PG 13; Original work, no influences.
The mysterious life of Conrad Semillof
They say that everyone meets a person that will, one way or another, affect their life considerably. Whoever said that couldn’t have been more right.
The name’s Albert, but everyone calls me by my middle name, Jaat. I was born in a normal family, in a middle of a cul-de-sac, and had a typical childhood. Nothing big ever happened. Well, only one event could be qualified as “important” in my childhood. A man once came to our doorstep. I was outside, playing with some toys – as any normal 6-year old would – when he came up to the porch. He asked about some guy called Mirou.
- I’m sorry, but I’m not supposed to talk to strangers. – I replied.
-Good boy, you have manners. – he replied, with a soft smile.
As he turned around and started walking out of our yard, he turned back, and said:
- The reason a rose smells good may as well be the same as the ocean waves slowly embracing the coast, a meaning seldom to be found....
Then he smiled again and walked away.
I haven’t changed much back then after the event, except for gaining a new love and interest in roses. I especially liked raising white full Corsican roses, and have even had a batch in a pot in my own room. Placing them in a pot was my own mastery.
Nevertheless, lets not focus on my gardener skills. My story continues in a normal pace – I finished elementary school, got halfway through High school, then got transferred in a new one and retransferred back, finished it, and went to college. Over there I had a wide range of buds – John, Mark, Jeeves, Tod and Reginald. We’ve all lead a normal, college-like life – partying, drinking, flirting, beefing, and occasional studying. Our rooms in the Big house (that’s how we used to call our hall of residence) were also very close – Jeeves and Reginald were in 52, Tod and his female roomie Crystal were 53, and Mark and myself were 54. Our room was for three, but we had no roomie. Not until that day, that is.
A typical after-classes afternoon. Mark and I were getting ready to go and pick up his fiancée at the airport.
-Hey, pass me the other shirt, this one kinda reeks. – Mark said.
-You neatnick. Just spray it with something. – I replied laughing.
-Laugh away, Jaater (that was how Mark called me), but I’m the one driving. All you need to do is carry the extra luggage. I’d do it myself, but we both know how much Janie usually carries. – he said, smirking a bit.
-Yeeah! She’s one regular clothing mini mart, make-up and female novels included. – I said.
Then we had a knock on the door. Mark opened it. A guy in a leather jacket with a small sports backpack and jeans was standing in front of them. He was smiling, and had unusually white teeth.
- Umm....hello? – Mark asked.
- Hello there! – the guy replied, not dropping the smile.
- Can we... um.. help you? – I asked.
-Yeah! This is room 54, right? The three-person one?
-Yes..? – Mark replied, even more confused.
-Good! I’m in the right wing, then! I’m your new roomie! Just moved in from upstate. The name’s Conrad. – the guy said with joy.
- Nice to meet ya, Conrad. I’m Mark, and this is Jaat. Welcome aboard. – Mark said.
-Yeah, feel right at home! – I added.
Then Mark called me up in the hallway.
-Look, we can’t really trust this guy, so if it isn’t too much trouble, you...
-Say no more, Mark, old pal! I’ll stay behind and keep a close eye on him. – I replied.
-Thanks, Jaat. I’ll buy the next round for this. – he said.
-Now, don’t be shitting me, Mark. The drinks are always on me come Thursday. – I replied with a smirk.
After Mark’s driving off to the airport, I decided to get to know our new roomie a bit better, for our safety’s sake.
-So...umm....where’d you say you were from? – I asked.
-Hey, it’s OK, I understand. – he replied with a smile.
-Understand....what, exactly? – I asked.
-You know, the whole “keep an eye on him thing”? It’s only natural. – he replied. I was a bit ashamed about the previous action, having learnt he knew what we’ve discussed.
- Look, I’m sor--
-No, no, it’s OK! Don’t even dare apologize. I’ve had this situation happen to me before, no biggie. – he replied with a smile.
- You know, my friend would’ve stayed, but he had to go and pick up his fiancée at the airport...
- A fiancée? He must be a lame adult if he’s still in college while engaged. – he joked.
We’ve had a round of laughs and then discussed some soccer and movies. Then I asked:
- Say, where are you from, anyway?
- Well, I draw some Eastern heritage, as my surname would suggest. (his surname was, by the way, Semillof).
-Really? My family, the Berths, moved from the upper northeast. Maybe they’ve shared ancestors. – I said.
-We could be related. – he replied. – By blood or a common lady.
-Yeeah! – I replied, laughing.
Later I invited the guys over, and everyone got to know Conrad very well. His reception was otherworldly. Several hours later Mark and Janie arrived, and we’ve all had a good talk.
