Date: November 12, 2019 07:24 pm Title: Lights will guide you home and ignite your bones
Spotted: Jim and Pam and Karen and Paul having the best adult sleepover ever. What can I even say about this flashback? I’m never going to be able to go into a Whole Foods without smirking ever again. I’m not mad about that.
Hey, let’s talk about Karen for a second before I get into this story. She got bangs. Karen got bangs after a break up with Paul, and you put the best tiny details into this story and my favorite part about reading it is finding these little gems.
Anyways. Now they’re at the mural, and why do I get kind of choked up every time Jim tells Pam he’s proud of her?
Listen. I love that all of this – the confessions, the fight, the kiss – it all takes place in a parking lot, but not the DM parking lot. The symmetry is really nice, and I appreciate you didn’t take the easy route of putting them back in familiar territory.
“I came back for you.” I mean, I was already super invested in this chapter, but the build-up of the fight from this line all the way to Pam’s “I went to your goddamned engagement party…” It’s.. it’s just so very good. All of it. I don’t think I breathed while reading their fight? And I knew what Pam’s comeback was going to be, but it still felt like a sucker punch. And then everything after that? Jim freaking apologizes to her for her showing up at his engagement party. That entire moment, when he doesn’t know what to do or say, it’s now firmly in my top 5 favorite emotional moments of this entire story.
AND THEN SHE KISSES HIM. AND HE KISSES HER BACK. Yeah he does.
“Pam bites her bottom lip because it’s really all too much with him like this. Wanting to lighten the mood, she pushes her fingertips against his pectoral muscles, and, with an exaggerated jaw drop, mouths, “Wow. So strong.”” Like, thank you for this because *I* needed the same break from that moment.
“But, Jesus, Pam actually stands up and takes a gulp of wine at seeing Jim’s name on her phone. She picks up a teal throw pillow and resettles into a corner of the couch, clutching the pillow and her wineglass like it’s her mid-thirties version of a security blanket.” I ask this every chapter, but seriously, how do you do this? That whole carefully casual goodnight phone call made me grin, because it’s so sweet, and Pam just wants to sneak into Jim’s parents’ house and who can blame her?
The idea of 10 more chapters of this makes me happier than you’ll ever know.
Date: November 12, 2019 06:58 pm Title: One foot in and one foot back
Oh hey, you’re crushing hearts right off the bat in this chapter. Good. I’ve been missing being emotionally destroyed by fictional characters.
Jim. Ugh, poor Jim. To have Margaret tell him that Pam had moved is just such a brilliant choice. And then to have Hannah have to bail him out of jail? Not a great night to be Jim.
Speaking of Hannah, I really love the way you turned her into a whole person, and not just a throwaway character that we don’t care about. You gave her depth, and we know that she’s not super touchy feely, and that she knew her marriage to Jim was doomed from the beginning, but she still loved him in her own way – this is all very good, and don’t get me wrong, I’m glad they’re divorced, but it was nice getting to know Hannah a little bit. Even the husband sharing part of her. Not so much the breaking the rules and cheating with Aaron part of her, but well, no one is perfect. I really love how they just know they’re better off after the divorce, and able to be friends after everything.
But back to present day – and this tea date is adorable in the best of ways, and Pam’s list of rules for dating is perfect, and their banter is the best, and how do you do this? Seriously.
“I was not in any way over you. Even a little. It was too soon after we, you know… And, she was, obviously, in no way over her ex.” Jim’s complete honesty here is so good, I don’t even care if it’s because Karen told him he needed to be. And then when he gets to the “But I didn’t get that life, so I bought a fast car?” part of his life story… Again, I’m fine and have no real attachment to these characters and this world you’ve built.
Date: October 31, 2019 10:21 am Title: Lights will guide you home and ignite your bones
20 Chapters! Sweet merciful crap girl! What else are you going to drag us through? Mostly kidding of course. These two seem to have a lot of issues they still need to sort out. That being said, the flashback was wonderfully sweet.
Lots of very real emotions going on there outside the bar. It's very easy to see that things would get heated between them before they get "heated," for other reasons. I do like that they're being honest with each other like this. In the show it seemed for the first few seasons that Jim and Pam took the long way around before they finally got together. Even more so with this story. Things are looking up to be sure. Hope they can stay on track.
