Pam and Jim had many missed opportunities but fate still brought them together. On Valentine's Day they realize the first missed opportunity was much earlier when they were just 13 years old at a mutual friend's Bat Mitzvah. An AU like story based in canon.
No copyright infringement intended. All I own is a love of these characters.
Categories: Jim and Pam
, Past Characters:
Isabel Poreba, Michael, Michael/Holly, Phyllis/Bob Vance
NoneChallenges: Prior Meeting
Challenges: Prior Meeting Series:
November 17, 2020 Updated:
November 29, 2020
Another spin-off in the Gold Mine series, this story came about because in Chapter 9 of All that Glitters, we learn Michael almost threw himself a Bar Mitzvah. Jim and Pam discuss the ones they had gone to as kids and wonder if they had ever gone to one of the same ones. After thinking about it and talking it over in a Friday night forum, it was decided it would be fun if they did.
I was inspired by an old episode of Mad About You (season2/episode 7), my own memories of going to Bar and Bat Mitzvahs and watching my own kids have and go to them. I owe a lot of thanks to my sons for helping me get into the mindset of a 13-year-old boy.
1. The Butterfly Effect by Maxine Abbott
2. Valentine's with the Vance's by Maxine Abbott
3. Pop-a Shot and Salty Coke by Maxine Abbott
4. Snowballs and an Eternal Flame by Maxine Abbott
5. Jelly Belly Jelly Beans by Maxine Abbott
6. Meant to Be by Maxine Abbott
7. Epilogue by Maxine Abbott
The Butterfly Effect by Maxine Abbott
Pam’s just returned from traveling with Michael – middle of season 5.
Cold brushed over her arms causing a chill that awoke Pam from her dream. Jim had once again rolled over, cocooning himself in the blankets and exposing Pam to the slight draft from the window. She tugged gently at the comforter and he uncurled himself from it, wrapping his arms around her instead, the touch of his body warming her more than the covers did anyway.
The three-day trip with Michael, that in the end became five because of the added stop in Nashua, had drained her both physically and mentally and it felt great to be back in her own bed again, even if Jim was a blanket hog.
She had agreed to go on the trip primarily for the bonus pay. She wanted to be able to contribute a little more to her share of the mortgage although Jim insisted that share meant just that. What was his was now hers and he could cover the monthly payment without inflicting her to three days of travel with Michael and all the insanity that would surely accompany them on the journey.
But Pam had other reasons for agreeing to go, one of which was making amends with Karen. Karen, who Pam had felt she’d wronged, not so much for the way she revealed her feelings for Jim in front of her, or for the note she’d slipped to him which ultimately called Jim back to Pam, but for pretending so long that she was over him and not being more honest about things earlier. She hated thinking Karen thought ill of her and while she was nervous about facing her again, she was anxious to have a chance to talk calmly and convince Karen she never meant for her to get hurt in the process.
Turns out, Karen, just like Pam, wound up where she was meant to be, with a partner destined for her. It was apparent from the luminosity Pam saw on her face when she discussed her new husband, the same glow that emanated from the life that grew inside her, the product of that new love.
This discovery brought Pam the closure she needed and this was worth more to her than any monetary reward. But as she explained that to Michael as they left the Utica office, she could see behind his eyes the swirling explosion forming in his head. Being it was Michael she was dealing with, with his dramatic and narcissistic tendencies, it wasn't just a wheel beginning to spin. It was a metaphorical CD, burned with a compilation of every song that lyrically defined every thought he felt since Holly had left.
Pam thought she was doing the right thing in agreeing to make the added stop. Perhaps she hadn’t realized the depths of Michael’s feelings for Holly or, for that matter, those of hers for him. For Michael, the trip had a less comforting effect than what she experienced in Utica, in fact, the trip to Nashua only added to his heartache and Pam had a firsthand look into why.
Early morning light slowly crept into the room and Pam began to stir once again, awakening from dreams of an earlier time when she, like Michael was experiencing the crushing effects of lost love, the nightmare feeling as real as the man that lay beside her. She lay in silence thinking about the pain Michael was experiencing, the raw ache from knowing love and having it stripped from you.
As she gazed at her sleeping fiancé, the pathos of her dream ebbed back to a memory, but her heart still felt a small ache for her boss, the friend she had grown to care about despite his many faults.
As if he sensed her gaze upon him, her stare gently nudging him awake, Jim opened his eyes and smiled at her.
She only just realized how long and intensely she’d been gazing at him, his face being so often there in her dreams, sometimes like a memory of the past and sometimes a premonition of the future. But as she heard him call her by his pet name for her, she became aware where she was in their timeline, together, engaged and joyously happy.
“There’s the smile I love. What were you thinking about with that serious look?”
“Just how happy I am to be home.”
“Nope, that’s not your happy to be home look. I saw that look last night and that,” he waved his finger around her face, “is not it.”
Pam blushed at the memory of her homecoming. She had barely walked through the door when his lips were upon hers, his hands caressing her hair, then her body and before she knew it, they were half-naked on the shag rug enjoying their reunion.
“I wasn’t thinking about last night so much as thinking about how we got here. And how we almost didn’t. Being with Michael and reading that heartbreaking letter from Holly, I guess it got into my head. How close we came to missing out on all this.”
“Ok, first of all, we agreed there were certain names not to be spoken in this bed. And secondly, there was no way we would not have gotten here. I told you back then and I’ll tell you again I would have made my way back to you – without Josh, without Yopliat, without David Wallace.”
“I don’t know I just would have. Pam, we were meant to be.”
“That’s just it. You had to see Michael.” She stopped, half expecting Jim to raise his eyebrows at the mention of his name again. “And the letter. Jim, she is still so in love with him and he with her and yet I don’t know how they’ll come back together. Being meant to be might not be enough. It wasn’t for my parents.”
“You said it yourself, our story is not like your parent’s.”
“No, I guess not, but Michael’s is.”
“If it is, then they’ll find a way.”
“You know he sorta blames you.”
Jim edged himself up to a sitting position and braced himself to hear the irrational logic Michael had come up with that made it his fault that Holly was banished to the Nashua branch.
“Me? How does this have anything to do with me? It was David who sent her away.”
“He never came right out and said he blamed you, but he backended into it. He started rambling about how you kept him from flapping his wings and because of that David wound up finding out about them and sent her away on purpose.”
Pam was sitting up now too. She hated to tell Jim this but thought maybe Michael did have a small reason to be upset with him.
“It took me a while to figure out what he was talking about but eventually I got it. He was referring to the Butterfly Effect. You know the phenomenon that a butterfly flapping its wings can cause a typhoon halfway around the world.”
