The herb for lovers

Twenty years is a long time; long enough that the details you thought you would hold on to forever begin to fade away. This is what happened to Sarah as she waited for her first love, Alex to return. They were only sixteen when he read her Pride and prejudice, a classic love story. She remembered how her love for him developed; slowly at first and then taking over her entire being.

Alex was her neighbor. He had curly brown hair, strands of which always fell on his thick brows and his hazel eyes always sparkled whenever he saw her. They first met at central park which was a block away from Sarah’s home. Alex sat on a bench, immersed in his book when she first noticed him. Intrigued at first and inspired afterwards as the days passed. It took her an entire week to muster up the courage to talk to him and a few minutes to know that there was a spark between them.

Sarah went to the park daily with her younger brother who liked to play with his dog. Ever since she met Alex, her meaningless strolls had been replaced by endless talks. It was Alex’s idea that they start reading and hers what it should be.

Alex had given her seeds of a basil plant on her birthday; a strange gift indeed. On her inquiry, he told her that it was very sacred to Venus: The goddess of love. Alex told her that it preserved love. Sarah had taken care of the plant all these years. She watered it every day. Her love for Alex grew along with it.

Sometimes he visited her in dreams and it filled her with warmth so real and close that every single bone in her body felt the sensation.  

Their first kiss was magical. It was a breezy evening and the wind was cold enough that she draped her woolen scarf around her neck. Alex, as per routine read to her from the book she had picked. His voice trembled a little from the wind as he read…

I am the happiest creature in the world. Perhaps other people have said so before, but not with such justice. I am happier even than Jane; she only smiles, I laugh.

He looked into her deep blue eyes and pulled her closer. The air between them grew still.  Every inch of Sarah’s body longed for him as his index finger traced the outline of her full lips. She wanted him more than she had ever wanted anything. Alex’s touch had drawn all the air from her and the only way it could be returned was him breathing it into her; by pressing his lips against hers. So, he did. Sarah could feel his heart racing as her hand moved to his chest. They began to breathe heavily as it grew more intense.

Tonight she lay in her bed as the moonlight through her windowpane lit her room. She stared at her sloped ceiling which had a floral pattern; white roses with autumn leaves. To her right was her nightstand where lay her only memory of him, growing leaves each day and giving her a hope that his love for her was still alive.