Episode 6: Endless kiss
Midori is shocked that a brain haemorrhage has left Mishima suffering from aphasia (loss or impairment of the power to use or understand words). A desperate Sachie has brought him to this rehabilitation centre to see Midori after going around to different hospitals in the past month. She beseeches Midori to get Mishima back to his original self. Midori assesses that while Mishima may comprehend speech, he has great difficulty forming words and sentences.
That night, Midori tells Jun that she wishes to take on Mishima’s rehabilitation, and tries to be honest with him about her past with Mishima. However, Jun responds that she need not say anything more because he somehow knows that Mishima was her first love. And although he generously gives his consent, it is a decision driven by a desire not to leave Midori dwelling on the matter if Mishima were to go back to Tokyo without undergoing rehabilitation.
Jun later confides in Hirose that he does not want to quibble about a first love from so long ago.
Conscious of Sachie’s feelings for Mishima, Midori tries to handle the rehabilitation professionally as a speech therapist when she starts therapy sessions with Mishima. To her surprise, her father offers to let Mishima stay with him so that he can commute easily to the rehabilitation centre without Sachie having to take leave from her work in Tokyo to constantly supervise him.
On the other hand, a concerned Hirose brings over an old photo album from their high school days in the hope that it will help Mishima. Mishima is beside himself with melancholy having made up his mind not to destroy Midori’s happiness. However, on this day, he is able to form his first words as he points at the people in the photographs and asks haltingly “This is?” to the delight of Midori and everyone else.
That night, Midori sends Sachie an email reporting Mishima’s progress.
One morning several days later, Midori learns that Professor Ebina has brought Mishima to Tohto Medical University Hospital. She frets that it is too early for that. Although Mishima looks the same as before, he is not able to carry a conversation or express dislike when faced with something unpleasant. The intensity of her reaction makes Jun question if she worries for Mishima as a patient. His comment makes Midori stop short.
At the hospital, a concerned Professor Ebina expresses his desire that Mishima visit once a month to put in an appearance in preparation for his comeback. He hopes that Mishima will be able to pass on his skills to his juniors even if it takes time for him to return as a surgeon. Just then, Professor Ebina is called away by the hospital director.
Left on his own, Mishima wanders past a room where he overhears Takano Hidenori and another doctor discussing his condition while looking at a CT scan of his brain which was done after his return from Paris. They observe that the brain haemorrhage caused by a cerebral arteriovenous malformation has affected Mishima’s dominant hemisphere and will make it impossible for him to be a surgeon again despite Professor Ebina’s hopes.
Overwhelmed by reality, Mishima returns to Shizuoka alone. He is met at the train station by Midori, who had been alerted by a worried Sachie.
On their way back home, Mishima appears to gravitate towards the old community hall which houses the piano which Midori used to play, and goes inside. Midori reluctantly follows him in.
Inside the hall, Mishima points at the piano as he asks Midori, “This is?” He tentatively strikes a few keys that make him recall the day when he had stumbled upon Midori playing Stevie Wonder’s ‘Stay Gold’. Pointing at Midori this time, he asks “This is?” But Midori’s replies of “person” and even “speech therapist Murakami” earns a shake of his head. Mishima approaches her and points again while she looks back at him with longing. About to lose her composure, Midori suggests that they should leave and hurriedly walks away.
Then, she hears the word “Dori!” said with much feeling. She stops and turns around, her heart swayed by Mishima. He repeats his nickname for her again. In that moment, they are transported back to happier times and a tear rolls down Midori’s cheek. However, she shakes off her own feelings and tells Mishima that if he keeps at it, he will be able to say everyone’s name, before fleeing the community hall.
Meanwhile, Jun is told by his subordinate, Sakai Momoko, that she saw Midori and Mishima enter the community hall. Alone. Jun tries to act nonchalant and censures her for meddling in his life. However, this news eats away at him. Sometime later, he calls Midori, who is trying to send the regular email on Mishima’s progress to Sachie, and tries to ask her about it. He falters a few times, and then makes the excuse that he has to stay in office late.
That night, Katsu has drinks with Mishima and gradually gets inebriated. Loosening up, he talks obliquely about an incident 16 years ago that made Midori cry. It still frustrates him as a father even though he was not able to say anything. “Midori was involved with a good-for-nothing man in the past,” he finally blurts out. Mishima’s expression changes and he seems to struggle with himself.
Looking at Mishima, realisation hits Katsu that he is that man … … “Was it you?! The father of the baby?” Katsu slams his glass on the table and roars in anger. Mishima looks up at Katsu in shock.
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