​​         Chinese Stories in English   

13. Memories
14. Next Line, The
15. Phone Calls
16. Romantic Waiting
17. Seasonal Change
18. Suicide Pact

19. Time to Dream
20. Torn Notes
21. Waiting
22. Winner, The
23. You Can't Come

7. From Afar
8. Good Bad News
9. Heart Murmurs
10. Her Kiss
11. Joking
12. Life Lessons

1. Accents
2. Bad News
3. Blogging
4. Change
5. Controlling
6. Enjoy Life

Selections from Mini-Stories that Move the Heart (触动心脏的微小说)
All stories by anonymous; titles added by translator; comments in original; published on several web sites including

1. Accents (Story #97)
     A Hong Kong man and a Beijing woman met at an
Eason Chan concert. They quickly fell in love.
     A week later the two were at the airport, already saying goodbye. The man was a member of Doctors Without Borders and was on his way to serve in a primitive tribal area in Africa.
     Just before departure, he gave the woman a CD case with Chan's signature song Today Next Year in it. He told the woman, in accented Mandarin, "Tis day, I come back for you ten."
     When he got back to China the next year, the woman had already married someone else. "I'm sorry," she said when he came looking for her, "I thought you wanted me to wait ten years."
【Is this Eason Chan's fault for not singing clearly enough?)】

[Translator's Note: Northern Chinese often laugh at the attempts of Cantonese people (and foreigners) to speak Mandarin. Fannyi has fudged a bit on this translation to make it work in English.]
2. Bad News (Story #80)
     He got canned two weeks ago, but kept it from his wife while he looked for another job. Today when he got home "after work", he was hiding his resume when he found his wife's Diagnosis of Breast Cancer under the bed.
     She called him to dinner.
     "How was your day at work, dear?"
     "Very good," he replied. "And how did your doctor's appointment go?"
     "Very good, as well. Let's eat."
     They sat facing each other, holding back their tears. Outside, the lights in thousands of homes were shining.
【I'm fine. You?】
3. Blogging (Story #64)
     In their blog, she kept a record of the minutiae that happened between him and her during their time together. Once, in anger after they'd had a fight, she deleted it.
     When they made up, she told him, "I don't remember what's gone on between us."
     "It doesn't matter," he said. "It's in my blog."
【I'm starting to like blogging】
4. Change (Story #44)
     He told her, “I love you, and that’s the only thing in the world that’ll never change.
     A month went by.
     Kneeling down and crying, she said, “He told me in no uncertain terms he loved me and that was the only thing in the world that’d never change.”
     Laughing, the other woman said, “The only thing about this world that never changes is that it changes constantly.”
【The only thing about this world that never changes is that it changes constantly】
5. Controlling (Story #42)
     He told her they should break up.
     She didn’t cry. Not one tear fell. On the contrary, she smiled.
     Because she remembered everything clearly from beginning to end. Without his permission, she couldn’t cry.
【It's only a simple sentence that totally makes her feel gratitude in her bones, that’s how much she loves him】
6. Enjoy Life (Story #23)
     When we were in school, Ma said, “I’ll be able to enjoy life once you guys graduate.”
     When we graduated, Ma said, “I’ll be able to enjoy life once you guys find jobs.”
     When we were working, Ma said, “I’ll be able to enjoy life once you guys get married.”
     When we were married, Ma said, “I’ll be able to enjoy life once you guys have kids.”
     When we had kids, Ma said, “I’ll be able to enjoy life once your kids are grown.”
     Now our kids are grown and I say, now it’s time to enjoy life. But Mama, are you able to hear me?
【Love without expectation of a return】
7. From Afar (Story #81)
     She liked him for four years and saved everything that had to do with him. She liked the way he nodded his head. She'd get mad if she saw him with other co-eds. And she'd written him more love letters than she could count.
     But he didn't know any of this.

