We Took the Fall

34: In The Here & Now

Blinking a little, Fernando placed a hand to his forehead, his head aching as the light trickled through the blind which hung over the window, feebly blocking out the early sunshine. It had been a mistake, he didn’t even recall drinking much, but he could remember the way that he had spoken to Catalina, something which was bound to have upset her even more. It had been a stupid thing, he had gotten stuck on the notion of her agreeing to a marriage proposal, and he had pushed it, even if it was irrelevant then. He had pushed her to walk away from him and, even despite the slight hangover that stung in his head, he knew that that was something he needed to put right. Yawning, he feebly kicked the covers away from him before he pushed himself up, his brown eyes trying to adjust to the light.

“Look who decided to join the land of the living” Sergio chuckled as he pushed the striker’s bedroom door open, a slight smirk on his face.

Fernando merely offered him a glare.

“You know, you probably shouldn’t glare at the guy who’s trying to help you get your relationship back on track after you acted like an ass at dinner last night. I have never seen you like that before” the defender noted.

“What are you talking about?” Fernando muttered.

Sergio smiled. “I found Catalina’s number in your phone, hombre. I called her this morning and explained that, even though you were an idiot, you wanted to talk. Like the lovely girl she is, she opted to hear you out” he explained gently.

“She’s here?” Fernando squeaked.

“She is” Sergio nodded “And she’s been waiting for you to get out of bed for the last hour” he added.

Fernando sighed and willed himself up from the bed, quickly laying his hand on the first items of clothing he could find. Sergio watched him and shook his head, moving to pull the t-shirt of the striker’s head as he tried in vain to pull his head through the sleeve. “You know that she is good for you right?” Sergio quipped, taking a pace back from his friend.

“I know” Fernando replied.

“And that you’re probably not going to get a 3rd chance with her if you fuck up?” the defender continued, amusedly watching as the striker tried to pull on his jeans.

“I know” Fernando repeated.

“Fernando, for once in your life, be a fighter” Sergio quipped.

Fernando tilted his head.

“Just don’t let her go again” the defender clarified gently “She’s a lovely girl and I know that you love her, it’s written all over your face. Just don’t let her go this time” he explained.

Fernando peeked at his feet for a moment before he looked back at his friend, offering him a small smile. “I am not going to” he noted.

“It’s one thing saying it, Nando” Sergio quipped.

“I know that, Sergio, but I am serious. I want to be with her, I kind of have since I left, and I am not going to waste another shot at being happy with her. The way I behaved last night was awful, but it is a signifier of just how much I want this to work this time around. I thought we’d lost out chance 8 years ago, I thought it was done then, but somehow, we were pulled back together and I am not going to give up on it, on us, again, no matter how much is thrown at us” Fernando explained firmly.

“I don’t want you to give up on us” Catalina’s voice quipped, drawing the two footballers’ attention towards the door “But I also don’t want you to keep making comparisons between how we were then and how we are now. I was a naïve girl, Nando, 21 years old, and in hindsight, the decision to stay here was the wrong one, but it was the decision I made” she explained.

Fernando sighed.

“It wasn’t that I didn’t love you enough, or that I didn’t want to get serious with you, it was fear, Nando. I was 21 years old, I had been in one relationship and you were asking me to leave behind everything I knew for something I had no knowledge of. I wanted to be serious with you, I loved you, but I couldn’t leave the safety net I had here” Catalina explained gently.

“You could have tried, Lina” Fernando reasoned gently.

Catalina nodded. “I could have done, but I didn’t and I know that now to be a mistake, but that doesn’t excuse what you said to me last night. I made a mistake, but you did too” she pointed out with a small shake of her head.

Sergio, who had been quietly watching the pair, leaned towards the striker, giving him a small nudge forwards.

“I’m sorry” Fernando quipped.

Catalina chewed on her lip. “What you said hurt” she whispered.

“I know” he replied, pacing towards her slightly “I shouldn’t have said it. You’re braver than me, Lina, especially with what is happening with Cia, and I shouldn’t have questioned it. You’re amazingly resilient, strong willed and tough and I should never have said anything contrary to that. Lina, mi querida, I am so sorry” he noted, his hand taking hers and squeezing it softly.

Catalina peeked up at him. “We need to present a united front” she murmured.

“And we will” Fernando quipped.

“And we need to let go of us from before” Catalina added, her blue eyes mirroring his brown ones “We have good memories, and I will hold onto them, but this shouldn’t be about the old us, they’re gone” she murmured.

“You’re still very similar to the girl I left behind” Fernando noted gently.

“I don’t pretend that I am not. But the end of our relationship is sore for both of us, and we ought to let it lie. We have some wonderful memories, but I’d much rather focus on creating some new ones” she explained gently, the lightest of smiles on her face.

“You still want that?” he posed.

Catalina giggled, something which made Sergio smirk.

“What?” Fernando squeaked.

“It was one fight, and not a big one” Sergio pointed out “She’s not insane, Nando” he teased.

The striker rolled his eyes before he turned back to Catalina who smiled back at him. “You still with me?” she teased.

“Undoubtedly” he replied.

“Then lets focus on us” Catalina whispered, hooking her arms around his neck “In the here and now” she added, pecking his lips sweetly.

Fernando held her close and nodded his head, something which had Sergio smiling at the pair of them.

Somehow, despite it all, he could see the pair of them being alright.