A Visit from the Goon Squad

Sasha Blake Character Analysis

One of the novel’s main characters, Sasha appears in several of the novel’s stories as both a major and minor character. Sasha struggles with her identity, and lives a wild life as she attempts to find her authentic self. She fears the future, and as the novel progresses, despairs that she is aging and has not accomplished the things she wanted. Throughout the novel, Sasha deals with an addiction to stealing, which ultimately leads to the loss of her job as Bennie Salazar’s assistant. Eventually, Sasha gives up her ruinous lifestyle and finds a kind of redemption. She marries her college friend Drew and settles down. They have two children, Alison and Lincoln, and Sasha transforms her addiction to stealing into a passion for art made of found objects.

Sasha Blake Quotes in A Visit from the Goon Squad

The A Visit from the Goon Squad quotes below are all either spoken by Sasha Blake or refer to Sasha Blake. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Time and Memory Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Anchor Books edition of A Visit from the Goon Squad published in 2011.
Chapter 1 Quotes

[Coz] was trying to get Sasha to use that word, which was harder to avoid in the case of a wallet than with a lot of the things she'd lifted over the past year, when her condition (as Coz referred to it) had begun to accelerate: five sets of keys, fourteen pairs of sunglasses, a child's striped scarf…Sasha no longer took anything from stores—their cold, inert goods didn't tempt her. Only from people.

Related Characters: Sasha Blake (speaker), Coz
Page Number: 4
Explanation and Analysis:

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She could tell that [Alex] was in excellent shape, not from going to the gym but from being young enough that his body was still imprinted with whatever sports he'd played in high school and college. Sasha, who was thirty-five, had passed that point. Still, not even Coz knew her real age. The closest anyone had come to guessing it was thirty-one, and most put her in her twenties. She worked out daily and avoided the sun. Her online profiles all listed her as twenty-eight.

Related Characters: Sasha Blake (speaker), Coz
Related Symbols: The Sun, The Body and Appearance
Page Number: 6
Explanation and Analysis:

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"I'm sorry," Sasha said quickly. "It’s a problem I have."
The woman opened the wallet. Her physical relief at having it back coursed through Sasha in a warm rush, as if their bodies had fused.
“Everything's there, I swear," she said. "I didn't even open it. It's this problem I have, but I'm getting help. I just—please don't tell. I'm hanging on by a thread."
The woman glanced up, her soft brown eyes moving over Sasha's face. What did she see? Sasha wished that she could turn and peer in the mirror again, as if something about herself might at last be revealed—some lost thing. But she didn't turn. She held still and let the woman look. It struck her that the woman was close to her own age—her real age. She probably had children at home.

Related Characters: Sasha Blake (speaker)
Page Number: 11
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 2 Quotes

Bennie's assistant, Sasha, brought him coffee: cream and two sugars. He shimmied a tiny red enameled box from his pocket, popped the tricky latch, pinched a few gold flakes between his trembling fingers, and released them into his cup. He'd begun this regimen two months ago, after reading in a book on Aztec medicine that gold and coffee together were believed to ensure sexual potency. Bennie's goal was more basic than potency: sex drive, his own having mysteriously expired.

Related Characters: Bennie Salazar (speaker), Sasha Blake
Related Symbols: The Body and Appearance
Page Number: 21-22
Explanation and Analysis:

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"It's incredible," Sasha said, "how there's just nothing there."
Astounded, Bennie turned to her…Sasha was looking downtown, and he followed her eyes to the empty space where the Twin Towers had been.
"There should be something, you know?" she said, not looking at Bennie. "Like an echo. Or an outline."

Related Characters: Sasha Blake (speaker), Bennie Salazar (speaker)
Page Number: 36
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 10 Quotes

For months she'd done business with Lars, arriving sometimes without having managed to take anything, just needing money. "I thought he was my boyfriend," she said. "But I think I wasn't thinking anymore." She was better now, hadn't stolen anything in two years. "That wasn't me, in Naples," she told you, looking out at the crowded bar. "I don't know who it was. I feel sorry for her."

Related Characters: Sasha Blake (speaker), Rob (speaker)
Page Number: 194
Explanation and Analysis:

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As you fail, knowing you're not supposed to panic—panicking will drain your strength—your mind pulls away as it does so easily…You slip through Sasha's open window, floating over the sill lined with artifacts from her travels: a white seashell, a small gold pagoda, a pair of red dice. Her harp in one corner with its small wood stool. She’s asleep in her narrow bed, her burned red hair dark against the sheets. You kneel beside her, breathing the familiar smell of Sasha's sleep, whispering into her ear some mix of I'm sorry and I believe in you and I'll always be near you, protecting you, and I will never leave you, I'll be curled around your heart for the rest of your life, until the water pressing my shoulders and chest crushes me awake and I hear Sasha screaming into my face: Fight! Fight! Fight!

