Fanatical

Fangirling Chinese Novels

The Healing Sunshine (一厘米的阳光) — Chapter 14.1

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Something happened last time, something he never intended to do. How is he going to explain that? What’s going to happen after?

Chapter 14.1 — A Song of Brief Parting (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.

 

He absolutely could not let himself draw closer again.

Jì Chengyang felt that his whole mood and his entire state were terrible. Utterly terrible.

All of his plans had been wholly overturned. That type of agitated feeling that arose from uncertainty had driven him somewhat mad. In the most terrible of states, he had done something he had not even thought about doing. He had long since already thought through all the plans. After she finished registering for the exam, he would walk around with her on that campus. He did not have any doubts at all regarding Jǐ Yi’s abilities to get into that university. In fact, after she mentioned that she wanted to register for the foreign small languages program, he had even already begun to get in contact with his friend who was a professor there… He had acted according to his own habits and planned out her future life for her.

He had been too eager, and using all his connections and abilities, he had thrown his heart and mind into arranging these things for her…

Yet, he dared not tell her that in one week, he would be leaving China.

His destination was Afghanistan.

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The American-British coalition had already initiated Operation Snipe in Afghanistan, and the American and Afghan allied troops had begun a hunt in Afghanistan’s southeastern mountain areas. Up to this point, of the ethnic-Chinese media organizations, the only ones who had gone into that area were from Hong Kong. He needed to fight for this, to try to find some opportunities, perhaps give up his current job and join one of the media bodies that could enter there…

But right now, right this moment, right here, he first needed to resolve his own personal relationship issues.

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

In the spill of the entrance hallway’s light, Jì Chengyang, wearing that pair of gold, wire-framed glasses, let his gaze collide with hers. Jǐ Yi’s eyes were reddened, and her tears were still tumbling down. She did not dare move as she looked at Jì Chengyang. Through those thin glasses lenses, she looked at him.

Those few seconds of contact between them had seemed like a hallucination.

So inconceivable.

Like a taboo that could not be spoken about nor asked about.

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He could see that old injury on her wrist. So many matters, big and small, had come one upon the other at that time. He had wanted to make sure everything was handled carefully and properly, but he had overlooked this one thing. That night, in the darkness, he had asked her, “Is the injury on your hand serious?” Jǐ Yi had answered him, “It doesn’t hurt that much.” Three months had passed and the scab had already disappeared, but this long scar had been left in its place.

He could watch as artillery shells came hurtling down in front of him and destroyed everything to smitheerens and then, without looking back or any vacillation, rush forward with the camera operator to see the immediate devastation of war. But, he did not want to see traces of anything bad left on Jǐ Yi. There was error in this thinking. Every person will inevitably experience injustice. No one will have a completely smooth-sailing life. There are only those same few types of setbacks, and only after you have experienced them can you know how to deal with them. It is merely a matter of sooner or later.

Merely sooner or later.

But reasoning and emotions are always in conflict. This feeling is very subtle and somewhat wearing on a person.

“I’m sorry, Xixi.” His voice had been repressed within his throat for too long, to the extent that it was slightly hoarse.

Husky, doting, and also tender.

Thump, thump. Jǐ Yi’s heart was hammering, and she fixed her eyes on him.

What would he say? “That was actually just a moment of rashness from me just now”? …

“I was a little rash just now.” It was as if Jì Chengyang could actually read minds, repeating what Jǐ Yi had been praying against in her heart, that answer that she most did not hope to hear. Jǐ Yi did not dare to say anything. Tears were already rippling in her eyes, and she could sense they were about to brim over. She dared not blink, for the instant she did, her tears would definitely course down. And so, she only said softly, “I know.”

From her expression, Jì Chengyang knew already that she had misunderstood his meaning. He set free that feeling that had been suppressed in his chest this entire time, exhaling out a light sigh. And then, he loosened his hold on one of Jǐ Yi’s shoulders.

Pulling off his glasses, he faced her with his truest countenance. “I said ‘rash’ because you are too young. I want to wait until you are mature enough, to wait until you truly know what sort of relationship it is that you want before I let you face these things.”

Perhaps what suited her was that age group of young people who were teeming with life and vigor.

By the time she was the age of twenty, he would nearly be thirty and would have seen too much life and death, would have a heart that had long grown old and seemed an age beyond forty. And she, at just twenty years old… would be the same age as he had been when he saw her the second time and brought her for her onstage dance performance.

Twenty-year-old Jì Chengyang had only just begun his life. He had had too many ideas and could give up too many unimportant, insignificant things.

