Author's notes: This is my first attempt at The Office fanfiction. It's my obsession of the moment, and I must say that Jim is my favorite character of the week.
And any of you who have read any of my fics before, you know that this means that some physical harm will overcome my precious Jim.
To those of you who don't… well, now you know!
This is rated T because of slight language and implying of sex.
"Dunder Mifflin, this is Pam," she spoke into the phone for the seven-hundred and ninety sixth time since she began working at the paper company. It wasn't as if she actually knew that, but it was fun to estimate.
Multi-tasking hadn't been one of the skills she brought along when Pam first sat at the receptionist's desk, but it had been one she picked up fast. How else would she take down messages, eavesdrop on other employees, and search for a glance from a certain salesman in the office?
Not that she had seen his trademark smirk very often in the past few months.
It was tearing her up inside; she kept telling herself that it was too soon after she and Roy had officially broken up at the restaurant to think over her feelings for Jim. It was so confusing; on one hand, she couldn't help remembering that passionate kiss they had shared. That split second in time on the night when he admitted that he had always loved her. And then on the other hand, there was the knowledge that he was her best friend. Who could ruin a relationship with a friend that close?
But everything seemed so different when he came back from Stamford. It wasn't just that Jim was dating Karen- it was so much more.
There was so much more to her thoughts than just love. Leaving out Casino Night, leaving out everything- she missed him. She missed the pranks, she missed him "dying of boredom", and she missed the way he would lean on her desk (she swore there was an indent left in it).
But most of all, Pam missed him counting on her.
Karen had filled that void, and she needed to be okay with the fact that they were no longer as close as they once more. It was almost as if they had just finished middle school as best friends, but he had come back to high school at the end of the summer a different person with a girlfriend that replaced her. But now she had no place to sit at lunch, and she missed it.
Everywhere Jim went Karen went, and Pam had to admit they were very cute together. But excluding the way they both felt sometime in the past, the way they felt in the present, or the way they could feel in the future, it was a complicated emotion.
It was like that stupid Hierarchy of Needs by Maslow that she had been forced to learn about in high school. The bottom of the pyramid, physiological needs, was filled- her new apartment, though nowhere close to that house with the terrace she had always dreamed of, was hers nonetheless, she made enough money to support herself, and she could breathe. The next level, safety needs, didn't bother her much either, for she was in no danger in losing her job or being shot on the street anytime soon. However, it was there that the Hierarchy of Needs crashed and burned. The next level up was love, belonging, and social needs, and she had to confess that not only did being a valued employee at Dunder Mifflin no longer make her feel like she belonged somewhere, but her social and love lives had been lacking for quite sometime. Pam didn't bother thinking about how she related to the next two layers, self-esteem needs and self-actualization needs. She knew that it was just too hopeless.
Hanging up the phone, Pam almost laughed at herself. Letting herself slide back to a few months before, she created a situation in her head. In this little fantasy, she laughed, and the old Jim sauntered over to see what was so funny. When she told him that she had compared herself to a stupid pyramid she had strangely remembered from high school, he laughed with her. When she told him about her problems with levels three, four, and five, he suddenly got serious, and he would listen to her thoughts, fears, and ideas as if he had nothing better to do. And then… And then…
And then that's when Pam stopped herself, because it didn't matter anyway.
It was a Friday afternoon. She used to look forward to Fridays; a date with Roy, maybe coffee with Jim, no work. It had been fun. Now all she had to look forward to were the shelves of books she kept at home, along with her watercolors and art sets.
There was an unusual silence over the office, for Jan had come for a "visit". Everyone knew that meant that she and Michael would be shut up in his office for a long time.
Time passed, and Pam let herself stop thinking about her emotional issues. It was getting towards the end of the day, and she watched her fellow employees leave one by one. The lights in Michael's office turned out, but neither the boss nor the corporate employee exited the room.
"Not again…" she heard Jim mumble incoherently.
She glanced around at the few employees left in the office. Their faces showed mixed emotions of disgust, amusement, and just plain freaked out.
"That's it! I'm leaving," Karen announced to everyone (although she really only cared if Jim heard it). Hastily verbalizing a goodbye, she exited the room, leaving Toby, Pam, and Jim.
"Couldn't they have gone to Michael's?" Pam vocalized, slightly irritated.
"Well, at least they waited until business hours were over," Toby stated.
Author's notes: Review, please!