When my mobile phone beeped, I glanced over and fetched it from the bed.
Can u get onto the uni server?; Lexie had asked.
I opened an Internet browser and attempted to log in, unsuccessfully.
No; I responded to the message, then based my phone on the desk.
Oh well; Lexie replied quickly. I guess there must be some problem. Will try again tonight.
I didn’t bother answering. We’d both found answers to our questions, even though they weren’t necessarily what we’d been looking for. I put my phone back down again and continue avoiding responsibility. Now however, thanks to Lexie, I did feel a little better about it, with absolutely no concerns given the fact that I wouldn’t have been able to access the server, anyway. I continued scrolling through pointless online articles, as if willing the time to pass idly.
Actually; another text message from Lexie shot through. Would you like to come to the movies with us tonight?
Really, no, but it wouldn’t hurt to go out, maybe grab a bite to eat and just enjoy myself if I could.
Yeah; I answered, without having checked with Mum and Dad first. That’d be great. Thanks Lexie.
A smile crept onto my lips. I placed back down the phone and rose to my feet, trudging from my bedroom and across the chilly hallway. Undoubtedly, life was lonelier without Geoff, especially without Mitchell too. All of my life had been dried up, but maybe Lexie was about to inject back in some colour. Natalie ended up not only taking me, but getting out of the car and walking in with me. A more cynical mind would have thought she had an agenda. Clutching my phone, I waited near the fountain in the Piazza at Castle Towers, for Lexie and the others to arrive.
“You don’t have to stay,” I reassured Natalie, who had offered to drive me up, which was why I was early.
“It’s alright,” she insisted. “In fact, I might call for Greg to come up after work and we might have a bit of dinner up here.”
I felt two-faced, allowing her to be so nice to me, while at the same time cutting Geoff out of my life as much as I possibly could, mourning our relationship’s bitter death.
“Nina,” Natalie spoke up, just as I was about to walk away.
“When Angela died, I wanted someone to blame. I held onto my anger for a long time, but it didn’t help anything.”
I nodded my head.
“I’m really sorry, Natalie.”
I walked away, after thanking her for the lift. Thankfully, Lexie arrived, so that I didn’t have to shiver by the fountain for too long.
“Thanks for having me.”
“No problem,” she assured me. “How are you getting home after this?”
I thought about Greg and Geoff, and the potential they’d join Natalie for dinner.
“I’m not sure,” I admitted.
“Geoff’s mum dropped you off, didn’t she?”
“Yeah, she did,” I confirmed, then sighed. “She’s nice to me. I think she’s really trying to break me down.”
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'.