't say that out loud.

In the morning before the incident involving the super glue, Arnold had asked Helga to go steady with him. Yes, of course, she had to make fun of him for that. Honestly, he did lead himself into that one. But, nonetheless, she answered yes. And that's all that mattered to him. One may think that her instant request to "go do something" was just to get far away enough for him not to hear her laugh. But let's face it, crush or no crush; Helga G. Pataki could never be that heartless. That and Arnold knew that she was just going to burst into a poetic monologue and he knew that she wasn't ready for that side of her to be let out of the bag just yet. Arnold had known that but also, he would defend her name for her honor, as a gentleman should. Moreover, as a good boyfriend should.


He was Helga G. Pataki's boyfriend.

If he could go back in time and tell his nine-year-old self who he was going out at this current time period, his younger self would just laugh. Pause for a moment,thinking about it. And then, he would laugh some more before he realized that he knew that he wouldn't lie to himself, of all people (even though he'd been doing that for half the fourth grade year) and would think about it again. After that second thought, he'd figure his nine-year-old self would faint of shock, and all the same, hoping that this was all a dream. But it wasn't.

This was cold hearted reality, even though Arnold didn't find it as cold.

A year ago, he didn't even really pay attention to Helga that much. He would only look back to see who'd been throwing the spit balls at him (even though he'd know who the culprit was anyway), tell them to stop, before promptly turning around. Only for another spitball to be shot at him, and as soon as it did, he would sigh and try to ignore it for the rest of the class. She just bugged him, was all that he could offer to describe his relationship with Helga.

But then.

The Mighty Pete Incident with Big Bob Pataki. And how Helga stopped him. Indirectly, of course; but still, she'd managed to stop her dad from cutting Mighty Pete down to size.

After that, Arnold had begun questioning Helga's ulterior motives. Did she really mean what she said? Or did she just really care about Mighty Pete too? Even more so, why did she help them out in the first place? From that moment on, he not only started to observe her behavior more closely and started his attempts in bringing out her nicer side, but that was also when his confusion about her had started. Because after that came his slight falling out with Lila (but that was more on her side, though), the school play, spring break, and most of all, the FTi incident.

Why did she do the things she do? He didn't know. What were her reasons? He didn't know. And a new set of questions had arrived after the FTi incident. Why did she have to act like the way she does all the time? Why did she love him so much? And most importantly, how did he feel about her?

Oh that question had haunted him to no end, and he didn't even know it.

For months Arnold had been conflicted with himself about actually thinking about the incident. Sure, they agreed it was a heat of the moment situation, but it stuck on Arnold's mind like a leech did to your skin. One day, he decided that now was the time to think about his relationship with Helga. A bad timing really, as his decision was made as soon as they boarded the flight to San Lorenzo. Arnold figured with the hours on the plane and Helga being warded off by her sister for her to bug him, he would have time and peace to think. Unfortunately, his thinking had lasted throughout the whole trip and on instances had created circumstances that almost put them all in danger.

Fortunately, he and Helga—keyword: and, both sorted out their feelings for each other. And as he was just about to ask her out, he'd been so rudely interrupted. By his own best friend! Gerald showed no signs of disapproval, in later time Arnold would learn that Gerald had been having suspicions on his and Helga's relationship ever since April fool's day in fourth grade. Awkward tension had filled the atmosphere as soon as Gerald and Phoebe went off, so Arnold and Helga decided to go down the steps and reunite with everybody. As they did, Arnold could have sworn that he and Helga were about to hold hands. But as he was about to intertwine his hand with hers, he got pulled into a bear hug by his parents. This was an exceptionable interruption.

Later that night, Arnold was about to properly ask Helga out. And yes, as you expect it, he got interrupted again. He saw Helga smile softly and nod, but Arnold figured she meant that she'd dance with him. Now, however, there were no interruptions. And she said yes!

Oh, how his heart had swooned as he watched his girlfriend scurry away so that she could spew out poetry about him. He blushed at that thought and had begun to wonder how her lovely poem would go. Arnold would try and come up with the words, but alas, it could never compare to Helga's standards of poetry. He would just imagine her stringing those words together so naturally with flow and passion as she would recite them aloud to a preferred empty audience. Meanwhile, she would often make gestures with her arms and body dramatically. Once, Arnold had caught a glimpse of Helga in poses such as those, and he had no idea how it was so, but there was just a lingering light with a certain angle that aimed towards her and he could almost hear a chorus of angels sing. But then he snapped back into reality as the lunch bell had rung. The door of the choir class had hit him, causing him to go flying at Helga, who then shoved him off right before stomping off to the cafeteria with Phoebe. The guy who was fixing the lights even had to step down from his ladder to help Arnold up.

"Hey Arnold," Gerald snapped his fingers in front of Arnold's eyes. "You commin' man?"

"Oh," Arnold's half lidded gaze had shot up. "Yeah Gerald, I was just thinking."

"A dangerous hobby," He shook his head as they hopped off the bus. Arnold shrugged, smiling. "Even more dangerous now that you have a girlfriend."