“Yeah Pam, I know about the Butterfly Effect but what does that have to do with me?”
Jim seemed to be getting a little mad. Pam knew it wasn’t at her, but still had to think about how to phrase things to keep him calm.
“Remember that time up on the roof, you know when Michael had kidnapped the pizza guy, when we talked about when we first knew we liked each other. You said you knew almost instantaneously. You said it was the moment we first met.”
“Well, it wasn’t quite the first moment I met you. Michael introduced me to you and then he got distracted by the lack of green jelly beans in the container on your desk. You said nice to meet you and I said hello. You were cute and all but I wasn’t swooning or anything just yet. It wasn’t until 8 minutes later when you…”
“When I said enjoy this moment…that’s why I don’t understand why you gave Michael such a hard time when he told you he loved Holly her first day.”
“Pam, I may have known I liked you in an instant, but I wasn’t insane enough to think it was true love minutes after our introduction and I certainly didn’t say it to you.”
“No, that took 3 years.”
“Okay, Pam, that hurt. You were engaged, remember.”
Now maybe his anger was a little bit directed at her. Pam reached out to touch him but he threw his legs over the side of the bed and walked to the dresser.
“Anyway, I may have known what I felt but I also knew enough not to tell you I loved you after knowing you for a few hours. That’s what he was planning. I didn’t tell him he couldn’t have feelings for her, only to take it slow, let things develop over time, like we did. If he had told her he loved her that day, David wouldn’t have even had to get involved, she would have left for Nashua herself.”
“You’re right Jim. I know it and I think he knows it too. But he’s been replaying all the ways he could have done things differently that would have had a different outcome. One that wouldn’t leave him so devastated and broken hearted.”
“Pam, I still don’t believe what they had, have, whatever is anything near what we have, but if it is even close, they will figure it out. And it’s not our job, despite what he may say or think, to help him navigate his love life.”
Pam knew Jim was right, but she still felt bad for what Michael was going through and couldn’t see a happy ending in store for Holly and Michael and that made her sad.
After a few minutes of silence, Jim walked back to the bed. He reached for her, taking her in his arms.
“Come here. I love that you care so much about him. I love that you want him to be as happy as we are. All I’m saying is, we had so many obstacles, so many missed opportunities and we still got here. Were we predestined; I don’t know? All I know is from the moment I met you, my life has never been the same and that’s what is most important to me. Let Michael worry about his own love life and let’s enjoy ours.”
He kissed her and slowly Pam’s worry about Michael became a memory as she got swept away in a very enjoyable present.
So, Jim is a little bit of a hypocrite. We all knew that he fell for Pam minutes after he met her Maybe if he had been more like Michael or at least more like Michael would have been without Jim’s influence – well never mind, then we wouldn't have had seasons 1-3 and about ¾ of the amazing fan fiction on this site. Anyway, I know I promised Young Pam and Jim. It’s coming, this is the set-up. Keep reading. Review too if you have any thoughts before I post more.
Valentine's with the Vance's by Maxine Abbott
♥Still a little more set up – but something has to get us from now to then.
By Valentine’s Day a week later, Pam had nearly forgotten how worried she had been about Michael. Especially since he was back to his usual ways making inappropriate comments about her and Jim and annoying her with his time-wasting antics.
Still she was enjoying her first Valentine’s Day engaged to Jim. He, unlike her previous fiancé, did not consider sex a present, in fact he said it was a gift for him to be able to bring her to a state of elevated rapture every time they made love. His ability to arouse her tenderly yet passionately and make her body feel things she never before knew possible had long since surpassed Roy’s best sex of her life, the only thing she got from him the final year they were engaged. And the way he made her feel desired in a way Roy never did, was the ribbon on top of the whole package of what she had with Jim.
Flowers were waiting for her on her desk that morning — she still wasn’t sure how he accomplished that since they traveled together to and from the office and she couldn’t imagine who in the office would go out of their way to do that favor for Jim. She imagined he owed someone big.
But Michael who had not forgotten his heartache, was making it increasingly difficult for them to enjoy the day. After moving her flowers to the floor more than once, and complaining to Jim about their sexy looks at each other, they decided to accept Phyllis’s invitation to lunch and escape the doom and gloom atmosphere Michael was manufacturing.
Lunch with the Vance’s began pleasant enough but they soon ran out of things to talk about, mostly because of their discomfort when they discovered the couple had disappeared to the bathroom for a little afternoon delight. The image of Bob and Phyllis getting it on inside the very public restroom made them lose both their appetites and their conversation skills. However, as uncomfortable as they now were, the alternative was to return to the office where they were sure the atmosphere would be just as insufferable, if not more so, so they found a way to remove the mental picture from their minds and made small talk again.
“Hey Phyllis, did you ever tell Bob how Michael wanted to throw himself a Bar Mitzvah after you guys went to that one a few years back.”
“You’ve got to be kidding.” Bob responded, obviously never having heard about Michael’s plans. “If that man isn’t the most idiotic, disrespectful, narcissistic jackass ever to manage an office.”
“I told you this dear,” Phyllis remarked. That made more sense to Pam, there was no way Phyllis would pass up an opportunity to poke fun of our boss to her husband.
“Remember, I asked you to find out where Adam got the skullcaps for the service and then I told you we’d get to do the hora again soon.” She directed her attention to Pam. “I loved doing that dance at the party. I even enjoyed it when Michael had us doing it in the conference room for practice.”
“Yes, Phyllis it is fun. I remember when I went to some of my friend’s bar and bat mitzvahs back when I was around that age, I really enjoyed that part of the party. Dancing around in that big circle, watching them lift all the family members up on the chairs.” Pam turned to Jim. “Wasn’t that a blast at the ones you went to?”
“I preferred the Snowball dance myself. Remember I was a dorky kid and didn’t have the courage to ask a lot of girls to dance. The beauty of the Snowball was pretty much everyone wound up on the dance floor by the end.”
“That’s right, I forgot you two might have gone to them when you were that age. When Michael and I were in middle school, they weren’t quite the big deal they’ve become. I may have gone to one or two but they were small luncheons not these big parties.”
Phyllis suddenly got that saucy look in her eye she often did when she shared a bit of girl talk or was let in on a juicy secret.
“Hey, do you think you ever were at the same one?”
“We’ve talked about this before,” Jim replied for the both of them. “We really don’t know. There always seemed to be a bunch of kids from other schools and camps and stuff but we really can’t remember.”
“Imagine if you were though, wouldn’t that be so serendipitous. Bobby, don’t you think so?”
“Yeah, sure dear. Now tell me more about the idiotic plan the jackass had to throw himself a Bar Mitzvah. That sounds like the real hoot.”
