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verandah. He introduced himself as Ted Barker (Clearly he had

taken his surname into deep consideration when deciding on his

career). His short hair was a dirty blonde, and he wore skinny jeans

and a hoodie. He didn’t fit the hippie tree-hugger stereotype she’d

always pictured in her head; instead, his youthful presence making

her feel more invigorated than she had been since arriving here.

He frowned. ‘You clearly weren’t told by the landlady but I’m

staying here for one night, just to do some work-related stuff.’

She felt a little giddy at the prospect of having a male roommate

but tried her best to conceal the teenage excitement which was

rising up in her. She summoned the courage to ask him about his job,

and as they talked on the verandah she found herself gradually

becoming more animated. Their conversation was of the bridal veil

creeper, or

Asparagus Asparagoides

as he referred to it. Ted Barker

explained to her how the creeper forms a thick barrier just below the

soil surface which limits the access of other plants to nutrients and

moisture and how this in turn affects animals which depend on

these plants to survive. The appreciation she had developed for the

bridal creeper gradually dissipated, realising that without Ted the

Total Tree Carer’s assistance, her wall of green would be damaged by

this destructive alien weed; leaving her defenseless. At this thought,

she felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude towards Ted-who had

just unknowingly become her saviour from the deadly bridal creeper.

It was with all this unaccustomed interaction with a young male

that Naomi L. felt a sudden sunburst of yearning within her, which

was instantly overshadowed by guilt. She was supposed to be unable

to experience any sexual attraction after being assaulted, distressed

at the mere idea of being intimate with another person. But she felt

so overcome with intense emotions and sexual longing that it was

like being her hormonal teenage self again.

‘So, what do you do?’

The question hit her like a ton of bricks. She didn’t like being

asked questions. They made her feel vulnerable, as if her most

private thoughts and secrets were going to be exposed. Suddenly, the

hormonal teenager was gone and she felt like a thirty three year old

‘sexual misconduct’ victim once more.

‘I’m a primary school teacher.’

‘So shouldn’t you be teaching?’

‘I quit my job a few weeks ago.’

A Wall Of