The Fall of Helen
Menelaus smiled at me and then began caressing my cheek. I was expectant of receiving an answer but all I got was a kiss on the cheek.
“Good night, Helen,” was all he said as he drifted to sleep. I waited for him to sleep fully before I got out of the bed.
‘You’re so stupid, Helen,’ I lectured myself as I made my way to the bathroom. You shouldn’t ask for questions you’re not ready for the answer…
But I should be thankful because he didn’t lie to me. I think it would hurt more if he told me I was the only one only for me to find out that it was a lie all along. Maybe it’s for the best. It’s better this way that he hurt me earlier. This way, I could get over the pain faster.
I cleaned myself and then went out the balcony for some fresh air. I can’t lie beside Menelaus because I was worried that if he stirred in his sleep and woke up, he would take me again. I was already tired and if he asked for my body, I have to grant his wish. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy the act but I had this feeling within me of being scared. I was kind of scared that this marriage would amount to nothing but physical contact. I didn’t like that kind of relationship. It would be too superficial.
The clock read 6 and I was called by the servants because the dinner was already served. Apparently, all my relatives already flew back to our place and only my immediate family stayed to make sure we’re here safe. After all, we were the future of the entire empire.
“Menelaus,” I called his name, as he was still deep in his slumber. “It’s time to eat…” I gently whispered in his ear.
He quietly stirred in his sleep. “Go first,” he said.
“Do you want me to ask them to bring you food?” I offered and he nodded. I fixed the comforter around him and then I left for the dining room.
When Papa asked me where my husband was, I excused Menelaus since he told me he didn’t want to eat dinner.
“Go back to your room,” Papa said.
I could hear my stomach crumbling but I chose to nod instead. “Yes, Papa,” I answered as I began traveling my way back to my room. I have always thought how my father hated me. He never treated me as his daughter. Sometimes, I think that I wasn’t his daughter or else he wouldn’t treat me like this.
I didn’t even ask why for I knew it would only take me in deep trouble. He was still the king and I was just a princess. Time will come when I will be in power and I will not let anyone step on me.
I entered our chamber and there, I saw him sitting up. “I thought you’re eating?” he asked me. I just smiled instead. I was taught not to tell anyone about how the king treats his family. It was a royal secret… but Menelaus was already a part of the family. Should I let him in?
He held my hand and then made me look at him. “What’s wrong?” he asked.
“Nothing,” I answered.
But he wasn’t contented with what he had heard. He quickly stood up and dressed himself. In a matter of a few seconds, he was dressed before me and was offering his hand.
“Telll me why…” He took my hand. “Helen, you’re my Queen. No one should make you feel little. No one is entitled to,” he said before we walked out our chamber.
As we were walking towards the dining room, my heart was thumping wildly inside my chest. I had an idea about what will happen but I thought it was a silly idea. My father was known across empires as someone heartless and menacing. No one ever dared to cross him… well, of course except for Zeus.
Mama and Polly immediately looked at us the moment we went in the dining area. Menelaus was holding my hand firmly. I felt secured for some reason.
“Menealus,” my father greeted with a smile. He favoured of him. After all, he was the successor to the Mycenaean throne.
But everyone kept mum when Menelaus opened his mouth to speak.
“Why did my wife come back to our room hungry?” he asked. It was the first time I heard him speak this way. Throughout the last moments we were together, he was never the kind of guy who would raise his voice. He was very composed and in control.
My mother must have found the situation rather compromising so she stood up.
“There must have been a misunderstanding,” she tried to explain.
But my husband wouldn’t hear any of it. He stood on his ground and spoke with much authority that is expected from a future king.
“When my Queen asks for something, give it. I don’t care if you’re her family or how you rule your kingdom. From here on after, she is my wife. She is the future Queen of Mycenae and no one is allowed to treat her less than the royal that she is.”
The firmness in his voice made my father glare but nonetheless agreed. My mother attended to me and made me sit down.
“Eat, Helen,” she said to me. She turned her gaze at my husband and invited him to eat with us.
