Chapter 1: Conveniently Missing
“What? No, ‘Hello. Dunder Mifflin, this is Pam.’ You’re really slacking on your job, Beesly. Um, I guess you’re not there yet. Anyway, I am so sick. I think it’s the flu or something equally horrible. I feel like death warmed over. So obviously, I’m not coming into today. Try to have a good day, OK? Oh yeah, by the way, this is Jim.”
Pam sighed as she listened to the rest of the voicemails. A whole day without Jim at work. A whole day of Dwight and Michael being, well, Dwight and Michael without a Jim filter. She did not know if she could handle it.
She knocked on Michael’s door.
“Hi Michael, Jim just called. He’s out sick today.”
Michael frowned. “Oh. No Jimbo Halperto today. Sad.”
Dwight was sitting in the chair in front of Michael’s desk, “But I’m here today, Michael.”
“I noticed,” Michael replied sarcastically. Dwight looked down at the charts and graphs sitting on his lap.
“Well, I bet Jim hasn’t turned in his biannual sales report like I have. Plus, I’ve developed a presentation to show the results of my sales in the last six mo-”
Michael cut him off. “I don’t think Jim has turned in his report. Pam, do you know if he has?”
Pam, looking bored, replied, “I haven’t seen it.”
Michael’s frown deepened. “Man, I really need that report. Jan keeps pestering me about it. You know, I gotta keep the little woman happy!” Michael smirked. Pam refrained from gagging.
Dwight spoke first, “Why don’t we look in his desk? Michael, I don’t want you to get in trouble wi-”
“That’s a great idea! Pam, go look through Jim’s desk and computer for the report.”
Pam replied, “I can’t go through his things. That would be an invasion of privacy.”
Dwight stated, “Fact: Jim’s desk and computer are property of Dunder-Mifflin. For that reason, it is perfectly acceptable for Michael as Jim’s employer to examine an employee’s desk.”
Michael stared at Dwight, “Do you read The Patriot Act at night before you go to sleep?”
Pam interjected, “Fine. I’ll look in his desk. But I can’t go through his computer - its password protected.”
“You mean you don’t know his password? You guys are such good friends.”
Pam rolled her eyes and walked out of the office. She bent down and looked through the drawers of Jim’s desk. She skimmed through all of his files but could not find his biannual sales report. She did, however, find a notebook filled with ideas for future pranks on Dwight. She laughed to herself as she flipped through the notebook.
Pay everyone $5 to call Dwight “Dwayne” for a day. Adjust Dwight’s seat with a spring so that it shoots him out of his seat. Hide Dwight’s belongings in the snack machine. Make Dwight think that he has died and is now a ghost.
She also found a card sized envelope hidden in the back of a drawer. It had her name written on the front in Jim’s block handwriting. What was this for? Her birthday was months away. Valentine’s Day had already past. She discreetly placed it on her desk before going back into Michael’s office.
“Sorry Michael, no luck with Jim’s sale report.”
“Dammit! I need that report. I’m calling him.”
“No, Michael. He’s sick. You can get the report tomorrow.”
“Pamela Shamela, you don’t understand how much trouble I’ll be in with Jan if these reports don’t get to her today. I’m calling.” Michael dialed. “Wait, what is Jim’s number?” Pam repeated the memorized phone number.
“James Halpert! How the hell are ya?”
Jim’s groggy voice filled Michael’s office over the speakerphone. “Michael, I’m sick.”
“I know, buddy. I was just checking on you. Like a good friend would. Anyway, I was wondering where your biannual sales report was. Its due today. I’m not usually a stickler for deadlines, but I’ve gotta have your report.”
“I’m sorry. Its here at my house.” Jim’s voice sounded weak and hoarse.
“Shoot! I was hoping it was here. I had Pam snooping through your desk.”
“Pam looked through my desk!” Michael clicked the phone off.
“What am I going to do? I need that report.”
Dwight interjected, “Jim’s illness is suspiciously ill-timed. Question: May I investigate?”
“No,” Michael was frustrated. “You screwed up the ‘Is Oscar Sick?’ investigation. Remember? Pam, will you go to Jim’s house and get the report for me?”
“Sure,” Pam smilingly obeyed.
As soon as she closed the car door, Pam’s hands began to shake. She was not sure why she was so nervous. Pulling the white envelope out of her purse, she knew she should not open it. Tugging at the flap, a Christmas card fell out. There must be some reason that Jim had kept the card hidden in his desk. It did not say a lot but what it did say caused a flush on Pam’s face. The card fell from her hands.
