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.
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!
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.
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.
I looked beside me and saw Ren coming out of the car. When I stepped out, Bailey and Ren stayed behind for a while.
“Ren! Look at those cool buildings!”
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!
“Hey, what are they?”
“Oh… I believe are hotels…”
“Really!? All of them are?”
“Most of them all…”
He pointed at the Cente Tower-like building.
“I am not sure which one is which, but I know for certain that that building is a casino.”
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…
Wait, speaking of falls…
“Ren! Let’s see the falls…”
I wasn’t entirely excited to see them at first, but Bailey hyped them up on our way here.
“Okay… But we should-”
Bailey was on the other side of the car and called to us.
“Um… I still have some stuff to do here, so you two go on without me. I’ll find you guys…”
My eyes lit up. I then took Ren’s arm and ran towards a crosswalk.
“Okay! Ren, let’s go!”
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!
“Wo, ho, ho, oh!”
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.
“Ah, this is so cool!”
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.
“R-Ren isn’t this amazing!?”
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.
We turned around and saw Bailey jogging towards us. I moved towards her, matching her pace.
“Bailey, hi! Look, isn’t it amazing!”
“Yeah, I know… The falls are just so awesome…”
I ran back to where Ren was.
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!
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!
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…
Ren and Bailey both looked at me, Bailey in shock, as I eagerly smiled.
“Yeah! I want to explore those places! Go on that large bridge… Visit that green building… Um… M-Maybe try to ride that zipline…”
Bailey walked up to me shaking her head.
“Sorry, but I don’t know if we can… It’s pretty late, and you may be free tomorrow, but we have work tomorrow…”
I looked up and noticed that it was darker than how it was an hour ago.
“B-But aren’t you off work?”
“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…”
I looked down in disappointment. I’m mature enough to understand why and accept it…
But Bailey lit up.
“Ooh, I know!”
She took out her phone.
“Why don’t we take a picture?”
Bailey nodded and looked excited.
“Yeah! You know, to commemorate this experience…”
I looked hesitant.
“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!”
I still looked hesitant.
“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.”
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…
“Um… A-Actualy, we should take one using your phone…”
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...
I quickly took my phone out of my pocket.
“Okay! Give it to me, and I’ll, um, take a picture of you two.”
“Huh? But don’t you want to be in the picture?”
She dismissively waved her hand at me.
“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…”
“Okay, we can do one altogether after. First, I’ll just take one of you two…”
Huh? Bailey is acting a little bit weird… But I guess it’s fine.
I gave Bailey my phone. We stood at an angle with the rails to get the U-shaped falls in the picture.
Bailey held the phone landscape at us.
“Okay guys, are you ready?”
I looked up at Ren. Still a deadpan face?
“Hey Ren, you should really smile for this picture.”
“Huh? Oh, um, s-sorry…”
But right as he said that Bailey called to us.
“Wait, Ren, that’s fine… Um… You l-look cool like that, s-so it’s fine…”
Eh? I looked at Bailey. I couldn’t see her properly because her face was covered by the phone, but was she blushing? Interesting…
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.
“Okay! Three, two, one, say cheese!”
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!
“Wow! It came out nicely!”
“Hey, is this your first picture?”
“Huh? Well, yeah…”
Oh, wait, Bailey doesn’t know that I’ve been homeless only until recently.
“Y-Yeah… I got this phone only recently so there’s barely any data on it…”
Bailey looked slightly doubtful. But I guess I shouldn’t overthink it…
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.
“Ooh! Ren, take one of me and Bailey next!”
He took my phone and I joyfully ran back to the place we posed.
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…
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!
When Camryn ran back to where we posed, Bailey put her hand on my shoulder.
Bailey smiled — warmly, reminiscently, indulgently. But I also sensed something else — hope.
“She’s just precious, isn’t she?”
And after our interaction, Bailey ran up to Camryn…
...I don’t know… I’m really confused…