Can Roberta Be Healed?

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(Note to Readers: This concerns a woman who, in her chosen words, has had ‘bad things done to me’ in a sexual context. The ‘bad things’ are not described in detail in the story, and whoever did them is not a character here. The woman seeks to get past the trauma, and to regain enjoyment of body pleasure, with the help of a friend. All characters are at least 18 years old.)


Roberta wore jeans. Evan guessed this meant that she was not in circulation tonight. She had been at her flirtiest on those three occasions when he had seen her in a skirt, showing legs that seemed to have never grown hair. Tonight, maybe, she hadn’t groomed them for display. Yet she was here, so she wanted some degree of interaction with people.

Evan resigned himself to friend-zoning with her. They might talk seriously on impersonal topics, and exchange viewpoints that would broaden their awareness of each other. That is, if they spent any time together at all. His fleeting hope for a hookup might impel him to chat up other women.

As Roberta strolled near where he sat, Evan enjoyed the rolling of her hips, enough to wonder if he was wrong. She was smiling. Maybe just enjoying herself? With no goals or agenda? Or, maybe, up for spontaneous fun regardless of how she’d look naked?

“Hi, Ro,” he said.

She glanced his way and said, “Hey Evan,” but kept going, towards the bar at the back of the open rooftop lounge.

Her flannel shirt was buttoned but untucked, and too large, maybe by choice. She had ponytailed her hair, yet copper highlights in the dark brown showed here and there. The jeans extended to the top of strappy sandals. A casual look, Evan concluded, with comfort a priority.

But the effect was still attractive–to Evan, and probably every other guy milling around the rooftop. Roberta definitely had A Face, smooth and symmetrical, with big brown eyes, lush lips, and great teeth.

Evan could only infer about her body. He had done that many, many times.

He raised his glass and sipped beer. He was alone at his table, which he had chosen to get a good view of a baseball game on a flatscreen high on a wall. So far, nobody had sought to join him. Nor had he made an effort, yet, to connect with anyone.

Evan had settled in this city, nine hundred miles from where he was raised, in the vague belief that he should get away from his family. He didn’t resent his parents or siblings, he just thought that life must be better in a place where he could define himself. Yet he had few friends here, none of them close.

He had lately come to believe that he was waiting around for his life to happen, rather than becoming his life’s active author. Still, hanging back put him in his comfort zone. This generally gave people a good opinion of him, because he avoided messing with others’ lives. He was a nice guy, in the sense that he wanted people to be happy. When he thought about them at all.

The group Roberta joined at the bar took Evan’s attention away from the ball game. Roberta stood at the outside of the seven-person aggregate, participating in the chat but now and then glancing around.

Evan noticed something. Roberta never moved in closer, so she was never surrounded. Also, she smiled when making eye contact, but when she glanced away her expression was serious, maybe suspicious.

Because he was paying close attention to this aspect of Roberta, more focused on it than on her looks or his desire, Evan saw an entire incident that others might have seen only partly:

From outside the group, Chase, a tall guy too aware of his handsomeness, ambled up behind Roberta while she started saying something to everyone else.

Chase set a hand on Roberta’s shoulder.

Roberta flinched from the contact, spun towards Chase, and loudly barked “Whaaat!?” Others in the group jolted. and a few drinks spilled.

“Hey, I didn’t–” Chase began.

“Don’t ever do that, okay?” Roberta said, her frown furious, her breath rapid and audible.

She had recognized Chase. Some of the tension left her. But not all, from what Evan could see.

“Sorry,” said Chase, looking baffled. He turned away, and went elsewhere.

The rest of the group showed concern that Roberta was upset. Maybe in reflex, Dina reached over to comfort her.

“No!” Roberta snapped, lurching away from Dina’s hand. “I’m okay, just really startled.”

“What an asshole,” said Luke about Chase, “invading your space like that.”

Roberta took another quick glance around and behind her, then straightened up and relaxed. “Anyway,” she said, “there was a package delivered to the office, and nobody knew which department should get it.”

Evan saw this as Roberta’s way of erasing the incident, preventing any other discussion, even Luke’s envy of Chase.

Also, Evan recalled that when she’d arrived at the bar, she had shared a leaning one-arm hug with one of the women. So her problem wasn’t being touched, generally.

