Chapter 1 : Mad for nothing
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Disclaimer: Everything you recognise is JRK's. Inspired by the song Mad by Ne-Yo
Her eyes pierced into me, distrust and suspicions coursing through them from the moment I walked in the door. I stared back with confusion, knowing that after the silence would be the unfounded accusations, my unheard explanations followed by screaming. That was how it always began. Sometimes the silence was easier than talking; ultimately talking would always turn to screaming.
I loved Astoria but she had a temper on her that rivalled that of a female Hungarian Horntail watching her eggs. Our marriage had been constructed partly out of mutual gain for the Malfoy and Greengrass families, but while us meeting each other had been planned, our love came naturally. It was not the traditional story of courtship, we were married after only a few months, but I respected her, cared for her and it didn't take much to fall in love with her. I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her and no one else. I'd told her this a hundred times, I had made my wedding vows to her, yet still, she didn’t seem to believe me.
I shook off my coat and cautiously traipsed further into the house where she was preparing dinner in a huff. Her thinly pursed lips and her narrowed eyes were a dead give away of the anger blazing inside her. I was weary and I kept casting her glances, completely unsure of what I had done this time to upset her. I mentally ran through the last few days in my head since her last outburst. I came up with nothing. I approached her, apprehensive, but willing to dissolve the tension.
“How was your day honey?” I asked gently, kissing her on the check She remained rigid, her gaze icy, and she turned away. I tried, I really had. What more could I do when she was like this? She would tell me when she was ready, in the meantime the silence weighed down heavy around us and I felt like a prisoner awaiting my execution.
We had dinner in stony silence. Clinking cutlery split the air between us like a razor sharp blade, the continual scraps and clicks making me cringe as they filled they small dinning room. I finished my dinner, it was as tasty as ever, yet I was too afraid to say so. Astoria whipped the dirty dishes from the table and then turned her fiery eyes to me. “I saw you flirting with her,” Astoria accused.
“What!” I exclaimed in shock, all resolve to stay cool and not let this become another heated argument disappeared in an instant with yet another baseless allegation. “I haven't been flirting with anyone! Why can't you trust me?”
“How can I when I walk past your office and see you smiling at your blond, skinny, twenty year old secretary in a cleavage showing top and short skirt with her hand on your shoulder?” Her voice rose in both volume and pitch with every world and I started to shrink under her gaze.
The event was true, the interpretation entirely false. My secretary was as described, but also happily engaged and twenty five not twenty. She had also been showing me a new technique she had learned to calm patients in her training as an emergency healer. I had been smiling at her seriousness as she held my shoulder in reassurance and spoke the words 'I'm an emergency healer, are you okay?'
I didn't want another fight, but nor was I going to be accused yet again for being unfaithful. This had to stop. So why was I shrinking under her cold stare when I had nothing to hide? I met her hardened gaze with my own. I was sick of her constant distrust and I was sick of giving in and backing down. I told her what really happened and I saw her doubt, not that I was surprised. She never believed me.
“You're a liar Draco!” Astoria shouted at me, standing up suddenly and taking a few steps away before turning back with her finger pointed straight at me. “You always have some lie already made up. This isn't the first time I've seen you flirting with my own eyes.So pray, tell me Draco, how am I meant to trust you?”
“How many times do I have to tell you Astoria that I have never flirted with any other girl. I love you!” I yelled back, standing up as well. I was infuriated at the constant circle of suspicion. If it wasn’t flirting with girls it was that I wasn’t spending enough time with her, I wasn’t doing enough around the home with her, I didn’t show her enough appreciation.
“If you're so intent on flirting, you could at least be subtle about it.” Astoria was screaming, her voice shrill. I hated the sound of it and it grated on my simmering anger.
“But I'm not flirting with any one!”
“If people see they'll start to think you're cheating on me. It will get back to our parents.”
“Stop being ridiculous!”
“We all know you didn’t want to marry me.”
“Come on Astoria. You know that isn’t true!”
