Chapter 287: Joining 3rd Cousin’s New Year’s Party!
The next day.
1st January, New Year’s Day.
On the morning of the new year, Zhang Ye spent it in his own bed.
People seemed to come to his home, and not only in a single wave. The doorbell rung one after another. The sound of chatting entered his bedroom, as Zhang Ye woke up a few times in a daze. He flipped his body and covered himself in his blanket before going back to sleep. After four days of talk show recording without rest, he was making up for that lost sleep today. Since the people who came to his place were family, he was not that particular.
“Sis, we are here.”
“Quick, have a sit.”
“First (paternal) Aunt, Happy New Year. Wishing you and uncle a prosperous new year and good health.”
“Hur Hur, our Mengmeng sure has a sweet mouth. There’s some fruits here. Have a bit.”
“Where’s my bro?”
“Him? He’s still sleeping in the room.”
“Aiyah, my bro sure is a lazy cat. It’s already past 10!”
His three maternal uncles’ family came one after another. The oldest younger cousin, Cao Dan, second oldest younger cousin, Cao Tong, and youngest cousin, Mengmeng. The moment these three girls gathered together, they began chattering.
A few of the men smoked and drank tea.
A few women busied themselves in the kitchen.
First (maternal) aunt asked, “I heard Little Ye is on the SARFT’s blacklist?”
“That’s right,” Second (maternal) aunt also said, “Is his work not going smoothly?”
“I heard his program was halted some time ago? What is going on now?” His three maternal aunts washed vegetables as they asked Zhang Ye’s mother.
Mom was washing the cutting board and laughed, “You guys are already outdated. Little Ye’s program has been restored, it just needs half a month’s wait before it can be broadcasted again. Is his work not going smoothly? Hur Hur, let me tell you a secret. Don’t go about telling others. Peking University’s Vice President personally came looking for my son and repeatedly invited Little Ye to teach Peking University’s Chinese department. She said it had to be him, and no one else!”
First aunt was stunned, “What? Which Peking University?”
Mom laughed, “What other Peking University is there? It’s that college that ranks number one in the country!”
The three aunts were stunned, “This is big news. Little Ye really has gotten ahead in life? To teach at Peking University? Why didn’t I see it on the newspapers?”
Mom said, “It was decided last night. Hai, my Little Ye actually didn’t plan on going, but that President Wu kept inviting him and was extremely sincere. Finally, after being unable to further refuse it, the matter was fixed. So of course, there’s no news about it yet. I believe you will see it tomorrow.”
The adults and children outside also heard it. As his second maternal uncle had went to pick up Zhang Ye’s grandparents, he was not around. The other people were stunned upon hearing this news!
Cao Mengmeng screamed, “Ah! My bro is so awesome?”
Cao Dan covered her mouth in disbelief, “Teaching at Peking University?”
Third Uncle immediately ran into the kitchen, “Sis, then congratulations. Our family has finally produced someone in academia. And he’s even a lecturer of a famous school!”
First Uncle said to Zhang Ye’s father, “Brother-in-law, congratulations.”
Dad shook his hands with a smile, “I still don’t know if that kid is up to the task.”
Mom was extremely proud of Zhang Ye, so she rolled her eyes at her husband upon hearing that, “If my son isn’t up to the task, then who is? Stop spewing such discouraging words!”
Third Aunt laughed, “Right, with Little Ye’s literary standard, there definitely won’t be problems!”
At this moment, someone came in from outside. It was Second Uncle bringing Zhang Ye’s grandparents in.
The moment the old lady entered and heard their discussion, she could not help but ask, “What Peking University? What are you talking about?”
Mom came out of the kitchen beaming, “Dad, Mom, your grandson is going to be a lecturer at Peking University’s Chinese department. He’s reporting for work tomorrow.”
Grandma said in surprise, “Are you all pulling my leg?”
Third Aunt chuckled, “Mom, it’s true!”
Grandma was immediately excited, “Little Ye is so capable?”
“That is Peking University!” Grandpa was also startled.
Third Aunt said, “The two of you don’t keep up with news, so you might not know that Little Ye already showed his ability. He goes on television and the newspapers almost daily!”
Grandma’s wrinkles seemed to instantly open up, “Little Ye sure lives up to expectations!”
In the room.
Zhang Ye was still sleeping soundly.
Suddenly, the door opened, and three petite figures entered.
“Bro! Time to wake up! It’s time to eat!” Cao Mengmeng crashed onto his bed and yelled loudly.
Zhang Ye was jolted away. He yawned, and seeing that it was his three younger cousins, he buried his head again and said half-heartedly, “Go go. Let me sleep a little longer.”
Cao Tong chuckled, “Bro, get up!”
Eldest younger sister, Cao Dan said, “Let bro rest a bit more.”
“What’s there to rest for…” Cao Mengmeng refused and climbed into bed and sat on Zhang Ye’s leg, “Bro, you sure are awesome. You are even going to Peking University to teach!”
Zhang Ye waved his hands listlessly, “Nothing much.”
Cao Tong also began to say in a spoiled manner, “Bro, buy us something nice to eat.”
“I’ll buy, I’ll buy.” Zhang Ye said while closing his eyes. It was unknown if he was speaking in his sleep.
