The Valentine’s Day office party 2008 extravaganza was finally winding down. Jim, relaxing in his desk chair, glanced down at his watch. 5:30PM. The longest day of his life just wouldn’t end. He nervously fingered the small box in his pocket.
He looked up at Pam as she left Michael’s office. She gave him a small shake of her head and made a beeline for her desk. Less than a minute later, Jan stormed out behind her. She was crying and saying something about medication wearing off. Still mumbling, she slammed the door behind her as she left the office.
Jim looked at Michael. He was sitting at his desk looking like a train just hit him. He gave Jim one of those ‘what the hell am I doing?’ looks.
“Jim, please inform the staff the party is over.” Michael got up and closed his door.
Jim shook his head. He felt bad for the guy. Underneath it all, Michael was his friend. Congratulations universe – you win again. Sighing, Jim got up and made the announcement. No one really cared.
Pam motioned for him to come over. “So what was all that about?” he asked.
Her face was serious. “I’ll give you three guesses. If you even come close I will buy you dinner every weekend for the rest of the year.”
Jim’s face lit up. He loved these kinds of challenges. Picking up a small cinnamon heart from her candy bowl he said, “Michael wanted you to give Jan lessons on proper girlfriend behavior.”
Pam shook her head. He nodded and acted as if he was in deep thought. He said, “Jan is pregnant and Michael wants you to come up with cool yet unique baby names.”
“One guess left Halpert,” she replied.
Jim cocked his head to one side while tumbling the small box between his fingers again in his pocket. “Jan and Michael want to get married and asked you to sing at their wedding.”
Pam finally smiled. “Sorry no free dinners for you.” She motioned Jim to lean in closer. She whispered, “Jan wanted me to – you know – with both of them.”
Jim let out a barking laugh. “SHUT UP!”
Blushing, she motioned for him to calm down. “Michael was against it, mostly.”
Jim could not stop laughing, and Pam eventually joined him. “If it helps Pam I think Jan is on some serious drugs at the moment.”
“Thanks. And no, it doesn’t help.” Her eyes told him something different however and reminded him yet again why he loved her so much.
Michael finally left and it was just the two of them. They had planned all along to exchange Valentine’s Day gifts after everyone else had left. Jim sat at his desk with Pam propped up on it next to him. They held hands casually and talked about the day. Finally, he could wait no longer.
“I want to go first ok?” he asked.
Pam nodded, eyes filled with mischief. She smiled at him and said, “I don’t know what it is and I already love it.”
He studied her face for a second, pushed back his chair, and slowly sank to one knee. He watched her face drain of color and her eyes widen as he took the jewelry box from his pocket. All of a sudden he could barely speak, but he pushed on anyway. “Pam, I have been in love with you from the first day I met you. I know we have only ‘dated’ for a few months. But I know you are the one. So I wanted to ask you this. Once.” Her eyes shone back at him, brimming with tears, and her hands were shaking almost as much as his were. “Will you marry me?”
Pam said nothing at first. She sat on Jim’s desk frozen, tears leaving small trails on her pale face. Finally she asked, “Can I give you your Valentine’s Day gift?”
Jim’s brow furrowed, clearly not expecting that. “Uh, yeah. Sure.” He watched her get up and go get something out of her desk, confusion and doubt growing inside his stomach.
She came back and gave him a plain white envelope. Nothing was written on it. Taking a deep breath to calm herself she said, “This isn’t what I really got you, but I think it is a better present. Read it.”
Jim opened the envelope and pulled out a white piece of paper. Still confused, he looked at her again. “Is this date right?” he asked. She simply smiled at him and nodded. Jim returned his eyes to the single sheet in his hand. He could barely keep his hands still as he read it:
I know you probably will never read this. But that’s ok. I’m fine. Totally fine. Ok you caught me, I’m not fine. I have been sitting here all morning wondering how things are going for you in New York. I hope the interview is going well and that Michael is not driving you crazy. Well too crazy I guess.
Maybe I am sitting here typing this out to ease my nerves. Maybe. But I think it is mostly to say something to you. Well something to say to the Jim that lives in my head. Sorry if that sounds weird.
You are with Karen, I know that. I want you to know that if she makes you truly happy, then I will never stand in the way. I want you to be happy Jim. I just hope no matter what, if you get that job and become rich and powerful, we will still be friends. I have gone through hell and back over the past few months without that and like I told you at the beach, I miss our friendship.
And if you come back I hope that what you said that night holds true too. That we can find our way back. I miss my best friend. Simple as that. And if she comes back with you so be it, Karen is a nice girl - I think one day we could be friends as well. You could have done much worse Halpert.
But since I am writing this fully expecting you to never see it, it won’t hurt anything if I say that I wouldn’t complain if you came back and asked me out for a cup of coffee. If you did that, I would say yes. Or maybe lunch sometime. I would say yes. I know this is bold of me, but if it turned out to be dinner, I would say yes.
P.S. And if you came back and asked me to marry you, I would say yes.
(SIDE NOTE: Dwight has made me his secret assistant to the Regional Manager. I thought you would like to know.)
Jim read the letter three more times before looking up at her. She was radiant. Her eyes, red and moist, searched his. He finally said, “Wow.” Nothing else would come out.
Pam gently removed the letter from his hand and helped him to his feet. She snaked her arms around him and drew him close. “So do you accept a yes that was given to you say around nine months ago?”
Jim held her fiercely, taking in the warmth and scent of her. He ducked his head a bit and whispered, “Absolutely I do.”