tagNovels and NovellasThe Outsider Ch. 10

The Outsider Ch. 10


Chapter 10 - Ruthie's obsession

When her shift ended at 11:00, Ruthie returned to her room for the first time in 24 hours. She could tell that Shannon was somewhat curious to know where she had been, but since the two students were not on speaking terms; Ruthie did not feel obligated to offer any explanation. She loaded her backpack and immediately left to meet up with Mike for lunch.

Among the items Ruthie decided to stuff in her backpack was the dress that he had bought for her the previous weekend. As much as she wanted to wear it around campus, for some reason she felt very uneasy wearing it in and out of her own dorm. It would be much easier for her to put it on in Mike's dorm and avoid the judgmental comments of a bunch of women she hated. She figured that she'd wear it over the weekend if the weather was warm enough, partly to let Mike know that she did appreciate the gift.

Ruthie had expected that Shannon would be glad to see considerably less of her. Shannon's feelings were more mixed than Ruthie could have anticipated, because while she was satisfied to have the room to herself, it bothered her that Ruthie suddenly had become much less of a target for her and her friends. On the surface she would have said that the less she saw of her nerdy roommate, the better. However, subconsciously she enjoyed having Ruthie to pick on. She was a natural bully that had delighted in finding ways to hurt her roommate and making her feel uncomfortable and unwelcome.

It was apparent, now that Ruthie had a boyfriend and was getting emotional support from that Parking Nazi; she no longer was so isolated. The other women on Ruthie's floor felt the same way. No longer was she seen wandering around the hallways by herself with a depressed expression, so suddenly she was not so easy to ridicule.


Mike had one of his political meetings that night, but he told his friend that afterwards he wanted to meet up with her at the library and make sure that she made it back safely to her room. He asked her where she was going to be in the library and she responded that usually she studied at night in the basement. That surprised him, because he knew that the basement was always deserted for at least an hour before closing time.

"I know. That's why I go there. I like it 'cause it's quiet and when nobody's around I can do what I want."

The comment left Mike wondering: when nobody's around, she can do what she wants? What on earth would that be? He gave the matter some thought, and suspected that she must be doing something that would not be considered acceptable if any one else was around. He wished he knew what that was...

Mike sat through his meeting, which for once did hold out a promise that the Danubian Solidarity Committee might accomplish something worthwhile at the national level. The organization was among several political groups that had filed a class-action lawsuit claiming that the Mega-Town "hate speech" law violated the First Amendment and thus was unconstitutional. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals had agreed to hear the case, to the outrage of Mega-Town Associates. A major public relations battle lay ahead and Mega-Town planned to launch a three billion dollar ad campaign to turn public opinion against the court challenge. Three billion dollars...that was going to pay for a lot of ads. Mega-Town never did anything on a small scale.

It was 10:45 before Mike went to the library. Ruthie, as usual for her at that hour, already had taken off her dress and was studying naked. When she heard the elevator, she quickly stood up and slipped the garment over her body. She was still standing and smoothing the dress over her thighs when he saw her. She was barefoot and her shoes were lying under the study table. She was blushing and had a nervous expression. Mike's heart beat rapidly, because he suspected what had happened, that she hurriedly got dressed when she heard the elevator; and that just a couple of seconds before she had been naked. It had to be that...why else would she be down in the basement alone? Why else would she be smoothing her dress over her thighs...and why else would she be looking so nervous?

Precisely because she was so uneasy at the moment, she hugged him very tightly when they greeted. He could feel her soft body pressing against him as he ran his fingers over her bare back. He resisted the temptation to lower his hands and feel her bottom to see if she was wearing any panties. He already knew that she was not...that underneath that flimsy dress she was totally bare. To touch her...to see her...and maybe to lift up her skirt...and she was so close to him...


On their way back to the dorms Mike coaxed out of his friend what she had been doing in the library. He talked to her about his meeting and then asked her to tell him about her study routine. He slowly worked his way towards the answer, by asking her what was so special about being in the basement, what it was like to be there so late at night, did she always study with her shoes off...

