Returning

The sun rose this morning with dazzling, golden rays, a promise of optimism and whatever the new day would bring. I was heading into work, given that I’d swapped shifts for the Wednesday I would miss. Everything seemed a little bit different, going into work in the morning instead of the afternoon, being Tuesday and not Wednesday.


“Hi, I’m Nina, I usually work Wednesdays.”


“Hey, Nina, I’m Erin.”


We got to work. It seemed relatively quiet, so I decided that I would sort the books which had come through from the returns chute.


“Oh, I’m sorry, I usually do that at the end of the day.”


“OK, alright, that’s alright.” I stood up. “I’ll help you out later.”


“Don’t worry about it, honestly, Nina.”


I got back to serving at the counter, where a senior woman walked over for my help.


“Do you have those Twilight books?”


“Yes, yes, we do,” I confirmed. “They’ll be in the fiction section. Look under M, for the author, Stephanie Meyer.”


“Thank you.”


I tried not to pull a face, at least not until she walked away. It had been a long time since someone had asked for Twilight – maybe they’d already been out of date even before I’d started working at the library. Nonetheless, the woman tracked down the books, and returned to me so that she could borrow them. At the end of the working day, I returned home, then indulged in a bath. Body soaked in the water, I swam in the soft light of the ceiling above, allowing myself the rest I knew I wouldn’t get once I left. I was looking forward to Lofty Speaks. Eventually I pulled myself out of the bath and wrapped myself into my towel, returning to my bedroom and getting dressed. While packing my bag, I thought to add a message to the group chat, to tell them that I’d be missing the support group.


Nina del Reyan (22.11.22): I won’t be making it tomorrow night. I’m staying at Sydney Uni until Friday for Lofty Speaks.


Placing down my phone, I continued shoving clothes into my suitcase, even though I would only be away for two nights. It buzzed, when another message on the group chat came through.


Timmy Clarke (22.11.22): We shall miss you


Debbie MacPherson (22.11.22): Love Lofty Speaks, good on you Nina. When and where are you speaking? Will come and watch if I can.


I sat down on the edge of the bed and picked up my phone, taking a break from packing.


Nina del Reyan (22.11.22): Thanks Debbie. I speak three times tomorrow, 1pm, 4pm & 7pm.


 

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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