There are friends who grow on us like an ivy – slowly but surely. We look back after a couple of years and we find that their name covers more than just a few memories. They were there for you on lazy afternoons in uni, and during the interesting and difficult times and they were there when you fell for someone so hard and they saw you go the full length of a range of emotions – from being intrigued, to fantasy, to being whipped aka swept off your feet, to losing the blinders and seeing that maybe that interest was not all you made them out to be, to healing and moving on and doing the whole thing over and over until you outgrow the outraging passions of being a young adult and settle into a mold that you like.
That is the type of friendship that we have shared with Ivy – she and I are less of peas in a pod, and more like different blooms – true to our names, she is an ivy, and I a daisy. She is the calm composed rational one, and I am the daisy – the vibrant, dramatic, intense and impulsive one. Her existential beliefs, her background, her interests are quite largely different from mine, and she reads my poems as a placebo editor as should friends of poets though I know she would rather not on a normal day. Once I invited her for Mass, and after I asked her how was it, and she told me – honestly, it was very ritualistic. And that was that. though she did like the disposition of the priest and the community of faith I belong to at large.
She studied mechanical engineering, and I civil engineering in the same uni, and that is how we met. I do not recall the instant we met, but she was the roommate of a former high-school mate of mine, and we shared mutual acquaintances, and some classes and somewhere between class and the hostels, a friendship blossomed and still continues to blossom more than 6 years later.
Now that life is becoming divergent after uni, and it becomes harder and harder to keep up with our friends like we would when we had the advantage of proximity in thought and distance, making time to see those who matter to me has become top priority. I like to squeeze as much as I can from the time I get to spend with those I love. So when I was in Nairobi for the holidays, the same evening after going to the Murumbi Art Gallery
, running some errands, and spending some time at Garden City Mall with my family, I went for a sleepover at hers, and the next day, we went for a nature walk
close to where she lives, where there is an old railway line and a planted forest of considerable size. The most interesting thing is that she was not even aware of the rail track though it is less than 20 meters away from where she lives, and I really enjoyed exploring the planted forest-of -sorts and we had to pass through a hole in a barbed fence (aka trespass but there was no “do not trespass” sign) and we went and went until we came upon old dilapidated houses, and a clearing that had remnants of demolished houses and that is where we took these shots.
We then went further,
and Ivy decided that we should not tempt fate when we felt the hairs at the back of our necks stand the further we went and we came upon houses that seemed like they had occupants. I agreed with her when a couple of young men passed us in silence, and we felt like we should definitely turn back.
What seemed to come out of a horror movie is when an old lady stood at the opening we used to get into the fenced forest – she stood still, and we did too in turn, while asking ourselves if she was looking at us or going on about her business. The standstill came to a halt, when we saw two young boys join her and they came into the clearing, and we took that as cue from the universe to leave. And leave we did, with these amazing shots, the memory of a morning well spent bonding and enjoying the morning sun, and discovering the less known parts of a town that had brought us together.
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