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It was sometime between one and two in the morning when Mum strolled into my bedroom. I was seated at my desk with the lamp turned on, an old movie on the television which I wasn’t really watching. My textbooks and notebooks were open in front of me, as was a jumbo bag of strawberries and cream.

“Nina,” Mum pleaded, “Seeing as you’re not using it, can I sleep in your bed please?”

I glanced up at her and nodded. Mum slumped into the room, her eyes shooting towards the bag of lollies on my desk.

“And can I steal some of your lollies please?” she begged.

“Yes, of course you can,” I permitted, carefully scooping up the bag in one hand and moving it over towards Mum.

She shoved her hand into the bag of lollies, grabbing out a handful. Mum dropped onto my bed, placing lollies into her mouth.

“I just want us to be a family,” she mused, “and I want to eat all the lollies in the world”.

Mum’s voice was determined, and a little bit enraged.


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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