The Class NudistbyWatchingCloud©
"Yeah, I love the view, especially at sunset," Emmy said as she rummaged through a bookshelf looking for her class notes.
"That's a sweet pool, too," Carson said, trying to find a safe conversation point and realizing too late that he might have chosen poorly.
"Isn't it? I love just lounging around out there, especially after school now that it's hot out."
Warning bells started going off in Carson's mind when she said that, though he tried to convince himself that he was being paranoid. Emmy, having found her notebook, joined him by the window. He tried to keep his focus safely out on the horizon.
"We get quite a bit of wildlife out here," she said, picking up a small pair of binoculars that were sitting on the window sill. "Deer, turkey, all kinds of stuff. Sometimes cool just to look around."
She adjusted the lenses and peered around for a moment before pausing while looking off toward the side of the backyard. "Ah, like that," she said, handing him the binoculars. "Here, take a look."
Carson took the binoculars with a growing sense of dread at what he would see. Following Emmy's guidance, he looked down into the trees and almost immediately spotted Wes camped out behind a bush some twenty feet back from where the properly trimmed lawn began. Carson hadn't bothered to tell Wes about his plans to come study with Emmy after school, and his friend was probably just hoping for another of her repeat performances poolside. His heart sank, though, knowing that he had probably been caught as well.
"Yeah," Carson said, handing the binoculars back to Emmy. He couldn't tell if she was pissed or not, so blank was her expression.
"Yeah," he said, hanging his head while flushing in embarrassment. "I'm sorry."
"You saw both of us out there yesterday, didn't you?"
"I did." Her voice was just as unreadable as her expression and Carson began to suspect that she was indeed very pissed. It made him marvel all the more, though, that she could have acted so pleasantly toward him all day through class and their studying.
"I'm sorry about the whole spying thing," he said. "Honestly, I didn't know what Wes was bringing me out here to see. He just said it was a surprise. I feel terrible and I had no intention of ever coming back here to do it again."
"You swear that's the truth?"
Carson looked her in the eyes and said that it was. She nodded.
"What about your buddy? How long has he been up to this?"
"Just a couple days," Carson said. "And after yesterday I strongly suggested that he'd better cut it out before he got into trouble."
"Either of you tell anyone about this?"
"No!" he said. "Well, I sure haven't. I don't think he has, either, though I could find out for sure."
"It's not that big of a deal," Emmy said, softening her voice a bit when she heard Carson's sincerity. "I'd just rather it not become common knowledge that me or my family are active nudists."
"I totally understand."
"It's not that I'm ashamed or anything," she said. "Quite the contrary, actually. It's just that it's more of a hassle than it's worth among high school types. One of my old friends spilled it at my last school and suddenly all these guys started hitting on me, thinking that because I liked to be naked that I must also be easy."
Emmy shook her head dismissively. "Like I said, don't sweat it. I was pretty pissed yesterday, but calmed down a bit after I had time to think about it. After all, I always had you pegged for a pretty nice guy. And, well, you two are teenage boys."
"Wow, thanks for not calling the police or something."
"Just don't ever do it again," she said. "Either of you. If you want to come over to swim, that's one thing, but none of that snooping crap."
Carson was a little startled by her last statement. It was okay with her if he wanted to come over? Whether she meant it sans clothing or not, it almost certainly meant that she liked him on some level, even after she had caught him spying on her. That little bit of hope did wonders for easing his angst.
"Don't worry," he said. "It'll never happen again. And I'll personally make sure Wes knows his ass will be kicked thoroughly if he doesn't cut it out. In fact, I'll tell him right now if you want."
Emmy smiled at that and it prompted Carson to be proactive. He flipped the catch on her bedroom window and swung it wide open.
"Wes," he called out, loud enough that his friend couldn't possibly miss it. Sure enough, Wes's head snapped up toward the window. "Emmy knows you've been watching and it's time to stop. For good."
Wes, even from this distance, was clearly mortified. He got up from his crouched position and bashfully waved back up at the bedroom window.
"Uh, sorry!" Wes said. "Really, sorry Emmy. Won't happen again. But, thanks for making me a happy man for a couple days!"
