He held her hand tightly - grasping it as if he'd never let go. She shared his intention.

'Your parents will be waiting for you at the tunnel,' he said. His voice was soft, gentle. He made everything seem all right. She loved it.

'What about you?' she asked, looking into his bright green eyes and seeing what she didn't want to see - sadness. She already knew what he was going to say, and she didn't want to hear it.

'I'll go back to Yubaba and quit. I'll be fine. I've got my name back,' he said.

'Will we meet again?' she asked, blinking back tears.

Chihiro, you're so stupid, she thought to herself. You've fallen in love with a river

Haku nodded. 'I promise,' he said.

Chihiro nodded, gripping his hand tighter.

'Go on. Remember not to look back until you reach the human side of the tunnel,' he told her.

Nothing? Nothing more? You're not going to say anything more to me? asked Chihiro silently.

'Goodbye, Haku,' she said, sniffling slightly.

'Goodbye Chihiro. And thank you,' he said. And then he let go of her hand, and her heart was wrenched from his, and Chihiro could do nothing but run to try and forget the boy that she loved more than anyone else in the world.

She burned with the desire to look back, to take one last look at Haku, but she controlled herself and kept running forward. The tears started to leak out of her eyes but she didn't bother to wipe them away.

It can't end like this! she told herself. It can't!

If willpower could have kept the two together, they would be living happily ever after. But one cannot live on willpower alone and there are stronger forces in the universe than one man's will.

By the time she had finished running across the field, her tears had dried and she found her parents.

'Chihiro! There you are! You shouldn't go running off like that,' said her mum. Chihiro was silent. She couldn't direct thoughts anywhere but to Haku.

Silently she followed her mother and father back through the tunnel, and they reached the car. She paused a while at the end of the tunnel, knowing now she could look back. She turned her head and saw only a dark tunnel.

Goodbye, Haku, she said silently. Goodbye.

And as if she was bidding him goodbye from her memory, she suddenly forgot why there were dried tears on her face and why she was feeling more depressed than she had ever been before.

And like that, she forgot him. But once you meet someone, you never really forget them.

x.x.x

Chihiro, Amaya, Misora and Kaori were sitting in the car together.

Misora was driving.

'You used to go out with him?!' Misora asked Kaori incredulously. She nodded, embarrassed.

'You're insane!' Misora shouted.

'You guys are obsessed with boys,' said Chihiro, sighing and crossing her arms.

'Just because you find some reason not to like any of them,' said Misora.

'I don't know what it is! I just, don't seem to find interest in any of them,' replied Chihiro.

'And so my conclusion that Chihiro is gay trumps all!' said Amaya, laughing. Misora joined her.

'I am not!' argued Chihiro.

'Sure sure. Hey, do you know-' started Misora, but Chihiro interrupted her.

'MISORA! YOU MISSED THE TURN!' shouted Chihiro.

'Whoa girl, keep it down,' said Misora.

'Just take the next turn,' said Chihiro, sighing.

'Yessir,' said Misora.

She took the next turn and it took them up a steep ramp. Misora followed the road and eventually they found themselves faced with a forest.

'Hey look! Your house is up there! I think I found a shortcut!' said Misora, sticking her head out the window and looking out.

'Oh God, help us,' muttered Amaya.

'Come on! Are you guys scared or something?' asked Misora tauntingly.

'Yes, we're very scared that you'll get us lost and we'll end up having to sleep in the forest,' said Kaori.

'Kaori's right,' said Amaya. 'You have horrible navigational skills. Let me drive,' she said.

'No! I'll drive! It's my car,' argued Misora.

'Who votes that I drive?' asked Amaya. Kaori's, Chihiro's and Amaya's hands went up. '3 against one, move out of the driver's seat,' said Amaya, opening her door and getting out.

'Hmph,' said Misora, getting out of her seat and sitting in the front seat where Amaya had been sitting.

'Now we all feel safer,' said Chihiro, grinning.

'Hey!' said Misora.

'No offence,' said Amaya. 'Or rather, offence.'

'You realise there's only one way in, surrounded by trees, and the road's really narrow, so if this leads to a dead end we'll have to reverse all the way out?' said Kaori.

'And aren't you glad, then, that I'm driving?' asked Amaya. Chihiro and Kaori laughed, and then stopped, as they reached a dead end.

'What did I tell you?' asked Kaori. There was a statue in front of them, and what looked like a tunnel or building of some sort. They all got out of the car.

'Told you so,' said Kaori again, but no one took notice of her. They were all looking at the building.

'Let's go in,' said Misora.

'No, are you crazy?' said Kaori.

'You scared?' asked Amaya, raising her eyebrows.

'N-No! But we're wasting time,' said Kaori huffily.

'You don't want to go in there 'cause you're scared,' taunted Misora.

'Come on, let's go in, Kaori,' said Chihiro.

'We're wasting time,' said Kaori, sighing, as her friends dragged her inside.

They walked through, and more and more light came into the building as they did so.

'Weird place,' said Chihiro.

'It would be a good hideout,' said Misora. 'For, like, secret girl's stuff.'

'Like?' asked Amaya. 'You want to play dollies and barbies in here?' asked Amaya sarcastically.

'No, stupid, like for sleepover and truth or dare. You know your brother's always listening when we play truth or dare,' said Misora.

'Don't see why it would be better in a dingy old tunnel,' said Amaya. They reached the end of the tunnel and saw a vast field of grass, wind blowing softly through the blades.

'Cool!' said Misora. 'Race you to the top!' she shouted, sprinting off.

'Misora!' said Chihiro, running after her. Sighing, Amaya ran after her two friends, and Kaori was forced to catch up.

'Guys!' said Kaori.

'I win!' said Misora.

'You got a head start,' said Chihiro huffily.

'Chihiro, your skinny legs ain't gonna get you nowhere,' said Amaya, adopting an American accent.

'Shut up,' said Chihiro.

'This probably used to be a river,' said Kaori.

'Great,' said Amaya. '101 facts that no one cares about has started,' she said sarcastically.

'It's probably an old abandoned theme park,' said Kaori, ignoring Amaya. 'They built them everywhere in the nineties, but then the economy fell and they had to abandon them,' she said.

'Wow thanks, Kaori,' said Misora sarcastically. 'I've always wanted to know that.'

'Race you!' she said again, running off.

'You're so competitive!' shouted Amaya, after Chihiro, who had darted forward to race Misora.

'Come on, let's go,' she said to Kaori, with a sigh.

'Look! There's food,' said Misora.

'MISORA, DON'T!' shouted Kaori, raising her voice for the first time in a long time.

'What?' she asked.

'It could be poisoned!' she said.

'Sure,' said Misora.

'No, seriously!' she said.

'She's probably right,' said Amaya.

'Yeah, and something tells me it isn't a good idea,' said Chihiro.

'Fine,' said Misora, abandoning the food. 'What now?' she asked.

'It's getting dark,' said Kaori.

'You don't say,' said Amaya.

'We'd better go back,' said Kaori.

'Aww, but there could be something fun to do,' said Misora.

'No, seriously,' said Kaori.

'I'm gonna go and look for something to do,' said Misora, running off.

'No! Misora!' said Chihiro, running after her.

A few seconds later, Chihiro came back, huffing and puffing.

'I lost her!' she said.

'Oh my God,' said Amaya. 'That stupid girl.'

'We'll have to look for her now,' said Kaori, sighing.