Scarlette Locke’s Point of View
I know what a wet market is, but I’ve never been to one. “Kinsey, what are we doing here?” I asked him in a horrified manner, even if I knew damn well why we were here. I could smell the stinging scent of the fish. I was quick to grab onto Kinsey’s arm when I had to move out of a vendor’s way.
It’s not like the wet market is disgusting for me. I mean, all the delicious delicacies came here at some point. The place is not really for me is all.
“Didn’t the princess say she wants some seafood for her lunch?” Kinsey questioned with a big smile plastered upon his face. I could tell that he was mocking me.
“I do, but already cooked lunch at that. I was not informed that we would be needing to head-on with it from raw.” I complained before shaking my head. He must’ve thought that this would throw me off my game, but that’s where he is wrong. I’ve stayed in the company until now despite numerous attempts by our other relatives to overthrow me. This will be easy as walking through the fire with a blindfold on. I’ve been in such a predicament numerous times already.
“Weren’t you going to be a good wife, though? Wives tend to prepare meals for their husbands after coming home from work.” Kinsey smiles as he wriggles his brows at me as if that’s going to prove his point even more.
I looked up at him as I analyzed his facial expression. I leaned back at him with a frown. I am not sure if he is teasing me, but I am taking up his challenge. “I am more capable than you think, Kinsey. I’ll be a perfect wife. I’ll show you.”
Being a good wife or at least wife-to-be in our case is subjective, but it seems to me that Kinsey has a standard of his own. I mean, why would I have to go to the market when we have maids to do that? I do not think I will be able to find a time to do so in my busy schedule.
I step backward. From Kinsey’s smile, I could tell that he had expected such a response from me. “Just don’t pull anything funny. I’d like to perform in excellence, but I am afraid I am still a novice in this area.” I warned, just in case he is expecting that I’ll be that capable like I always was. This is not in my level of expertise.
“It’s not like I would let you clean them and stuff them on your own, Cecilia. If ever, I want you to enjoy as I show you how province life works.” Kinsey chuckles. “Leave your purse in the car and take your sunglasses off. I’d also recommend that you put your hair up. It’ll be too hot and crowded there for you.” He said, which made my lips twitch downwards.
“But it will make the look incomplete.”
Kinsey had his hand on his forehead. “I don’t know what to tell you any more at this point. You never listen…” He sighed as if I’m a troublesome toddler, which I am not.
With the look on his face, I contemplated. “Okay… What else do I need to leave behind?” I asked in defeat. He knows the market better than I am, I suppose. If my motive is still in question, and I have to prove my will by this then be it. A Locke never backs down from challenges.
“I do not have something to tie my hair.” I also informed him.
Kinsey smiles softly. “That’s a good girl. Come on. I’ll buy you hair ties first before we get inside the market. Make sure to never leave my side.” He said.
“I am a lady now. I could handle walking in on a market on my own.” I corrected him, which made him smile wider before shaking his head.
“Yes, Miss Scarlette.” He mocked me. I could only raise a brow at him, not really sure why all of this is necessary.
But after buying hair ties and placing my hair in a bun, I walked with Kinsey inside, and let me tell you this, I was so glad that I followed Kinsey’s advice. The place was so crowded that people kept nudging my shoulders no matter how much I squished myself against Kinsey.
“Kinsey, do we really have to be here?” I asked as I looked up at him. I could feel my frown get deeper at the thought of spending more time in this noisy place. “We could simply go to the groceries. I’ll do the grocery shopping there. I promise.”
Kinsey looked at me with a small smile. “Are you getting bothered? Maybe bringing you here is too early.” He told mostly to himself. “Can you hold on for a while for me? Next time, we’ll go to the groceries.” He said, which made me feel grim. I’m not sure I’d be relieved with that statement.
I was embarrassed enough. Due to the fact that after the pep talk I gave to myself, I am having difficulties enough for me to beg for the grocery instead. But it’s much more peaceful there, and it has a lot more personal space.
“Just hold unto me, Cecilia. I won’t go anywhere without you, okay?”
I nod. “Okay. I’ll try to remember this experience too. It might be of use to my future rendezvous.” I answered. He gave me another smile before we carried on our walk inside.
The ground is roughly cemented, and there’s no air conditioning available as well. I look around and vendors were calling out customers as if their livelihood depends on it. I continue to look around the area to spot the different things they’re selling. Each store has various products that my eye couldn’t really keep up that much.
“Hi, miss. What are you looking for? Do you need a new pair of slippers? We got it all here! We have high heels, flats, and ballet shoes!” A vendor exclaimed enough to make me wince and squish me against Kinsey’s arms. I am sure he doesn’t mean me any harm, but I’m more used to setting appointments to buy my footwear and comfortably purchase the kind I want.
