Fanatical

Fangirling Chinese Novels

The Healing Sunshine (一厘米的阳光) — Chapter 11.1

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We still haven’t reached the part in the novel where the date of  Jì Chengyang’s birthday is explicitly stated, so you’ll just have to trust me that he is turning 41 this Monday. Happy birthday, Little Uncle Jì!

Now you understand why Jì Chengyang had to make sure she was as prepared as she could possibly be? 😦 Even though he can’t physically be there with her, he is supporting her all the way through it.

Chapter 11.1 — The Reason to be Strong (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 opened the door. The lights in the living room shone brilliantly.

The television was shut off. Inside, it had still been noisy when Jǐ Yi unlocked the door with the key, but when she actually stepped into the home, quiet instantly fell. The living room was filled completely with people—people from the Wang family, Grandfather, Second [Paternal] Uncle and Second Aunt as well as her younger cousin-brother[1], Third [Paternal] Uncle and Third Aunt… and also Zhao Xiaoying and her mother. Everyone. Countless eyes looked towards her.

She set down her schoolbag and walked over. Seeing Wang Xingyu’s mother, she was about to say something, but Wang Xingyu’s mother was already charging over, shoving her into the couch and raising an arm to strike her.

Jǐ Yi fell into the couch seat, utterly stunned.

“Hey, how can you just go and start hitting someone?” Third Aunt wanted to stop her, but Third Uncle grabbed her by the arm. “What? No matter what, she’s still a child of the Jǐ family…”

“No one is allowed to help her!”

The person with the highest authority in the Jǐ family had spoken.

Grandfather turned around, walked into the study, and slammed the door shut with a bang.

With those words, truly, no one dared to intervene anymore.

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

It was actually Wang Xingyu’s father who stopped his wife of his own accord. “Things are already as they are. There’s no use hitting her!”

With swollen eyes, Wang Xingyu’s mother glared hatefully at Jǐ Yi. “What did my child do to you? And then you dared to find a bunch of hooligans to try to beat him to death?!” As she spat out these words, she hurled a crumpled ball of paper into Jǐ Yi’s face. It was the medical report.

Jǐ Yi slowly rose to her feet, her legs pressed tightly against the couch behind her, not daring to pick up the wad of paper that was on the floor.

Zhao Xiaoying was in her mother’s embrace, and it was apparent that prior to Jǐ Yi’s return, she had already received a berating. She stared, pale-faced, at Jǐ Yi. With great difficulty, she mustered her courage and said in a small voice, “It’s Wang Xingyu who wanted to hit me. Jǐ Yi was helping me…”

Her mother pinched her arm viciously and snapped in a low voice, “Don’t talk nonsense! Do those hooligans have anything to do with you? Huh? How is it that you can just dare to say anything?”

With reddened eyes, Zhao Xiaoying bit down on her lip, not daring to say anything anymore.

<>This translation was taken from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. It would be greatly appreciated if you supported it over on that site instead. Thank you.

Jǐ Yi had originally thought there was still at least room for her to provide an explanation, but little had she known that what she faced was simply a one-sided denouncement.

Zhao Xiaoying had her mother to protect her. Wang Xingyu’s parents were demanding justice for their child. Even Second Aunt was afraid that her son would be frightened and had brought Jǐ Yi’s little cousin-brother into the study to stay away from everything. Only Jǐ Yi stood alone by the couch, without anyone to aid her.

She wanted to clarify how everything had begun and the development of the entire incident, but no one would give her the chance to do so.

Wang Xingyu’s father had already jumped in and gained the advantage by speaking first, using the stern tone of a soldier to harshly reproach Jǐ Yi in front of everyone. His words were plain and clear. Wang Xingyu had been beaten very severely. He had even needed to undergo emergency resuscitation and nearly died on the operating table. Even now, though he had been saved, he still needed to temporarily suspend his studies to heal up and recuperate. It was not even certain whether he would be able to take part in the college entrance examinations.

In a severe voice that spoke from the standpoint and authority of justice and fairness, Wang Xingyu’s father emphasized over and over, “This matter must be pursued to the very end, especially against the perpetrator who gathered the group and initiated this fight!”

