"So what do you want to watch?" Jim asked as he moved his bottle of beer out of the way and opened the pizza box on the coffee table in the living room. "How about The Sixth Sense?"
Pam leaned forward and started separating the pre-cut slices of pizza. "Ummm, nah," she said with a scrunched up nose.
"The Others?" he asked nonchalantly as he picked up a slice and knocked the pickles off so that they landed on the brown cardboard with a slight wet thud. She shook her head again. "Beetlejuice?"
"Does it have to be a ghost film?" she asked before taking a bite of pizza.
"What's wrong with a ghost film? You believe in ghosts right? So what's scary about movies about them?"
"Jim," she said in a warning tone with her eyebrow raised.
"I'm just saying, if you believe in ghosts, and aren't afraid of them, then it should be fine to watch a ghost movie. Right?" he said, matching her arched eyebrow with his own.
"No, it's just," she tried to say, but Jim cut her off.
"No, no, no, Beesly. Admit it. You're scared of ghosts. You've spent the whole day telling me they're real..."
"Which they are," she butted in.
"So why are you scared of them?" he asked, putting the slice of pizza back in the box and turning to face her more fully with a slight smirk on his face.
"No, I, I'm not. It's just. We don't need to watch a movie about them right? Like, you can get murdered, so why would we want to watch a movie about that? It's just kinda..."
"Scary?" Jim suggested. Pam threw the pillow she was leaning on at him, hitting the top of his head and mussing up his styled hair. He laughed and bent over the arm of the couch so that he could grab the pillow and passed it back to her.
"So you're not scared at all by ghost films or like the Saw films or anything?" she asked, putting the pillow back under her arm.
"No, why would I be? Ghosts aren't real, and that murder stuff doesn't exactly happen in a place like Scranton."
"What about the Scranton Strangler?" she asked, reaching for another slice.
"Well, yeah, I mean," he stumbled. "No, that's, that's different."
"It just is. Like movie stuff isn't real, so it's just not scary," he shrugged, before leaning forward to grab the bottle of beer and taking a sip. "So, how about Hocus Pocus? I'm pretty sure witches from the 17th century aren't gonna come back and terrorise us."
Pam grabbed the pillow and hit him with it again. "Ok fine." He laughed and got up to grab the DVD from the shelf, before walking over and slotting the disc into the machine. He came back to the couch, turning off the lights on the way, and relaxed straight into the corner, slinging his arm over the back of the couch. Pam threw the remainder of her crust into the box and leant back into Jim's side, snuggling into him underneath his arm. She rested her head on his shoulder and smiled as she felt his hand begin to stroke the top of her arm where his hand had settled.
The movie began playing, and within a few minutes, both Jim and Pam were engrossed. As the scenes moved from 17th century Salem to the 90s, the room filled with the brighter ambient light radiating from the TV, and Pam was able to see Jim's features in profile more clearly. On the screen, Max screamed as his sister jumped out of his closet, and in Scranton, Jim jumped at the slight scare, causing Pam to giggle.
"Just funny, you're scared of a little girl jumping out of a closet," she laughed.
"I wasn't scared!" he protested. "I just got a little shocked, was all."
"Sure, sure," she smirked. As Jim sat staring at the screen, wrapped up in the Sanderson sisters, Pam phased out the movie and slipped into her own little world.
"Pam, pam," Jim whispered as the movie finished. "Beesly, wake up," he tried again, a little louder, nudging her shoulder.
"Hmm?" Pam said, her eyelids fluttering open to see the credits rolling in the darkened room.
"Come on," Jim said, standing and holding out his hand to help Pam up. "Let's go to bed."
"Ok," she yawned. "I'm just gonna grab a glass of water from the kitchen. I'll be up in a minute."
"Alright," he said, before giving her a quick kiss on the top of her head. "I'll see you up there."
Pam walked through to the kitchen on autopilot in the dark, and grabbed a glass from the cabinet. As she waited for the water from the faucet to run cold, she absentmindedly stared around the room, until her eyes fell onto the small projector that Jim had purchased. As she slipped the glass under the stream of water, a smile crept across her face.
