Jim knew that he had to tell her. He honestly didn’t know what to expect but he knew that if he didn’t tell her before he left, he would always wonder. Seeing her there that night, in that blue, form fitting dress only made him more sure of his decision.
God she looked so incredibly beautiful. He didn’t know how one person could be so perfect inside and out and still not see it.
He saw her talking to Roy in the parking lot, and he could feel his entire body trembling at the thought of what he was about to do. But he still put one foot in front of the other and walked over to her.
“Hey, how’s it going?” He wasn’t really sure where to start, but he knew making small talk wasn’t the right place.
Pam still smiled her brilliant smile though, she always did. “Oh well pretty good since I took all your money in poker.”
He tried to smile but his face couldn’t quite seem to do it. “Ha, yeah...uhh..Hey can I talk to you about something?”
“Oh about when you want to give me the rest of your money?” Pam continued on, gesturing to back to the warehouse “We can do that now, I’m feeling pretty good tonight.”
Jim couldn’t help but wonder if what he was about to say would change that.
“I was just um…” He tried to continue, to ease her into it, but as he looked at her, her smiling up at him with that glint in her eye and the adorable smirk on her face, it was like his mouth took over.
And he said it.
“I’m in love with you.”
He saw her face drop and instantly prepared for the worst moment of his life.
“I’m sorry if that’s weird for you to hear but I needed you to hear it. I know it’s not good timing, I know that-”
Pam cut him off, speaking with a dazed look on her face. “What’re you doing? What do you expect me to say to that.”
He didn’t know how to tell her that he didn’t know what to expect, but he had hoped she would love him too. But she hadn’t said that, so he looked down at his feet, trying to ignore the tightness in his throat and the sting of tears in his eyes.
“I just needed you to know...once”
“Well I um....I can’t…” She looked like she was going to cry and all he wanted to do was take it all back.
Pam hesitated. “You have no idea-” “No, don’t” “-what your friendship means to me.”
He could tell this was hard for her, but he couldn’t bring himself to care too much at the moment because this was killing him. He finally knew what people meant when they said it hurt to have your heart broken.
He felt like his was being ripped out of his chest, thrown on the ground, and burned right before his eyes.
But he just shook his head and jumped again.
“Come on. I don’t wanna do that. I want more than that”
Those words again. Jim thought those two words might be the most awful words in the human language when put together.
“I’m sorry if you misinterpreted our friendship...It was probably my fault.” There she went again, putting it all on herself. The look of guilt on her face made it all so much worse.
He felt the tears spilling over so he ended this before she saw too much.
“Not your fault.” He wiped away the one tear that fell, not knowing how that one tear made Pam feel as if her world was ending. He began to walk away, just wanting this to end. He couldn’t help the bitterness in his voice as he spoke. “I’m sorry I misinterpreted our friendship.”
And with that Jim left Pam alone. He didn’t know what to do, or where to go, so he just started walking.
Pam just stood there after he walked away, feeling as though someone had punched her in the stomach. She fought back the urge to vomit but let the tears stream down her face as they pleased.
She didn’t know what to do, so she did was she always did when she was conflicted.
Called her mother.
If someone had asked Pam why she chose to call her mom from Jim’s desk, she honestly wouldn’t have known what to tell them. She just knew she needed comfort, and his desk seemed like a good spot for that at the moment.
She let out a breath of relief when her mom picked up on the first few rings.
“Hey honey, what’s got you calling so late?”
“Mom...I really need your help.” Pam could hear how small and fragile her voice sounded. It seemed to match how she was feeling right now though, so she didn’t try to hide it.
“Pam? Sweetie what’s wrong?”
“Um...Jim just...told me he’s in love with me.”
“Oh!...Oh my God....when?” Pam could tell her mom was caught off guard, and she didn’t blame her.
“About ten minutes ago..”
“Did you tell Roy yet?”
Pam had completely forgotten about that. The thought terrified her.
“No I didn’t know what to say.”
“Oh honey you have to tell him, this is huge!” Pam was starting to get a little frustrated.
“Yes, I know.”
“Well...what about Jim, what are you going to do?”
“Um...I don’t know Mom, he’s my best friend.” Pam’s mom understood her better than anyone, so it wasn’t hard to guess that her mother already knew what Pam wanted to do.
