Note: This is a continuation to Crazy in Love – part 14.
Chapter 15 – The rules
“Okay Richard, let’s start discussing the rules.” Maya opened her iPad to start taking notes.
“Is that necessary?” He asked referring to the iPad and the stylus she was holding.
“Of course, kailangan, everything is in writing. We may forget so it will be easier to remember.” Was her response.
“I only have 2 rules in my mind Maya. But since you will be the lady of this house, I give you the privilege to lay down all the rules you want.” Richard stated.
With Richard’s go signal, Maya started. “Alright, ako din, simple lang ang rules ko. Rule No. 1 respect, subheading a) individuality. I hope you will not ask me to change how I do things because you don’t find it to your liking.”
Richard: “Agree. Same rule apply to me.”
Maya: “Rule No. 1 respect, subheading b) no physical contact. Unless it is an emergency situation, you are not to touch me or any part of my body.”
Richard suddenly smiled when she mentioned the rule. This prompted Maya to ask “Why are you smiling?”
“Well… do you really want to put that as a provision? Kasi sa akin, okay lang if it’s the other way around, ha,ha,ha,” Richard started to laugh. It was meant to be a joke. He was already finding it amusing for them to discuss this thing and put it in writing was really crazy.
“Ricardo, we are talking about respect here. Aren’t you being disrespectful now?” She seemed offended.
“Okay, I was joking. But what I am wondering is what you really meant by no physical contact.” He was grinning.
“What’s that supposed to mean?” She asked; unable to follow his flow of thought.
“What if, I am handing you something and my finger suddenly touched your hand, is that considered a violation of the rule? So, baka naman your meaning of no physical contact is no sex.” Richard was very straightforward.
“Ah..eh..” She was blushing. “Okay, may point ka dyan. Sige, I will put it here No Sex.”
Then Maya continued, not wanting to dwell into more discussion on the no physical contact rule. “Rule No. 2 – The wedding ring must be worn at all times in compliance with parents requests.”
Richard: “Pati ‘yan? Anyway, sige. But does your ring still fit? I haven’t worn mine for many years so I’m not sure if it still fits me. We might have to get a new set.”
Maya: “Wag na, we’ll figure out a way kung hindi na talaga kasya. Sayang naman kasi after two years, we will be disposing the ring. Next Rule: House rules subheading a) Use of common area ex. Living room, kitchen…”
Richard: “Even that? Anyway, how frequent are we going to see each other here? Most of the time, I assume we will be at work. So the space issue isn’t a concern. The other option is we can always get a house, a bigger house if you are concerned with space.”
He made sense so Maya agreed. “Okay, I will delete the common area provision. How about the household utilities, groceries?”
Richard: “That is not an issue. I’ll provide you an allowance to take care of your needs and the house.”
Maya paused for a while to do some thinking. After a minute, “Now, housework. I can do everything except ironing. I hate ironing.” She emphasized the ironing part.
Richard: “I don’t expect you to be the maid here. You better hire a housekeeper who will do all the house chores. Please let’s not include those details masyado ng mahaba ang rules mo.”
Maya: “One more and most important, confidentiality clause.”
Richard: “I agree. It’s only our family who know about us so far. I don’t expect our relationship will be known to others.”
Maya: “How about our existing boyfriend/girlfriend?” She wanted to bait him to share about his personal life.
Richard: “We will use our own discretion.” He suddenly became serious so Maya didn’t pursue the topic.
Maya: “Next, no meddling on personal activities.”
Richard: “I agree. Do you have other provisions?” He was getting impatient with the long list that Maya was putting together.
Maya: “Hmm, wala na akong maiisip.”
Richard: “Then, it’s my turn. First, no personal questions.”
Maya: “Ha, what’s that?”
Richard: “No personal questions, that’s self-explanatory Maya.”
Maya: “Sige.” She agreed although she wasn’t convinced about that rule.