My husband declined. “I’ll be going first,” he said as he kissed me on the cheek and then he went back to our chamber. I didn’t question his decision for I was in ecstasy that he stood for me. Maybe marrying him wasn’t that bad of a choice, after all.
Through the entire meal, my father just kept on looking at me as if I have grown another head. Maybe he didn’t expect such treatment from a prince… Yes, I knew that as of the moment, Menelaus was still a prince but the moment he ascended to the throne, he would be more powerful than my father and that must probably scare him to wits.
My parents finished meal early and I was left there with Polly.
“When will you leave?” she asked.
I shrugged. I had no idea when.
“I wish it’s soon as possible. You’re an eyesore,” she said as she stood up and threw the napkin across the table.
I had no idea what I did to her that made her hate me to this extent. It couldn’t be just Menelaus… It’s too shallow of a reason. I didn’t even know the guy until last night! Maybe something happened that made her feel this way against me…
The days passed and before I even knew it, we had to leave from Bahamas. Our stay had been eventful. Menelaus took me over and over that I was beginning to think that by the time we got married again, I would be carrying his child already.
Menelaus went back to Mycenae while I went back to Sparta to arrange some matters. I couldn’t go to their kingdom since in the eye of the public, we weren’t married yet. It was also the reason why we were forced to consume the marriage immediately so that there would be no grounds for annulment.
I was in my bed and studying the geography of Sparta when my phone vibrated.
Anaktoria: Do you believe that Sappho’s a lesbian?
Anaktoria: My cousin was studying about Sappho and she was asking for my opinion about it… Any idea?
Sometimes, she was so random. But I decided to humor her still.
Helen: I don’t think so. I think she’s just too attached to her students that’s why she decided to write poems about them. Besides, if her poems were just but ramblings about her lesbian feelings, then she wouldn’t even follow the Sapphic stanza.
Helen: Did I make sense?
Anaktoria: You’re always making sense, don’t worry.
After that, I decided not to reply anymore. If I continued talking to Anaktoria, I would lose track of time. I still had to memorize the law of Sparta. Good thing the wedding was still in two months, I still had time to prepared myself.
Hours later and a hundred of pages worth of Spartan history book, I was famished. I decided to go down instead of asking the servers to bring me food. I was walking in the hall when I saw Polly going through the backdoor. What’s with her?
I decided to tail her since my sister was a big mystery to me. She was always close yet she was always far. She never really did open herself to me. It was like there was some invisible barrier between us.
As I was nearing her location, I heard giggles.
“Paris! Come on!” I heard her say.
Paris? She had a friend? I thought she had no one. Both of us were restricted to having friends. Father said that having friends means being weak and that those people will only want to be near us because of power and wealth.
I tried to see what was happening because I kept on hearing my sister giggling. I peaked through the ajar door and there, I saw my sister against the wall while some man was kissing her on the neck.
Immediately, I turned around. I needed not to see my sister in a compromising position and I didn’t want to be an accessory to the crime! What if father asked me if Polly was seeing someone? How should I answer?
“Can we go to your room?” a masculine voice said. “Cool. Let’s go then.”
As the sound of the footsteps was nearing, I panicked. I hid behind the enormous piece of pottery.
“I’ll go first,” I heard Polly say and then from where I was standing, I saw her kissing the man with such tongue! Goodness!
The man stayed there for a while. Ah, crap! Should I hide until he leaves? But why should I? This was our place! He was the intruder, not me!
“How long will you hide?”
Oh, crap! Crap! Crap!
“You know me?” I dared ask. I went out of my hiding place and then there, I saw him in eyesight. Was he the source of scandalous giggles of my sister? I scanned his features and he looked royal like us. He has curly hair and blue eyes. Yeah, he definitely looked like a royalty.
He nodded. “Of course. You are Helen of Sparta,” he said as he reached for my hand and kissed it.
I immediately took my hand back. I wasn’t allowed to engage in such physical contact in the absence of my husband.
“You are?” I asked instead.
We heard a loud thump and I think it was the signal for him to follow my sister to her room. I wonder how long they have been pulling this and how did they manage to hide this from our parents and the royal guards?
He smiled at me and said, “I am Paris.”