Pam shows up on the porch of Michael's condo on a Sunday evening and rings the door bell. She didn't call first because she was entirely certain that he would be home. He opens the door after about fifteen seconds and stares at her for another twenty.
"Pam!" he says, shaking himself out of the shock and takes a step back. He's wearing grey sweatpants and a hockey jersey – different from the one Dwight gave him for his birthday. She doesn't recognize the team.
"Hi Michael," she says. "I'm sorry to just…" but she isn't really sorry and definitely not sorry for anything specific enough to name.
"No, no, no," he says and waves her in. "What brings you to my neck of the woods?"
"I thought we could maybe," she shrugs and holds up a plastic bag. "Drink or something." He's still staring at her, his eyes wide and green beneath his thick, arched eyebrows. She thinks that maybe he thinks he's dreaming. "Was this too weird? I can go."
"Please stay," he says, and she knows he really, truly means it.
"Okay," This is exactly how she thought this would happen.
Michael's house is immaculate. It doesn't look at all lived in and it's been months since he's moved in. She looked up his address at work and also used office time and resources to Google Map directions. It is June 11th, and on June 9th, she'd told Roy that she would move out – that he didn't have to. She knows Roy doesn't like change.
His living room has exactly one couch, one television and one coffee table. The television sits on the coffee table and there is nothing between it and the couch. In his kitchen, there is a toaster oven, but no toaster. On the refrigerator is the photoshopped picture of everyone in the office and a menu for Chinese food. The TV is on mute and he stands in the living room looking helpless.
"I'm staying at the Best Western," she says, to break the ice.
"By the freeway?" he asks.
"Yeah, it's not that great." She starts to open drawers, looking for a bottle opener. She bought a six pack of Heinekens longnecks and already regrets going for the classy beer over the easy to open Bud Light in the can. The first drawer is completely empty; in the second are four knives, four spoons, and three forks. She sees the missing fork in the sink. Roy always had a bottle opener on his key chain.
Finally, Michael snatches the bottle from her hand and positions it on the edge of the laminate counter. His hand comes down swiftly and the cap comes off. He hands the beer to her.
"Here you go."
"Wow," she says. "That was really cool."
"I learned it in college," he says. Pam knows that Michael didn't go to college – or at least didn't graduate but she decides not to ruin their time by mentioning it.
"Do you have a DVR?" she asks, handing the beer back to Michael and trying to open another beer against the counter by her self. She doesn't hit hard enough and it hurts her hand. She watches him do it again and feels a surge of pride on his behalf. Like he isn't all bad.
"Yeah, upstairs." he says.
"What do you record?"
"Robot Chicken," he says and guffaws. "I love that show."
"Me too," she says, but doesn't know what it is.
"Whose line is it anyway – but only the British version."
"Of course," she says.
"I have that made for TV movie with Matthew Perry on there but I haven't watched it yet."
"Yuck," she says and he smiles.
"Yeah, I probably won't ever watch it. Gross!" She looks around because she can't stand it when he tries too hard.
"Let's watch Robot Chicken." she says. She follows him upstairs. His bed is made and she can see the George Forman Grill on the nightstand instead of the floor. She perches on the end of the bed with her legs dangling off the footboard. He sits next to her, but not nearly close enough to touch. They watch two episodes and she drinks one beer and then leaves.
In between the first fifteen minutes and the second, she says,
"I should be on my honeymoon right now."
"You didn't marry Roy," he says, like she needs reminding.
"Nope." she looks at his blue comforter and notes that it has begun to pill. It looks old, worn, but comfortable. "Jim went to Australia so he didn't have to go to my wedding."
"Why did you come here?" he asks. "Instead of to Kelly or Ryan or someone else?"
"I didn't want to be judged." she says, after a minute.
"Cool," he says and she feels okay for a while. Before she goes, she leaves the remaining four beers in his nearly empty fridge and he opens the door for her.
He watches her from the window looking confused and euphoric while she drives away.