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Chapter 12.1- #7 Be Your True Self

#7 Be Your True Self

Cecilia Scarlette Locke’s Point of View


The venue for the registration was not that far from the main ground of the park. Fortunately for us, there’s not much of a line of some sort. Else, I’ll be losing my mind. I am not really that much of a patient person, and I doubt that Kinsey would eventually let me pay the people in queue until I reach the end. 


That is why we are stuck here waiting and I respect that. This is the rule to maintain order. Nevertheless, the excitement within me slowly fizzled at every second that passed us by. 


“You’re bored already, Cecilia?” Kinsey asked, opening an umbrella to shed me from the sun. He didn’t have to ask the obvious, but I guess it’s his way of taking my mind off of it. 


“A little but I could manage. Good stuff takes time.” I force a weak smile.


“Okay. Inform me if you’re thirsty or anything.” He stated. I only replied with a nod as I continued to look around. I’ve honestly done so for the sixth time already, but I don’t want to be caught staring over Kinsey. I’m not sure what topic to open up anymore. After this, I made a mental note to dig up his likes, hobbies, and possible topics he might be interested in. I don’t usually do small talks since they are waste of time, but every small step matters if I want Kinsey to let me take him home. 


After a few more glancing around, we’ve finally made it to the desk where two employees greeted us. Kinsey did the registry slips beforehand, so it saved us the time of writing in. They gave us the talk of not straying out of the path too much or at all, and not feeding the animals. I nod very enthusiastically at every word the lady is saying. That’s how excited I am. Lastly, they stamped something against the back of our hands then we were finally let into the trail. 


Walking side by side, my eyes wandered around as if it’s my first time seeing the trees. And then I felt Kinsey stopping in his tracks before pulling my arm closer to stop me in mine as well.


My head shot up towards him as he ruined the fairytale building up in my head. “Hmmm? What is it?”


Kinsey smiles and points over to my left, which I followed. There was a tall cage standing with a bear present in there who is technically trying to mind his business. So this is what they meant with don’t feed the animals. I thought there would only be a probability for us to witness an animal, but I am glad that that’s not the case. 


“People are already building up already though.” I whispered in realization. Should we wait until the crowd thins out? But I do not think that’s the case here. Besides, we are still at the start most of the trail. 


Kinsey grabbed my hand. “Here, follow me. Do you want to see it? It’s not safe to stand so close to it either. The bears might take a liking of you too… We never know, your charms work to anyone.” Kinsey chuckled as I followed him through.


Yea, right. My charms work to anyone except you.


Kinsey climbed what seemed to be a boulder to me. It’s not that huge, but it’s built enough to carry the two of us and elevate us among the crowd. It’s a bit far from the cage but seeming that Kinsey brought me here, there’s a chance that I’ll be able to see the bears from this view. 


Before I could even speak, Kinsey sticks his hand. “Come. I’ll pull you up.” He said, resembling an Alladin persona when he was just asking Jasmine for a magic carpet ride. But unlike them, he doesn’t have to ask me if I trust him because since we were little, I did and I still do. 


I placed my hand against his which he quickly grabbed. “I’ll kill you if I fall.” 


“I won’t let you.” Kinsey grins cheekily before pulling me up towards him. 


Instincts kick in and as if the force is not against it at all, our bodies collided together perfectly as he tried to keep our balance. My hands against his chest and his arms strongly and protectively wrapped around my body, our eyes have to meet to top it all up. My eyes flickered, seeing his eyes widen for a while. But as soon as I saw it, soon it was gone too. The speckle of green in his eyes gradually shrinks as it crinkles. That’s when I realized the vibration from his chest. He started to loosen his hold of me as he chuckled a little. 


That’s good. I do not think he noticed the faster heart beating from my chest. I swear this heartburn is being a burden than it is supposed to be. I must check the doctor as soon as I get home. 


“I’m sorry. Did I surprise you, Cecilia?” He smiles.


“No. No. I am okay. Why won’t I be?” I asked rhetorically as I took a couple of steps backward, but Kinsey was quick to slip his arm around my waist and pull me back. 


“Don’t move too much. You might fall down.” He reminded in a whisper. I have my breath hitched as I nod. 


I clutched and held onto his arm without moving much muscle. “Alright. I want to see the bears now…” I trailed off. 


Kinsey chuckled again. I am not sure if that’s a form of his teasing or what. I do not found anything amusing here yet. “Of course.” He shifted us a little and sure thing, I had a clear view of the animals inside the cage. 


I could literally feel my face etch and light up as I watched them in our habitat. I admired them from the distance, and Kinsey let me take my time until I heard a group of teenagers. 


“Take a picture of me, Sasha.”


“Here. Here. What are they even called? What should I put in the caption later.” 


I couldn’t help but overhear and also answer the question as their conversation continued. I can’t tolerate ignorance. Now, I am not saying that I know it all, but I was always thought that being educated by others is better than staying not knowing anything at all. 


