Recollection of the spirit world
"Haku?" I quickly leafed through my hazy surroundings like they were pictures in a book. This time, I knew he was there. I could feel it.
"Chihiro!" I heard him faintly cry out. He was here! He was really here! But the question was where?
"Haku you came back for me! I have missed you so much!" I was ecstatic, blindly running through the fog toward the man I missed so much. His arms were outstretched, as were mine.
"Chihiro" he spoke softly to me, as I neared closer and closer. It felt like that moment in time was an old fashioned movie in slow motion. I closed my eyes, all too ready for the warm embrace I was sure that would be heading my way soon. I felt it.
"Haku!?" I looked at Him, his playful hug had turned into a heart-popping squeeze. His emerald eyes turned black with irrational anger and hate. He grabbed me by the base of my ponytail, and hoisted me up to eye level.
"Never come back to this world. Don't ever look back, don't ever come back, just run away!" he spoke the words coldly and slowly, easily getting the reaction he desired. Slowly inflicted pain upon a hysteric mind was the reaction he had wanted.
"But why Haku? Why? You promised me!" my tears were raining from my eyes now, but he paid no attention to my pleading sobs.
"That promise meant nothing human. Don't ever return because you are worthless, and you bring only pain to the spirit world. You are an annoying, unworthy, unrighteous pest!" he dropped me hard on the ground, and marched off.
"No, No it is not true!" My world started spinning, bright yet dark, hot yet cold. I was so hurt; my head began to tick like a bomb about to explode.
"AH!" Chihiro was breathing hard, beads of sweat rolled down her cheeks and moistened her sheets. Her alarm clock continuously yelled at her to get up.
"Whose alarm is that?" She thought to herself just before realizing it was the new one she had purchased yesterday.
"Oh shoot! I'm going to be late for school!" Her clock read 6:00 a.m. Most people would think Chihiro was crazy for considering this late, but when classes start at 7:00 a.m. she needed a lot of time. She quickly ripped the covers off of her, like you would a Band-Aid. Bolting down the hall and taking the quickest shower known to mankind. In that small, two minute time, where everything is clammy and humid. She thought about my dream. That was the third time in one night Chihiro had that nightmare. Obviously it meant something.
" Does Haku really want me to stay here?" here, Chihiro's life is a dull, sad, shadow of her life in the spirit world. After she left, nothing was the same. She never made any real friends. And her parents were gone. But yet she stayed behind, how could she leave this place? But in her heart Chihiro knew if she did, the chances of escaping this emotional prison would be much greater than they currently were.
"Hey! C'mon Chihiro! Hurry up!" Sachi and Yumi yelled at Chihiro from their Porsche.
"I'm Coming!" Chihiro stressfully replied, sticking her head out the bathroom window to call to her carpool friends. An icy gust of wind stung her face, causing her to retreat to the warmth of her home and slam the window closed.
"Ugh, the Porsche." Chihiro hated it when they took that car, all three of them had to cram into two seats. Granted the girls did look cooler, but it was so cramped. She slid uneasily into the middle of the front seats, setting her heavy bag down. Chihiro suspiciously eyed the two girls on either side of them, it looked like they had a dirty little secret; it made her feel very uncomfortable.
"Happy Birthday!" they both screamed in unison as a shower of confetti rained down from nowhere. Her birthday, she had totally forgotten about it. You would expect a rush of joy to run over her right about now, but that only depressed her more.
"Thank you girls! I didn't even remember! Now lets get going or we are going to be late for school."
"Oh Chihiro! Lighten up a little" Sachi teased.
"No Sachi, Chihiro is right. School is the most important thing." Chihiro was surprised, she didn't think Yumi would ever say something like that. Chihiro obviously wasn't catching on the hint of sarcasm in her voice.
"Wow, I am proud -" they interrupted her with a boatload of laughs. Ugh, typical twins.
When Chihiro got to school, the same depressing ritual followed her everywhere she went. She just wanted to be alone, but of course that wasn't going to happen.
"Unless..." no, jamming herself into her locker again would result in the same problem as last year. Even with her petite figure (5"5') she ended up getting stuck and the janitor had to pull her out. "Oh well, just suck it up Chihiro."
