She was six. Her mother and her newest lover woke the brothers (4 and 8). They all got up in what seemed like the middle of the night and sat all in a row on her bed and made what was apparently intended to be quite a pronouncement.
We just got married, they announced. Accompanied by lots of really big, self-satisfied smiles from the mother. And a poker face from the new father whom they would never call dad.
They seemed extremely disappointed when all six sleep-filled eyes just stared back at them without expression or reaction. In fact, they seemed to be angry that there hadn't been jumping up and down for joy or something.
The lack of response was simply because they were still half asleep. That's all. It wouldn't have had anything to do with the fact that they were scared shitless of the man who would soon beat the crap out of them all on a regular basis and now they knew there was no escape. No, it wouldn't have been that at all.