Rooftop Conversations

"...but why is it so cold in here?" 

I could tell that the weather outside there was different. A few months ago, the sun's rays would find their way right into my bedroom, inhibited. Not anymore. The open field has rapidly been transformed and six floors of cement and stone now interrupt my daily morning commune with the sun. 

A few months ago...just before the six storied flat was completed.
I stretched my right arm to feel the warmth. It was good. It moved slowly from the tips of my fingers through my veins, cooking the blood as it snaked its way to the the neck then eventually, to the tip of my eyelid. So good! I needed more. I made my way to the rooftop where I could get every part of me, including the heart, heated up all at once. I had hoped to be alone, but there was already a presence when I got there.  

She had a faraway look on her face, as if contemplating some life changing decision. Even so, she stood there, looking stunning in black, purple and grey.


 "Who are you?" she quipped. "Ah! I can't have humans interrupting me. Not now."

"I'm sorry I startled you. I didn't mean to. I am here for the sun. It is so cold down there. By the way, you are so beautiful."

"Thanks. Look, I don't mean to be rude, but I really need to be alone right now."

"Oh, I see. I hope you don't mind my sitting here in silence though. You won't hear a word from me."  


I watch in silence as she resumes her previous state. I can not imagine what is giving her so much trouble. A few more minutes go by. The air is now almost too hot, so I am contemplating exiting the scene.

Our silence is suddenly interrupted...

She walks past me to join a guest.

While they are engaged in a whispered conversation, I notice how all the thinking and restlessness had made her once smooth coat quite ruffled. Her guest looks all prim and proper.

A few minutes later, they part ways. 

She seems calmer now. 

"I didn't believe her when she told me that this day would come; you know mothers, they say stuff when they want to have their way. Now I see it, she was preparing me for the inevitable, for change. She foresaw a day when I would have to leave the land of my birth. My cousins moved away last year. I hear they found a good place, they sent saw him, to tell me that."

"Mother always said, when life brings forth challenges, there are two options; to either take the fast way down or keep climbing. I know what I need to do"
I can almost guess what her move is going to be, but she doesn't give me time to; With one final look, she declares, "It is time," and flies away.

I wait a few seconds then move to her spot. It is then that I see what she has been thinking all this time...

Her home was no longer home. 

All photos by Trezer Oguda

"You have taken up every inch of space available for yourself. Roads, bridges, and especially flats have replaced my home. Even with the devolved system of government, you are still migrating to Nairobi, increasing the demand for housing and other amenities. Trees that stood for years have fallen to their knees. The remaining ones live in fear, will I live to see the sun tomorrow? The rivers are drying up, one by one. When will you stop? Eh? When will you learn that we are shareholders? That this earth belongs to all of us? Why would you be so selfish? Can't you see that eventually, we will all perish if you do not stop? All of us, including you will perish." I hear her say. 

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