He knew it was a terribly, terribly clichéd idea, especially because Michael of all people had suggested it. But he also knew that it was his very last chance. He had tried and tried, and failed so many times that he was beginning to think this whole thing was futile, sitting on the stoop out side the church, tapping his feet, holding his cell phone out in front of him, waiting for Michael to call him. But even if it was futile, well, at least he could say he took every opportunity he had, right?
Besides, he had made a slightly less clichéd gesture this morning, and hadn’t gotten any response. Ryan had come out of Pam and Roy’s apartment and around the corner to Jim’s car, looking down at the pavement. When he climbed into the passenger seat, he just shook his head sadly, and after Jim dropped Ryan off, he went back to his apartment to get ready for the one last shot he had. He had hoped he wouldn’t have to take it. Apparently, he was wrong.
Pulling himself out of his thoughts, Jim stood up and began pacing back and forth on the steps of the church, staring at his cell phone as if willing it to ring. When it finally did buzz, Michael’s name popping up on the little screen, Jim’s heart dropped to his stomach. Snapping the phone shut, he dropped it into his jacket pocket and took a deep breath. Pulling open the doors of the church, Jim felt like a character in a movie, doing something that never happened in real life. Something that would never happen in his life. Trying to keep his heart from beating its way out of his ribcage, he looked up from where he was staring at the floor of the church, past the rows and rows of stunned looking, absolutely silent guests, past the worried looking Ryan and the grinning Michael, past Pam’s mom – who actually didn’t look that shocked at all – where she was sitting next to the rest of Pam’s immediate family. When he saw her standing at the front of the church, facing the priest and holding Roy’s hand, he felt as though he wouldn’t be able to go through with it at all.
Maybe it wasn’t the right thing to say, but it was all he could get out. Until Pam and Roy turned and saw him standing there at the back of the church. Until Pam realized what was happening, until she looked straight into his eyes and seemed almost relieved. Then he knew that there was no way he couldn’t go through with it. Moving forward until he was about ten rows from the front of the church, Jim stopped and shoved his hands into his pockets. She smiled a little bit, and it looked like she was trying to blink back tears.
“I have an objection to make.”