A/N: Before we start this story, I would like to state that this is loosely based of the Dorothy Koomson's (amazing) novel "The Woman He Loved Before"
Disclaimer: I own nothing you recognize.
When I think of Draco, I try to think of him reading me those cliché, romantic stories late at night just to make me happy, even if he disliked them. I try think of the day he arrived at my house with a bunch of handpicked roses because I told him the day before that they were my favorite. I try to think of the lovely moments when it felt like it was only two of us in the room, and we could conquer the world. I try to think of laughing and laughing until my stomach really hurt and tears were running down my face. I try to think of the day he said he loved me. I try not to think of..
"Astoria, Astoria. Come on, please don't fall asleep. Wake up. Please." the voice is desperate, slightly pleading.
I open my eyes and my eyesight is blurry, the man with the voice is not coming into view, no matter how many times I've blink my eyes didn't seem to help. I feel dizzy, and cold and it hurts everywhere.
"Thats it.." he says, "you can do it Astoria. Just try and keep your eyes open, okay? Do you remember me?"
"Jake." I say, even though I cannot hear my own words. Jake the Fireman.
Although my vision is not clearing, I can see his smile in the darkness.
"Close enough," he says. "Am I going to die?" I ask him. Still unable to hear the words coming from my mouth, but he seems to understand me.
"Not while I'm still around," he says, and smiles again. I try to blink away the bluriness, and he slightly comes into a view better. He has light brown skin, and almost-dark black eyes. If I didn't love Draco so much, I probably would've devolped a crush on him. Because thats what you do, don't you? In most stories, thats what happens, doesn't it? You're supposed to fall inlove with the hero that saves your life.
"Tell me about him," he says, and my eye follows his smile.
"Draco?" I ask.
"Yes, you were telling me about him before."
I try to swallow, but find it suddenly so difficult to do so.
"When I think of Draco.."
When I think of Draco, I try not think of those closed letters on the top of his closet that he tells me doesn't matter. I try not think of him curled up in a ball, crying hysterically in the living room. I try not think of the day where I suddenly did not recognize the man I married. I try not to wonder that all those nights we've slept together as one whole like a jig-saw puzzle if, even for a moment, he wished I was somebody else.
"Astoria? Come on now, tell me about your husband."
"Can you hear me?" I ask out of curiosty, wondering how he could hear me if I could not hear myself.
"I can lip-read." he tells me.
I try not swallow again, but its so hard. Everything hurts, I feel cold and my body is paining. I'm tired. My head is pounding, and I can almost hear my biological clock ticking away the seconds I have in my life silently.
"I'm going to die, aren't I? Are you just here to retrieve my body?"
His eyes narrow for a second, and he is suddenly angry with him. I can feel it.
"You're not going to die, Astoria."
Except I just want this to end. I can't move anything, and it aches me. I'm tired, I need rest. I just need to go to sleep.. everything will be alright then.. because you can't hurt in your sleep, can you?
"Astoria! Astoria!" he says again. "Please, just try to stay awake.."
"But-" I find myself unable to finish and my eyes closing. I'm tired. He's a nice man, Jake the Fireman. And I do not want to upset him by telling him how much this really hurts. I just want to sleep. All this suffering will end once I fall asleep...
"Astoria - Draco is waiting for you. Please be awake, okay?" he asks me, and I'm trying. But I can't. It's just so hard.. "Listen, everything will be okay. Okay? The lads will come to start cutting now - and then after that, you'll go to the hospital. The most important thing is I just need you to stay away, okay? Can you do that? Astoria - do you understand me?"
"I understand," I say.
"Good.. good.. there's going to be a lot of noise in short while - I need you to stay awake while its happening. OK?"
"Stay awake" I repeat.
And in a matter of seconds, there is a loud high pitched noise, that is ringing in my ears. I try my best not to close my eyes. But it seems like the car is screeching and screaming at me. Its being sliced apart, torn from around me and all I can here is its scream of agony.