     It was a number of years later. They hadn't been living in the same city for quite a while, but when she was about to get married, she got a present from him. It was an earring she'd carelessly left behind one time.
     A letter was attached. It said, "I used up my youth loving from afar, but now I can't be with you."
【Hurt being in silence, ache being in love】
8. Good and Bad News (Story #96)
     I'm blind and hard of hearing as a result of an auto accident. My boyfriend's left me, and only my mom has stayed by my side. She knows I like the rain, so she often leads me outside on her arm to feel the raindrops pelt my hands. The lucky thing is, there's been whole lot of rain this year.
     "Mom, I'd like to go back in, now."
     On the way back I have to fight to hold off my tears. I've just felt a huge pain in my ears, and then faintly heard someone say:
     "Look, here those two come again. A clear blue sky and they hire someone to sprinkle water on them. What a joke! It's not like they're making a movie…."
【It's classed as a rainy day for you】
9. Heart Murmurs (Story #39)
     Every day he listened to the heartbeats respectfully and with the upmost patience. Each one was different, and he believed he would eventually find that old familiar palpitation. Donating her heart had been his wife’s last wish.
     One day he questioned a female patient who had come in for a diagnosis, but she smiled and didn’t answer. He listened to her heartbeat and, after quite a while, asked her:
     “You’ve had a heart operation?”
     “A transplant?”
     “And it’s not suitable?”
     “No, I just came in to tell you that she’s doing fine, and she loves you very much.”
【Sounds of the heart – if you understand, you understand】
10. Her Kiss (Story #30)
     Her kiss was good luck.
     He got a kiss from her before every competition. And he won every time because of it.
     But at his last competition, she gave her kiss to another.
     He couldn’t accept the actuality and went far away.
     Ten years later he returned to the home that belonged to him.
     Some people gave it to him. A report she’d just received from a hospital the day before his last competition – a Notice of Critical Illness.
【That wasn’t just a kiss】
11. Joking (Story #57)
     "I'm pregnant," the girl said. The man continued eating, head down, and said, ""I've had a vasectomy."
     The girl was speechless for a moment. Then she said, "I was joking."
     The man raised his head, glanced at her and took a drink of water. "So was I…."
【This story's plot is too complicated, and the implications too profound】
12. Life Lessons (Story #69)
     The wife's illness would cost a lot of money. The daughter was five and could do the cooking and housework, and take care of her mother.
     He broke his leg at work, and the boss absconded with the funding. All he could do was kneel down in the subway and beg for money, but there were too many phony beggars and no one believed his story.
     He decided to do a robbery. Late in the afternoon on the day he faced the firing squad, his mother snuck away and jumped into the river.
     The daughter looked all around for her on the street, crying, and carrying her suicide note.
【She couldn't read, but she already knew about life.】
13. Memories (Story #87)
     Middle of the night, in a bar. In her hand she has a Chivas watered down with red tea. A crowd of young people walks over giddily with beers in their hands.
     He stands straight up and fights his way across the floor. Finally he grabs her and dodges into the crowd with her.
     He smiles. "You, do you remember me?"
     She shakes her head.
     Laughing bitterly, he hails a cab and tells the driver her address. Then he turns and goes back into the bar.
     The manager takes his money with a practiced hand. "Coming here with her to do the things you did back then, does it really help with her amnesia? My guys have let you do it three times.…"
【What you've forgotten, I remember】
14. The Next Line (Story #100)
     They met again ten years later. He was wearing a suit and leather dress shoes. She had nothing.
     He laughed coldly. "'If I didn't have you, I'd have no past, and no pain.' Ten years ago you had the gall to say that, negating everything we'd had together. Humph, so how about it, do you regret that now?"
     She smiled thinly as she turned and left. How couldn't he have known that that was a line from a song? And that the next line was, "But no matter what if, I'd still love you."
【If I didn't have you】
15. Phone Calls (Story #65)
     "Nnn…. Ma, is something wrong?"
     "No, I just miss you a lot."
     "All right, all right. I'm really sleepy. It's early in the morning here. I've told you over and over, there's a time difference."
     "Oh, I forgot. You go on back to sleep. Go back to sleep…."