They stayed at lunch another hour or so. When they did finally leave, Phyllis convinced them that there was no need to go back to the office. Michael would never say a word as long as he thought they were all together with Bob, plus back at the office, Michael was holding court at the Valentine’s pity party and they weren’t welcome at it.
It was still daylight as they leisurely drove back through town to their home on Linden Avenue, the late afternoon sun casting a prismatic glow into the car and over Pam, painting her hair with shades of copper and gold that were the perfect complement to her green eyes. Jim reached out and tousled the sun-lit tendrils of her hair that escaped from her ponytail. He loved when she wore her hair down, all free and flowing and sexy but he also liked this look on her. The youthful style brought out the blush of her cheeks and twinkle of her eyes and brought to mind images of a slightly younger Pam, when he was first falling for her, years before.
With all the talk last week of Michael and his instant infatuation of Holly, memories of Jim and Pam’s first days together in the office seemed to randomly pop up in his thoughts. Mostly in his head were memories of how he himself had fallen rather fast for a girl he knew almost nothing about, including the fact that she was engaged to someone else. But for Jim, that knowledge didn't change what he had little control over. Every day he told himself not to fall for her and everyday there would be some little thing she did that would jolt his insides, prodding the parts of him that could override any rationalism occurring in his brain. Sometimes it was as simple as the mocking tone she took with Michael as he messed up the punchline of jokes that weren’t very funny to begin with. Sometimes it was the way she practically fell out of her chair laughing at the pranks he pulled on Dwight. Sometimes it was the way she yawned precisely at 4:15 each day but every day he would notice something new about her and it got harder and harder for Jim to keep himself from falling under her spell.
In retrospect, his inability to keep her from penetrating his every thought was just another confirmation to Jim, that no matter what they were always meant to be together; that a more powerful force was at work. It was not really in his nature to have such a strong conviction about a concept such as kismet, he didn’t usually believe in signs, or ghosts, or horoscopes. The supernatural was something to enjoy on television or the movies, it didn’t exist in real life. He never once avoided a crack for the sake of his mother or wasted more salt over his shoulder because he was clumsy enough to spill some in the first place. But of his destiny to be with Pam, of that he was sure of.
Pam brought him back to the present when she brought up their lunch with the Vances.
“I mean how do you do it in a public restroom?”
“Pam, please, I don’t want to ever think of that again.” Jim shuddered at the new thought Pam had placed in his head.
“She did get me thinking again about those Bar and Bat Mitzvahs. How much fun they were back then. I loved doing the hora too. Seeing the family hoisted on the chairs. Do you remember when Dwight did that for Michael on his birthday and they crashed his head into the ceiling panel?”
Of course, Jim remembered that, it was right before he and Pam snuck off to go shopping for Kevin. He remembered how much fun they had goofing around at the store. It was also the day he held her hand when they went ice skating. Just another of the hundreds of memories he had of falling in love with her.
“Yeah, they were a lot of fun but as evidenced by what Dwight and the guys did to Michael, they could be a little dangerous too.”
“Oh yeah, you know how we girls always would take off our shoes and wear the socks the DJ handed out. Well I inevitably would get my toes stepped on when it got rowdy, and always by some woman wearing spiked heels.”
Jim, of course knew about how the girls would take off their shoes, because he was usually in kahoots with his buddies to hold the shoes for ransom when it was time to go home. It was shoes in exchange for secrets or some of their haul from the candy bar or with certain girls, he joked about requiring a kiss but it was only a joke because he always got shot down. At 13 he still hadn’t kissed a girl, but he was certainly starting to want to.
The tradition with the socks, was also just another opportunity to be silly. He always took a pair to wear on his hands.
“There was one I was at where they almost dropped the mother out of her chair.”
This felt familiar to Jim, very familiar.
“Wait, did you tell me something about that when we talked about Bar and Bat Mitzvahs on our first date? I sort of feel like I heard about this.” He paused, “No I feel like I actually remember it happening. I think it happened at one I was at too.”
Pam’s eyes lit up with an even more radiant shine, but only for a brief moment before they dimmed back to their regular yet beautiful sparkle.
“Well it probably happened a lot.”
“That’s true. But now that I think about it this was pretty hysterical. The mom as she started to fall tried to rebalance herself and somehow in doing that, she kicked off her shoe and it flew across the room and knocked over one of the giant styrofoam centerpieces.”
The megawatt glimmer in her eyes returned.
“Wait Jim, was this at Robyn Fried’s?”
“Pam, I don’t know. It was some girl in a lot of my classes who I haven’t thought of in years. I don’t remember her name.”
A huge smile washed over Pam’s face.
“Jim, I’m pretty sure we were at one together.”
Ok, here we go – imagine Wayne and Garth panning across the screen waving their fingers going doodily do doodily do and the scene cuts to….
Pop-a Shot and Salty Coke by Maxine Abbott
I was going to wait until after work to post this update but I figured why not do it this morning - um to review it one more time for typos - hoping it's not littered with them...
Think back to 1991…no cell phones (at least for 13-year-olds), so no snap chat or tik-toks or whatever they're into now. But kids were still kids.
A thirteen-year-old Pam observed herself as she swirled around in the flouncy pink party dress in front of the mirror. The dress, made of satin and chiffon had a sweetheart neckline that accentuated her new figure and tiers of fabric that billowed when she twirled making a halo around her lean legs. It was certainly her favorite of the three she tried on.
Still, days before she had begged her mother to take her to the store for a new one but her mother said three new dresses were enough.
“But Mom, everyone has seen me in them already.”
“Pam, three new dresses are more than enough for party season. You’ll have to wear one of them again.”
Pam stormed out of the kitchen, upset but not surprised. She knew it was a long shot her mom would agree to buying another new dress especially when Pam seemed to be developing at a rate that would mean she’d be unable to wear any of the dresses she just bought long after this party season. Pam tried to make the argument that her sister Penny eventually could wear them but her Mom used her very own words against her, that anything purchased before September was so last year and unwearable.
Pam knew her mom was right. It was just that all the girls at these events always seemed to be wearing something brand new and each dress seemed fancier than the next. Pam always felt a little bland next to the girls with expensive, brand name attire, faces of make-up and perfectly coiffed hair. No matter what Pam tried to do to calm her curls, they always seemed to return to their natural state of frizz, a tangled mess of cotton candy like chaos.
At least today, most of the kids at the party would be from another school. Robyn went to Sycamore Middle, Pam to Pinecrest. Pam knew Robyn through volleyball. Since she’d discovered her love for the sport, Pam attended volleyball camp along with Robyn and a handful of other girls she met at the town recreation league. The girls who became good enough advanced to the travel team, Pam and Robyn among them.