She just wished it was that easy.
“But...Roy is your fiance…” Pam could tell by the tone in her mother’s voice that she could see where Pam was coming from. How much she wanted to follow her heart but how difficult of a situation Jim had just put her in.
“Yeah he’s great.”
“Well...I guess there’s only one important question here. Are you in love with Jim?”
Pam had known the question was coming this time.
This time she was ready for it.
“Yeah, I think I am.”
Pam heard her mom start to say something, but Jim walked into her line of sight before anything more could be said.
“Um I have to go. I’ll call you later mom.”
Pam turned to see Jim still walking towards her. She still wasn’t sure what she wanted to say but she was desperate to fix this.
“Jim-” her words were cut off as Jim’s lips crashed into hers. It felt as if everything stopped.
She knew she had frozen but the minute his lips moved against hers she felt herself come to life. It was if her lips and hands had a mind of their own. His lips moved with hers in a way that made sparks fly behind her eyelids and her mind go fuzzy. She felt her arms move up to his shoulders and then his face and all she wanted to do was get closer to him.
Then it dawned on her what she was doing. As confused as she was, she was still with Roy.
She was cheating on Roy.
It took every ounce of self control she had to pull away from Jim, especially when he followed her lips back at first.
Pam’s heart raced and her breath came as if she had just run a marathon. Jim’s eyes bored into her in a way that made her want to just tell him everything that was going on in her head.
But she couldn’t seem to form any words.
Thankfully Jim spoke for her. “You have no idea how long I’ve wanted to do that.”
Suddenly Pam realized just how long she’d wanted it too. Pretty much as long as she had known him.
Jim’s face started to move towards hers again and it killed her to stop him but she had to.
She had to sort things out with Roy before...well before she could do anything.
But suddenly it was like everything was spinning out of control. Jim asked if she was going to marry Roy and out of habit and fear and confusion she nodded yes. She was screaming at herself inside her own head to stop and go back and fix this!
But she was frozen, and Jim was pulling away.
His hand was gone from hers and she was left standing alone in shock again.
The moment Pam had started kissing him back, Jim felt himself come alive again. Like maybe, just maybe everything could be okay.
But then she pulled away.
She nodded her head.
And his heart broke all over again.
He walked out, walked over to the hedges, and threw up.
He got in his car and drove home, thankful that Mark was out of town visiting his parents for the week.
He got home, closed his door, let the sobs tear through him.
Jim wasn’t sure when he fell asleep, but was startled awake but a sudden knocking on his front door. He stumbled over to the door while rubbing his eyes, noticing that they felt swollen after having cried for a while.
The clock on his VCR read 3:30 a.m, and Jim wondered who the hell would be knocking on his apartment door at three in the morning.
Maybe it was Roy coming over to pummel him. Hell, if it was Roy he might be doing him a favor.
He opened the door, ready to be punched in the face.
There stood Pam.
And suddenly it felt as if all the air had been sucked out of him.
She looked...angry? She was walking into his apartment and he just numbly closed the door and turned to face a very angry Pam Beesly pacing around his living room.
“Pam...wha-?” Jim started to talk but Pam cut him off
“You were going to transfer to Stamford?!”
Jim was too shocked to tell her that he is transferring, it wasn’t just a hypothetical now.
“You tell me out of nowhere, one month before my wedding, that you’re in love with me, and when I don’t give you the answer you want right off the bat, you run away to a different state?! What the hell were you thinking?!”
Suddenly Jim was overwhelmed with anger. “What was I thinking? I was thinking that I couldn’t stand to see the woman I love marry someone else! Did you really expect me to just sit by and watch that?!”
Pam glared at him, but he didn’t miss the tears in her eyes. “That’s not what I meant! What I meant is that you can’t do that to me Jim! You can’t spring something that huge on me and then run away when you don’t get what you want! You never gave me time-”
“Time to what?! You told me that you didn’t want me-” that seemed to be the wrong thing to say, as Pam’s voice raised and her fists clenched.
“I NEVER said that! I would NEVER say that ever! You don’t get to put words in my mouth!”
