JoAnne: me tooooooooo
Shuk: Our sexy Clara Barton spends the night taking care of Om-Am, finally leaving her a bowl of porridge before heading out for the day. He calls his assistant to request a housekeeper to do the household chores.
Shuk: And our evil-but-adorable minx cracks an eye and listens for his car to leave, then bounces and wolfs down the meal. Did she even have a fever? I guess if Ferris Bueller can fake it, so can she.
JoAnne: I thought she was, but she's so sneaky....
Shuk: The kitchen is a mess, thanks to Mike’s cooking efforts, so she starts cleaning up. Once the kitchen is done, she showers, brushes her teeth, finishes the laundry, straightens out the master bedroom, cleans the floors, and still has time to PPL a little room freshener.
JoAnne: So in this one she's NOT a slob, I guess? I hadn't even noticed. It never made sense anyway. She loved that house so much, she'd take care of it.
Shuk: Guy is working at a table with a metal picture frame hanging over it (a light maybe? No clue what it is). He can seem to concentrate, though, so he calls Mike. He is having an opening party in two weeks for his new business, and invites him. He also calls Mintra for the same reason; she flirtatiously asks what her role would be. He says the celebrity with the sexy body, but I’m pretty sure she was angling for “date”.
JoAnne: I spent a lot of time staring at that thing too.
JoAnne: We're supposed to buy that she doesn't know how he feels. I just do not.
Shuk: Her dinners are well-received by Guy’s employees and she receives a happy hug from him and a promise of two future dinners. One of the employees comments that his girlfriend is cute, but he quickly says Mintra is just his sister
Shuk: It’s now dark, and Om-Am is pacing around the living room, until she hears the car pull into the driveway. She quickly puts a hot cloth on her face (well that’s one way to fake a fever), and dives back under the blanket. Mike arrows to the couch and checks her forehead, only afterward registering the cleanliness of the house. He pulls away the blanket; sure enough, she’s in clean clothes.
JoAnne: She never thinks anything through!
Shuk: BUSTED. He leans over and yells at her, and they bump heads. This starts the first (but not the last, I’m sure) argument in the house. He points out that everything she did proves she isn't sick, and he’s tired of her lies. She begs him to negotiate with her.
JoAnne: I wondered about that; it's a LOT of money to just give someone you don't even know, and plus the repayment schedule didn't add up.
Shuk: The discussion progresses from utilities and monthly fees to the food costs of a short, healthy-eating woman. After some grumbling she agrees with everything. Her debt to him will be paid off in less than three months. She insists on a contract, though, that includes a no-touching clause, which Mike says won’t be a problem since her too-short legs are not his style. The contract gets signed.
Shuk: Now his dictatorial side comes out, as he waves a finger-scepter and points out all the places that need to be cleaned. Plus, he’s picky about his food, requiring high protein foods, and fresh-squeezed juices of various colors each day. With a toss of the finger-stick to Om-Am, she begins the new phase of her life as a live-in housemaid.
JoAnne: Positively dancing with excitement over here!
Shuk: Mike is at a jewelry store. Omo, is he planning on proposing to Mintra? It appears so, since he starts practicing lines to preamble a proposal while fondling a small velvet box. He calls Mintra to offer to pick her up tonight, but she will just meet him at the restaurant.
JoAnne: Dude, you are buying this heartbreak all on your own. What sign has she EVER given you that she feels anything for you romantically?
Shuk: Mike is left alone in an empty restaurant waiting. And waiting. And fidgeting. And waiting. One of the waitstaff rats him out to a paparazzi. Finally he heads home, and takes out his anger on his new maid. She has no idea why, and just assumes he wants to jerk her chain.
JoAnne: I feel bad for him, poor little stupid puppy.
Shuk: Mintra and Guy share a delightful dinner together, and she implies that he is better than Mike in all ways. Guy says that Mike is loveable and, if he were a girl, he’d be all over him. Yay, bromance?
JoAnne: Guy has moments where he is a really stand up..ummm...guy.
Shuk: Except Mintra finally says it; she’s not interested in Mike, she’s interested in him. Guy shoots her down; no matter what, she will only be his sister, ever. He drives the point home when leaves the restaurant with another woman while Mintra is in the bathroom, leaving only a coaster note. Okay, that’s a jerkface move on his part.
JoAnne: And then there's these moments.
Shuk: Om-Am overhears him and immediately breaks out in peals of laughter. He’s embarrassed, but ends up asking her for advice. She launches into a deep discussion, only to laugh it up as BS. Too bad, he was hanging on her every word. Heh.
JoAnne: That cute puppy already trusts her and unknowingly considers her a friend.
Shuk: He gets his petty revenge the next morning by complaining about breakfast and insisting she recook it. While waiting for it, he starts flipping through today’s newspapers, until a headline set him off and he heads out the door on an oath.
Shuk: She picks it up and reads it - it’s a tabloid article on how he was stood up at dinner, and she realizes the reason behind his anger the night before.
JoAnne: From very early on, they both display a remarkable ability to put themselves in the other's shoes...just never when the other would know about it. Coulda sped that romance up by 10X...
Shuk: Om-Am tries the new book idea with the publisher, but her writing still sucks. She ends up sitting on a playground swing, clutching her current failure.
Shuk: And Mike is bombarded by personal questions at a public event. Once out of sight of the reporters, his handler asks what is really happening, but he doesn’t answer. Instead, once alone, he calls Mintra, and asks to postpone their dinner because of the article. She offers to have dinner at her store.
Shuk: He’s at the store with the ring in his pocket, still trying to formulate the words. The front door rings, and Mintra asks him to get the deliver y food, even though there appears to be two perfectly healthy individuals by the door. No matter, it’s not dinner, but a balloon girl and an apologetic note from Guy. Mintra sighs that the person she likes isn’t interested in her, and then unloads her sad feelings on him.
JoAnne: I loved that Guy didn't send flowers, which are romantic. Instead, he sent the world's ugliest, most childish balloon sculpture, thus apologizing AND driving home the core concept: He don't want you, Min.
Shuk: Mike calls unrequited love ‘stupidity’, which Mintra objects to, but it’s clear he is referring to himself. Continuously loving someone who doesn’t love you back is stupid, and that means both of them. With that, Mike leaves a puzzled Mintra, and drives away with his sunglasses on.
JoAnne: Now if you could just STICK to this.
Shuk: So both Om-Am and Mike hit low points: she is full of self-doubt about her writing skills, and he is doubting his ability to secure happiness. I think they both need a hug – together!
Shuk: Guy surprised me when he abandoned Mintra at the restaurant. It seemed out of character for him, but he couldn’t have made it any clearer that there was nothing romantic between them.
JoAnne: It happens in FH-K too, but I think he leaves while she's there in the room...and I'm not sure it's immediately following a confession. Still, in both versions it effectively drove home the fact that he doesn't consider this a date, and thinks of her as a buddy. It was pretty harsh, though.
Shuk: I wonder if we will have one of those annoying paparazzi characters constantly tailing Mike, with the standard comic missteps and such. I hope not, because the story really doesn’t need a vehicle like that, and all extra time should be given to the interactions of our OTP.
JoAnne: I can think of several other characters to not have, as well.