“Why did I not hug Jim back? Oh, you saw that? Well, it’s just that I… I…” that was all Pam could utter out before she broke down in her interview with the documentary crew. “I’m sorry, can you just give me a minute?”
She left the conference in a hurry, feeling embarrassed over having cried in front of the cameras. “Hey, you okay?” Clark asked as she entered the kitchen but she just ignored his inquiries and continued walking.
“Great…just an hour ago, he thought I was high with all that counseling crap and now he just saw me sobbing my eyes out. Not a great day to be my desk mate, Clark,” she thought to herself as she continued walking.
It wasn’t Pam’s first time crying while doing an interview. She remembered the first time seven years ago. She had just come from a big argument with Roy over wanting to pursue an internship in graphic design which was offered to her by Jan. She was hurt by her ex-fiancee not wanting to support her dream. She had gotten used to Roy being unsupportive (or realistic as he so lovingly put it) that she would just shrug it off and move on with her day.
What truly made her cry was the conversation that she had with Jim later in the day. “You gotta take a chance on something sometime, Pam. I mean, do you want to be a receptionist here, always” She recalled his words. Her best friend had help up a mirror to her face, making her realize that her own happiness was being dangled in front of her but she constantly chose to stay put out of fear and uncertainty.
She finally stopped walking and ended up at the hallway outside the warehouse. She sat down on a bench as she tried to calm herself. Recollecting that particular memory made her think about Roy. She thought ending their engagement and marrying Jim was her fairytale which had finally come true. She thought that she had finally fallen in love with the man would always put her first and would never hurt her. Thinking about her marriage turning into one that she thought she had avoided was all it took to start tearing up again.
“Pam?” She heard someone say her name. At first, she thought it was Dwight who seemed to have a knack for accidentally running into her crying, but then she realized it was a woman’s voice.
“Oh, Nellie…hey,” she said as she quickly wiped her face, as her co-worker, still wearing a referee’s outfit sat beside her.
“Is everything alright?” Nellie asked, “I know two thousand dollars was a lot of money but I’m sure Jim makes a lot more than that”
“No it’s not that,” Pam replied, brushing away the thought the people would think she was crying over a paper airplane. “I just… Jim and I just have been doing an exercise that we learned from couple’s therapy. It wasn’t going well. He told me he wants to keep at it and I really wanted to make it work. I really did.”
“I…I chased after him because he forgot his umbrella and then before I went back inside, he hugged me,” Pam struggled to compose herself as she continued to tell Nellie what had occurred during the day. “It felt good to feel him again. His warmth. It felt really good. But I couldn’t find it in me to hug him back.”
“Why not?” Nellie asked.
“Because I…I’m just…I’m scared okay?” Her face collapsed on her hands as she finally let out the thoughts that had been driving her insane, “I’m scared that I’ll forgive him and nothing will change. I’m scared to let him back in. I’m scared that he’ll say that this is all he needs and then he’ll change his mind after.”
Nellie could only watch her friend continue bursting into tears. She continued stroking Pam’s back in an attempt to calm her down.
“You know my parents got divorced? Just three years ago,” Pam continued, “I always thought that would never happen to us because I love him. I have never stopped loving him. You know? But what if loving him isn’t enough?”
After a few minutes, she sat quietly, all cried out. Nellie, clearly uncomfortable with the silence, said “Well, if you get divorced, someone in this office would finally have something in common with Toby.”
She laughed for a bit at her own joke until she realized Pam was still quiet. “Sorry, was that too soon?” She asked. Seconds later, Pam started cracking up and the two of them broke into fits of laughter.
When Pam left him after he hugged her, he contemplated whether he should continue straight to Philadelphia or follow her inside. After a few more seconds, he took his coat and messenger bag out of the taxi. He headed for the door but froze after a few steps.
“What will I say to her?”
He stood outside for what seemed like an eternity until Hank snapped him out of the state that he was in.
“How long was I standing there? Wait, not important. Okay, just tell her that you love her and you will do anything to make it work. I can’t lose her. I definitely can’t lose her.”
The adrenaline kicked in as he stepped out of the elevator. He kept convincing himself that this was only a rough patch and they can fight through it together. He then wondered if it was all too late but he immediately erased the thought from his head.
“Hey! Where’s Pam?” he asked Clark who was enjoying a cup of coffee. Jim realized he was using his favorite mug but decided not to bother with it.
“Oh hey. She went out of the conference room crying. I asked her if she was okay but she just ignored me. Hmm, maybe she really wasn’t high,” Clark spaced out for a bit until he realized Jim was just staring at him. “Anyway, she was heading to the warehouse. Why are you still here by the way? I thought —.”
“Okay thanks,” Jim interrupted as he began to walk faster to the warehouse. He was shattered upon Clark’s revelation that Pam had been crying again. He then remembered finding out from Brian that he just recently made Pam cry because of their argument from missing Cece’s recital. He knew he should have been there but he took the stress out on his wife instead.
“You’re so stupid. How many more times has she cried without you knowing? Okay, keep it together Halpert. You can’t lose her. You definitely can’t lose her.”
He finally reached the hallway, opened the door slightly and froze at the sight of Pam dissolving into tears. He was overcome with so much emotion at the sight of seeing the love of his life be hurt so much by everything that had happened.
He was about to inch his way further out the door when he heard Pam speak.
“You know my parents got divorced? Just three years ago. I always thought that would never happen to us because I love him. I have never stopped loving him. You know? But what if loving him isn’t enough?”
As Nellie continued consoling Pam, Jim quietly closed the door and stood in silence. The resolve that he had gathered on the way had disappeared and was gradually replaced by a feeling of resignation. The mention of the word divorce shocked him. They have had numerous arguments but no one had actually used the word which to him, meant that they were not down that road yet.
“Divorce? Not enough? Since when was love not enough? He thought to himself as he headed back to the office.
He headed to the stairwell where he saw Dwight sitting, holding a paper airplane on his hand.
“Hey,” Jim sighed as he sat beside his brooding co-worker.
After a moment of silence, Dwight finally spoke up. “I won the paper airplane contest…I beat Angela. Two thousand dollars. Not much. I mean I own the building. Maybe I’ll invest in a carrot farm. You love carrots, right?”
Jim’s brain was too wrapped up to come up with a reply, the word divorce still lingering inside.
Dwight continued, “We still can’t get past making small talk, can—,”
“I think my marriage is over”, Jim finally spoke.
“What?” Dwight replied, shocked at his sudden revelation.
“Well, might be over. Might be definitely over. It’s just….” Jim felt a lump in his throat as he tried to composed himself, “I’m scared I might be losing her”
“Scared of losing someone. Hmm, what’s that like?” Dwight asked as he continued playing with his paper airplane.
Jim was astounded by how terrible Dwight was at making conversation but decided to humor him. “Well, remember that time you pelted me with snowballs—,”
“A war that I won”, Dwight interrupted
“Yeah, sure. A war that you won. Well, you scared the crap out of me during that day. But this…what’s happening right now…is so much worse—,” Tears were now streaming down his face. “So much worse.”
Jim tried his best to hold back everything that he was feeling but the tears just continued to flow. He tried looking down so Dwight couldn't see his face. He was unaware, however, that Dwight had already diverted his attention to the crying man beside him
“I can’t lose her. I—,” He started shaking and placed his head on his knees. He felt an arm come around him and it was in that moment that Jim completely loses it, sighing heavily and sobbing uncontrollably on Dwight’s shoulder.