Chapter | 8
The next morning I woke up alone, no more awkward good mornings for me… damn.
I trusted Haku when he had said that I didn't have to worry about him disappearing after I go to sleep, so I told him it was okay to go wherever it was he usually went at night. It was only after he left that I realised that Haku also had to sleep some time and that was probably later during the night, but where did he sleep if I was dominating his bed?
I pulled myself into a sitting position and got out of bed.
There was a crack open in the curtains, revealing yet another sunny day and nothing to do.
While walking over to the curtains, I lifted my arms above my head and stretched them out until my bones felt like they were going to pop. I was just about to pull the curtains open when I spotted something on top of the old books piled on the desk, something that wasn't there when I had gone to sleep.
I slowly walked over to the package and picked it up for closer inspection. What first seemed like a bunch of white and pink cloth wrapped together, turned out to be a uniform. Haku must have brought it here while I was sleeping.
I undid the bow and laid the uniform out on the bed, trying to remember how I was supposed to wear it. After a few minutes of rearranging the pieces of clothing I was satisfied with my plan.
About ten minutes later I was standing in the middle of the room, ready to go, but to go where? I walked over to the balcony, pulled the curtains aside and stepped out onto it, the sun temporarily blinding me. I put one hand up to cover my eyes and the other one to block out the sun. There was a definite click behind me and I swung around to find the door closed and from my urgent tugging at the handle it was obvious that it didn't plan on opening. I'd just have to wait until someone came to get me.
Letting out a sigh of defeat, I sat down and spread my legs out in front of me. I undid the knot I had made with the belt of my uniform and pulled of the top shirt so that I was now only in my pants and under-shirt, which looked more like a bathing suit.
I bunched the shirt up and used it as a pillow to rest my head on, crossing my arms over my face for protection from the sun. I wondered how long it would take someone- Haku- to realise that I hadn't come down yet.
This thought was interrupted by the sound of a dying walrus- my stomach. It had been a while since I had eaten but my body had been running on adrenaline all the time and now that I was basking in the sun it was running out.
When my stomach gave another war cry I turned on my side, hoping that it would help. It didn't. I would just ignore it, I decided, and turned back into my original position.
The sun really did feel amazing and at that moment I wished that it would never go away, because I could feel myself drifting off into a dream, the sun singing a steady lullaby.
What felt like hours later I slowly opened my eyes to find dusk creeping over the sky. I shot up so fast that I had to take a few breathes until the swirling in my head stopped and my vision cleared. Once I felt my legs could hold me, I stood up and found that the door was now standing wide open, almost inviting me to go inside. Slowly I walked into the room and scanned to see if there was anyone waiting for me there. Nobody.
I opened the bedroom door and took the steps two at a time while trying to pull my shirt over my head. At the foot of the stairs I wrapped the belt around my waist again and made a tight knot, pulling the ends to insure that it wouldn't come loose.
Once I was satisfied, I made my way to Yubaba's office only to find that it was also empty. Where was everyone? And why did no one come to wake me up? Fear started to creep its way up my spine until my head over-flowed with terrifying ideas. I shook my head and decided to just go and look for people.
The entire bath house was empty; all the lights off. I walked slowly down to the bathes and from there I went to the main entrance were everything looked as it usually did. Everything except the bridge.
Something drew me to it and before I knew it I was standing in the middle uncertain of what to do next. Just as I was about to go look for everyone two figures appeared on both sides of the bridge. In the dim light it was hard to see their faces but a weird feeling in my gut told me that these were the men that tried to kill that little girl- Mina. I squared my shoulders and lifted my head a little higher, showing them that I wasn't afraid of them.
The figures started towards me. I took a deep breath, my muscles pulling together as I got ready to defend myself if need be. After taking a few steps they stopped once again, not taking their eyes off me. I could finally see them and they weren't the men from earlier. I still couldn't tell who exactly they were since they were wearing black robes and white masks; they looked like No-face.
Slowly the two figures in front of me lifted their masks and threw back their shoulders, letting the robes fall to the ground. I gasped. Standing in front of me were my parents. But that was impossible! I had left them behind me in the human world, there was no way that they could have made it here.
I pulled myself together and remembered that there were people behind me too. Before I could turn around there was a whoosh and two black shadows swept past me to where my parents were standing.
The shorter one of the cloaked figure removed its mask to reveal Lin standing there next to the last hooded person. I opened my mouth to say something, but choked on my own words.
My heart started to race as the last person lifted its hands up to its mask. After his mask was in his hand, Haku's eyes met mine. What was going on? I was busy trying to speak those words when Haku moved in front of me so fast that I didn't even see him.
"You have to leave" he said, his breath warm against my face. The words were emotionless, but the look in his eyes told an entirely different story. He looked at me with pleading eyes, almost as if saying those very words hurt him to the core of his soul. I was about to ask him what was going on when the bridge suddenly lurched and started to turn.
I tried desperately to keep my balance as the ends of the bridge changed places, leaving me with my back to the town. The only way I could go was back since my parents, Lin and Haku were blocking my way forward.
"No-" I started to say but Haku pulled me into his arms, tightening them around my waist until I couldn't pry my own arms free.
"Please listen to me" his voice was soft against my ear, "It's not safe here for you, they won't leave you alone" he continued, pain clear in his voice.
I didn't want to leave, I wasn't ready to leave yet. Instead of fighting him I let my arms droop to my sides and buried my face in his chest. There was a creak as my parents appeared at our sides.
"It's time to come home, honey" my mom said in a voice that I hadn't heard for many years and I missed it so much. Haku let me go and stood at arms-length from me. My eyes didn't leave his once, not even when my parents each took hold of one of my hands and pulled me away from Haku. It was only when my feet started moving that I started to struggle against them, urgently yanking my arms to get them free, all the time yelling at the top of my lungs for them to stop.
"No! Please, please don't let them take me away!" I yelled once we almost reached the end of the bridge. My words must have rerouted Haku’s brain, because he took off after me, his hands once again reaching for me.
I was now full on fighting to get away from my parents, knowing that if I reached the end of the bridge then everything would be over.
Tears started to stream down my cheeks as I continued to try and break free, but it seemed that my parents very equally determined to keep hold of me since I couldn't even budge my hands a little bit. One more step was all that was left between me and the end.
"Haku!" my voice boomed in my ears and before I knew what was happening Haku had me in his arms, my parents nowhere to be seen.
Haku put his hands on my shoulders and looked me deep in the eyes, his face moving closer with every heartbeat.
Was he going to kiss me? I didn't know but my entire heart and soul screamed at him to close the distance. Instead he started to shake me.
"Wake up, Chihiro!" he yelled at me until I felt like my head was about to explode. When I thought I couldn't take it anymore, the bridge seemed to give way beneath my feet and I fell into a dark pit.
All the time I kept yelling out for someone to help me, for anyone to save me from this fate I was given. Something flashed in the corner of my eye and I swung around until I could get a clear view of it. A hand, and not just any hand. Haku was diving down to me. I reached out and grabbed his hand, pulling him down until he was hovering above me.
Then I woke up.