Fanatical

Fangirling Chinese Novels

The Healing Sunshine (一厘米的阳光) — Chapter 14.3

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In case you missed it, I have posted that short story written by Mo Bao Fei Bao. Reminder: it is a sad ending.

One era of Xixi’s life has come to a close and some goodbyes will be said, but a new era is beginning. We get to have a little peek into Jì Chengyang’s work, and it is just heartbreaking. 😦

Chapter 14.3 — A Song of Brief Parting (3)

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.

 

Jǐ Yi’s very last time returning to Fuzhong High School was on the day of the group photographs of all the senior-year students.

Posted on both sides of the corridor directly inside of Fuzhong’s main entrance was an “honours list” written over seven, eight pieces of bright red paper. The name of every student as well as the school he or she had been accepted into was listed out. Peking University and Tsinghua University always occupied the first spots on the list. Students accepted into Peking University filled up the first two columns, and then the next two were the columns for Tsinghua University. Forty percent of her classmates from her original advanced science stream class were found within these four columsn. And then, in order, the next ones were China Foreign Affairs University, Renmin University of China, Beijing Foreign Studies University, Fudan University, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Nankai University, University of Science and Technology in China…

The number of people going to Beijing Foreign Studies University was not many. Her name was the first one listed[1]. She had finally attained her wish.

Ten years later, when she once again returned to Fuzhong, she discovered that written on that bright red honours list were many Hong Kong and foreign universities, and they were before Tsinghua and Peking University. At that moment, she suddenly came to realize that not only society but also those student-era paths and aspirations after college entrance examinations were different. A decade had passed, and the expanse in which a person could spread his wings and soar upwards had become even broader.

<>Please support this translation at its actual site of posting, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com, instead. Thank you.

Ten years before her own college entrance examinations, in Jì Chengyang’s era, going abroad for one’s undergraduate studies was still considered very weird.

Ten years after her college entrance examinations, it seemed that the key universities in the country were not worth that much anymore.

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

Many of her classmates from the advanced science stream class saw her walking by, and they dragged her over to take a group photograph with everyone. The position where Jǐ Yi was standing was quite a delicate one. On her left was her previous class prefect, and on her right was Jì Nuannuan. The teacher taking the photos took two snapshots, then dispersed their group and moved on to the next class. Jǐ Yi looked at Class Prefect and smiled. “I didn’t really pay attention when I was looking at the list… Are you going to Tsinghua or Peking U?”

“Military academy.” Class Prefect sheepishly rubbed his buzzcut. “I’ll be going to military academy. I’m part of the group that got advanced acceptance.”

“Military academy?” This was a baffling revelation.

Continuing to grin, Class Prefect told her to wait where she was, and then he ran up beside the flowerbed, grabbed his classbook, and handed it to her. “It’s just missing you.” After saying this, Class Prefect even deliberately flipped the book open to the page after Nuannuan’s entry. “I know you two are tight, so I deliberately kept this page blank for you.”

Nuannuan also laughed. “Yup, he specifically left that page for you.”

Those two sure were completely at ease. Jǐ Yi was feeling more awkward than these two who had once been boyfriend and girlfriend…

She carefully wrote down some words of well wishes, then thought for a moment and added one more line: My once O great Class Prefect, military academy separates the boys and the girls, eh. You’re going to have to spend your four years of university life as a bachelor, oh yeah.

Class Prefect laughed. But then, taking the notebook back from her, he let out a sigh. Gazing at the backside of Nuannuan as she chatted with other classmates, he unexpectedly said to Jǐ Yi, “I’ve seen her boyfriend a few times… It wouldn’t be good for me to say anything, but it’d be best if you talk to her and try to persuade her. I think that her future is boundless. She should find someone better.” When Class Prefect smiled, dimples would show on his face, but his smile right now was only a small lift at the corners of his lips.

Jǐ Yi gave a cough and answered with an equivocal “okay.”

How nice it would be if breaking up is something where, the instant it is spoken aloud, the two people will simultaneously have a system repartitioning and neither will have feelings for the other person anymore. Alas, there is always someone who will be walking and walking along his or her way and then somehow end up back at the starting point again. If it were Jì Chengyang… She gripped her pen, unable to imagine him not standing by his promise. And she also did not believe that she would ever fall for another man.