A few years from now, when Jǐ Yi was twenty years old, she would certainly be the same.

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

“Let’s make a pact.” The final bit of levelheadedness in Jį Chengyang bound him tightly. He could not let his own views as a grown adult on love and relationships shackle down Jǐ Yi. “Two years from now, if you truly are willing to accept me, I absolutely will take responsibility for my actions a moment ago.”

Jǐ Yi stared disbelievingly at him.

A fire began to burn from the bottom of her heart, causing her blood to boil and churn.

“Is it because… you need to take responsibility for what you did?” Jǐ Yi was hung up on the literal meaning of those last few words.

“No, don’t misconstrue my meaning,” he chuckled.

For once showing the temper typical of young girls, Jǐ Yi, her voice still carrying a heavy nasal tone to it, continued to be vexed by his wording. “Is it only because just now, you… um… and that’s why you’re saying this?” She wanted to ask him, just like how those female leads in television dramas would press the issue, was it only because he had kissed her in a moment of rashness that he said he would take responsibility?

Or is it because… you like me, too?

But how could she possibly make the words come out from her mouth? Before she stepped through this door, even thinking about this question had been done only in the deep night hours with her covers pulled over her head. Each conversation they had had, each time they had held hands, and also each embrace between Jì Chengyang and her had always had its own reason for occurring, such that that she dared not read too much into things. This was because they had known each other too early in their lives. He was her Little Uncle Jì.

But just now, she had been unable to find any reason. And because there was no reason, she had become confused.

As if her head was spinning. As if her heart was bursting with joy. Not daring to believe this. She did not know what words she could use to describe her feelings at this moment. She could only, amidst this chaotic mood, stake everything in this one question of, what was this so-called “responsibility” for?”

Jì Chengyang very seldom saw her like this and actually found her extremely interesting and enjoyable to watch right now.

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Downstairs, someone was playing the piano. From what she could hear, it was not very smooth, like a child practicing.

The piano sounds abruptly stopped, then started up again.

Jì Chengyang remembered his own reaction that year when he came from that little town deep in the mountains of Sichuan here to Beijing and was first put in front of a piano. At the time, it had been just like this feeling.

Those days of his youth were simply too distant. The year he won the piano competition, she was not even born.

“When I was eight, I won first place in a city-wide piano competition; you weren’t born yet. The year I entered university, you just started your fourth year in primary school. Xixi, there are many years between us.” Jì Chengyang told her, “As a man in his adulthood, I must wait until you have grown up before beginning a relationship with you, as equals. I need to wait until you believe that what you feel for me is truly love and not dependence. When that time comes, tell me, or you only need to give me a simple hint to let me know what it is that you want.”

“As long as I want it… it will happen?” She was already at the point where she could not even look directly at Jì Chengyang anymore.

Every last bit of her courage had been used to ask this last question.

“As long as you want it, it will happen.”

This was the love that he, Jì Chengyang, wanted to give Jǐ Yi.

Love most certainly did not occupy all of his life, but the choice for all of his love belonged wholly to her.

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

This dialogue that was not explicit and was even somewhat veiled and ambiguous was, in her memory, the moment when the relationship between her and Jì Chengyang truly began.

Even though she understood the meaning behind every word that Jì Chengyang spoke, she still was very confident that no matter how many years passed, if she were to make a choice, there would still be only one answer on her answer sheet.

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After saying all these things, Jì Chengyang actually was a little embarrassed, and covering his mouth with one hand, he gave a couple of coughs. He did not dare to allow himself to continue staying here in this entrance hallway, so straightening back up, he slipped his glasses back on, went into the study, and busied himself by gathering and organizing in advance all of the things he would need.

Jǐ Yi, on the other hand, bent down, wanting to untie the laces of her canvas shoes.

From this angle, she could see Jì Chengyang’s backside in the study as he rummaged through his materials. Uwittingly, she touched her fingers to her lips. All of a sudden, she blushed. It was that type of blushing where crimson thoroughly flooded the face and there was nothing to conceal it.

Bringing her head down, Jǐ Yi hurriedly untied her shoelaces and changed into the pair of slippers that belonged to her in this home.

She was suddenly very happy. She wanted to eat a lot and a lot of stuff—mustard cabbage mounds, chaogan, and baodu. She felt that she was ravenous. She was going to let herself completely eat her fill and then begin working hard. It was May already. The countdown to college entrance exams was looming. Sure, she could not get advanced placement into foreign small language studies, but that did not matter. She still wanted to achieve the top exam marks in her year and get into the best university.

