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As soon as I spotted the booth, Penelope rose to her feet and rushed over. She wrapped me into a tight embrace.

“My goodness, Nina, I’ve been thinking of you ever since Aaron told me the dreadful news,” Penelope gushed. “I’m so pleased that you could come tonight, though. How’s Geoff?”

“He’s healing, he’s a very lucky boy.”

Penelope loosened her grip, and tears welled in my eyes.

“Oh Nina,” she gushed, then led me back to the booth. “Sit down, I’ll get you a drink, my shout. What would you like?”

I slumped into the soft seat and reached for the menu, pulling it from the silver holder in the centre of the table.

“Thank you, let me have a look,” I answered.

I scanned down the menu of cocktails and mocktails. Many of the options were alcoholic, or contained soft drink with bubbles. Neither were particularly to my tastes. While it would have been tempting to get on the grog, I did need to drive back to the hospital that evening. The lights went out, then were replaced almost as quickly with a red glow. As the performers shuffled onto the stage area with their heads down, I could hear the points of their very high heels scraping across the floor. Penelope touched her hand to her collarbone, just above the neckline of her dress.

“Here we go,” she murmured.

A night at the theatre for Chicago to celebrate our hen, was just what the doctor ordered.


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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