Myth, Amelia reminded herself,

exists to give order to life, which is chaotic. There are too many events for us to make sense of. Myth selects and arranges so that we may find pleasure in the shape lives take, even a dreadful fate arrived at by predictable means acquiring a certain elegance. Selection, direction, reverence, that is the function of myth. We could argue that love serves the same purpose: love says: here is the one you will attend to, cleave to, believe in. Now go ahead. Forsake all others.

That’s fine for the chosen one, she thought. But what happens to the bits that don’t fit the shapes, to the people outside the circle?

“The wrong of unshapely things is a wrong too great to be told,” Francesca always said, quoting William Butler Yeats of course. He was now known as “‘Buster” around the school, since the new girl with her flair for malapropisms had renamed him. He was quoted all too frequently, as far as Amelia was concerned; she thought it had to do with Francesca’s growing obsession with death, which mirrored Yeats’ own. It is not easy to be a senior citizen and have a horror of “all things uncomely and broken, all things worn our and old.” .

Easier of course if you have love. And if in your love you beautify that other one, who is a mirror of yourself. Perhaps that is all love is, simply a way for people to find a replica of themselves. Conveniently created in the opposite sex. Or the same, as the case may be. In this case the opposite. Never was seen a more flagrant example of heterosexual romance than here in the Principals of the Manor.

But what did Amelia know of romance? Amelia was the Cheese.

On the subject of mirrors, she was well informed. She spent hours a day gazing in the mirror, and made no apologies for it. She was interesting to herself.

She was, arguably, a beauty. Red hair, which she rinsed with henna, turning it the shiny maroon that was as striking as the more common blonde among certain Swedes. Indeed, her father was Swedish, a man named Hult, changed to Holt because in Canada everyone spelt it wrong anyway. This hair, parted in the middle and falling evenly to each side in large waves, was intended to flatter her large, round face. Like a line drawn by a cartoonist, her mouth was expressive. turning comic, fearsome, morose by turns. Her forehead was wide, clear, flat, curtained at the temples by the gleaming panels of hair.” – Katherine Govier, The truth teller