This couch feels vast tonight.

Alone, I cannot fill it. I sit, laptop on well, my lap. How many times did I sit on this generous couch, a tweed the color of coffee with cream, with my daughter?

I never took one moment for granted: sitting at opposite ends of this couch, both of us reading a book or writing, our legs stretched out–parallel in careful arrangement. We’d share space on the deep cushions, an old blanket, and a companionable silence, to read in the evenings. When she’d had a hard day, I’d rub her feet as they rested by my hip.

I sip tea and think of her, 2000 miles away. Is she sitting in her dorm room, or the library? Or perhaps she’s out having fun with friends. I often lack sentiment–I am not overly dramatic or one who misses people easily. I focus on the tasks at hand, I do not pine for her. I’m deeply grateful for how well she’s adjusted to life in southern California, all beachy and adventurous. I do not suffer any syndrome. Yet tonight, the couch where we used to nest feels empty.