Author's Response: Warrior, thank you so much for taking the time to read this. I appreciate your commitment to reviewing each chapter. I hope you enjoy where the rest of the story goes.
Date: October 31, 2019 02:26 am Title: Somebody that I used to know
This 5 jelly bean limit is seriously killing me!! I’m fresh outta beans here, but wish I could fork over a Costco sized container of those little Kerman’s of joy! This is solidly one of my favorite stories out there. I adore your writing and pine for each new chapter. This one had all the feels and was... hot! 🌶🌶🌶 Their canon characters are so vibrant. The AU missed connections are devastating. This chapter was a sweet Halloween treat. Thank you!
Author's Response: A2RM, oh my gosh this review is so incredibly kind! And I absolutely laughed out loud at those peppers! :) I really hope you enjoy where this story continues to go and thank you so much!
Date: October 31, 2019 12:57 am Title: Lights will guide you home and ignite your bones
Wow, DC, wow. I mean I’m already generally an emotional mess most of the time, but that entire flashback left me reeling. How they lost all that... Ugh. So much ugh.
And then there’s present day, and what a ride that was. It’s so, so nice to finally see some honesty and courage from the both of them. That kiss, oh boy that kiss. I can’t deal with how heart wrenchingly perfect this whole thing is...
Author's Response: Oh, JB! You are too kind. I'm so glad you are enjoying this. You have no idea how much I appreciate your very kind words and ongoing encouragement of this story!
Date: October 30, 2019 07:57 pm Title: Lights will guide you home and ignite your bones
Oh this was so good. Every chapter is worth the wait. Halfway through...that's wonderful. I love how your descriptions are so detailed. And the little bits of intimate humour like Jim flexing are just perfect.
Author's Response: Sprinkles, thank you so much for your kind words. I appreciate how much you have enjoyed this story and I hope you continue to like where it goes from here.
Date: October 28, 2019 11:58 pm Title: Somebody that I used to know
I needed to catch up on the last few chapters and then realized that I have egregiously not reviewed this at all so time to fixed both those issues!
You know how in the Pilot episode you’re just starting to feel Jim and Pam’s cute banter and flirty chemistry then *boom* Roy walks in and the rug is pulled out? Well this chapter had the same energy with Pam doing exactly what we wanted her to do on casino night deciding to be with Jim and then *boom* fast forward years later, they’ve been broken up for years (?) and Pam’s inspecting Jim’s finger for a wedding ring, wha-what??
Anyway amazing job conveying the awkwardness of running into an ex (especially an ex you’re still very much attracted to) and dropping lots of little bread crumbs I have no choice but to follow. And it’s early but I can already tell your Karen is the friend Pam so needed and deserved but never got on the show (but thankfully we have fanfic!)
Author's Response: Oh, NLM. Any review from you is a treat, and this one is no different. Thank you for your kind words about this story. And I'm SO glad you like where the Karen and Pam friendship is going. You know I feel robbed, but I'm SO thankful for fanfic and MTT to fill that void.
Date: September 29, 2019 02:42 pm Title: One foot in and one foot back
SO GOOD SO GOOD SO GOOD SO GOOD. Truly what a huge payoff. So many thoughts on this.
First, I feel bad for Jim. There’s something really sad about reading his POV. His DUI, telling Hannah what he wanted to say to Pam, commuting to this unhappy life waiting for rock bottom, and almost a fear of making his own life better because what he had wasn’t great but seemed comfortable and it was better to live with regret and not having what he wanted.
Seeing Pam convince herself out loud to him that his life is better without her (via the car) was also interesting to read him interpret. The line about the wife who spent too much on art supplies was a punch to the gut. And I love him laying out the hard truth about where he’s at, even if he didn’t say everything he needed to. I wish she would have pushed him more on the marriage and why he didn’t propose to her because really that was kind of the catalyst for their break up and this long painful self destructing road they’ve both been on where they think they’re happy but not, only he knows that right now.
I truly cannot wait for it to come out about her going to his engagement party and where it goes from here. Screaming in excitement.
Side note, I feel like Pam needs a Fleabag jumpsuit moment at some point.
Oh, bjb, I always appreciate your reviews for this fic so much. You feeling something about "spent too much on art supplies" is the right kind of punch to my gut. I so appreciate your kind words and the details about what works for you. We WILL hear about why Jim didn't propose, but it probably won't come for a while. Hang in there, okay? :)
Fleabag is on my list to watch so I'm not sure what the specific moment is. BUT. The jumpsuit itself makes me swoon!!
