Annie pulled at her jumper, letting out a little whimper. She could have sworn it was smaller than normal, and she was itching to take it off.
"Anne, stop that." her mother snapped, as she rushed around the kitchen making sandwiches.
"But mum-" She began, before her mother stopped her.
"But nothing. There is nothing wrong with that jumper, and I could really do with you being good today, okay?" She reached inside the fridge, pulling out three bottles.
Annie sighed, resisting the urge to pull at it once again. She could take it off at school and then her mother wouldn't need to know. She wanted to be a good girl, she really did. She was sat at the table in silence, when her father walked in pulling at his tie.
He was dressed smartly, in a grey suit and blue blouse. He was always in a suit, she thought. Even when they went out, he was normally dressed in a shirt and smart pants. Then again, they rarely ever went out as a family. Not any more, anyway.
"Jane, have you seen my wallet?" He grunted. Her mother just shrugged, and began to iron a school blouse.
"Maybe if you were more organised, honey." She said through gritted teeth. Annie tried to switch out. She could feel an argument on the way, but she knew that they wouldn't argue in front of her. All she had to do was stay in the room, and they would be fine.
"Maybe if you didn't move things all the time, darling." Her father snapped. He leant over the table to grab his jacket and her mother stamped the iron down.
"Anne, can you please go get your brothers and tell them to hurry up." she said quietly. Annie nodded and jumped from her chair. So much for staying in the room. She didn't understand why her parents had to shout all the time. Why couldn't they just make up and be happy?
The minute the door was closed, she heard her mother rise her voice. At first she stayed at the door, listening in, but suddenly her fathers voice began to get nearer. She turned and ran up the stairs quickly.
"You know what Jane? I don't really care any more!" He yelled, as he stormed out the front door. She watched as his silhouette faded away. Vaguely, she heard his car start and then he was gone.
She turned round to see her older brother, Jake, stood there above her. He was balancing on one leg, trying to put his socks on.
"Mum and dad are fighting again." she said, nearly crying.
"Tell me something that's not new." He told her. Then he saw her lip tremble, and he knelt down.
"Listen, Annie. All grown ups fight. That's how they tell each other things. Everything's going to be okay." He told her, pulling her onto his lap.
"Promise?" She whispered, and he nodded.
"JAKE! BEN! Get down here now! Your going to be late for school." their mother screamed from downstairs.
"Man, is she in a mood or what?" Ben said, coming from the bathroom. He shook his head and water flew into Annies face, making her flinch. Jake threw him a look, and he put his hands out.
"What? What now?" Ben said, laughing.
"BOYS! ANNIE! You've got FIVE minutes!"
Annie jumped up and quickly ran down the stairs, with her brothers closely following her. She put on her coat, and waited by the front door, thinking. She wasn't stupid. She had heard her mother talking on the phone the other day, something about a divorce. She was seven now, she knew what a divorce was.
Well, she might not have done, but Jenny's parents had got a divorce last year and she had told her all about it. It wasn't good, and she really didn't want her parents to split up. She hadn't told her brothers about it, but she guessed they probably already knew.
As usual, Ben was the last one to be ready. Annie, Jake, and there mother were already in the car, and her mum was threatening to start, and go with out him. She had just started the engine when he flew out of the house, and into the car.
"I'm sick of this. There going to be late now, because of you." She snapped at him. Her eyes were a little puffy, and Annie guessed she had been crying a little.
"Just because your annoyed at Dad, doesn't mean you have to take it out on me." He snapped back at her.
"Ben. Leave it." Jake said quietly.
"No. I won't leave it. You know what? I'm not going to put up with this, I'm walking."
He jumped back out of the car, and began to walk quickly down the road. Annie looked at her mum, and her face was just blank. Looking a Jake, he grabbed hold of her hand, and squeezed it gently.
"He's going to be late, isn't he mummy?" She said to her, and she just shrugged. She started the car, and the rest of the journey was spent in silence. Jake got out before her, and for the last ten minutes of the journey it was just Anne and her mother.
As they pulled up outside the school, her mother turned and grinned at her. She smiled back, relieved that her mum was smiling again. She was even quite beautiful, when she smiling. She plucked up her courage, to ask what she had wanted to ask all morning.
"Mummy... Are you and dad really going to get a divorce?" She asked quietly.
Her mother gulped, and stroked Annie's face gently.
"Oh, baby." she gasped, and then burst into tears.