Fangirling Chinese Novels

The Healing Sunshine (一厘米的阳光) — Chapter 2.2


Week 1 of 5 for three postings a week.

The pic above was not drawn specifically for The Healing Sunshine, but way back when, MBFB posted it on weibo. Fans like to think of it as Jǐ Yi and Jì Chengyang. LOL, yeah, the age difference is totally wrong, but it’s such a cute drawing.

Jǐ Yi can be strong, but her parents are probably that part in her that is most fragile. 😦

Chapter 2.2 — Hazy Memories (2)

This story was translated with the express permission of the author for hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. All forms of reproduction, redistribution, or reposting are not authorized. If you are not reading this from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com, the copy is unauthorized and has been taken without consent of the translator.


Her head was spinning from the jolt she received.

Fortunately, there was a lot of sand to cushion her fall. Still, though, her knee ended up getting scraped.

The grains of sand were not small, and when they seeped into her sandals, they chafed against the bottom of her feet very painfully.

She felt she really was a little dizzy, and leaning against the concrete wall that went around all sides of the pit, she slowly sat herself down. After resting for a lengthy time, she finally heard someone calling her. Nuannuan and Zhao Xiaoying were sobbing as they lay on their bellies up above, peering their heads over the edge to look at her and asking her whether she was okay or not. Jǐ Yi wagged her hand, no strength left in her to speak. Her legs, after the fact now, were limp—and she was afraid.

Such a deep pit. There was no way she would be able to climb out of it.

“Jǐ Yi, wait for me to find someone to pull you back up.” Nuannuan made a swipe at her tears. “I am sworn enemies with Wang Xingyu for the rest of my life.” She had not even finished saying two sentences before crocodile tears started falling again… “Jǐ Yi, I totally failed you. Every time, I can’t even help you. The two of us are friends through life and death. Back then during that party, no one would act out New Legend of Madame White Snake[1] with me, and only you would be my Xiao Qing…”

Jǐ Yi was genuinely tickled into giggles by this.

Oh, God, things like that just shouldn’t be mentioned, you know? …

<>Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. Translated with the express permission of the author for hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com only

After saying this, the two up above both ran off to find someone to come save Jǐ Yi.

Jǐ Yi rested for a long while before she finally remembered, weren’t Dad and Mama coming home today?! The instant this thought crossed her mind, she was struck stupid. Standing back up, she began thinking of various ways to try to climb out of here. Her parents were always very rushed when they came back and would leave immediately after. They would not be waiting for her at all.

All her courage from a moment ago completely left her. Thinking and thinking about this, she started to cry, and her tears tumbled downwards.

She hadn’t seen them for two months already…

But there was not even a crack in the concrete walls surrounding her. There was no possibility at all of climbing out.

She tried hard for a long time, but in the end, she sank back down onto the ground, weeping. She thought, What if Dad and Mama get mad and won’t come back next time?

As time slipped away, she felt more and more sad and wronged. Hugging her knees to herself, she sat in a corner where the sunlight could not reach. She knew only to cry. This was not the first time she had had a big cry because she missed her dad and mama, but this was the first time doing it in a place that was not home. Such a powerless feeling. Right now, right this moment, she felt only sad and hurt, a type of wounded sadness that had been suppressed for so long and that she had not been able to express through words.

Even when someone jumped into the sand pit, she still did not notice.

Until a finger gently brushed away the dirty sand on a spot near her knee. Because this action tugged at her wound, she finally lifted her head and, through blurred eyes, looked at the person in front of her.

Many years later, she would not remember their first meeting and would not really remember the ice cream from their second meeting, but she would still remember this picture. The eyes of Little Uncle Jì before her were scarily dark and grim, and with his back to the sun, his gaze was fixed on her. But after a while, he slowly, ever so slowly, melted away all of his anger, and those lips that had been pressed tightly together gradually softened into a smile.

So gorgeous.

<>Please read this at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com instead

Jì Chengyang originally had wanted to give a fierce scolding to Jǐ Yi. This was such a deep pit, and she had dared jump into it. What if something had happened to her?

But when he saw those eyes of hers that had cried until they could not even open, his heart suddenly softened.