Evan had never tried to touch Roberta. She had touched şişli escort him a few times, hands only.

A while later, looking relaxed and content, Roberta left the lounge, alone.

Evan looked away as she passed by. He felt vaguely ashamed, for having seen the incident, and her response to it.

He left a few minutes later, without trying for a hookup. His thoughts were only about Roberta. He wondered why she had reacted so strongly.


Roberta and Evan were in friend groups that could overlap at large social gatherings. Evan made sure to show up at a party in a young couple’s third-floor apartment. As he hoped, Roberta was there. She was again dressed casually, legs covered by jeans. She moved and mingled, but often stood with her back to a flat wall. When people drifted away from her, Evan approached her directly.

“I may not know you well enough to say this,” he said, “so tell me if this would bother you. I saw, uh, what happened with you and Chase the other night. If you want me to drop the subject, just say so.”

Her look at him seemed to sharpen. “Thanks. But what if I don’t need you to drop it?”

He hadn’t expected that. But he knew what he’d do, if given the chance. “Then, um, if you want to talk about it, I’d listen. As a friend.”

Despite the music and the chatter, she lowered her voice. “Why did you approach me this way?”

“Um, well, I saw what happened, and I worried that you–“

“No, I mean, literally, approach, this way. Straight towards me, while my back is at a wall.”

He tried not to smile. “So you could see, without you moving, if anyone else was getting close, on either side.”

She too seemed to hold back a smile. “I’d be okay with us talking.”

She guided him to the back porch. The three-flat wasn’t tall enough to require an elevator. Beyond the back door of the apartment, the porch was a wooden structure, open to the outdoors. There were stairs to ground level, serving the porches of all three flats. Roberta positioned herself at a back corner of the porch, and Evan again faced her straight on.

He asked her, “Don’t you feel trapped, in that spot?”

“Not by you. I think I know you well enough.” She took a breath. “And I think you know what I’m trying to avoid.”

“I could guess. But I’d only know if I’m right, if you explained.”

“I don’t know you that well. Not yet.” She sipped beer from a red plastic cup. “Evan, I know you’re interested in me, and now I’m getting interested in you. But if we’re going to pursue that interest, you have to let me be in control. Can you do that?”

His brain flashed images he frankly found ridiculous, like fem-dom. But he thought that Roberta, with height and bone structure on the high side of medium for a woman, could bring that off. “That depends on how much you’ll explain.”

She shook her head. “I can’t do that, right away. Would you be willing to come over to my place tomorrow night? Maybe to do some things with me in charge?”

“I am,” he said, “although I reserve the right to say no about the ‘some things.'”

“I hear you.”

They brought out their phones and exchanged contact data.

“Now,” she said with a more open smile, “Step back, please.”

He did. Now with more space, she walked towards the stairs.

Her smile widened at him, as she began heading down towards the building’s back yard.

He smiled and nodded at her, acknowledging her choice not to thread through the crowded apartment on her way home.


Before the ‘incident,’ Evan believed that while Roberta enjoyed hanging out with friends, she wasn’t looking to change her life. Being single and separate seemed to match up with her tendency to say little about herself, and to be chill about that.

If this was an accurate assessment of her, it aligned with what Evan thought was an accurate assessment of himself.

The ‘incident,’ however, showed that her condition was more complex than his. He wondered if he could truly relate to her.

This didn’t stop him from ringing her doorbell, nor from opening the building’s main door when it buzzed to unlock.

When the door to her flat opened, Roberta smiled, but stepped back. He walked into the space she created, far enough to allow her to keep him in sight as she closed the door.

He then said what he had concluded from thinking about this moment. “I’m going to assume that you’ve arranged for someone to check up on you while I’m here.”

She cocked an eyebrow. “You’re being almost too thoughtful.”

“Maybe not enough,” he said, taking a chance on a grin. “I don’t have anyone checking up on me, and you’re in charge.”

Roberta took a breath, and her expression became serious. “I can tell you this much. What I want to do tonight will, I hope, help me understand a few things about myself. From your perspective, though, it’ll probably seem like I’m weird, and you won’t know why.”

Evan finger-quoted as he said, “When I ‘approached’ you at the party, I kinda volunteered for this.” escort bayan He was fairly sure that some past event had caused her to avoid blind-spot approaches and unexpected touching. She had seemed to confirm that to him at the party. He thought he shouldn’t mention this directly.