“What are you doing here?” Jim opened his front door, wearing a pair of blue plaid pajama pants and a white t-shirt. He ran a hand through his messy bed hair.
“You do look like death warmed over,” Pam answered as she walked into his house, a brown paper bag in her hand.
They walked into the kitchen, where Pam unloaded the contents of her bag. “I brought you a care package. Chicken soup, of course.” She held up a can. “A deck of cards. For solitaire or any assortment of two players games. A coloring book and a pack of crayons. Of course, cough drops, aspirin, drowsy flu medicine, and herbal tea. And finally, brownie mix!” She held up a cake box.
Jim asked hoarsely, “Brownies?”
“Yeah, when I was little, my mom always made brownies for my sister and I when we were sick. It didn’t matter whether or not we felt eating them. Just the thought of brownies made us feel better. I plan on making brownies for my kids when they’re sick.”
“You’re going to be a great mom,” he said softly.
Pam blushed, “I doubt it! Don’t you remember the day when Kevin, Toby, Stanley, and Meredith brought their children to the office. The kids hated me!”
“Meredith’s kid liked you.”
“Anyway, go lie down on the couch. I’m making brownies.”
“Don’t tell me what to do!” He mocked.
“I don’t care if you’re sick. I’m telling you what to do! Now, shoo! Shoo!”
“I’m too sick to argue.” Jim smiled to himself as he obediently walked into the living room.
Michael stood outside of his office and asked anyone who would listen, i.e. Dwight, “Where the hell is Pam? She left over two hours ago for Jim’s house.”
Dwight replied, “Maybe she was kidnapped and sold into a sex trade.”
“What? It can happen. It happened to my cousin’s mother’s twin sister’s nephew’s ex-wife’s friend’s cousin, twice removed.”
Michael walked up to the reception desk, which was now being occupied by Ryan. “Ryan, my man, call Jim and find out if Pam has picked up his biannual sales report.”
Ryan grimaced but picked up the phone. “Hi Jim, this is Ryan. Sorry to bother you while you’re sick. But Michael wanted me to call and find out if Pam has been to your house yet.”
Jim replied, “Yeah, she’s here.”
Ryan looked up at Michael and said into the phone, “Oh, I’m sorry to hear that Pam has also gotten the flu and left your house over an hour ago. I guess we should be expecting a phone call from her anytime now.”
“What?” Jim asked.
“Alright, Jim. Take care.”
“Ryan, what?” asked a confused Jim. Click. Ryan had already hung up.
A few moments later, the phone rang at the reception desk. “Hello? Dunder Mifflin, this is Ryan. Oh, hi Pam.” He paused. “Oh, I’m sorry to hear that you’re sick and won’t be coming back into work. OK, see you tomorrow.”
Ryan looked up again at Michael and shrugged. “Guess Pam is sick too. It must be catching.” Michael shook his head in frustration.
Dwight approached the reception desk. “Question: May I investigate the illnesses of Jim and Pam? They seem to be conveniently missing on a day of an important deadline.”
Michael rubbed his temple and replied in a frustrated voice, “Yes Dwight. Go and investigate. And bring Jim’s sales report back to me. I need it ASAP. And don‘t screw up this time!” Mostly, Michael just wanted Dwight out of the office for the day.
Dwight saluted and ran out the door.
After Pam put the brownies in the oven, she walked into the living room. Jim laid across the couch wrapped in a blanket up to his neck. He was watching a cheesy talk show on television. When she approached, he moved his long frame so that she could sit on the couch.
“Why aren’t you at work?” Pam had obviously gone home and changed. Her curly hair was pulled back in a ponytail. She was wearing comfy black sweatpants and a fitted long-sleeved pink t-shirt.
“I decided to take a sick day.”
“Let me get this straight. You went into work for an hour and then decided to take a sick day so you could hang out with your friend, who is actually deathly ill?”
“Nice, Pam. You’re a good friend. Odd, but good.” Pam hit him with a throw pillow.
“Hey, no hitting the dead!”
They sat and quietly watched television. Jim felt groggy from the medicine he had taken and was nodding off when the oven timer beeped. Pam jumped up and ran into the kitchen.
When she came back with a plate of brownies, Jim was asleep.
“Jim? Jimmy, its time to go to school.” Pam bounced on the couch and tickled him awake.
“You’re evil, Beesly.” She beamed.
“Have a brownie, grumpy. It’ll make you feel better.”
Author's Chapter Notes:
Disclaimer: The Office is not mine, nor are its characters.