“Xixi, you’re crying because it hurts so much?” Mimicking the way Second Sister-In-Law called her by her childhood pet name, he softly asked her this.

She shook her head, sobbing unceasingly and unable to speak.

The night that she had run off the stage in front of several thousand people, she had not cried at all, and after having an ice cream, everything had been fine. But now she was crying so fiercely? Jì Chengyang did not really understand the mental workings of little girls. Instructing Nuannuan, who was up above, to pull on Jǐ Yi’s arm, he had Jǐ Yi step on his shoulders and go up.

By the time he was back up on the surface again, he discovered Jǐ Yi was already sobbingly racing with all her might towards the residential area.

“Little Uncle, Little Uncle, you absolutely cannot tell anyone, ’kay? Keep it a secret, ’kay? Otherwise, my mom for sure is going to beat me to death…” Beside him, Nuannuan repeatedly charged him with these instructions.

“Mm.” Agreeing to her request, he straightened to his feet and brushed away the sand on his hands.

“Little Uncle, Little Uncle, you can’t tell Jǐ Yi’s granddad, either, ’kay? Her granddad is so strict with her. I don’t even dare speak when I see her granddad.”


“Little Uncle, Little Uncle, Jǐ Yi and I have a friendship that’s for life and death. Back when our class was having a party, everyone thought I was being dumb and wouldn’t hold an umbrella with me to act out New Legend of Madame White Snake. It was only Jǐ Yi in the end who would be my Xiao Qing.” After repeating this all again in one breath, she caught sight of Zhao Xiaoying beside her, who had been pale-faced and unspeaking all this time. “Oh, right, and there was Xiaoying, too. She was my Xu Xian.”

This last bit…

Jì Chengyang really did not understand what he had heard.

When Jǐ Yi got home, it was utterly quiet and still inside. Her heart straightaway felt relieved, and she speculated, Dad and Mama likely hadn’t come back yet? But the next instant, she spotted the box of chocolates and few packs of snack foods on the table. Immediately, she felt as if the entire heavens had collapsed on her.

Were they gone already? … Two months where she hadn’t seen them, and they just left? Stepping over, she stared at those snacks that had been left behind. Not even a note could be seen.

The heavens truly did collapse.

She walked into the home, trying to find the medicine chest to apply some merbromin or gentian violet on herself. But no matter how she searched, she could not find either. So, clasping the medicine chest to herself, she had another round of fierce sobbing. Eventually, it was only when Nuannuan came with Little Uncle Jì and a bottle of merbromin secretly taken from their home that Jǐ Yi put a stop to her tears.

In front of her good friends, she never cried.

She sat on the couch with her legs curled under her. Extremely patiently, Jì Chengyang lowered his head and first cleaned her wound with alcohol swabs. It stung a little, and she shrunk back slightly. Then, she felt a coolness on her knee. Nuannuan had blown on her knee, and now she was very solemnly telling Jì Chengyang, “Little Uncle, you need to blow like this for a little bit and then she won’t hurt anymore.”

With these words, it was as if Nuannuan had handed off a task. She then very familiarly picked up the remote control and began flipping through satellite television channels.

In order to watch Hong Kong news, Grandpa Jǐ had had someone install a private antenna for him that could receive channels from Taiwan and Hong Kong. Nuannuan had no real interest in Hong Kong news, but she did really love to watch Taiwanese variety shows. In particular, there was one show that specifically helped girls catch their significant other in the act of cheating on them. She super loved watching that one.

But the one who had been charged with the task, Jì Chengyang, seemed somewhat hesitant. In the end, though, he still brought his head down slightly and softly blew on Jǐ Yi’s knee.

Unlike Nuannuan, who had only arbitrarily given a quick blow, he upheld the stance that “if you’re going to do it, you should do it well.” Extremely gently, he blew on her wound…

“Little Uncle Jì,” she quietly addressed him.

Jì Chengyang lifted his gaze.

“The alcohol that you put on my knee for me is working. It’s really cool already…” It actually doesn’t need to be blown anymore…

Upon saying this, she even gave a tug on the hem of her skirt to prevent her shorts beneath from showing.

At this age, she still had a vague, approximate awareness that certain things needed to be avoided.