He continued speaking about how this matter would be pursued and how restitution should be made. Jǐ Yi heard a great, great deal of words, but only one number stayed with her: 400,000 [RMB]. When she heard this sum, all of her felt as if it had been emptied, like she had been pushed to the edge of a cliff and her feet were dangling. She dared not use any force, dared not ponder—she dared not think about anything.

All her experience in life was wholly incapable of handling this sort of situation, be it the beating and rebuking from the victim’s parents, or the series of calls for answers and pursual of this matter, or this shocking stipulation and demand.

The only thing she could do was to continue listening. Behind her, her two hands wrung together like mad as she forced herself not to cry.

Nuannuan had said that the financial situation of Fu Xiaoning’s family was not good, and his parents frequently were not at home. This time, it was entirely for her that he was in custody in the police station and also had to pay compensation.

Mechanically, she dug at her own hands with her fingernails. Anything else that the other party spoke, she did not listen to anymore.

It was not until Wang Xingyu’s parents had left and Zhao Xiaoying’s mother was pulling her away to leave that Zhao Xiaoying finally rushed over to Jǐ Yi, grabbing her hand and wanting to say something. Before any words would come forth, however, she had already broken into sobs. Zhao Xiaoying wanted to apologize, but she did not have the courage to say anything right in front of her mother. She merely looked at Jǐ Yi and wept until her mother at last took her away.

Jǐ Yi’s gaze took in her family members who were sitting in the dining room, spectating everything. Without a word, she left the living room and returned to her own bedroom.

She locked the door.

Before long, she could hear Third Aunt complaining outside the door. “Four hundred thousand is enough to buy a house in a slightly further area. They sure had the gall to open their mouths and make their demands.”

“It’s not like you’re the one forking out the money. Why do you have so much to say about it? Be careful Dad doesn’t get angry again.” Third Uncle’s tone was displeased.

“I’m telling you, this whole matter is still going to drag and cause trouble for a while. They already said just now, none of the kids in that group are even twenty years old yet. You think the Wang family is going to ask for 400,000 from that hooligan? Where’s he going to get the money? When the time comes, the hooligan’s parents are going to find their way here, too. You just wait. Goodness, such a big thing happened, but Xixi’s dad and mom aren’t even coming back!”

Second Aunt could not hold herself back, either. “It’s not like we’re anyone to them anyway, eh? It’s New Year’s, and here we spent the whole night bowing and scraping. Such a darned run of luck. Hurry and call Dad out. Let’s eat. I’ll go reheat the food.”

“It’s expected that they’re not coming back. Do you know what her mom said when she answered the phone? It sent the old man into a rage.” Third Aunt began to mimick those words. “Her mom didn’t even think about coming back to take care of things after such a big incident and even said on that end, ‘Back when Xixi was born, a lot of people said her eight characters of birth time[2] [birthdate, down to the hour] are detrimental to her parents[3]. It turns out that in the end, we still weren’t able to escape that!’ ”

“That’s right, they can’t escape it. She just turned sixteen. They think they can walk away from their duty? They’ve got to wait another couple of years for that.”

“She looks to be quite a good kid on the outside. Who would have thought that she’s mixed in already with the likes of those types of people of society? You say, those people would actually dare kill or commit arson for her. That’s so scary. So our kid is still a bit better, then. Yes, he’s a bit naughty normally, but at least he doesn’t dare cause big trouble.” Second Aunt carried on with her woeful sighs.

……

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

Jǐ Yi turned on her desk lamp, pulled out a stack of math practice papers that she had not worked on yet, and began doing practice problems. She had never known that her birthdate and time had long been concluded as being detrimental to her parents.

Her desk lamp was turned to the brightest setting.

She began doing multiple-choice questions, one question after another, going only for speed and not bothering to care about the quality of the answer.

She did not know what to do, nor did she know what would happen tomorrow.

Soon, inside the living room, there was the sound of the television. The annual ritual of the Spring Festival Gala[4] had begun. Her little cousin-brother was crying that he was hungry, and in next to no time, her family members began having dinner. She heard Third Aunt say to call her out for dinner, but Grandfather stopped her. “Let her be hungry. Have her do some self-reflection.”

