Estimated reading time — 21 minutes
A 2ch thread from December 2011 about… um…
Well, about confusion, we’ll say.
To aid in your reading, #OP is always the original poster – the ‘main character,’ if you will.
#2ch is just a generic handle used to specify someone not the OP posting. #2ch is not all the same person.
With that said, please enjoy this story.
I want someone to hear this.
I seriously feel like I’m going nuts here.
I recently proposed to my girlfriend.
We’d dated for about five years, starting in college.
I got the okay from her, and we were on the way to a happy marriage.
But, since I couldn’t yet get the money and we were unsure when to have the wedding, we decided to just register our marriage first.
So I got the marriage forms, filled out the necessary bits, and sent them to her.
But in the blank for her name, she wrote a name which I had never seen before.
It wasn’t that I had been dating her all this time without knowing her real name.
I typically referred to her by a nickname, sure.
But we had been in the same class in college, and we had laughed seeing our names together on the roster.
I honestly didn’t know what to think.
But those were the facts.
I recognized my girlfriend’s name as being “Hanako Satoh.”
But she wrote something completely different; we’ll say “Elizabeth Ijuin.”
It seemed like a rather obnoxious name, really.
Of course, I asked her about it.
“Huh? What’s that name?”
“What? My name?”
“Isn’t your name Hanako Satoh?”
“What’re you saying?”
That’s the exchange we had.
Do you have her as Hanako Satoh in your phonebook?
^ She’s on my phone under her nickname.
Feeling I must have been making a ridiculous mistake this whole time, I backed off for the moment.
I came to doubt my own mind somewhat.
Deciding to take a look back at my memories, I found some old photographs.
They were pictures of me and my girlfriend together.
But the girl in the photos was not the girl I had been talking to.
However, it was the girl in the photos who I couldn’t recall.
In my memory, I had been dating the girl calling herself “Elizabeth Ijuin” for five years.
Hanako Satoh had vanished into thin air.
I felt like I was going to throw up.
You still want to get married?
Maybe show the pictures to Elizabeth?
She just took off her makeup, I bet.
Did you have an accident or something?
Sounds like memory loss, or dissociation…
^^^ Oh god. Would that be wise?
^^ That doesn’t explain her name changing!
^ No, I’ve never hit my head or anything.
Had my foot broken by a bike, sure.
Does the nickname stem from “Elizabeth” or “Hanako”?
Maybe she just wrote some other name she has?
Think about it, it’d be really obvious if her face changed.
I can’t say anything but that there’s something wrong with you.
Tell a friend about the situation.
^^^ She had a stage name of sorts for a rakugo club.
I called her a variation on that.
^^ I don’t think she’d write a nickname on a marriage form…
^ I suppose… I’ll try getting in touch with a friend from college.
How long ago were these photos from?
It’d help to figure out when the switch occurred…
The photos were taken during our third year of college, so four years ago.
Oh, but I knew there was a girl named Hanako Satoh since my first year.
Have you always stayed close?
Never gone long-distance at any point?
No occasions that I think are worth mentioning…
The longest we’ve gone without seeing each other at all is about two weeks.
That was for a family trip.
In Korea, they use aliases on marriage forms, trials, all kinds of official stuff.
Because they really do have two names.
Tell us everything since the time you met.
Which girl is in the most recent photo you have?
Hanako, or Elizabeth?
^^^ Seriously? I mean… Well, I guess I’ve never asked if she’s Korean…
I guess I could check…
^^ Nothing really special’s happened since we met…
She did rakugo in a club and I came to listen, and I thought it was neat.
Since we were in the same class, we became friends and started dating.
^ The only other recent photos I have are phone photos.
I upgraded my phone about a year ago, and all the pictures on it are of Elizabeth.
But her name and face are different? You can’t explain that…
Indeed… I can’t.
I’m going nuts here…
Gonna go for a smoke.
I’m getting confused…
Is it that you were dating Hanako Satoh, but she was replaced by Elizabeth?
Or that you were dating Elizabeth, but she was replaced by Hanako Satoh?
What do you call Hanako by, OP?
Even if it was a nickname, if she got replaced, wouldn’t she find it odd?
If the nickname came from a stage name, then she could’ve become Elizabeth then.
It must have been Elizabeth from the start.
