Romantic comedies are usually the stuff of dreams, but that's not always the case.
For one particular Japanese couple, an unfortunate accident transformed their lives into a bittersweet fantasy that mirrors the plot of the movie 50 First Dates that has captured the hearts of millions in Japan. Their inspiring love story was revealed during an interview on the Japanese television show, TBS’ Yume Special.
For the uninitiated, 50 First Dates is a romcom starring Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore in which the latter plays a woman who was involved in a car accident and suffers from anterograde amnesia; causing her memories to reset each day. Sandler plays her romantic interest who continues to woo her everyday and tries to make her fall in love with him all over again.
According to reports, the couple - Li Huayu, 22, and Maruyama, 24, - are entwined in their own version of '50 First Dates'. The couple had been together for two and a half years and had even made plans to marry when Maruyama's accident nine months ago changed their lives. She had been riding a bicycle when a car crashed into her, leaving her comatose.
After she woke up, she lost her memory and wasn't able to recognise anyone - including her parents and boyfriend.
She eventually recovered from her injuries but never fully regained the memories she'd lost. Her condition gradually worsened to the point where her memory would reset each day - just like Barrymore's character.
This sudden turn of events even threw a wrench in their wedding plans - which Li ultimately called off - but he remained committed and stayed by her side. He would reintroduce himself to her every morning, explain what happened and even showed proof of their relationship.
Even when Maruyama initiated a break up due to the strain on their relationship, Li adamantly refused and said: "You may have lost your memories, but we can make new ones."
Maruyama's doctor advised her to keep a diary to help her remember the events of previous days and after realising Li's devotion and dedication to her, she decided to surprise him with a proposal instead.
She told Li: "Thank you for your care during this time. You understand me very well and have always tolerated this sensitive and fragile version of me."
"Recently, my symptoms have become more and more serious. Doctors say that the amnesia may get even worse. I may lose my memory again, and even forget you forever, are you still willing to be with me?"
Maruyama added during the televised the interview: "Because of my amnesia, I have the chance to fall in love with him again. No matter how many times I lose my memory, I believe I will always fall in love with him."
And in case you were wondering, he said yes.