Jì Chengyang could not help letting out a laugh. It was one of those laughs where you do not know whether you should feel awkward or just mock yourself. In any case, he realized, when it came to comforting kids, he always managed to make some extremely rudimentary mistakes, mistakes that showed he had no skill whatsoever.

Applying some merbromin on her, he then cut a piece of gauze and adhered it onto her knee with some white tape. “If anyone in your family asks, just say that… you fell when you were out running.”

Jǐ Yi smiled. “They won’t notice. It’ll be okay.”

As a result of her crying earlier, her large eyes were swollen, causing her to look particularly deserving of sympathy.

Jì Chengyang still found this very strange. How could this little girl, who only a few nights ago had seemed especially tough and strong, be crying like this today?

Offhandedly picking up the chocolates on the table, Nuannuan tore open the packaging and ate one. Jǐ Yi wanted to stop her, but it was already too late. So, merely giving a smile, she hopped off the couch, went into the kitchen, and, after washing her hands, poured two glasses of cooled, boiled water for Jì Chengyang and Nuannuan.

Sunlight passed through the drinking glass and landed on the glass tabletop.

As Jì Chengyang’s eyes took in the forlorn expression that she wore, he suddenly shifted the angle of his drinking glass, creating a small rainbow from it.

Extremely small. Only she could see it.

A little giggle at last came from Jǐ Yi.

But at the same time, Nuannuan’s guffaws were even louder. Clutching the remote control and pointing at the unfaithful cheater of a man who was being beaten inside the television, she was rocking and rolling forward and back in laughter, giving repeated shouts of “Yes!”

<>Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. Translated with the express permission of the author for hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com only

That evening, Jì Chengyang unexpectedly, for the first time, suggested going to the cinema in the compound. Nuannuan’s father was extremely surprised, but Nuannuan immediately sprung up at this with cheers of hooray. Gosh, Heaven knew that only on Saturday would the compound put on two movies in the cinema. She so wanted to go watch, but without a military instructor’s identification, cadet’s identification, or family members bringing them there, little kiddos like them were not allowed to go in at all…

Therefore, most of the time, Nuannuan would go with Jǐ Yi and simply pester or chase after those cadets in order to freeload their way in.

Even though the soldiers in charge of ticket sales all knew them, it was still honestly just so humiliating.

Come on, Little Uncle wanted to go?

That basically meant they could watch any movie that was there?

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And hence, this good fortune also fell on Jǐ Yi.

Right after she had finished dinner and washed her dishes, Nuannuan called her to go out. When the three girls arrived at the cinema with Jì Chengyang, the first show had just ended. Many military cadets were filing out. Jì Chengyang, with his hands in his pants pockets, stood rather unnaturally at the front entrance with three little girls who had come along with him. Only after everyone had completely left did he head in with them.

Stepping inside, they discovered there was no one there at all.

Jǐ Yi gazed with great surprise upon that empty cinema hall, and softly, she asked Nuannuan, “Could it be there’s only one show today?”

“No,” Nuannuan murmured back. “My granddad arranged with the people of the cinema to play a separate movie that we’d like to watch just for us.”

“Really?” Jǐ Yi’s eyes widened.

“Uh-huh. My granddad treats Little Uncle the best, so of course whatever he says is going to go.”

This felt so darn good.

They finally did not need to tail someone and be utterly shameless and brazenfaced to go watch a movie.

The three young girls waited as Jì Chengyang selected a movie. But alas, aside from the ones they were extremely familiar with because they were re-run every month, there really was nothing good.

“How about this one?” The cinema director handed this youngest son of the Jì family a card. “For once, it’s not one about the revolution.”

Jì Chengyang glanced down at the name.

A Chinese Odyssey[2].

From the looks of it, it was something about Journey to the West? He was not too familiar with China’s domestic films, but he reckoned this would be something kids would like to watch.

And so, he agreed to this one and then led Jǐ Yi and the other two into the cinema. Inside that dark theater, the more than one thousand seats were all empty, with not a single person in that space. This feeling was simply too exhilarating. Even Zhao Xiaoying could not contain herself and covered her cheeks with her hands, her face glowing red from the thrill. Nuannuan was even more unbridled, outright crying, “This is just tooooo awesome. The serfs have finally stood up and become the masters!” as she ran back and forth from one entrance to the other like she was having a good romp and frolic.

