It had been exactly ten years since Chihiro had come back from the spirit world. By nature, Chihiro is not a very patient person, and waiting for Haku to come back for her, has been one of the hardest things she has ever had the pleasure to walk through. She remembers that day so well;
"We'll see each other again." Haku said quietly to her.
"Promise?" Chihiro asked.
"Promise. Now go", Haku had said sadly.
Many times a day, Chihiro would play that over and over again in her mind. Her mom had told her to move on, and that it was childish to keep dwelling on the past. Her mom just didn't understand; so many times Chihiro had tried to forget about her journey to the other world. So many times she had tried to forget what Haku had told her, but frankly, every method she had tried never ended up working.
"CHIHIRO!" An angry voice broke through her daydream. Chihiro looked up, and she saw her boss standing over her. "Chihiro, I have been here trying to get your attention for quite a few minutes now. I am getting tired of your constant daydreams. Anymore of them, and you are out of the job." He said and walked away.
Chihiro was a clerk at a department store in downtown Tokyo, and honestly Chihiro wouldn't have minded if she was fired. But her mom and worked hard for her to get this job, and she didn't want to let her parents down. Being only 22, Chihiro still had no idea what she wanted to do with the rest of her life. Her parents told her to give up her childish dreams, and go to college to earn a good education to do something productive with her life. She just needed to find out what that was.
After she got off work, she called her parents to tell them she wouldn't be home until later that night. "You aren't going searching for that stupid make believe place again are you?" Her mother asked her disapprovingly. "No mom, don't worry. I just need some alone time." Her mother grunted and hung up the phone.
Chihiro took the subway across town, to the apartments that now covered the Kohaku River; the river where Haku used to be the River Spirit when Chihiro was just a little girl. All that was left of the Kohaku River was a little stream that connected to a fountain at the other end of the courtyard. She went over to it, and whispered, "Haku, if you can hear me, please come back for me. Keep your promise god dang it!" She yelled to the trickle of water. She felt stupid, but somehow she felt like Haku heard her. She turned around to leave, when she spotted an elderly lady sitting on a bench. Chihiro tried to act as if she hadn't seen her, and started to walk away.
"Screaming won't help you, you know." Chihiro turned around and scowled.
"What do you know about it?"
"Nothing of course dear. But, try not to hang onto the past. It just ends up hurting us so that we can't move on. Dear, you look like you are stuck in a certain place from your past, and you need to move on. Remember, that anyone who makes a promise, if they are a good person, will keep it. Have you ever thought that maybe this Haku person, hasn't come for you because he can't? Maybe something is keeping him. You just need to live your life normally and forget about what happened. Anyways, that is normally when those things we want get revealed to us." All Chihiro could do was nod. What the lady said made sense. When Chihiro looked back up, she was gone.
The next day, Chihiro went to work with a spring in her step. She had been thinking about what the old lady said to her, and she realized it was true. She needed to grow up and not dwell on the past, no matter how much she wished it to come true. It was better hearing it from someone other than her parents. If Haku, were to come for her, she would be so happy, but she couldn't spend the rest of her life mourning something that might not have even happened. What if her trip to the spirit world had just been a dream? What if none of it was real, and she just need to go to psychopath home? Anything was possible she supposed.
When she walked into the department store, she found people gathered around talking quietly to themselves. "Shouldn't everyone be getting ready to open?" She thought to herself. When she got closer, they all turned to look at her sorrowfully.
"What's going on?" She asked them.
Her boss walked up to her. "There was a break in last night. We aren't sure who did it, but we have an idea", he said as he scowled at her.
"Wait. You don't think it's me, do you?" Mr. Takisha chuckled to himself. Chihiro looked around nervously. She knew what they all thought, and she knew what was going to happen. "Mr. Takisha, I can assure, you, it was not me that broke in last night. Why would I ever do such a thing? I am one of your hardest workers here!" Chihiro said desperately.
"I understand that, Chihiro. But after our talk yesterday, I could see why someone would be upset. Upset enough to break in; to get back at me for ever threatening you. And that is besides the fact. The person who broke in, didn't break through windows or doors, so it had to be an inside job. Someone who works here must have done it. And you, Miss Chihiro, are guilty of it."
"Oh brother. What proof do you even have?" She looked around for help from her co-workers, but none came. They had to know this was the stupidest explanation ever, and that none of it made sense.
"Well, we don't really have too much proof besides it was an employee, but no one said it was them, and they said if it was anyone it would be you. The quietest, most suspicious person of all of them. Now, Miss Chihiro, before I press charges against you, be on your way."
"You can't be serious! That is the most stupid, and careless explanation ever! I went home last night! You can call my parents!"
"I am sure you did" Mr. Takisha said snidely. "But I have my orders from the top. You are not to work here anymore, no matter if it was you who broke in or not. Now, please leave, before I don't have the patience to ask nicely anymore."
Chihiro handed over her uniform and card, and slowly walked out of the store. What was she going to tell her parents? And orders from the top? Mr. Takisha is the manager…or at least she thought he was.