It wants it to stop. I want it to stop. It wants to go to sleep. I want to go to sleep.
I close my eyes, and rest my head gently.
When I think of Draco, I try to remember of the day he told me everything about him, from what he really was, to what he became in, in that War. I try to remember the moments that took my breath away. I try to remember how we fit in life in perfect harmony: In perfect. Sync.
I was free. I was finally free of that God forsaken hell people liked to call "school" and I knew what I was going to do first: buy a car.
"Well, I certainly know that you and this car will be perfect for each other." Greg told me. Greg was one of those men who acted as if he was your friend when you were carrying cash and was prepare to buy a car, but if you saw him in a pub, he'd not only ignore you, but he and his mates would take the piss out of you. Would judge you for your weight, looks, sense of dress and all because you did not live up to their expectations of classy prostitue ideal they all held up in their heads.
And, being the honest person I am. It was safe to say, I did not like Greg.
I forced myself to plaster on a smile to be polite. I wanted this to be over. I wanted to pay the deposit, to give him details and then leave. Never returning back as I could always get the car delivered.
My eyes strayed to the showroom window, and to the Pacific-blue Polo, sitting on the forecourt. She was perfect, I had to admit. She out-shined among all the others.
Greg started to talk again, so I returned my attention back on him and told myself to listen. "Now, we have a perfect offer for a limited time only; and I think you'll appreciate this. We have the interior and exterior treatment that will protect that car for only half price! It would help stop the drinks and things spoiling that fantastic leather, don't you think? And if you buy that, I'll throw in a-"
"Oi! Goyle!" someone interrupted. I looked up at the intruder, standing inches from me. He was wearing black-lensed sunglasses inside. That was pretty much all I needed to get to make up my mind of him, the rest of him - his height, his snow blonde hair, his well-groomed face, his expensive clothes and gold watch were all irrelevant to the fact he wore sunglasses indoors.
Greg laughed at this, his face overtaken by a grin. "Malfoy!" his eyes lighting up. And I smirked silently at this; what kind of name is Malfoy?
"I need your help, mate." 'Malfoy' said, warmly. If you didn't know better, you'd think 'Malfoy' genuinely liked Greg when, in reality, 'Malfoy' probably treated most people with disdain and mild contempt - it sat there plainly on his forehead and in the way he stood. And, it was much too obvious, that 'Malfoy' didn't drop to see Greg often, and was only using Greg's job as an advantage.
"One minute," Greg merely even threw a glance at my direction as both of them started to walk away from me for privacy.
I watched them talk to each other, and it seemed like they were comfortable in each other's presence, my guess is that they went to school together or they were childhood friends. Except, I was a bit paranoid because they seemed shady.
I scuffed, feeling irritated that I had to wait. I looked at them talking to each other and tried to lip - read. But failed terribly when I thought I read 'Malfoy' saying 'Muggle'.
I spared time to pick up my car today, I even cancelled a lunch out with my friends who I haven't seen in ages, just for this car. I looked at my Polo again. My little beauty. So close to me. And was close to being mine too. I threw a glare at the back of Malfoy's head. He just pranced his way in here practically, didn't have to wait for the other customers and managed to get his problem fixed as soon as possible? If I'm not going to leave with the car then I can leave with my dignity and pride. I loved her, the car. But not enough to be treated with such disrespect.
Unfortunately for Greg, there are a bunch of other places everywhere where I could buy her, and, I still have my credit card in my bag - he hadn't come to swiping it yet. Meaning, I didn't lose anything except that car (that I could get somewhere else) and time.
I stood up, grabbed my driving licence among the papers on Greg's desk, shoved them in my bag and put it over my shoulder.
I was sure as hell, not going to sit around waiting, that's for sure. Greg could find somebody else with a lot of patience and amount of time. This girl, was off.
I stalked near the door, opened it just as Greg called after me, "Astoria - wait, I'll be just a minute."