"Hey Chihiro! Happy birthday!" someone gave Chihiro a playful slap on the back.
"Happy birthday Chihiro!" some more people walked up to her. She didn't get why she was such a school celebrity, Chihiro never talked, she drove as far away as I could for lunch, and she certainly wasn't pretty.
"Alright class, settle down now. Today we will be discussing ancient Japanese mythical places. Does anyone know of any?" normally, Chihiro would raise her hand and fire out every answer to the questions, resulting in death stares from her peers. But today, all she could think about was him.
" The spirit world?" Chihiro's head shot up, and hit the bottom of the desk.
"Ouch!" she must have been rummaging in her bag. Everyone in the class looked at her, she could feel her cheeks getting hotter.
"Miss Ogino, are you alright?" Sensei Akihiro asked her with a very confused look, this wasn't like Chihiro, not at all.
"Yes, I am sorry Sensei. But, is it true that the Spirit world is a myth?" She couldn't believe that, of course it was real. Chihiro was living proof of the place. She had been to the spirit world and back.
"The spirit world began as a story passed down generation to generation. It depicted a magical world where spirits live. Some spirits represented things, like forests, mountains, or rivers"
"Haku" she whispered silently, everything she had said matched her memories so far.
"Some, were just spirits, who were not linked to something in the human world." She stopped and thought a moment.
"Uh-Oh" Chihiro muttered under her breath, "notes".
"In fact class, you should all take notes on this topic. I am going to quiz you at the end of class. Continuing on, the spirit world is said to be inaccessible to humans. And if anyone would be so unlucky as to wander in they would never be able to find their way out again." All lies, She knew how to get in, She just hadn't had any luck proving that in the last six years.
'BRIIIIIIING!' The scream of the lunch bell went off.
"Finally a chance for peace and quiet." Now if only she could make it to the car without someone screaming happy birthday at her.
"Hey Chihiro! Happy birthday!" it was Hikaru. For some reason Chihiro couldn't comprehend, every girl at school dropped dead when they saw him. She on the other hand just ignored him. She tried to keep walking but Chihiro knew he was following on the account that she could hear the girls giggling as he walked past them.
"Hi Hakura. Look I am really kind of busy so-" he cut her off grabbing her unnecessarily hard on the shoulder.
"Busy doing nothing? C'mon Chihiro, we could go back to my place for lunch. You know you want to." He smiled at her. And then did the most perverted thing anyone had ever done to her in her life. He proceeded to tuck a wisp of hair behind her ear and attempted to seduce her! She didn't know who he thought he was, but She would rather kiss a frog.
" Back off creep!" Chihiro simply slapped him, turned, and briskly walked off. Leaving him to cling on the stinging red handprint on his tender cheek. The walk quickly turned to a jog, and that turned into a full on run. Chihiro was running from her fears, from her life, from men. She knew where she was running to, she was going to his river. But Chihiro heard a voice in her head that caused her to stumble to a halt.
"Chihiro, what are you doing? Your ditching school!" She looked around like a lone prey animal. One who could hear the predators coming, but couldn't see, smell, or feel them.
"Who said that? " her heart was racing, not from running. But because she could have sworn that it was Haku's voice she heard. Chihiro shook it off and kept going. His river wasn't far from her house, only about five miles. She knew the way so well, it would be impossible to try and count how many times she had been there. Right after her return, Chihiro visited ever day. Sometimes twice a day, it worried her parents. They called it an "unnatural obsession with something that once almost killed me." The unnatural obsession part, maybe. But he didn't try to kill her, He saved her. But Chihiro couldn't tell them that, she never told anyone about the spirit world in fear it might hurt her chances of going back. Within thirty minutes she was there, most would laugh at her when she said it was a mighty river. What she was looking at could barley be called a creek, but it was part of him. A small part but it connected to him.
"Haku! Haku are you there!" she started out with the same thing every time, asking if he was there. But of course, he never was. And he probably never would be. "Haku please! Tell me your there? Anything just give me a sign!" she would ask him over and over again. Still nothing.
