.IX.

I walked back to my spot, dazed. A large man in a blue suit belted out, "The convention will begin in a moment. First I will tell you how this is going to work. You may walk around the room if you'd like to look at other artwork. If not, you may stay where you are. If you find a piece you like, you may ask the creater of the piece if he or she would like to switch. If the artists agrees, you may. If not, you must pay the price on the tag shown. You may only swap once. Over here, we will have a group where you can talk about your art with other artists. Our goal today is to become acquainted with other artists. Everyone got it?" Everyone nodded in agreement. "I will be walking around to monitor. You may begin!" he shouted.

I stayed where I was. There was no way I'd be able to pay for the piece I wanted, and I was positive the artist would not want to switch.

"Aren't you going to look around?" Jake asked.

"Huh?" I answered, startled. "Oh, uh, I think I'll stay where I am for now."

"Okay," he said with a shrug. Slowly, he walked around the room, taking in each painting. Should I go over there? I asked myself. It's worth a try. But I didn't. My feet seemed to want to stay right where they were.

I watched others around the room. They were chatting about different pieces. I watched as older artists talked about textures and emotions that pieces brought to the onlooker. I felt a pang of jealousy. If I didn't try, I would never forgive myself.

Out of habit, I glanced around the room. Cautiously, I made my way over to where the artist was standing. I looked up and tried to get her attention. Finally, she turned to me. She looked as if she was in her late thirties. Her hair was red and wavy, and reached all the way down to her chest. She was wearing jeans and an off-white vest with a long sleeve blue v-neck.She looked as if she was studying me. "Yes?" she asked, but her voice was kind. 

"Um.." suddenly, I didn't know what to say. " I was wondering--" I couldn't seem to find the right words. Finally, I just handed her the sketch. "Here. It's a little something I did a couple months ago." Of course, that was a total lie. I hadn't done it months ago, and it definitely was not "a little something". She looked it over while I waited anxiously for her response. My fingers were crossed behind my back. I didn't have the kind of money to buy the piece; she had to long for it as much as I longed for hers.

Suddenly, a lump appeared in my throat. I wanted to cry.

The End

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