MONDAY: The Empty Space


Erica Richmond currently lives near Toronto, though she is often thinking up new adventures. Copyright is held by the author.

There’s an empty space where a couch should be and perhaps it is a metaphor … for something.

Perhaps this space is an acknowledgement of my suspected commitment issues. After all there is a very good chance that this next couch could be a part of our family for the rest of my life; passed down to the next generations landing in the common room of a small Northern Ontario university residence. It will appear in countless family photographs and receive multiple tags on Face Book. And I have only enough space to commit to one couch. One couch to last a lifetime.  And so plans to occupy this space are quickly thwarted: not enough money, not enough time, not enough selection. Even the sight of furniture stores leaves me gasping to release the anxiety that has filled my lungs. The same feeling I once experienced on a first date with a hopeful young daydreamer who went into detail describing his future wedding.  By the time he listed his groomsmen I think I was purple. I couldn’t date for an entire year after that.

Perhaps this space serves as a reminder of how I started.

Of how I left.

Of how leaving was all that mattered.

Of how I learned to let go of all things that do not hold a place in my heart and even some things that do.

Of how the thought of forgetting terrifies me more than remembering.

And even though I’ve re-acquired belongings; this empty space remains … as a metaphor … for something.


  1. Gary Richmond

    That is excellent Erica.
    Interesting new insight about life.
    Keep it up.

  2. Beth McAllister

    So beautiful and insightful. Brought dampness to mine eyes!! Love you, miss you, can’t wait to see you in only a couple short months. 🙂 xxoo

  3. Sandy

    I’m looking forward to sitting on your floor and drinking a glass of wine. Great write!

  4. frank sikora

    Well done. Flash fiction, I believe, should leave the audience with more questions than summations. This piece works well in this regard.

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