Thank you, as always, for the kind words and appreciation of this one.
Date: September 29, 2019 10:47 am Title: One foot in and one foot back
DC, this is so good. I just sat at my kitchen counter completely engrossed in this for the last 20 minutes. I finished and it was like I had to shake myself back to reality. I love this adult version of JAM. Thank you for such a great chapter.
Author's Response: Sprinkles, this review is so kind! I'm glad it was that immersive. I always appreciate your feedback on this story! xoxo
Date: September 28, 2019 09:33 pm Title: One foot in and one foot back
Okay, “I and Love and You” is a fantastic song and the chapter title coming from it really set me up to adore this update.
Great song aside, oh my heart. This chapter was amazing & hurt in the best way possible.
“their confusion how people they loved changed the rules in the middle” - just when I thought this fic couldn’t destroy me anymore, this line broke my heart. So, so good.
Oh Jim and the sadness that didn’t come from the divorce but from the jealousy that Hannah got to be with her person.
I didn’t want this chapter to end, & then it ended & damn I really didn’t want it to end!
JB, that song, RIGHT?!?!?! I'm the dork who creates a playlist for every WIP and this was on repeat with at least six possible titles. It's just such a powerhouse song.
Aw, man. I'm (sorry, but) glad that line hit that way. I didn't want to fall too far into the depths of Jim and Hannah's connection over their grief but it happens. I'm so glad that line and the source of Jim's jealousy served their purpose.
Thank you so much for this kind review. I appreciate it so much!
Date: September 28, 2019 05:26 pm Title: One foot in and one foot back
Like I said in a previous review, it was Jim's turn to have his heart dragged through the mud for a bit. Gotta feel for the guy that all that is what he was trying to do to "move on."
However their conversation, actually more like Jim's confession, seems like a lot of progress. Good on you Jim for not acting like the tool you did last time you were sitting across a public table from her. If Jim and Pam's biggest concern has always been lack of communication, this is a good way for them to start fixing that mistake. Great writing as always.
Author's Response: Thanks, Warrior! I hope this chapter provided some good insight into Jim's motives and history without taking away from this being primarily about Pam's journey. Thank you, as always, for your review.
Date: September 28, 2019 04:36 pm Title: One foot in and one foot back
Resolution and honesty would be nice (are we going to get a "honesty isn't her strong suit" callout?). This fic is killing me but in a very good way. I am not usually a fan of fics in which JAM didn't work out the first time, but this one is highly addictive because of the emotional work you put into it for both of them, both on why they broke up and on why they would each want to find each other again, without invalidating what came before. Also, from your intro: "doing grown-up things"--why is it that grown-up things (in addition to sex) always means completely emotionally screwed up, self-deceiving bullshit? Not blaming you for the accurate description, just saying that "grown-up" so often means, as here, "fundamentally childish."
Oh, Comfect your reviews always get me thinking long and hard about how I've approached something. I appreciate that so much! I didn't know that Reconnecting Jam wasn't typically your thing so it means that much more that you are so invested in this one. Thank you!!
And, I get what you're saying, but it's a redemption story, friend! There has to be some major deviance to make that work AND to emphasize how self-destructive they both became after losing each other. I'm a sucker for people stumbling a little until they fall face first and then pulling themselves out of it. But that warning was mostly for the people who like Puritan Jam. Cause... this isn't that (as much as I love good fluff with no drama :D). Seriously, your insightful reviews are always so appreciated! And I'm really glad you're back. :)
Date: September 17, 2019 07:37 pm Title: Somebody that I used to know
Oh my gosh this story is amazing!
It’s now 3:35am and I’m still awake because I couldn’t stop reading!
I LOVE everything about this! I love the characters in this context and the way you write is honestly beautiful! I can honestly picture everything and can hear their conversations... you write so naturally!
Thank you for this masterpiece - please update soon!
Author's Response: Wow! Rach, that is such an amazing review. Thank you SO MUCH! As twisted as it sounds, it is an amazing compliment to have someone sacrifice sleep in order to read your work. That in and of itself is such a compliment. Thank you and I hope you enjoy the updates.