Richard: “next…all provisions in this agreement are subject to change or amendment as we deem necessary.”
They ended the afternoon with a set of rules that they agreed to abide by. Maya sent him a copy via email. For Richard, the only provisions that mattered were his own rules and the rest can be subject to amendment.
Maya was working on the swatches for the living room set of their client when Richard suddenly arrived in her office. She was surprised when he appeared in her workroom.
“‘Hi Maya” Richard greeted her.
“Ay kabayo!” she exclaimed.
“Hey, it’s just me. Can we talk?” Richard approached her.
“Sorry, nag-iisip kasi ako. Yes, we can talk. What about?”
“Hmm, not here. How about going out for lunch?” He was smiling at her. His lopsided smile which used to make her heart skip still has the same effect on her. She had to remind herself, “Maya, kalma ka lang. You have to get used to seeing him from now on. He is your boss but only a temporary husband…husband, she liked the thought of it.” She got carried away with her thoughts.
“Ah, Maya are you available for lunch?” Richard seemed amused looking at her dreamy expression.
“Oo naman. I’ll meet you downstairs na lang. Mag liligpit muna ako dito.”
“It’s fine, I can wait here.” Richard walked around the room; assessing every displayed photo there. Maya’s photos were all with her family and one seems to be with her friends.
The Maya’s phone rang. Ring. Ring. Ring.
She picked up the call. “Hello.”
When she heard the voice on the other side, she had a mix reaction of panic and joy at the same time. It’s been ages since she last heard that voice.
“Ahh, Hi James.” She spoke on the phone while moving away from Richard. He didn’t seem to notice as he started to read a magazine that was in her table.
“We haven’t spoken for a long time, aren’t you missing me?” Maya was listening to her caller, consciously observing Richard flipping through the pages. She didn’t respond to the question as she knew it will start a lengthy discussion.
“Can I talk to you later? Someone’s waiting for me… Yes, it business.”
She felt uncomfortable having the call with Richard nearby.
Before ending the call James told her “I love you.” She can only manage to reply “Same here.”
Over lunch, Richard handed her an envelope. It contained some bank papers and a check.
“Maya, those are bank forms. Those are application forms for supplementary credit card and a joint account. I’ve provided the informed required and my signatures. You will just to fill-in your data, sign them and go the branch to complete the transaction.”
“Richard, are these necessary?” She asked.
“I’m keeping my side of the bargain. It’s in the rules, right?” He responded.
She just smiled in return. “Thank you Richard.”
“I’ll be on travel for two weeks so I won’t be able to help you with the refurbishing our house. Since decorating is your forte, I’ll give you a freehand on that.”
“O sige. Richard. By the way, I’m moving my things this weekend. The wallpapers will be done by then. Eh, ikaw, when are you moving your things?” She asked.
“I’ll do it this weekend also. My flight is Saturday night.”
“That’s good, the beds that I ordered are arriving this Saturday. So you can check it and if don’t like it we can immediately get it replaced. By the way, where are you going?” Maya curiously asked.
“I’m going to California.” Was his short reply.
“Is it work? or you are going to meet your girlfriend?” She asked without meaning to which triggered Richard’s use of his rule.
“Maya, that’s a personal question.”
With that response, she already knew the purpose of his trip. This is something that she will have to be cognizant for the next two years.
Preview of next chapter
“Are you normally dressed like that at home?” He was referring to the tiny shorts and tank top that she was wearing. With his comment, she suddenly felt self-conscious.
“Yes, because I was exercising. I thought I am alone in the house. May issue ba sa suot ko?” She asked. Now, it was her turn to notice his attire. He was in pajamas and T-shirt. In her mind, “ganito pala ito matulog…. conservative, hmmm.” She was trying to hide a mischievous smile.
“Wala naman. I guess I’ll just have to get used to seeing you dressed like that.” After saying his piece, Richard went back to his room, with a grin on his face.