The week after that we’ve all finished most of our exams, and decided to go to this overrated sweet 16 party of a snobbish girl called Sandallle. Jeeves immediately hooked up with some girl, while Mark and Reginald were talking away, drinking slowly, but a lot. Me and John were chick-hunting as well, however we were disappointed that every girl on the party was 19 the most. But then these 6 to 8 girls, all our age, came over to join the party. One of them, Candice, was looking at me for the better part of the party. The other part was when I moved in on her.
-Hey there, miss. A drink on my expense? – I said.
-Why, of course, honey. – she replied.
We were talking for a while, when all of a sudden Conrad appeared.
-Hey, Jaat! Mark over-drank and he’s...well, blow me away! Candice! – he shouted, smiling.
- Conrad! So nice to see you again! – she replied. Apparently they were acquaintances for a long time. An hour later of talking with the two, Conrad called me up in the garden.
The sky was cloudy, and yet everything was so bright, reflecting the fountain below.
- You like that one, Jaat? - he asked while smirking.
- Yeah, she seems....nice.
I took a sip of my wine and then continued.
- So, what’s up? Why’d you call me, Conrad? – I asked.
- Have you ever wondered how life just seems to pass by you? – he asked.
- ...I’ve never really paid that much attention before. – I replied.
- We’ve only got so little time on this planet – he said while looking at the sky – and yet, we manage to accomplish so much in the time passed.
- Well, when you put it that way, you’re right. – I replied, not entirely sure what he wanted to point out.
- Basically, there’s no real reason to why we live so shortly, and yet do so much. – He replied. – Like when a rose smells good just as the ocean waves slowly embrace the coast, a reason seldom found.
At that moment I snapped. He, however, started to walk away. Apparently, the party got him a bit tired.
- Wait! What did...? – I said.
He turned around.
-Yeah? – he asked, smiling.
-....never mind. – I replied.
I forgot what I was about to ask him, and I still can’t remember what that was. The next few weeks the guys were away for the holiday. I stayed home, with nothing better to do then look at my small vase (courtesy of my mother’s) with three white roses. I kept thinking about what old Conrad had said. Returning from the holiday, the guys decided we should go out and celebrate the reunion. We all got stuck in a club filled with retards, assholes and whores. Still, we made do with what we’ve had – drinks, jokes and music. However, some guys started trouble, and John and Jeeves got in a fight. We all jumped in, trying to help them. The fire marshal had the final blow, however, forcing everyone out. Then Reginald shouted.
-What? – I asked.
-Some guy chased after Conrad in that alley up ahead! Hurry up and help him, I have to find Mark! – Reginald shrieked even louder.
With no hesitation I ran towards the alley. However, the guy chasing Conrad was running AWAY from the alley, terrified.
I chased into it, and Conrad was standing all bloody, with two stabs in the abdomen, and yet did not moan or shout due to obvious pain.
The rain started to fall. I was amazed at what I was seeing.
- Con? Conrad, is...is that really you? – I asked.
- Gee, gone blind on me, did ya, Jaat old buddy? – he said with a smile, which was creepy at the time.
- Dude, you’re bleeding! Are you insane standing there? You need a doctor, pal! – I shouted, a bit angry.
-No! – he shouted back, and yet with no anger in his voice. – Everyone’s time comes, and my time is now. Fate struck me here, and so I shall let it finish the ...
With that said, a sound was suddenly heard. All I could see was a blue light, and when it faded, Conrad stood stiff, and then slowly fell down. I looked above, and I saw this dark figure, a man standing on top of some crates.
Regardless of the man, I rushed towards fallen Conrad.
- Conrad! Conrad, snap out of it! Don’t die on me, damn it! – I screamed.
- Bro... don’t do nothing stupid... with Candice... or she’ll sock you one in the face... trust me... her blows hurt... hehe... – Conrad pronounced with a smile, the last one of his life. He then inhaled, and exhaled... for the last time. Silently, the man on the crates walked away. Having seen that, I silently closed Conrad’s eyes, and took one last look at that smile.
Years have passed. As an employer I’ve progressed a lot. Working a lot for the “Stepper” shoe company made me a foot expert, so to speak. I’m married happily with Candice, and we have a boy and a girl. I occasionally see Mark and Janie, and sometimes John drops by to say “Hello”. Still, my life had been fulfilled with several literary works on flower growth and the lasting of a human life. All of those books were, unofficially, dedicated to my good friend Conrad Semillof, may God guard his soul. Never again shall one’s eyes see a face more cheerful or a smile much bigger than the one of good old Conrad, and as far as the Universe lasts, so shall his everlasting wonder on how one can do so much in such a small time span, a truth yet to be told.
By Satira Inc. 2008.