I strolled into the library. It was bathed in sunshine, as November has begun. I smiled at Spencer, who was resting on the counter, devouring another crime novel. He eventually looked up at me.
“Hello Nina, I’m glad that you’re here,” Spencer greeted me. “I’m just about to head out and head home to get ready, I have a hot date tonight.”
“Oooh.” I pursed my lips with excitement. “Good luck.”
Spencer beamed and placed his bookmark between the pages.
“Thanks Nina, see you next week.” He stepped out from behind the counter.
Spencer passed me and ambled through the automatic doors, exiting the library. I took his place behind the counter and started to once again sort the books which had been returned that day. The rest of my shift passed without incident. I could hear the swish of wind outside the library. This proved an occasion on which I was glad to be working inside, and no longer playing hockey of a Wednesday afternoon. When I left for Greg’s birthday dinner, I locked the library. If Timmy arrived for the support group before I returned, he had his own key to let himself back in. Before I had joined the group, they had existed for years. As far as I was aware, the support group had been founded about eleven years prior. Mick, Debbie and Brigitta had been the founding members, back when the library was still located in the main street, in a shopfront that was now a gym, after having been a tutoring business in the interim. It had always been a Wednesday night affair, although I wasn’t sure why. Maybe that had just been the day that they were all available. When I returned, all of the other seats in the library were filled, and Timmy was holding the news bear.
“Sorry, I was out for dinner for Greg’s birthday.” I dropped into the remaining chair. “Greg’s Geoff’s father, Mitchell’s best friend.”
“And your ex-boyfriend’s father,” Brigitta added.
“Yes,” I confirmed, breathing out.
“Is that, you know, a little awkward?” Brigitta wanted to know.
“Yes,” I replied, “and no. I mean, I don’t regret that we went there, we were probably always going to, but things are more volatile now.”
“When people who we love go missing, it does have far-reaching impacts on our other relationships,” Rod commented.
“That’s most very true,” Lorelai agreed, with a loud sigh. “Timmy, I don’t think that you would fully understand what that’s like.”
“It’s not like I haven’t lost someone,” Timmy countered.
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'.