Jim woke up, made his coffee and wished he was in Australia.
Today was Pam's last day at Dunder-Mifflin, something she'd been talking about for years but nobody thought would ever come true. He thought about calling in sick, but it was so incredibly transparent and, besides, if he did, he'd be calling in sick to her. Instead, he laced up his shoes, put on his jacket and gave up. It wasn't the fact that she was leaving that hurt the most. It was that he had to hear from Michael that she was actually marrying Roy and they were moving to California because his cousin had gotten him some job. She hadn't told him that. They hadn't really been speaking much recently. Not since... well, he didn't want to think about it now.
Thankfully, when he arrived at work she wasn't at her desk. He wasn't sure that he could handle another awkward smile. Things hadn't been the same between them, but that had been the risk he had been willing to take. He had taken a gamble and lost big on casino night.
He slumped into his desk chair and started his computer. He was pleasantly surprised that Dwight made no annoying overtures, but realized how pathetic he must be if Dwight was offering him silent pity. He sighed and went into Michael's office.
"Michael, can I talk to you?"
"Sure, take a seat, Jimbag," Michael said and gestured to a chair.
Jim sat and drummed his fingers on his knee. "Jan told you about my transfer?"
"Yesh," Michael said. "And I want you to know that I'll do anything to keep you. Anything. I will literally kill someone. Literally, I will take a life, if that's what you need. Is it Toby? Because I will kill Toby. I will stab his cold, dead heart for you, Jim. Literally, I will murder him. Literally."
"Please stop saying 'literally,'" Jim said and sighed. "It's not Toby. It's... it doesn't matter. I, uh, want to cancel my transfer. Now that - well, there's no reason for me to go. I don't need to uproot my life right now, you know? Things are changing here, it'll be different. I don't need to go anywhere."
"Best news of the day! Come here and give your old boss a hug!" Michael stretched his arms out for a hug. When Jim made no move to embrace him, his hands fell onto his desk and he frowned. "Right. Hug later. Privately, like best friends. Welp, I'll talk to Jan for you, buddy. I'm glad I get to keep you."
"Yeah, I'm... glad I'm staying," Jim said. He got up and made his way to the door.
Jim turned at the sound of Michael's voice. Michael's expression seemed serious and Jim wondered if this would be one of the rare moments Michael managed to say something inspirational or meaningful. "Yeah?"
"Are you sure you don't want me to kill Toby? Because just say the word and he is literally dead."
Jim spent most of the day doing actual work and ignoring the sad glances Pam would throw his way. He took a brief break to help Angela set up the conference room for the going away party - the party he was originally planning on skipping, actually. During lunch Phyllis had convinced him to stick around for the party, if only for closure. He just ate his sandwich and didn't tell Phyllis about the harsh closure of I can't.
When Michael had called everyone into the conference room, Jim's stomach felt like it was full of hot lead. He thought briefly about getting in his car, driving away and never looking back. Before he could figure out if he had enough gas in his tank to get him out of state, Phyllis linked her arm in his and led him into the conference room.
"It won't be so bad," Phyllis said when he sunk into a chair near the door. "I'll get you some punch."
After Phyllis wandered away, Jim looked around the room. Kelly was talking Pam's ear off, Ryan and Kevin were looking over the karaoke booklet, Angela and Dwight were whispering together in a corner, and Michael was looking over some index cards. Even though all the decorations were canary yellow, it was the saddest room Jim had ever been in. There used to be something funny about Dunder-Mifflin parties, something vaguely amusing that he couldn't recall any longer.
"Everyone," Michael said, "I would like to make a speech."
Pam frowned, but somehow Michael still took it as a positive sign.
"Pam, when you first came into this office looking for a job," Michael said, "I wasn't confident - I was confidant. Your confidant. We would talk for hours, do you remember? I would say, 'How's life?' and you would say 'Good.' And it was good, wasn't it? We became so close, like you were my hot daughter that I paid to send faxes for me, which is, I think, the best kind of daughter. I think you learned a lot from me, Pam, and I hope you take those lessons far. All the way across the country, in fact. In California, you'll have sunshine... but it won't be the kind of sunshine that your Dunder-Mifflin coworkers brought into your life every day. We'll miss you here, Pam."
Michael lifted his cup of punch into the air and everyone followed suit. After he took a drink, he turned to Jim. "And I think it would be great if your best buddy in the office, Jim, said a few words. Am I right? Come on, Jim."
Another vision of driving away flashed in his mind, but instead Jim stood up and jammed his hands in his pockets. He cleared his throat and looked at Pam.
"You were my best friend here," he said. "This is the end of an era, I guess. I, um, didn't have anything planned, so, just... I'll miss you."
There was a light smattering of applause to signal agreement and Jim nodded. He looked at Phyllis, shrugged, and left the room.
He sat at his desk and picked up the phone, intent on doing some more work and putting this miserable day out of his mind. Unfortunately, the cause of all his problems had excused herself from her party and had come to perch on the edge of his desk.
Jim set the receiver down ad drummed his fingers on the desk. "So, you're really leaving, huh?"
"Yeah," Pam said quietly. She looked down at him with sad eyes. "I guess I'm going west. Roy thinks it's time to move on, anyway."
"Right, yeah, moving on," Jim said and nodded. "You like the beach, so I guess it's perfect. You and Roy in California - what could be better than that, right?"
Pam bit her bottom lip. "I'll probably get sunburned."
"Well," Jim said, "good luck out there, Beesly."
Before Pam could reply, Creed wandered out of the conference room and approached them. He shook Pam's hand vigorously and said, "Welcome aboard, Beatrice."
After Creed disappeared into the annex, they both smiled.
"You sure you're ready to leave all this?" Jim asked, smirking.
She thought of saying no, but decided to stay silent.