Lin Qingyan was a somewhat special child.
His parents gradually discovered this when he was one or two years old.
Most toddlers were cute, with chubby faces, hands and feet. They ambiguously called out ‘Mom and Dad,’ and would lie on the bed, sleeping like a small cake. Sometimes they cried loudly and other times they giggled.
Lin Qingyan would do the same but most of the time, he quietly stared at everything around him. There was a bright light shining in his clear eyes.
“He seems to be studying the world.”
Father Lin took off his glasses, crouched down by the edge of the bed and looked at his son for a long time until Lin Qingyan suddenly turned over and turned his back to his father. This caused Father Lin to exclaim in surprise.
“Did I disturb his thinking?”
Mother Lin dragged her husband back in a dumbfounded manner. “He is so young. How can he be thinking? It is because you were too close to him. You have such a big head and face that you scared him.”
“If he was scared then he would cry.” Father Lin, who did scientific research, was very rigorous. “We made eye contact just now and he was carefully observing my face. He should be tired of seeing me and felt bored, so he turned around.
Regarding her husband’s strange conjecture, Mother Lin smiled helplessly. “O-Okay.”
As a result, when Mother Lin played the children’s enlightenment cartoon that all children liked for Lin Qingyan, he didn’t smile at the colorful patterns on the screen or dance with the small animals in the cartoon.
At first, he just watched calmly. Then after a few episodes, it started to loop the first episode automatically and actually yawned.
Mother Lin felt incredible. “Does he remember the episode he watched?”
“Definitely.” Father Lin insisted. “He likes to study new things.”
As the days went by, Lin Qingyan’s special features became more and more obvious.
He spoke very early and when adults taught him how to read and write, he learned very quickly. He was extremely sensitive to various numbers that could be seen everywhere in his life and had an excellent memory. Everyone who met him would praise him from the bottom of their hearts for being really smart.
Everyone said that this was a genius child and would perhaps be a big scientist in the future.
Father Lin and Mother Lin didn’t care much about the second half of the sentence. They were more concerned about whether their son’s outstanding intelligence level would come at the cost of other functional defects, which were the symptom of a disease such as Asperger’s syndrome.
Fortunately, after an examination, the doctor said that everything was normal.
When he grew up, Lin Qingyan didn’t behave differently when dealing with people and didn’t show the symptoms of isolation that his parents were most worried about. His self-care ability and sports ability were also excellent.
It was just that he was much quieter and more introverted than the generally noisy children of the same age. It wasn’t out of shyness or introversion. To be precise, it was a calmness that rarely appeared in children.
He watched the world around him with mature and sharp eyes. This made the adults who always teased him with toys seem childish.
Father Lin had a special camera to record the child’s growth. Every year on Lin Qingyan’s birthday, he would take a group photo of the three of them. This would be a precious memory when he grew up.
The birthday photos in the early years still had fancy scenes. After Lin Qingyan’s language expression ability became more complete, the couple didn’t do it.
“Qingyan, do you think this is silly?”
On his fourth birthday, Mother Lin looked at the table full of house toys.
Father Lin and Lin Qingyan comforted her at almost the same time. “It isn’t stupid.”
Mother Lin remembered her husband’s foresight and unwillingly shook the newly bought car model at him. “Is this also boring?”
“A bit.” Lin Qingyan, who often sat in the workplace and watched his father fiddle with precision instruments, found it difficult to arouse curiosity about this type of children’s toy. “It is too simple.”
On his fifth birthday, Father Lin proposed that Lin Qingyan chose some of his recent favorite things and put them in the set of the photo as a souvenir.
Then Lin Qingyan walked around the house and didn’t find anything he thought was worth choosing.
He was intelligent and curious about all types of new things, but he rarely got steady and lasting pleasure from it.
It was because they were all so ordinary. After staring at it for a while, the novelty faded and it wasn’t enough to make it an obsessive interest.
If he had to choose, he liked the black camera that was the same age as him in his father’s hand the most.
