Chapter 79:

Aragain Falls

New Leaf!

After a while of driving — after a while of rural and urban views — after a while of being stuck in traffic — after a while of Bailey complaining and honking at other cars — after a while of Ren’s silence — we arrived at Aragain Falls. It was about an hour after dinner, and we parked in a relatively large parking lot next to a patch of grass with trees.Bookmark here

Just pulling getting here was great. We were driving next to a wide river, and it looked like the stream was torrential. I also saw some cool buildings — I saw this one structure that was apparently a power generating station powered by hydro, and it makes sense for that to be here!Bookmark here

I stepped out of the car. I looked up… and I think that was the grand entertainment street the Bailey was talking about. From where the car was, I could see ten buildings pierce the skyline. Bookmark here

“Woah…”Bookmark here

And not all of them were the same boring rectangular shape as the usual building. Some had parts jutting out, some were curved, two of them looked like they were connected to each other, and some had semi-circle shapes at the top. But there were two buildings that stood out in this group. One of them was a white building. However, this one was unique because it looked like a giant chalice. Like, there was a cylinder that was mostly windows, and it was on a thin base. The other building looked like Cente Tower in Tronito, but smaller. It kinda reminded me of a UFO on a tall pedestal.Bookmark here

I looked beside me and saw Ren coming out of the car. When I stepped out, Bailey and Ren stayed behind for a while.Bookmark here

“Ren! Look at those cool buildings!”Bookmark here

I sounded excited even though deep down, I was a bit wary of Ren now. But that can’t be — I refuse to accept that our relationship is shattered!Bookmark here

“Y-Yeah…”Bookmark here

“Hey, what are they?”Bookmark here

“Oh… I believe are hotels…”Bookmark here

“Really!? All of them are?”Bookmark here

“Most of them all…”Bookmark here

He pointed at the Cente Tower-like building.Bookmark here

“I am not sure which one is which, but I know for certain that that building is a casino.”Bookmark here

“I see…”Bookmark here

Around nine hotels? And in this one area? And they’re pretty big ones… But are there even more hotels!? Wow… But I guess it makes sense. This is a big tourist attraction, so a lot of people need lodging… There’s that large street that Bailey mentioned, and there were the falls…Bookmark here

Wait, speaking of falls…Bookmark here

“Ren! Let’s see the falls…”Bookmark here

I wasn’t entirely excited to see them at first, but Bailey hyped them up on our way here.Bookmark here

“Okay… But we should-”Bookmark here

“Nah…”Bookmark here

Bailey was on the other side of the car and called to us.Bookmark here

“Um… I still have some stuff to do here, so you two go on without me. I’ll find you guys…”Bookmark here

My eyes lit up. I then took Ren’s arm and ran towards a crosswalk.Bookmark here

“Okay! Ren, let’s go!”Bookmark here

Heh… You know, I’m acting like a hyperactive child who gets excited over everything… Well, I am excited, and I’m still at the age to be considered a child!Bookmark here

Bookmark here

“Wo, ho, ho, oh!”Bookmark here

I was on a stone brick path. I ran up to railings made up of stone and metal. The stone wall had sections of the top cut out, and those sections had metal bars forming spiral patterns.Bookmark here

“Ah, this is so cool!”Bookmark here

In front of me was a huge gorge filled with water. But the most notable part was the waterfalls! I could see two waterfalls on the side opposite to me, but there was also one big U-shaped waterfall that covered both sides. The waterfalls were so unbelievable that I couldn’t take my eyes off of them. The water falling was super loud, and there was a lot of mist rising from the water. This area next to the waterfalls was also colder than anywhere else.Bookmark here

I laughed…Bookmark here

“R-Ren isn’t this amazing!?”Bookmark here

“Oh… Y-Yeah…”Bookmark here

He looked the same with his worn-out and deadpan expression, but I guess that’s to be expected. I’m sure he’s actually awing at the sight deep down… Or maybe it’s like Alan said, and he’s been to this place a lot of times so the novelty wore off.Bookmark here

“Hey, guys!”Bookmark here

We turned around and saw Bailey jogging towards us. I moved towards her, matching her pace.Bookmark here

“Bailey, hi! Look, isn’t it amazing!”Bookmark here

“Yeah, I know… The falls are just so awesome…”Bookmark here

I ran back to where Ren was. Bookmark here

There were other things that also caught my attention. One, there were actual boats in the gorge below. And the amazing part was that there seemed to be people in those boats, one boat with people wearing red raincoats and another with people wearing blue raincoats. So close to the falls… I bet everything gets soaked!Bookmark here

Another thing was a zipline! There was a large building on our side, and connected to it was a wire that looked like it leads to a lower area also on our side. It must be scary, right? It’s only over the edge by a bit, but it’s still over the edge. But as scary as it is, it must also be fun. To feel like you’re flying without wings… Awesome! I want to try riding on it once!Bookmark here

And another thing I saw was a large grey arch bridge spanning from our side to the other. And next to it on the other side was a green building with a platform attached to it — of course facing the falls. But the green building reaches the bottom of the gorge. So is that place accessible to people? I don’t know…Bookmark here

“L-Let’s go!”Bookmark here

Ren and Bailey both looked at me, Bailey in shock, as I eagerly smiled.Bookmark here

“Go?”Bookmark here

“Yeah! I want to explore those places! Go on that large bridge… Visit that green building… Um… M-Maybe try to ride that zipline…”Bookmark here

