Fanatical

Fangirling Chinese Novels

The Healing Sunshine (一厘米的阳光) — Chapter 8.2

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On opposite sides of the world, they are doing the same thing. ❤ We’ve seen how Jì Chengyang brings warmth to Jǐ Yi and inspires her, but here, we see how Jǐ Yi brings calm and warmth also to him, like a beam of sunlight that dissipates the darkness of the grim realities he has seen.

Chapter 8.2 — Shape of My Heart (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.

 

“I watched a bit of it. It’s about a young girl and an old guy. You know I like young, handsome guys. The age difference was too big, and nothing struck a chord with me when I watched it. But I still think that for sure it can’t be bad if my little uncle likes it. It must be that I just don’t know how to appreciate it.”

While Nuannuan continued rambling on, Jǐ Yi imperceptibly repeated the song another time, her heart already feeling restless.

What sort of movie was it? When she got back, she would have to watch it.

She let her thoughts go about rather randomly for a while. When she tuned back in to listen, the song was already nearing its end. By chance, one line drifted into her ears:

 …if I told you that I loved you
You’d maybe think there’s something wrong…

If I really do tell him that I like him, he’ll definitely think, too, that something must have gone wrong…

Lowering her head, Jǐ Yi stared at the blue track time display that was ticking away on the CD player. Inexplicably, she remembered how, on a certain winter day, he had returned and, as she stood on the snowy ground, staring blankly, said to her, “What are you doing with your head down? Looking for gold?” Then, she had turned around to see him standing behind her, so tall, dressed in a button-up shirt. And his jacket was draped on her shoulders.

At the time, she had only been eleven years old.

Something must have gone wrong. She had never felt anything towards boys her age. Even with Fu Xiaoning’s subtle and not-so-subtle hints every time or the occasional love letter that those boys within her orchestra team would bring her and the phone calls they would make to her, she would play dumb and brush over all of them.

“Friend Xixi, how can you be spaced out even when you’re listening to a sad English song?” Nuannuan gave her a nudge. “You’re thinking about Fu Xiaoning, aren’t you? That boy’s honestly sparing no effort trying to woo you. The only thing he hasn’t done is pull his heart out for you.”

Jǐ Yi frowned. “I don’t like him.”

“Huh? Don’t like him?” Nuannuan found this odd. “Why? There are tons of girls who like him.”

Jǐ Yi did not speak.

“See, once you start getting more questions, you stop talking again.”

Jǐ Yi gave her a resigned glance of frustration.

She actually had not had such an aversion at first to this person, until one time she went on Nuannuan’s date with her to keep her company. The few of them had been watching a movie in the cinema. She had just finished a popsicle and wanted to grab a napkin to wrap the leftover stick, when unexpectedly, Fu Xiaoning had nonchalantly taken the stick out of her hand. Then, she had watched as Fu Xiaoning put the stick into his mouth and clamped it between his teeth.

From that time onwards, Jǐ Yi had felt uncomfortable all over, and if she could avoid him, she would.

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

Friday night.

Jǐ Yi got the disc from Nuannuan and watched that entire film.

This truly was a story about an older guy, who was a hit man, and a young girl, who had lost all her family, and… the hazy, ambiguous love between them. She wore her headphones to watch. At the end, Leon had gotten vengeance for the little girl, and then, amid an earth-shattering explosion, he closed his eyes. She wept as she watched this, and moreover, her sobs were so hard she could not catch her breath. Because the teacher who introduced her to art was someone who liked colour, she had always had a habit where every book or movie would in the end leave some colour in her heart.

And this film was like its theme song: in the gray, there was a splash of brilliant colour.

When she finished watching it, she felt very sorrowful. The entire time, she had struggled over one question: did that hitman ever love the young girl?

The next day, when she was memorizing her vocabulary words, her mind once again turned to this film, but this led her to think of Jì Chengyang and herself… Once this thought appeared, she could not control it, and quietly, it melded with the movie’s scenes and music. “Shape of My Heart”… Musing over this name, she drew a tiny heart on her notebook and slowly filled it in with her pen.

And then, beside it, she drew an even tinier heart.

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

 

Noon on Saturday.

Jì Chengyang drove back to Philadelphia.

On the morning of September 11, prior to leaving Philadelphia, he had received the phone call from Jǐ Yi and promised her that he would not go to New York. Yet, shortly after hanging up the phone, Jì Chengyang had eaten some toast, drank some milk, and then left his home.

Though his purpose for coming back this time was to bring his student career to a close, he had his own professional habits. In such a time, he absolutely had to go where he could be closest to the actual site of the incident. That day had truly been chaotic. No one had imagined that New York would be attacked. Furthermore, the Emergency Operations Center for the entire city of New York… was housed inside the World Trade Center. The attack on the World Trade Center was equivalent to paralyzing all emergency response.