"—Don't even play that game with me Arnold," Gerald deadpanned. "Exactly a minute ago, I had to pull you out of one of your daydreams."

"I was remembering," Arnold stated defensively.

"Oh please, Arnold, I know that look of yours, you have it every time you had a crush on a girl, and now that you're in love and in a relationship with one? It's gotten worse, and you've got it bad."

Arnold blushed and muttered a little, "Not that bad."

"Just promise me that you two won't make me the third wheel," Gerald said.



Arnold sighed. "Alright Gerald, promise," the two did their secret handshake. "Plus, if anything, you can spend more time with Phoebe."

Gerald smiled at that thought as Arnold opened the door to their classroom. "But anyways Arnold, I'm sorry for putting you on the edge like that."

"It's alright Gerald," Arnold assured him.

"But I guess it's okay for you to swoon after Helga like that," he then chuckled to himself. "It'll even out the plain field a bit."

Even out the plain field? "What do you mean?" Arnold asked.

"Well now, seeing you two together, it kinda makes sense that Helga's been putting off for a while now," Gerald paused as he let Phoebe walk to her desk. Soon after, he started to whisper. "I mean, how long has she been mean to us?"

Arnold thought this over. "I guess since pre-k. But I don't see how—oh."

"That's right Arnold, oh," Gerald reached over and patted Arnold's back. "You know, maybe you should take the initiative!"

Arnold gave Gerald a weird look but before he could protest, Gerald continued. "Since she's been waiting on you for the past seven years and has been just faithful to you even though you've never been together except for now, maybe you should be the one who starts all the hand holding, cuddling, and all that couple junk. I'd say kissing, but she already took that one."

Gerald was right. Helga had waited for so long for him and she was also the one who had technically started their boyfriend-girlfriend relationship. (Even though, he was the one who asked her.) She deserved to be given love that would make up for all those years of waiting! But, not too much at the same time or all at once, of course. They're only ten.

As soon as the door had opened, Arnold's head automatically turned to its direction, where it had revealed Helga standing by the doorway. He lit up and smiled at her, and surprisingly enough, she smiled back at him. Unfortunately, it had to be cut short due to their classmates starting to do kissy-faces behind him. Because of that,

Helga had glared at them all before she walked down the aisle of desks to her own. As she did, she passed by Arnold's desk and squeezed his hand quickly and gently before she would place herself on her own seat and desk.

She needed to live and let love.

So, he started a plan.

That day, they had art class.

Incidents, my friend, happen so fast it feels like two seconds even though it happened for duration of two minutes. What had happened was simple: Helga needed strong glue for her art project, so she got some superglue to do the job. Technically, Helga didn't spill the glue. Simply, she put too much on, accidentally got some on her hands, and was about to wash the glue off. Right before Arnold had grabbed her hand. Oops.

In all honesty, Arnold felt a bit responsible for that. Not only for absentmindedly grabbing her hand, but also distracting her in the first place. Now, he didn't exactly know how he had distracted her, but he knew he was the reason, one way or another. The giveaway of his assumption was when Helga cried out his name in frustration as soon as she got the glue on her hand.

Their art teacher had ran over to see what the commotion was all about, and when she heard what had happened, she told them that they'd have to run their hands over warm water. Unfortunately, the sink in the room's pipes were under construction, so they were ordered to go to the nurse. Unfortunately, the nurse was away for lunch. Why a school would leave their own clinic, of all places, unattended, they'll never know.

Fortunately, the nurse had returned to the office as soon as lunch ended. Even though neither Arnold nor Helga really ever disliked the fact of them holding hands (even if they were super glued to each other) when they found out that the nurse had returned to her post, they rushed over to her office. They supposed that if their classmates hadn't teased them so much about the whole hand holding thing, maybe they would've let a trip to the nurse's office "slip their mind".

The bell had now rung, signaling the end of the day.

And as usual, the rush had emptied out as the kids all ran over to wait for the bus stop or their parents to go and pick them up. Although, Arnold did not run today. He had other things in his mind distracting him. Things such as the events that transpired during lunch time.

It wasn't anything big, really. He even offered Helga to feed her if she had any trouble eating her lunch.

"Oh, I don't think I'll have trouble doing that, Arnold," Arnold assumed she had said that to assure him, but the distasteful tone of her voice when she said that made him worry. It worried him even more when they had sat down and she wasn't eating anything. Of course, Arnold being Arnold had to inquire her about that. Both he and

Helga herself expected her to blow up and act all defensive, but Helga only sighed. "Miriam didn't pack me lunch."

Arnold then offered her half of his lunch, and Helga had refused. "Just because you're my boyfriend, football head, doesn't mean your right to pity me increased." So, he gave her some money to buy her own lunch. Helga kept on denying his offers, only to go and buy herself some lunch if it'll make him shut up. "There, happy?" For that moment, Arnold was but there was still something about that incident that had bothered him. Was it the fact that her mom didn't make her lunch? Maybe. Although, he was surprised when Helga promised he'll pay him back the next day. She didn't have to do that, really. Don't all good boyfriends (Arnold still hasn't successfully crossed that bridge yet) do that? He sure hoped so.

