AJ’s transformation from the charming, rascally, party animal to this…soulful artist who could compose such melodic, heart-wrenching music had always amazed Anna.
The last few days, she’d been witness to the artistic collaboration between AJ and Virat that was pure genius. She still couldn’t get over how at the peak of his career as a musician, composer and shrewd businessman who’d revived the family’s music label by reaching the new millennial crowd, he still considered himself to be a perennial student.
He would learn an instrument from an Ustad-ji, master it, play and compose with the top musicians, and then move on to the next one.
While Virat reigned outside the studio, inside, it was AJ. From the background score—a different but melding piece each for the main protagonists—to the Hindustani score for the kathak dance number of the leading woman, they discussed, started and abandoned various ideas, and challenged each other until AJ could give birth to whatever piece of brilliance Virat had in his mind.
But on the fourth morning of her stay, as AJ led the musicians and her in a rousing alaap, with Virat and Vikram listening quietly, she felt the slow climb and the downward spiral of the tune move through her like a knot of ache and love and loss, all enmeshed together. This studio represented everything good about their union.
When she gave voice to the music he composed, Anna could almost believe they could find their way back to each other again.
The dark green velvet sofa, almost black, in the soft lights, that sat against the far wall was where he had made love to her once, after she’d impulsively blurted out that she desperately wanted him, and the sight of it sent fierce heat streaking through her cheeks.
The unfamiliar tune tugged at memories Anna couldn’t fight anymore.
The first time AJ had praised her talent on the singing show, an increasing awareness began every time they looked at each other, whether on set or behind the scenes or during dinners with the production team of the show. He’d began taking more of an interest in her singing…and yet he’d never behaved in a forward way with her. Not by a flicker of an eyelid did he betray romantic interest.
For the eighteen months that she’d been in contract with the show, Anna had thought it was all in her head. That it was a silly dream she’d weaved around a man she’d always admired.
Even after they’d married in a whirlwind, she’d brought those foolish insecurities along with her into their marriage.
Except he had loved her. And, yes, that love had meant more than candlelight dinners and moonlit walks that Anna had imagined. His love had meant real life and responsibilities. The man ran a damn multimillion crore business. The more she thought on it, the more Anna felt powerless anger toward herself.
She had willingly thrown away a golden future with the man she loved.
After another night of restless sleep, acutely aware that the man she craved in her bed was but two walls away, she was finding the polite distance he’d been imposing between them more and more painful. Through hours and hours of jam sessions—sitting next to him, practicing and pitching, and arguing and being commanded to do better—it was incredibly painful to bid good-night at the end of the day like he was another stranger.
Incredibly painful to look into his eyes and find that he’d decided that there was nothing worth salvaging between them.
She knew he was going through a lot emotionally. He had trusted and respected his father and loved all three of his sisters with a deep abiding emotion. What they had done by interfering in his life, by taunting and driving away the woman he’d married, was a betrayal to him.
Not to mention the unaddressed trauma of his mother abandoning him.
So when night blanketed the city once again, Anna crept into the master bedroom she’d once shared with AJ. She was more than glad to see he hadn’t been drinking again. And she also knew he’d been channeling all that roiling emotion into his music.
But she couldn’t abandon him. She was going to fight for them. For this.
He was sitting up in bed, leaning against the headboard, sheet music in his hands. His naked torso, with its sparse dotting of hair, glimmered in the moonlight filtering into the room.
“So I didn’t imagine it. You’ve been sneaking into my bedroom in the middle of the night. And running away before dawn.”
Log in or create an account to read the next chapter of "Their Bollywood Reunion"
Every month we select a new title from one of our authors so that you can discover new stories, locations and genres for free.