My last full day in Pensacola was a bit of a weird trip. Maybe weird’s the wrong word, but it was definitely a mix of emotions; but one that prevailed was sadness. I loved my home, I loved New York but I really didn’t want to leave. And I wish I didn’t have work commitments because heaven knows I’d have spent a lot more time with Roman. I was starting to question the single life I was leading.
One thing that I did realise though, well captured on our last day that whilst we seemed to be good for each other; compatible and all (in our weird ways), we were definitely bad influences on each other. For some reason I found that very exciting, how we could team up to do things out of the ordinary together.
For starters, the stupid-at-the time idea to get a motorbike…
“Let’s do something…spontaneous,” he smiled at me, wiggling his brows suggestively.
Whenever he gave me that look, I just always assumed he meant it sexually. I raised my brow in question, smiling back.
“And by spontaneous, you meaaaaan?”
“I mean something crazy, like I don’t know - bungee jumping?”
“That’s called suicidal,” I deadpanned.
“Maybe sadistic,” he offered.
“Suicidal. S&M is sadistic,” I retorted.
“Well fuck me sideways, I guess I’m a thrill magnet,” he laughed.
“Hence why your profession,”
“True,” he pierced his eyes into tiny slits whilst in contemplation.
“Hey, what about a motorbike? We could hite a bike and just ride aimlessly? Maybe ride into the sunset?” I smiled.
He grinned, nodding in approval. “Fuck yeah,” he clicked his fingers. “Mind of a genius right there,”
I looked away briefly and chuckled, “I was actually joking,”
“Well, we’re doing it regardless, I haven’t been on one of those in years. Now’s the perfect time,”
“Umm I really wasn’t serious,” I said backing out. “Besides, you need experience and a license for one, no?”
It was always on my bucket list, (despite being a chicken to do anything on that list) to get on a bike. I’d seen it in the movies and it looked fun and I promised myself it was the one thing I’d do - among many others, before I died. Now the opportunity was presenting itself and I felt so unprepared.
“Have you seen the film Biker Boyz?” he scrutinised me with those squinted eyes.
I nodded, not wanting to give away that it was where my bike fantasy stemmed from.
“Well, i was obsessed with that growing up, my cousins and I got our bike licenses in college because we thought they’d be babe magnets. It wasn’t such a ridiculous thought at the time because everyone in school was wild about the film when it came out,”
“How did that work for you?”
“Not too great in those days babe, but I’m willing to try again,” he joked. “Please? I’ll keep you safe, I promise. And we can do the girlie stuff you want like riding into the sunset,”
It didn’t take too much to convince me, despite the nerves about it all. I realised moments like these existed for that; to do something new, with a special person. Those were the kind of moments you cherish forever.
And I know I’ll cherish the way he picked me up and sat me onto it, and stood between my legs as we kissed and rubbed my back in attempt to calm my nerves before we rode it for the first time.
And I’ll cherish the feeling of having my arms wrapped around his waist and feeling secure as he sped along the streets, even though that brace alone plus a helmet was my only sense of security.
I’ll undoubtedly cherish the way he compliment me when I done the equivalent of reenacting the iconic run in the opening sequence of Baywatch. The motorbike equivalent was me taking off my helmet and flipping my hair back, winking at him suggestively, even though I’d done it playfully, he seemed to love it and he let that be known.
And then we got stopped for speeding; because he kept thinking he was funny trying to wind me up by accelerating the speed and cutting corners. Joke’s on him. Obviously, at the time I didn’t laugh, I was nervous as hell.
“What do we do Roman? What do we do?” I panicked as we lay by the roadside, the traffic patrol exiting his car behind us.
“Just relax,” he chuckled so casually and seeming too relaxed for this. “Hey - seriously, calm down, you look real suspect, it’s just speeding,”
“Sir, do you know the limit on this road?” the authoritative voice interrupted us, peering at both of us above his sunglasses that he’d slid too low down his nose.
I could swear I was shaking by then, I was a city girl, I didn’t drive. I didn’t have a reason to either. I got my license and all, but after passing my test, I never pursued a car. The perks of living in Manhattan was enjoying the city on foot; and that never got old. It was tiring though at times, and very impractical; hence the Ubers and metro.
