Keypad door locks are an awfully practical invention, for instance if you have somehow managed to fall in love with your own mother and she's expected to arrive for a visit at a time of the day when you're still in art class painting two naked girls. You don't have to leave a key under the doormat or under the pot-plant that Mr. Burglar can easily find. All you have to do is send her an SMS with a six-digit pin code. At the moment though, my thoughts were definitely not with mom.
We had all realized that Professor Dumont seemed to care more for his own entertainment than really teaching us art. All we'd ever drawn and painted since day one were naked girls, and one guy, and he was probably more of a token gesture. Today was even more illustrous as we got to paint both boobs and a penis and both belonged to the same person, while the second model had neither.
Yep, Professor Dumont had put a naked trans-woman in front of our class. Contrary to what I'd heard about trans-gender people, she didn't seem to mind posing for us and it appeared that mental problems due to the 'wrong configuration' of their body did not seem to be a universal ailment among trans-women. She looked rather comfortable with her body. I suppose some of us were more confused than she was. After all, even if your mind knows that there is nothing wrong with a transgender person, drawing boobs on someone who also has a penis feels sort of unusual when you do it.
Upon introducing herself, Rebecca had explained that although half of her body looked male, she didn't feel like a boy. She saw herself as female, 'just with a rather big clitoris', as she'd joked herself. Big it was, at least for a trans-woman. She wasn't hung like a rogue elephant, but I suspected that some of her male class mates might be smaller, and at only fifteen years of age, she wasn't yet done growing. Yep, you read that right, Dumont had put a nude trans-gender fifteen year old girl on the dais. At least Rebecca didn't seem to mind, in fact she looked like she even enjoyed it.
That was more than could be said for her co-model, a fourteen year old girl whom everybody in our school knew – a five foot tiny little doll of a girl – Franka Buergi from Switzerland. Our school was not only an arts and design college, it also had a high school for the exceptionally gifted, and Franka was more than exceptionally gifted. She was so talented, she had her own picture exhibition at just fourteen years of age. Right now however, she was modeling in the nude and she looked miserable. It made my blood boil with rage.
I'd spoken to her a few time as we lived on the same block and sometimes went home together. Franka was fourteen, but she definitely didn't look it. She was badly behind the curve in body development. It was clear that she didn't need to shave her nether region – she didn't even have any hair to shave off yet, and her tiny breasts, or what one day would develop into female breasts wouldn't have filled to egg cups. I didn't give a damn if she was of age of consent. It was visible that she was more than just self-conscious that she looked like an eleven year old child, yet Dumont had put her on a dais in the nude.
Mind you, technically, what he'd done was legal. Franka was fourteen and like us college students, all the high school pupils had signed an agreement that they would serve as a model for artistic purposes if asked to do so. Yet, it didn't take Dr. Freud to work out what kind of sick fantasies Professor Dumont planned to engage in after collecting our work for 'grading'. Funny how he had never returned any previous pictures to any of us. I had to stop this.
I raised my arm and asked to be excused for a toilet break. Dumont yacked something about using the break between lessons for that, but eventually he allowed me to go. I walked out and made a bee-line to the Principal's office. I ignored the protests of the secretary and after a knock I went straight into Professor Mung's office.
He looked at me, questioning my reasons for barging in like that without saying it.
"I'm sorry, Sir," I apologized. "I know this isn't the politest way to ask for a conversation, but it is a matter of some urgency. I want to lodge a formal complaint against Professor Dumont and certain requirements of our school charter."
The principal sighed. "He's put a girl on display again, who looks too young, didn't he?"
"Franka Buergi," I replied dryly. Now that made him look at me in shock.
"Merde! Je vais tuer ce crétin," the Swiss chairman of our school swore and ran out. That hadn't sounded like 'I'll have a quiet word with him'.
