The water is deeper than I remember, and colder than I would ever expect. The Pacific Ocean is vast, ancient, much less forgiving than its cold, grey, harmless sister. My strokes are strong and sure, but the board still seems heavy, fibreglass pressed against my sternum and my stomach. The cord attached to my ankle gives me some small confidence.

I grip the edge of the board and fairly fling myself up, wobbling a bit but gaining my balance quickly. The wave that brings my board in is disappointingly weak, but it is still exhilarating to ride it. My instructor Ian praises my stance and my ability to stay upright, giving me additional advice in his fantastically Australian accent--and all Australian accents are fantastic--and promising that the next wave will be 'a great fuck off' wave. Cursing still thrills my thirteen year-old heart, and I swim out strong.

The next wave is a 'great fuck off' one. It engulfs me, swallowing me in foam and salt and a great blue wall of nothingness. My eyes sting, held open by the force of the water, and I tumble and scrape along the floor, my board slipping and catching. I fumble to grip, to pull myself up, but the wave's children follow him, and I am tumbled again like so many awkward bits of flotsam. I finally pull myself up, gasping, clinging to my board. I am sure my eyes are red. My skin feels raw, but nothing is really hurt. I paddle weakly back to Ian, who looks anxious for a second--a whole second!--until he sees I am not hurt. He asks if I would go again, and I look back at the waves, the inconstant, lying waves, and I stretch myself along the board, and swim out once more to meet the sea.
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I stand in your shitty kitchen making martinis in panties and we hold hands in the backseat of my dad's convertible and eat ice cream. My legs are in your lap and my feet are bare and the ice cream is cold. You're so pale and your hand looks bright against my dark legs.

I stopped wearing shoes the day I got off the plane and my soles are black and my legs are still adjusting to being completely grounded. I'm still adjusting to being completely grounded. It's like we're starting all over again. Nobody noticed me standing barefoot at the baggage carousel, just like nobody noticed you in your sunglasses, arms spread wide for a hug. Nobody (or everybody?) looked our way when we kissed. You said you didn't check anything, so we walked out into the glaring sun and it was like January never happened, like we were just two kids learning about each other.

You liked my pink toenails and laughed when I put in some Beatles, but 'anything's better than NPR' according to you. We put the top down and I was speeding and we were singing (screaming) along... now you're in the shower, and I can still hear you singing.

Come back to me, and lie with me. Let me be yours again.

Last night we watched some shitty movie and stayed up to watch a rerun of some show I had never heard of before and then we slept together and I'm really sorry about hitting your face trying to reach my phone. No, really. I had no idea that would happen.

& thanks for making me breakfast, and sorry for being such a bitch this morning, but thanks for making me laugh.

If I weren't already in love with you, I would be falling hard.
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