"I think that'll do the trick," Emmy said in a lighthearted tone as Carson closed the window back up. "Both of you seem to be sufficiently embarrassed by this episode."
"Yeah," Carson said. "Like, I want to crawl into a hole and hide until after the semester is over embarrassed."
"Nope. You still have to help me study, which we should probably get back to before it gets any later."
Carson couldn't believe that she really was going to let him off the hook that easily, but maybe she was being honest in that she wasn't ashamed about having been seen nude. The very concept was difficult to grasp, but admirable nonetheless. He simply couldn't put himself or his family into the same context as Emmy's and make the visual work.
"So, wow, I guess I'd have never called that one," Carson said, trying to be conversational as they headed back down to the dining room.
"What, me being a nudist?" she said with a wry grin.
"Yeah. Just something you grew up with?"
"You and the family go to, like, camps and stuff, or just hang out around the house?" Carson couldn't believe he was actually prying into what was an awkward subject for him. The way Emmy was so casual about it, though, gave him the sense that she almost wanted the opportunity to be open about an otherwise fairly hidden part of her life.
"Yeah, we'll do some vacations at nudist friendly resorts," she said. "Not all the time, but a couple times during the summer we'll usually go somewhere. And we don't exactly parade around the house naked. Usually just while swimming or something. There are some nudists who feel like they have to do anything and everything they possibly can get away with in the buff. We're a little more laid back than that around here."
"Cool," Carson said, sitting down beside her at the table. "Guess it's just a little hard to wrap my head around. I mean, I've known there are nudists for a long time, but I never really thought I'd meet one. Kinda wondered what they were like."
"Pretty normal, usually," she said. "Only we tend to have fewer tan lines."
That she was teasing him about it now made Carson feel a lot more relaxed. They soon dove back into their studies and the subject of nudity faded away to irrelevance. Carson found himself finally able to focus solely on studying and making sure Emmy mastered the material. He also realized that his interest in her had grown far beyond the bounds of the simple crush he had harbored for the last few months, now that he was getting a feel for her personality.
Shortly before six, Emmy's parents arrived, creating another slightly awkward moment for Carson as he was introduced to both. Like Emmy had told him earlier, there was nothing remarkable about them, nothing that screamed out "nudist." Both were polite and welcomed him warmly, especially after their daughter raved about how helpful he had been in getting her ready for the final exam. Carson was even invited to stay for dinner but declined, feeling he had already enjoyed more good fortune this afternoon than to which he had any right.
Emmy walked him out to the front porch and thanked him again for helping her study.
"My pleasure, really," he said. "And, thanks again for being understanding about that other thing."
"It's nothing," she said, and he was confident she meant it. "Say, if you have time, I'd like to go over a few more things before the exam that we didn't get to yet."
"Yeah, sure," Carson said. "This weekend, maybe?"
"I'm actually pretty busy for most of it," she said. "Except for tomorrow night. And I wouldn't want to interfere with your Friday night plans."
"Oh, that's okay. I don't have anything planned." He felt a little ashamed to admit it, but it was the truth. He probably would have arranged something last minute with Wes, but spending time with Emmy, even if just studying, sounded too good to pass up.
"Ok then," she said. "Wanna do it here again?"
"And, if you want, we can order a pizza or something," she said, a little shyly. "My parents are going to a show, so I'm pretty much on my own anyway."
"Yeah, sounds good," Carson said, realizing that it was almost turning their study session into what could be construed as a date.
"Cool. Oh, and if you want, we could hit the pool for a while. You know, just to chill out. Don't have to study straight through or anything."
Carson felt giddy and nervous all at once. That sort of invitation was definitely more than just for a study partner, and it gave him a thrill that she might actually have some of the same interest in him that he had for her. He also found it sweet that she seemed to get all shy about the invitation.
"Yeah, that sounds great," he said.
"See ya in class tomorrow, then," she said, giving him a little wave.
Carson was flying so high emotionally that he was halfway home before it occurred to him that she might have been intending for that swimming invitation to be in the buff. He hadn't thought to ask and figured to do so might come across as incredibly prudish. The idea had some tantalizing possibilities, but he wasn't sure he had the confidence to overcome the sheer magnitude of his nerves. The rest of the drive home was a battle of possibilities -- could he or couldn't he? Would he or wouldn't he?