……

Jǐ Yi lowered her head, continuing to do her practice papers.

The tears she had held in for an entire night finally streamed forth, splattering onto the paper.

She was completely unaware that the entire time, with only a single wall between them, someone had been waiting, waiting for her to get through this one-sided condemnation.

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In the pitch-dark corridor, Jì Chengyang stood between floors, at the place where the stairs turned a corner, listening as downstairs, those people of the Wang family departed from here.

Fishing out his cigarette case from his pocket, he took out one cigarette and brought it lightly up to his nose. He had vaguely heard sounds of arguing and shouting as well as crying. A young girl had been crying, but it was not Jǐ Yi.

The familiar smell of tobacco gradually caused his emotions to subside, until he was completely calm.

Just now, how many people had been in that home? Jǐ Yi’s family members, the parents of that boy, and, he speculated, that good friend of Jǐ Yi should have been there, too. The original cause of this incident was actually very simple. When you boiled it down, this was merely someone else’s family matter. The son had hit the daughter. No matter how this developed, there would be no dispute that involved money and a lawsuit.

But for Jǐ Yi, this was an uncalled-for calamity.

He was very familiar with Fuzhong’s school rules. Even if she had not instigated and directed this fight, just the one point of associating too closely with youth who did not belong to the school, as well as police officers personally coming to the school to have a talk with her, was enough for the school to dole out discipline on this outstanding student.

And… that was only the school’s side of this matter.

That boy…

Jì Chengyang was feeling somewhat unwell.

Snapping the cigarette in two, he set it onto the windowsill. In that spot, there were already many broken cigarettes and also little bits of straw-yellow tobacco.

The beating that the boy had suffered externally had resulted in a large area of his body being bruised and swollen, multiple fractures in his right forearm, left lower leg, and right ribs, a ruptured liver, and pooled blood in his abdomen and chest cavity… The boy was presently in the Peking Union Medical College Hospital. Wang Haoran had made a call to specially ask someone to help him get the results from the medical examinations. The doctors had all remarked sighingly that it was a good thing he had been brought to the hospital early enough; otherwise, the consequences would have been too horrible to even conceive.

……

Jì Chengyang suddenly remembered, when he was a teenager, he had witnessed with his own eyes, outside of his middle school’s gates in a spot merely a few paces away from him, a student die by the blade of several hooligans. That had been the first time he saw a life extinguish right in front of him. At the time, he, too, had been terrified.

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

After a lengthy time, he finally pulled out his mobile phone from his pocket, felt for the “1” button, and held it down.

Due to his profession, there were simply too many numbers stored in his mobile phone. Worried that there would be times he would not be able to find Jǐ Yi’s phone number, he had simply set it as a speed dial number. She was “1.”

Very shortly, the call connected.

He heard Jǐ Yi say hello. Her voice was very quiet and seemed also to carry a slight nasal tone in it.

“It’s over?” he asked softly.

“Mm-hmm.”

Right as he was about to say something more, the deafening sound of firecrackers was heard coming from outside the window. In his left ear were the noises on the other side of the window, while in his right ear, the sounds coming from where Jǐ Yi was. Because the noise of the firecrackers was too loud, the two of them, one inside a room on the first floor and the other at the place where the corridor turned a corner between the first and second floor, did not speak. When their surroundings gradually quieted, Jì Chengyang at last asked, “I heard Nuannuan mention earlier in the car that there are going to be fireworks later on in the square?”

She answered, “There’ll be fireworks some time after eleven o’clock or so. Every year, they have them for an hour.”

“I remember, before I went abroad to study, Beijing didn’t have a fireworks ban yet[5].” Jì Chengyang gave a little chuckle. “Nuannuan just told me earlier that since the ban, the compound will have fireworks out in the square every year.”

Jǐ Yi gave another “mm-hmm.”

She did not really want to talk.

Silence for extreme pain, wordlessness for great laughter.

