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Fandom: Hey Arnold Fandom
Genre: General, Drama
Main Characters: Arnold Shortman, Helga Pataki
Relationships: Arnold Shortman/Helga Pataki
Warning: None (TOZ warnings - Drinking)
Word Count: 961 words
Summary: Helga came back to Hillwood for the wedding of her sister and caught up with someone else. Written for Rough Trade’s/The Writer’s Table’s Thursday Vignettes, the date the prompt was published 11-15-18.
Author Notes: Prompt linked here
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“Criminy,” Helga sat down away from the wedding party hoping to be ignored.
At the moment she was really beating herself up, she wasn’t sure what in the world made her say yes to showing up to this crap, but here she was. For someone who didn’t believe in the institution of marriage, Helga thought that it was funny enough that she agreed to go to one. Thank god for alcohol or else she wasn’t sure how she would be able to through her older sister’s wedding. Just like everything else, her parents went all out for their favorite child, Yet they still couldn’t remember their mistake’s name.
Oddly enough there had been a few people at the church and the reception that she had gone to school with. Luckily, they did not seem to recognize her. She didn’t want any awkward conversation with people she really didn’t like especially after Olga’s obnoxious blubbering all over her. The fact that they were here at all was strange enough, but that might have had something to do with that small-town thing that she ran away from when she went to college and hoped never to have to come back.
The ceremony was dull, her sister was dull, and so was the groom who she never bothered to get to know his name because Helga knew that it wouldn’t last that long. None of the guys ever did with Olga. Still, it was surprising enough that her older sister still got this one to agree to go down the aisle.
Seizing her opportunity Helga slipped out of the horrible chapel, where people were kissing everyone else asses before she got dragged into the sh!t show that was her family’s dysfunction.
After hopping to her hotel room and changing out of the stuffy formal wear she headed over to the bar inside a few floors down from her room. She might have been crazy enough to go to the wedding, but she wasn’t crazy enough to actually stay at her family’s house. That would be a different level of nuts. Thank god for that because it made her getaway so much easier, Helga had thought that she obviously made the right choice. It also made her getaway so much easier.
Once she sat down at the bar, Helga and ordered her first drink a Bloody Mary. She loved that red-colored liquid with green olives.
“I didn’t realize that you were in town Helga,” the familiar voice behind her said.
“Not for much longer I hope, what is up with you Shortman?” She turned to see her first crush standing there.
“I’m teaching, how about you?” He sat beside her with the same smile he had seen they were children.
“I have one more year of law school, but I am also doing some private investigating where I live,” she told him as she thought that he would be a teacher and living here.
“That seems very interesting, I think that the last time that I have seen you was in we both were in high school, so I’m a little surprised to see you here,” he said.
“I’m surprised too,” she replied before drowning the rest of her drink and signaling for another one.
“So, why are you here Helga?” Arnold questioned.
“I’m here for Olga’s wedding,” she answered.
“Oh, well that must have been exciting,” he exclaimed.
“Yeah, it was about as exciting as sliced bread,” she slipped on her drink.
“Then why did you go?”
“I’m not really sure bucko,” she said but when he tried to speak she added “less talking more drinking.”
This was the boy that she had been in love with since she was in pre-school, had a relationship when they were in middle school, and under different circumstances that she could fall back into love with him. Yet she couldn’t and wouldn’t come back to this place that held memories that she wishes would disappear when she ultimately left this town, memories that had to much hold over her for her to be able to move on from that.
Nevertheless, Arnold had never looked better than he did right now, from his very casual look to his hair that he wore more relaxed now. She needed to keep a comfortable distance, she didn’t want to get drawn back into everything that was Arnold Shortman. It was real easy to forget how to breathe when she was next to him though, but she couldn’t afford to get sucked back in. It was hard to keep that wall up around him though.
After a few more drinks both of them had been ready to retire, and after Helga refused to let Arnold pay for her drinks both had been set to say their goodbyes.
“See you around Arnold,” she goes to leave.
“Wait, I was hoping that I would get to see you again,” he confessed.
“I’m leaving tomorrow, and I am not sure when I will be back,” she said trying to be nice about it which was unlike her.
“I know, but you live in Langdale right?”
“Yeah, I do,” she wondered where he was going with this.
“I’m fixing to move there for a new teaching job once this school year is over, I’m going to be a teacher at the new public school,” he explained.
“I will be there in about a month, can I get your number?”
She wrote her cell number down in haste not wanting to miss this opportunity before handing it over to him before they left each other and said goodbye.
About a month later she got a call from him saying that he was in town and she agreed to a date which turned into a relationship.
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