Chapter / Part I
Her eyes ventured back...but she didn't. She couldn't look back. Not yet.
But-- She would miss him.
As she got into the blue car it was filled with dust, leaves, and undergrowth. Her parents did not understand. It had been such a long period of time since they had been in their car. "Yes, must be. But what a heartless joke," her mother said. But Chihiro just took a deep breath through her nostrils, sighing. "What's wrong, Chihiro?" her father asked in his gruff voice. "Nothing," she replied. "You still can't get over moving?" asked her mother sweetly. "Of course not," she replied, still a bit dazed by the happenings. She gingerly touched the hair-band made by her friends. Granny, No-face....all of them. But especially Haku. "Haku..." she whispered, not audible for one of her parents to hear.
The car came to a halt in front of a blue house with nice white trim. "Isn't it lovely?" asked Chihiro's mother, Yuuko. "It's a fine home," said the father. "What do you think Chihiro?" asked her father, Akio. "It's..." she had no idea what to reply. Her mind was no longer on moving. It was on the world. Not the one of now-- but the one of which Haku lived. Her eyes glazed over for a split second-- from thinking of him. "-It's...wonderful," she replied, a weak smile upon her face. Both her parents smiled and entered "home". Chihiro sighed and exited the mossy vehicle. She then sat herself in the shade of a large oak tree in the green grass.
After a while Chihiro had settled into her community comfortably. Surprisingly, she had made friends easily-- and became quite a leader for her small group. But she had two best friends: Hanako & Katsu. Both girls admired her strength and disposition. She now walked to school. This morning was particularly bright and sunny. As Chihiro walked she soon met up with Hanako and Katsu. Both very excited to see their friend. As she walked along the sidewalk she could help but let her eyes wander back... But she did not look back. She felt like she was being watched. But she ignored it as best she could, focusing on her chattering friends. Her red and yellow uniform looked nice upon her form. But her mind was not on her clothing, friends, but Haku. She had often forgotten Haku, but not for long. He always seemed to be in her thoughts. Finally Chihiro couldn't take it any longer.. She turned her over her shoulder for a moment. She saw a glimpse of olive green eyes. She wanted to run after them... "Haku!" she whispered as she turned around. "What?" asked Hanako. "N-Nothing... Never mind," Chihiro answered softly. "Alright...Whatever," shrugged Hanako.
"Rain?!" Chihiro thought aloud as sprinkles hit her brown-haired head. She had taken a quick jog in the local park, when it seemed the clouds had gotten darker. Soon they were too heavy to hold in their gathering of water-- and poured onto the land. She sighed, her hooded sweater was not water-proof. Her umbrella useless as it couldn't open. The rain came down harder...Soon the girl was in a frantic rush, the rain making it hard to see. She now waited underneath a large oak tree to rest from the rain. Her ears admired the nice rain sound. But as she looked around the park she spotted the heavy flow in the small man-made river. River Spirit-- Haku. Chihiro tried not to think of the one she loved. She had kept her heart from some boys at her school, afraid of letting go of Haku. The river spirit who had charmed her-- who she fell in love with. "Haku.." she said, in a low mourning voice. "I miss you. If you can hear me... I...I still love you," she said sadly. It had been almost five months since her departure from the other world. As the rain settled she slowly got up, her legs asleep. After going through stretching her legs and getting the "pins & needle" pains out, she saw only the sprinkles continued she picked up the umbrella and went from under the oak tree. As she slowly made her way out of the park she gasped. Perched on a boulder was-- Haku! "Haku!" she said in a shocked voice, dropping the umbrella in the process. "No. This is my imagination!" she thought to herself. But as she touched the "imagination"s arm...she felt his warmth, love. "Yes, Chihiro. It's me," he said with a smile graced upon his face. "Haku!" she said happily again. Chihiro watched as he hopped from upon the boulder. Chihiro smiled lightly. Chihiro wrapped her arms around him. The river spirit was at first very shocked at the gesture.. But soon warmed up to it and wrapped his arms around her, too. "Chihiro?" asked Haku lightly. "Yeah, Haku?" asked the girl. "We need you back at the bathhouse..." said Haku. Chihiro pushed away to speak with him... Somewhat eye-to-eye. "What's happened?" she asked, but her voice firm now. She now found herself a part of the other world. The boy sighed deeply. "It's not good news," he warned, but Chihiro only nodded slightly for him to continue. "A fire spirit... Is seeking you. She has even raided the bathhouse. Causing trouble. Yubaba has been using her most powerful magic. But the fire spirit demands to see the chosen one. We offered them to talk to the greatest in the bathhouse. But I was sure that you are the cho-" Haku was cut off by Chihiro. "Are you sure?" she asked. "I think so... If you do not go, the fire spirit is threatening to burn down the bathhouse.. Not that it isn't already damaged. I no longer work for Yubaba.... But the fire spirit is holding many innocent spirits and creatures at hostage," the river spirit continued. "It needs you... For some reason," he added slowly. Chihiro agreed. "But-- How am I supposed to be gone for so long...without my parents' noticing?" she asked. "I'm sure Yubaba could put a spell on this world for a few hours. The fire spirit should only need you for a moment. Spirits can't stay in one place for too long," the boy suggested with a grin.