This is getting ridiculous…
Pam was away with her family for the weekend to celebrate her parent’s 30th anniversary, and he missed her. One night alone, and he already couldn’t handle waking up without her. I’m pathetic, he thought, it’s not like I have any reason to feel left out. Her brother-in-law didn’t get invited, and he’s actually married to one of them…
They’d only been dating for about eleven months, but he felt a little more restless with the relationship every day. For so many years he had been sitting still – saying nothing, doing nothing, pursuing nothing – always looking ahead to when (he hoped) she would be his. It never occurred to him to think past that point, and he grimaced as he realized he was basically doing the same thing all over again, waiting on nothing, idling away precious time together.
He had the ring – sitting hidden in his messenger bag, his desk at work, his dresser drawer. He’d started carrying it around with him about two weeks ago, just to have it there, reminding him. Sure, they’d taken a big leap last May, finally becoming “Jim and Pam”, but since then he had to admit that things had become pretty routine. Good, amazing even, but routine. They twiddled their thumbs most of the day at work, then came home (dutifully switching off which apartment was “home”) and twiddled their thumbs some more, joking with each other, watching TV, making love. There’s plenty of love here, he thought as he pulled his pants on and felt the ring box he had left in the pocket bounce against his leg, just not a whole lot of motion.
He pulled the box out, popped it open, and looked up at himself in the mirror. Screw waiting, it’s time to get this train rolling.
She called him later that night to say she was home and was going to fall into bed after doing laundry. He gritted his teeth at the idea of another night without her.
This is what adults do – they do their laundry. Leave it alone, Halpert. Maybe you should do YOUR laundry, huh?
He trudged around his apartment, gathering up the random articles of clothing that had found their way into every nook and cranny, many of them hastily discarded in heated moments with Pam and never picked up. He couldn't even clearly remember the nights that had landed a sock in the entertainment center, or a t-shirt above the fridge. He reached around under the bed and grinned as he pulled out a deep turquoise camisole that he definitely remembered. It was one of those with a built in bra, and the blue-green fabric below her red curls had made Pam absolutely sparkle the night that shirt had ended up under the bed.
He brought the soft material up to his face, breathing in Pam, and remembered what had come just before that playful night at his apartment.
“I haven’t proposed to you yet?! Well,…that’s coming”
“It’s gonna kick your ass Beesly, so….stay sharp”
Way to go, Jim, he had thought on the way back to his desk, NOW she’s not expecting it or anything…
His phone rang, making him jump. He dropped the camisole and grabbed the phone just before it vibrated right off the edge of the dresser. It was Pam.
“Hey! I thought you were busy with the laundry”
“I was. Now I’m bored.”
He laughed to himself – she had a long-standing habit of talking to him when she was bored.
“Oh, well thanks for calling Beesly . . . but I don't really have time for this - I have my own clothes to wash over here.”
“Suck it Halpert. I guess I just missed you this weekend . . . or something”, she teased.
“Well that’s too bad, cuz I had a great weekend without you. In fact, I really think we should take a break.”
“Sounds good”, she sighed, “Dwight’s been calling me all weekend, so maybe I’ll give that a try . . .”
“Perfect!! But hey, can you bring him to your place if you go out next weekend? Angela and I really have our eye on the Irrigation Room, and it could be a little crowded if . . .”
“Not a chance!!”, she interrupted, laughing, “so ANYWAY, after I get those horrible images out of my hea . . . why don’t we make up for this weekend with dinner on the roof tomorrow night? I could use a little of Jim Halpert’s famous grilled cheese”
“I don’t know Bees . . . I mean, that grilled cheese is for special occasions only, and I’m not sure two nights apart really qualifies.”
He loved the sound of her giggles floating over the phone line, and quickly added, “but seriously, that sounds great. So I’ll see you tomorrow morning?”
“Absolutely. Don’t stay up all night thinking about me Halpert”
“Oh no worries”, he laughed, “Goodnight Pam.”