Roman hissed, “55, I know my bad, I got a little too excited. Y'know, showing off in front of the lady and all,”
The officer chuckled, catching the joke and fighting off a smile. He glanced at me quickly, then looked back at Roman, turning slightly more serious.
“That’s not gonna be a good excuse in court if there’s an accident,” he sighed. “And I’m sure the lady wouldn’t want to be disfigured because you’re tryna show off,”
“Of course, that’s very irresponsible of me,” Roman said, I couldn’t believe this guy.
“License please sir?” the officer said, holding out his hand. “And helmet off so I can identify you, sorry to do this in front of you ma'am,”
Roman obliged, still calm and unbothered, handing over his license and the officer glanced up from the card and looked at him, then back at the license again as if trying to match it up.
“Unbelievable,” he smiled. “The Roman Reigns? Sir, my wife’s a big fan,”
Roman smirked, a ladykiller smile at that. Had the officer been a woman we’d have been sent off into the sunset by now.
“Oh really?” he faked innocence. I could tell he’d done this many times.
“Oh yeah, hell yeah, she’s not gonna believe this. You’re her favourite person in the world right now. She was all over Josh Duhammel, but after his marriage to Fergie, she moved on y'know? She was single in her fantasy land for a while then I took her to a live wrestling match one night, she hated me for even suggesting it. She hates wrestling. But then The Shield debuted that night and oh Lord, she hasn’t ever looked back since,”
And from my research, that seemed pretty accurate for many women.
“I’m flattered - I mean I’m sorry to hear that, that’s if you hate me? I’m not a lot of guys’ cup of tea right now since the Rumble,” he chuckled.
“Nah man, you’re the man. For real. I act like I’m unaffected by you in front of her, I’m jealous dude, dude you’re fucking amazing -excuse my French ma'am. You have changed the game in a lot of ways I appreciate. And I watched Wrestling growing up, so thank you,” he smiled. Even though his eyes were masked behind his Ray Bans, I could tell how excited and starstruck he was. “Oh damn, I’m fangirling hard right now, I’m a lot more collected than this, but dude you’re worth it,”
“Thank you man, that’s inspiring to hear,” and I couldn’t work out if he was sweet talkig his way out of that speeding fine or being sincere.
Surely he heard these compliments all the time from screamig fangirls, women and men, surely it got boring? But knowing Roman, he was such a genuine guy and always said how he felt.
“I really appreciate it. So what’s the damage with this speeding thing, officer Baxter?”
Baxter contorted his face in confusion, scrunching up his features, “What speeding Mr Reigns? I think you were well within the limit,”
Roman chuckled, but I could tell how grateful he was. No wonder why he’d been so calm; he got off easily for being a famous face. Especially in his hometown, his territory, I bet they all lined up for his autograph. And I bet it was worse with women, even if they didn’t know him; that face alone made you forget his sins.
“An autograph and a selfie will suffice,” Baxter negotiated with a casual shrug.
“I can’t believe you just did that,” I said after Baxter disappeared hesitantly a while after getting his autograph and selfie.
“Y'know what, y'just got off potentially causing an accident because you’re a famous face,”
“Famous or pretty?” He smiled. I rolled my eyes. “Hey, I get my ass whooped and risk my life in that ring for his entertainment, he owes me that perk at least,”
I knew he was joking because he was never the entitled type. But of course I didn’t blame him for exploiting the perks of his job, like I did with mine; free travelling to start with.
“No but on a serious note I don’t exploit things, that was my mistake. I’m sorry that happened, especially in front of you. I should know better,” he said sounding serious.
“That’s okay,” I kissed his cheek from behind before he put his helmet back on. “I do like the bad boy in you though,”
“Ohh baby girl, plenty more where that came from,”
We spent the evening bar hoping and ended up at a random beach party that we were sure we gatecrashed. And we weren’t exactly trying to fit in, we ended up being all over each other and ignoring everything else around us. He pinned me against a pine-tree as we made out to Tyrese serenading us.
“You look so pretty,” he whispered to me with a little laugh.
