Hey guys! It’s me again, and I sorta wanted to write a Tom meet-cute because I daydream about those 25/8? This is just soft, fluffy and sweet, I hope you like it!
Author’s note: Tom is my screensaver and I went to Barnes and Noble today and the girl that was ringing me up was really, really nice and we were talking about Marvel because I was buying a comic, (I finally found Spider-Man Blue, three cheers for me!) and she was literally like, “oh my gosh, you and Tom would be super adorable together! I can just see it now!” And I sort of died? So this is just a story branching off of that?
“Is that your boyfriend?” The saleslady asked, referencing the girl’s phone, as a smile that stretched from ear to ear crossed over her features. “He comes in quite often, has mostly good taste in books, although, sometimes his choices are questionable at best. Likes fantasy and adventure, some good, some not.”
The girl’s eyes widened and her mouth flopped open and shut like a guppy’s as she attempted to stutter out an appropriate response.
Tom Holland was the girl’s screensaver, and no, he most definitely wasn’t her boyfriend because he had no idea that she existed. Even if he had stumbled across her fan account, she’d just be another fan to Tom, maybe she’d even stand out for being an ultimate creep.
“He’s a very polite boy, you’re so lucky! My daughters are only interested in self-obsessed assholes.” The lady began to scan her choices, continuing to rant about her daughter’s apparent bad taste in men.
The girl was still struggling to comprehend her situation. The saleswoman clearly knew Tom, who apparently came in often, as did she, so she couldn’t really say that he wasn’t her boyfriend without looking like an utter and complete weirdo.
Pondering, she bit the inside of her cheek. Their paths had never crosses, so what could be the harm in indulging in a little fantasy? “We’ve been dating since last Spring,” She said, not daring to look into the kind eyes of the saleswoman.
“Ah, I see. I bet you two look absolutely adorable together, maybe turn him onto some high quality literature next time he comes in, eh?” The woman smiled from across the counter, waving the girl’s new Philip Roth books in the air before handing them over.
Reaching for her five purchases, the girl smiled and nodded, “I’ll do my very best!” She called and waved as she left the store.
Over the next few days, Tom wandered back into the bookstore. Navigating his way down the store’s narrow aisles, Tom searched for something that he could read on the plane that he’d inevitably be boarding sometime soon. He paused every so often to pick up a book, glance over the summary on the back, and reshelve it to it’s proper home.
After shuffling down another section, he came across the very same saleswoman who had helped the girl moonlighting as his girlfriend.
“How come you guys never come in together? She knows some good authors, I’m sure she’d love to help broaden your horizons.” The saleswoman said, maintaining her position, crouched over to straighten and tidy the shelves.
Tom looked around, unsure of who the woman was speaking to, because as far as he knew, none of his friends knew about this store. They opted for Barnes and Noble, while he prefered to dig.
“Yes, you. I just met your girlfriend and she’s lovely. Great taste in books.” The woman said again.
Scratching his head, Tom wasn’t exactly sure what to say, so he played along, not wanting to be rude. Surely she must be confusing him with someone else, because he didn’t have a girlfriend to share books with, as much as he’d like one.
“Yeah, we just have different schedules, she’s usually in class when I peruse the bookstore.” Tom said, bending down to help the woman on the floor.
“She’s very cute, and very sweet. It’s nice to see young people reading something that isn’t their twitter feed.” The woman said, taking one last glance at the fixed up shelf, before nodding decisively and standing up.
Tom stood as well, chuckling, “My Dad’s an author, so reading has always been apart of my life.”
“You guys are lovely, let me know if I can be of any help.” The woman began to walk away and Tom shook his head and laughed.
“How do you know that my girl is my girl? We never come in at the same time.” Tom asked suddenly, curiosity leaking into his bloodstream.
“She comes in more often than you, buys more books than you, and you’re her screensaver. It’s quite cute, actually.” The saleslady called out.
There it is, Tom thought, she might be a fan. He couldn’t think of any other reason that he’d be her screensaver. Shoving his hands into his pockets, Tom smirked and picked out not one, but two books. One to leave at the register for her the next time that he came in, and one for him to read while he was on the press tour.
“That is so thoughtful! She’ll love it!” The woman said from behind the cash register, clapping her hands together. “I’ll make sure that she gets it, alright? Wanna put a little message in it, promise I won’t peak! I’ve got a pen right here!” She chirped happily.
“Yeah, alright, I’ll actually do that. Could I please borrow your pen?” Tom asked.
Drawing a heart to conclude the note to his ‘girlfriend’ that he’d never met, he said thank you one to the lady one last time and left the store.
The very next morning, the girl pushed her wallet back into her purse at the bookstore’s register, waiting for the same saleswoman to finish ringing her up.
“Saw your boyfriend yesterday, left a little something for you.” The saleswoman smiled, turning around to sift through the books on display behind her to find Tom’s choice for the girl.
The girl felt the fiery licks of scarlet coloring her skin again. Her hands shook, surely Tom thought that she was a mega, ultra stalker. He’d probably left her a note begging her to kindly fuck off. She wished Mother Earth would swallow her up the same way it did to Sita in ‘The Ramayana.’
