Fanatical

Fangirling Chinese Novels

The Healing Sunshine (一厘米的阳光) — Chapter 23.1

28 Comments

Wounds left by those who should be family hurt so much, but it’s the beginning of healing for Xixi.

Chapter 23.1 — Time’s Length (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.

 

The next day, when Jǐ Yi awoke, the hands of the clock were already pointing at 3:36 in the afternoon.

Crawling out from beneath her quilt, she quietly slipped off the bed, hoping to first take a shower while he was still asleep. Beside her, Jì Chengyang, who had fallen asleep still fully garbed in his regular clothing, showed no signs of waking.

In her memories from her adolescent years, she had never before seen such a weary and fragile him…

After a shower, she stepped out from the bathroom, her hair still dripping wet, contemplating whether she should wake him to eat something, or allow him to sleep a while longer and simply wait until dinnertime to solve both issues together.

While she was thinking this, she heard a sound behind her.

At the same time, there was also some noise at the front door. Jǐ Yi’s eyes fixed on He Feifei as the latter walked into the home with keys in hand. “You still haven’t gone into the office yet—” The voice abruptly cut off. The person speaking was shocked into silence by the emergence of Jì Chengyang from the bedroom.

Horror managed to successfully appear on He Feifei’s face; then horror became daze, speculation, realization, awkwardness…

“Teacher Jì, ah, such a coincidence…” He Feifei forced a laugh. “Well, then, uh, I didn’t sleep at all last night, and I’m especially sleepy. You guys carry on. I’m heading to bed first.” Tossing out this last sentence, He Feifei hightailed from there and shut her own bedroom door.

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Jì Chengyang, in contrast, was very much unflustered.

Last night, he had slept beside her in his button-up shirt and pants, and after an entire night of slumber, there were already some wrinkles in that shirt. However, his build was tall and physique was good, and clothes wore well on him. Hence, he did not appear unkempt and, as a matter of fact, exuded a languid feel. His hair was still so black but was much softer than before, and as he had just awoken, it was even a little disheveled…

He seemed as if he wanted to say something to her, but in the end, he did not choose, in this time, on this morning, to say it aloud.

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

Having her co-worker, who was also her roommate, walk in on such a situation left Jǐ Yi with a feeling of awkwardness intermixed with some sweetness. With her hands, she lightly tugged at some of the creases in his shirt, murmuring, “You should have taken your clothes off last night to sleep…” The rest of the words did not leave her lips, for even she detected where this sentence was not quite right.

“Yes,” he agreed with a low chuckle, “I should have taken off my clothes to sleep.”

Jǐ Yi knew he did it on purpose. Gnawing lightly on her lip, she stiffly changed the topic. “You slept for so long. Are you still tired?”

“Yes.” He continued smiling. “The bed is too small. The length and width both aren’t really suitable for me to sleep on. I reckon your landlord never even considered renting the home out to men, and that’s why such a small size was ordered. The square metreage of the bedroom is too small, too.” He extended his arm to touch the upper part of the doorframe. “When I’m walking around in your home, I keep feeling like I’ll run into something.”

You’re so tall; of course you feel it’s small here…

Jǐ Yi, conversely, was very pleased with her new home. Sweeping her eyes all around, she said, “It’s pretty good. I don’t need much space anyway. I have very little stuff, so just a little corner will be enough for me to store everything.”

Very little stuff. A little corner would be enough to store everything.

Two and more years ago, she had wanted to say something similar, but the words never did leave her mouth.

Prior to receiving actual confirmation that she was accepted into the Foreign Affairs University, she, like all fourth-year undergraduate students, had also put in much effort in hunting for a job. She had gone to interview after interview. From the various major campus-recruitment presentations, to online job postings, to even those large-scale, university-student career fair, she let not a single one slip by. That day at noontime, when she and a classmate stepped out from a career fair for university students at the International Exhibition Center, she unexpectedly received a call from her dad.

The relationship between her and her dad had always been the most distant. They would not exchange more than a few words in a year. Suddenly seeing his number on the incoming call display brought about such nervousness in her that her heart pounded heavily, and she wondered what sort of urgent matter might have occurred. She very much hoped that when she picked up the phone, she would hear a sentence along the lines of “How has the job search been lately?” but was also very scared of answering the call…

She remembered, at the time, she had stared at her mobile phone for a dozen or so seconds before mustering up the courage to answer it.

