2.1: Counter

From the moment I turned 18, I knew what my plan was: not be as stupid as my mother had been. I was going to follow my dreams, dammit. And I wasn’t going to let anyone else diminish those dreams, or prevent me from accomplishing them. Believe you me, men like Jalen would not be in my life.

The first thing I did, once I had control of the finances, was update my room. Mainly, to give myself my own bathroom. I was the head of the house, by the creator. I was going to have my own en suite!

2a1

Janie: “My own toilet? I’m enjoying this!”

2a2

Janie: “This is the life!”

2a6

Janie: “Ahhh, a grown up bed!”

The next morning—the day after my birthday—I was a woman with a plan. I wouldn’t lounge around the house like my mother had done (like she continued to do…)

2a7

Jane: “Painting, painting, painting!”

I would get things done!

2a10

Janie: “Gonna make a power breakfast!”

2a12

Janie: “Gonna see what Sophie’s up to!”

2a16

Janie: “Gonna burn those calories!”

2a19

Jane: “So, what are you doing today, darling?”

Janie: “I know exactly what I’m going to do!”

Jane: “…which is?”

Okay, so maybe I wasn’t quite as certain about my adult life plan as I wish I were. But what do expect! It’s not like my teachers ever bothered to teach me what I should do with my life (well, maybe they tried…).

More to the point, I wasn’t like most people! I was firmly against having a job. Not because of whatever BS reason my mother once had—I wasn’t of the opinion that corporate work was like being a cog in a machine. I just knew that, just as school once had, having a job would keep me from accomplishing my goals.

Now, B, I didn’t have a life plan at the time, but I definitely knew what I wanted to do with my life. I wanted to be friends with EVERYONE (I wouldn’t be a loner shut-in like Mom), I wanted to be social, and I wanted to continue to pursue my dream of being a world-renowned violinist (or, at least, a decent violinist). Between all those goals, I definitely didn’t have time to have a job. And, anyway, since Mom was still wasting her time making random paintings whenever she felt like, and Dad was still working (when he felt like going to work…), there was plenty of family income. I didn’t need to have a job for myself.

Considering my goal of being friends with everyone, I decided that the first thing I should do on my first day in control of the family was to go meet people! And where better than the newly founded town, Windenburg. I decided to go to the park—I’m not a huge fan of the outdoors, but it seemed like as good a place as any to find people before noon.

2a28

Janie: “Hey there!”

Elsa: “Hi, adventurer!”

Elsa was an auspicious first person to meet, as it turns out! She was the leader of the League of Adventurers! Now, this might not sound that impressive—it’s a club for children, who cares if she’s the leader of it? But, club leaders are incredibly well connected. So, within a few minutes of my kind reception by Elsa, I was meeting all kinds of people.

2a30

Moira: “Hi, I’m Moira! I’m in the Garden Gnomes!”

Janie: “The Garden Gnomes? What’s that about?”

2a34

Janie: “Hi!”

Yuri: “What’s up? I’m Yuri.”

Within minutes, I got a text from Sophie.

“Hey! I heard you made friends with Yuri, Moira, and Elsa! They’re so cool!”

I went home from the park that day incredibly pleased with myself. I had met so many people. So many friends! Accomplishing my goal of knowing everyone in town should be easy.

2a50

Jalen: “So, Janie, what are you planning to do for work?”

2a51

Janie: “Honestly, nothing. You and Mama make plenty of money, right?”

2a49

Jalen: “Absolutely! You shouldn’t bother with that shit.”

…wait. I had forgotten for a moment that I hated my father—hated how he behaved, hated how much of a deadbeat he always was. But I was agreeing with him, just because he was saying what I wanted to hear!

I needed advice.

2a37

Janie: “Sophie! I don’t know what to do!”

2a36

Sophie: “This is boring! Let’s dance!”

Janie: “…right. This is why I don’t ask you for advice.”

Sophie was more of a fair-weather friend, really…

2a57

Janie: *singing* “Howwwww on earthhhh do I not beeee like my daaaad….”

2a76

Janie: *panting* “What… do… I… do… with… my… life…”

I was at a loss, wandering through life trying to find my purpose. Before, it had been so clear cut—I would just be the opposite of my parents! But what was I to do, when the opposite of my mother was to slack off and the opposite of my mother was to work hard??

I remained in my state of uncertainty until a few days later, when I was invited to the birthday party of Angelina Landgraab. She was a friendly woman, if a little older than I, with more traditional taste. But I talked to her likes when I was around her—it meant that she liked me. I liked it when people liked me.

2a84

Janie: “Hey there, Yuki! Nice to see you here!”

Yuki: “Nice to see you too!”

2a83

Yuki: “Is something wrong? You look upset.”

Janie: “I’m just confused. You see…”

In retrospect, I’m quite sure that Yuki would have much preferred to not hear my whole life story (it was necessary to understand the situation, of course!)

Nevertheless…

2a85

Yuki: “Do something to make money, but do something you love to do! That’s why I’m in tech! It’s fun, and no one looks at me weird when I wear a suit of armor to work.”

2a86

Janie: “…well, I don’t think I’ll be wearing armor. But that’s a good idea!”

Now, just to figure out what I love to do… Only two things, really. Violin, of course.

I went by a few record labels, to see who was looking for what. But, um, no! The hours involved were all prime clubbing hours! I wasn’t going to miss out on the best social events because I was working. That would be the opposite of love.

So, what else? I just liked myself! Being myself, talking about myself, having other people like me… I’m confident! But how could I make money off that???

2a18

Jane: “Have you found a job yet, darling?”

Janie: “UGH!”

My mother was so NOSY. Why couldn’t she keep her nose out of my business?

I stormed downstairs—far downstairs, where my mother refused to go (out of sadness, of all reasons—I can’t imagine why I ever had any respect for her, she was ridiculous). All the way down the basement, to our storage area.

2a21

Janie: “Why can’t I figure this out?! I knew exactly what I was going to do, and now it’s like I have no clue!”

2a20

Janie: *mumbled anger*

2a22

Janie: “…wait… a job I love? A job centered around my likes and dislikes?”

Janie: “I like myself an awful lot…”

2a26

Janie: “Yes. Yes, this will do.”

See, B? I told you I knew what I was doing.

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