Imagine this: 9 year-old Arnold gets to talk with 30 year-old Arnold. They're standing on some boat, looking out at sea.
"Ok, so...you're me at 30, and I'm you at 9."
"Seems to be." Older Arnold smiles, looking out at the sparkling water.
"You look like someone I know."
"Someone besides you?"
"Yes, my son."
"I'll have a son when your age? Does that mean I'll get married?" Older Arnold nods.
"To who? Lila!?!" Young Arnold smiles ear to ear.
"Not Exactly. You DO try for her, but it doesn't work out."
"Oh..." he sighs, "Then who?" Older Arnold smiles a little, trying to figure out how best to break it too him.
"Lets just say, you're really-really happy." He looks up at the budding stars, thinking of her, thinking of how each day has been enlightened by her presences in his life.
"Well, I'm glad I'll be happy. But I am curious..."
"Ok, If you really have to know, I'll tell you. But Promise me young Arnold, you have to understand that she's changed. She still has a bite to her, but it less directed on you, and more on her family." Young Arnold thinks a moment, trying to see who it is. Then, as if a light turned on in his brain, he knew.
"It's Helga! Helga PATAKI! But I thought she hated my GUTS!"
"Listen, there is something you need to know about woman, something I wish I knew when when I was your age. Woman are complicated. They don't always say what they mean, and sometimes...well...most of the time, they direct their anger at you when it's really at something else. Thats why Helga is mean to you now. Because being mean to the real person who needs, won't understand it."
Young Arnold thinks a moment, trying to decide if thats what he wants. He knows his older self won't lie, but can't be so sure.
"Ok, so...exactly how mean is she?"
"She has her bad days, like we all do. But trust me on this one. She loves you so much that at times, she'll me more mean to herself then she is to you."
"But through it all you love her, because no matter how much bite she gives, she gives much more joy to you then Lila ever could."
"Really? What about my son? What's his name?"
"Phillip, after Grandpa."
"It is." They both look out at sea, totally calmed by the cool breeze and cresting waves. Arnold turns to his older self, blushing as thinks of his last question.
"Um...Do you...like....kissing her?" Older Arnold blushes even redder, trying his best to give the right answer.
"I think thats a question best saved for 16th birthday." Young Arnold lowers his eyelids, letting the half of them reveal how much he understands. And then suddenly, he's awake in his bed. Young Arnold pops off his alarm clock and digs out last years yearbook and flips to Helga's page. Looking at it, a smile begins to emerge. Loved it and had to do a rendition of my favorite scene of this small fanfiction, thank you
Hey Arnold!©Craig Bartlett