So her face is completely different?
^^^^ I thought she was Hanako Satoh, but she became Elizabeth.
^^^ I’m afraid to to tell the details, sorry…
^^ Maybe… But the pictures were from when we were dating…
^ I think they look very different. I don’t think makeup could be it…
But then again, I don’t know anything about makeup.
Why don’t you ask her directly?
I’ve been in disarray after yesterday.
I’ll ask her again later.
Maybe it’s OP’s personality that’s been replaced…
People can get their names changed, y’know.
Maybe she killed somebody?
Maybe she had a husband but got divorced?
^^^ I am doubting myself a little…
^^ Can you do that? Don’t you need to go through a whole process and such?
^ But both her names changed…?
“Isn’t your name Hanako Satoh?”
“What’re you saying?”
What happened after this?
Did she show any signs of distrust or being unsettled?
At the time, I was just thinking “Huh? Do I have her real name wrong, since I always call her by her nickname?”
So I didn’t want to probe too deeply.
Of course, my head was filled with question marks, but I just tried to smooth it over.
Because if it were my mistake, I thought she would get angry at me.
Remembering her name wrong would be outrageous.
Maybe you’re in an alternate dimension.
But they were sloppy in falsifying your memories…
^ Always possible.
There’ve been people who feel like they’ve suddenly woken up from a long dream.
Did you send the marriage form?
^^ Um, that’s freaky, guys…
^ Marriage registration is a pain, and I haven’t done it yet due to various hang-ups.
Plus now, I’m a bit scared to…
I keep thinking about this and getting nowhere.
You gotta contact someone you can trust right away.
Sure you weren’t wrong from the beginning?
Also, upload pics.
The current girl is someone who’s long stalked OP.
Wanting to marry him at any cost, she talked to a hypnotist.
She took OP to him, he used his hypnotism, and here we are.
I don’t suppose this “Elizabeth Ijuin” might be little more than a figment of your imagination?
If that’s the case, I don’t think there’s any doubt you have schizophrenia.
Or perhaps “Elizabeth Ijuin” does exist, but all the outrageous events you write of here are completely wild fantasies.
If that’s the case… I still don’t think there’s any doubt you have schizophrenia.
^^^^ I emailed a friend earlier, but still no reply.
^^^ No pics.
I don’t know how to do a mosaic effect.
^^ Can hypnotists actually do that sort of thing?
^ Nobody likes a copypasta.
Got a reply from my friend.
Incidentally, here’s what I sent:
“Remember [nickname] who I’ve been dating?
Was her real name “Hanako Satoh” or “Elizabeth Ijuin”?”
“I think it was something Satoh, yeah. Did you break up?”
I figured it was Hanako Satoh I was dating…
First of all, you gotta tell us any episodes from dating Hanako to now, in chronological order.
Sort things out in your head.
Sounds like you’ve got some serious memory issues.
Which one’s cuter, Hanako Satoh or Elizabeth Ijuin?
But does OP still love this Elizabeth Ijuin?
^^^ I’ll try to remember and post some things.
^^ I guess if I had to say, the one in the photo is cuter…
^ Of course. I’m all set to marry her.
I sent my friend a photo of Elizabeth.
“Do you know who this is? And do you know the name “Elizabeth Ijuin”?”
In my first year of college, Hanako Satoh was in the same class as me.
Even at welcoming parties and such, we didn’t really come into contact.
In second year, I saw her at a rakugo performance by one of the clubs.
I thought, “Ah, she’s that girl in my class.”
When she got off the stage, I think I said to her, “I never realized you were in the Ochiken club, Satoh.”
I’m fairly sure I called her “Satoh” then.
I realized I was interested in this girl.
Being a literature major, I asked her to teach me about rakugo and borrowed some books.
On Christmas that year, I confessed to her.
She put on a show for me after doing sexy things in my room, haha…
Got a reply.
“Don’t know her. And “Elizabeth Ijuin”? Hahaha, what kinda name IS that?”
Note that while “Elizabeth Ijuin” is just a name I made up, the real name sounds just as bizarre.
Maybe ask your friend if he knows Hanako Satoh’s number?
If her face is the same, then maybe she uses a different name for official things than she uses normally. Is she a foreigner?
But like I said, her face is totally different.
The Capgras delusion.
