Fangirling Chinese Novels

The Healing Sunshine (一厘米的阳光) — Chapter 8.1


I’m back. 🙂 A reminder that the next update will be Tuesday evening, N. American time.

Something very significant happens in this update. How many of you ended up reaching back in your own memories after reading this post?

Chapter 8.1 — Shape of My Heart (1)

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.


She had thought that when he was telling her about Mount Victoria, he really had wanted to bring her there for a look. The result, though, was not what she had expected.

The next day, Jì Chengyang left and went to the United States.

He likely was bidding a perfect final farewell to that period in his life as a doctoral student.

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Prior to her own departure from New Zealand, her schoolmates, when they were buying souvenirs, were talking on and on about how they would soon be leaving this country that was the first to see sunrise every day, and how they really didn’t want to leave… Jǐ Yi recalled how that night in the stairwell, as Jì Chengyang idly conversed with her while holding her in his arms, they had talked as well about this same thing, and he had even jokingly said, “It seems there are many places where the people there like to say that they are the first place to see sunrise every day.”

Their plane arrived at the Beijing Capital International Airport some time past ten o’clock at night. The teacher leading their group began doing a headcount while also stating the strict requirement that every person absolutely had to go back to the school first on the bus the school had provided, and then they would all disbanded.

“No one is allowed to leave the group before that, understand?” their teacher reiterated for the last time.

“Teacher, we understand,” the students cried out one after the other in singsong voices.

Catching sight of Wang Haoran waving goodbye to her from afar, Jǐ Yi gave a polite wave as well.

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

Nearby, some people from Hong Kong were talking about something. It seemed they had come across a huge, terrifying incident.

She nonchalantly pricked up her ears. However, immediately, she began listening with seriousness. In summary, Phoenix TV[1] had just made the news broadcast that a building in New York had been struck by an airplane… Hearing “New York,” Jǐ Yi abruptly grew tense, but when she wanted to listen carefully to more, those people had already walked far away.

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Her heart was pounding wildly. In that instant, she could only think of the two words, “Jì Chengyang.”

“Teacher, I’ll be right back.” She stuffed her suitcase into a schoolmate’s hands and then straightaway sprinted towards the exit that Wang Haoran had left through. As she ran, she prayed with all her might, Please don’t be gone. Only you have Jì Chengyang’s U.S. contact details. I don’t know at all how to contact him there.

Dashing through the automatic glass doors, in the streams of people who were coming and going, she followed her intuition and went searching in the direction of the taxis. Luckily, she really did see Wang Haoran and his friends standing off to the side, seeming as if they were waiting for a vehicle to come pick them up.

She rushed over and grabbed Wang Haoran’s arm. “Do you have Jì Chengyang’s U.S. phone number? Can you call it for me?”

Wang Haoran was startled. “What’s wrong? What happened?”

“I don’t know.” There was a tremor in her voice. “I just heard that a plane crashed into a building in the U.S…”

“A plane crashed into a building? In the U.S.?” Wang Haoran felt that these words were really too inconceivable. “That can’t be, can it?” But seeing that Jǐ Yi’s eyes were reddened, he knew she was genuinely distraught. “Where was this crash?”

“New York.” Her voice truly did begin trembling.

“Xixi, don’t worry. He’s not in New York; he’s in Philadelphia.”

Wang Haoran began searching for Jì Chengyang’s American telephone number.

Soon, the call had gone through, and he handed his mobile phone to her. “This is the number of the place where he lives. When the phone’s picked up, just say you’re looking for Yang. I’ll go ask some other people what’s going on.” Wang Haoran turned around and began asking the several people with him whether such a bizarre incident truly had occurred.

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

Gripping the mobile phone, Jǐ Yi waited. Each passing second felt as long as a century.

The call was finally answered. “Hello?”

“Hello.” Jǐ Yi felt that he was the person speaking, but she was not certain. In English, she began, “May I…”

“Xixi?” Jì Chengyang was very surprised to hear this voice.

Her heart finally settled back into where it should have been. She bit down on her lip, trying to regain her composure, but her voice was still not quite normal. “It’s me. I heard that a plane crashed into a building in New York… I was scared you were on the plane, and I was also scared you were in that building. I was scared you…”

“I’m at home.” He told her simply and directly, “I’m very safe.”

