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Story Notes:
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
Author's Chapter Notes:
I make no apologies in how incredibly fluffy this is.

The only JAM I own is currently in my refrigerator. It's strawberry. And not even close to being as delicious as the characters Greg Daniels has created.
The first thing she noticed when she walked through the door on that sunny spring evening was that their kitchen was a mess. Spaghetti-os were splattered over the far wall, the ceramic tile floor was sticky with apple juice, the countertops were covered with unopened mail, a random shoebox, and an empty box of Kix. The sink was full of glasses and cereal bowls from that morning, and the remnants of strawberries stuck to a plate. Pam rolled her eyes at the scene, looking over the counter to the living room, to Jim sleeping on the couch. His long legs hung off the end, his head propped up on a bright pink stuffed rabbit, their little girl curled up at his side. A smile pulled at the corners of her lips, despite the pandemonium of trash that was their house.

She rolled up her long sweater sleeves, turned on the water in the sink, and squirted a dollop of dish detergent in. She quietly slipped the dishes in to soak, and turned to open the fridge to grab a bottle of water when she noticed the new picture.

Their fridge was covered with small pieces of paper. Photos, school announcements, a random receipt here and there… She stopped to gaze at the new photo booth strip of pictures, and giggled.

The Photo Booth

A set of four black and white pictures, with a heading that read “Best Friends” in a myriad of colored letters. The first photo was Jim with Emily on his lap, his grin wide, hers identical. Pam smiled, running her finger along her husband’s face, biting her lip at how in such a simple way he could still make her heart beat a little faster.

In the second photo, Jim was staring directly at the camera, a mischievous smirk on his face, Emily’s face turned towards her Daddy’s, her adoration quite evident. Again Pam smiled, seeing how the two year old was completely spellbound by the tall man she called “Dada”. In the third, her little girl was giggling, her eyes closed, as Jim tickled her tummy. And finally in the last one, she was standing on Jim’s lap, her arms wrapped around his neck, his eyes closed, his lips pressed to her unruly curls.

“Daddy and daughter,” Pam thought silently, wishing that she could have been there to watch those moments unfold. As she fingered the bright purple magnet holding up the photo, her gaze drifted to the other small pieces of paper stuck to the silver refrigerator.

The Save-the-Date

The magnet from two summers prior sat directly above the photo booth strip. Sapphire blue writing on a pale honeydew background read “Our day is fast approaching, and we can hardly wait! Please place this magnet on your fridge and be sure to save the date! Michael Scott and Holly Flax are getting hitched! April 27, Nashua, NH”.

Pam thought back to the day Michael giddily ran into the office, interrupting everyone, to scream that he had proposed, and Holly had said “YES!!!!!” The photo on the Save the Date was one taken that same day, in front of the Scranton Business Park sign, where they had met. It was humbling watching two people love one another like Holly and Michael. Pam glanced over at her husband, still passed out on the couch, and suddenly felt the overwhelming need to run her hands through his hair and across the stubble on his cheeks.

The Receipt

For two sodas and a tank of fuel at a gas station at Exit 17. When in the pouring rain, he’d gotten down on one knee, effectively ruining his favorite pair of khaki dress pants, but became one of the best days of their lives. It was years ago, and it had traveled with them to two different apartments and finally to the house that he had purchased for her, still somehow ending up stuck to their fridge. A reminder that even when they were separated, they were still so completely together.

The Basketball Card

STATS:
James M. Halpert, Jr.
Age 5
Height: 4’2
Weight: 44 lbs
Position: Center
Favorite Player: Kevin Garnett
Team: The Scranton Tornados

Their little boy was pictured down on one knee, a small orange basketball in his hands, a huge smile on his face. The little card was laminated, and Pam knew without looking how adorable the picture on the other side – the entire team of little boys with Jim in a bright blue hat with Coach emblazoned on the front – was. Her heart swelled just thinking of her darling, sweet son, as she searched the rest of the small photos and articles attached to the fridge.

The Sonogram

It was black and gray and white. A small blob that you could barely make out to be human, but it was there, and it meant so much. They’d wanted children for so long, aching to hold a little bundle wrapped in a fuzzy blanket in their arms. But month after month, year after year, when she looked down and saw her flat tummy and had to buy another box of tampons, her heart fell. She wanted to give everything to her husband, and despite the fun they were having trying to make a baby, she saw in his eyes when he held his nieces and nephews how much he wanted one of his own.

When they finally took the chance and went to see a fertility doctor, she was prescribed medications and shots and it was SO strange to think that for all the times they’d been so careful, she couldn’t get pregnant. It took six more months.

When the stick turned blue, their joy was still overshadowed by fear. Until the sonogram. They heard the heartbeat, they watched the little blob move around and suddenly, everything became very real. They made photocopies of the picture and mailed them to their parents and siblings. And they were so, so happy.