The midsummer sun was especially intense and searing, and it burned into her arm until her arm felt sore…

Stuffing the classbook back to Class Prefect, she shielded the sun out with one hand and bade him goodbye. “I’m going to leave first. My class will be taking photos over there by the flowerbed. You go at it! Once you get out of military academy, you’ll be Company Commander Xu. If you go to Peking U after that and study as a special-talent master’s student[2], you’ll be Battalion Commander Xu.” She still remembered, that day, outside of the school’s main gates, when even the teachers had been frozen with fright and had not dared to step forward to stop anything, only Nuannuan and this O great Class Prefect Xu had run out and pulled her and Zhao Xiaoying out from that circle of violence.

To those endless exam papers, and also to all of you, my old classmates whom I’ve been so close to, who went to morning and evening self-study with me, farewell.

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Jì Chengyang seemed very worried that she would not be able to immediately adapt to university life, so one late night before school started, he specially arranged a time and had a two-hour long-distance phone call with her. As it was deep in the night, quiet blanketed both of their surroundings. Afraid that the housekeeper, who was outside the door and often woke in the middle of the night, would hear her, Jǐ Yi covered her head with her thin blanket and quietly listened to him speak.

“When you first get to university, you’ll need to build a good relationship with your schoolmates who are in your dorm. All of you will have come from all different places, so there will always be differences in living habits. You’ll gradually adjust to it.” Sounding like he was reciting a lesson from a book, with hints of fatigue in his voice, Jì Chengyang told her, “You don’t need to pack much for luggage, either. It won’t be convenient. If you don’t want to go home often, leave your summer clothes that you won’t need yet at my place. When I left, I emptied out a dresser for you.”

“Mm-hmm.” Jǐ Yi lay on her back, her knees holding up the blanket that covered her entire body, propping up a little space for herself.

From time to time, she would lie on that lightweight blanket and press down on the telephone cord with her hand.

“Xixi?”

“Hmm?”

“Sleepy?”

“No.” She said in a soft voice, “I’m listening to you talk.”

She liked listening to him talk.

It did not matter what he said; as long as he was the one saying it, it would all sound nice. And so, she did not want to interrupt Jì Chengyang’s words.

On his end of the line, Jì Chengyang could hear the sound of her finger rubbing against the telephone’s handset and also her voice when she laughed quietly and shyly told him, “I’m listening to you talk.” The words she used to express her feelings were simply too subtle and were unlike the ones from Nuannuan, who, the instant she picked up the phone, would say, “Little Uncle, I miss you. Come back soon, come back soon.” But his emotional intelligence was not low. He had clearly heard the feelings of longing, of missing him in that one simple sentence.

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

He was lying on a bed in an austere inn, staring up at the low ceiling.

After more than one month of sleeping on the floor, he finally had the chance to sleep on a bed, and it was actually at his request, specifically for this late-night telephone call.

In his motherland, on this night, there was a young heart beating fiercely for him. This thought was even able to help him temporarily forget about all that he had seen during the daytime: in the hospital, the charred bodies of those children burned by a firebomb, and those hideous wounds, those faces that were so burnt no facial features were distinguishable, those eyes that were already seared blind…

As he covered his face with his arm, Jì Chengyang discovered that his eyes were damp.

As a journalist, he always restrained himself from expressing any personal emotion while he was interviewing and reporting. He needed to most truly capture the feelings of the interviewees, not use his own pity and compassion to influence them. But now, in this pitch-black room, as he listened to that voice that he most yearned for in the bottom of his heart, his emotions were suddenly tugged at.

“You’re asleep?” Jǐ Yi gently, tentatively asked, as if she was scared she would wake him.

“I’m a little sleepy.” His emotions were somewhat in turmoil. He did not want to affect her sleep tonight.

“Then hurry and sleep.” Jǐ Yi’s voice became even softer. “I’ve been all nervous and scared anyway that the housekeeper will hear.” She was providing him with even more reason to hang up the phone, very considerately giving him an explanation for why she wanted to hang up as well.

Going along with her words[3], he said good night to her.

The telephone handset was set back into its base. Jì Chengyang’s emotions also began gradually to settle.

He started to recall the interview that he had conducted during the daytime. That four or five-year-old girl had told him, she had been burned because she wanted to pick up that thing that the airplane had thrown out. At the time, he had been very surprised by this and had asked the little girl why she would want to randomly pick up something dropped from an airplane. The little girl had told him, as if it was only natural and right, “Before, there were planes that would drop food down.”

Jì Chengyang suddenly understood.

