by Not Maria
Four candidates for a scholarship have to answer a question: What is the meaning of life?
One boy and three girls sat opposite the front of the room. In the front stood a man. He was good-looking, but not extraordinarily so. He had light brown hair and hazel eyes. He was fairly tall, at least six feet. He had a graying five o'clock shadow and slight wrinkles at the corners of his eyes.
"You have all submitted applications to get a full-tuition scholarship to our excellent school. We have narrowed the 500 applicants down to you four. We can only give two students the scholarship." The man said, gazing at his small audience. "Our school is very big on philosophy." He paused. "Your final test is to write an essay that answers the most debated philosophical question in the world: What is the meaning of life?"
A girl in the back of the room raised her hand. She had intense dark brown eyes, intelligent but gentle. Her round face was framed by layered dark brown hair that fell just past her shoulders.
"How long does the essay have to be?"
"The essay must be at least one thousand words in length."
“You may think that, but the quality of your response is what we will focus on, not the number of pages it takes you to explain it.”
"The project is due on August 1st. That gives you four and a half months, roughly."
The dark-haired girl raised her hand again. "Does the scholarship apply to online courses?"
The man chuckled. "You must be Marigold."
She blushed and looked down at her feet. One of the other girls came to stand by her.
"I was actually wondering the same thing."
He raised an eyebrow. "And I'm guessing you're Elodie."
She nodded. She was a classic beauty, with long blonde hair and soft brown eyes.
"It does not apply to online classes, unfortunately. You can go."
They exited the room.
"Thanks. For, you know." Marigold said.
Elodie smiled. "Yeah, people like that are kind of..."
"Egotistical, stuck-up, full of themselves?" The guy suggested.
He had dark hair, almost black, and startling blue eyes. He wore black skinny jeans, a red vintage band t-shirt, and a leather jacket.
Elodie rolled her eyes. "Severe."
The boy stuck out his hand. "I'm Parker. You are?"
She looked disdainfully at his hand. "Elodie."
The last girl laughed, then turned on her heel and strutted towards a blue sports car. She had long copper hair and dark eyes. She was tall, and her six inch heels made her tower over even Parker.
She hopped into the car and drove off.
"What's her problem?" Parker asked
Marigold shrugged. "You don't recognize her?"
"Am I supposed to?"
"That was Taylor Pasen. She is the daughter of Mr. Samuel Pasen, the wealthiest man in America."
A vintage black Volkswagen Beetle slowed to a stop in front of the group. A man with messy blonde hair and brown eyes got out.
"England, what are you doing?" He asked.
"Checking out the competition, Hale. Ever heard of it?" Parker grinned.
Hale's gaze scanned the small crowd, before looking Elodie up and down several times. "I can see why."
Elodie narrowed her eyes, and made a disgusted sound.
"Dang. Smart, gorgeous, and feisty."
Parker dragged Hale back to the car. "Sorry, his mom's too drunk to teach him manners."
Hale smirked. "At least she's not the devil, like yours."
Parker glanced at him. "Yeah, well, at least I didn't inherit my mother's problems."
For a few moments, Hale was confused, until he finally got it.
"Hey!" He punched Parker lightly in the arm.
As they drove away, Elodie and Marigold exchanged numbers.