An Unusual Day in Niagara Falls

I am in Niagara Falls. No one knows where I am. It is relaxing. There is a freedom to it.

I can't totally explain why I had to lie to almost everyone I know and tell them that I am on a business trip in Ottawa this weekend. Really, I just had to get away.

I went for drinks in the Toronto suburbs with the two girls from work yesterday. We talked for hours - one of them was having a confusing time with a guy giving her mixed signals. I mentioned some helpful pointers... for her to integrate other things in her life, like volunteer work at the hospital. It would help her focus less on the careless things he was doing.

After that we gossiped and ranked the people we work with according how much they irritate us (haha). I'm their team lead, and these two girls drive me crazy sometimes... but I really care for them and we all get along. One asked me how my weekend would be, and I lied:

"fine, but uneventful."

In truth I had my best suitcase in the back of my car and was going to a 4-star hotel in Niagara Falls. Not for an affair, but for an escape. To everyone else, it was a different lie. It was:

"I am on a business trip in Ottawa." I lied verbally and in writing so many times. I just didn't want anyone to join me or bother me. I can't totally explain why I had to escape this weekend, I just had to come here.

I got in to the hotel at about 11:00 pm. There were a bunch of police cars around. I got into the lobby. Two overweight but well-groomed men and two beautiful, flashy women were talking their way out of something to three police officers. I felt scared and tried to be invisible.

"It is not my problem," one with a nicely-shaped-mustache kept repeating. I was happy when the attendent told me that I was at the wrong hotel and gave me directions to the right one. I guess I didn't read the sign correctly. I heard the two beautiful women laughing at the company name on my laptop case as I left. Who cares. I drove to the correct hotel and there was nothing criminal. It was more normal with a bunch of happy gamblers ramping up for a weekend of entertainment.

This morning, I went running up and down the boardwalk beside the falls. "The World's Greatest Wonder". The mist made it so warm. I looked over at New York for a while. The falls were interrupted by pillows of snow and ice. There were smiling honeymooners, taking pictures by the icy trees. The mist had fallen then frozen on them, making an effect that was quite magical - like tree-ice-sculptures. I came back, grabbed a burger and ate it in my room. Now I am just lying in the clean sheets with no clothes on - my school books spread out nicely on the other bed. It's relaxing...

An Unusual Day in Niagara Falls Last Year

Almost exactly a year ago, I went driving, and I ended up here. On the way, I got called by my current employer, saying:

"Congratulations! you have the job, you start in a week!" I kept driving, parked on the side of a road, looked at the falls crashing down and cried my eyes out as I wondered about the future. Suddenly, my brother from out East called out of the blue.

"Surprise, I'm here at the Toronto airport on a stopover! Can you pick me up?" Right away, I wiped my tears and drove back home. We then had some beers together. His wife told me she was pregnant - I was the first of our family to know. What an honor.

A year later, I am here in Niagara Falls again. Anonymous. Polite. Free. Life is so much better now - I'm not crying. I can't wait for the future - it is so bright... but no one is calling me home.