"Jesus, you've managed to upset a Swiss," the secretary said, trying to find out why her boss had run out like that. It didn't take long for the Principal, Professor Dumont and Franka to arrive in his office. Franka was clad in a bathrobe and she was crying. When she saw me, she ran over and hugged me tightly. "Merci," she sobbed over and over again. I could barely hold on to my own emotions. Seeing her so scared nearly made me cry with her.
I fixed Dumont with an enraged look and that sentiment was apparently mutual. He tried to stare me down, but I didn't feel like caving in.
"Mr. Harris," the principal asked. "I suppose the complaint against our school charter concerns the provision of volunteering as an artistic model?"
"Professor Mung, doesn't the term 'volunteer' imply that you have a right not to do it? Franka didn't volunteer, she was told to get naked and expose herself against her will, and she wouldn't be a pupil of this school if she hadn't signed an agreement that she would accept such an assignment unconditionally. I believe the word coercion is the one you were looking for."
The principal's eyes went wide with astonishment over my passionate speech and Franka looked up at me, her eyes filled with tears, but also gratitude. On an impulse I gave her a little peck on the tip of her nose. She put her head back against my chest, hugging me tightly.
Professor Mung sighed. "This ... requirement is a relict from when this school was founded in the late fifties. Society was much more inhibited back then and finding models was nigh-on impossible. Perhaps it is time we change that. Your complaint against Professor Dumont will have to be rejected though, as he was perfectly within the rules, if perhaps not entirely accepting the spirit of them."
"This might hurt a little," I told Franka, "But I have to say this."
She nodded and let go of me. "Professor Mung, this isn't a discussion about rules or the spirit of them. Unless you want us all to become the spiritual successors of Tuke, Lohmüller, Bouguerau or David Hamilton, we have to paint something other than naked girls who look younger than they are once in a while. I know artistic nudity is a mainstay in painting and photography, but how about painting a proper woman for a change? My mother is the least shy person on this planet as I've found out recently. Let her model for us and some of my class mates get to see some proper curves for a change and not some adolescent breasts that started growing last week."
Franka sobbed and I hugged her, apologizing for my bluntness. She assured me it was okay.
"None of the girls we'd been painting since day one looked a day older than sixteen, usually much younger actually. Oh, it was all 'perfectly legal', as they are all freshmen at Hundertwasser School, which means they are at least fourteen, but David friggin' Hamilton wouldn't have dared photographing some of them. I don't care if this ends with me being thrown out of this school, but I officially accuse Professor Dumont of having a propensity for pedophilia. Ask him to hand over our works, none of which were ever returned to us, by the way. Have a look yourself at how young some of those girls look. Franka was merely the straw the breaks the camel's back, because she's the most extreme example. I for once, refuse to attend any more lessons that are taught by Professor Dumont."
The two Professors started to argue in French and the argument became very loud, very soon. When it reached the level of a shouting match, Dumont pivoted and stormed out.
"Professor Dumont refuses to hand over your works. Instead he chose immediate termination of contract," the principal explained, shaking his head. I could hear just how devastated he was, realizing that I had probably been true.
"Sir, shouldn't we inform the school authorities?" I asked. "It is not my intention to destroy Professor Dumont's career, in fact it would be my hope that the authorities treat this with the necessary level of confidence, instead perhaps might support him in finding help. They must know a therapist who can help him before he acts on his ... uh preference ... with a girl who doesn't only look twelve?"
"That's a good idea, Mr. Harris."
I nodded and took Franka's hand. We walked out of the principals office. I didn't leave her side until we'd arrived at the small locker room where models usually undressed before a painting lesson.
If looks could kill, I'd been pregnant by now. Rebecca walked up to me, staring daggers at me while I was waiting in the corridor for Franka to come back out. There was no way I'd let her go home alone, scared and confused as she still was.
"Well thanks for nothing," Rebecca groused. "One time, just one fucking time, someone dares painting or photographing me without freaking out that I have a dick, and you ruined it!"
She turned to leave, but I asked her to stay.
.... There is more of this story ...