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It was sometime that was so ridiculously late at night that it could actually be considered morning. Mitchell always reckoned that it could never be thought to be the next day until you had gone to bed for the final time before sunrise. When he worked night shifts, and he slept during the day, he said that you couldn’t properly explain that. The radio was turned onto the midnight to dawn program, although I wasn’t really listening to it. Mitchell had once tried to convince me that there was something beautifully fascinating about midnight to dawn radio. I can’t have found it that fascinating, because I eventually fell asleep. When it was properly morning, I awoke to the blasting of my alarm, which I hastily switched off. I fetched my phone, noticing a text message from Bella.


Good news, I officially have a diagnosis


My heart thumped while I watched the three dots, then the confirmation – endometriosis.


I’m so sorry to hear that, Bella


It would be relatively straightforward to fill the winter day in front of me with errands. It came as little surprise when there was a list for me to complete to prepare for this evening, once I walked out to the kitchen. I honestly didn’t mind, although it did make me realise just how much we had leaned on Mitchell. I picked up some cheese and Jatz crackers while I was at the shops, to bring with me to the support group meeting, as long as I didn’t forget. Leaving things at home with me was something I was, unfortunately, far too good at doing. Just as the sun dimmed, Geoff and his parents arrived. It was unusual that we were holding Friday night dinner at our house, rather than theirs. Following the meal, Geoff and I were seated side by side on the lounge. We both had our laptops open on the coffee table in front of us, with the lights dimmed. I was typing up a university assignment and Geoff, I think, was looking up pictures of fancy cars. Finally, he leaned back, stretching his arms and yawning loudly.


“Ah, I’m tired,” Geoff mumbled.


“You can go home,” I permitted. “You don’t have to stay here, seeing as you’ve got your own car here, and your parents seem to be settled in for the night."


Greg and Natalie were up in Mum and Dad’s bedroom playing poker with them.


“Yeah, I might do that,” Geoff decided, “I’ve got to work early in the morning, it would be good to get an early night."


I leaned back against the back of the lounge, against Geoff’s arm. It naturally curled around my shoulders. No time for a poker face – I couldn’t help but beam. Surely, he would have been able to feel the thump of my pulse. I tried to block out the thought that he would want to leave, because he was with me right then, clothes on clothes.


 

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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