“Thank you, sir. But we are not looking for footwear at the moment.” Kinsey replied quickly. He had me held against him as we continued walking through this long hallway that doesn’t seem to end.
“What about tops? Are you looking for blouses? Oooh. We have new arrivals. It could perfectly fit your girlfriend over there.”
One after the other, they tried to sell something to us. And every time, Kinsey would dismiss them politely as I watch him in silence. I wouldn’t survive here. I am glad Kinsey is here with me, but then again, I won’t be here if it weren’t for him.
“I’m sorry for that, Cecilia. But if you find anything you wanted, you could just tell me, okay?” He gave me a reassuring smile. “We’ll just buy the seafood, and then we will be going.”
I do not want anything. I simply wanted to go home already.
“I could hold on for a while. Let’s buy that fresh shrimps.” I told him.
“Oh? Is seafood what you want specifically? We’ll get that for you.” He replied.
Finally, we arrived at the wet market. It’s literally wet. The ground is flooded with water. There are also big aquariums and flooded counters. Not to mention the scent of marine life that is all over the place.
“Professor Kinsey!” A vendor in her what seems like in her early 30s greeted the man beside me. “It’s so nice to meet you. What brings you here?”
“Hello. How’s Maria doing?”
“Oh, she’s fine. Thank you for taking good care of her in class. “ The vendor replied.
“It’s my pleasure. She’s a very diligent student. I’d like to buy some shrimps and-”
And just like that, I’ve managed to block their conversation in my head as I focused on a couple of flipping fishes on the counter. My eyes widen in curiosity. I’d never had the chance to look at them this close- at least not when they’re alive and still moving. I could feel the grip around Kinsey slowly loosen as I fixated more on the living organism before me.
“How very fascinating…” I murmured, but then I was forcefully pulled out from my thoughts when I heard a loud thud enough to make my body jerk away a little.
It was a butchered knife hitting the cutting board loudly. I blinked back at another vendor who is cleaning and cutting a piece of chicken. I swallowed the lump in my throat. I felt an arm around my waist, peering my gaze away from the bloody scene after me.
“You okay? Do you want to touch the fish?” Kinsey asked with a small smile.
I shook my head. “No. Are the shrimps ready?”
“Not yet.” He answered as he glanced over to the lady she greeted earlier.
“These people are amazing… They could do all this stuff for a living.” I commented, making Kinsey chuckle.
“Don’t tell me you want to try and be a fish vendor too? I mean, I won’t stop you if you really want to, but I suggest you go train at home first.” Kinsey is definitely teasing me again.
I narrowed my eyes at him. “I work better at the office.” I replied with a huff.
“Sorry to keep you waiting. Here you go.” The lady smiled at us, which I returned.
“How much? You could charge it here on my credit card.” I announced as I hand it over to her quickly, wanting to beat Kinsey from paying. The vendor stared at me before looking over Kinsey.
I pursed my lips together as she didn’t take my card. “Take my card. I’ll pay for it.” Insisted before looking over at Kinsey when only silenced welcomed me. “Did you pay already?” I frown.
Kinsey simply shook his head before taking the plastic of seafood.
Back at the parking lot and my cheeks burn so warm as I look at my feet. Kinsey turned the engine on as he chuckles a little. “Don’t think about it too much. It’s an honest mistake, Cecilia.”
I puffed my cheeks as I heard the amusement in his voice. “We are never to come back there again, Kinsey” I announced as I sat deeper against the seat.
“But it was nice for a change wasn’t it?” He smiles, seeing it from my peripheral view made me tilt my head so I could see it fully.
“With a better suitable attire and knowing that the place only accepts cash then yes.” I answered, knowing for the fact that he wants me to agree anyway. “But I’ll only bear it again if you’re the one I am with. I’m only to go because it is you.” I said before turning my gaze to the streets.
“Says the woman who barely even recognized me.” Kinsey let out a soundly chuckle again.
I sighed and ran a hand through my hair. To think that I was wearing my favorite heels too. “Just make sure you have a delicious meal in mind with that shrimps.” I replied. This trip really drained the life out of me.
“Hmmm? What do you mean? Aren’t you a wife? You’re supposed to be the one to do the cooking. I mean, maids could cook but on special occasions like this… Won’t you want to cook for me?”
My head snapped towards Kinsey with a surprised look on my face. He can’t be serious? Is that how it works? It’s not like we established already that he already accepted me to be his wife again.
I chew the inside of my cheek.
“C-cooking? Oh, of course. I know just what to do.” I was forced to form a confident smile. Cooking- how hard could it be? I’m a Locke, it’ll definitely be a piece of cake. Unlike in the wet market, I’ve been in the kitchen twice or thrice already. How bad could I mess it up?