Pam’s apartment is small, quaint, fitting. It is a perfect portrait into her life in its current state: warm-toned drapes, walls, bedding to fit her personality, a workspace directly in her living area designated for late-night inspiration for sketches, painting. It’s cozy, welcoming, fit for a newly single woman who is ready to get back out into the dating scene.
It screams Pam Beesly.
Well, on the outside, at least.
Internally, she believes it’s too quiet, larger than the naked eye can see. Empty, the word she says to herself each night when she’s wondering why it doesn’t feel like home to her yet.
Sure, it’s been seven months since she had found this apartment, purposely on the Western side of Scranton to avoid two pivotal residences to her backstory; one would think after more than half-a-year, she would think different.
Yet here she is: seated on her bed with her knees on her chest, staring at the cramped, clean bedroom of hers on a Thursday night, with smeared eye-makeup leaving a trail down her cheeks.
Why does my room feel so big? Pam thinks to herself, a sniffle allowed past to break the noticeably long silence between sobs. It’s tiny and finally clean the way I want it to be, why does it feel so huge?
It’s been seven months of living in this inexpensive apartment. That long since she broke off her engagement, chose to be single again, live on her own for the first time.
Yet, it’s been eight months, eleven days, thirteen hours, and 56 minutes since her heart was smashed into billions of pieces.
As the consequences to her previous actions finally hit her, finally knowing that she made the most regrettable mistake she has ever made.
Coming into work that following week, to the empty desk that once housed the most comforting, hilarious, warm person she had ever met, left her upset. Being told four days later that he transferred to Stamford, one hundred-fifty miles away from Scranton, from her, nearly broke her.
Yet, she kept asking herself why he left, as if she did not already know.
That question kept her up at night, forcing her to fight sleep to find an answer. Sure, the idea that she had something to do with it popped up every now and then, but she was quick to dismiss it. Pretended that their friendship was still in-tact before he left “abruptly.”
Even though it wasn’t.
Which, one restless night in October, she finally broke through the denial stage. She was sad previously, but only over the fact that he was gone. Now? She was heartbroken, finally admitting to herself that she caused him to leave. That she forced their friendship to end, forced a smile whenever his name was brought up.
She turned Casino Night into what it became; she said she was going to marry Roy, even after admitting not only to him, but to herself, that she harbored feelings for him.
And she lives with that reminder, every day at work. Especially now, as he’s returned, and is dating someone new.
And who is more than likely moving in with him now, if Pam’s conversation with him earlier today had any impact.
He came to her, after multiple attempts to ignore her existence, pretend as if he did not have feelings to her prior to her breaking his heart, to ask her about Karen’s wishes to move in with him. And being the nice person that Pam is, offered him advice: telling him to go for it, as she put her own heart on the backburner.
Yet, not even thirty seconds after the conversation after Karen thanks her for “talking sense” into her boyfriend, Pam runs to the hallway in tears. Only to be found by Dwight, who was ready to hurt him at the drop of his name for making her cry the way she was.
Even if she wanted to slug him for the PMS-related comment that he made, she can’t believe that Dwight Schrute, of all people, comforted her when she needed it the most.
Pam left right after, under Dwight’s prompt instructions to go home and “warm up a sack of oats to stop the cramps.” There was nothing else she wanted to do than to go home after the day she had.
And now, she sits on her bed, continuing to cry.
She loves him. She knows she loves him. But she knows she fucked up at the same time.
Any possibility that they could be something one day has been thrown out the window, put in the past. He’s moved on, wanting nothing to do with Pam anymore.
Yet, she still yearns for more. Wishes she were the one he was going to move in with, leave the apartment they both called “home” a mess together. Dishes left in the sink, forgotten as they live in their own bubble, as they are together. Finally.
His lips, pressing against hers as they did on that night so long ago that she continuously dreams about. Craves.
Maybe even more than that, thoughts she had attempted to consciously deny whilst engaged, now brought to the surface. His hands, painting a masterpiece across her body as he whispers words and phrases she has only dreamt about into her ear.
Instead of the words “I’m in love with you” and “Misinterpreted the friendship” keeping her up: the only words and phrases left in her bed at this point.
And what hurts Pam the most, is that she doesn’t know why she did this to herself.
She could have easily told him yes, told him that like he, she harbored feelings for him for years. That he has never misinterpreted a single thing. Yes, the fear of leaving Roy and separating himself from him was real. Yet, he was worth it. Worth facing her fear for, worth dropping the skinny love she had for Roy for.
She didn’t do any of it. She told him no, despite it all. Told him she was going through the motions, going to marry Roy as if she only had cold feet and her deep, deep feelings for this man were not real.
He has every right to hate me, she constantly tells herself, wallowing in her self-pity. I fucked up our friendship, I deserve this. She wipes the tears from her eyes, and finally gets up from her bed.
As she walks into the bathroom, she dampens a washcloth and pats her eyes with it, not before looking at herself in the mirror. Eyes are swollen, red, teary; a given for somebody who has been crying her eyes out for hours on end now.
Honestly, she does hate that a man is making her compromise her own happiness. She doesn’t have many friends to discuss this with without making herself sound broken. She feels as if Marisol or Penny are tired of hearing how miserable she has been, fears they would tell her to “get over it.”
Whenever she’s asked now, by either her friends or family, she robotically answers with a “I’m fine, I promise.” Wearing a fake smile and all.
But here she is. Spending her Thursday night bawling over him, again.
