Chapter 78:

Endless Fields

New Leaf!

During the car ride, I was really tired. I think it’s because last night, I could barely sleep. And even now, I really want to sleep, but I can’t. No, I’m still being tormented by my thoughts about last night… But, I managed to sleep more here than in bed — perhaps it’s because of the ‘rock-a-bye baby’ feeling.Bookmark here

Sometimes, I’d be able to sleep, and other times, I would lay there with my eyes closed. But I was pretty comfortable. Since Bailey is driving and Ren is sitting in the passenger seat, that leaves the entire back row for me to lay down on…Bookmark here

I really don’t want Ren to hate me… But it’s only natural, right? I mean, no one wants to be associated with someone like me — I’ll just be a bad influence or be harmful to them… I don’t blame them for their animosity. In fact… I hate myself…Bookmark here

As I lay on the backseats of the car, I felt a tear develop in my left eye…Bookmark here

I’ve come to terms with it… I’m terrible. Seducing people and stealing from them… Unfairly doing things without compensating… And that’s not the only reason Ren has to dislike me.Bookmark here

I’m weak…Bookmark here

The only thing I’m good at is letting other people use me… This thing about me has always made it hard to think highly of myself… Submitting to horrible verbal and physical abuse… Accepting all forms of dehumanization… I’m too weak to advocate for myself… It’s a tragedy if people get to know me… Bookmark here

“Oh, it’s that time of the year, isn’t it?”Bookmark here

I overheard Bailey talking to Ren while I appeared asleep.Bookmark here

“So our estimated time of arrival is around 6:00 PM, eh? But with the damn traffic, I guess we’ll get back later, huh?”Bookmark here

Bailey’s just complaining about something as usual… But oh well — I guess this major delay is annoying…Bookmark here

As I stared at the clean car floor, I sighed under my breath.Bookmark here

But I don’t want it to be like this… It’s already a fact, but why am I fighting so hard to change it? Hm… No, I just can’t let it be like this. Even if Ren hates me, he saved me and I am eternally grateful for that. He truly cares for me… He truly loves me… Bookmark here

He can’t hate me…Bookmark here

Bookmark here

After some time during the ride, I fell asleep… But when I woke up, I rose to view outside to window.Bookmark here

There wasn’t really anything of note. We were on a country road, and there was nothing but fields with light brown crops. Occasionally, I would see fences with animals, old-looking buildings, and advertisements for restaurants further down the road…Bookmark here

I was bored…Bookmark here

“Oh? Hey, Camryn. You’re finally awake.”Bookmark here

I turned my head to look forward. Bailey was peering at me through the rearview mirror.Bookmark here

“H-Hi, Bailey…”Bookmark here

I was speaking in a rather unenthusiastic and monotone voice.Bookmark here

I looked out of the window again. Wait, when I fell asleep, we were on an urban and pretty congested highway. Well, I don’t know for sure, but from my view out the window from laying down, I saw highway signs and heads of buildings, and I felt us moving slower and stopping frequently… Bookmark here

“Um… B-Bailey?”Bookmark here

“Yeah?”Bookmark here

“Um… How long was I asleep for?”Bookmark here

While looking at the road, she put her fingers on her chin.Bookmark here

“Oh, um…”Bookmark here

She continued thinking for a few seconds before Ren cut in.Bookmark here

“She was asleep for three hours…”Bookmark here

“Yeah! Three hours!”Bookmark here

Oh! Three hours?.. Wow, I was asleep for a while then… Was I that tired? I guess — I wasn’t keeping track of the time when I was just laying on my bed at night… Bookmark here

“Oh… T-Thanks, Ren…”Bookmark here

“Yeah.”Bookmark here

When he answered, I don’t think he was speaking directly to me. But I’ll still thank him because he answered my question.Bookmark here

“So, two more hours, huh?”Bookmark here

I looked at the touchscreen car stereo. It’s 4:25…Bookmark here

“So we still got a while to go, huh? We’ll be back at around 6:30…”Bookmark here

“Sadly, no…”Bookmark here

I looked at Bailey in confusion — should I look at her or the rearview mirror?Bookmark here

“Hm?”Bookmark here

“Damn traffic delayed us… Camryn, our estimated time of arrival is around 7:30 or 8:00.”Bookmark here

“I see…”Bookmark here

I guess it doesn’t really matter to me when we get home — I don’t have work tomorrow. But I guess it makes sense why this would irritate Bailey the most; she is driving. But even so, she can just exchange with Ren, right?Bookmark here

