A Little Help
Hi guys! I wrote this on my phone and I haven’t been to sleep in forever, so I’m pretty positive this is just some rambly words about Tom and the reader wanting to be in a relationship, but being too shy to actually tell the other. So, instead, they just do small things to help each other out. P. S., Harrison ships it. I hope you enjoy!
A Little Help
“You need help, let me grab that for you,” Tom said, reaching up to plunk the novel from the shelf. “Which one do you want?” Tom asked, bringing a hand to rest upon her waist to readjust her position to point out the book she’d been trying to obtain.
She stood up on her tiptoes, eyes desperately seeking to survey the shelf clearer, “I actually don’t have one particular in mind, would it be a bother to just take everything by Pablo Neruda down?”
“Course not,” Tom said and easily picked all the Neruda’s out for her. “Who is he?”
Her eyes widened and she smiled, happy to tell Tom everything she knew about Pablo Neruda. “He’s a famous Chilean poet, I mean, he eventually went into the political field, but I mostly know him from his poetry. When I was in high school, my best friend and I were obsessed with a poem he wrote called, ‘My Ugly Love.’”
She was starting to ramble and she knew that Tom probably couldn’t give two shits about the ugly love spoken about in the poem, but she was so close to him and he smelled good, and his chest was firm when she leaned into him, so it would be a fair statement to say that she was beyond distracted. “It starts out-”
Tom didn’t remove his hand from her waist, figuring that if she didn’t like it, she’d step back from him. His gaze flickered from her lips, to the rosy flush gliding across her cheeks, and then up to her eyes. Tom drank in her words about Pablo Neruda, still not quite registering who he was, but still completely absorbed by her words.
As he listened to her, still holding an assortment of novels in his hands, he accidentally cut her off completely. “Wait, do you have it memorized?”
She was nearly positive that her entire body was tinged pink, “Yeah, I won’t bore you with the details, I just like the poem because it’s different.”
“No, no, tell me. I wanna hear about it. I just got,” Tom searched for an appropriate word. “Excited?” Truly, Tom had cut her off because she looked so endearing that he thought that he would physically blow up if he didn’t kiss her.
He loved it when she talked about stuff like this, he could tell it was one of the few times that she actually felt confident in voicing her opinions.
“My ugly love, you’re a messy chestnut.
My beauty, you are pretty as the wind.
Ugly: your mouth is big enough for two mouths.
Beauty: your kisses are fresh as new melons.
Ugly: where did you hide your breasts?
They’re meager, two little scoops of wheat.
I’d much rather see two moons across your chest,
two huge proud towers.
Ugly: not even the sea contains things like your toenails.
Beauty: flower by flower, star by star, wave by wave,
Love, I’ve made an inventory of your body.
My ugly one, I love you for your waist of gold.
my beauty, for the wrinkle on your forehead.
My Love: I love you for your clarity, your dark.”
She finished and looked up to him with a smile on her face.
“So, what do you think?” She asked him, reaching up to sift through the books that Tom had gotten down for her.
“How do you know the best of everything?” Tom muttered, eyes widened, because, as usual, she was right. The poem was supremely different from any of the traditionally romantic sonnets that he’d read.
She smiled and unwound herself from his grasp and wandered down the next aisle, in search for her friend and Harrison, who’d accompanied them to the bookstore.
Tom, still leaned up against the shelf was slow to notice Harrison’s approaching figure.
“Dude, you need to ask her out. It’s getting ridiculous. Everybody, even strangers, already think you’re together, so why not make it real? Not as if she’s going to say no.” Harrison urged.
Shrugging his shoulders and racking his brain for an adequate response, Tom eventually stuttered out, “you never know, she could just want to be friends, and then if I ask her out, then she won’t even wanna be that.”
Harrison rolled his eyes, “Well then, mate, better wipe that drool off your chin.”
The next morning, in a haste to open the door for her, Tom had accidentally whacked himself in the face with it. Now, he not only sported a bloody nose, but also a split lip. Still, he wasn’t complaining.
She’d freaked out when she saw the blood drip from his nose and the bruises already forming on his jaw and had rushed him home. She stood in between Tom’s legs, while he perched on her kitchen table, and held up towels to stop the bleeding.
“Tom, literally what the hell?” She murmured, gliding her soft palm across his lower lip.
“I told you, I saw a bee and I didn’t want it to sting you,” Tom lied. Obviously, there hadn’t been a bee, but he refused to tell her that he’d nearly broken his face purely to hold the door open for her.
“But I never saw it? I didn’t even hear one, and besides, it wasn’t like there were flowers around. Why would a bee wander over here?” She mused, walking to the fridge to grab a bag of frozen vegetables.
“No, no,” Tom whined, “Those will be too cold, I don’t wanna put that on my face.”
She pouted, “Too bad, let me help you! I don’t want you to be hurt.”
Tom hesitated, and then opened his arms and pulled her close to him, keeping a gentle hand on the small of her back. “Fine, fine. Just do it.”
She smiled and rocked up onto her tippy toes and pressed her make-shift icepack to his face. He didn’t even shiver when the frost-covered package touched his bare skin, because when she was this close to him, he could see the multitude of colors swirling in her eyes.
A week later, it was time for Tom and Harrison to, once again, travel for the press tour. Tom was gutted. He couldn’t imagine leaving her without explaining to her that he wanted to be with her so badly, that the mere thought of leaving her made him physically ill.
Little did he know, that she felt the same way. All he knew, was that he was going over to her apartment to give her one last goodbye hug while Harrison waited in the car.
From inside her apartment, she spritzed on Tom’s favorite perfume. Whenever she wore it, he always leaned into her more while they were in conversation, or fiddled with her hair more and didn’t pull away from her when they hugged.
She had done her best to conceal her nighttime tears with makeup and sheprayed that Tom wouldn’t notice them as she opened the door.
Tom stepped in quickly and before she even shut the door, Tom surged towards her. Bending down to her height, Tom threw his arms around her, ignoring that his phone had fallen to the floor.
“Are you alright Tom?” She questioned, hands stiff at her sides.
“Just gonna miss you loads and loads and loads.” His voice was muffled by her sweater.
Her arms wound around him, “You know I’ll miss you too.”
“I don’t want to leave you yet.” Tom pulled away and his gaze bore into her floor.
Taking him by the hand, she pulled him to sit down on her sofa. “I made you something to help.”
Tom curled an arm around her frame as she sat a heavy box down in front of him, “Darling, what is it? You shouldn’t have gotten me anything, I didn’t know-”
She cut him off by pressing a hand over his lips. “Promise to look at it on the plane?”
She looked to cute and eager and shy that Tom had agreed, and now, after finally boarding the plane, Tom opened the box.
Inside were all the Pablo Neruda books that she’d bought the day she read him ‘My Ugly Love,’ and a note.
The note read,
I’m just going to assume that you followed my directions and now you’re flying safely through the air, but if you’re not, and I find out, may Mother Earth save your soul.
All of these books were mine before yours because I wanted to give you something that would remind you of me. I wrote you little notes on all the pages, so it’ll be like we’re talking about them. I highlighted my favorite ones for you in pink.
Please don’t forget about me.
Tom scoffed, as if he could ever forget her. He opened the first book and quickly spotted the swirls of her delicate handwriting on the bottom corner of the page. It read,
Don’t freak out, some of the poems are in Spanish, but I made sure to help translate them for you in the margins.
Tom smiled and began to leaf through the poems, blown away by not only the words of Pablo Neruda, but also by her tiny love poems for him written so softly in the captivity of the margins that he could barely tell that they were there.
When he landed, he would make sure to send her some of his own.