This translation went through most of my winter, all of my spring, and half of my summer. Those were some sweet seasons. 🙂 I hope the story brought you some smiles as you read along. Thank you to all those who commented; comments help a translator’s motivation. 🙂 To those who are joining in to read now, welcome, and enjoy.
Truly, it’s like a beautiful fairy-tale ending. I love happy endings. ❤
2014 Epilogue — A Joyous Occasion
This story was translated with the express permission of the author for hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com only. All forms of reproduction, redistribution, or re-posting 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.
And so, in a very tight timeframe, plus carrying two babies in her belly, she was married off. At five thirty on the morning of the day she was to be wed, as Jia He sat in front of her makeup table while Yi Wenze’s personal makeup artist brushed and dabbed stuff onto her face, she was still immersed in a rather surreal feeling of “I’m actually getting married.” Qiao Qiao and Xiao Yu, as well as Jia He’s younger girl cousin, were huddled off to one side, discussing what weird, tricky questions they could ask in order to get more red packet money…
Due to being pregnant, Jia He was especially fatigued and often sleepy, and before she had sat for very long, she had fallen asleep.
It was not until the sound of firecrackers reverberated from downstairs that she started awake. Swiftly, the people in the room dressed her and adorned her with all her jewellery. However, right after she had finally slipped on her shoes, her younger girl cousin suddenly pulled them off from her feet again. “These need to be hidden.”
Getting married was so troublesome…
Despite her gripe, Jia He’s heart was actually thumping hard, and sitting on the edge of the bed in the room, she took deep breaths.
Yi Wenze had been insistent about getting married according to Beijing’s customs. Consequently, since the night before last, the property management and security of Jia He’s little community compound had been voluntarily cooperating with the big celebrity and obstructing all persons who were suspected to be from the media, keeping them outside the gates of the community. This was a once-in-a-lifetime event, and besides, this was not any sort of upscale community. Hence, for this rare occurrence where a big star in the showbiz industry was coming to fetch his wife, they of course needed to wholly work with him.
“Just now, when I went downstairs, I even saw in your neighbour’s home an entertainment reporter whom I recognize…” Qiao Qiao, sprawled on the windowsill and peering outside, sighed, “I very much suspect that the regular residents of this community compound of your family have all moved out. Their homes have definitely been rented out at a high daily price to entertainment reporters …”
“Your idol is generating income for the entire populace.” Standing up as well, Xiao Yu offhandedly helped Jia He straighten her veil. “He’s bringing good fortune onto all your fellow community-compound folks.”
Jia He had no time to joke around with them. Patting her palm against her chest, she exclaimed, “Nervous. I’m nervous. What should I do?”
“What’s there to be nervous about, Big Sis? Isn’t your dream being fulfilled here? You have finally put on a wedding gown and are getting married. What’s more, the idol you’ve loved since you were young is the one who’s personally driving the car here to fetch you and marry you. This, right here, is a romance novel, an idol drama, aaaah!” Her girl cousin threw her a look of disdain. “The line you just said cheapened everything. The female lead of an idol drama should sit beautifully on the bed while memories continuously play through her mind, every little detail from when you two first met all the way to now, when you two are deeply in love…
With this, the conversation between the several women in the room got into full swing, and the more they talked, the merrier they became.
Jia He, though, only pricked her ears up, constantly listening to the sounds and movements outside. If she had not been afraid that they would laugh at her, she surely would have already run over to the window to see whether the groom’s procession had driven here yet.
“They’re here, they’re here! Our male lead is personally doing the driving!” her girl cousin suddenly reported.
Exhilaration inexplicably surged in Qiao Qiao as well. “So excited! Why am I even more excited than back when it was my own wedding? Sure enough, it’s just totally different when you’re marrying an idol celebrity!”
Their words incited an unbearable itch in Jia He’s heart, and unable to hold herself back, she clambered onto the bed and crawled over it to the window on the other side. She saw, downstairs, a line of silver sedans parked in the distance. Amid the deafening din of exploding firecrackers, the man in the sportscar at the very front of the convoy got out. At once, she spotted that downstairs, in the long, narrow lane between two apartment buildings, there were countless camera lenses in the first and second-floor windows of the opposite building, and they were all pointed and madly snapping away at Yi Wenze, who was attired in a silver-gray dress shirt and black suit.
