She thought he was coming to rescue her. She’d dreamed of him, several times, during the lonely, pain-filled nights, locked away in the forbidding stone room.
He was handsome, of course, as all rescuers should be. He was also brave and kind, confident and able. She was near to giving up when she first dreamed of him. The weeks of torturous waiting had taken a toll on her mind and body. The stone walls were like ice they were so cold and the tiny stream that wound its way through the floor cobbles kept the small chamber drippingly damp. Her meager bodice, fine linen as it was, did nothing to insulate her from the chill, especially with the droplets of humidity that clung to it.
Her first dream of her handsome knight revivified her somewhat. She expected to see him when she awoke, but he wasn’t there. Neither was he there the next day, nor the next. Even after a week of dreams unrealized, she still clung to her hope.
She held tightly to that hope, even as she collapsed, exhausted and soul-worn, into the small, icy stream. Lying in the stream, her body rapidly losing what little heat it held, she dreamed once again, of him, her longed-for rescuer.
But the last dream, the dream of the water, gave her no respite. Her way of escape, her knight in shining armor, was absent, the void that was left echoing in her heart and mind.
She realized, at the last, with exhaustion and pain stripping her constitution from her, that she was her own rescuer. And that she had given her hope, love, and strength to a dream that would never be realized, all because she had lived for someone else.