The rest of the team was a mix of girls from the three local junior highs, all of whom were on the guest list for the Bat Mitzvah but only a handful of which attended Pam’s school. A few other classmates could be there today, friends from Robyn’s temple and old holdovers from the days of Brownies and Girl Scouts.
But Pam knew the majority of attendees would be from Robyn’s school which meant the girls would be in fancier dresses. Sycamore girls tended to be richer and fancier but at least that meant they wouldn’t know the dress she had on was the same she wore at the last party.
Pam ran her fingers around her curls again, trying to soften the frizz by making a mini curler out of her pointer but it didn’t seem to do much. But other than her hair, she thought she looked pretty good.
“Pam, hurry down. Isabel’s here.”
Pam grabbed her small clutch purse, which was just big enough to hold a lip gloss, compact mirror, and a teeny tiny sketchbook and pencil that she pretty much took wherever she went. The card was too big to fit in it so she grabbed that too before she hurried down the stairs, swiftly but carefully in her kitten-heeled pumps that she hadn’t quite gotten the hang of walking in yet. As hard as she tried to take easy, fluid strides, her movements were clunky and clumsy and not at all graceful and certainly less so as she rushed down a flight of stairs. It was good, she thought, she’d be taking them off soon, as soon as the dancing part of the party began—when the DJ came around with the basket of socks, supplied to avoid twisted ankles and sore feet as most 13-year-old girls were unaccustomed to walking, much less dancing in heels.
Helene was waiting at the bottom of the staircase, camera in hand, ready to snap a photo of Pam and her friend Isabel before they left for the evening party.
“Oh, don’t you girls look nice,” she remarked as she directed them to stand in front of the fireplace and snapped off a few pictures with her new digital camera.
After the photo session she followed the two girls out to the car to say hello to Isabel’s mother who was waiting in her minivan.
“Have fun girls”, she waved to them as they climbed back into the second row. Turning her attention back to Isabel’s mother she confirmed what time she was expected to pick them up from the catering hall and waved goodbye again to her daughter and her friend.
When just the two of them, Pam and Isabel responded to the probing questions Mrs. Poreba asked but after picking up two more of their teammates, Isabel’s mom gave up on trying to engage in conversation and put on the radio for the additional 20-minute drive to the party, but kept an ear on the chatter from the girls in the rows behind her.
The main topics were who would get chosen first in the Snowball dance and which of the four of them might meet a new boyfriend today. A few months back, at Mark Klein’s Bar Mitzvah, Marcy wound up talking to a guy from Mark’s hockey team and they’d dated for two months. That is until Marcy found out from Jill, another volleyball teammate who went to school with him, that he had another girlfriend at his own school. When Marcy found out she promptly dumped him. Which meant Marcy was on the prowl to meet someone new tonight, and chances are she would.
Marcy never seemed to have any trouble meeting guys. Her wavy blonde hair always looked perfect, her big blue eyes pierced under the longest lashes but most of all with her bubbly, and unrestrained personality she had no problem approaching anyone. As much as Pam liked her, she was actually sweet and genuine, Pam always felt hidden in her shadows at social events.
The girls arrived at the party about 15 minutes into the cocktail hour entering through an archway of pink and silver balloons. On the other side they were greeted by the hostess who ushered them to the kid’s area, a cordoned off section of the room with its own non-alcoholic mini-bar and buffet of pigs in blankets and slider hamburgers.
Most of the guys were gathered around the Pop-a-Shot basketball and the air-hockey game. Some of the girls were lined up to write a message on the Lucite board that featured a mirrored volleyball and Robyn’s name while the rest were gathered in groups on the other side of the room sipping sodas and chatting airily. Isabel, Pam and Abigail found some of their other teammates and joined in the high-spirited conversation, but Marcy went straight to the pop-a-shot. She sidled right up to the boy shooting, grabbed a ball and started tossing up balls alongside him. He stopped for a second, taken by surprise at Marcy’s brazenness, but then after taking a look at her, smiled and went on to continue taking his shots, hitting almost every one and making some very animated faces at her as his shots landed and hers missed.
Pam looked over at Marcy with a small pang of envy. It wasn’t so much that she thought the guy was anything special. He was cute in a dorky kind of way, with an unkempt thatch of hair, very much in need of a trim, a wrinkled dress shirt that seemed a little big on him and a dimpled smile that screamed troublemaker. What she envied was Marcy’s ability to saunter right up to him and make him take notice of her. Pam could never have the guts to walk right into a room, grab a ball and start interacting with a boy she’d never met before.
Marcy stayed by the Pop-a-Shot even after the next boy came over to take his turn at the game, engaged in conversation with her game partner, when Pam noticed Adam Baum making his way over to them.
“Oh no, Adam Baum is here,” Pam grumbled to the group of girls she was talking to.
Isabel and Abigail groaned.
“Who’s Adam Baum?” Jill inquired.
Isabel answered, “Uck, he’s this guy from our school that we can’t stand. He’s a know-it-all and yet he’s pretty clueless. He thinks he’s funny but he’s mostly just annoying and he is especially rude to Pam.”
“Yeah, we’ve known him since grade school. When I first was in class with him, I think it was 2nd or 3rd grade, he called me Pamela on the playground at recess. When I told him I went by Pam, he got all defensive and said he would only call me what the teacher calls me. That if my parents gave me a perfectly good name why shouldn’t I go by it.”
Isabel interrupted, “But she got him good. She said, well I’m sure your parents gave you a perfectly good name, but everyone calls you stupid.”
“Which one is he?” Jill asked.
“There,” Pam pointed to where he stood talking to Marcy and her new friend. He’s the one holding the coke. Slowly, the crowd around Marcy was growing and now a few new guys had joined them. Marcy waved over her friends to join her. Pam was hesitant to do so, not wanting to interact with Adam, but had no choice but to follow her friends as they made their way over to where Marcy held court with a half dozen guys. Luckily, before she got there Adam’s turn at the Pop-a-Shot came up. He set his drink down on the table next to the game and picked up a ball to shoot.
Marcy had moved on from her original conquest and was now chatting with a new guy. Jill who knew the rest of the group from school started to make introductions. Pam stood just on the periphery of the circle, too shy to put herself directly in the mix of the new friends. From her vantage point she spied Marcy’s shooting partner slip off into the main section of the room, where the tables were set for the adults to sit while they enjoyed the more sophisticated crudité and antipastos from the buffet spread and the hors d'oeuvres being passed by white-gloved waiters.
