Chapter 1: "MISSING YOU"
"There's no water here. I can walk across now." says Chihiro as she and Haku gazed upon the vast valley before them. Their hands were still locked together just as they had been the whole time since they left the bathhouse.
"But I can't go any farther. Just go back the way you came, you'll be fine. But you'll have to promise not to look back. Not until you've passed through the tunnel." Haku said with his still confident and slightly firm, but none the less, caring voice.
"But what about you? What will you do?" Chihiro asked, worried about Haku.
"Don't worry. I'll go back and have a talk with Yubaba. I'll tell her I'm going to quit being her apprentice." Haku said proudly. However, he sensed that Chihiro was not completely convinced.
"I'm fine, I got my name back." He reassured her.
"Will we meet again sometime?" She asked. Her voice full of hope mixed with worry and wonder.
"Sure we will." He said firmly, but with a slight smile on his face.
"Promise?" She asked still worried. Even without saying anything else, just the tone and emotion in her voice clearly says, 'Promise me, Haku. Promise me we'll meet again. I don't want to lose you!'.
"Promise. Now go. Don't look back." He said firmly.
Without another word, Chihiro did as she was told, only letting her hand slowly and gracefully slip out of Haku's. Those last few seconds were stained in their hearts and memories forever.
Chihiro ran back to her parents, resisting the urge to look back. She had promised Haku that she wouldn't. Little did she know that Haku just stood where she had left him and watched her as she ran. Each step she took was a step away from Haku and it pained him deeply to watch her go and slip away from him.
Once Chihiro was out of sight, he sighed and turned to walked away. But little did he know that just when Chihiro reached the end of the tunnel, she had looked back and hoped that she will see him again
Chihiro, wake up!" she heard a voice calling. She groaned and opened her eyes and saw a pair of worried eyes looking at her.
"Chihiro, are you alright?" her mother asked.
"Wa-what?" she said confused.
"Chihiro, you're crying!" Her mother pointed out. She looked felt her face and they were indeed wet with tears and so was her pillow which only meant she's been crying for quite a long time now.
I didn't know I was crying
" she said softly. Though, it was no surprise to her that she had been crying. She had dreamt about Haku again.
" he mother said sitting down at the edge of her bed as she wrapped her arms around her daughter.
"Sweety, this has been going on for too long. What are you hiding from us? Is something bothering you? You know you can tell us
" her mother said.
"No, I can't tell you
" Chihiro thought, but she pushed that thought away and instead, she said, "It's nothing, mom, really
I'll be fine. I'm just tired."
Well, it was partially true. She had been tired because she kept going back to the tunnel just to stay and wait there. She waited and waited and waited for Haku to come and see her. She's been waiting for 10 years and she was now starting to lose hope.
"Well, okay then..." Her mother said, still unconvinced that her daughter was fine, but decided not to push the issue.
Just as Chihiro's mother had reached the door, she turned to her and looked at her with a sympathetic face. She didn't know what caused her daughter pain, but it was breaking her to see her like this. So, she sighed and said, "Your father and I are always here for you, Chihiro
We love you very much." and with that, she left the room and closed the door behind her.
Chihiro just sighed and turned to her side, away from the door and facing the wall. Her wall was practically plastered with drawings and sketches of Haku. She had never explained to anyone who he was and nobody bothered to bug her about it.
She stared into the deep green eyes of one of her favorites drawing of Haku. She sighed, wishing that she was staring into the actual Haku's eyes. She wished that Haku was there beside her. That's what she has been wishing for many years
but her wishes remained
"I miss you, Haku
I hope you haven't forgotten about me. You promised we'd meet again sometime. When will that sometime be?" she sighed and just lay there awake, not wanting to go back to sleep where she would once again have the most painful memory in her life replayed over and over again
Meanwhile, in the Spirit World, all the lights have been turned off and the sun was still hiding as the dawn approached. Haku let out a sigh as he gazed at the scene before him. While all the other spirits were in bed, resting after another busy day or rather night, Haku was on his way to leave and go back to his river.
After he had gotten his name back, he had a talk with Yubaba just as he had said, but of course, Yubaba wouldn't let go of his apprentice just like that. So, Haku remained her apprentice for another full year, but after that, she decided to retire and spent time with her son, Boh. Ever since Chihiro left, Boh became more attention seeking and left Yubaba with no choice but to give him her undivided attention, therefore leaving the bathhouse under the control of Haku. Of course, she still gets all the benefit from it, being the greedy witch that she is, but Haku doesn't care. He's not in it for the money, anyway.
Haku changed to his dragon form. Turns out, he never really permanently lost his ability to change into his alternative form. Besides, before he was even under Yubaba's spell, he already had the ability to do so. Without another moment of hesitation, he took off and flew through the open balcony and went on his way to his river, Kohaku River.
Chihiro decided that she had had enough of just lying down and doing nothing. She needed to do something about this. She decided that she wanted to go and try to go back to the Spirit World once again. Through the years, she's tried and failed for countless times. She didn't know what she was doing wrong. The last time she's been there, it just happened like that. She actually came to the conclusion that once you visit and get out, there's no coming back, but she refuses to believe it. So, she keeps trying.
"I can't just keep waiting for you, Haku
I have to at least try myself, even if it kills me
" she whispered to her Haku drawing. She ran he fingers on the words written the corner of the paper.
Spirit of the Kohaku River
"she whispered to herself. Then, an idea just hit her.
"Of course! Why hadn't I thought of this before??" she said smacking her forehead.
"If I can't go back to the Spirit World, then maybe I can go to Haku himself! There must be some way I can still connect with his river!" she told herself as she put on her jacket and sneakers and went out of her room.
"Chihiro, where are you going?" she heard he mother say.
"I'll be back in a few hours, mom! I just have to go do something!" she called back as she grabbed her car keys and went out through the door in a hurry.
Chihiro was so filled with hope. Maybe this was her chance to finally see the love of her life again. Of course, there was no certainty in it, but it was worth a try.
"This is gonna be a long drive
" she sighed, but started the car anyway.
"I'm coming for you, Haku
I miss you
" she said, and with that, she drove off, her heart filled with anxiety.
"Why did this have to happen?" Haku thought in despair.
His river had become an underground river due to the humans covering it up and turning it into a lot for apartments. His river was not permanently destroyed, but because it was underground, he had no other way to connect with the human world. For years, he tried to find a way, but it was just no use...But he never stopped trying. He made a promise to Chihiro and there was no way in his eternal life would he break a promise, especially to someone that was special to him.
"There must be some other way to connect with the Human world. There has to be!" he thought to himself.
Hoping his thoughts could be heard by Chihiro, he thought, "Chihiro, I'm so sorry I'm taking so long
I hope you have not lost your faith in me