We Took the Fall

10: That’s Just How It Is

“If you’d like to take out your books, we’re going to do some writing this afternoon before you go home” Catalina smiled as she watched her class trudge back in from their lunch break. It had been a quiet day, the children had been remarkably subdued and it made Catalina a little grateful. With a dress fitting with Alicia just around the corner, she wanted the day to be calm and quiet, knowing that her sister would only serve to wind her up when they were together. She didn’t want to go, after her moment with her father the night before, Catalina just wanted to remove herself from Alicia and Fernando’s wedding plans, but she was too stubborn for that. Backing out suggested that she was jealous and she didn’t want to give her sister that sort of ammunition. She knew that Alicia would never let it slide.

“Miss De Marcos?”

Catalina, who had begun to write handwriting exercises on the board, turned, her blue eyes landing on Esther who stood in the door way. “Miss Reyes, how can I help you?” she posed.

“You have a visitor” Esther replied, a slight smile on her face.

“In the middle of the day?” Catalina replied, her eyebrow quirked.

“You’ll like this one, Miss De Marcos” Esther teased “Shall I have them bring them up from the office?” she posed.

Catalina sighed, but nodded her head. “Fine” she noted before she turned back to the exercises, ensuring that they were all written out before another tap at the door sounded. “Class, make a start of these and I will be back in a second” she instructed before she padded into the corridor, her blue eyes widening a fraction as she spotted Fernando.

“What are you doing here?” she poked.

The striker smiled. “I came to pick you up, remember?” he teased.

“Nando, I am still teaching” Catalina replied “And I will be for the next hour” she added.

Fernando seemed to think for a second before he nodded. “I could come back” he suggested.

“I don’t want to mess you around” Catalina replied, shaking her head “You could sit in the office until I am ready” she added.

“That sounds awfully boring, Lina” he teased, a quirked grin on his face.

Catalina thought for a moment before she sighed. “You can come and sit in my classroom then, but I need you to be quiet and subdued. The children have been great all day today and the last thing I need is you bringing attention to yourself” she noted gently. She knew what was going to happen, as soon as she allowed Fernando to step foot into her classroom, the children were bound to get a little excited, but she didn’t see another option. She didn’t want to mess him around, he’d gone out of his way to help her and she didn’t want to be a pain.

Fernando smiled gently and moved to follow her, his brown eyes studying the group of children who were quietly working away. Catalina smiled. “They’re a well behaved class most of the time” she commented as she moved to place a chair beside her desk, offering it to the striker.

“I can see that” he mused, offering her a little smile.

Catalina’s stomach flipped at the sight of it before one of the boys in the class lifted his head, his eyes widening at the sight of Fernando Torres talking to his teacher. “You’re Fernando Torres” he squeaked, causing the rest of the class to look up.

Fernando nodded. “That would be me” he smiled politely.

Catalina shook her head gently. “Would you guys prefer to talk to Fernando for a little while?” she posed “It’s a one off and perhaps you could spend five minutes coming up with some questions to ask” she suggested, knowing that she was probably wasn’t going to get their attention back onto the handwriting tasks she had set previously. The class nodded their heads and moved to start scrawling down notes, allowing Catalina the chance to sit back at her desk. “You’re Ok to answer their questions right?” she posed.

Fernando nodded his head. “If you can handle dress shopping with Cia, I can handle a group of 6 & 7 year olds asking me some questions” he teased.

Catalina sighed. “Please, don’t remind me” she mumbled.

Fernando’s face softened. “Catalina, if you are not…”

“I am going to do it, Nando” Catalina interjected, cutting him off “She’ll be more of a pain if I don’t do it and I am not about to put up with that. It’ll be fine” she noted.

“You keep saying that” Fernando noted, ensuring that he kept his voice low so that the children didn’t overhear.

“That’s because it is true” Catalina replied stubbornly.

Fernando went to follow up, to ask why she kept insisting it was fine when it clearly wasn’t, but was cut off as Catalina moved to her feet, clapping her hands to get the class’ attention. “Who wants to ask the first question?” she smiled, moving out ahead of the children.

