In all honesty I donít know how to do this. I donít know how to grieve, I donít know how to begin writing down all of the memories I have of Conrad, all of the things I felt for him, all of the times he made me feel like part of his family and most of all I donít know how to deal with my best friend being dead. From the first time I met Conrad he made me feel special, important and close. Looking back I remember walking around the school campus a handful of times, just the two of us. He knew so many people, they waved or greeted him as we walked past them. How the hell did he know so many people? Everyone loved Conrad, I know that now more than ever.
I remember dancing in the middle of the lawn at school last year, just for fun, just because. I remember running to Conrad between classes and hugging the crap out of him. He was safety, even then I knew he would protect me. Conrad was my teacher, he was my friend, he was my brother and everything good. I always catch myself trying to emulate Conrad, I wanted to make him proud of me, I still want to make him proud of me.
I remember his birthday party last year when I first met Pinkie and Leighton. I remember how warm and welcoming they were and how it made sense that Conrad was their son. Everyone at that party spent some time with Conrad, he was a great host, everywhere at once. That was my first silly string fight. I have to say that it was such a great night even if an hour had to be spent letting Iris and Jessica pick silly string, like lice, out of my hair.
Come to think of it, the very first, official best day of my life belongs to Conrad. The last day of school his junior year, my freshman year he, always being the one to corrupt, talked me into ditching fourth and sixth period. Fourth period was just a lot of random fun and talking with Josh, Courtney and Robert, but sixth period was the best because I greedily got him all to myself. We walked around talking and getting drinks. I remember Conrad pinching Jesseís nipples through his fishnet shirt and thinking: This is definitely the weirdest person I know, but the coolest.
I know I had a sort of idolization of him from the very beginning. He was so smart, he knew so much about music and he took everyone into his big, perfect, great heart. Even that perfect day he took time out to show off on the guitar, oh how he loved to show off. Not that I minded, his talent and passion are just such a big part of him. This big part of Conrad was playing guitar and even though I know nothing about the process of making music he never held that against me, he might have kept going on about it to my vacant smile but he still never held it against me and just let the fact that I was in total awe of him be enough to feed the music connoisseur in him.
We went through a lot together, a lot of girls, a lot of crushes and a boyfriend. The first two his, the last one both mine and his. Conrad once told me about all of his past girlfriends, I know Iíve already forgotten his words about them, but I remember the important ones even if that included the ones who hurt him most. Conrad didnít think he was "boyfriend material" and I could only try to tell him all of the wonderful things he was. I hope he changed his mind, but I know he never gave up his quest for love. Truth be told, no one was ever good enough for him...plain and simple. I hope he sees that now.
When he had his crushes his friends would help him if they could. I keep hearing him say, "Do you know something I donít know?" I hate the fact that he never found her, never found it or whatever. I know he wanted love so entirely, he wanted that kind, he wanted someone. Rick likes to say he had a crush on a new girl every week and heís pretty much right. Conrad would call me and usually talk about some girl he was interested in. Well you know what? God owed Conrad and all I can say is he better have found the hottest, smartest, most gifted, perfect amount of crudeness having angel chick! He deserves to have found her.
As for the boyfriend, first he warned him, "You break her heart and Iíll break you." Then he befriended him and cared about us both. Yes, that was the way of my own personal mafia big brother, Conrad. He made so many plans, he had so many goals. He could have been anything, a chef, a teacher, a journalist, a famous rock/metal star. I still donít understand or know why Conrad was taken, but I know heís wherever good people go. I know heís all of the things he ever wanted to be and heíll still be with all of us, heíll still be protecting us and loving us until itís our turn to be with him again.
I donít remember who it was at the COD memorial who said, "If there wasnít a God before there is now." Whoever it was, was so extremely right. Conrad the beloved son, brother, best friend, protector. He was wise and open and loving, there was just something about him that made him great.
New Years he let me wear his clothes because I didnít have Pjs, he came to my house and my mother thought he was the most polite child ever. I had talked about him so much she thought Iíd end up dating him, in fact before I stared dating Daniel people would ask whether we were related or going out. "Weíre cousins," he had said, and later, "Youíve moved up to sister." His whore of a favorite jacket sprawled across almost every one of his chick friendís shoulders at one time or another but I think they felt the same thing I did when they wore it, safe, close, and special.
When Conrad graduated I cried, what was I supposed to do without him? But he called, almost every Thursday and sometimes on weekends. Heíd tell me about school, girls, family and whatever problems he was having, which usually went along with the other three topics. I told him everything too, but I remember the things he told me the most. I remember during school when he entrusted me with his past and how his life wasnít always great but after sophomore year he put himself back together. Heíd tell me about the girls and his problem with choosing girls with the same names: Danielle and Danielle, Liz and Liz....so many girls.
Thursday nights I half-expect him to call. I know he canít, but my mind wonít let go of him. Actually thatís not entirely true, I struggle to keep little memories of him. I donít remember how his handkerchiefs smell anymore, or all of the things he said and how he said them, I canít remember this certain noise he made that was a sort of teasing equivalent to "blah, blah, blah."
Conrad once wrote, "thereís not much to say because memories are better than story." I try to go over all of my memories of Conrad, like a movie reel in my head. I try to keep as much of them as I can, I want to remember every slight movement. Itís hard to talk about memories sometimes because this is a wound that never closes.
There are all of these songs that make me weep, all of the ones on Conradís CD. They make me remember all of the days I donít want to remember, they make me lower my shield, but they make me feel like Conrad is with me too. When those songs come on the radio, I feel like itís him reminding me that heís right here with me, that heís still with all of us and always will be. Sometimes I feel things, a hug, a kiss, a pat on the shoulder, and I think they might be him. I hope itís him. I miss him so much. I still donít know how to do this without him, but I know in a way, Iím not without him. Iím still trying to make him proud, I hope Iím doing an okay job of it. Itís hard without my big brother, he was my guiding good force.
Iím drawing a blank on how to end this. I donít want to end this, so Iíll just write a few words.
Conrad, I miss you so much itíll never stop, I love you and hopefully you can grasp the full amount that I do. Please, help me be a person, even half as good as you are.
And for the rest, "Prove that I did it," "Do you know something I donít know," "Donít do anything I wouldnít do," "Iíll leave you to your own devices," and, "Rock on."
I love you,
Adrianna L. Martinez