He paused his footsteps briefly, seemingly doing this out of consideration for the media people who were hiding in all the various places.
It was evident that, since they had made the decision to make their wedding known to the public and, furthermore, he was following the local tradition by personally coming to Jia He’s home to receive his bride, this idol celebrity was prepared to demonstrate an open and ungrudging manner towards the media. About five seconds later, he finally strode into the building stairwell.
Jia He could no longer see him, but her heart was pounding ever faster, and she could not help throwing a hand over her chest and babbling to herself, “Oh, God, why is it beating faster and faster?” They even had their own babies. Shouldn’t they be like an old married couple already? …
Why was the feeling similar to that first time, when she had been on the road to the press conference, about to see her idol with her own eyes? …
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Very soon, a high-spirited ruckus was heard outside the door of this room. There were voices offering congratulations and well wishes, and also the liveliness from her male cousins, younger and older, who were attempting to impede the groom’s progress. Qiao Qiao and the other girls exuberantly relocated their base of operations from the window to beside the door, also listening with pricked-up ears. “I wonder how long they’ll be able to last. We’re the final blockade here.”
Xiao Yu predicted, “I think they’ll be coming right away.”
“How’s that possible?” Qiao Qiao was shocked. “Holy smokes, they really are here.”
Knocks were already resounding on the door.
Indignant over the incompetence of the sentries outside, the three women who were prepared to make things difficult for the groom exchanged a look. “Those men are just too useless. And here they’d said they would hold up for at least an hour. It’s been just two minutes, but they’ve already thrown up the white flag…”
Jia He also hastily left the window and returned to take her seat. With a complete air of solemnness, she straightened her wedding gown and sat on the edge of the bed, her gaze fixated on the door.
Qiao Qiao cleared her throat and addressed the people on the outside of the door, “Just go back home today. We won’t be opening the door.”
“Qiao Qiao, check out the red packets coming through under the door,” Wu Zhilun kindly prompted her.
Jia He’s younger girl cousin immediately bent down, her eyes growing rounder and rounder. Red packets were being stuffed into the room in stacks and were showing no signs at all of abating. She finally understood why the defenses outside the door had been overcome in a mere two minutes. Randomly opening any one of the packets revealed several newly-minted RMB100 notes. Before long, the gap beneath the door was completely filled, glaringly plugged by red packets. “You’re still not opening the door? We can’t even fit any more red packets in. Do you guys want them or not? If not, they’ll go to the groomsmen instead.” Wu Zhilun continued tempting them.
“Big Sis, this is just too sincere of them.” Tears ran down her younger girl cousin’s cheeks.
They had all agreed beforehand, Qiao Qiao and Xiao Yu were not lacking in money, so all the red packets would go to this little girl cousin of Jia He’s.
The young girl now gawked at the red packets that littered the floor, and after figuring that the room and board for her four years of university were all covered, she instantly defected. “I surrender! I have been bought by the enemy!”
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All right, then. Only her two wonderful besties were left to obstruct the door. Jia He grew dizzy from just looking at the red packets strewn all over the floor, and softly she suggested, “When it’s about good enough, just let it be. Don’t make things too hard for them…”
“No way! There was none of this sort of fun at my wedding. This time I have to play to my heart’s content.” Qiao Qiao was not one who would be so easily bribed by money. Giving a few slaps to the door, she hollered out to the people on the other side, “We need to test the groom’s physical prowess. Let’s first have a hundred push-ups from him.”
“… Knock off the jokes. One hundred push-ups? Will they still be able to have any nuptial chamber ‘activity’ tonight then?” Outside, Qiao Qiao’s husband chimed in his protests, evidently siding with the groom.
“I’m not joking. Everyone knows that Jia He’s ‘carrying a ball’ anyway, so he doesn’t even need to think about getting any nuptial chamber ‘activity.’ Idol Yi, you made our Jia He be your besotted fan for so many years. It’s about time you repay that.”
