Sometimes I imagine myself as another woman.
She swishes when she moves down a stone hallway softened by tapestries, the train of her gown whispering unintelligibly across the floor. In her hands is clutched a strip of fabric, deep red silk with a bit of embroidery, the edges fraying a little where she tore it from a rather well-loved garment.
The hallway opens into a larger chamber and her steps take her straight toward a knight gathering his gear. He's not some fluffy ceremonial knight with a mirror-shiny breastplate, he is rough and real and there are nicks in his armor, he grinds notches out of his sword where it has actually struck another blade. He looks up and at the sight of her his eyes fill with love, a tentative smile is loaded with all the reassurance he can muster.
She blinks away tears as she steps in close, kisses the silk scrap, and proceeds to tie it securely around his arm. He watches her fumbling fingers patiently and when she's finished he leans down and kisses her passionately, pulling back to whisper promises in her ear that neither of them are sure he can always keep, but she'll cling to them in the coming months.
Then she fades, and rather than walking back through the stone hallways I'm walking out of an airport, shorts, cotton t-shirt, dog tags and a man's ring hanging around my neck. My knight boards a plane rather than mounting a horse but he makes the same promises, his eyes are as full of love, the favor tied round his arm is only visible to us two, but there all the same...