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The Big Three This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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“What event triggered the Cuban missile crisis?”

My study buddy looked from his paper to me with those eyes – the eyes of Dorian Gray. “I guess Princeton Review doesn't see the irony of putting ‘trigger' and ‘missile crisis' in the same question,” he added.

I answered with a coquettish laugh and, of course, the correct answer: the Bay of Pigs invasion. I knew the answers to all these questions. It's not like I suggested the idea of a study session because I had difficulty remembering the events of the Kennedy administration.

“Who was the Soviet premier during the Cuban missile crisis?” His voice had a curious, musical ring to it like some character in a black and white movie you could never quite place.

“Khrushchev.” You would want to hear more of that voice … like the first ten seconds of a JFK speech, before the whole nasal rasp becomes too much.

“Spell Khrushchev.” Ha! My little Cape Cod golden boy was challenging me.

“The AP exam doesn't take off for spelling.” I looked him straight in the eyes – eyes that happened to be mere inches from mine. Thank you, Aphrodite, for making small tables at coffee houses everywhere.

“I want to see if you know it.”

I stared into the tangoing twirls of blue and silver in his eyes. They should have been strands of cotton candy, but something told me they were the current of an eddy waiting to pull me in. Once you're gone, you're gone.

“K.” But the whites of his eyes were crossed with little red veins.

“H.” Did he have trouble sleeping last night?

“R.” Or was he with her last night?

“U.” No, they broke up. He's single now, but blond boy's out of my league.

“S.” It's a challenge. Does that mean I should go for it?

“C.” I wouldn't know how.

“H.” Won't he just disappear from my life when the semester ends?

“E.” Not if I play this right.

“V.” What the hell, you only live once.

He stared at me for a moment, and I couldn't breathe but didn't care to; who needs oxygen when you have so much adrenalin in your veins there's barely room for blood?

“So close,” he said in a low voice. His voice is even better than his eyes. For a moment I wondered if he would lean in and kiss me. “But you forgot an H.”

Figures I would do something to ruin it. No kiss for me. I guess spelling the names of Soviet premiers isn't something guys consider a turn-on.

“This one's easy,” he said.

Something easy? It must not be kissing me.

“Name the Big Three.”

The Big Three … somehow my mind was clear on this one. It wasn't that the answer was clear, but my mind was clear like the kind of stream some obnoxiously perfect lyrical unicorn would drink from. For a mini-eternity I didn't think about the mounds of work I still had to do, the fact I was manipulating him to spend time with me, or those damn eyes. I thought of nothing … peace. The only three words that came to my head were “I love you.”

“Don't you know the Big Three?”

There were those eyes again. Stalin must have had captivating eyes, but in a different way. In these eyes there was concern … but only concern that I didn't know the answer. In them I saw his dreams, his amazement, his past loves, his cats … but was there anything for me?

“The Big Three are Stalin, Roosevelt, and Churchill.” With each name I couldn't help but feel my words betrayed them all. But it was the correct answer, and logically the only answer. Still, I couldn't look in his eyes.

“Are you sure?” My God, he was teasing me! Of all the questions he decided to make me second guess myself on, he had to pick this one.

Bastard. Blond handsome bastard. He was also playing me.

“Well, what other Big Three is there?” I asked in my most seductive voice. Those years of theater had to pay off sometime. I twirled a bit of curly hair around my finger. He loved my curly hair, so unlike his.

His eyes were staring into mine and I stared right back. Was I FDR and he Stalin, or the other way around? There was a flicker of something in those cotton-candy eyes and I knew he wasn't Stalin.

“I love you.” The words that slipped from his lips were barely audible.

“I love me too.” I bet no one had ever said that to a Kennedy before. But I hadn't won yet. “In fact, I love me almost as much as I love you.”

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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This article has 147 comments. Post your own!

TheEarlofZerces said...
Nov. 4, 2011 at 10:50 pm:
Hehehehehe, very good. I really lked the occasional quark in your narrator's mind, which is perfect for a 1st-Person narrative because real peoples' minds also have those quarks going on in them. Also, I didn't know either of the characters' names or anything, but you managed to make me care about them in such a short amount of time. I was chuckling all the way through.
 
Book_addict replied...
Dec. 8, 2011 at 10:06 pm :
It almost seems, though, that the word you're looking for is "quirk".
 
The_Earl_of_Zerces replied...
Dec. 9, 2011 at 6:47 am :
Yes, I'm using the word "quark" improperly, but that's purely intentional, actually. Think of it as my own little "quark". :)
 
Vacilator replied...
Dec. 9, 2011 at 11:13 am :
Ha!  I like that. =)
 
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JuneTaz said...
Nov. 3, 2011 at 4:03 pm:
Very new idea. Although honestly, very confusing as well. But that's what makes a story good- when you'rer unable to decide how a character feels about someone else. I like!
 
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Katelan said...
Nov. 3, 2011 at 2:01 pm:
Wow. Loved it :)
 
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juliaec15 said...
Nov. 3, 2011 at 10:47 am:
I loved it! It was very cute and a great read. I also loved the little witty things in there that relate to history :)
 
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canuhearme23 said...
Nov. 1, 2011 at 12:57 pm:
"Bastard. Blonde handsome bastard" That was my favorite part
 
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asoulch said...
Oct. 12, 2011 at 7:56 pm:
 I loved this article! I took ap european history last year, so I could really appreaciate all the  history references. I also loved the big three.  The romance part of it also had my heart beating.  Keep on writing!
 
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star2brite This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Oct. 12, 2011 at 4:06 pm:
Great play on words and use of history, extremely clever! I smiled the entire time I was reading it. :)
 
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Bookworm1998 said...
Oct. 10, 2011 at 6:23 pm:
amazing! the big three part was really clever!
 
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ThePeaceDaisy said...
Oct. 7, 2011 at 2:05 pm:
I felt like i was the girl! I love the "Big Three part!" SO cute!!
 
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atimm2013 said...
Sept. 30, 2011 at 12:05 am:
i love this!  you're style is great! It kept me wanting to read more
 
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Chazz said...
Sept. 20, 2011 at 7:20 pm:
AH! That was amazing!!!! It was so captivating :P i loved the story, wish it continued :D 
 
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anim3gurl said...
Sept. 20, 2011 at 9:45 am:
Wow that was amazing i almost felt kind of stalkerish  like i was sitting there in the cafe watching them talk to each other ... hahaahhahahahha... I wish that this had more to it, it was so great
 
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Mackie said...
Aug. 29, 2011 at 7:03 pm:
aw ! thts super cute ! be sure to check out some of my work :) i love comments !
 
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i like pie said...
Aug. 29, 2011 at 12:44 pm:
are you hinting at greek mythology? What with the piece about aphraditie and the big three (could be zues, posidion, and hades). I feel like this should be a whole book, not just short page. 
 
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LazyDaisyTheWriter said...
Aug. 29, 2011 at 6:02 am:
i loved it! it's interesting partly because it has to do with studying, and crushes and that's like the DREAM school life. great job! please add more!
 
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NKsunshine said...
Aug. 7, 2011 at 5:25 pm:

Sooooo cute....

I love how the girl has the upper hand:)

 
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star-gazing-dreamer said...
Aug. 7, 2011 at 12:56 am:
i liked that you kept his eyes the focal point of the story. It made it  really interesting. :) i liked it alot
 
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LovelyBlueRose said...
Jul. 23, 2011 at 11:00 am:
That was awesome! The last line made me laugh!
 
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