Father Lin saw the direction of his gaze and didn’t react for a while. “You want to hold this? Then how will we take a photo?”
Mother Lin said, “The pixels are too low if we take it with a mobile phone. How about I go to the neighbor’s house to borrow a camera?”
Lin Qingyan said, “We can take the photo in the mirror. This composition has more of a sense of story. I have seen it in the photo book.”
Father Lin and Mother Lin looked at each other and both saw strong surprise in the other’s eyes.
Lin Qingyan, a little adult, stood in the center of his parents with a calm expression. Mother Lin on the left was sitting cross-legged on the ground and holding her cheeks. She was seemingly thinking about how she wasn’t as smart as her son. On the right, Father Lin held a camera and took this photo with a sense of story while facing the floor-standing mirror.
The couple started to worry about a problem.
Could it be that Lin Qingyan, who was so smart at such a young age, wasn’t happy enough?
They hoped that their son would be a happy, courageous person who chased the things he liked. He didn’t need to be rich and prominent, as long as he felt happy.
They didn’t expect him to be so smart that he couldn’t raise any interest in the ordinary things around him or his naive classmates in kindergarten. His appearance was always indifferent.
They were afraid he wouldn’t be happy enough.
The precocious Lin Qingyan understood the worries of his parents and took the initiative to comfort them, saying that he was very happy.
He also really felt that he should be happy.
He had a warm family and a good pair of parents who supported him in developing all his interests. There were no shortcomings in life and it could be called complete.
The only problem was that the world wasn’t that attractive.
This was until one day, he heard a faint cry.
One weekend morning, the family got up early to go to the newly opened amusement park on the outskirts of the city.
They came out of the community, walked through a secluded street and went to the bus station to wait for the bus. It was because Lin Qingyan liked to take the bus that went all the way.
It was still early and there weren’t many pedestrians on the street. The street was quiet. The couple carrying bags were discussing what rides to play later while Lin Qingyan occasionally talked.
In a gap between chats, a hint of doubt appeared in his expression.
The child was short with low vision and hearing. Even so, Lin Qingyan heard the strange sound first.
It was a bit like a cat meowing. It floated in the breeze and happened intermittently.
Father Lin noticed his expression and heard it. Then he looked to the left and right. “Is there a stray cat?”
“It isn’t quite like a cat.” Mother Lin frowned and pondered on it. “It is like a child’s cry.”
Lin Qingyan was a bit curious. He listened quietly with bated breath, looking for the source of the sound.
The faint voice, like a candle flame flickering in the wind, grew closer and closer to him as he searched.
In the gap between the wall and the stone statue, a small piece of swaddling cloth was exposed, blocked by the reflection of the stone lion statue and the tree. It wasn’t very conspicuous and was easy to ignore.
But Lin Qingyan saw it.
He approached the small shadow. Behind him, Father Lin and Mother Lin glanced at the door sign hanging by the wall. Suddenly, they realized something and their faces were shocked.
Inside the thick swaddling was a crying baby.
Next to it was an orphanage.
The clever Lin Qingyan immediately understood the logical relationship behind this. This was an abandoned baby who was left at the door of the orphanage.
Before he had time to continue thinking, he heard the crying become smaller and smaller.
Lin Qingyan was rarely a bit flustered. He approached quickly and crouched down in a hurry, wanting to see what happened to this baby.
The little baby’s face was flushed from crying. The corners of his eyes were wet with tears, as if he was tired from crying. He gasped tiredly and struggled to open his eyes.
What came into view was a little boy who stopped beside him, handsome face full of bewilderment.
They both stared blankly at each other, as if the pause button had been pressed on time.
A few seconds later, the baby blinked and smiled like him, like every happy child nestled in the arms of his parents. He showed an innocent and bright smile to the world.
At this smile, the world in Lin Qingyan’s eyes flowed again and noisy voices gradually sounded around him.
His mother hurried to his side and looked worriedly at the abandoned baby. His father knocked on the closed door of the orphanage and also called the police.
