tagNovels and NovellasThe Freshman Ch. 23

The Freshman Ch. 23

bycaligula97236©

Chapter 23 - A photo shoot in Huntington Hall

A very eerie silence settled over the university once all the students had departed for the holidays. A couple of coffee shops in the student center remained open to serve the handful of students living off campus not traveling, but the dorm area was totally deserted. Even most of the RA's had left. A couple of her co-workers were coming back right after New Year's, but Cecilia was the only RA who would spend the entire Christmas break in the dorm.

The dorm's manager decided to make her duty RA during the break and give her the keys to the entire building. In the morning she had to unlock the service entrance to let the janitors in, but apart from that, she would have Huntington Hall to herself until after New Year's.

Two days after Jason left there was a heavy snowstorm that blanketed the university. With the students gone and only the service entrance of Huntington Hall remaining open, there was no need to shovel the sidewalks. With the sidewalks buried under a foot of snow the dorm area became even more deserted, silent, and desolate.

During the days she was snowed in, Cecilia was able to relax in many small ways she couldn't when the dorm was full of students. She greatly enjoyed the silence surrounding her. The only noise she would hear during those three weeks would be whatever noise she chose to make. Sometimes she played classical music or a CD from "Socrates' Mistresses", but more often everything was turned off and her room was as quiet as the rest of Huntington Hall. The quiet was very nice for a soul starved for tranquility.

She remained busy, active on the Internet or preparing for the upcoming semester. She spent several days making major revisions to the website of "Socrates' Mistresses" and improving her knowledge of digital art and web graphics. She experimented with sound files, looking for the format that would best suit the band's Internet needs. She got caught up on the news by reading on-line articles and corresponding with Kimberly and Cynthia Lee. The days flew by in spite of the void Jason's absence had left in her life.

For most of the break Cecilia didn't bother to get dressed. Under the influence of her boyfriend, during the fall semester she had become used to sleeping naked. With the heat turned up in her room, she also enjoyed not wearing anything while studying or relaxing. Even when she went to the bathroom she knew there was no need to get dressed, since there was no one else on the floor to see her. The first few trips she simply wrapped herself in a towel when she went to pee or take a shower. Later, as she became more comfortable walking around in the vacated building, she began leaving her towel in her room. As she walked down the hallway with the cool air blowing against her bare skin, she reflected how much like Jason she had become in being comfortable with her body.

Three days after the dorm residents had left, Cecilia had built up enough dirty clothes to need to do a load of wash. She made a rather important decision; she would not get dressed when she took the dirty clothing downstairs to the laundry room. Why bother? There was no one to see her, and it would be nice to have every article of clothing in her room clean and put away, with no exceptions. With her heart pounding and the thrill of erotic excitement going through her thoughts, she walked down the stairs wearing nothing but a pair of flip-flops. Her heart continued to pound as she placed the clothes in the washing machine, turned it on, and went back upstairs.

Naked, she made several more trips up and down the stairs to move her clothes to a dryer and later pull them out. She unfolded an ironing board and spent the next hour ironing and folding her clothes. She put the ironed clothes in a basket or on hangers, and then made several more naked trips up and down the stairs to move everything back to her room and put it away. By the time she was finished, she no longer felt that she was doing anything daring. She was becoming used to being naked outside of her room and found it quite enjoyable.

From that point forward she began doing her building checks in the nude, wearing just her sneakers and carrying the dorm keys and her radio. She patrolled the deserted hallways several times a day to stretch her legs. She enjoyed walking around the empty floors and exerting herself going up and down the stairs.

From doing her building checks in the nude, Cecilia progressed to exercising in the nude. In the director's office there was a treadmill. Because the environment outside was so bitterly cold, she had no desire to go out, not even to stay in shape. Instead she decided to exercise on the treadmill by walking and running, still dressed in nothing but her sneakers. She did not have to worry about her boss catching her naked in his office, because she had his dorm keys and he would need to radio her if he wanted in the building. So, twice a day she entered the office to spend an hour walking and jogging on the treadmill. By the end of Christmas break she had worked herself up to running two miles non-stop and walking an additional four miles.

