Merrill saw Kathy and her friends after his mother made the comment she did about Christmas. It was bad enough seeing Kathy at all. But if a different set of mind wheels hadn’t been reluctantly pushed into a slow, rusty motion, it would have been more than bad—devastating in fact. He knew this and was glad he had let his resentments out of their tight bindings. They were still there, but, like so many helium balloons, they now tugged gently from a less painful position.