The Outsider Ch. 12bycaligula97236©
Chapter 12 – November
The next day Mike was awake as soon as it was light outside. He was careful not to wake up Ruthie as he got out of his bed, cleaned up, and settled at his computer to work on his term paper. He felt better than he had felt in a year, convinced that he now was in a solid relationship with the girl in his bed. Whatever her faults, she loved him and was a person worthy of his love. As far as he was concerned their relationship was sealed the night before, when she had given herself to him. Surely that was just the beginning...and there was hope after all...for both her and for him.
Mike looked back at his sleeping lover. He thought to himself: Ruthie...maybe your life has sucked up to now...but I'll make sure that's over with. I'll give you a life that's worth living...
Ruthie woke up about an hour after Mike was up. Already the room was bright with morning sunlight. She was still aching...and still depressed about the let-down the night before. Poor Mike, she thought to herself...what am I gonna tell him? She spent several minutes lying in bed and watching her companion as he worked on his paper. She mulled over what to say to him. At first she wanted to tell him what had happened a few hours before; that she had found out that there was a very important part of their relationship that she would be incapable of giving him.
However, second thoughts entered her mind about that idea. Was it really necessary to tell him...about that...or about anything at all? Why? What for? What good was it going to do either of them? What was she going to get out of being honest, apart from ending up alone again? She felt that if she were honest about something as important as sex to any guy, he'd say "screw that" and would want her out of his life. Probably she'd have to pack up her things and go back...by herself...and with her hands full of bags...to her room. Then she would have to deal with Shannon. Undoubtedly Shannon would figure out what had happened, and she and her friends would celebrate Ruthie's misfortune. She'd never hear the end of it. No...there was no point in humiliating herself like that.
Ruthie's thoughts returned to Mike. He really was a decent guy...he did deserve the truth...or...did he? Maybe it would be better just to play along...let him think everything was fine...enjoy his companionship...try to have fun with him. Maybe sex was less important...maybe what really mattered was the friendship she was developing with him. Perhaps she could explain later...or maybe...after a couple of times...the problem would fix itself on its own. Ruthie then thought about Dr. Hartman...maybe the counselor could come up with an idea or a suggestion...
Ruthie's mind filled with a few possibilities and options. She still felt the situation with the sexual part of their relationship was not tolerable as it stood at the moment, but she no longer was convinced that she had to deal with it immediately and risk losing her friendship with Mike over that one issue. She'd wait...and then she'd figure something out.
Ruthie could not have realized it at the time, but her two weeks with Mike already had changed her. For the first time her reaction to a disappointment was not to sink into depression and despair, but rather to try to think of what options she might have to address or fix the problem. She came up with a tentative plan for the following week: not say anything to Mike, wait and see how things with him developed, and then talk to Dr. Hartman. Beyond that she did not have any further ideas, but if she could make it to the next meeting with her counselor, she could see where she needed to go from there.
The two students spent the morning with their coursework. Mike continued to work on his research project while Ruthie lay in bed catching up on her reading. She studied for two mid-terms, but she knew what she really needed to do was finish the term paper she had been working on the previous week.
She glanced longingly at Mike's computer, thinking about how nice it would be if she had her own computer in the room as well. That way she would not have to try to work on the project with Shannon's constant disruptions. Given that she would have Mike's room to herself over the next week, she figured that bringing over her computer might not be a bad idea. The thought of sitting quietly throughout the entire afternoon with her clothes off, right next to the window, peacefully typing...really appealed to her.
Ruthie's mind raced with the idea that Mike's room beckoned with a six-hour block of total silence every afternoon. She really did not see how she could avoid moving the computer, because over the next month she had to work on her term papers and her roommate was making that task almost impossible. Shannon delighted in having her music going or having her friends over while Ruthie was on her computer. A favorite trick was to chat incessantly on her cell phone while looking over Ruthie's shoulder to see what she was doing and make her nervous.