"Morning mom," Pam called out, as she heard her mother unlock the front door. "We're in the den."
"Morning sweetheart," Helene cooed to Cece as she walked into the room. "How are you today honey?" she asked Pam.
"Oh fine, nothing to complain about. Just tired. Between the baby kicking and Cece up about 4 times, I think I managed a solid 2 hours of sleep," Pam said with a small laugh.
"It doesn't get any better, let me tell you. You didn't sleep properly until you were about 9, but then Penny was still waking. And if it's not the waking, it's the early starts. Until you were a teenager of course, and then I couldn't drag you out of bed. If it's not one thing, it's the other. And your father was no use." Pam sucked a breath in as she listened to her mother drone on about how useless men are. Her eyes glazed over and her gaze drifted down, landing on the box of lightbulbs that Helene had given her the night before to be returned to the store. Helene noticed Pam vacantly staring at the box and piped up. "And I bet that box stays there for at least another week," she tutted. "Men never do the things you ask."
"Mom," Pam whined. "Jim's gonna return them at the weekend, I promise." Pam cursed herself for forgetting to even tell Jim that her mom had asked him to return the faulty light bulbs. As Helene carried on talking about how hard it is to get a man to do anything, Pam got lost in her own thoughts.
"Pam?" Helene tried again, after getting no response the first time she said her name.
"Remember I need to leave early for my doctor's appointment today. You'll be home by 3pm right?" Helene asked.
"Oh yeah, it's fine. I'll be home by then. Jim's gonna grab a lift with Kevin at 5pm," Pam said as she started to get up off of the floor where she had been playing with Cece. Helene held out her hand to help Pam up, and Pam smiled gratefully at her as she got up with a slight grunt. "I'm just going to finish getting ready."
"No problem. Oh, do me a favour and open the window," Helene said, pointing to the small window on the other side of the room. "It's stifling in here."
"Oh, um, actually mom," Pam began hesitantly. "We, uh, we're a little worried it's a bit too cold for Cece with all the windows open. Would you mind keeping them closed today?"
"Pam, how can I possibly get through the day without the windows open?" Helene exclaimed, fanning herself with her hand as if to get her point across of how hot she was. "You know how I am at the moment." She made wide eyes and pinched her mouth to the side, silently communicating the effects that the menopause was having on her body temperature.
Pam thought for a moment. "Oh, hey, I've got a hand held fan I bought in the summer. Want me to get that?"
"I suppose," Helene said, fluttering her eyelids in annoyance.
"I'll be right back," Pam said with a forced smile. She walked through to the kitchen and rifled through one of the cupboards to try to find the fan for her mom. As she was stretching up on her tiptoes, she felt Jim's hands stretch over her bump and pull her backwards slightly. She lowered herself down and melted into his arms, letting his freshly showered scent envelop her.
"What you doing?" Jim asked as he placed a kiss on her shoulder before letting go of her and moving to the side to lean against the counter.
"Oh just looking for that fan I bought in the summer to give to my mom, rather than her opening up all the windows and freezing Cece to death."
"Great idea," he smirked as he reached for a mug to pour some orange juice into. "You sure the fan is in there though?"
"Yeah, this is where it always lives," she said, still rooting around in the cupboard.
"Oh, wait. I used it a couple of weeks ago when I was trying to roll ping pong balls with Cece. Where did I put it?" he said, turning in a circle and scratching his head. He walked back over to the utensil drawer and opened it, before rummaging around inside. "Aha!" he exclaimed, pulling the fan out of the drawer. "I knew it was somewhere."
"‘Somewhere'," she laughed with a slight shake of her head. "You're terrible. You need to work on putting things back where they're meant to go."
"Yes ma'am," he said in a serious tone, that made a shiver run up Pam's spine.
Pam just laughed and rolled her eyes. "Come on," she giggled. "We better get to work."