The Fall of Helen
Hades briefed of me of the things I should and shouldn’t do when I got to Mycenae. I would be going there alone since my father wouldn’t bother coming with me and Hades was much needed in our empire.
I nodded at him and then peeked inside my bag to check if I put there the things I might need.
“Princess, we already prepared everything for you. Should you need anything, Theseus will be with you,” he said and then pointed at Theseus who was standing beside the mountain of bags that I will be bringing with me.
I smiled at him. Theseus had been with me since time immemorial. He was one of the people I could trust inside this palace. I knew he looked like he was loyal to the King of Sparta but I knew him. If I ask him to stab my father, he would. He was with me. He will always be my strongest confidante.
And so I went on my way. The royal guards accompanied me to the private airport of our family and then there, a plane was waiting for my boarding. I didn’t look back once I got inside. It was not like I will be missed. Sparta was not really much of a home for me. It was an empire ruled by a heartless king.
“Are you ready, Princess?” Theseus asked me. I nodded at him and then we began traveling.
The flight was long and boring. I forgot to ask Hades where my books were and there were just too many baggages that just by looking at them, I tired myself out. I also could not text Anaktoria since we were thousands of miles above. I guess I was just stuck here with Theseus.
“Theseus,” I called his name.
I smiled at him. I had always loved this person. But I knew my limits. The moment I began to develop feelings for him, I quickly killed them. I knew it would just bring death to him and I couldn’t deal with it. I settled that it would be better for us to be friends than him being dead.
And it’s not like my father would approve of Theseus… I was born to conquer Mycenae for him.
“Do you think it’s alright that I married Menelaus?”
It was no use hiding from him that I was already married. I was sure he already knew about it. There was no single thing that Theseus did not know.
He nodded at me and showed a small smile. “Better than marrying his brother,” he said.
I had always wondered if the tales about the higher king of Mycenae was true… Surely no man like that could ever walk the grounds of the earth. The tales about Agamemnon were just too terrifying for words.
“Are the stories about him true?”
“Princess, the world you live in is full of gossips and misconception. Be it the truth or lie, you should be careful. It is better scared than scarred,” he said to me.
I looked into his eyes and muttered my thanks. Because of Theseus, I was never afraid of my place here in the world. I knew he would always look after me.
After drifting to sleep and reading few reminders about the things I was restricted to upon arriving in Mycenae, we have finally arrived.
“Is this really necessary?” I asked him as I glanced at the list of things I was not allowed to do. “Don’t I get diplomacy?”
“You get diplomacy outside the palace but inside, you’re not yet an official part of the Mycenaean Empire. Upon the public announcement of the marriage, you will be the official princess in waiting of Mycenae,” he said with a smile. “You’ll have Sparta and Mycenae wrapped around your dainty, little fingers, Princess Helen.”
The royal guards of Mycenae escorted us to the castle. I wasn’t even disappointed when they did not pick me up from the airport. I knew of what they thought of Sparta. Yes, it was true, compared to the size of their army, ours was relatively small. But Menelaus wanted me as his wife so here I was.
“The Royal Princess Helen of Sparta has arrived!” they announced.
I walked towards the King and gave my respect.
“Helen,” he said, acknowledging my presence. “I have always heard rumors about how captivating your beauty is and now, I am glad that finally, gossips are true.”
I smiled as a response. He did not show up on the wedding ceremony for he had some important matters to settle on Greece. Greece had always been a troubled nation. I wonder why the fascination with that country.
My gaze turned at my husband who was sitting on the throne beside his father. He was intently looking at me and I bit my lower lip as a response.
“I am glad that my presence gives you happiness, King Atreus,” I replied. “I was sent here by my father to give personal greetings and to give you our deepest gratitude. The army you sent for our Empire to conquer Euboea was of great help,” I continued. I really hated all these warfare. Seeing women crying while watching their husband leave for war always manage to tear my heart apart.
No matter how many times my mother tell me that this was our way of life, that war was a part of it, I will never be used to it. I never want to be used to the bloodshed and death of my countrymen. It was inhumane in all aspects.
I pointed at the chests behind me. “As a sign of our Empire’s gratefulness, along with me are chests of gold. We hope this could match to the helpfulness you, the people of Mycenae, have shown us, Spartans,” I said.
