Amore And Pizza

Hey, I'm Avery. I thought I had it figured out, ya know? I thought I had distinguished the difference between love and imagination. I was SO sure that no one could ever love me. Especially someone so extraordinary like Niall. But for once in my sob story of a life, I WANTED to be proven wrong. But I was right. Again.

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13. Chicken Soup For The Soul

     "ACHOO!" I sneezed loudly, (and painfully) into the soft tissue fabric. I was sick. I woke up this morning with swollen eyes, and sinuses that felt like 200 pounds. When I tried to walk I could barely lift my head up. It was Monday, and instead of going to school, I was trapped in my blankets, sweating on the outside and freezing on the inside. Honestly, I ate an orange every day for breakfast. I couldn't get sick! At least soccer practice had gotten cancelled yesterday, I thought. That I could NOT miss. My dad had already left for work, it was almost noon. I had been drifting back and forth between being asleep and awake all morning. Niall had texted this morning asking if I wanted to walk with him. I was really annoyed when I had to tell him I was too sick to sit up. I hoped he would show up and bring me chicken noodle soup or something after school. I ended up being half right.

 

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     I groaned as I heard the door knock. I turned to look at my phone. It was 4. I had just been woken up from a very fitful nap. I realized that school was done, and it could have been Niall at the door. As quickly as I could, I threw my hair up in a messy bun, wrapped my blanket around me, slipped on my moccasins, and shuffled to the door. "Coming",I croaked. I reached the door and unlocked it, opening it to let the cool breeze from outside to waft in. I looked up at the boy who was waiting on my doorstep, holding a can of chicken noodle soup. His hands covered most of the can. I looked higher to his arms. Muscular,tan, considering his name you'd think his body would be hairy. But he wasn't. Except for the mop of curly brown hair atop his head.

     "I heard you were sick. I brought you some soup." Harry held up his hand to show me the can he brought. He looked me up and down and frowned with worry. "You look terrible, Avery."

     I sighed. "Thanks. Every girl wants to hear that." Harry laughed. "Come on in." I stepped to the side and held my arm out to gesture for him to walk in. Harry grinned as he walked past me into the kitchen. He looked around.

     "So, where is you pots and pans?" He asked. I shut the door and walked past him to a cupboard above the stove. I noticed my dad had put the pots on the second shelf, which was too high for my fingers to reach. Harry came up behind me to reach over my head and grabbed a medium-sized one. "You're short",he said, messing my hair up. Or, making it messier,probably. I showed him how to work the stove. Handing him a can opener, I started to sway with dizziness. He quickly set down the can opener and grabbed me before I could fall. "Whoa there, how about you lay down while I cook?" Without waiting for a response, Harry scooped me up bridal-style and carried me to the couch in the living room. Using the blanket I was still clutching, he covered me up from head-to-toe. He placed his palm against my forhead, then just as quickly took it away. "Avery, you're really warm." I looked up into his green eyes, that were filled with worry. "I'll get you some fever reducer. Do you have like Alleve or something?" I told him where it was. He walked back to the kitchen, then came back holding a thermometer, a glass of water, and two pills in his hand. "Here." I sat up just enough to have him put the thermometer in my mouth. After a minute it beeped rapidly. Harry took it from my mouth to look at it. His forehead creased with worry. 

     "Is it bad?"

     "101." He gave me the pills and glass of water to take. I downed the pills and drank a few big gulps of water. I felt my heart beat a little faster with panic. I hadn't had a fever like that since we lived in Wisconsin. I foolishly had thought I could survive a winter day without a jacket. Pneumonia quickly followed. That was like 5 years ago. "You're going to be okay", Harry assured me, noticing my fear. "I'm going to go cook the soup, just lay down, okay?" I nodded, closing my eyes. "Be right back." I listened as he walked back into the kitchen. Harry? How come Niall didn't come? Niall could have easily walked here. Harry lived 3 miles from here. I didn't see any sign of a car when he got here. Did he walk? He couldn't have. To make it here by four he would have had to run. Did he run here for me? I didn't think of anything else before I fell asleep again.

     "Avery, wake up. Soup's done." I groggily opened my eyes, to see Harry gently shaking me awake. I smelled the soup that was sitting on the table. It smelled really good. I sat up.

     "How long have I been asleep?"

     "Like twenty minutes. I let you sleep for about ten minutes so the soup could cool down a little." He bent over to pick the bowl off of the table. He gestured for me to sit up, as he sat down by my side. He held the bowl up and held a spoon up. "Here comes the airplane." Harry smiled like a little kid and made airplane sounds as he moved the spoon towards my mouth. I swallowed and looked at him laughing.

