She stood there, barefoot in the surf shop, board under her arm, still in her wetsuit, talking to the shop owner about the rip that the storm had brought up. She laughed about her wipeouts, and how she needed to be braver. I stood there, checking out the board wax, but actually checking her out, listening to every single word that she said.
When she finished chatting, she turned to go, saw me staring, smiled (because she knew). And then was gone.
I was awestruck. Gobsmacked. A little bit in love.
Not because she was some kind of model-esque beauty (although, in that moment, she was physical perfection, as far as I could tell) but because she represented almost that I hoped to achieve in my entire life. Which is odd, seeing as I never actually met her, and only saw her for about 3, 4 or maybe 5 minutes at the most. And this was years ago. Long before I met my husband. Long before I had children. Long before I was even brave. But what she represented has stayed in my belly since then. And I know that one day, I will be like her.