I understood that if he did something like that he would stop being what he was and would never succeed in that which he had come to do, for which he made such a great effort now, and for which there were such great expectations. I remembered how Jimmy spoke so negatively of games of chance. They were not a legitimate way of establishing a healthy personal economy, though Jimmy expressed the same thought more abruptly. Everything has its consequences.

We said goodbye. I had to go to do my military service and we probably would not see each other for a year. While I walked a profound sadness took hold of me. I never could have imagined that Demian's love would not have a good end. I would have been able to take any news, any change, but this event left me profoundly dismayed. I would never have believed it possible. I knew what I was telling myself: if the most sacred things don't prevail, if they do not overcome, then everything is possible. Perhaps even the enormous powers, the great expectations that lay upon Demian, everything that Jimmy had predicted in this regard, would all come to nothing. Anything is possible. Despair itself might reign.

My God, how sad I felt to find out how fragile were some of the things that I considered to be unchangeable. Nothing came for free. Everything seemed to demand a sacrifice. By now, nothing resembled our first year.

THE COMMITMENT

Yes, nothing seemed like before. Events happened one after the other in a way that made it impossible for me to digest them all. Towards the end of 1986 they diagnosed and operated on my mother for cancer. In mid 1987 I started my military term. I was able to prove for myself "that we have no affinity with military culture", exactly as Demian had suggested to me. Towards the end of 1987 I was put in a military prison for desertion. Sadly my mother's cancer returned again and they had to operate on her urgently. It was a significant operation. I could only see her once after 1988, while I was in prison and with my military service over. I found her bedridden, convalescing.

I met Demian again in the summer of 1988. At that time Jimmy appeared on several occasions as he used to do before. Time had passed and I no longer felt that same distrust towards him. He told me that he would ensure that Demian did not have to do his military service. According to Jimmy, he had the power to manipulate any documents that referred to Demian. Without doubt, it would have been a waste of time for Demian, and inevitably he would have had many problems. In his physical life, Jimmy had also avoided that duty, passing himself off as a homosexual.

Many of his biographers have speculated on Jimmy's sexual orientation. This bothered him a lot. I laughed at him about that though, to be fair, I think that he was right.

Jimmy could have been a homosexual but he was not. That was the truth and in addition, the writers appeared to be influenced by a lack of precision, slackness and laziness, all defects that allow one to speculate on the unimaginable. A speculation that helps sell books, become famous and earn money. That greed and vanity in others was able to cast a shadow over a life that he had completely thrown himself into, with all his strength.

"How much I'd love to come back to this world!" he told me one day while observing the bustle of a great city. I did not understand what he wanted to say and I forgot it almost immediately, just like so many other things that I could not understand.

Jimmy spoke to me in very clear terms. Demian needed my help to achieve his objective, to fulfill his mission. I did not understand very well how I could help him, but -to the extent that it depended on me- I was not going to allow that which he had to bring to the world, to be wasted as had occurred with his first love. I was prepared to sacrifice myself since nothing of importance is free. I committed myself to help him with all my strength.

SHOPPING

When we saw each other we used to go to some commercial center. Demian was very interested in the whole business of distribution since it allowed one to be in contact with many people, to enter their lives. On that occasion we were going shopping. While we were going up the escalator of a major department store, I looked at him closely.

"You are taller, right?" I asked him, somewhat surprised since we had been the same height.