We Took the Fall

11: Step Back

“At last” Alicia scoffed as she watched Catalina pad into the boutique. She was late, over an hour, and Alicia was irked. She had hoped that for once, Catalina would not insist on making some sort of scene or a big deal out of nothing.

“I’m sorry” Catalina murmured “Fernando had to go off somewhere and he left me to take the bus. I am sorry, Cia, but I am here now” she mused gently, trying to keep the strange tone out of her voice. It had caught her off guard, Fernando’s overt attempt to kiss her, and it had left her head spinning, something she didn’t want Alicia to catch on to. She wanted Alicia to be happy and if the older girl even got the slightest inkling that there was something going on, she would go ballistic, something Catalina didn’t want to face, nor did she want Fernando to face it.

“Were did he have to go?” Alicia posed, grabbing onto her sister’s arm, pulling her over towards a changing room.

Catalina shrugged. “He didn’t give details” she lied softly “But I don’t mind. I felt bad for taking the lift off of him anyways” she added.

Alicia offered her a slightly dubious look before she shook her head, pulling a coat hanger off a nearby rack. “You should try this on” she commented “I’ve already picked the dress and I just want to check that it fits” she added.

Catalina sighed mutedly, but nodded, quietly stepping into the dressing room where she proceeded to pull on the rather frumpy looking blue dress. “Cia, I don’t mean to be picky, but this dress is not exactly what I had in mind when you asked me to be a bridesmaid” she commented as she stepped out into the store, showing it off to her sister. It wasn’t nice, Catalina already knew it, but she had a feeling that Alicia had done it on purpose. No bride wanted to be upstaged on her big day and dressing her maid of honor in something which was less then pretty was one way to ensure it.

Alicia shook her head. “It looks great on you, Lina” she fawned.

“I am not sure that it does, Alicia” Catalina refuted softly “I think it looks a little big and a little frilly” she added.

“Well I like it” Alicia smiled “And that is the most important thing” she added.

“Don’t we all know it” Catalina grumbled under her breath.

“What was that?” Alicia posed.

Catalina thought for a second about admitting the truth, but stopped herself. It wasn’t worth the fight. “Nothing” she noted “If this is the dress you want me to wear, then we will get it” she added, earning another wide smile from her sister.

“I love it, Lina” she enthused.

“Then I will get it bagged up and pay. Have you got your dress yet?” she posed, quickly padding back towards the changing room.

“Yes, it’s on hold at the designer boutique in town” Alicia grinned.

Catalina inwardly rolled her eyes. Of course it was. “Do we need to pick it up? I could keep it at my place until the big day if you wanted” she suggested, quietly changing back into her own clothes.

“No, it’s being well looked after there” Alicia quipped.

Catalina took a deep breath before she stepped back into the store, the dress on its hanger held in her hand. “You really want me to pay for this one?” she posed, offering Alicia a look.

Alicia nodded. “I already said that I did, Lina. Were you not listening to me?” she posed.

“Of course I was, Cia. You talk so much, I don’t really get much of a choice but to listen” Catalina muttered.

“Do you have some kind of problem, Lina?” Alicia quipped, her eyebrow arched accusingly.

Catalina sighed. “I have had a tough day, Cia” she murmured.

“How have you had a tough day? You’re a glorified babysitter” Alicia snapped.

Catalina wanted to snap, to yell at her sister, but she stopped herself. She didn’t want to cause a scene in the middle of the store. “I just have, OK, Cia and I could do with you backing off a bit” she mumbled as politely as she could.

Alicia rolled her eyes. “It is my wedding that we are planning, Lina, not yours and I think you could do with being a little more accommodating” she mumbled dismissively.

“How much more accommodating would you like me to be, Cia? I am trying, Ok, and just because I am not constantly at your beck and call doesn’t mean you can get all pissed at me. I have two jobs and I can’t always be there” Catalina explained.

“You could make more of an effort, Lina. I am starting to think that you don’t want to be my maid of honor” Alicia quipped.

“That’s because I don’t want to be” Catalina shot back “I told you that I didn’t want to be. I told you that it was too weird for me to be the maid of honor at your wedding to Fernando, but like always, you badgered me until you got your way. I told you from the outset that I was Ok with going, but I didn’t want to be involved” she added, her voice a little louder than she wanted it to be.

Alicia blinked.

“I am sorry, Cia, I have tried, I really have. But I can’t do this. I thought I could cope, I really did, but I can’t and I think that it is best that I step back and allow you to pick someone else” Catalina added quietly.

“Is this about Fernando?” Alicia posed.

Catalina straightened a little before she shook her head. “No” she replied “I can see that he loves you and that is fine, but it is still strange for me, Cia and I hope that you can understand that” she explained.

Alicia looked at her sister for a second before she sighed. “Fine” she noted curtly.

“I am sorry, Alicia” Catalina offered before she passed the dress over to her sister “I really hope everything works out in terms of planning and I will see you on the big day” she added politely before she walked away.

She had thought that she could cope with it, being involved, but after her moment with Fernando, she knew it was no longer an option. She didn’t want to get in the way and knew that taking a step back was the best call to make before things went too far.
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Thanks to Jayme112234, FootieJo and lokis210 for the comments :)