Related Characters: Rob (speaker), Sasha Blake
Related Symbols: Water
Page Number: 207
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 11 Quotes

On another day more than twenty years after this one, after Sasha had gone to college and settled in New York; after she'd reconnected on Facebook with her college boyfriend and married late (when Beth had nearly given up hope) and had two children, one of whom was slightly autistic…Ted, long divorced—a grandfather—would visit Sasha at home in the California desert…And for an instant he would remember Naples: sitting with Sasha in her tiny room; the jolt of surprise and delight he'd felt when the sun finally dropped into the center of her window and was captured inside her circle of wire.
Now he turned to her, grinning. Her hair and face were aflame with orange light.
"See," Sasha muttered, eyeing the sun. "It's mine."

Related Characters: Sasha Blake (speaker), Ted Hollander
Related Symbols: The Sun
Page Number: 233
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 12 Quotes

Mom makes sculptures in the desert out of trash and our old toys. Eventually her sculptures fall apart, which is “part of the process.”

Related Characters: Alison Blake (speaker), Sasha Blake
Page Number: 242
Explanation and Analysis:

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Conduit: A Rock-and-Roll Suicide, by Jules Jones. Mom bought the book, but she never mentions it. It’s about a fat rock star who wants to die onstage, but ends up recovering and owning a dairy farm. There’s a picture of Mom on page 128…Mom’s mouth is smiling, but her eyes are sad. She looks like someone I want to know, or maybe even be.

Related Characters: Alison Blake (speaker), Sasha Blake, Bosco, Jules Jones
Page Number: 258
Explanation and Analysis:

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Sasha Blake Character Timeline in A Visit from the Goon Squad

