Helen (part 2)

Paris was different. I knew he was a vain prince, and actually, he looked like one. I had never seen a man with such soft hands and such a feminine body. He didn’t seem to touch weapons, ever, and he confirmed that later on. “I’m no warrior”, he said. “I’m a prince. Fighting is for those who aren’t princes.” He used to laugh when saying that.

But at first, I didn’t even care about him. To me, he was just like all the other men – praising me for my beauty, eager on money and trade. I did what I used to do when a man had dinner together with us. I wore a veil and one of my best dresses, in which I could hardly breathe. He could see but my ladylike hands, taking a bit of food, just a tiny little bit, and making it disappear behind the veil. At that point, I had already captured his attention, but the real praising and drooling came when Menelaus proudly removed my veil. I just sat there, looking at my hands in my lap, like a real vestal wife.
“She has to be the living image of Aphrodite!” Paris said. “What a beauty – how can you even trust the men entering your house, Menelaus?”
Menelaus snorted. “I keep an eye on her.”
“Surely”, Paris smiled. “Otherwise things would go wrong, wouldn’t they?”
I don’t think Menelaus understood this words, but when remembering them now, I realise it was a warning.

Paris was the first one to listen to what I said. He asked my opinion on matters, talked with me, didn’t just stare. It touched me, it hurt me to feel how I had missed that for years already. At the same time, he didn’t seem to be interested in me as a woman. He treated me like a man. That caused Menelaus to trust him with me, and one day he told us he had to leave for Crete, an emergency. He’d be back soon.

He trusted us, the fool.

That night, Paris entered my room. I was lying awake, wondering if he’d do that. He surely did. He told me I drove him crazy, my beauty haunted him, he repeated my words every night, I was a creature of the gods…
“I could love you until the day I die”, he declared. “If only you weren’t married already…”
Please understand that I had never heard such words before. I was vulnerable. Please understand that.
“Would you love me when I’m old?” I asked him.
“I would love no matter what. Whether you’re old or missing an eye or a leg… Just the tiniest piece of your body is so beautiful that it doesn’t matter what the rest of you looks like. One golden hair of you and everyone loves you. One sliver of your finger nail and the world bows down for your enchanting beauty, Helen. Why are you scared?”

If I had been smarter, older, happier, I would have laughed at him for saying these things, but at that moment, those words gave me exactly what I was searching for. My beauty would not go away. He’d love me forever.

So I gave in, I surrendered. He was the first man who ended up in my bed. I seduced the others, but always denied them what they really wanted. I could not deny Paris anything. Maybe I already felt that even trying was in vain. Paris always got what he wanted. He pushed me so far that one night, I left my house, I left my life and entered the greatest nightmare I’ve ever lived. I thought I was desperate, but until that day, my life had been the happiest it would ever get.

“Do you love me, Helen?”
“Of course, how could I not love you?”
“Will you love me as long as I love you?”
“Longer, Paris.”
“Impossible!”
“No, really.”
“If I cut off you arms and your legs, will you still love me anyway?”
“I want to be more than my body. My body is but beauty. I am more than a pretty creature. I want to be able to love just because I love, Paris.”

It’s only now that I can see the horror I’ve caused. But when entering the ship, I believed I would be happy – finally.

*more to come soon!*

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6 Comments

  1. This is good, keep it up!

    Reply
  2. This is really good; I can feel the tension heating up. The husband is a fool, Paris a seducer, and Helen, the girl who fell. Brilliant! ~Jae Lei Nyght

    Reply
    • Thank you so much, Jae Lei Nyght! Lovely name by the way.
      Things won’t get any better in this story, but the third part won’t be for this week, I’m afraid… But you’ll get that part, so don’t worry ;).

      Reply
  3. A gripping life

     /  July 7, 2012

    I like the mix of contemporary language with the old story. Wonderful!

    Reply

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