And the rest of my life!, he reminded himself with a smirk, and headed to the vending machines for something to distract him from the wonderful, twisty feeling settling in his gut.
He got a bag on Sun Chips on a whim, and tried to hide the grin threatening to burst across his face, and give away his game. Time to throw her off the scent, he whispered to the hint of a reflection in the door window.
“So, are you winning?”, he asked, arms crossed on her counter, long frame leaning over so look at her computer screen. He dropped the bag of chips into her lap, forcing her eyes away from the screen.
“Hi!”, she grinned, “long time stranger.”
“I know, I haven’t been up here in about twenty minutes!”
“I really missed you Jim, really”, she whispered, sarcasm in her voice, and complete sincerity in her eyes. He just stared at her, taking her in, and gulped a little before he could reply,
“I missed you too.” She smiled, and then looked away to open her chips, popping one in her mouth to a satisfied crunch as he tapped the counter and walked back over to his desk. Sitting down, he immediately opened a new email and began to type.
Pam won her solitaire game, and then noticed the mini post-it note on the back of the bag:
“Lunch? You, me, and a prank on Dwight.” She stifled a giggle, and gazed lovingly at his profile while she pulled up her email.
Fifteen minutes later he had moved his car to the far end of the parking lot, and was pacing nervously between the car and the hedges, stealing anxious looks back towards the building. Finally, he heard a voice behind him.
“Jim, what’s going on?”
He sighed loudly, his shoulders rising and falling dramatically with his breath, and turned around every so slowly to face the person now perched delicately on the back of his car.
“Damnit Jim, I do not have time to play around in the parking lot with you today! You said this was a matter of urgency! Are we going on a sales call?”
“SSSHHHhhh, Dwight!” Jim yelled, grabbing him by the arm and yanking him down so they were crouched on the pavement beside the car, completely hidden from the building. He shot one last look behind him before turning and whispering, “I need to be assured of your absolute secrecy, Dwight. Do you understand?”
“Yes, whatever it is you can tell me. I believe you!”, Dwight whispered, excitement turning the clock back thirty years on his face.
“The sales call has been postponed – we have must more important matters to attend to. What I’m about to tell you is extremely sensitive, possibly the most sensitive information I’ve ever entrusted to another person.”
“What is it!”, Dwight asked much too loudly. He caught himself and peeked guiltily over the car.
“We need to form….an alliance.” (beat) “Will you form a secret alliance with me?”
“YES!” Dwight’s eyes were huge from the anticipation, “what is the mission?”
“Out target…..is Pam.”
“Pam? Why Pam?”, he looked confused.
“That’s too sensitive. You’re going to have to trust me Dwight. Here’s the plan:”
“All RIGHT!”, said Dwight enthusiastically, grinning widely. Jim held up his hand for the high five and surreptitiously unlocked his trunk, pulling Dwight over to help him shield its contents from the office windows, just in case.
“Ok, here are your supplies – and now I have to ask: can handle this?”
“Jim,” replied Dwight, from approximately two inches in front of Jim’s face, “You’ve come to the right man. Not only can I handle this mission, but I can complete it with skill and veracity you can only dream about.”
“Good to know, Dwight….good to know.”
They strode confidently back into the office, greeted Pam, and sat down to finish up the paperwork from their very successful sales call.
If Jim had thought he was nervous before, his body went into anxiety overload when Dwight left after lunch for his “afternoon of sales calls”. They lowered Dwight’s chair all the way down when he left, and Pam barely managed to hide her laughter as Jim deftly removed and hid the adjustment lever. He felt a tiny ping of guilt at pranking Dwight today, of all days, but brushed it off. It’s all about distracting Pam, right? Right. Fortunately, Michael was in masterful form, and she had more than enough to deal with between the phones and being called into his office every ten minutes.
Just a few more hours, he thought, breathing deeply and trying to relax. He made it to 4:56 with only three bathroom breaks and two grape sodas, and decided it was time. He flicked off his computer and walked over to Pam. “So, you ready for a gourmet culinary experience, Beesly?”
“Bring it on, Halpert. I’ve been ready for your grilled cheese all weekend”, she said, smirking and beginning to tidy up her desk.
“Well you’re in luck – I’ve gone all out for you tonight. I brought my FORMAN GRILL, Pam, and Kraft Singles. A genuine cheese food. You’ve never been wined and dined like this in your life.”
“Wait, you’re making our sandwiches on a Foreman grill? Why are you bringing Michael memories into our happy place, Jim, why?”
“Pam, sometimes you just have to move past things, ok? And if it’s any comfort, I have kept that grill carefully hidden ever since the foot-cooking, and I just pulled it out again so that you could have the ultimate grilled cheese sandwich”
Yup, I guessed it!, he thought as her song-like giggles filled the space between them. “Ok,” she said, “but only this once. After tonight I veto all Foreman grill cooking.”
“Deal. Ok, so you wait here while I cook, and meet me on the roof in like 15 minutes?”
“Perfect, just enough time to do these faxes.”
He grinned at her, caught her shoulder over her desk as she turned to the fax machine, and planted a soft kiss on her lips. “I love you Pam”.
He climbed up the ladder to the roof, and smiled for the millionth time that day, mentally congratulating Dwight. Perfect.