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Updated: Nov 30, 2022

“Summer’s finally here,” Timmy remarked as he entered the library, “and aren’t I thrilled?”

“Yes, it is,” I confirmed with a grin. “Well, it’s almost here, come tomorrow, at least.”

I slotted the final book back onto the shelf, then padded over to the stacks of chairs, which we unpacked and positioned into a circle.

“Of course, though, that means Christmas is approaching,” Timmy added.

“What’s wrong with that?” I asked.

“Nina, the holiday season is a very difficult time for many of our group,” Timmy explained. “You’ll find that out soon enough.”

“No.” I shook my head. “Mitchell will be back before Christmas. I just know it.”

Timmy parted his lips to speak, painfully, but when the automatic doors opened, it captured the attention of both of us. Todd walked through.

“Hello,” I greeted him, sounding cheerier than I ought to have. “How are you?”

“Yeah, alright,” Todd responded.

I noticed the wheel of brie he held.

“Do you need a knife and a plate for that?” I asked, and Todd agreed with a nod, so I scampered off to fetch those items from the kitchenette.

We sat down to begin the support group meeting, once everyone had arrived who we would have expected to be there. I still felt a little bit anxious about my admission to Timmy when he’d first turned up at the library. This, I suppose, is exactly the sort of thing I’m meant to be talking about with the support group. Debbie ended up first with the news bear, leaning back in her chair and breathing out in thought.

“Well, this has been a big week,” she pointed out, “a bigger week than usual.”

Aaron cleared his throat.

“Have you been planning for the wedding?” he wanted to know.

“Yes,” Debbie confirmed. “We have been. It’s the final week now so things have really been kicking up a notch.”

She laughed.

“There seems to be so much more to do now,” Debbie outlined, “even though they have been pretty calm.”

Dean flashed a fond and knowing grin from across the circle.

“I know what you mean,” he elaborated. “For all of my children, it was just something a little bit different. I suppose that it had to be, so that they would stand out.”


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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