They’re family, in a way.
Not in the traditional sense of blood or choice, but by something unpreventable. Wolfgang doesn’t have a name for it, because he had no say in it. He figures, some would call it soulmates.
The thing is, no matter what it’s called or how people see it, it is what it is. He’s connected, somehow, to a complete stranger who he feels that he’s known for longer than he’s been alive. This girl, so gorgeous and intelligent and amazing, is attached to him by some force.
And, it’s only been going on for a few days, their visits back and forth, between Berlin and Mumbai – but it feels like an eternity. Their conversations, whether they be for an hour or a minute, make Wolfgang wonder how she can be real.
He’s so caught up in the essence of her that it isn’t until their fifth visit that he catches her name.
They’re on a roof, in Mumbai. She’d calls it a Haven that she escapes to whenever she needs peace. Wolfgang understands, in a sense.
“It’s nice, here. A little warm,” he’s chuckles, “but nice.”
She rolls her eyes at it, but smiles, nonetheless.
It’s while watching her, so elegant without trying, that he realizes while knowing so much about her, he’s missing an important piece.
“What’s your name? If you don’t mind.”
She raises her eyebrows, and after a moment, lets her face scrunch up, awkwardly.
“I am Kala,” she says, laughter at the end. “I cannot believe we have not covered this yet!”
Wolfgang mimics her, letting his head fall and smile cement itself. He’s had still been completely astonished at her existence. The name suits her, perfectly. Everything about her seems perfect, he thinks.
“You are?” Kala asks, breaking their giggles.
Wolfgang smiles, making eye contact. “My name is Wolfgang.”
Kala laughs, at first, before settling on a smile. Wolfgang just watches her, wondrously. He understands why she laughed, and nods his head. She’s from Mumbai, and has probably never heard of a person with his name.
“You cannot be serious,” she says, eyes wide.
“No one is called Wolfgang,” she replies.
Wolfgang just nods, saying, “I am.”
And, before she can comment back, he’s back in Berlin, sitting in Felix’s shop, watching as a hand is waved over his face.
“Wolfie? For fuck’s sake.”
Wolfgang gives his surrounding a quick glance, searching for Kala, and lets his eyes fall on Felix.
“What?” He asks, disappointed.
Felix just shakes his head and begins babbling on about Abraham and the diamonds. If Wolfgang spends the rest of the afternoon thinking of Kala, he takes no shame in it. In fact, he hopes that she is doing the same of him.
He doesn’t have the hang of it, though – the skipping through space and showing up on her doorstep. No matter how hard he tries, and how much he wants it, it’s more difficult than he figures.
It’s not until Kala whispers his name that he sees her again. He’s half-asleep, watching some movie with his blanket half-way down his hips. Her voice is small, nervous; but, it wakes him up in a mere moment.
“Kala,” he replies, voice raspy from sleep.
She’s at the foot of his bed, in her night-clothes. The look on her face is petrified, and Wolfgang can feel it in her – her fear, frustration.
“What’s wrong?” He asks, sitting up.
Her eyes fall over him, hesitantly, and Wolfgang realizes how uncomfortable she must feel, especially considering her reaction the last time they met like this – Wolfgang half-naked. So, he reaches over and yanks the first shirt he reaches on. “Sorry.”
Kala, with her arms crossed, sits down on the edge of the mattress, too much space between them. All of her emotion, her exhaustion, is radiating into Wolfgang.
They sit in silence for some time, before she finally speaks. “I didn’t mean to come here.”
He shouldn’t be upset, because she has a right to want a life without intrusion from a stranger, but it doesn’t stop him from feeling a pang in his chest. He doesn’t show his hurt, though. He nods, instead.
“I was thinking about Rajan, and the wedding,” she says, voice hardly there. “I just – I do not know why my thoughts took me here.”
Wolfgang presses his hands together, letting his fingers interlace. He knows why. Or, at least, he wants to think that he knows why.
“You wanted to be with me,” he wonders, aloud.
Instead of objecting, Kala just shrugs. She faces him, her eyes full of uncertainty.
“I do not know why we are linked as we are. I do not know if Ganesha is giving me what I prayed for. All that I know is that for some reason, I am stuck with you, as you are with me.”
The silence after her words is almost unbearable, thick with emotion.
And, while Wolfgang knows it’s wrong, he can’t stop himself from imagining what it’d feel like to reach out and press his lips to hers. He considers, would it stop her from feeling so much fear, so much confusion.
His eyes fall on her lips, and she stiffens, breath halting.
“I’m not sure what to say,” Wolfgang whispers. He lets himself move forward, stopping when he’s beside her. With only inches separating them, he can practically feel her heartbeat thumping in her chest.
As he leans forward, their arms touching, Kala pulls away, faster.
And, before he can realize it, Kala is gone, vanished into the air. Her emotions stay, however, filling Wolfgang up as if she were still right beside him.
It’s difficult for him, being so needy for someone who refuses to let themselves be happy, all for the sake of another. He’s selfish, completely – yet, Kala refuses to take in that bit of him, along with the rest of shared feelings that they pass.
It’s infuriating, actually, because he knows how she feels, literally. She wants to be free, wants to be proud of herself. She doesn’t want to be with Rajan, not really.
But, there’s nothing he can do, because she’s in one place, and he’s in another, and if he visits, Kala can block him out.
It eats him up, for days that feel like weeks that drag on like months. All he wants is to see her, to be with her. He wants it more than he’s ever wanted anything, but she refuses to let him in.
One day, though, he’s sitting in some café, watching the rain as it falls outside. His mind is on Kala, as always, and in a split-second, he’s no longer surrounded by strangers, but in front of the one person he feels that he knows better than anyone.
Her hair is surrounding her face, like a halo, and she’s almost radiating with sunshine.
“Hi,” Wolfgang says, dropping his cigarette.
Kala watches as he presses his shoe into it, rubbing it into the concrete.
“I did not know if you would come.”
Wolfgang shrugs, smirks. “I’ll always come for you.”
Neither of them let the awkwardness of the innuendo stop them from giggling. The space between them slowly disappears, until they’re much closer than either of them can remember.
“So,” Wolfgang hums, “what made you think of me?”
She sighs, looks down at her feet. He can feel it, her uncertainty.
After a moment, she speaks. “I called off the wedding.”
If Wolfgang’s mood increases higher than it already was, Kala doesn’t mention it. She just nods, running her hands over her thighs.
“I decided that while my parent’s happiness was important, I needed to put my happiness first. I love them, but I would not love Rajan.”
She looks up at him, finally, and purses her lips together.
“Good,” Wolfgang says. “You deserve to be happy. I’m glad you see that, now.”
He reaches forward, takes her hands in his. He presses their palms together, feels her existence in his own. Once again, for the hundredth time, he wonders how she can be real. So beautiful, so wonderful – she’s present.
He thinks, they’ve got forever to get to know each other. He would spend eternity waiting for this girl, wanting her.
“I may not understand what we have,” Kala says. “But, I am glad.”
And he smiles at her, nodding. “Me too.”