FEBRUARY 2, 2009
Your name is KARKAT VANTAS, and you forgot to take a GODDAMN SHOWER.
Oh well, it's not like your monster of a stepmom took one either. Not that she can ever stop smelling of shit.
You're 19 years old, but it's not like it means anything. You're fucked for life as it is. You could try to get as much affordable schooling as possible, but it wouldn't be worthwhile to you. You've had a few jobs here and there, but never landed a steady one.
You were already on your way to the coffee shop, as you couldn't bear to stay another second in that house. You've known the woman who owns the shop for as long as you can remember. She and your father were lifelong friends until... September 11.
Everyone did their best to evacuate the streets that day. You were in the middle of English when you first heard something fishy. Within the next minute, you were scared senseless, and decided to run out. Once out of the building, you realized that you forgot how to get home, so you ran down a couple streets to Porrim's, where she took you in. You turned on the news to find that your dad's office was under the rubble. Heartbroken, you and Porrim drove as far away as you could. You made an attempt to call your dad.
His voicemail. The last time you'd ever hear his voice again.
You remembered that you also needed to call your mom. She stayed in sick that day. It turns out that she had the same idea. She ended up driving to her parents' house. Porrim stopped at a gas station somewhere along the highway. You cried for at least a half hour. Porrim came out to console you as you stepped out of the car. Something inside you was telling you that it was time to move on. "Co+me o+n, Karkat, let's get a so+da."
You grabbed a Redpop out of the refrigerator, paid for everything, and went back to sit in the car. It was dead silent for what seemed like hours, but was only 5 minutes. The two of you had just lost the most important person in your lives. Porrim remembered your mother was struggling with her job. "It's go+ing to+ be hard—bo+th fo+r me and fo+r yo+u, but if yo+u need anything, tell me, o+kay?"
And that moment began the rest of your life. Your mom had to take on a higher paying job, which meant she would be away for most of the day. Every day after school, you would go back to Porrim's where your mom would pick you up. There were a few spare rooms in the shop, so Porrim gave you one for when you felt you needed to be alone.
But that was eight years ago.
Right now, you're on your way back to Porrim's.
You're on your way back to work.