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There was a spare chair beside Zipporah. I tried not to stare at it, but I wasn’t sure whether or not somebody should have taken it away. Her daughter Natalia was not there. Timmy handed her the news bear first, then took his chair. Zipporah cradled it close to her chest, like a newborn baby.

“Our court date is tomorrow,” she explained. “Right now, Natalia is back there. I don’t know if she’ll be there. I don’t know if they’ll let her come.”

Zipporah rocked from side to side. She shook her bowed head and squeezed the news bear. Its hoped embroidered face beamed up, juxtaposing Zipporah’s hidden, distraught expression. Timmy gently placed a hand on her back.

“We’ll all be there for you tomorrow, if we can,” Bandile insisted.

He glanced around the group and received a chorus of solemn nods.

“Of course, we will,” Bandile confirmed. “We are here for you, Zip. Each of us know something of what you’ve been through, but we don’t really, not truly.”

There were shadows under her eyes, which I recognised, even though I’d never seen them before.


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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