After taking another long, look at herself in the mirror, after dabbing her eyes with the wet washcloth, she becomes disgusted with herself. Disgusted with the way she looks right now, disgusted by her sadness.
This isn’t the “Fancy New Beesly” she was trying to be, even claimed to be. This Pam Beesly was a love-sick, miserable, sad shell of herself prior to that night.
How could she let herself get like this? Get so hung up over a man who doesn’t love her anymore?
Whilst shaking her head, she walks out of the bathroom and stares back at the bedroom that she claimed as “huge” not that long ago. Automatically, she kneels on the ground, reaching for a specific box that she has kept under her bed since she moved to this apartment.
Upon finding it, she opens it up and takes a good look at the large, teal item that is inside, reminding her again of what could have been.
She opens the lid of that pot, taking each item out one-by-one and laying them next to her. She wants to break it: take the ceramic and throw it out of her third-story window to smash on the sidewalk. Wants to rid of every reminder of where he and her could be right now had she not said she “can’t.”
However, she sits there, starting at it. She wants to pick it up, badly, but can’t muster the courage or strength to do it. Sighing, she closes the box up and pushes it back under the bed with her foot. Out of sight, out of mind, I guess? She says out loud, realizing she left the fellow items that went inside of that teal teapot next to her.
She takes the few items that she has: the hot sauce packet, the pencil, the boggle timer, and the cassette, from the floor. She couldn’t find his yearbook photo, however, and thought that maybe it could be with the card but remembered there was no card given with the gift.
Taking the pencil, she begins to unspool the film inside of the cassette tape. A smile appears on her face, watching the small items that once brought her distress, begin to break. Switching between both spools, the film becomes fully detached to the tape. Grabbing a pair of scissors, she begins cutting it, throwing it all into her trash can.
Next came the hot sauce packet, that she also cut open with scissors and squirted into the trash can, followed by the packet itself.
The boggle timer? Not much she could do with that one. She grabbed a random sneaker, and just began smashing it on the ground, only to be cleaned up with her broom and dustpan.
Lastly, the mini-golf pencil, that she snapped in half and threw with the fellow broken, formerly sentimental items, in her trash can.
After shutting the lid of her can, she sighed out of relief. For once in months, she felt happy. Genuinely happy.
It felt good of her to rid of memories that only brought her pain. And for once, she felt like she was moving spaces forward, rather than spaces back.
She walks back into her bedroom, sitting on the edge of the bed as she was left alone with her thoughts. Lately, that has been detrimental for her: causing her to fall down the path of thinking about him again, and the tears would start flowing.
But right now? This is the first time she has been left alone with her thoughts in eight months, where the thoughts were positive.
She wants to paint, wants to finally call Marisol or Penny or even her mother, to just hang out. Get drinks. Live her life again, as if he had no hold on her anymore.
So, this is what “Fancy New Beesly” should feel like, she whispers to herself, as she smirks down at the floor. Happy.
Just then, out of nowhere, she’s reminded of a conversation that Kelly had with her earlier in the week. She had come up to the reception desk, asking her about how the dating pool has been for her. Not wanting to sound desperate or miserable, Pam told her that none of them have been catches lately; Kelly, offering to set Pam up with a friend of Ryan’s from business school.
Being reminded of this, she instantly grabs her phone and texts Kelly, asking if that offer was still available. Even if the last time that Kelly had set Pam up on a blind, double date, it went terrible, she wanted to give it a second try.
It sure beats staying home, miserable on the weekend.
Kelly responds, telling her that it absolutely is still available, and that they could meet up at a new, upscale restaurant on the outskirts of Wilkes-Barre tomorrow night with this friend of Ryan’s. A smile appears on Pam’s face, thanking Kelly and shutting her phone down for the night. Pam has a date, for the first time in months. And for once, she’s excited for it.
“Wait, tomorrow?” she says, jumping off her bed and going toward her closet. She starts searching for an outfit to wear quickly, as her bedtime was approaching quickly. Rummaging through her clothing, she has nothing to wear to a restaurant as fancy as this one.
“No, Pam. You can’t wear that out on this date,” she states, dismissing the idea of wearing a certain shiny dress that hides behind her summer clothing. It’s fancy enough, that’s for sure.
She continues rummaging through her clothing, looking for something that could work, to no avail. Sighing, she runs her hand to the back of the row of hangers, grabbing that last dress and taking it out of her closet.
Merely staring at the dress makes her want to cry. Makes her regret her actions in the previous twenty minutes and fall back into the rut of missing him again.
“No, Pam,” she says, staring up at the ceiling to fight back her tears. Slowly, she tilts her head down, to give that dress one more look.
It’s a gorgeous dress: blue, a color that she has been told is one she should wear often with her copper hair. Shimmery, a nice change versus her every day, plain-patterned clothing. She shouldn’t let these memories ruin a perfectly good article of clothing. Maybe she could rewrite the story that comes with that dress.
“Alright, Beesly. You’re doing this,” she states, with a smile reappearing whilst hanging the dress on the hook behind her door to prepare for tomorrow night.
She was doing it: she was trying to move on, break free of this hold he had on her. She is trying to heal, find happiness again.
Preparing for bed, she sneaks glances over at that dress, seeing hope in moving on with each glace.
As it faces her as she finally drifts into the best night’s sleep she has had since last spring, she tells herself a phrase she hopes rings true: “I know I’ll be fine, without you.”