A/N: Well, this is yet another Cricket story. She's my favorite to write if you haven't figured that out yet. This is her life around when she's in junior high. Deals with what happened around the time her parents separated. Hope you guys enjoy! Please leave me a review and let me know!




Cricket was in her room reading, she sighed when she heard the announcer on her father's TV say that it was almost time for the Cowboys to kick off. Her dad always watched the game so loud so he could hear it in all parts of the house if he had to get up to do something.

She wanted to watch something else on TV for once, but she knew that asking her father to change the channel during any football game was something that was never done. She started watching the games with him, to try to act interested. At first she'd used the excuse that she wanted to be a cheerleader, so she was only watching the games to see how they danced and if she could learn anything from them.

Her mom liked the idea, and encouraged her to come spend time with them while they watched the game. Her father grumbled and was once again disappointed in Cricket, for the sole reason of being his daughter.

The eleven year old made her way to the top of the stairs and heard her mother screaming, "Can't you just let your daughter watch this with you for once? Without saying anything to hurt her?"

The man sighed, "she wants to be a cheerleader, it's the only reason she watches the game… "

"No, Clint, she watches the game so she can spend time with you, you've made it clear you don't approve of anything else she does so she tries to find some sort of interest in what you like" her mom yells, Cricket just sighed, her mom was right. He only showed up at her dance recitals and cheer competitions because it was the right thing to do, and he didn't want any speculations as to why Clint Caruth wasn't supporting his daughter.

She knew he would show a lot more interest in the things she did if she were a boy and played football, or baseball or something like that. But there wasn't anything she could do about it. She just tried and tried to find something to please her father.

"what good is gonna come from prancing around on stage in a tutu or waving pom-poms in someone's face? She's all I've got to keep the business in the family, and at this rate she won't be ready" the man yelled, unaware that his daughter as at the top of the staircase, and even though the game could be heard through the house, she could still hear him, and some tears started escaping.

She quit piano lessons because her dad told her over and over they were useless, and her momma had started taking pills, so she didn't care much either. She'd heard enough of her parent's argument, and went back to her room and shut the door.

A few minutes later there was a knock, they had a live in nanny, but Cricket wasn't sure if it was the nanny or her father. "go away" she whimpered.

It was her nanny, the brunette woman sighed, she knew the preteen had heard her parents fighting if she wouldn't let anyone in. "Cricket, It's Samantha.."

"go away" the young girl whimpered again. She was trying to calm herself down so her father wouldn't see that she'd been upset, and if she let Samantha in all of her emotions would come out.

Samantha wasn't exactly sure why Clint Caruth had hired her to be the nanny for his daughter. The young woman had come to learn that Delilah Caruth had been taking pills, and sometimes was high as a kite when Cricket came home from school so Clint wanted someone there to watch out for his young daughter.

Cricket never talked to Samantha about her mom, or really anyone for that matter. The nanny wasn't sure if the preteen even knew about her mom's addiction. "come on, Cricket…"

The black haired girl slowly opened the door to find her nanny standing there, she didn't understand why she had a nanny, her momma stayed home all day and her daddy sometimes stayed at work late, but not really. She hung her head, she'd been crying and didn't want anyone to see, her dad had said something about crying being a sign that she was weak.

Samantha sighed, she didn't understand Clint's resentment towards his daughter, and tried to fill in some of the gaps that he and Delilah had left.

"what do you want?" Cricket asked, struggling to keep her voice steady.

"just to talk, you know whatever your daddy says about showin emotions doesn't apply when you're around me" Samantha reminded her, she'd given Cricket the option to come to her whenever she wanted to cry, or just to vent about anything.

The eleven year old sighed, she couldn't understand why Samantha let her show emotions. It was starting to confuse her and she'd started getting to a point where she didn't show any at all. "there's nothin to say"

"I saw you standin at the top of the stairs earlier, did you hear your daddy?" the young woman asked.

Cricket's lip trembled as she nodded. She wasn't sure what to feel about the things her father said. She couldn't exactly pinpoint any of her feelings anymore. She turned away, she didn't want the woman to see her cry, she hated other people seeing that.

There was more screaming downstairs, and it wasn't her father screaming because the Cowboys had scored, it was a fight, the words were muffled and Samantha shut Cricket's door so she didn't have to hear whatever her parents were arguing about. Samantha often heard Clint and Delilah arguing late at night after Cricket had gone to bed, but wasn't sure if it had ever woken the young girl up.

She went over to the preteen and squeezed her shoulders. "does all their fightin scare ya?"

Cricket shrugged, she didn't really know what she was scared of, she couldn't figure it out. "dunno"

Samantha rubbed the young girl's shoulders to try to get her to calm down, she could tell Delilah had been taking pills again because of the way she was talking. Cricket had never heard her father scream as loud as he did when he screamed at her mom this time, Samantha held Cricket so that one ear was on her chest and the woman had a hand over the other. The black haired girl trembled slightly in her nanny's arms as Clint screamed and screamed about how her mom needed to stop doing something.

The nanny whispered calming words into the young girl's ear as Clint screamed at his wife to stop using, she didn't want the preteen to find out that her mom was a drug addict. There were some door slams and then the football game went back to full volume.

Cricket continued to tremble and cling to her nanny, she thought that her mom had left. At least her mom still showed interest in the things she did, and took her to dance class, and cheerleading. She even loved doing Cricket's hair for everything. The woman just held her and told her that things were going to be okay.

Downstairs in the master bedroom, Delilah was livid, she didn't understand why her husband resented their daughter so much. The kid just wanted her father to show some love, and it hurt her so much.

She tried and tried to reason with him that Cricket would one day be perfectly ready and able to take over the family business, and do just as good of a job as any boy would. Even though he came to all of her events, he showed very little interest and Delilah got so mad every time and told him that eventually their daughter would just give up if he continued doing that.

She needed something to calm her down before she did something stupid. She opened their medicine cabinet to find it empty except for her husband's things. She remembered there was some medicine left from when Cricket was sick about a month ago and went upstairs to the bathroom. She searched through the cabinets and finally found what she wanted and didn't even care how much she took, or that she was in her daughter's bathroom.

She started swallowing the pills one by one, and began to lose count after about five. She stayed that way until the whole bottle was gone and just sat there, unable to really move much or keep her eyes open. She just hoped the nanny found her, and not Cricket, but she would never know.