Just some basic information on the story. I'll only do this once.
⋆ The main couple here is Chihiro & Haku
⋆ This story is complete.
⋆ This is a sequel to the movie.
⋆ There is a sequel to this sequel in the works. I'm currently writing it now.
⋆ This is my very first Fanfiction so please be gentle on criticism.
⋆ Be CONSTRUCTIVE with your criticism. Don't comment to be negative. If you're going to be negative, please try to be informative. Let me know why you don't like it.
"Chi! Were you listening to me?" Kana sucked down the remaining drops of her smoothie and shook her cup around as if she could make more appear.
I jerked back to reality. Kana and I were sitting on the stone bridge over a small river in the park by her house. "S-sorry, Kana. What'd you say?"
"I asked if you heard about that flood? I guess no one was living near the area but there were some apartment buildings-"
I nodded absently and let Kana drone on. My eyes stared out straight ahead, watching the sun sink low below the horizon. The orange sun dyed the sky a beautiful pinkish purple color and shone down on the water, making it sparkle stunningly. My feet dangled over the edge of the bridge, just inches from the surface of the water below us. I fiddled with my straw as unwanted thoughts came swirling up in my mind like a tornado.
I closed my eyes tightly, trying desperately to force them away. My experience in the spirit world was better off forgotten. When I had come home seven years ago, I desperately tried to make others believe that I wasn't insane, that I had been to the spirit world, battled a witch, and won my parents back. I babbled on and on about my adventures. As a child, adults laughed at my "silly stories" and even complemented my imagination.
My head lowered slightly. However, as I had gotten older people seemed to find it disturbing. My parents would hush me when I brought it up. My father even considered calling a professional to "help me". I had seen several doctors since then and the only thing I had learned was to shut my mouth. But it mattered little. Kids who had known me as a child remembered my "stories" even now up through high school and would constantly call me out on it. I was a freak.
Not a day went by that I didn't think of that place though. Going there had changed my life forever. Since the day I came back home, I felt like I didn't belong. A small, bitter smile tugged on the corner of my lips. Funny how while I was there the only thing on my mind was getting home. Now I could only think about getting back. My thoughts shifted back to the present and I only heard silence. I turned my head to find Kana staring at me, a pout on her lips.
"What's wrong?" I stammered.
"You didn't listen to a word I said." She folded her arms.
I smiled apologetically at her, "Come on, I'll buy you another smoothie."
Her lips cracked slightly, "You know the way to my heart, you devil you."
I threw my keys on the counter in the kitchen. "I'm home!"
No answer. My lips pursed together. I closed and locked the door behind me. I saw the note on the fridge and sighed.
I pulled the note free and read it gloomily, "Chihiro, I'll be staying late over at grandma's tonight and dad has to work the midnight shift. Could you please get a carton of milk for me? Don't stay up too late! Happy birthday darling. Love, Mom."
I pressed my forehead against the fridge and groaned. It had been like this since the day grandma got sick. Dad worked his butt off to pay the medical bills and Mom practically moved in with her mother-in-law. I threw the note away and slid on one of dad's sweatshirts I found in the living room. As I walked past the counter I picked my keys up and dug through the money jar we kept for grocery shopping. When I had pulled out enough money, I threw open the back door and quickly closed it behind me.
The fall days were comfortably warm in the day time but at night they were unmercifully cold. I shivered inside of my dad's sweatshirt and hunched my shoulders, wishing I had put pants on before leaving instead of keeping my shorts on. As I walked along the sidewalk, my thoughts drifted like they commonly did. I wondered what every one was doing. I wondered if Haku had ever rebuilt his river.
Like usual, my thoughts shifted to a slightly darker more painful subject. He had made a promise to me that day. Even after seven years, that promise still lived inside of me. Every day I rose out of bed, hoping today would be the day, and every night I went to bed disappointed. I shoved my hands in the pocket of the sweatshirt and let out a puff of smoke as I exhaled. Had he forgotten? Did he even mean it? Or was he too preoccupied to care about some little ten-year old girl he hadn't seen in seven years.
I shook my head violently and pushed the thoughts into the farthest corner of my mind. I tilted my head up slightly to look at where I was going. I sighed when I saw that the store ahead was closed, all of its lights were out for the night. I had no other choice. I would have to go to the market on the other side of town. It was so far away though and all I wanted to do was curl up in bed and get this night over with. I decided on taking the shortcut through the woods to my right. I didn't need light to know where I was going. After roughly ten minutes of walking, I was entirely miserable. It was colder than I had anticipated and I was shivering nonstop now. The heavy sweatshirt seemed to do nothing to block out the cold.