Maybe OP’s case is a little different, but doesn’t it sound similar?
I read the article.
It seems different, but similar.
Maybe I really should go to a psychiatrist.
Reply from my friend.
“Her number’s ***-****-****, right?
[Her number from college, but it’s different now, so this is useless info.]
‘Course, she’s your girlfriend, so you’ve spent loads of time together, but I’ve never gotten to talk with ___ once…”
Contact that club she’s in?
I don’t know any members I can contact.
She might know, though.
I’ll meet her tomorrow and ask… Too scared to today…
I called the old number just to be sure.
Indeed, it’s not in use anymore.
Okay, posting some more things I remember.
After going out on Christmas of my second year of college, we went to visit a temple for the new year.
I think I wrote something like “I pray we’ll always be happy together.”
She might have written Hanako Satoh, but I can’t remember for sure.
She gave me chocolates on Valentine’s.
Around this point, our rooms changed around and we ended up together.
In third year, we were in the same seminar.
I remember seeing her on the roster and saying “I’m glad we’re in the same seminar.”
Fairly sure the name there was Hanako Satoh.
What about trips? Never wrote her name when signing in or anything?
So basically, you don’t remember anything from college about “Elizabeth” at all?
^^ Yes, we went on trips. To Kyoto, to Izumo…
And I think she wrote her name while booking hotels.
But I can’t really remember if it was Hanako Satoh.
^ It’s not like I can recall everything perfectly, but I think so.
I don’t remember finding any incidents odd before…
What’d you call Satoh and Ijuin, respectively? Both the same?
^ What did she call me?
Just by my first name.
It’s been that way since college.
It was my last name at first, but then she used my name once we started dating.
I’m almost wishing to be diagnosed with something at this point.
Not being able to explain all this is what’s making me go nuts.
Thanks for the quick reply.
But learn to read! I asked what did YOU call HER!
You called Satoh by her nickname (stage name?), right?
And Ijuin by the same nickname you used for Satoh?
She’s had the same nickname since college.
And I’ve called both Hanako Satoh and Elizabeth that same name.
What’s she doing now?
She’s in her room, I think.
We’re both renting rooms closer to our respective workplaces.
In the same seminar in third year, our members went flower-viewing.
The friend I emailed earlier was one of those members.
I called her by her nickname, so it spread throughout the group.
In summer, we went to the beach. And we went boating in the mountains.
By this point, I think I stopped using her real name altogether…
But when attending the seminar, the professor definitely called her name.
And I don’t remember thinking anything was odd then…
Also, we went to Kyoto together this summer.
Does it feel like the memories you had thought were spent with Satoh are now memories with Elizabeth (upon seeing the name Elizabeth), and you’re wondering who Satoh is?
Or is it just the name Elizabeth compared against it being Satoh in your memories that’s confusing?
In my memory, the girl I’ve been dating now is the one I’ve dated since college.
But her name in college was Satoh, and now it’s Elizabeth.
And in photographs from my college days, I’m with a girl I don’t recognize.
There’s the photo taken in Kyoto, and one at Izumo Temple from autumn of this year, and it’s the same girl in both.
I don’t take many pictures, so that’s all I have.
You say you don’t recognize her, but don’t you know both Satoh and Elizabeth’s faces?
You know Elizabeth’s current face, but don’t recognize the old Satoh?
I don’t know whether it’s Satoh or Elizabeth, but I don’t remember the face of the girl in the photos.
But the one I went on the trip with was definitely my girlfriend.
This is wearing me out.
I’ll check on various things tomorrow.
Though talking about it here has gotten me more nervous.
And that’s considering I felt like throwing up before starting the thread…
Maybe nothing’s been resolved, but you’ve been helpful nonetheless.
Thanks for listening, everyone.
[The thread ends, but someone starts up a new one for him. Please click the ‘Read More’ box to continue.]
Er, I’m the OP.
Can I keep posting here?
I’ve been waiting for this!
I’m really sorry for starting a thread while I was still going nuts yesterday.
But I’ve calmed down some now.
To be honest, I don’t have much to report. Sorry.
I’ve been too busy with work to go to the hospital.
However, I did send a phone photo of the girl I don’t recognize to my friend.
”___? Is this from back in college?”
I emailed Elizabeth:
“How long have we been dating, again?”
