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We were afforded the luxury of single beds for our spa weekend away, rather than having to share. By the time I woke up, the others had already risen and were preparing coffee and croissants in the adjoining kitchen. I thought that I could have drifted back off to sleep and have sweet dreams about Mitchell, but I didn’t want to be the odd one out. Therefore, I got up.

“Good morning.”

As soon as I moved out into the kitchen, I was already prepared to return to bed. It had been a big year.

“Good morning.”

Delilah placed a steaming mug of hot chocolate into my waiting palms.

“Thank you so much.”

We settled down on the lounges. Delilah scrolled through the photos on her phone.

“It’s beautiful, Nina’s boyfriend’s mum, Natalie, is making the dress.”

This had been an ideal getaway. I felt grateful to have been welcomed into Delilah’s group of girlfriends. The three of them were all journalists. I believed they would be able to tell the perfect story.

“And is there anything else you need to prepare?”

Something within my brain made me think that I needed to get to work. I’d been a bridesmaid once before for Sofia. On that occasion, there were so many sisters around that I didn’t need to worry.

“Well, there will be a lot to do. It’s the final countdown, really. We’ve got the photographer locked in, which was a big relief.”

“And everything’s in place for the honeymoon?”

“Yes, we’re looking forward to it. I know that I went travelling earlier on in the year, but it will be nice to get away, the two of us.”

Delilah ran her hand over her hair, her engagement ring sparkling in the light. A part of me wanted to be her.

“Oh, a deserted island and a good-looking man, that would be just what the doctor ordered.”

Previously I’d speculated, privately, as to Emilia’s sexuality. Either way, I could confirm that it contained men. I tried to ground myself and return to the conversation. The room was starting to become warm. Perhaps it should have been expected for that time of the year. We were anticipating another summer.

“I think that we’ll need to make tracks soon, unfortunately,” Rebekah announced.

Therefore, we finished packing up our accommodation. A chill went over me as I stepped outside, so I pulled my cardigan closer around my body to compensate. The four of us packed into the car, with our luggage in the boot. We set off on the highway, choosing the toll route to cut down on time. I was in the back seat, with Delilah behind the wheel. Eager to get home, I was grateful that Mum offered she would pick me up so that one of the other bridesmaids didn’t have to drive me home on the way. During the trip back into Sydney, I stayed quiet, even though the others were chatty, giddy from the high of spending time together in anticipation of the upcoming wedding. Finally, we emerged from the car. I noticed Mum across the road. Greeting her with a broad smile, I thanked Delilah for including me in the trip. Emilia fetched my bag from the back of the car, so I said goodbye. I felt the rush of emotions, making my legs heavy, which came with the end of any trip, even a short one like the getaway for Delilah’s hens weekend.

“Would you like me to drive us back home?” I offered, noting how tired Mum looked.

“Do you mind?”

“It’s fine,” I assured. “I haven’t been drinking.”

Late night was another matter, but I trusted that my system would be clear. Once I opened the door, Mum carefully shifted herself onto the passenger seat, fastened her seatbelt and smoothed down her dress.

“How was the bachelorette weekend?” she wanted to know.


I was driving the last leg back home, to help Mum out.

“Did you think you’d get to be a bridesmaid three times this year?”

I tilted my head to the side.

“Well, no, I didn’t think so.”

I wasn’t sure why Mum had asked the question.


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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