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“Really, Mum?” I attempted to reason with her. “I just don’t want to have to spend time with Geoff. No longer do I trust him given everything’s that happened and I don’t know why you and Dad still do. You shouldn’t, I think. I certainly don’t.”

Mum sighed, running a hand through her hair.

“Well, we’re still going tonight,” she insisted. “If you’re desperate to stay here, then you can.”

I presented a grateful grin, although she was still something a little trite about it, given that I never wanted to be in this position.

“You’re cooking your own dinner, though,” Mum made it clear. “I won’t let you just buy takeaway or anything. I’m going to tell them that you couldn’t come because you were studying, and that means you have to actually be doing that.”

“Alright,” I agreed.

I tried to resist the urge to roll my eyes. Once Mum and Dad had left, the guilt seeped into my core. At least if I used the Pomodoro method diligently, I could justify that I was, in fact, studying. Twenty-five minutes, followed by a five minute break, would have to be good enough.


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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