Left: 芥末墩 “Jie mo dun” mustard cabbage is a cold dish of cabbage that has been fermented in mustard (image credit). Middle: 爆肚 Baodu literally means exploding stomach. It is sliced tripe that is blanched very quickly in boiling water and then flavoured and served hot (image credit). Right: 炒肝 Chaogan literally means stir-fried liver, but it is actually stewed pork intestine as well as liver (image credit).

She wanted to get into a television station or a newspaper agency. She wanted to be a journalist who was just like him.

She wanted, when they were truly together, each person who mentioned Jì Chengyang’s girlfriend to feel it was a matter of course that they were a couple. Jǐ Yi would unquestionably become Jì Chengyang’s girlfriend and one who was most outstanding.

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

As for that incident that had arisen on registration day, Jì Chengyang only asked a few sentences, and after he got the answers, he did not say very much. He merely told Jǐ Yi, regarding the demerits on her record, although it had affected her registration for advanced enrollment this time, as long as no situation occurred where she violated any school rules, they would not affect her college entrance examinations.

This was his verbal agreement with his former teacher, the current principal of Fuzhong School.

<>Please read this translation at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com instead. Thank you.

One week later, Jì Chengyang left Beijing.

His departure happened to be on the night before his birthday. After evening self-study class ended, Jǐ Yi specially ran over to the basketball court with mobile phone in hand to give him a call. She had wanted to wait until midnight and be the first to wish him a happy birthday, but it was apparent that by that time, Jì Chengyang would already be on the airplane and would not be able to talk on the phone. Hence, she could only do it two hours in advance.

After the call was connected, she could clearly hear that type of voice that was unique to airports, that voice that gently urged people to complete their check-in process and go on their way to leave this city. “I’m done checking in.” Once Jì Chengyang picked up his mobile phone, he said to her, “I’m sitting in, hmm, in a place where you can rest for a bit, and I’m sipping coffee. There are two middle-aged men sitting near me and also a young woman with a kid.”

Very easily, she was able to sketch out in her mind an image of the setting he was in.

“Um…” Jǐ Yi glanced at her surroundings. “I’m sitting on the school basketball court.”

“The basketball court that has no lights?”

She laughed. “It has some now, but it’s night and the lights have already been turned off.”

“Mm.” Jì Chengyang evidently knew the layout of this campus like the back of his hand. “Make absolutely sure you do not walk towards the right side of the basketball court. There are a lot of little pathways over there that head to the lab building, the cafeteria, and other places like those, and you could easily frighten away some ‘affectionate’ couples.”

Jǐ Yi giggled. Sitting alone beneath the basketball hoop, she picked up a flat, little stone and over and over scratched it against the concrete ground of the court.

There was no need at all to even head over to any little pathways. Not far away from her, there were already two couples. The large rush of people heading back to the dormitories had already passed, and remaining were only a few scattered couples. As the wind rustled through the bushes, sometimes, in some slightly dimmer places, a couple would steal a kiss or something along those lines… She really did not dare to lift her head and look too closely.

Burying her face in her knees, she kept her head down and stared at the ground.

She was focused as she conversed with him on the phone, but the stone in her hand was haphazardly scratching away.

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

Without warning, from behind her, a hand snatched her mobile phone away from her. Shocked by this, Jǐ Yi tried to grab it back. Nuannuan was utterly tickled. “You’re actually not going back to the dorm to go to bed, and instead you’re sitting in a place like this to talk on the phone. For sure there’s something fishy—” She originally had only wanted to play a little joke and had not expected that Jǐ Yi truly would get somewhat anxious, trying with all her might to grab her phone back.

After snagging it back, Jǐ Yi’s first reaction was to glance at her phone’s screen. The call had already been hung up. Lucky, lucky…

“Who was that?” Nuannuan brought her head down and leaned in close to Jǐ Yi, whispering, “Someone from your class?”

Avoiding Nuannuan’s inquisitive look, she slipped her hand that was holding her mobile phone into the pocket of her school uniform’s skirt. Still feeling unnerved, she stayed carefully on guard against an attempt from Jì Nuannuan to snatch her phone away from her again. Fortunately, Nuannuan was not someone who was unrelenting when it came to probing into people’s private matters.

Jǐ Yi and Nuannuan returned together to the dormitory building.

Senior-year high school students were always the last group to be dismissed from evening self-study, and everyone raucously hurried to wash up and get ready for bed before lights-out. All around, there were people, so she was unable to find another chance to call him. By the time she had finished washing up and brushing her teeth and was lying in bed, it was long past his flight’s boarding time.

Afghanistan. Taliban. 9/11 incident.