“You’ve been looking for a job lately?” Dad’s tone was very much official and business-sounding.

“Mm-hmm.” She wanted to be like the classmate who was with her, that when she got a phone call from her parents, she could simply complain, complain that the number of people looking for a job this year was just too many, complain that these sorts of large-scale career fairs were especially unreliable, complain that those big corporations’ recruitment processes would put you through seven or eight rounds of torment, basically tormenting you to death… But after struggling within herself for a while, she merely stated simply, “I think I’ll find one soon…”

“Oh, that’s good, then. My house here is going to be sold straightaway. In these next few days, move your things out from here. Do you have a key?”

She froze for a moment. And then, her eyes instantly reddened.

Those were some of the things that she had moved out from Jì Chengyang’s home. As the space in her dormitory was limited, she had temporarily stored them at her parents’ place. Being suddenly informed that she was to move those out had triggered in her a sort of feeling where henceforward, she no longer had a home, and feeling at a loss, she did not know how she should walk out her future path.

“Xixi?”

Dazedly, she made a sound in answer and said, “No. I haven’t had a key since I moved out… I’ll go over this afternoon. Leave the key with the neighbour, or you can also leave my luggage with the neighbour. I’ll go grab it…”

After the call was hung up, Jǐ Yi still stared fixedly at her mobile phone, her thumb incessantly digging at the pink sticker on it. Very shortly, in a voice choked in her throat, she told her classmate that she wanted to buy a bottle of water to drink. Without even waiting for her classmate’s reply, she jogged over to the newsstand across the road. Only after she had managed to force back her tears did she pick up an arbitrary bottle of water and hand some money over to the old woman who was busily tidying newspapers.

……

It was in that year’s late spring, early summer that she found out the result on the university website that she had been accepted for admission.

The only feeling she had had at the time was that she could breathe out in relief. She finally had the next place where she could temporarily settle down in and stay.

At the beginning of graduate studies, the people in her dormitory knew that she was from Beijing but had never seen her go home over the weekends, so there had been some puzzlement over this. Out of kindly intentions, they would inquire a sentence or two about it. Jǐ Yi had always brushed over this equivocally. Later, everyone grew accustomed to it and did not ask anymore.

<>It would be sincerely appreciated if you would choose to support this translation at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com instead. Thank you.

As Jǐ Yi spoke with Jì Chengyang, she pulled open the refrigerator door and took out the large, cardboard carton of Sanyuan-brand milk that she had bought yesterday, wanting to give him some to drink so that there would be something in his belly. To her surprise, when she turned around again, Jì Chengyang had already taken a key out from his pocket.

Left: Carton of Sanyuan-brand milk. Right: Sanyuan’s logo.

A silver key to a security door—it was for his home. On the end of that silver key, there was also a key chain that was very new. It was a handmade doll adorned with many little crystals, whimsical and cute-looking.

Jǐ Yi’s eyelashes fluttered slowly as she quietly gazed at that key.

He said, “I guessed you would like this sort of key chain.”

She did not utter a word.

“Give me your hand.” His voice told her this.

Half a beat behind, she stretched out her hand, her palm facing upwards, and watched as that key chain came down into her palm.

“Are there any new toothbrushes here?” Bringing his face down, he bumped his chin lightly against her forehead. “It feels really uncomfortable to not wash up and brush my teeth.”

“Huh? Yes.”

Jǐ Yi went back into her room to rummage for the spare items that she had bought yesterday. And then, she heard him carry on to say, “I’m going home tonight to pack some things. I might need to stay in the hospital for a period.” His wording sounded nonchalant and ordinary.

“Stay in the hospital?” She grew panicked. Clutching a still-sealed toothbrush in her hand, she spun around.

“Xixi.” In a low voice, he spoke her name, wanting to use this approach to soothe her.

Jǐ Yi’s mind was buzzing, and all kinds of terrible speculations popped into it. But she dared not ask, nor did she know what question she should ask first.

“What’s wrong? Why do you need to stay in the hospital?”

“Xixi.” He called her name in a low tone, trying to calm her down slightly.

“Is it really serious?” Jǐ Yi’s eyes were fixed on him.

He fell into a brief silence, contemplating to what extent he should tell her about this. “I underwent surgery last year. The recent follow-up exam showed that my condition isn’t all that good, so I need to stay in the hospital and be under observation for a period.” At the end, he did not forget to add the sentence, “People eat varied grains and cereals[1]; getting sick is very normal.”