Date: September 05, 2019 08:10 pm Title: Raise your hopeful voice, you have a choice
Oh hi, it's just me. Calling this meeting of the Karen fan club to order. (Are you happy now? Because I'm so confused as to how I got here.)
First of all, I'd completely forgotten about this song you used for the title. Such a great choice! But back to the story.
Karen and Pam have weekly Gossip Girl dates. Of course they do. And when the three of them go to lunch and it takes less than an hour for Karen to be all "Just kiss already, you two?" Love that.
Also love how she's like, it's cool... we're friends now Jim, so go get me that guy's phone number."
Listen. I didn't come to this story with the expectation that I was going to not only ship Karen and Paul, but become fucking invested in them and their relationship and let's just go right into the scene that is their fourth date because I have so many things to say about it.
It's not just that she's in deeper than she wanted to be and that she's all but begging him to sleep with her (that's all great!) but its the tiny details of her trying to make things happen; what with the Sinatra, and the getting him to pick her up, and the black dress and she brought a toothbrush with her.
Karen's kind of a genius. And fine, she's just looking for an easy lay but she ends up with a husband and god, these two are perfect for each other and I don't know how you did it.
I don't know what it says about me that one of my favorite parts of Karen's backstory is that Josh's wife is named Jasmine, because the alliteration of that just delights me. Obviously, I hate the rest of the Porter portion of this story, but you put these tiny little moments in and I feel the need to comment on all of them. Not sorry.
But like. Why DID Paul piss on a cop car?
So, I love that both Karen and Paul have been there for Jim and Pam's story since the beginning. It makes Paul's protectiveness of Pam in the previous chapter so much more real.
Do I love that present day Karen and Paul fight over Pam and Jim? I mean, no, but also yes? Because they're really good friends. And he's still calling her Chief. *swoon*
But now we're to the Karen and Jim showdown and you know that gif that's just the guy settling in with his popcorn? That's me right now.
And I'm not disappointed. I love Karen's initial wariness, but I especially love how she almost immediately can't escape the familiarity of their friendship. Even she isn't impervious to Jim's charms. God bless her for teasing him about the Raya profile.
But hey. Thanks for the mini heart attack in which for three seconds, you had me scared that Pam OD'd in New York. But no, it was Ryan. And Pam was there. Why was Pam there, hmm?
" Pam never tells anyone about her dalliances while in New York. She doesn’t talk about the pills or the random hookups or the blackout drinking." This is a lot and I need a minute, but also I want all the details of these dalliances.
Ugh, I relate too much to Karen's instinct to smack some sense into Jim. I appreciate her wanting to take things into her own hands and fix their problems for them and I know way too well how hard it is for her to bite her tongue, offer vague suggestions, and then sit back and wait for these two idiots to sort themselves out on their own.
Maybe Paul SHOULD take her to the range. She probably has some aggression to work out after all of that.
This is one of my favorite chapters in a story of favorite chapters so... good luck topping this. ;)
Man, this review is full of so much that I'm just blown over.
So, in short, yeah I kind of fell in love with writing Karen and Paul. Way more than expected. If I was an author IRL they would get their own spinoff series. And the cop car thing was related to a stray football, the cop getting unnecessarily authoritative, and one too many Long Island Iced Teas.
I knew the OD would have that reaction; it was only for a minute that I considered dragging out that revelation. You're welcome. ;)
Thank you so so so much for this incredibly kind review. I won't lie. I'm a little worried about topping this chapter now. :D
Date: September 05, 2019 07:47 pm Title: Just wanna keep calling your name until you've come back home
I can't believe I haven't reviewed this yet. Please forgive me.
I mean. This whole flashback is just punch after punch to the gut. In the best of ways, of course. Pam's going to Philadelphia. She's wearing The Dress. She's got ideas of grand speeches and apologies and what could go wrong? EVERYTHING. Everything could go wrong.
"It took four hours to get back to Scranton. There was a wreck that added a little time, but mostly it was the stops that prolonged the trip. One stop to pull over and vomit at the thought of… everything, all of this. Another stop to buy a bottle of water. Another stop to embrace the fury that pushed her to call Jim.
Pam was fully prepared to release a string of expletives toward him along with her theories that he must have cheated on her, that this was why he didn’t fight with her on ending things between them, that she knew all along she would never be enough for him. She wasn’t prepared for the annoyed man who answered and said something like, ‘Yeah this ain’t Jim’s phone I done told ya’ before ending the call abruptly." SHE TRIED TO CALL HIM AND IT'S NOT HIS NUMBER ANYMORE.
