I had gotten through one whole lecture on Monday. Then, I had dragged myself to Rose’s office in the university administration building. I barged in, which I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to, charging past the person she was speaking to. I moved into the small dark room connected to Rose’s office. I waited there, in the cool quiet environment for a number of minutes until the door finally creaked open.

“Nina, are you alright?” Rose queried gently.

“I can’t do this,” I cried, running my fingers through my hair.

Rose crouched in front of me and took my hand in hers.

“Alright, let’s talk,” Rose suggested. “How are you feeling?”

“Awful,” I answered bluntly, refusing to look up at her. “I’m sorry for barging in.”

“That’s alright, Nina, that’s what I’m here for,” Rose insisted. “You don’t have to talk to me. However, we do need to try and sort this out. When’s your next lecture?”

I snuck a glance at my watch.

“11:30,” I replied. “Less than an hour.”

“Alright.” Rose’s voice was kind yet forceful.

Finally, I gave her back my trust, looking up at her.

“I think I just need a lie-down,” I admitted.


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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