In the past, Western countries would occasionally drop down supplies and food.

Now, though, after this war began, the things being dropped from the air were bombs. But those impoverished civilians were still holding out hope and taking those things of destruction to be food packages…

<>It would be greatly appreciated if you would support this translation on hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. Thank you.

He was returning to China.

At most, it would only be another month.

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

The first month of university was indeed as Jì Chengyang had said. Because everything was simply too novel and there were also so many different feelings that words could not describe, she felt rather unadjusted, like the world had suddenly been opened up to her. This made her rather stressed and caught in confusion. However, Jǐ Yi had lived on campus since her first year of high school, so she still very quickly acclimatized to her environment. As she needed to adjust to a different style of attending class, and adapt to the multi-discipline common courses and also all sorts of other lectures directed at new students that would unexpectedly take place, her time began to fly by swiftly and intensely.

Before long, the calendar on her desk was flipped over to the next page.

The National Day holiday week[4]—Jì Chengyang was coming back.

<>Please read this translation at its actual site of posting, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com, instead. Thank you.

He had chosen this particular time to return because he had not wanted her to be distracted while attending classes. The counterpart to this, though, was the need to adapt to the frighteningly huge floods of people during the National Day holiday. When she arrived at the airport, it was right in the afternoon, the time of day when crowds peaked. Practically no place to stand could be found at the arrivals door, so she simply decided that she would not attempt to squeeze onto an empty piece of floor beside the walkway with all those other people. Wordlessly, she looked up at the flight-status screen, waiting for his plane to land.

Time seemed to become slow-moving, extremely slow-moving.

Even the seconds hand on the face of the watch on her wrist moved at a pace that made people feel anxious.

The flight had already landed.

She dialed his phone, but the entire time, no one answered.

He was probably with his colleagues? Or was he carrying his luggage and had not paid attention to his mobile phone that was in his pocket? Jǐ Yi was standing beside a giant pillar. Slowly, step by step, she began measuring the length of this piece of the airport’s floor using her feet.

Each step was taken with one foot’s heel against the other foot’s toe, and she would alternate her feet like this, killing time this way.

A large number of people came streaming out. Four aircrafts had arrived one after the other, and the passengers had practically all stepped out at the same time. She craned her neck and peered for a while but was unable at all to get a clear look at the layer upon layer of faces in the throng. And so, lowering her head, she continued dialing.

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

“Jì Chengyang, what are you doing? You’re not going to catch a cab?” Far away, someone suddenly shouted this.

She whipped her head around. But what she saw was that person standing right within reach of her.

This completely surprising appearance caused her worry from waiting to instantly transform to nervousness.

Her heart leapt and thumped loudly.

Still wearing his usual black jacket and pants, Jì Chengyang looked fresh and clean as he stood in front of her. Traces of wearied resignation flashed across his face. It was apparent he had been trying to surprise Jǐ Yi, but an oblivious colleage had ended up exposing him. Turning around, he waved at his colleague. “You go get a cab first. You don’t need to wait for me.”

That colleague gazed nosily at this place where they were, staring at that girl whom Jì Chengyang was blocking nearly half his view of. “Okay. ‘The reunion after a short separation is better than even a honeymoon.[5]‘ You continue; I’m heading out.”

That person left, dragging his luggage along.

That one sentence of “The reunion after a short separation is better than even a honeymoon” left Jǐ Yi even more embarrassed.

She clutched her mobile phone and stood right there, watching as he turned around, watching him as he stood, well and unharmed, before her. As she gazed at Jì Chengyang, she felt that the people crammed together and filling this entire airport hall had all become his background scenery. He was like the hot sun of midsummer that burned so brilliantly that people did not dare bring their eyes directly on it, and he caused those people and noises behind him to grow dim.

Jì Chengyang set his suitcase down beside himself. Smiling, he openly and directly stretched out his arms to her. Jǐ Yi hesitated no longer. Taking two quick steps, she threw herself into his arms and buried her face into his black jacket that, because of his long journey, carried an unfamiliar dusty scent on it. Burying herself deep against his chest, she wrapped her arms around his waist.

Very soon, his arms had completely enveloped her into his firm embrace.

“Just now when I walked out of the exit, I saw you right away. Xixi, you look beautiful today.”

This was… his first time expressing his admiration of her beauty.

<>Please support this translation at its actual site of posting, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com, instead. Thank you.