Ruthie was not worried about how Mike might react to having to keep her computer in his room. She knew that he was in love with her, so she took it for granted that if she needed something, he would give it too her if at all possible. The only doubt she had was for her own situation, the possible loss of independence that having her things in Mike's living area would entail. Already the relationship had gone much further than she had anticipated or wanted. Very quickly she had become dependent on him for just about everything imaginable, from companionship to transportation to entertainment to protection from humiliation. Now she was going to have to deepen that dependency by moving yet more of her stuff into his living space.
Another idea that never occurred to Ruthie was to put her work on a flash drive and ask to borrow his computer in the afternoons. In some ways she was very territorial: she would not want anyone using her computer, so she took it for granted that Mike's computer was off-limits to anyone other than himself. Although most people would have considered her borrowing his computer less of an imposition than bringing over her own, that was not how Ruthie saw the situation.
Seeing Ruthie studying naked on the spare bed for several hours aroused Mike as the morning went by. She was lying on her back, with her legs spread and her vulva on display. Finally, the temptation was too much for him. He lay down next to her and began kissing her.
At that moment the last thing in the world Ruthie wanted was to have to deal with him going inside her a second time in less than 12 hours, but she was not about to say anything or reject his advances. She felt that she had absolutely nothing to offer him, so the very least she could do was allow him to do what he wanted with her body. As his hands caressed her bottom and breasts, she worked up the nerve to let him enter her. The second time was no better than the first, but at least she was psychologically ready and there was no let-down to spoil her mood.
When they went to lunch, Ruthie winced from the soreness as they walked to Watson Hall. Mike could tell that she was stressed, but still was oblivious about the reason. Several times he asked her what was wrong...but she was afraid to answer.
Mike thoughts filled with fear that perhaps she already was getting bored with him. Ruthie's moody silence reminded him of Lisa's behavior the year before during the weeks that preceded their break-up.
When they sat down, he asked her again. Ruthie blushed...and was just about to tell him...when she noticed Shannon coming into the cafeteria with some of her friends. Then she remembered her computer...and realized if she and Mike left the cafeteria before Shannon and her group finished their lunch; that would be a perfect opportunity for them to get the computer out of the room without having any contact with super-bitch at all. Ruthie began eating quickly.
"Mike...I...kinda...uh...got a problem...you know...I...maybe...like...you can help me?"
"Well, yeah. I'll help you. What is it?"
"I was like...uh...wondering if I could...you know...like...take my computer over to your place...'cause....I kinda...need to work on some term papers...and uh...you know...Shannon's been giving me shit...and I gotta concentrate...and you know...Shannon...I can't concentrate with her..."
"You want to keep your computer in my room?"
Ruthie blushed and nodded. Mike thought about what her request meant. Another imposition, but it also was another sign that she was serious about being with him. He was hugely relieved that his suspicion about her being bored with him was mistaken. Great! The moody silence had nothing to do with him at all, it was about her computer. If that was all it was...sure...he'd help her move her computer...
Ruthie finished her meal immediately, forcing Mike to eat a lot faster than he wanted. A few minutes later the two students were in Ruthie's room unplugging her computer and putting the pieces in a large box. Ruthie collected her disks and some CD's. She carried the keyboard, mouse, and a bag of software and cords, while Mike struggled with the bulky CPU and oversized TV-style monitor. A twinge of resentment and doubt ran through his mind as he lugged her heavy antiquated equipment. She walked beside him carrying bags of much lighter items. Anyhow, a few minutes later it was done, Ruthie's computer was safely sitting on the desk vacated by Todd. She looked on while Mike reconnected the components.
The afternoon was warm enough that Mike figured they could go to the beach. They both were in the mood to walk as well, which meant that Bonnie Doon was not a good option. Mike decided to fulfill his promise to take Ruthie to San Gregorio beach, which was about a 40-minute drive to the north of Davenport.
