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Lizzie sidled up beside me, where I was sitting at a picnic table in the university grounds, trying and failing to study while wearing my headphones. Pausing the music playing from my phone, I dropped my headphones to the back of my check and offered her a slight smile.

“Would you like to come to teppanyaki next Tuesday?” Lizzie offered.

“Alright,” I agreed, even though I didn’t really want to.

“Great.” Lizzie grinned. “It’s Christabel’s birthday. Do you know Christabel?”

I shook my head.

“She’s a new friend of mine,” Lizzie mentioned.

The cool breeze rustled her hair.

“I know that she’s studying something medical, I think, but not actually medicine.”

“Right,” I replied, nodding my head.

“What are you doing for the rest of the day?”

“I’ve got a musical rehearsal later on.”

I took a deep breath, trying to access the very bottoms of my lungs.

“Well, I’d better make tracks. I’ll see you next week, if not before.”

I waved Lizzie farewell as she walked away. When I arrived in the university hall, some of the cast members were sitting around with hot chips. I craved some, but I wouldn’t have dared to take some without asking. Even asking made me feel uncomfortable. It wasn’t that the other cast members were mean or anything. Still, I perceived myself as only being a lowly chorus member, who didn’t really have any status within this group. Once the rehearsal started dragging on, I found myself distracted by my phone backstage.

Would you like me to come and pick you up?; Geoff offered.

I accepted, and soon after he informed me he’d arrived. I walked out of the hall and straight towards the car, not looking back. Geoff scratched his stubbed fingernails through my hair.

“Thank you for coming to get me. I really appreciate it.”

Geoff assured me it was no problem, then drove me home for dinner.

“That looks really good.”

While we ate, I listened to the rain.


The younger sister of missing Sydney man Mitchell del Reyan, Nina del Reyan lives on Dharug land in western Sydney. She has recently commenced a teaching degree at Macquarie University. Nina loves her family and friends and is deeply committed to finding answers and justice for the families of missing people.

Abbey Sim is the founder of Huldah Media. She is a creative writing, law and theology student who lives on the lands of the Dharug people in Sydney, Australia. Abbey desires to explore themes of hope, love and longing through her storytelling. She is the author of 'Shadow' and 'From the Wild'.

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