It was the eve of the Lunar New Year.
"Where are the lanterns? Go and hang them up."
"Old Li, how's the program coming along?"
"Haha, it's all finished."
"Great, it's all on you guys now. I'm really looking forward to it."
"We're just a bunch of old people, so we're only going to be singing in the name of fun."
"The Spring Festival Gala will be happening soon as well, I wonder what it will be like this year."
"It's difficult to say since Professor Zhang is here at our place."
"Yeah, without Professor Zhang directing the Spring Festival Gala, I just can't seem to look forward to watching it."
"Hai, if only Professor Zhang hadn't gotten embroiled. The Spring Festival Gala this year would definitely have been headed by him. I can imagine just how wonderful it would've been."
"Haha, but Professor Zhang doesn't have time to worry about the Spring Festival Gala now."
"I heard that his wife has already gone into the delivery room."
"Yes, she was just brought in there a short while ago."
"Hopefully everything goes well."
It was almost the New Year and the mood at the research institute couldn't be more boisterous.
People gathered together and laughed in conversation.
Some were preparing for their night show in their groups.
Others were busy preparing the dishes for dinner, with the kitchen bustling with activity.
Only Zhang Ye was unlike everyone else. This fellow kept circling the research institute's yard in extreme anxiety. Sometimes, he would look up into the sky and let out a sigh; sometimes, he would stamp his feet in frustration; and sometimes, he would whisper something at the sky with his hands clasped together.
Please let everything go well!
Old Wu, you can do it!
May mother and child be safe!
Please let them both be safe!
Just then, Chi Xue passed by. "Professor Zhang, what are you still doing here? The gala is about to begin. Hurry up, let's head over together."
Zhang Ye exclaimed, "How can I be in the mood to attend the event?"
Chi Xue laughed and said, "Chief Wu is a blessed woman, so she'll be fine. We will inform you once there is any news, so come along. Everyone has gone to the event premises already, and the Spring Festival Gala is about to start. Our self-organized gala will be held concurrently, and we're all waiting for a famed gala director to give us advice to improve."
Fellow Zhou also called out from afar, "Professor Zhang, we're all waiting for you. Hurry up!"
Zhang Ye answered absent-mindedly, "Coming."
The banquet hall was already packed with people.
There were over a dozen round tables with over a hundred researchers attending the event.
At the front, there was even a large TV display where an advertisement from Central TV Department 1 was showing. It was now less than five minutes until the Spring Festival Gala began. There was also a stage set up in front, and it was obviously going to be used for the later performances. Sniffing, he could smell the aroma of the food. Then he saw that the staff had already started serving the dishes.
Zhang Ye had been very worried about Old Wu and hadn't rested or ate well for the past few days. Hungry, he sat down and started eating immediately.
The Central TV Spring Festival Gala began.
Only then did Zhang Ye raise his head.
One after another, familiar faces started appearing before his eyes. They were so close, yet so far away. Were his old friends all doing well? Was Old Zhang still that fond of drinking? How did Old Xu's new movie do at the box office? Had Old Chen released any new songs? Was Grandma Zhang still going strong and healthy? Who was Old Yao partnering with for his crosstalks?
Zhang Ye lamented.
However, everything happening in the outside world no longer had anything to do with him.
A female researcher said, "The Spring Festival Gala this year isn't that good."
A young researcher said, "Yeah, it's much worse than the Spring Festival Gala Professor Zhang directed."
"That's right." Another person said, "That song from last year, 'Return Home Often,' really made me cry when I heard it. I haven't been home for the Lunar New Year in two years."
A middle-aged doctor said, "That's nothing, I've already been here for four years straight."
An old scientist laughed and said, "Are you comparing such things now? There's nothing glorious about that. Hai, this is all because of work. There isn't any choice for us."
At this time, the research institute's own shows started.
Several doctors had formed a choir and took to the stage, while the audience looked very excited.
"It's starting, it's starting!"
"Dr. Xu, you can do it!"
"Your singing went off-key last year, so hopefully it won't happen again this year!"
"Haha, can you not expose other people's shortcomings."
The self-organized gala began with a song that rang out within the banquet hall.
There were all kinds of programs.
Out of nowhere, Fellow Zhou asked Zhang Ye, "Professor Zhang, why don't you go up on stage and give us a performance too?"
Chi Xue smiled and said, "That sounds great, Professor Zhang. Be it a skit, crosstalk, or even singing, you're a professional at all of them. Why don't you let us amateurs broaden our horizons?"
Zhang Ye waved it off. "Please spare me."
Fellow Chi also said, "Come on, show us a little something."
Chi Xue said, "You're about to become a dad, so that's definitely something worth celebrating!"
Just as a song finished onstage, the banquet hall's main door was suddenly pushed opened.
A employee from the telephone room came rushing in. He shouted excitedly, "It's born! It's born!"
Everyone looked over to that person!
Zhang Ye shot to his feet. "What?"
The employee congratulated, "Professor Zhang, your wife has delivered your child! They are both safe and sound!"
Zhang Ye hurriedly said, "Is it a boy or a girl?"
That person said, "It's a girl! She weighed 3.6 kilograms at birth!"
The banquet hall erupted with excitement!
"Congratulations, Professor Zhang!"
"Your child has finally been born!"
"Professor Zhang, you can finally rest assured!"
Everyone was really feeling jubilant for Zhang Ye!
Zhang Ye was at a loss for words. He wanted to give a shout or two to express his joy, but he couldn't push his voice out of his throat. He suddenly became quiet.
Fellow Zhou laughed heartily. "You're a father now. How does it feel?"
Chi Xue also laughed. "Professor Zhang, why don't you say a few words to everyone?"
Everyone echoed, "Yeah, say something!"
Zhang Ye was a little dazed.
Say a few words?
What should he say?
He didn't know. He really didn't know what to talk about.
Zhang Ye left without waiting for the gala to finish.
Everyone looked at one another.
Chi Xue said, "What's with him?"
Fellow Zhou said, "Heh, that kid, shouldn't he be screaming with joy at such a time?"
Fellow Chi watched Zhang Ye as he left and did not say a word.
The New Year bell was rung.
After the gala ended, everyone headed back to their dorms to rest.
However, soft notes from a guitar suddenly thrummed in one of the dormitories at the research institute. It was accompanied by a low singing voice.
People were stunned to hear this.
Some of them pulled open their curtains.
Others leaned out onto their windowsills and listened quietly.
"What should I say? I just don't know.
"So much to say, yet they don't come out.
"Blue skies above, my lingering silence.
"With you by my side, I'm composed and serene.
"On lonely nights, I have prayed for you.
"I hope that I am a gift in your life.
"When the joy in my heart blossoms in an instant.
"I wish I could be by your side, to share it with you.
"An endless journey, an unbroken horizon.
"Years of burning passion, but what a long wait.
"When the joy in my heart blossoms in an instant.
"I wish I could be by your side, to share it with you."
It was a very light and gentle voice. It was a song sung by a man for his wife and child. In the singing, there was a hint of the man's joy, as well as his sadness.
His name was Zhang Ye.
Today, he had become a father.https://youtu.be/N04V4ZxwoKw