Short Story – A Student Loan

Sallie Mae. 70,000 dollars?

Please let this student loan be some kind of cruel joke.

Like turning my studio apartment upside down looking for my keys just for them to be in my pocket. My left pocket. The same pocket as my IPhone without leaving a scratch. But then my IPhone drops and the screen cracks.

Or like getting a number at a party. I dial the number to give her mine in return. Your phone isn’t ringing I say. Oh, I forgot I gave you my old number she says as she walks away.

Perhaps I should count my blessings. I do have a bachelor and a master. I can read an annual report and mimic gumboot dancing I saw in South Africa. And its nothing wrong with dancing. I play music when I’m cleaning up. I would kill to clean up one, two, no three zeroes in that number.

See this loan has infiltrated my thoughts. For example:

Living below my means. Eating cereal with a fork. Reusing plastic cups and plates and eating pasta with everything. Who knew pasta and jerk chicken was called Rasta Pasta – I made it to survive.

Breaking up with my girlfriend. This was hard to do. But after crunching a budget on excel. I found out by skipping Valentine’s Day, Birthday, Date-a-versary, Christmas, and random days of affection, I could save 18 months in repayments.

Extreme thrift shopping. I stopped shopping.

I refuse to apologize, Sallie Mae, I refute the terms of our arrangement. How dare you declare even in bankruptcy I still have to pay? Like the Lannisters in Game of Thrones, I always pay my debts. But a lopsided deal is a deal breaker.

This interest is like seven percent. Seven is also the amount of times I called the owner of this company I work for before he hired me. Every time I hear seven its misleading. My job doesn’t match the description. And seven percent of my income is all I could afford to pay a year. Seven isn’t a lucky number.

What I want is a full review of my loan for any inconsistencies between the contract and what’s happening. There’s a lot! I demand a deferment of payment with interest being paid by you guys until this issue is resolved.

Hello. Are you there? Please press one for an operator? I hate you, Sallie Mae. (Hangs up phone).

Rashaun J. Allen (@rashaunjallen) received his MFA in Creative Writing and Literature from SUNY Stony Brook. He’s eyeing agents to help publish his coming of age story, Christine’s Dream – A Memoir of Love, Loss & Life. He is the author of A Walk Through Brooklyn & In The Moment and has been published in TSR: The South Hampton Review, Rigorous, Tishman Review and is forthcoming in Fourth GenreT. When not writing he runs for the thrill of crossing the finish line. Find more of his work at is not an official Fulbright Program site. The views expressed on this site are entirely those of its author and do not represent the views of the Fulbright Program, the U.S. Department of State or any of its partner organizations.”

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