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Some Great Reward
By Elise Miller

The door opens, and he looks at me, right in my eyes. What does this mean? Am I supposed to follow? Then he lifts his pointer finger and motions for me to join him. I walk toward the rolling finger as if attached by a silver cord. My body and mind separate and I know without a doubt that this is it. I am going to have sex with David Gahan.

When I glance down I am startled to see my blouse vibrating, because my heart is beating so wildly. I pray he doesn't see. I follow him into the room, a duplicate of the last, and there's just the two of us. Alone. Together.

He picks up a magazine from one the beds and starts flipping through it.

"Do you know this magazine?" He asks. It's Smash Hits, an English magazine about new wave bands.

"Yeah!" I say, enthusiastically. "I read it all the time, they have an American version too you know, Star Hits, but Smash Hits is ten times better." I can't believe we have so much in common.

He finds the page he's looking for and points to a picture. It's a photo of the band.

"Wow, that's great," I say, wondering why he needs to show me a picture of his band. I'm seeing them in the flesh now. Plus, I see them in magazines all the time. David seems proud of himself, but humble, like the picture shows he's finally made it to the big time. Doesn't he realize he's already famous?

We're standing at the foot of the bed, looking down at the picture in Smash Hits and then he tosses it onto the other bed and we're looking at each other. He leans down and kisses me, and while he does this he turns me by my elbows so that when he leans back to lie down on the bed I am on top of him. We kiss like that, writhing around in our clothes, me on top, but not for long.

He sits up, takes his shirt off and then goes for my buttons. I let him do everything, because I am no longer of this world. There's a film, a fog, surrounding me like a second skin, but electric. Everything hums.

While he takes off his own clothes, I pull the rhinestone rings off my fingers and put them in a sparkly clump on the nightstand. I don't want anything to come between his flesh and my fingers. I don't want him to feel the scratchy wire on his body, to know that they're not real.

Then he's in his underwear which are tiny, with red and white stripes. His skin is silvery white like his hair. He has a tattoo of an eagle on his forearm with a banner underneath that says, "Dave." Is that so he doesn't forget? I never would. I reach out and touch his chest, willing the reality of his body hovering above mine into my fingertips, my brain, my heart. I know I will remember his underwear for as long as I live.

We sixty-nine for like twenty seconds and then I give him a blow-job. His dick isn't huge, but it's perfect to me, because it's his. Then, before I know it he's bopping up and down on top of me. He grips the backs of my knees and pushes them into the pillow beside my ears. I hope he's grateful that I'm flexible. He doesn't seem to share my aching desire to mash our bodies together so that we become one smooth silvery-white person, but I'm in no position to complain. In fact, even with my feet in the air, I find myself screaming out, "Oh God, oh God, oh God!" and I can't help it. I am having my first orgasm. The five guys I've already had sex with never even got me to whimper. Now I feel initiated into a secret club. I guess for me, it takes a rock star.

David pulls it out and rubs it on my stomach until he comes, and then disappears into the bathroom. He doesn't kiss me or hold me or brush the side of my face with the back of his fingers, while his eyes fill with tears. He's not following what it says in the song, in Somebody, where it says, "And when I'm asleep, I want somebody, who will put their arms around me, kiss me tenderly." Still, I don't move. I just lie there, waiting, starting to get a little cold. I think about sitting up, getting dressed even, but I don't want to make any gesture to leave. I want to move in. He returns almost a minute later with a wad of toilet paper that he uses to pat me clean. What was he doing in there the whole time? Washing me off? That's not in the song.

He puts his underwear and pants on and then he helps me back on with my clothes. He buttons up my blouse and says, "This is a nice shirt. Did you make it?"

I shake my head, suddenly embarrassed that I didn't make my shirt. Maybe he needs to believe that I am a fashion designer because it will justify his sleeping with me. Maybe he can see right through me, maybe he knows that I am nothing more than a deluded high school sophomore with a massive crush.

