This is an essay/short story I entered into Cosmo/Seventeen magazine (might get published). We were asked to pick some 'girl drama' from our life and write it truthfully into a story. I changed names to keep it legal, but this is a 100% true story.
Everyone calls it ‘high school’ drama, but it keeps going way after the graduation hats hit the ground.
Oh, how I remember the day I met Jenna and Carly. I was introduced to them at a small get together, through some friends of my boyfriend. Us three girls clicked almost instantly, over a few vodka and whatever else was in it’s. But the details of how we met are completely irrelevant and a bit boring.
Six months later, Jenna and Carly had moved into a new apartment and it’d become our regular hangout. Every weekend and most days me and my boyfriend were over there, along with the rest of our clique.
Those girls were my best friends and I loved them like sisters. But things started getting ugly between Jenna and Carly, another case of ‘you don’t move in with you best friend and hope to stay friends’, if you ask me. But they didn’t. So it all went down like this.
Carly was dating Jenna’s best guy friend since forever, Jack. Jack and Jenna weren’t getting along so much anymore. Jack had moved in with Jenna and then Carly with Jack into Jenna’s apartment. But Jenna, as I later learned, was a complete control freak and Jack, well I’m not sure what his problem was, or if he even had one actually.
All I know is the drama started with a tear filled, pleading voicemail from Jenna.
I had slept pretty much all day after one of our many nights of drinking and neither me nor my man had heard my phone go off. As soon as I woke up I called my voicemail, listened too it, then frantically put it on speaker phone for my boyfriend to hear.
Jenna was hysterical. Apparently Jack and her had really gotten into it and he had packed his stuff and started moving out. Obviously, being the girlfriend, Carly took his side without question. Which in all honestly, had the roles been reversed, Jenna would have done the same thing. But I digress…
On this voicemail, there was talk of domestic abuse. A push, I think it was. From Jack to Jenna. Then at the end of the voicemail when Jenna’s tears ran dry and the laughter started, she said told me all about how she’d hit Jack back and then stolen his blender, or was it a toaster? I can’t remember which. But either way, Jack was no out of her life and Carly had gone too.
Of course we ran right over there and comforted Jenna. To celebrate the newly empty bedroom we threw a party, using his room as the beer pong room. It was great.
After a few drinks, things got a bit scandalous.
Carly, who had never wronged me, started getting texts. I pretended to not know what happened and ask questions about the situation and Jenna. Carly spoke her mind and I handed my phone right to Jenna. What party is complete without some girl drama?
Jenna, without so much as pretending she had ‘accidentally’ seen the texts starts text messaging Carly from her phone, rehashing all the details she had read on mine and throwing me into the fire with her. Not that I didn’t deserve it, but hind sight is a wonderful thing.
Needless to say, things ended badly with Carly. But me and Jenna were on top of the world. We weren’t practically friendless, Carly was. We were having a raging party, using the days events a perfect pretense and Carly was doing nothing, as far as we know.
Oh yeah, we felt great.
But no…that’s not where that story ends.
Things were quiet in our clique, which consisted of two girls, me and Jenna, our boyfriends and a few other friends. No drama needed when there’s not a third girl.
Two is trouble, but three is a disaster.
Jenna and her boyfriend, Mark, who is practically moved in, desperately need a roommate and a visiting friend from out of town brings over one of her friends, Monica.
Monica is just about the sweetest, down to earth girl you have ever met.
Or at least, we thought.
After a little discussion, Jenna decided she was a perfect candidate for roommate. And what a coincidence, she was currently moving out of her old apartment because of a major squabble with her previous roommate who Monica deemed a ‘whore’ and just couldn’t live with anymore. Not with all those random guys in and out. No, it just wasn’t safe.
A was barely a month later when Monica was moved in and getting settled around our clique. In no time, she was one of us. Her first weekend we threw her a moving in bash and the three of us got hammered together.
And everyone knows what happens when you’re drunk, everyone is your best friend. The three of us shared stories, raved about how great our party was going and me and Jenna enthused about how happy we were that she was around.
