Stigma episode 3
Story by Christabel Ogbogu-Nwoko
One day, Francis had a business emergency to tend to and it involved him traveling out of the country. It was impromptu, he was so sad that he will be leaving his wife and daughter behind for two weeks but he promised to keep in touch with his wife everyday.
Few days later, Natasha went to the mall to get some groceries After she was done shopping, she was heading to the counter to pay, when she stumbled upon a man, “Oh sorry sir” Natasha said apologetically to the man she almost ran over with the shopping cart, she couldn’t catch a glimpse of the man’s face because he was backing her and then the man turned to her.
One look at themselves and they already recognized each other, “Ben” she said shockingly
“Natasha, where have you been?” the man said.
Natasha was speechless. Ben was one of the numerous men, Natasha slept with in the past, At the time Ben was a married man who also resided in Gowon Estate, Natasha’s former neighbourhood, Ben was so obsessed with Natasha that he divorced his wife just he could get a chance to be in a love relationship with Natasha, But still Natasha rejected his love proposal and moved away with her siblings.
For 10 minutes they stared at each helplessly, seeing Ben again, triggered alot of old memories that Natasha had tried so hard to forget all these years. She quietly left while Ben watched her leave.
Ben was so excited that she had met Natasha again, he quickly ran outside the mall to the parking lot and got into his car, Ben was glad when he saw Natasha get into her own car too, he took a deep breath and laid back on his car seat for a while, waiting for Natasha to start her car so he could trail her.
Natasha who was unaware that she was being watched by Ben, was about to start her car, when her phone rang, and she looked to see who was calling and it was her husband Francis.
“Good evening darling ” she greeted in a low voice
“How’s my wife doing?”Francis asked and she said
“Fine”. Francis noticed her voice was down and he thought she was missing him
“I’m so sorry honey, I didn’t plan to stay this long away from home , I will be back soon, I miss you so much” Francis said
“No worries, my love, ensure to take care of yourself” Natasha said
“How is my daughter?” Francis asked
“She is fine, Nicole is at home with her nanny, I’m at the shopping mall but I’m going home now” Natasha replied
“OK baby, take care of our daughter and your self, You are a good wife and I can’t thank God enough for giving me a good wife like you and a healthy daughter, I love you so much Natasha” Francis said excitedly before they hanged up and Natasha started the car,
Immediately she pulled out of the driveway and zoomed off to her way home, Ben who was bent on finding out where Natasha lived trailed her till she got home.
In no time, Natasha arrived home. She spent time with her daughter Nicole and then went to the living room to cool her head. As she sat there, her mind travelled back to the phone conversation she had that evening with her husband and how Francis praised her, ‘I’m not a good wife, i hid my reckless past from my husband, I don’t deserve him, I pray that I don’t disappoint him, he is the best husband in the world” She told herself.
She tried to divert her mind from her fears of losing Francis but she ended up thinking about Ben and her reckless past instead, “God please what’s happening to me? why does my past keep haunting me?, why will the stigma of my past refuse to go away, seeing Ben again proves that God has not forgiven me, please God forgive me” she said to herself. As she got deeper in thoughts, she had to leave the living room to her bedroom, where she forced herself to sleep.
The next day Ben showed up at Natasha’s matrimonial home
“Hello Natasha, I’m so sorry for coming to your house unannounced” he said,
“Ben. Why are you here? What do you want?, how did you get here? Don’t tell me you trailed me yesterday” she responded,
“I don’t think I will be normal ever again after we met yesterday because i missed you so much, you are my drug” Ben said. Natasha thought about her past and how Ben will give her whatever she asked of just so he could sleep with her, Ben was a sex addict, He paid Natasha heavily, he was her best client.