“They’re called Brown bears.” I answered, which resulted in the two of them looking at me with a frown. I- well, I guess it was wrong of me to really but into the conversation that I am not in tho. I should’ve thought of that as well as I saw the hint of annoyance in their gaze that I would more likely want to erase from my memory.


“Well, duh.” The lady rolled her eyes before taking her companion with her.


I frown. It was my fault for letting my emotions get the best of me. “But they’re really Brown bears and not just because they’re colored brown in fur. In fact, they can be almost black, yellowish, or gray depending on where they live.” I told myself. What did I even do there? I should’ve been indifferent towards them. Now Kinsey might think of me as someone nosy.


“Ahhh. I see. Tell me more, Cecilia.” He smiles. 


I look to the side. “Don’t they know who am I? I am a Locke. They should feel lucky I dare talk to them” I replied, making sure I did not drop the proud acts just so I could hide my embarrassment. “I think I am ready to go down already.” 


“Oh? Okay… “ He muttered and helped me down with him. “So, what else do you know about those bears?” He asked with a small smile. “You know it’s boring that we just get to admire them. I think it would’ve been better if they have some signage with the facts and all. It’ll make this a little bit more educational. Heh. I’m lucky I brought my own zoologist. Tell me. I’m an advocate of learning!” 


My eyes fixated over at Kinsey in surprise before yet again breaking a small smile. “I am no zoologist, Kinsey. Don’t let others misunderstand.” 


He chuckled before we started hiking again. “But if you wanted to know some more about the Brown bears, they only ignore each other when they meet. They usually only communicate by marking their territory with scratches and scent marks on trees.” I beamed.


“Then how do they even mate when they’re such snobbish creatures?” Kinsey asked as if he really is curious about it. “Ha. I know someone who is really snobbish.” He commented. 


“Well, since they have a strong sense of smell… They simply leave some scent marks that signal to mate.” I replied. 


“Don’t you want to have some pictures with them?”


I smile weakly. I wanted to. I really really want to. I do not think that was possible. “ No. It’s okay. There’s a lot of people too. I do not think I’ll get a good shot with it.” I smile. “Besides, I am much more looking forward to what’s on the top of the hill.” I replied


And so, after a few more minutes of strolling, we have arrived to see a much bigger cage that houses a lot of birds. It has fewer people here, and the fact that we could go inside for a closer look made me feel giddy inside. 


“Don’t stroll without me, Cecilia. There’s still a lot of people.” Kinsey reminded me. I smiled and grabbed him as we looked around. 


My body relaxes at the sound of the humming and chirping birds from around us that I’ve decided to close my eyes for a split second and indulge in a non-existent choir performance that is currently happening. I’m so glad I came here with Kinsey. 


But then suddenly, a scent of freshly picked strawberry filled my nostrils. I opened my eyes and felt a hand against my arm. I jerked in surprise only to hit someone. I gasped as if it happened too fast. “I-I am sorry! I didn’t mean to.” I quickly apologized. Money bribing first came into my mind since that’s what I am exposed on what to do. It’s actually the most absolute way to make a person shut up and leave. But then, Kinsey came to my rescue. 


“Cecilia, easy. We are not the only ones here.” He was quick to pull me against his hold. That’s when the strawberry scent became stronger. Why haven’t I realized that it was him? “I apologize for what my companion did.” 


“A-ahhh… it’s okay. It’s okay.” The lady replied quickly. 


I made face as I decided to bury my face against his figure closer. I guess working with his charms saved me from trouble too. To think of it, random girls are approaching or getting tangled with our day. It’s not like I could blame them. It’s the circumstance and the fact that Kinsey is actually a magnetic force to women’s hearts. 


“They’re gone now…” I felt him lift me off of him. “Are you hurt?” He asked as his eyes roamed around my arms to check. I hollowed my cheek in embarrassment. 


“Thank you for sticking up for me. I’m not hurt at all. It was me who accidentally smacked the lady.” I said, which Kinsey nodded on.


“I was honestly not worried about you but the fact that you might bite off the lady from earlier.” Kinsey chuckled lightly while he scratched the back of his head. And just like that, I felt like the atmosphere cracked into two. 


I hit his chest lightly. “And what do you mean by that, huh? That I’m a scary eating lady?!” I shrieked in the complaint. “It’s not like I would hurt anyone on purpose!” The banter carried on with me continuously hitting his chest lightly when he decided to get a hold of both of my arms. 


“It’s not like that, Cecilia. Don’t be upset with me anymore.” He started trying to stir me with one of his dashing signature smiles, but he should know better than that doesn’t work on me. “You’re capable. What I meant is that you’re not the one who needs protecting. If ever, I should be the one hiding in your back when I encounter goons.” 


“Don’t joke like that.” I pouted. “You make it sound like I am a delinquent of some sort.” I muttered. What’s with him? I may not need protection, but I wanted to be protected too. Tch. Between the two of us, I do think that my social and relationship level is still more advanced than Kinsey. 




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