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She wasn't sure why she decided to do this. It was probably a bad idea. She changed her mind three times before finally getting into her car, and another four times while standing in line waiting to pay for her offering at the grocery store. Now, she was driving to his house.

This was probably a bad idea. She wasn't sure what she expected. It was probably going to be awkward and it was probably going to make working with him even more uncomfortable. She wasn't even sure he would be home. And if he was home, she wasn't sure if he would be alone. She prayed that he would either be alone or out, because if he was with someone she wasn't sure she would be able to live it down.

It was too late to change her mind now. She knocked on his front door. While she waited for him to answer she could hear "Candle in the Wind" coming from inside. 'Oh God, what if he is in there with someone.' Just as she considered jumping in the bushes the door opened.

He looked surprised. "Pam?" He looked behind her as if he thought there would be other people with her. "Hi."

"Hi... I uh... are you alone?" Pam pointed behind him into the house.

"Hmm? Yeah, just me. I was just getting ready to go out but, uh... they can wait."

"Oh, okay, well, I just thought you might want some company."

"Yeah, come on in." He stepped out the way and held the door open for her. "Let me just turn this down." Once Pam was in the living room he walked over to a small CD player on a bookshelf and turned the music down. "Such a beautiful song. He wrote that about Elizabeth Taylor, you know."

Pam smiled. "No, Michael, it's about Marilyn Monroe, but it is really pretty."

"Oh."

Pam was a little surprised that he didn't insist he was right or make a joke. But he didn't. He just stood there like he was still a little surprised she came to see him.

"I brought some mint chocolate chip ice cream. I know ice cream isn't appropriate for a death, but I know you really like it."

"No, no, I'm sure Ed liked ice cream too. Can you put alcohol in ice cream?"

"Maybe like, Kahlua. He probably liked that." She held up the brown paper grocery bag, "You want have some with me?"

His eyes lit up. "Yes! Yes! Come on, I'll show you into the kitchen!"

Pam followed him into his kitchen. She noticed how neat and clean his townhouse was--and how bare. White walls. Beige carpet. The furniture looked like he had some of it since college. Michael was 42. His house was very nice, but it also make Pam a little sad. She loved her new apartment, and she really enjoyed living by herself for the first time, but she also really hoped this would never be her.

"You know, Pamela," Michael said, "We should probably keep this just between us." Michael took two small white bowls out of his cabinet. Pam noticed there were only three bowls total. "I just wouldn't want anyone to get jealous or think you get special treatment because we hang out."

'We hang out?' This was probably a bad idea. "No, no, you're right. I won't tell anyone because then people will think they can just show up whenever and you're too busy for that."

"Yes, see? This is why... you and I... simpatable."

"Yes."

They sat on the couch in Michael's living room and ate their ice cream.

"You just don't think about that kind of stuff, you know? One day you are living life, driving with the top down, and the next thing you know, your top's gone. Your head's just lying on the road."

"I know, Michael, but you can't think about it. It's sad--but he had a good life, and I am sure he knows that you thought he was a really good boss."

"You think?"

"Yeah."

"Pam, if anything ever happened to me, would you miss me?"

"Of course I would, Michael. I would miss you alot."

"What would you miss most about me?"

"Um... let's see... I would... I would miss your impressions... they're very good."

Michael smiled.

"And, I would miss how much you care about us. No other boss would care about us as much as you do." Pam paused for a moment. "I would miss you Michael."

"Thank you."

They sat in silence for a few minutes.

"Do you still miss him sometimes?"

"Yes."

"I think it will get better, you know... maybe he just wasn't the guy for you. And I'm sure there is someone else out there for Roy."

"Oh... no I don't miss Roy, Michael. I miss Jim."

"You do?"

"Yes, I miss him a lot and I think I really messed things up with him."

"He told me."

"He told you? You talked to him?"

"Yeah, you know... we talk sometimes... that one time."

"What did he say?"

"He said he told you he loved you and you rejected him."

"That's not exactly what happened."

"Really? He said he was so heartbroken he had to leave, and he was really upset about it because Josh is an ass."

"That's not what happened. I was scared. Giving up Roy was a big thing. He... he just wanted me to pick him right then and I couldn't. I had to do it for me." Pam realized how bizarre this situation was. She was staring at her left-over melting ice cream and telling Michael something she hadn't told anyone. She looked up at Michael.

"You should call him."

"He doesn't want to talk to me."

"He does, he does, you should call him."

"Okay... I'll think about it," Pam stood up. "I should probably get going."

She once again followed Michael into the kitchen to put their bowls in the sink. He walked her to his front door.

"Hey Pam."

"Yeah?"

"If I were to die..."

"Michael..."

"No, really... if I were to die... would you put a statue of me in the office? I think it would make you feel better. To see me everyday."

"Yes, Michael... we'll put a statue of you in the office."

"Can you make it so the eyes light up?"

Pam thought for a moment.

"Sure..."

"Okay, thank you, goodnight."

"Night, Michael."


Willow is the author of 10 other stories.
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