Chapter 288: Zhang Ye can’t write Love Poems?
His relatives had left.
Only Zhang Ye’s family of three was left having dinner together. They ate simply with noodles in soybean paste, Zhajiangmian. This was also specially requested by Zhang Ye. In the South, he could not find anywhere to eat authentic Beijing Zhajiangmian. Especially the brine made by his mother was excellent. Zhang Ye never got sick of eating it when growing up.
“How is it?” Mom asked with a smile.
Zhang Ye sucked the noodles, “It still has the same taste. Delicious.”
Mom happily said, “That’s it. My cooking can’t go wrong. In the future, when you go back to Shanghai, I’ll prepare more Zhajiangmian for you, so that you can bring it there.”
As Zhang Ye ate, he asked, “What time is it?”
“It’s 6:40. Why?” Dad looked at his watch.
Zhang Ye quickly slurped the last two mouthfuls, “I need to head out. I have something to.”
“Come back early.” His mother reminded him, “You need to report to work at Peking University tomorrow. Don’t affect official matters.”
“Alright, I got it. I’ll be back before ten.” After filling his stomach, Zhang Ye went downstairs to drive.
His X5 bulletproof car had been left in his parent’s district. As it had been there for a long period of time, his car was covered in dust. Zhang Ye did not have the time to wash his car, and as it did not matter, he drove to Cao Mengmeng’s school.
Just past 7.
At the entrance of Beijing 15th Junior High.
The sky was a bit cloudy, then turned gloomy almost immediately. It did not seem to even have a transition.
15th Junior High was located on the western side of Taoranting. Going by the road, Zi Xin Lu, it was relatively close to Caishikou. Actually, even without a car, he could have reached there in fifteen minutes by walking from his parents’ place. The moment his car arrived, Zhang Ye saw many cars bunched outside the school entrance. He began to regret driving here. He knew many parents drove their children to the new year’s party, and from the ages of the children, there was not only junior high students, there were even high school students. This party was likely jointly held together. Since 15th Junior High was one of the city’s focuses, this party would usually be spruced up better than ordinary junior high school parties.
There was a line of cars waiting for parking.
Zhang Ye estimate that at this speed, he would take more than half an hour to enter the school. He had lived here for a long period of time, so with his expertise, he turned his steering wheel and headed 200 meters west. He stopped his car at a hotpot store. This store’s business was quite normal, so there were not many cars stopped here usually. The boss was a resident nearby and was easy to talk to. Usually, the boss would not complain even if he parked a car here when there were not enough parking lots.
Getting out of the car, Zhang Ye walked towards 15th Junior High.
With the party beginning at 7:30, most of the people who were arriving were the last few.
Ring, ring, ring.
His phone began to ring.
“Bro! Why aren’t you here yet!?” Cao Mengmeng huffed and puffed through the phone.
Zhang Ye chuckled, “I’m here. I just walked through the gate. I’m west of the main entrance. I’ll wait for you under the school motto?”
“You are here already? Nice, nice, nice! Wait for me!” She hung up.
A short while later, a petite figure rushed towards him, “Bro!” Then she looked at him speechlessly, “Why are you wearing sunglasses?”
Zhang Ye said, “I’m used to it. I’ll keep them on.”
Cao Mengmeng said in a depressed tone, “I still want to show off! If you wear sunglasses, who can recognize you!”
Zhang Ye rolled his eyes, “Come on, your bro isn’t that famous. This face of mine is useless. Hurry up and go. It’s already not bad that I fulfilled my promise and came.”
Cao Mengmeng pulled him towards the auditorium, “Alright, whatever. Hurry. There’s almost no more seats left. Too many people came today since it’s a new year’s party jointly held by the junior high and high school. Although it’s free to participate and about half came, those who came brought their guardians too, so the auditorium doesn’t have enough space!”
The moment they entered the auditorium, indeed, it was packed.
The stuffy air that met them was quite unpleasant.
“Aiyah, don’t push!”
“Daughter, I’m here!”
“Teacher Sun, long time no see!”
“Third Year, Class One! Third Year, Class One parents, please come over here!”
“High School Second Year, Class Five, gather! If your guardians aren’t here yet, quickly contact them!”
“Students of Class Three, everyone listen to me. When the party begins, try not to make too much noise. Maintain silence since there will be a recording.”
The parents were all rushing to take their seats.
The head teachers were also very busy.