So like, I just need to know. Do you enjoy the pain you cause me with these flashbacks? Just me, wondering.
We need to talk about this scene at Paul and Karen's house. It's just perfect start to finish. I love Pam being comfortable enough to go through Karen's bathroom drawers. I adore Paul threatening to call Jim. I die because his nickname for Karen is Chief.
"Yep, just call me the Patron Saint of Relationship Rejuvenation and Realizations" I laugh a little bit every time I read this line, and I love the self-awareness of everyone else needing to work at their relationships when they realize Jim and Pam couldn't keep it together.
"Pam, emboldened by comfort and wine, rolled her eyes without restraint and looked at Karen. “A rebound is fucking an Australian one night on vacation. Not getting married. Jesus, Kare, it’s been three fucking months.” She leaned forward and picked up her refilled glass. “It took him three goddamn years to tell me he loved me and three more to not propose so… Now he’s engaged to the perfect lawyer from college. The one I didn’t think anything about when she suggested he get a haircut and he fucking listened to her. Cause men only listen to women they’re fucking about haircuts —”
“Okay, you’re getting cut off.” Karen ceremoniously moved the wine bottle to the floor. “You say ‘fuck’ a lot when you get twisted.”" Here's another question for you: Are you TRYING to make me the president of the I love Karen as Pam's best friend fan club?
Let's just say, if elected, there will be wine at every meeting.
And here we are at my favorite scene of this entire chapter. I know, how could I pick just one? But this next morning scene has everything. Kelly referring to her and Ryan as the next Kim and Kanye is golden. So here we are, deep, deep into this chapter and I've felt a lot of feelings akin to rage and sadness and well, it's been a Lana del Rey song, you feel me? But then we get here and you just have this way of throwing in these absolutely delightful details that make me laugh and laugh and love you just a little bit more each time.
Pam created a fake facebook account. Pam named herself Stacey Carosi. STACEY FUCKING CAROSI. This is the kind of pop culture add-in I need in my life and honestly, I'm so, so, so sad that no one else has praised you for it.
Stacey Carosi. You're the best.
I love New York Pam's habit of hate-reading Hannah's facebook. HappyHalperts, my ass. How'd that work out for you, Hannah?
But then I'm so proud when she deletes everything. And that teeny tiny little Ryan moment? LOOK WHO GOT A GLOW UP INDEED.
And then we're in present day and I almost forgot there's a present day to this story because that flashback was just so fucking good. But now we've got Erin and Pete and her boyfriend Drew, and Pam and Karen mocking the Raya profile, and Darryl being Darryl and everything is light and fine and happy!
Except nah, you're gonna throw one more dagger into my heart. It's fine. I still like you. Pam and her phone and the unspoken deal with her friends and family that she doesn't know what pictures they're talking about blah blah blah, you fucking pulled out the big guns for this final gut punch, didn't you?
That photo. THAT photo. That. Photo. It's fine. We're all fiiiiine here.
You know I love this story a lot, right? Just checking.
First of all, you will forever and always be the President of the Karen and Pam as BFF fan club. I'll be at EVERY meeting with champagne and cupcakes.
See, this is why I can't with your reviews. You catch the things that make me giggle like the idiot I am while writing. The patron saint bit. Paul calling Karen Chief. STACEY FUCKING CAROSI.
I'm glad everything else worked as I hoped it would. Especially that photo. Yup. THAT photo.
So glad you love this story so much. xoxo
Date: September 04, 2019 12:16 am Title: Raise your hopeful voice, you have a choice
I'll be honest, I was a little hesitant about this being from Karen's POV, since I'm literally chomping at the bit for more JAM. But, her background on her friendship with Pam and feeling conflicted about the current state of affairs was really good intel and very relatable. I also really liked her staying out of some of the questions he asked her and lobbing it back to him to go talk to her and find out for himself. I know how hard that restraint is, LOL. Really hope we get some truth out there soon, the tension is killing me (not in a serious way).
