Catherine and Wendy are gallivanting around the room, forgetting that Catherine has a room-mate. They fix each other’s hair, play unpleasant music, and spread the smell of burning chemicals in the room with each passing of the curling iron over oiled locks. Loraine sits in her bed, high above them, waiting for the time to herself. But this time will not come for a while, so she drowns out the noise and smell the best she can. A book lies on her lap along with a list of things to be fixed. This is where she stays, this is what she does. In time, she will be given the room in order to sit and think through the things that are bothering her. In time, she may even get a room to herself for the entire year, with the women of the society pushed to the back of her mind while out of sight. But these are muses of hers, used to keep her mind off of Catherine and Wendy’s laughing and the smells of burning locks being curled into unnatural ringlets.
Loraine doesn’t know how Mary and Wendy can live together. They are so different from one another. But, ironically, Wendy joins Loraine’s room-mate, Catherine, as friends while Loraine and Mary seek each other out.
“How interesting that we should be changing room-mates like this. Almost like a swap,” Loraine mentions to Mary at breakfast.
“Yes, well,” Mary responds, “Those of similar personalities will often join one another.”
And they continue on, eating their boiled eggs and toast in comfortable silence.