She suddenly looked at him and asked him “Who are you?” a few weeks before their scheduled wedding.
In today’s society, more and more people believe that there is no such thing as true love. Even married couples end in divorce, and long relationships end after one affair. Because there are many fish in the sea, many people tend to cheat on their current partners and look for “adventure” outside of their relationship. However, one story from Japan has left many believing in love once again.
Hisashi Nishizawa and Mai Nakahara were introduced to each other by friends and soon fell in love with other soon after. They dated for two years, where they were described as a “perfect” couple as they had fun and hard times together, without any problems in their relationship. Hisashi soon realized that Mai was the one for him and decided that he should never let her get away.
One day, he got down on one knee and proposed to Mai. Mai was in tears as she said yes. Everything fell into place, and all the couple was waiting for was their scheduled wedding. They were both busy in preparing for the wedding until Hisashi was shocked one day. Mai suddenly looked at him with a strange look like she had never seen him before and asked: “Who are you?”
A few days later, Mai’s personality change. She began having tantrums and would scream for no reason. She then began failing to recognize her friends and family one by one. Hisashi knew something was wrong.
They brought her to the hospital, where doctors failed to give them an answer. They didn’t know what was wrong. Just a few days after being admitted to the hospital, Mai’s condition worsened. Her heart stopped beating once. After emergency rescue was performed, Mai had to be put on a ventilator to sustain her life. Mai succumbed into a coma and she sometimes had sudden spasms. Doctors told them that Mai may never wake up again.
After five months in the hospital, doctors discovered that she had limbic encephalitis, which was caused by her ovarian tumor. Hisashi and Mai’s family were heartbroken. Still, Hisashi insists that he would stay by her side until she recovers.
Mai’s mother choked back tears as she replied: “I thank you for looking after Mai but I do hope that you would give up on Mai and look for another girl.”
Hisashi replied sadly: “I beg of you, please allow me to continue to stay by Mai’s side. I want to look at her smile again… I want to hear her call my name again… I do not want to give Mai up…”
And finally, on the 529th day after she was admitted to the hospital, Mai opened her eyes. However, she did not recognize anyone around her. Even the voices of her closest friends or families did not trigger her memories at all. Hisashi was hopeful that Mai would recognize him soon, and still remained by her side.
After 1000 days of recuperating, Mai was finally discharged from the hospital. She then decided that she wanted to marry Hisashi who looked after her and cherished their time together. And on August 2014, Mai and Hisashi finally tied the knot during their formal wedding ceremony, eight long years after Hisashi first proposed to her.
Their story was then turned into a film ‘The 8 Year Engagement’, starred by actor Takeru Satoh and actress Tao Tsuchiya.