He sees her, in the moments where she thinks no one is watching, where she assumes that someone like her could blend into the crowd, left unnoticed.
He watches her transform into a paradox, quietly folding her lively performance of tinkling baubles and shimmering laughter away like a soft shawl, gently resting in the crook of her arm.
Her eyes, bare like her shoulders which slope so delicately, make leisurely sweeps across the room. But her mind, surely, is racing. He knows it. Perfectly supine and at ease, but her mind is all energy. Surely, it is racing, thinking and creating stories and worlds beyond her subjects' own imaginations. She must be weaving up a second Heaven. He watches as she goes somewhere no one else can hope to reach. Somewhere in the present, her gaze is distant, and away. She dances across the room with partner after partner, their hands lovingly intertwined. But he sees it clearly. The tighter she tries to hold on, the vaster the distance grows, in a moment both infinitesimal yet ever expanding. He knows then, that she is everything. The here and now, the past, the future. His fantasy, her reality.
She is thinking, at the present moment, on the wisdom of renaissance lovers and their maintenance of distance from their muses. She thinks of the apex beauty of the unattainable. She considers loves and great romances that wither with the possession of such beauties. She remembers the love-less marriages that hold up her family name.
He marvels, then, at how one might expect a description now of a dying of the light in her eyes, or slight dimming. But the light of her soul, that which shines through those dark panes, had long been supplied by her own forceful will, burning long and for ever, like a gas lamp. Never to be extinguished unless she willed it to.
And she had long lost the will to lose anything, if at all.
Such a lady, such a muse! A treasure by any man's account. Like a jewel left unworked, in maintaining its wholeness and purity, to allow it to lay lonely, or lost to the sea of Time, or worse, stolen away, a Lady's hand should not be left unadorned.
He decided then, that she had to marry him.
A man sits at the head of the bed, leaning over his wife, who lays delicately amongst his sheets. He is telling her about his dream.
"I fuck you, give you a son, maybe another kid - a daughter - and then I leave."
His face is grim above hers, brow and jaw set in a heavy frown. But what does he have to be upset about? She has done no betrayal. She has committed no sin.
She can never understand that he detests what he sees beneath him.
Her weak grin twists into a gaze so saddened and so lost. Her hair is spread out beneath her in a silky halo. Her eyes have long lost the distant, seeking gaze she used to wear, now, sharper than ever. Looking at the ceiling like it holds all the answers. But not at him. Never at him.
Those eyes shut tight. Silver tears pool at her waterline.
He doesn't know that she dreams too. Helplessly, subjected to his same dream, forced to watch him walk away time after time. In every dream, he walks away from her lonely figure clutching the hands of two small children. In every dream he walks away from them like they mean nothing. Time and time again. In every iteration of their story, in every epic, every sonnet, every play. From ports, to gates, to places unrecognisable yet inexplicably familiar, he left. He left her every time.
She didn't know what to think.
What a heartless bastard, she thought.
He settled back to rest in the bed he had woven for himself. He pays no heed to her screams of frustration or how she kicks and rips and tears. In his sleep, he mends these holes and weaves and weaves and weaves. He weaves until she's satiated and satisfied, sedated under the sheets. He weaves until all is well.
Awake, she stares at him and weeps.