Outside the door, Yi Wenze did not say anything and only straightaway took off his suit jacket. Telling everyone to clear a space on the floor for him, he truly began doing push-ups. Model-perfect form, not the least bit sloppy. Qiao Qiao stealthily engaged the door chain and then pulled the door open a crack. After stealing a couple of glimpses, she shook her head and praised feelingly, “Seriously, he just too much fits everything in the idol category… Ah, such a pity. The media are probably all beating their chests and stomping their feet… They can’t get in here to take pictures.”
One hundred push-ups were completed in a very short period. When Yi Wenze straightened back to his feet, a thin sheen of perspiration could be seen through his shirt collar.
He gave a light cough and smiled warmly, gazing in through the slit in the doorway at that little splash of wedding gown that was visible. “Anything else?”
“One more thing.” Xiao Yu, observing that Qiao Qiao had already been won over by Yi Wenze’s beauty, had no choice but to personally step onto the battlefield. Leaning against the doorframe, she beamed and asked, “All right, great celebrity, please precisely state the very first time you two met and your first kiss’s… date and location. Your answer must be correct. I have the bride here to verify.”
Jia He could not help giving a loud “ahem.” When Xiao Yu turned around, she silently formed the words with her mouth, “I don’t remember those!”
She completely did not remember a single one of those dates, aaaah! Those were so long ago. It was not like they were a big, important type of date, like a wedding anniversary or something…
Xiao Yu motioned with a finger for her to keep quiet and listen to what the person on the other side of the door would say.
“The first time I saw her was in 1999, on August 13 at the Beijing Books Building in Xidan.” To everyone’s surprise, Yi Wenze’s answer came very easily, because, apart from himself and Jia He, no one understood just how significant this first date was to him. “Our first kiss was on April 1, 2011, in my home in Shanghai.”
Everybody quickly converted the time in their minds. Other than Qiao Qiao, the unexpected peeper on that event, everyone showed expressions of utter astonishment.
Whoa, so that was the timing of when they hooked up!
Thus, the three women who had been guarding this maiden’s boudoir all threw down their arms in surrender.
Yi Wenze at last crossed over the threshold into this narrow, little bedroom of Jia He’s that was filled with all the traits of Jia He’s teenage-girl years. Wu Zhilun, who had followed him in, instantly broke into guffaws. Those walls that were plastered completely with posters of Yi Wenze truly could incite so much in people’s imaginations.
Jia He’s petite face burned furiously. Observing the surprise in Yi Wenze’s eyes, she could not restrain her giggle.
There had been an entire night of mentally wrestling with herself before she finally made the decision to leave all of these as they were, simply so that he could see them one more time on this day of their wedding.
However, before Jia He had finished laughing, she felt her entire body rise into the air. The man before her had lifted her into his arms.
Her younger girl cousin had been off to one side sorting all the red packets, but she let out an abrupt cry of alarm. “Brother-In-Law, we’re still missing a step. You need to find the wedding shoes!”
“No need.” Yi Wenze looked down at his bride. “I’ll just carry her directly away with me.”
So, with everyone stares on them, the bride, still in her bare feet, truly was carried by the groom out the front door of her home. He did not take the elevator and instead, floor by floor, walked down the stairs. By the time they arrived at the ground level, the sound of Jia He’s panting was even heavier than his, and it seemed more like she had been the one carrying him while walking down five flights of stairs. “Oh no…”
“What’s wrong?” Yi Wenze asked soothingly, about to open the car door and set her down in the front passenger seat.
“We still haven’t served tea to my mom and dad yet…” How did they end up coming straight downstairs?
Coming to a standstill, he, too, appeared to catch on to what was not right, for his usual calm, relaxed smile was gone. “I forgot. We’ll go back now to do the tea ceremony.”
So, once more, amid everyone’s astonishment, the bride, her feet still bare, was carried by the groom back into the home.
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According to the customs of the North, the entire wedding must be completed by noon. Therefore, once the groom’s procession had fetched the bride, everybody straightaway hurried to the vacation villa at which the wedding ceremony would be held. The venue of the wedding was the largest hall of the villa. The instant they stepped through the main entrance, they beheld the sight of indoor streams trickling under small bridges, long pillared walkways, and waterside pavilions.
