February 14, 2007
By Jody E.
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended
The Scranton, Pennsylvania branch of the Dunder Mifflin Paper Company was decorated for Valentine’s Day. Pink and red streamers festooned the breakroom, bouquets of flowers and other gifts adorned several of the desks, and a crystal bowl of candy hearts sat on the reception desk, the front of which bore a large paper banner and some red foil cupids.
Behind the reception desk, Pam sat at her computer and googled Consumer Reports. When the site came up, she typed in the word "car" but was interrupted by the ringing of the phone.
"Good Morning. Dunder Mifflin. Pam speaking."
"Oh Good Morning, Carol."
"Yes...he’s running late today. He told me he had all sorts of special errands to do. You know Michael."
"Yes…well, tonight IS the big night. He’s been manic all week…you would know that better than I."
"Me? Oh I’m fine. Not too much longer, now."
"March 12th. Give or take."
"Oh yes we are."
"Tonight, actually…isn’t that the worst timing? Thank goodness for TIVO!"
"I will. Okay. Well, I’ll tell the superstar you called. Bye bye, Carol."
Six months ago, Michael had surprised, nay shocked, the Scranton branch by suddenly marrying a realtor with two children. Having an instant family had mellowed Michael considerably, until this week, that is.
At that moment, Michael, himself, came bursting through the door, singing, and carrying two large bags from Dunkin Donuts. He bounded over to Pam’s desk.
"Happy VD, Plimpster!"
Pam smiled, indulgently, "Wait…don’t tell me…Pam plus Blimp…well, that’s obvious, "She looked down at her distended abdomen, "Plus…hamster?"
"No…not hamster. Toaster! Because you’re just about to pop!"
Pam laughed. She made a face at Jim, sitting at his desk. He made a face back. Pam handed Michael his message from Carol. "Oho" he leered, "Got big plans for tonight. Big plans!"
Michael gestured towards the vase of red roses, sitting near Pam’s computer, next to a tiny vase of pink rosebuds. "Flowers from the hubby?" he asked. Pam nodded, and looked at the flowers with joy in her heart. This was so much better than last Valentine’s Day, when she hadn’t gotten anything from him, and had been so disappointed. Michael headed towards the break room, "Donuts for everybody!" he sang out
"Oh, Michael, " Pam called out, " It might be better to wish people Happy Valentine’s Day instead of Happy VD. Just a word to the wise."
At his desk, Jim laughed.
Pam finished typing the phrase "car seat" into the Consumer Reports web site. There wasn’t much time left to get all this stuff, though she suspected that Phyllis was planning a shower.
Pam looked at Jim’s desk and saw a small heart shaped box of gourmet jellybeans. She looked at them pointedly, and Jim shrugged. "They were here this morning when I sat down. Must be from a secret admirer."
Pam smiled, "Must be."
Last spring, the tension between Pam and Jim had finally reached a breaking point. A few weeks before her wedding to Roy, he had confessed his love for her and she had backed away. A period followed, in which they barely even spoke, and Jim had seriously considered a transfer to the Stamford branch. Finally he had chosen to stay in Scranton, and they had made a kind of peace. The trip to Australia had crystallized things for both Pam and Jim, and afterwards they discovered that their friendship was stronger and more firmly rooted than ever.
Phyllis came over to Pam’s desk carrying a pink teddy bear. "Bob sent this to me, and I thought you would like it." She said. "for the baby."
"Oh, Phyllis, that’s so sweet of you. I’ll put it in her room."
"So, are you worried about tonight?"
Pam sighed. "A little bit. It’s definitely going to be weird."
"Have you spoken to Roy’s parents?"
"Yes. I gave them as much of a head’s up as I could. Still I don’t know what’s it going to be like, any more than anybody else."
Phyllis left and went back to her desk. Pam shrugged her shoulders at Jim, who shrugged back. Tonight was the first episode of "Dunder Mifflin," on NBC. It was coming in as a mid season replacement for some failed sitcom, right in the middle of sweeps. The producers had met with all of the employees and had shown them some small samples of the show and explained the themes they were going for. A main one was that of romance in the workplace. Pam, Roy, and Jim had looked at each other, knowing that the show would not be easy to watch.
The day crawled by. Dwight hinted strongly to Pam that he was going to pop the question to Angela tonight after the show, which they going to be watching together at her place. Several of the others were planning "Dunder Mifflin" parties tonight, but Pam couldn’t stand the thought of watching her life play out in front of everybody. Plus, she had other plans. She ate her lunch with Jim, as she had almost every day for the last four years, and they discussed the program, and speculated endlessly about what would be shown tonight. Then it was back to work, even though she had a backache and could have really used a nap.
Finally, it was 5:00. Pam turned off her computer and stood up, rubbing her back. Instantly, Jim was at her side. "How’s your back? Is it still bad?"
"It’s okay. Not too much longer now, thank God."
Jim looked down at her stomach, "And how are you doing?"
Pam laughed, "If she answers you, let me know. But she was kicking up a storm all afternoon."
Jim put his hand on the baby bump; "Yep...there she goes."
"I talked to Mom today," Pam said, "she still doesn’t like the name."
"C’mon. It’s adorable. Sydney Halpert. What’s not to like?"
"I told her that we’re doing it anyway, so she’d better get used to it."
"Kid has to know her roots. She’s the best souvenir we got in Australia!"
Pam laughed, as Jim helped her on with her coat. "Did you remember to set the TIVO?"
"Of course. But whoever got the crazy idea to start a Lamaze course on Valentine’s Day?"
"I dunno. Maybe they think it will be romantic."
"Could be. Well, at least we can have a nice dinner first. I got early reservations. Do you want to bring the flowers home?"
Pam smiled, "They are so beautiful. I think I’ll leave the red roses here to brighten up the place, but these ones, "she picked up the tiny vase, "I think I’ll bring Sydney’s flowers home."
"Okay, let’s go, honey."
Pam picked up the small vase and moved the pink teddy bear. There, next to the vase of red roses was a golden Dundee statuette, engraved with the legend,