An olive green streak burst through the dormitory entrance and shot towards the staircase. It was Lisa, back from lectures, the soles of her bare feet propelling her towards her room. Her face was flushed red from discomfort and her breath was hard and ragged. Her dress flowed out behind her as she ascended two steps at a time, dodging confused bystanders and ignoring their indignant cries. She needed to be in her room now. Or else she might… she tried not to think about it.
Finally, she reached her room. With shaking hands, she fumbled her key into the lock and turned it. The door opened, and she slipped inside, slamming it behind her. As the lock clicked, her fingers dug into the fabric of her dress and she hoisted it violently over her head and threw it across the room, as though it were a poisonous snake. The olive fabric hit a wall and fell into a crumpled pile among a host of blouses, jackets, sweaters and pants.
Lisa leaned against a wall, chest rising and falling with her breathing, redness slowly draining from her face.
Redness instantly returned to Lisa’s face as she finally noticed her roommate Shelly, who had been quietly lying on her bed reading a book, but was now gaping at her totally naked body. Lisa squealed and covered herself with her arms.
Looking even more embarrassed than Lisa felt, Shelly tried to return her gaze to her book. But clearly the writing of Jane Austen could not out-compete the novelty of her naked roommate, as much as she obviously didn’t want to violate Lisa’s privacy.
There was a sharp knock on the door. Lisa shrieked and dove for her bed, hiding herself underneath the covers. From her huddled position, she heard Shelly get up and open the door.
“Hi,” said a girl’s voice. “Do you know a blonde girl who doesn’t wear shoes? She left this behind in one of her lectures, and I saw her walking this way. I stay on the floor below.”
“Y-yes,” Shelly replied. “She’s my roommate. Thanks, I’ll give this to her.”
The girl said goodbye, and Lisa heard the door close and the lock click. She tentatively poked her head above the covers to see Shelly holding her book-bag, a quizzical look on her face.
Shelly cleared her throat and said, “Uh, guess you forgot about this in your hurry to get home and, uh… strip.” She placed the book-bag on Lisa’s desk.
Lisa hid her face beneath the bedcover again, and the room was silent for a long moment.
“You can go get your dress, I won’t look.”
Lisa peeked above the bedcover again. Shelly was standing in the middle of the room with a hand over her eyes.
But the sight of the crumpled olive fabric in the corner of the room made the bile rise in Lisa’s throat. The other clothes that lay strewn around it had the same effect. Being naked in front of Shelly was mortifying, but she couldn’t face the idea of putting clothes back on right now. Not after a full day of suffocating lectures. Even the bedclothes felt like they were strangling her.
She needed to recover. So she screwed up her courage and tossed the bedclothes aside, feeling instantly better as the cool air touched her skin. Instead of fetching her dress, she walked to her desk and plonked her butt down on the swivel chair in front of it, making its hinges squeak.
“Are you decent yet?” Shelly asked, dutifully keeping her hand in front of her face.
Lisa sighed inwardly. Ever since the morning she’d woken up without her nightgown, it had become increasingly difficult to hide her condition from Shelly, especially as it seemed to be worsening. That day, she’d made it through a whole morning of lectures in jeans and a sweater, despite mild discomfort. But every day since then, she’d needed to wear progressively looser and lighter clothing. Jeans had been swapped for baggy shorts, then skirts, and cute blouses replaced with baggy t-shirts. Three days ago, she’d found herself unable to put on any kind of footwear, and had strolled across campus barefoot. Finally, for the last two days, she had attended lectures in this ugly olive dress from the back of her closet, and even then she’d had to dip into a bathroom stall multiple times during the morning to take it off. If this kept up, soon she wouldn’t be capable of wearing any clothing at all.
Right now, she needed some time to decompress before she could face clothes again. And ultimately, trying to hide her condition from Shelly was a losing battle. There was no way she could keep a secret like this from her roommate. Especially not after she’d whipped of a dress in front of her.
“No, I’m not,” said Lisa, her voice cracking. “But it’s okay, you can open your eyes.”
Shelly clasped her face tighter. “Please, Lisa, put some clothes on.”
