We Took the Fall

20: Too Nice

“How are you holding up, Lina?” Esther posed gently as she set a cup of coffee on the blonde’s desk, her eyes soft and sympathetic. She knew that Catalina didn’t want to talk about it, she had made it clear from the moment that she had stepped into the building that she didn’t want to hear the words Fernando, Jonathan or Alicia, but still Esther wanted to check on her. Even if she was trying to hide it, the fact that she was upset was etched into her expression and Esther wanted to make sure that she was coping. The last thing she needed was to break down in tears in front of her class.

“I am fine, Esther, like I have been every other time you have come to check on me. This is not my first break-up you know” Catalina replied, offering her friend a small irked look. She knew that Esther was trying to help, but she couldn’t help but be a little irked with her near-constant hovering. Catalina was a grown woman and she could handle herself without Esther checking on her every hour.

“I know that” Esther replied “But it wasn’t just a break-up was it?” she added.

“No, it wasn’t” Catalina sighed “But if that is how Alicia wants to behave, I am done with it, Esther. She can blame me for a lot, but for Fernando leaving her? I am not taking the responsibility for it. I told him that I wasn’t interested, I told him that I had Jonathan, what he did after that is on him” she mumbled.

Esther nodded. “Are you going to call Jon?” she posed gently.

Catalina thought for a second before she shook her head. “I don’t think so” she murmured. She had given it a lot of thought, calling Jonathan and telling him that it was a mistake to let their relationship end over a question that she couldn’t answer, but part of her knew it wasn’t fair. Whether it had been intentional or not, her failure to answer had given Jonathan the truth. A part of her wasn’t over Fernando and she didn’t know if she ever would be.

“You’re still hung up on blondie?” Esther posed gently.

Catalina shrugged. “I don’t really know where I am right now. Last night, before Cia showed up, I was sure that I wanted to be with Jon. I really liked him, Esther and I really thought I could make things work with him, but then I was put on the spot and I couldn’t say that I was over Fernando, but it’s not like I can ever have him back either. He’s Cia’s ex-fiancé” she pointed out gently.

“And? His being your ex-boyfriend didn’t seem to bother Alicia that much” Esther pointed out.

Catalina shook her head. “I am not going to take lessons from my sister, Esther” she mused.

“I am not saying that you should, but I have seen enough of you and blondie to know that there is still some sort of spark there. I saw your face when you showed me that picture of the pair of you, and when you told me that he was marrying your sister. Part of you, at the very least, still cares for the guy and now you have a chance” Esther explained gently.

Catalina shook her head. “I don’t think he’s going to want to jump into something so soon after him and Cia broke up” she mumbled.

Esther shook her head. “You have got to stop making excuses” she mused.

“What?” Catalina posed, her eyebrow arched.

“You” Esther giggled “You’re so cautious, Lina, too cautious. You didn’t go to England in the first place because you were scared that it was all too much too soon. You didn’t try to move on because you were worried that Fernando would hate you for doing it. You didn’t confront Alicia about moving in on Fernando. You’ve always been like this Lina, too scared, too worried, and now there is something you want and you’re just going to sit back and wait because you’re too polite and too sweet to take action. Do you think Alicia gave a shit about you when she got with your ex-boyfriend?” she posed.

“Probably not” Catalina replied.

“Then why are affording her that courtesy, Lina?” Esther posed “You want Fernando and if you sit around and wait for it to just happen, it might not” she added.

Catalina nodded her head gently. “You’re probably right, Esther” she murmured “But I don’t think I can just disregard it. He’s just out of a relationship…”

“That we both know he broke up because of you” Esther replied “You may not have asked for it, you may have even told him not to do it, but he did and I think we both know the reason for it. The guy adores you, Lina, it’s been written over his face since I have met him” she noted with a small smile.

Catalina blushed gently but still shook her head. “I just don’t think now is the right time” she mumbled shyly. She knew that Esther had a point, she was too cautious and because of it, she had lost Fernando once, but she simply couldn’t will herself to just go for it. She couldn’t disregard Fernando break-up, nor the fact that it was from her sister as easily as Alicia had dismissed the fact that the striker was her sister’s ex when she had met him.

Esther sighed. “You’re really going to be the kind of sister, are you?” she posed, checking her watch to see that it was almost time for them to leave.

“The good kind?” Catalina teased lamely.

Esther smiled at her softly. “Just don’t wait too long, eh?” she noted “He might be smitten, but there is no way he’s going to wait forever on you, Lina” she pointed out.

Catalina nodded. “I know” she smiled.

Esther offered her another grin before she padded out of the classroom, allowing Catalina to gather her things. She knew that Esther had a point, she was offering far too much in the way of courtesy to Alicia, but she didn’t want to stoop to the other girl’s level. She didn’t want to do to Alicia what Alicia had done to her. Stuffing the last of the books into her bag, she ensured that everything was switched off before she padded out of her classroom, making her way towards the bus stop nearby.

Noting that it had started to rain, she pulled the hood of her jacket up over her head before she came to a stop at the bus shelter, settling herself on the small plastic bench.


The blonde lifted her head at the sound of her name, her blue eyes staring at the man who stood beside her, a shy smile on his face.

“What are you doing here?” she murmured.

“I wanted to talk to you” he noted gently.

“I really don’t think that that is a good idea right now” Catalina replied, shaking her head.

“It wasn’t a good idea 10 years ago either, but look what happened” he teased, a nervous laugh falling out of his mouth.

Catalina shook her head. “I really don’t think…”

“Coffee” he interjected “One cup, and a chance to talk about what has happened in the last few days. No strings, Lina” he noted.


“It’s not going to kill you and I promise, I will keep my hands to myself. You don’t have to worry about your boyfriend seeing any sort of incriminating photograph of us” he reasoned gently, his brown eyes peeking down at her like a nervous child.

Catalina noted the look on his face. She had always found him cute when he was nervous.

“One cup of coffee?” she posed.

“In a public setting so no one can get any sort of wrong idea” Fernando added, trying to sway her into agreeing.

Catalina smiled a little. “Alright” she murmured.

Fernando tilted his head. “Really?” he noted.

“Yes” she quipped “Or did you want me to say no?” she posed.

Fernando shook his head. “Not at all. I am just a little surprised” he noted.

“I’m full of surprises, Nando, if anyone should know that, it is you” she teased shyly.

Fernando merely offered a small laugh. He couldn’t help but think he had made the slightest of breakthroughs.
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Thanks to FootieJo and Hockeykid40 for the comments :)