When he stepped foot out of the exit, towing his luggage behind him, he had caught sight of that girl garbed in a long, deep-green dress, anxiously looking down and dialing on her phone. That large fold of rich green had rippled lightly with her footsteps. This silhouette that he was unable to shift his gaze away from after only a single glance, that he had yearned for to the extent that it occupied even his dreams, was the true reason that he, Jì Chengyang, in those countless days and nights where gunfire filled the air, was able to make himself slip peacefully into slumber.

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

[1] As you can probably tell, this list is written in order of prestige. Of course, all the students in the top two prestigious universities were listed first. Jì Yi’s name being written first out of all the students accepted into BFSU means her grades were the highest of all of them.

[2] This literally means “specially enrolled/recruited.” These “specially recruited” students are those who are admitted to a school specifically for a special ability or talent that they possess, their exceptional performance in something, etc.

[3] 顺水推舟 “shun shui tui zhou.” This idiom literally translates as “pushing the boat with the current.” It is used to describe someone who makes use of something that is working favorably for him to easily move, without much effort, what he wants done forward.

[4] China’s National Day is on October 1, but it is actually a week-long celebration (also called Golden Week), generally fixed from October 1 to 7. Many people have this time off, including students.

[5] 小别胜新婚. This saying “the reunion after a short separation is better than even a honeymoon,” carries the same meaning as the English saying, “absence makes the heart grow fonder.” However, the more literal translation of the Chinese text was kept because Xixi’s embarrassment comes from the mention of the word “honeymoon.”

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:
34 of 69 Chapter segments
0 of 1 Epilogue

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20 thoughts on “The Healing Sunshine (一厘米的阳光) — Chapter 14.3

  1. Thanks for the update. what a sweet chapter…after a long days of longing, finally, they’re back with each other’s arm.

  2. The little girl from the war zone he told, i feel so sorry for them 😭 i hope peace will come upon our world some time.

    Welcome, uncle Ji! :”)

    • I know. 😦 The ones who suffer most will always be the civilians. Sincerely wish that fighting would stop. 😦

      Haha, Little Uncle got a wonderful welcome back greeting.

  3. The reunion made my heart flutter😊

  4. Omg that’s so sad I feel really bad just remembering that war 😢

  5. Thank you Hoju, they are so sweet

  6. Thank you for this chapter! This chapter provided a glimpse of the beautiful moments of life and the ugly reality of it.

    • You’re welcome!
      There is such a rich feeling of nostalgia in the first half, and then such sorrow in the second half. But it reminds us to treasure those moments that are worth getting nostalgic over and look forward to reunions. Never take them for granted.

  7. Thank you for the chapter and translating this wonderful novel! Their love is just so true and beautiful. The title of the novel is so fitting, “The healing sunshine” – guess that’s what they are to each other 💕

    • Long before their relationship blossomed into the love between a man and a woman, it was already the healing sunshine in one another’s life. Regardless of whether Jì Chengyang reciprocated her feelings, he would always be the type of person she aspired to be; and he would always take care of her and be a guiding light for her. Regardless of whether he realized what type of feelings the little lady had for him, her purity and trust in him would be the comfort and solace he needed after seeing so many atrocities in the world. They are the sunshine in each other’s life. ❤

      Thanks for reading!

  8. The darkness of war, so sad ☹️. Glad JCY found JY as light in his life. Enjoyed their airport meeting. Hope they get to spend some good time together making us happy happy.

    Thank you for the chapter, Hoju 🙂.

    • And sadly, that darkness engulfs not simply those involved in the war but innocent people who desire only to live their own lives. 😦
      He needed her love and trust; she needed his love and care. The light to each other.

      I liked that airport meeting, too. I can totally imagine Xixi’s surprise and the look on Jì Chengyang’s face after his plan was spoiled.

      You’re welcome!

  9. woohoo JY has finally mustered up her courage…their first mutual hug!
    thank you

  10. The last sentence of this chapter is so wonderfully written. She alone was the reason he could sleep and rest peacefully despite being in the middle of gunfire and bombs. It shows how deeply JY engraved in his heart and mind. Their love built from understanding, support, respect and companionship that evolved throughout the years. How can I not love their love story? Even after 3 years read, re-read, and re-read it again?

    Many thanks for the update, my dear… *hugs*

    • I love that sentence as well. The reason Jì Chengyang can over and over step out into those atrocities is that it is his dream. But the reason that he can still have peace, despite seeing those atrocities, is her.

      🙂

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