The main meeting room of the firm of Cook, Richardson, Wickland, Bell & Wyzomirski. Six people seated at the lacquered oak table. At the head, Sarah Wickland, age 38, sitting in front of an open laptop and a telephone, wearing a smart gray business dress, white laced shirt with ruffles at the neck, nylons and heels. To her left, Donald Bell, age 41, in a three-piece suit, blue shirt, red tie, elegant black socks and shiny black shoes. To her right, Dr. Miriam Maber, age 53, in a pink blouse under a beige blazer, flowing green velvet dress, knee socks, and low black heels. To the right of Dr. Maber, Martin Wyzomirski, age 45, in a flannel shirt unbuttoned at the top, houndstooth jacket, black corduroys, white socks and black sneakers. To his right, Nina West, age 22, in a long-sleeved white blouse under a yellow blazer, burgundy knee-length skirt, nylons, and loafers. Next to Ms. West, at the foot of the table, Tami Smithers, age 19, no clothes.
The naked teenage girl sat nervously and primly, her bare buttocks sticking to the soft leather chair, her taut breasts with their hard brown nipples reflected almost like a mirror by the table. Her hands were down below, rubbing the sides of her bare thighs. She apparently thought better and brought her hands up to the table, clasping them in front of her like she had been taught to do long ago in catechism class.
Nina looked at the naked girl and then across the table at Sarah Wickland. She noticed how much more nervous her naked friend got once she entered these elegant surroundings. Nina was nervous too.
“Miss Smithers, my name is Sarah Wickland. I trust you remember me.”
“Y - yes,” the teenager said, clearing her throat.
“Welcome to my firm. We have spoken a couple of times. To use the lingo of campus politics with which you might be familiar, this is the steering committee of the ‘Give Tami Clothes’ coalition. You have been denied clothing for almost a year now due to circumstance and due to the misguided strictures of Campbell - Frank College. You have been forced into . . . extreme physical exposure and public display of various intimate functions which would cause any normal person an extreme, if not excruciating, degree of shame and humiliation. Isn’t this true?”
The naked teenager, almost quaking at not knowing how to respond, looked briefly at Nina. Then she said in a little voice, “I -- I don’t mind it.”
Nina could tell that Sarah was about to say something like “Really now??” but resisted the urge. Instead, Sarah said, “My young friend, the administration at Campbell - Frank is under pressure to expel any religious nudist but they are afraid of the Constitutional consequences. What you have been subjected to is an ever-escalating program of humiliation, a deliberate attempt to get you to crack, to admit that nudity is not really your religion so that you can be expelled for the streaking episode.”
“But . . . it is my . . religion,” Tami said softly, shifting in her chair, which caused a slight ripping sound as her bare skin unstuck from the leather before settling into a new spot.
Sarah continued as if Tami hadn’t said anything. “The administration of Campbell - Frank is in as vicious a circle as you, child. They would rather see you wearing clothes again, but cannot excuse that streaking episode the first week of school. Wouldn’t YOU also rather be wearing clothes again?”
“N - no.”
Sarah, again, pretended not to hear. “We have developed a legal strategy which will allow you to wear clothes again, while also allowing the college to reverse its policy as to you without expelling you for misconduct or violating the United States Constitution. But we need your consent to proceed. We need an affidavit from you setting forth the true facts. Miss West has been assigned to try to get your trust so you can consent. I see she has failed.”
Nina’s heart stopped. She was in the doghouse now. But then Tami saved her by saying, “She -- she’s been trying very hard.” Nina closed her eyes and exhaled. Thank you, Tami.
Sarah hit a key on her laptop and shifted her chair to one side. A picture lit up the screen, of a frigid January day, a snow-packed path between campus buildings, and a naked girl staring with longing at two heavily-bundled students walking in front of her. “You were walking outside naked in zero degrees, Miss. Didn’t you want to have some covering then?”
Tami looked down at the table, not saying anything, like a little kid being scolded by her school principal. No one could see it but her bare toes were twisting and squirming against the carpeted floor. There was an uncomfortable silence. Nina was beginning to feel angry that Sarah was browbeating this poor naked girl.
“How about this?” Sarah’s next photo was of the naked Tami strapped into the dildo machine surrounded by men in lab coats, her eyes bugged out at the camera. “Brought to orgasm after orgasm in front of leering men? Did you want that?”
Tami looked down quickly, her eyes blinking quickly, and fidgeted with her hands.
Dr. Maber broke in. “Dear, we’re only trying to help. Don’t you see? You have shown such incredible strength in this ordeal. We all admire you. After this is over and you go back to wearing clothes again, you will be in such good shape to deal with whatever life throws at you. But past a certain point maybe you should look around and realize that not everyone is out to get you. WE are not the administration of that . . . school. ANYONE who knows the truth, as we do, would be willing to help you out of simple decency. Part of being strong is being able to accept help that is offered. Don’t be too proud, child.”