He could tell that she was blushing in the darkness and getting increasingly uneasy. When he suspected he had figured out what it was that she was doing, his heart pounded. Trying to maintain control of his voice, he commented:

"I'd guess I see your point. It would be nice down there...if no one was around, and you can do whatever you want...I suppose you could even streak or study naked if you wanted to...I mean...no one would be around to say anything."

Ruthie was quiet, but Mike could sense that she was very nervous. He knew that the best thing he could have done would have been to back off at that moment, but the thought of her sitting naked in that basement had captured his imagination. He just had to know.

"So...what's this daring thing that you like to do in the library, anyway?"

Ruthie remained quiet, trying to decide whether or not to tell him the truth. For some reason she did want to let him know, to confide her secret with him. But to tell Mike about her nude late-night adventures would force her to explain to him her fascination with being naked. She would have to entrust a very important part of her inner being with another person, a part of herself that had remained secret from the rest of the world up until that moment.

For a minute they walked in silence, while he waited for an answer and she debated with herself whether or not to trust him. Finally, in a very nervous tone of voice she responded:

"Mike...if I...uh...tell you something...can you...uh...like promise me that...uh...you'll like...keep it a secret?"

"Of course I'd keep it a secret. Who would I tell anyway?"

"And...like...uh...promise that you won't be weirded-out? I...'cause I know it's gonna seem kinda strange..."

He gently squeezed her arm. His heart was pounding, however, as he tried to control his voice.

"It would take a lot to weird me out, Ruthie."

She swallowed.

"I have to trust you, Mike. You have to promise me you won't tell."

"I won't tell."

"OK...then...like...when I'm alone...I mean like...you know...when everybody else is gone...I...I like to take off my clothes...you know...hang out down there in the nude...It's kinda a thing with me...I like being nude...when I can...like...uh...whenever I have a chance...and I found out that's a place I can do it..."

Mike's heart continued to pound. So he was right. That was indeed what she had been doing in the library when he met up with her.

"I'm not weirded-out by that at all, Ruthie. I think it's awesome that you have the guts to do that."

"You're not weirded-out? You're actually OK with it?"

"As I said, I think it's great that you have that kind of nerve."

He glanced at her in the darkness. He could see her large nervous eyes looking up at him, her pupils reflecting a nearby sidewalk light. He added:

"I like people who go against the "norms" of our society. More people need to do that. And that's one of the things I've always liked about you. You don't play by the rules...and I think it's really great that you're rebelling like that."

"I don't know how much of a rebellion it is, 'cause nobody knows about it. I'd really get busted if they caught me, so I try to be careful about it."

"That risk you're taking is why what you're doing is sticking it to the system. You're not taking the psychological shit they've been pushing on us for granted."

"No, I 'spose that's true...I've had a lot of shit pushed on me, all the religious crap my mom was always hitting me with...and the whole thing about my body was a big part of it. So...it's kinda important for me...being naked as much as I can...I mean...if it wasn't illegal, I'd never wear any clothes at all."

From that point she talked about her own experiences in the nude and how everything had started with a simple suggestion from her mother that she sleep in her underwear.

"It all started with that, and I couldn't get enough of being naked when I was a teenager. If my mom wasn't home, I never wore my clothes. Ever."

She talked about her naked hours in the early mornings after her mother left for work, and how for her it was a way to get revenge for having her life so restricted in the afternoons. She liked nothing more than to be naked in the living room reading about evolution, both acts of defiance against the teachings of her mother's church. She talked about how, when she got older, she streaked around her apartment complex.