“… Don’t go running around.” After Jǐ Yi finished stating the first half of her sentence, she suddenly felt that what she was saying was especially silly. Still, she could not refrain from continuing with her words. “And especially don’t go to New York. What if something else happens?”

“All right.” He actually agreed to these instructions of hers that had been spoken like a little grownup.

The background noise as he spoke was a live news report—the live coverage of that 9/11 disaster. She could roughly hear a few sentences of it. The tone was truly heavy and grave, so she did not continue focusing her attention on listening to it. After learning that he was safe, she suddenly did not really have anything to say.

In the end, the phone was returned to Wang Haoran. Once Wang Haoran knew there was no danger to Jì Chengyang, he began more so to query him on the situation of that terrorist attack. She listened for a while, but then, she spotted that some of her schoolmates with whom she was travelling had already run out through the glass doors and seemed to be calling to her to rejoin the group. Hastily, she gave a pat to Wang Haoran’s arm. “I’m going now. Thank you.”

“You need to go home now?” Wang Haoran asked her.

On the other end of the line, Jì Chengyang heard this question, and he said something to Wang Haoran. The phone was once more handed over to her.

Jǐ Yi was somewhat taken aback, not certain what he would say to her. As she held the phone, she did not utter a sound.

“I’ll be back in Beijing in a couple of months,” Jì Chengyang told her, “probably some time in early winter.”

“May I call you?”

He chuckled. “It won’t be all that convenient. I’m often not at home.”

Jǐ Yi grew dejected.

Two vehicles happened to drive by in front of her at a relatively high speed, and they were quite close as well. Wang Haoran hurriedly pulled her back. She, however, was somewhat preoccupied and did not even pay attention… Her only thought was, he did not like her calling him.

“I will call you,” his voice told her.

Jǐ Yi’s heart, which only a moment ago had plummeted into a bottomless chasm, instantly soared back up lightly.

“I’m normally at school.” She was stating her situation that he had already known long ago, but still, she repeated it one more time, for fear that he might call and be unable to get ahold of her. “I go back home on the weekends. During the daytime… there are no other people at home.”

Finally returning the phone to Wang Haoran, she went back to rejoin her group and received, in passing, a couple of sentences of both annoyed and amused admonishment from her teacher.

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They were taking the school’s bus, and when their teacher heard Jǐ Yi describe the incident of planes bombarding into buildings, she also urged someone to turn on the bus’s television.

Surprisingly, there was absolutely no news coverage from CCTV [China Central News Television] on the incident.

Jǐ Yi called Nuannuan. Nuannuan was at home and was not asleep yet. She had been watching Phoenix TV’s news broadcasts the entire time, and she told Jǐ Yi that the two towers, one after the other, had collapsed. It felt especially horrifying, as if all the media in the entire world were talking about this event. Outside the bus’s windows, those travellers who still had not learned of this incident were calmly making their way through this dim night, coming and going in a hurry.

Leaning against the window, Jǐ Yi watched their bus leave the airport. As she gazed at those trees alongside the road continuously whipping past, her heart still was unsettled, and she felt that this disastrous event was so unfathomable. She was not alone. The students and the teacher all felt as if this was a rumour. Who would have imagined that an airplane full of passengers would smash directly into New York’s World Trade Center? But, this sort of situation that should occur only in disaster movies had actually happened in real life.

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

With every tragedy, everyone will ruefully state, “The things of the world are unpredictable. Cherish the ones who are with you now.” Before long, though, they will all begin once again to rush about in pursuit of fame and fortune. Ultimately, the ones who truly understand the meaning of these words are only those who have actually lost loved ones to either natural disaster or calamities created by man… To the Jǐ Yi of this moment, the fact that Jì Chengyang was not in New York and there was no threat to his safety was already enough. The she of this time could not think that far ahead. At most, she wanted simply to muster up her courage and let him know that she liked him. Even the thought of “being together” was one that she only dared allow to flash across her mind, let alone that profound concept of “cherish the ones who are with you now.”

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By the time they were back at the school, it was already very late.

Jǐ Yi, lugging her suitcase, climbed floor by floor up the stairs of her dormitory building.

There was a problem with the elevator. In times such as this, the ones who were saddest and most wretched were absolutely the senior-year high school students like her who lived on the top floor. Lights were already out at this hour. Only the stairwell and corridors had lights. While she was trudging along, someone chased after her and, catching up, helped by hauling her suitcase with her. Jǐ Yi looked over. It was Zhao Xiaoying.

