Cause you're a part of my heart when I'm apart from my heart
They were driving to dinner. Nothing fancy, perhaps the little Vietnamese place down a couple blocks from Pam's place. Pam was driving. Jim was flipping through a soft cover CD binder. "Oh man! Air Supply?" Jim shook his head. "BoyzIIMen! My God, what have I gotten myself into?"
It struck her. In fact, that very idea of "getting into something" had struck her often over the past year. Jim's feelings for her had been unclear the last year. He had told her that he was in love with her, and then did it go away?
When he came back to Scranton, his feelings had materialized into a relationship with Karen. So, yes, it would appear that Jim's Casino Night declaration had dissolved.
She kept driving while Jim scoffed at the Dead Poets Society soundtrack. He looked at her, "I don't even remember there being a song in that movie. You got the soundtrack?"
Drawn back into her inner dialogue, Pam was plagued with this though: the looks. The tiny hints of emotional residue that seemed to surface throughout the year. Little looks, moments, tiny pockets of symbolism that seemed to mean more than friends.
Phyllis's wedding. That night stands out clearly in Pam's mind as an evening abound with suspicious residual feelings on Jim's part.
Cute dances moves? Cute?
Their eye contact? When he was dancing with Karen. Something about that… the way he looked guilty, was it? Pam had mulled over this look before. Extensively, even, but had never really come up with an answer that was wholly definitive.
She hadn't yet broached the topic in her new relationship with Jim. It was too soon. It had been a month. Privately dating. Following the procedural steps of courtship. Dinner a couple of times a week, exciting touches and open flirtation; nothing beyond the preliminaries of their shared attraction. They hadn't yet dug up the feelings of the past year. Nothing too ugly yet.
Yet Pam found herself wondering if Jim's "I'm in love with you" from years before still stood. She wondered if they had to go through the motions getting to know one another in a romantic context before she said anything.
"And I'm sorry, on the page just after Hall and Oates is Bach's Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin? That is some eclectic taste you've got there, Beesly." Jim was killing himself laughing.
"Sue me for experimenting beyond The Shins and the Arcade Fire!" Her laugh was good-natured, but distracted.
Pam pulled into the Vietnamese restaurant. She put her Yaris into park, took the keys from the ignition, silently. Jim noticed the silence and asked: "Everything okay?"
Pam nodded and got out of the car. Jim circled over to her side while she locked the car, immediately reaching his arm out to walk hand and hand into the restaurant. Jim liked holding hands.
The first time he'd reached for her hand was on their second date. After their initial dinner the evening he got back from New York, they got together the next night after. Nothing major, just a movie at Jim's place. But while they were walking from the car into the video store he'd reached for her hand, shyly, and held on tight.
Now, a mere month later, he reached for her hand to walk the distance from the parked car into the restaurant. Pam considered this. And without much censorship, asked: "Jim, are you still in love with me?"
He paused on the sidewalk. Little plastic tables with Coca-Cola written on them were dotted along the sidewalk, property of the restaurant. One elderly couple was eating at a table, not too far from them. Other than that, the street was empty. Pam could see the hostess for the restaurant staring at them through the glass front door.
She realized the phrasing of her question gave off a different impression that she'd meant. She hadn't meant to sound like she was second-guessing anything about their month-long relationship. Rather she was referring to his initial confession of love, years prior. She clarified this for him out loud. "I don't mean like… do I repulse you all of a sudden? I just mean…" She shook her head in amused frustration. "Wow, I didn't word this that well. What I really mean is this: you told me you loved me. Remember?" She chucked a little to alleviate the awkwardness she felt she had created.
Jim just stared at her.
Pam went on, assuming that he had heard her and considered her question rhetorical. "Well you did. And I mean, over the last year I've thought about how you said that and I guess I just wondering if…it still held? I don't know. I don't even know why I said it out loud, sorry!"
Jim laughed. A full-on belly laugh. Pam blinked and squinted at the setting sun blinding her. She could barely see Jim for the seconds before he scooped her up and kissed her. She could hear his laugh, and then his shape block the sun from her eyes. He kissed her before he answered, long and purposefully, wrapping himself around her.
They parted. Jim tucked a piece of hair behind her ear. With his forehead pressed to hers, his response was an ill-fated attempt to be cheeky: "Pam, you have no idea." Jim's elated, boyish grin revealed his true feelings: Yes, he did, and no, he hadn't stopped.
Oh, oh my love
Don't you leave me
Cause I don't want to learn how to die
Oh, oh my love
And oh my, my
You know I can't get over
"From" – Dr Dog