"That was really scary, 'cause of a whole bunch of reasons. People there knew my mom...and the place was kinda dangerous. There was this one time I was out...and I heard gunshots...that scared the shit out of me...I pissed myself I was so scared...I mean...here I was out running around naked and someone's shooting off a gun, and I was wondering if they'd seen me and were shooting at me...That night I nearly got caught, 'cause people were coming out of their apartments and I could hear sirens...I ran back to my place...and had to hide for a few seconds because someone came running down the sidewalk...a couple of guys...they ran right past me. I think it was a gang hit, and those guys were the murderers, and I saw them. I feel kinda guilty, 'cause I was the only person who saw them, and I couldn't say anything 'cause everyone would've wanted to know what I was doing outside at that hour...and...like...I was gonna tell them the truth? So I got back inside and cleaned up, and a few minutes later the cops are knocking on my door. They asked me if I saw anything, and I told 'em no...I just heard the gunshots. They left, and the murder never got solved. I didn't go out for a long time after that, but I did go out a few more times just before I graduated.

Mike was totally fascinated with what his friend was telling him. He was curious if she had any nude adventures on campus apart from her evenings in the library. She fidgeted, blushed, and looked at the ground. She was afraid to tell him, but having already confided in him to that point; she figured he might as well know the rest of the truth.

"Yeah...there was another spot I used to go to. You remember last week, when you were out ticketing...and I was kinda upset about you being there?"

"Yes, I remember you being...like...worried or something..."

"It wasn't because I was bothered about the cars. You know that cluster of trees off to the side, between the Econ building and the parking lot?"


"I was going there...you know...hanging out under the shade...I'd take a towel and lie there and study...I wasn't worried about getting caught, 'cause with the lot all full of students' cars, no one ever went by there in the middle of the day 'cause all the parking was taken. It was sort of a private little spot for me...a place no one knew about where I could...you know...just relax..."

"...and me going after them messed that up for you."

Ruthie nodded, but tried to reassure him: "I mean...I don't want you to feel guilty about it...I know you gotta do your job...but I was kinda upset about it at the time."

Mike did feel guilty, but he also was somewhat resentful that his duty to his job conflicted with making Ruthie happy. He tried to come up with a suggestion:

"Why don't you just keep going to your spot? If the police come around, I could warn you 'cause I can hear them on my radio."

Ruthie shook her head.

"No...it wouldn't work...I've thought about it, but now there's too many people going up and down that sidewalk...older people...alumni...vendors...and they'd be looking over at the trees and see me...and that's not what I want. I don't want to upset anyone...anyhow...it's probably just as well...'cause it's gonna start getting too cold anyway...you know...for me to be there in the shade with my clothes off..."

Mike sighed.

"Fuck...now you're making me feel really bad...I...I'm sorry I messed it up for you. I'll try to make it up to you."

"Don't worry about it. I know it's your job and you can't help it. And you've made it up to me plenty of times. I mean...I'm not mad at you...really I'm not. I don't want you to feel bad."

She could tell that he remained doubtful and that he still was trying to think of something to tell her. She wanted to reassure him. For the first time she touched his hand.

"Look. I'm not worried about Econ-A. Me being with you is a lot more important. You're the only person who's treated me decently since I've gotten here."

He hugged her. She put her arms around him and squeezed hard. He was elated at Ruthie's attitude towards being naked, because it was not too different from his own. He sought to reassure her:

:Anyhow...if you want to be with a guy who's OK with you being nude, you've found him, 'cause I've done it plenty myself. You know Bonnie Doon Beach? Just down the road?"

Ruthie nodded.

"You ever been there?"

She nodded again.

"I used to go there all the time when I was in high school."

"Really? To the nude part?"

"Yeah...especially during my senior year...to the nude part. And there's another beach...further north of here...San Gregorio. I've been there too."

"San Gregorio? I've always wanted to go there!"

Mike's heart pounded even more...

"Well, if you want...I'll take you up there sometime."

Ruthie nodded. Mike thought about offering to take her that upcoming Saturday, which would give him a chance to see her naked for several hours and possibly present him a chance to coax her into having sex. However, he remembered that it was supposed to rain over the weekend and he did not want to raise either her hopes or his own only to have the weather ruin their plans. Instead he asked her if anyone had ever seen her naked in a public spot.