“You’re getting back so late?” Jǐ Yi truly was surprised.

In order to have some extra remedial help, in this last year of high school, Zhao Xiaoying had also applied to stay in the school dormitory. Jǐ Yi did know this.

“Mm-hmm. I was doing some practice papers.” Zhao Xiaoying smiled. “I also took notes for you.”

Jǐ Yi let out an “Ah?”

Actually, the thought that came cross her mind was that she had completed all the required senior-year high school curriculum already and did not need any sort of notes. However, when it transformed to words, it became, “Thank you. I’ll treat you to KFC tomorrow, how about that?”

Zhao Xiaoying hastily answered, “Oh, no, you don’t need to. We grew up together, but yet you’re still being so overly polite.”

Jǐ Yi simply stated, “We’ll go tomorrow after school.” The two had climbed to the top floor and now finally headed in separate directions. Once she was back in her own dorm room, she first put her suitcase under her bed. After washing up simply and brushing her teeth, she lay down on her bed. However, all that filled her mind when her eyes closed was Jì Chengyang, and what she thought about was the sound of his voice, against a background noise of English dialogue, speaking Chinese.

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

The end result was that after school the following day, the original two-person get-together beween her and Zhao Xiaoying successfully added Nuannuan into it, and it became a three-person gathering.

Since starting high school, Zhao Xiaoying did not often hang out with them, so when they were eating, Nuannuan was constantly feeling a little awkward and did not talk. Fortunately, though, she had her mobile phone, so she was fine sending text messages.

“You really don’t want to keep learning the guzheng?” Jǐ Yi dipped a French fry into some ketchup and stuffed it into Zhao Xiaoying’s mouth.

Fuzhong particularly placed value on cultivating its students. So long as a student was willing to learn, even if he or she had no musical foundation, the school would arrange for someone within the orchestra who was willing to do it to teach that student for free. After Jǐ Yi entered Fuzhong and learned of this practice, where the school would provide the instrument and rehearsal room free of charge, every week in their first year of high school, she had purposely freed up time to teach Zhao Xiaoying the guzheng. Unfortunately, later on, Zhao Xiaoying had not persisted in learning it.

“No, I’m not going to.” Zhao Xiaoying felt especially sheepish. “I don’t have much talent in it. I even wasted a year of your time for you to teach me. Right now, all my brain can think about are the college entrance exams and doing practice problems. I don’t dare think about anything else.”

“Don’t put too much pressure on yourself,” Nuannuan offhandedly threw in this comment. “Careful you don’t end up messing up your exams.”


Jǐ Yi felt that this young miss always liked to speak the truth, but she also always managed to stab someone else’s sore point. In fact, most of the time, it was not intentional. But they were all grown up now. Who was truly able to just listen and not take things to heart?

With her head down, Zhao Xiaoying sipped her cola. “I keep wanting to get into a good university, but I also feel that I won’t be able to do it for sure. I can’t compare to you guys at all.”

Skirting around this topic, Jǐ Yi urged Zhao Xiaoying to eat her hamburger instead.

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On the weekend, when it was time to head home, Nuannuan deliberately waited for Jǐ Yi and Zhao Xiaoying so she could take the bus with them. The three squeezed together onto the backseat. Nuannuan was busy making a phone call, so Jǐ Yi picked up Nuannuan’s portable CD player and listened to it for a while. There was an English song that was particularly nice. Its subdued tune caused an image to float up in its listeners’ minds of a brilliant, gorgeous flower blooming in an otherwise purely-gray world.

She looked down and read the name of the song on the CD player: “Shape of My Heart.”

“Good song?” Nuannuan happened to finish her phone call right then, and grinningly she said, “Before my little uncle went to New Zealand, he watched a movie at home. This is its theme song. He watched it twice, so he probably really likes it. What my little uncle likes for sure can’t be bad.”

Putting on nonchalance, Jǐ Yi asked her, “It is a pretty nice song. What movie was it?”

“I think its name is…”—Nuannuan searched through her memory—“Léon: The Professional. He said it’s an old movie from some time in the nineties.”

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

[1]凤凰卫视. Phoenix Satellite Television Holdings, or simply Phoenix Television or Phoenix TV, is a Hong Kong-based television station.

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.

Additional Comments:

In my introductory words for this novel, I mentioned how the author wove in real movies and world events into this story, and those help us connect to the characters as we “experience” these with them.

