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I waited in the wings during yet another musical rehearsal, in the afternoon. My legs pumped to keep myself awake. Even though I played a non-speaking, chorus role, I needed to be ready for my moment. As I launched myself out onto the stage, my ears ached. My feet were so sore I almost thought it would have been more comfortable to hack them off my legs. Finally, though, we took a break. Puffing chorus members made their way off the stage, sitting down cross-legged on the hall floorboards.

“We could have done West Side Story.”

I didn’t know why that would have been any easier from Grease. The fact we weren’t powering through was something I could be thankful for.

“We can order pizza.”

Someone brought it up on their phone. Ideas of flavours were tossed around the hall, although I could have worked out from the outset what we would have opted to order. Then, we waited for dinner.

“Ah, pizza,” a man called out from the door.

We all looked at each other. Even though there was still half the rehearsal to do, nobody seemed to be bothered. I scampered over to the door, to collect dinner. The boxes were awkwardly juggled as they were stacked high in my hands. Thankfully, I accepted them without dropping them.

“Thank you, thank you.”

Returning to the others, I placed the pizza down on the floor in the middle of the circle. It wasn’t long before the boxes were opened. I tucked into BBQ meatlovers, sauce staining the corners of my mouth. While we were eating, the conversation died down, but only a little bit. These uni students were more than capable of talking with their mouths full. I knew that assignments had been pushed by the wayside while the musical was being completed. We still had six weeks to go until our performances. I could feel my phone in my bag against my leg. One vibration didn’t bother me too much – I received my fair share of promotional text messages and group chat reminders which I didn’t need to pay too much attention to. Once it kept going, however, I thought that I ought to check. It was the support group. My heart started to beat faster, so I sighed audibly as I dropped my phone back into my bag without even closing the group chat. This drama leached my capacity. I twisted my ankle around in circles, something I could do without much fuss. Eventually, we finished pizza. I almost didn’t check my phone the next time. Ultimately, I was glad that I did.

Let me know when you’d like me to pick you up; Geoff offered. I’m finished work.

Come as soon as you can, if you can.

It was shortly after when I learned that Geoff had arrived. I felt a little guilty. I slipped out of the hall, not looking back. Upon spotting me, Geoff switched on the headlights. I walked across and slipped into the passenger side of the car.

“Oh, it’s been a long day,” I complained. “I appreciate that you came to get me.”

“No problems.”

We kissed. I knew he could tell that the rehearsal wasn’t actually finished, but hopefully he didn’t mind. I smiled, my forehead resting against Geoff’s. He leaned in first, deepening the kiss. I giggled as the gearstick got in the way. Geoff muttered something, trying to shift his body, although eventually we parted.

“Let’s, let’s go home.” Geoff cleared his throat. “Thank you for being my getaway car.”

I fastened my seatbelt across my chest. Geoff wriggled in his seat, then did the same. We returned home and walked inside. Geoff and I lay on my bed, with the bedclothes underneath us. I could have quite easily fallen asleep like that.


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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