Chapter 3: Surveillance Work
Dwight parked his car across the street from Jim’s house. Grabbing the clipboard from the passenger seat, he surveyed the area. Jim’s car was parked in the driveway. Was that Pam’s car parked on the curb in front of the house?
Dwight locked his car door and slowly shifted his head both ways before crossing the street. He looked around the car. It looked like Pam’s car. He thought about calling his buddies at the sheriff’s office to run the license plate. He touched the hood of the car, it was cool. If this was her car, it had been sitting here for hours. Dwight peeked into the car. Bingo! Sitting on the passenger seat was a Dunder Mifflin ID card and it had Pam’s name on it.
“Yes!” Dwight threw his fist in the air and then crouched down beside the car. He did not want to be seen. He practically crawled to the front door.
“I’ve caught them!” He thought about busting the door in, like they do on one of those cop shows. Making a face, he remembered what Kevin had said in the break room and decided to ring the doorbell instead.
The doorbell’s incessant rang woke both of them up.
Jim lifted his head, “I’m sick! Can’t everyone leave me alone today?” He released Pam from his arms. She blinked the sleep out of her eyes and stretched. Jim could not remember her looking more beautiful.
He went to the front door and looked out the peephole.
“NO! Pam, hide! Its Dwight!”
“What?” as she scrambled to the kitchen, too sleepy to coherently think of a better exit strategy.
“Dwight, what are you doing here?”
Dwight stood in front of the door, looking past Jim into the house. “I’m here on a sensitive investigation. Wow, you really are sick.”
“No joke.” Jim stepped out of the way as Dwight walked.
“Michael asked me to investigate your and Pam’s illnesses. It seemed awfully convenient that you both were out on the same day that Michael needed your biannual sales report.”
“Well, Dwight, I really am sick and Pam’s not here. My report is finished. Its upstairs.”
“Pam didn’t take it with her this morning? Highly suspicious.” Dwight stepped into the living room and turned to Jim. “You’re not here by yourself.”
“Yes, I am.”
“No, you’re not. Fact: There are two glasses sitting on the coffee table.”
“I had two glasses so I wouldn’t have to get up and go back into the kitchen.” Dwight seemed somewhat satisfied with that answer.
“Moving on. Fact: There are also two soup bowls and two plates on the table.” Dwight walked around the room. “Were you coloring in a coloring book?”
Jim looked sheepish. A giggle escaped from the kitchen.
“What was that?” Dwight ran into the kitchen. Pam popped up from behind the island. “Pam! You’re not sick.”
“Well, I probably am by now. I’ve spent the whole day with Jim.”
“Well, your fiancée didn’t notice whether or not you were sick. He has no idea where you are.”
Pam stared at Dwight, “Roy doesn’t notice a lot.” Jim’s eyebrows raised.
Dwight did not hear Pam because he got distracted. “Oh, brownies!” Dwight sat down in the middle of the couch and helped himself to the plate. Jim and Pam sat on either side of him.
“You two are going to be in so much trouble when I tell Michael that you played hooky from work.”
“Actually, I am sick,” Jim replied in a hoarse voice as he wrestled the brownie plate from Dwight.
“Well, Pam, you should have at least come back to the office with Jim’s biannual sales report.” Chunks of brownie clung to Dwight’s teeth.
Pam made a face. “Actually, your reports aren’t due until Friday. Jan just told Michael to have them in today so he would actually turn them on time. She’s been doing that a lot lately.”
Dwight looked at her thoughtfully. “You know, I thought the reports were due on Friday. They have always been due on the fifteenth before.” His cell phone rang.
“Hi Michael. Yes, I’m at Jim’s. He is very sick. Deathly ill. No, Pam’s not here.” Dwight gave Pam a kind smile. Pam looked at Jim, whose face mirrored her bewildered one. “You know, Michael. I’m not feeling very well myself. I don’t think I’ll make it back to the office this afternoon.”
Michael hung up the phone and dropped his head on the desk. He was going to be in so much trouble with Jan about these biannual sales reports.
He called Jan. She told him that since some of his employees were out sick that she would extend the deadline until tomorrow.
Then he asked her what she was doing tonight. She hung up.
Dwight’s cell phone rang again. He stood up and went into the kitchen. Jim and Pam eagerly eavesdropped on the conversation.
“Hello, Hot Lips.” Both gagged and Jim mouthed “Hot Lips?” “No, I’m not coming back into the office this afternoon. There were no leads on my investigation. Jim and Pam are sick at their respective houses.” Pam winked at Jim. “I’m actually feeling a little under the weather myself. I know, I know. I never get sick because of my superior immune system but today, my throat feels a little scratchy. Maybe tonight, you could come over and take care of me.” Jim put his hand over Pam’s mouth to keep her from laughing out loud.
Dwight sat back down on the couch. “That was my girlfriend.”
“Your imaginary one? Isn’t she a Japanese samurai warrior? Or is she a Jedi princess?”
Dwight crossed his arms. “I have a real girlfriend.” The room was silent for a minute. “Hey, do you have any soda?”