He returned moments later holding a salt shaker, which after taking a quick look back to where Adam was taking his shots, he proceeded to shake into Adam’s unattended coke. Pam noticing him started to giggle quite noisily, which grabbed his attention. Moving his finger to cross his lips, he flashed a playful look her way, his eyes pleading with her to keep his secret. Pam in return, twisted her fingers and tossed away an imaginary key indicating his secret was safe with her.
Adam, after completing his game and pounding his chest to boast on his high score returned to the waiting soda he’d left at the nearby table and took a sip. Choking it up in disgust, he sputtered.
"All right, who did this? Not funny.”
Both Pam and the perpetrator both burst into hysterical fits of laughter, each having to turn and walk away in opposite directions to avoid detection.
So now that we’re here in 1991 I hope you are enjoying. I do have to give credit to my son for the salt in the coke prank. I do hope he never was the one to do this – or have it done to him for that matter.
I'd love to hear what you are thinking about this little fic. It made me so happy to write and to know it's fun to read would be like getting a new party dress or the high score in Pop-a-Shot
Snowballs and an Eternal Flame by Maxine Abbott
So I have to be honest, I don’t remember doing the Snowball dance- not sure if it's a new thing but I like the idea of it so it's part of this story.
I do remember playing lots of games which they still do today. and through my kids I've relived the experience at a one of these parties.
Jim pulled up at the light on Vine Street. Turning to gaze once more at the bubbly smile that had washed over his fiancée’s face, he broke into a wide smile of his own as a vat of memories bubbled up and came floating to the surface.
“I think you may be right.”
Adam Baum was an ass.
Jim knew him from his travel baseball team. They’d been teammates going on four years now and for four years Jim disliked him. He may have been a good ballplayer but he sucked at having a personality. He was extremely bossy, overbearing and high on himself yet he was a kiss-ass to the coaches. He was always the first to do the point as he rounded the bases after he hit a screamer over the fence but was the last off the bench to join the pile-up on a fellow player who accomplished the same feat. In the entire time Jim had played with him, he couldn’t recall him ever having a word of praise or encouragement for Jim or any of his teammates for that matter.
He thought the team would fall apart without him even though they’d played some of their best games the week he took off to prepare for his own Bar Mitzvah. Jim was glad he was only on his baseball team; he couldn’t imagine if he went to school with him, or worse than that, sat near him in any classes. He was probably a huge suck-up to his teachers too.
Jim groaned to himself as he saw Adam’s signature swagger making its way over to where stood with his new friend.
“Nice shirt, Halpert. Could it be any baggier?”
Despite the fact that Jim wasn’t all that interested in the blonde that hijacked his basketball game—she was a little too flashy and pushy for his taste—it still was a dick move to interrupt. Having two older brothers, Jim’s wardrobe consisted mostly of hand-me downs which meant his clothes were never quite tailored to fit. Still Adam was a douche for pointing it out in front of her.
“Nice face, Baum. Could it be any uglier?”
The two of them laughed it off, doing a cross between a hand slap and a handshake, dapping each other up even while Jim was steaming inside. He knew Adam was trying to make him look foolish in front of the girl, who he obviously knew from school as he acknowledged her by name, Marcy, after their little dig fest finished. She seemed to want little to do with him either, quickly directing her focus back to the growing crowd that slowly joined them. As more of Jim’s school friends and teammates made their way over following an epic battle on the air hockey table, Marcy, likewise waved over the girls from the other side of the room.
Adam, noticing the basketball game was suddenly without a line, set down his drink on the table and headed over to the game to have the next turn. Jim noticing his opportunity set off in the opposite direction, returning with a shaker of salt which he half-emptied into Adam’s drink surreptitiously, or at least that’s what he thought. He realized he was caught when the cute girl standing at the edge of the circle began laughing. Now she, the giggling cutie with the warm eyes and shy smile, she was more his type especially after she silently promised she’d never tell what she knew. He wanted to approach her to say hello and introduce himself but just before he could, Adam returned to take a sip of his salt-spiked cocktail and threw an angry fit, which induced a laughing fit in both Jim and his new partner-in-crime and they both had to walk away from the scene before being caught. But even as he moved to the opposite end of where she was, he kept his eyes on her, mesmerized by her infectious smile and playful spirit.
Once the coast was clear, but before he could catch up with her again, they were called into the ballroom where Jim preoccupied himself with finding the dance motivator who was handing out the socks. Upon finding her he grabbed his pair and joined his friends as the dancing got going. A remix of KLF’s 3 a.M. Eternal brought the girls racing to the dance floor followed by Madonna’s Vogue, where teens and adults alike strutted around, posing and framing their faces with their hands, Jim with his hands adorned by the same socks the girls wore on their feet.
Soon it was time to cheer on the guest of honor and her family as the party emcee and his dancers escorted them in, leading right into the hora dance. Jim’s invitation to exit left and grab another soda. A quick gulp later he returned to the dance floor just in time to watch as the mother of the Bat Mitzvah was hoisted into the air and nearly dropped before catapulting her shoe halfway across the room taking down three helium balloons and a huge centerpiece topped with a glittery volleyball that now rolled across the dance floor. Again, Jim, this time along with all the other teens who witnessed the comedy of errors, burst into uproarious laughter.
Despite the slapstick calamity, the party continued on with all the customary rituals. The blessing over the bread, made by her grandfather, followed by the eternally long candle-lighting ceremony where a corny poem preceded each invitation to help the Bat Mitzvah girl light a candle and was followed by a photo taken by the hired photographer. It was at the eighth candle, when he saw her again, called up as a member of the volleyball team along with Marcy, the girl he’d met earlier. Again, she seemed to hang back, hovering at the fringe of the group with a long-haired brunette trying to pull her closer so she appeared in the group photo. The ninth candle was for all the friends so the rest of the kids, males and females gathered around Robyn and were instructed to remain up there while the photographer climbed a chair in order to achieve a vantage point in which to frame the photo with all the teenaged attendees.
If he was correct the next event on the timeline would be the Snowball dance, aptly named for the way the crowd on the dance floor builds upon itself, becoming larger as each dancer is tasked with choosing a new partner at the call of “snowball” by the emcee. It began with the guest of honor and the partner of their choosing, or in most cases, one pre-chosen for them by their friends. After about a minute, 2 became 4 when each dancer ventured out to the crowd to bring back a new partner, another minute or so later 4 became 8, then 8 expanded to 16 and on it continued until the dance floor was filled with paired-up, slow-dancing teens.
Sure enough, after a chorus of Happy Birthday at the end of the candle lighting ceremony, the Bangles, Eternal Flame came over the speakers and the Snowball was announced. Robyn took the floor with Ryan McCarthy, the one friend of Jim’s who had already started to shoot up in height and broaden in the shoulders. Jim sat waiting with a group of his other buddies on the periphery of the dance floor, as the number of dancers grew.