Cecilia's sexual urges did not diminish over her three-week confinement in the dorm. With Jason absent from her life, she returned to her old routine of self-pleasure. She spent countless hours masturbating and gently caressing her body with her fingertips. Usually she stayed in her room during her lengthy sessions of self-love, but not always. One of the best orgasms during her three weeks of solitude came one night in the commons area during a very heavy snowstorm. She sat in front of a bay window on a sofa, caressing and fondling herself in the open room as a layer of new snow blanketed the deserted university. What excited the RA was the fact the window was in plain view of the entire campus, but because she was sitting in the dark and it was snowing, she was invisible to the outside. She wondered what the dorm's freshmen would think if they could have seen their no-nonsense RA sitting naked in the commons area, sweaty and gasping, her legs spread to the world, giving herself an orgasm.

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For the second time of her life, Cecilia faced the prospect of spending Christmas alone. It was ironic that she had plenty of people in her life who cared about her, but their circumstances prevented them from being available to spend any time with her on Christmas.

Dealing with being alone at the end of December was very hard on her. Christmas was the one time during each year Cecilia had good memories of her life in New Jersey. She knew that it was easy idealize those few pleasant moments that stood out in an otherwise very bleak life, but she couldn't help it. As hard as it was to believe, as Christmas loomed she even missed her family.

Christmas always had been the one time during the year the Sanchez family could ignore their personal problems and set aside their disputes. Cecilia, her mother, and her cousin always spent a couple of days preparing traditional Dominican dishes, so the family always ate well during the last week of the year. Whatever money they had was spent on gifts and decorations. Neighbors always came over, and there were numerous invitations to visit other families in the housing project. There were Church services and midnight masses, traditional Spanish Christmas music to replace the ever-present Salsa and Rap that permeated the project, and Christmas pageants at school and at church. Cecilia did not miss very much of her life in New Jersey, but she did miss Christmas.

She spent a lot of time corresponding with Kimberly Lee about Christmas in Upper Danubia. Kim also missed Christmas, but for a different reason. The Danubians did not have any major celebration of Christmas on December 25, but instead combined the celebration of Christmas with celebrating New Year's a week later. The tradition was to spend the hours before midnight with family members, then attend Temple services for an hour, and then to spend the following day and evening visiting friends and exchanging gifts.

"Christmas used to be a bigger deal than it is now, but since the Danubians are getting back into their old religion, the Catholic holidays don't matter to them too much anymore. I miss my family and sometimes miss the way we do things in the US, so I feel for you about missing Christmas with your own family."

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On the morning of December 24, Cecilia got a call from Suzanne Foster. She was greatly surprised, because she had thought that Suzanne would be off-campus like most of the other dorm residents. She had indeed left for the holiday, but had to come back because of a fight with her father. Her dorm director, aware of her difficult personal situation, decided to waive the rule about having her stay out of her room over the Christmas break and let her back in. She would have to eat out of the dorm, but at least she could sleep in her room.

Suzanne was very upset over her latest fight with her father. She had been forced to leave her family's house the morning before Christmas and faced spending the rest of her vacation alone on campus. Cecilia decided to get together with her friend, have lunch, and give Suzanne a chance to have someone to talk to. As bad as she felt for Suzanne, she was glad to have a familiar face on campus to alleviate her own loneliness. For the first time in over a week, Cecilia got dressed and nerved herself to face the bitter cold outside to walk over to Suzanne's dorm.

The two women crossed the university to eat at a restaurant just off-campus, and then wandered around a bit until the stores began closing. During that entire time Suzanne talked about a disastrous end of the semester. In a three week period she had broken up with her boyfriend, been accused of cheating on a term paper by a professor, and had a vicious fight with her father.