Midway into Jì Chengyang’s drive there, his colleague had called him. The first press conference since the incident occurred had begun.

……

That same night, he had arrived in New York.

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

Now four days later, at midday, he was in Philadelphia.

Jì Chengyang turned on the room light, wanting to make a cup of coffee for himself.

Still swirling through his mind was the official press conference from that night. Someone had actually insinuated that people in Arab countries were in the midst of singing and dancing in celebration of the attacks on New York. The mayor of New York had responded very much with propriety, stating that everything today was a result of prejudice and hatred. At the time, though, as Jì Chengyang sat there and listened to those questions and answers, he had felt a sense of foreboding.

A war was about to begin. It would be… a tremendous calamity.

He lightly blew out a breath.

<>This copy was taken from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. Please read from there instead.

 

Sunlight tranquilly passed through the window and landed on the kitchen floor.

Jì Chengyang’s roommate stepped inside, and taking in Jì Chengyang’s travel-worn appearance, he asked in puzzlement, “You didn’t sleep the whole night?”

Jì Chengyang did not answer the question directly, saying instead, “Didn’t sleep for several nights.”

Curious, his roommate followed up with a few more inquiries, and only then did he learn that these several days, Jì Chengyang had actually gone to New York. With this, an animated discussion began between the two, the topic going from politics, to economics, to whether in the future, because of this incident, the American people would be paranoid and view everything as a potential threat, to even the next election… They talked for more than an hour. And then, they each heaved a sigh.

Jì Chengyang’s entire mind was filled with thoughts of the war that could possibly be coming, as well as those explosions and innocent civilians. As he gazed at those coffee beans, he felt that he had already lost his patience to wait for coffee brewed from a complex process, so he pulled out some instant coffee and arbitrarily made himself a cup.

His posture when he drank coffee was always so unique.

He would hold the cup with only two fingers, one on each side, and bringing it to his lips, he would drink from it, sip by sip.

In this moment of allowing himself to relax, a little voice gradually appeared: “I’m normally at school. I go back home on the weekends. During the daytime… there are no other people at home.” The little girl’s voice was like a thin shaft of sunlight that tore open the dense, black clouds that had gathered in his heart. Then, it slowly melted into his blood, easing away the weariness from these last several days of rushing about.

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

When the telephone rang, Jǐ Yi was in the middle of making herself a cup of coffee. Clasping the mug between her hands, she ran over. The hot liquid spilled over and scalded her fingers, but still she refused to let this delay her even one second and immediately picked up the receiver.

“Hello?”

“Xixi, it’s me, Jì Chengyang.”

“Mm.” Her voice had completely left her control and instantly taken on the softest of tones. “You’re awake now?”

Jì Chengyang offhandedly answered, “Yes, awake now.”

“Is it especially tiring studying for a Ph.D? You have to sleep all the way until eleven on a weekend?” Jǐ Yi looked over at the tall floor clock in the living room. “Have you eaten yet? If you’re hungry, how about you go eat something first? I can wait for you to finish lunch, and then we can talk on the phone.”

This string of successive questions tossed at Jì Chengyang ended up drawing a laugh out of him. “I should be the one asking you, are you hungry?”

“Me?” Jǐ Yi thought about this. “I’ve been doing exercise problems all the way until now, so I’m not hungry either.”

<>Please support the original translation of this story at its actual site of posting, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com

After a few sentences of casual chatting, she began asking him about the situation in the United States.

Jì Chengyang’s answer was relatively simplistic, but it was not the sort of perfunctory answer one would give to brush off a child, either. “It was a terrorist attack. Actually, when the second tower was also struck, I had already guessed this. It’s not possible that this was an accident.”

She gave an “mm-hmm,” seeming as if she was contemplating.

He asked, “You’ve thought of something?”

“I’m thinking, will there be any questions about this on the college entrance exam? …” she confessed honestly.

Jì Chengyang fell into a brief silence.

For this incident, he already had not slept for several days, and he did not want to still be discussing this topic in this brief moment of rest. He would rather show some care and ask about Jǐ Yi’s studies, or maybe listen to her tell him about some random little pieces of gossip or the little problems of her good friends.

Jǐ Yi was puzzled. “Has the call gotten cut off?”

“No.” He changed the topic. “Are you adjusting to being in a liberal-arts-stream class?”

“It’s pretty good. It’s a lot more laidback than the advanced science stream class.” She suddenly remembered Zhao Xiaoying. “But Xiaoying’s grades aren’t that good. She always says it’s because I’m smarter than her, so I don’t even know how I can encourage her.”

“You want to ask me for help?” Jì Chengyang turned a question back on her. “There’s a quote from Thomas Edison about perspiration and inspiration. Have you heard it before?”

Jǐ Yi straightaway was able to guess what he was referring to. “Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration?”

