Sitting on a rock

She was sitting on a rock, looking out at the sea. It was sunset, with a slight breeze, and the sound of the waves crashing. She didn’t hear her little sister until she was right behind her.

“Hey.”

She turned around to look. Shiloh hopped onto the rock next to her, and sat. She turned to face the skyline again.

She sighed “What’s up Shi?”

“I was going to ask you the same thing.”

She could tell Shiloh was looking at her. “I’m good. You?”

“You know you’re not fine. Something is bothering you.”

Something certainly was.

“Just school stresses.” She was lying, yet again. It had gotten too easy to do that.

“It’s something else.” It was easy to lie, but not to Shiloh.

“It’s nothing.”

“Don’t even try to pretend. You can throw a school summary at our parents and they think everything is fine, but I don’t think so.”

“It’s just a lot of work. Is it a crime that I want a few minutes of time to myself, looking at the sunset, before I go back inside and do homework for hours?”

“Why do you spend so much time on that stuff?”

“Schoolwork?”

“Yeah? Like, how’s any of it going to apply to our futures. I don’t think that there’s ever going to be a life threatening situation in which I’ll need to find x.”

“It’s all important. Homework and studying get the grades that you need to get into college, which then requires more good grades and studying to get your degree and get a good job and have a good life.”

“That’s just the standard spiel, repeated endlessly with no meaning at all. I still don’t get it. If the purpose of it all is to teach us for future, why not give us things which are actually important?”

“The point of it all is to give you a broad base of knowledge off of which you can the specialize according to what you want to do in life.”

“I still don’t get it…” Shiloh trailed off, expecting her sister to say something to suddenly make her understand it, as she had with so many other topics.

She sighed. “I suppose you wouldn’t.”

“Why don’t you explain?”

“I can’t explain past what I’ve already told you; all I know is that it’s true and that you have to learn, no matter what.”

“Well, in that case it seems kind of pointless. Why do it if there is no solid reason? Why stay up until late at night and deprive yourself of sleep for knowledge which you will never use past the final exam? For knowledge which you will likely promptly forget? What’s the point in that?”

She couldn’t say anything. She wished that there was a way that she could make Shiloh understand, but there wasn’t anything she could say right now that she knew would make Shiloh see what she saw.

She supposed that Shiloh would have to come to this same realization the way she did, when she was older. Only age could give her the point of view to see the importance. Why it was so necessary; she just couldn’t see it yet.

She was glad that Shiloh could not see it. That her sister could do well in school, at least for now, without much effort or strain. That her sister could be that way, unknowing of what truly laid ahead of her. The ignorance of youth.

For now, Shiloh could sit on her rock, and when it was time, she would join her sister on her rock, and finally see the world the way that she did.

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