He didn't want her money.

What he did want, at the moment, was a sincere hand holding session with her.

He remembered that as soon as he and Helga weren't glued together anymore, Gerald had shoved him folded pieces of papers into his hands. He took one look at Gerald, and he explained himself.

"This list, in no relation to the List that'll make the perfect Saturday, was handed down from kid generation to kid generation," He begun. "I would've gotten Sid to open for me, but this is a one-on-one type of thing, Arnold."

Arnold opened the first folded piece of paper. It was entitled, "STEPS IN AN ADVANCING RELATIONSHIP", capital letters included. "This list has been passed down to every kid in a class that starts dating. And by dating, I mean really dating. Fuzzy Slippers saw you and Helga together earlier, and gave me these papers to give to you. The first is supposed to be a list of what you should do in a relationship, step by step, the second is supposed to be a guide to help you if you get stuck and don't want to ask about it. Also, this is supposed to help you. Once you know that someone else needs it more than you do, pass it on."

Arnold had unfolded the piece of paper and looked down at it.

First on the list was "Asking the Question, Level 1"; for that, he assumed was asking someone out. Next was hand holding, then there was hugging, asking them out on a date, kissing… He then wondered if they necessarily had to go along with the order on the list. Not even one second of getting that thing and they had already went out of schedule. When he approached the door, he folded the piece of paper again and tucked it away back in his pocket. And that's when it had hit him. Should he tell Helga about this or not? It would be the right thing to do, but he already felt weird confronting to her about it.

Speaking of which…

"Hey Helga," He greeted her.

"Hey football head," He recalled the second sheet of paper.

PET NAMES; It's not necessary for it to exist in a relationship, but it starts popping up unexpectedly sometime. It's obviously to show endearment towards the other person in the relationship. Some are commonly used in relationships such as sweetie, honey, and babe or baby. Others maybe more personal. My advice, don't start using pet names prematurely. In some cases, if your significant other still uses teasing names on you, it's most likely their way of showing endearment. Example of this case being—

"Hey, earth to football head!" He never even finished reading that part of the list either.

"Can I walk you home?" 'Smooth, Arnold,' He told himself mockingly. 'Smooth.'

"Whatever floats your boat, Arnoldo," She sighed. Arnold smiled at this and offered her his hand. Helga rolled her eyes. "Because having my hand super glued to yours wasn't enough," But she took it anyways.

"Gosh, this'll take some getting used to."

"Boy howdy, it might take forever to get used to."

"I still don't know how to feel about this…" Rhonda muttered underneath her breath. If Helga and Arnold, of all couples on her marriage predictor started to go out first, who knows when she'll…

"Oh Rhonda…" Curly greeted her with full knowledge of who she got on her own game. Rhonda groaned and stepped away from him.

"Well, I'm ever so certain that it's about time."

"I concur."

"Preach it sister. But still, I think Stinky's right…" Gerald watched the two turn the corner. "This will take some getting used to."

"I'm right about something!? This calls for lemon pudding!"

The walk to Helga's house was only a little awkward, maybe because of the fact that the two had nothing to talk about. Arnold had contemplated bringing up the topic of the papers he received today, but he didn't want to make it seem like he was forced to do this. Honestly, he had thoughts on holding her hand for real the moment he asked her the question. He even hoped that they would walk to class together doing the deed. On the other hand, Helga was doing her best not to melt in her spot.

'Oh my gosh, he's holding my hand!' She squealed in delight. 'No! Stop it Helga old girl. You will not freak out… I hope my hands aren't too sweaty.'

'When will I be able to tell her? I don't want her to think that I have to do this!' Arnold have an awkward smile to Helga, who in turn did the same. 'Gee, I hope my hands aren't too sweaty.'

"Well, this is my house," Helga spoke up. 'Doi.'

"Yup," Arnold nodded. 'I am so terrible at this…' He walked her up to the steps. "So…"


"I'll see you tomorrow?"

"I'll save you a seat?"

"That'll be nice…"

'Just. Terrible. At. This.'

"Well, night Arnold," She reached for the door handle and opened the door.

What had possessed him to do the following actions, he had no idea. He just hoped he wasn't doing things too fast.

"Night," He kissed her cheek and she was about to close the door until she realized what he had just done.

"… Night,"

"You said that already."

"I know what I said!" She then slammed the door. But then opened it up again. "Now go home before it gets dark, football head. I'd like to have that seat filled by you tomorrow."

"Whatever you say Helga."

"That's right, whatever I say!" She slammed the door one final time. After she did, she leaned against it and sighed dreamily as she touched the cheek he kissed.

On the other side of the door, Arnold walked down from the steps and pulled out the sheet of paper.

Example of this case being Phillip and Gertrude Shortman.



'Grandpa… you have a lot of explaining to do…'

{They are so going out of the intended order. I'm making no promises on what I'll end up writing next, but even though it's supposed to be hugging, it'll probably be Arnold asking Helga out on a date, the boarding house and all its residents finding about his recent relationship, Grandpa telling Arnold the Gertie story with more details, one or all. I have no idea. Although, see ya'll next time!}