Your Perfect Year

A bittersweet story about second chances in life
Jonathan Grief is 42 and a wealthy man. He owns a townhouse in Hamburg as well as a thriving publishing house, whose smooth operation is in the hands of extremely capable executives. His only role in the company is to act as a ‘breakfast director’ because even though he was born with the love for books so to speak, he cannot quite muster enthusiasm for the content of his inheritance. His relationship with his parents is frosty and non-existing: Jonathan pays regular, yet listless duty visits to his father, who is suffering from dementia, and since his parents’ divorce, he has lost all contact with his mother. This is why, after a failed marriage, he mainly dedicates himself to his hobbies like adopting a lifestyle that is as healthy as possible, and improving the world in general, which, in his opinion, would be much more beautiful and livable for all parties involved without careless typos in newspapers, without the left-behind poop of dogs, whose owners are too ill-mannered and inconsiderate to care, and even without the mindless waste of money for New Year’s Eve fireworks.
Right in time, on January 1, after returning from his daily jogging routine, he finds a bag hanging from the handlebar of his bicycle that contains a Filofax for the year that has just begun. His search for any contact information is in vain, but on the cover page it says, “Your Perfect Year”, and there are entries for almost every day, appointments like ‘Eating cake at the Petit Café’ or just an address and the time. The handwriting stirs something in Jonathan’s heart, as it reminds him of the affectionate notes his mother used to write to him when she was still living with them in Hamburg. When he also finds a sizeable amount of cash in the back pocket, Jonathan realizes that he cannot just leave the Filofax and the bag on the nearest park bench but that he has the responsibility to turn both items over to their rightful owner. And what could be easier than that? All he needs to do is go to the address that is given as the meeting point for tomorrow night at 7:00 pm. And so it starts: Jonathan’s “perfect year”. He has no idea that the Filofax is the last gift to a dead man…
Two months earlier. Hannah Marx considers herself lucky, as all her dreams seem to come to pass: Together with her best friend, the Kindergarten teacher finally opens the long-planned facility for parents of stressed-out daycare kids, and her relationship with her loving boyfriend, Simon, could not be better than it already is. The only things that are still missing to make Hannah’s happiness complete are his proposal and a plan when they want to start a family. However, for the time being, Simon seems to be preoccupied with other things, as he has just lost his job as a journalist and is deeply unsettled by his sudden dismissal. Still, Hannah would never have expected that bombshell of news: Simon takes her out for a posh dinner – but instead of the anticipated proposal, he passionately declares his love for her and then he asks her to break up with him. For Simon is ill, terminally ill, as the doctors imply. Under no circumstances he wants to pose a burden on his girlfriend. But Hannah, eternally optimistic and happy-go-lucky, is unable to accept the diagnosis and fills a Filofax with all the wishes and dreams for the next year – it is supposed to become extra special, well, a “perfect year”, filled with happiness. But as it turns out, the doctors are right, and so it happens that Simon makes the spontaneous decision to find a new godparent for the Filofax – and come New Year’s morning, he leaves it in a bag on the handlebar of a stranger’s bicycle…

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