The phone I was using died on me. It wasn’t a sudden death. I saw it coming. Some things about the phone started dying slowly before the final death.
The screen became unresponsive to my touch. It was like the death of a relationship. Or the death of romance. The touch that once made you giggle all of a sudden becomes irritating. That’s what the phone did to me. The charging unit also started acting up. The charger was fine but I had to adjust the phone in a certain way before it could charge. A little twist and it would stop charge.
One day it decided to fall apart on me. I didn’t cry. It was an old phone. I didn’t have the money to walk to a store and get a new one so I went on Tonaton to look for a used one to buy. My brother warned, “That place is not for the faint-hearted. If you don’t take care, you’ll buy a bomb. If the gods fail you, your money will go but your phone won’t come.”
So I was very careful in choosing who to buy from. When the price looked too cheap, I gave it a red flag. When the price looked too expensive, it gave my purse a red flag. I needed a phone badly so I had to call someone and negotiate. I called a number and a guy responded. I said, “I saw your iPhone online. It says GHC6,000 but my money is GHC3,500. I’m a woman. Please consider me.”
He chuckled and cut the line. He didn’t say a word. I called again and he picked up. He screamed at me, “Maame, I deal with serious buyers OK? How can you see a phone for GHC6,000 and say you’ll pay GHC3,500? Do you think we came online to joke so customers would laugh? Stop calling my phone. If you have GHC6,000, we can meet and I give you the phone.”
He cut the call on me again. I thought I was a woman so he would be nice to me. All that guy wanted was money and didn’t care if it was coming from a dog or an ant. Being a woman didn’t work on him. Hard guy.
I kept going, calling number after number. Some were kind but the money I was offering them wasn’t kind so they said bye-bye when all I wanted was for them to consider me. Some were simply cold. They didn’t have time to haggle. Others simply laughed at me and told me to get more money from my sugar daddy.
When I was about to give up and buy iTel, I saw another post that listed the price as GHC5,200. The price looked kind. It felt like it was coming from someone who was ready to haggle.
I called. I told him my money was GHC3,500 and he said, “Ohemaa, if you’re serious, I will give it to you for GHC4,500 last price. I’m leaving the country soon and need the money. That’s why I’m selling it at this price. You can meet me and look at the phone for yourself. It’s new. It comes in a box with all the accessories. You won’t get this offer anywhere.”
We haggled until we agreed on GHC4,000. I was concerned about the cheap price he was offering me because my brother talked about the scam on the platform. We were meeting at the mall so I felt safe. He called and asked where I was and I told him I was standing at the entrance. He said, “Do you see a black car entering? If you do please wave.”
The fact that he was driving put me at ease. No one will drive a car with a number plate to scam people. We sat down. He took the phone out and started opening the box to show the phone to me. It was new, just as he said. It came with all the accessories, just as he said. I was ok but I didn’t have the money on me so I asked him to give me some time to go to the ATM Machine.
When I came back, he had ordered food for both of us. I told him I was in a hurry so they bagged the food for me and I left.
A day later, this guy called; “Have you reset the phone?” I didn’t even know how to do it so I was waiting for my brother to come and do it for me. He said, “There’s a contact saved Theo, can you please check and call the numbers out for me? I did. He was grateful. My brother came and we reset the phone. Not knowing there was a lock on it.
I called Johnson. I was furious. “I thought the phone was unlocked so how come?” He apologized. He should have told me but he didn’t. He asked me to go and do the unlocking and tell him how much it cost. I did and he sent me the money to pay. He called again to ask if everything was fine and I said yes. He apologized once again. Just to strike up a conversation, I asked why he was still in Ghana and that simple question kept us on the phone for over ten minutes.
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He was nice to me. The fact that he paid for the unlocking made me think of him as a kind gentleman. Days later, I saw a US line calling me. I picked up and it was him. “This is Johnson. You asked when I would be leaving. I’ve left your country for you. Are you happy now?”
Again, we talked for several minutes. He answered my questions as if I’d been his friend for a very long time. I saved his number, thinking I may have a need for it. He commented on my Whatsapp status often. I commented on his. We exchanged Facebook names one day and the friendship went on Facebook. Soon, we were in each other’s spaces, talking as if we knew each other from Adam.
I posted a photo on my status one day and he asked where I went that I was dressed nicely like that. I responded, “I attended a friend’s wedding.” He said, “Wow, you looked beautiful. I can imagine how you’ll look on your own wedding day. When is it happening?”
I laughed. I said, “Me? Whose son? Whose girlfriend am I that I would dream of a wedding? I’m single, bra. Very single but if someone comes along soon, the wedding won’t keep long. I’ve prayed to God about that.”
For a reason unknown to me, this guy intensified his communication with me. At first, it was as and when the gods decreed. But this time, he was calling once a day and texting all day every day. He told me, “I’m someone’s son and I want you to be my girlfriend or you say you don’t date sellers on Tonaton?”
He got me on that. I burst out laughing. Then one day, I laughed into the acceptance of his proposal. We became an item. The distance was frightening. I was dying to know him better than just someone who talked to me on the phone or texted every day.
One day I was in the office when a gentleman came to look for me. He said his name was Fii. He brought me a box wrapped in ribbons. I asked him, “From who?” He smiled at me and said, “Look at me very well. You’ll know who sent me.” I smiled. He resembled Johnson so I figured he was related to him. I asked, “Are you Johnson’s brother? He answered, “If you got it wrong, I would have returned with my gift. It came from Johnson anyway.”
His brother became my good friend. Through him, I met the other siblings and through the siblings, I met their parents, all through Johnson’s machination.
It was his mother who made the first announcement to me. She asked, “We are coming home. When would you be ready to receive us?” I was like, “To visit me?” She answered, “No to take you away. To bring you into this family. Johnson has sent us to meet your family.”
I called Johnson, “Seriously? And you didn’t tell me about it?”
When my parents asked where I knew him from I told them,
“I’ve met him once. He sold this phone to me and we became friends.” “Once and you want to marry him?” My dad asked. I answered, “But we talk every day. He’s not in Ghana.”
Honestly, I was scared. The whole thing was running too fast. I met him in early January 2021 and February 2022, he was talking about marriage. “What if…”
Sometimes you make a move trusting it would work but it fails. Sometimes you make a leap of faith and it works. I decided to make a leap of faith and leave the rest to the one whose will brought us together.
In the summer of 2022, he came down to Ghana for our wedding. He went back to the US afterwards and started working on my documents. Early this year, I joined him here and our lives have been testimony after testimony. Our beginning surprises a lot of people but let’s just say he won me over with his kindness and consideration. Since becoming his wife, he’s always been kind and considerate.
To open your mouth to say I love you, Is kind of weird
God is love and God works in mysterious ways. That means love’s work is a mystery. My phone had to give up on me so its ghost would lead me to the path of love. A reason not to give up on love. Even when we are not searching, when the time is right, it will come looking for us and it will find us.
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