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A day, month, and more backfilled the space between genesis of a feeling and indubitable action, a purposeful bracket of time spent blossoming the first fanciful wondering into life-altering fantasy.

  Shy and in the midst of inflicted damage from unforeseen experience, Naomi withdrew into a shell what precluded a view of the bedrock at the base of her life.  If only safe space allowed her to touch the ground.  For eight years and four months too long in the living, she ducked and dodged belittling remarks from her antipathetic mate, he who iced his behaviour with jealous scrutiny until her freeze-dried self-esteem crumbled to dust from a remark.

Her comeback started in quietude, in the free space of blank stares where minds walked places magnificent.  She spotted opportunity and ran, three hundred feet into the arms of a horrified but helpful neighbour, who at once recognised circumstance beyond an ability to assist and called professional help.

A need, a seed, and a friend attractive provided first ingredients.  Steadfast support and a tingling touch kindled the first body-quivering personal experience, later, in the private cover of an indulgent bubblebath.

 Nurtured well, from there Naomi flourished as she cultivated a new life imagined.  Courage sometimes assembled in dreams and pre-enactment, those practise thoughts where we walked through encounters intended.

Friend visited often, one uninterested in personal commitment until her career roots reached deep, or so she emphasised in their late evening chats.

The night it turned began as any other.  Dinner, a drink, and a return walk to the flat, where conversation shed restaurant decorum in favour of comfort and frivolity.  In the midst of an introspective lull common to two, Naomi found eyes unguarded.  Emboldened, hers followed the trail, closer, reading, analysing intent, acquiescence, and the first contact of a kiss.