It was a rash and fleeting act of violence, never to be repeated. I had no desire to hit girls. And the whole incident troubled and confused me.
But I think I know now why I hit Merry that day. I was afraid. It was the same fear that made me run from Jan at Skate-a-rama, the same fear that made me turn Chris into a Cootie Queen. I thought I had been found out. I thought I had heard ridicule in Merry’s laughter. I thought she had discovered my desire and found it laughable – an object of contempt. I thought I had no right to that desire, or to expect her to reciprocate my feelings. I felt unworthy. It was a hard lesson to unlearn.
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