The morning ended in chaos. After two hours, they boarded the bus to the suburbs.
The police made a record. The abandoned baby was first sent to the hospital for an examination, so as to not delay treatment. It was because many abandoned babies were born with serious diseases. If there were no big problems, he would be temporarily raised by the orphanage until his parents were found.
On this day, in the amusement park filled with children’s laughter, the two couples nervously observed their son’s reaction.
If it was an ordinary child, he would surely be asking in a confused manner about why there was a small baby lying there.
Lin Qingyan wouldn’t ask. He knew this knowledge and knew what an abandoned baby was.
They were worried about how their son would be affected and tried to coax him to play at the amusement park, afraid that he wouldn’t be happy.
Lin Qingyan actually looked the same as usual. Most of the time, he was very calm. He occasionally smiled and he didn’t resist the rides his parents chose.
It was just that when he saw the many smiling children moving around, he would enter a momentary trance as he thought of the early morning when the sky was light blue.
The young Lin Qingyan couldn’t forget that moment.
A child lying alone in a corner should cry. Crying was a common choice.
But the strange little baby smiled at him.
This was something that the clever Lin Qingyan couldn’t solve with the existing knowledge in his mind.
It was a riddle-like smile.
He played and thought about it for a day. After leaving this world full of laughter, he finally couldn’t help asking his parents. “Why was he there?”
Father Lin and Mother Lin were surprised that he would ask this question.
What surprised them even more was the next sentence.
Lin Qingyan turned to look out the car window where the scenery was passing by. His tone was full of confusion. “How could his parents be willing?”
He smiled so brightly and cutely.
The couple was stunned before sighing. “Yes, how could they be willing…?”
The next weekend, Lin Qingyan and his parents came to the orphanage again. This time, it was a special trip.
The dean specially came to thank them and also briefly introduced the situation of the abandoned baby.
After the examination, it was found that he didn’t have common congenital diseases and was in good health. The progress of the investigation of the abandoned baby through surveillance wasn’t satisfactory. If nothing else happened, the baby would remain in the orphanage until he was adopted.
The adults were talking while Lin Qingyan stared at the scenery not far away in a daze.
There was a big tree in the orphanage that was full of purple flowers. The aunt in the yard held the abandoned baby in one hand and carefully held a bottle in the other.
The aunt beckoned to Lin Qingyan and softly instructed the baby who didn’t yet have a name. “Look, this is the brother who found you. When you grow up, you have to say thank you.”
Of course, the little baby didn’t understand what she was saying. The aunt removed the bottle and he was a bit dissatisfied. He wrinkled his face but without the cover of the bottle, he saw Lin Qingyan standing in front of him. The baby soon smiled and his eyes curved.
The aunt couldn’t help saying, “He likes you very much.”
In the large expanse of bright and soft purple clouds, Lin Qingyan saw the baby reaching out hands toward him, as if asking for an affectionate hug.
Lin Qingyan instinctively stretched out his hand in response. Through the air, he found that the other person’s hand was so small that it could be completely wrapped in his palm.
The aunt asked, “Do you want to hug him?”
Lin Qingyan was about to nod before he flinched a bit. “I’m afraid I won’t hold him well.”
The skinny baby looked like a fragile ceramic doll.
“Don’t be afraid. I’ll be right next to you to protect him. You don’t need to exert too much effort.” The aunt smiled and touched the face of the baby in her arms. “Do you want your brother to hug you?”
He babbled and smiled at his brother, as if he wanted it.
This word suddenly entered Lin Qingyan’s heart clearly.
The dusk of spring was a brilliant purple.
Mother Lin on the side saw this scene and her son’s particularly vivid expression. Then she gently touched her husband.
At the end of the day, Lin Qingyan didn’t hold the baby.
But after returning home, the three of them had a very serious family meeting together.
Father Lin and Mother Lin asked for their son’s thoughts and listed all the pros and cons of this matter to him. Then they asked his opinion again.
Lin Qingyan’s answer was always the same.