     "You're an idiot." Harry chuckled as he filled another spoonful and handed it to me. He fed me for a couple of minutes in a little bit of an awkward silence. I had to admit, this simple action gave me many different emotions. 1. I was extremely mad that Niall hadn't come. 2. I was extremely happy that Harry did. 3. Him feeding me made me feel like a child (what? It was embarassing!) and 4.I was confused. Why was Harry here? I mean, what were his real intentions? Did he like me? Before I knew it, the bowl was empty. "How did you get here?" I asked while he set the bowl down.

     "Louis dropped me off at home after school like usual, I grabbed a can from home and came here." 

     "Did you run? You couldn't have gotten here so fast by walking..."

     Harry nodded. "Yeah, I did."

     This made me grin. "That's really sweet. Thanks. Did Niall tell you guys I was sick?" He nodded. I let my smile drop. "Oh." He cared enough to tell everyone, but not to come over? Kalley must have for sure told him to do so.

     "You thought it was him at the door didn't you?" I gave Harry an apologizing look. What could I say? We both knew that I liked Niall, no need to say it. I felt bad. Harry went through all the trouble, just to have me be dissappointed that it wasn't Niall. He grinned anyway. "That's okay. I'm still amazing." I laughed and rolled my eyes. "Are you feeling better?" I nodded. 

     "Do you want to watch a movie?"

     "Sure. What movie?" I thought for a second.

     "Have you seen Leap Year?" Harry shook his head. "You have to see it." I got up from the couch and walked over to the cabinet full of DVD's. I searched for the movie and popped it into the DVD player. With remote in hand, I sat back down next to Harry. "It's a romantic comedy." Harry grabbed the blanket and wrapped it around us both. The movie went on for a while until I realized that Harry's arm was around me, and I was nestled against his chest. When the movie ended Harry looked down at me. I was on the verge of falling asleep.

     "You awake?" He whispered in my hair. I nodded.

     "Barely." Harry chuckled. "Come on." He stood up, then turned around to pick me up once again. He started to walk, then hit is toe against the side of the couch. "Ow!" I giggled at his pained expression. "Go ahead, laugh at my pain." He grinned as he carried me to my room. He layed me down and covered me up with my blanket. He looked up at the big poster board covered in postcards from the various places I've been. "Wow." He looked back down at me. "You're almost out. I should probably get going." I shook my head.

     "Don't go." I whined. I don't know what came over me, but I did NOT want him to leave. "Can you stay? At least until I fall asleep?"

     "Okay." He grinned as he sat next to me, resting his back on the headboard. Without planning to, I found myself resting my head on his chest, with his arm wrapped firmly around me. He was playing with my hair. We just lay there in a peaceful silence, enjoying each other's warmth. I didn't know what to feel. I felt terrible physically, but emotionally? I wasn't sure. I was still confused about Harry. Did he actually like me? I let myself pretend he did, it made me feel happy. Really happy. I liked feeling his fingers randomly twist in my hair, the warmth he made me feel. Not like I needed to be much warmer, I was running a fever.

     "What if I get you sick?" I tilted my head up to look at him. His eyes had been closed. He opened them to meet my gaze.

     "Oh well." We both smiled. I turned my head back down and listened to nothing. Until he started humming. I recognized the tune as, "Fine By Me" by Andy Grammer. Nice choice. I laughed. "What?" I shook my head, not wanting him to stop.

     "Nothing." He continued his humming. My breathing started to slow while I listened to him. After awhile, I felt him shift. He must have thought I fell asleep. I didn't have the strength to stop him from gently placing my head on my pillow and standing up. 

     "Feel better, Avery." I felt his lips press against my hair. The next thing I heard was his footsteps walk out of my room. I jumped when I heard my dad talk.

     "Can I help you?" His voice was coming from the entryway. Oh no. I prayed my dad wouldn't get the wrong idea.

     "Hello sir, I'm Harry. I was just here to give Avery some soup. I heard she was sick today." 

     "Well, that was kind of you. Yeah she looked pretty bad this morning. Where is she now?"

     "In her room. She's asleep." 

     "Are you the one who brought her home Friday night?" Great. Now Harry knew my dad had been spying on us.

     "Yeah."

     "Well thank you. She was crying when she walked in, I thought I would have to beat you up." I groaned. Thanks, dad. But Harry laughed.

     "I'm glad that you didn't Mr.Jackson." 

     "Call me Caleb." I imagined my dad put out his hand for Harry to shake it.

     "It was nice to meet you, Caleb, but I should probably get home."

     "Right. Well, thanks again, Harry."

     I heard the door open. "Can you tell Avery I said bye and hopefully I'll see her at school tomorrow?"

     "Will do." I heard the door shut. My dad's footsteps echoed down the hall as he walked to my room. I turned so he couldn't see my face. I felt him place a hand to my forehead. "Fever's gone down." He said to himself. He kissed my head then walked out, shutting the door behind him. That made two men in my life who had kissed my head today.

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