I remember, when I was in junior high, my social studies teacher told the class that anyone who was alive when it happened will never forget when Neil Armstrong first landed on the moon, and can clearly recount to you where he/she was and what he/she was doing when it happened. She said, there are some events in world history that are so significant that they cut across all borders and impact everyone. Now, the first man on the moon was far, far before my time, but I daresay that 9/11 is another one of those significant world events. I can very clearly remember standing in my living room with my backpack on my back, waiting for my brother to drive me to school and watching transfixed as this event unfolded on my television screen. I can still clearly hear my dad, who was sitting on the couch behind me, saying that this was going to change the world and how it worked. I remember everyone being late for school that day because we had all stayed at home and could not tear ourselves away from the news, teachers included.

So when I read about Jǐ Yi trying to find out more about this event, the teacher turning on the TV on the bus, Nuannuan staying planted in front of the news playing on TV, and Jì Chengyang also watching the live news broadcast, there was such a particular feeling, like I share the same world and live in the same era as them. It makes the story feel real to me.

How about any of you? For those of you old enough to have been born before 9/11, do you remember what you were doing when it happened?


As a side note: Anyone ever have a Discman (or other portable CD player)? I can’t for the life of me recall any that displayed the name of the song on the player. Wasn’t it just track number with the timer? Googled around and found maybe a relatively later-made model that potentially had a bigger screen that could display more? Oh my, I can’t really remember music before the iPod (my first mp3 player) came into existence. :p

Edit: I was around during the cassette player era. LOL. In fact, I had a faithful Walkman for a long period and actually refused to move on to a Discman for the longest time, even when everyone else had. (It’s coming back to me. I remember some friends bringing back mini-disc players from HK.) That’s probably why I can’t remember anything about CD players because I feel like I didn’t have one for very long before I was switching over to my iPod.


17 of 69 Chapter segments
0 of 1 Epilogue

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24 thoughts on “The Healing Sunshine (一厘米的阳光) — Chapter 8.1

  1. Thank you for your work and time in translating this!

    As I read the words, “huge, terrifying incident” I immediately knew what incident was about to take place and my heart sank. I was in the 7th grade when 9/11 happened; I remember turning on the news after family prayers and the images filled the screen. My mom understood before I did and tears started streaming down her face, which freaked me out. To this day, thinking too much about 9/11 can bring tears to my eyes. I work in the student travel industry and bring groups to the 9/11 Memorial in NYC. I’ve taken middle school groups where none of the kids were alive when it happened and they don’t really have a grasp for it. I guess I can finally understand how our parents feel when we don’t give the same weight to the JFK assignation.

    As for disc players, I only knew ones that showed you the track number. Well…maybe some showed track names… Darn it, why is the memory such a finicky thing?

    • Thank you for reading.

      I remember feeling utter shock. I actually heard it first on the radio. I used to use the radio as my wake-up alarm and listen to it while I was getting ready. I heard the first plane crash, and the discussions and report were a little confused. And then the second one happened while I was changing, and that just changed the whole flavor. I then went to the living room and watched the news reports. The same scene of the plane crashing into the building was played over and over again, by no matter how many times I watched it, I couldn’t tear my eyes away. It felt surreal.

      I went to the site in 2008, when they were still building the memorial. There were random little tidbits, memories left behind by friends and families, as a tribute to loved ones. I looked at all those things and couldn’t stop crying.

      The entire world was affected, whether we knew anyone in that tragedy or not.

      I can only remember track numbers and time in the display, too…

  2. totally made me recall the memory of 911…know nothing of it other than being able to return home early, quite insensible of world events until next day class discussions
    still remember the CD Player and MP3 Player…also cassette player

    • 9/11 was he only thing anyone talked about for days. Everyone had an opinion and an emotion.

      I had a cassette player! I loved mine. I liked them better than CD players cause they were easier to carry around or go running/active sports with. CD players were big and skipped. (Well, the sports Discmans didn’t skip, but gosh were they heavy!) Ah, it’s coming back to me now.

  3. Jiyi’s life always reminds me of my schooldays life.. Still remember that day 9/11 when I was about to go to college as at that time we had 10+2 college and the TV was nonstop broadcasting the hijacked plane hitting the twin towers….and the more saddening thing is that the same year in June there was a royal massacre in our country..I used to cry every night remembering our King😭
    I also had discman sent to me frm HK but didn’t use that much as later I liked MP4 n MP3 players for being small n portable lol then after 2005 I had the thick small iPod…

    • Ji Yi’s life is so foreign to me. Growing up in a military family, on a military compound is completely different from my life as a N. American child. But those world events or movies like Lord of the Rings will pull me back to things of my past, too. So many details of my September 11, 2001 are still etched clearly in my mind, just little things.