Ushers led all their family and friends and colleagues from the film production company to their assigned places in the walkways, beneath which water flowed and koi swam. On the slightly raised platform in the very centre, champagne-coloured tulips carpeted the ground as well as the ceremony stage.
Yi Wenze had not described any of this to Jia He beforehand. Hence, when Jia He, radiant in her wedding gown, stepped along the red carpet from the front entryway, down the stairs, into the venue and was escorted by her father into the wedding ceremony site, she was completely awestruck.
Never had she imagined that he would be able to find an indoor venue that exuded the feel of a beautiful Southern canal town.
In that swath of tulips, Yi Wenze, now garbed in a smoke-silver suit jacket, stood at the end of the gurgling stream. When she saw him, it was truly just as her girl cousin had described, that many, many scenes from her memory were roused.
How she had been stuck in Shanghai’s great army of cars, her heart burning with agonized impatience, imagining how she would be talking face to face with her idol. How they had been in the same vehicle heading to Hengdian and sitting in front of her had been Yi Wenze, who at the time had been dogged by gossip and rumours about his love life. Those days, those times in Hengdian’s hotel, on the filming set, in the private dining room of that restaurant whose interior decorating was only average but whose flavours were delicious, on that snowy expanse at the outdoor shooting site, in the hospital. How, step by step, she had come to know him.
This very moment, she could even still remember that very first breakfast that they had had together, just the two of them, in that unobtrusive Hong Kong-style cha chaan teng, what coffee she had ordered, and how he had suggested that she switch to a different type.
Before her eyes, these pictures superimposed one upon the other. And then, she was already in front of him.
“Are you ready?” He bent forward slightly, asking her in a voice only she could hear.
“Mm-hmm,” she answered.
He had once proposed to her on a quiet, secluded beach, fulfilling the dream from her days of youth.
And for the ending of this story, he, in the same way, was giving her a day that every woman in the world longs for in her life: in front of every one of her family and friends who had been with her through all these years of her life, he was solemnly taking her as his wife.
Whether it was with no one watching or with everyone’s gazes on them, she was ready. From this day forward, she would be the one and only, true female lead of his life.
One of the traditions of Chinese weddings is the groom’s fetching of the bride from her home. When the groom, accompanied by his groomsmen and male buddies, arrives at the bride’s home, the bridesmaid troop is blocking the door and preventing his entry. In order to get in, the groom and his groomsmen have to pass various tests/games (e.g. singing songs, reading love declarations, answering questions, etc.), one of which is providing a red packet that is filled with a sum of money that is an auspicious number. Usually, the final test is to find the bride’s wedding shoes. Only when the groom has passed the tests (or entered by trickery!) will he be allowed to have his bride and bring her away.
This story truly fulfills every girl’s teenage dream. Those last two paragraphs make me both misty-eyed and want to smile. Hope everyone enjoyed the ride. Now we can wish the best to Jia He, Yi Wenze, and Aijia and Aihe.
I once again want to specifically thank all those who commented throughout this time. And I also want to apologize. These last few months, I haven’t really been timely with my replies to comments. April and May were just busy, but June and July were difficult months, after receiving some terrible news. Thankfully this story was a fluffy one and not one like The Healing Sunshine, or else I’m not sure I would have been able to keep up with updates. My heart and mind have been needing some space to process what has happened, and hence I just haven’t been up to interacting. My apologies again, but THANK YOU to everyone who nevertheless kept up the enthusiasm. Your happiness to every update brightened some tough days for me. 🙂
I have in mind what my next translation project will be, but have not asked for permission for it to be posted. 🙂 When permissions are in order and I have decided on a start date, I will make an announcement.
In the meantime, remember, go have that coffee date today, give that hug today, say that “I love you” today—because there are too many unknowns in tomorrow. Love those who are around you now, now. Wishing the best to all our readers here at Fanatical.
1 of 1 Prologue
58 of 58 Chapter segments
6 of 6 Epilogue segments (4 epilogues in total)