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What if Pam had gone to The Chuck Close Show?
    Alex showed up at Pam's workplace and invited her to go to an art show. Pam saw him coming and turned off the bluetooth. He was getting more aggressive and she was glad to have an excuse not to go." Can't, have to work.
    A voice came from the hall. "What's this about leaving early?" It was Pam's boss. He looked mad.
    "No,"Pam stuttered."I just told Alex I couldn't."
    He started to laugh." I'm kidding.Go ahead and go. You and your boyfriend have fun."
    Alex cracked up. Pam didn't laugh.
    "He's not my boyfriend," Pam said quickly.
    "Not yet!" Alex smirked. He put his arm around her and she brushed it off 
 " Cute girl like you, surely you have a  boyfriend?"
."I do, [n Scranton."
   "Yep," Alex interrupted,"home of the boring."
   "To you, but to me Jim's there."
This was a mistake . She never mentioned Jim or Alex to each other.. They hated each other. But now she did and now Alex would open fire.
   "Ok. I'm gonna say it. Jim is small. He has small goals, small needs. He needs a small town and a smallminded wife. Not you Pam. You are so much bigger. You would be so unfulfilled, so bored. You need more!"
    Pam said nothing. She had heard this before, but today it was making more and more sense. Alex had made a little speech the day before, imploring her to stay. She hated to admit it, but he had some points. She was glad when they got to the show and the subject would change. 
   The show was interesting. Pam loved it-the looking, discussing, comparing. But this time she was troubled by what Alex had said. Jim would hate this, just like she would hate a baseball game. They had so little in common. "I feel sick."
  Alex looked at her funny. "You feel sick a lot." She knew he was right. Actually it was an excuse to deter Alex's advances.
  "I can't keep up with you and your friends. It wears me down. I'm ready to get back to sleepy old Scranton."
   Alex glared at her. "Really Pam! You just saw the works of Chuck freaking Close! A genius. What would you see in Scranton? Oh wait, I know - Jim. Mr. Perfect!" Alex said sarcastically.
   "Just perfect for me!" Pam was getting more irritated.
   "What about our bar fun?" Alex was getting louder. "And they are your friends too."
   "No they aren't. We get drunk together. That's all."
   "Pam, don't make me say something I'll regret!"
   "Like you haven't already? Putting down Jim? Scranton? Even me? Excuse me, Alex, you are a big man at Pratt, maybe even New York.But I come from Scanton, PA. You would never last. Dwight would destroy you. The warehouse boys would have you for lunch. Do you even know what a Dundee is?"
   "Calm down,"Alex said. "You are making a scene."
   Indeed she was. Their friends were staring, other students were coming over to see what all the noise was. But Pam was rolling. She hadn't had a drink, but she felt high. She felt like she did on the beach.
  "You tell me I can't do New York in 3 months. I never came here to ‘do' New York. I came to ‘do' art. And guess what? I blew it. I'm flunking! Too much partying? Maybe. Too lonely for Jim? Maybe. No talent? Could be. But guess what? I've got a guy, a town, people who love me. My job can get boring, but so what! Scranton may be small, I might be small, even Jim, But we're small together!"
   She looked at the gathering crowd.
    "Flash Mob!" Pam was delerious. "Sing with me. To the tune of New York! Scran-ton! Scran-ton."
   The crowd was amused, some even sang along.
   Pam looked over and saw Alex slinking away'
   "Good bye, Alex." she whispered. You weren't the worst. Hope life is good to you."
   It was getting dark. Lights were coming on. She knew some of the faint ones might be Scranton, maybe Dunder, maybe even Jim. She waved to the remaining people, and walked home

   Not home, just the dorm

Moogie Man is the author of 10 other stories.

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