Title: Why Can’t Dating Be Like Pizza?
Series: Pizza Chronicles, Book Five
Author: Andy V. Roamer
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: 11/08/2022
Heat Level: 2 – Fade to Black Sex
Genre: Contemporary, LGBTQIA+, contemporary, young adult, family-drama, high school, interracial, gay, friendship, immigrant family
RV is now a junior. It’s the most important year of high school, as his guidance counselor makes clear, pushing him to improve his grades, get more active socially, and show colleges why they should accept him over other candidates.
RV has other things on his mind though. He met Luke, who shows him a whole new world of romance, movie making, and fun, but RV’s friends and family pull him in other directions.
His old crush Bobby isn’t around much, and RV has to accept that he and Bobby are no longer an item, though he still has some feelings for him. But when Luke makes an unexpected announcement, RV learns that dating has painful downs as well as joyful ups.
Why Can’t Dating Be Like Pizza?
Andy V. Roamer © 2022
All Rights Reserved
How do you keep your life moving forward when the pressure’s coming at you from all sides?
Mr. Molloy, my guidance counselor, started it this morning. We met before lunch to go over my transcript, talk about my career at Latin so far, and discuss college and the future. I was looking forward to a conversation and maybe learning something. But Molloy hardly let me say anything. He started firing questions, one after the other, like from a machine gun, as soon as I got there.
“Your grades are only part of it. What about your extracurricular activities? A job? Volunteer work? How are your relations with your teachers? Other students? Have you shown leadership? What about clubs? Organizations you belong to? Do you take an active role? Do you show initiative?”
Molloy paused to catch his breath, his fat body splayed out in his office chair. No more the friendly, backslapping, supportive guidance counselor he pretends to be in the school hallways. Today he was the serious, stern bureaucrat you better take seriously—or else. And he wasn’t finished.
“Colleges want the total person, RV. The total person. Someone who’s not only smart but is industrious, has community spirit, thinks outside the box, steps up to the plate, works well with others, shows he can lead others when necessary, and is willing to help out and solve problems instead of just complaining about them. Are you that person, RV? Are you?”
I swallowed hard. This wasn’t what I expected for my first interview to go over everything for junior year. Every time I’ve seen Molloy before, he was always cracking jokes and slapping upperclassmen on the shoulder like he was their best friend. But today his fat face was scrunched up into a scowl as he turned back to the computer to look at my transcript again.
He started shaking his head. “RV, you’re going to have to step it up a notch. Maybe two or three. Your grades aren’t bad, but what are you going to do to show colleges you stand out?” He whirled around in his chair again. “How are you going to show that you are the man they want? That you will be a credit to their college? That you deserve acceptance over all those other smart applicants?” And with each you he pointed his big fat finger at me.
“Um…well, I’m taking a couple of AP and honors classes and—”
“That’s fine. But do you know how many students are taking AP and honors classes?” He shook his head. “I told you. If you want to get into a good school, you. Have. To. Stand. Out.” The fat finger was jabbing at me with every word. I felt like I was in a courtroom, not in a guidance counselor’s office. A guidance counselor who was supposed to help my career, not treat me like a criminal.
Finally, after a little more jabbing, Molloy relaxed a little. He even cracked a smile. “But you’re a good guy,” he said. “I can see you are. You’ll figure it out. Don’t rest on your laurels. Move on, RV.”
He sat up a little straighter in his chair and leaned in closer. I moved back. Molloy has a weird sweaty smell, a cross between salami and cigars. Gets pretty strong if you get too close. The cologne he always uses to cover up the smell doesn’t help.
I pulled back even more, afraid he’d want to slap me on the back or something. But the smile was gone again. “The next time we meet, RV,” he said, “I want to see a detailed plan of your junior year. Clubs, work, interests, social initiatives, leadership capabilities, the stuff that shows the fire that is the real RV. Remember, this is the most important year of your career at Latin School. Make it or break it time.”
The finger was back, jabbing at me. “And. You. Want. To. Show. Them. The. Fire.” He paused, then added. “The fire is there, isn’t it?”
I nodded, which I guess wasn’t convincing enough.
“Isn’t it?” he repeated, much more loudly.
He turned back to the computer, signaling the meeting was over.
Oh, man. I walked out of his office, wanting to go hide someplace. What do I have to show colleges besides questions and insecurities? Fire? Where? How? What am I supposed to do? Light a match and stick it up my whatever to find it?
Meet the Author
Andy V. Roamer grew up in the Boston area and moved to New York City after college. He worked in book publishing for many years, starting out in the children’s and YA books division and then wearing many other hats. “The Pizza Chronicles” are his novels about RV, the teenage son of immigrants from Lithuania in Eastern Europe, as RV tries to negotiate his demanding high school, his budding sexuality, and new relationships. He has written an adult novel, Confessions of a Gay Curmudgeon, under the pen name Andy V. Ambrose. To relax, Andy loves to ride his bike, read, watch foreign and independent movies, and travel.
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