“Ben you have to leave now before someone sees you here” Natasha said sharply “I’m a married woman now, I’m no longer a call girl, I’m happily married, please go away,
“Babe, Did I say something wrong?, I’m sorry, I just want you as we were years ago, it won’t affect your marriage, have you forgotten that I was married to my ex wife when we were together years ago and when she was bent on troubling you, I ended our marriage all because of you and all you did was to run away from me, I searched everywhere for you” he said and Natasha gave a faint smile, “you are beautiful and deserve to be happy and to be with me” Ben continued.
Natasha closed her eyes and thought of her past, she broke down in tears the more when she remembered that Ben was actually saying the truth, she was Ben’s sex machine and he paid very well for her services, she felt dirty and ashamed. Ben tried to console her but she told him not to touch her.
Ben said all the nice things in the world to get Natasha back on his bed and back to his life but it was not working, he couldn’t believe that a very loosed girl like Natasha will ever change. He had thought that a prostitute will always remain prostitute, Natasha told him countless times that she would never cheat on her loving husband and that she never had any feelings for him.
“Ben, I never asked you to divorce your wife, I only slept with you back then because I needed the money to take care of my younger ones, nothing more, I know nothing can justify my immoral lifestyle, I’m so sorry that you ended your marriage because of me, please do all you can to reconcile with your wife, But please Ben go away from my life, I don’t want to ever see you around me or around my house again, Go away and never come back” Natasha said at once
She walked Ben out and she then ordered the security guards not to allow Ben into the estate or into her compound ever again or else, they would loose thier Job, “I don’t know him”She lied to them “I don’t want to be kidnapped or killed, my husband will deal with all of you, if that ever happens”.
Ben had left angrily and ever since then he never returned. But Natasha was still worried, she knew how difficult and stubborn Ben could be. Few years ago, Ben divorced his wife because he had thought that was the only reason holding Natasha back from accepting his love, Ben had done everything he could to win Natasha’s love instead Natasha relocated with her siblings from their former neighbourhood in Gowon Estate to Ikeja, leaving Ben more obsessed with her.
Few days later Francis returned from his trip, He was happy to see his wife and daughter again. He hugged Natasha so tight and didn’t want to let go of his grip, Natasha almost died of guilt and didn’t know how long she could conceal her dark past and Ben, she feared that he might show up unannounced Like he did when her husband was away.
“I have missed you so much honey, I will not travel again with out you, I promise! Get ready to have me all to yourself, I’m sorry, I made you miss me” Francis said. Natasha tried her best to act normal and not weird so that her husband wouldn’t suspect that something was eating her up. As usual, Francis returned with lots of expensive gifts for Natasha and she made sure to prepare his favorite meal, while Francis bonded with his daughter Nicole.
Days later, one evening, Natasha was at the balcony for fresh air, when her phone rang. she picked up. “Hello” she greeted,
“Hi Natasha” A voice that was familiar to Natasha replied, “I missed you” the voice added. Natasha’s heart jumped, the caller was no other person than Ben.
“Are you still bent on rejecting me, I really want to see you again” he said,
“Don’t you dare come around my neighborhood or my house or you will find yourself resting behind bars” Natasha said sharply “How did you get my phone number, Ben leave me alone please, you have been living your life all these years please forget about me”.
“OK, I have heard you but I will never leave you like that, a little bird told me that your husband is back and I don’t think you told him that you were once a w—e, I will have a chat with him, if you don’t mind” Ben threatened
“My Husband knows”Natasha lied and she was so scared even Ben noticed”don’t you dare go to my husband or you will be sorry”
“why are you terrified?”Ben asked “If your husband knows about your past you won’t be this terrified, if I decide to go to him for a friendly chat”
“What do you want?”Natasha asked politely “Ben why are you doing this to me? ”
“Oh baby, it’s you I want, you know I love you, come back to me, all these years I only patronize brothels and clubs thinking I will find you there, I was living a frustrated life, I focused all my energy to my job but still I can’t get myself to forget you, the good sweet smell of your body and I thank my stars that I found you again” Ben said passionately.
To be continued