Jì Chengyang quietly said a few more things to pacify her and then told her that his attending doctor who had performed the surgery on him was also in Beijing. That doctor was very familiar with his physical condition, so there should not be any major issues that would arise.

Jǐ Yi’s mind was in a chaotic tangle, but she knew she should not be so immature and make a sick person have to comfort her instead. Trying hard to make herself relax, she told Jì Chengyang that she needed to go back to the newspaper office first and then she would go to the hospital to find him.

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

At some time past seven o’clock, Jǐ Yi arrived at the hospital. From the restaurant near the entrance, she bought some takeout for tonight’s dinner for the two of them.

Searching based on the floor that he had told her, she found her way to his hospital room. Just as she was about to knock, she saw through the narrow, tall window in the door that there was a visitor inside. It was a very familiar-looking backside view. Before she could think of who it was, that person had already risen to his feet.

She stopped momentarily in surprise. It was Nuannuan’s father.

She watched as Nuannuan’s father gave Jì Chengyang a light pat on the shoulder. It appeared he was saying goodbye and was about to leave. Sure enough, right as she took a backward step, wavering over whether she should walk forward and pay her greetings or step aside and hide, Jì Chengyang had already opened the door of the hospital room.

In this way, the two spaces that had been separated by a single door now melded together.

She froze blankly where she was.

Nuannuan’s father also paused, obviously taken aback. “Isn’t this… Xixi?”

Somewhat awkwardly, she greeted, “Uncle Jì.”

Her diminutive build was clothed in a pair of blue jeans and a thin, white sweater, and there she stood in front of an elder, looking well-behaved as she hugged her jacket against herself. In the eyes of Nuannuan’s father, she was still that little girl with whom his daughter had been close friends back then.

“You’ve been busy with your studies the whole time these last several years? You haven’t even come to see Nuannuan?” After Nuannuan’s father finished casually asking this, he paused briefly. Remembering Jǐ Yi’s unique situation, he changed the subject, turning his gaze to Jì Chengyang. “How did this coincidence happen, that the two of you would run into each other?”

Before Jì Chengyang had the opportunity to say anything, Jǐ Yi had already blurted, “It was just by chance that we ran into each other.”

Once she said this, she became aware that she was still holding the takeout boxes of food, and feeling increasingly ill at ease, she shifted those boxes behind herself to conceal them a little.

Jì Chengyang lowered his head to glance at her.

“Oh, so that’s the case.” Nuannuan’s father did not inquire any further about this. Rather, using the tone of an older brother, he urged Jì Chengyang, “For now, when you’re at home, don’t mention the fact that you’re already divorced. The health of the elderly one is not all that good, and his age is up there, too. He just likes to hear happy news and won’t be all that able to accept this type of news. Chengyang, you should know, your status and part in our family are very special. Father most hopes that you can live a good and happy life.”

Not saying anything, Jì Chengyang saw Nuannuan’s father to the elevator bank. Jǐ Yi stood in front of the hospital room door to wait for him to come back. Earlier when she heard that dialogue, surprised confusion had struck her for an instant, but then she had quickly comprehended the reason behind those words.

Her hands were behind her back, and without her even being aware of it, they clenched each other tightly. And then, on this floor that was empty of other people, she paced back and forth, waiting for Jì Chengyang.

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The nurses at the information desk in the distance were conversing in low voices. They were very far away, and Jǐ Yi could not hear what they were saying. After a little while, Jì Chengyang could be seen at the corner of the corridor, walking back in this direction. It was only now that she noticed he was wearing hospital clothes and had only draped his black jacket across his shoulders. In this early spring weather, the clothing appeared so very thin and not protective against the cold.

When she came upstairs earlier, she had paid deliberate attention, trying to ascertain what type of ward this was, but this place where he was staying was relatively special and she was unable to determine anything from what she saw.

“Why didn’t you go inside to wait for me?” While her mind was still elsewhere, he had already stepped up in front of her.

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

[1] 人吃五谷杂粮. Literally, “people eat the five [common] grains and other grains and cereals.” The five grains are referring to the five important grains of ancient China, but is often simply used to refer, in general, to common grains and staple crops. There is a saying that 人吃五谷杂粮哪能不生病 “How can those who eat simply common grains and cereals avoid illness?” It’s basically saying, getting sick is something that happens to everyone.