His hands crept everywhere, all over my waist, snaking around it and even grabbing my butt. He’d had a couple of drinks and I could tell he was battling with their effects. He was extra flirty and very handsy, not that I minded, especially on our last night together.
“You’re really drunk,” I commented, lack of better words.
“I’m really not,” he laughed again. “Not one bit, I’m just being honest, you look pretty,” and as he said that, his right hand crept to the front, rubbing me through my skirt.
When I gasped in shock, he leant down and nibbled on my neck, not even attempting to silence me.
“Roman…people will see,” I mentioned between breathy gasps and moans. “Mhhh-hmm, okay…don’t stop,”
I held him in place when I felt he was about to pull away from me. I saw a flash of darkness in his eyes before he kissed my lips again, I felt like I was in one of those music videos or a movie set in a bar surrounded by people, music, alcohol and all that was invisible; though even better - we were on a white sand and crystal-blue watered Pensacola beach. It was more romantic to be fair.
But we got a little too carried away, the sex playlist music wasn’t helping either way, I started grinding on him, following the rhythm of the song.
“Fuck,” he bowed his head and shut his eyes before he whispered to me, “I want you,”
“I want you too,” I said and gripped onto his biceps and then I gave him a disappointed look that he’d come to understand in the past few days.
“I know,” he said in response to it; smiling nevertheless. He kissed me again and pulled away to look at me before he flicked something out of my hair. “You look really pretty tonight,”
“I know,” I joked, he raised his brow in surprise and we burst out laughing again. “You’ve told me so many times I’m starting to believe it,”
He rolled his eyes playfully and hugged me, “I think I’m gonna need a drink, you got me all worked up,”
“What’s your poison?”
“Whatever you’re having,”
“I’m having a cocktail,” he looked at me wearily.
I shrugged carelessly, “Fine with me, whatever you’re having,” I smiled up at him.
He looked at me blankly, questioning my sanity for going against my own passionate speech about being anti-alcohol. But fuck it. Tonight wasn’t really the night to be uptight; I wanted to just get heady in the night and remember it forever.
“After your speech yesterday?” he questioned me.
I nodded, biting my lip, “Only tonight. Only today. Only with you…because…I wanna see what it feels like, I know I’ll be safe with you,”
“Are you always this romantic?”
“Sometimes, if I want something,” I grinned at him.
“I don’t want you to feel pressurised to do this, I like you sober, very much and there’s nothing wrong with that,”
“I know, but I want to, just tonight, I wanna get lost in this night,”
“You wont remember a thing then,” he laughed at me.
“But you’ll tell me right?”
And I trusted him enough to. I had two glasses, that much I remember. Then a sip or two, okay fuck it, half of his drink when he’d snuck off to the bathroom. He came back and initially laughed at me for doing it, then warned me about mixing drinks. And I definitely felt the effects; my perception felt altered in ways I couldn’t describe. I’d never experienced it before. Everything moved slowly, everything sounded slurred and echoed, my body tingled, like that feeling you get before you faint. And my ears kept ringing.
“I wish I could have you,” I remember saying to him courageously, making him grab my butt as we walked to his car.
“Don’t say things like that,” he groaned frustratedly.
And I also remembered asking him to take me to a strip club. That was another thing on my bucket list. He refused, though he told me he was struggling not to say ‘yes’. It wasn’t the right time, not when I was like this, he said. He wanted me to enjoy and experience it fully sober and promised to take me next time before he kissed my temple.
I also remember him taking me to his “favourite spot” in the entire world. He said he’d never taken anyone there before, he liked to go there to get space, to think, to relax and escape.
Even in my slightly tipsy state, I could very well remember the gorges and crystal blue mini waterfall that descended into a pool in the lake. We sat on the rocks for quite some time and we did stuff; what exactly? He’s probably a better source of information, but I remember kissing him and sucking on his neck. I left a mark on him.
“Thank you Roman,” I whispered to him as we watched the water cascading down, so illuminous it provided natural light to the area, reminiscent of the Blue Grotto or something out of Avatar. It was so ethereal.
