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Chapter 12.2- #7 Be Your True Self

#7 Be Your True Self

Cecilia Scarlette Locke’s Point of View


“So what do you think of their bird attraction? Is it good enough for the great Scarlette?” Kinsey smiles as we resume our trail. I rolled my eyes lightly in response.


“Ha.Ha. Very funny.” I shot back to his mockery as I tried my best to bite back a smile. “But to answer your question, I did enjoy my time there. Maybe I should take a pet bird, what do you think?” 


“I think that would be nice. ” Kinsey smiles as he steals a glance at me. He must be thinking that I’m being ridiculous. I couldn’t even fit sleep into my schedule. What more taking care of a sing-songy bird? It’s a complete and utter delusion for a corporate woman like me. 


“Anyway, aren’t you tired from all the walking?” Kinsey asked as if it’s not even the most obvious thing in the world right now. I am dead tired that I really am having a hard time carrying my weight. It’s too much physical activity for someone like me if I am going to be honest.


“A little. What do you have in mind? Will you carry me all the way to the top now?” I asked with a raised brow. I did not expect him to call my bluff actually, but in the back of my mind, I am glad he did. I do not like getting help from others, but Kinsey has always been an exception I guess. He is to be my husband after all. 


“I could do that. Would you want me to?” He questioned as he wriggled his brows together. By now, we are on the sidelines of the path as we stopped with our tracks. I was quick to make face. No way I am going to spell it out and admit it, though. That is not happening no matter how much my ankles are killing me. 


“Water, please.” I stated instead before looking away. Kinsey placed down his pack with that amused smile on his face. 


“Alright. Here you go.” He said and handed me a bottle of water before he opened one for himself as well. 


I thanked him. In the meantime though, it’s not like he looks dazzling and irresistible- nothing like that, but I didn’t realize that I was already watching him drink his water bottle while I try to open mine. I’m not a pervert. I just accidentally let my gaze linger longer than I am supposed to, and of course, he has to catch me to wake me up from my daze. 


“Mmm? Is there something wrong? I promise it isn’t tap water.” Kinsey was quick to say as if I am going to scold him. Well, for the record, I would indeed scold him if he had given him tap water. 


I blinked back at him, feeling the blood rush over my cheeks. I looked to the other side of the path before hummin. “Mmmm… nothing. I’ve just realized. Do you know that birds singing meant it’s either they are warning rivals not to go into its territory or a gesture to attract its mate? What splendid chirping did the birds from earlier showcased. I wonder what were they communicating between the two.” I said before pushing my hair past my shoulders and looking back at him. What am I saying? It was the first thing that came into my mind, really, but it seems to me that I’ve just dug a deeper hole for myself.


“I… didn’t know that.” Kinsey murmured with his brows furrowing.


“You’re welcome. Now you know.” I smile before lifting my bottle to drink.




“What?” I responded as I stopped in trying to drink midway.


“The lid is not yet open.” He said. It took a minute for me to comprehend that before it fully loaded in.


I cleared my throat. The intensity of heat on my cheeks only strengthens. How could I do this to myself?


“I-I am aware of that, Kinsey. I was just… My arm is a little bit sore. I am trying to loosen it for a little bit.” I tried to give it out as an excuse.


“I guess you really are too tired now. You did play with Austin a while ago too.” Kinsey said as I made sure I opened the cap before drinking my embarrassment away. So much for being perfect. I kept making a fool out of myself in front of Kinsey. 


“No. I am fine. Do not sweat it.” I replied.


“Don’t worry. Just a little bit more, and we will be arriving at the top.” He grinned at me before checking his wristwatch. “And just in time as well for the sun to set. We better hurry if we want to catch that. I promise it’ll be beautiful.” 


My spirit was revived for a moment when he talked about the sunset and a beautiful view. It might be a popular opinion, but I like looking at pretty skies too. “Mhmm. Let’s go.” I won’t let this opportunity go to waste. 


“Alright. Here’s a towel. It’s bad to let your sweat dry on its own.” He smiles, taking the bottle I was holding before handing me the piece of cloth. 


“Thank you. You’ve equipped yourself sufficiently for this trail.” I said.


“Okay, now. We will be going without further ado. Hold on tightly, princess.” He chuckled, shifting his bag in front of him. 


“Hold on what now?”


A squeak rolled out of my mouth when Kinsey bent over and forcefully carried me against his back. In instinct, I hold onto his shoulder when I felt like I was going to turn over backward. “Kinsey!”


He laughs, adjusting his hold against my ass. It would’ve been awkward for him if I was still wearing my dress. “It’ll be hard for me if you fought back. Let me carry you. I can still rest when we’ve arrived there. Plus, this is the faster way to go. Trust me.” He said as he started walking.


It’s not like I don’t trust him. “You’ve already said too much. I haven’t even uttered anything yet.” I murmured, sinking in against his arms. His strong built arms securely hold me, so I am a bit at ease. Although I am also aware that I don’t weigh like a feather. 


