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Arie Park

Susanne walked to the bakery from school as the soft breeze swept through her golden hair. She walked inside to pick up the tiramisu for her father, Thomas. It was a special occasion today because her father was coming back from his business trip. Susanne took off her backpack and rummaged through to find some money. “Thank you." replied Susanne as the bakery woman gave her the tiramisu. As Susanne left the bakery she skipped back home as she held the tiramisu in her small arms.


Bernauer Strasse, the street where Susanne lived looked empty. It was usually very lively but today it was strangely quiet. Susanne walked through the quiet, still street until she reached the doorstep to her house. She gently set the tiramisu on the cold, sleek pavement as she lifted up the doormat to reveal the key. Susanne picked up the key and inserted it into the rusty gold key hole. As she opened the door Susanne put the key back at its usual spot, picked up the tiramisu, and walked into her house as she closed the door. The house was quiet, as usual with a small murmur of the air conditioner. Susanne walked to the refrigerator and opened door as the frosty chill blew onto her face. As she placed the tiramisu in the fridge Susanne heard a large booming sound outside. Susanne quickly shoved the tiramisu in the fridge and scrambled to the window. She pried open the window and saw men in strange, unusual uniforms carrying bricks,cement, barbed wire, and a few other things that were unidentifiable. Confused, Susanne decided to ask a neighbor so she closed the window, put on her coat, and left. Susanne walked briskly towards the neighbor’s house next door and she softly knocked on the door. “ Hello” said Mr. Becke as he opened the squeaky door.

“Hi, I’m Susanne from next door and I have a question for you, do you know what's going… ” “Yes I know who you are, come on in and I can answer your question for you”

Mr. Becke led Susanne into a living room with a nice sofa and coffee table at the middle of the room. There was a small radio at the corner of the room and a few pictures on the walls, along with a window that looked exactly like the one in Susanne’s house. Susanne slowly sat on the couch as she took off her coat and looked around the room.

“Would you like to have something to drink and perhaps a snack to go along with it?” asked Mr. Becke

“No, but thank you for the offer. This will only take a second and anyways, I am going to see my father today and eat tiramisu with him.” replied Susanne.

“Susanne. I don’t think your father will be coming home tonight.”

“Wait what? What are you talking about?”

“Did you see the men out there?”

“Umm...yes but they're just building another house or something, its no big deal.”

“Those men are not building a house. They are building a wall.”

“A wall? For what?”

“ The whole town is talking about a wall. They are saying that those men, the GDR want to build a wall to block off East Berlin from West Berlin.”

“Why would they do that? What about father? Am I going to my father? What's going to happen?”

“Calm down Susanne. Everything is going to be okay. Your father and I have talked and we decided that the best thing to do right now is for you to move in with me.”

“No I don’t want to. I want my papa. I’ll just leave right now and I’ll see papa.” whined Susanne.

“No you can’t Susanne I promised your father that I would protect you. We also don’t know if this wall thing is true so lets just stay put for now.”

“Okay.” mumbled Susanne.

“Good. Now go pack your things together and come back here. I have your room all ready for you.” said Mr. Becke as he walked towards the front door.

Susanne grabbed her coat, then walked towards the door as Mr. Becke opened the front door. Susanne walked towards her house as she dragged her coat on the pavement. Scuff marks got on her coat but Susanne did not care. Susanne sulked all the way back as the lonely wind swept through.


Susanne grabbed her suitcases from the basement and took them up to her room to pack. She gathered all of her clothes and put them into one of the suitcases, neatly folded. In her other suitcase Susanne put in valuable things such as the letters that her mother left her before she died, her diary, her teddy bear, pictures of her family and friends, and some other little trinkets. When Susanne finished packing her room it looked completely empty but her room looked clean. Her bed sheets were nice and tucked in with the pillows on top, the floors were swept, and the room smelled of a pleasant lavender smell. Susanne sighed as she looked at the empty room which used to be cozy and  safe. Susanne picked up her suitcases and headed out towards the door. She locked the front door and kept the key in her pocket. By the time Susanne was leaving her house, it was already nightfall. As Susanne was walking towards Mr. Becke’s home, she noticed that the thing the men were building was growing taller. The men were no longer there but there were other people who were climbing over it. Susanne was very confused but she decided to keep going and just ask Mr. Becke about it.


