When Jade Harley dreams, she always finds herself in the same place – the city of Prospit, of towers and gold. She thinks little of it, assuming that this is how everybody dreams once they wake up.
Jade can fly here, and she soars among the spires and looping through alleys. She waves at the locals as they pass, and they wave back, for they are grateful to have such a lively princess as Jade. She never finds herself at a lack for something to do. There’s always somebody new to meet, some interesting new prediction thrown up into the clouds. There are new mazes to traverse and places to explore, and sometimes she tests just how far away she can fly before she feels herself drawn back to her city of gold.
But through it all, Jade feels exceptionally lonely.
It’s not that the citizens of Prospit aren’t perfectly friendly, but they keep her at arm’s length. They may revere her as a princess, but that doesn’t mean they know what to make of her. Jade can’t blame them of course – she must be pretty weird looking to them! – but that doesn’t provide her with the company she desires.
When it becomes unbearable, Jade soars up to the tower neighboring her own, where her fellow prince sleeps eternally. Jade sometimes pretends it’s like a reverse of the story of Sleeping Beauty, but waking him with a kiss doesn’t work. She knows – she’s tried. She’s tried just about everything. Banging pots and pans, screaming into his ear, dumping water on his head – but no, it’s simply not his time.
So she simply spends time next to him, hoping that will be enough to alleiviate some of her dreams of isolation and his nightmares of living. She can tell when things are going wrong, when his face scrunches up and he looks like he’s in pain, and she smoothes out his hair and tells him that things will be fine, just fine. Jade doesn’t know if it helps, but she pretends it does, because she can’t stand sitting by and doing nothing.
She wishes he could just wake up and see the beauty of Prospit and be free from his living dreams. She spends time thinking of all the things she will show him when he finally comes to. All the places to go, all the sights to see, all the people to meet. She tells him, sometimes, when she feels at her most lonely, and she can almost pretend that he’s flying alongside her, laughing and making jokes. She looks for these visions in the clouds of the battlefield, but it never grants her with that type of comfort.
She refuses to give up hope.
Jade will spend hours in the tower of her prince, but she soon feels her eyes begin to droop with the weight of waking up, and she’s forced to leave for her own bed. But before she goes, she kneels next to his bed and places a quick kiss on his cheek, always hoping. “Good night, John,” she says, her voice soft enough to creep into his waking thoughts. “Sweet dreams.”