“Um…”Bookmark here

Bailey walked up to me shaking her head.Bookmark here

“Sorry, but I don’t know if we can… It’s pretty late, and you may be free tomorrow, but we have work tomorrow…”Bookmark here

I looked up and noticed that it was darker than how it was an hour ago.Bookmark here

“B-But aren’t you off work?”Bookmark here

“We’re not off, we’re just supposed to be on a business trip. And since we finished early, our office knows and will be expecting us to come to work…”Bookmark here

I looked down in disappointment. I’m mature enough to understand why and accept it…Bookmark here

“Oh… Okay.”Bookmark here

But Bailey lit up.Bookmark here

“Ooh, I know!”Bookmark here

She took out her phone.Bookmark here

“Why don’t we take a picture?”Bookmark here

“Huh!?”Bookmark here

Bailey nodded and looked excited.Bookmark here

“Yeah! You know, to commemorate this experience…”Bookmark here

I looked hesitant.Bookmark here

“See, it’s not every day that we come here to enjoy this awesome view… So, to remember this great time, we should take a picture!”Bookmark here

I still looked hesitant.Bookmark here

“Um… If we lived really close to here or came here to work every day, taking pictures becomes redundant and annoying — damn Mom needing to take pictures when we came here every other month for over a decade… But since we don’t come here often, we should take a picture to remember this moment.”Bookmark here

A picture… She’s not wrong about that. But still, I don’t like having my picture taken… The fear of what someone would do with it… I think I rejected Alan’s request to take a picture of me when we were exchanging contact info. I’m glad that Bailey forgot to ask for a picture when we were exchanging…Bookmark here

“Um… A-Actualy, we should take one using your phone…”Bookmark here

It was as if she read my mind… Using my phone? Well, I guess that eliminates my worries. Since I own the pictures, I get to know what happens with them. But why did I forget about the camera option on my phone? Am I just not tech-savvy enough? But I like to think that I became pretty well-learned… Well, I guess it’s fine if it’s my phone — I’m actually pretty excited...Bookmark here

“Okay!”Bookmark here

I quickly took my phone out of my pocket.Bookmark here

“Okay! Give it to me, and I’ll, um, take a picture of you two.”Bookmark here

“Huh? But don’t you want to be in the picture?”Bookmark here

She dismissively waved her hand at me.Bookmark here

“Come now, it’s fine… You want a greater view of the falls, right? We won’t be able to do it properly if you take a selfie…”Bookmark here

“Hm…”Bookmark here

“Okay, we can do one altogether after. First, I’ll just take one of you two…”Bookmark here

Huh? Bailey is acting a little bit weird… But I guess it’s fine.Bookmark here

I gave Bailey my phone. We stood at an angle with the rails to get the U-shaped falls in the picture.Bookmark here

Bailey held the phone landscape at us.Bookmark here

“Okay guys, are you ready?”Bookmark here

I looked up at Ren. Still a deadpan face?Bookmark here

“Hey Ren, you should really smile for this picture.”Bookmark here

“Huh? Oh, um, s-sorry…”Bookmark here

But right as he said that Bailey called to us.Bookmark here

“Wait, Ren, that’s fine… Um… You l-look cool like that, s-so it’s fine…”Bookmark here

“Oh. Okay.”Bookmark here

Eh? I looked at Bailey. I couldn’t see her properly because her face was covered by the phone, but was she blushing? Interesting…Bookmark here

“Okay, ready?”Bookmark here

A smile, huh? I guess a fake one will do for this picture. I smiled happily and threw up two peace signs, while Ren kept his usual expression.Bookmark here

“Okay! Three, two, one, say cheese!”Bookmark here

Click, snap!Bookmark here

After the picture was taken, I ran up to Bailey. I received my phone and looked at the picture, and… Hey, this actually came out good. The falls just look so stunning… And Alan told me that my camera quality was pretty good, so that adds to it!Bookmark here

“Wow! It came out nicely!”Bookmark here

“Hey, is this your first picture?”Bookmark here

“Huh? Well, yeah…”Bookmark here

Oh, wait, Bailey doesn’t know that I’ve been homeless only until recently.Bookmark here

“Y-Yeah… I got this phone only recently so there’s barely any data on it…”Bookmark here

“I see…”Bookmark here

Bailey looked slightly doubtful. But I guess I shouldn’t overthink it…Bookmark here

I heard Ren walking towards us so I turned around excitedly. Another happy smile grew on my face, but this time, I think it was genuine. I pushed it towards him.Bookmark here

“Ooh! Ren, take one of me and Bailey next!”Bookmark here

“Hm? Sure…”Bookmark here

He took my phone and I joyfully ran back to the place we posed.Bookmark here

My first pictures… I still don’t know why I forgot about this feature… Hm… One reason is probably that I didn’t have a phone with a camera since Ren gave it to me. Another is probably because I never needed to use it before. But I should’ve if I want to commemorate memories… Is it because…Bookmark here

Well, whatever. I’m using the camera function now, so I really shouldn’t overthink. I want to take a lot of pictures and document many memories!Bookmark here

Ren’s POV:Bookmark here

When Camryn ran back to where we posed, Bailey put her hand on my shoulder.Bookmark here

“Hey, Ren…”Bookmark here

“Yeah?”Bookmark here

Bailey smiled — warmly, reminiscently, indulgently. But I also sensed something else — hope.Bookmark here

“She’s just precious, isn’t she?”Bookmark here

“Hm? Y-Yeah…”Bookmark here

And after our interaction, Bailey ran up to Camryn…Bookmark here

...I don’t know… I’m really confused…Bookmark here

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