Dreaming is her release. When no one controls her, no one hurts her, no one owns her. When she dreams…she is free to be what she wants, who she truly is: Eponine.
Every day she awaits the time she can dream, to take refuge in her sanctuary from life.
She can still remember the time when her father first forced her into prostitution to bring in extra money to line his pockets. She cried, that first time; she was only twelve, still a fragile little girl. Now she doesn't cry. She changes into stone. If she's lucky, she can at least day dream through the ordeal. It's always impossible to fall asleep during the torture.
Marius is always in her dreams. He holds her close, smiling at her as they dance. His eyes are warm, and his smile inviting, as he whispers words of the purest love in her ears.
And he'll kiss her; not the slurping, suffocating contact that her "customers" give her. No: Marius' kisses are always soft, tender. He never hurts her. He loves her too much. At least in her dreams.
You're lovely tonight, 'Ponine, he'll say, twirling her gently around the floor.
They'll spin around a grand ballroom, Eponine dressed in a finer gown than she ever could have a hope of owning. When they pass the jealous on-lookers, they'll say, Now that's a pair in love.
And every night, before she dreams, she'll pray that she won't wake up. And every morning, her heart breaks that she has to get up and do it all again. She'll sob, or scream, berating the injustice of it all. She can't have Marius, and she can't even have death. She's granted only her usual living Hell
And so she clings to her dreams even tighter. The only way she can make it through is if she lives her life in dreams. And so that's precisely what she does.