Title: ONE TWO THREE
Genre: YA contemporary romance
Word Count: 69,000
Falling in love scares the crap out of seventeen-year-old former ballerina Natalya Pushkaya—even more so when she meets sexy soccer player Antonio Quinceño. After losing her Papa to suicide, her Mama to vodka and her ballet dream to an injury, she doesn´t even want to think about getting close to someone.
But her deadly glares don´t work on broad-shouldered and charming Antonio. As if seeing him at school wasn´t enough, they also end up working in the same Tex-Mex restaurant. Even though he infuriates her at every turn by challenging her to grieve, she can´t ignore the mutant butterflies learning how to do pas chassé in her stomach whenever he´s around.
Once Natalya discovers the possible reason behind her Papa´s suicide, she must turn to Antonio for support, instead of drinking her problems away. If she can't, she might not only lose him, she might destroy herself…
Chopin´s music is the soundtrack of my life. Papa taught me how to play his most heart-wrenching Waltzes, Mama used his Nocturnes as a lullaby when I was little, and my legs itched to form an arabesque whenever I heard his Polonaises Op. 40. Chopin used to be my escape, a way to dream about the future, about everything I wanted—from finally falling in love to dancing the main part of Cinderella one day at the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow.
But that was before.
As Mama drives me to school, the notes from his Prelude Opus 28—also called “Suffocation”—don´t bring a smile to my face. They oppress me. No matter how deep I try to inhale, I don´t get enough air into my lungs.
Mama turns the music down and exhales loudly. “We can´t go through the same thing every single morning, Natalya.” Her don’t-mess-with-me tone doesn’t scare me. What is she going to do? Ignore me even more? I’ve learned how to keep everyone at least a rond de jambe away partly thanks to her, aka The Master of Not Letting Anyone Close. Not even her daughter.
“Are you listening to me?” Mama snaps. The morning sun sends shimmers through her blond hair but no amount of concealer could hide her bags. I’m not sure she’s slept a full night since we heard the news about Papa.
Eight months, three weeks, and two days ago.
“I don’t want to see you practice again.” She sounds tired.