EXCERPT : Girl Out of Water

I float in the Pacific Ocean.

As I straddle my longboard, cool water lapping around me, I watch surfers up and down the coast take on baby waves, four-­footers that will carry them a short distance before breaking into froth and foam.

I’m waiting for something better.

The sun beats down on the slip of my neck between my wet suit and hairline. The tender skin burns, but I don’t dare move to massage it. Seagulls circle overhead, squawking over the swilling water. They dive to the surface, then soar back up, carrying scraps of seaweed and tiny fish.

And then I see it—­in the distance, coming toward me, coming for me. My gaze flickers over the green-­blue water as I watch the wave take shape. It’s not a three-footer or even a four-footer. No, it’s much better. My fingers drum against my thighs, and I lean forward, gnawing my sun-­chapped lip.