"The cheating hassle was why I never called you when the Dukov group was here. The ethics panel actually had me go to a hearing and I had to bring in all my research stuff. I mean...I had to go to the library and get all my books and take them over, dig up my notes...I even had to go through the trash to get some scraps of paper that I took notes on. Any you know why they accused me of cheating? Simply because the way I write is kinda like the way one of the professors here writes. I didn't even know who the guy was, but they said I was copying his work. I'll tell you, I'm mad about this...really mad, and I told them that. Anyhow, they cleared me, but I don't know if really they believe me or not. And, I don't know if the professors are gonna trust me after this, because the whole thing's gotten around the department. Let this be a lesson to you, keep your research notes for your papers."

Suzanne vented her anger against her boyfriend, who was art major specializing in painting. The guy had not really done anything all semester except create a few very bad paintings. He had no job and Suzanne had been paying for their dates. On top of everything else he had flunked a couple of his classes at the university and was considering taking classes at the community college. Since he no longer was going to be student at the university, he would have to move off-campus and really had nowhere to go.

Suzanne snapped when he told her he wanted to keep his stuff in her room and sleep there until he came up with something else. She was fully aware he would not be able to come up with anything else, and probably would want to stay indefinitely. Furthermore, by having a male stay in her room, she would be risking getting kicked out of the dorm. The answer was no. No stuff in my room, no sleeping in my room, no using my meal card to eat in the cafeteria. Go find someone else to support you, because I've had it. And by the way, you'd better change your major, because you don't know how to paint. What you call a painting is something I could have done when I was in kinder garden.

Suzanne went home to her father's house in an irritated mood. She made the mistake of telling him and her step-mother about the final two weeks of her semester. He promptly used the cheating accusation and her most recent break-up to ridicule her, and heap his usual contempt on her life and her efforts in college. Suzanne, still in a rotten mood from the events over the past two weeks, simply left the house without saying anything and returned to the university.

Cecilia was curious about the odious behavior from her friend's father and why she put up with it.

"You know, you take a lot of shit from your dad, and I don't get it. I'm tellin' you, if I were you, I would've told him to go fuck himself a long time ago. There's no way I'd put up with what you're puttin' up with. So, how come you're doin' it? How come you're takin' his shit?"

"I don't know, Cecilia. I don't know why I'm doing it. I'm always asking myself the same thing, but I keep hoping that someday things might be different. I keep hoping that he'll change, I mean, go back to the way he was when I was little, and we might be a family again...like before my mom left."

"It's not gonna happen. You don't have any family, 'cause your dad's just a rotten person. You gotta deal with that. That's your reality, and you just gotta face it. That man's no good, and you know he's no good. He doesn't deserve you bein' nice to him."

"I guess. I don't know myself why I'm this way...why I can't let go. Right now I just can't."

Cecilia, upon realizing she wasn't going to get Suzanne to change her outlook on her relationship with her father, decided to change the subject and work on improving her friend's mood. She invited Suzanne back to her room to listen to the latest CD sent to her by Kimberly Lee and to look at the website draft she had prepared. Suzanne, who had more of an eye for aesthetic appeal than did Cecilia, made several suggestions to improve the over-all appearance of the webpages, including a change in the color scheme. A few mouse clicks accomplished those changes, and yes, the webpages did indeed look better with the new colors.

Suzanne was in a quiet mood and ready to listen to Cecilia's adventures with the Danubians. She was impressed that Cecilia actually had sat for dinner with the country's Prime Minister and made a suggestion that perhaps salvaged an international treaty. Cecilia talked at length about the final week of the semester on her floor and her efforts to get her residents to pass their classes. While they were talking Cecilia burned an extra CD for Suzanne, figuring that her advice on the webpage more than made up for the fact she was giving a friend the band's latest music for free.