The timeline below shows where the character Sasha Blake appears in A Visit from the Goon Squad. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1: Found Objects
Identity, Authenticity, and Meaning Theme Icon
Ruin and Redemption Theme Icon
A young woman named Sasha stands in the bathroom of the Lassimo Hotel, when she notices a bag on the... (full context)
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The narrative shifts, and it becomes clear that Sasha is recounting this episode to her therapist, Coz. Her therapist tries to get her to... (full context)
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Coz calls the feeling Sasha gets when she steals “the personal challenge,” and considers it a way to assert her... (full context)
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During their therapy sessions, Sasha rests on a blue leather couch, and Coz sits behind her. This relieves him of... (full context)
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In the story, Sasha is on a boring date with a man named Alex. Alex stares at the television... (full context)
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Sasha asks Alex if he wants to go somewhere else, and he agrees. As he stands,... (full context)
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The narrative switches back to the therapist’s office. Coz asks Sasha if she ever considers how stealing makes her victims feel. Sasha understands the question has... (full context)
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Sasha tells Coz she doesn’t think about the people she steals from. She knows that Coz... (full context)
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Often, Coz tries to connect the figure of the plumber to Sasha’s father, who disappeared from her life at the age of six. She rejects this idea,... (full context)
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The story shifts back to the night of the wallet theft. As Sasha and Alex leave the hotel, a woman approaches and tells them that someone stole her... (full context)
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When the security guards arrive, Sasha tells Alex she will go search the bathroom. Once inside, she takes a Xanax in... (full context)
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The woman stares at Sasha, and Sasha wonders what the woman sees in her face. Sasha wants to stare into... (full context)
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Sasha and Alex leave the hotel and walk through the Tribeca neighborhood in Lower Manhattan. Sasha... (full context)
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Sasha and Alex talk about the wallet incident. Sasha lies, telling him she found the wallet... (full context)
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They arrive at Sasha’s apartment, where she has lived for six years. She keeps the things she has stolen... (full context)
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In the living room, Alex asks Sasha about the stolen objects laid out on tables around the apartment. Sasha then remembers stealing... (full context)
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After they finish having sex, Sasha is left with a terrible sadness. Alex asks Sasha if he can take a bath... (full context)
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Alex puts the salts in the bath, and Sasha is reminded of Lizzie’s bathroom, where she would shower after they went running in Central... (full context)
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The narrative then cuts to the therapist’s office. Coz asks Sasha if she put the paper back. Sasha says she didn’t have a chance, but Coz... (full context)
Chapter 2: The Gold Cure
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...at their home after picking up his son Christopher from school. Before leaving, his assistant, Sasha, brings him a coffee, and he sprinkles gold flakes into it. He read in a... (full context)
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Sasha waits for Bennie at the house of the Stop/Go sisters. As Sasha says hello to... (full context)
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Bennie drives home with Sasha and Christopher. He feels the magic of the afternoon continue to fade away, and fights... (full context)
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...of his medicine. For a moment, Bennie can’t find his box of gold flakes, but Sasha produces it and tells him he dropped it as he ran out of the Stop/Go... (full context)
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As they drive back to the city, Sasha notices the place where the Twin Towers used to stand. She notes that it is... (full context)
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...the list he has been writing on the parking ticket. He pulls it out, and Sasha asks what it is. Bennie hands it to her, and she reads it aloud. She... (full context)
Chapter 6: X’s and O’s
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...office impresses Scotty. He puts his fish on the reception desk, and asks the receptionist (Sasha) to see Bennie. She calls Bennie, who tells her that he is in a meeting,... (full context)
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A little while later, Scotty returns to Sasha’s desk and puts the fish, which is wrapped in newspaper, on it. He tells her... (full context)
Chapter 7: A to B
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...She has a burning desire to talk to Bennie about her day. She speaks to Sasha, Bennie’s assistant, whom she used to mistrust, but has now grown fond of. Bennie is... (full context)
Chapter 10: Out of Body
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...looks at Drew through layers of hash smoke in the sun. Drew’s arm is around Sasha. Rob admires Drew’s body, which is healthy because of his love of swimming. Rob tells... (full context)
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...Rob helped Drew hand out pamphlets, but didn’t register to vote himself. Nobody, not even Sasha, knows that he never voted for Bill Clinton. He keeps it a secret. (full context)
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Drew gives Sasha a kiss. Rob knows Drew feels horny because he feels it too. He used to... (full context)
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Drew kisses Sasha again, and Rob feels angry. They are at their friends Lizzie and Bix’s house, and... (full context)
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...Florida. Rob says he did, even though he doesn’t like water, which is something only Sasha knows about him. Rob goes to the window and looks inside at Bix, who is... (full context)
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Rob, Drew, and Sasha walk to Washington Square Park. Rob remembers that while he was recovering from his suicide... (full context)
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Rob and Sasha began spending time together after the orientation, and Sasha became increasingly worried about the detective.... (full context)
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Rob and Sasha spend some time in the library, where Sasha writes a paper for one of the... (full context)
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After ten o’clock, Rob and Sasha meet Drew on Third Avenue and Saint Marks. Drew kisses her, and Rob wonders why... (full context)
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As the Conduits play their concert, Rob stands in the back and watches Drew and Sasha close to the stage. He wishes Drew were his brother, wishing they could have built... (full context)
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After the concert, Rob and Drew wait for Sasha outside. They are high on ecstasy, and Sasha says she gets it. Drew tells her... (full context)
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...sit in another part of the city, and Rob says he feels bad about leaving Sasha. Drew tells him not to worry, but Rob remembers Sasha coming to visit him at... (full context)