Selecting a seat that had a good view, Jì Chengyang sat down. Jǐ Yi also took a seat beside him.

A white shaft of projector light shone out from behind them, passing over their two heads and casting onto the screen.

Her heart was also thumping excitedly. This cinema that was empty of people, and also Nuannuan, who was dashing back and forth, and Zhao Xiaoying, who finally was at ease enough to play very cautiously, all of these successfully pulled her out from her gloomy mood and allowed her to temporarily forget about her parents’ departure that had happened without even a goodbye. She turned her head to the side, furtively peeking at this Little Uncle Jì. He was different from Grandfather’s students. They all wore green button-up shirts, but he wore a light blue one—very different.

Jǐ Yi instantly felt that he was very tall. And more handsome than that Takashi Kashiwabara in Itazura na Kiss, who never smiled at all. Mm-hmm.

<>Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. Translated with the express permission of the author for hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com only

[1] There is a Chinese legend (often referred to as “Legend of the White Snake”) about the love story between a white snake spirit, who adopts the name Bai Suzhen when in human form, and a scholar, Xu Xian. In the story, there is also a green snake spirit who takes on the name Xiao Qing when she transforms into human form. On a rainy day, the two snake spirits who have transformed into human form meet Xu Xian, and he kindly offers them his umbrella. This story has been adapted to screen many times. In particular, the 1992 Taiwanese television adaptation, called 《新白娘子传奇》New Legend of Madame White Snake, was vastly popular and is regarded now as a classic. Jǐ Yi and Nuannuan grew up in that period when that adaptation was first released and at its peak of popularity.

Xu Xian (Cecilia Yip), left; Bai Suzhen (Angie Chiu), centre; and Xiao Qing (Maggie Chan Mei Kei), right in the 1992 television series, New Legend of Madame White Snake. (Image credit)

[2] 《大话西游》A Chinese Odyssey is a two-part Hong Kong film released in 1995, starring Stephen Chow and Athena Chu, as well as names such as Ada Choi, Karen Mok, Law Kar-Ying, etc. Part 1 is called A Chinese Odyssey: Pandora’s Box and part 2 is called A Chinese Odyssey: Cinderella. The film is a fractured version of the classic story of Journey to the West. This film is hugely popular in China, hailed as a classic, and is said to have influenced an entire generation.

Poster for A Chinese Odyssey: Pandora’s Box (Image credit: Wikipedia)

This story was translated with the express permission of the author for hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. All forms of reproduction, redistribution, or reposting are not authorized. If you are not reading this from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com, the copy is unauthorized and has been taken without consent of the translator.


3 of 69 Chapter segments
0 of 1 Epilogue

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10 thoughts on “The Healing Sunshine (一厘米的阳光) — Chapter 2.2

  1. How sweet! Which 20 years old guy will take care of an 11 years old girl and not get attached??? I can see the attraction happening…:-)
    Most of us from the Chinese community here in India, grew up tough and we mature very fast. Parents were always busy with work and business. We were left to fend for ourselves. MBFB again touched on a very Chinese aspect of life in the 20th century.

    • Well, attached in a parental or big brother way… 😉 I think there is bonding; I wouldn’t call it a romantic attraction at this moment. :p

      She did, but there is another layer to it in Xixi’s case. It’s not simply that the parents and family are all too busy trying to support the family that they don’t have time for her. That doesn’t explain the dropping off of snacks and not even being willing to stay behind for a little bit of time. And there’s more…

  2. Thank you Hoju 😊

  3. JCY is showing a lot of favoritism to JY
    Thank you

  4. Heart goes to Ji Yi. She has cried so much !

    Thank you for the chapter, Hoju 🙂.

  5. Yes. My heart aches for this little girl who is so mature and strong, but so vulnerable and fragile in other ways.
    You’re welcome!

  6. Poor Ji Yi…. My heart broke at her tears…. JCY…. is your heart breaking at her tears too? 🙂

    Thank you so much for such a wonderful read Hoju

  7. thisss wass soo sad ! ji yi such a strong girls but how strong she is , she still need someone by her side 😦

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