Juliette Belacqua lived in Il Lago di Lacrimare. Just north of its sister waters Lake Como, its fingers and toes were rich and lovely indigoes, violets and midnight blues. Juliette’s hair reached almost to the floor, and her mother made her braid it into plaits. As a consequence Mrs Belacqua’s daughter sauntered around the village with a mass of golden ropes atop her head. The young girl liked it when she was allowed to bathe in the lake on Sundays, her hair permitted to swim loosely behind her. Sometimes it reached the lake bed and got tangled between the sea plants, but it never mattered. Without her long waves of hair to protect her, Juliette feared she wouldn’t be the same. One afternoon when she was swimming, the small child got her ankle caught on a rope of vine from under the water. It had happened before many times so she didn’t panic, but after a few seconds of struggling her foot was still trapped between the pebbles of forgotten secrets and silent promises. When she finally broke free and got out of the lake to go straight home to her mother, she realised that her hair was suddenly short as a boy’s. She cried out, her hands grasping at the floor to where she noticed her long, long locks of hair fallen and broken as if someone had come along and cut them off. Grief stricken tears rolled down her porcelain face as she wept over the loss of her armour. Years later, Juliette’s hair is just a touch longer than a man would wear his. After crying for a week the little child had realised how much lighter her steps were, how much faster she could swim, and she grew to adore her new hair style. Who would think that a simple haircut could change her so deeply? Not her, but she certainly wouldn’t go back. Ask her about it if you’re unsure. I’ve told you where she lives.