Pam unlocked her front door with a bundle of mail cradled in her arm. After her usual long day of work and art class, she called the pizza place down the street, and ordered her usual Monday dinner. She sat down at the table and started to sort through mail, there were a few magazines, catalogues and junk mail, she put the magazines and catalogues aside for her next bath. The last piece of mail was a bright blue envelope with gold lettering, she noticed the return address: 1 Columbus Dr. Archbald, PA 18403. “Oh no.” she thought as she tore it open, she read the card:
The Valley View High School Alumni Committee
invites the Class of 1997 to their 10th High School Reunion!
The Reunion will be Saturday October 13th from 2pm to 5pm in the Gym.
Also enjoy the Homecoming game Friday October 12th at 5pm.
She sat there staring at it for awhile because she was jostled out of her reverie when the front door buzzer went off.
“Hello?” She said into the device hanging on her wall.
“Delivery for Pamela?”
“Come right up.” she said while pressing the door opener.
The delivery man and Pam exchanged pleasantries. She sat down at the table, looked at the card again and ate her pizza, pondering if she would go.
A few days later, after the card stared at her every night she decided to RSVP yes. It couldn’t hurt, and she wanted to go see her parents anyway.
A little more than a month later Pam found herself in her childhood bedroom getting ready for the reunion. After her long flight from San Francisco, late last night she had crashed. It felt weird to be in her room getting ready for “school” again. She put on a cardigan over her blouse and a simple, yet sophisticated jean skirt. Her simple black work flats adorned her feet. With one last look in the mirror she felt ready. She gave her mom and dad a quick hug goodbye and took the car keys from their hook and drove off.
She walked into the gym, nothing had changed, this is where she had faked PMS to get out of PE, but also had sort of kicked ass at volleyball. Cheesy 90’s music was playing softly over the speakers, blue, gold, and white balloons hung from the ceiling and also in an arch over the welcome table, and a large banner hung on the wall adjacent to the one that said HOME OF THE COUGARS, that said WELCOME CLASS OF 1997! She walked up to the table and found her nametag, with a small picture of her yearbook photo. She glanced and saw Jim Halpert’s, his picture, depicting that goofy grin she had fallen in love with. She felt her eyes tearing up a bit, she caught herself, took a deep breath and pinned her nametag to her cardigan.
She did her duty and went around and talked to everyone, old friends, teammates and random classmates she didn't remember. People were engaged or in a serious relationship. She had to explain on multiple occasions what happened to her and Jim, the quiet artistic volleyball player and the prank pulling charismatic basketball player, power couple. They had been best friends since 9th grade and dated through high school starting in 10th grade. It all fell apart winter break of freshmen year of college. They didn’t break up because they didn't love each other anymore, at least to Pam’s knowledge. The separation and distance was too much.
People were dancing and having fun. Pam stood on the sidelines watching their fun. The iconic first few notes on My Heart Will Go On floated into the room, Pam felt a light tap on her shoulder,
“May I have this dance?” Came a familiar voice that brought a small smile to her face, and a tear to her eye. She turned around to find that goofy grin and replied, “Of course.”
“So where are you living now?”
“San Francisco, working as a receptionist, while I take classes at the Academy of Art University.”
“Amazing! I’m actually getting transferred to San Fran in a month or two.”
“Oh my god, please, never call it San Fran again. Locals call it SF. That’s awesome, maybe I could show you around. Take you all the good places. What do you do now?”
“I work for a marketing company.”
“ We do a lot, I work in the spor-”
“No no no, I know what it is I work at one too, F-”
“CBX” They finished together.
“Oh wow. That’s amazing. Which office are you at now?” Pam asked with excitement.
“Chicago. I love it there but I can’t wait to get away from the wind.”
“We get some wind, but hope you won’t miss the snow?”
“I won’t miss that either.”
They chatted about their cities, Pam talking about all the vibrant neighborhoods of San Francisco. After it had been quiet for a second Jim asked, “So, how about anyone important in your life?” The question everyone asked.
“Nope, I had a few short relationships but nothing serious since you.” she gave a small smile, “What about you?”
“One sort of serious relationship that ended about 5 months ago. It ended when she wanted to move to New York.”
They stood in silence together, observing their old classmates. Pam went to get some more punch for the both of them and returned to see Jim walking back from the DJ’s table.
“Come with me.” He said, holding out his hand, she took it and followed him, into the quiet courtyard off the gym, he propped the door open. The beginning violin notes of At Last by Etta James quietly soared through the open door.
“Our song” Pam whispered.
“We were always old souls.” they both giggled
“I wanted to say I’m sorry. For the way things ended. I lied before, my last relationship ended because I couldn’t say I love you to her. I couldn’t say it because I never stopped loving you.” Jim said hesitating through his words
“I never stopped either.”
He pulled her closer. And they danced. The last few moments of the song, he pulled her into a kiss, that made up for all the lost time.