099. Writer's Choice — Sojourn
Lilacs sway, poked between the holes of the chains, as Chihiro's flower-drenched swing rocks forward. A warm, spring rain falls lightly upon the top of her head, glistening in her scalp and roots.
She's gone gray, weathered and baggy and sore. Her joints creak when they turn, and Chihiro has forgotten most of her loved ones after the stroke.
The hospice workers know she loves being outside, especially near the brooks and rivers.
It's only a matter of time now… …
She knows, vaguely, about the finality of it all, the meaning of their glum, murmurous words.
A pale and smooth hand rests on Chihiro's deep pink robe, clasping her left shoulder when her surroundings meld into blurs and noises like the birds chirping, and the water droplets pattering one-by-one onto tin shingles high above on the rooftops.
She closes her eyes, opening them to find her vision clearer and brighter than before.
"Haku!" Chihiro shouts, leaping onto her feet, her joints transforming into young and pliant. She jumps into the smiling boy's arms, going on her tippy-toes. "It's you! I've missed you so much!"
"And I thought about you every day, Chihiro," Haru whispers, hugging her as tightly, warmly.
He leads her towards the fence, clutching her hand into his, as they slide down the grassy, wet hill. Haku protectively wraps an arm to her tiny and child-like back, easing her to the river's bank.
"Would you like to come with me?" he asks, staring over her admiringly. "Once you leave, there's no returning back the way you came."
Chihiro's lips quiver.
"I want to stay with you, Haku," she says ruefully.
Her heart suddenly gladdens when he cups her face gently and presses his mouth against her brow. They dissolve into scales, shimmering and pearly-iridescent, vanishing into the cool water.
Spirited Away isn't mine. IM LOVE THEM. SO MUCH. OH MY GODDDDD. TEENY TINY PRECIOUS BABIES. Hey so any thoughts/comments appreciated! I really wanted A REUNION between these two in a post-movie setting where it was kinda bittersweet but ended super satisfying. Let me know what you thought!