Words like these had been heard too many times already and did not have much power to rouse anyone.

“More or less. The original words are more complicated than that.” Jì Chengyang remarked, “But Zhao Xiaoying is right. Talent is indeed very important. When an American writer interpreted these words of Edison, he had said, without the one percent inspiration, the ninety-nine percent perspiration would still only amount to a bucket of water.”

“……”

Was he even helping?

“But that writer was exaggerating a bit with that statement.” Jì Chengyang took a sip of his coffee and continued, “If a normal person truly puts in ninety-nine percent perspiration, even though he won’t be able to do as Edison did and invent direct-current electric power, he can still certainly learn the principles of direct current. What you are all learning right now are the fundamentals. When it comes down to it, you just need to be able to use them proficiently. It’s not that hard. She’s just not putting in enough effort, that’s all.”

“Mm.” She digested his words. And then inevitably, she also asked with curiosity, “You like Edison a lot?”

“No, not at all,” Jì Chengyang replied. “He’s been made into a celebrity figure, so when you bring him out to talk about, it’s relatively more convincing to little girls like all of you.”

She felt that his words were always so different from other people’s. Drawn by these remarks from him, she asked, “Then who do you like?’

“Leonardo da Vinci.”

Leonardo da Vinci.

She felt that she would definitely end up liking da Vinci as well, and moreover, she would like him very much.

With her pointer finger, she arbitrarily doodled on the glass, writing out his name.

She had not expected that, when the call was about to be hung up, Jì Chengyang would actually ask about her grades.

“How’s math going right now?”

With guilty discomfiture, Jǐ Yi answered, “Not good enough.”

“What would be full marks?”

“150.”

“What are you able to get?”

“About 120.”

“That is a bit low. How about you aim for somewhere between 130 and 140?”

He was actually setting a goal for her…

Summoning her resolution, she answered, “Okay.”

“If you reach that score,”—he paused briefly and gave a chuckle—“when I come back in the winter, I’ll have a reward for you.”

He was actually… enticing her.

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.

Completed:
18 of 69 Chapter segments
0 of 1 Epilogue

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14 thoughts on “The Healing Sunshine (一厘米的阳光) — Chapter 8.2

  1. This novel makes me happy.

  2. JY might be floating in the clouds and trying to reach math score of 140 while waiting for JCY to return XD
    thank you and welcome back (a slight delay though)

  3. For JY the actual reward is just uncle JCY himself😂
    Now feel like watching Léon as I first heard abt it in kdrama when GoAra was confessing to Yoon Kyesang despite their age gap…never knew the lil girl was Natalie Portman😱

    • Haha… Anything from Little Uncle Ji is perfect.
      I can’t watch tragedies. 😦 For the purpose of this translation, I went and watched some clips of it on YT.

  4. …The little girl’s voice was like a thin shaft of sunlight that tore open the dense, black clouds that had gathered in his heart…

    I always thought that JCY was the sunshine in this story line, I might be mistaken… Perhaps, they were each other’s sun that shine and heal the restless heart.

    Oh, and I bet JCY’s call was over 4 minutes. Nuannuan would be hurt if she knew this fact. ^^

    Thanks for another sweet chapter, Hoju~!

    • They are both the sunshine in this story. It is finding the right person at the right time. They both needed sunshine. She needed unconditional care and love and feeling of security that her family had never given her. He needed the purity and also unconditional love and trust that he could run back to after seeing some of the greatest horrors of this world. His family supported him, but from a military family, the environment was rather withdrawn and reserved, with high expectations of performance.

      Nuannuan would be terribly jealous indeed…

      You’re welcome!

  5. I am surprised that JCY had the feeling that talking with JY would calm him. Good good 🙂.

    Thank you for the chapter, Hoju.

    • This is not a one-sided relationship. 🙂 Yes, it began with Ji Chengyang taking compassion on a little girl, but it has deepened into much more, because from Ji Yi, Ji Chengyang can find the peace and purity of heart that he so longs to see after having witnessed such terrible things in the world.

      You’re very welcome!

  6. JY’s feelings take me back to my own teenager years of excitement of growing up, doubts about my feelings for the boy next door, (LOL) being on my best behaviour in front of him so I could score points. Those are behind me now and I love MBFB for taking me back to revisit my feelings of those days.
    Hoju, thank you!!!

    • That means you must have liked good boys and not the bad boy type. 😉
      Something magical about those flutterings of your heart when you’re still a youth…

      You’re welcome!

  7. Thank you for this chapter as I get to have a better and deeper understanding of the bond between JC and JY. Both are so fortunate to have come across one another. You have a great gift for translating so well.

    • There is very much a reason as to why both are important in the other person’s life. ❤ They both fill something that was empty in the other person’s heart.
      Thank you for the kind words. ☺️

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