Sarah's Garden

Sarah's Garden by Kelly Long

Book: Sarah's Garden by Kelly Long Read Free Book Online
Authors: Kelly Long
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Sarah proclaimed, startling him with the similarity of their thoughts.
    “I was just thinking that.”
    Samuel and Luke had gathered their few tools and headed back around the side of the house while he called his thanks. He was left alone with her, and the garden, and their shared thoughts. She must have become aware of the gentle quiet, because she self-consciously began to tuck her hair back.
    “Please don’t.”
    “It’s vain to have my hair show.”
    “No, it’s beautiful . . . just like what you’ve done here. How can I ever thank you?”
    She shrugged. “They’re simple plants.”
    He stepped nearer until he could see the threads of gold that shot through a single tendril of her light brown hair in the sunlight.
    “I don’t mean the plants, I mean watching you do this for me. It was a gift.”
    She bent her head and he caught up one of her dirt-stained hands into his own. She allowed it, causing him to catch his breath.
    “Sarah,” he whispered, raising her hand to his lips. He unfolded the fingers of her hand, like the petals of a new flower, and pressed his mouth into her palm, closing his eyes. He expected her to pull away and was trying to savor as much as he could of the taste of earth and warmth and something distinctly woman. But she didn’t struggle, and he lifted his head and opened his eyes to stare down at her.
    She was looking up at him, mesmerized, and he watched awareness swamp back into her eyes as she pulled at his grip. He let her go and she turned, hugging her arms about herself, her head down.
    “Sarah . . . Miss King, I meant no disrespect. I just wanted to say thank you. I know it’s not proper in your world . . .” He floundered and had to clench his hands into fists to keep from touching her again.
    “Not proper,” she repeated in a choked whisper. “What is proper?”
    “What do you mean?”
    “A kiss is proper in its time.”
    He shook his head, feeling out of his depth.
    “Talk to me, Sarah—please. Tell me the truth of what you’re saying.”
    She turned back to face him, and he was troubled to see tears damp on her cheeks.
    “Oh, Sarah, please don’t cry. I promise I’ll never do anything that makes you uncomfortable again.”
    She lifted her eyes to his own. “I’m telling the truth, Doctor. It was not uncomfortable or unpleasant. It was too pleasant. I—I’ve never had anyone kiss me but my family before.”
    “Oh. Not even growing up? A boyfriend, perhaps?”
    She smiled without mirth. “You mean Jacob Wyse, don’t you? No, not even him as a friend.”
    Her words shook him as vapid images of his own life rose up to confront him, casual kisses with girls through high school, a parade of steady girlfriends through college who would have been all too glad to do much more than kiss. Girls dressed in short dresses and shorter skirts. Easy hugging and hand holding, touches that meant nothing and more than nothing when he thought of his moments with this simple Amish girl. He swallowed hard.
    “Then you’ve given me two gifts today—the garden and the kiss.”
    “You think I’m strange,” she said resignedly.
    He didn’t touch her; he couldn’t. He used his voice instead. “Sarah . . . I think myself strange. The world’s never made so much sense as when I see it with you.”
    She nodded. “It’s our way to ‘be in the world, but not of the world.’ If I am showing you the world so that it makes sense, then I am failing Der Herr . . . my faith.”
    “I’m not explaining myself right. And I’m not backpedaling or trying to fool you about what I mean. I mean that I have clarity, a clearness when I’m with you that I don’t have at other times.” He rubbed his shoe in the dirt. “I remember when I was ten, right after my parents died, I went to a frozen lake near where I lived. The ice was thin on the shoreline, so I broke off a big piece and put it in front of my face. I could still see the lake, but everything was blurry and far off. I felt

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