The sun kissed my face as I walked from the shade of my front door to the gate. I could hear the sound of children playing and a relentless scraping. Ah! The ‘ghost house’ is finally being fixed up. We called it a ghost house because it looked haunted. It was a shell of an incomplete apartment block for years. AH! There we are, the scrapper, a construction worker plastering a wall. I could hear another neighbour open up their verandah door, they all had this clanging sound like it was an industrial yard.

I turned the lock in the key and opened the gate, BLISS! The sun smothered me more, it was warm, bright and the sky was clear and blue. The little wooden groceries shack next to my gate had four women chatting with the “mali kwa mali” chap. You couldn’t miss him a kilometer away with those bright coloured plastic basins, buckets and food racks tied in a bundle and fastened at his shoulder.

A breeze whispered by, it felt so good. I wanted to lift my hands in the air and be lifted to the skies. Then it got stronger and my mouth that was slightly ajar was filled with lifted dust. Cough! Cough! I straightened up spitting like a sick dog. I kept walking, two men passed me carrying a car battery, how heavy are those things anyway?

The cool breeze came and kissed me again. I stopped and sucked in that feeling with my arms wide open, eyes to the sky and inhaled with gusto. God that felt so great! I miss the clean air of the village, no dust just trees and loads of green and fresh fruits plucked from trees. A bit of sugarcane with its juices streaming down the side of my mouth. I couldn’t help lick my lips at the thought.

I opened my eyes and there was a crowd around me. They were all looking up into the sky with an occasional glance at me, then back to the sky, to confirm that they were looking where I was. A random dog sat on the ground right in front of my feet completely unbothered by what was going on.

Then a random child rammed into me and clasped my waist saying ‘Mama’. What? I didn’t hear right. “Mama! Twende!”

What? Errr! ‘”I am not your mum.” The crowd shifted their stare from the sky to me and the child. One woman sneered at me and had that “shame on you” look on her face. I looked around, this had to be a prank, cameras were going to emerge from somewhere and everyone would have been in on the joke.


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