The ocean in front of me was beginning to swell, I was preparing mentally, physically and emotionally for another wave. I was standing in, oh, maybe waist-deep water and Mr Fritz was just a couple of meters to my right.
I've never felt comfortable or safe in the ocean. More than anything it reminds me of how powerless I am and how ill-suited we are, as a species, to these large, sometimes unpredictable and wild expanses of water. I have a lot of respect for the ocean and everything that lives in it which keeps me on high alert.
As the wave started to form, a little anxiety, coupled with a bit of a thrill started to kick in. With one hand I pinched my nose together - I can't stand getting water up my nose and as a child I never learnt how to blow out in water - and then I closed my eyes and ducked into the wave head first. And bam! It's pretty uncomfortable but just like that it was all over. The noise and the full water coverage blocked everything else out for just that split second. I stood up, flicked my wet salty hair from my face, opened my eyes, and removed the wedgie from my bum.
And then I noticed Mr Fritz didn't surface. What the fuck!!! I quickly scanned my immediate surrounds but he wasn't there. My God. Shit. This isn't happening. The sea was murky so I couldn't see through it. No! No! No! Where is he? Where do I start looking? Which direction do I search?......he could be anywhere! And then the most sickening feeling entered my whole body and mind. It was a combination of sheer terror, complete helplessness and the beginnings of experiencing a profound loss - that my husband could be dead.
Did he land badly and break his neck in the shallow water? My God. He might be drowning just a couple of meters from me! But I can't see him! And I can't help him and I can't save him! I couldn't see through the fucking water. I was moments away from complete panic and hysteria as I frantically flung my head from side to side to scan as much of the area as I could. My pupils must have been more dilated that a fucked-up junkie's - except I was running of pure adrenalin.
And then an angel came to my rescue. A woman who was standing to my left. She noticed me. My body language and the expression on my face must have alerted her immediately that something was wrong. All she said was, "He's behind you! He's okay!"
'Whaaaat???' I may have uttered a thank you in a very faint trembling voice as I turned around and saw Mr Fritz waving and smiling on the beach because he managed to catch that wave and did the best body surf of his life. He'd been practicing for days and in that moment when I ducked my head into the wave he was off having the ride of his life.
I ran to him as fast as I could run in the water and clung to him the same way a baby koala clings to it's mother - sobbing quite hysterically and gasping for air. Poor bastard, he had know idea I thought he died just moments before.
"Lets get the fuck out of here," I said, as my whole body shook in some weird state of shock and relief. It took me ages to stop crying. In fact, losing Mr Fritz for a whole 30 seconds sickened me to my core and I just didn't feel the same the rest of the day.
We got back to our room and downed a couple of drinks. Later we smiled about his 'best ever' body surf - the one he wished I could have seen.