Inside, there were a few people who noticed Zhang Ye. Sometimes, a few people would give him a few stares before turning their gaze away. They seemed to find him familiar, but then did not think much of it. Zhang Ye was now considered quite a celebrity. His fame in Beijing was not bad, but he was after all not an extremely popular celebrity like Zhang Yuanqi. There was limited exposure for him, so there were still many people who could still recognize him despite him wearing sunglasses. A key reason was the environment. If this was a television station entrance or some celebrity party, if everyone saw Zhang Ye wearing sunglasses, they might be able to guess that it was him, as they already had the idea planted in their heads. However, this was an ordinary junior high school’s new year’s party. Everyone only felt Zhang Ye looked familiar, but they didn’t think too much about it.
“Mengmeng!” A woman called out to her from somewhere.
Mengmeng hurried waved, “Hehe, Teacher Leng (Cold), I’m coming!”
The average-looking woman in black-framed spectacles was clearly Cao Mengmeng’s head teacher. She grumbled, “You are always the slowest. Where are your parents?”
Cao Mengmeng pointed to Zhang Ye and added sound effects, “Dang Dang Dang Dang!”
Teacher Leng nodded at him with a smile, “You are?”
Zhang Ye smiled, “Hello Teacher Leng, I’m Mengmeng’s brother. This girl must have troubled you.”
Teacher Leng shook his hands simply, “It’s alright. This child, Mengmeng is not that bad. She’s the jolliest person in the class, just that she’s not that motivated in her studies. After this, we can have some one on one conversation. I’ve already told her parents a few times, but it wasn’t very effective. As her brother, you should be closer to the child. Your words might weigh more than her parents. She is especially bad in her language. I’m her language teacher and also head teacher. It’s almost time for the final exams. As her teacher, I’m worried for her. Her basic knowledge is lacking and her essays aren’t good either. Right, also her math results, that is…” This head teacher was clearly quite a responsible teacher. Even on a day like new year’s, she still concerned herself with the child’s studies.
Cao Mengmeng gave a face of helplessness and signaled to Zhang Ye with her eyes: See, what did I say? Isn’t my teacher on stimulants the moment she sees my guardian?
Zhang Ye kept saying yes, “Alright, alright. I’ll go back and scold her.”
Teacher Leng acknowledged, “Then teach her well.” She then noticed the time, before she hurriedly said, “Heh, I’ll stop at this. We need to take out seats.”
Cao Mengmeng cried out, “Why aren’t there any seats left?”
Teacher Leng turned around and noticed the seats she reserved for her class were gone. There were even a few parents of her class’ students standing in the aisle. “Parents, sorry about that. Today, our school didn’t prepare the proper arrangements. There will be chairs prepared behind. Please make do and sit in the aisle. We are really sorry. Let us all make do with it.”
Teacher Leng herself could not get a soft seat. When she saw a more elderly parent, she gave up her seat. Then, she went to get chairs, and found people to move several chairs over. She sat with a few parents in the aisle. The other classes were in similar situations. Some classes did not fill up their seats, so the neighboring classes spilled over. Those that were full, could only sit in the aisle. However, their own head teachers did not sit in the aisle.
Hence, Teacher Leng was quite a good head teacher.
Zhang Ye did not hesitate. He indifferently sat on a small stool.
Cao Mengmeng refused, “Bro, why don’t you take my seat. You are a big celeb…”
“Enough, it’s no big deal.” Zhang Ye interrupted her. “Take the time to prepare your recital. Isn’t it your turn in the latter half?”
“Then..alright.” Cao Mengmeng returned to her seat. She was surrounded by her classmates.
Beside her, a girl giggled, “Mengmeng, who’s that?”
“My bro.” Mengmeng said proudly and raised her neck, “He’s handsome right?”
Another boy blinked, “Eh, why is your bro wearing sunglasses? It’s so dark in the auditorium.”
Cao Mengmeng giggled, “My bro is a superstar, so of course he wears sunglasses.”
“Superstar? That’s impossible, right?” A youth, who looked more mature, said.
A girl, who did not have good relations with Cao Mengmeng, harrumphed, “What star? Mengmeng is just bragging. I think your bro is just wearing sunglasses to act big.”
Mengmeng tsked, “Lili, it’s not that I look down on you. If I told you who my bro is, you would definitely die from fright!”
Lili pouted, “Keep bragging.”
Cao Mengmeng curled her lips, “I can’t be bothered about you.”
A boy hurriedly eased the situation, “Mengmeng, Lili, don’t fight. Every time you meet each other, you fight. Even if you are not tired, we would get tired from watching you two fight.”
The other classmates also did not think much about it.