“Don’t be embarrassed, silly, it’s endearing.” The woman handed her a book titled, ‘Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair’ by Pablo Neruda. “He’s paid for it, of course, and he left you a little note on the first page. Lent him the pen myself.”
“He really shouldn’t have,” the girl stuttered, her hands almost noticeably shaking as she held the book within her palms.
Inside, Tom had scribbled out,
Seeing as you’re my girlfriend, I thought it was only fitting to leave you at least twenty love poems. Left you a song of despair as well, seeing as we haven’t met yet.
Your devoted boyfriend, Tom
“Could I go back and pick one out for him as well?” The girl asked, feeling a tiny bit braver after reading Tom’s cheeky message for her.
“Of course! I love this, I wish more couples did things like this for each other, it’s endearing!” The saleswoman smiled, shutting the register.
After picking out an appropriate novel, she left the store, smiling, blushing and practically gliding on air.
Later that very afternoon, Tom was chased by the overbearing coldness of the afternoon breeze, and his own excitement over whether or not she’d received his present, back into the bookstore.
Not even bothering to look at anything, he came to a halt in front of the saleswoman, who upon seeing him enter, tore through her display to retrieve the novel that she’d left for him.
“Did she get it? Did she like it, I haven’t heard from her yet.” Tom asked, beaming at the woman.
“She loved it! She loved it so much, in fact, that she’s left one for you as well.” She handed him a novel called ‘One Day.’ “She’s left a love note for you as well!”
Tearing the book open, Tom came across her delicate handwriting sprawled in black ink.
Here’s to hoping that I meet you one day.
With all the love in my heart-
Your mystery girlfriend
Fighting the urge to hug the book closer to his chest, Tom made a choice.
“I’m going to go pick her a book out right now, and I’m going to wait right here until she comes back in. I want to give her this one in person.” Tom turned on his heel to search for the perfect book for to give her, when the saleswoman informed him that she’d already been in today.
“Alright then, I’ll be back first thing tomorrow.” Tom blushed, but continued on his way down through the shelves, desperate to find the perfect book for her.
Deciding on ‘You,’ by Caroline Kepnes, Tom paid and left the store, planning to return right when the bookstore opened.
The very next morning, Tom was perched in a cushy, plush chair, obscured by stacks and shelves housing novels, waiting for her. He’d positioned himself perfectly, ensuring that he could see the register at all times, but that the people at the register wouldn’t be able to spot him, unless they knew where he was hiding.
He was completely on edge. Every time the door opened, he’d practically leap to his feet, only to be met with disappointment because mostly everyone who wandered in off the street was either male, or too old to be his mystery girlfriend.
Finally, when Tom had all but lost hope, a girl so otherworldly beautiful that Tom truly debated in his mind whether or not the girl was even a girl, he briefly wondered if she was an ethereal fairy of sorts, floated into the room.
Her hair reflected light the same way that waves in the sea did, and her voice was so soft and warm that it sounded as he imagined his favorite hot drink would taste. She waved hello to the saleswoman before diving into the poetry section, hidden deep within the store.
Jumping to his feet, Tom rushed to finally meet her, rolling the book he planned to give her in between his palms.
Checking his hair one more time, Tom came to a stop next to her.
“Excuse me miss, I was just wondering if you happen to be my mystery girlfriend, who apparently has better taste in books than me?” Tom’s confidence was evaporating as she turned around to face him.
She was even prettier up close and Tom wanted to scratch his own eyes out for beginning the conversation with such a shit line.
Thankfully, she smiled, a strawberry jam colored blush widening across her delicate features. “That would be me, but unfortunately, you’ve caught me off guard and now I don’t have anything to give to you.” Her eyes refused to meet his own for more than a few seconds.
She could barely believe any of this. First, her celebrity crush and her happened to both shop at the same bookstore. Then, he goes along with the charade of being her boyfriend, and even leaves her gifts, and now, he was standing in front of her.
He looked like Prince Charming and her brain was turning to mush.
“Lucky for you, I don’t mind. But, I do have a book for you.” Holding the novel, ‘You,’ out to her, he began to sway from foot to foot, nervous that she’d hate it.
“Funny enough, that’s one of my favorite books,” She laughed, “But are you planning to kill me?” She referenced the plot of ‘You,’ which was more or less a horror story, hardly the conventional romance.
Stuttering, Tom attempted to clear his name. “I just thought it was fitting, seeing as we met in a bookstore, and so did Joe and Beck,” the main characters who become romantically involved in the novel, “And really, I just wanted you to have the line about the mouse in the house.”
“Are you going to get a cat to chase me out?” She teased, and Tom laughed.
“Absolutely not, you’re just all I’ve been thinking about. I wanna know you, and learn from your apparently epic choices in literature.” Tom said, leaning in closer to her.
“Than sit, and I’ll pick you something out?” She questioned, shyly moving to sit on the floor, her arm curled around more than a few options.
The pair scooched into one another one the floor, and the saleswoman watched, smiling from her spot at the register. Her two favorite customers were finally together.
Her eyes twinkled as she turned the radio onto a station that played only love songs.
They read love poems, and love stories together, so it only seemed fair that they listened to only love songs as well.