* * * *
"I can't believe how burned I got yesterday," Wes said as he sat down beside Carson in the cafeteria. "But man, the humiliation was totally worth it."
"If you'd just let it go after the first time or two, she'd probably have never known," Carson said.
"Whatever. Now, spill it. What were you doing over at her place?"
Carson rolled his eyes, though he had known his friend would grill him over lunch. "She asked me to give her a hand studying for her physics final."
"That's it?" Wes sounded disappointed.
"Was it naked studying?"
Carson closed his eyes and took a deep breath. "No. We were quite clothed, thank you."
"You are so boring. Go to a nudist's house, a hot nudist's house, and not get naked with her."
"Yeah, crazy that we might actually want to focus on studying," Carson said, polishing off the last of his sandwich and wondering if he could find a good excuse to leave early.
"Did she know that you were watching her the other day with me?"
"Yup, she knew. And she wasn't too happy with either of us."
"And she still invited you over to help study? That's a good sign."
"I think she just chalked it up to us being teenage boys," Carson said. "And luckily she seems to be pretty forgiving."
"Must have the hots for you or something."
Carson thought about not mentioning their follow up study session planned for tonight, but figured there was little point in hiding what would eventually come out anyway.
"I'm not sure she's interested in much more than using me to get a better grade," Carson said. "But, she did invite me back tonight for some more studying."
"Studying, on a Friday night? You gotta be kidding me."
"Studying, with pizza and swimming pool," Carson said, knowing it would tweak Wes from disdain to jealousy.
"You're going swimming? Now that's more like it. Please, please, please tell me she'll be naked."
"I didn't ask what she was going to be wearing," Carson said. He was wondering the same thing, but had no intention of letting on to his friend that it mattered that much to him. "And so help me, if you're anywhere near her place tonight, I'll personally kill you."
Wes grinned widely. "Nice, you think she might be going buck then. You lucky mother fucker."
"Just stay away, okay?"
"I know, I know. You'll kill me if I don't. I'd better have a full report on how it went come Saturday morning, though."
"Prepare to be disappointed," Carson said.
* * * *
Carson blinked, realizing that he'd been caught staring at Emmy while she was working on an equation.
"Sorry," he said. "Just spacing out for a moment."
"Think it might be about time to order the pizza and call it a night for the studying," Emmy said with a wry smile. "You're losing focus and I'm getting hungry."
Carson couldn't argue against the lost focus. Unlike the previous day's study session, both of them seemed far more inclined to get off topic and joke around than actually focus on the books. The awkward barrier of distant classmates seemed to have been replaced with a sense of friendship, and Carson found that their personalities matched better than he had dared hope. Emmy, for her part, didn't seem to mind the distraction either.
"Besides, I think we've beaten this dead horse of electromagnetism long enough," she said, closing up her text book and piling her notes up.
Carson packed his own materials up in his backpack while Emmy wandered off to order their pizza. While he had eagerly been looking forward to their post-study time this evening, he was starting to really suffer from the nervous butterflies in his stomach. He hadn't found the courage to ask her about the presumed swimming attire during class and now it seemed a little late to bring it up. Her parents were gone for the evening, which was a plus in terms of his willingness to maybe go nude, but there it was still a huge hurdle for him mentally.
While they waited on dinner, Emmy led him to the living room where they sprawled out upon the couches and carried on an aimless conversation about all manner of topics. Much of it revolved around their families and childhoods. Emmy, to Carson's surprise, had two siblings. Both were older and moved out, with her sister due to be married in a month. And, as if anticipating Carson's question, she said that it was not going to be a nude wedding.
"Nah," she said. "I'm sure they thought about it. But, frankly, there are too many family and friends they'd want to invite who wouldn't really be down for that sort of affair."
"I'm sure it would be quite an ordeal for some," Carson said, grinning at the idea.
"Not that there's anything wrong with doing it that way," she said. "I've actually been to a couple nude weddings over the years. Lots of fun. I think they just settled on taking their honeymoon somewhere where they can make up for having to deal with all that wedding attire."
