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It was Monday night, one of the first warm evenings of the coming summer. Greg, Natalie and Geoff were coming over for dinner after work. I was at home with Mum, with Dad still stuck in traffic. I was dressed in oversized short pale denim shorts and a loose light blue top over a white singlet. It felt like there was so much promise in the air.

“Nina, could you please go out the back and grab me a lemon off the tree please,” Mum asked while she was stirring something in a pan on the stove.

“Yeah,” I agreed, heading out the back, barefoot.

The grass was slightly damp. Once I plucked off the lemon, I gazed up into the jacaranda tree. For a moment I wanted to swirl. When I strode back into the house, there was a confidently blissful smile on my lips. I noticed that Mum was on the phone. Entering the kitchen, I placed down the lemons on the bench. Once Mum finished her call, I saw she didn’t share my expression.

“Geoff has been injured at work. He’s been taken to hospital.”

We left straight away. As I prayed desperately, Geoff wasn’t all I could think about, but Mitchell. Mum parked out the front, possibly illegally. We rushed inside where we were directed to speak with a medical professional.

“What happened?”

“He suffered a penetrating wound to the left side,” the young doctor explained. “He’s in surgery at the moment.”

I nodded slowly. Geoff’s parents were already waiting for us. Natalie’s arm around me gave me a landing place. Bile rose in my throat like acid; I vomited on the sterile floor before anyone had the chance to pull back my hair.


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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