At this, Shelly’s dropped her hand, eyes still closed. “What do you mean, you can’t?”
Lisa bit her lip, pressed her thighs together and folded her arms across her chest. “It’s… I think there’s something wrong with me, Shelly. It’s like I’m allergic to clothes, or something. I’ve been like this for a week, and it’s getting worse.”
Slowly, Shelly opened her eyes, and Lisa caught her gaze. She must have looked a pathetic figure just then, red-faced and wrapped around herself.
Shelly’s expression softened. “That… would explain some things. I was wondering why you weren’t wearing shoes anymore. Or bras, for that matter.”
Lisa blushed. “It was that obvious, huh?”
“Well, it’s more obvious now,” Shelly replied, with an aborted giggle.
“I don’t want to be like this, Shelly,” said Lisa, swallowing the beginnings of a sob. “I’m not a nudist or a flasher or anything weird like that! Being naked in front of you is really embarrassing for me, but putting on clothes makes me feel like I’m actually dying! It really sucks!”
“I understand,” said Shelly, looking away from Lisa. “Well, not fully, but I sympathize. I mean, I don’t know what that’s like, but it must be horrible.”
“It is.” Lisa slumped against the back of her chair, her arms falling at their sides. She figured that she may as well get used to exposing herself to Shelly. “I don’t know how it happened, and I don’t know how long it’s going to last. But it’s going to be difficult to go out in public with this condition.” At this she turned her chair to face Shelly and looked her straight in the eyes. “I-I’m going to need your help, Shelly.”
Shelly held her gaze and nodded vigorously, moving a little closer to Lisa. “I’ll do anything I can.” The intensity with which Shelly held Lisa’s gaze scared Lisa a little.
* * *
True to her word, Shelly was prepared to do anything to help her roommate. This included keeping her comfortable and productive now that she was unable to leave their room for extended periods, as well as working on ways to cure her strange illness.
The window blinds in their room were now permanently drawn, to avoid prying eyes. Even on the third floor, one couldn’t be too careful. Shelly smuggled canteen food for Lisa into their dorm room and took careful notes in all of her lectures, and coordinated with their mutual friends to cover subjects that Lisa took and she didn’t. She was vague about Lisa’s condition, mostly telling people that her roommate just needed some time away from the world. Her own personal lockdown, like they’d had to do a few years before for COVID.
Lisa left only to visit the bathroom and take showers, wrapped in a towel. But her condition was worsening. Even a fairly loose towel was now making her feel the same as a tight clothing did. Inside the room, she was completely naked all of the time, even sleeping on top of her bed rather than under its suffocating covers.
Shelly was less successful at curing Lisa’s condition than she was at helping to manage it, though not for lack of trying. One afternoon, she and Lisa tried investigating the effects of different fabrics.
“No, I can’t wear these silk pajamas of yours either,” Lisa said, sadly pulling down the purple pants Shelly had lent her. “I feel like I’m being squeezed to death by a really smooth snake. But apart from that they’re lovely!”
“That’s polyester, cotton, canvas, hemp, wool, denim, leather, spandex, velvet, mohair and now… silk,” said Shelly, crossing the last item off the checklist on her clipboard. “I’m starting to think this might not be about the fabric.”
“Perhaps not,” said Lisa flatly, her shoulders slumping. She looked forlornly at the large pile of discarded clothing on the bed beside her. The mere sight of clothing did not repulse her, nor did handling. But when she contemplated wearing it, she began to shake, and when she put it on, all of her various symptoms returned.
Bed-sheets, blankets and towels were similar. Touching them or lying on top of them, she was fine, but when they encased her, she could think of nothing but throwing them off.
Another day, the girls investigated tightness. It appeared to make some small difference. Lisa could barely get a pair of yoga pants halfway up her thighs before she needed to rip them off, but she could last a while longer in a loose, light sundress or large t-shirt.
“Interesting,” said Shelly, taking down some notes as an over-sized shirt flew past her head. “Now let’s look at coverage.”
With some considerable effort, Lisa pulled on her most conservative underwear. Granny panties and a full-cupped bra.
“How is it?” asked Shelly.
