Sand jammed beneath my fingernails, a layer of salt baked on my skin, seaweed tangled through my wet hair. After shaking off remaining water from my face and lifting my surfboard from the water, I saw an oncoming set of waves. I pushed through the first few with not much of struggle, and then spotted the perfect wave. The wave I’d been waiting a long time for. I turned my board back around to face the beach, dropped my body onto it and began paddling. I got to the top of the wave and as it began to curl into a break, I pulled myself up to a squat and then to a full stance. With my knees bent and my feet gripped to the waxed surface of the surfboard, I guided the board up and down the lip of the wave. But just as fast as I caught this wave, it’s already dying down. As my last wave of the day, I ended with a trust fall off the wave and into the now calm water.
With my board tucked under my arm I began to pace back down the beach to where I originally paddled out. Making my way up the boardwalk, I laid my eyes on a guy in baggies and a T-shirt, who was scoping out the waves. I glimpsed down at myself, suddenly self-conscious of the mismatching bikini I had thrown on before coming to the beach. I wanted to talk to him but it always seemed like the guys who were obvious surfers were either too busy trying to push me out of the water for being the only girl or too busy gawking at anything in a bikini on the beach.
I flashed him a friendly smile, hoping my hair wasn’t stuck to my face or something embarrassing. He smiled back and I could tell he was watching me until I was completely past him on the boardwalk. I was suddenly nervous but intrigued.
“What brand is that board?” I turned around and looked at him again.
“This is a …Lost board.” I finally said. Now, his sunglasses were on top of his head, hiding in his messy blond hair, and I could really see his eyes. They were a sharp blue-green color and mesmerizing.
“That’s sweet. Have a nice ride out there?” He asked with a smirk.
“Nothing special, but I got a few good rides.” I laughed and wondered where this conversation was going.
“Well good. Maybe I’ll see you out there soon?” He asked. I felt my face blush; silently hoping it appeared to him as a little sunburn.
“Hope so.” I said and ambled towards my apartment.
I bushed my feet off on the mat outside of my apartment. I replayed the conversation I’d just had with the guy at the beach. I began to feel like I should have made more conversation in case I ever did see him again. I slipped on my jean shorts and my tank top with Beach Burrito stamped across the front and made my way up the street to the local burrito shop where I’d been working since high school. It was a place where all of the locals, and tourists of course, would come get lunch and hangout, usually after the beach. I started to ask myself if I’d ever seen him while I was working. If he was like most people around, I would have seen him before.
I clipped my nametag to my top and tied my long, sun-kissed hair into a messy bun.
“Ella, give me my usual!” shouted a regular customer who’d always seemed to have a crush on me.
“Yeah, yeah, yeah. I hear yah.” I laughed as I put in an order for steak burrito for one of Beach Burrito’s most loyal customers.
“It’s Earl,” I said to Tim, my manager. “He wants his regular.”
“Of course,” Tim and I laughed as he added some extra toppings into the burrito.
“I swear the only reason he still comes here is to see you, Miss Ella.”
The next morning, I opened my eyes to the sun peeking through my east window. I grabbed my longboard from the living room and skate to the boardwalk at the end of my street. The ocean resembled a lake; not a wave in my sight. I watched the little rippled along the surface of the water.
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