The Healing Sunshine (一厘米的阳光) – Prologue

That day Ji Yi was in her grandfathers study room, upon waking up this morning, her throat really hurts, her head feels a bit dizzy,  she is already accustomed that there is no one at home during daytime, specially during summer vacations.

She has been accustomed to resolve any problems by herself.

but now the problem is, Ji Yi  feels that she is sick, needs to take some medicine.  it been a long time since she was sick and have forgotten where the medicine box is.

After looking for it in several drawers, she finally found the medicine box…. 2 tablets of antibiotics , 2 tablets of cold medicine, to take or not some Niu Huang Jie Du (fever reducing medicine)

it seems last year when she had a fever, mother let her drank once,  alright also add one tablet of the Niu Huang

she was taking out each tablet from the foil pack and pouring out some water, then she heard the door bell

the summer sun has passed thru the glass and is shining on every corner of the corridor, there isn’t any shadow left, and in this dazzling sunlight, JiYi saw Ji Cheng Yang

Later Ji Cheng Yang told JiYi, in fact this is the the second time they’ve met

but this time to Ji Yi, he is just a complete stranger, Ji Yi after looking at the peep hole, saw a young big brother, tall, thin, with his head bowed down while smoking a cigarette, unlike grandfather’s military uniform students,  just wearing a black short and a white short sleeves.

due to his bowing down of his head, his short hair is slightly disheveled sliding down from his forehead covering his eyes.

Ji yi did not speak, like watching a slow motion movie, looking at him propping one hand on the white wall while pressing down the cigarette in his hand on the metal waste basket along the corridor, the most interesting is that after putting out the cigarette he used the cigarette butt to wipe clean the gray dot left before throwing it in the waste basket.

afterwards  he lifts his head, a pair of clear dark eyes looked over and frowned slightly, maybe because there is no sound coming from the other side of the door.

he rang the door bell again.

at last Jiyi  remembered that she came to open the door,  “who is it?”  she asked

To enter this family compound, at the least one needs to pass through 2 guards at the gate,  and to be able to enter this building one also needs to have a password, really no outsider can come in. The whole facility has four floors. everyone is very familiar with one another, but this person is a stranger, should be a big brother studying abroad, right?

Ji yi, I am Ji Cheng Yang

voice sound so cold yet very gentle, telling her his identity

Ji Cheng Yang … she remembered that he is a family member of grandfather Ji, Young Uncle Ji , who agreed to bring her to call back dramatic troupe performance.

uncle of Ji Nuan Nuan

a frequently heard name

Ji Cheng Yang, at the age of six started to play the piano much later than an average pianist, at the age of nine started performing on stage, finished elementary in four years skipping two grades, at the age of sixteen attended the University of Pennsylvania …..Ji Nuan Nuan who grew up with Jiyi, always tells her these things

He studied in the United States, US Emperialism or something ….. she heard it from grandfather Ji

Ji yi remember when she was younger and wore a pair of red shoes, Grandpa would joke about and say “little rattle shoes.

Capitalist Mentality ….

Grandfather Ji would grumble the there are a lot of good schools in the country, cant understand why Ji Cheng Yang have to go study abroad.

but now it seems a lot better, grandfather doesn’t grumble anymore

Jiyi opened the door, raised her head to look at the impatient person in front of her and said Young Uncle Ji, then open the shoe cabinet and got him a pair of slippers.

She didn’t wait for the guest to enter when she immediately went to the kitchen to wash her hands.

Ji Cheng Yang entered the door, changed slippers, and saw that Jiyi is pouring out water from a green colored transparent water bottle, then frowned,  gulping down five tablets of medicine

so bitter

She swallowed a couple more gulp of water, at last was able to swallow the largest tablet, bitter taste left because the medicine stayed inside her mouth for too long, she wants to say something but the taste left is really too bitter so she has to drink more water, afterwards she found that Young Uncle Ji has already walked and half squatted in front of her.  so that they are on eye level  and ask with a very gentle voice:  what are you taking?

“medicine”  she lightly answered

then touching her forehead, I have a fever & my throat hurts she said

She tried to swallow…. really hurts

there was a flash of surprise in his pitch black eyes, why are you taking so much?

“taking a few is not effective” , she gave a very sound argument,  telling him, I often get a fever, before taking half a tablet is okay, then a whole tablet, now it has to be two tablets

He frowned, using his hand to touch her forehead: “didn’t you take your temperature?”

his palm is a bit cool & carries a light smell of tobacco

she patiently stand still, very strange that his body temperature even in summer is low: “there is no thermometer.”

last time she broke the thermometer, she is not brave enough to tell grandfather ….. was really stupid at that time, used her hands to pick up those gray beads,  but can’t pick it up no matter what,  used a pile of napkins to clean it up.  On the second day,  When talking with Zhao  Xiao Ying, a tablemate about it,   she even frightened her, saying that it has poison…… a good thing that she didn’t eat immediately after cleaning it up

when she was still rejoicing that she wasn’t poison then by the broken thermometer, the person in front of her already stood up, told her immediately that he was going back up to get a thermometer,  told her not to take any more medicine, less than three minute passed, Young Uncle Ji came back with a thermometer, told her to sit on the sofa, poised the thermometer in front of her mouth: “come, open your mouth”

she held the thermometer, then remembered and said in a low voice: in the hospital, don’t they use alcohol to wipe it clean ……..”

she hasn’t finish mumbling, thermometer in her mouth has been pulled out, she got frighten and looked at him. the latter’s face is showing some annoyance, used a table napkin to wipe it clean before giving it back to her: “insert it in your armpit”  oh; she said, she learned early to closely gauge a persons mood, felt that this Young Uncle Ji really committed a mistake…..no need to expose him

but….having the thermometer inside her mouth, won’t it make the condition worse?