“For making me happy,” I said and looked up at him, I meant every word. It wasn’t a simple statement but so profound to me.
He smiled and kissed my forehead, then a blank look that I couldn’t decipher laced his features; it was as if he wanted to say something important, but was afraid to. And if anything, it was probably the same thing on my mind. It was a strong feeling too. I couldn’t reject it because it kept niggling at me and popping up at random times. I had really fallen for this man and there was no way to hide it, even if I wanted to. And I felt as if this feeling wouldn’t go away until the day I tell him those words.
I started dozing off here and there, he suggested we go back home so I could sleep. I didn’t want to, I was scared that if we did, I’d go to sleep and wake up and realise our time was up. He took me for walk, and I’d never dream to do this on my own in that isolated place, but I felt so safe with him.
“I wanna do something,” I giggled up at him, biting my lip suggestively.
He didn’t miss the expression, he remained silent for a second as he gathered his thoughts.
“Come, I want to show you,” I took his hands and lead him back the path we’d just walked and to the nearby benches.
“I wanna…” my voice trailed off as I slipped my hands into his boxers, rubbing him in his boxers.
As if on command, he hardened and threw his head back with a grunt.
“Jen,” he groaned throatily. “Don’t-”
“I want to,” I whispered, not intending to. I wanted him to hear me loud and clear.
I lowered myself onto the bench and kept my eyes on him as he did on me whilst I undid his zip and bobbled him free from the constraint of his boxers. Fuck, it was phenomenal; the man was seriously blessed, one glance at it sped my thought train to the way he fucked me. It felt so good, the thought alone mounted pressure on me to make him feel good in some ways, even if it’s just a fraction of what I felt that night.
“Teach me, I want to make you feel good,” I said stroking him.
He sighed in pleasure and grabbed my hair, holding my head in place, just an inch away from his erection. I opened my mouth and welcomed him in, instinctively wrapping my lips around him.
He pushed his way in gently, watching me, and me watching him. I loved the look on his face, his lips parted slightly and eyes saying what he couldn’t vocalise. He pulled back just as slow, and then back in, before coming to an abrupt halt. He didn’t get in any further before he pulled out quickly with a hiss.
“You okay?” I asked, panicking. He nodded, eyes closed. “Did it not feel good?”
“I was gonna cum, gimme a sec,” he sighed again, pulling himself together before we were at it again. “And don’t you dare make your speed racer jokes,”
I was novice, yes, but I’d watched enough porn to get a gist of what to do. His responses were telling enough that I wasn’t too shabby. His grip tightened in my hair, his thrusts escalated from slow and very gentle, to frustrated and determined ones, though still careful to not make me gag. And though I was not on the receiving end, it felt good just seeing him like this. Maybe it was the pleasure and satisfaction of knowing how I was effecting him. I was in charge of his pleasure; there was nothing more empowering than that thought. I never imagined giving a blowjob had its perks.
“Shit, do that again,”
And I did, whilst wrapping my hand him and massaging him, I licked, very slowly - the head of his shaft with the tip of my tongue, circling it, and he’d jerk every time. I’d found his pleasure spot. Just to throw him off the edge, I tightened the grip of my mouth on him and I felt his pleasured moans permeate through his body in a series of vibrations.
The deal breaker was more of a risk I took, very daring on my part. I’d always heard people warning to never use teeth; but I knew Roman, and he didn’t like to play safe. So I was slightly more confident that he’d enjoy the slight torture; so I did, I recalled a video I watched and grazed -very gently-my teeth along him, my tongue trailing along in a soothing manner. And something happened there in that very moment, he snapped and tried to vocalise his emotions but he was speechless. He pulled out.
He came, and it was satiating enough even for me.
“Shit,” was all he could manage breathily, and he looked so dazed. He slumped next to me and I watched his chest rise and fall rapidly. His head rested on the back of the bench, eyes closed, bottom lip wedged between his teeth.
“Y'alright there buddy?” I nudged him.
He chuckled and took my hand in his and kissed the back of it.
“I’ve never heard you sound more British,” he laughed, finally opening his eyes.
He turned his head to look at me and I don’t know if it was because of the moment we’d just engrossed in, but there was something tender and warm there.
