by Kayle Nochomovitz

She was barely swaying her hips, but she had every guy on the edge of his seat.  Even the bartender had stopped pouring drinks, and just stood there, hand on the counter, mouth open.  This girl was just like my girlfriend Jennifer, come to think of it.  Jennifer could be doing absolutely nothing but walking down the street or just sitting in a classroom and somehow be the center of attention.  But Jennifer’s legs would have given out; this, she wouldn’t have handled.  Jasmine though, the dancer, slid to her knees.  Slipped a honey finger between her lips and teased it from the base of her neck all the way to her satin crotch.  Only the night before, I lay in Jennifer’s bed, whispered goodnight into the fullness of her sepia curls, and wondered how on earth I would ever figure out what to do about her.  Jennifer, my love, my agony.  She would never have believed where I was now.  I swear, Jasmine was looking directly at me.

I was here because Jeff, my newest friend, a fraternity guy, had convinced me.  I’m not the fraternity type, but Jeff was different from what I’d pictured.  We met in a Civil War Reconstruction seminar; we’re both history majors, and we both plan to write theses related to the legacy of slavery.   Despite what I knew about his sensibility, Jeff told me over coffee in the student union before class, “Sometimes you need to do something you would never imagine yourself doing.”  This came on the heels of me telling him that I wasn’t sure what to do about my problems with Jennifer.  He said, “Just go, okay?  Take a break from thinking so much.  You need to let loose.  It’ll help, you’ll see.”

My inexperience must have been pinned to my sleeve, because my neighbor, who had introduced himself as Tink, figured I needed fortifying.  He was a wiry man with red skin.  He cleared his throat and leaned towards me, cupping his hand and overpowering me with the stench of baked-into-clothing-cigarettes.

“She’s new,” Tink said, pointing at Jasmine.  “Only started dancing a couple of weeks ago, but look at her.”

“An absolute natural,” I said.

Tink faced the stage and nodded earnestly, not grasping my humor.

At the end of her dance, Jasmine made her way around the room, getting twenties, I couldn’t believe, in exchange for a few more juicy seconds of gyrating.  At the edge of the stage, less than a foot from Tink and me, her skin shimmered like chocolate cream, the color of the bubbles once vanilla ice cream hits a root beer float.  She was tiny.  And hot as a muscle. 

Tink grinned.  His tongue flicked between his lips, lizard-like.  Then Jasmine was in his lap, throwing her firm little breasts toward him.  With her so close, I was overwhelmed.  She was like the naughty doll that you dream about.  Her lips were full and pouty.  Perfect.  She pursed them, like she might kiss Tink.  He held his palms out to the sides, laughing, his small eyes flashing.  When Jasmine had finished, he beckoned her close, slipped her some green, and whispered something in her ear.  She came over to me, but didn’t straddle my thighs.  Instead, she handed me a red ticket and crooked her index finger, beckoning me to follow.

I looked over at Tink.  He gave me a thumbs-up sign, which to be honest, was kind of nauseating.


I don’t know what got into me, because usually, I don’t go for this stuff.  Well, not this exactly.  I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that the first time I saw Jennifer three months ago I didn’t first notice her beautiful, plentiful breasts, which were hiding like two water balloons under her charcoal sweater as she stood in the quad.   But I also noticed other things.  Like her endless, slender, if not a little colt-like, jean-clad legs, and her clear skin, pale and tinged with pink from the autumn air, so that it set off the dark flickers in her eyes.  But mostly, I noticed Jennifer’s intelligence.  Anna Karenina was lodged under her arm.

“How is that?” I asked her, after working up the nerve to go talk to her. “I’ve never read it.”

She placed her long fingers on my forearm.  “Oh, you have to.  It’s incredible.”

“Oh yeah?”

“It’s tragic, really.  To see how trapped she is.  I mean, she’s desperate, she does what she can, but there’s no way she can be happy.”

Jennifer’s hand lifted off my sleeve.  I didn’t want the conversation to be over.  “Sounds intense,” I said.

She smiled.  “You can borrow it, if you want.”


