People are quick to tell you that high school was the cruelest, most cattiest time during their schooling. But in my hometown, my classmates were the most cut throat, the most insensitive, the most “loud and wrong” when we were in middle school. Reading my diary from that time, even I had to check myself. Did I really say that? Did I really think like that? Yes, unfortunately, I did. It was a time of ignorance. Some of the most memorable stories from my township come from that school. There was the boy who accidentally peed on himself, the girl who gave head to a dude in our science classroom and the girl who beat her best friend in the face with a belt right after our recreation period. I wish I could tell you I was exaggerating to spice up this story; but these, my friends, are real life occurrences.
I learned a lot about people and human nature in middle school, a certain type of person in particular. Though, I didn’t quite have a name for them then, I’ve since diagnosed these folks as”Drama Dependents.” People, often women, sad to say, who seem to need drama to live. You know these people. If somehow all the nations of the world ended all wars and joined together, around a campfire, to sing Kumbaya, these people would want to attack the person singing off key. For one reason or another they can not be happy in a time of peace.
I met one of my first “Drama Dependents” in 7th grade. She was a transfer student named Morgan.* The very first day she came in starting mess. Perhaps it was a defense mechanism; but before anyone could even get a chance to know her, she was walking around school declaring that she was not to be messed with because she was from Gary (Indiana). If you know anything about the midwest, you know that Gary is unfairly known for just a couple of things: being the birthplace of Michael Jackson and consistently being one of the most dangerous cities in the nation. We were kids who had grown up in the suburbs of Indianapolis. And though most of us had never been to to this city, we’d listened to years of our parents’ warnings about the “roughness” of Gary. So her little threat worked. People didn’t bother her. Eventually, she softened up her stance a bit and started making “friends.” But she could never keep them because every other week she’d have some type of falling out, some type of altercation.
I was privy to all of Morgan’s business because we just so happened to sit next to each other in choir. And though I never hung out with her, she came to see me as some type of confidante. Every week, I’d hear about how she and so-and-so were no longer cool, how she was going to fight someone after school before we got on the buses, how she told off a certain teacher because she was from Gary and she didn’t play that. There was always a story and it was never positive. She even tried to give me the silent treatment after we had a disagreement about a piece we were singing in choir. Just silly! Her plan failed miserably because the girl didn’t realize I had no desire, whatsoever, to be friends with someone so confrontational. School life with Morgan went on like that for about a year.
Then we had another transfer student come to our school. This new girl, Shaniece*, was nothing like Morgan. She was smiley and friendly from jump, with a little “around the way girl” in her. Her personality and the fact that she was a DD in 8th grade, made her popular with the boys and the girls in our class. Though, she never openly broadcast it, we soon learned that Shaniece was also from Gary. It only made sense that Morgan would have a problem with her. Shaniece was the new girl now, she happened to be from the same city and she was more popular. It was a month before Morgan was walking around school talking about how she was going to fight Shaniece.
At the time, we all knew that Shaniece was going to catch a beatdown. She was just too nice to take on someone like Morgan.
But like I said, middle school was a time of ignorance. We had yet to understand the universal truth that anyone who does a whole lot of talking but never actually does anything, is usually bluffing. Obviously, it wasn’t long before the news of Shaniece’s imminent beatdown got to her. But instead of cowering or acting as terrified as we all thought she should be, Shaniece went to go confront Morgan face to face. Or she tried to anyway.
As Shaniece approached Morgan, with a crowd of middle-schoolers eager to see a fight trailing behind her, she called out in her cartoonishly, high pitched voice, “Morgan, come holla at me!” Morgan never took her up on the offer. Before she and Shaniece could speak face to face, Morgan ran. Not literally, but she refused to talk to her. And as if that wasn’t bad enough, she told our assistant principal that Shaniece was planning to fight her and had him escort her to the bus. I remember watching her being walked to the bus, the frightened look she had in her eyes. I laughed then and to this day I still laugh thinking about how much trash she talked over the course of that year and how many times we foolishly believed her idle threats.
Today, Morgan and I are Facebook friends (because I’m nosey) and I’m sad to say that nothing’s really changed. She has two children and she constantly uses her Facebook profile to explain how she can’t stand/wants to fight her baby daddy, his family members, random women in the club, her family members etc. Some people just never change.
Morgan wasn’t the first drama dependent I’ve come across and I’m sure she won’t be the last. There is never a shortage of unfulfilled people who get off on making others feel as terribly as they do. But I never take the drama dependents too seriously, because I know whenever they’re faced with drama they have no control over, or whenever it’s time to show and prove, they’ll run and need somebody to escort them out of their own mess.
*Names changed to protect the young, and in some instances, still dumb.
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