Teacher Leng heard their conversation and then looked sidewards at Zhang Ye, who was sitting behind. She did find him familiar, but he seemed to have a common face, so she did not pay much attention.
“Little brother, you are?” A parent sitting next to him asked.
Zhang Ye looked at the middle-aged man, “Oh, I’m Mengmeng’s brother.”
The parent smiled while nodding, “Nice to meet you. I’m Pengpeng’s father.”
“I’m Qiaomeng’s mother. Nice to meet you.” Another middle-aged woman interjected.
Zhang Ye had a casual chat with a few parents. He was quite unaccustomed to a “parents’ meeting”. After all, they were in their thirties or forties, while he was still in his twenties.
“Little brother, what do you do for a living?” The middle-aged man asked in interest.
“Me?” Zhang Ye was stumped for an answer. If you said he was in literature, that wasn’t right. If you said he was a host, he was now temporarily suspended. Say that he’s in teaching? It was only to be reported tomorrow. So as he hesitated, the middle-aged woman beside had branched off the topic.
The woman asked, “Big brother, what do you do?”
The middle-aged man laughed, “I’m a newspaper editor. I arrange literature pieces before publishing them. We have even published Teacher Leng’s essays before. Back then, I arranged that edition. I only found a few months ago that the pen name, Cold Moon is our Teacher Leng (Cold). What a coincidence.”
A man beside said, “Ah? Teacher Leng has even gone on the papers before?”
The middle-aged man smiled, “That’s right. Teacher Leng is talented. Our editors were full of praise for that prose of hers. It was written very well.”
Teacher Leng gave a forced smile, “Brother Yang, don’t brag about me. I just got lucky. The bit of knowledge I have isn’t much talent.”
Brother Yang laughed, “You are being modest. If you lack talent, then who has?”
Teacher Leng smiled gently, “Of course Teacher Zhang Ye. I’m a fan of his. His poems are well-written, his programs are also good. He never uses a script, nor does he need to think. He can write anything he picks up. Every word he spews from his mouth is a literary work that stuns the world. Teacher Zhang Ye is a real talent!”
Brother Yang acknowledged, “That’s true. I’ve heard the compilation that Zhang Ye published has already sold more than 200,000 copies already. That isn’t some novel, but rather a literature compilation. This level of sales is defying the heavens!”
Teacher Leng said, “Out of those sales, I contributed three books. Teacher Zhang Ye’s poems are really too good. His essays and speeches are also world class. There’s nothing to pick on!”
The woman said, “I haven’t seen Zhang Ye’s works, by my younger sister loves him. She watches every episode of his ‘Zhang Ye’s Talk Show’ at least two or three times.”
Brother Yang lamented, “Now, in the literary world, the most aggressive newcomer is Zhang Ye. However, if I really want to compare, those masters with seniority are still better than Zhang Ye. In terms of literature, Zhang Ye’s works are probably inferior to those masters.”
Teacher Leng shook her head, “I don’t think so. I think Zhang Ye’s works are already on the same level as those masters. Neither of them is better than the other.”
Brother Yang looked at her, “Teacher Leng, I have a different view. If we are talking about derisive poems, then Zhang Ye can be said to be the most domineering in the country. He can indeed compare with those literary masters. “Dead Water”, “The Answer”, or even that lamenting “Prisoner’s Song” and “My Confession”, “The Song of the Stormy Petrel” too. In this regime, Zhang Ye has reached the peak. I have to admit it, but in terms of love poems, Zhang Ye’s works are basically blank. That “See Me or Not” is not considered a love poem. If one really wanted to count, that “Flying bird and fish” would be one. Hence, in terms of diversity and comprehensiveness, Zhang Ye is still inferior to those masters.”
The woman said, “I’ve heard of ‘Flying bird and fish’. It was very good.”
Teacher Leng laughed, “Just one ‘Flying bird and fish’ is enough.”
Brother Yang said, “But seriously, ‘Flying bird and fish’ is also ‘The furthest distance in the world. At most, it’s just a yearning towards love, and not purely a love poem. At least that’s how I understand it. Hence, in the poetry system, where love is heavily weighted, Zhang Ye has yet to prove himself with his works. If he can produce another modern poem that shows the appreciation of love, then I will acknowledge him as a master.”
Teacher Leng did not want to argue with him, “He will.”
As they chatted, the topic had landed on Zhang Ye.
Sitting amongst them, Zhang Ye could not help but turn red from embarrassment. Listening to how others were praising him, with Mengmeng’s head teacher even claiming to be a fan, Zhang Ye also smiled.
This is what popularity is, comrades!