“About five years, isn’t it?”
That’s about all I can report.
Not much progress.
I’m a little tired.
I think OP should decide on this himself, but…
A: The girl he’s currently going to marry
B: The problem girl in the photograph
C: The girl he was dating when the photo was taken (The girl OP thinks he’s been dating all along)
A/B/C could be three people or all just one.
They could also be named either Satoh or Elizabeth.
I think coming up with a standard like that could make things easier to read.
It’s not exactly easy for me to divide it up that way…
Because to me, I’ve been dating Hanako Satoh all along, and I don’t know the girl in the photos.
Didn’t you use “___” at some point?
Is that not Hanako Satoh?
___ represents the nickname I called her by.
The point is, you sent a photo of B to your friend, right? What did he call B?
I called her ___ (her nickname) back then, and my friend called her that as well.
Nickname? She has a nickname too?
Her nickname… Oh, fine. I suppose I might as well specify.
Her stage name at the time was “Aigantei Chiwawa.”
Thus, I called her “Chiwa.”
Did your friend know Chiwa was her nickname? He didn’t think it was her real name?
He was in our seminar, so he should know her real name.
And he remembered her last name as Satoh yesterday.
OP here. Something bad happened.
I’m getting bored, so I’m gonna stop now.
Also, I was a troll.
I wasn’t planning to show up since I still don’t have anything to report.
But since a fake showed up, I’m here to establish myself as the real deal.
This really is wearing me out, though, so I ask you to wait until I’m ready to report (including my nerves settling down).
I decided I don’t want to go to the hospital until I’m certain of a few more things.
I’m busy working, so I haven’t met my girlfriend or my friend.
And I’m a little scared of the two of them meeting face to face…
But I’m planning to see my friend tomorrow.
For now, show her the old photographs.
Introducing your friend and her (Ijuin) would settle everything.
Your friend knows “photo girl = Satoh = Chiwa,” and Ijuin knows herself as “Chiwa,” so you three can talk it out.
I’m curious about this bike incident where he broke his foot.
Maybe he doesn’t remember, but maybe he fell unconscious?
If so, it might have had an effect on his brain.
– Might be like that Natsuhiko Kyogoku book with the guy who can’t distinguish faces. (Dunno if that disorder actually exists.)
– Calls her mostly by a nickname, so thinks “Huh? Was that her name?”
– He got the name wrong from the start.
Any combination of that stuff could work…
Catching up on questions now.
^^^^ I’ll try that.
[He actually said “I’ll try that” three times in this post, because three separate people told him to do that. Sheesh, guys.]
^^^ I’ll discuss it with my friend tomorrow.
^^ I broke my foot right after entering my fourth year.
I don’t think I hit my head.
A lady crashed into me from the side, and my right foot got crushed underneath the bike.
^ What do you mean by not being able to distinguish faces?
Reporting on what happened today.
But I’m still sorting out what happened myself, so it might be hard to understand in places.
Ask me about anything unclear.
You aren’t poor with faces and names, are you, OP? Even if it’s not bad enough to affect your life.
For now, I’d recommend counseling as soon as possible.
The one thing I want to know is if this is a mental issue. It can happen to anyone, and people can live their whole lives not realizing it.
In fact, I think I have some of the same symptoms as OP.
It’s not as extreme, but I suddenly forgot someone’s name, and even when I looked at an old photo of them, I couldn’t link the face and the name.
To be fair, it doesn’t explain how your friend remembers her as Hanako Satoh… but it could be several things at work.
Try to consider all the possibilities.
Just consider that there are other people with this condition.
Also, I’m a little drunk. So I’m going to ramble on somewhat. Sorry.
^ I’m kind of bad at remembering faces, but… not bad enough for anyone to mention it or anything.
I’ve always thought I was just normal.
But if there are people like that… Maybe I’m that way, too?
I met my friend who I emailed earlier.
We met at a pub and talked while eating.
We haven’t met in about half a year, but we occasionally emailed each other.
First, I showed him a couple photos of the girl I didn’t recognize.
I had already sent them earlier, but I thought it might have been harder to judge from the phone camera.
Friend: “These are the pictures you sent?”
Me: “Yeah. Do you know who’s in them?”
Friend: “You and Chiwa, right?”
Me: “You’re sure?”
