Books by Philip Hoy

​No, make up some excuse.

“Aw, man,” you say. “I’m sorry. I can’t.”

“You can’t. Why?” Suddenly, Luz looks like she wants to hit you. You feel your stomach muscles tighten.

“My friends,” you say, “they want to go to this, uh, party.”

She stares at you a moment longer, expressionless. “Hey,” she finally says, shrugging her shoulders. “Your loss, dude. I’ll tell her you got plans.”

“Yeah, sorry.”

Luz turns to go, but then stops herself. “Party? What party?”

“Well, I don’t know exactly, some guy named Kenny.”

“Kenny, the hippy dude with the pool?”

You don’t know about the hippy part, but the pool seems well established. “Yeah.”

“Well now you’re talking, Lil’ Boot,” she says, coming close again. “Let me know, okay? Maybe we’d like to check that out.”

“Okay, yeah, sure.”

She reaches up to pull a pen from above her ear. “Call me, okay?” she says, taking hold of your wrist. “We might be hanging out.”

The friend in the denim skirt scowls at you from the other side of the hallway as Luz scrawls a phone number along the inside of your forearm. You try not to wince as the ballpoint digs painfully into your skin.

As soon as Luz is gone, you’re struck with a pang of doubt. Should you have said yes? Who cares if you don’t know her. A girl on the dance team just asked you out and you turned her down. Suddenly you feel stupid.

The thought of going to PE only makes it worse. An idea hits you. Ditch PE and go hang out in Ms. Avery’s room. She won’t care, and her art class is so large and busy, she probably won’t even notice you were there.  
No, you tell yourself. Man up. You can’t keep running away from things.

What do you do?
(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.