We glared at each other, catching out breath from the emotional verbal onslaught. It was stupid. Neither of us were really listening to each other. The issue was not me cheating, it was that Astoria didn’t trust me, didn’t think I loved her, but as always, I had resulted in the easier course of yelling rather than trying to calmly and rationally reassure her that she had nothing to worry about. An 'I love you' yelled out in anger was hardly convincing. She wouldn’t have heard me anyway as we were yelling over each other, not taking any heed to what the other was saying.
I couldn't even remember how it all started. The stupid little fights had been escalating for months now, maybe years. What started as some insignificant little issues like not putting the breakfast cereal away or not keeping the bathroom sink clean had now blown into a full scale battle with no end in sight. It's hard to stop something when you don’t know what the problem is. All it really meant was that we were mad at each other for no reason at all. All the fighting and tears were for nothing. We were mad at each other over nothing.
Yet still, neither of us seemed to be able to let go of the resent and so the fights continued unabated. But I hated it. Every relationship has its problems but you weather the storm in anticipation of the sunny spell that follows. I hated going to bed mad at you. I hated you going to be mad at me. But it always happened. We were sabotaging our relationship with idiocy and our own sense of righteousness. I wouldn’t concede, neither would you.
I didn’t know what else to say to you to reassure you that I was yours and yours alone. I was exhausted, emotionally drained and over it. I broke our eye contact, grabbed my jacket and left.
It was drizzling outside, the sprinkling rain enough to moisten the surface of the roads which glistened rainbows of leaked motor oil. It was the early evening and the foot path below my apartment was bustling. I had no destination in mind. I just walked and walked thinking things over. I didn’t want to go on like this, always being mad at each other.
All the accusations that I had to defend myself against were starting to destroy me. You always asked questions of me, but you always had a preformed answer in you mind. What I said wouldn't do anything to break your preconceived beliefs. We would both lose everything we ever shared if this went on; we wouldn’t even have each other. I didn’t want that.
With us there was always issue after issue and nothing was ever worked out. A stalemate would be reached and we would go to bed mad at each other, sleeping as far apart as possible. We would wake up in the morning and pretend like nothing had happened with false courtesy and joviality. After a little time, the tension would recede and you would let me hold you again, but with no resolution nothing went away leading to the current tempest that was sweeping through our lives. You won’t back down, I won’t back down and this is where we are, fighting over nothing.
Through it all though, there was the undeniable truth that I loved you, had always loved you, would never stop loving you. There was no doubt in my mind, even with all the squabbles and lost trust. In those early days when our parents introduced us, there was a real fire between us. I fell for you quickly and those first years were magical. I want to have those days back. Why did doubt start to creep into your mind?
Maybe you didn't think that you're good enough for me, maybe you thought that I was only with you as I was following orders from my father. But that isn’t it at all. I was with you because I wanted to be, because I loved you. There was no one else I wanted to be with. Since the day I met you I had never looked at another girl again, I wasn’t even tempted. You were everything I ever dreamt of.
The undeniable truth hit me hard and fast. I quickly turned around and started to run back home, side stepping around everyone walking leisurely down the pavement. I wanted you in my arms. I was not going to go to bed mad at you ever again. I had to make everything right between us, I wanted to be happy again, I wanted your love back.
A screech of tyres turned my head to the road. A pair of head lights filled my vision and time stood still as my heart stopped in my chest and fear gripped me. People scattered and a made to leap to safety, but there was no time.
The car hit me with such force that I was catapulted onto the bonnet and thrown off the side. I crashed to the pavement below, pain ricocheting through my side and back. Glass showered down on me as the car collided with the shop window. I couldn't move, from shock or pain, I didn’t know. I stared up at the starry sky above my vision moving in and out of focus as waves of pain washed over me.
