Spirited Away Epilogue

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I went back to that shrine whenever I could. I made it a part of my daily routine. After school, I would ride to the shrine and sit, hoping to catch a glimpse of my old friends. And him. Haku. He had yet to keep his promise of meeting again, but I didn't worry. I would wait for him as long as needed, my whole life if need be.
Many years went by. I went to college and got a degree in Japanese Folk Tales and Mythology, in the hopes of finding other cases like mine. I had no such luck. I ended up losing my job at the local historical museum and worked a simple desk job that needed no credentials. In that time I never grew bitter, I just continued waiting for Haku. Those were the only constants in my life, the waiting and the shrine. A man watched my daily trips there and I eventually met with him and told him all of my tales. He fell in love and proposed to me two years later. I politely declined, although my time with him was enjoyable, I knew it wasn't love. Or at least, not the kind of love he hoped for. He left, and I was once again visiting the shrine on my own. I adopted two children, and I took them there as well. I raised them with the stories of the bathhouse and the shrine, but they grew up, and just believed I was becoming senile in my old age.
I am now ninety-six. I packed up all of my money and had a little cottage built at the shrine, so I would always be there. I fell ill, and all my children and grandchildren visited and said their farewells. I wrote my will, giving away only a few meager possessions as the shrine was all I had. My relatives all left then, and I was left alone, ready to die, content with my life of waiting.
That night I had a dream. Haku flew down as a dragon, and then he was human. He stood before me, not having aged a day. I rushed towards him, and with every step I grew younger. By the time I finally reached him I was the same age as my adventures all those years ago.
"Come with me," he said. "Let's go to the bathhouse, Sen." I was taken aback at the familiar name. It was as if no time had passed at all. I put my hand in his and followed him into the bright moonlight.
"You finally came," I murmured, tears streaming down my face.
He looked down at me. "You needed to grow up, experience things, to live your own life Sen. But now, I will never have to leave you again."
When we stepped into the light I could catch glimpses of all my old friends, their faces unchanged as well, all shouting,"Welcome Home!"
And I ran from that little old cottage, not a single glance back, because I had finally found the happiness of true love once again. And now, my life would truly begin.

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