Ji Yi inserted the thermometer under her armpit, got the remote control and stated watching tv series,  at this time it is showing slam dunk

but….she used the corner of her eye’s to quietly look at Ji Cheng Yang, having a guest accompany her in watching cartoons is not really good? then in all seriousness she adjust the channel to a news program, but evidently Ji Chang Yang doesn’t really need these things, a moment ago when he went up  to get the thermometer he also brought down a book, opened the book and casually read. patiently keeping a small child company.

Ji Yi thought for a moment, then quietly adjusted the channel back to slam dunk

————–

That night, he drove her  first to McDonalds to have dinner

This is the first western fast food restaurant in Beijing, just opened a while back, a lot of students strolling around, although a lot of returning customers says that the taste is not so good, she remembered that Ji Nuan Nuan did complain about it, it does not taste as good as the once abroad, sadly she can only share the idea whether it taste good not as no one has the time to bring her to try it even once. At first she was looking forward to try it but later on not any more.

Unexpectedly after a few years,  that very night, Ji Cheng Yang brought her to Mcdonald’s for the first time, but only because drinking  medicine & taking the temperature caused a delay, Ji Cheng Yang just brought some french fries & hamburger to the car, and watched her eat while driving.

Actually it was the report back performance (this is given by a dramatic troupe back from a tour abroad) by cultural troupe, she participated in the program group of children just for fun, or to make the people in audience who have done great thing for this country some happiness. Because the Ji family are too busy , they had to ask the son of their good friend, who is on temporarily idle at home waiting for the break to end to continue his studies abroad to bring Jiyi  to participate in the performance.

Ji Cheng Yang squatted down and told her in a low voice : “don’t be nervous”  and patted her on her back.

he a twenty one year old male, doesn’t have any experience in humouring a child

this is not her first time to go on stage, But it is the first time that someone like “family” to accompany her,  at first she isn’t nervous, but because of those simple words she became nervous, even after standing behind the crimson curtain, heart stated to beat faster, naturally she committed a mistake

She is performing this Tibetan dance with a boy, because of the fever she feels slightly dizzy, when she bent her waist, her headdress fell from her head and landed on the stage floor, this is something she has ever encountered before, her mind suddenly became completely blank

There is a spotlight on the stage, the faces of the people below the stage can’t be seen, in the dark you can only see the shapes of the people.

She really does have stage fright, only felt that her legs have gone soft, and there is only one thought,…. it is not dancing anymore. Finally, she just turned and ran down the stage, did not complete the remaining few minutes of the program, and left the boy who was her partner alone standing on the stage ……

Even after a long time has passed, whenever people mentioned the little miss Ji, they can still recall this incident, Most just laughed humorously, said that the little miss was shy, probably got scared.

That night Ji Cheng Yang also felt that she was got scared,  but don’t know how to comfort her, So he once again drove to McDonald’s, got down from the car, went in and bought a strawberry sundae for her,  when he got back to the car, he wrapped the plastic cup with a table napkin before passing it to her and said: ” it’s nothing…next time you’ll have experience”

Ji Yi took the cup of ice cream & began eating…… delicious

She suddenly felt that this Young uncle Ji, who doesn’t like to smile and doesn’t like to talk a lot is very amiable

“I feel… there won’t be a next time……” she ate some ice cream while thinking that she doesn’t want to dance anymore but doesn’t have the nerve to say it out loud, so she just kept on eating her ice cream.

You danced very well, I heard a lot of people praising you.

She latch onto a white plastic spoon, blinked slightly, then whispered to Ji Cheng Yang: “Young uncle Ji …… do you particularly want to comfort me?”

he bit the cigarette that hasn’t been lighted yet, and asked in a very mellow voice: ” What else do you want to eat?”

Ji Yi shook her head, smiled & continue eating her ice cream, eating her ice cream half way, she suddenly thought of something, swallowed, felt that her throats hurts so much then said: ” I ‘m sick isn’t it, should I be eating ice cream?”

He looked at the ice cream on her hand for a moment, eventually he gave a slightly helpless smile,  two grave mistakes in a day, really unexpected.

The whole afternoon till night finally there emerged a hint of a smile & gentleness from him, he then went to buy a cup of hot milk for the little girl.

The street lamps are faint but warm, it is really very late, the small gate where they can pass has already closed, so they have to pass thru the main gate, the sentry got down from his post to check on Ji Cheng Yang’s car pass.

Ji Cheng Yang found that the little girl is asleep, still carrying the unfinished milk which has been tied in a knot to prevent the milk from spilling … a very mindful young lady. The soldier salutes and  allowed them to cross.

Ji Cheng Yang reached out to touch her forehead ….  really have a high fever

so…… the first time he brought her out, he caused her to have a high fever?