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:

Her dad asked her, “Do you have a key?” She had to answer, “No. I haven’t had a key since I moved out… I’ll go over this afternoon. Leave the key with the neighbour, or you can also leave my luggage with the neighbour.” She has spent so many years feeling like she was at the mercy of other people to give her a little bit of space beneath their roof, and that space was not even one that she could freely be in whenever she wanted to. But today is significant. Today, she has this tiny bedroom in a little apartment, and it is her space. And today, Jì Chengyang gave her a key. She has a space of her own and a key to a place—and a heart—where she will always belong. It is like that scene of the past with her father has now been redeemed.

 

Completed:
57 of 69 Chapter segments
0 of 1 Epilogue

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28 thoughts on “The Healing Sunshine (一厘米的阳光) — Chapter 23.1

  1. Oh poor child. Not even having a place to call home??? Although she was welcomed at Ji Chengyang’s place after he ‘married’ she was homeless. Dx
    Many thanks

  2. Thanks hoju

    Poor Xixi.. Hope Chenyang can give her happiness and love which she didn’t get from her family.

    • You’re welcome!
      He always has given her the happiness and love that her family refused to give her. 🙂 And I trust he will do his best to do so in the future.

  3. Feel so sad for this girl..love ur additional comments as JCY gave her the key to the only place where her heart belongs always….

  4. Considering JY’s lack of parental love and support, she still did well and JC had a lot to do with that before he disappeared from her life. Now he’s back but in poor heath. Still, looks like their relationship has started to mend and JY will have JC’s love and support in the coming years. Thank you for your lovely translation.

    • Hi Hoju, yes I am sad but also angry😡😡 for her, her Family never helped her and also they don’t want or accept that others do. So unfair. Sorry for my grammar☺️. Thanks a lot for share with us your hard translating work. I love all the stories..

      • I think the more important piece of this chapter is that that has been redeemed. Think on the bright side, right? 🙂
        Thank you for reading all of them. ❤

    • Their relationship is “in sickness and in health.” 🙂
      Thank you for reading!

  5. “In that instant earlier when she heard that dialogue, a momentary stupor had struck her, but then she had quickly grasped the reason behind those words.”
    Not really sure what this sentence means. Is Nuannuan’s father implying something beyond the obvious fact that their father is getting old and cannot handle negative news of JCY’s divorce?

    • Sorry. That’s the problem with translating jet lagged and only getting 2 hour sleep. And edited under similar circumstances. 😞 My bad. Fortunately, everything goes through two rounds of post-edits, too. 🙂 Sentence has been rewritten. Remember, Xixi is the only one Ji Chengyang told that he actually never married. She knows, but no one else does, and she does not know he’s been telling everyone he had a divorce. She was caught off guard by what Nuannuan’s dad said, but then, she quickly clued in and realized what that meant.

  6. Thank you for the chapter, I’m happy for Xixi..

  7. My heart breaks for xixi. But sun has risen. Love warmth kindness and the assuring feeling that there is someone who will always support her, that in this vast world she has someone she can rely on, chengyang and his family is now there to give her tenfold.
    Thank you hoju
    On the side note i really wanna see jcy’s just woken-up look. Must have been as sexy as cheng muyun’s open shirt pic xD

    • Definitely. What an awful, awful feeling to have to feel unwanted anywhere. But now, that won’t happen anymore. 🙂

      Cheng Muyun is a bundle of testosterone. I don’t think anyone can beat him in the sexiness factor. However, Jì Chengyang’s rumpled look would certainly be pretty darn attractive. I like both. 😉

  8. I’m sad just thinking about how JY suffered in the last 4 years without a home to call her own. Most of us are lucky enough where whatever or however you do in the outside world you always have a place to go home to and get comfort from. The only consolation is knowing that JCY will be able to provide that warmth to her from now on. Thanks hoju!

    • She never had what a lot of us take for granted. 😦 But her hard work has allowed her to move on, and Jì Chengyang is more than willing to provide the love that she has lacked. ❤

      Thanks!

  9. time to slowly let JY in on JCY’s health and announcing their relationship
    thank you

  10. Happy that JCY is able to give JY all the things that she longed and missed during her growing up years.

    Thank you, Hoju for the chapter 🙂.

  11. On a side note: The drama, My story for you, starring Zheng Shuang and Luo Jin. Is this based on Mo Bao Fei Bao’s real life? Could you please give me some info. on this. Thanks Hoju!

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