I heard peoples voices, heard sirens, saw visions of faces above me and the flashing of red lights. I had lost sensation of my individual limbs, I didn't know where I stopped and the pavement began as pain encompassed everything and my mind retreated to a place where it didn't hurt so much. I was vaguely aware of people talking to me, of being prodded and poked although I couldn't tell you where they touched me or what they said. Not that I was able to respond.
I was rolled onto my side, rolled back down again, then the sky became closer as I was lifted towards it. The world began to swirl in unnatural ways and I felt myself rocking from side to side as I started to move away from where I had come to lie. Some part of my consciousness registered that I was surrounded by muggle paramedics, but I couldn't find my voice to protest, I had no strength to move. I looked up at the stars seeing them passing by overhead and I thought of you, of all I wanted to say to you, how much I loved you, how my world revolved around you and you alone. How I wanted to sort out whatever it was that was dividing us so we could be happy again. I didn’t want you to go another night with you mad at me over nothing. I remembered our first kiss, our wedding day, dancing with you in the moonlight, just sitting watching you with love surrounding us.
The pain seemed to subside and I started to feel like I was floating. I closed my eyes, blocking out the red lights that flashed brightly around me. When I opened my eyes again, the world above me was white, Two people buzzed over me, things beeped, words were yelled, I didn’t comprehend, couldn’t comprehend, my mind was losing its grip on consciousness. Slowly the world began to blur and turn to shades of grey. The pain subsided and I welcomed the sweet relief. I began to feel nothing and silence crept in as darkness took control
* * *
That day changed everything. It tore the last filament that held us together. I have so many regrets that I can’t take back. I sit beside you on the park bench where we always used to come, yet you don’t see me. I say I'm sorry but you don’t hear me. I see you crying but I can’t wipe away your tears.
There are so many things I want to say so you don’t go to bed mad, not at me though, but mad at yourself. I know you blame yourself for what happened to me. Nothing was ever resolved from that night when it happened, we never had the chance and now we never will. All your pain is written in the tears upon your cheeks and the wrinkles in your usually impeccable clothing. Your eyes are puffy from hours of crying and I know you're not sleeping at night. The dark circles upon your face a dead give away of your insomnia and plagued dreams.
You stand up and slowly walk away, your head looking down to the ground, your arms wrapped you. You don't look in my direction and I remain where I sit for a while, watching you now from a distance, walking solemnly through the park on your own. I should be by your side but I'm not and it tears me apart knowing that I can’t be. I know what’s going through your mind. It is that same thoughts that go through my mind.
Neither of use would give in, we were both too head strong. Everyday I regret not solving our issues before going to sleep every night, before walking out that door. If we had, then our whole relationship wouldn’t have become a major fight about nothing. You never know what words will be your last. I should have tried harder to reassure you of my love, I should have told you I loved you more often; I should have never left you angry.
But it's useless to retrospectively think of all the I should haves because now I never can tell you those things. I stand up and follow you as you head to a deserted spot. I hear the crack as you apparate and I take a guess at where you’ve gone. My suspicions are proved correct and I see you sitting there sad and all alone, looking at my headstone, hating yourself as you remember the last words you ever said to me. You think that I died mad at you, but I assure you that as I lay there dying I wasn’t thinking about that at all. I was thinking about was how much I loved you, I was remembering all the happy times we shared, those special moment together, the stolen kisses, your smile, your laughter, your love.
I wish we hadn’t parted like we had but nothing can change it now. I really hope that you forgive yourself for that last day and remember all the good times we had together. I want you to move on and find love again. I want you to be happy and learn from what happened between us. Our love will never die, it will always exist within your heart, but don't think that means that you cannot love again. You need to continue to live. Please, just remember that life is precious and can be cut so tragically short. So when you find that next special person, tell him that you love him everyday and never leave each other when you're mad. You never know what word, what moment, will be your last.
A/N: I wrote this story from about 10pm - 1am while sitting in my hospital bed. I'd had the idea for a while but it suddenly took on a whole new life and significance for me. I hope you enjoyed reading it, and if you have any thoughts, please let me know (and I've recovered now too for my hospital visit too).