“You said you’ve never done this before,” he smiled at me.
I shook my head no and giggled.
“Fuck, I dream to think what’d become of you with more experience,” he laughed to himself.
I chuckled, “Monumental night huh? I gave my first blow job in a…park,” I shook my head in disbelief as I said it. “Stick around kid,”
“Oh I am,” he said. “And y'know, when your lady nature friend decides not to intrude, I’ll be making up for lost time. And ps, I lost my virginity in the back of a car, touché?,”
“There’s a next time?” I asked blindly, voicing my thoughts without thinking or paying attention to everything else he said.
“What do you mean?” he laughed. “I didn’t know it was a question,”
I shrugged, “I don’t wanna jump to conclusions,”
He shook his head and licked his lips, “I meant what I said last night, I don’t know how it came off to you but I want this. I want this to work, I want it to be real, y'know. I’m not playing games or just trying to have fun, I’m after something serious and I hope you feel the same way. I brought you out here tonight, my secret hiding place that no one even knows I have, that’s gotta count for something. That’s ‘monumental’ for us, isn’t it, And if you feel the same way, then of course there’s a next time with us,”
I just smiled, bowing my head in embarrassment. He’d just put the ball in my court and had (sort of?) asked me to get serious about us, all in one breath. I wasn’t used to having any kind of input into a relationship, so I didn’t know what to do or say.
“I want a next time,” I said shyly, avoiding eye contact at all times. I felt like a high schooler being asked to prom.
“Look at me and say that,” he grumbled in his sex voice.
I couldn’t bring myself to, I was scared and embarrassed, this wasn’t a joke; it was me making a commitment to him within a matter of words. It was me making a commitment to myself too: that I was gonna go along with this and see it through.
He was a man I couldn’t even dream up, not even in my imagined Art student days, perfect in ways I never imagined, and he ticked the right boxes; even some that I never even thought of. So what was there to be afraid of?
“Look at me Jennifer,”
He used my whole name, that got my attention.
“Now tell me how you feel, exactly how you feel, right now,”
“I want there to be a next time,” I kept his gaze. I owed him something. “I want us…to be us…I want this too. I really do. I don’t want someone else to come in-”
“Another woman? There isn’t, there won’t be, I’m all about you, and I promise you that. It’s just me and you baby girl. Say the word and we can make is just us; we can make it exclusive and promise not to see other people, not that either of us were, but it ties down huh?”
“Yes,” I said beaming excitedly. “I want that, I want this to be exclusive,”
I felt at peace with myself as I answered that proposal and everything that’d led up to me meeting Roman had been very worth it and started to make sense. It was all leading up to this moment, the moment where I realised I was moving on and it was okay to. It was the moment where I realised it was okay to be happy and I deserved it. It was the moment I knew I deserved being in love and to be loved.
Having said all that, I couldn’t fathom exactly why I sat at the airport the next day, all by myself six hours before my flight, hiding my puffy eyes behind my sunglasses. I started relaying the past few months of my life like it were a film.
A part of me hoped that he would find me and tell me everything’s okay, and that love will conquer all and we’ll get through it in the name of love. I wanted it to be like in the movies; a romantic scene at the airport where the man chases the woman and confesses his undying love for her. He kisses her and everyone watching applauds and feels inspired by it, then they’ll go home and tell their loved ones about it. They’ll go home and make love, reigniting the fire in their relationship because of us. Because that’s how strong love was, it’s contagious.
Instead of that happening, I boarded that flight feeling as lonely as lonely could feel. I looked over my shoulder many times expecting to see him. Maybe he’d chase after me? And as the plane took off, hovering above the clouds in Pensacola, I realised that of course it felt lonely. That was reality. All that other stuff was just my imagination, fantasies drawn from movies and good books. I’d been projecting those fantasies into our relationship, well the real scenario was that it was all a lie. Just like the fucking movies and made up romance fiction.
As far as memories go (both football and personal), 2014 was one of the best years so far (definitely better than 2013), and I just wanna personally acknowledge these people since they made logging on to Tumblr absolutely worthwhile.