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The Cure for Love

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Prologue


I used to count down the days, 100, 80, 70. I would cross lines through my calendar, closing each door to my past with each slash. I would lay awake at night wondering who I’d get matched with and what my life would be like after my 18 birthday; after I was cured. I don’t remember a time, my parents don’t remember a time, even my grandparents don’t remember a time before everyone on their 18 birthday wasn’t cured. Whenever that time was I was glad I didn’t live in it, couldn’t imagine a time when no one was cured, when everyone ran free filled with the disease; and they acted like it wasn’t a bad thing. Something to celebrate rather then fear.

Tomorrow I will be cured, I will have the disease that used to kill millions out of my body and mind. This thought used to fill me with joy. It’s what I would talk to my friends about, all of us happy and excited to start this part of our lives. But now it just fills me with dread, every hour that passes draws me closer to this change that I no longer want to come. All this because of Alex, he gave me the disease and I gave it to him also. I fell in love with him, the one thing that everyone fears has happened to me; and in one day it will be taken away. I should be happy; but I’m not. I don’t want these emotions erased from my mind; but I have no choice. In a little over 24 hours I will have my procedure and everything I feel for Alex will be gone; and that’s what terrifies me the most.












***


Our first meeting, it was just after my best friend Clare and I went running. That was always my favorite thing to do, I loved the way the wind flew through my hair and how our laughter carried across the air mixing and breaking apart making music as we ran faster and faster. When we got to the finish line, the fountain in the middle of town, both panting and smiling, Clare boasting about being the winner, we parted ways. Me going down to the beach and Clare going shopping with her mom.

The beach was my favorite part of town, when I was little Clare and I found a hidden spot in between some rocks which we named our fortress. As I climbed in there all the adventures we went on ran through my mind and I smiled, settling down in the sand turning on my Ipod letting the music of one of the 100 approved songs carry me away. I was so wrapped up in my own world that I didn’t notice another person climbing in, that is until he was right in front of me. We were both so startled that we just stared at each other until he broke the silence saying that he didn’t know anyone else knew about these rocks and that he’d leave. I don’t know what possessed me to say what I said next but I told him to stay. This look crossed his face, a mixer of confusion and fear; but I guess the same thing that took over me took over his mind also; because he said okay.

The first minutes were awkward, both no knowing what to say or where to start; but then we said our names. His was Alex; and everything just flowed after that. I found out he went to the same school as me, but it wasn’t shocking that I haven’t seen him before, guys and girls were separated in fear of them catching the disease. I don’t know how long we were talking for before I caught myself staring at him, I started at his light blond hair watching how the breeze moved through it, then I went down to his bright green eyes. I stopped when I got to his lips, watching how they moved as he spoke sending a small shiver through my body; and that’s when I jumped up saying some excuse as to why I had to leave. Running all the way home, me heart rapidly beating long after I caught my breath.


Our next meeting occurred two weeks after the beach. I was in the park, sitting under a maple tree reading a book, when I felt a presence hovering over me. I looked up and there stood Alex smiling shyly at me. I remember him saying that he’d read the book currently in my hands, I wasn’t surprised, there being only 100 approved of books one usually read them all more then once. I was glad I was in a secluded spot because I moved over to make room for him to sit beside me, we picked up conversation fairly quickly, neither one of us mentioning my running out last time. After a few hours past I had to go home for dinner; and this time we made plans to see each other again. We didn’t think of how bad this could turn out for us, we liked each others company; and if we were careful enough no one would ever find out.


We decided to meet once ever two weeks so as not to draw attention to ourselves as to why we were gone long periods at a time. But that grew increasingly difficult as we got to know each other more. We shared our pasts, our interests, dreams we had for the future even though we knew they wouldn’t come true once we were cured. We spent a lot of time down at the beach either in the rock hideout talking, or walking along the sand dunes; staying out of the public eye. Soon once every two weeks became once a week; and I caught myself staring at him more and more. Every time we brushed hands, shoulders or legs a shiver of pleasure would move through my body. But this no longer ended with me running away or fear clouding my vision; because the feelings that were coursing through my body felt good. They weren’t something I feared; but accepted. I also caught Alex looking at me more, and I occasionally felt him shiver whenever I would accidentally brush against him; and I couldn’t help but wonder if he was feeling the same as I.


