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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!

ideaspazz said...
Nov. 14, 2010 at 2:18 pm:
WOW!  That was amazing!  I'm so glad I read it...I really like her thoughts when she was spelling the weird name...That was creative, as was the fantastic ending!  NEVER, EVER, stop writing!
 
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The_Squirrel said...
Nov. 10, 2010 at 11:27 pm:
The ending was perfect. Magnificient. Iloved this story almost as much I loved the ending. It tied it together perfectly.
 
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TessaOhhh said...
Oct. 29, 2010 at 8:06 am:
OH MY GOSH. THIS IS SO AMAZING.
 
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AniMangaFan said...
Oct. 25, 2010 at 2:32 pm:
That was so adorable! I like how you slipped in the appearances instead of describing them right at the beginning.
 
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lena.ivette said...
Oct. 14, 2010 at 9:40 pm:
this was so very, very cute :) i love it, love it, love it!
 
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amaranth178 said...
Oct. 11, 2010 at 5:18 pm:
I liiiiked iiiit :) I think that the part about Kruschev was particularly interesting/unique/genius Good job! :)
 
amaranth178 replied...
Oct. 11, 2010 at 5:19 pm :
Hold on...I just mispelled that, didn't I? hahaha Kruschchev ^_^
 
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Maxwell said...
Aug. 27, 2010 at 7:15 am:
Oh terriblely good! I loved it. Loved Loved Loved it! The best part was the "I love me too". I was thinking "wow. thats cold" and then I got to the end. Hahaha great!
 
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LastChapter said...
Jul. 10, 2010 at 3:32 pm:
i lovelovelovelove the twist you put @ the end! delish! keep it up gurl!
 
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Lanier42 said...
Jul. 8, 2010 at 8:18 am:
awwwwwwww. great job :)
 
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leneypanini said...
Jul. 7, 2010 at 9:39 pm:

AWWWW:) its sooo cute! i love it!

 

can u R&R some of my word plz ! :)

 
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choirchic101 said...
Jun. 15, 2010 at 7:29 pm:
that was a cute story
 
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CLC93 said...
Jun. 15, 2010 at 3:10 pm:
I loved this! Great story! :D
 
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HopelessSharpie said...
Jun. 15, 2010 at 2:22 pm:
this was really good, but just wanted to add a thumbs up to the people out there othe rthan me that actually read the picture of dorian gray. i know thats not the title but my head is clear of it right now so yeah, awesome story.
 
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gymbabe This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jun. 15, 2010 at 7:12 am:

Wow this story was so amazing!  I absolutely LOVED it, especially with the spelling:)Great job!  PLEASE keep writing!

Btw, anyone who sees this, will you check out my work and comment on it?

 
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protagonist This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
May 30, 2010 at 1:26 pm:
Thanks, that was an incredible review.  I think you just made my day, too.
 
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~yo~y'all~ said...
May 30, 2010 at 7:50 am:
OMG i loved the ending it was sooo cute!!! I loved how they were like: Boy: 'I love you.' Girl: 'I love me too. In fact, I love me almost as much as I love you.' I totally laughed at that! it's so cute and sweet and not corny at all! (i'm making a lot of grammatical errors but then fixing them because of my excitement) I loved how she hated him but loved him!!! this was prolly the best romance article i've read! u kno what, it is one of the best that i've read (i have no number 1,2, or 3 cuz i j... (more »)
 
protagonist This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
May 30, 2010 at 1:28 pm :
I guess I mean that as a reply, but your review really did make my day. :-)
 
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xericaclairex said...
May 26, 2010 at 6:24 pm:
really adorable and I liked the ending(:
 
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DayofRain50 said...
May 25, 2010 at 7:05 pm:
I loved it. The ending was great, but I really loved the spelling part of it. I thought it was realistic.
 
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