"Mom, Dad! I'm off!" Chihiro shouted as she opened the door. Her Mom quickly ran up and gave her a hug.
"Have a great day, honey!" She kissed her daughter's forehead and Chihiro walked out the door. She grabbed her bike off of the porch of their blue house and carried it toward a girl with black hair waiting in her driveway.
"Come on, Chihiro! We are going to be late!" The girl began to ride her bike down the road as Chihiro was just getting on her own bike.
"Suzuka, wait!" Chihiro called. The girls giggled as she caught up.
Chihiro was now starting her third year of middle school. It has been three years since she moved into the Hannichi district and they had flown by quickly. It seemed like only a week ago she was with Haku in the Spirit Bathhouse, where she had fallen in love for the first time. She missed him and most of her knew she would never see him again, but part of her remembered his words saying that they would see each other again.
As they passed by a brook, Chihiro slowed down without thinking. She felt a pull toward it until she felt Suzuka's hand on her shoulder.
"What's up?" She asked, very concerned about this trance her best friend was under. Chihiro blinked.
"Oh I was just thinking," She smiled.
"About what?" Suzuka asked. She knew something was going on.
"An old friend," Chihiro glanced at the brook and gave a reassuring smile to Suzuka, "Let's keep going."
Suzuka was still a little skeptical but she and Chihiro remounted their bikes and continued on.
The Hannichi Middle School seemed lonelier for some reason this year. Maybe it was because this was her last year before high school. Chihiro and Suzuka chained up their bikes and went their separate ways.
Chihiro's day was like any other first day of school. She reunited with friends and met her teachers. Nothing spectacular happened until the last class of the day.
"Class, I know that most of you have been together for a long time, so I want to introduce Zero Mitsuba. He is new to the district so make him feel welcome!" The teacher stood up and gestured for Zero to do the same.
You could feel the air being sucked out of the room. He was gorgeous! He seemed so mysterious and you could almost feel a magnetic pull towards him. He had hair as dark as night, but a face as pale as the moon. The only disturbing things about him were his eyes. The blackest of black that seemed to search your soul…
He turned around and smiled to everyone, giving small bows to general clumps of people. When he saw Chihiro, He stiffened and his face grew wary. He sat back down, leaving Chihiro puzzled and a bit frustrated that she had somehow made a bad first impression an this handsome new student.
The bell rang and she left feeling a bit dejected. When everyone had left the hallway, she felt a firm hand on her shoulder. She jumped and turned around. There was no one there, just the white lockers and green linoleum floor.
"Sen!" She heard a familiar voice. A glimmer of hope spoke saying it could be Haku, but it was crushed when she realized that Haku would simply call her Chihiro in this world. She looked toward the voice. It was Zero. Strange, she thought, How does he know about that name?
"Oh, Sen! I'm so glad you're here!" Zero embraced Chihiro, much to her surprise, "I thought that woman had sent me to the wrong school, but then I saw you and…" Chihiro broke free and covered his mouth.
"Who are you, really?" She asked with a serious tone and a straight face. She was not going to rejoice until she knew who this was and how he knew her name from the Spirit World.
"You really don't recognize me?" Zero looked very hurt and despondent, as if she was supposed to know who he was. Chihiro searched his face, staring deep into his black eyes. She gasped and covered her mouth when she realized whom she was talking to.
"No-Face, how did you get here?"