It was 30 days since we began seeing each other weekly that I got my match letter, the man that I was supposed to marry after my procedure was Justin Cornwall. He was nice enough; but he wasn’t Alex. I remember the day after we got our letters I met Alex down at the beach and we spent all day just being near each other. We didn’t talk all that much just took comfort in the fact that there was someone else beside us that was going through the same thing. It was five days after that that we shared our first kiss. We were in the rock hideout talking, laughing, playing music and just goofing around when Alex started to tickle me. I was trying to move out of his grip but managed to fall on top of him instead, we lay there looking at each other breathing heavily, both knowing what we wanted to do; but not knowing how to go about it. I don’t know who caved first but soon out lips were on each others, slowly and unsure at first barely touching; but then as we grew more sure they became heated. Fast, hungry kisses that breathed passion and desperation; and long careful ones that held everything we felt for each other. I don’t know how long we stayed there, lips molding together; but it soon grew dark outside and we reluctantly came apart, both having to be home before the towns curfew. When we parted that night it was done with smiles, flushed faces and a soft graze of our hands, both looking forward to the next time we’d meet.


The days that weren’t filled with Alex were spent with Clare, both of us cramming as much as possible into the rapidly upcoming little time we had left until our procedure; because we knew that our friendship wouldn’t be the same after we were cured. I hated that I couldn’t tell her about Alex, but I knew that even though she was my best friend she wouldn’t understand; and I couldn’t risk someone finding out. Even though I knew she wouldn’t tell anyone, it was still too dangerous.


It was ten days before our procedure when it happened. Alex and I were in our usual spot when he out of the blue told me he loved me. I was shocked, I didn’t know what to say, I just sat there staring at him while emotion after emotion flew through my body. It was only one of those emotions that I said out loud which was that I loved him too. It was then that we collided with each other, lips frantically seeking one another and hands roaming over each others bodies. Soon we broke apart looking at each other, seeking the answer to the unasked question in the others eyes. Once we got our okay we sank back into each other, surrendering to our body and hearts needs.

Later that evening we lay side by side wrapped up in Alex’s sweater listening to each others breathing, with smiles in our faces; but inside we were battling a rang of emotions. From electrifying happiness to being terrified and sad that this would be over soon.


Two days until our procedures they found us. We were in the rock enclosure talking, while we were talking but then other things became more important, when we suddenly heard voices and a man entered our hide away; a policeman to be exact. He wouldn’t say who told him about us, just said that they got a call the day before about two people, a boy and a girl, that had been spotted together. Then we were dragged out of the cave by two different men, both keeping us separated; and no matter how hard we tried to get free we couldn’t, they had a too tight of a grip on us. Then we saw the vans and-


Someone’s coming, I attempted to turn my head around to look but it had a brace on it securing it to the metal table that I lay on. I was so wrapped up in my memories that I forgot I was in a medical room, minutes away from having my procedure.
“Ahh, Isabelle all ready are you, sorry it took me so long, I just finished with another patient,” The doctor told me coming over to the slab I lay on.
“So I understand you had some trouble yesterday, being caught with a boy. Don’t worry, all that will be gone from you in a few short moments; so you have nothing to worry about any longer,” She said strapping a mask over my face slowly filling it with a sleeping gas. I thrashed around on the table pulling against the restraints, all the while repeating Alex’s name in my head like a pray, desperately trying to burn it into my mind. That’s how I fell asleep, with tears streaming down my face and his name playing in my mind like a broken record. Alex, Alex, Alex, Ale-x, Al-ex, Al…


“Isabelle are you coming?” Justin called, looking over his shoulder.
“Yes, just forgot one of the bags of groceries,” I said catching up to him.
As we walked back to our house I listened to him as he told me about his day at work, I turned my head towards him to say something when I bumped into someone passing me. I looked over to apologize and caught a glimpse of light blond hair and bright green eyes.
“Oh, I’m sorry,” I said.
“It’s quite alright, it’s my fault really,” He answered; and then we both continued on, going in opposite directions. An odd feeling pasted through my body but just as soon as it happened it was gone. Shaking my head I ran to catch up with Justin, asking him what we should have for dinner that night.



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