We Took the Fall

01: The Last Person I Expected

“Catalina, are you nearly ready?” Marisol De Marcos called as she stood at the foot of the stairs, her foot tapping impatiently. It wasn’t the first time, despite being nearly 30 years old, Catalina had never been able to be on time for anything in her life, and Marisol didn’t quite know why she was surprised. The world could have been ending, but still Catalina would have spent half an hour choosing the perfect thing to wear before she ran.

“I am ready, mama” Catalina replied as she stepped down the stairs “Though I don’t see why I have to be. If this were the other way around, I highly doubt you’d be rushing Alicia around” she noted with a little shrug.

Marisol rolled her eyes. “That’s because Alicia would have been in the car by now” the older woman replied shortly “And she would not be the reason we were running late to meet you and your new fiancé” she added, earning an almost audible eye roll from Catalina. It had been a surprise, as far as anyone had been aware, Alicia had been single since she had moved to London almost 2 year previous, but according to her latest phone call, that was far removed from the truth, something which irked Catalina slightly. She wanted her sister to be happy, of course she did, but the idea of heading out to dinner with the older girl irked Catalina.

She knew that it was petty, Catalina’s own loneliness should not have had an effect on Alicia, but the last thing the blonde wanted was to watch her sister swan around with her new fiancé on her arm. It only served to make her more aware of the fact that she was alone and had been since she and Fernando had parted ways.

“Catalina, move it” Marisol snapped “We’re already running behind” she added.

Catalina sighed gently before she followed her mother out of the house, a bad feeling gnawing in her stomach.

Padding into the restaurant, Catalina allowed her blue eyes to peek around the room, trying to spot any sign of her older sister. It had been a while, since Alicia had moved to the English capital, Catalina had barely seen any of her, but it wasn’t anything unusual. Alicia had never been one for staying in the same place for very long and it wouldn’t have come as the greatest shock in the world if she had insisted on dinner to inform her relatives of another impending move.

“It would appear, even despite your stalling, that we are early” Santiago mused as he looked down at his daughter, offering her a small smile.

Catalina shrugged. “I don’t know why madre was so concerned. I may be always run behind, but Alicia, she’s nearly always late” she mused, earning a small eye roll on the part of her mother.

“You were lucky” Marisol quipped, moving to greet the waiter who looked eager to show them to a table.

Catalina sighed gently and followed her parents, quietly settling in the corner of the table that they were shown to.

“You could at least attempt to look like this isn’t hell on earth” Santiago quipped, his elbow gently nudging Catalina “Your sister is excited to show off her new beau and I am sure it would mean a lot to her if you could look like you’re not hating every second of it. I know it is hard for you, Lina, I know that it has been since you and Fernando ended things, but just for tonight, could you not put on a smile? For Alicia’s sake?” he posed gently. He didn’t like it, he missed the girl Catalina had been before things with her and Fernando had ended, but he knew there was little he could do to change things. Catalina loved the forward, even if she hadn’t quite realized how deeply until he was gone, and he doubted there would ever come a time where she would be completely over him. He was her first love, and thus far, he had proved to be the love of her life.

Catalina shifted a little at the mention of her ex-boyfriend’s name. It was silly, he’d been gone for nigh on 8 years, but still Catalina missed him. Part of her deeply regretted not jumping at the chance to go with him when he’d asked and she didn’t quite know if she would get over it, even if it was her fault. Part of her still hoped that life would throw them back together somehow. “I will try to be happy for her, papa” Catalina replied softly.

“Do we really have to in there?” Fernando murmured as he held his fiancée close. He knew that she was excited, Alicia had talked non-stop about him meeting her family all day, but part of him just wanted to head home. It was their first night back in Madrid after all and spending it with his girlfriend’s family wasn’t exactly what he had envisioned.

“My parents are excited, Nando” Alicia replied, shifting out of his arms “They really want to meet you and I cannot wait to tell them the news that we are going to be living here. They’re going to be so happy” she enthused, offering him a wide smile.

Fernando sighed gently, but nodded his head, allowing Alicia to lead him into the restaurant that she had picked out for dinner. Swallowing a little, he watched her step across the room and greet an older couple that looked all too familiar to him, something which made his stomach drop. He should have seen it, Alicia was forever talking about her family and he should have put two and two together before that moment, but as he stood there, he knew that it was too late. Short of running out on his fiancée, there was no avoiding the awkward exchange that was approaching him like a freight train.

“Come on” Alicia called, waving him over.

Fernando took a deep breath before he took a few paces towards the table, his brown eyes watching as the older couple’s eyes widened a fraction.

“Mama, papa, this is my fiancé…”


Fernando swallowed a little at the sound of the familiar voice and turned, her brown eyes fixing themselves on the blonde who stood behind him, her mouth a little open and her eyes wide like a deer caught in headlights. Blinking, he offered the best smile he could muster before he stuck his hand out, offering for her to shake it.

“Hola, Catalina” he mused.