For a naturist who wants to walk along the shore, it is unlikely that there is a better beach in the US than San Gregorio. The nude section starts just below the stairs leading from the north parking lot and extends more than a mile along undeveloped cliffs. At the far end of the clothing optional section there is rock formation with a cave through which an adventurous person can go through during low tide. Since neither Mike nor Ruthie were the sort who liked to just lay on a towel, San Gregorio suited their desire to walk unencumbered by clothes.
Over the years beachgoers constructed driftwood shelters at the foot of the cliffs. Mike pointed out an empty shelter and suggested it as a place to leave their belongings. They undressed and walked towards the north. Ruthie, in her usual state of wanting to share what she knew about her surroundings with her companion, stopped to dig up several crustaceans buried in the sand to show to Mike, and then pointed out several species of birds.
When they got to the end of the beach, the tide was low enough that they could go through a cave that led through a rock formation to yet another beach. They wandered halfway down the second beach before a woman yelled at them. Suddenly they realized that several houses overlooked the area they had ventured into and it was not clothing optional. They scrambled back to the cave, only to have a very close call being stranded, because the tide was starting to come back in. Had they waited even a couple more minutes, the waves splashing through the opening would have made getting back to the nude section of the beach impossible.
After laughing over the close call, Ruthie experienced true joy because the beach was so open and she could walk uninterrupted. She was almost like a child, wandering up and down, exploring the cliffs and then running towards the water and rinsing herself off in the surf. On that day she was very restless and walked the full length of the nude portion six times, wearing out the soles of her feet on the wet sand. Mike tagged along with her, taking dozens of photos. She posed, danced, and splashed in the cold water for the benefit of his camera.
The weather changed the following day and during the rest of the week the entire coast of central California was fogged in and cloudy. For Ruthie the timing couldn't have been better. She was able to relax in Mike's room after lunch before spending the quiet gray afternoons working on her term papers or catching up on her sleep. She still preferred to sleep at night in her own room if possible, but once her computer was moved, she did everything else is Mike's room.
By the beginning of November, she and Shannon quit talking completely. Because Ruthie had moved anything she felt was sensitive, she no longer was concerned about super-bitch messing with her personal stuff. She still had some old clothes in the room, but what could Shannon do to old clothes? The items that really mattered, her computer, pictures and study materials, were out of Shannon's reach. Ruthie no longer made any pretense of being civil to her nemesis, because she no longer had anything to worry about in the room.
Ruthie had her third appointment with Dr. Hartman on Wednesday. They had a lot to discuss. Hartman was very worried about Ruthie's sudden dependence on Mike for just about every need that she had, no matter how mundane. Especially worrisome to the counselor was the fact that her client had transferred everything that was important to her to her boyfriend's room. For one thing, Hartman pointed out that the arrangement was a violation of campus policy. Ruthie snapped back:
"Everything that Shannon's doing to me is a violation of policy, Dr. Hartman. If you don't like what I'm doing, how come you don't talk to her? She's the one who's making me do it! She's the one who's turning my life into shit! How come no one ever says anything to her?"
Of course, Hartman's solution for any conflict that one of her clients had with another person was to "talk about it", which was what she wanted Ruthie to do with Shannon. Well, that was totally impossible, responded Ruthie, because Shannon was a vicious bully and talking to a person like that did no good. Eventually, regardless whose fault it was, Hartman was persuaded that Ruthie's problems with Shannon were not resolvable. She suggested that Ruthie change roommates at the end of the semester.
"Put in the request, and I will send a note to the housing director to back you up. I'm thinking the best way to resolve this conflict is for you to change rooms."
Dr. Hartman returned to the subject of Mike.
"I don't like what you're doing with him, keeping all your stuff there. You've known him for three weeks. Three weeks, Ruthie. You can't impose yourself on a partner in such a short time. I'm telling you, it's going to cause both of you problems."
