March in Paris: the trees in the school’s courtyard have bloomed in the mild weather, tumbles of white and pink flowers hanging just out of reach.

The boarders sit in small clutches under the arcades of building B, their notebooks open on their knees–making their last, frantic revisions before the competitive exams.

“Three weeks left,” Richard says, tapping his pen against a mathematical formula.

“Yeah,” Erwan says. He’s staring at the other students–all shining, all gorged with light: the light of numbers and curves, the endless dance of the formulas that rule the world. And, as it always does, his gaze fastens on Mélanie.

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