After relishing Pam's “Yes” for THE DATE, He went to see Michael to let him know that he would be back tomorrow for work and doesn't want to take the day off as he planned. Michael was yelling at Dwight to pick the pace, painting his room off the black one it was covered with. He waived distractedly to Jim’s request which basically means he agrees or he doesn't care, sometimes both. He asked where Karen is and if she got the position?
Jim didn't want to think about her right now. Not about the calming sound water was making cascading down the fountain as opposed to Blizzard of break up conversation between him and Karen at the fountain, down the corporate office Dunder Mifflin.
" Why are you doing this now?" pleaded Karen.
" Because I don't think this will work. I am really sorry Karen. I wish it didn't have to end like this"
" No you don't. You never did. Did this ever mean anything to you??" She was fuming.
" Of course it did. I mean I really cared about you, I still do... just that I don't feel the same way that I know you do"
"Oh no you don't. Suddenly you don't. Because now you know what she feels for you and that's what all that matters to you" she scoffed.
"So tell me, why did you take this whole week?!? Why didn't you just run after her on beach day itself. Because you wanted another week of us. Like a last fukc..for old times sake"
He felt another wave of guilt. He wanted to defend himself, to deny being so selfish but no words came out. It may not be entirely true that he kept at Karen for carnal pleasure, but he definitely did keep the relationship despite all the questions in his head post the beach night.
"I am really sorry Karen. I wish I had something better to say. Anything to make it up to you but I don't."
" I have never seen such a screw up in my life Jim Halpert. I asked you what you wanted. We talked about it night after night. You even said you were happy about how things are going" she took a breath, suppressing the sob threatening to burst out.
Jim didn't want to think about it anymore than he did during the car ride back. He didn't regret the break up because he knew it was never meant to last this long but he still regretted the look Karen gave him which made him feel like an a**hole. He suspected that she indeed was in love with him though she didn't say it. He knew that look, God he has been Exhibit A for that look that night….or for years?...or forever? He can't say anymore. She looked so heartbroken. He knew the look. He has been there, done that and pledged to never let it happen again to him. Those tears were full of pain, he knew that because he had tasted them too. And now he is ready to embark on this path, making him vulnerable to all this all over again despite his promise to himself that he won’t go down that road again, an year ago. He was so mad at her that she rejected him and his love to be with someone who is clearly the wrong one. Probably hated her a little bit too for choosing him over him . She had no idea how miserable she made him. He hated her guts, the ownership she had on his heart and wondered how she would have felt had the roles been reversed. Now after enacting the same scene with different characters, it doesn't make him feel any better. To be the breaker and not the broken.
It’s a different kind of hell and he isn’t sure anymore if he is doing the right thing. This is not like breaking up with Katie. She was simple and well she was hot. And that all that mattered for the casual fling. Nobody was in love with anybody. Well he was in love with her but at least Katie was not stupid like him and seemed upset but he didn't punched her in the gut with words like “misinterpreted friendship” “I can’t”. God it still hurts to even remember them. Did he also wound Karen like he got. Is he also choosing her over her.
He just realized that his hand was rolled up in a fist, waiting for this feeling to pass. His knuckles were turning white from the pressure and he relaxed his fingers and saw small crescents his nails have made digging in his palms and was almost ready to draw blood. He wanted to take it easy after being wound up for so long. He can’t keep doing this to himself. He can't keep second guessing anymore than he already did since the time he moved to Stamford. It’s now or never.
He kept nodding and walking backwards to get out of his boss's room without being so obvious about his eagerness. He even let Michael make his inappropriate joke about Karen will now be on top of him and “That's what she said” and looked around in the bullpen if Pam had returned from the conference room. He almost felt like an idiot for not shutting the door behind him letting Michael’s comment float outside and risking being heard by others, specifically her. She was sitting at her seat and was pretending to focus on her computer screen but she was definitely…..blushing if he can dare call it that, relieving him of his doubts. She was beaming and her giddiness relaxed him too.
She raised her eyes to him and gave that beautiful smile that Jim has been missing this past year, the one which he couldn't resist ever, the one which decorated his dreams and been haunting his nightmares, the one which reminded him the power she has on him and his heart, the one he knew going to be death of him. And just like that, he returned that smile with the euphoric one of his.
Tonight's the night- Now or Never.