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A number of us were rocking forward on our plastic library chairs, shaking with worry and concern. It didn’t seem like that long ago that we had been celebrating at Aaron and Penelope’s wedding – a mere week, in fact.

“We don’t know for sure who the body is,” Timmy pointed out.

All of us knew, though, that it belonged to someone lost too soon. It would only be a small and misplaced mercy if it turned out not to be Joel’s body.

“I think I’d like to go home now,” Lorelai spoke up, even though none of us were keeping her there.

She collected her handbag, rose to her feet, then departed the library. I listened to the automatic doors close.

“Well, I’m more than happy to stay,” Debbie mentioned. “I think at times like these, we need to be together.”

Brigitta filled up more wine. I decided not to have a drink. If I started, I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to stop. I fidgeted, discomfort pulsating through my body. A part of me found some dirty relief in the fact that Aaron wasn’t there – because I would have had no idea what to say to him. The DNA results would confirm one way or the other, if Joel’s body had been found. Slowly but surely, the support group members left.

“I’m so, so sorry that you’re going through this,” Timmy admitted, once it was just the two of us remaining at the library.

I was tempted to shrug, but I thanked him instead.

“What are you doing tomorrow?”

“Oh, nothing much,” I responded. “I was thinking that I might cook for Aaron and Penelope.”

This time, I did shrug.

“That’s what you do when someone dies, right?”

Timmy didn’t answer the question.


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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