Pam felt like she floated back home. At one point she was winning straight in Poker, next she was kissing Jim in the darkened office and next she was dropped off by Meredith to her house, which she shared with Roy. Roy , her ten years boyfriend slash 5 years Fiance and soon to be her husband.
Did she really cheat on him ?? How could she do that to him?? A voice inside her said “You did it again !!”. She shushed it by quickly responding “Dundies didn’t count”. She was really drunk that night and upset at Roy for dragging her and being all rough when she has told him million times now she doesn’t like to be treated like that. She tried to waive tonight's kiss too by saying she was a bit drunk again. But the voices came back “I think we are just drunk” “I am not drunk , are you drunk” “No”.
Why would Jim do that? She was going to use the same excuse of alcohol laced courage and make this night just another fluke in her world where she was with Roy and Jim is her best friend and everything was just as is.
She felt so filled with guilt, she never took herself as the girl who would stray. She had high morals, not as high as I-am-dating-Dwight-in-secret Angela but high enough to be able to see herself in the mirror. Had she been leading Jim all this time ? She did know about his crush but he said it was a silly crush which was over years ago right. How could she know he still harboured those feelings for her ? She was just friendly to him and played pranks together. He was her best friend in the office...and now they have shared that kiss and she feels all….confused.
She needs to sleep on it. This is way more complicated for a night like this. She just needs time to figure this all out. Like her mom said - This needs some thinking over and rationalising. She went to bed in a fitful sleep. Her weekend went in the same haze where she was distracted and couldn't focus on any wedding preparations as she had planned before. She didn’t care that Roy wanted to spend the weekend with Kenny and his other buddies because “Pammy we will soon be married, just a few more weeks before I’ll be tied to the old ball and chain” he laughed.
She was relieved to be left alone and spoke to her mother again. She told her that she feels weird about what happened and she is still not sure why it happened but it doesn’t change anything. All the invitations have been sent out, everybody knows she is getting married to Roy and this is in the works for years now. She doesn’t want this one isolated strange event to make any..disturbance to her homeostasis.
She rationalized that perhaps this is again Jim’s silly crush resurfacing and she doesn’t have to worry about anything. They are best friends and will always be. They can talk this through.
Her resolve failed on the morning of next Monday when she had to get ready to work. She was dreading facing Jim and told Roy that she is taking a day off.
She needed more time to deal with this mess in her head, she told herself.
Roy reminded her that she has to save her vacation days for their honeymoon and got impatient at her lack of planning. She conceded and drove to work with him.
Her heart was racing when she entered the office, terrified of seeing him and his desk and remnants of that night. She hung her coat up and without turning her head, just moved to her desk and focused her eyes on the computer. She set the screen up to block Jim’s desk view. She could feel in her periphery that he hadn't come yet and that gave her another wave of panic and she went to the kitchen to prepare herself a cup of tea.
She was not ready to see Jim walking in and was ready to bolt to the restroom if he walked to the kitchen. It was already 20 minutes when she realized Jim was not in yet and the phones at the reception were ringing non stop.
She walked back to her desk and tried to calm her nerves before answering the phone. It was Jan, asking to connect with Michael. She ditched listening to their conversation, she didn’t have the energy to concentrate at this point. Looks like Jim is playing hooky. Dwight seemed to have got the similar idea too because he yelled at Michael and entered his office, animatedly complaining about Jim’s tardiness. It was really interesting how two people could be affected by Jim’s absence in two very different ways.
Maybe he was not ready to face her as well. The thought didn’t help her feel any better. She looked up at Jim’s desk and realized it looked different than every day. There were no pictures of his brothers, nor of his parents. His usual files were not set up on his table and it looked empty, sans his computer and his desk phone.
Right then Michael came out with Dwight and demanded everybody’s attention and ushered everyone in the conference room. She went in and sat, leaving one chair on her side, out of habit. Michael announced that there are two big news to share and he is melancholic about one while exuberant about the other, sort of melanburant situation.
“Jim’s not here and there is a reason for it. And I can’t believe this has really happened. He should be ashamed he kept it from us and Pam you should be ashamed too for not telling us either. I don’t understand why you guys wouldn’t tell me. I am his confidante”
Pam was livid now. Did Jim really tell Michael about Casino night and left her here alone to deal with all the questions while staying back home himself ?
Phyllis asked her what’s really happening but Pam was out of words to respond before Michael started again “Jim has moved on to Stamford branch, leaving his Scranton family behind..for a paltry little promotion to Assistant Regional Manager. He didn’t tell me about it, and Pam you didn’ either. What the hell ?”
Pam felt numb at that moment. Moved...to Stamford.. For promotion.. When?? She realized a moment later that she had spoken the last word out loud when Michael replied “Looks like from today. Didn’t you know?”
She only shook her head, still not able to comprehend what was happening. Probably this was some kind of elaborate plan he came up with on the weekend. It sounds like a grand prank and she just needs to wait it out to play. She felt relieved and a little disappointed that Jim didn't let her in on this but she could let it go. They are going to laugh at it together in the end and it wouldn’t matter that they didn’t collaborate on this.
She was lost in her own thoughts when Michael seemed to start clapping and so were others and she looked up to realize that he was hugging Ryan in a death grip. He finally released him after Ryan’s incessant struggle and shook hands and said “Ryan Howard ladies and gentleman, our very new sales rep and Jim’s replacement”. She rewinded the noise before the applause in her head to realize that Michael did say words like Jan shared news about Jim, and how Michael came up with idea of hiring Ryan in sales in his place and Jan agreed to his proposal.
She felt even more confused now. Could Jim can get Jan on his prank and orchestrate this whole thing? Maybe he got someone else to speak to Michael in her voice. But she picked up the call and it was from the corporate headquarters and it was Jan’s number.
Everybody started leaving the conference room but she didn’t move. She was still processing everything when Phyllis stopped with her and asked if she really didn't know about Jim’s transfer. When Pam looked just as blank, Phyllis curtly replied that perhaps it is for the best and left.
Pam felt her heart fall in her stomach. Her best friend has left.