Ruthie brushed off Dr. Hartman's reservations about Mike's personal space. She changed the subject and focused on the issue that concerned her: the difficulty she was having with the sexual portion of their relationship. She described what happened Halloween night and what happened the following day; that she was not able to get aroused and that sexual intercourse was unpleasant to the point of actually being painful. She insisted that she had to go through with love-making however, because sex was the only way that she could reward Mike for everything that he had done for her. Upon hearing that, the counselor's mind filled with red flags.
Hartman struggled with what to tell her client, because her counseling experience and training told her that what Ruthie needed to do was back off, get her stuff out of Mike's room, and seriously tell him about her doubts. However, she knew there was no way that Ruthie could follow or would follow such advice, because her situation with Shannon was so awful. The only thing Hartman could do was to try to ease Ruthie's immediate dilemma with sexual intercourse. She asked her client what she knew about sexual aids such as lubrication. Ruthie responded that she knew nothing, because Mike was only the second man with whom she had ever made love.
Hartman wrote a prescription and handed it to Ruthie.
"This is for some vaginal lubricant. Make sure you follow the instructions. It'll help you when you're with your boyfriend. But please remember this is not a solution for your problem. All it's going to do is cover it up for a little bit and buy you some time. I'm telling you, I really have my doubts about what you're doing. You're going to have talk to Mike, because right now you're being unfair to both him and to yourself."
Ruthie left Hartman's office and turned in the prescription to the pharmacist. She was glad that Hartman had given her something practical to deal with her immediate problem, but she also was resentful over the counselor's criticism of her overall relationship. It seemed that Hartman did not understand what a living hell dealing with Shannon had become and that Mike was her only outlet.
Ruthie's resentment against Hartman was misplaced. The counselor saw Shannon as a complicated but short-term issue. She knew that within two months Ruthie would be with another roommate, or possibly in a room by herself. Once the pressure of Shannon was removed, then her client would have to deal with having created a problematic relationship with her boyfriend that risked serious psychological dependency.
That night Ruthie was very glad to have the lubricant, because Mike approached her about sex. They had not made love since Sunday. Mike had waited through Monday and Tuesday, hoping that she would be the one to initiate something. He was disappointed that she never hinted at wanting sex. Finally on Wednesday he returned from work and saw her studying naked on his bed. He took off his clothes and joined her; his own desires pushing him to kiss and caress her bare body. She knew what was coming, but for their third time in bed she was ready. She explained that she had a problem with sensitivity in her vagina and that she needed the lubrication to "really give both of us what we need". Mike, not knowing any better, believed her. He allowed her to put the gel in herself and then to dab some on the end of his penis.
When he entered her, she felt hugely relieved. The discomfort from his thrusts was not much of a problem with the lubricant. Because he was able to go in deeper and move about more, Mike found the third time with her more enjoyable than the first two rounds of sex over the weekend. It was much easier for her to pretend that she was enjoying it as well.
When he pulled out of her, Ruthie kissed him, very happy that she had been able to give him what he needed without too much sacrifice on her part. Sex with him was never going to be something she would look forward to, but at least her "duty" to him was not something she had to dread.
In spite of her problem with the lack of sexual desire, Ruthie's life became much more balanced over the first weeks in November. She had her work in the morning, her meals with Mike, and her classes and study time in the afternoons. On the weekends they visited places outside Davenport.
Ruthie loved San Gregorio beach, but only once during November was the weather nice enough to go back a second time. As much as they wanted to go back to more than that, it was getting too late in the year and the cold fog along the shore forced them to find diversion inland. They traveled to see a small patch of redwood forest near Santa Cruz, and the following weekend they visited Pinnacles National Monument, the extinct 23-million year-old volcano that Ruthie had talked about. She spent a lot of their time talking about the natural conditions that had created the places they were visiting, which gave her the chance to discuss everything that she had studied in high school or was learning in her college classes.