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Sanctuary

Geoff was standing in the kitchen with the phone in his hands, having just ordered takeaway for our final night in Port Macquarie. I was startled a little as he answered it instantly.


“Hello, Geoff Devereux speaking,” he answered.


Geoff, after a moment, pressed his lips together and nodded soberly.


“I’ll put you on to Nina.” He lowered the phone from his ear and passed it across the bench to me.

I placed the phone on my ear and rolled back down onto the lounge.


“Hello.”


My heart thumped.


“Nina.” Sofia’s voice was soft. “Jarrett’s dead, Nina. They found his body in the state forest. They think that he.”


She panted.


“Oh goodness, they think that he.” Sofia couldn’t manage to sob out the words.


I gulped, looking back at Geoff in wide-eyed horror.


“Oh Sofia, I’m so, so sorry.” Geoff stepped out of the kitchen. “We’re coming home.”


Sofia’s family home was dark and stuffy, with the blinds all pulled down and the lights all turned off. Ashton opened the door and let me in.

“They’re at the kitchen table.” His voice was hushed. “Planning things for the funeral. Would you mind, Nina, if you brewed a pot of tea?”


“Of course,” I agreed with a nod.


“Thank you,” Ashton murmured.


He padded down the few stairs from the kitchen to the living and dining room. I stepped into the kitchen and carefully started checking the cupboards for the tea. My glance stayed straight ahead. Finally, above the microwave, I located the boxes of English breakfast tea and the brightly-coloured teapot on the cupboard shelf beside it. Ever so carefully, I pulled it out. Pausing for a moment, I admired its design, painted in swirls and shapes in a multitude of colours.


 

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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