MaybachuferNow that he lives in the city, it is his favourite run: he starts from the S-Bahn Treptower Park station, and runs all the way on the bank of the Landwehrkanal, all the way to their home in Kreuzberg. On his way he admires the dark, deep waters of the canal, his mind full of history, of images, of kisses.

Now, a few days after Easter, the trees leaves are getting darker too, and the young and older people on their walk, still, smiling, for it is the start of the magic season in Faust’s city.

He has been training since February, when it was too cold to wear shorts and a light vest. He’s fit now, a hint of suntan on his cheeks and legs. His breathing is regular, his steps assured.

The young woman is running towards him: he sees the severe “East-Berlin” hair cut, the blond hair, the long thighs. She’s an athlete, and she smiles as their eyes meet. On the back of her black T-shirt is her name in gold letters: Melissa. He smiles, continuing on his way, he knows “she” is everywhere. Only, now he’s free. He’s himself, in the city where he will die, and before that, where he’s writing the story of his life, about her, about Sarah, about Berlin. He turns round: the young woman is already far along the path, her long strides silent and enticing, even from a distance.

There is no traffic noise, in this mid-morning of April, the city is quiet, and the Maybachufer walkers quieter still. Near their home a new cycling and walking path is opening soon, along the old railway line. Soon he will be able to jog to the centre, uninterrupted by traffic.

He’s living his dream. He’s almost reached his destination: reluctantly he leaves the canal bank, starts running down Gneisenaustraße, soon home. More slowly he crosses the little park, and there, at the entrance, she’s waiting for him, her radiant smile is already taking him inside.