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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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protagonistcousin said...
Feb. 14, 2010 at 12:16 pm
great story cuz, i loved it... and i bet you cant guess which cousin i am
storyofmylife said...
Feb. 10, 2010 at 6:18 pm
tres bonne. tres tres jolie!!! very good. very very pretty. i absolutely loved it. the Big Three really got me. that was my favorite ending ever. keep it up.
beautiful*downfall said...
Feb. 7, 2010 at 12:20 pm
Ha! I love the ending!!! :) That was very witty!
writergirl22 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Feb. 6, 2010 at 11:31 pm
I really liked this story
it was just the right amount of romance without being cliched!
DallysGrrl said...
Feb. 6, 2010 at 4:33 pm
Very good! Very relateable. Please, keep writing.
jmason8 said...
Feb. 3, 2010 at 4:23 pm
Truely brilliant. I'm jealous of your style of writing! You were able to write this romance without too much goo and cliches. It had a laid back tone but it still made my eyes widen! I loved how you chose to make the main character say something after every letter she said in Khrushchev. Great piece :D
beatles<3 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jan. 23, 2010 at 6:27 pm
omg this was really cute, i love this! <3 " Bastard . Blond handsome bastard ." Haha my favorite line. This was really well written and I thought it was sooo adorable! (:
little-miss-sunshine said...
Jan. 22, 2010 at 2:14 pm
Great story. I love the writing style
Rachel_Beth said...
Jan. 19, 2010 at 2:10 pm
hehe *giggles*...i really really enjoyed this! great job!
wordsneverfail said...
Jan. 16, 2010 at 11:02 am
i absolutely adored this (: your writing is amazing.
Rebecca24 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jan. 11, 2010 at 7:11 pm
This was SPECTACULAR. Your writing is so clever - I love the way you intertwine "I love you" with a history lesson. I absolutely love the way you word things: "Thank you, Aphrodite, for making small tables at coffee houses everywhere" and " Bastard . Blond handsome bastard " - just brilliant. You have an incredible amount of talent! This is destined to become one of those Teen Ink classics. It's definitely going on my list of favourites. Keep it up! I can&... (more »)
Kate15 said...
Jan. 10, 2010 at 12:14 pm
This was really good and very well-written. I especilly loved the line- "Who needs oxygen when you have so much adrenaline in your veins there's barely room for blood?" That was a very unique description. It really jumped off the page!
oliviarose said...
Jan. 9, 2010 at 5:24 pm
Great story! Absolutely loved it! No criticisms here either.
LeahRae<3 said...
Jan. 9, 2010 at 2:45 pm
Ohhh that was amazing! I absoluetly loved that story. I'm sorry, but I have no critisism at all for this it's just too GREAT!
Anj16 said...
Jan. 8, 2010 at 11:51 am
“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 is a really unique response. good thing you strayed away from the typical "I love you too" response. thumbs up for this story
protagonist This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jan. 7, 2010 at 6:39 pm
Thanks everyone for the positive feedback. It's really been making my day and has certainly encouraged me to write more!
fat albert replied...
Mar. 4, 2010 at 6:09 pm
:) you dont likeit that we mess with you?
AmnyR said...
Jan. 6, 2010 at 6:50 pm
ha ha this is toooooo cute! love it!
SilverMoon said...
Jan. 6, 2010 at 4:58 pm
This was adorable, and i love how you make all these comparisons thought out the studying! It's great!(= Awesome Job!
jatz318 said...
Jan. 5, 2010 at 7:53 am
This was so sweet!! Loved it.
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