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Chapter 24.1- Dine In

Dine In

Cecilia Scarlette Locke’s Point of View

 

“I wish I was joking.” That’s the only statement Kinsey could reply to me as if he is teasing me even more. 

 

“Who does even let their employees resign on such short notice? And aren’t you supposed to be an employee of the month or something? Everyone likes you.” I tried to list out all of the things that make his statement impossible. 

 

Wait, did I just hear him laugh just now?

 

“Kinsey!” I said sternly enough to remind him that I am being serious here.

 

“Fine. Fine. I am sorry. I have to drop the call. Text me where should I meet you. We will talk there. Also, pick a spot where I could eat. I am starving. Bye.” He said so in his most carefree manner. What does he think this is? Life in the movie? If he could do so drop his life there then he should’ve done so from the very beginning! 

 

I shook my head. This does only make me feel so much more stressed than before. The anxiety kept digging through my chest that I couldn’t help but feel dizzier. “You’re indecisiveness is killing me. Literally!” I gushed as I picked my bag and stormed off of my hotel room. 

 

I’ll skin him alive as soon as I see him.

 

 

“Eyo!” Kinsey waved from afar as if he had no worries whatsoever in the world. I kind of envied him for a second. “Where should we eat?” He asked ever so casually before tucking his hands on both of his pockets. “Huh? Why are you looking at me like that, Cecilia?”

 

“Nothing.” I mutter as I lower my gaze. 

 

“Okay. Want to grab some pizza? Or shawarma? Oooh. I see some burger grills over there as well.” He exclaimed. “Where do you want?”

 

“Anything is fine.” I said. I am not really here to eat nor for the reunion, but the way he acted so casually pushed me to the edge. Does he think of me as a joke? He didn’t want to come with me, and in the blink of an eye, he dropped his acclaimed ‘life’ there and appeared right in front of me. This is utter bullshit. 

 

“Hmmm… I feel like eating Japanese cuisine though.” He murmurs.

 

I watched him look around the place for more than a minute when I’ve had enough of this facade. I wanted to give him a piece of my mind as soon as possible. My tongue couldn’t hold it out any longer. Else, I would have a burst out here in the middle of the crowd. I let out an exasperated sigh before grabbing his wrist and dragging him towards a restaurant with fewer people. 

 

“Oh, you’ve picked on sushi bar after all.” I saw Kinsey grinning enough to make me frown deeper. 

 

Once we were situated in the corner booth, my eyes narrowed at him. “What are you doing here?” I asked, not even letting a room to breathe. “Don’t even dare dodge the question.”

 

Kinsey shrugged. “I am not sure what answer you are expecting, but I told you already. My brother told me what happened, so I came.” He said.

 

“So you’re guilty…” I trailed off.

 

“You could say that…” He replied with the same tone as if he didn’t know for sure himself.

 

“If you could’ve gone here then you should’ve done so in the first place.” I whispered, stating the statement that had been repeating in my head for a while now. “The least you could do for me was stay there and live the course you’ve chosen. You didn’t have to come and rub regret in my face.” I said through gritted teeth. 

 

“I’m sorry. I thought I could help…” He said, which made me angrier. I am a bomb bubbling with emotions. Every word hurts, every little thing is like a grain of salt into my wound- that’s just how sensitive I am right now.

 

I took a deep breath in, readying myself to speak when a waitress suddenly walked in. “Excuse me, ma’am and sir? Would you like to order now?” She questioned with that sweetly-sick voice she came to muster for the customers when the truth was she could not even care less. 

 

“We will have all of your best sellers.” I muttered under my breath, not wanting to deal with her right now.; 

 

“A-are you sure? We have a lot of best-sel-”

 

“We will have all of those. Please and thank you. We will call if we need anything else.” I said in distress. I hope she knows how to sense the atmosphere as well because I’m really not having that cozy orangey warmth vibe the restaurant is trying to showcase. I am trapped in the gloom of my headspace. 

 

“Cecilia”

 

I let out a long sigh before sitting up. “I-I am sorry for being emotional… this is not supposed to be all about me.” I replied, before looking up at him again. “I mean, my predicament is my own. I appreciate that you’re trying to help me out but what my grandfather said could not be lifted just like that. And if ever, you would just be punished alongside me. I mean, I know that might be one of the reasons why you dread returning.” I said as I fiddle with my fingers nervously. “Please return… Your sentiments alone are enough for me.” I smile weakly. “I am sure the school would take you back and then the apartment you were in would not be picked out by anyone else overnight.” 

 

Kinsey smiles sadly as he leans over the table. “I am not sure how to explain it to you exactly, but like you, I’ve made a choice. I’ve weighed that having to be beside you is much more rewarding for me than there. I’m sorry if I was a little late. You were right that I should’ve gone in the first place.” He chuckled lightly. “To cut the story short… you could tell that I was missing you already is all.” He said as if scratching the back of his hand.

 

Was that it? He was so adamant about staying the last time. 

 

“Me being here would not fix everything, but we could enjoy the day a bit more with each other. I thought how frustrated were you when you scolded me about the coffee. I reckon how stressed you were to snap at someone like that- it was not you at all.”

 

“It has been years, Kinsey. You wouldn’t know how was I like.” I corrected him.

 

“But still… it turned out I am right. So imagining you to be stressed out from all of this. I could at least accompany you.” Kinsey grins. “Do not worry. I was easily referred to by the university to a university here as well.” he winked. 

 

I huffed a little. “I am not worried about that at all.” I said. 

