“Hey, uh,” Jim hovered awkwardly at the kitchen cabinets as he looked over at Pam sat at the table, “I – I’m really sorry about that out there.”
“It’s… it’s fine,” Pam looked down into her mug. “I’m sorry my wedding planning annoyed you so much.”
“No, I… it’s-” Jim sighed and shook his head, then grabbed a mug to pour himself a coffee. “It was nothing, just… it was stupid.”
Fiddling with her sleeve, Pam took a moment to construct her next sentence. It came out quietly, but she knew Jim would still hear her. “I don’t think it was nothing if you felt the need to complain to Toby about it.”
“I didn’t mean it as a complaint,” Jim tried to defend himself, leaning against the counters. Pam finally looked up at Jim and gave him a look that he knew meant she didn’t believe his argument – unimpressed, one brow raised, a slight frown. Jim sighed again, ran his free hand over his face and looked away, training his eyes on his shoes. He knew he owed her the truth, or at the very least a part of it. “Sometimes it felt like… like you were doing it on purpose.”
“To make me jealous.”
“To make you jealous?”
"Seriously?" Pam shot him a look of annoyance. "That wasn't even on my list of reasons to do wedding stuff at work."
"Okay, well, it just felt that way sometimes."
Pam stared at his profile for a minute, heart racing, trying to work out how she felt in that moment. Perhaps it was all the conflicting emotions in her that pushed the honesty to the forefront of her thoughts. Whether she was annoyed, hurt, slightly pleased with herself, or outright confused, she had no idea, but she felt Jim was being a little hypocritical. “Well, when you were with Katy, sometimes it felt like that was to make me jealous.”
Jim’s brows raised in surprise for a few seconds before he turned his head to finally look at Pam again. He took a sip of his coffee to buy himself some time, gulping it down loudly. It kind of burned his throat. “Well,” he looked at her briefly again before returning his gaze to the floor, shrugging, “maybe sometimes it was.”
“Oh.” Pam suddenly felt like crying, running, hiding. For once in her life, she took a second to stay put and fight the urge to deflect the truth. “Well, it worked, so… congratulations.”
With that, Pam quickly got up and headed to the door, but something made her stop. This was a very new territory for her and Jim, she had tears forming in her eyes, it felt like The World vs. Pam and she was losing. Despite her need to escape, she turned around. “You know what? You really hurt my feelings Jim. You’re my best friend. You could have just told me. Or at least admitted it was you when we were discussing it in here earlier instead of saying it in front of the whole office!”
“I…” Jim paused, staring briefly at Pam. Usually he only saw her with this expression, this tone, when she was upset about something with Roy. He didn’t like being the one to cause it. “You’re right. I’m sorry. I should have told you earlier.”
“I’m always hearing about stuff you said from someone else and having to try piece it together, or I get surprise bits of information and just… like I don’t have enough on my plate, Jim, it’s exhausting. I know things are…” Pam paused, shifting her weight from foot to foot, and seemed to change her mind as she caught Jim’s eyes. “I’m genuinely sorry that all my wedding stuff made you uncomfortable. I am. It just sucks when your best friend is complaining about you to someone else. So hey, I guess we’re even.” Pam threw the last sentence in sarcastically over her shoulder as she pulled open the door, leaving behind her coffee and a stunned Jim. He saw her scan for the cameras for a moment before sitting down at reception and pulling a stack of files towards her when she noticed them following her.
Unable to process his thoughts properly – she was jealous? what did she mean, surprise information? was she talking about the crush, had Michael said something? – he ran a hand through his hair, walking a lap up and down of the kitchen before grabbing both his coffee and Pam’s and leaving the kitchen. He was only going to spiral and overthink if he stayed in here, and it was his fault Pam had abandoned her coffee.
Dropping his own coffee off at his desk, he placed Pam’s mug carefully on the reception desk. “You left your coffee,” he said, giving the desk two nervous knocks with his knuckles.
“Thanks,” Pam said quickly, not looking up.
Hovering for a moment, Jim opened and closed his mouth before returning to his desk. He wasn’t really sure what his next move was supposed to be anymore. Dejectedly, he opened up his inbox and to his surprise saw a response to an email sent earlier in the day.
From: Jan Levinson
To: Jim Halpert
Subject: RE: DM Stamford – Sales Manager Position
Thank you for getting in contact about the Sales Manager opening in Stamford; it would be great to have you on the team there. Are you available tomorrow morning for an interview at corporate – say 10am?
With a quick glance back over at Pam, then behind him to check Michael wasn’t lurking – thankfully he was busy doing a talking head – Jim hit the reply button.
From: Jim Halpert
To: Jan Levinson
Subject: RE: DM Stamford – Sales Manager Position
Thanks for getting back to me. I can be there at 10 tomorrow.