“Well arguing would just take too much of our time. And it’s not like you’re the one to back down.” He chuckled, making me smile shyly. Kinsey, how come you could chuckle like that when you’re carrying a boulder like me? Your determination should be praised.


“Thank you for this, Kinsey. You could put me down anytime you feel like your arms are about to give out. I’m sure I’ll be rested by then.” I whispered before placing my head against his shoulder. “I’m sorry for being a burden.” 


“What are you saying? If ever, this brings back a lot of good memories.” He said optimistically. “I carry you all the time whenever you trip and hurt yourself. Don’t you remember? And then we will always get scolded for ruining your supposed ceramic silky skin.” He chuckled, making me crack a smile or two too. 


How could I forget? Playing and studying with Kinsey is the only reason I’ve wanted to wake up every morning. He turns the most boring days into something magnificently fun. I’d never regret those scars. They’re the proof that I had fun in my childhood no matter how small and limited.


“You tease me whenever I get myself a wound.” I commented while shaking my head.


“But who in their right mind would not cry from a hurting wound? You never cried whenever you bleed!’ Kinsey exclaimed as if it was not normal.


“Not because you always cry when you’ve gotten hurt meant I should too.” I said, smiling. I was very much pleased with that comeback.


“Hey! I am not a cry baby. Take that back. I never cried too. I’m a strong kid.” He protested. It was my time to chuckle over his statement amusedly.


“Says the guy who cried because of a splinter. The doctor even has to take it from your finger while you were sleeping because you cry every time they tried to.” I smiled wider when I felt his body tense. 


“Now, now. Don’t bring that up, Cecilia. If you don’t remember, I do have a fair share of your embarrassing childhood moments too.”


“Oh? So you are calling for a truce?”


“Yes, a truce right now would be wonderful.” He laughs, making me laugh along too.


“Alright… But for the record, you were the one who brought the subject up.” I giggled. That’s when I get to catch myself.


Who is this girl giggling just now?


“My bad.” He hummed, and our conversation had stopped there as I was trying to contemplate internally what had happened and how’d I let it happen. 


It’s not that long enough when we’ve finally arrived uphill. Kinsey was really awesome. He placed me down with a smile still present on his face. I feel kind of guilty for having him do the hardwork for me. 


“We are here. It seems like we still have a few minutes to spare!” He exclaimed as he looked around. “Where do you want to situate first?”


How selfless could he be? I would’ve been a fool if I say that I didn’t notice him looking after me all this time. I let out a soft sigh before grabbing his wrist and tugging him a little. “Let’s take a sit over here.” 


I carefully led him to a less crowded area wherein the breeze blew a bit more. I pushed Kinsey down, forcing his tall figure to sit. He sat down as he once again showcased his confused expression. 


“Give me the bag.” I demanded as I stand in front of him. 




“Don’t make me repeat myself.” I said seriously.


“If you’re hungry, I brought empanadas to snack on.” Kinsey replied while hurrying to gently hand me the bag. “Are you okay? Can you not breathe, Cecilia?” 


What am I to do to this guy? I might be sheltered, but I’m not that hopeless. 


I unzipped the bag to take out the snack and drink that he was talking about. I handed it over to him before I continued to rummage inside. 


“Eat up first. You’ve carried me all the way here. There’s no reason for me to be tired at all.” I said as my gaze was still focused on the inside of his bag. Why the hell are there so many things in here?


Flashlight, matches, first aid kit…


A sleeping bag?!


Can goods, a pair of extra clothes, water bottles- oh the towel that I need! 


I picked it up and looked over at Kinsey. “Seriously, though? Why are you carrying all of these? Are you heading for camping after?” I questioned as I placed his pack on the ground and walked behind him. 


I saw Kinsey make a face as I did so. “I just want to be ready in case something happens. It’s still the wilderness.” He replied before taking a chug of his water. “Why are you not eating? Where are you going, Cecilia?”


“Hush. Stop asking questions and simply rest, okay?” I said, feeling my cheeks burn just by the thought of doing what I was planning to do. 


I just remember how my maid did it after we played outdoors. I’m simply doing it for Kinsey to make sure he won’t catch a cold. Yes, they say it’s bad to let your sweat dry against your skin. I just need to make sure it won’t dry. Yes, that’s all there is to it. Plus, Kinsey had been looking after me all this time. I need to return the favor. Especially if I am going to be his wife, I need to be on equal footing with him. I need to meet him halfway. Yes, that’s all there is to it. 


Nothing more, nothing less…


“Cecilia, why are you trying to strip me down?” 


I blinked back, feeling blood rush over my head like a wild tide. As I looked up at the surprised expression on Kinsey’s face, I could not help feel the horror and the severity of what I did. I am guilty. I’ll readily surrender and be put in jail…






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