King Atreus was delighted at the sight of gold. Although they were strong in the department of army, our country had more gold deposits. The union of Mycenae and Sparta would be one of the greatest events the historians could ever write. With the unity of two strong nation, the Trojan empire would finally have a nation to consider their match.
Now that I have thought of it, almost all of the nations were afraid of the Trojan Empire. The center of trade was inside their territory, they have huge deposits of gold and other precious minerals, and they have a very strong army headed by their Prince Hector. Maybe Father had the right to be annoyed at such strong Empire.
After the presentation of the gift, I was finally allowed to rest inside the chamber that I will be staying at. As I was removing my earrings, I heard a soft knock on the door. I stood up to open it and there, I saw Menelaus.
“Menelaus,” I said as I widened the door for him. “Why didn’t you just call for me?”
He smiled at me. “Non-sense. You just came from a long journey and I didn’t want to burden you more. I just came here to check if you’re doing fine,” he said.
“I’m alright,” I answered. “Really, my father is thankful for all the help your Empire have been extending.”
He enclosed my hand inside his. “Helen, you are the future of Mycenae. What is within this empire is yours, as well. Our army is at your disposal should you wish for it.”
I continued thanking him. I didn’t think we could have won the war if not for their army.
“Do you want to eat?” he offered. “My family wouldn’t be able to join us because they have another matter to attend to.”
I shook my head. “I just want to rest,” I truthfully answered. I have never really favored flying. It made my head dizzy. “But thank you for your concern.”
He kissed my cheek. “You’re my wife, Helen. Your wish is my command.”
After that, he left my chamber to go to his study room. I didn’t know about what princes were studying but for princesses, we were taught how to be a good Queen to our people and a good Queen to our future King. It was all about how to be pleasing to the nation. What a selfless position in this male dominated society.
My phone vibrated.
Helen: No, not really. Why?
Anaktoria: Do you know that if you wish to the gods, there is a huge possibility of your wish being granted?
What a rubbish idea. At the time and age like this, I have long forgotten about the gods of Mount Olympus.
Anaktoria: Yes. There’s no harm in trying.
Helen: Well, yes… To whom did you wish to?
Anaktoria: I chose Aphrodite.
Helen: Really now? I’m disappointed. I’m more of Hera’s fan.
Anaktoria: Yeah, I kind of figured that out.
Anaktoria: Never mind… Won’t you ask about my wish?
There was another knock on the door. I left my phone on my bed and checked for the door.
He asked me to go out and we walked to the balcony. I could feel the tension in the air. We continued walking but when I could do longer hold my thoughts, I finally asked me.
“What’s wrong?” I asked him.
He looked around and when he saw that all the royal guards were of considerable distance from us, he began speaking. “They are sending me back to Sparta,” he said.
“What? But why?” I exclaimed. It can’t be! If he leaves, I would be alone! It’s not that I was scared… But in the eye of Mycenae, I wasn’t a Mycenaean. Without the formal announcement, I was still an outsider. I was still Helen of Sparta.
He motioned me to lower my voice down.
“Theseus!” I cried. “Tell me! I can’t be kept in the dark!”
He took a deep breath. “Princess, you know I would never leave your side if I have a choice… But Agamemnon… He asks for my departure…”
Why? I can’t understand anything! Why was he asking for Theseus to leave? I didn’t even bring any Spartan royal guards with me! I just had Theseus to accompany me and to look after me!
“You can’t understand, Princess. Things are more complicated than what is shown. I will be leaving at dawn,” he said as he held my hand for a brief second. “Just stay close to Menelaus, he would take care of you.”
I know. I trust Menelaus. I knew he would never bring harm to me. I saw that look in his eye.
“But never trust anyone in this place, Helen. Menelaus is the only person you can trust.”
He did not let me ask anymore. After that, he walked me back to my chamber and as we were walking, I saw Agamemnon looking at me and I could feel the chills running down my spine. The news about him was true. He looked evil. He was not to be trusted.
As we reached my chamber, Theseus said, “Remember, Helen, no one here is your friend. In the union of two empires, only one rises.”
That kept on ringing inside my head and as I sat on my bed, I read Anaktoria’s replies.
Anaktoria: I wished to have the most beautiful person and I’ve been seeing that same face over and over in my dreams
Anaktoria: And I finally met that person. And I will get that person.