"Helvetica! Come down stairs! We have guests!" Helvetica looked in the mirror. She touched her pointy nose, willing it to straighten. Her chocolate coloured eyes in the mirror stared back at her and willed a new nose to pop up on her face. Nothing happened and she heaved a sigh and answered her mother.
"I'll be right down!" She hollered from upstairs.
"Helvetica, we have guests!" She repeated, particularity stressing the word 'guests', and there was a sharp, firmness in her voice. Not wanting to anger her, Helvetica turned the light in the bathroom off, and headed downstairs. Knowing whom it would be, Helvetica walked down the stairs as slowly as she could manage. She heard talking, and an over-excited voice greeting everyone.
"Oh, here she is!" her mother yanked her sleeve. "Say hi to Auntie Georgia and Arial!" She glared at Helvetica. Be nice, she whispered as she took Arial's coat. "Why don't you girls go upstairs and 'hang out'?"
"That would be great, Cambria. Good for the girls to bond!" Georgia as she patted Arial on the back, who smiled back.
Helvetica rolled her eyes, and motioned for Arial to follow her. The pair walked up the stairs, and turned the corner into Helvetica's room.
"Oh, you like him?" Arial said, pointing to one of Helvetica's posters; in the stuck-up nasally voice that Helvetica oh, so hated.
"Yeah, I guess." Helvetica replied, swallowing her hatred of the other girl. A Tahoma poster hung on the wall.
"That's so... last year. Do you even follow trends?" Arial said. "And what's up with your outfit? That's so... fifties."
Helvetica shrugged, picked up the nearest book, and flipped to the first page. What you think about yourself is much more important than what others think of you. This was the first line, and upon seeing it, Helvetica put the book down. There was no time for hippie-talk. She scanned the room for her MP3 player.
The evening progressed like this, Arial either texted someone on her Smartphone, or pointing something out of Helvetica's that she found odd, or didn't like.
As Arial's family was leaving, Helvetica breathed a sigh of relief. At least a couple of months would pass before they encountered each other again.
However, alone in her bedroom, Helvetica found it impossible to fall asleep and was unnerved by Arial's crude comments. Did people really think this of her? Was she really such an outsider?
So, motivated to find who she really was, Helvetica booted up her MacBook and opened her favourite search engine. She typed in Helvetica and tentatively hit the 'enter' button. Close to seventy million results popped up. She went through the links, and was more and more excited with each page she opened.
The first one identified the differences between her and Arial. Whereas Helvetica made decisions quickly, and successfully, Arial was more one to have more trouble with this.
She grabbed the nearest notebook, and jotted down facts she liked. The first point said Helvetica=horizontal/vertical, Arial=diagonal.
Another page said that Helvetica was well defined and independent. Arial was more co-dependent and looked upon others for what to wear, and how to act. Helvetica's G has a well-defined spur; Arial does not, she wrote.
Next, she typed her name into an online dictionary. Neutral and has great clarity, no intrinsic meaning in its form, and could be used on a wide variety of signage. Helvetica's mouth hung open. She couldn't believe that others thought of her this way.
Fuelled by pride, Helvetica opened her email. One new message glowed "unread" from an unknown sender: FontShop Germany. Unsettled, and having a feeling that she had become a victim of spam, she began to move the message to the 'trash' folder. However, curiosity got the best of her and she opened the message. It took a while for the message to load, but when it did, a surprise nearly knocked the socks off of Helvetica. Congratulations!, it read. Helvetica's eyes widened with each line she read. When she finished, she couldn't believe what had happened and read the email again. And again. She called her mom up, and they both read it together. And again. Dumbfounded, and clearly stating the obvious, her mother exclaimed:
"Helvetica! You did it! You won!" It was true. Helvetica had won the number one spot on FontShop Germany's "Best Fonts of All Time" list. Helvetica grinned from ear to ear.
Finally satisfied and happy with herself (and after several kisses from her mother and father) Helvetica went to bed.
In the morning, Helvetica checked the email again; just to be sure nothing had been a dream. She beamed, seeing that it was, in fact, not a figment of her imagination. Today, she clicked the hyperlink provided to the official Best Fonts of All Time list. She punched the air, happy to see that Arial's name wasn't on it.
Helvetica got up and looked into the mirror. She really did love her double-stacked a's and sans-serifs. She thought of the quote she had read the previous day. What you think about yourself is much more important than what others think of you. Yeah, Helvetica thought, but you sometimes need someone else to give you that push. She smiled a huge smile that went all the way into her Z and hopped down the stairs to eat breakfast.