 

“Don’t worry about me. I’ll try to talk to my brother so you could return to the mansion and then-”

 

“No!” I yelped. “I’d rather stay in the hotel than letting Alexander do anything in favor of me.” I said, feeling my face crumple as soon as his name came out of my mouth. Kinsey’s surprised expression quickly recovered before nodding.

 

“Alright. Then… I’d rather not talk to him either anyway.” Kinsey states as he scratches the back of his head. 

 

Silence from the two of us after that.

 

“I’ll look into an apartment first thing tomorrow then.” Kinsey said with a small smile. 

 

I just watch over at him even if the food before us had come. I guess my judgment was wrong yet again. He didn’t want to return here because he has a girl to he wants to stay for there or because he is in love with his job. It’s also not for the fact that he is not willing to see his family and take the company for as he said earlier, he was willing to compromise. He didn’t want to return because he didn’t want to marry me. I am not sure what to feel about that. Kinsey couldn’t tell me because he is being nice again, isn’t he? His consideration hurts sometimes. I wish he could’ve just been brutally honest. At least by then, I could resent him just a little. 

 

I guess if you are Kinsey, you have all the girls in the world to choose from. I am just one of those girls he just so happen to get stuck with. It is not like it matters. I am just only trying to meet the end of the deal here. 

 

This time, the timing was perfect for the foodservice to come and plate the food on our table. “Hmmm. They really happen to have so many best-sellers.” Kinsey comments as we both eye what seems to be a never-ending sea of platters. How are we supposed to be finishing this?

 

“It’s okay. We could have the rest packed out.” I replied and motioned for him to start eating. My mind drifted back as soon as I’ve stated the sentence. I could simply do what Kinsey would do. It’s either I could continue sulking like a child and prove them right, or I could show up and show them whose boss. This has not been the only setback and embarrassment I’ve been in after all. I still have it in me to bounce back. 

 

 Feeling that hope shine over me yet again, made me feel a little bit at ease. My body started to relax and appreciate the soft cushion against my back. Right, I’m being way too sentimental lately. I could not overthrow the unfair world, but I could definitely adjust my reaction towards it. I’ll fight until I get what’s rightfully mine. 

 

I blinked back to look over at Kinsey when I felt something being poked to my cheek twice and drifted against my parted lips when I tilted my face to look up at him. “What do you think you’re doi-oof!” I was cut off in midsentence when Kinsey went ahead and forcefully fed the sushi into my mouth with some chopsticks. 

 

Kinsey chuckles as if that’s the most normal thing in the world to do as of this moment. “Sorry. You were so far in thought that I thought of feeding you.” 

 

I made face before feeling it ever so soften as I try my best to chew and swallow. “You simply had to call my name.” I said before shaking my head. Who does even feed someone when they knew the person was deep in thought? Only this dummy. 

 

It has not been that long since we last saw each other, so it was harder to start a conversation. “Are you feeling better now, though?” I questioned. Kinsey stopped taking a spoonful of fried rice midway so he could glance over at me.

 

“Oh… I am fine. Don’t I look healthy now?” Kinsey beams at me. 

 

“I hope you are sleeping in a little bit longer than you did before.” I said. I also hope that the papers I’ve checked before helped him deload and worry lesser. 

 

“I am getting enough sleep, especially since someone finished all of my paperwork earlier.” Kinsey chuckled. “I think I haven’t properly thanked you for that yet. Thank you, Cecilia. I’ll make sure to bring back the favor.” He said with that kindhearted smile again of his. 

 

I shook my head. “It’s probably because of me as well that your work piled up. I didn’t give you much of a breather as soon as I found you.” I smile weakly as we continue to eat. 

 

“Oh, did you?” Kinsey chuckled softly before running a hand through his hair. How flawless he looked when he did so.

 

—-

 

“That was such a nice meal, don’t you agree?” Kinsey asked. I nod my head lightly, feeling way more relaxed than before. 

 

‘Thank you for accompanying me for a meal. I would’ve been locked up in my hotel room if it wasn’t for you.’ It was what I wanted to say, but I could never be true to myself nor the people around me, so instead, I went on with saying. “It is. I’m glad you had your fill.” 

 

I motioned for the waiter to get our bill. I stopped Kinsey who was about to take his wallet. “I insist. Please. You can treat me for when we go to the museum.” I smiled, which he returned with a small smile.

 

“Well then. Thank you, Cecilia.” 

 

I didn’t check the bill and placed my card for them to punch on the expenses. The waitress thanked us, and I proceeded to look back at Kinsey. “So, what do you plan on doing next?” He asked. 

 

“I’ll do what my grandfather wants and not do what he wants at the same time.” I smile weakly. “I am not sure to what extent Alexander planned. He practically hit two birds with one stone right now. He had you return home, and he had me put back to my place. But that doesn’t mean I have to step down completely.” I stated. “I’m going to continue trying to practice excellence. I will even if it doesn’t mean working for the company. In fact, since I am not under them anymore, I am now bound free from the set of rules.”

 

Kinsey’s face somewhat lit up. “You do not have to marry me then.” 

 

I am not sure if the look on his face is something I should be happy of as well or get insulted by. 

 

“Yes. You’ll be free from me.” I smile weakly. 

 

His eyes widened in realization. “That’s not what I meant at all. I-“

 

I honestly wasn’t expecting to hear any explanation, not like that matters but he already started so I am not partly curious, but someone had to barge in and ruin the important fact like they always do.

 

 

 

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