Fan/tasy Fiction: The White Stripes

John and Megan meet for the first time.

“Jack White was born John Anthony Gillis in Detroit, Michigan on July 9, 1975. On September 23, 1997, he married Megan Martha White and took her last name…”

He first saw her at a Lydia Lunch gig, some time in the late 20th century, in a dingy Spanish bar in downtown Detroit. Lydia Lunch was, well, Lydia Lunch for godsake, so a largish crowd of arts students, band types and random hipsters had decided to spend that mild Tuesday night at ‘Los Noches’, drinking sangria and arguing about The State Of Spoken Word Today. John – 23, handsome in an ugly kinda way, cowboy shirt, feeling hip – was sitting in a plastic folding chair next to the mixing table, explaining to the mixer Mickey the advantages of analogue when The Girl walked past him, en route to the front of the crowded stage. Long dark hair, pale skin that shimmered in the stage lights and a dark red dress that placed her somewhere in the ’60s. ‘Elf’ was the first word that sprang to mind – ‘ethereal’ seemed to be the second.

She moved slowly past each person, effortlessly sliding next to them, making a casual but almost hypnotic eye contact, hands running gently in a detached, semi-sexual way over shoulders she needed to move past or arms that were in the way. No smile played on her lips – it wasn’t that obvious – but her sexual energy was palatable. The sort of girl who you knew wouldn’t wear perfume but would smell so goddamn sexy from cigarettes and soap alone, the sort of girl always reading a good book, happy being alone and who would refuse to answer stupid questions. As John watched, she slipped through people like water, exchanging energy like it was easy, like she knew that anyone in the room might fall in love with her at any second.

-Hey Mickey. Who’s that?

Mickey threw John a wry smile.

-That’s Megan White. She tends to hang out for the bluesier gigs. She’s an odd one.

– How so?

Mickey shrugged, coughing a smoker’s raw cough.

-Dunno – maybe a bit snobbish… She’s here all the time. Drinks Bloody Marys.

Lydia stalked on stage and the night unfurled.

After the set John sat at the bar and watched her read a book. It was past midnight, the time where the club turned into an eccentric’s loungeroom, nursing an eclectic clientele of people who led interesting lives. He sat watching her heart-shaped, serious face through the smoky haze feeling like he could feel her thoughts – astute observations, snatches of poetry, anything but ordinary, everyday thoughts. Something great was stretching inside him as he sat at that bar watching this girl read. Something that wasn’t familiar. Something new.

-Is somebody sitting here?

She looked up and in that look John knew she had seen him too – it was a look of expectation met.

-That’s a rhetorical question, right?

He sat, clearing his throat and pulling out a packet of rollies.

-Cigarette?

-Thanks.

She placed a book mark carefully and folded her hands neatly on the table, looking at John with a curious sense of calm. His hands trembled as he performed the painfully ordinary task of rolling and lighting a cigarette each.

-Megan…

-You know my name.

A statement, not a question.

-Yes… Did you enjoy the Lydia?

-Of course. It’s Lydia for godsakes…

-Yes… I’m John, John Gilles. I’m a, ah, musician.

-I know. I’ve seen you play, You’re very good.

John nodded, his heart involuntarily starting to beat faster. ‘Be cool John,’ he thought. ‘What’s wrong with you?’

-Really? I haven’t seen you at any of our gigs.

-That’s because you’re so focused on stage. You don’t see anyone…

He smiled helplessly at her, at her oddly beautiful face and impenetrable gaze. All at once he wanted to take care of her and have her take care of him, an array of images flashflooded his mind: sleeping in on Sundays, writing songs at 4am in a parked car, shared smiles of acknowledgment over boring dinner parties, grocery shopping…

– Um, what kind of music have you been listening to lately?

She shrugged, amused.

-The usual… Led Zeppelin…

-Which albums…?

I and II.

-Yes…

-I found Abbey Road in a dustbin yesterday. Mostly, I like the blues. I just bought all of Robert Stevenson’s records. Records – vinyl.

He exhaled, eyes forced to avert.

-Me too. I can’t stop listening to…

Somewhere, a clock chimed.

-I have to go.

She stood up suddenly and John stumbled in his attempt to follow her. A cold panic cut through him that actually hurt, ‘She could go now, and I could never see her again, she could disappear, I could just wake up…’ He touched her shoulder, blurting;

-I think you should come home with me.

She turned and smiled – the first smile – and pulled her hair back into a ponytail. Now every act seemed erotic; he was beginning to sense the texture of her hair as she ran her fingers through it, the sensation of her scalp tingling as she pulled it tight, he could feel those small hands in his, he could see her legs wrapped around his waist, back arched, a fantastic orgasm washing over her…

-What happens there?

-I have a telescope we can look through. I can do impressions of old cartoon characters.

-I thought you wanted to sleep with me.

She stepped close to him and pulled his mouth close to hers, murmuring into his ear.

-I’d like to feel you inside of me. I also want to keep the shirt you’re wearing.

Her mouth hovered near his, as he slipped one arm around her warm, small waist.

-You can have all my clothes Meg. I’ll give you everything.

-Good.

It was the first kiss. It was a kiss of gigantic proportions, it was a kiss that said, ‘This is the beginning of something important’. She pulled him against the wall as his hands found her hair, the nape of her neck, the cup of her breasts, the sly curve of her hip. She moaned softly as their lips found each other again and again – urgent and unrelenting then lost and dreamy then full of fire. It was a kiss that by the books should have stopped, but couldn’t. In this kiss time was lost, readjusted and made new. It was the first kiss.

She locked her hands behind his head, and tipped her face towards his.

-I think I’m going to fall in love with you John Gilles.

For the first time in his life, everything made sweet sense.

-Let’s go home.

Georgia Clark

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About Georgia

I'm a young adult novelist with a weakness for hot nerds and cheese platters, not necessarily in that order. I am currently working on my third novel. I'm pretty excited about having just turned 30 because it means I can justify spending a lot of time thinking about homewares.
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