“Good Evening Susanne.” greeted Mr. Becke as he opened the door for Susanne.

“Hello Mr. Becke.” replied Susanne very impatiently.

“I have a question I need to ask.”

“Not now Susanne.” replied Mr. Becke “For now I want you to unpack.”

Mr. Becke picked up her suitcases and guided her towards her new room. Inside of Susanne’s new room there was a bed against the wall with a small window, a night stand with a radio, and a hand crafted dresser across from the bed. Mr.Becke dropped off her suitcases next the bed and left the room. Susanne admired the simplicity of the room but she still missed her room and home. Susanne began to unpack her suitcases and put all of her clothes in the dresser, her teddy bear on the bed, her diary and all her other trinkets on the night stand.

When Susanne finished unpacking she decided to turn on the radio. As Susanne was adjusting the radio the news came up.

“... there are rumors of a wall that is being built in the middle of Berlin, Germany. I have come to settle these rumors and tell you all that these rumors are true.”

Susanne’s face turned ashen, she quickly turned off the radio and ran out of her room.


“Susanne what is wrong?” Mr.Becke shouted as Susanne ran out the front door.

Mr. Becke turned off the stove and put on his coat as he rushed out the door. “Susanne where are you? Susanne please lets go back inside. Susanne its too dark to be outside. Susanne come on.”

“You shouldn’t be outside.” whispered this homeless man in the alley.

“Who are you and why are you telling me what not to do?” asked Mr. Becke curiously but cautiously

“I’m just trying to help you. Its dangerous to be outside at this time. They might see you.” replied the homeless man

“Don’t be foolish old man its perfectly safe in this city and who are these people you speak of that are watching me?”

“I’m must not speak of their name out loud but I’m warning you. Its dangerous out here!”

“You are useless to me if you’re not going to tell me anything. Now if you will excuse me I have to go look for somebody.” replied Mr. Becke as he started running down the street.

Mr. Becke ran down the street, to find Susanne with one of the men with the strange, unusual uniform.

“Susanne!” shouted Mr.Becke

“Mr.Becke!” screamed Susanne as she ran to Mr.Becke, sobbing

“Why are you crying? What happened?”

“Enough.” demanded the man in the uniform

“I order you both to go back to your homes. What are you guys both doing outside your homes at midnight!”

“Sorry sir it will never happen again but why are you telling us what to do.”

“Because its an order. Now go.” shouted the man in the uniform

Mr. Becke grabbed Susanne and they scurried back to their home.

“Susanne never go outside alone in the dark ever again.”

“Okay Mr.Becke.” sniffled Susanne.


As days, months, and years went by the wall got bigger, the city got worse, and the fear grew. The walls were built into monstrous death traps that contained barbed wire, watch towers, guard dogs, electrical fences, spike mats, vehicle ditches, and so much more to prevent the citizens of East Berlin to get to West Berlin. Everybody wanted to leave because of communism, everybody was watched over and controlled by the government. West Berlin compared to East Berlin was was so much better because of the economy with its high powered jobs. No one trusted each other because of the spies and lives were at stake. East Berlin was just a huge mess and there was no way out.



28 years later the wall came down…

Everybody rushed to the wall, East and West Berlin. Crowds of people shouted names of their beloved ones who were on the other side while the guards tried to contain the riot. As more and more people came to the wall from East Berlin the people were out of control. After a whole day of standing outside at the wall, the border was finally opened. People poured in and out to find their loved ones. They looked like little ants from where I was looking. I just sat in the house where my father and I lived in. I sobbed as I looked at the flood of people pouring into east Berlin. I couldn't imagine what my father would look like after 28 years. Was he even alive? The image of my father made me feel sad but angry because this wall took everything I treasured, my father and Mr.Becke. Mr. Becke was killed after someone overheard him talking about the bad government in east Berlin but he didn't deserve that. He was just an innocent old man. I just want my father back...


"Susanne?" whispered a person who was carrying a tiramisu.

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