Jasmine led me through a small hallway in the back of the club, and then into a narrow, mirrored room with red velvet couches against its walls.  No door, just a curtain, which she closed.  Probably since I was standing awkwardly in the tiny space, she touched me on the shoulder with her fingertips to show me where to sit.  My heart started to pound as she threw one of her tiny, meaty thighs over my lap.

“Shhh, relax,” Jasmine cooed.  She must have sensed my nervousness.


She kind of stroked my arm, very lightly, while I took a deep breath and tried to remember who I was.  Jeff was right.  I was relieved to be away from everything for a little while.  But I didn’t have to lose hold of myself completely. Even as a thirteen-year-old kid, pumped with hormones and lying wide-eyed under the basketball-printed comforter of my childhood, I never fantasized about the goddess of kink floating in through my window or emerging from under my bed or anything.  Then again, Jasmine was exquisite. She had amber colored eyes and the slenderest of wrists.  I could easily have encircled her tiny waist with one of my hands.

To my surprise, Jasmine reached for my face. Before I had time to protest, she had removed my glasses and set them down next to me on the bench.

I started to say that I was blind without them, but she brought two fingers to my lips and whispered, “No, much better this way.”

I didn’t really agree, because I’m myopic enough that it makes me panicky, but I guessed it didn’t really matter in there anyway, because how far did I need to see when she was basically on top of me.  And she wasn’t playing. Deftly, considering how little room she had to maneuver, she turned around, put her hands on her knees and bent over, so that her peach of an ass was right in my face, her silver thong just barely covering what needed to be covered.  I didn’t know what to think, or what to do.  Of course, my male parts noticed everything in front of me.  More than anything I wanted to touch her.  On the other hand, I was embarrassed.  It had taken weeks of courting Jennifer before I even got her shirt off.  And I wasn’t sure I minded that.

Jasmine turned back around, sucked on two fingertips, and gave me a sugary smile. I winced at the thought of how many times she’d done this, how many guys she’d brought back here.  I wished she would stop smiling at me like that, like she had something figured out that I didn’t.  Just then she slithered closer so that her purple pasties were only an inch away from my chest.  She glanced at herself in the mirrored wall to my left.  A sick feeling washed over me.  When we walked down the sidewalk together, to my annoyance, Jennifer was always stealing looks of herself in storefront windows. 

Jasmine raised herself up.  “What’s wrong?”

She stared at me, trying to penetrate me with her eyes.  There was another similarity: the stare.  Jennifer’s giraffe-like lashes.  That way she had of making it absolutely impossible not to look back. 

It was funny to think about Jennifer in there, but I tried to picture it: the thong, the high heels, her breasts bouncing.  Last night, when she got out of the shower, her hair was wet and hung in slick dark curls.  I had sworn to myself that last night was the night.  I was going to say something.  Because Jennifer had basically just agreed to go out on a date with our philosophy professor, and believe me, it wasn’t the first outing of its kind.  This one just happened to come in the form of a sandy-haired six-foot Brit in his early thirties. 

“It’s not a date,” Jennifer said, pouting.  “We’re just going to have coffee and talk about Heidegger.”

I retained my composure.  Better to save my anger.

“I don’t understand what the problem is, Brian.  We’ve been through this before, about my socializing.  I need to take advantage of opportunities.  It doesn’t mean anything.”

I wished Jennifer could observe herself deep in conversation with a man, or with anyone, for that matter.  Because it was always the same.  Man, woman, LGBT or Q, the recipient of her gaze was always sucked in.  I hated to admit it, but I was no different.  For the gazillionth time, I wondered how I’d actually managed to snag her.  Maybe I was just more pathetic than the rest.  More willing to give up all of my spare time.   “It does mean something,” I said.  “At least Professor Stone thinks it does.”

Jenifer’s nostrils flared.  I never spoke to her that way. 

“You can’t be mad,” I said.  “You know I’m right.”

“You are not,” she insisted. 

I should have walked away right then, but I made my first mistake: I hesitated.  Holding her towel in place, Jennifer reached out and grabbed my wrist with her other arm.  I waited for words to come out of my mouth which would direct, decide something.  Then I made my second mistake: I let myself look into her eyes.  They were shiny and wet, bloodshot.  I fought it, but probably not as hard as I could, because I knew then that it was all over.  Again.  Anything but Jennifer’s tears, convincing me that maybe, just maybe, I was all wrong.  After all, we had a future to think about — although granted, a misty one — where she and I would sit in a cafe in some European capital and discuss Kafka over wine, then come home and dance our way through our apartment, on our time: three o’clock in the morning, or the middle of a weekday afternoon.

