Twenty years ago, we answered our great king’s call to war. Seventy-five of us left our island to join the great fleet. I was their prince but only the first among equals. We were young, eager and ready to fight to avenge our king’s honour.
We joined so many others like us and laid siege to that accursed city for ten years. The outcome of the war was always uncertain and sometimes the gods weren’t with us. I witnessed the death of so many good men from both sides. At the end, only my cunning plan gained us victory. We broke the siege, lay devastation and won the war. Watching the fire consume the once great city left a bitter taste in my mouth.
That wasn’t the end but only the beginning of my journey back. It took me ten more years to once again touch the stony shore of my island, of my home. My companions and I faced so many adventures and so much danger. I am the only one left alive, the only one who has returned.
My son will be a man now, he won’t recognise me. I don’t know if my wife is still alive and still waiting for me or she believed that I was lost and now someone else lays beside her on the olive wood bed I carved from the live tree so long ago. Not a day has gone by that I haven’t yearned for her, for my home because she is my home.
I thought of her when the unforgiving sea was trying to take us, when I avoided listening to the sirens’ call, when I laid beside another, when we blinded a giant, when my companions consumed the lotus fruit and they forgot what’s important. I didn’t forget, I didn’t stop travelling and fighting the gods and their adversities so that I could reach my home.
Now I am here again, older, tired but ready to fight for my family, my place, my home. I am here again, Penelope, I came home to you.