I managed to successfully delay thinking about their absence while in London; after all, we spent just the one day there, and so there was little in London that were associated with their time here.
Back in Cambridge, however... I walked back to college from the train station and thought of how we took it as an evening stroll when we got back from London at about 8.30pm on Tuesday, how my dad tried to take pictures of the St Mary's church (or whatever it's called) but was stymied by the bad lighting, and how I was just then walking back by myself without them. I walked through John Lewis to escape the drizzle and thought of how my mom tried to find a dress to wear to my brother's marriage registration but couldn't find one; and it didn't help that I was tired because I was a bit ill, and so she rushed through it because of me. I walked past Cambridge Wine Merchant, was reminded of the Scottish whisky they wanted to find, started feeling sad.
Then I went back to the room that they occupied. Seeing the room bereft of their possessions, strangely bare save for some items that they left behind for me, finally drove home the reality that I worked hard to avoid. There was no avoiding an empty room.
I suppose I could never truly cut off the umbilical cord. Even though they stressed me out and annoyed me with their constant nagging about how I was wearing too little for the chilly weather, even though I found myself needing some time away from them, even though 2.5 weeks of constantly being around them were a bit much - despite all of that, I truly wish that they weren't so far away.
But I will soldier on, and I will cope, like I have done many times before. To soften the blow, though, I'm going to buy some clothes now.
Will write about the trip in more details over the next few days. I am just too tired right now.