"Excuse me miss, are you alright?" Chihiro turned to see a young man with long black hair, and older style black robes hovering above her. On closer inspection, he seemed to be about the age of nineteen.
"Oh yes, I am fine." she stood up and wiped the tears from her eyes with a scratchy sleeve. The stranger simply cocked his head confused as to why I was screaming at a creek. Chihiro caught on to his confusion. " Sorry, just asking for advice, you probably think I am crazy." She met his eyes, they did not contain the same confused expression as his face. In fact, it looked as though he might actually understand.
"Ah, asking for advice from those once with us. I do it sometimes, forgive me, But may I ask your name?" He bowed low, in a more traditional Japanese manor.
"Oh, I am sorry. My name is Chihiro Ogino." she quickly scrambled to my feet and bowed. His warm expression turned sullen and cold upon hearing her name.
" Good afternoon miss Ogino, please forgive me but I must go. I have business to attend to." He smiled with excess fakery, bowed again, and left.
"What's wrong with him?" Chihiro painfully caught herself saying the same thing that she did when she first met him. Chihiro turned my attention back toward the river. It was now shades of pink, red and orange. The sun was setting already? She couldn't leave yet though, because now Chihiro was sort of angry.
"Haku, I know your somewhere out there. Just answer me already!" She could feel the reservoir of tears begin to overflow, she tried to hold them back but it was useless. The tears slowly slid down her cheek, they created a stinging trail that ran the length of her face. Chihiro's vision was now blurred around the edges, but she didn't care. " Haku! It's been six whole years since I last saw you! Six years of holding onto a promise! Six years of no friends! Six years of crying myself to sleep every night! Six years of waiting for a boy who might never come!" she bit my tongue at the last sentence, a new thought eating away at her brain. " Was that a promise you intended to keep? Or just a way to get some stupid little human girl to leave the spirit world!" tears were pouring out of her eyes now, raining down into the river. Her knees were weak and wobbly, she didn't fight or try to stay up. Chihiro sank to the cool grass below, it waved back and forth caressing her leg. The breeze that made the grass so affectionate pulled at her hair trying to get her attention, but her gaze was now fixed on a dandelion that so stubbornly grew amid the sweet green grass. " You're a pest, just like-like" Chihiro stuttered, fist raised ready to smash the dandelion. But something rang in her head, something an American exchange student had told her years ago.
"To most a dandelion is a weed, a pest with no good purpose in life. But here, they are a gift. To find one is special, pick it and wish on it. Maybe your wish will come true." She looked sympathetically down at that poor little dandelion. Gently she reached out and plucked it from its bed of grass.
"Please, if you can hear me. I wish that Haku would find me. That's all I want little dandelion. Please?" she immediately realized how stupid she must have looked, talking to a weed. But then, as if by magic, the wind breathed strongly at her. The dandelion burst, hundreds of little dandelions flew away. Chihiro looked at them, maybe they had heard her wish. " Did you hear me?" Now she was excited. Maybe, just maybe her cries had been answered! The dandelions without warning turned around and blew past Chihiro riding on the wind. She wheeled around, maybe they wanted her to follow! " Wait for me!" She took off running harder than she ever had before, it wasn't long before she realized where they were taking her. " The spirit gate! You are taking me to the spirit gate?" Chihiro didn't wait for an answer, she just kept on running toward the place where she belonged. She could hear someone calling her name, luring her closer to the gate.
"Chihiro, Chihiro" it faintly whispered in her ear. Right as she reached my final destination. There it was, the red building silently loomed over her. Sillouhted by the moonlight. The wind with the dandelions riding upon it blew past her into the spirit gate, quickly disappearing in the blackness. Chihiro eagerly advanced, walking quickly turned to trotting, which then turned to a full-blown run.
" Haku! Haku I am coming for you! I am here!" she closed her eyes in anticipation; she had been through this tunnel so many times it was easy to pass through blindfolded. Even with my eyes closed she could feel the soft light of the setting sun dancing upon her cheeks as she neared the exit.
The wind welcomed her home, she opened her eyes.
Author notes: Please give me any feedback! I have several more chapters In the making and I am fully dedicated at 2:30 a.m. on Halloween night to finishing this story!