"I'm still not sure if these are good enough," Maya muttered, uncharacteristically insecure. She was usually so confident and outspoken, but she truly cared about her art.
"Your portraits are wonderful, Maya" Riley encouraged her, hugging her best friend and nodding toward the art exhibit. "Everyone will love it."
"But what if they only have bad things to say about it?"
"I promise they won't. And if they do criticize some, you'll take it and get better and then show them just how good you got next time around!"
Maya smiled at Riley, sighing, and shaking off her nerves.
"You are right; this is going to be awesome."
Riley stood up and walked toward the door, peeking out.
"They are coming!"
Maya smiled, looking at the pictures she had painted with so much dedication, and for the first time in her life, she felt genuinely proud of something she had made with real effort.
"Is my mom with them this time?" Maya asked, trying to remain upbeat.
Riley smiled, nodding excitedly. "She is!"
Maya looked surprised and then smiled brightly. Even her mom was here this time! This was going to be awesome.