Back when she returned to China from New Zealand and had heard in the airport about the 9/11 incident, she had desperately sought out Wang Haoran and then had been able to contact Jì Chengyang, who had been far away in the United States. At that time, upon receiving the news of his safety, she had felt that the disaster had already passed. She had not predicted, though, that as a result of the aftereffects of that terrorist attack, one year later, he would go to a dangerous country.

……

Jǐ Yi tossed and turned in bed but was unable to sleep. Suddenly, she thought of a serious issue: that phone call earlier had been so long, but she had not even wished him a happy birthday. Plagued with remorse, she even more so was unable to sleep, and so she simply sat up in bed. College entrance examinations were impending. Her entire dormitory room consisted of students in the advanced science stream class, and quite honestly, the stress of science-stream students was greater than that of liberal-arts-stream students. Hence, apart from Jǐ Yi, every remaining person in that dorm room of twelve people would, night after night, throw her covers over her head and, raising a flashlight in her hand, shut out the world to study.

Her bed shook when she sat up.

On the bunk above, Yin Qingqing poked her head out from beneath her thin blanket and glared at her with envious eyes. “Hey, the fellow schoolmate whose math exam paper is easier than ours, are you not sleeping because you miss your boyfriend?” Yin Qingqing was absolutely the model example of someone who had no filter on her mouth. Once she said this, the other dormmates all stuck their heads out from their blankets as well and grumbled about how God was so unfair.

The beams from the flashlights were all jealously blinding Jǐ Yi. Teasing, whispers, and quiet giggles caused the little world of this dormitory room to seem especially heartwarming and harmonious in the illumination of both the moonlight and the flashlights.

The more than ten flashlights dazzling her eyes left Jǐ Yi uncertain whether to be annoyed or amused. Pulling her own thin blanket over, she, too, covered her head with it  while, in passing, tossing out a quiet sentence: “To be honest, I actually am missing my boyfriend…”

After a moment of silence, teasing heckles abruptly rose up, and the atmosphere boiled with excitement.

With her head covered, she did not answer them anymore.

She truly did miss him.

They had only just said goodbye, and she was already beginning to miss him.

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:
32 of 69 Chapter segments
0 of 1 Epilogue

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22 thoughts on “The Healing Sunshine (一厘米的阳光) — Chapter 14.1

  1. Aw god dammit this stupid cute couple

  2. Wow, choice of all of his love, belonged to her 😍 !!! Such a happy feeling after reading this chapter 😀.

    Thank you for the chapter, Hoju 🙂.

  3. I love the way he talk to her and tell her that if she wanted they will start a relationship ❤️❤️❤️❤️

  4. Thank you for the chapter. Jì Chengyang is truly impressive. I have my college entrance examination soon too, I should be studying. This novel inspires me to do something better with my life, I don’t know why, maybe because I’m not as unfortunate as xixi in some aspects, but she still works harder than me, even if it’s fictional story there are people like her in this world.

    • Best of luck on your exams. 🙂
      I find this whole series of MBFB to be inspirational, because it is based on realistic people and real life settings. I don’t know how much of Xixi is based someone real, but, like you said, it is not unbelievable for such a person to exist 🙂

  5. …but the choice for all of his love belonged to her…

    Aww, can’t he be even more sweeter than he already is?

    Thanks for the update, Hoju!

    • It’s more than just an “aaaaw” moment for me. He has respected her as much as he could. And I can say with certainty that even if she eventually says no (which she never would), he would still take care of her as the little Xixi he has always taken care of.
      You’re welcome!

  6. a true love commitment!
    thank you

  7. Sooo sweet , thanks Hoju

  8. yey thank you.

  9. AAAHHHHH THAT’S SO SWEET!!! Heroes to hoping nothing bad happens to anyone of themmm Dx
    Many thanks

    • Haha, is that a squeal?
      No one is completed shielded from bad things in life. 😉 Let’s see how it goes.

      You’re welcome!

  10. Thanks for translating hoju, been following your website for a while. Appreciate all the hard work. 👍👍

  11. OMG!

    “As long as you want it, it will happen.”

    This was the love that he, Jì Chengyang, wanted to give Jǐ Yi.

    Love most certainly did not occupy all of his life, but the choice for all of his love belonged wholly to her.

    This is such a sweet part…. and promise from Ji Cheng Yang….

    Thank you so much Hoju for the wonderful read

  12. “Love most certainly did not occupy all of his life, but the choice for all of his love belonged wholly to her.”

    Omg!!!! I’ve re-read that part multiple times. Best line ever ❤️❤️

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