Stigma episode 1
Story by Christabel Ogbogu-Nwoko
Growing up, Natasha spent more time at home than at school due to lack of funds to pay her school fees. Her father called himself a business man even though he was not into trading while Natasha’s mother was a stay at home mom who spent her time praying for her husband and they had many children.
Natasha’s father refused to take a job because he didn’t want to work under any one. “I want to have my own importation company, where I will import goods from countries like China and Hong Kong, all I need is huge amount of money to establish my own company”Natasha’s father Mr Lucas would always say to his wife and his five children including Natasha, who was the first child of the family.
“My Husband, There’s Nothing that is too hard for our God to do, God will provide that huge amount of money you need to build up your own business.” Natasha’s mother would always reply
“Amen” Natasha and her siblings will always chorus.
They were all hoping that thier father would land a big contract or deal that would give thier family the financial freedom that they so much desired but that never happened. Faith without action is dead.
When it became clear to Natasha that she could not leave her destiny in the hands of her parents, Natasha managed to sponsor herself through secondary school by running errands for Neighbours and church members.
Natasha, was so beautiful, pretty and cute like the most beautiful top models in town, She was well shaped and every time she was walking around in Gowon estate where she used to live with her family, no man could by pass her without looking back. She was gorgeous and fair complexioned. She was admired by almost every man in every place she went to.
When Natasha was at the peak of her youth. Her father Mr Lucas died in a ghastly motor accident, her mother who could not bear the bad news also died of shock. The burden to cater for her younger ones fell on her young shoulder and this turned her into a wayward girl. Natasha was known for her immoral lifestyle and reckless living. She changed men frequently.
After the death of her parents, Life wasn’t a bed of roses for Natasha and her siblings, Things became worst for them, They were unable to feed and clothe themselves, Natasha felt the best way to assist herself and her siblings was to occasionally sell her body for money. Natasha can basically say that she raised herself, her two sisters and her two brothers, as no one from their parent’s family helped them, each time she went to her father’s family for help, they hurled insults on thier dead parents for having many children when they were alive.
While her mother’s family were more interested in using her and her siblings as house helps with no plans to send any of them to school. Natasha saw herself and her four siblings through school with the money she derived from the numerous men she slept with.
She struggled to cater for her younger ones and herself. None of her late parent’s family looked their way. Natasha was determined to be a graduate and to ensure that her younger ones were educated too
Years passed by, Natasha had graduated from the university and got a well paying Job, She turned a new leaf and she turned to God and asked God for Mercy but the STIGMA of her past wouldn’t go away, the worst part was that she was constantly reminded of her reckless lifestyle she lived years ago.
The stigma refused to go away!
Everything seemed to be going well for Natasha after she got a well paying job, She became a financially stable adult who could now take care of her siblings education and other needs without sleeping with any random man for money, She was able to relocate with her siblings from a mini flat in Gowon Estate to a duplex at Ikeja but the only problem she had was the fact that every man she met, took a hike immediately they introduce her to their friends or family members.
The problem was that every man Natasha met seem to have a brother or a friend who had slept with her years back. This went on for a long time and out of frustration, she decided never to get married or to fall in love as she was tired of the usual outcome.
Natasha remained single. She gave up on love and focused all her love and energy to her siblings and her Job.
Natasha was a very hardworking lady, she lived a very low-key and reserved life. Natasha’s life was extremely busy and occupied, from waking up early for work to returning late at night.
She was a accountant of a big firm in Lekki.
Natasha took proper care of her siblings and ensured that they lacked nothing, her siblings meant the whole world to her and they held her in high esteem as they knew how she had been taken care of them ever since they lost their parents.
Everything went on as usual until one fateful evening, at around 8pm. At the close of work, Natasha had already ordered for a cab, she left immediately the cab driver arrived,
It was a quiet ride back home but Natasha had to make a stop at a fast food to buy some snacks to take home for her siblings. The fast food was about closing when she entered in a hurry.
“Hello, please can I get five meat pies, sausage rolls and some fried chicken and dumplings and two packs of juice please?” Natasha said calmly when she got to the fast food’s counter.
The fast food attendant quickly gave Natasha all that she sked for,
Your bill is #6,700″ the cashier said,
Natasha brought out her purse from her bag to pay and that was when she found out that wasn’t with her card and she was not with cash either.
“Oh I’m so sorry, it just dawned on me now that I forgot my credit card at my office ” she said as she kept searching her bag for the card or for some cash but found nothing.
“What are we going to do now?” The cashier asked,
“Can I do a bank transfer to you?” She asked,
“No ma, that payment method isn’t available now” the cashier said.
While all this was going on, A well built handsome gentleman who walked into the fast food right after Natasha had walked in volunteered to pay as they were wasting his time.
“Don’t worry, I’ll pay” he said as he walked closer to the counter to make an order.
“No thanks, I would appreciate it if you don’t” Natasha said and turned to the cashier and told her not to worry that she would return the snacks and stuff she requested for. The young man insisted and Natasha finally accepted and thanked him for his kind gesture.
Natasha walked back to the parking lot where the cab driver that drove her to the fast food had parked, she was disappointed when she realized that the cab driver had left, she remembered how the cab driver threatened to leave if she stays too long. “I took too long, oh, but that cab driver is unbelievable”Natasha told herself.
Few minutes later, the same young man who paid for Natasha’s bill at the fast food saw her standing on the road side trying to flag down a taxi. He was inside his Lexus jeep, He drove to where she stood and then he called out to Natasha
“Hey sister, do you still remember me?”The young man said calmly and Natasha smiled
“hey, of course I do, once again thank you for your kind gesture in there”Natasha said calmly, It was obvious that she was stressed and exhausted already
“no worries, don’t thank me, let’s Thank God, where are you heading to?” The young man asked
“Home” Natasha replied
“I won’t mind if I take you home”The young man said
Few minutes later, Natasha who was already tired agreed for the nice stranger to drive her home when he insisted so much on dropping her off as they were heading the same route, Finally, Natasha got home
“Thank you” she said as she alighted from his car,
“Can you just thank me by telling me your name” The nice stranger pleaded. She paused for a while, looked into his eyes and said
“My name is Natasha”
“You have a nice name, My name is Francis” The nice stranger said smiling as he alighted from his car, staring at Natasha helplessly
“Nice to meet you Francis and thank you so much, you are so kind”
Natasha said with a beautiful smile on her face.
“Thanks and it’s nice meeting you too” he replied. The atmosphere became quiet and Francis broke the silence. “You’ve got an awesome smile and to be very honest, you are very beautiful”
Natasha smiled and said “I actually get this compliment a lot, but thanks all the same”.
Francis was getting a bit tensed but finally he spoke up and asked for her number of which she declined initially.
“I know this might mean nothing to you but it would mean a lot to me if I can just see you again after today” Francis said. His words touched Natasha’s s heart and she finally gave Francis her phone number,
” I have to leave now, Good bye! And Good night” She said and then Francis entered his car. He waved “goodbye” and Natasha waved back and then She directed him as he reversed his car and then she walked into the compound heading to the apartment where she lived with her siblings.
One thing Natasha didn’t know was that the gentleman was dazzled by her beauty and warm smile, all through the ride, Francis couldn’t take his eyes off her, he even stared at her as she walked into her compound before he drove off.
On the ride home, Francis couldn’t contain his excitement, He was happy he met a beautiful and respectful young lady.
Natasha had triggered an unusual feeling in Francis and it was a good one.
To Be Continued