Author's Response: Oh, BJB, thank you for this review. I get it; not everyone is in the Karen Fan Club. Thank you for taking a chance on it!! While writing, it was a fun exercise to frame Karen in this world how we watched JAM as viewers in those early seasons. "WHEN WILL THESE TWO IDIOTS SEE WHAT'S RIGHT IN FRONT OF THEM?!" And we are completely on the path to getting some truth; thank you so so so much for hanging in there. I always appreciate your honest, insightful reviews.
Date: September 04, 2019 12:00 am Title: Raise your hopeful voice, you have a choice
Karen as a friend I like. Karen as a diehard JAM shipper I love! I also love the idea (and it felt very true to character) that had Pam had some forewarning, i.e. a dear friend gently pointing out that she was in love with Jim, prior to Casino Night she may have handled it a little differently. That you had Karen as the catalyst for this - amazing. Is there a Dundie for best efforts in reducing the wrath against Karen? You somehow manage to make her all the more like-able, something canon never really accomplished...
I very much enjoyed the Paul/Karen backstory too. This story is such a lovely read, I’m always thrilled to see you update 😊
JB, first of all, "Is there a Dundie for best efforts in reducing the wrath against Karen?" just thoroughly made my MONTH! What a compliment!!
But also, you hit on the other thing that I always think about. Where (in canon) were Pam's girlfriends?! I feel like (again, in canon) she probably didn't have many who weren't also connected to Roy. This gave me the chance to play with that aspect of how important female friendships are. I'm so glad you caught that. Thank you for leaving such a wonderfully generous review.
Date: September 03, 2019 08:42 pm Title: Raise your hopeful voice, you have a choice
Oh my God, DC, this was so good. I was completely absorbed. I love the way you give so many tiny details so I can see exactly what's happening. Please give us another chapter soon.
Author's Response: Thank you, Sprinkles! Reviews like this warm my heart! Sometimes I get worried that those "tiny details" I so love adding in just bog down the story. I'm glad to hear that it works for you!
Date: September 03, 2019 05:20 pm Title: Raise your hopeful voice, you have a choice
Oh I like this. Karen PoV was great, but I can totally see it being something you don't want to overdo. The story progression was wonderful, which feels weird to say about a chapter that's mostly flashback, but it was necessary to ground why Karen would feel the complicated mixed up way she does about Jim--and JAM. I'm hoping for some Pam PoV next, paradoxically because I'd like to let our view of Jim stew a little rather than getting his immediate reaction to Karen's meddling. But you do you!
Author's Response: Comfect, thank you! I'm so glad you liked Karen's PoV and how it moved the story along. I always appreciate your reviews!
Date: September 03, 2019 01:34 pm Title: Raise your hopeful voice, you have a choice
So that was quite a lot to take in. Interesting perspective, hearing Karen's backstory like that. It does provide a lot of depth to her character in this story though. She's not perfect, she's made mistakes, she's overcome them. She's also learned that while you can help someone else fix their mistakes, you can't fix someone else's mistakes for them. Even if the path is rocky and hard, it's best to let others fix themselves. That's what I got from her conversation with Jim there. She knows how powerful it is to endure trials and come out on the other side. It's Jim and Pam's turn to do that. I like that she's there to help point them both in the right direction, but then she's willing to step back.
Great way to flesh out this character.
Author's Response: Thanks, Warrior! Sounds like everything I was going for hit the target. Thank you for taking the time to review.
Date: September 02, 2019 11:17 am Title: Just wanna keep calling your name until you've come back home
I could go on and on about this story forever. The writing is so raw that after every chapter (which I have reread so many times), I come away from it feeling like I’ve witnessed the heartbreak of my best friends. I’m just dying to read more into how Jim and Pam navigate this period of their lives together. Can’t wait to read more- hopefully soon??
Author's Response: Wow! Thanks for that review, ScrantonSantiago (oh my god, best name!). That is too thoughtful and kind. A new chapter is coming soon; I hope you enjoy it. :)
Date: July 28, 2019 12:41 am Title: Just wanna keep calling your name until you've come back home
Pam putting THAT dress on, only to have the wind knocked out of her in the worst way, was devastating! I can see why she’d be cautious to rush into any sort of reconciliation in the present day. I say this every time, but this may just be my favorite version of Karen to ever exist...
Author's Response: Aw, thanks, JB! I'm glad the added pain of THAT dress came through for you cause I hesitated with it, but it felt too right to add to Pam's pain. I'm so glad you enjoy this version of Karen! The next chapter is from Karen's PoV; I hope you will enjoy it.