Friend: “I don’t get it. What’s this about?”
Me: “Maybe I’m just messed up in the head, but I don’t know who the girl in these pictures is…”
Friend: “What? You serious? Aren’t you dating?”
Friend: “Did you break up?”
Me: “No, nothing like that…”
Friend: “Then what?”
I couldn’t explain it very well, so it kept going on like this.
It might have been the alcohol, too.
But eventually, I explained the whole situation.
He was quiet for a while, drinking his sake.
I wasn’t sure what to say.
Friend: “Well, if you yourself think you’re messed up, wouldn’t it be best to go to the hospital?”
Me: “I’ve considered it, but I wanted to make sure first…”
Friend: “But hear it from me. This girl is definitely Hanako Satoh, and I don’t know any girl named Elizabeth Ijuin.”
Me: “Then I have a request. I want you to meet with Elizabeth.”
Friend: “What? I don’t wanna… Why should I…?”
And here I thought he was a friend.
Or maybe he got replaced, too?
Well, not wanting to get into that kind of nonsense, I just figured going out into society changes a person.
Friend: “Anyway, go to the hospital and get counseling.
I’ll pay the bill here.”
So that brought today to a close.
Perhaps you could say he ran away from me. Nuts.
So I came home rather drunk, and Elizabeth was in my room.
This wasn’t odd, since she has an extra key and it’s Saturday, but it surprised me a little.
I had gotten a call on my phone, but I didn’t notice until she told me.
I suppose the restaurant was too noisy for me to hear it.
She said she would’ve just gone home if I had been a little later.
She cleaned up my room, and set up a rice cooker for breakfast tomorrow.
What a good girl. I couldn’t believe she wasn’t Hanako Satoh.
Drunkenly, I asked her.
Me: “How long have we been dating, again?”
Liz: “You emailed me that earlier. What’s the deal?”
Me: “We started in our second year of college, right?”
Liz: “That’s right! So this Christmas, it’ll be exactly five years.”
Me: “And why did I start calling you “Chiwa”?”
Liz: “My friends called me that because I acted like a chihuahua.”
Me: “Was that it…?”
Liz: “Hence the name “Aigantei Chiwawa.””
No inconsistency there… I think.
Me: “Oh, I went drinking with S (my friend) today.”
Liz: “Who’s that?”
Apparently, Elizabeth didn’t know my friend.
Me: “”Who’s that”? He was in the seminar with us!”
Liz: “Hmm… Don’t really remember him. Were you friends?”
Me: “I thought you hung out with him, too!”
Liz: “Really? Well, I hung out with the people in my circle more than the seminar people…”
I couldn’t say anything after that.
I thought she was just making excuses.
But there was still the alcohol, and I didn’t know how to continue the conversation.
So she went back home a while ago.
Try Googling Satoh and Elizabeth? You might find some new info.
This is getting eerie…
I tried Googling their names earlier, but nothing useful.
Same for the nickname.
Actually, I’m still kinda drunk.
Looking at the screen’s wearing me out…
I’ll go to bed for today. Thanks for listening, everyone.
No progress, but I’ll post since people seem to want me to post once a day.
My nerves are progressing though, haha…
Being worn down day by day…
Starting to have hallucinations of Hanako Satoh…
I’m going to have dinner.
Ask any questions you have, and I’ll answer them afterward.
If there aren’t any, I’ll be done for today.
My question is, does OP still want to marry Elizabeth?
Did he have feelings for Hanako or Elizabeth?
Of course, things may change, but I’m just asking the way it is now.
What kinds of hallucinations?
What’s your next objective?
I think you should determine as quickly as possible if Satoh and Elizabeth are the same person.
Your friend is one thing, but you should go to school and ask the seminar teachers and the club members.
You should find the truth if you search for it earnestly.
And you should really really really go to the hospital if you’re serious about hallucinating.
^^^ I do want to marry her. As long as this issue is resolved.
You ask which one I had feelings for, but I don’t know the girl in the photos, so…
It’s a matter of figuring out the situation, not a matter of feelings.
^^ I saw the girl from the pictures waving to me from a bus window.
^ I’m looking for seminar members and such I can contact who might have our yearbook.
I’ve considered the school, but it’s hard to go, not knowing any of the club members.
