Authors notes: This is a little story I wrote for the class I'm in, which explains if it seems rushed or crammed at parts.
A Different View
The story of the Iliad as told by Andromache
Why I am drawn to here, I cannot explain, for I am not quite sure myself. Maybe I hope to see you, make you out from the mass of warriors below. It's hard to make out anyone, to tell the truth, and not just because of distance. All I can see is one huge, horrible mass below me, with men, strong men, brave men, men like you, dying in all directions.
This is all your brother's fault, you know. Why in the world did he get it in his head that he should go and steal Menelaus' treasure, and most of all, the great man's wife? I know, a god told him to. And the woman has become a beloved sister to us both. But look at all the ruin, pain, and sadness that has come to both the Achaeans and us as a result. Why would the gods wish such a thing? Do they hate us so, that their desire is our heartbreak? Many men have died on both sides, and many, both our allies and enemies, have not seen their wives and families for many years. Fortunately, you have stayed. I am at least able to see you, to hold you, to forget all the pain in my life, or at least to disregard it for a moment. Perhaps the gods do not completely hate us after all.
But remember, my darling Hector, you are all I have.
"Yes?" I turn to greet a servant walking by who has addressed me.
"Pardon me, but Hector has returned to the city, and is coming this way…"
I gaze hurriedly around at the part of the city I can see from here, and… yes! There you are, running down the streets towards the tower. I quickly race towards you as well, calling to the servant holding our son to follow quickly.
Soon, I catch your gaze, the distance between us rapidly decreasing. I see your face soften into a smile as you see our beloved son. I cannot keep a few bittersweet tears from falling as I grab your arm. I won't let go of you, not yet. Forget what I said just a few minutes ago. I can't bear to have you leave. Please, I beg you, stay with me. What would happen to us, your wife and son, if you were to die? Not that it would matter much, if you were killed, what hope could we have in Troy lasting much longer, without you to defend us?
Now I plead with you to stay, to fight here, and not to go back. I explain to you that which you already know, who you are to me, how much you mean. Achilles has taken all whom I have loved from me, save you, and I fear you may fall soon too.
But here you respond, in your kind, strong, compassionate voice, telling me everything I wish to hear. No, you will not stay. Of course you wouldn't; I knew I couldn't stop you. But it is for me that you fight. That is what keeps me strong.
Of course it hurts, it hurts me deeply. But I won't let that stop me.
You reach down for our son, but he shies away, afraid of your armor. I can't help but laugh, while you join in, removing you helmet so the boy recognizes his father. Now you bless him, praying he becomes an even greater man than you. Then you hand him to me, and I hold him close and smile softly, even though I've just discovered the tears streaming down my face. That seems to affect you, you seem to notice the depth of my sadness for the first time now. You hold me, reassuring that no man can stop you, and if it is fate you fall, then you will fall whatever you do.
Then you leave me again, turning back to the war. And I turn back to home, but cannot keep from glancing towards you several times, or hold back the tears.
That cannot be your fate. It must not.
It's been a few days since you left again, but I've held up. Of course, you won't fall so easily. I hope you'll be able to rest tonight, I've already set out a bath for you…
Huh? What's that?
It sounds like… crying…
I feel a deep chill and I call for two of my ladies to follow me as I dash wildly to the wall. I fear… oh, I fear so much for you. That was your mother crying, I am certain…
…N-no… It can't be… It just can't…
I've made it to the wall; I can see it now…
It's just not real, I feel so confused…
I… I can barely bring myself to realize what's happening, but I see you there… or, your body anyway. They're doing such horrible things to you, taking you away…
I… can't… stand… I'm breathing faster and faster… I can't see anything but darkness. You are gone.
I wish I had never been born! What will become of us? My deepest fears have just been realized. Achilles has killed you, of that I am certain; no other man could stop you.
We are the same, we always have been. Now that you are dead, I too am doomed.
What will become of our son…?
I begin to wail loudly in my grief, heedless of the voices around me sobbing as well. How will I go on?
I raise my head from my work as I hear your sister cry out. It couldn't be… could someone have retrieved your body? I run out and down to the street, where I see a wagon. In it lies your body, still protected after all this time. I fling myself at your form, holding you close to me, weeping out my pain.
I know tomorrow the fighting will begin again. Tomorrow might spell out the doom of Troy. But, for now, I will only mourn.
Mourn the loss of a great hero, Hector of Troy, my husband.