Five minutes later.
     "Arg! Who's calling now?"
     "Baby Girl, this is your uncle! The building where your mom lives on Jiaozhou Street is on fire!"
     She redials.
     "Ma! Ma! Answer the phone!"
     "Beep, beep, beep…."
【The one who doesn't want to worry you, it's your mother】
16. Romantic Waiting (Story #60)
     She was still young back then, pink and delicate. She liked to dream. On the bus, on Cherry Blossom Road, in the corner of the park, the library, every breath was in his shadow.
     He was still young back then, with dash and good humor. He was always planning ways to get ahead. On Cherry Blossom Road, at the schoolyard gate or the Garden Building at the landing on the stairs, he could find her anywhere.
     They passed each other innumerable times, brushing shoulders, catching their breath, but they'd almost never said anything to each other.
     At the graduation party he sent his last text message: "Wait for me."
     They had no contact for three years, and then he came back from overseas. They got married. Their first love.
【Romantic waiting and attachment】
17. Seasonal Change (Story #52)
"Let's take a trip around the world, OK?"
"Let's go take ten sets of wedding photos, OK?"
"Go with me on a shopping trip to Hong Kong, OK?"
"Let's have a huge wedding, OK?"
"I'm all played out."
【His heart has undergone a change of seasons, but you've stood still where you were the day he made his promise】
18. Suicide Pact (Story #83)
     The two people standing on the roof had agreed to die for love.
     "Everyone says I'm just after your money," the woman said through her tears.
     The man sighed. "There's no trust left in this world. Everyone's just out for their own benefit."
     "Let's jump," said the woman, "and prove our true love!"
     The man nodded his head and counted, "One, two, three!" He jumped, feet first.
     The woman laughed coldly and stayed where she was. "Trust…. Bullshit!"
     Then she noticed a rope tied around her ankle. In terror she realized that it was getting shorter, fast.
【Who were the man's words directed toward, and who was he talking about?)】
19. Time to Dream (Story #94)
Age 10:
     "I hear Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa is really beautiful. Let's go there together after we grow up."
Age 20: "We'll go to Mount Kilimanjaro after we graduate."
Age 30:
     "After the kid's born and we finish all these things we've got to do, we'll go to Africa to recuperate."
Age 70:
     "In our next life, I'm definitely going to take you to see Mount Kilimanjaro."
     "…. OK!"
【Without regard to whether the promise can be kept)】
20. Torn Notes (Story #24)
     The girl had secretly loved the boy for a year, but the boy seemed only to think of her as a brother. She was too embarrassed to say anything to him.
     The boy was very popular at school. Every day lots of co-eds would ask the girl to carry love notes to him. On the surface the girl was happy to do it, but in fact she tore up the notes they gave her and threw them away every time.
     There was this one co-ed who gave her a love note every day for six days. After the girl tore them up she always told the co-ed not to write any more, but the co-ed persisted.
     Until, on the seventh day, the boy came along just as the girl was tearing up the note the co-ed had given her. He couldn't help telling her, with a bitter smile, "I've given that girl a love note to hand to you every day for a week. Couldn't you read them before you tore them up?"
【In fact love is right beside you. It’s just that you can't see it….】
21. Waiting (Story #37)
     He said he loved me a lot, but whenever we went out to eat, he always made me wait half an hour before he got there. It was always the same restaurant.
    Finally I got tired of the waiting and told him I wanted to break up. He nodded and just said, “Sorry I made you wait so long every time….”
     One day I went back to the restaurant where we used to eat. I noticed that the food tasted different and asked the boss why. He said there used to be a guy who loved to come in and cook for his girlfriend….
【My love for you, you couldn’t see it】
22. The Winner (Story #54)
     Because of her, he'd changed from a good student who was in the first rank on the grades list to a loser who was about to be kicked out of school.
     Fighting, smoking, drinking, he'd experienced them all in one short month.
     One day after he was kicked out, she said to him: "You finally got the heck out of this school. Now I'm secure in first place."
【There are people who'll take advantage of your sincerity to make use of you】
23. You Can't Come (Story #53)
     He walked up to the attic.
     She'd gotten up there earlier to wait for him.
     Her face was struggling, terrifying.
     He hugged her tightly.
     A wail: "Why? You can obviously take me with you. We can obviously be together. Why are you being like this?"
     And her? Her terrifying face seemed to be crying.
【He'd fallen in love with a ghost】

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