As sunlight filters through the window of my room, my limbs feel as heavy as the stone blocks used to build the palace and soon they will be just as cold. Death is not long in coming for me but I do not fear it. In fact, I am thankful, for I have been given much. I have two daughters and two sons, all now married, and twelve grandchildren, the eldest of which is a vivacious man of twenty. At sixty years of age, I have lived much longer than most women of this time and seen and done far more.
I was the first Queen of this small city but this is not my native land. Indeed, only a little over four decades ago, my homeland lay far from here, across the Aegean sea.
'Twas a long road that brought me here and I am almost relieved that it is now coming to an end.
The Egyptians believe that all noble souls, whose hearts are not heavy with bad deeds, are reunited with their loved ones in the underworld. It is a far more reassuring thought than endlessly swimming in the river Styx for all eternity and, in some ways, I hope our ancient neighbours are correct.
It means that, after I draw my last breath, I shall finally be reunited with my cousin and my beloved husband of many years, the latter of whom passed away a year ago and left me feeling empty and numb. Bereft of my heart.
Most tales spoken of my beloved refer to him as an irresponsible, foolish, man who gave up everything for love. They also say that he died when our city was destroyed by the Greeks. These are both true in their respective ways but false in others.
During his youth, he was indeed foolish and irresponsible and that man did perish in the fires of Troy. But Paris was still very much alive, that I can assure you. He gave up everything for love, indeed, but, love is a fickle goddess and her final act of favour came in the form of a stubborn priestess who refused to give up on him even when he had given up on himself.
It all started on the afternoon that the two princes returned from a diplomatic visit to Sparta.