Tami bit her lip, still looking down. Finally she forced herself to look up. “I -- I -- ” She shut her eyes and started over. “I don’t think you’re -- bad persons. I just want . . . I just want . . .”
“Want what? To be left alone and live a normal clothed life like anyone else?” Dr. Maber said.
Tami chewed on her lips and then shook her head. Then she looked down again.
Martin gave a piece of paper to Nina which she handed to Tami. “Miss Smithers,” he said, “I want to know if you recognize this.”
In passing it to Tami, Nina took a quick look at it. She saw something of the contents and tried not to act surprised. It was an agreement to basically do anything the college wanted. It started out with a declaration that modesty was against her religion and continued with a consent to be tested “to the limits of my sexual and physical capacities”. Scary language that made Nina hold her breath.
“Is that your signature?” Donald Bell said.
Tami nodded. The signature was wild and scratchy and not at all like Nina supposed someone like Tami would write, not even a left-handed person.
Donald Bell continued, “Is it true that when you signed this document, you were on the . . . on the brink of orgasm, someone was performing oral sex on you under the table?”
Tami blinked her eyes a couple of times. “It was because I asked her to keep doing . . . it,” she said nervously.
“We think that agreement is not enforceable,” Martin said.
Tami looked up at him with alarm. “What does -- enforce -- mean?”
“It means they can’t hold you to it. It means you can break it.”
Tami looked at the paper again. “B - but I signed it. Jeffrey witnessed it.”
“Still,” Martin said. “In legal terms you were under duress. In other words, you were forced or intimidated into signing. Isn’t that true?”
Tami bit her lip again. The naked teenager was plainly terrified. “Is Jeffrey in trouble? Am I in trouble?”
“No, dear, you’re not in trouble,” Dr. Maber said quickly. “You are in no danger from us. We’re not in cahoots with the administration.”
Everyone could tell that Tami was holding her breath because her breasts, which had risen and fallen with her nervous breaths, were now motionless. “Then how did you get this?” She held the paper up. “Or that . . . lab picture?”
Sarah said, “These are copies of copies. I’ll be frank: we stole them.”
This did not seem to reassure the naked girl. Nor did Sarah do any better when she said, “Miss Smithers -- Tami -- we know the horrible additional things you have been cajoled into agreeing to in the fall. Do you really want to go endure those abuses?”
Tami looked up, a little more steadily now. “You’re not going to sue me?”
“No, no, of course not! For what??” Sarah was losing her patience. Then she calmed herself down again and showed another picture -- of Tami the first week of school, just a normal clothed freshman filling out forms. “Tami, don’t you want to go back to being normal?”
This getting no response, Sarah said, “Excuse me.” She was back in a second with a set of clothes on a hanger. They were exquisitely new -- and complete. Bra, panties, T-shirt, fashion jeans, socks and sneakers, all hung artfully on the hanger so that every item was visible. Sarah hung them on the edge of a shelf just to the naked girl’s left.
“Go ahead, look, Miss Smithers,” Sarah said, trying to sound tender. “These are yours. You can take them into the bathroom across the hall and put them on. Please.”
Tami looked the clothes up and down with a deadpan look, then looked at her hands again. “No thank you.”
Dr. Maber spoke up again. “Child, we are offering you dignity. Dignity that you have been denied for so long.”
Another moment went by. Then Tami glanced at Nina and pushed her chair back. She stood up, treating them all to a frontal view of her magnificent young body, reflected on the table down to her bare tanned pubic lips. “Can -- can I go now?” Her shoulders were thrown back, she stood before them as if proud and unashamed, wearing her nudity as if it were as exquisite and dignified as Sarah Wickland’s formal business dress.
Nina just couldn’t stand to see her naked friend tortured any more. “I think -- I think she should go.” She realized as soon as she said it how much she was going out on a limb but fortunately Sarah seemed to give up and agreed. “Yes, Miss Smithers, I think we’re done now.”
Nina escorted Tami out of the meeting room. They went past the rows of secretaries and attorneys, all of them surprised at the sight of a totally naked young female. After the two passed, everyone turned to look at the receding bare shoulders and back and the tight butt, the thin but muscular legs, the bare feet padding on the carpet. Then the naked girl and Nina West popped into the elevator and were gone.
Back in the meeting room, Donald Bell said, “She sure is a tough one. Stubborn.”
Dr. Maber said, “A remarkable young lady.”
Martin said, “I’d say she is a rare gem.”
Everyone couldn’t help but agree with that.
“Well, Doctor, we have legal mumbo jumbo to discuss,” Sarah said. “Thank you for your help.”
“Keep me posted,” the kind therapist said.
After she had left, Donald Bell said, “There goes your idea about the Moonrock decision.”
“MoonSTONE,” Martin said.
Donald Bell continued, “End of Plan B.”
Sarah sat down. “Time for Plan C.”
Martin said, “Plan C is . . . rough.”
“Well what else can we do,” Sarah said, picking up the phone.
Martin said, “Leave her alone, that’s what.”
She stopped and looked at him and said, “I can’t. I just can’t.” And she began dialing.