In a months time we all had inside jokes and Carly was practically forgotten, but not before telling Monica what a horrible person she and Jack were and stretching the truth about what happened to the point of breakage. Just as we had hoped, Monica hated Carly before she had even met the girl.
It was barely a month later when things started going oh so wrong. First, it was the traditional shit talking. There were three of us. In groups of two at a time, we talked about the third then smiled and put on our best-friend faces whenever she arrived or came into the room. But those little bubbles and safety only last so long. Sooner or later every bubble pops and even the tiniest one can make the biggest bang.
One girl told on the other and visa versa and next thing we know we’re all upset. No winner there right? So we sat down and had a civilized talk. By the end of it we were laughing and hugging and the promise was in place. The promise to never talk about one another again.
Barely a week later I walk into the apartment and get a vibe. The same vibe I got every time I walked into a conversation I wasn’t supposed to hear and it didn’t take a brain surgeon to know this one was about me.
It’s not like I could really complain though. After walking into the apartment I would say a quick hello to Jenna then go off with Monica to do the very same thing they had just been doing. Or visa versa.
We played each other like fiddles but the strings started to run thin. We all knew and none of us liked it.
Monica and I talked about how Jenna was too dependent on her boyfriend and a complete control freak(I mentioned that early, didn’t I?).
Jenna and I talked about Monica’s many visitors. The same visitors she had complained about with her previous roommate. Apparently it wasn’t so much the roommate bringing in all the strays as much as it was Monica.
And of course, Monica and Jenna talked about me.
Little did they know I had everything they had said about each other locked up, ready to end their worlds if they ever joined forced and came up against me.
Despite all the talking behind each others backs, I picked the lesser evil and started getting closer to Monica. In time, it was like we had our own little clique that Jenna was completely shut out of but I knew better. When I left they had their click too. The only two who weren’t ‘clicking’ anymore was me and Jenna.
Then the calls started coming. The same ones I would get from Jenna about Jack or Carly, except now they were from Monica about Jenna. It was refreshing at first, to see someone else see the controlling side of Jenna that I had spent months ignoring.
And after reconciling with Jenna, as if on command (which I’m sure was the case), Monica starts picking fights with me.
Monica had never had a backbone, not when it came to her so called friends anyway.
By our third or forth spat I knew all I had to do was ignore her for a few hours, maybe a day, and I would get that text. The one that said sorry for being a complete bitch, friends?. Worked every time. My boyfriend and I even started timing it. It was like clockwork.
And when Monica forgave whatever Jenna had put in her head that I had done, Jenna wasn’t happy. Often she would call to ask Monica why she wasn’t home and when Monica told her she was with me, well, Monica was almost afraid to go home sometimes.
It was always little arguments over stupid things. Even the men in the group knew the stay out of it, it was just a girl thing. But when it started to become more often, they boys started speaking up and taking sides.
Jenna and I had our men at our sides. They were close friends at the time, so they would never actually get into it with each other, but they would tell us how they felt separately.
Monica had no one fighting in her corner.
Christmas break came and we all went our separate ways for the holidays. I think we call hoped that we could come back and start fresh but of course there were little things throughout the break that begged to differ.
Classes started back up, my birthday came and went and the lines were drawn
Monica and me vs. Jenna. Which was more like me vs. Jenna because, as I said, Monica rarely showed signs of a backbone.
When we went to the apartment to hang out I went straight to Monica’s room or Jenna went straight to hers. Rarely would we merge and actually talk, even then it was fake and painfully forced. You could cut the tension with a knife.
At some point things blew out of proportion when I wasn’t around and I received another tear filled voicemail. This time from Monica.
What actually happened was never clarified but the story was that Monica had walked out naked (or in her underwear) in front of Jenna’s long term boyfriend. Seems small right?
Thanks to estrogen it became the end of the world, in ways.
Monica took refuge at my house, crying about the mean things Jenna had said and retelling me the ’real’ story over and over again. This went on for a week and Jenna had no idea Monica was even torn up about what had happened, all she knew was that they were no longer on speaking terms.
