'Evie hurry your ass up otherwise you'll miss the bus!'
'Shit, I'm coming!' I shouted down to Taliah.
I shoved my phone in my back pocket and grabbed my bag knocking over a pile of books off my desk in the process. They clattered into a mess on the floor but they'd have to wait until later to be tidied up.
I raced down the stairs, almost bumping into Lindsay in the process.
'Slow down roadrunner.' She laughed. 'Here, a letter came in the mail for you.'
I took the letter out of her hand and shoved it in my bag without a second glance.
'Wait! If you're not going to have breakfast at least take this with you to eat in the car.'
I caught the breakfast bar Lindsay threw at me and laughed.
'What would I do without you?'
'I'm thinking more about the unlucky person that's going to be sat next to Miss cranky on the coach because she hasn't been fed.'
'Oh ha ha! I'm not that bad!'
'Yeah! If you say so hunny.' She opened the front door for me and waved to Taliah who was already in her car. 'Have fun at the theme park!'
'Thanks!' I shouted before racing down to Taliah's car.
'You took your time.' She huffed as I shut the passenger door behind me. 'I was about to leave without you.'
'You're just pissy because you have to stay at school whilst I'm on my special "favourite student" school trip.'
'It's so unfair!' She moaned. 'It's almost the end of school so it's not like we've got loads of work to do. Why can't they make an exception and let me go too?'
'Because you're not "gifted and talented".' I flicked my hair and gave her a smug look to rub it in.
'Such bullshit.' Putting the car in reverse she pulled out of the drive.
10 minutes later we'd parked in the school car park and were walking up to the bus where a few teachers and kids were already waiting.
'Hey Evie, do you think they'll notice if we stow away on the bus?' Xavier asked when Taliah and I reached him and the rest of our group. Along with me, Paige, Tom and Harrison were the only ones in our immediate friendship group that had been awarded a gifted and talented, meaning everyone else had to stay behind at school. It was safe to say that like Taliah they were all a little salty about being left behind.
'Are you kidding? Mr Bennet will sniff you out straight away. He's like a bloodhound.'
'She has a point.' Jennifer agreed.
'Ok well what about if we ditched school and met you there?' Lucas tried.
'I think I'd be a little concerned if the teachers here didn't notice you all missing or if the teachers on the trip didn't realise you'd all joined.'
Xavier stomped his foot and whined like a child.
'Damn, it's so unfair.'
'How about we all go together this weekend? Make it like an end of year thing?' Zara suggested. Thank god she did because I had a feeling her boyfriend was on the verge of a full blown tantrum. This made his eyes light up.
'Yeah let's do it. Are you guys in?' Xavier asked.
All of us agreed collectively.
'Ok everyone, time to get on the bus.' One of the teachers shouted.
I said goodbye to my friends and found Paige in line to get on the bus.
'Sit next to me?' I asked, linking my arm through hers.
'Are you not sitting next to Harrison?'
I rolled my eyes.
'No, his boyfriend called dibs before I could.'
'Who else?' I replied making both of us giggle.
I took the window seat with Paige next to me and Harrison and Tom in front of us. We spent most of the journey joking around but when the hunger started to set in and I was looking for the breakfast bar Lindsay had given me I realised I had that mysterious letter in my bag that I hadn't read. With the boys and Paige entertained by the guys sat in the seats on the other side of the isle, I decided now was probably a good time to read it. I pulled the letter out of my bag and ripped open the top, pausing slightly when I saw the Goodwin University logo on the top of the letter.
It's been almost two months since I had the final interview for the scholarship and after what I'd said that day I was surprised to receive a letter from them.
After my moment of hesitation I pulled the letter out and started reading.
Dear Miss Townsend,
On behalf of the Goodwin Art Scholarship, we'd like to thank you for your hard work and determination throughout the last couple of months. Out of the thousands across the world that applied, you were one of the top entries that we considered for the scholarship, which is a tremendous achievement that you should be proud of given the talent each and every person displayed.
As I'm sure this will come to no surprise to you but the Goodwin scholarship has been awarded to someone else.
I feel like I must tell you that we were incredibly impressed with you honesty and integrity during the interview process. It takes a brave person to admit that they may have made a mistake and that right now something isn't right for them. We however couldn't ignore the talent that we saw and the potential you displayed. With the art pieces that we saw, the inspiration behind your work and the gleaming recommendation from Ander, we feel that you would be a great asset to our university and would thrive in that environment.
With all things considered the governing board have decided that we would like to make an unconditional offer to study Fine Art at the Goodwin University in London. We hope to see you again in September 2022.
Fine art lecturer
I felt like I was dreaming. This couldn't possibly be real could it? They weren't really offering me a university place we're they? But then I saw the official letter behind Rebecca's with the full details of the offer.
Unlike the scholarship this was a place that I would need to pay for but that's what made me feel comfortable. It was no secret that my family had been well off and I hadn't felt right potentially taking a scholarship away from someone like Madison who truly deserved a break. That and not being ready to leave here we're the two main reasons for me pulling out of the completion. That didn't mean that studying art wasn't my dream though.
I was about to put fold the letter away when I noticed a handwritten note on the back of the offer letter.
You have great talent Evie, don't waste it!
After the day of the interview I wasn't sure if I'd see Rebecca again before she flew back to London. However it was Wednesday the week after when I'd just finished a class at Ander's studio when I saw her from a distance. When we caught eye contact I waved and smiled which she returned with a knowing nod. I wondered if she already knew then, if that was when she got the recommendation from Ander.
'Whatcha got there pretty girl?' Harrison had turned around in his seat and was leaning on the back of the chair. His hair flopped in front of his eyes but before he could move it out the way I reach a hand up and pushed it back.
My face was probably a picture because of the beaming smile on my face but I was just so overwhelmed with happiness. It finally felt like everything had fallen into place.
I thread my hands through his and smiled up at his amused face.
'Remind me of your thoughts on both of us going to university in London again.'