When my alarm blasted, I rolled over to slam it off and opened my eyes slightly. The television was blaring. I moved back onto my back. Once I adjusted to the light, I got out of bed and made my way out to the kitchen to prepare sustenance. Returning, I sat up in bed with a warm mug of hot chocolate nestled between my palms. I breathed out slowly. The television was switched on to the channel broadcasting the swimming championships. I managed to make my way through the morning, getting myself ready to finally leave the house, to get on with the rest of my Tuesday in the second semester of the year, my fourth of my degree. I arrived at the university canteen at lunchtime, to buy myself food I didn’t need. Waleed sidled up beside me.
“Hello, Nina,” he greeted me.
“Hi, Waleed,” I replied, turning to look at him.
There was a broad smile on his face.
“What’s got you so happy?” I asked casually, although I immediately regretted it, given that I didn’t like when others asked me that question. “Sorry.”
“No, no worries,” Waleed insisted. “My cousin Jumilah just got engaged. She’s on holidays in America with her boyfriend.”
“That’s excellent, congratulations to them,” I wished.
“Yeah, they’re a great couple,” Waleed replied. “I’ll pass your good wishes onto them. They’re coming home later this week, they’re flying home from Washington, so that will be very exciting to go and collect them from the airport.”
“That sounds really good,” I uttered, before trailing off.
I couldn’t help but feel a pang of a sort of sadness, about my dear Mitchell, and wherever in the world he might have been. The canteen lady called out and I collected my food.
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'.