It was during the morning of Thursday, the fifteenth day of December, that Eric noticed that something was wrong with his beloved Corinne. She had entered the kitchen for breakfast with tears in her eyes.
“My lady, what is wrong?” he asked, alarmed, striding over to her immediately and embracing her.
“I had the most awful dream,” she replied, her voice muffled as she spoke into the hug. “And it is the second night that I have had it. I am scared of the meaning of it.”
“What was the dream?” Eric asked, wondering why Corinne wasn’t returning the hug.
To his sadness she shook her head.
“I do not wish to talk about it.”
“My lady,” Eric murmured. “I’m trying to help.”
Gently but firmly Corinne pushed Eric away from her, causing him to feel anxious.
“Pray do not.”
Pain shot through Eric like he had been burnt.
“I am sorry,” he said quietly, returning to his preparations of breakfast.
Later that morning Eric attempted to kiss Corinne, seeking forgiveness as well as desiring to comfort her. But once again she conveyed unwillingness: she stepped back and shook her head at him. He made a hot drink for her and re-entered the living room to find her gazing out of the window though without appearing to see anything. He gave her the drink and she murmured her gratitude but afterwards she was silent.
After lunch Corinne asked Eric if she might walk alone in the countryside.
“It is cold, my lady,” he said doubtfully.
“I will wear warm clothing,” she assured him.
“Are you sure you would not prefer to talk?” he asked, worrying what effect Corinne’s troubles were having on her.
“I am sure.”
“Then you may,” he told her quietly. “But pray try to return before the sun has set. I do not like the thought of you in danger and me unaware.”
Corinne nodded, her face expressionless, and dressed warmly in his bedroom before leaving wordlessly.
‘What can be wrong?’ Eric wondered in concern as he sat upon a rug and awaited Corinne’s return. ‘Why is she acting in this manner?’
He hoped that she would talk to him at some point about this problem. He could not bear the thought of never knowing - how could he know the situation had been resolved if he did not even know what the situation was? Even if the answers to his questions would sadden him, he would rather know them.