Fernando watched her and mutedly shook his head.

Sometimes Catalina was far too stubborn for her own good.

“The children loved you” Catalina mused as she followed Fernando towards his car. It had been a good afternoon, the children had been enthralled by everything that Fernando had had to say, and Catalina was pleased, even if it wasn’t what she had had planned for their lesson, she was pleased that she had gone ahead with it.

Fernando shrugged. “The boys did” he replied “I think I disappointed a few of the girls when I told them that I wasn’t your boyfriend” he teased. It had caught Catalina off guard, one of the girls in her class had enquired as to whether Fernando was her boyfriend, and it had made Fernando chuckle. She’d looked like a deer caught in headlights.

“I cannot believe that they asked that” Catalina muttered, pulling the passenger door open.

“They’re kids, Lina” Fernando chuckled.

Catalina shook her head.

“You didn’t have to look so mortified at the prospect, Catalina” Fernando quipped as he fell into the driver’s seat “You used to find me quite attractive” he added, a grin on his face.

Catalina’s cheeks warmed a little. “I never said I didn’t find you attractive” she mumbled.

Fernando smiled. “For what it is worth, the years have been kinder to you than me, Lina” he mused tenderly, his dark eyes peeking over at her, studying the details of her face. She was beautiful, she sported a small batch of freckles across her cheeks and nose, freckles that Fernando had wasted many a morning counting. She had blue eyes, sky blue eyes, and Fernando had gotten lost in them more than once. And then there were her lips, soft, pink, and plump. All in all, Catalina still looked as stunning as she had when Fernando had first met her.

Catalina scoffed. “I highly doubt that” she mused, setting her bag neatly beside her feet.

“You still look like the 18 year old girl I met” Fernando mused kindly.

Catalina shook her head. “You should look in a mirror sometime” she commented.

Fernando smiled gently. “You never were any good at just accepting a compliment, were you?” he teased, moving to start the car. They were already behind and he didn’t want to upset Alicia anymore. She was bound to kick up a fuss anyways.

“I am fine with compliments, I just don’t think that out of the two of us, I have aged better than you” Catalina replied matter-of-factly.

Fernando shook his head. “Just take the compliment, Lina” he quipped.

Catalina rolled her eyes playfully. “Fine” she scoffed.

Fernando chuckled. “I have missed this” he commented lightly.

“What?” Catalina posed.

“You” he admitted.


“No, Catalina, hear me out” he sighed, turning the engine off once more.

“Fernando, this is territory you and I ought to stay out of. You’re engaged and not to any girl, to my sister. I am not going to let you fuck that up. So please, spare us both, and just start the car once more” Catalina replied, shaking her head gently. She didn’t want to talk about it, their relationship was the past and she didn’t wanted to keep it that way. Talking about it was going to make something which was already difficult, even worse.

Fernando sighed. “I just wanted to say I missed you” he mumbled, starting the car once more “I missed talking to you, laughing with you, being with you, Lina” he added as he began to steer out of the carpark.

Catalina sighed and rested her head against the car window. “I wish you hadn’t gone” she sighed gently.

“I had to” Fernando replied “I offered for you to come with me” he added, sparing her a brief look.

“I know” she sighed “But I didn’t go with you, and you didn’t stay with me and that’s just how it is. You’re happy, you’re getting married, and that is that Nando. There’s no need to talk about us, the past, we should just let it go” she noted stoically.

Fernando listened to her words and pulled the car to a stop at the side of the road.

“What are you doing?” Catalina mumbled “Cia is going to be pissed if we are any later” she added.

Fernando offered her a little look before he leant over the centre console of the car, moving to kiss her lightly.

Catalina paused, part of her wanting him to do it, but she quickly regained her senses, placing her hand against his chest. “I am not going to be that girl, Nando” she murmured before she pushed the car door open, quietly gathering her things before she sped away from him.

Fernando closed his eyes and let his head fall against the headrest, a small curse falling out of his mouth.

He’d gone too far and he knew it.
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Thanks to lokis210 for the comment :)