“Pam, I told you I love you and you said ‘I can’t’, then I kiss you and you kiss me back but say you’re going to marry Roy still! What else am I supposed to think?” Jim’s description of that night’s events caused a few of the tears in Pam’s eyes to fall. She tried to swipe them away before he saw them, but he caught them. And she did this lip-biting-type-motion that he knew meant she was trying to keep from sobbing.
The sight of it combined with the knowledge that he was the cause of it, made him want to vomit again.
Pam took a deep breath through her nose, closed her eyes, and turned her face towards his ceiling before speaking again.
“Jim I’m not saying I’m not at fault here okay? I messed up! I was caught off guard and scared. If you had given me time to figure everything out, you would’ve known that I…”
Jim stood there in silence, waiting for her to finish the sentence that she’d started. She seemed scared. Caught.
“That you what Pam?”
Pam lifted her eyes from their spot on the floor and looked at him. More tears had fallen and her voice wavered as she spoke.
“I broke up with Roy.”
Jim felt his face go slack. He thought maybe he was dreaming, that he was still asleep. There was no way this was real. His mind just went blank but oh God Pam was talking again, what did she just say?
“That’s how I knew about you wanting to transfer to Stamford. We were arguing and he told me he overheard you talking to Jan about it. But I told him that it didn’t matter. I mean it does but not in the way Roy wanted it to. He thought if he told me then I wouldn’t leave him. When I told him I wanted to break up he kept saying it was cold feet. When I told him that wasn’t what it was he accused me of cheating...with you. I couldn’t believe he would accuse me of that but then I remembered that I had done just that not an hour earlier...Don’t worry I didn’t tell him. But that’s why I pulled away from you. Not because I didn’t want you but because I had to sort things out before…” Pam stopped again, and all Jim wanted to do was ask her ‘before what!?’ but he didn’t.
He was determined to give her time. She had made it clear that that’s what she needed.
“He knows now why I couldn’t marry him. That I don’t love him anymore. I couldn’t love him anymore because I’m not the same person I was back when we got engaged...because the person I am now....is in love with you.”
Okay he was definitely dreaming. Either that or he had died and God was rewarding him for something good he had done in life.
She loves him. Pam Beesly is in love with him. He should probably say something. Oh God he should say something because right now she’s just staring at him, silently crying, and doing the lip thing again and he’s just standing there with his mouth gaping open.
He doesn’t know how or when he got the power to move but somehow he does.
He does and now he’s kissing her.
He steps towards her and pulls her face to his. She doesn’t freeze this time, she’s kissing him back immediately and he swears to God this is the best kiss he’s ever had. Her lips move against his and her hands were tangled in the hair at the nape of his neck. He slid his hands down to her back and waist and pulled her as close as possible to his chest. Her tongue swiped across his lips and he thought he might pass out for a second. He tilted his head and dipped it lower to deepen the kiss. He swore he could die like this.
The best kiss of his life was over all too soon as they were forced to part for air. Jim leaned forward and rested his forehead against Pam’s, kissing her nose as their breathing calmed. She smiled and placed her head on his chest as her arms slid down around his waist. He simply wrapped his arms around her and pressed his face into her hair. They stayed like that for a while, just wrapped up in each other’s arms.
Pam looked up at him with a small smile on her face.
“Got any new music for me?”
Jim smiled before taking one of his arms from around her shoulders and pulling his iPod and earbuds out of his pocket. He put one in his ear and silently held the other one out for her.
“All this feels strange and untrue
And I won't waste a minute without you”
Pam leaned back into Jim’s chest as the lyrics wrapped themselves around the two. Neither said anything as Jim pulled her back in close.
“I want so much to open your eyes
'Cause I need you to look into mine
Tell me that you’ll open your eyes”
Pam nuzzled her head into Jim’s neck, and slowly he could feel wetness on her cheeks. For a split second he panicked and Pam must’ve known, because she just shook her head against him and hugged him a little tighter. For the first time in the entire time he knew her, Pam was crying out of relief. Out of joy.
“Take my hand, knot your fingers through mine
And we'll walk from this dark room for the last time
Every minute from this minute now
We can do what we like anywhere”
“I love you so much Pam.”
“I love you too.”
Jim swore hearing her say those four words was more beautiful than any song he’d ever heard.
“Tell me that you'll open your eyes…”
So he kissed her forehead, closed his eyes…
“All this feels strange and untrue
And I won't waste a minute without you”
...and they swayed.