Not usually one to be chosen early on, Jim was caught off-guard when Marcy, the peppy blonde he’d met earlier tapped him on the shoulder and invited him out to dance. Jim had never before been asked before the fifth round and felt a surge of pride and gratification as he accompanied her back into the burgeoning crowd of dancers.
Maybe he could see himself liking her, she certainly was pretty and seemed into him. Plus, she laughed as he batted his eyes and over-animatedly mouthed the words and, Is this burning an Eternal Flame? His sister never did when he made the same flamboyant gestures any time the song came on the radio on their trip home from school. Of course, Larissa knew he was making fun of the way she and her friends would act out the song into hairbrushes at sleepovers hosted at the Halpert house. Marcy just thought he was being funny.
They rocked back and forth to the music while holding each other’s waists, Jim not quite sure what to say to her next and Marcy not offering up any conversation either. It was just about to get awkward when,
They broke apart, their mission now to seek out a new dance partner from the crowd still waiting around the dance floor. Jim scanned the crowd looking for a friend to ask from school when he spotted her again, the girl from the great salt caper. She was looking down at her feet, twisting her fingers, swaying ever so slightly to the song. Jim figured why not, she was pretty, she like Marcy, had also been a good audience for his comedic capers and he was feeling pretty confident from his status as a third-rounder in the Snowball. When she looked up, she had that same shy smile on her face and that was all he needed to make up his mind and he sauntered over to her, making dance moves more appropriate for Ice Ice Baby than the ballad being played in the hope she would find him funny again. He never needed to even say a word, when he reached her he held out his hand. She replied with a giggle, took his hand and followed him back to the dance floor.
So, here’s a little image I found on the Internet to help you picture the scene.
Happy to hear your thoughts and if I've done justice to the inner thoughts of a 13-year-old boy.
Jelly Belly Jelly Beans by Maxine Abbott
I don’t think I need to say more than the title already does.
Pam couldn’t believe it. Moments before she was afraid she’d be among the last to be chosen knowing very few of the guys at the party. Adam, one of just three that she did know would never ask her, not that she would want to dance with him anyway. There was Roy, one of the sportier guys in her grade but she didn’t think he even knew who she was and Mark who she knew had a big crush on Isabel so he’d first try to ask her. Now, she was being led to the dance floor by someone she’d never met before, the guy Marcy had just been dancing with. Maybe Marcy had put him up to it. Not as a joke or anything, Marcy was her friend, but because Marcy was known to do bold things like that.
They reached the dance floor and turned back to face each other. Pam was taller than her dance partner but she was taller than most of the boys she knew these days. Most of the girls on the dance floor were taller than the boys they danced with.
It was the cruel trick of nature that when young girls and boys were at their most vulnerable, first noticing the other sex at parties and dances in more than a ‘eeww they’ve got cooties kind of way’, the scales of height were tipped so that each sex would feel self-conscious about their stature. Boys hated being shorter than the girls they liked and girls felt gangly and awkward when they towered over the boys they knew.
“I’m Jim,” he said as he gently clasped his arms around her.
She reached up to rest her hands on his shoulders.
“You play volleyball with Robyn?”
“Yeah. You’re at Sycamore with her?”
They gently rocked as Susanna Hoffs asked if she was only dreaming for a final time.
“So, do you know Adam, or do you just prank anyone who leaves their soda unattended?”
“I know him. We play on the same baseball team. Are you guys friends or do you just laugh at anyone who drinks a salt-spiked Cola?”
“I wouldn’t call us friends, we’re at Pinecrest together. He’s kind of a jerk though.”
“Right, isn’t he? I knew there was something I liked about you. Any non-friend of Adam’s is a friend of mine.”
Pam reddened as Jim said he liked her, even though she knew he was just being colloquial and he didn’t really mean it like that.
The tempo of the Bangles song sped up as it crossfaded to YMCA and suddenly the dancing style changed from the hug and rock to awkward and raucous. Pam started bouncing lightly in place conscious of her breasts, not wanting them to jiggle too much as she danced with her new friend. Jim however started bobbing his head and vigorously shimmying his shoulders, reminding Pam of the serious swag of the Peanuts characters when they danced. She thought it was adorable.
But before they could show off their mad skills of making letters with their arms they heard the emcee call out snowball and had to say a quick goodbye as it was time to seek out another new partner to bring out to the dance floor.
After the Snowball ended and most if not all the kids were on the dance floor the emcee started with the games. Pam made it through a few rounds of the Freeze Dance before getting eliminated and watched on with Isabel as Marcy advanced to the final round with her new friend Jim. Understandably, when Coke and Pepsi began, the two of them partnered up together and so Pam played with Isabel.
Pam had thought she made a little bit of a connection with Jim during their dance but as the night continued, she realized that Marcy was into him, so even when they found themselves in the same dance circle or talking in the same group, she knew it was because of Marcy and not because he was interested in her. Besides, since Marcy was obviously interested in him, there was girl code to adhere to.
It wasn’t until much later in the evening that Pam found herself alone again with Jim. Earlier in the party Isabel was off refilling her coke, alone, leaving three friends behind mid-gab session. And nothing catapulted teenage girl gossip more than when one of the parties was absent from the conversation.
Of course, the other thing about teenage girl talk is how fast comments made in confidence would make their way back to the person they were said about, whizzing like a pinball as it ricocheted off hyper-charged bumpers until finally passing between two flippers whose defenses came up too late.
Naturally, Isabel had found out about what Jill had said and so now Pam was stuck in the bathroom with Isabel who was upset. Of course, then Jill came in with Marcy and so Isabel stormed off and now Pam was stuck trying to talk to Jill to smooth over the fight that happened between her friends. Marcy was no help; she was so preoccupied with fixing her lip gloss and getting back out to find Jim, who she clearly was into.
While all this was happening in the bathroom, the candy bar was being unveiled. Back in the room where the Pop-a-Shot was earlier, a rowdy pack of teenagers descended on a table lined with bowls of gummy bears, m&m's, Swedish fish and more to fill a bag with their favorite sweets to take home with them.
By the time Pam had gotten out of the bathroom, found Isabel, then found Jill again and got the two to make-up and made it into the room with the candy bar, the table had been picked over. Not much was left, but lucky for Pam there still was a bowlful of her favorite candy, jelly beans and not just any jelly beans, her favorite, Jelly Belly jelly beans. She was busy scooping some into her bag when Jim ran in.
“Oh man. I missed all the good stuff,” he said before he noticed Pam at the table. “Adam, that jerk was yelling at me for crushing his stupid plastic hat.”
