I moved away at about 16, my junior year, unable to take the pain of losing my mother, Sarah. I decided to drive down to California along the coast till I came across Santa Cruz where I was enrolled for high school classes. I had a small one bedroom apartment in a secure building where I stayed when I was in school. 

When summer came around, I decided to start to venture out, try to meet new people, and see what the world had for me here in California. I spent a lot of time at the beach that summer, and one day, I was laying back with my book and toes in the sand, and I noticed a very handsome man walking my way. I shyly buried my face farther into my book, Lost Laysen by Margret Mitchell. He was a surfer. He dropped his board right beside me, droplets of the seas saltwater make contact with my skin, causing goosebumps to rise up and appear on my skin. I peer over my book and raise a brow as he just stared at me while he sat on his board. 

"You surf?" He asked me in a deep voice that caused my goose bumps to have goosebumps. 

'No, I prefer the sand. I'm not much of a swimmer either,' I replied. 

His goofy grin drew me in more as it turned somewhat crooked, I tilted my head. "Well, if you're up for it, I'd love to teach you."

I politely declined, and he got up, running back out into the ocean to continue his surfing. After that, my eyes could barely stay on the book, but always ended up looking up to watch him surf. Let's just say, he definitely knew how to control those waves. 

That very next day, I returned to my exact same spot and low and behold, he was there. He caught me watching him, took a small break and came back over to me. 

"You can't sit here and read all day. It's too nice to not enjoy the water." He held out his hand and hesitantly, I took it, stood myself up and held his hand all the way to the water. In a soft voice I introduced myself, 'I'm Rebecca.' He grinned at me and told me his name was Solomon, but people call him Leo. 

That day, we connected. He asked me out on a date and the next day we went to a restaurant on the beach and then went to watch a movie at my place. 

Looking back, I'm so happy I took his hand because if I hadn't, I'd be stuck. He gave me the opportunity to explore. I've seen much of Hawaii, and am slowly starting to learn to sure now after 10 years. [Laughs] He just doesn't give up on me that easily. [Grins]

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