"Nice," Carson said. "Which sounds awfully handy for a honeymoon."
Carson blushed at her seemingly innocent question. He thought the meaning of his joke was perfectly clear. He felt uncomfortable having to explain it.
"Well, you know," he said, fumbling for a polite way to say it while she looked on innocently. "Honeymooners are generally known for taking off their clothes a lot."
"Oh? What for?"
Carson suspected that behind her straight face, Emmy was deliberately putting him on just to try to embarrass him. It was working.
"Well, consummating the marriage and stuff," he said weakly.
Emmy finally cracked and laughed out loud. "I see," she said. "So, you're saying that by being naked, it's easier for them to get it on at a moment's notice."
"Yeah," Carson said, hoping desperately that the darkening room was hiding his red face.
"I'm sure they'll take advantage of the circumstances," she said. "And I'm just messing with you."
Carson marveled at the girl -- both a nudist as well as comfortable talking about sex openly. It was an intimidating combination and not one he had encountered before in his life's experience. Perhaps that would change after a while in college, but for now she certainly had him at a disadvantage.
The doorbell rang, saving him from further embarrassment for the moment. Her teasing did little, however, to ease his anxiety about what might come after dinner.
Dinner was, blessedly, a relaxing affair over which the conversation stayed safely away from nudity and sex. Emmy provided some remarkably insightful and often scathing commentary on many of Carson's long-time classmates. He was impressed at how well she seemed to grasp the difference between those who were fake and genuine after only having been in their school for a single semester.
"You find the same people everywhere," she said, polishing off another slice of pepperoni.
"So what kind of person do you have me pegged for?" Carson asked.
Emmy raised an eyebrow, knowing that he had just put her on the spot. She rose to the challenge, however.
"You are no pretender," she said. "You're comfortable with who you are and what you want, even when you're uncomfortable about it."
"That sounds almost cryptic enough to be on a fortune cookie."
Emmy smiled. "Ok, that was pretty vague," she admitted. "Basically, I think you're okay with you and you're not inclined to do things just because you think other people want you to do them. You'll forge your own path and let those who like you for it either accept you or fall behind. It's a good thing."
Carson was impressed and humbled. He had never really thought about himself in those terms before, but it seemed that she really had distilled a fundamental part of his personality down into an insightful analysis. She would probably make a good psychologist or therapist if she had a mind to pursue such a field.
"I won't pretend to be near as good at pegging people as you are," he said. "But, I'd have to say that you seem to have the same sort of traits you just described in me."
Emmy shrugged. "Well, you know what that gets you?"
"Apparently an invitation for pizza and pool," she said, smiling. "Speaking of which, you still up for a swim?
"Aren't we supposed to wait an hour after eating or something?" Carson's nerves jumped back to life and he was wondering if postponing things just a little longer might help.
"Nah," she said. "We can hop in, as long as you promise not to start swimming laps or something."
"I'll try to refrain," he said. Time was up.
"C'mon, we can get changed upstairs," she said, leading the way toward the stairs. Her use of the word "changed" made him a little hopeful that he might not be faced with a dilemma after all.
"So, as you're probably well aware by now, we don't have much of a dress code around here," Emmy said as she reached the top of the stairs and waited for him to catch up. "Especially when it comes to the pool. Just want to make sure you don't feel like there's some unwritten rule around here that swimming is only done in the buff."
Carson felt an inward sigh of relief now that she had broached the subject. "Ok."
"So, wear as much or as little as you feel comfortable with," she continued as she turned to lead the way to her bedroom. "As for me, well, you know by know that I prefer au natural. But, if that makes you in the slightest uncomfortable, just say so and I'll dig out my swimsuit. Probably still packed away in a box somewhere, but I'll find it. And really, it's not a big deal."
Shit, Carson thought to himself. Now he was stuck in perhaps an even more awkward place, being given the choice of what to wear not only for himself but for her as well. In all honesty, he knew that he'd be far more in his comfort zone if they were both dressed. Another part of him, however, really admired her confidence in her own skin and didn't want to inflict his ingrained prudishness on her.