      I had a Discman. I didn’t love it. The best thing about CDs was that you could select the track. Otherwise, the CD player itself took up more room than my Walkman did. My first iPod was the mini! Pink!

  4. Thanks for this chapter. I remember what happened in 9/11 while reading this chapter, it was really devastating and as I recall, the 2 highest twin buildings collapsed like a dust.

    • I can still see in my mind the picture of the towers collapsing that kept being played over and over again on the TV. 😦
      Thanks for reading. 🙂

  5. I really like how MBFB has real world events woven into this story. So true that memory of 9/11 never fades. I too remember watching the news, it was from a small television of students mess hall and had to call back home and speak to dad and mum to calm my mind.
    And it was cassette player time for me, Walkman time 😀.

    So sweet of JCY to reply that he will call her.

    Thank you for the chapter, Hoju 🙂.

    • It’s one of the neat things about this story. There is a very clear, laid out timeline here.
      I remember walking into my classroom hours late. I didn’t get in until past 10 a.m., but there were still others who straggled in later. And no one cared because even our teachers didn’t show up. It’s like people had paused life to take in the horror of what had happened.

      Haha, I had a Walkman, too. I loved it.

      He treats her very specially. ❤

      You're welcome!

  6. Hoju, I was vacationing when 9/11 happened and got a call for head count since I worked for USG funded project at that time. I turned the TV and cut short my vacay. Then, the contingency plan activated. It was hectic and gripping times. I can attest that although I was far from NYC that moment. When I went to DC few months later, the security check at the airport in LHR and DC were tightening like cray. Had to endure the long queue and series of check and questions at immigration. Oh, hahaha, now you know how much older I am to you… *lol*

    On this chapter, the highlight to me was Nuannuan’s words who told JY that the song was her uncle’s who heard it after watching Leon: The Professional twice before he flew to NZ. JCY seemed found the similarity between their situation and the story line, and found solace in listening to Sting’s song while, I’m entirely sure, thinking for JY. This part was another peek to JCY’s troubling heart and mind to me.

    Thanks a bunch, Hoju, for another beautiful chapter.

    • I went on a vacation with my family four months after 9/11. It was insane. I remember security at the airports was so slow because everyone was being individually searched and scanned. Thankfully the whole liquids/gels thing hadn’t been implemented yet.

      I said I was going to school during 9/11, but I didn’t say what school. For all you know, I may have been working on my second Ph.D at the time. (No, I don’t have a double doctorate, but you get the point. LOL)

      How can your heart not be affected when you have seen the things that some of these war correspondents have seen? It takes a special type of resolve to be able to time and again to return to those places, not just because your life is at risk but because of the horrors you have to witness. My admiration goes to Ji Chengyang and those like him.

      Thanks for reading!

  7. Welcome back Hoju! Trust your vacation was relaxing and fun for you all.
    Talk about memories. I was around when Neil Armstrong landed on the moon. 🙂 [Ooops! now you can guess my age, hehehhe]
    I don’t remember what I was doing then, but I remember thinking, I want to go to the moon and meet the man on the moon. 🙂

    9/11, I was shopping and the shopkeeper, a good friend of ours, told me about it and I was shocked.
    I ran home and put on the TV. I could not stop crying and praying. It was a huge disaster for me and to actually view it happening, even though it was happening across the world from me. Tears still roll down whenever I think or talk about it, like now.
    Yes, you are right. This is one event in life that I could never forget.

    This is also one reason why I love MBFB’s novel. She connects the novel to a time frame that makes the novel closer to reality.

    • It was lovely. Much needed. Even an awful skin infection, a doctor’s visit and antibiotics, and a fevering child did not put a damper on it!

      Neil Armstrong landed on the moon just recently, right? LOL. My hubs and I always tell everyone. Your age is a number; what’s important is the age of your heart. All of us reading these novels are young at heart. 😉

      I remember feeling that everything seemed so surreal. 9/11 occurred at the beginning of the most difficult period of my life. It was another thing (albeit a HUGE thing) to add on to so many other things, so I remember just feeling a numbness and shock. It took many years later for my mind to truly process… I was at the 9/11 memorial in New York in 2008, back when it was still under construction. The words written by family, friends, strangers; the things left behind; the pictures—seeing all these suddenly pulled back all the images of the news reports, and in that little roughshod area, protected from the construction site by plywood walls, I began weeping nonstop. I can still remember that moment.