"Do you want some money for a cab?" He asks, going through his wallet.

"I'm not a prostitute," I say, incredulous.

"I know, I know that," he says gently. "But you must live far."

"Not that far," I say. "It's okay." I'm tempted to take the money because I do live far. In fact, I don't really know where I am, except that it's near O'Hare, which is practically an hour away from my apartment. If I take the money it will mean I'm a prostitute, but he's waving a ten and some ones. I hold out my shaky hand and smile gratefully, like a virtuous girl.

We sit at the foot of the bed side by side and he says, "You're a very nice girl. We shouldn't have done this." I lean my forehead on his silver-smooth shoulder and say mournfully, "Well, David, I'm glad we did."

I am in love with David Gahan and I wish he would take me with him on the rest of his tour. I want him to quit the band and marry me. I want him to ask me to spend the night, I don't care what my mother would say, but already I am being ushered out the door, my sparkly rings jingling in my jacket pocket after almost forgetting them on the nightstand, no trace of me left in his room except on the sticky toilet paper in the wastepaper basket.

Down the hall I find Karen in a little nook with two chairs and a coffee table. She and Martin Gore are still talking, no sign that she's gone back to his room. She looks up at me and then we're out the door, with Martin hailing a cab for us and in some uncharted corner of my mind I wonder, why isn't David hailing us a cab? Did he notice the wire on my rings?

In the cab she says, "You had sex with him, didn't you?" and I nod and say, "Oh my God, Karen. It was so amazing."

I stare out the window as the cab pulls away from the Holiday Inn, as it hurtles down the expressway, imagining David is running after me.

Every day at school, I doodle "Mrs. Elise Gahan" on all my notebooks. I can barely hear Sister Kearney teach us a lesson about volunteering in soup kitchens to bring us closer to Jesus because the daydreams clogging my mind make me feel like I'm wearing a helmet made of bubble-wrap.

I envision a limousine pulling up outside the school doors and a pale white, smooth English arm reaching out. Then I am inside and we're driving towards the airport, towards England. David kisses me and weeps because he's finally found me, he's been searching, he's even written songs, wait until I hear the next album. And he cups my face in his hands and asks how he could ever have been stupid enough to let me leave his hotel room.

And everybody in school knows, I mean everybody. It's a small school, and besides, I can't keep my mouth shut. Groups of shiny faced girls in white oxfords and penny loafers fester around me in the hallway, clutching their Trapper Keepers, and ask, Oh my Gosh, Elise, what happened? And I tell them, because it's my personal duty, now that I am the ambassador of new wave bands. I have been on the front lines, while they only have their MTV. I have experienced sex with a rock star, even though I wear knee socks and a plaid kilt every day, and have to go to morning mass.

As I begin my story for the thirtieth time, I study my eager brood. I search their Christian eyes for suspicion. Jealousy, I can live with. But the last thing I want is to be called a liar, because anyone who would make up a story like this is pathetic. I launch into the finer details as if I'm convincing them to buy a set of gilded encyclopedias, or a thousand dollar vacuum cleaner. "They don't do drugs but they drink Heineken," I say, and they nod, wanting more. "He has a tattoo of an eagle on his right forearm," I intone, and their necks stretch toward me like daisies to the sun.

Now I am a message in a bottle, carried on their tidal wave of divine faith. "Hairless chest… silvery skin, so pale and soft… such a good kisser…" and then to seal the deal, I take a breath and, emphasizing each syllable, tell them, "Red and white pinstriped underwear." That's when their mouths shrink into donut holes and their eyes glaze over like sugar frosting. That's when I feel like a rock star.

And then the bell rings. I shuffle off to Sister Alva's classroom, where we're supposedly interpreting The Rime of The Ancient Mariner. The bubble wrap smothers me again. I remember the last thing David Gahan said to me: "The next time I'm in Chicago…" and I told him, "You can count on that."

I'm counting the seconds.

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