The Vacation Itinerary

For the first week in August, a three bedroom vacation home on Cape Cod. Jim had been planning this week for months, planning down to the minute like his own dad had done years before. He laughed when she climbed onto his lap and reminded him that having a 2 year old and a 5 year old meant that it was definitely NOT going to be set in stone, but he drew up the plans anyway. Mornings spent walking along the beach, collecting starfish and crabs and seashells. Afternoons playing in the sand and jumping in the salty waves. Nights cuddled up together on the couch eating popcorn and watching classic Disney movies.

Pam sighed lightly, and wished that the next three months could fly by so her little family could be there already. She pictured her husband in a bright green bathing suit, her son with a little sunburned red nose, her daughter in a polka dotted bikini to match her own.

“Mama!” A sweet little voice came from behind her. Pam turned to see her little girl padding her way towards her, rubbing the sleep from her eyes. Jim was sitting up on the sofa, watching his wife intently. She grinned and swooped Emily up in a hug.

“How’s my baby?” She asked, smoothing a hand over the 2 year old’s curls.

“Mama,” Emily sighed, pressing her cheek to Pam’s, her arms wrapped around her neck.

Jim stood and walked into the kitchen, enveloping his arms around his girls from behind. “I missed you today,” He mumbled into Pam’s hair. She smiled.

“Well, seeing this picture makes me think otherwise,” She chuckled, pointing to the photo booth strip. She could feel Jim smirk from behind her.

“Hey, not my fault we have the most awesome daughter in the world.”

Emily giggled. “Dada and me had fun!” She exclaimed excitedly.

Jim beamed down at his daughter. “We did have a good time, didn’t we Emmy?”

Emily grinned and buried her face into her mom’s shoulder. Pam held her tightly, kissing her cheek. Her head shot up with worry after a moment.

“Where’s Jimmy?” Pam asked, suddenly very aware that her little boy wasn’t there.

“Next door shooting hoops with Danny Carter,” Jim replied easily. She sighed in relief, her gaze wandering over to the fridge again, looking for one picture in particular.

Lessons

It was held up by a round, pale yellow magnet. A picture of Jim and Jimmy right before Emily was born, playing basketball in the driveway on their home. Where Jim and his brothers had been taught by their own father. Jim’s head was thrown back in laughter, his little boy grinning madly, holding the ball over his head in triumph. Pam remembered the day vividly.

She had been out all day shopping with her mother. They had found out their new baby was going to be a girl the day before, and in her excitement, Pam had gone out buying everything she could find that was pink and frilly. Jim wanted to stay home with their boy, to “finally teach him to shoot the ball into something other than a clothes basket”. When Pam and her mother finally drove up to the little ranch on Oak Street, twilight was settling in, the sky a dark, dusky blue, pearls of pink and purple dotting the clouds. Jim was picking his son up and twirling him around, their laughter carrying down the street. Pam grabbed her camera from inside her purse, slid out of the passenger’s seat, and captured the picture just after Jimmy had grabbed the ball, tossed it as high as he could throw it, and just happened to watch it sail through the hoop.
She remembered Jim’s sweaty shirt against her face, his loud, “That’s right, my boy is a natural!”, their son’s obvious delight to have made his Daddy so happy. It was a moment Pam was sure she’d never forget.

Looking back on the clippings on their refrigerator, Pam smiled. It was a cornucopia of memories, reminders that took her back to the past, and hope for the future. It didn’t matter if the dishes hadn’t been done, or Jimmy took his new pair of white Nikes next door because he couldn’t find his left sneaker that morning, or that Emily’s hair was a complete mess. It didn’t matter because the picture of the four of them in a hospital bed when Emily was born, looking exhausted, but completely happy, was in front of her everyday as a reminder of how lucky she was. It was Jim’s first sports article for the Scranton Times. It was a grocery list for milk, eggs, shampoo, paper towels and bug spray. It was a check made out to Jimmy’s kindergarten class so they could adopt a whale. It was everything.

Pam turned and grinned suddenly, kissing Jim solidly on the lips.

He gasped and looked at her in surprise. “What was that for?”

“For being you,” She said quietly, stroking the soft pink cotton shirt on sleeping Emily’s back. “For being amazing. For reminding me how lucky I am.”

Jim slowly smiled. “Does this mean I don’t have to finish the dishes?”

Pam laughed and backed out of the kitchen. “Haha, nice try Halpert!” She giggled, “The dish detergent is under the sink to the right!”

As she watched Jim grin and roll up his sleeves, sliding his hands into the soapy water, she smiled and headed down the hall to Emily’s bedroom. And felt so, ridiculously, incredibly happy.
Chapter End Notes:
I think I gave myself a cavity with this one. One of those bad cavities that you keep trying to suck air through to see if it hurts. Hopefully this is that good kind of hurt haha :)


stjoespirit04 is the author of 25 other stories.
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