When they talked on the phone before, Jǐ Yi had always be the one who spoke more, sometimes exhorting him with some instructions, sometimes giving him a current update of things in her life, sometimes consulting him on things that were perplexing or concerning her. She was a very mature little lady for her age, but alas, no matter how mature she was, she was not made of iron or steel.

All her experience was still limited to within school campuses.

Jì Chengyang tried as much as possible to talk a little more with her. Sensing that her emotional state was much stabler than he had expected it to be, he was finally able to somewhat set his mind at ease.

There was an absolute need for him to return home now. This was a thorny problem. What was even thornier was that he straightaway was going to be undergoing surgery. The location of the tumour was not ideal, resulting in a high risk with this operation. While mulling things over, he had also considered whether he should leave some instructions with Wang Haoran to follow up with how things went in the subsequent handling of this matter. As he stood here in this pitch-dark corridor, with only pitch-blackness before his eyes as well, the mentality he had was actually one of urgency to ensure everything was organized and cared for after his death. His fear was that if he went onto the operating table but then was not able to come off of it again, she would be left to face many troubles alone.

She was only sixteen years old—she had just turned sixteen years old.

Taking out the last cigarette in the case, Jì Chengyang gripped it in his palm, crushed it fiercely into a wad, and then tossed it onto the windowsill.

Before they had spoken more than a few sentences, the sound of the second wave of Lunar New Year’s celebratory firecrackers resounded out.

“There are fireworks now.” With the din of the firecrackers coming through the window, Jǐ Yi raised her voice and told him, “They’ve started the fireworks over in the square now.”

Jì Chengyang smiled. “A good New Year to you, Xixi.”

“A good New Year to you.”

“Have a good sleep tonight. A new year has begun.”

“Mm-hmm.”

“Bye.”

“Bye.”

Jǐ Yi hung up the phone, then glanced at the call duration on the display: 9 minutes and 21 seconds.

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It was later on that Nuannuan mentioned, that night, when Jì Chengyang arrived back at home, his family had already finished their Lunar New Year’s Eve dinner[6]. The original plan was that after Nuannuan’s [paternal] granddad was picked up and brought over here by his second son and they had eaten dinner, he would be picked up again and taken to another event. However, Jì Chengyang had unexpectedly returned home and requested to discuss something with Nuannuan’s granddad. In great surprise, the elderly man had followed him into the study.

As for what the two talked about in the study, no one knew. Even the members of the Jì family outside of the door did not know.

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

[1] 堂弟 “tang di.” Younger male patrilineal cousin. In Chinese culture, cousins who share the same surname (i.e. their fathers are brothers) are closer in blood than others, and they are called 堂 “tang” siblings. They address each other as brother or sister. Here, “tang di” means younger “tang” brother. I will use “cousin-brother” or “cousin-sister” to describe this “tang” sibling relationship.

[2] 生辰八字 “sheng chen ba zi.” One’s “eight characters of birth time” (also called birth time ba zi or Four Pillars of Destiny) is made up of the year, month, day, and time of one’s birth, and these four things (each described by a two-character name, hence eight characters in total) are supposed to determine one’s unique personality and a map for one’s destiny (e.g. marriage, career, etc).

[3] In Chinese fortune-telling, there is a belief that one’s eight characters of birth time can sometimes be harmonious with someone else’s, but at times it can clash and work against another party’s eight characters. When someone’s eight characters are detrimental to his or her parents, the results could be things such as disharmony in the parent-child relationship, always bringing anger and frustration to the parents, bringing bad luck into the parents’ lives, etc.

[4] 中国中央电视台春节联欢晚会, The Chinese Central Television Spring Festival Gala (or New Year’s Gala) is the yearly special New Year’s program shown on Lunar New Year’s Eve. Its viewership is in the hundreds of millions.

[5] On December 1, 1993, Beijing put a ban on fireworks for safety and pollution reasons. (Note: In 2006, this ban was removed. However, at this point in the story, it is February 2002. Interestingly, in 2017, the local government was considering banning fireworks in Beijing again, within a certain radius around the centre.)

