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In between my lectures, I ducked out from the university to attend Lorelai’s commemoration. Amongst the hills at Newington Armory, a picnic blanket had been laid out. Wearing sunglasses, her husband Marcus greeted me with a wave as I approached. He rose to his feet and ambled over. Lorelai sat on the blanket, cross-legged. Marcus cleared his throat sombrely, then shook my hand firmly.

“Thank you for coming, Nina,” he told me. “Lorelai’s vulnerable. We both are.”

“Of course,” I agreed, wanting to answer ‘I know’. “I can’t imagine what it would be like.”

“Well,” Marcus countered, “you might find yourself having to soon enough.”

As he turned back to Lorelai, my blood ran cold. Marcus ambled over. Within my palm, my mobile phone vibrated.

Are you going to Lorelai’s commemoration picnic today?

The text message was from Clementine.

Yes, I’m already here; I responded.

Alright. I’ll be there soon.

The response was prompt and I was glad. I needed somebody else, to hold me up. We sat down and I was handed a scone, smeared with jam and cream. I shoved it into my mouth, chewing. The conversation finally picked up. I glimpsed my watch. When I looked up again, something had shifted in Lorelai’s expression. She must have spotted someone else whom she recognised, walking over. Clementine arrived. Lorelai stood again and hugged her, then they both sat down. We chatted for a little bit, until I announced that I planned to leave. While I felt bad about it, I needed to get back home and rest.

“Thank you for coming.”

I gave Lorelai a brief hug, then departed from the picnic with a wave. When I was walking away, I spotted a man and a woman in the distance. Her long blonde wavy hair fluttered in the wind and a smile came onto my lips, because they looked like they fit together, like they knew their place. As they got closer to me, they dropped their hands. I breathed in sharply as I recognised the man, as Hank, a distant cousin. Clearing my throat, I pulled my cardigan closer around me.

“Hello, Nina,” the woman called out, although her tone made me feel increasingly bombarded. “I’ve heard all about you from Hank.”

“Nina, this is Clara, my partner,” Hank introduced.

“It’s lovely to meet you.”


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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