Somehow, someway, he was going to stop obsessing over Pam Beesly.
OK, so he probably wasn’t going to do that. But he could maybe, possibly, stop obsessing over obsessing over Pam Beesly. Maybe?
Fifteen minutes later he was pretty sure that wasn’t possible either.
Maybe it would have been easier three years ago, when she was just the girl at work he projected his romantic fantasies on, imagining what it would be like to be in a healthy, stable relationship like she seemed to be in with her fiancée. Sure, he didn’t like seeing himself as Roy, who he didn’t particularly enjoy spending time with when they both hung out with their mutual friend Darryl, but back then it had just been a little bit of probably (definitely) unhealthy projection, mixed with wishing that some of his college relationships had been a little more functional. Maybe if he’d just stopped thinking about her then, he’d have been fine.
Or maybe it would have been easier two years ago, when they were good friends, maybe even best friends (though he wouldn’t have told Mark that), and his little bit of projection had turned into a full-blown crush. But crushes could be…well…crushed, right? And maybe he could have taken some of his relationships back then more seriously if he hadn’t always compared those women to Pam. If he could just have stopped thinking about her then, he was sure he could kept it off, cold turkey if need be.
Maybe it would have been at least possible, if not easy, a year ago, when he was definitely in love with her, but convinced it was one-sided, eternally one-sided. Maybe he’d still been caught up in the memory of those first few months after she’d told him that she was engaged to Roy, when he’d imagined they were such a happy couple that she couldn’t possibly have any feelings left over for him. But whatever it had been, back then he’d been so sure she couldn’t reciprocate his feelings, that there was at least some chance, in retrospect if not at the time, that he could have stopped, could have admitted the impossibility of it all to himself and just…pulled out somehow.
Hard as it might be, maybe he even could have done it four months ago, when in what, in a hopeful moment, he’d thought of as the worst night of his life, he’d stared at her on a boat and then had to see her actually set a date for her wedding with Roy.
Now, when he’d finally, finally, kissed her when she’d told him she too had wanted to do it for a long time, when she’d rejected him using those maddeningly ambiguous words “I can’t,” and not “I don’t,” or even “I won’t”?
Now he was utterly incapable of it, even when his rational mind could admit he had to.
And worst of all, he still had twenty-four hours of plane flights ahead of him, with nothing but Pam Beesly and kangaroos on his mind.
He resolved to do his best to focus on the kangaroos, at least until the plane reached Los Angeles, if not Sydney.
Pamela Morgan Beesly.
Pamela. Morgan. Beesly.
She’d never really liked the rhythm of her name, she realized, until Jim Halpert came along. She’d been Pammy—then Pam (except to Roy, of course)—and left Pamela well behind. She’d mostly ignored Morgan, and been increasingly eager to become Pam Beesly Anderson (never Pamela Anderson), until she’d met Jim Halpert.
Jim Halpert, who always called her Beesly, attaching a value to a name she’d been almost eager to abandon (not that her parents were anything but wonderful, and yet…).
Jim Halpert, whose kiss had turned her insides out and made the possibility of Pam Beesly Anderson recede so far into the background of her mind she couldn’t see it.
Jim Halpert, who was, according to Toby Flenderson (and there was a last name she couldn’t imagine lingering under) currently on a plane to Australia.
While she, Pamela Morgan Beesly, was sitting in a hotel room in Scranton, Pennsylvania, staring at the two, admittedly large, suitcases that contained all the items she’d felt necessary to continue her life after breaking up with Roy Anderson.