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...wishes they could live in a cabin together in Wisconsin. Drew says he would miss Sasha, and Rob tells him he doesn’t really know her, that Drew doesn’t know who he... (full context)
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...he is not supposed to panic. His mind pulls away, and he imagines slipping from Sasha’s window, past the stolen objects on her sill. He sees her asleep in her bed,... (full context)
Chapter 11: Good-bye, My Love
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Ted Hollander is in Naples looking for his niece, Sasha. Sasha’s stepfather, Hammer, has paid for Ted to go looking for her, but Ted has... (full context)
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...lives, doing drugs on the steps of churches where their ancestors are buried. Ted worries Sasha is among them. She disappeared two years ago at the age of seventeen, the way... (full context)
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...her window. A girl buys a pack, and as Ted approaches, he realizes it is Sasha. He follows her for a short while, noticing that she is limping. Eventually, Sasha turns... (full context)
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Ted tries to make small talk; avoiding the reason he is here. He asks Sasha about her limp, which she says is the result of an ankle injury she got... (full context)
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Ted returns to his hotel and makes his daily call to Sasha’s mother, Beth. He knows she will be happy that Sasha seems to be doing well.... (full context)
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When Sasha was little, Ted took her to the beach one day. Ted told Sasha he was... (full context)
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Sasha would ask if Ted would take her swimming, and he always agreed. She would lay... (full context)
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Sasha arrives at Ted’s hotel that evening, and he feels surprised and reluctant. He was hoping... (full context)
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At the restaurant, Ted and Sasha sit in a window seat. Sasha keeps looking at the young people beyond the window... (full context)
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They eat dinner, and after a second glass of wine, Sasha begins to open up. She had run away from home with a man named Wade,... (full context)
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After leaving the restaurant, Ted and Sasha go to a nightclub. Sasha tells him her friends own the place. She asks Ted... (full context)
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Finally, Sasha asks Ted what he is doing in Naples. He lies, telling her he is there... (full context)
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...had gone to the police and reported his wallet stolen, but he didn’t give them Sasha’s name. Ted goes out searching for Sasha, knowing he has to find her that day.... (full context)
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Inside, Ted sees Sasha, half asleep on the bed. She says hello, but as soon as the old woman... (full context)
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Eventually Sasha comes out. Ted asks where she is going, and she walks to the shower without... (full context)
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Later that afternoon, Sasha opens the door and lets Ted inside. The room is small, and the sun is... (full context)
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The story then jumps forward twenty years, and Ted, long divorced, visits Sasha at her home. She is married with two children. Sitting there, he remembers her room... (full context)
Chapter 12: Great Rock and Roll Pauses
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This chapter is delivered in the form of a PowerPoint presentation created by Sasha’s 12-year-old daughter, Alison. It describes the events of May 14th and 15th of some year... (full context)
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...repeating what other people say before they part ways. A friend of hers says, “Adios, Sasha.” Sasha responds, “Adios, Christine.” In the car ride home, Alison asks her why she has... (full context)
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...with Lincoln, she enjoys the pauses. The slide depicts the pauses with an empty square. Sasha responds again to Lincoln’s project. She knows the song “Bernadette” sounds “smoky” because it was... (full context)
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...brings the reader to Section 2, which describes Alison in her room. Another one of Sasha’s annoying habits is giving Alison a hard time for not keeping a typical journal on... (full context)
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Sasha looks at a toy horse in Alison’s room. She got the horse in Pakistan after... (full context)
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...looks like someone Alison wants to know, or a person that Alison might become someday. Sasha doesn’t want to talk about the picture because it feels like it comes from another... (full context)
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...a pause can go, and Lincoln tells her one minute and fourteen seconds. Just then, Sasha appears in the doorway and asks what is going on. She is holding a handful... (full context)
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...The shapes on the slide depict a seesaw. On one side, Drew is depicted kissing Sasha, telling stories, laughing, and popping wine bottles. On the other side, Drew is sitting in... (full context)
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...and they eat together at the picnic table. Alison thinks his dinners are better than Sasha’s, even when they cook the same thing. Drew asks Alison and Lincoln about school, and... (full context)
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...because keeping secrets can kill you, he says, which is one of his favorite sayings. Sasha keeps a picture of Rob in her wallet. Alison thinks he is cute, but her... (full context)
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...are on one side of a seesaw image, and outweigh Lincoln’s responses in the slide. Sasha can sense that Drew isn’t happy. He’s finished two gin and tonics and is smiling,... (full context)
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...begins to cry, too. Drew tries to hug Lincoln, but he hunches into a ball. Sasha is so furious her face is pale. She tells Drew the songs make you think... (full context)
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...have a pause of more than a minute in one of their songs. Drew says Sasha used to listen to them. He grows frustrated that Alison is paying attention to pauses... (full context)
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...comes into view, the windows are dark. Drew points out a snake on one of Sasha’s sculptures. He lifts Alison onto his shoulder, and she thinks he is the strongest man... (full context)
Chapter 13: Pure Language
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...their wives, Rebecca and Lupa, are in the kitchen. Alex had heard about Bennie from Sasha a long time ago, though he doesn’t remember Sasha’s name. He remembers something about a... (full context)
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...Later, they had sex on the rooftop of her building. As he reminisces, he remembers Sasha’s name, and recalls the events of the night he spent with her, though he can’t... (full context)
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...but hides it from Bennie. Alex asks Bennie if he ever had an employee named Sasha. Bennie says he did, and that Sasha used to live close by. Alex asks what... (full context)
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They turn a corner, and Bennie says that Sasha’s apartment was right there. Alex feels a flash of recognition and a shiver of déjà... (full context)
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...away. Just then, they see a woman approaching. For a moment they hope it is Sasha, but it is another girl, young and new to the city, fiddling with her keys. (full context)