As at most of the parties she’d been to, the emcees would give away swag on the dance floor, like cheap sunglasses, beads and neon fedora hats. They were fun to get and everyone stormed the emcee when he broke out a new giveaway, but they weren’t worth getting all bothered about and she could understand why Jim looked so pissed when he came in.
“Sorry about that.”
“Not your fault. I just feel bad you have to go to school with him. Is he in any of your classes?”
“Yeah, unfortunately. Like four of them.”
“Now, I’m sorry.”
“There’s still plenty of jelly beans over here.”
“I’m more of a chocolate kind of guy. Jelly beans are not really my thing. They’re so sugary and taste fake.”
Pam knew what he meant. The traditional type of jelly bean was grainy, overly sweet and pretty generic. She still liked them but they couldn’t even be put in the same category as Jelly Bellys, which were wonderfully flavored, sweet without being cloyingly so, and came in such exotic flavors, like Tutti Frutti, Cotton Candy, and even Buttered Popcorn, which extraordinarily did taste like buttered popcorn.
“Have you ever tried Jelly Bellys? That’s what these are and they are much better than regular jelly beans. Try them.”
Pam grabbed a few from the bag she had made herself and held them out in her hand to Jim. He took a look at her hand and grabbed a few. He was about to pop them all in his mouth at once when Pam stopped him.
“No, you have to try them one at a time. Unless of course, you’re inventing a new flavor, like if you eat the coconut one with a pineapple one it’s like Pina Colada. But they actually have a Pina Colada flavored one so that’s not really the best example.”
“Ok, Miss Jelly Bean,” Jim said with a smile.
“Not, Jelly Bean, Jelly Belly.”
Jim popped a green one in his mouth.
“Mmm, this is good. I think it’s pear.”
“Oooh, I love the pear ones.”
Next, he tried a deep brown one.
“Now this one I really like, it tastes like chocolate.”
“Just be careful, don’t confuse it for one of the black ones,” she scrunched up her nose. “They’re pretty nasty tasting.”
“Note to self, no black ones. No, but seriously, these are really good. I like them a lot. I’m going to tell my mom to start getting these instead of the nasty ones she puts in our Easter baskets.”
“You still get Easter baskets?
“Of course, don’t you?”
“Well yeah, but I thought that boys would grow out of that kind of thing sooner.”
“Grow out of getting candy? Look at where we are. I don’t think I’ll ever grow out of getting candy. In fact, I think I’ll grab some candy to go. I’ve got to have my mom try these.”
Jim filled his bag and the two of them chatted for a few more minutes as they sampled more of the flavors and tried to make up new concoctions mixing two, three and sometimes four different flavors.
Even though Marcy had already told all the girls she liked him and she knew he probably liked Marcy too, she was really enjoying talking with this guy and was beginning to crush on him a little bit herself.
Just then Isabel popped into the room.
“Oh, there you are, Pam. It's almost last dance and we want to dance around Robyn before we have to go. And we promised your mom we'd be waiting outside.”
She noticed Jim.
“Oh, and I think Marcy’s looking for you, she wants to give you her phone number,” she giggled before she grabbed Pam’s hand and pulled her out of the room.
Pam turned back to Jim before she crossed the doorway.
“Bye, Jim. It was really nice to meet you. Maybe we’ll meet again soon.”
“Yeah, bye Pam. I hope so. It was nice to meet you, too.”
So here I’m asking you to suspend disbelief a bit. The candy bar would neve be left empty or unattended by an adult. We are talking teenagers. But let’s just say just like Pam and Jim can ignore the cameras all around them, they can ignore a catering hall employee in the room watching over the candy bar during their interaction.
I'm not sure if the jelly beans on the show were Jelly Bellys but I'm going to say they were - cause they looked like them and in this world, Jim only eats Jelly Bellys.
OH and isn’t this fun…
Meant to Be by Maxine Abbott
Again, I have to hand it to my son for some of the antics – and again hoping he knows enough to stay out of trouble at parties (now that he’s older I’ve got worse things to worry about than paper towel bombs)
After Pam disappeared with her friend, Jim scooped a bunch more of the jelly beans into his bag. Pam was right, they were really good.
Jim returned to the ballroom. He too, had to find the buddies he came with and see when their ride would be coming to pick them up. But now he had another mission; actually, he had two.
One, to avoid Marcy. She was pretty and fun but he wasn’t really into her and he knew if he saw her, he would wind up taking her phone number and agreeing to call her. Pre-teen boys, Jim included, were not good at avoiding conflict. It would be easier to take her number and then not call, than it would be to explain to her he wasn’t that interested. But he didn’t really want to do that, better just to avoid her altogether.
Two, he wanted to find Pam again and get her phone number since it was with Pam that he did feel he made a connection. They’d only talked for a few minutes while they danced and then again at the candy bar but each time, he enjoyed the interaction and wanted to see what could happen if they weren’t cut short.
He reentered the ballroom just as Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes were having the time of their lives and the crowd on the dance floor had dwindled down to a few older couples. He looked over to the corner where the kid's table was set up. The remaining teenagers were huddled in small groups forming an archipelago between the dance floor and the long dais where gossiping girls and hyperactive boys ran back and forth among the clusters.
He immediately spotted Marcy, so he quickly ducked into the men’s room, where a few of his buddies were having a wet paper towel fight. Jim, not sure if he was more afraid about looking like a wimp in front of his friends or getting caught by one of Robyn’s relatives, pulled out a paper towel from the dispenser, wet it, smashed it into a ball and hurled it at Adam. Having Adam among the paper towel warriors was the thing that shifted his attitude from concern about being caught to reckless abandon. Nailing him right in the cheek was payback for making him miss the candy bar, even if he did get to hang out with the girl, Pam a bit more. Of course, just as the wet blob escaped from his hand, one of the older party guests came in and when he saw what the boys were doing, he gave them a bit of a talking to.
By the time they were done getting lectured and came out from the bathroom, Last Dance was playing and the dance floor was full once again. Kids and adults alike, wearing their party hats and cheap sunglasses jumped around belting out Donna Summer’s lyrics at the top of their lungs, the kids’ sugar rush and adrenaline hitting maximum potency.
Jim joined in on the dance for a bit hoping to see Pam out there too but when he spotted her up by the coat check he left the dance floor, checking in with Jason about when they were getting picked up and then made his way to the exit where he saw her go out.
