i, ii, iii, iv, v, vi.
The picturebook still sits open, but its pages are never turned. Every face but one stares at her blankly. Only one of these faces had ever truly seen her; only one ever made her see herself.
She finds comfort in watching him, pretending to live behind closed doors, pretending that it's real. As much as she longs to bring him close, she can't reach into the page. She holds him in her mind, pretending that it's enough.
Sometimes, she listens for a knock at her door, but no one ever comes to release her. He once tried, but she turned him away, taking this piece of him instead. They stare into each other's eyes, but she is hidden from his sight. Conjuring memories of his voice and touch, she returns to the moment that holds her captive, trying to forget what could have been.