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When driving home from the university, Mum called Uncle Carlos on the handsfree.

“Hello, Carlos del Reyan speaking,” he answered the call.

“Happy birthday to you,” we sung, “happy birthday to you.”

“Happy birthday dear Carlos,” Mum chimed in.

“Happy birthday dear Uncle Carlos,” I crooned instead.

“Happy birthday to you.” We were both hopelessly out of tune, but somehow in time.

Uncle Carlos laughed over the phone.

“Thank you, thank you, Greta and Nina there, is it?” he queried. “Thank you very much.”

“Yes,” I confirmed, “how has your birthday been?”

“Oh, pretty good,” Uncle Carlos replied, breathing out. “I’ve been at school all day. There was a late bus this morning. I’ve had to stay back late to sort out all of the attendances for the kids who got marked away when they were on the bus.”

“That sounds riveting,” I remarked in a sarcastic tone that he would understand.


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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