He opened the doors, working up the courage to approach her as she stood with her friends, when he suddenly noticed who she was with. Among the girls she stood with was Marcy. He stood frozen in the doorway, trying to decide on his next move. Did he casually go up and ask for all their phone numbers? No, he couldn’t do that he had barely even met the other two girls, that would be weird. Could he just ask Pam, without hurting Marcy’s feelings? He’d only just met both of them and didn’t even know either one of them enough for this much trouble. Still, he wasn’t sure what he was going to do. Before he could make up his mind and make his feet move, a car pulled up into the circular driveway and the four girls loaded into it.
Oh well he thought to himself. I guess that’s that. Maybe he’d meet her again at another event, maybe one where Marcy wasn’t or maybe he wouldn’t ever see her again.
He popped another Jelly Belly into his mouth and headed back inside.
Pam and Jim were almost to their shared home. They had spent the whole car ride comparing their memories of the Bat Mitzvah. The one with the mishap with the centerpiece, the salted soda, the Snowball dance, and the jelly beans. Hazy recollections slowly came into full focus as they each shared what they remembered from the night.
They soon recognized there was no other explanation than they were each other’s crush for a half a minute after having met at a party when they were teens.
“I can’t believe it was you who got me hooked on jelly beans.”
“Not jelly beans, Jelly Bellys,” Pam corrected him once again, 18 years later while silently fingering the Tiffany Bean bracelet he gave her for her birthday a year ago. The bracelet already had a special meaning for them. With this new knowledge, it’s significance became even more extraordinary, a symbol of the magical force that led them to one another and bound them together like the chain the bean floated on.
Jim pulled the car into the driveway and set the car into park.
“See Pam, this just proves my point. Just as I told you last week, we were meant to be. No matter what life threw at us to keep us apart, fate still brought us back together. It may have taken years, and now we know it took more years than we even realized. But hey, we just have one more story to tell our kids someday.”
“Not to mention a shared love of Jelly Bellys. Speaking of which....”
Pam reached behind her seat to grab a tin heart. Written across the tins’ top, script letters spelled out the words, You’re Sweet. Be my Valentine. Inside the tin was an assortment of Jelly Bellys, in all the flavors she knew he loved. There wasn’t a black one in sight.
He was just about to turn off the engine and lean in to share a sweet kiss with his Valentine, when the musical interlude signaling a major news story interrupted the DJ’s chatter on the radio. Their meeting of their lips caused a small stirring in their bodies but it was their ears that were shaken by the news report.
This Just In.
Local Authorities In The Scranton Area Are On The Lookout For The Person Responsible For The Strangling And Murders Of Two Local Women. Police Are Asking Residents Of Scranton And Nearby Areas To Be Vigilant And Extra Cautious As They Go About Their Activities. Previously Thought To Be Unrelated, These Two Incidents Are Now Looking Like The Work Of A Serial Killer Thought To Be Operating In Our Area. We Now Go To Lindsey Arnold Live At The Scene Of What Is Believed To Be The Most Recent Site Of A Fatal Struggle.
I hope this visit to the past was a fun trip. I had a lot of fun collaborating with my teenagers to bring it to life and writing it was a joy for me and stretched me to branch beyond what I normally write. Maybe a true AU will follow.
Thanks to those in the forum who gave me the gentle nudge that became the itch that just had to be scratched. I’d really love to know what you think so please review if you have the time.
Now I know most of you will get the ending and my husband always says I need to resist to urge to explain further.
BUT I can't help it - if you missed the meaning of the ending – rewatch Season 7 – Episode 11 for a hint and if you still don't get it you can ask in a review or slide into my Discord DM.
Epilogue by Maxine Abbott
Ok - so it turns out this wasn't done - I didn't lie - I thought it was but came to realize the ending maybe wasn't as clear for readers as it was in my head so I added this coda to help wrap it up. And with the addition, the story I hope is maybe even a little richer for it.
It's roughly 2 years later...
Making her way back to the airport parking lot, Pam couldn’t help but be overwhelmed by her feelings. It seemed to her as if someone had cast a butterfly net over the brief encounter in the terminal and caught every emotion swirling around their tearful goodbye.
Relief at having caught him before he passed through security.
Warmth from the hug they shared.
Thankfulness for the support he’d given her and trust he’d placed in her over the years.
Appreciation for the way he helped her grow and discover her own strength.
Tenderness for the heartfelt sentiment he wished for her and Jim.
Nostalgia for all the memories she would stow away in her heart.
Amusement from one last That’s What She Said spoken at the moment she thought she’d break into tears only to be able to step away from him with a smile on her face.
But mostly at the moment she felt sadness because she knew she would miss him terribly. Foolish, immature, and narcissistic Michael who she often wanted to murder and who had sometimes made her life a living hell but was also one of the most caring and kindest people she’d ever known. Despite all he’d put her through over the years, Michael’s love for Pam was perhaps stronger than his love for anyone else at Dunder Mifflin and she knew that. For Pam, he too was more than just her boss, he was one of her dearest friends and for that reason she tried to push back her sadness and let happiness take over.
Happiness, because he was leaving to be with Holly, his true love.
As she drove away from the airport back to where her own true love was waiting for her, by now at home with their daughter, her mind wandered back to the conversation she’d had with Jim upon returning from her trip with Michael 2 years prior. The trip where she’d read the letter from Holly and witnessed just how in pain Michael was over losing her.
She remembered when she woke that first morning back in bed with her husband-to-be her state of mind was similar to the one she was currently in. Her mind back then experiencing a swirl of so many feelings; relief they were finally together, joy from being able to wake up next to the man she loved, excited to be getting married soon, but also profoundly sad at knowing so well the feelings Michael was going through.
Jim, in his efforts to make that sadness go away insisted that if they were meant to be, as he knew they themselves were, they would find their way back to each other.
As she drove on through town, it was the strange Valentine’s Day she thought of next, when sitting in the car they’d first heard the news report. Who could have suspected that a crazed serial killer strangling his victims in their city would set off the chain of events that led to today?
Two years later, after he’d been caught and put on trial, Toby became a juror on that lengthy trial. The vacancy he’d left at the office needed to be filled, even if only for a bit, and it was Holly brought in to replace him.
But could it also have been what Jim believed about their own relationship at play. That they were meant to be, and so it was destiny that forced them back in each other’s orbit. It was on that same day Pam and Jim discovered they too had met and missed only to leave each other with the faintest imprint, one that stayed with them until they unknowingly were reacquainted and bonded again over the Jelly Bellys she kept at her desk.
Pam turned into the driveway where Jim was waiting to greet her, carrying Cece in his arms. The butterfly effect or divine intervention, she’d never really know. Either way as she stepped out of the car to her waiting family, her tears became a happy smile. This was what Michael had ahead of him in Colorado, his own happy ending.
And now it's done. Finit. That's All Folks.
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters and settings are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. No money is being made from this work. No copyright infringement is intended.