“Thanks,” she said, and waved him to the living room. “Is it okay if we get right to it? The longer this takes, the more anxious I’ll be.”

“Sure,” he said, with an amalgam of compassion, excitement, and worry.

“Please stand about six feet away, and face me.”

This put him with his back to a bay window. He had noticed that all of the drapes were closed. “How’s this?”

“Fine,” she said, facing him. “Now, I’d like us to undress.”

He cocked both eyebrows.

She undid the top button of her satiny green blouse. Then her smile returned, and she said, “Simultaneously.”

It so happened that he, too, wore a buttondown. As he put his fingers to work on it, he said, “I think I’m getting the better end of this.”

“I’ll be the judge of that,” she said, her smile now wide, with teeth prominent. “I like your kind of body. That’s a learned behavior. At first, I thought I liked brawny musclemen, but when I went from looking to touching, I was disappointed. Hard surfaces everywhere didn’t feel very good. I like a guy’s body to give way a bit, be flexible, but have firm strength below the surface.” As she pulled the blouse up from the jeans waistband, her smile turned embarrassed, or mischievous. “Enough about that.”

Evan was concentrating so much on trying to interpret her mood that he had to remind himself to continue garment removal. Roberta sounded casual about her encounters with male anatomy, in general. Saying no more about flexible-but-firm didn’t seem to arise from what disturbed her.

As he opened his shirt, he said, “I think you’ll find a lot of flexibility in here.” He was in decent shape, but the abdomen he showed was smooth. He was frustrated by his inability to carve his abs into a six-pack.

Roberta bit her lower lip as she slid the blouse down her arms. “We’re not going to touch each other. I should have mentioned that.”

He worked really hard at keeping his eyes on hers, fighting off the glimpse of her red and black bra. He said, “Okay.”

Her smile returned. “You can look all you like.” She tossed the blouse on an end table, then spread her arms. “I think that’s been on your wish list.” She undulated her torso, rolling its curves, leaning its cleavage.

“It has,” he croaked. Then he remembered the shirt in his hands, and flung it to the floor.

“I’m terrible,” said Roberta, half-giggling. “I know I look good. I want to be seen, and appreciated. It’s just–” Then she shook her head sharply, and moved her hands to her belt.

Evan said nothing, still trying to analyze what he’d heard. He mirrored her move of hands to pants.

This contact alerted him that a part of him was now more firm than flexible.

Abruptly she said, “You want the hair?

He looked up, to her ponytail.


She left her jeans unbelted, unbuttoned, but still in place, and lifted her hands to the band behind her head. She also drew in a breath. Her bra, and its contents, rose and advanced.

Smiling, he said, “This is how you always loosen your hair, right?”

She was already taking quite a while at it, and now she took even longer, with a quirky smile. “I think you know it isn’t.” She took another slow breath, this one audible.

“I’m glad that you can have fun with this,” he said. “Don’t worry about me thinking it’s weird.”

Her smile seemed more relaxed now. “You’re someone I feel okay with. So it’s fun. But it is weird.” She finally pulled away the band and shook her head back and forth. Her freed tresses fluffed the air, then settled with strands ending just below her shoulders. The ceiling light gave her an auburn halo.

It now took some effort for Evan to pull down his zipper.

Roberta saw that. She snorted to avoid a laugh, and said nothing as she slid her jeans down her legs. Evan couldn’t tell if she was still only having fun.

He saw that her legs were neatly shaved, regardless of what she had worn over them. He tried to drop the subject, but he really liked her legs.

After their delayed dispatch of shoes, they faced each other without outerwear. Yet they were not criminally exposed, in the judgment of society. Evan sported white boxers with vertical green pinstripes. Roberta’s bra showed bulk within its curved base and sides. Her briefs were plain white, starting a few inches below the navel and arcing slightly up on either side from the crotch.

“Well?” she asked.

“You have two, I have one,” said Evan.

“Okay,” said Roberta. She put her hands behind her back–then dropped them suddenly, and thumbed the briefs down her legs.

He jolted physically. When Roberta stepped free, Evan said, “Psych!” appreciatively.

Again at her max smile, she straightened up proudly. He saw that beşiktaş escort she did, indeed, know that she looked good. Each passing moment showed him how privileged he was to be in her presence, for this weirdness.