"Just at the beach...that's about it. You're the first person I really know who I've said anything to about it. No one else has ever seen me, except for the people from the beach, and they don't know who I am in real life."

Mike had his own confession to make; one that he was sure would surprise and impress her:

"Then I've got you beat. Last year I ran a 10-K marathon in the nude at my university in Chicago, in broad daylight in front of about 50,000 spectators."

"Really? In the nude? Tell me about it!"


Mike's university in Chicago had a unique event the last Saturday each September: the Tri-Alpha fraternity's annual nude 10-K marathon run. The average number of people racing each year was about 150, which included all Tri-Alpha pledges plus anyone else from the students or faculty who wanted to participate. The run was not an experience for anyone with any modesty, because not only did the participants have to complete a 10 kilometer route around the university wearing nothing but shoes and socks, but they also had to remain naked in the stadium to attend the event's opening and closing ceremonies. Even though public access to campus was restricted during the race, the stadium was full to capacity and thousands more spectators lined the entire route. There were at least 50,000 spectators all together, and it seemed that each one had a high quality camera with a fancy lens.

Mike's participation in the run was an outcome of the rivalry that his ex-girlfriend had with their floor RA, a sophomore by the name of Cecilia Sanchez. Cecilia and Lisa had agreed to settle their rivalry with a game of strip Poker and originally had planned to just play against each other. However, Cecilia came up with the idea that the loser should have to run the nude 10-K race. She also came up with the idea of forcing the women's two boyfriends to play as well, along with a third guy from their group. Out of five players, there would be four losers, each of whom had to take a registration form for the race.

Cecilia's plan worked out perfectly for her. The three guys and Lisa lost the Poker game and were committed to running 10 kilometers in the nude. On the day of the race itself, Cecilia assembled her four residents in her room and forced them to strip. Then she took them to the front steps of the dorm, where they were greeted by hundreds of cheering residents. Completely naked except for running shoes, Mike and the others were forced to walk to the stadium with the entire dorm's population marching and cheering behind them. In the stadium there was a ceremony and photo session prior to the race, so by the time the competition actually started Mike, Lisa, and the other guys already had been naked outdoors for two hours and subjected to hundreds of photos. The race involved another hour of grueling physical challenge in the nude, running along the sidewalks around the campus. For Mike the race actually was the easiest part, because the physical difficulty of running 10 kilometers blocked out the fear and embarrassment he had felt earlier in the day. He did OK in the race, finishing in the middle of all the runners. He didn't win, but he didn't stand out as a wimp either.

Cecilia's boyfriend won the men's portion of the race, and Lisa, with her long legs and toned body, won the women's competition. The fact that Mike's friends were race winners prolonged his nude day, because Cecilia had his clothes locked up in her room and he could not get dressed until she took everyone back to the dorm. By the end of the day Mike had been naked for so long that he quit noticing it. He and his companions were among the last of the race participants to get dressed, because Cecilia insisted that they had to cross the university in the nude to return to their dorm and retrieve their clothes from her room.

When Mike finished describing his adventure, Ruthie was awestruck. The idea of spending six hours in the nude in front of 50,000 people totally fascinated her. The fact that Mike had done it, in spite of his serious appearance and behavior, fascinated her even more. And she had thought she was daring...just because she went streaking alone or sat naked in the library!


The two friends discussed their experiences with being nude a little more. Mike mentioned that his father's house had a pool and that he and his sister had grown up used to not having to wear swimsuits when they used it. That was another offer Mike could hold out for his friend, going over to his house one weekend and using his pool. Ruthie readily agreed.

The conversation turned to the topic of their respective roommates and their attitudes on nudity. Mike asked about Shannon, to which Ruthie responded:

"If super-bitch is in the room, I'll wear a long t-shirt 'cause I don't want her giving me shit ... about being naked around her, I mean. But if she's not there, I always take it off. I mean, that's one of the reasons I really wish I could have my own room. I'm sick of having to deal with someone else's morality."

Mike commented about his own experience with Todd before he died.

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