Happily reunited with the family after a 20 years absence, Odysseus thinks that everything is back to the way it was and should be. It seems that way for about 6 months until one evening, when he and Penelope are sitting in front of the fire just talking, they hear a bold hard knock on their front door. Odysseus looks at his wife and holds out his hand telling her to stay where she is while he goes to answer. He opens the door and there is a strange lady with bizarre language written all over her body and piercing gray eyes like a full moon in a straight black sky.
“Hello Odysseus.” She knows my name yet I’ve never laid eyes on a lady like her before, thought Odysseus. “I’m sorry, I’m afraid I do not know your name.” said Odysseus. “My darling, of course you know my name. My disguise is working I suppose. I have helped you in the past and I have helped you return home. Do you really not remember my voice?” Odysseus understood quickly, he stepped forward and closed the front door behind him. “Athena, yes thank you so much for returning to me to my family and Ithaca but I don’t understand, and please don’t take this the wrong way but what brings your presence? Did I act wrongly?” Athena’s face looked pleased now, “Dear Odysseus, I have brought you home yes, but I am here because the grand council has been talking about your journey and how you survived through many powerful gods and goddesses. We have all agreed on offering you the great gift of immortality. You have proved to us that you are very wise and very strong and can accomplish anything you set your mind to.” -she looks up at the night sky - “You must know that it is a great deal for us to be offering you this gift. I must leave now but will return tomorrow to hear your answer. Goodbye Odysseus.” and with that she was gone.
Odysseus looked around and walked back inside to Penelope. He walked into the fireplace room and sat down next to his wife and took a deep breath. “Odysseus, what is wrong? Who was it out there?” Odysseus looked at his wife and stared into her lovely brown eyes and explained to her everything that happened, of course saving the immortality opportunity for last. Penelope sat back and took it all in, the Gods planned on taking him away from her again and keeping him. “Husband, I know this is not my choice to make or to influence you on. This is a rare opportunity yes but once you accept this gift, they will expect you to live with them up on Mt. Olympus and rule with them. I have only had you back for 6 months and you have missed your son’s childhood and your mother’s passing. I would really love for you to hold my hand when it’s my time to go and to share all your wisdom with our son and make him stronger. I have missed you my love, but this is your decision to make. It is getting late now and I am very tired. You have night to think about it and the morning to choose your decision. I love you and I will see you in the morning. Goodnight Odysseus.”
The great king of Ithaca stared down at his hands as if they held all the answers in the world, willing them to help him make a decision right now. He wanted to stay home with his family and he didn’t need all night to think about it. I will tell Athena tomorrow, thought Odysseus. He reached into his pants pocket and pulled out the natural color stone that Telemachus gave to him when he arrived home, “I missed your youth, your childhood, and your beard-growing stage but I will not miss the rest of your life.” He said aloud. With that, Odysseus’ decision was made and the next evening was the only thing awaiting.