Five Times Pam Lost Control of Her Normally Calculated Emotions
Dwight had broken her teapot. She had brought it into work for the first time since she had gotten it months ago. Just because it reminded her of him. And she was so lonely, all the time. It was him in the kitchen and whenever she felt like she was going to throw up or burst into tears, she would walk into the kitchen and stare at the pot, remembering how he smiled when she pulled it out from under her desk. She would remember how he had laughed at his school picture. The picture that was still in her wallet, behind her driver's license.
She walked into the break room to get that feeling that was missing in her heart again, just for a second, when she saw the shattered ceramic spread across the floor. She forgot to breathe.
Dwight was on his hands and knees, scooping up the pot haphazardly, throwing the pieces into a nearby box.
He looked up at Pam who was staring at him, eyes wide in horror. "Can you believe someone left this on the edge where it is easily a safety hazard? Do you have any idea how easy it would have been for me to slit my throat on one of these pieces?"
He threw another piece in the box, breaking it apart even more. Pam fell to her hands and knees, tearing the box away from Dwight. "I'll do it Dwight."
"No Pam." He took the box back from her. "This is a safety hazard, these broken materials. I am a licensed official."
Pam ripped the box back one more time and fixed him a glare that could have burst him into flames. "I will do it. Dwight."
He looked at her a moment then stood up slowly and backed away through the door. Once he was gone, Pam carefully cleaned up the rest, placing the pieces one by one in the box.
She felt herself beginning to tear up but she bit it back. It was just a stupid teapot.
She sat on the floor with her hands over her face and cried until Ryan walked in and stared at her. She muttered something about allergies before standing up, brushing herself off, and walking back to her desk.
Ryan was smart enough not to bring it up again.
Andy had been hitting on her ever since the merger with the Stamford branch. It was flattering, really, and she was never rude. She always smiled at him politely while rebuffing his every attempt to ask her out. She also made sure to button the top button of her blouse every time he leaned over her desk, giving her that creepy smile.
He came to her desk one day, holding two plates with napkins over them. He placed them on the counter and drummed his hands, wearing a smile that said he was very proud of himself.
She looked up briefly before turning her attention back to her computer screen. "Yes, Andy?"
He gave her a cheeky grin. "I made us lunch." She turned to him and raised an eyebrow. "I figured since you have refused my every gesture to go out, we could eat together in the break room."
She smiled at him softly. "Andy, I'm not really hungry. But thank you, that was very generous and kind of you."
He rolled his eyes in exasperation. "Come on Pam, it's grilled cheese." He pulled the napkins and there sitting on the plate, were two grilled cheeses.
The smile slowly faded from her face and her eyes averted to behind Andy where Jim's desk was. He was sitting in his chair, looking at Pam with sad eyes and she was immediately reminded of candle dinners on rooftops, fireworks shows, and swaying to music while watching him close his eyes and mouth the lyrics.
She was reminded of repressed feelings and his lips on hers.
"Excuse me." She stood up quickly, ignoring Andy calling after her, and briskly walked into the bathroom. She locked herself in the stall furthest away from the door and placed her back against the door, slowly sinking to the floor.
She stayed in there, crying until 5: 30 when she was sure everyone had left for the day.
Andy never offered her grilled cheese, or anything else for that matter, ever again.
She was packing up her things from her home, no, Roy's home when she was hit by a sudden wave of sadness. She looked around them empty room, left with nothing but a bed and an old dresser.
She sat down on the ground and carefully placed down the tape on the cardboard box, running over it several times with her forefinger.
She began to cry softly, not because she feared she was making the wrong decision, but because she knew she was making the right one and she had wasted ten years of her life.
It was the day of the merger and she had been sitting at her desk all day, anxiously glancing at the door every time it swung open. She was clenching and unclenching her hands underneath her desk to try and stop them from sweating so much. She was clenching her jaw to try and stop her from throwing up.
When he came in, laughing and smiling with another girl, who wasn't her, and just nodded in her direction, giving her a small smile, she felt the vomit coming closer.
She moved out of the welcoming party and into the bathroom where she emptied her small breakfast and cried for being so stupid. For thinking that things would be different.
She wiped her eyes and looked at herself in the mirror, wiping off her lipgloss with the back of her hand and putting the clip back in her hair.
She was walking to her car, nothing but the single light at the end of the parking lot illuminating the asphalt and her lonely car in the corner. It was well past five and she was exhausted. She had to finish Michael's report to corporate before she left and reading his handwriting was like reading a two year old's attempt at poetry.
The parking lot was dark which is why she didn't see him leaning against her car until she was five feet in front of him.
She jumped, gasping and dropping her keys. "Jesus, Jim."
She bent down and retrieved them, walking around him and opening the door, throwing her bag in. "You scared the crap out of-"
"Why don't you talk to me?" He was facing her now, his arms crossed over his chest, his face angry.
She looked at him, surprised. "What are you talking about?"
"I mean, you don't get to be angry with me. I am supposed to be angry with you. You are the one who said no Pam, not me."
"I'm not angry with you."
The pain was coming. She could feel it in her chest, rising towards he heart. Her eyes began to sting and her voice had that warble.
He shook his head. "No, you don't get to cry either. You don't get to make me feel bad for you when you broke my heart." He pointed to his chest as if this would better help illustrate his pain.
She looked at him steadily, the tears coming from her eyes. "What do you want me to say?" It was a struggle to keep her voice an even tone and she had to force out each syllable.
"I want you to be you. I want you to stop making me feel like I stepped all over you when I didn't."
"I tried that Jim!" She closed her eyes as she shouted, her voice echoing across the quiet parking lot. "I tried blocking it off. I thought that is what you wanted me to do. I tried to not let it hurt, seeing you again. But I can't help it. It hurts talking to you. It's not me being mad, it's me protecting myself. I can't talk to you and be normal when you are with her. I figured by leaving you alone I was letting you be happy. I didn't want you to feel like I was trying to worm my way into your new life."
"I know I broke your heart. And there isn't a day that goes by that I regret that decision. Because it was the wrong one. I'm sorry. I am so so sorry I hurt you. But I can't be me and pretend because that hurts too bad. Just standing here right now, it hurts."
She opened her eyes and he was looking at her carefully. He reached forward and took hold of her shoulders, making her look him in the eyes.
"Pam" He repeated and smiled slightly.
She looked at him with wide, red-rimmed eyes. "What?"
"Why didn't you say this earlier?" His voice was soft and he rubbed his hands up and down her arms slowly, as if he were trying to warm her from the cold that had been plaguing her ever since he left.
She sniffed and closed her eyes. "I-I don't know."
When he kissed her, he could taste the salt on her lips.
When he kissed her, she would feel the world revolve under her feet.
When he kissed her, she knew everything was going to be alright.