Suzanne invited Cecilia back to her room to look over the photos she had taken in the art department studio earlier in the semester. It was strange to see her own body, completely stripped in a totally empty setting, her brown skin sharply contrasting with the white backdrop. She was surprised at the pictures' quality, and also at how attractive her own body appeared in the pictures.

"Dang...I look good in these. They're really great."

Suzanne handed over a folder containing copies of the entire photo shoot. It occurred to Cecilia that she now had at least one decent Christmas gift she could give to Jason; she could have a couple of the pictures framed and present them when he came back from Wisconsin.

The photographer then announced that five of the photos would be included a city-wide exhibit of figure photography in January. That news both frightened and excited Cecilia, the knowledge that hundreds of photography fans would be studying her figure in detail. However, whatever reservations she might have had about being placed so prominently on display she would have to keep to herself, because she had signed a model release.

Cecilia looked over some of Suzanne's other work, which included a black football player who had posed nude in different spots around the university gym and stadium, various models posing outdoors in parks and forests, and a lot of shots of the Tri-Alpha 10-K race. The strangest photo shoot of the semester was of an older professor posing in his office. The man was in his 60's and there was absolutely nothing attractive about his body, but somehow Suzanne had managed to make the subject intensely erotic.

"I like this set, and I really don't know why. Anyhow, he's retiring in May, and he's going to let me do an art show with this project once he's safely out of the university. It's sort of funny, when you think about it. I've got my statement I want to make with these pictures, but he has one as well, which is different from mine. He told me it's going to be his way of saying goodbye to his life as a scholar."

Looking at her friend's work had intensely aroused Cecilia. In spite of her nervousness about her images being presented in the art show in January, she secretly found herself wishing she could do another photo shoot. The photographer, who was very good at discerning the thoughts of her subjects, picked up on that immediately.

"I got a question for you. You say there's no one else in Huntington Hall except you?"

"Yeah, it's gonna be just me 'till after New Year's. Sometimes the janitor or the repair guy shows up and I gotta let 'em in, but that's always in the morning and just for a couple of hours. If they ain't around I always keep all the doors in the building locked."

"You know, I was thinking about something. If you got that whole building to yourself, we could take advantage of that to do some more photo shoots over the next couple of days. I'd have plenty of time to set up and get the lighting right. If you're up for it, I think we could get some really great pictures, even better than the ones from the studio."

Cecilia's heart jumped. She was indeed up for another photo shoot. After nearly two weeks of being without Jason, she was full of pent-up sexuality. A lengthy picture-taking session in Huntington Hall would be perfect way to release her emotions.

As it got dark outside, Suzanne and Cecilia loaded themselves with her photography supplies and made the trek from Suzanne's dorm back to Huntington Hall. They had to make two trips, because Suzanne wanted to bring all of her lighting. Cecilia then offered to open a vacant room to her friend and get her a set of linens, so she would not have to return to her room at night. The offer also gave Suzanne a place to keep her equipment, which she gladly accepted. She added a toothbrush, a bottle of shampoo, and comb to her camera bag and with that the two women trudged through the snow to get back to Huntington Hall.

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Suzanne's plans turned out to be quite ambitious. She had a unique opportunity to take advantage of having an entire building available for nearly a week to do with as she saw fit. The first thing she did was tour all of Huntington Hall, including the rooftop and basement. She turned on and off all the lights, took measurements, looked out the windows, and explored the most secret areas of the dorm. She seemed particularly fascinated with a section of the basement, carefully looking at the pipes and several concrete pillars as she pondered the underground area.

Suzanne let her model know that she planned to spend several days taking pictures and she wanted the project to be a serious artistic undertaking. She also let Cecilia know that while shooting, she would be in control, period. If Cecilia wanted the project to be successful, she had to follow the photographer's commands with no questions.

"We're going to be doing some experimental stuff, and I'll be asking you to do some things that might make you nervous. But if you get nervous, that's fine, that's going to be what I want. The photos I'm planning are not just going to be about your body in this dorm, but also your emotions."

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