Ten years… I thought, twisting the purple band between my fingers. Ten long years have passed and not a day goes by that I don’t think of them. I haven’t told a soul, and the doubt of its happening, the doubt of our love is wrenching at my heart. Oh, Haku, why did I have to leave you? My parents believe the drawings and writing are part only of a strange obsession with a childhood fantasy; perhaps that is all it is. Tears sting the edges of my eyes at the feeling of betrayal. I’ve waited for you, damn it! I’ve waited and searched all these years and I still can’t find you! No matter how many times I return to that place, grass remains grass, the ‘theme park’ remains unmoved, and the shops never reappeared. Almost every day I return and ponder at my adventures, my memories.
Haku, are you real? Granny? Lin? Where are you? Now my tears begin to fall, staining the paper I’m bent over. I was mildly fascinated by the way the water spread, darkening and marring the perfect white. Pain pierced my heart and laced through my veins. Abandonment steeped in my head. I focused on the teardrop before me, and curiously it began to rise from the paper. Stark white returned and the glassy globe rose up to the level of my face. The yellow curtains around my window started to whip in the wind and papers around my room began to dance. The drop of liquid began to fluctuate and bob furiously. It sped to the area in front of the curtains and started to grow, forming a human shape.
After so many years of waiting, wishing, crying, there was my beloved Haku. He looked sick, and I could see the window right through him, but he was there and he hadn’t aged a day. My tears slowed, and then started anew. A dull bluish light surrounded him, and I wanted sorely to reach forward and touch him. We both stared for a moment.
“I don’t have much time. Meet me by the bridge at dawn in three days. I will open the gate to the spirit world. It is then that you must decide if you want to stay.” His features went softer. “I’m so sorry, Chihiro.” The tears grew thicker and I found myself unable to speak. The light around him faded and his form solidified, though he still looked sick. He stepped forward and folded me into his arms. I shook and blubbered but he contented himself with stroking my hair and murmuring to me.
“I love you…” I whispered, and looked up to see him fading. His eyes lit up and his mouth returned the words, yet I couldn’t hear them. We clung to one another but within the minute he was gone. I cried for a while, and then set to cleaning up my room, tears still streaming down my face. All the stories and pictures of dragons, the young man I love, enormous babies, small frog spirits, as well as Lin and even No-Face went into a drawer, which I locked securely. I placed the key on a chain which held a heart shaped locket containing a picture of my parents.
On the third day of waiting, I double checked everything. I left a note for my parents, called all my friends, and quit my job at the movie store. Everything I hadn’t taken with me was locked up, hidden, or thrown away. I had only the clothes on my back and the chain around my neck. I wasn’t sure why I decided to keep the key, but something told me that someday I might return, and that I would need it.
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