Books by Philip Hoy

Yes. Go for it, dude!

“Uh, okay, yes,” you hear yourself say. “Tell her, yes.”

“I thought so,” says Luz, again with that narrow eyed, knowing smile.

“Should I call her?”

“No,” she says, already turning to go. “You can’t call her.” Over her shoulder, she adds. “I’ll tell her.”

“Wait,” you say. “What do I do? Do I pick her up?”

Luz stops and turns around. “Do you have a car?”


She seems confused. “Then why did you ask that?”

“I mean, my ride. I’d get a ride.”

“No,” she says, shaking her head at the same time. “I already said you can’t call her. Why would you actually go to her house?”

“I was just, why, what’s wrong with—”

“Listen,” she says, walking back to you with her cross-armed friend following like a reluctant shadow. “Relax. Okay.” She puts her hand on your chest, more gently this time. “Her dad’s just kinda strict, that’s all.”

“Okay,” you say. “I get it.”

“Meet her there at seven.”

You nod. “At the dance.”

“Yes. In front of the gym.”

“Do I go in?”

“Just be there,” she says, removing her hand. “She’ll find you.”

You have more questions. How much is it to get in? Should I pay for her? Will there be food? What do I wear? But Luz is already gone.

All at once you’re struck with a panic of doubt. Why did you say yes? Just because this girl is on the dance team doesn’t mean you’re automatically going to like her. Is she funny? Is she shy? What music does she listen to? What books does she read? What will you even talk about?

Suddenly you feel stupid, and the thought of going to PE only makes it worse. An idea hits you. Ditch.

No, you tell yourself. You can’t keep running away from things. Face your fears. Go to PE. Go to the dance with this girl. Be a man.

Or, you tell yourself. You can be a man later and go hang out in Ms. Avery’s room. That’s not exactly ditching, is it? Not like hanging out all period in one of the bathrooms, or roaming the halls, or worse, jumping the fence and hiding in the citrus grove. Besides, Avery won’t care. Her art class is so loud and busy she probably won’t even notice you there. 

a) Go to PE.
b) Ditch PE and go hang out in your art teacher’s room.

THE MISADVENTURES OF MATTHEW VAN DER BOOT is a work of fiction. All names, characters, and places are fictitious, and any resemblance to actual events, locales, organizations, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental … no matter how many times you ask.