This is how they start, the very first time he calls her, after he has taken her number:
A pause, the sound of their breathing over the line.
- Heeey - yow what're you doing up at this time?, she says, Haleh yu baah yi yaype taydi nenye.
- Anh OK, he replies, more tah yow yaangeh nelawe.
She giggles, a preamble. He settles down, into the couch in which he sits, laying his head on its arm, his hand under his shirt warming his stomach.
- Yow ninga mell baahute deh - how could you say that about Alasan Camara on your show.
- Lu hewe daf la nahari?, he asks.
- Man?! Ham nga neh maasi Alasan Camara yi ngaa def loe lu.
- Hay-haay - dang maa tigal laygi - loal la Miss Rambo - maangi ragal sah.
She is smiling - he can feel it even in her silence.
Tonight he is a comic, and she is his audience.