1. he's (not) in love by dwangela
the road is endless before him. somehow the open air is suffocating; somehow his lungs aren't working. he's not sure when they quit; he's not sure when the heavy burn in his chest started. she'd taken bits of his breath away all night, and then it was his turn to take hers in the office by computer light bouncing off of her iridescent periwinkle dress. then she kissed him back, fucking kissed him. for a moment, he wasn't thinking, wasn't seeing, wasn't sure if he was alive, felt like he was hallucinating, his fantasies finally swallowed him whole, and yet this was too real to be a lucid dream. she smelled of fruity drinks and her hair was soft on his face, hands softer on his skin. holy crap she was touching him, wanted to feel his skin, wanted to deepen the kiss, and he was breathing and alive and feeling her.
then she let go, didn't want him, wanted the man who slipped the ring onto her finger, wanted her high school sweetheart, wanted a man who didn't fucking deserve her, hell, he didn't deserve her, but he was so in love with her. then he was walking away, throwing years of his life at her feet. he doesn't know what he has left, why he stayed so long, or why he was so blind. then he was running, running until his feet moved on their own. anywhere not here, anywhere she wasn't, anywhere where her ghost couldn't reside, that's where he wanted to be. maybe that's when he stopped breathing. when she let go. when the floor gave way beneath him and his bestfriend didn't want to kiss him ever again, when his bestfriend was giving the rest of her life to another man, when it wasn't jim and pam, when it wasn't ever going to be jim and pam, maybe that's when he stopped breathing.
she's still everywhere. he can taste her gloss on his lips and feel her hands burning poison into his veins. her laugh is ringing in his ears, clashing with i can't, i can't, i can't. it was his own damn fault for letting himself believe he could ever have a chance with her. she was friendly and sweet and warm and he was naive and in denial. he kept his hands in his pockets until they were on her, until he was kissing her, and in love with a woman who didn't love him, until he was letting go, gasping for air to breathe, gasping for a reason to breathe.
the darkness welcomed the tears that flowed down his face, and he can't see where he's going. the world is blurry and salty and spilling down his cheeks, and it's just open highway from here to a place he doesn't really want to go. there are no stars, no awful fireworks, no grilled cheese sandwiches, and no swaying with intertwined hearts, but was she ever even holding on? she had to have been beacause she kissed him, deeply. fucking pam beesly always taking one step forward and two steps back. it's not her fault. he can't blame her. she was a good friend, a faithful fiancee, and he was desperate to interpret things in his favor, but it can't be in his head, can't be gone, over, done. she kissed him.
the wind is in his eyes and hair and his sweater is thrown over his shoulder into the backseat. he can wash the sweater, wash his hair, but she's everywhere, staining everything. how do you clean a stained soul? she would have a joke for him right now accompanied by one of those heartwarming smiles, those friendly smiles, except an hour ago she was kissing him in the dark. did she kiss him out of pity? he was a fucking charity case now, wasn't he? his story is the tale of a loser salesman who falls in love with the engaged receptionist and then gets turned down, but kisses her anyway, expects her to pour 10 years of her life with another man down the drain for his pathetic ass. the title's shitty, but the story has to be fucking riveting. i mean, it's been his life for 5 years now. who keeps a shitty movie on repeat for 5 years?
he can't drive fast enough; the night is chasing him, closing in on him. its dark hands are surrounding him slowly but surely, and he's drowning. he's throwing his head against the steering wheel hoping maybe she'll slip out of his brain and splatter across the road, pulling her stitches and staples out of his heart. its unlikely, but he's stopped in the middle of an empty pennsylvania highway at 11 pm, washing his steering wheel with her memory. that's what she is now: a memory. he hopes he'll never have to see her again. pam beesly: a living reminder of every mistake he's made in the past 5 years. she just happens to be gorgeous and he's in love with the mistakes; he's in love with her hands even when they're pulling away. his brain is overflowing onto the open road, pouring out the back of his car. maybe if he drives far enough, she'll disappear. he can at least hope. that's all he's good at anyway.