I never thought I would find myself in this situation. Not me, Natasha Mallory? Yeah right. I was branded a trouble maker before I even hit my teen years. With the kind of life I lived, I was destined for struggle. But she had met someone who had changed her life. He saw past the hard, tough exterior and into her heart. So she left that part of her life behind. She didn't think she'd ever have to think about her old life ever again. Until her past came back to bite her in the butt. No pun intended. On her wedding night. Her new husband Marcus was a Christian man. They had dated for a year and a half before they had gotten married. he believed in waiting until marriage before having sex. When he told her that, at first she thought it was a joke. But she quickly realized that he was serious. He had often tried to get her to talk about her life before they met, but she had always some how steered around the subject. Being the sweet, gentle and loving man that he was he didn't push or pressure her about it. That was one of the reasons why she fell so madly in love with him . He didn't push her or pressure or try to change her. He just accepted her for who she was. But she had always been afraid that if he knew about her past, who she used to be before him, that he wouldn't want her anymore. But on their wedding night when they were about to make love, he saw the branding on her right butt cheek.
"I didn't know you had a tattoo", he said.
Her heart pounded in her chest. Her first instinct was to lie. It would be easiest. She had spent most of her life lying. But she was different now. She loved this man and she didn't want to start off their marriage together with a bunch of lie. If..they even still had a marriage after she confessed. She turned over on her side, and grabbed his hand and held it tightly.
"Promise me you wont judge me for what Im about to tell you", she asked.
"Natasha,you know I'll never judge you..lots of people have tattoo's", he said.
"Its not a tattoo. I was branded.", she said.
"What?", he asked.
"I was branded with the name of the gang I used to be in when I was a kid", she said.
The fact that he hadn't let go of her hand gave her the strength and courage to continue telling her story.
"I grew up in a rough neighborhood. My mother was a crackhead. I had no sisters or brothers. I was always left home alone with no food to eat. So at the age of 8 I started to steal food from stores just to eat. I'd steal money out of the pockets of the guy my mother was currently screwing for drugs. She was always strung out and high. And when she couldn't get her fix she was a raving lunatic. So when the guys I stole from would come back to pound her in the face when they realized they'd been robbed, I didn't feel bad at all. At the age of 12 I left home and never went back. I was living on the streets for 2 weeks when a girl everybody called "Smithy" took an interested in me. Said she had been watching me the last few days and felt sorry for me. She was 15 at the time, offered to let me stay with her and her crew. But when I got there, I was told by Franko, that if I was gonna stay there I had to be a part of their family. And if I was gonna be family, I had to make it thru the Initiation. I was ganged banged by all the guys in the group. 8 to be exact, and then I was branded with their sign. Me and Smithy were the only girls in the crew. She kept telling me that she was so happy I was there because she wasn't the only girl anymore. We had to have sex with whatever guy wanted us on demand. In return, they gave us a place to stay, fed us, stole clothes and jewelry for us. Now that I think back on it, I guess we were their ho's. Anyway, I've watched people get beat down, shot, stabbed, raped, killed. But I've never physically hurt anyone..and I've never done drugs. Having to watch my mother day in and out, I promised myself I'd never even touch the stuff."
"But how did you get away from them. Did they just let you walk away", he asked
"No. They got caught trying to rob a bank exactly two weeks before Imet you. Me and Smithy had been saving money together on the low just in case of an emergency. The minute we found out they were all locked up, we started looking for an apartment together. We had enough cash to get us thru 3 months without a problem. It took me a week and a half to find a job. I finally lucked out and got hired at "The Candi Shop" where you met me at. Smithy had met some guy and took off with him, but she left me all the money. So, when you met me, I was just starting over. And you helped me to become a better person. I know I should have told you sooner, but I was afraid that you wouldn't want me anymore."
Marcus held her hands tighter and smiled at her.
"So you really thought I could be scared away that easily", he asked. "I love you for who you are now. I dont care about your past. Yes, Im sad that you had to go thru the things that you did. But I promise you, you wont ever have to live that kind of life again."
He kissed her then, passionately and slowly. And they made love for the very first time. And it was beautiful. She fell asleep in the arms of her husband that night, happy and peaceful, believing that sometimes, dreams really did come true.