Taking a Stand


Emerald sighed, doodling in the margins of her ‘Bibliography of George Washington’ worksheet. Her eyelids began to droop as she outlined the figure of the petals on her rose – she knew she was not a good artist, but it was just a habit of her to occupy herself.

            “How did George Washington impact young United States?” asked Mrs. Hamilton, the History teacher.

            “Emerald, do you know, dear?” the teacher prompted, as none of the students stirred at the question.

            Emerald frowned. She was usually on top of things in class, but History was one of her weaker subjects. “George Washington…?” she wondered aloud. ‘He was the first president, wasn’t he?’ she thought in her head, ‘what did he do that was so great, anyways?’

            “I don’t know, Mrs. Hamilton…” she muttered, turning back to her drawing.


            Emerald dug around in her book bag and brought out her book. She was riding the bus back home, as routine. However, Emerald was the last stop, so she occupied herself by reading. That was a description of Emerald Vane: she always needed to occupy herself with something, anything.

            She flipped open to about the middle of ‘Alienus Aetas’, Latin for different times. Emerald steadied her hand against the tremble of the bus, firmly gripping the library book. Her eyes followed the words as her imagination took control; she was viewing early America and colonists were struggling against their hardships, their will to survive pushing them forward.

            It was amazing how the Americas had progressed through the ages, now shaping into the present-day U.S. How had the colonists gained control again? Weren’t they under rule of the British?

           Emerald shrugged to herself, closing the thin volume. It was not History class right now, thank goodness. She didn’t even know why she was so curious about it.

            The bus rambled on, passing fields of wheat and corn, the stalks a healthy green. Only a single cloud interrupted the boundless cerulean-blue sky. Emerald stared at the lone cloud, comparing it as herself to the population of the world. But that still didn’t seem right. Perhaps that one cloud could be her family – brother, sister, mother, father, and herself. The world was so huge, and yet, she and her family were so very tiny… Like the earth compared to the universe on a massive scale.

            The bus screeched as it braked, and Emerald realized that she and the other two kids that got off on the last stop were left on the bus. Sighing, Emerald quickly gathered her things and stepped out into the brilliant sunshine. Shielding her eyes, Emerald scanned the horizon for the single cloud, but to her dismay, it was nowhere to be found. The cloud was just so small… impossible to find in the vast ocean that was the sky.


            Emerald fumbled with the keys as she struggled to find the correct one that would fit in the lock. At last, she seized it and succeeded in opening the door; she dumped her things in the entry hall and made her way down the short corridor to her bedroom. She flung her bedroom door open and flopped onto the bed, feeling as if she never wanted to get up again.

            She closed her eyes, thinking of the day’s adventures. But what seemed to come back to her, of all things, was George Washington. The persistent question in her mind continued to ask, “He was just a boy; how did he become president?”

            Emerald groaned, wanting to push away the History lesson. Why was it pestering her? Emerald fought to sit up and stumbled over to her dinosaur-aged computer. She flicked it on, and paced the bedroom impatiently as she waited for it to boot up.

            At last, after making the bed, Emerald flew back to the computer, glad it had successfully managed to turn on without exploding. She clicked on the Internet icon, and growled as the loading bar took a full minute to get one section filled.

            After more non-existent patience was brought forth, Emerald typed in an address and waited for the page to load. In the search bar of Google, she typed: colonists, freedom. After browsing through the sites that had popped up, Emerald decided upon a promising one and buried her head in her arms as she waited for the site to load.

            But, eventually, it did, and Emerald read up on her history of the colonist times in America. But it seemed ludicrous to her that a nation had turned on another, but could still walk away with pride intact. America had won its independence against the British; they had won back their freedom and rights.

            One person had stood up against England; they had the idea to make a difference in the current ways of life. The one person rebelled, standing up for their right, and brought others along with him. The whole nation – all of America – had turned against their Mother Country.

            Emerald sighed, leaning back in her chair. If she could come up with something like that… Well, that would be truly awesome. But the idea was foolish to think of… after all, she was that tiny, unnoticeable cloud in the sky.

Sighing, Emerald clicked back to the search engine site and typed in the search bar: George Washington. Emerald browsed through many sites until reading that Washington had never gone to college. Smirking, Emerald continued to dig and found that he had only received about seven years of education. And the boy George, after the death of his father and brother, worked to climb the ladder of respect and became a notable figure. Washington later became a famous war-hero, becoming President of the Untied States after many years of hard work.

Emerald sighed again, shaking her head at her previous fantasies. She couldn’t become the first female president, not her. She was struggling in Algebra and weak-kneed in History. But she could, like the colonists, strive for a brighter future…


Emerald started at the voice from the door, and she whirled in her seat to face her young brother.

“Emmy, I don’t understand my work. Could you help? Mom said she won’t be back home until later tonight.” He said, his face hopeful.

“Sure, Jason,” said Emerald, grinning. “What’s it about?”

Jason’s face broke into delight, “Thank you. I don’t get my History class… Mr. Holiday is going on about how America broke away from England by themselves. Britain didn’t order them away, did they?”

“No, they didn’t. It was a single man who came up with the idea to revolt… to make a difference.”