I decided to look out the window again… Looking outside can get a little monotonous at times. I mean, there’s nothing to observe other than the same wheat fields.Bookmark here

“H-Hey, Camryn…”Bookmark here

I looked over to Bailey. Her eyes were still fixed on the road. I couldn’t see her face clearly through the rearview mirror, but…Bookmark here

“S-So… Ren and I were talking…”Bookmark here

But, she sounded unsure and cautious when she was speaking. It was like she was coming up with something right as she was speaking, but I knew that wasn’t the truth — she’s too organized to do so. Bookmark here

“Um… W-We were thinking of taking a detour…”Bookmark here

I raised my eyebrows in curiosity.Bookmark here

“See, we’re thinking about going somewhere called the Aragain Falls.”Bookmark here

Hm? I never heard of the place. Aragain Falls… The word ‘falls’ is in the name, so maybe it’s a cliff of some kind. Well, when I think of that word, the first thing that comes to my mind is a great height. So a cliff, gorge, or canyon?Bookmark here

“Hm? Never heard of it…”Bookmark here

“Oh, it’s great!”Bookmark here

Bailey sounded excited. Yet, also still a bit hesitant.Bookmark here

“See, Aragain Falls is a great big waterfall…”Bookmark here

Oh, I guess that makes more sense.Bookmark here

“It’s a set of massive natural waterfalls that attracts a lot of tourists. It’s so amazing to awe at!”Bookmark here

“Oh?”Bookmark here

“And along the falls make for a relaxing picnic spot. And there’s also this street with a lot of attractions. There are fun houses, mazes, rides, haunted houses, casinos, oh, and there’s also a huge Ferris wheel.”Bookmark here

Ooh, that sounds like fun…Bookmark here

“But it’s pretty late, isn’t it?”Bookmark here

“Yeah… Sadly, we won’t get to experience it. However, we’re planning to just stay at the falls for a few hours.”Bookmark here

But why? With all those attractions, shouldn’t we stay for longer?Bookmark here

“Um…”Bookmark here

She was excited when explaining the place, but her voice assumed the same hesitant tone again. Bookmark here

“See, it will be the evening when we get there. That’s the perfect time to watch the fireworks!”Bookmark here

Hm? What are those? Well… Bailey was enthusiastic, although unsure when she told me about them. So maybe they’re fun! But then again, the name sounds dangerous. Fire…Bookmark here

“F-Fireworks!?”Bookmark here

I sounded a little nervous.Bookmark here

“Don’t worry, there isn’t anything dangerous… It’s… um… They’re like…”Bookmark here

Bailey was struggling to try and explain.Bookmark here

“Um, a first, a rocket is shot into the air…”Bookmark here

Eek!Bookmark here

“A-And there’s a fiery explosion…”Bookmark here

Oh no…Bookmark here

“And then there’s a loud ‘boom’ sound…”Bookmark here

“Ah! Bailey, that does sound dangerous!”Bookmark here

But she shook her head.Bookmark here

“Er, sorry. But I was just explaining it wrong. See, fireworks are set up far away so that they don’t hurt us. But, they’re set up close enough for us to see it.”Bookmark here

I see…Bookmark here

“Oh, and it’s really beautiful. And in the night sky and over the falls, it’s just awesome — so dazzling and flashy!”Bookmark here

“I see…”Bookmark here

Honestly, I was a bit hesitant… I mean, I’ve never heard of fireworks… They just sound really risky to be by…Bookmark here

“Um…”Bookmark here

Someone beside Bailey spoke. Ren’s voice was monotone, but it still sounded slightly different. His head peeked out from behind his seat, and I could see the side of his worn-out face.Bookmark here

“Fireworks sound dangerous, b-but they’re not.”Bookmark here

I saw his left arm move. I guessed that it was to cover his right shoulder, but I couldn’t see it properly.Bookmark here

“Um… They are actually enjoyable to view. A-And people wouldn’t make them for the sake of display if they were harmful to the public…”Bookmark here

I see… Yeah, that makes sense. Then I guess I have no reason to decline — besides, Bailey made it sound like they are fun to watch!Bookmark here

“Hm… Okay, let’s watch them!”Bookmark here

“Great! Camryn, we’ll have a great time…”Bookmark here

As I watched Ren move his head behind the seat again, I smiled. Honestly, I’m still a bit reluctant — less about the hazards of these fireworks…Bookmark here

When Ren was speaking, he sounded a bit off. It was subtle and barely noticeable, but he sounded like he was stuttering. It was like he was deeply thinking about his words…Bookmark here

I wonder why...Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.