While Dwight drank his soda, Jim asked, “So what happened at work today?”
“Mostly I have been focused on this investigation. Successfully accomplished, I must say.”
“Dwight, you’re telling me that instead of productively selling paper today, you wasted your entire day on an investigation which conclusively proved that I was sick.”
“And that Pam skipped work today.”
“Right, because no one ever takes a sick day without actually being sick.”
“You are right now. You just told Michael and your ‘girlfriend’ that you weren’t going back to the office.”
“Jim, the day is almost over! This is my reward for job well done.”
Jim was at a lose for words, so the trio quietly watched the movie until it ended. After the movie finished, Dwight stood up. “That was fun. We should do this again sometime.”
“I’ll see you two in the morning. And, don’t worry, I won’t tell Michael that you skipped work, Pam.”
Dwight jotted another note on his clipboard before starting his car. Now, he had damaging evidence on Jim and Pam. Not only did have the information, but he convinced them that he was their friend. The next time they pulled one of their pranks, he would be ready to retaliate.
Grinning, Dwight pulled out his cell phone and called his girlfriend again.
Jim turned to Pam, “Did we just have a semi-pleasant interaction with Dwight? The three of us watched a movie like we were almost friends. I must be sick and delusional.”
Pam’s laugh was hollow. The expression on her face had changed.
“Listen, Jim. I need to tell you why I skipped work to hang out with you today.”
“Finally, Beesly. I’ve been in suspense all day.”
She went into the kitchen and grabbed her purse. She sat back down on the couch, next to Jim. “You’re going to be really mad at me.”
“There’s not much you could do to make me mad. Except a ‘your mom’ joke. Because I’m a mama’s boy, you know.” She did not return his grin. In fact, he had never seen her look so serious. “What’s wrong, Pam?”
She pulled a wrinkled envelope out of her purse. Jim immediately recognized it. He also noticed that the flap of the envelope was open.
“My Christmas card! Pam, where did you get that?”
“From your desk. This morning, Michael told me to look in your desk for your report.”
Jim was having a hard time breathing. “Did, um,…did you… did you read it?” She nodded. They could not look at each other.
“Oh, Pam. I…”
“Why didn’t you give this to me at Christmas?”
Jim stammered again.
“Did you really mean what you said in it?”
Jim sighed and looked her straight in the eye. “Yes. I want you to be happy. And…and… Pam, I love you.”
Pam burst into tears.
Jim was not sure what to do. He told a woman, who he considered his best friend that he loved her and she was crying. He hesitated a moment but pulled her into his arms and let her cry. She clung to him and sobbed into his t-shirt.
“Shh. Its OK.” Jim did not believe it himself. She mumbled something into his chest. He pulled her back. “What?”
She looked at him through her tears. “I love you too, Jim.”
“Pam.” His voice was weak and it was not from being sick. “Don’t say it unless you mean it. Don’t kid a sick man.” A huge smile was spreading on his face.
“Shut up! Stop being silly.” She hit him on the chest. He laughed and wrapped her tightly in his arms.
“You love me!” It was not a question.
“Yes,” she whimpered through her tears. She lifted her head from his chest and looked at him. He lightly pressed his mouth on hers. Her lips were warm and tasted like brownies.
Jim and Pam’s first kiss had been at the drunken Dundies. This kiss was the way a first kiss should be. They hesitated before pressing sweetly into each other. They pulled apart and he rested his forehead on hers. It was better than he ever imagined.
He cupped her face and brought his lips to hers again. He pulled her on top of him on the couch. One arm was on her back, the other rested behind her head. She ran her hands through his hair. Each kiss was deeper and more passionate than the next. She moaned softly as he trailed kisses down her neck. Neither one heard the front door open.
“Whoa! I’m sorry, buddy. I, um,…Is that Pam?” Mark, Jim’s roommate, had come home from work. He walked back out the front door as fast he had come in.
Breathing heavily, Jim and Pam sat up.
Jim broke the awkward silence. “Did that just really happen? Or I’m high on flu medication?”
Pam had her face in her hands but lifted her head laughing. “I think you need to read the side effects warning a little better.”
Jim held her hand and ran his thumb across the top of her hand. It was a perfect fit.
“I have to go home now.” He nodded. “I have to tell Roy tonight. I’ve been thinking all day about what I was going to say to him.”
“What are you going to say?”
She shrugged. “So far, its ‘Hey Roy, how was your day? I think we break up.’” She sighed, “Hey, can I ask you a question?” He nodded. “Why didn’t you give me that card earlier?”
He smiled weakly. “I was afraid.”
“Yeah, me too. I couldn’t say anything until I knew for sure what you’d say.”
They stood up. He kissed her on the forehead. “Thank you for making brownies.”
She smiled and kissed him again before going to the door.
After she closed the front door, Jim went back to the door and opened it again. “Mark, you can come in now.” Mark looked embarrassed as he stood up from the porch, hands in his pockets.
“I thought you called in sick today.”
“I did. Pam brought me a care package.”