I think Elizabeth is doing everything purposefully.
OP must be under hypnosis, or maybe being brainwashed.
Liz: “What’re you saying?”
She calmly lied because she detected the brainwashing wearing off.
The visit the other day was to check if he’d snapped out of it, too.
Elizabeth is no doubt looking into how to re-brainwash him.
Can I really be brainwashed or hypnotized without knowing about it?
At any rate, I think OP should locate Hanako Satoh. Do you plan to?
Even if there are issues with OP’s memory, it seems either his friend or Elizabeth is lying.
How do you feel about that?
^^ I’m curious, but… I’m scared, honestly.
^ What would they be lying for, though?
Still, I am doubtful of a lot of things at the moment…
A whole lot happened today, so I’ll report.
I suppose staying chronological would be best, so I’ll start with yesterday.
Last night, while posting, I got a call from my friend S.
“I need to talk to you, can we meet tomorrow [aka today]?”
He told me to bring the photos, and while I didn’t know his intentions, I agreed.
I asked what he wanted to talk about, but he kept saying “I can’t explain it over the phone.”
It’s going to be troublesome posting about what happened next, so I’ll take a break for now. Sorry.
This is getting really horror-esque…
I left work and went to the meeting place. Again, it was the pub.
I told them S’s name at the counter, and they led me to a separate room.
And there was someone else there in addition to S.
A girl from our seminar called N.
While I’m at it, my own initial is T.
N smiled. “Long time no see, T.”
We hadn’t met since graduation, so I replied “Sure has been.”
I didn’t understand why N was here.
We weren’t particularly good friends. I didn’t even know her number.
“So, what is it?” I asked S.
S: “First of all, I’m sorry about the other day.”
Me: “Ah… Nah, it’s no problem. So did you tell N about things?”
S: “I did.”
Me: “…Well, okay. Don’t let it spread that I’m crazy or anything, though.”
N: “Don’t say that. He called me today because he thought I might help.”
I was silent, not really sure what she meant by “being helpful.”
N: “First, show me the photos you showed S.”
I took the photos from my bag and gave them to N.
The ones with the girl I didn’t know (who S called Hanako Satoh).
N kept looking through the few photos over and over.
S and I silently watched her.
Finally, N looked up and toward S. “It’s like I thought.”
I didn’t get it. I was getting fed up.
“What the hell does that mean?”, I asked N.
N asked S, “Can I tell him?”
S silently nodded.
N told me:
“T. Have you ever heard of prosopagnosia?”
Me: “Yeah, I have.”
Because someone had explained it in the thread.
I looked it up on Wikipedia later.
Me: “But I don’t have that. I can tell faces apart.
I mean, I know what your face is like, N…”
I thought that N has just been brought to offer me superficial advice from what little she knew.
But N went on.
“You don’t, T. But S does.”
S: “Sorry… I didn’t want you to know, which is why I acted that way the other day.”
Me: “…Never heard that before. You should’ve just told me.”
S: “Well, I didn’t want rumor spreading that I was crazy, either.”
N: “Long before S was in college, he’s had some pretty bad experiences because of it.”
N handed me the photos.
N: “So while S isn’t able to, I can tell that the girl in these photos isn’t Chiwa. It’s someone else.”
Me: “…So why did S tell me she was Chiwa?”
S: “I remembered those clothes. And that pendant.
Isn’t that the one you bought for Chiwa?”
Since I didn’t have a distinction between Elizabeth and Hanako, it didn’t seem too odd that the girl in the photo was wearing that pendant.
Me: “Then what’s up with these photos?
Why is a girl I don’t know wearing that pendant I bought?”
N: “Maybe it’s a fake. Made in Photoshop or something.”
N all too casually presented the possibility. I didn’t say anything.
Then N pulled something out of her own bag.
It was our yearbook.
N: “Look at this.”
N flipped through the pages of the yearbook.
She turned to the page for our seminar and showed me.
There was a photo of the girl I had been calling “Elizabeth.”
Under it, it said “Hanako Satoh.”
Photoshop? Huh? Elizabeth’s? Wha?
Me: “S, why did you say you didn’t recognize some of the Chiwa pictures?”
S: “Didn’t recognize the clothes. And she had different hair.”
Me: “Then who’s the girl in these pictures?”
N: “I don’t know.”