I knew the image was false, but then why was I so relieved as we embraced?  Probably because I knew something that was true: if we broke up, Jennifer and I would both graduate and she would go off into the world without me. Hopefully back to Connecticut and her family, where she was safe and secure, and, let’s face it, untouched.  But who was I kidding?  There were Brits in Connecticut also.  And Connecticut would never suffice for Jennifer.  She’d be off to some far-away place the first chance she got, hair flying.  She seemed that far already.

My hand fumbled around on the seat next to me.  My glasses weren’t there. 

Jasmine didn’t seem to notice.  “Should I dance more?” she asked, and seemed a little startled when I said no.  But I didn’t need another showgirl.  

Jasmine placed her hands on my pecs.  I pulled them off and started to get up.  That’s when she stepped back.  We both heard a crunch. Her satin pump had instantly shattered both lenses.  For a second she looked like I was going to hit her.  Then she dropped to the floor, where the broken pieces lay, and started to sweep them up with her hands.

She looked up at me, pleading.  “Please don’t say anything to anyone.  I’ll pay for them, I swear.”

Her lips quivered.  All of a sudden, I could see what she must have looked like as a six-year-old, wanting something.  I could also see what she would look like ten years from now, when tiny creases had begun to surround those golden eyes.  I saw that thing that would always be with her, that thing that was her, whoever she really was.  My chest began to hurt.  I took a deep breath.  Jennifer, safe behind a film of tears, had never showed me anything so real.  Jennifer and I were over, I realized.  What was the point of continuing? It was never going to go anywhere.

“I don’t want your money,” I told Jasmine.  “Why don’t you tell me your name?  Your real one, that is.” 

She looked away, her eyes wild, like a frightened stag. I took hold of Jasmine’s wrist, but she wouldn’t look at me.  I think I’d seen something that she hadn’t wanted me to see.

“Please,” I said. 

Her face darkened like a camera shutter closing.  “I’m sorry.  I can’t do that.” 

“At least take this then,” I said, and pressed two carefully folded twenties into her palm.  She looked down at the money and thanked me without smiling.  Then she turned and walked away.  But I couldn’t let her go.  I just wanted to whisk her out of there. 

Jasmine headed toward the door in the corner of the club through which she and all the other dancers had emerged.

“Wait,” I called after her.  I picked up my pace. “Don’t go.”

As she got near the door, I grabbed hold of her arm again.  From out of nowhere, a heavyset guy with dark eyes and greasy black hair shoved my shoulder.  “Hey man, what do you think you’re doing?”

“Nothing,” I stuttered.  “I just want to talk to her.” 

The next thing I knew, his fist met my cheekbone.  It wasn’t hard enough to knock me down, but hard enough for me to know that I didn’t want him to.  My hand rose up to touch my face, where a welt was already blooming. 


The club was in Providence, and I had to get back to Boston, but the idea of doing sixty plus on I-95 at night without my eyeglasses quickly lost its appeal.  Instead, I wandered through downtown until I found a not-too-seedy bar.  After four glasses of whisky, I staggered back to my car in the club parking lot, where I imagined I’d pass out and figure it all out, including how exactly I would end things with Jennifer when I saw her. 

My vision was blurry, but I could still make out the figures of Jasmine and her manager/ pimp/boyfriend as the steel club door opened into the parking lot.  To my horror, Jasmine was still in her dancing outfit, her stockinged legs and high heels visible beneath the dark shawl draped over shoulders.  My jaw throbbed.  If it were me, I would never have wanted her to walk out into the cold like that.  But the guy had his arm around her, and as he squeezed her towards him, she laughed, and put her head on his shoulder.  


About the Author:

Kayle Nochomovitz

Kayle Nochomovitz is currently pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing at City College in Harlem, NY. Kayle is a trained portrait painter, yoga teacher and licensed massage therapist who has turned her creative talents to fiction. She lives in Riverdale, NY with her husband, three children and two step-children, ranging in age from 21 months to 16 years.