Telling me how she felt, was doing Monica’s situation at home no good. I convinced her to tell Jenna how she felt, but I didn’t mean through text. But the text that would end texts went out minutes later, one that I didn’t know had been sent (even though it heralded my name) until Monica passed me her phone and told me to read the reply.
Needless to say, Jenna was livid that Monica even had feelings about what had happened because whatever it was she said it should have been obvious to Monica that she was in the wrong and that I shouldn’t even know about what had happened.
Lesson to all the ladies out there; if you sit around with one of your girlfriends and tell her everything, chances are she does the same with another girlfriend. There’s no code of silence in girl world, no matter how much you want to believe it.
Jenna wanted Monica to go back to the apartment so they could talk or more appropriately, shout about it, which probably would have spun things a whole different way. But, in true Monica fashion, she went to the safety of my house and ’supposedly’ started ignoring Jenna’s texts.
It was hours before I realized Monica wasn’t text messaging her newest boyfriend but Jenna and that all the ’hypothetical’ questions I was answering about Jenna were going straight to her inbox, with plenty of twisted meanings and exaggerated content. Monica didn’t tell me any of that until Jenna sent her a text that was below the belt. I’ll refrain from revealing the contents of that text but it was just plain mean.
Instead of ignoring her or calling her, Monica hit reply and typed in the meanest thing she could think of. It went on like this, for about five hours. I had vowed to stay out of this one, but Monica showed me a text and I saw why her eyes were filled with tears.
I’m not sure who sent the lower of the texts, but this one I just couldn’t ignore.
Protecting my friends and defending their honor is something I have tried to do since I can remember. I can stand to see people, even those who aren’t my friends, getting seriously hurt. Even though I didn’t realize sometimes I was the one doing it.
I knew Jenna could handle herself. She had her boyfriend and her thick skin, nothing Monica could say to her would cause her to shed a single tear. That was just how Jenna was or at least how she acted in front of other people. But Monica’s skin was easy to get under, she was the underdog and Jenna knew that. Jenna knew that every text she sent was like a bullet and sooner or later she would hit the right spot.
When Monica received that final blow, I couldn’t stop myself. I text messaged Jenna and told her exactly what I thought about her message to Monica and how wrong it was.
Jenna messaged back and I replied. We kept provoking each other and so did Monica and Jenna. In all fairness, Jenna was getting teamed up against but you don’t think about that when you think you are protecting your nearest and dearest friend.
The contents of the messages escalated to epic proportions. Things started getting brought up that should have stayed in the dark. When there wasn’t much else left to say about each other Jenna took the first step in the next stage… say things about our long term boyfriends. Or more to the point, my long term boyfriend and twisting stories I had told her a long time ago into things that never happened, but trying to throw them in my face anyway.
If there’s one thing my boyfriend won’t take, it’s people wrongfully accusing him of things he never did. And pissing him off is like opening Pandora’s box.
By the time Jenna started this phase, we had switched from text messaging to instant chat on face book. Everything was up on my computer screen for anyone to see. Monica was sitting behind me, still text messaging Jenna and my boyfriend was perched at my side, amused by the stupid girl drama.
That’s when she said it.
It was incorrect in so many ways and not at all about me. It was about my boyfriend. I wasn’t even angry about what she had said, I was more transfixed by the sight of him grabbing the laptop out of my lap and typing away.
Did I mention pissing him off is like opening flood gates that you just can not stop?
He typed out a rather long message and when face book chat wouldn’t let him type anymore he hit sent and went back to typing. Making sure he got every little detail of some facts he had acquired over the break about her boyfriend.
Jenna claimed for weeks that she knew all about it and that she didn’t care but everyone else heard differently. Unless not speaking to your boyfriend properly for weeks among other things is the new not caring.
The only problem with this is that it opened up a whole new type of drama. Drama of the male variety. Jenna’s boyfriend was also one of my boyfriends best friends and had been so for a long time. Even if he had just given Jenna the reality check she desperately needed, he had lost a friend in the process. Jenna’s boyfriend was a victim of a war that wasn’t his to fight.
But oh no, this doesn’t end there.
First off, our clique was damaged by this. No one wanted to take sides but how could they not? Especially when Jenna and Monica considered taking sides by talking to one friend or the other. They didn’t believe in middle ground.
