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This afternoon, I collapsed straight into bed after returning home from university. I had fallen asleep four times during my last lecture. I no longer possessed the energy to keep on going because everything was far too hard. Bed was my refuge, but only when nobody was looking, because then somebody would notice that something truly was terribly wrong. The only person permitted to see my weaknesses was Mitchell – and he was the reason that I couldn’t get through the day. I presumed that Mum must have been still at work. With my phone on silent, I felt the nudge of his vibration. Taking it out of my pocket, I rested it on the nearby shelf. I closed my eyes for a moment and must have fallen asleep.

There was a young man, with a face whom I could immediately place. It belonged to Ashton Fernando, the young man from Western Australia who had gone missing in Sri Lanka. He was standing in a treehouse hidden amongst the lush jungle leaves. Everything was better. Ashton was safe, but Mitchell wasn’t there.

I awoke in a sweat, rare for winter, sitting up suddenly and panting, my heart thumping within my chest. I glanced around my bedroom, freshly darkened. The blinds were still open and the door was ajar. My clothes were flung all over the floor, exactly where I had left them. The fish tank light was off. I threw back the covers and felt a shiver engulf my body. I stepped over the garments strewn across the floor. The sounds of Mum and Dad’s quiet conversation filtered across the hallway. There was a lamp on in their bedroom.


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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