[6] 年夜饭 “nian ye fan.” The Lunar New Year’s Eve dinner, also called 团圆饭 “tuan yuan fan,” which means “family reunion dinner” is a Chinese tradition in which family gathers together on Lunar New Year’s Eve to have dinner and celebrate the upcoming New Year.

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:
25 of 69 Chapter segments
0 of 1 Epilogue

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17 thoughts on “The Healing Sunshine (一厘米的阳光) — Chapter 11.1

  1. I feel so angry and sad for Ji Yi. I really hope it turns around for her soon. I can’t wait for the next chapter to find out!!!

  2. I feel sad for all the injustices that she is been suffering they don’t even let her explain she was the victim 😢

  3. wow just completely speechless…I would have quite the struggles trying to grow up into a proper adult
    thank you

    • Isn’t it amazing how far she’s gotten basically without any familial support. It’s so fortunate for her that Jì Chengyang stepped into her life at such a young age, because no one to guide her, her life could have taken a wrong turn anywhere!

  4. The injustice of it all. I am so mad at the ‘save face’ principle that people follow to the extend of leaving their young ones unprotected and open to all kinds of abuse.
    Communicate!!!
    Poor JY, my heart goes out to her. Good on JCY for being a cushion, even if it was just a short while.
    Cannot wait to read the follow up on this chapter. :-))

    • I think “face” actually plays only a small part of it. Yes, Ji Yi’s grandfather is mad because this probably has caused him to lose some face, but really, it has to do with no one cares about Xixi in that family. Why bother going to the trouble of defending someone when you don’t care about them?

      His cushioning is definitely not just for a short while. You will find out…

  5. Saddening😭..how can her parents say such things like she is a jinx…completely heartbroken😰

  6. The matter escalated to so much!!! And poor JY is the lamb for slaughter now 🙁. Not even a single person in her family or her mother far away to side her(not to mention her phone reply). Can’t imagine how much broken JY would be. And JCY trying to comfort her when he himself is in pitch darkness. A very touching chapter and looking forward to what happens next.

    Thank you for the chapter, Hoju 🙂.

    • I’m sure the Wang family doesn’t want to let Fu Xiaoning off easily either. But those busybody aunts probably did get something right… the Wang family probably wants money, and Ji Yi’s grandfather is the one who has that.

      It is very touching. It’s so, so hard for Ji Yi right now, but her eyes will end up being opened to see who truly cares for her and helps her in her time of need.

      You’re welcome!

  7. This part of story reminded me of Tong Yan’s relationship with her father, who never be there for her and only caused her pain.
    My heart always ache for JY whenever the story was about her family. The girl as beautiful and innocent as her was neglected and ignored since the day she was born. Argh!

    Love to take another peek of JCY’s heart: JY is his #1. And as I said several chapters back, his call to her always over 4 mins time.. hahaha, poor Nuannuan…

    One of the best thing of their relationship is they always reversed the role as per the situation. He would talk more when she was down or sad, she could be happily chatter to him when he needed her. She sought solace and found a pillar in him, while he gathered strength and peacefulness from her. Isn’t it sweet?

    Thanks for another heart twisting sweet chapter, my dear… Have a great weekend!

    • At least Tong Yan’s father still viewed her as his daughter. It was just that his gambling addiction was greater than any love he had. Here, Xixi’s family chooses not to even bother with her. 😦

      That’s why they are both one another’s sunshine. On the outside, Xixi needs Jì Chengyang more, which in some ways, yes, because there is no one to provide her any guidance as she negotiates the thing called “growing up,” but he needs her just as much, just in different ways.

      Hope you had a wonderful weekend, too.

  8. I’m late on this boat..but I just had to say how much I had cried(literally) for JY…and how much I felt for JYC how deserving he is to be the male lead of this story and not just romatically. I salute to MBFB for making me cry so hard…T_T

    • I really feel for Xixi, and yes, Jì Chengyang most certainly deserves our admiration and respect. You will see, though, that he is very much a human being, someone who is not perfect. But to me, that even more shows how well he is written. 🙂

      BTW, welcome to the boat.

  9. I finished reading all of your MBFB translations and this one is my favorite. Thank you so much! 😘

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