The mean text messages went on all night and Monica was terrified to go home. She asked us to go with her but it wasn’t our battle to fight in the beginning and we weren’t going to go over there and make things that much worse. We thought maybe if Monica went back alone she could discuss things with Jenna, having us there would be a bad idea and we had already burnt all bridges with that couple.
Monica finally went home around six a.m. when she figured they would be asleep.
I saw Monica as the victim in the situation, let’s just say I prejudged a little fast. Not that Jenna was any saint in the situation either, no we were all just as bad as each other. Whether we’re willing to admit that or not.
Monica and Jenna coexisted without speaking for a few days. And then something else happened. To this day I don’t know what it was exactly but I got another crying phone call from Monica. Jenna was kicking her out. She supposed had until Friday.
But there’s this little thing called a lease and since Monica was on it, there really wasn’t much Jenna could do. Luckily for Jenna, Monica wanted out just as bad as she did.
So we hatched a plan. Monica found herself an apartment, one bedroom, no more roommates. As soon as her new apartment was ready to move into Monica, my boyfriend and myself were going to pack up everything Monica owned at the old apartment in less than an hour and be done with that place.
Jenna went ballistic at even the mention of me and my boyfriend anywhere near her apartment again and supposedly had security waiting in the wings to get us arrested for trespassing. But Monica was still on the lease until the end of the month and as her guests we walked right in and straight through to Monica’s room. She had boxes ready for us and we started throwing everything she owned into them with Jenna nowhere in sight.
Not even fifteen minutes later Jenna’s boyfriend went outside to break the news to her. We were in her apartment. Uh oh.
Her first plan of action, scream at us and throw boxes around. When that fell through, Jenna tried to get security to escort us out of the apartment complex. Security had better things to do. And then she called the cops with complaints of trespassers and the cops rushed over only to be disappointed.
The police officers told Jenna we had every right to be there. Monica was still on the lease and she could invite whoever she wanted into the apartment until then. The cops left, we finished packing and Jenna slammed the door on our way out. It was comical.
As soon as that door closed behind us, I thought the drama was over and done with.
Ha, not so much.
Monica moved into her new apartment and threw a home warming party. It was fun and reminded me a bit too much of the party Jenna and I had thrown after Carly’s departure.
The fight with Jenna was over and I was done being childish but Monica brought it up whenever she could. No one in our clique wanted to hear it because they were trying to stay out of it. I asked Monica several times to just drop it but whenever the mood struck, she brought it back up.
A lot of people I knew had always disliked both Jenna and Monica, for different reasons. Jenna thought she was the boss and Monica clung to people like Clingfilm.
Monica and I got new jobs and often worked different shifts. Sometimes I would work until eleven and wouldn’t feel like doing after afterwards. That was just not okay with Monica. Now that was out on her own, without a roommate to run to I was the next best thing. Which wouldn’t have been so bad if I wasn’t getting yelled at for not wanting to hang out at midnight when I had to work at ten a.m.
Monica also had an aversion to meeting new people, something we had only gotten a glimpse of in the past because she was fine when she was with a group she knew. When I invited her to go with my boyfriend and I to hang out with my new friend from work she wanted no part of it. Even when we hung out just her and I she didn’t want to go to parties or meet up with other people.
Naturally, we started growing apart, as friends do over time. But Monica got mean about it, when I wouldn’t return a text because I was working or asleep, I would wake up to several text messages that made my blood boil. I had had enough drama for one year, so I tried my best to ignore them. The sorry text messages were next far behind, but you can only ignore so much. Monica started taking a page out of Jenna’s book and saying things that weren’t true about either me or my boyfriend.
Anything to make my life harder, I guessed.
It came down to the it and lines were drawn…again. Only this time me and Monica were one opposing sides and I didn’t feel like playing dirty. She argued and I waved goodbye.
If I learned one thing from this entire episode it’s not just that text messaging mean comments is extremely childish for almost-twenty somethings to be doing but that there’s a reason why you are never supposed to choose sides.
Sometimes, both sides are wrong.