“The Worst of Them All”
After making the hasty decision to move out of the Coon Rapids apartment I shared with C I ended up moving into a duplex in Minneapolis near the U of M campus with a guy I’d just met. S seemed ok at first, just a typical college student who needed help paying the rent since his last roommate moved out after graduating. S even told me it would be fine if I didn’t pay the first two months while I finished paying on the lease I shared with C.
S gave me total control over decorating which I loved, soon the house was painted with accent walls, I’d changed out the toilet, stove, fridge and added some cabinets and our own laundry so we didn’t have to share with the neighbors. The landlord was supposed to reimburse me for all the improvements and she absolutely did take it off the rent, S just never told me. While I waited for a check to come he was using my credits to pay his portion of the rent…for months…without a word.
S also continually tried to date me but I was interested in other people which pissed him off. He did manage to convince me to let him tag along on my family’s Alaskan cruise which, although he did give my dad $1200, I know it ended up costing my dad some money to have him come with. S would also team up with our neighbors to throw huge parties while I would be at work or class so I would often come home to tons of strangers in my house, my cats terrified and hiding out in my room which was never locked like it was supposed to be.
Besides not being truthful about the rent and his own broke as a joke financial situation S was also manipulative and passive aggressive in his efforts to convince me we should be a couple. It got to be where I didn’t even want to come home because I didn’t want to deal with him, especially if I was coming back from hanging out with other guys. S often acted jealous and possessive during the parties if I was talking with other guys even though we were not together. He’d also try to make me jealous by flirting and sleeping with tons of girls and then be angry when I didn’t care.
I think the worst thing S did happened when I had taken my yearly trip to California to visit my cousins. Shortly before I had left S asked if I would co-sign his next set of student loans. I declined, knowing full well the man had no money and honestly I didn’t think he would ever hold down a job so it would be a huge risk I would never take. He got pissed of course, but S was always pissed about something. While I was in California S went into my room (which I couldn’t lock because my cats’ food and litter box were in there) and rifled through all my things until he found one of my expired licenses I had thrown in a drawer. He also used my old address book and his graphic design skills to forge my name on his student loan documents. I wouldn’t find this out for two years.
Shortly after getting back from California I had decided it was time to find a new place since I had just learned that S had used my Best Buy account number to buy himself a $1500 computer set-up he had no intention of paying for, we fought so hard over that and he had promised to pay me back but I never received a dime for it in the end. I had recently graduated college and found a new job that paid more so I got myself a beautiful studio in an upscale building in St. Paul and said goodbye to S once and for all, or so I thought.
About two years after I moved out of the Minneapolis duplex I started receiving calls from Sallie Mae about owing on a student loan. My loans were all but paid off and I had never been late with a payment. They explained that the loans belonged to S and I had no idea why they wanted money from me for his loans. They sent me their “proof” that I was a co-signer and I about flipped my lid, actually I think I did flip out. I was so pissed. I called S, but the number I had for him wasn’t in service anymore. We didn’t really have any mutual friends so I had no idea where he was. I tried the old duplex but strangers lived there now. Sallie Mae didn’t believe me when I said I had never signed the loan application, even though it wasn’t my handwriting, or signature or even the correct spelling of my name.
Eventually it would take a year, a lawyer and a handwriting analysis report to convince Sallie Mae to release me from the forged student loan debts. My credit score took a huge hit that it still hasn’t fully recovered from and it made buying my first house more of a hassle, although in retrospect we really shouldn’t have bought that house. To this day I still get calls from Sallie Mae asking me if I know where S is or how to contact him about his delinquent loans. I keep telling them I haven’t talked to him in over 7 years and to please remove me as a reference but they never do. If I ever see S again there is the very real chance I will end up in jail for assault.
I now destroy all expired drivers licenses and opt for e-statements instead of paper billing…I do wish there would have been a less stressful and costly way to learn that lesson though.