And as if this night couldn't get any worse. I hooked a stray piece of hair behind my ear and kept my eyes lowered to the ground as I heard the laughter. I recognized that shrill laugh and it only ever meant trouble. I inwardly groaned and cursed the world as I realized she was in my line of travel. She was standing near the large oak tree, giggling like a little girl as her boyfriend kissed her neck. I attempted to scoot my way around her but of course I had to step on a freaking twig that snapped louder than a firecracker.
Jesus! Did I crush a whole tree?! I thought angrily as Mari gasped dramatically and clung to her boyfriend, who tried oh-so-hard to be the big man but it was obvious he was about to crap himself with fear.
"Who's there?!" Mari shouted then turned to her boyfriend and whispered furiously, "Tamaki! Go see who it is!"
Yeah, be the man Tamaki. I hissed sarcastically.
"Are you kidding me?! What if it's a serial killer!?" Tamaki gave Mari a nudge "You go find out who it is."
Is this guy kidding me? My eyebrows rose and I felt like laughing.
However, to my horror, Mari stepped forward and, of course, she happened to step in my direction. Luck was never on my side. I tried desperately not to make a sound as I inched away from her. Something must have brushed against her, or maybe she was losing it, because Mari let out a bellowing screech that made several animals flee the area, including Tamaki. Mari was shaking now and she swung her arms out wildly, combating with her "attacker". She tramped around the area, fists lashing out at nothing until she came my way.
Oh no! Oh crap, oh crap, oh crap! My eyes widened as she got closer and I stood frozen in my spot. One of her dainty fists struck my upper arm and Mari shrieked again. She whipped out her cell phone and flashed the light in my eyes. I winced from the onslaught of light.
Her eyes narrowed. "You! I should have known!"
How in the world could you have possibly come up with the conclusion that I would be here tonight? I thought.
"I knew you were jealous of Tamaki and I! I saw how you were looking at him the other day! You tried breaking us up!"
And there it was. The complicated but totally justifiable (in her mind) logic of Mari.
"Mari, I want nothing to do with your boyfriend." I responded, feeling drained and not in the mood to argue with a crazy woman.
She snorted, "Yeah, right. Everyone knows you're jealous of me. Besides why would I believe your word, you're just a liar."
I froze. I hated that word.
"Do you still go around telling people about how you took a trip with a shadow creäture, a bug and a rat?"
"It was a mouse." I murmured defiantly.
She laughed, "You seriously are insane. Grow up, you freak."
Tonight, I would crawl in bed and not climb out until tomorrow. This was ridiculous. I waited for Mari to storm off in a huff but she didn't.
"You know, every one is tired of your lies. Every one hates you. You and that freak you hang out with, Kara."
"Her name is Kana." I hissed.
"Whatever. Attention whore."
"Slut." I had officially snapped.
She gasped, "Faker!"
"Ooo! You little-!" She grabbed my hair and pulled hard.
I grabbed hers and yanked equally hard. Normally, I would have punched her in her nose but dad would have killed me and I got a slight satisfaction from messing up the little princess's "perfect" hair. She released me and pulled her hair free, immediately trying to get it to lay down flat again. She stared at me, huffing and puffing. Then she gave me one hard shove. It wouldn't have been enough to knock me down but I stumbled back a bit and tripped over a tree root. I lost my balance and crashed into a small brook. When my body hit the rocks, I arched my back and gasped. Pain exploded from my injured body and I heard Mari run off.
Tears sprung up in my eyes. My entire body ached, I was wet and cold, and today had just been a miserable day. I heard the small trickle of the water over the rocks as I lay there for several moments, in too much pain to move. Then, when the water had completely soaked through my sweatshirt (crap), I stood up and furiously wiped my hot tears away. I don't know what I had ever been thinking but I took off running. Not towards home, not towards the park, not towards the store. I just took off. Could my day seriously get any worse?
I ran for what seemed like hours before the earth beneath me suddenly disappeared. My eyes shot open just as I crashed into ice-cold water. Small bubbled escaped from my lips as I sunk down farther into the icy depths of the water.
Why didn't I take those swimming lessons? Haku…Haku…
My brain shut down and my body remained still as I sunk lower and lower. Then my mind clouded over and I slipped into peaceful dreams.
Please, tell me what you thought! I would really appreciate it but if you're going to say something critical, do it kindly please. Thank you! - Love, Anii