HIS GIRLFRIEND

We saw each other again at the end of 1986 or the beginning of 1987. I went to the city when Demian was studying. We both sat on a bench and he told me about events in his current life. He talked about Jimmy and his behavior —things that for him appeared to be new—, but he did not awaken my interest. Around that time I had other concerns. I asked him about his girlfriend. I felt affection for her and I wanted to know how she was doing.

"We're no longer together", he said in a resigned manner.

"How can that be possible? Such a great love. I'd never seen anything like it in my life", I was really astonished, I never expected that piece of news.

He looked at me in the eyes, as if saying: "You know it better than anyone". His face showed great sadness.

"I knew the exact day and the time that she was going to open the window of her room to throw herself out, to commit suicide", he admitted. "I went to see her and ended the relationship before that happened."

"What? What are you saying?" I could not believe what I was hearing. "What happened to her? Why?"

"She wanted to cling to me", Demian stretched his hands out as if wanting to grasp something, "to have something to hold onto, something firm to give herself to. But one can't take hold of me. That is not possible".

In a second I understood everything. I put my hands to my head. She, so sweet, had given herself entirely to Demian, such was their love. They had shared so many things that she could not stop thinking about him. She could not get him out of her mind. But Demian was a force of nature, continuously evolving. His ranges, to put it that way, were so wide and the changes that he was subjected to were so extreme that it was not possible even to get an idea of who he was. Everything about him was disconcerting. It was as if she wanted to give herself to the wind, to a whirlwind, to the stormy waves that break on the rocks. She had lived in much of the same way that I had come to live with Demian, and even more so, but without knowing it. Demian's changes were very real and inevitably they had an effect even though one was not aware of it.

I could still see her in my mind. That sweet totally unstable girl, wanting to find some peace, wanting to get my friend out of her soul, giving herself for the last time to the wind that blew through her hair as she opened the window.

"If she had known you as I do, if she had been in my place, none of this would have happened", I told him.

There was no answer. What great sadness lay on our hearts that night!

I also understood that Demian, faithful to himself, had waited until the end, until the moment when nothing could be saved. But she was what was important, and Demian had done the right thing in ending the relationship. She was now re-creating her life. She had gone to another city where she would continue her studies.

There was a long silence that Demian finally broke. He pointed to the name of a company that was written in large letters in an advertisement opposite us.

"That company is going to go bankrupt very soon", he told me.

"Can you know that so easily? Can you know if a company is going to do well or badly in its business?"

"Yes", he answered me.

"That's wonderful. That type of knowledge is money which would be very useful for you, being in such need. Invest in the stock market", I told him.

Demian had many brothers and almost all of them were studying at University. His parents had a lot of expenses. They had told him that they would pay the registration fee at the University but that unfortunately they could not give him much help for his accommodation and daily expenses. In that sense he was going through a somewhat delicate situation.

"No", he said to me smiling, "it's not allowed. Things are not like that. I can't use that information to earn money".