Because sometimes we need a different sort of pain.
We never search it, yet we crave for it.
Tom was feeling sick, really sick. And this is not a figure of speech for his mental status or something. He was physically ill, experiencing a flu that seemed to him like no other flu he has ever experienced. The boy was overwhelmed by all the different sensations he felt. The hot blood running through his veins, the non-stop coughing, the constant need of tissues did nothing but make Tom become more, well...Tom.
He felt as bad as he usually did, it was just that now he had a reason attached to it. A reason to whine, to moan in repression of a louder complaint, a reason to sob childishly without anyone thinking he is weird for doing so.
I'll have you know Tom doesn't wear his heart on his sleeve, he doesn't expose himself in front of the wide, judging world. Whenever he bursts out in anger or in sadness, he always makes sure he is in a safe place, most often in his somber, awkwardly decorated room. A light bulb hanging in the middle of the roof, a rotten something kind of color on some poorly dyed walls, covered by all sorts of posters of different bands, most of them barely known to the large audience, a pile of old CDs in one corner and a bookcase full of dusty books, among which you could easily distinguish Tom's collection of ancient astrology volumes and encyclopedias, limited editions which the boy searched for a long time and hardly gathered the money to pay for, an old TV, too big for the shaky cracked wooden bedside it was standing on, all these framed perfectly Tom's imperfect world. A restrained one. A universe comprised in the smallest shape there is.
Tom's germs surfaced; maybe his soul got supersaturated, reached the upper limit. For him, this is somehow a permanent condition: gloomy moods, contradictory states of mind, all the heartaches and his head- a place not so many could live in or cope with, the engine driving Tom insane.
Now, regarding Tom's illness, it was definitely not permanent. Although perhaps he wished it was. Or not. You see, this random, what-am-I-doing-on-this-planet creature we call Tom ( assuming the reader has already remembered his common, yet well addressed name) is so much confused as confusing. He is not too much in control of his life, therefore he makes decisions that he himself does not understand. Sometimes he regrets them, some other times he regrets not having done what he actually wanted, sometimes he regrets not having known what he wanted and the list of Tom's regrets can go on, even if he is not so sure he really regrets them.
Unless the reader is not already bewildered or tired of deciphering pieces of a peculiar personality, he should know at least one more thing. Tom wishes he was not himself, yet he couldn't have stand being somebody else. He doesn't like people that much, or at all in some particular cases. He doesn't accept neither the foundations on which human race is built, nor the effects of it. Not mingling with what he rejected was always a good idea for Tom. It was his comfort zone.
Tom doesn't need wipes only for his nose, he needs them for his sadness. To stop it bleeding.