Step 1: Buy a basil plant
You obviously can't kill something unless you have it. The real key to fully embracing Step 1 is to get really excited about buying the basil plant. You should probably tell your friends and maybe even blog about it. Start collecting recipes that call for fresh basil.
Step 2: Keep the basil pot on the ledge outside your apartment.
Step 3: Water the basil plant
During Step 3, you are creating the illusion of growth. You are careful to give your basil just the right amount of water. Your basil is growing! Excitement abounds.
Unbeknownst to you, however, in an effort to be nice, your neighbor is secretly watering your basil when she waters her flowers, which are sitting on the ledge right next to your basil.
Step 4: Become confused when the basil plant starts turning yellow.
At this point you think maybe the basil isn't being watered enough, so you water it more. Google tells you this is a terrible idea and that basil leaves turn yellow when the plant is being watered too much.
Step 5: Freak out and completely stop watering your basil plant. Notice the leaves are continuing to turn yellow and are now starting to fall off. Mass confusion ensues.
Step 6: Become suspicious that your elderly neighbor might be secretly watering your basil plant.
Step 7: Stage a stakeout and catch elderly neighbor in the act.
Step 8: Instead of confronting her, passive aggressively move the pot inside where your neighbor can't get to it.
Step 9: Return to a routine watering system.
Step 9a: Get excited when your basil plant seems to be improving.
Step 10: Leave the country for a week. (To here, in case you missed it.)