Andromache stared out blankly at the vast sea before her, the night wind whipping her long hair against her face. The sea was still and calm, the horizon and edge of the sea meeting and blending to form a velvet blackness.
The cold air circled her like a hawk over its prey and large bumps began to form on her exposed skin. In the thick darkness her fair, slightly bronzed skin stood out starkly like a pariah. The hollow emptiness in her heart tugged gently at her once more, an unwanted reminder of the life she had been given to without choice.
Andromache rubbed her arms up and down, hugging herself in the innate solitude that threatened to swallow her and leave her in desperate tears.
She sighed softly to herself and looked around the deserted deck. Spotting a small figure of a girl resting against the wooden deck, she was startled momentarily before remembering that it was only her young handmaiden.
Forgetting her thoughts, her features creased into a slight frown as she walked towards her. She knelt down beside the young girl's sleeping form and gently shook her awake.
Jolting upright, the girl's eyes flew open in sudden shock and darted wildly about before they came to rest on Andromache.
Andromache gave her a smile, hoping to put her at ease and helped her up.
"My Lady," the girl began nervously, " forgive me. It was not my intention to fall asleep. I meant to stay up with you but I…" She trailed off, her words filled with utmost remorse.
Unable to help herself, Andromache laughed. "Chruse, I should be the one apologizing. I could not expect you to have no need for sleep. I'm sorry, I got carried away."
Relief washed over the handmaiden's face and she gave Andromache a small appreciative smile.
"You may retire now Chruse, I would like to stay here awhile more."
" Don't worry, I will be fine, there is no one to harm me." She added, seeing the uncertain look Chruse wore.
With a grateful nod, Chruse disappeared below deck and once again, Andromache found herself alone. In truth she did not mind the lack of company. It was the empty ache within her that she could not forget or pretend it did not exist.
Tomorrow the ship would be arriving on the shores of Troy. In Thebe in Cilicia, a country of small size and even more minute power compared to Troy, the people had looked upon her to bring the promise of peace and demise of war to their homeland. By giving her to Troy, her father had sacrificed his daughter for hundreds of lives that would have been lost in inevitable battle. Idly, she traced out the pattern of the wood grains on the wooden railing with her finger as her thoughts traveled further back in time.
She had grown up in the delicate complexities of politics where she had learnt it was of utmost importance to stay one step ahead of the enemy. She had watched over many exchanges, where anything, gold, jewels, armies, extraordinary animals, men and women were passed along like barter trade. The process was quick, swift and even cunning.
As Princess of Thebes, she loved her country and had known that a time would come for sacrifice, but this time, not the sacrifice of others for her, but the her sacrifice for others. She was prepared, but nothing took it all away than finally knowing the extent of her sacrifice.
Being given to Prince Hector of Troy for marriage was not so much of sacrificing her happiness, having always believed that happiness could always be found regardless of the situation. Growing up with seven brothers, they had always managed to find something to laugh about despite all the trouble they got into.
It was more of leaving everything she ever knew behind. What shattered her most was leaving her family with the knowledge that she might never see them again. Of course it was physically possible to do so, but once she became Princess of Troy, Hector's wife, the circumstances would change and everything had to be considered in a different light.
She smiled wistfully to herself, thinking of the mischievous grins and twinkling eyes her brothers possessed. She missed them greatly and sighed softly again at the thought of what her new life would consist of.Childbearing, motherhood, idle chats, sewing and weaving, making a presence at dinners and grand banquets…
It was all the same, so dull, so monotonous, and so…meaningless.
What if I just fade away after I bear a son? Will Hector even remember me? Love me? At the last thought her lips twitched. The very idea that Hector would actually love her was so impossible that it was laughable.
She could not imagine what kind of person would accept a marriage proposal without meeting his bride and knowing that by his acceptance, she would be wrenched out of all she knew and separated from her family. She had already formed an impression of him in her mind; a solemn, war-beaten, apathetic person. Other than that, having never met him before, she could form no image in her mind of what he might look like.
But then, a tiny glimmer of hope still resided within her that maybe Prince Hector would not be the man she imagined. Some tiny part of her prayed that he would be loyal and faithful to her and love her. And maybe, just maybe, she thought, as her smile grew wider in a girlish grin, he would have features like that of a god and be young and handsome.
Absentmindedly she played with her fingers, almost numb with cold and let her gaze drift out to the endless black sea once more.
Slowly an image of Theseus and her splashing water at each other played in her memory. It had been years ago, but the sound of their laughter resounded loudly and clearly in her ears, seeming so real. And caught up in the reminiscence, she whirled around, almost expecting to see her brother's smiling face before her.
But of course, Andromache thought bitterly as her face fell and grew red with her childish hopes, he is not here. It was all just a foolish dream…
Suddenly the hollow in her heart surfaced again and hot tears prickled at her eyes. Roughly she brushed them away with the back of her hand. Turning sharply, she made her way below deck.
At that moment, she was struck with the unfairness of it all, the selfishness and stupidity of the situation she was in, and the heartless man who had torn her away from her comfort and security.
Her stomach clenched into a tight ball at the nagging reminder that they would meet tomorrow and a swell of anger rose up, but remained in her throat.
Tomorrow she would see, and tomorrow she would know.
I have been thinking about a Hector/Andromache story for quite a while. I hope you like it and please bear in mind that I may make slight changes to this chapter if I feel the need to do so. Thank you. Also, all the names that will and has been used in this story that are not from the movie, are authentic Greek names, not made up ones.