Tell A Tale in 500 Words

Cash Machine By Jamila Al Ibrahim

“Hello, Charlotte from the letting agency: how can I help?” a high pitched voice beamed out of Max’s cell phone.



“Hello, I’m calling regarding the room to rent in Hackney, the one I called for yesterday” he replied without too much enthusiasm.



He knew they would ask for his salary, references and a bunch of other documents to make sure he would make a good tenant. A good cow to milk till the last drop.



He also knew his basic income would not allow to live in a decent place, but he tried anyways. Letting agencies in London rule half of your life, while the other half is ruled by the company you work for or you are owned by. It’s a matter of perspective, but it doesn’t look good either way.



Max had £30000 worth of student loan to repay. He got the first job he found as a sales assistant in a Media firm.

He fucking hated sales. And Media. He had little choice though. A mass of other desperate students needing to repay their loans was flooding the market.



“Once you are born, you cannot hide”, they say. How true is this?



While sitting on the side walk with the phone still in his hand, a flashback intruded his thoughts: a sea of graduation vectors filling the hall at one of the best University in London, top marks students, crème of future society, genuinely happy to have finally grabbed that piece of paper.



The Chancellor in his speech said: “University is the place where you learn how to think, be critical and change the world: now it’s up to you new generations to make this world better”.



The irony!



Hard task to accomplish when you have bills to pay. “I wish I could change this world” Max whispered while looking at a baby passing by in his buggie, smiling, chewing on his fist and not giving a damn about anything.



“Smile now, little one. Don’t grow up” Max shouted out loud while raising his hand to the sky.



The dad pushing the buggie turned around, looking very confused yet amused, revealing the same smile as his baby.



Max let his phone fall on the ground while resting his curly brown head in his hands. He was tired. He was tired of a rentless fight against everything, he was wishing for some peace.



“Everything is perfectly planned in a monstrous way, isn’t it?” he thought clenching his jaw. “You have something like 13 years of schooling, then debt, then crappy jobs, shit houses and you are like a guinea pig running on a wheel to nowhere. Or a human cash machine.”



Powerless feelings where poisoning his chest while the evening was cooling down the air, and the gloomy, falling sun was peeking through the thick clouds.



The phone rang, yet one more useless time. “I’ll change the world another day” he said while answering to the letting agent squeaky voice. “Hello, yes it’s Max here: any good news?”









“Hello, Charlotte from the letting agency: how can I help?” a high pitched voice beamed out of Max’s cell phone.



“Hello, I’m calling regarding the room to rent in Hackney, the one I called for yesterday” he replied without too much enthusiasm.



He knew they would ask for his salary, references and a bunch of other documents to make sure he would make a good tenant. A good cow to milk till the last drop.



He also knew his basic income would not allow to live in a decent place, but he tried anyways. Letting agencies in London rule half of your life, while the other half is ruled by the company you work for or you are owned by. It’s a matter of perspective, but it doesn’t look good either way.



Max had £30000 worth of student loan to repay. He got the first job he found as a sales assistant in a Media firm.

He fucking hated sales. And Media. He had little choice though. A mass of other desperate students needing to repay their loans was flooding the market.



“Once you are born, you cannot hide”, they say. How true is this?



While sitting on the side walk with the phone still in his hand, a flashback intruded his thoughts: a sea of graduation vectors filling the hall at one of the best University in London, top marks students, crème of future society, genuinely happy to have finally grabbed that piece of paper.



The Chancellor in his speech said: “University is the place where you learn how to think, be critical and change the world: now it’s up to you new generations to make this world better”.



The irony!



Hard task to accomplish when you have bills to pay. “I wish I could change this world” Max whispered while looking at a baby passing by in his buggie, smiling, chewing on his fist and not giving a damn about anything.



“Smile now, little one. Don’t grow up” Max shouted out loud while raising his hand to the sky.



The dad pushing the buggie turned around, looking very confused yet amused, revealing the same smile as his baby.



Max let his phone fall on the ground while resting his curly brown head in his hands. He was tired. He was tired of a rentless fight against everything, he was wishing for some peace.



“Everything is perfectly planned in a monstrous way, isn’t it?” he thought clenching his jaw. “You have something like 13 years of schooling, then debt, then crappy jobs, shit houses and you are like a guinea pig running on a wheel to nowhere. Or a human cash machine.”



Powerless feelings where poisoning his chest while the evening was cooling down the air, and the gloomy, falling sun was peeking through the thick clouds.



The phone rang, yet one more useless time. “I’ll change the world another day” he said while answering to the letting agent squeaky voice. “Hello, yes it’s Max here: any good news?”







 


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