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The air was hot, the water cold. A cold that could send shivers up your spine, but not enough to freeze a muscle in your body. That seemed to be the first thing Skylar noticed, walking on the beach. How the sand burnt every inch of skin off her feet and yet soothed her very soul. How the faint fall wind blew her pale hair in thin wisps around her tanned face and how the ocean rose to kiss her feet with every breath it took.
It was an oddly warm fall day, one where all you wanted to do was take a shower and wash off that sticky, sweaty feeling. But Sky had other plans, and had left school early to bask in the heat. Her friends would be wondering where she was, and the school would surly call her parents, but none of that seemed to matter. She was finally at the one place she felt entirely protected, and had but one thought in her mind.
Sky struggled momentarily to zip the wet suit up her lean back, pinching her neck before finally protecting her skin from the unforgivable cold. The teen drifted to the water, surf board in hand, and gracefully bent down to wash the sand from the glistening white board. Trailing her fingers lovingly down its shinning surface, Sky pushed it into the water, diving in soon after. The waves in the bay were nonexistent and her board was in no danger of being taken away from one. It took her a good twenty minutes to paddle out of the bay into open ocean, where giant waves engulfed the deep blue water and sprayed her face with a salty spit.
She laughed, a laugh full of longing and excitement, desperation and need. The ocean was her home, not the land, not the ground. She would rather die out in the Pacific than be forced to life isolated on land. She watched as small waves raised her board and then dropped it back down. She dived under a large wave, it too close to the jagged rocks circling the bay.
The day passed slowly. Most waves were too small for Sky’s liking, and died off far too quickly. The few waves that were powerful were bordering the rocks, smashing into its side before tumbling back down. She was about to go back to the land, disgusted by her ocean’s lack of perfection, when she saw it. A giant, blue with streaks of green, softly rimmed with a foaming white, rumbled to her with a dim roar.
She needed this wave, she craved it, and it was hers for the taking. It was growing larger and larger, as though it would never break, and was but a thousand meters away from where Sky was floating. Should she take it?
Nine hundred meters.
It would bring her awfully close to the rocks.
Eight hundred meters.
But she was a better surfer than that.
She would break off, go over the rim, if she got too close.
Or if she had to, she would fall in, stopping her trek to the rocks.
But it would bring her so close.
She had to choose now. Yes or no?
Soon Sky was hoisting herself onto the board, riding the wave, carving through the water and letting out little yelps of joy. Her hand brushed the sharp water parallel to her body and stroked its slick walls.
She was dancing, her partner the board, her ocean the stage. As graceful as she was on land, it was multiplied in the sea. This is where she belonged.
The rocks slowly caught Sky’s attention, rushing closer and closer to where she was flying. Sky looked up, preparing to surf over the sharp edge of the wave. But instead of a soft blue sky, she saw rushing water hovering feet above her eyes. She jerked her head to the right, looking for the rocks. They were rushing closer and closer by the second, and the wave was beginning to block the sight. Sky was surrounded by a wall of waves. If she fell off now, the water would pummel her onto beckoning rocks. The exit to the wave was quickly getting farther and farther away. It was her only hope.
Sky swerved the board to the very edge of the wave and contorted her body to fit in the shrinking tunnel. She raced against the waves to get to the hole, to get to safety. Faster and faster she gled, but the waves ran faster. She was desperate. Her shoulder was inches away from the wall of water, and her hair was skimming the ceiling.
But as strong as the waves were, Sky’s determination was stronger. Her board pushed farther along the tunnel.
The tip of the board was out. Her outstretched arm was out. Her head was just emerging when the wave broke.