He wonders if he just wanted to protect her because she was a dreamer. With a faraway look in her eyes she would stare off to places he cannot see, or say things he doesn't really understand. Or maybe he doesn't just want to be alone. Even if they were both in the present, she was way ahead of him. In her he saw something he thought he lost a long time ago.
"You're just a child," she would say dreamily. He would protest, but she would be off to another idea of freedom he couldn't grasp.
He wonders if this was love, or some alternate-dimension version of it.
Maybe that's where love starts.