I threw him a look of pure contempt. He didn't even have the courtesy to walk over here and tell me that. My hand connected to the door and I carried on, slamming it as hard as I could.
Outside, the hot breeze touched my skin and hair, and I continued to walk on, I inhaled the air and walked slowly to turn right out onto the busy main road then towards the bus stop.
It took all my strength not to hit something. Agh! People like Malfoy just irritate the fuck out of me. How they just waltz in and get what they want annoys me!
And I also had to start my car search again. So much for that day off, then.
"Astoria - wait!" The voice was unfamiliar, but I didn't have to turn around to know who it was.
Seconds later, he appeared in front of me in the narrow path which stopped me from walking on.
"Look, I'm really sorry about that," he said "I just -"
"Didn't really give a shit about the woman who had wasted her day and waited for her turn because, it so happens you are just so important that a person like you need not wait?"
He was surprised that a woman like me had the nerve to speak to him like that, it seemed, he was surprised enough to take off his sunglasses and stare at me. "I think an apology would be appropriate." he offered, but I merely shook my head, "There is no need, I'm afraid, because, apology or not you will still have that inflated head of yours shoved up your ass. Now, excuse me."
His face did a double-take. I was obviously one of the few people who spoke to him in such a manner-way. Normally, I did not stoop down to people's level, I still had self-respect. But, right now, I didn't care.
"I'm sorry, it was rude of me to interrupt your meeting." he said, and I nodded slowly, but there was a tone to his voice that I did not like. He placed his words correctly, he even pitched his voice to make it sound he actually cared. Except, the fact that I could sense a hint of a smirk hidden in there, that I knew, he was taking the piss out of me.
In fact, I'm sure he took the piss out of everything, nobody just had the guts to tell him about it because they either felt intimidated or were used to it.
I smeared at it, "Is that really the best all you can do? Well then - thank you, but there was really no need for you embarassing yourself in that poor attempt in public, just for me." I stepped around him and walked towards the bus stop.
If it wasn't for his arrogance and my pride, I would be driving home. But, since that isn't the case, I'll have to start again.
And he was also there again: Malfoy. Standing in front of me, blocking me from going any further.
"What is it?" I asked him, "You're wasting more and more of my time,"
"I am really sorry," he said. "Greg is a decent man who is just trying to make a living, and as a result of my actions, he has lost a sale. I'm an idiot for messing around with that."
"I won't object to that."
"Then, would you please, just give him another chance?"
I then had an image of my head, of me driving in that beauty, all around the city, no need to pay for the bus or to watch patethically to the people who owned cars cruising peacefully. And no need to curse obscenities at them: and especially to those who treated the world like it was one big ash-tray.
I did really love that car..
All my friends have always told me that I was always so stubborn when it comes to things like this. That I put my pride first just to make a point, even if I lost something that really mattered to me. And, proving their point, I would always disagree fearing it could be true.
And here it has, slapped me right across the face.
"I'm Draco, by the way," he eagerly streched his hand and for a second, I wanted to slap it away and walk proudly to the bus stop.
But, that car. That beautiful veichle. It still isn't mine.
There really was only one option.
"Astoria! Astoria! Its me, Draco.. everything will be okay. Trust me. Everything will be fine. Okay?"
"Sir, if you could please move aside, things will get much quicker and this will be over as soon as you know it -"
"Are you in the risk of losing your wife? No? Well please be quiet."
"THAT'S MY WIFE! That's my wife.."
I wanted to tell Draco to stop shouting. It was not going to make this progress easier, but I found myself unable to do so. It hurts. Everything hurts..
"Sir, a doctor will be here soon enough and we're afraid while we're doing the operation.."
"Where the bloody hell is the doctor then?!"
"Sir, just a few minutes-"
"A few minutes? Do you think she has any left?!"
It will be okay.. It will be okay..
I lived a good life.
And it will be okay.
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