There was another musical rehearsal to be attended by the entire cast and crew. They had all been that way for a couple of months, which was a little bit of a waste of time for me, without a speaking part. Therefore, I was sitting on the cool timber floor, while waiting for the rest of the cast to arrive. There were other things which I would be able to do in the meantime, like study. Hunger pooled within my gut, only intensifying when somebody walked into the hall behind me, carrying a large and sweaty carton of hot chips, covered in chicken salt. I would have loved to share some, even if just a couple, but I didn’t feel confident enough to ask. I’d have to try and join the circle, but I didn’t really have that many friends around, except for Louis. We had gone to high school together, although he was one of the main cast members. Therefore, Louis had joined a clique of his own, which was necessary as part of the rehearsals, even if it didn’t do much good for me. Soon enough, after a break post-classes for a snack, we’d get started, and then I’d have something to do. As I rose to my feet, I spotted Tallulah slipping into the wings. Shortly after, she emerged onto the stage. Tallulah started to sing ‘There are Worse Things I Could Do’. By the time the end of the song came, the directors were in place.
“Alright, from the top.”
Louis scooted over to where I was sitting.
“What have you been up to lately?”
“Well, this musical’s been keeping me pretty busy,” Louis answered. “I’ve been thinking of travelling, though, after we perform.”
After a couple of hours, the rehearsal finally ended. Geoff picked me up from uni, to drive to dinner.
“How was the rehearsal?” he wanted to know.
“Oh, a bit boring,” I answered.
Still, there was a smile on my lips, just for being with my love. The Parramatta restaurant where Geoff and I agreed to meet with Aaron overlooked the park.
“I'm nervous about this,” he admitted, when we were sitting at the table waiting for them to arrive. “I don't love this park. I know there have been too many drug busts here.”
I fiddled with the cutlery, lining them up even straighter than they already were.
“But, you know, it makes Aaron feel closer to his brother, being near the footy stadium,” I mentioned.
“Hello,” Aaron greeted, padding up the couple of stairs in the split-level restaurant, approaching the table.
“Speak of the devil,” Geoff mumbled under his breath, then smiled.
I rose to my feet and embraced Aaron. In his arms I felt small, because he was so muscly. Finally, Aaron breathed out and we let each other go.
“How are you feeling?” I asked, even though I was already relatively confident of the answer.
“Every single day I think about him.”
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'.