      The novel is very much real to MBFB. There are pieces of her life and friends written into it, so I surmise that likely, the events are things she remembers; the movies are ones she has watched; the places are ones she has been to. And hence, what I feel like is, no matter how far apart everyone around the world lives, how different things are for all of us, we all exist on the same world map.

      Thanks for reading!

  8. Thank you so much for the wonderful read.

    9/11 event was a shock to the entire world. And at that point of time, I came to realised that rushing after career and wealth is really not the most important thing. I decided to take a step back, and started learning to appreciate life more. I started to spend quality time to do what I love most instead of pushing myself hard to try to excel in career wanting to show everyone that I could do it. As I come to realised that I was never happy to do it!

    Music is my life! So, I started listening to music during the cassette player era… and then moving to Walkman and discman. And then it is iPod and now it is back to the newer version of walkman (since iPod has limited choices now) 🙂

  9. Thanks for the translation, really appreciate your hard work!

    I’ve just started this novel and already quite hooked, feels strange to have an MC the same age as me (at that time not now),but makes the story all the more captivating having these real world events happening at an age you remember them, it really gives the feeling of someone recounting their past.

    I remember coming home after school and seeing the news about 9/11 and just sitting there un-moving watching the news. Also remember being very excited about LOTR and watching it with school friends in the cinema. Really not sure about walkmans, can’t remember if they had the track name or if I just had to check the CD…so long ago!

  10. All of you are so young. Sigh. I was sending my children off to school when the attacks happened. What I remember the most was how quiet it was out side in the days after because planes over the US were grounded for a few days. My son just came back from a trip to NY and visited the memorial. Even after all these years, he was so touched and said it was the one thing he’ll remember from the trip.
    I went to Tokyo in the summer of 1980 when I was a teen and purchased a Walkman. In the airport back in the US, strangers came up asked what it was. No one had seen a Walkman before. I still have it.

  11. I was in the 6th grade when 9/11 happened. We had just enter homeroom and our teacher wasn’t in the room she was I think outside in the hallway talking to another teacher next door. When all a sudden she came running into the classroom and turn on the TV and all I can remember was looking at the TV and seeing that both towers are on fire and there was smoke everywhere. Then for the rest of the day was really a blur for me. We still had to attend classes and I went home after school. But I felt like the event didn’t really hit me till much later as I saw more news, videos footage and pictures of New York that I then realize that what had happen on 9/11 was something very horrible and it will always be part of something I will never forget.

    About 2 years ago I visited the 9/11 memorial for the first time and really it was something that was so real but at the same time I felt like it was also not. The names of all the people that passed and the museum that included parts of the towers was just mind blowing. I really recommend everyone to come and visit it.

  12. I was in 6th grade when it happened. I didn’t hear it from the news. We were being served breakfast in the cafeteria when the lunch lady told us ‘today started off terribly so let’s all be kind to each other’.

  13. I was six years old and we had just moved to Switzerland. I remember seeing the scene on this old TV, hearing my parents talk about it and myself not understanding the magnitude of what had happened until many years later.

  14. I’m from a town south of Boston. I was in biology class when I first saw the news. Soon after the whole school was sent to the cafeteria and put on lockdown. We didn’t know if or where another attack would occur. The twin towers and the plane

    • Heading to Camp David might not have been the only targets. As much as there was confusion about what would happen. There was a large sense of unity.

  15. This novel hits differently than any of the previously translated novels I have read.

    I was in elementary school after having finished lunch when my homeroom teacher had us all sit down and then she explained what had occured. We had an open discussion with the class for the rest of the afternoon. I still feel a twinge of pain when I think of the devastation which followed and the terrorism I heard about too frequently after, but I was thankful for her consideration to be open and share what had happened. As a child from a more repressed Chinese household I try to bring up discussion more openly when speaking with younger peers who I meet today because of this teacher.

  16. Boarding school in high school and then the teachers called for an impromptu assembly and announced it to us during recess…..
    The next day we all rushed to the library to read the newspapers and saw the photos… It was a scary time.

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