“Awful!” Lisa shrieked, already pawing at the bra clasp.
They then tried a very open bra with a G-string thong. “Very sexy,” said Shelly.
Lisa smiled weakly, her hand fiddling with her thin waistband. “It’s a little better, I think. But not much.”
Toplessness and bottomlessness seemed to elicit about the same reaction, though Lisa found it a little easier to breathe while topless. The next item on Shelly’s neat checklist was “accessories”.
Lisa lowered her sunglasses. “This is… fine, honestly.” She had on a floppy sunhat, a scarf, a pair of gloves, as well as socks and black boots. She looked at the expanse of her bare white flesh in the mirror. “I can’t help but feel like there’s something missing, though…”
Shelly handed her a string bikini bottom, and she tied in place. A flush went across her face. “Ooh, my feet are cramping, and this scarf—ack!”
There was a flurry of activity and flying fabric, and then Lisa stood naked once more.
Shelly crossed another item off her checklist and chewed on her pen thoughtfully. Then her eyes lit up, and she darted to Lisa’s closet and found a short skirt. “Put this on,” she said, handing the garment over. “But wear it like a top.”
A few minutes later, Lisa was dressed as follows: short pink skirt around her neck, exposing her midriff. Two long-sleeved shirts tied around her waist, one in front and one behind. A pair of shorts as a hat—this garment was unnecessary, but Shelly was having too much fun. Below the skirt, to keep her breasts covered when she lifted her arms, Lisa wore three belts.
“And?” Shelly asked expectantly.
“No luck,” said Lisa, face reddening. “It feels the same as a normal outfit. Except more prone to wardrobe malfunctions.” She wiggled her hips, shaking the shirts and exposing thigh flesh.
Shelly made some more notes as Lisa disrobed yet again. “I think that’s enough for today,” she said.
Lisa collapsed onto her swivel chair, exhausted.
The next day, Shelly tried to counteract the symptoms Lisa described. Heat and constriction seemed to be the main ones. She tackled constriction first, with some help from a wealthy student who had a 3D printer in his dorm room, in exchange for a dinner date. Stephen was curious about what the strange implements Shelly had him print were for, but a few batted eyelashes ended that line of questioning.
“Honestly, Shells, I think I’d look less ridiculous walking around campus naked.” Lisa’s voice was muffled by the sheet that made her look like a cheap Halloween ghost. “And this plastic is really digging into me.”
The front of the sheet flipped over and Lisa grinned apologetically. Shelly had 3D printed a number of sturdy plastic rods, which were attached with tape to her shoulders, stomach, hips and legs. Around these, she’d draped a lightweight bed-sheet. This way, the hypothesis had gone, Lisa could wear something without any fabric actually touching her skin.
Lisa felt bad for being so negative about her friend’s most elaborate idea yet, and one that she’d gone to such lengths for, but there was no way she was going to walk around inside this ridiculous contraption.
“Yeah, I guess this one worked better in my head,” said Shelly, helping Lisa remove the tape and plastic. “Back to the drawing board.”
Constriction was out, so next was heat. Their dorm building was very new and had individual and quite high tech air-conditioning units in each of the rooms, a luxury unheard of in the older buildings that made everyone else incredibly jealous. In the service of science, but against manufacturer recommendations, Shelly turned theirs down to the lowest setting.
An hour later, Shelly was bundled up in a sweater and scarf, teeth chattering. Lisa, on the other hand, felt fine in just her skin. As soon as Shelly wrapped a coat around her friend, Lisa started sweating.
“How?!” screamed Shelly, staring in disbelief at the beads of sweat on Lisa’s reddening forehead. “I-it’s freezing in here!”
Lisa shrugged. “Can I take this off now?”
Shelly sighed and nodded, crossing another item off her checklist. Lisa sighed in relief as she doffed the jacket, experiencing a brief moment of relief before remembering she was naked in front of her roommate and they still hadn’t found a cure. It had been a week now, but she still couldn’t quite get used to it.
Shelly smiled sympathetically at her as she turned the temperature back up. “Don’t worry, Lis, we’ll figure this out yet. It’s like Edison said—if we eliminate all the things that don’t work, we’ll find the cure!”
