Except that now her presence came as a surprise, as if in a picture mailed to him by someone in the family whom he hadn't seen in years. Found by them in an envelope of old photographs that he hadn't remembered being taken. So that when he'd opened it, there was the picture and she was in it and there was the light.
And now she was looking at him with those eyes and smiling that young smile and talking to him and asking him to do something which she knew full well that he wouldn't want to do. But which he'd do anyway because it was for her and she was asking.
They were standing in the small house that had been put together just for them. And she could see, as she spoke, the sudden breath that he'd taken in and how the joy had vanished from his eyes.
But she still smiled and looked at him and said, "You knew that this was how I was when we first met. You knew that this was what I'd choose to do."
And he was thinking, "Yes, that's true. I knew it and loved you anyway, tried to be with you as you drifted farther and farther away until you were hardly there at all and the lovely light was mostly gone."
And she was watching him and knew what he was thinking and shook her head affirmatively when he was finally able to say, "But we talked about this and said it would be different, once we came here, and you agreed."
And as he said this, she was shaking her head that, yes, she knew. And yes, it could still be that way but she was still asking him to do this, now, and did so knowing that he couldn't refuse.
And even as she acknowledged their understanding, he knew that this was the end of it. That this was how they'd feared that it might be. Even if they'd managed, against the fading hope, to save her life.
Because all of them had said, had hoped she understood, that what they were doing was for her and not for themselves. That afterwards the choices would once more be her own.
And then the dream ended. And he awoke to face the sadness of all the plans that would never come to be. The ones which he and she and all of them had known might not have worked out, anyway...