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“Here, take this first…,” Ken handed her two fifty Ghana cedi notes, “I know everything cost fifty Ghana cedis, but I want you to have the extra fifty cedis. Buy something nice for yourself”

“Oh sir, you don’t have to do that”

“That’s okay. I want to. You can call me Ken,” he smiled.

Alice bowed her head lightly, “Thank you very much, Mr. Ken. God bless you”

“And what is your name too?” gently, he inquired.

“Alice. I live down the road”

“I see” he nodded gently, “You’re going a good job” he smiled, “now you can help me carry the kenkey to my car”

“Yes sir” Alice said and collected the bag of food and followed Ken with it. He opened the backseat and directed her to place it there. When he closed the door, he turned to her with a faint smile.

“Alice, do you mind if I ask for your phone number? You have a phone, right?”

“Yes, I do,” she looked at him.

“So do you want us exchange numbers and get to know each other?” he asked and then added, “I’ll be happy to get to you more. I’m not a bad person at all”

Alice giggled, “Of course you’re not. You just bought so much food to give to strangers…”

Ken chuckled, “yes I did” he paused and then continued, “and so what do you say?”

“Okay” Alice said. Ken pulled his sophisticated phone from his pocket, unlocked the password and handed it to Alice to type her number. Alice clutched the expensive phone like her life would suddenly end if it mistakenly fell out of her hands.

She imputed her digits and when she finished, handed the device back to Ken. Ken saved her number and hit the call button. Alice’s phone began to buzz in the pocket of the brown apron she was wearing on top of her dress. She put her hand into the deep pocket of the apron and brought out her phone— it was a small simple black phone. Ken couldn’t stop smiling as he watched Alice fidget her phone.

“You can save my number as Ken,” he said.

“Okay…,” Alice lifted her head and looked him, “why are you smiling?”

“You have a very cute phone,” they both knew what he really meant. They burst into laughter.

“I’m saving to go back to school. I can’t afford a posh phone like yours. I won’t even know how to use it,” she said.

“I see. I’ll like to hear more about you going to school the next time we meet”

“Okay..,” Alice said, “I have to go back to my stall. Thank you for everything, Mr. Ken”

Ken smiled heartily, “you’re welcome. Take care of yourself, Alice” he said kindly. Alice felt the sincerity of his words wash over her. She nodded and stepped back, making space for him to mount his car, “I’ll call you,” he said before he closed the door. He lifted his hand lightly to her and she returned the wave. When he drove off, she hurried back to her stall. She didn’t know her whole life was about to change.

To be continued…

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