“I sure hope so, Shells. I’m starting to forget what the outside world looks like. I’d really like to be normal again.” With that, Lisa sat down at her desk and turned to her notes. She had an essay due for the next morning.
Some hours later, Lisa was putting the finishing touches on her essay when a tap on her shoulder disrupted her concentration. Startled, she spun around on her chair to a faceful of skin. It was Shelly. Naked Shelly. She was a little plumper than Lisa, and the dark bush that matched her hair was a dense nest. But the main focal point of her figure was her breasts, heavy, round and much bigger than Lisa had expected. She wasn’t into girls, but the twins still mesmerized her.
Shelly was blushing all over and her arms were frozen in a position that made it clear she was fighting not to cover herself. “Tada!” she said, forcing her arms wide, and then blushing again as her boobs jiggled.
“What are you doing?” Lisa asked, trying to look away from her roommate’s chest. “Oh no, don’t tell me I’m contagious!”
“No, no, no, nothing like that!” Shelly said, putting a reassuring hand on Lisa’s shoulder. “Look, I’m fine.” At this, she darted across the room, grabbed the bra that was hanging over the back of her chair, and put it on. “See? Fine!” She then took it off again, though her hands were visibly shaking.
Lisa understood. “Shelly, this is very kind of you, but you really don’t need to do this on my account. This is my pain to bear. Though, speaking of pain, you should really get fitted for a bigger size.”
A confused look crossed Shelly’s face. Lisa cupped her boobs in her hands.
“Oh!” Shelly blushed and wrapped her arms around her chest. Then her blush deepened and she forced her arms away.
Lisa could see that her friend was doing her utmost to be bravely naked for her, to make her feel like she wasn’t a lone freak. But she could also see that Shelly was really modest, and this wasn’t easy for her. Lisa wasn’t exactly an exhibitionist herself, but she’d had a week to get pretty comfortable in her own skin, at least here in her room, with just Shelly around.
“Shelly,” she began, getting up from her chair. “I really appreciate this. But I can see it’s killing you. Please, this is your room too. I want you to be comfortable here.”
Shelly forced her hands behind her back. “I want you to be comfortable, too. At least, as much as possible. I’ve tried so hard… so many things… all failures! This was all I could think of to do next.” Her eyes faced the floor and Lisa could see the beginnings of tears.
Lisa thought about the many experiments and outfits she’d tried over the last week with Shelly. About the meals she’d brought her and the time they’d spent recapping the lectures Lisa missed. About the really awkward date Shelly had been on with Stephen the 3D printer guy. And all this, when they still barely knew each other.
“Shelly, it’s okay,” Lisa said. She stepped towards her friend and raised her chin with a hand, her light blue eyes fixed on Shelly’s watery hazel ones. With her other hand, Lisa took the bra from the back of the chair. “I know you’ve tried your best, and I’ll never be able to repay you. But at least let me allow you to be comfortable. Comfortable and normal. I need to see you being normal. Clothed. It gives me… something to aspire to. Some link to the world.”
As she spoke, Lisa placed the bra on Shelly, suppressing a wince at its bad fit, and brought the straps behind Shelly’s back. She clasped them together, and then fell into a hug. Shelly reciprocated.
“You’ve been the best friend I could ever have asked for,” said Lisa. “With your help, I know I can beat this thing, whatever it is. We can beat it.”
Lisa pulled back from their hug, and looked across the floor for Shelly’s panties. They were lying beside her feet. She motioned for Shelly to sit, and then she pulled the panties over her feet and up, stopping at her knees to let her do the rest. Then she went to Shelly’s closet and picked out a blouse and skirt, which she dutifully put on her friend, like the servant of a medieval princess. Though as far as she knew servants generally didn’t go naked.
Lastly, Lisa motioned for Shelly to lift her feet, and she cradled them in a pair of sandals. Then the naked girl hugged the clothed girl again. Lisa savored the feeling of fabric against her skin, not covering her. For now, it was the closest she could get. But one thing still bugged her.
“I’m serious about the bra fitting,” said Lisa, killing the moment. “That thing must be torturing you.”
To be continued…