We Took the Fall

28: It’s On Me

“What the hell happened?” Santiago snapped as he pushed his way into the small hospital cubicle, his eyes immediately landing on his daughter who sat on the edge of the bed, her feet dangling as she tapped them rhythmically against the metal bedframe. It had been a little bit of an overreaction on Fernando’s part, the visit to the emergency room to have the scratches looked at, and Catalina was starting to get a little bored. They’d already put a plaster on her cheek, hiding the marks from the scrutinizing look of her father, and she didn’t see what they were waiting for.

“What are you doing here, papa?” Catalina replied, not lifting her head to look at him.

“Esther called me” Santiago replied “She told me that Fernando had rushed you off to the emergency room. So I will ask you again, what happened, Catalina?” he posed, his voice softening slightly as he noted the tearful state of his daughter.

“It was nothing, papa” Catalina murmured, pushing her blonde hair over her face to hide herself from his stare.

“Catalina Rosalie De Marcos” Santiago quipped, scolding her as though she was a three year old who had misbehaved “Something happened, I know it did, and I am not appreciating you lying to me. So, why don’t you just tell me the truth?” he posed, taking a little step towards her.

Catalina sighed and pushed her hand into her hair once more, gently sliding the blonde waves away from the white patch that had been placed over her left cheek. “It’s not as bad as it looks” she mumbled, gently peeling the adhesive patch off of her skin. Santiago stepped a little closer to her and frowned, his blue eyes inspecting the vicious red marks that marred her otherwise pale skin.

“Catalina, how did this happen?” he whispered.


“Don’t tell me that this is nothing, Catalina” Santiago interjected sharply “You have marks on your face, marks that you did not have when I saw you two days ago. Now, if Fernando…”

“It was Alicia” Catalina sniffed.

“Alicia” Santiago repeated.

“She’s telling the truth, sir” Fernando mumbled as he padded back into the little cubicle, his brown eyes looking down sympathetically at his girlfriend who had retreated onto the bed tearfully.

“You were there?” Santiago posed.

“I was dropping Catalina off at work and I bumped into Alicia in the hall. She started to yell and scream at me before Catalina showed up. After that, her attention was fixed firmly on Catalina” he explained as he gently sat at her side, helping her to place the plaster back against her cheek. He felt terrible, if it hadn’t been for him, there would have been no way that Alicia would have lashed out so viciously and there would have been no way that Catalina would have been sat in a hospital cubicle with tears in her eyes.

“You didn’t stop her?” Santiago barked.

“He tried, papa” Catalina whimpered.

“Evidently, not hard enough” Santiago quipped.

“I am sorry for not doing a better job of protecting her” Fernando apologized gently “I should have done more” he added, his hand gently taking Catalina’s.

Santiago shook his head. “I cannot believe she would do this to you, Lina” he muttered.

“It was my fault” Catalina murmured.

“No, it wasn’t” Fernando insisted, his voice firm “You didn’t do anything to warrant this, Catalina” he added.

Catalina shook her head gently. “I should have just left you two to it” she mumbled “I should have just left you alone and you could have just married her…”

“But I didn’t want to marry her” Fernando reminded her softly “And I want to be with you. We expected a backlash, Lina, we just weren’t prepared for this” he whispered, his fingertips lightly brushing over the plaster which she wore on her cheek “I should have kept a hold of her, I shouldn’t have let her get near you” he added, leaning his forehead against her temple.

“She was right about me” she whispered.


“8 years” Catalina mumbled “I moped around like a moody teenage girl for 8 years because of a choice I made and that makes me a pathetic little girl. You had moved on and I should have done the same” she muttered.

Fernando sighed. “She was just saying that, Lina, to make you upset and you’re letting her win” he mumbled, pressing a light kiss against her skin.

“He’s right, Lina” Santiago agreed gently.

Fernando nodded his head in thanks to the older man before Catalina’s nurse appeared, her discharge papers in hand. “Miss De Marcos?” the nurse posed.

Catalina nodded and turned to the nurse. “You’ll need to change the plaster every day for the next week or so, just to make sure that nothing gets into the scratches. You’ll also need to put this cream on a couple of times a day for the same period of time to prevent infections” she explained, handing over a small bag to the blonde.

Catalina took it gratefully and moved to collect her coat, affording Santiago the chance to speak to the striker who watched her with a look of evident concern. “Have the police been involved?” he posed softly.

Fernando shook his head. “Esther suggested calling them, but Catalina insisted that we didn’t. She’s never going to press charges against her sister” Fernando pointed out, his eyes fixed on Catalina who had moved to pull her bag onto her shoulder.

Santiago nodded. “I am so sorry that this has happened” he mused.

“It’s not your fault” Fernando assured him “If anything, it is me that should take the blame” he added.


“It is on me, Santiago and I am not going to pretend that it isn’t” he muttered.

“I will deal with Alicia” Santiago noted.

“You’d better or else I will and that will be less than pretty. I would have taken her hitting me, yelling at me, but what she did to Catalina…Santiago, as her father, you can see how upset she is” Fernando mumbled.

The older man nodded his head. “I am glad that you were with her” he mused.

“I am too. God only knows what Alicia would have done if I hadn’t been” Fernando muttered ruefully.

“You were” Santiago assured the younger man “And that is all that matters. You were there for her and I think you will be there for her for a little while yet” he mused.

Fernando smiled at him gently before Catalina padded over to them, her blue eyes still fragile and tearful. “Do you want to come back to mine?” he posed gently, his hand offering her shoulder a reassuring squeeze.

“Do you mind?” she posed.

Fernando shook his head. “No, not at all” he smiled “I’ve already called Simeone and he’s given me the day so that I can make sure that you’re OK. So you’re stuck with me, I’m afraid” he teased, trying to lighten the mood a fraction.

Catalina spared him a feeble laugh before she wrapped her arms around his arm, holding him close to her as a few stray tears fell out of her eyes. Fernando moved to hold her close to him before he nodded dutifully at Santiago, bidding the older man goodbye.

Santiago watched after the couple.

Something needed to be done about his older daughter and it needed to be done quickly before things got even worse.
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