Your toilet consists of
The way this works is that the tank fills with water via the fill valve. When you flush, you are mechanically moving the flapper up. It has a trapped pocket of air so it will float until the water in the tank becomes low enough for it to close again. Beneath the flapper is a drain that leads to the bowl. Most (but not all) of the water will go into the bowl directly, while some water will go down the sides of the bowl.
Now that the tank is mostly empty, the fill valve opens (it has a float attached to an arm). The fill valve should have a tube that goes over to the overflow tube of the flapper assembly. The fill valve tube allows the refill process to send water into the bowl (since the end of the flush process removes most of the water from the bowl by design).
It's quite possible your bowl could be empty. You will have to fill it any way you can think of.