Me: “Who would make fakes, anyway?”
N: “I told you I don’t know!”
N picked up a mug.
“Let’s go to Chiwa’s house now. We’d better ask her directly.”
Egged on by N to finish our drinks, I emptied my glass.
Before leaving the restaurant, I asked them.
Me: “Um. Incidentally, are you two dating?”
S: “Er, yes.”
N: “Since we graduated, yes.”
Rapid developments, here…
Climax at the house, I suppose?
Is this being written after everything’s cleared up?
Is the final part coming up?
S, N, and I headed for Chiwa’s apartment.
We called her to make sure she was in.
Chiwa was surprised at being visited by several former classmates, but she let us right in.
N: “It’s been a while, Chiwa!”
Chiwa: “You haven’t changed, N. And, er, S, was it?”
S: “We didn’t talk much. Figures you might forget my name…”
Chiwa appeared to look at S and remember his name.
It was possible she only remembered from when I told her the other day.
Me: “Um. I know this is weird, but can you show us your license?”
Chiwa: “Huh? Why?”
Me: “There’s just something we want to check.”
Chiwa: “Well, okay…”
Chiwa handed us her license.
It said “Hanako Satoh” on it.
Me: “…So it’s “Hanako Satoh.””
Chiwa: “Well, of course it is?”
Me: “The other day, I asked you if your name was Hanako Satoh, and you said “What’re you saying?””
Chiwa: “Yes I did. Because I had no idea why you were asking me my name after dating for five years!”
Me: “Then why did you write “Elizabeth Ijuin” on that marriage form?”
Chiwa: “Huh? I did what?”
I showed Chiwa the form.
I had it in my bag along with the photos.
The form had my name, as well as the name Elizabeth Ijuin.
Chiwa: “…I don’t have any idea.”
Me: “I wrote my name, gave it to you, and you gave it back to me.”
Chiwa: “Didn’t you give me an envelope with a blank form in it?”
Me: “That can’t be right…”
Chiwa: “I just wrote my name, and sent it back in the envelope.”
I have absolutely no idea what’s happening…
N: “Was the envelope replaced?”
Me: “That couldn’t have happened.”
N: “I think it’s more likely than a person being replaced.
Did you ever show Chiwa the documents with that weird name on them before?”
Me: “No… I only asked her about it.”
Still not understanding anything, I talked to Chiwa.
Me: “So it’s like I thought. Your name isn’t “Elizabeth Ijuin”?”
Chiwa: “Absolutely not.”
Me: “Then who IS Elizabeth Ijuin?”
N: “Maybe… It’s the girl in these photos?”
N held them out.
It felt like my heart stopped for a moment.
My gut sank, and it seemed like the pieces were coming together.
Was she… Elizabeth Ijuin?
I’m too scared to laugh.
N: “Chiwa. Have you seen these photos before?”
Chiwa: “…I thought they were photos from my trip with T, but just the faces are different. What’s going on?”
Chiwa stepped into a room in the back (I knew it was her bedroom) and brought back a small, thin photo case.
Chiwa: “I think these are the originals.”
Chiwa took photos out of the case one by one and compared them with mine side by side.
They were exactly the same, only the girl’s face was different.
The color in the photos I had was a little weaker, too. I thought it might be pixellation.
Oh dear god…
Me: “…Chiwa, do you know this girl?”
Chiwa: “Nope. I don’t know her at all.”
N: “Well, that’s fine, right?
We’ve finally cleared up T’s confusion.”
N smiled, satisfied. As if to say, “I’m glad I was helpful.”
“Not at all!”
I wasn’t smiling.
Because think about it.
Someone had replaced the envelopes.
Someone had replaced my personal photos.
Did they break into my room?
Did they break into Chiwa’s room?
Did they rummage through my bag?
And no one knew who.
No one knew this girl named Elizabeth Ijuin.
With that said, I’m in Chiwa’s room now.
I’m scared to go home. I’m posting from an iPad.
I mentioned I had a hallucination of the girl in the photos yesterday.
She was waving at me from a bus window.
But maybe it wasn’t a hallucination.
It could have been the real Elizabeth Ijuin waving.
Radiant smile and all.
I don’t know what I’m going to do now, but this will be the end of my reports.
Thank you for listening to me, everyone.