A Letter to "The Odyssey"'s Odysseus from his wife Penelope
My Brave Odysseus,
I am overjoyed to hear that you are alive and well. For many a night I sat awake in my bed, wondering if you were alive and when you might return. At first I was angry at you for not returning to me, not sending me any sign that you were on your way home, but now I understand the reason for your delay. I have missed you so; I wish with all my heart that you have a safe and speedy journey home. But oh, how much of our life together, have you missed. The son you left as a suckling babe is now a grown man, strong, confident, and cunning like his father. At just sixteen years old he decided to go looking for you to confirm your death or bring you home. I worry for him everyday hoping he will not have such a long and trying journey home as you have had. As for your affair, when I first read that you had slept with another woman I was engulfed in a jealous rage. I should warn you that had the circumstances not required you to sleep with Circe; I would have killed on your arrival home in Ithaca. It is a terrible deed to cheat on one’s true love while they are awaiting you at home, sitting teary-eyed by the hearth. But I have come around, and I have a realized that I must not be jealous, I must be strong. You did what you had to do to save the lives of your men, and I cannot spite you for that. Now my great Odysseus may you go with the gods and return to me soon.
Your loving wife,
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