"Where?" I asked.

"There," he answered me, "in the middle of the street."

I did not see anything. I thought that maybe it was not the much desired gold coins ómy imagination was running away with meó but rather something smaller. Perhaps a bracelet.

He walked purposefully towards the center of the alley. I followed, still not seeing anything. He picked up something from the ground. He showed me a rosary, one of those used for prayer, with crystal beads, very worn from use.

"Look, gold!" he said while raising it to his nose to smell it better.

"I'm giving you the gold as a present!"

"Thank you!" I couldn't say anything else.


He slowly started getting used to his body and his movements stopped being so clumsy. After those first few days I found him quite changed. It was morning and he had been looking for me. He told me that Jimmy had mentioned to him that he had a girlfriend. I confirmed that. That afternoon he had to go to see her. He could not get over his amazement and he was not prepared to let that go. He questioned me regarding what type of person that so-called Jimmy was. I understood that he agreed to inherit certain things but absolutely not those related to love which was a matter of free choice.

This subject caught me by surprise. I did not expect it. I tried to calm him down and I suggested that he be a little patient. As far as I knew that girl was a wonderful woman and he would not lose anything by meeting her. I did not think I had convinced him but he resigned himself to the event. He asked me to go with him. I did not accept. He insisted that at least I should wait for him that night.

I waited at the agreed place, convinced that when he got to know his girlfriend all this confusion was going to end. She was such a sweet person that I did not know a single man who did not feel moved in her presence.

"She's the best," Jimmy had said to me on one occasion.

While I waited, I thought of him and that new youthful air that he appeared to have. There was a purity and ingenuity in him that was not there before.

At last he appeared in the distance and he gave me a look. I could not repress my laughter.

"What happened to you?" I asked.

"What happened to me? That woman spent the whole day jumping around me. Holding me by the arm and pressing against me. Looking at me with half closed eyes and moving her head, this way and that.

He imitated her in such a funny way that I could not stop laughing. She was a very pretty woman but, judging by his comments, being in her company appeared to be an ordeal.

"That girl is silly and I don't plan to see her again," he concluded.

I thought that I guessed what was happening. She was a very sensitive woman and she was very much in love. Demian still had some of the old style, to express it that way, but at the same time there was something new, that ingenuity and purity that he had not had before and that gave him such a singular, graceful and moving aspect, all at the same time. His girlfriend noticed that change and I think that she felt charmed.

Demian shied away from any contact with his girlfriend. In those days he was moving ahead slowly with his life and I did not know to what I should attribute that new life without prior memories. What was Jimmy trying to achieve with all this? Maybe to start over?