Evan hauled down his tented boxers, while gazing at her groin. It looked pretty much as he’d imagined, with short brown pubes like tributaries down to her vulva. Yet the sight made his heart race.

He kicked away his drawers, and faced her just as proudly. Despite flexibility, he knew that he also looked pretty good.

“Bravo!” cheered Roberta, applauding. Evan’s cock twitched, and grew a bit more.

Roberta took a slow step towards him, her hands again going behind her back. “I gather that your eyes don’t have fish-eye lenses.” She took another step, halting less than three feet away from him. “So I’ll have to trust that being exposed and present will make these seem big enough.”

She flipped the bra behind her head. Evan jolted again. He did everything he could to prevent his hands from crossing the space between him and her.

Her breasts were not extremely large, but their rondure and high placement matched her other contours. The nipples and areolas were dark enough to contrast with her skin, perhaps from current blood flow.

“Beautiful,” he said hoarsely, staring. “I will never unsee them, any time we meet in the future.”

“At least you have valid information,” she said. “Other guys have to guess. And they do.”

Jerkily, he put his hands behind his back.

She noticed his effort. Her lips parted in a slight gasp.

“Thank you,” she said, pupils dilating as they aimed into his. Quickly she added, “I’m so glad I was right about you, Evan, but you’re making this really tough on me. I’ll try to stay with this, but if I can’t, will you help me again another time?”

“Yes of course,” he said, still not certain what the help was for.

She looked at the floor and took a few deep breaths. Her body calmed.

She looked up and smiled. “Show me the rest.” With a finger she gestured a circle.

He took a slow turn, and felt a bit nervous when she could see his butt, and he couldn’t see her as she looked at it. Yet he heard her say, “Nice.”

Facing her again, he said, “Same.”

She did her rotation with a slow shimmy, not just presenting her buttocks, but showing how they looked along with her back and thighs. He was surprised to see that her hindquarters were quite lush. This wasn’t obvious when she was dressed. Evan thought that this might be on him, since he wasn’t an ass man.

“So, are we done now?” he asked, hoping not.

“No,” said Roberta. She pointed to her left. “Sit.”

Two upholstered armchairs faced each other. Each had towels on its arms.

“You’re well prepared,” he said.

“I have to live here,” she returned. “Don’t make me clean up after you.”

He took that warning seriously, setting a towel flat on the seat and keeping the other ready next to his hip. She did much the same.

“I want to see your desire,” she said haltingly. “And show you mine.”

Somewhat splayed in the chair, her body was not at its most appealing, but Evan’s eyes widened from watching how she watched him. She fingered apart her labia, showing her cleft in more detail. She rolled and stroked a breast while pinching the nipple, showing him the softness and texture he couldn’t touch. That made him thicker in his fist than he might have been otherwise. And the sight of that, apparently, made her vulva glisten and her nipples grow, while quickening her breath.

The effect of the feedback loop surprised him, and also her, given the look in her eyes. And it lasted longer than he expected, his erection ever more taut and intense. As he pumped faster and longer, he wondered if his body was holding back the payoff, in the hope that she would leap into his lap.

His body tightened into a rictus, eyes squinting, depriving him of her beauty. He yelled, feeling slime on his fingers, gobbets landing on his belly. He heard chair legs hit the floor as he bucked and jerked, and heard also low moans from a few feet away.

When his eyes were again able to open, he saw Roberta’s head tipped back so far that her face was out of sight, and her hand was a blur in and around her crotch.

Gradually, her hand slowed and her breathing calmed.

Still gazing at her, he took the second towel and began blotting up the semen on his gut.

With her face still towards the ceiling, she asked, “How’s my chair?”

He had begun, with his dry hand, carefully feeling along the upholstered arms. “I think it emerged unscathed.” Then he chuckled. “But I could spend more time here, pretending to clean it.”

He saw her torso shake with laughter. Her breast jiggles made him try to find more funny things to say.

Before he had results with that, Roberta straightened up, and began toweling between her thighs.

“I better not push my luck,” she said weakly. “We should stop now. But can I invite you again in about two weeks?”

“Only if it’s weird.”

She laughed, but looked away. “Weirder, I hope. But now, could you please leave?”

He trusted her to know what was best. In less than three minutes, sticky under his clothes, he thanked her and exited.

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