Date: July 23, 2019 02:39 pm Title: Just wanna keep calling your name until you've come back home
Okay, so first of all, the fact that Pam is sitting here thinking about how everyone else is moving onward and upward and that spurring her to actually do something is great. Fancy New Beesly needed a kick in the ass, right?
Making up scenarios in her head is just so REAL and also heartbreaking because sometimes I remember that this was a TV show and things "just happen" for characters because it was "meant to be," but here she is acting like a lovesick puppy and your characters are less fictional and more real.
Oh. Oh she's. She's *wearing the dress*. Do you enjoy seeing me get emotional? Because it gets worse. Because she *walked in on his engagement party* DC. THAT HAPPENED. Her BIG JIM GESTURE led her STRAIGHT TO HIS ENGAGEMENT PARTY. Ya done did it.
I cannot imagine the embarrassment and fury and literal hell hole of emotions that she went through, but you seem to have put it all into these little eloquent words that made me cry (on vacation, mind you) and I just.
Can I just say that I love your Paul and Karen? They're the best. Especially since Paul is as mad at Jim as the rest of us and wanted to do something about it.
Pam realizing that she "didn't set anything on fire" is fucking HEARTBREAKING. She wanted to do something, and she couldn't, and she lost him, and this is the most tragic kick in the ass to change your lifestyle that I've ever experienced.
The fake Facebook killed me the second most. Maybe it's because I empathize. maybe it was the descriptions of the wedding hashtag and how I felt like I was in Pam's shoes as she scrolled. How do you do that? How do you make me feel like I'm living inside these stories?
(Also. Hannah is *that* Facebook person that I want to punch. Was anyone *really* concerned that Nancy's dress would fit? Were they?)
I love that you still have Pam being timid, even in New York. You don't just move across the country and change lifestyles. Pam does things in baby steps, so I love that, while she moved to New York, she wasn't all of a sudden being super bold and painting the town red, but she was still eating lunch by herself and not going to museums yet.
Of course, when the snap happens, it happens big. And I love that she deleted social media. Such a bold move, honestly. Why am I proud of a fictional character?
I LOVE Kelly's involvement here. She WOULD be a NY fashionista with Urban Decay samples. However, if there isn't a scene where Pam and Ryan do drugs together, I'm going to write FanFiction about your FanFiction.
"Did we break each other?"
No, but DC BROKE ME, THANKS.
"My boyfriend Drew." *snorts*
Honestly, DC. You write the whole "sulking over an old love" story TOO well. The bit about the pictures was EVERYTHING. Of course she still had them. Of course she got nervous about going into the pictures app.
But what killed me the most? You use *that* picture. You gave a story to *that picture.* And the "I love you so fucking much" ACTUALLY shattered me. I have no idea why. But I did cry. I did have to put a hand to my mouth in shock because that line ended me.
And now I need more. Holy shit. I bow.
Dude. Your reviews are so freaking amazing and you have no idea how much I appreciate them.
First of all, you pick up on all these little things like the dress (I don't care if it was over the top; I went for it), THAT picture that you knew right away, and the Drew thing (I snorted when I saw that you snorted). But also, I really love that you appreciate the heartbreaking moment with the whole "I didn't set it on fire" thing. Cause I think that was such a Pam thing, to see everyone around her be brave or know they would be and she isn't and then live with the regret of that. I'm so glad that worked.
You are so right. No one in the history of the world gives two figs about Nancy's dress. Also, there will be only one more reference to Ryan and it won't be that. (I mean, Idk, I say that but this whole thing was supposed to be three short chapters and I have 20-ish planned now so there's really no telling.) BUT I can think of a story where Pam and Ryan's bad behavior could be fleshed out (no pun intended) nicely... ;)
Thank you SO MUCH for reading, reviewing, and feeling these characters. You're the best.
Date: July 19, 2019 11:12 pm Title: Just wanna keep calling your name until you've come back home
D'aw. I loved the "It was a ‘hello, old friend’ hug. Nothing else" because I'm a sucker for (near) title quotes. But also this did a great job of tugging the heartstrings while also giving us more of that wonderful, wonderful Pam-Karen friendship.