Cao Mengmeng blinked her cute little eyes and said, “Then whatever we want, you must buy for us. I want a huge teddy bear, the kind that’s 1.8 meters tall!”
Zhang Ye said sleepily, “I’ll buy them all. All of them.”
The few younger cousins cheered together, “Yo!”
With the few rascals in his room, there was no hope for Zhang Ye to carry on sleeping. Finally he was completely woken up by his few younger cousins. So he could only get out of bed in his pajamas.
The moment he came out of his room, Zhang Ye began greeting, “Grandma, Grandpa, First Uncle, First Aunt, Second Aunt…”
The moment Grandma saw her grandson, she held his hands warmly, “Did those girls wake you up?” Saying that, the old granny stared at them, “Naughty girls, your brother has been slaving these past few days at work. Can’t he have a good sleep?”
Cao Mengmeng stuck out her little tongue, “Grandma is playing favorites!”
Grandma was tickled, “You little girl are asking to be spanked.”
Mom also patted her son, “Hurry up and brush your teeth. It’s time to eat.”
Ten minutes later, the meal began.
During the meal, Zhang Ye found himself able to reunite with his family, a rare event. He had not returned home in a while, so he poured a glass of beer and toasted his elders. They had a lot of fun eating together.
His grandparents and relatives kept asking Zhang Ye about the entertainment industry.
“Little Ye, that talent show’s host is really your classmate?”
“That’s right, college classmates. We were in the same class.”
“What are you teaching at Peking University?”
“I’m not sure yet, but I will find out tomorrow.”
“Bro, is Hu Dongjian really gay?”
“How would I know? He’s a host from Hong Kong. I’ve never met him before.”
“Bro, why are you so awesome? The talk show you do makes me die of laughter!”
“That’s right, your bro is awesome, or else how can he be your bro!”
After the meal, everyone sat on the sofa in the living room. They carried on chatting, and the topic of conversation revolved around Zhang Ye. Everyone was very interested in his job.
Roughly 2 in the afternoon.
His grandparents went into Zhang Ye’s parents’ room to take an afternoon nap.
Zhang Ye covered his grandparents with a blanket, and after a few exchange of words, he gently closed the door.
The moment he left the room, he bumped into a Cao Mengmeng with shifty eyes. For some reason, this girl was blinking her eyes at Zhang Ye.
“What’s up?” Zhang Ye was amused.
Cao Mengmeng said softly, “Bro, I have a request.”
Zhang Ye did not mind, “What’s the matter?”
Cao Mengmeng glanced at the elders sitting in the living room and then jerked her chin towards the bedroom. “Go into the bedroom, anyway it’s an important matter.”
“Alright then.” Zhang Ye and his third younger cousin went into the room.
In the room, Cao Mengmeng sat on the bed.
Zhang Ye lit a cigarette and smoked out the window, “What is it? Tell me.”
Cao Mengmeng said with a finicky manner, “Bro, tonight, my junior high school has a new year’s party in the auditorium. We can bring our guardians. Come with me.” It was common for schools to have new year’s party. As it was impossible to have a Lunar New Year party due to the students on break,so the schools only had new year’s parties at best. Some schools had, while others didn’t. The date was not fixed. Many had their parties on December 31 also.
Zhang Ye was stunned before smiling, “Why should I go? Aren’t your parents on break today. Why? They have something on tonight and can’t go?”
Cao Mengmeng secretly said, “I didn’t tell them.”
“Ah?” Zhang Ye smiled bitterly.
Cao Mengmeng pouted, “You may not know, but every time my parents see my teacher, all three of them seem to be on stimulants. They will begin speaking ill of me. After returning home, my parents will even beat me. It’s exasperating. So I’d rather go myself then bring them along.”
Zhang Ye threw his hands up and said, “It isn’t appropriate for me to go?”
“You are my bro, is that not appropriate?” Cao Mengmeng said it while chuckling, “Also, it’s perfect for me to show you off to my friends! Last time, at a parents-teacher meeting, I heard a few parents talking about you in the corridor. Hehe, but none of them know that you are my bro!”
Zhang Ye said exasperatedly, “Is that even meaningful?”
“Extremely, extremely meaningful!” Cao Mengmeng affirmed, “And I’ll be performing tonight. I’ve already decided to recite your ‘Flying bird and fish’!”
“That is a love poem…” Zhang Ye said.
“So what if it’s a love poem? A few of my classmates are reciting poems too. Many people are reciting love poems and even those in the textbooks.” Cao Mengmeng said indifferently.
“What sort of poems are they reading?” Zhang Ye asked.
Cao Mengmeng shook her head, “I don’t know. Everyone is keeping it a secret. A large number of them are singing or dancing. Anyway I don’t care. Bro, you must help me out. If no guardians come with me, your little cousin is going to lose face. Also, you need to teach me how to recite ‘Flying bird and fish’, like how to punctuate!”
Zhang Ye said, “We shall see. Let me ask your parents first.”
“Bro, no can do, no can do!” Cao Mengmeng grabbed onto Zhang Ye’s arm and looked extremely pitiful.
Zhang Ye finally was at a loss and said, “Alright, alright. I’ll go, alright? 7:30 right? I got it. I’ll look for you at school.”
Cao Mengmeng shouted excitedly, “Yea! Long live to my bro!”
Zhang Ye began instructing her on how to recite “Flying bird and fish”.