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Disclaimer: I do not own the pretender, and I do not own Jarod.
Surfing. It had intrigued him since he had first heard about this sport. Why would anyone in their right mind want to stand on top of a length of fibreglass and try to stay upright as waves came crushing towards them?

But the more he read about it, the more he watched the people do it, the more determined he was to try it.

He had even went so far as to build his own surf board, and after a few attempts, built one to be perfect. He had studied the geometry, physics and tide charts to create the ideal way to surf.

He left his lair before the sun rose. Carrying his surfboard, a back pack full of fresh water, sandwiches and PEZ, donned in a pair of simple shoes and board shorts and a pair of black sunglasses. The well muscled pretender made the gruelling hike through the rain forest. It was absolutely beautiful.

The lush greens of the undergrowth brushed against his bare legs. The dawning sun hidden by the tall canopy of the forest. Birds sang in their early morning ritual.

Jarod could see small animals scurrying around the ferns and various other plants, hunting for their breakfast.

The sounds of the rivers and waterfalls around him and the small insects buzzing, only added to the music he heard from the other animals. The sweet tones from the rainforest echoed throughout and brought the man’s sprit to life. The sounds filling his ears, the sights his eyes were seeing, were some of the most beautiful things he had seen and heard since his escape from the Centre. Jarod breathed in the clean, crisp ocean air in pleasure.

Climbing over hills, trying not to fall as he descended into the valleys before hiking back up the steep hills once more. Panting for breath, he paused at one of the many rivers running through the forest floor and lent over, drinking mouthfuls of fresh, clean water before continuing his long hike.

The crashing of the waves soon filled the tired man’s ears. Taking the few last steps, Jarod stood atop of a cliff and stared out in awe.

The sun was just starting to show over the horizon. The bright flame red, and florescent orange clouds were mixing into the magnificent purples and blues of the sky. The blazing yellow sun set it off stunningly.

The breeze was warming up as the sun warmed the chill from the night’s darkness out of it. The soft wind swept against his now sweaty skin, sending shivers down Jarod’s half naked body. Goose bumps covered his well muscled chest and arms. His hair sticking to his brow, his breath visible as he exhaled.

His arms were heavy from the effort of carrying his surfboard for such a long time. His calves trembled with the effort of climbing up and down the hills and cliffs. His lungs ached from the cool air and panting. But at this very moment, standing on top of a cliff, looking down at the beach, watching the sun rise warming the earth up, it had all been worth it.

Looking out over the ocean, the water glistering with the suns rays, he was hypnotized by the pure beauty of it all. The sand of the exclusive beach was pure white, spreading for miles. The water was clear until you looked further out where it was a deep blue. The waves were crashing loudly against the shore. Stunning.

The feeling of absolute freedom overwhelmed Jarod, and he sat heavily in the forest undergrowth. Looking around him in admiration and amazement, he realised how much he had been missing. Always on the run, always in a pretend. He had never actually stopped to just look around him, look at the world’s spectacular natural beauty. And now that he was here, he was going to enjoy ever waking second of it.

He sat on top of the cliff face, at the edge of the rainforest, overlooking the magnificent beach and watching and listening the sounds of the early morning.

After the sun had fully risen, the sky now a bright aqua blue, a rested Jarod hauled himself off of the ground. Making his way awarkardly and dangerously down the cliff trail to the beach floor.

The sand was still slightly damp from the night air, but was warming up nicely. He took a moment to get his breathing back to normal. Then Jarod walked up to the water, placed his board upon the damp sand, and ran full speed into the water, diving under the first wave as it came crashing towards him. Coming up for air, the pretender pushed his wet hair off his face and looked up into the cloudless day.

Too occupied with the blue sky and sun, Jarod didn’t notice the wave coming for him until it was too late. Dunking him under the water, Jarod fought against the strong undercurrent to come back up for air. When he finally managed to break the surface, he had to quickly dive under another wave to avoid being forced under again.

Coming up for air, Jarod huffed in annoyance. He hadn’t expected the wave to have such a strong undercurrent. He would have to be more careful. Swimming back to the beach, Jarod lay on the now warm sand panting slightly.

Getting up after ten minutes of rest, Jarod grabbed the board and paid very close attention to the formation of the waves, and where they come in from. Locating the rips and undercurrents, working out where it was the safest to surf, Jarod ran into the water, jumping onto the board as he went.

Paddling out, the well developed muscles on his broad back working overtime fighting against the pull of the water inwards, Jarod made it far enough out to start.

Recalling his knowledge and the images he had seen of other surfers, Jarod waited for a wave to come his way. Kicking his legs furiously, paddling with his arms, Jarod felt the back of the board being picked up by the wave.

Pushing up with his arms, Jarod jumped up into the stance he had seen everyone else do, only to fall off balance and crash into the wave, seeing the surf board fly up into the air and land in the water after him.

Forcing his way up to the surface, he grabbed a hold of the board to keep him afloat, truly thankful that he had used the leg band.

Sighing in disappointment, Jarod tried again, and again, and again, each time repeating exactly what he had seen others do. Each time being forced off the board, crashing hard into the clear waters.

Working his way back in, Jarod sat on the sand in annoyance and confusion. Why couldn’t he do this? It was a simple sport. Stand on the board, ride the waves. He was a genius, the world’s best pretender. Why did such a simple thing elude him? Why couldn’t he just stay on the board? He hadn’t even had the chance to surf yet, he never made it past standing up on the bloody thing. What was he doing wrong?

He studied the waves and ocean a little longer before studying his board. The physics and geometry were correct. It had nothing to do with the science or math. It occurred to him that it could be him, maybe he just didn’t have the talent to surf but he pushed that aside. He was a Pretender, he could do anything he wanted, including surfing. He would just have to try harder.

You had to have the right balance, the right technique. You have to know how to flow with the waves, adjust your body accordingly, and you need to know instinctively how to move.

Jarod stubbornly got up and dived back into the warm water, determined to do this. He would not give up, he would persist. He could not comprehend the idea of not being able not to do something.

After hours and hours of trying, the pretender finally managed to get into stance, staying upright. So happy, so excited that he finally managed to stay on the board, Jarod stood up straight and threw his arms in the air,

“Wahoo!! I did it!” He shouted only to end up under the water again, with a mouthful of salty water.

Breaking the surface, Jarod clung to his board laughing in joy. It felt so extraordinary to understand what others did when they couldn’t do something. This was the longest it had ever taken for him to learn to do something new. He admitted, it was almost... hard. But now that he could stay upright, all he had to do was master the actual surfing. But that would be for another day. It was getting late, and he wanted to practice getting into stance before he had to make his way back.

Jarod laughed in pleasure as he tried a few more times. Sometimes he fell off, sometimes he stayed on. And sometimes, he stayed on long enough to manoeuvre the board a little before being crushed by a wave.

Dragging his tired body from the ocean, Jarod lay on the sand panting with a huge smile plastered on his face. He didn’t want to leave, he liked the free feeling he felt being here. He watched as the sun slowly set, colouring the sky like an artist’s pallet. Heaving a sigh in disappointment, Jarod pulled himself off his feet and looked around him once more before heading back home.

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