Author's Response: Hey, you! Thanks for this, especially your continued support of Pam and Karen's friendship. :)
Date: July 19, 2019 11:41 am Title: Just wanna keep calling your name until you've come back home
I gotta tell you, it’s not rare for one of these stories to bring up real emotion in me. I truly get very invested and as stupid as it might sound, I truly feel the stories. I feel happiness, fear, anger and I’ve even been known to cry when reading a few. I have to say though, it’s pretty rare that I get the emotions that I’m getting from the story you’re telling. I get that twisting sick feeling that is riddled with anxiety in my stomach. It’s almost a feeling of dread. Like, I’m anxious and eager to read what you’ve written but I also truly dread it. You’ve made me feel a real burning anger at Jim that, well, I don’t know if I’ve ever felt quite like this. For him to just let Pam go, not even try to get her back after all he went through to have that relationship in the first place, it just makes me kinda livid. The fact that he jumped not just into sex, not even just a relationship but an engagement and marriage so soon after Pam, while she was still hurting over him.... I don’t even have words to describe exactly what that makes me feel. Makes me feel like he never deserved her. I remember in season 9 in the episode Paper Airplane when Jim and Pam finally had that breakthrough. When he was leaving for Philadelphia and she went after him with his umbrella and he finally took her in his arms, I remember during that thinking, Jim you need to DO something. You need to make her understand that she’s the MOST important thing to you or you’re gonna lose her and you probably won’t get another chance you certainly won’t deserve one. Here in your story we basically see the other result play out where he didn’t make the move to save things and actually did what Jim does, jumped into a rebound relationship where I have no doubt he never loved her and he put them all through so much pain. I’m dying to know so much more about how and why the engagement happened. Pam thought that in pictures Jim’s parents didn’t look so thrilled, or awkward or something, I’d love to know her w family and friends felt. I’m also wondering if Hannah’s dad had anything to do with the engagement and marriage. I don’t know, probably stupid but I keep thinking something like, ‘if I’m going to invest in the company I’d feel a whole lot better if you were married to my daughter’,or something like that. My thoughts are so all over, I swear this doc is shattering me. Like I keep thinking of Pam being at the engagement party, all dressed up and ready to get Jim back only to stand there and have to see them together. Also her looking at Hannah’s social media, it cut to MY heart when I’m reading where Hannah is posting saying he's her soul mate or whatever and saying about just needing to wait... those things had to literally crush Pam. I mean, I would think it would make it feel like everything she felt about her own time with Jim became nothing, was wasted. Certainly Pam had felt that she was Jim’s soul mate and I know she had to wonder if Jim now felt that Hannah was his. Oh oh and what really gets me is none of this would have happened if Pam’s dad hadn’t felt the need to make Jim fl so insecure and like he wasn’t enough. The one thing I will say is if Hannah’s dad was in favor of th relationship/marriage it had to be a real boost to his ego after what he went through with Pam’s dad. I do hope that Pam knows or at least finds out that her dad is the sole reason he didn’t propose. It doesn’t take Jim completely off the hook because after the way he fought for that relationship I felt he owed it to Pam to talk to her about her dads comments and how he felt about it and how Pam would feel about getting married without her dads blessing. At the end of the day, they were very much adults and Jim needed to man up and not lose her because of her dad. Anyhow, I could probably go on forever with my scattered thoughts about this one. I have to say though, I think your an extremely talented writer to bring out such raw emotions in me from just reading this. I mean, when I think about the story I feel that rawness, the twisting in my stomach. I cannot wait to read more.
Oh, man. Where to begin. I mean I've read this a few times just to process, and first of all thank you for taking the time to read and review this so thoroughly. I mean, when writing I always appreciate when some sort of emotion is evoked but I don't think I ever meant this! When I read it the first time I wanted to write the next chapter, make it sappy, and call it the end just to get rid of the twist in your stomach when you read it. :)
But you really hit on so much. I do think this has turned into my Appreciation Manifesto for Season Three (the benefit we got from them growing independently) and Cautionary Tale for how bad Season Nine could have been. And an unintentional theme that has developed here is "what happens when you just let life happen?" for both of them really and then how do we try and fix that in the right and wrong ways. While I certainly don't want to have you riddled with anxiety over this I am So Incredibly Thankful for the insight. It really does help to know how much to flesh out why these idiots keep doing what they're doing with reviews like this. BUT, I do hope that it turns around and eventually your stomach isn't twisting in knots to read this. :) Thanks again for the feedback!